Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Snowy morning

We finally got a little snow on the valley floor yesterday, not a lot but it's nice and powdery. On Friday the birds ate about three times their normal amount so I wasn't surprised when the snow came. I wish I had built a little warming hut for the quail. I think they would appreciate it.

I did put out a Marvel Meal buffet this morning however.
It was a big hit all around.
Breakfast in the snow
(YouTube 02:02)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Will write for money?

Here's a little something I found over at Craig's List that was just listed today, a paying, free lance writing gig. If you like the prospect of getting paid for writing, check it out. Typical payment per story is between $100 and $200 for up to 2,000 words but they prefer less than 1,000. Common Ties.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Excerpt 34

One word, one sentence at a time I will reconstruct the story. I've written it before on countless scraps of paper. One word, one sentence at a time I will reconstruct the story. Forgive me. It is composed of a seemingly endless succession of beginnings. The original order of the words has been lost so I rely on you to supply the details. One word, one sentence at a time I will reconstruct the story. Forgive me. The original has been lost but I promise to stay true to its drift. That is not a matter of memory. It is a matter of being. One world at, one word at a time. Forgive me. The original version of this story does not exist. One word, one sentence at a time, this is its drift. This is the drift. The notes are scattered. No. Not scattered. The notes were never collected. Jotted. Scribbled. On scraps, in notebooks, on flaps. They have never been collected. They have seldom been re-read. Or read. The words, disjointed, have been set down and abandon. No, not abandon. There is much thinking between them, the phrases, the paragraph and elimination of words. And ideas. "Why?" I am telling a story. Build the house. Paint it later. And later still introduce the particulars. Each letter reverberates, twists but... if morning brings a promise it is a simple thread strung between opposites requiring a wire dance in thin air...

Christmas cheer

Mr. Lee emailed me this fine bit of Christmas cheer to help kick off The Season. It's a little clip from Space Bass Films.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Open mike finder

Want to know where the open mikes are in your area? I just stumbled on a cool website that lists them. Check it out.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In passing

NaNoWriMo ends tonight at 11:59:59. I'm glad I'm already done. I would hate to be grinding words out at this late hour but I'm sure people are. Right now the collective word count is 909,464,173. Crazy. So... to commemorate the end of the wonderful madness that is NaNoWriMo, here is a recent photo I took up in Virginia City during my daughter's Thanksgiving visit and a great little poem by A. E. Housman. I think the two compliment one another and NaNoWriMo in a fitting and oblique way.

Infant Innocence
A.E. Housman

The Grizzly Bear is huge and wild;
He has devoured the infant child.
The infant child is not aware
It has been eaten by the bear.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New troupe member

A new actor joined the cast here at the Language Barrier's Invisible Theatre over the holiday weekend. She was living up in Virginia City when I spotted these fellows through an open door off the boardwalk. That's her just right of center, between the white lamb and the golden dancer; the one with the long, gray hair.

Monday, November 27, 2006

NaNo's end and holiday cheer

Virginia City, Nevada

Big happings around the Language Barrier. First off, my daughter and her very nice fiance came home for a Thanksgiving visit. We had a great time. Also, I finished NaNoWriMo while they were here. That's 50,000 words in one month, babeee! Naturally my ... uh... novel ... is crap, throat clearing, but I expected that. It was all about the word count. It is a beginning or not but at least I got out from under the boot of the bastard inner editor for a month. And like they say, you can't edit a blank page. Anyway, I hate to disappoint you but that's it for the What I did on Thanksgiving and My NaNoWriMo posts for now. I've got errands to finish before the snow hits. In the meantime, here's a little casino love to keep you going. I recorded this from the platform of the huge, crazy, indoor mining diorama at the Silver Legacy in Reno. Enjoy.

Silver Legacy casino, Reno, Nevada

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Reality cliff notes

Today at Joshua Muravchik, a neoconservative at the American Enterprise Institute, is quoted as saying

"There's a question to be sorted out: whether the war was a sound idea but very badly executed or was the mistake the idea itself?

Hmmm??? Let's see .....
preemptive war....

sound idea very badly executed

is the mistake the idea itself?

Rummy or the neocon agenda?
Rummy or the neocon agenda?
Rummy or the neocon (i.e. fascist) agenda?

Warning: plot spoiler ahead...

The geniuses in the neocon think tanks will do their best to keep our focus on Rummy and off themselves and Bush Inc. for as long as we will let them. Heaven forbid any of them should have to take responsibility for anything! But it's an obvious answer so I'm not really spoiling anything when I say that, even beyond the fact that the "reasons" they gave us were big fat lies, invading Iraq was a very bad idea. Using the American military or mercenaries to invade sovereign nations is a terrible, terrible idea and if you have half a brain or one quarter ounce of moral fiber you know it too so why should we pretend otherwise or wait for a cabal of spiritually retarded geniuses to decide for us?

Ken Adelman (the guy who famously said that invading Iraq would be a "cakewalk") is suffering from shattered ideals: "The whole philosophy of using American strength for good in the world, for a foreign policy that is really value-based instead of balanced-power-based, I don't think is disproven by Iraq. But it's certainly discredited."

Actions speak louder than words, Ken.

Ken is right about one thing though. Invading Iraq did make "them" more "like us" ... violent.

But I indulge myself. It's still November, NaNoWriMo time. I've got miles to write before I sleep.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Life beyond NaNoWriMo?

Nevada State Legislature
from Comma Coffee
I didn't get any writing done today and less than a thousand yesterday so tomorrow it's back to Comma Coffee for a NaNoDay ... just me and the laptop, no editor, no plot, no problem. I'm doing okay, 38,008 words - 51 pages, but I have to keep at it. I would like to be done by the time my daughter and her finance arrive next week for Thanksgiving. Here's what's odd. At this point I have separation anxiety whenever I think about finishing this thing. I have grown very fond of NaNoWriMo.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Marvel Meal, a winter delight

As Thanksgiving and winter are upon us it's time to whip up that first batch of Marvel Meal for the birds, so here's the recipe. It's tasty, nutritious and, best of all, vegetarian. It doesn't get any better than that. Just be sure the birds have access to water when you give them Marvel Meal or anything containing peanut butter. Birds have small throats and have been known to choke to death on peanut butter.

Louie's Stamp of Approval
Marvel Meal

Mix together:

1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or plain but NOT SALTED*)
1 cup vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
4 cups cornmeal (yellow is higher in vitamin A)
1 cup white flour
It makes a soft dough that you can put in a suet log or basket.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

~ from ornithologist John Terres


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Litte Cat and Lucy

I spent the afternoon at the Comma again today working on my word count, aka NaNo novel. There was a bit of drama there the other day. Little Cat found Lucy the Snake after she had been missing and feared dead for over a week. Some kid let her out. It was a true Comma drama. As it turned out Lucy was hiding under the dresser where her terrarium sits and Little Cat, now local hero, sniffed her out.

I made of video of Lucy gulping water after returning home from her harrowing misadventure but unfortunately last night it "went away" while I was trying to edit it down. I don't exactly know what happened other than the fact that I shouldn't fiddle with shit when I'm already too tired to sleep.

Anyway, here's another video from the Comma....


Monday, November 13, 2006

Call for horses - S. 1915

Please take a minute and help pass a permanent ban on the business of selling American's mustangs for slaughter. There is only a few days left for the Senate to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 1915)! The House of Representatives passed their vote against this dreadful practice in September (H.R. 503). Now the Senate must pass S. 1915, their version of the same bill before it becomes law. Help flood Senate offices with phone calls urging them to vote for S. 1915.

You can find your Senator's phone number here.

Please call. It only takes a minute but it is a matter of life or death for horses. Help save America's wild horses.

Let them stay wild and free!

Here's a script from the American Humane Society if you're at a loss for words:
"I am a constituent and I am calling to ask that my Senator immediately protect our horses from slaughter and cosponsor S. 1915, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. I am very concerned about American horses and I don't want them slaughtered."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Poetry notebook update

I recently added several poems to the notebook section of my website. I also posted some other of my writings a little harder to categorize that loosely falls into the catch all category, flash fiction. I put them under the heading Fourth Wall. I'm always torn between posting work online before I've tried submitting it to a few print journals. So many publications only want unpublished work but I decided to do it anyway. Journals that are willing to use already published material have the right idea. Share and share alike.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Crow stop

I shouldn't be fiddling with my blog right now. I have to catch up on my word count after yesterday's slump so this has to be quick. I just put some goodies out in the Bird Park and almost instantly ten crows dropped out of the sky for an afternoon snack. Must be a sentry posted in the crow's nest today. News traveled suspiciously fast. I tried to get a photo but they don't like their picture taken. This is the best I could do because I gotta go.

Bye-bye. Off to NaNo land.

Don't shoot the piano player!

Friday was a long day in NaNoWriMo land. I met some friends in the morning at the Comma for a NaNo write and stayed until 4:30. Susan did about 3500 words but I didn't even break a thousand. I don't work well mixing writing time with a social event. I didn't go to the Reno write yesterday for the same reason. Rasa basa.

In general though the Comma is a fine place to write, surf, read, meet friends, day dream, study, people watch, give a poetry reading, oh and get a cup of coffee or have a few drinks. It's directly across the street from the Nevada State Legislature and in the middle of the legal district, even the Governor lives a few blocks aways, so on any given day you might see politicians, skate boarders, lawyers, outlaws, old ladies playing Mahjong, the cat, and geeks on laptops all wiling away the hours together. This morning some guy cranked out a couple of saloon tunes to nobody in particular on the tin voiced piano. If you listen carefully to the video, you can hear snippets in the background of a conversation a couple of women are having with an 82 year old man about the politics of "messin' around." Nevada. Ya gotta love it.

Thursday, November 9, 2006


So far the denizens of NaNoWriMo have churned out nearly 300 million word since the beginning of the month and just over 18,000 of them mine ... screamin', eyes closed, seat of the pants BAD writing but it's all about the word count, babee. It's madness but as I've gotten through the first week and am still on the word track I decided to dig in deeper by posting the NaNo participant badge in the sidebar. Now my neck is really on the block. Yikes! Okay. Gotta run. I'm going to a Reno write-in tonight and lots to do before then.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Hug someone

If you haven't seen this video about free hugs do yourself a favor and watch it. If it doesn't make you smile, even chuckle, you need a hug yourself. Go on. Even if you've already seen it, give it a look. You'll feel better even if you already feel good.


November days and mercy for piggies

Okay then. Thanks to everybody in the Great Blue Wave. Bush Boy got a real spanking, as did Karl the Cheat, the Rummy Devil and the rest of the smarmy minions infesting our government. It occurred to me (again) last night just how fond I am of hating George W. Bush and Co.. It gives a certain clarity and snap to things but it's sick. I've got better things to do than focus on these assholes. They are, at best, a measure for corruption, greed, immorality and ineptitude. We'll be digging out of the pit they dumped us in for generations.

Plus, though they got a beating in the polls last night, these fascist bastards have no intention of throwing in the towel. The "price of freedom" is the same as it was in Jefferson's day, "eternal vigilance". With this election we backed them into a corner but they will exploit our every weakness and moment of inattention. The work of reinstating our Constitution and resuscitating our Democracy has only just begun.

But there is one election victory I am especially celebrateing today. Arizonans voted for humane treatment of farm animals. They passed Proposition 204 which bans gestation crates for breeding pigs and veal crates for young calves. Agribusiness and other special interests spent $2.5 million to defeat Proposition 204. Arizona is the second state in the nation to ban gestation crates and the first state to ban veal crates. The vote was 61 percent in favor and only 39 percent opposed. YEAH! Compassion wins the vote! That is world changing news.

But enough of this madness, at least for the moment. It's November, NaNoWriMo time. I've got just over 15,000 words to date and nothing yesterday. I've got to get to work. I'm headed back to Comma Coffee. At home, I'm glued to the election results andyet another blog post. At the Comma I can escape these distractions and write all day on one cup of coffee. June has power strips everywhere and lots of interesting furniture and things to blend in with. I've got to get there before someone else claims my favorite corner. Here's a few photos from Comma Coffee that I took the other day. That's it for now.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Call for Change

Grinding about the way things are but don't want to "work" for change? Here's the perfect thing for even the most retiring armchair analyst. MoveOn's Call for Change program. Come on. The Republican party is so crooked, so extreme our very Democracy is at stake. The Senate and Congress is controlled by men on the Bush family payroll, FASCIST BASTARDS who have got to go! Even I am calling to encourage people to get out and vote against them. Now has made it even easier. You can call from your own home.

Do it.

What's to lose?


VOTE Democratic today!


Had enough yet?
Help kick these f*cking BUSH BUMS OUT!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Carson City Friday nanowrite

I am meeting a couple of other people at Comma Coffee this Friday for a NaNo write-in. We'll be there from 10:30 in the morning until whenever. Join us if you can.

NaNoWriMo is madness and I love/hate it but whatever I think about it, I have currently written over 11,000 word because of it. I even wake up in the morning with the silly little NaNoWriMo song running through my head:

It's November. Here we go again.
NaNoWriMo. Here we go again.
I'll be writin' fifty thousand words.
I may go crazy before the end.

Mr. Lee is even infected with it. Hahaha!

Note to the Inner Critic: FUCK OFF! It's all about the word count babeee.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006


Things are pretty mellow around here right now. After his stunning Halloween performance last night Lucky Pete is basking in the whole troupe's admiration. In fact he has been hanging out with Monsieur La Chance all day, who has taken him under his wing and been trying to convince him to give up, as he says, that bastard version of his fine French name. It is his opinion, of course, that form is everything but we shall see. Lucky Pete, or Pierre as the case may be, is a proud fellow even in a clown suit and obviously not one to be controlled by other people's or cat's opinions.

As for me, I wrote 2955 words on this, the first day of NaNoWriMo. PURE CRAP! TERRIBLE STUFF! I'd rather throw myself off a cliff and into the thrashing sea than let anyone read it but hey, it's all about the word count. When I was done my head felt like a blob of sour, warm meat. Well that's it from this outpost border crossing. Now I'm off to Otherland. G'night.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween and NaNoWriMo eve

Tonight marks two distinct, but not wholly dissimilar, events. Grito and Lucky Pete (as he calls himself these days) have been outside waiting since this afternoon but trick or treaters didn't appear until after dark.

After the children are gone and the streets are completely given over to the spirits of the underworld the second phase of the night begins. Then my friend Susan and I are going to meet at a nearby casino coffee shop to await the final stroke of midnight. Then the dead return to the nether regions. Then the mad soul of NaNoWriMo rises in the infernal dark. Then the writing begins.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Early Halloween

Early trick or treaters, Seymour and Sierra. They got cheese.

Pine Nuts to Ash Canyon

Here are a few photos from our drive in the Pine Nuts the other day. Naturally the Swami wanted to come. None of us have been out for a long time so it was a big deal. We only took trailer as far as Crow Stone Road. The hitch currently has an extender to clear the spare which makes the connection a bit vulnerable. The road gets pretty rough past that point and we didn't want to loosen anything. In case you're wondering, that white rack on the top of the trailer is the Maggiolina, our crank up tent.

We went as far as this collapsed cabin. The stone work was nothing like we've seen in the old miner cabins further out in the Great Basin. Those places were built by Europeans who knew how to work with stone. The walls and foundations they did are still standing, well into their second century. Whoever built this place didn't know what they were doing. The stones are small, unmatched, and unworked. The only thing that held them together at all was great gobs of mortar. I doubt it lasted more than 50 years. They used a few nice stones in the hearth but most of the hearth stones were also small and glued together.

I took the stone to return to the crows but came home with it instead. Mr. Lee reminded me that they only loaned it for a year. I'll get around to it one of these days, maybe.

I went to Ash Canyon after we got back. I believe it's been nearly a year since I went last. I'm glad I did. It was nice seeing the group again, plus it was Susan's birthday (R). She was co-editor on the first issue of Driftwork (submissions are open for the next issue, btw). I didn't have anything new to read. I've been working on one poem for months and it's still no closer to being done. If I stick with NaNoWriMo for even a week it will a colossal kick in the ass. Those are witches fingers on the plate.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bush moves closer to martial law

On October 17th, 2006, in a stealth ceremony in the Oval Office, the same day he legalized torture (anyone - anywhere - no trial), Bush signed a second bill giving himself the power to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities. The Republicans have now given themselves full power and authority to suppress all dissent, by any means, without any accountability. Where does it end?

This is a very disturbing article but read it anyway. Mirror site here.

Saturday at the Roxy - 10.

Welcome to the matinee.

As this is Halloween weekend, today's videos tend towards the macabre, nothing heart stopping but in the spirit. This may be it for the Roxy for a while. I decided to give NaNoWriMo a shot which, if I stick with it, will severly limit my time. At any rate enjoy the show.

Happy Halloween!



Be careful.
Be very, very careful. The mind is
a very powerful thing. Ask



Watch out!
Shaye St. John
wants to wish you a