Archive - Nov 11, 2008

#NaNoWriMo update

So far today, I’ve only gotten out slightly over a thousand words on my novel. To pull this off, I’m going to need to increase this substantially. Yet the novel is taking on a life of its own. The other night, I had a dream, in which people’s feet were turning black and swelling up. It struck me that this must be part of the plague predicted in the novel.

As I work on the biology of the novel, I frequently ask Kim for pointers to make sure that I’m still making sense, and at least on somewhat solid footing scientifically. However, today, I started writing about the travels of one of the characters. I won’t say whether or not he is a key character, because many of the characters are fighting for my attention to be key characters.

With this, I’ve needed to research a little bit, the history of the potato and the coffee bean. I also need to be much more up to speed on the geography and history of Ethiopia, Yemen, Turkey, Indonesia, perhaps some additional places in Africa, such as Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo, although those stops may play minor roles. Then, I need to be much more versed in Columbia and Peru. In need to be able to write much more intelligently and coherently about radical Islamic clerics as well as early to middle archaic Peruvian culture and archeology. I could get lost in all the research.

So, if this sounds interesting and you’re an expert in any of those areas, please let me know. I can always use good sources and informed readers.

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Two Giant Steps Sideways

When I was a kid, we had a small black and white television with rabbit ears antennas. We could receive three stations, an ABC affiliate, an NBC affiliate, and a CBS affliate. The CBS affiliate also broadcast on a UFH channel and we could receive that as well.

My father had been an amateur radio operator in his younger days and there were plenty of books about radios around the house. I read various books and in my teenage years made an antenna out of junk from the basement, that we put up in the attic. With it, we managed to pull in another television station from 130 miles away.

Some evenings, my mother would go out to sewing circle, a time she and her friends would get together, work on the sewing that needed to be done for the family and talk. On these nights, she would ask us to copy down the weather map from the evening news. I guess she trusted our rendition of the weather maps more than she trusted our recollection of the weatherman’s predictions.

She would look at the weather map and make decisions about the coming day. Was it likely to be sunny enough to do laundry and hang it out to dry? What did the coming weather tell us about the chores to be done in the garden?

That was probably forty years ago, and yet it came back to me as I checked the weather online. Yesterday was a nice sunny day. It has been clouding up a bit, and I wondered if I could get another load of laundry dried outside before we got rain again.

We are renting a small house, and don’t have a clothesline, so I hang the clothes on various lawn chairs and other places outside. It has worked well enough for us, and we almost never use our electric clothes drier.

Some of this is because of my desire to live a ‘greener’ lifestyle. Some of it is due to our tight financial situation and my intrinsic frugality. We’ve saved quite a lot by rarely using the electric clothes drier.

Since Kim is working full time in Hartford, and my work is sporadic and often from home, I can do many of these sort of tasks around the house.

Over the next several weeks, I expect I shall have to do much more of this. The various oral antibiotics that has been taking to fight her Lyme disease just hasn’t been working. She’s been feeling pretty miserable, and today, the doctor prescribed another round of intravenous antibiotics. Hopefully, it will be approved by the insurance company and will help her feel better soon. However for the next several weeks, I’ll have to do more of the tasks, especially if they involve any sort of lifting. One giant step sideways.

As she was off at the doctors, I was meeting with some lawyers about some of the complicated legal situations surrounding our efforts to downsize and start over. Between the different legal proceedings going on, there are at least six lawyers involved, and depending on how things progress, could get resolved easily, or could get more protracted.

One the one hand, I am hoping that it will all just simply get resolved and go away. On the other hand, I’m not sure that is in the best interest of many of the parties involved. Today, I met with two lawyers, to help them understand the details, at least from my perspective. This will result in additional negotiations between lawyers, more filings in court, and the outcome is unclear. At least, it felt like the two lawyers got a much better understanding of the issues and provided another giant step sideways.

So, now, I’m back home, trying to get a little writing done, and figure out how to be prepared for whatever comes next.

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