Faith-Based Charity, Pagan Style
2100 words long
So, that work-for-hire thingie? Yeah. That's done. Time for me to remember where I left off in the various novels and short stories I'd put on hold in order to hit the deadline.
While writing up a brief bio for the editor to use or not as appropriate, I discovered something. PanGaia issue #42 is now online. And my article is indeed among those you can read in PDF format: here.
In other news, it's looking like my yen to blog about my surroundings will be fulfilled once the Denver Metroblogging website gets up and running. Yay! Metroblogger is a fine old respectable venue, for online values of "old" anyway, and I'll be proud to be on the team.
Meanwhile, down here in the New Orleans area, we are feeling the effects of Hurricane Wilma. Stupendous northerly winds are rushing across the city--not wings of the storm, precisely, but a current caused by the hurricane's low pressure system in the Gulf yanking the air out of the high pressure system that is our incoming cold front. The ghost town of the 9th Ward got two feet of water last night. The blue tarp on the roof with the long slats on top was flapping, bumping, and squeaking all night long. And you can actually hear the wind howling in my parents' sink. 35 years in this house, and they've never heard that happen before. I leaned over, put my hand to my ear, and said, "Mom! I can hear the sea!" We didn't stop laughing for something like five minutes.
Reminders, and what remains.
- 46,750 words (if poetry, lines) long
- 78.25 hrs. revised
Another word cut; got rid of some leftover Part 1 snippits that turned out not to have a place. Spent most of today reading the first half of Part 2 from the previous draft, reminding myself what I'd decided during the first read-through, deciding which decisions could still stand, and taking notes on how the chapters needed rearranging so that one thing leads to another.
Had a bit of a revelation about the Brian-Mike-Mrs. Windlow family dynamic. Revelations are good things. They make incidental supporting characters less villianous, and antagonists much, much more. Which is probably the way these things ought to be balanced.
Today was mostly an obsessive day. I spent pretty much my entire work session keeping WWL's live coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath floating next to my MS Access window, gluing one eye on the arial footage, trying to find out just how bad things were now that the levee was broken.
It was a day of ups and downs. John and I almost didn't go to work after getting the news from Mom. He sat there, numb over his fried eggs, thinking about his sister; I sat there reading three different packagings of the same AP news story, intermittently breaking into tears. My home, my home is gone. Then got to work, watched the news, read the Nola.com Jefferson Parish Forum, and learned that Bonnabel Place might not be all that submerged after all. One person even reported dry streets at Wisner and Poplar, and having walked all the way from there to Causeway without trouble. Then I got home, and read that the sandbagging of the levee breach would be abandoned untried, the pumps left to fail, Metairie left to submerge itself as the lake poured in and sought sea level. I don't understand why. Apparently Mayor Nagin doesn't either; WWL reported him as being "unhappy" that the helicopters never dropped the sandbags. But then I called Mom to tell her (she hasn't access to Internet in her hotel room), and she said she'd heard from the St. Tammany Hospital contingent and they were all OK, they were all alive, unhurt, they were not in any way part of the four-person death toll reported from St. Tammany Parish this afternoon. And John's sister isn't in Covington after all; she's in Dallas. And my brother's in Little Rock. Everyone's safe.
Now WWL is no longer reporting that sandbagging will be abandoned; they're just repeating the stuff about Jefferson Parish residents to be allowed back in on Monday to recover their essentials before evacuating once more for a month.
It was a day of slim silver linings. I learned that The Rock Boat has no plans to cancel; they may, however, ship from Galveston or Mobile. Final decision still pending. I learned that it is too late to acquire trip insurance, as Katrina's damage is now a preexisting condition. But I also learned that American will let us change our flight reservation once without charge. So maybe we're not out a bunch of money after all.
But I was so looking forward to sailing from the Port of New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico. I'd never done it before. It's a petty grief, but sometimes we cheer ourselves up with petty grievances. We use them to distract ourselves from great griefs, like the mental image of one's hometown sinking forever under brackish waves.
Not forever. New Orleans is too ornery not to recover and rebuild. And I want to be there. As soon as they say they can use physical volunteers, I want to go. What use calling myself a New Orleanian if I won't go help rebuild her?
But for now, of course, we have to stay out, out of the way and out of danger. For now, we get to donate money (and only money) to the Red Cross. We get to pray--or hope--or dream--or believe--as best as our personal convictions and suspensions of disbeliefs will allow.
And curse the damn opportunistic looters. There's a picture on the front of WWLTV.com that shows a man sitting in his driveway, and on his half-opened garage door is the spray-painted slogan, "Looters Will Be Shot." I am not generally fond of guns, but the crime of victimizing a fellow victim rates really high on my "kill 'em all and burn 'em in the innermost circle of Hell" list. And, as a practically card-carrying Wiccan, I'm obliged to admit I don't even believe in Hell.
Oh! Speaking of Wicca and such! Crow! This is me crowing! PanGaia's ish #42 is out. I'm in there. Crow! I'm in there with the most inoffensive yet unusual mispelling of my last name ever. I have to admit, while there are variations--my Mom and Dad typically put a space, whereas I somehow learned to run the whole thing together (as above)--I had never before seen the "Le" hyphenated to the "Boeuf" before. That gave me a giggle.
And today's in sore need of giggles, wouldn't you say? Damn straight I would.
Back From Vacation (with more gumdrops)
- 39,739 words (if poetry, lines) long
- 61.75 hrs. revised
A suspiciously post-free weekend is easily explained by my having been in Santa Clara, California. I rather thought I'd actually write and blog all weekend long, but this was a jam-packed stuffed-with-fun weekend involving people that haven't been in my daily life for far too long to neglect on those so rare occasions when I actually get to see them. People like this person and that person, neither of whom I notice have updated their blogs in a while. Get with it, people! Bwah-ha-ha. Anyway, August 4th found me doing the day-before-flying Decapitated Chicken Dance, and for August 5th through the 8th I was on vacation. So there's my excuse.
For examples of the Fun with which the weekend was stuffed, see attached photos. (That will be "photos," plural, upon moving this blog entry to the new website. I restructured the database over there to allow multiple images to be associated with a given blog entry. Go me.) I, personally, was also stuffed with Fun, in the personage of candy Lego blocks. Bulk candy stores are teh bomb. They're like trick-or-treating and coming home with nothing but the good stuff. (They are unlike trick-or-treating in that the candy isn't free. The quarter-pounds add up pretty fast.)
I did try to hit the novel, but it seemed every time I had some time set aside, I managed only to get as far as my Morning Pages ritual. Found a wifi spot pretty close to the hotel, a lovely little joint called House of Bagels that sold three types of lox and piled it on a bagel for me with cream cheese and cucumbers, and ended up taking care of bits and pieces of email (mostly concerned with remote access to databases for efficient migration of blog posts from one domain to another) and running out the laptop's battery. There was only one free outlet in the cafe, and it had a blank plate screwed over it. I didn't think the management would think much of my whipping out a flat-head screwdriver and HAXX0Ring their electric bill.
Came home to some goody-goody-gumdrops in the mail. The contract from BBI Media had arrived. It's official--"Faith-Based Charity, Pagan Style" will be in Issue #42 of PanGaia. It will also be on the website, if the extra compensation for electronic rights is any indication. I did the happy dance, signed that puppy, and dropped it back into the mail before heading out into my day.
And yes, writing happened. Got Amy and Brian through their almost-encounter at Gasworks. Will probably finish Chapter 7 tomorrow. Chapter 7 is really, really long.
- 37,148 words (if poetry, lines) long
- 57.75 hrs. revised
Still crawling along through Chapter 7. Spent half the time tweaking the already-written bits (bad habit! quit it! get the new version written!) and the rest eking out five paragraphs of internal monologue.
Got some stunning good news today. My article, "Faith Based Charity, Pagan Style," will see print in the next issue of PanGaia Magazine. The piece has been pushed back for several issues now, up in the air between PanGaia and newWitch as part of the usual uncertainty that surrounds any busy family of publications, so you can imagine how very pleased and surprised I was to get the phone call today. Watch this space for me crowing about it when the issue hits the stores.
Oh, and the new blog? Coming along nicely. I foresee the Big Move happening over the weekend or shortly thereafter.
So I guess you should actually watch that space for all the crowing.