Saturday, March 29, 2008

Evil Vista

Can someone tell me why my Vista Internet Explorer Window (the second of two opened) keeps jumping around when I try to navigate through the page? I click on a link, the page jumps and shrinks. I scroll to find my place; the page jumps again to full size.

There are more important things to worry about. . . .but what has Bill Gates got against me?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some thoughts on moving

I'm preparing to move; my life is falling into boxes as I decide what to toss and what to keep. Moving periodically, I find, is a great way to challenge the soul and sort out what's important in our lives.

Most of my friends and family spend 20, 30 years in a home. To them, I'm nuts. To me, they're complacent.

I think my mission is to disprove astrology. I'm the Taurus, yet I'm the one who rebels against roots and stability.

I had a friend that used to move every two years; she regularly convinced herself there was something wrong with her home. The truth was, of course, that her life was dysfunctional; moving was a way to claim control and change what she could. Wondering if I have fallen into the same trap forces me to examine other facets of my life and make judgments.

Here's the bottom line--many of my friends and family don't move because they can't. They simply have too much stuff, and moving presents too great a task.

I do dread the time taken away from my work, and the box into which my "current projects" goes will be guarded like the crown jewels as it travels the 50 miles between homes. But overall, I am glad to be moving and clearing the junk out of my life.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blogging NonSequitar

Ah , blogs. The quick repartee, the spur-of-the-moment muse!

We blog, we spellcheck, we revise and rewrite. But the nature of the beast precludes letting the post simmer for a few days, to enjoy a fresh read before posting.

That's how nonsequitars slip in, like yesterday. What on earth did a New Yorker article about History and Novels have to do with one of my favorite rants: those who whine over revisionist history? In my mind there was a clear path through a couple of indirect ravines. . . kinda like this pretty picture from SXC.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Top Sites for Writers

Bootstrapper lists the top 100 Freelancer Blogs. They're broken up into categories, with writing sites coming first (16 of them) followed by:

  • Copywriting & Marketing
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Development & Programming
  • Finance & Business
  • Photography
  • Consulting
  • Freelancing of all Stripes & Parenting
  • General

Keep the list handy, because you may have a spare 20 minutes and could benefit from reading advice from another writer or freelancer.

My favorite job site is in there (thank you Deborah Ng--I owe you more coffee!), as well as blogs that I've never heard of--like Codswallop, which deals with integrating new technology and even non-technological ideas into freelance work.

I'm glad someone took the time to put this list together, because I sure don't have time to check out a hundred sites per month or season. But I do like cruisin' every once in a while. Someday I may update my keyboard.

The Shroud of Turin: Relic or Gallish Hoax?

The word of the day, boys and girls, is sindonologist. Can you say that with me? Sindonologist.

It means, according to this story on Discovery News, a scholar who studies the Shroud of Turin.

I thought the Shroud had been debunked as a religious artifact (though still impressive as a medieval curiosity), but sindonologists beg to differ. A 12.8 billion-pixel image of the Shroud has been constructed and studies continue--some bent on debunking the debunkers--those nabobs of negativity who put their faith in radiocarbon dating completed in 1988. Those tests relegate the Shroud to the 13th century AD rather than the time of Christ.

A TV show (dare we call it a documentary?) about the new research will air on the Saturday before Easter, the 22nd.

There are several websites devoted to the Shroud:, from whence comes this photo; and The last seems to have the most recent information, and looks professional--just in case you are looking.

Sorry for Lack of Posts

Family emergencies have kept me from posting regularly on this blog this week--and are likely to continue until my newest grandson officially enters the world. My apologies--but I will try to keep up!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Biographer's Craft

A new (to me--but it's celebrating its first birthday this month) ezine focused on biographies, from an author's perspective, is worth mentioning. Editor James McGrath Morris fills The Biographer's Craft with:
  • Biography news (in the March issue: A profile of John Heilpern, a look at the craft behind Taking on the Trust: The epic Battled of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller, a roundup of the year's best biographies)

  • Announcements of upcoming panels and events of interest biographers

  • links to book reviews in Publishers Weekly

  • Research ideas and tips

You can sign up for the monthly ezine or read it at the website:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Authors Who Lie (and the Readers Who Love Them)

Another memoirist has been outed . . . by her own sister, no less!

As all papers and media are reporting, Margaret B. Jones/Margaret Seltzer (real name) wrote a "memoir" titled Love and Consequences, in which she claimed to be a former Blood gang member, and a half-Navajo foster child. The New York Times reviewed her book and ran a profile of her, detailing her (bogus) biography. It was published with a picture: the author and her 8-year-old daughter.

Seltzer's own sister called the Times to tattle. The memoir is fiction. The book is withdrawn and the book signing tour canceled.

It's probably a good read. Why did the woman have to lie and claim the story was a memoir?

A Million Little Pieces was also a good read--many people told me that. Some folks felt it lost none of its impact for being fiction, rather than pure fact.

And historian Joseph Ellis is still selling books, even though he was caught lying about his non-existent military career. Does he have the credibility he did ten years, though?

Why do people do this? I can understand a writer clicketing away on the PC, losing sight of what's real and what isn't. I can, seriously.

What boggles my mind is when that writer gets up and leaves the computer screen's glow for broad daylight, signs contracts, accepts checks, and somehow decides that in the 21st century, they can lie about their identity and get away with it. That they can be in the national newspapers and no one will call their bluff. That they are teflon, and the career they've worked so hard to build will withstand the charges of "cheat."

When I read their tearful apologies, the words don't seem like blatant dishonesty so much as immaturity. They got carried away; they really didn't expect consequences. Quite ironic in Selzer's case, given the title of her book.