Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Cleaning Up)

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!

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Between last week’s snippet and this, Sergeant Janet Kyle of the Talbot City Police left Tom Mahon’s detective agency to cart away the werewolf assassin (which is too refined a word for him, if you ask me) whom Tom shot multiple times (and cuffed in healing-retardant silver) during the course of the first chapter and whom his partner, Turner, tossed out of a fifth story window (in order to avoid  nosy neighbors in the elevator—mostly).

I skipped a little banter among Kyle, Tom, and Turner that didn’t readily fit into the eight sentence limit.

I’m mentioning  all this so you won’t have to go back and read through all the Sundays from here to make sense of the sentences below—though you’re certainly welcome to!

Mop

“She thinks you’re trainable,” Turner said. “That’s a step up.  So, where do we start?”

“With the floors, before the blood sets,” I said absently, “and it’s your turn.”

“You made the mess,” he said.

“Not on the pavement, I didn’t.”

“Forecast says rain tonight.”

I sighed and went to get the mop.

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Thus endeth chapter one.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue sharing bits from this particular WIP; this seems like a good enough place to stop and I’m leery of sharing too much.

I may be taking the month of November off anyway to do Nanowrimo (or maybe a half-Nano) but I haven’t decided anything for certain.

For those of you who are doing Nano—are you going to keep up your Sunday snippets as well?

Should we maybe try a NanoSnippet November?

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And while we’re figuring that out:

A good friend of mine is a member of The Hamilton Writers Guild
(that’s Hamilton, Ohio)
and she asked me to mention their annual Harvest Gold General Fiction Writing Contest.

All fees go to the prizes
and no Hamilton Writer’s Guild members past or present can enter.

It’s absolutely legitimate and at 2000 words,
absolutely doable for most of us, within the extended November 24th deadline—
even for Nano-ers!

Take a look below and if you have any questions, click the image (or here) for the Writers Guild website.

HWG Harvest Gold Contest November 201410222014_0000

(Thanks for the heads-up, Terry!)

Random Thursday: From the Library of Random

It’s Random!  It’s Thursday!  It’s . . . you know the drill.

By the time this post is up, I will be at the state library conference, attempting to ingest enough caffeine to compensate for waking up at 4:30am in order to leave the house at 5:30am to get the library van at 6am so my fellow zombies librarians and I can arrive at the conference around eight.

That’s a lot of am to overcome.  Wish me luck.

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Meet Kuzma

Russian Library Cat

Click the image for more adorable photos and a video.

Kuzma is the new library assistant at a children’s library in Novorossiysk, Russia.

He wears a bow tie and is paid in cat food and skritches.

I’d wear a bow tie, too, if I could sleep on the job . . .

Kuzma, by the way, means “order” and “arrangement”, which isn’t a bad name for a library cat.

Library Cat

We totally would, too.

(I don’t remember who sent me this first, but thank you Dee, Lisa and Vannie!)

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Speaking of Librarians . . .

What did you think we do all day?

Shelve books or something?

(Thanks, ‘firstmausi!)

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All the World’s a Library

You know those Little Free Libraries popping up all over the place?

They just went free range.

BookCrossing Logo

BookCrossing is the equivalent of literary geocaching
or the environmentally sound equivalent of releasing a balloon with a postcard on it.

It’s simple:

Select a book from your own vast collection.

Go to BookCrossing.com and

BookCrossing2

I’m told that there are a couple of  “official” BookCrossing stations around,
but most of the time, people just leave them on buses, street benches, coffee shop tables, airplanes, wherever.

Since I tend to do that anyway, I might as well tag ‘em first!

I’ll report the results . . . once I can choose a book.

Who’s with me?

If you try this, let me know how it goes!

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Be Honest

All you library staff out there:

When you’re alone at home, do you do Dewey?

chickendeweys

Or do you just say, “Chuck it”?

Shelf Reading Cat

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Again!  Again!

If only because of Christian Kane’s “fraud” line—if you’re a fan of Leverage, you know why.

I wonder if this show will help fill the hole in my heart where that one used to be.

Nah.

But I’ll bet it finds it’s own place in there somewhere.

Passing Glasses

dorothy-parker-quote-men-seldom-make-passes-at-girls-who-wear-glassesI was four or five when I started wearing glasses.

I hated them.

They were heavy—this was when glasses were made of Real Glass—and made my nose hurt and my eyes look too small and they lost themselves twice a day and  broke about twice a month.*

But it was either wear ‘em or walk through a world that looked like it was covered in soft-lit fuzz, but still hurt when you tripped over it or walked into it,

So I endured steamed up lenses and sweat-slick frames and clip-on sunglasses and the conviction—supported by my gleeful sister, who didn’t have to have braces, either—that Dorothy Parker was right, until I turned fifteen** and my mother took me to an optometrist who specialized in contacts.

molested1

I was overjoyed.

Contacts hurt at first, but not as much as being the weird kid with the glasses.

Turns out, I was a weird kid anyway and it would have saved time and endless agony if Dorothy Parker had offered a longer list of all the other qualities boys passed over *** or wrote a pithy poem about how to overcome one’s crippling self-esteem issues enough to notice when a boy was making a rare pass.^

But I was unwilling to give up on my Dreams of Normalcy—as defined by my assumptions of what other people assumed it was—and somehow ended up with the core belief that I Could Not Wear My Glasses In Public, lest dogs howl, small children cry, or well-meaning adults say things like, “Smarts count more than looks, anyway.”

It didn’t matter that some of the popular girls  in high school and some of my cousins and friends wore glasses and looked really good in them—they had attractiveness to spare and obviously weren’t  battling my natural deficits.

So I wore contacts—or sometimes just one, if the other escaped down the drain or disintegrated—outside the house or in front of anyone outside of my immediate family, or my ophthalmology clinic, for twenty-eight years.^^  I could go months without wearing my glasses at all, especially when I switched to extended wear disposables, bless them.

But then some things happened.

I finally met some of my favorite online friends face-to-face and (reluctantly) agreed to have my picture taken by and with them.  I survived the experience, and so did the cameras.

My doctor told me that some of my headache problems were most likely caused by eyestrain from wearing contacts for too many hours at a time in front of too many electronic devices and backlit rolls of microfilm.  Since the lenses on my glasses are anti-glare, she suggested that I wear them more often.

I set a new personal budget that is a bit stricter than my previous non-existent one.

And I ran out of left contacts.

According to my budget, contacts are luxury items.  And until I save up enough to get more,^^^I’m stuck with my glasses.

Oddly, at this point, this was more of an annoyance than a devastating tragedy, maybe because I know have family and good friends  and a husband who don’t care what I look like—or actually think I look pretty good.

Or maybe I’ve matured along the way somewhere.  Or at least run out of non-essential give a damn, which appears to be much the same thing.

Regardless, I started wearing my glasses to work.

It’s been a surprising experience.

I’d already figured out that my teenage paranoia was unfounded and my glasses aren’t a sign that the Ugly has finally claimed Its Own. I knew my colleagues wouldn’t point and laugh or call me four-eyes, at least to my face. And I’m so used to thoughtless comments from patrons I wasn’t especially braced for ‘em.

But I never expected all the compliments.

Glasses

Apparently, my big, black rimmed frames, chosen because they were cheap and relatively comfortable, aren’t considered BCGs¹ anymore—they’re retro.  In a good way.

In fact, according to most of the people who bothered to notice I was wearing them2, they’re flattering. They pull my “look” together.

How cool is that? I had no idea I had a “look”, let alone one that could be pulled together, but it’s a relief to know the specs don’t clash with whatever it is.

I even wore them to the Piano Guys concert, where I met another wonderful online friend, who looks awesome in her glasses.

So here I am.

Wearing glasses.

Having a “look.”

And yeah, these things still weigh on my nose and they steam up and slide down and smear and I can’t stick pencils behind my ear anymore, no matter how hard I try.  Chopping onions for the first time without the protection of contacts was definitely a Learning Experience™, as was opening the dishwasher, right after it stopped.

So was trying to put on sunglasses, which I attempted a few times before it dawned on me that the reason it wouldn’t work is that I hadn’t removed my pair.

I’d forgotten I had them on.

dorothy-parker-quote-i-shall-stay-the-way-i-am-because-i-do-not-give-a

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*Could someone please tell me why items made to assist people who can’t see well are held together with screws so tiny that fully sighted people have trouble manipulating them without the aid of a powerful magnifier and the devil’s own luck?  And heaven help you if you lose one in a carpeted room . . .

**Barring a brief time around fifth grade when something—probably the dawning of acute astigmatism—warped my eyeballs into something that approached normal until it went too far.

***Or perhaps added a simple couplet:  “Because, until they mature, / They’re asses.”

^ Or so I was told about twenty years after the fact.

^^ The one time I did wear my glasses out—I was off sick, but still had to drive the kids to school—I received my first and only traffic ticket for nearly sideswiping a county squad car during an improper lane change.  It wasn’t the 102-degree fever, you understand—it was the glasses.

^^^Or decide to rock the eyepatch look—or squint like Popeye—until I run out of righties.  Halloween IS coming up . . .

¹Birth Control Glasses.  It’s a military term, like SNAFU.

²It took my sixth grader three days.  My second grader immediately started wearing her lens-free fashion frames so she could be as “pretty as Mommy.” I feel like Queen Lear.

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (And . . . ?)

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!

_______________________

Last week’s question—again posed by Kyle, who has a lot of ‘em this chapter—was what Tom was going to be doing while she was busy using police resources to dump a half-dead wannabe werewolf assassin on the front porch of the Alpha of the city pack.

Hmmm . . .

ampersand

I rubbed the back of my neck. “Figure out what the hell’s going on and fix it.”

“And?”

“And keep you in the loop.”

She folded her arms. “And?”

“And make sure nothing goes FUBAR on your watch.”

“He can be taught,” she told the ceiling, as if the miracle surprised her.

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Originally, there were a couple sentences about three lines down about Kyle’s job and Tom’s thoughts on the difficulties of controlling a population that wasn’t supposed to exist.

I’m not sure if I removed them because I couldn’t figure out how to wedge ‘em in there without subverting the true purpose of every punctuation mark I know until the whole thing looked like a clump of semantic oatmeal . . .  or because they don’t belong there in the first place.

Hmmm . . .

I’ve been listening to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett in audiobook form lately, to get the feel for the tone I want to set.  Chandler had a fantastic way of describing things in one or two brilliant, poetic throwaway sentences. Hammett had a gift for description, too . . . but he was obviously paid by the word.

Hmmm . . .

Random Thursday: Random Edibles*

It’s Random!  It’s Thursday!  It’s Random Thursday!

This is a bit shorter than usual, because I still haven’t caught up on the sleep I gladly lost Tuesday night (and a bit of Wednesday morning) doing this

The general theme is probably due to the glucose tolerance test I had yesterday, which ensured that I didn’t eat anything before I visited the doctor’s office (because I had to fast) or for a eight hours afterwards (because the taste of flat orange Fresca mixed with corn syrup is less tolerable to my tastebuds than the actual glucose is to my system—bluuuuurgh). ‘Cause when I skip a meal or two, my focus narrows.

And yes, I already had a HobNob tag.  Why is this a question?

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Reason #683 why my friend Dee is Awesome

When she arrives at the weirdly cool restaurant she suggested for dinner before the amazing concert she made arrangements for us to see, she brings me these:

HobNobs

Hey, Dee:

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Twenty-Nine Seconds of Cake

 Is this awesome . . . or am I just projecting?

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Grootcake!

Grootcake

 You know what makes this even better?

It was created by a place called Tattooed Bakers.

Tattooed Bakers Logo

Go check out their gallery, which ranges from elegant and whimsical to . . . um.

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Dancing Cookie Cake

 Julia M. Usher, whose website gives Martha Stewart a run for her money,
(ba-DUM-dum)
created this for the 2013 Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show,
which is now on my list of Dangerous Places I Must Visit.

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*Get your head out of the gutter, Kevin; this ain’t that kind of show.  Anda  limerick about HobNobs is too easy for you.  Do one on barszcz and we’ll talk.