Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FAQ - Housekeeping Questions

Q: I have so many recent copies of my WIP (work in progress) from so many sources, that I am losing track of which one is which. I guess I've never had so many different edits of one manuscript within a short period of time. I have labeled them differently and by date, but I am still having trouble. How do you keep your edits straight? I imagine you run into a similar dilemma once the editor sends you back her copy and you begin a rewrite. I can't decide if a thumb drive or a CD copy of end products at the end of what? A day? A half day? would help. If you have some special insight I'd appreciate the tip.
A: I've never had multiple edits to deal with as my editor is the only one to read my stuff and actually do a line edit.  And once I get that back, I deal with it right away and don't bother saving the previous version. (Except for the time she had me excise a whole subplot -- I did save that version.)

I save to a CD at the end of every writing day -- and now I also use Dropbox -- a free 'cloud ' storage system which allows me to access my WIP from any computer, smart phone, iPad, or  whatever that has Dropbox on it. Pretty cool.  

***
Notice that I've added a new writing/book review blog over there on the sidebar. Ellis Vidler does some very good little writing lessons  --  like this one on the difference between foretelling and foreshadowing.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Again

Roadside poppies bloom
On this Memorial Day
As in Flanders fields...
Brief, fragile flowers. . .
Solemn tokens of all the
 Sons and daughters gone,
 
All this remembrance --
But when will we ever learn?
Will we ever learn?


and in Miss Yves' elegant French... 
                                                               Fleuris dans les champs
Coquelicots comme en Flandre
-Jour du Souvenir

(Ou)
Pavots du chemin
En ce jour du souvenir
Rouges comme en Flandre

Coquelicots frĂȘles
TĂ©moignages solennels
Des fils disparus

Tous ces souvenirs
Mais quand donc apprendrons-nous ?
                                                                Et apprendrons -nous ?
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Praise of Vanity

Vanity license plates, that is.  North Carolina uses the proceeds from the extra fee charged for those special plates to sow flowers on the roadsides. 
My grocery shopping trip into Weaverville yesterday was enriched -- coming and going.
Thanks are due to the late Ladybird Johnson, who encouraged our government in these senseless acts of beauty.

I am unable to embed a slide show. Drat! To see more poppy portraits, go HERE.https://picasaweb.google.com/vickilanemysteries/Poppies#

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flowers Everywhere!

Gardenias on the porch
Spiderwort in the creepy garden

Roses on the arbor
Beard tongue by the roadside
and
Hydrangeas by the barn
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

What They Left Behind. . .

The field below the blue house is the largest, flattest piece of land on our mountain farm.  It lies between two branches (streams) and  the folks we bought the place from used it to grow tobacco and corn. 

So did we, for years, and the dreary task of hoeing was made more bearable by the hope of finding a spearpoint or some other Cherokee tool because this area was a part of their hunting grounds and this field, from the number of partially finished points we've found, must have been a prime camp site.


This below is probably a 'knife' -- a partially worked piece of quartz that would have been useful for cutting or scraping.  We've found much nicer points and there are pictures of them HERE.
 

The remains of a hoe is another artifact -- much more recent.  The Freeman's, the folks who owned the farm before us, wore their hoes down in the rocky soil, till the blades were like silver half moons -- shadows of their former selves.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hailstorm

 
The devil's behind the door, beating his wife with a frying pan -- that's what my grandmother used to say when there was sunshine and rain at the same time.
 We got a bit of hail as well. . .

Monday, May 23, 2011

More About Sodom


  The Church of the Little Flower sits catty-cornered across the road from a Baptist church. Jane, a Sodom-raised acquaintance of mine told me her memory of how the young people there at the Catholic church for mass would hear the Baptist congregation begin to sing and would squirm on the hard benches, eager for the Latin service to be over so they could dart across the road and join in the Baptist singing.
Singing's important in Sodom. This little community is the home place of ballad singers who preserve the old songs their forebears brought over from England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Sheila Kay Adams is one of the seventh generation to sing  those stories of love and death.  She's a talented musician and storyteller and her "Come Go Home with Me" is a series of charming vignettes, from funny to heart breaking,  about growing up in Sodom back in the Sixties.

Sheila tells a delightful story about religion in Sodom.  First she and all the other kids would go to the Church of the Little Flower, where the service was all incomprehensible Latin. As soon as that was over, on to the Baptist Church where, though the service was in English, the pastor had no teeth, which made his words equally unintelligible.

"We all grew up, " says Sheila, " thinking that religion was one of the great mysteries of life that we mere mortals weren't supposed to understand."
 
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sodom and the Church of the Little Flower

Yesterday I went with friends to Sodom -- a little community not far from our farm as the crow flies, but, as the car travels, about 45 minutes away -- high up and reached by a very winding road.

According to the story, Sodom got its name about a century ago when a visiting Methodist minister, appalled by the free and easy ways of the inhabitants, said that they were no better than a bunch of Sodomites.

Officially. the place is called Revere but the residents cling proudly to the old name.

This trip came under the heading of research -- in my chapter of the collaborative novel I'm currently working on, my characters pay a visit to Sodom. And since it's been about thirty years since I was there, I thought I ought to take a look again before I wrote about it.


The Church of the Little Flower is kind of unexpected. It was the home of a Roman Catholic mission that operated from 1931 into, I think, the seventies --  here in this mountain fastness where the majority of churches are some flavor of Baptist.
In fact, today the church is owned by a Baptist. But he was evidently so moved by the feeling the building invokes, that rather than turn it into a vacation home, as had been his original intent, he restored it. And today it's available for meetings or special events.

I have a lot more to tell you about Sodom -- but as I doubt I'll be among the elect raptured away tomorrow, I'll save it for another post.

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Friday, May 20, 2011