Friday, July 20, 2012

How much is that book in the window?

EndlesS
By Stephen B. Bagley
Poetry - Enjoy more than 50 sensual & moving poems, including the award winning "Non-Communion," "Torrent," & "Endless."
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Floozy & Other Stories
By Stephen B. Bagley
Humor - Laugh at more than 80 hilarious tales from the author's decidedly different life.
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Murder by the Acre (Second Edition)
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the ladies man? Bernard, Lisa & the chief are back! New expanded edition. 2nd in Measurements of Murder series.
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Murder by the Acre (First Edition)
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the ladies man? Bernard, Lisa & the chief are back! 2nd in Measurements of Murder series.
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Murder by Dewey Decimal
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the librarian? 1st in Measurements of Murder series.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

A clearing sky



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Last Log of the Twilight Grace

Last Log of the Twilight Grace

By Stephen B. Bagley

We drift now in the blank space,
the black between the stars,
Engines torn away by an errant
cosmic string or some such particle
unexpected and unknown.

Most crew died then. The captain
fled to his quarters with a knife.
The engineer marshals our power
keeping life support a few more days.
Gives him something to do.

No rescue possible. No engines, no
highspace communications. No one knows
where we are. In this vastness, another
ship lighting on this point
of nothing beggars imagination.

I wander the arboretum ring. Alone now
except for the green plants whose
names I never learned. I touch their
leaves. I pluck their blooms. I
water the rows. They won't survive us.

Listen, this is the last log
of warpship Twilight Grace.
Listen ... listen to me ...
at times ... footsteps ...
footsteps echo in the metal corridors;
but no one answers when I call ...

No one.

Copyright 2012 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express prior permission. Thank you for reading.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wisdom

What Truth I Know

By Stephen B. Bagley

You say I'm wise
which makes me laugh
because of all the things
I've learned, the one thing
I know best remains
how little I really know.

What wisdom I hold
has only been won
by making mistakes
time and time yet again
sometimes new, sometimes old,
but errors by any counting.

I've loved and lost
and somehow loved again
only to lose once more
learning as I did that love
doesn't care who you love
only that you love.

And death has been too close
taking precious people,
some quick, some slow,
teaching me no one knows
when they will pass and the world
won't stop while we mourn.

Perhaps this is wisdom
or I could be too dumb
to know any better, but
I get up each morning
because I must see
what happens next.


Copyright 2012 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express prior permission. Thank you for reading.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

For that special someone ...

High Maintenance

By Stephen B. Bagley

If I could somehow offer you
my heart on the proverbial silver tray
garnished with gold truffles
topped with a sprinkle of diamonds,
would it finally be enough?

Or perhaps I steal for you
the sweet hymn of heaven,
which only the archangels
have gloriously sung,
would you be satisfied?

Maybe even wrestle time itself
and plunder from its secret vault
the elixir of eternal youth
so age never touches your lush body,
could you be content then?

But the more important question may be
if I could do these wondrous things
if such miracles I could bring forth
as easy as buttering your bread,
why oh why would I waste them on you?

Copyright 2012 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express prior permission. Thanks for reading.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shipwreck

Shipwreck

By Stephen B. Bagley

We slip beneath the waves
Black water closes over
cold comfort to life's pain
Numb can be a blessing

How deep can we sink
before light fades completely?
How soon will our vision
fail totally and give us peace?

Above a forever storm rages
Life's cruel fury without regard
to those below who grasp
grimly onto the remaining debris.

But here it is calm as the currents
take us into the dark depths
A struggle for breath mercifully brief
The waters flood in -- wait!

I think
I see
a
light



Copyright 2012 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express prior permission. Thank you for reading.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Creativity Unbound

I gave the program today at the writers group. They seemed to like it. Applauded, which was embarrassing, but gratifying, too.

Here's the outline of the talk.

CREATIVITY UNBOUND

By Stephen B. Bagley

People often ask me how I come up my ideas. At first, I thought that was the question, and my answer would vary depending on the project. But in the poetry classes I taught at the local college, I had several students explain they didn't want to know about the particular idea behind a story or poetry; no, they wanted to know how I generated the number of poems, stories, plays, blog posts, and so on, that I do. While some of that creativity is simply a function of my personality and life, I also use various techniques to unbind my creativity.

These techniques can apply to any endeavor, artistic or otherwise. Creativity is valued in today’s society. Industry leaders claim that creativity is one of the traits they seek in their employees. Of course, I’ve noticed that industry has a tendency to stifle that creativity when it conflicts with established procedures. The tech industry has many stories of a maverick who had to leave an established company to make his own, better way.

Creativity is also valued in our personal lives. We applaud creative parents and teachers. We appreciate new solutions to our daily problems. By inviting creativity into our lives, we can enhance our relationships, jobs, life.

Here are a few techniques that I have used and found effective in enhancing creativity. You can find many more if you search the Net. Remember that the best technique is what works for you.

1. Feed. Not your stomach, although it’s difficult to be creative when you’re starving. I mean feed your mind. Sometimes our problem is that we’ve starved our intellect. We’re empty of creativity because we haven’t been absorbing it. How do we feed?
- Read books or articles about the problem we’re trying to solve or the subject we’re researching.
- Talk to several people about the problem. Preferably enthusiastic people who believe a solution is possible. If it’s a writing problem, talk to writers. If it’s a parenting problem, talk to other good parents. Avoid people who only want to sympathize. You need people who believe you can find a solution.
- Use the Net, although be cautious in this as it contains as much bad information as good.

2. Breathe. Naturally we all do this, but I’m talking about conscious breathing. Yes, a quiet five minutes where you empty your mind and just pay attention to your breathing. I use this often. I find the brief break allows me to return to my work refreshed and ready to go. Yes, it’s meditation of sorts. I don’t use a mantra, but perhaps one would work for you.

3. Brainstorm. Take 10 minutes and write down every thought as fast as you can. No editing. Try to  your thoughts toward solving your problem, be it how to get character A to location B while getting Character C to meet Character D at location E or how to get your children dressed to school in a timely fashion.
- Brainstorm with other people. Make sure they know the rules, which is to NOT EDIT any suggestion however off-the-wall. Set a time limit and go! You’re going for quantity, not quality. You can throw out the unworkable later. You need the forest now so you can find the perfect tree later.

4. Jumble. Throw different things together to see if they fit or can contrast in certain ways. Let’s say you’re writing a poem. You have a photo of a sailing ship. You’d like the poem to talk about relationships. Maybe a marriage. Maybe a floundering marriage. I used this to write my poem "Uncharted."

5. What if? Imagine approaching the problem with unlimited resources. What would be your solution then? A friend of mine who was experiencing a business problem was sharing her troubles with me. I asked her what would she do if she had unlimited resources. How would she solve her problems then? She said, half-joking, “I’d hire a team and they would fix it.” So I suggested she find a way to do just that. She didn’t have the money, but she did have a husband and brother and several friends who were willing to be her team for a pizza dinner. They solved her problem.

I use this in when writing fiction. I write mostly mysteries. I imagine how my characters would solve the crime if they had unlimited resources. Then I would work backwards. For instance, maybe a super lab with DNA equipment would solve the crime. Well, they don’t have that, what can they use instead? Their circumstances dictate what they will use to catch the bad guy.

6. Use a clock. This is my favorite technique. It’s called timed writing. It works like this. You take a clock, you set it for ten minutes, and then you write. You write as fast as you can about anything that comes to mind. The important thing is to write every single second. Don’t edit, don’t back up, don’t correct, don’t explain, you’re just throwing words on paper. They can be on your project, but most times they won’t be. All you’re doing is popping the cork, breaking the dam, starting the avalanche, striking the match, shooting the starter pistol, kicking the ball, and so on. The point is to get your creativity pass your editor.
- Important note: If you can’t figure out something to write, write something positive. For instance, write “I’m a good writer. I’m a good person. I tell the truth. I care for the poor. I love my family and friends. I’m reliable. I’m creative.” And so on. Repeat these positive affirmations until you veer off. And then follow where you go. NEVER write anything negative. Lots of studies have shown that the more you write or repeat something, the more true it becomes. Because your editor is being shut down, you are open to suggestions. Make those suggestions good. This is a direct way to reach your subconscious. So remember, be positive. And if those positive things aren’t true yet, they will be. It’s the power of positive confession. Have faith in your future.

7.  Play some tunes. This is really a variation on the timed writing, but in this case, the time is marked by music. I have a playlist for every book I write. You might try music that reminds you of the locations in your book or short story. Or fast music to rev your energy level up. Or classical if you’re writing a historical novel or concentrating on a difficult subject. NOTE: Do not use lyrics in your story or poems. Songs are protected in peculiar ways, and using as little as one line has got an author in trouble. Besides, if the song only inspires you to think about the lyrics, you’re not trying hard enough. Lyrics are what the songwriter thought. We want your thoughts.

8. Write naked. I don’t mean nude ... not necessarily. But what I mean is for you to bare your soul. Write that which makes you uncomfortable, angry, or sad. Write the forbidden things. Write the forbidden words. You don’t have to show these to anyone -- in fact, I would suggest you not doing so -- but getting them on paper will get the ideas flowing.

9. Keep a journal. Jot down your thoughts. Don’t worry about publication or that it’s useful. Stick pictures and postcards and recipes and cut-out articles in there. Wise sayings, funny quotes, strange photos, bits of your dreams, anything that interests you is the only theme. When you feel blocked, flip through it. All that material will spark your creativity.

10. Do something new. Doesn’t have to be big. Walk a new path in the park. Try a new dish in a restaurant. Go into a new shop. Read a different genre. Go to a movie you wouldn’t ordinarily go to. Wear a hat -- if you don’t. Newness makes your creativity pay attention.

11. Use your chores to motivate you. I hate dusting. When I get stuck on a problem, I dust. I find my subconscious kicks in gear to keep me from having to dust. People always know I’m having trouble when my house is spotless. Pick a chore that requires not much equipment so that you can easily stop when you have your solution.

12. Turn off your TV. Turn off your TV. Turn off your TV. What’s on TV is rarely new. It’s rarely creative. And many studies have shown watching TV induces a passive state. Your pulse slows. It’s like a trance. This doesn’t mean there aren’t good shows worth watching. There are. But be very selective. Remember that old computer programmer adage: garbage in, garbage out.

13. Take a brief break. Sometimes we need to recharge. We need a bit of distance to see clearly. So take a quick walk. Make a cup of tea or coffee. Let your mind wander. It might just stumble on the solution. But don't break too long. Taking a break is a way to help you solve your problem, not ignore it.

Creativity can enhance your life in many ways. So go out there and unbind your creativity and show the world a better way.

Copyright 2012 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express prior permission. Thank for you for reading.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

To the Sea

It's a hot day here. The sun is bright. A few white clouds dot the sky. Summer holds us in its grasp, but the months fly by. I find myself thinking about time.

Relentless.
The odds are good that I have lived more of my life than I have left in front of me. I feel pressured by that. I still have so many things I want to accomplish. Books to write, places to see, people to meet.

Heartless.
We lose people along the way. Loved ones fall to accidents or disease, and while we believe in life beyond, we miss them here. Eventually our past sorrows travel with us, a dark companion to remind us that everything ends.

Unstoppable.
People live longer these days. We take vitamins and supplements, exercise and eat healthy. We try to stay active and live longer. In the back of our minds, we think that maybe scientists will offer a better drug next month or next year and we'll be as we once were -- young.

Conquering.
Everything falls. Even the pyramids lose a bit of their substance each year. Wind and sun and rain will eventually reduce all that we've built. Every mountain peak will become a prairie given enough time. Our greatest fame will be forgotten or the subject of dusty books. Even infamy fades. Hitler's name was spoken in a hush sixty years ago. Now he's a joke on sitcoms. Time makes footnotes of everything.

Precious.
So while the sun is shining, meet me for lunch. Let's laugh and enjoy this fleeting moment. And when the night falls as it will no matter what we do, hold my hand tightly and gaze out over the horizon to the endless sea.

Copyright 2012 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express prior permission. Thank you for reading.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Poem's Worth

A Poem's Worth

By Stephen B. Bagley

In a middle of a fight, you
asked me, what good are poems?
They brought us no money, no
return on my hours, time you
thought better spent on you.

And now, when what we were is not,
I can tell you: They let me
recall the sunlight on your bare
back, the scent of your neck,
the touch of your fingers on my chest.

But poems cannot undo what we
have done, cannot reverse our fall.
Their worth lies only in the truths
of which they remind us: I loved you
once. You loved me, too. That is all.

© 2012 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express prior permission. Thank you for reading.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We Wear The Mask

Paul Lawrence Dunbar was the first African-American poet and novelist to achieve national and international fame. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, June 27, 1872, and was the son of former slaves. Dunbar was known for his use of dialect, but was also an accomplished poet and novelist in standard English. At age seventeen he published his own newspaper, the Dayton Tattler, an African-American newspaper printed by his high school classmate and friend, Orville Wright of the Wright Brothers. His first book of poems, Oak and Ivy, was published in 1893. Dunbar published many books of poetry, novels and music during his short life. He died in Dayton on February 6, 1906. He was only 33 years old.

In junior high, I stumbled across the below poem in a collection of poems. It stunned me with its power and pain. I copied it into a notebook, but the author's name got torn off over the years, and I couldn't recall it. I finally found the poem on the Net and then was able to purchase some of his books. What a true, strong voice he had. He died too soon, and the world is the lesser for it.

WE WEAR THE MASK

By Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

The lines "We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries/ To thee from tortured souls arise" always move me. The sheer anguish and pain the poet expresses is nearly overwhelming. How I wish he had lived longer and gave us more poems.

You can learn more about Dunbar and read and hear several of his poems at the excellent University of Dayton's Paul Lawrence Dunbar site. His work will touch you in ways you won't expect. And maybe not ready for.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Flasher

I love flash drives. Never miss an opportunity to pick one up. As a result, I probably have twenty or so. Most of which usually only have a couple of files on them. There's something James Bond-y about them. All that info on such a tiny thing.

They used to be expensive, but now you can get an 8 gig drive for about $8, less if you buy online. Amazing now the price point per gigabyte has fallen. A dollar a gig.

I used my flash drives and ones borrowed from my roomie to move files from my old computer to the new one last week. Now I have them in two piles on my desk. One for files already copied onto the new computer and one for files to be copied.

I have one that looks like the cartoon character Speedy Gonzales and another that looks like a gold fish. One with an outer shell is made of bamboo. And two drives that are barely larger than the USB plug. The others are fairly ordinary.

Tech is often a two-edged sword, but I've yet to find a downside with flash drives. But just because I like flash drives, don't call me a flasher ...

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Explanation

So a friend asked me why I always give my computers feminine names. (In order, Jessica, Florence, Jenny, Roberta, Gloria, Gloria Dawn, and Boudica.)

"Is it because you spend a lot of money on them and they disappoint you?" she asked. "Considering what you're attracted to, I'm not surprised."

"No, that's not it," I said.

"Is it because computers run the world and you think women run the world or should?" she asked. "It's a way to push a feminist agenda!"

"No."

"Because you want a woman to respond to your commands the way a computer does? Which means you want a slave, not a real woman!"

"No."

"Because computers fill a void in your life that you wish women would?" she leered.

"No. And that question was a little creepy."

"Then why?"

"I think it's funny."

I'm not really a very complicated person.

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Hideous, but good moments

Well, the title sums it up. But for the curious, I will share The Bad Stuff, The Better Stuff, the Good Stuff, and the Future Stuff.

The Bad Stuff
- Working with the new computer took most of the week, but I was finally able to actually do some work the past two days. It's been hideous hard to go through this. And dang expensive. Well, not that expensive, but comparatively, it's felt that way. I have so few resources left now.
- Discovered the program I used to create the cards is one that won't work under Windrows 7. And the program is not upgradeable. Apparently a new computer purchased the program's name, and their new version does not read any of the previous versions' projects. All I have left are the proofs from the cards. (I scan the proofs to create encapsulated PDFs, which I upload to Cafepress.com.) And I can create no more proofs. Not with that program. I still have my portfolio, but whatever program I end up using, I will be re-creating them all from scratch.
- Caught a head cold or something. Achy and miserable.
- Ankle swelled for some ungodly reason, and I was unable to walk at the gym.
- A good friend moved away. Of course, we will still talk on the phone, but it won't be the same.

The Better Stuff
- Finally did two days of work.
- Got the second galley proof to my micro publishing customer.
- Did exercise in the pool.
- Got most of the programs uploaded onto the new computer, which is faster, particularly when working with Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Premiere.

The Good Stuff
- Paid a bill with money from the micro publishing. Not from my savings. It was a small victory, but it was a victory.
- Had friends over on the Fourth for a cook-out and swim. It was good fun and great conversation and also served a going away party for my friend.
- Work on Murder by the Mile is proceeding. Not as fast as I'd like, but thank God, it is proceeding.

The Future Stuff
- Continue to work on Murder by the Mile.
- Write a program on Creativity Unbound to give at the next writers group meeting this Saturday.
- Continue to work on the micro publishing projects and contracts.
- Find a new card publishing program that looks like it will survive for a few years.
- And naturally, housework and chores.

Hope your week goes well.

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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Jungle creatures

Most people are strange. I know they think I'm strange, but I wonder if they realize how strange I find most people? Their obsession with TV, their lack of interest in science and wonder, their disdain for learning and forbearance, their thirst for violence.

We claim to be an intelligent species, but it's obvious our technology is more advanced than our wisdom. And this isn't a complaint against the modern world; our willful stupidity outstripped steam when it was around and everything that came before. We're still jungle creatures.

You only have to look at everyone in this election -- in any election -- to see that we've not evolved into decent people. Check out Facebook to see how bitterly hateful we are to people who hold other beliefs, and God help them if they happen to be the wrong skin color or worship a stranger god. I'm tired of the useless politics. The blindness of believing that if only everyone believed like us, the world would be perfect. The blandness of conformity.

People tout science as our savior, but conveniently forget that very science is wielded by men who have shown themselves to be infinitely corruptible. There are no rational men. There are only men who have periods when their irrationality subsides for a season.

But darkness waits for us. Beneath a thin veneer of civilization and manners. And the veneer thins daily. People rail against politeness and call it "political correctness." We rejoice in the vulgar, the cheap, and the meaningless. We are the scum on the surface of the natural world.

Naturally there are exceptions. There are people -- peaceful warriors who attempt to hold back the darkness. We beat them down when they're alive and hold them up as heroes when they're safely dead. Every year we lose more of them.

This is the way of the world. The way of the jungle. Still crouching beneath the trees, looking out toward the wide and beckoning plain with fearful eyes. A whole wide wondrous world awaits, but we cling to the shadows. We cling to the darkness and the vulgarity and the filth.

Someday ... maybe we'll step forth. Maybe someday we leave the jungle behind. I hope we do. I hope we rise.

I hope we rise.

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Best laid plans are often thwarted by computer trouble

It's been an exhausting and frustrating week. Getting my data over to my new computer and installing programs I needed on it has been a major undertaking. Especially frustrating was discovering several of my programs won't run on Windows 7, and that those programs had no upgrades for me to purchase, even if I had the money to purchase them.

Well, there you are. Best laid plans are often thwarted by computer problems. I always knew that someday my computer would die and I'd have to start up the dreaded upgrade path. And I knew it would be sometime this year, but I was hoping for a few more months. For the sake of my budget and sanity.

But today I was finally able to do some actual work on the new computer. It performed well. I used it to enter corrections into a book and to design four covers for that book. And now I'm using it to post this.

I haven't named it yet. It needs a good name. I'm thinking Claudia. Or possibly Maxine. I don't know anyone who has those names. Which do you prefer? Claudia or Maxine or ... Boudica. Yes, Boudica! That's it. My new computer's name is Boudica.

And on that note, good night!

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Alien

It's one of those days. When I'm out of step with the world. I'm either behind or ahead or somehow isolated from everything that happens around me.

I'm used to this feeling, but I don't like it. It's quite lonely in this isolation. I do require a certain amount of isolation. I get tired of people being around all the time. I need some quiet. Some calm. But this isn't that feeling.

It's feeling like everyone else is in on the joke. Everyone else understands something that I never will. Everyone else knows how to love, how to laugh, how to live in ways that I can never comprehend.

It's like being an alien.



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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy July 4th!

A busy day today. Spent the early part of it cleaning house and cooking. Then my friends Kyra, Gail, and Jennifer joined my roomie and me for a cook-out and swim. We had a good time, talking, eating, and laughing. I blew my low carb diet, but not as badly as I could have in the past. And such food: hamburgers, grilled chicken breasts, Greek salad, macaroni salad, strawberry trifle, fruit salad, chips and salsa, and more. Delicious with plenty of leftovers.

After they left, I watched A Capitol Fourth on PBS. I always watch the yearly celebration from D.C. It's a holiday tradition for me. A good show with great music.

I didn't work on the computer today. I needed a break, but I'll be back loading programs and looking for documents tomorrow.

Hope you had a great Fourth of July!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A few Tweets

Computer war continues. One step forward, one program loaded, one group of documents downloaded and installed, then one program refuses to load, one folder can't be found, one step back.

To give you something to read while I fight with my new computer, here are a few of my recent Tweets.

Back from the gym, and I must say I feel great, except for my whole body which feels like it was run over by a big truck twice.

It's important to remember, dear, when I say it's not you, it's me. I really mean it's you. Oh lord how it is you! #moderntruth

Rob one bank to finance a death ray and suddenly everyone's all like, "He wanted to build a death ray! He's bad!" Pffff.

Oh, like you haven't wanted to destroy a large portion of the world in a mad grab for ultimate power.

Sometimes I hate my brain. It can't let things alone. I figured out someone lied to me. Often the truth sets you free to be disappointed.

If you don't have anything nice to say, keep quiet. You can blog about it later. #moderntruth

Every time I see a particular person, she says, "Oh, I'm going to buy your book." After the 1000th time, I poisoned her. Well, not really.

Ever have one of those moments when someone is sharing their deepest thoughts and you realize you don't care? #caretankempty.

Once upon a time, a long long long long time ago, there lived an honest Congressman ... #fairytale

Have a great night. Or not as you prefer.

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Monday, July 02, 2012

Still fighting

Still fighting with my computer, new and old. Trying to get documents over to the new system. Spent all day loading programs into the new computer. Some work, some don't. So far, everything essential seems to be making the transition. Thank goodness. I couldn't afford to buy a lot of new programs.

It should be a rule that every system is backwards compatible with the programs that ran on the previous system, but naturally they don't do that because they want you to buy the newest versions. Jerks.

Oh no. One of my programs isn't making the transition. Crap. Got to go and work on that. Talk to you later. I hope.

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Machine afterlife

Been an interesting couple of days. And by interesting, I mean gut-wrenching. There's a long story behind this, but basically my desktop computer -- the one I use to edit books and make covers and live my life on -- begin to die. And die hard.

I reloaded drivers and the operating system and took expansion cards out and talked to four different technicians and paid over $200 to do so. But nothing worked. My seven-year-old system was "outdated," my operating system (XP) was "outdated," the computer's motherboard and BIOS couldn't be updated because it was "outdated." All the techs acted amazed that my system was still limping on. I felt like telling them that it wasn't steam-powered.

So ... yesterday I went to Staples and a bought a Windows 7 desktop computer. It's pretty basic, but it will run Photoshop Elements and my other graphic programs, and it does have Word and Publisher. I'm back in business.

My old system is still sitting on the kitchen table. I'm going to raid it for as many components that function as I can. Then I'm going to try to convert it to a Linux system. I always wanted to try to do that, and I hate losing the old system completely. And it did last long enough for me to move the majority of my data to USB drives and to cloud storage. I'm very attached to that old system -- yes, I know it's a machine, but it served long and well -- so I'm going to try to give it an afterlife.

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