Friday, November 01, 2013

I've moved my life to my new website, which includes a new Comptonplations blog. You can visit me here!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Moving Soon

I sold my book. Well, one of them. So I'm revamping my website and will soon be moving everything -- including this Comptonplations blog -- to the new site.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Didn't Get the Memo

It was a beautiful late summer/early autumn afternoon in upstate New York, the kind of day that invites a body to linger. Unfortunately, this body works during the day, and today it seemed like I was the only one.

It started when I was leaving Day Job to run some lunch hour errands. I have an hour for lunch, which is usually more than enough time to do what I needed to do today. However, there were temp day workers coming back from lunch, ambling through the parking lot. They saw me. We made eye contact. Did they stop so I could pass? Nope. Did they quicken their pace? Nope. They just took their sweet old time walking in such a way that I couldn't get around them.

Moments later, I was behind someone driving 20 mph in a 30 mph zone. Seriously? Finally, after a bit of this, I turned onto a side street. Things were going well -- until I got behind someone else doing 25 mph in a 30 mph zone. Was there a memo I missed? Slow-down Tuesday?

I finally reached my destination (public library), and there was a school-aged girl -- clearly not in school -- ambling up the driveway. She turned, looked at me, and kept on ambling, right up the middle of the driveway so I couldn't get by her. After I parked my car, I headed into the library. Except a group of young men were coming out of the library, and they took up the entire sidewalk. I had to wait to let them pass.

Once inside the library, I went to the desk to pick up the books I had on hold. Except the person checking out the books wasn't behind the desk. He was standing by the door having a chat fest with someone. For about five minutes. Not business, just personal stuff. He finally meandered over to his post, took his time to straighten up some stuff and finally took my card.

By the time I reached the "fast" food drive thru, I quit hoping to accomplish anything on my lunch hour. What should have taken no more than ten minutes had taken nearly thirty.

I would have taken a vacation day had I received the memo.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Recurring Dreams: 1911

Last night I dreamed that I moved back into the apartment with the turquoise fridge and the old Norge stove (I've lived in several apartments with old Norge stoves).

Nothing had changed in the apartment except the kitchen closet (located between the fridge and the stove), which had been converted into a pantry. The closet was huge in reality, but the landlord made it even bigger by expanding the back into the entry way to the front apartment (my apartment was the first floor rear apartment). And the pantry was packed with canned goods, baking supplies, etc. Each shelf was individually lit, so the space was bright and cheery. There was also some kind of appliance in there, but I'm not sure what. In reality, that's where I stored my avocado green portable washing machine. In the dream, the appliance was white.

Maybe this dream came from a recent discussion with my husband about buying a new stove. We've replaced every appliance in our house at least once--except the stove. And when I reminisce about past Norge stoves, it's not the one from 1911 that comes to mind, but rather the one in my very first apartment.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Taken to the Cleaners?

There was some kind of smeary film on the windshield of my car, so on Friday, I took the car to the car wash for an interior cleaning, emphasis on the windows. Things looked okay when I left.

A couple of hours later, I picked up X-Chromo from work -- and the smears on the windshield combined with the angle of the sun didn't make me happy. Later that night, while driving home from an event, on-coming headlights revealed just what a lousy job the car wash had done. A dangerously lousy job.

On Saturday, I drove back to the car wash and very nicely explained my situation. They very nicely said they would redo the windows. And yeah, the girl did swipe at the windshield a few times. But most of her time was spent leaning on the car chatting it up with another employee who was on break (judging by the large drink in her hand). I was tempted to take a photo of all this hard work. I still tipped the girl. Things looked okay, but it was around the same time of day, so the light wasn't too revealing.

I just drove Y-Chromo to work. OMG, the windshield is worse than when I took the car in on Friday. So now I have to waste my time and my gas driving back to DELTA SONIC after work tonight.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cooperstown 2013

I seem to have the most interesting times in Cooperstown. This year was no exception.

Of course, nothing can ever top my 2010 Cooperstown adventure. I mean, casual conversations with all those Hall of Famers is pretty high on any baseball fan's list of most exciting moments. How many women get to have their attire insulted by Jim Palmer? At least I had the presence of mind to take photos with my cell phone that year. This year, I forgot until after the fact.

Not that 2013's adventure can even compare to 2010.

This year's Herwood Cooperstown weekend coincided with a Furthur concert (Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of Grateful Dead fame), which brought in Dead Heads from around the world. As per our custom, TV Stevie checked out the baseball memorabilia shops while I sat on a bench and read.

"Excuse me," a tie-dyed, braided-haired man said. "Do you like poetry?"

I nodded.

"May I recite an original poem -- sixty seconds or less -- to you?"

I just stared at him.

He went on to explain. He is one of the new Beat poets from San Francisco, who came to "this god-forsaken town off the beaten track" for the concert, but he didn't have the money for the price of admission. Therefore he was selling his book. He handed me a photocopied sheaf of papers, filled with his own original poetry and artwork.

I returned the book and explained I had no cash. He recited a poem to me anyway, something about sleeping on a beach with sand as his pillow. It was full of lovely imagery. I thanked him, he bowed, and wandered off down the sidewalk, looking for a sale. I waited quite a while, hoping to see him again so I could take his photograph, but I never did see him again.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

As a writer, I've learned that if a scene isn't working, try changing the point of view (POV) in which it is written. That means to write the action from another character's perspective; see what a character sees, hear what he hears, smell what she smells, and do what the character would do; use the character's motivations and background to filter what is happening on the page. It's amazing how much situations can change.

I watched exactly one episode of the 1980's TV show, thirtysomething, but that episode has stayed with me. One incident was shown over and over, but each time from a different character's perspective. The various interpretations were very diverse. And eye-opening.

Law enforcement knows the same event may not be reported in the same way by eyewitnesses.

In 2011, I reached the startling conclusion that the only difference between a patriot and a terrorist is POV.

Seeing the Broadway hit, Wicked, reinforced my belief that POV is one of the most powerful tools in a writer's toolkit. L. Frank Baum's Wicked Witch of the West presented as a sympathetic character? Oh, yeah. Completely.

A recent, random social media comment has me re-examining something I believed true. For decades. Fortunately, I'm open-minded, and am willing to revisit the past to either learn something new or validate my memory. Because point of view is powerful.