Showing posts from July, 2024

Photo Friday: Abstracts

This week you get some fun photos, mostly close-ups or other forms of more or less abstract shots. No explanations needed. Not quite abstract, but a little surreal! Kenyan rock Lichen on Mt. Kenya Look twice--it's not just rocks. Nothing is as surreal as the Aurora Borealis. Hope you enjoyed this little break! ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2024
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Non-fiction review: In Praise of Paths, by Torbjorn Ekelund

Another in my series of books about nature, walking, and much more. Title : In Praise of Paths: Walking Through Time and Nature Author : Torbjørn Ekelund. English translation by Becky L. Crook. Publication info: Greystone Books 2020, 240 pages. Source : library Publisher’s Blurb: An ode to paths and the journeys we take through nature, as told by a gifted writer who stopped driving and rediscovered the joys of traveling by foot.  Torbjørn Ekelund started to walk--everywhere--after an epilepsy diagnosis affected his ability to drive. The more he ventured out, the more he came to love the act of walking, and an interest in paths emerged. In this poignant, meandering book, Ekelund interweaves the literature and history of paths with his own stories from the trail. As he walks with shoes on and barefoot, through forest creeks and across urban streets, he contemplates the early tracks made by ancient snails and traces the wanderings of Romantic poets, amongst other musings. If we still &qu

Friday Flashback

 I'm on the road/trail again, so you get a bit of flashback fiction this week! This one is 750 words, from back in 2015. Ubehebe They say to err is human, to forgive divine. The second half of that saying is a complete lie. Consider the incident at Ubehebe Crater. That sounds like the title of a Hardy Boys mystery, but it was deadly serious to me. Unfortunately for me, it was equally serious to the gods involved.   I don’t even know exactly which gods were there. Probably Pele; it is, after all, a volcanic crater. But she wasn’t alone, not by a long chalk, and none of the gods did much forgiving that day.   After saying so much, I suppose I’d better tell you the whole story. See, I went there because I’d heard there were some interesting things living in the silty mud puddle at the bottom of the crater. And I went at night, because I didn’t have the proper permits for my research, and National Parks are a bit fussy that way. I suppose that was my firs

Writer's Wednesday: Review of ProWritingAid

After last week's IWSG posts, where many people recommended ProWritingAid as a great way to be sure you have a clean MS, grammar-wise, I decided to give (the free version) a try. I know I have a few issues, many of them about commas. When I get my MS back from my proofreader I typically find I have used a lot of commas that don't belong there. Maybe left out some that do belong.  I loaded in my whole MS for Washed Up With the Tide , and hit go. It came back indicating a LOT of grammar issues, which shocked me, though I soon found that most had to do with those dratted commas. Most of the software's suggestions in that area seem to be valid, as nearly as I can tell. A few reveal the flaws in automated software, as sometimes things aren't quite what they seem to a non-human "reader" . Still, for punctuation and catching things like missing quotation marks, it is doing well. When it starts looking at stylistic issues, it's a different matter. With no ability

Weekend Photos: Ruins and Rock Art

Last week was a narrative photo post about our backpack trip through Grand Gulch in the Bears Ears National Monument. Today I'm sharing a bunch of the cool archaeology we saw there, with little comment and no order :)  Partly this is because I'm lazy, and partly because I don't have the knowledge to say much. The ruins and rock are are lumped together as "Ancestral Puebloan," but range in age from maybe 500 to 1800 years old. A stop at the museum in Blanding after the hike gave us some idea of the ages of some of the potsherds we saw, but I will need many repetitions to really get it sorted. Some ruins are pretty much inaccessible to ordinary mortals. I imagine rockfall has closed routes the original inhabitants used, but they were also definitely intrepid climbers. Other ruins were easily reached (if I got to them, they were easy). On this mud wall you can still see the handprints of the person who made it. I sat with that a while, thinking about the person who

IWSG: Favorite writing software

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and time for another IWSG post. This month I'm excited to be one of the co-hosts!   Purpose:   To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting:   The first Wednesday of every month is officially   Insecure Writer’s Support Group   day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!   Don't forget you can post your link on the IWSG Facebook page !   Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Audiobook review: Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

When I was flying home from Africa back in March, I read an article in the in-flight magazine (hey, when the flight is upwards of 17 hours, you'll eventually look at everything!) about books by Africa writers. I'm a little bemused that it seems like most of them are African writers who live in England and write in English, but it's a start. My library had this one, so I decided to take a look. Or a listen.  Title: Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? Author : Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Publication Info: Penguin Audio 2022, 11 1/4 hours. Original hardback, Pamela Dorman Books 2022, 384 pages Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: Meet Yinka: a thirty-something, Oxford-educated, British Nigerian woman with a well-paid job, good friends, and a mother whose constant refrain is “Yinka, where is your huzband ?”    Yinka’s Nigerian aunties frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, her work friends think she’s too traditional (she’s saving herself for marriage!), her girlfrie