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Jun 272013
 

Last year I planted beans and peas (among other things). I gave each plant it’s very own pole to climb up. I spaced them out neatly and was sure that I would have an orderly harvest at the end of the year. Oh how wrong I was. The peas and beans rejected my poles and climbed each other instead. This made for a very low harvest in the peas – we managed one meal of peas. The beans… well… I have no idea which pods were from which plants. Consequently many of them were picked at the wrong stage of ripeness. I don’t know which ones I liked or anything. It was a tangled mess.

Jun 192013
 

Vampires are a popular subject these days. There are a million different versions from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Anne Rice’s angst ridden vampires. You have everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight to True Blood. All of them different. There are vampires for every taste these days from sexy to scary and even sparkly if you go that way. But they all have one thing in common. Vampires are immortal.

Jun 122013
 

Last summer I had my first chance to plant a vegetable garden (as an adult and without supervision). I wrote about it here. Some of you might laugh at the silly misadventures I had, but hey, I had fun and I learned a lot. Of course learning only showed me how much more there is that I don’t know. But that’s never stopped me before. It’s not stopping me now.

This year I have all four of the planned beds installed in the back yard. That means I can try my hand a more vegetables (I’m so not a flower person).

Mar 202013
 

“The pen is mightier than the sword”

An old truism that is mostly true. Swords are intimidating. They show their power openly. Everyone knows that a sword can kill and it looks like it. The sharp edges draw your attention to that deadly power almost immediately. But the truth is that a sword is an inanimate object. It must have the will of a person behind it. The ability of the sword to kill is dependent on that the person holding it. Words on the other hand hide their power. They are soft and hard to grasp. No one thinks of words as deadly weapons, and many will laugh when I tell you that they are more deadly than any sword. But the truth is that words are behind almost every murder or suicide. Worse than that, words can do their damage without the speaker having any intent to hurt. A careless “there’s no one here” can be more painful than a literal dagger in the back. Words can drive people to hate each other, or worse ignore each other.

Feb 222013
 

As a writer I sometimes struggle with the idea that words aren’t as important as we think they are. As a linguist, I’m fascinated by this reality of communication. Depending on which studies you believe, anywhere between 80% and 90% of interpersonal communication has nothing to do with the words. Linguists call this meta-linguistics – the parts of communication that aren’t words. Meta-linguistics is broken into two categories – the things that are directly related to the language and the things that are communication unto themselves (eg. Body language).

Feb 202013
 

When I’m not writing, I work as an educational or freelance ASL interpreter. Lately the differences between those two environments has been a minor source of stress in my life. In freelancing, I am sent out by my agency to do a variety of jobs. Most assignments over 30 minutes I’m sent with a team. I get almost no prep materials, and if I’m lucky I might get a few minutes to chat with the consumers (both Hearing and Deaf). In school, I am sent solo to one 45 minute class after another with only the 5 minute passing time afforded to the students to clear my brain and get ready for the next class. On the plus side I do get prep materials and a chance to get to know the students and teachers.

Feb 132013
 

Did you ever notice how many great writers of all eras were friends with each other? It was something that I found rather hard to believe back in high school every time my teacher to assign three books by three different authors who all just happened to know each other. How was that possible?

Well it is possible and more importantly a reason that they were all so famous. You see writers are the best support for other writers. When you get in a group of like minded people you will egg each other on to greater and greater heights. You’ll push each other to fix your issues and improve you craft until you are all at the top of you game. Then you push higher. Great, so how do you find the other great writers to make your little group?

Feb 042013
 

Among the writing rules is one that I actually agree with most of the time: torture your characters. That sounds a little extreme, but for the most part it is good advice. Why? Because good story rise out of conflict, conflict comes from adversity, and adversity means that things are going wrong.

Jan 112013
 

If you ask a bunch of writers about how to find time to write there are two basic camps: Butt In Chair (BIC) and Steal Minutes (SM). If you go to any writer’s group and ask a general question like “How do you find time to write” you’ll get a nice smattering of about equal weight of the two camps. No one will deny the other camp’s position and they’ll be quite polite about it.