I Can See My House From Here!

This photo of Earth and the moon was taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft last Friday (August 26), when the spacecraft was about 6 million miles away. It was taken by the spacecraft's onboard camera, JunoCam. The solar-powered Juno spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida (it's no longer Cape Kennedy?) on August 5 to begin a five-year journey to Jupiter.

As I look at this photo, I feel two overriding things. First, I feel pretty insignificant, then I realize that we could take it at all, and I realize how significant we are! Click to enlargerate.


How Rude! Indies Need to Hone Their Social Skills

Lately, I've been receiving a lot of friend requests in Facebook. Because most of them are indie musicians and authors who find me through mutual friends who are indie promoters, I accept them. Hey, a little mutual backscratching never hurt anyone. So far, everyone has been polite and very careful about not being guilty of obnoxious self-promotion. They're all quite friendly, in fact. Some of us are even building nice online friendships....


Swan Song: The last Day

Although I'm still a big fan of Donovan's music, I've kind of lost my fondness for him on a personal level. I've read his autobiography, I was a subscriber of his website, and I "friended" him on Facebook. I still have the book, of course, but I withdrew from the rest a few months ago because in each of these he comes off as self-aggrandizing and pretentious. I hope I'm wrong, but frankly, he seems to be a colossal boor. It makes me sad because I've loved him most of my life.

Yesterday I read an interview with him at Clash and, although his tone remains the same, the interview questions were worth the read and I thought that as a meme they might be thought-provoking. Feel free to use them if you want. The premise is simple: how would you like to spend your last day?

Where would you like to wake up?
On my last day I'd like to wake up in California, near the beach and with a great view of the mountains.

What’s left to achieve on your last day?
Seeing friends and family and making amends wherever necessary. I haven't accomplished most of what I set out to in this life, but I have done a lot that I didn't know was in my cards. More than accomplishing acts and meeting goals, I've learned much and in my opinion, that's a life of true accomplishment. So, if tomorrow was my last day, I'd say that, outside of finishing my trilogy, there's little left unfinished.

Who would be at your final dinner?
Everyone I've ever known and loved who's still around.

What’s on the menu?
People could have whatever they want; I wouldn't be interested in eating.

What would be the after-dinner entertainment?
A live performance of my choice, with no limitations? How about the Beatles? Realistically, good music on the stereo is fine. Maybe some of us would pull out our guitars and jam a while.

How would you like to die?
Painlessly and fully conscious.

What would your final words be?
"I love you."

What would you have written on your gravestone?
"There are only two emotions, fear and love. I chose love."

Who would you like to meet at the pearly gates of Heaven?
My friends and family who have gone before me. I'd simply leave one party to join another!

What is your vision of heaven?
A place of my own creation, with green, rolling hills, trees, gardens, an ocean, and mountains in the distance. I admit I'm very attracted to the vision of heaven as depicted in the movie, What Dreams May Come. The idea of a self-created 'afterlife' appeals to me.

If you could be resurrected the next day what would you come back as?
The next day? That's too soon. I need a good, long rest, say about 500 earth years. But when I come back I'll still be me, only the body will be different.


Recycling Compassion

Sometimes, no, frequently, life really amazes me. One of the reasons I've never been a suicidal sort is because I know that things always get better. Not in a linear sense, but cyclical. When things are bad, they eventually get better. Then they'll get bad again, and then better. I've recognized this rhythm from an early age and it has helped me to hang on when others have cashed in their chips to take their meager winnings home...


My Amazing, Death-Defying, Brave Face Trick

I've had enough of this crap. I'm sick of it, and I'm bored. I'm bored with myself for being so damned boring. In fact, I'm so sick and bored with it all, I don't want to talk about it, don't want to blog about it, don't want to think about it...


Bait and Tackle

Before I commit myself to a week of heavy editing, I'd like to take a moment to leave some semblance of a blog entry for those of you who still come here. Since I began writing my trilogy, many regular readers have flown the proverbial coop and, where I once used to get up to twenty comments on each post, I now get one or two, if that...


Just a Nothing Day, Please?

"But it wasn't a dream. It was a place. And youand you, and you, and you were there."

Last night, sometime during the 6:00 hour, a storm blew in from out of nowhere. I'm not sure what to call it. It was a tornado without the circulation, a hurricane without the ocean... it was a storm from hell. Straight-line 80 to 100 mph winds that peeled roofs off of houses like sardine cans, thunder that shook the house like a series of earthquakes, trees falling down all around, or uprooted, terrifying lightening strikes, torrential rain, flash flooding, and fires. And that was just in our little neighborhood. We were without power for over five hours. Sirens screamed all night. It was like a war zone. Some neighborhoods still are without power.

Across the street is a huge sycamore tree. It has to be at least 80 years old. I love that tree and I look at it every day from my window. There is now more of it on the ground than, well, in the tree. Four giant branches came down as I watched, just ripped off by the windit was unreal. All of our trees lost branches and our yard and drive are covered with debris.

After the storm passed, everyone came outside to assess the damage and the neighborhood men (my sons included) worked together to clear our street so that emergency vehicles could pass. For a while the entire corner was blocked. It's still a huge mess. Everyone's in shock. No one knows what to do. The trees need to be cleaned up, but what do you do with limbs that are as large as a house? I'm beginning to hear chainsaws outside and our landlord is trying to remove parts of the old tree by dragging them with his pickup.

What a week. Today, all I ask is for a Nothing day. No plumbing backing up, no computers breaking down, no apartment complexes on fire, no emotional outbreaks, no life-threatening weather. Just... nothing.


Maybe I'll Post on Saturdays

So, yeah, I've been busy with this writing thing. Actually, I only write late at night because the daytime is spent editing and doing all of the other things I have to do. But I'm finally addressing things on my indy author/publisher to-do list. I'm staying off of Facebook except for first thing in the morning and later in the evening when I take a break from working for an hour...


Bring it On

It isn't much and it won't relieve the drought, but we're getting a much-needed rain as I write this. I went out onto the front porch for a bit and just savored the sound and smell of it and the way the breeze wafted an ever so slight mist on my face. Even the cat didn't run away from it. It took the temp down to 90 degrees, which is a lot when you understand that we've been dealing with 114 lately. We're expecting more around three o'clock in the morning.

As I say,it's not enough to ease things, but it surely does restore my spirit and make me less grumpy.


Why I Love Ventura #10: The Beach

Well, the weekend was a success and we all had a really fun time. Everything that got all jacked up last week seems to have been resolved (not all of that was easy, believe me) and this week has started out quite well. Outside of the heat that is, but everyone's sick of hearing about that. You should try living in it. Seriously, it's making people go a bit barmy. I thought, in honor of the California summers of my past, and how homesick I am right now, I'd share my little corner of the Pacific Ocean with you. All pictures enlarge if you click them nicely. Photo credits follow at the bottom...