27 March 2015

Fragment Friday - The Pre-Launch Edition

The Dynamic Duo in spring, after grooming. Ready, set, roll in the dirt!

1.  The first issue of Gyroscope Review is almost ready!  It will be in a slick flippy page PDF format for your viewing pleasure. Stay tuned for the big Go Live announcement. After that, we will be opening to submissions for Issue 2. Are you ready?

2.  My little tomato seedlings are so cute - and tiny. Hard to believe they grow up to be big, bad tomato producing plants in a few short months. Of course, any way you look at it, going from seed to plant is a miracle. Especially from seed to redwood tree. 

3.  Since I'm getting ready to pull the trigger and buy an iPad, what are some of your favorite apps? As you know, I like reading, writing and knitting. I also like astronomy and learning German. And winged things.  (or didn't you know that?) 

4.  My town has been gaining new restaurants in leaps and bounds. In the past month I've sampled the new Italian place where I indulged in spaghetti carbonara, my favorite, and it was excellent; a new Japanese place, where I had tempura and soba noodles, also excellent; and a new to me Mexican place that had killer burritos and tongue tacos. Excellent. I am beside myself with good food choices. It's nice. What new food have you sampled lately?

5.  I just realized I didn't take a single day off from work in March. I will have to remedy that in April, lest I be thought of as an over-achiever. doG forbid. 
So I'm trying to figure out where to go visit this year. Suggestions?
 
 
Bruno, thinking deep thoughts about sticks.
 
 

20 March 2015

Fragment Friday - The Short Story Edition

http://www.amazon.com/Rejected-Jo-Anne-Russell-ebook/dp/B00UARXUUU/


I have a short story out in the Rejected Anthology, available through Amazon.

My short story is called In The Shadow Of Xerxes Canal, a historical fantasy that explores the mysterious death of King Xerxes chief engineer, Artachaees that occurred while building a canal across the Athos peninsula in 480 BC. The canal was part of King Xerxes plan to invade Greece. Was Artachaees death an unfortunate circumstance - or was it murder?  5000 words.




13 March 2015

Fragment Friday - The Sheep Fleece Edition

Merlin says - "I think I heard someone open the treat drawer in the kitchen..."
 
1.  Did you know the plural of Corgi is not Corgis, but Corgwyn? (pronounced Cor-gen) Here I thought it would be a Fluff of Corgis, a Stampede of Corgis, a Mischievous of Corgis, or a Cute of Corgis. But no. Just Corgwyn. Good for us folks with multiples to know. 

2.  Since I posted naked sheep last week, I thought I'd let you know I bought a poor, shivering sheep's fleece this week. I'd show a picture, but it's a bit dirty until it gets washed. So I'll have a lot more yarn, eventually. It's a Rambouillet - Targhee cross fleece. It should be a lot finer and softer than the other fleeces I have. I'll let you know how it is to spin. Feels greasy. My hands should get very soft.

3.  My tomato seeds have yet to sprout. How long do you usually wait before declaring the planting a bust? This is why I'm better off buying already started plants in a pot and plopping them into my garden.  I have no idea how my office plant has lived as long as it has - seven years.

4.  I finally got around to using the voice activated text messaging on my phone. It was spiffy, for the most part. When it got it right. The thing I take away from this? I need to enunciate. Or my accent is confusing the phone. I don't think I talk like I walked off the set of the Godfather, but who knows? Sari thinks so (Siri's ugly Android stepsister)

5.  Did you know a group of hummingbirds are called a “bouquet" of hummingbirds, a "glittering" of hummingbirds, a "hover" of hummingbirds, a "shimmer" of hummingbirds, and a "tune” of hummingbirds? Makes my poetic heart sing.

06 March 2015

Fragment Friday - The Cold Sheep Edition

Hurry, Spring! We're a bit cold out here. Maybe someone could knit us sweaters with the wool they stole...

1.  March seems the longest month, and it's only just started. No holidays (days off), sporadic spring training baseball, the game of winter snows-spring thaws. What do you do to get through the pattern of flaky in the morning, and warm but not warm enough in the afternoon?

2.  I planted tomato seeds in their little fiber cups. Romas, so far. I do like a good sauce tomato. Now the trick is, to grow them without killing the seedlings off through idiocy or benign neglect. I think I'll get some Beefsteak seeds also. Surely something will survive?

3.  I've taken up watercolors again, and the first piece I'm trying is a tutorial from a fantasy art book. I did buy new, decent watercolors, although they are still student grade. I thought I had good paper. I'm finding out that's not the case. I'm using a 140 pound Strathmore that refuses to let you scrub out color or hold its edges. or stay stretched on the board. I think for my next painting I'll suck up and invest in some 300 pound paper. (I hear my college art teachers in my head, "Buy the best materials you can afford, you won't regret it".) Point taken.

4.  It's interesting how much of a normal life revolves around food. "What do you want for dinner? I don't know, what do you want for dinner?" Pre-making breakfast and lunch for the next day at work. I wish I could just eat the same thing over and over again - People Chow! - but I can't. Cooking makes me feel like a mad scientist. And I like that. 

5.  I picked up a few non-fiction books to read this week, one is on cosmology, one is on poetic forms, and the last is on the study of morality in The Lord Of The Rings. Somehow it's all fodder for poems, and the Second Unfinished Fantasy Novel that's been patiently waiting for me to cross-examine my characters and decide who lives and dies. And how.


27 February 2015

Fragment Friday - The Blustery Edition

Winter visitor to the bird feeder, patiently waiting his turn.

1.  And.......here we are again, basking in the negative numbers. I stepped out the front door this morning to feed the birds and the wind sucked the breath right out of my chest, froze my fingers and ears in a jiffy. Trying to find the bright side and all I can come up with, is at least it's not as bad as New York.

2.  How do you handle the unrelenting cold? I like to bake bread, not only does the oven warm the upstairs, eventually I get to bite into a hot, crusty slice slathered with butter. (Yes I'm a butter person. Death to margarine!)  Going to attempt French bread this weekend, even have the baguette pans. 

3.  In a fit of optimism I bought seeds for my garden. Standing before the display in the farm supply store I got an urge to plant and dig in the garden. Since the ground is still rock-like, I settled for packs of beans and squash, lettuce, cucumbers and herbs. Hurry, Spring!

4. What fuels your creativity? I find non-fiction books are a great jumping off place for my poetry and fiction. Something about all the facts and details that have a story hidden deep inside, waiting to burst out. Sort of like Alien, but with 80% less squick factor. 

5.  My friend is trying to convince me to move to Arizona. She lists advantages like No Snow, and No Snow. But there is heat of the very hot variety. and the politics make me uncomfortable. The two advantages I see - Baseball! and I could have a fig tree...