Thursday, August 7, 2014

Islands Are Flying

Whoop!  Whoop!  Good news!

One of my poems, Early Dreams of Telepathy, has been published in the Indiana Writers Center's online journal, Flying Island.  Check it out!

(I wrote it for old people.  Like me.  Who've lived through multiple changes in technology.)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Escaping to Another Destination

Seen Reading:

Last week, an Indian girl, early twenties, in a red peasant blouse, black capri pants and wide strapped sandals, sat at a side table, early evening, inside Yotopia, a frozen yogurt shop in Iowa City, Iowa.  Her long thick curly black hair was pulled back in a low-slung ponytail.  Her eyes focused only on the book as the shop was busy with many customers coming and going.  What kept her attention so well?

Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen. (A historical novel set in India.)

Seen anyone reading in public lately?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pianos on the Street

I have been on a journey.  One that led to Iowa City, Iowa.  For the University of Iowa's Iowa Summer Writing Festival.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the unknown.  All by myself. 

I am still processing the experience, happy to have done something so brave for this introvert.  One of the lovely surprises, and there were many, were pianos on the street.  Decked out in various ways.  Available for anyone to play.

I saw the first one on Monday but the street was too busy and I...just walked on by.  But on Thursday morning, tired from a lack of sleep, waiting for a one on one meeting with my instructor, I sat down and played.  I didn't notice if the street was busy.  I didn't care. 

What a strange sensation to hear music drift into the open air.  A robin stopped and perched on the lid to listen, cocking her head from time to time.  What a wonderful feeling to have a gentle breeze accompany me while my fingers danced on well-worn keys.

Life is full of surprises if you step out of your comfort zone.  Go on.  Take a chance.  There might be a piano at your final destination.  There might be music in the air.  A song that will buoy you up and keep you going.  (In my case, it calmed my nerves, making the one on one meeting one I'll never forget.)

Have you challenged yourself to try something new lately?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

High Humidity Leads to Vengeance

Seen Reading:

At Plainfield's crowded Splash Island, a man, with Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses perched atop his bald head, dressed in neon pink Hawaiian swim trunks, with a large protruding tanned belly and a magnitude of grey chest hair, lounged under an umbrella.  He read a paperback covered in a plastic baggie while children splashed nearby in the Lazy River.  Sunburn was bright on his nose and shoulders.

What was he reading?

V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

Seen anyone reading in public lately?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chess Update

Time for a chess update!

2,000 games played.  Whoa!  It crept up on me this time.

Won: 1150
Drawn: 261

71% of the time I don't outright lose.  That's a passing grade in any other class. 

Longest winning streak: 14 games
Longest streak of draws: 3 games
Longest losing streak: 6 games

I must say the game still holds tremendous appeal.  I am improving basic maneuvers and developing longer more complicated strategies.  The games themselves are shorter in length, which is making me question the 10,000 hours to mastery.  Do I count more than a game at a time?  What took me an hour in the beginning, now takes a quarter of that time.  So do I count four games for every hour now?  Hmm.  Something to ponder.

Now, if only my submission tallies showed such improvement.  Alas, it is still a roller coaster with exciting highs and dramatic drops.  But I persist.  I am too far into the game to end it now.

Any personal or professional challenges in your neck of the woods?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Brown-Eyed Boy

Seen Reading:

In an over-sized leather chair, while his grandmother perused the closeout sale aisles in Coldwater Creek, a thin freckled boy, around the age of ten, sat quietly with a recently purchased stack of books.  (The empty Barnes & Noble bag on the floor was the main indicator.) 

He wore a black Pink Floyd t-shirt, black jeans with scuffed knees and red Converse high tops.  Green and red jelly bracelets graced his wrist and he had a worn stamp of Captain America atop his right hand.

The series that he was consuming rapidly?  My Weird School series by Dan Gutman.  The exact title he read when I passed by?  Mrs. Roopy Is Loopy.

Seen anyone reading in public lately?