adventures in dysthymia

Thursday, September 08, 2011

I JOINED Google Plus a little while ago but so far it has proven practically impossible to utilize on my slow dial-up connection. I get awfully sick of blank pages and 'try again' buttons -- I see enough of them elsewhere around the internet.

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The mostly-favorable review I posted yesterday for Sparrow Alone on the Housetop was not a 'puff piece,' even if the authors are close relatives. If I had not actually thought the book was pretty decent I would have declined to review it -- I would not savage the work of friends or relatives but I'm willing to give a thumbs up if their work deserves it.

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On the subject of novels, I'm chugging along on the rewrite of The Middle of Nowhere.  I did the first draft of this Young Adult novel sometime in the second half of the Nineties and it has seen some rewriting and revision since. None in quite a while, though, so I'm coming in fairly fresh and seeing a bit of change that can be made.

The first order of business was to change a number of the names of the main characters. Thank goodness for 'find and replace' functions on word processing programs! Each time I changed one, I found that it meant I had to rename someone else so I ended up with six different changes. That's done now and I can get to the actual rewriting.

TMON is set in the mythic village of Ruby, which combines elements from any number of small towns on the Florida Gulf coast north of Tampa and south of Appalachicola -- but the primary inspiration would be Steinhatchee. After I had written the novel, I had begun penning stories about Branford Perry in the same setting -- this is the main reason I had to change the names at this point. I'll get it all running on the same track in time.

Anyway, I have pretty much decided to make this the next publishing project, though I will continue to dabble at the illustrations for one or another poetry chapbooks. Plenty to keep me busy for a while!

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My friend Raven Stands Alone was struck by a truck while bicycling a couple nights ago, breaking both legs according to the info I've seen. RSA lives in Jacksonville and is, to say the least, an avid bicycle rider. Full recovery seems likely though he'll be out of action a while. My prayers go for him.

Raven, and his then-mate Bettina Makely, were my first friends in the Florida Folk community, some nine or ten years ago.

Bicycling can certainly be dangerous on crowded busy roads. That's why I haven't biked since moving here, though I rode frequently back in Steinhatchee. I even gave the bike away a couple months ago. Can't roller blade, either, which I enjoy more. It would be taking my life in some very shaky hands to attempt either on Peanut Road.

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