Snow

The snow comes down in a noisy silence like sand in an hourglass.

We can put a man on the moon. We can put robots on Mars and control them from Earth. But when it snows, we slow down, get quiet, even downright fretful.

Is it because it is out of our control?

Is it that the silence demands it? Shouting at the top of its crystalline lungs?

No, it’s because we fear it. One moment, soft, fluffy, full of childhood innocence. It sneaks up behind us and gives us a push. We grip the steering wheel hard enough that our fingers ache. Then, slip, slide, bam, boom. Or our legs get tight, stiff as we try to walk and not fall on our butts.

Those of use who live in the Appalachians have no choice but to fear it. We don’t measure it in light years, or miles, or kilometers, or even meters. No, we measure it in inches. Tiny little inches. We freak at an inch, two. Heaven forbid it get over two. The world is coming to an end if it is anything over six!

The snow comes down in a noisy silence like sand in an hourglass.

Tools we use

I use a lot of tools to write my stuff. I use OpenOffice as my word processor and my spreadsheet programs. I use WordWeb for a thesarus and a dictionary. I use Karen’s Power Tools such as the Time Cop to track my work time and to set alarms so I don’t get so lost in my worlds that I miss appointments. I use Copernic to do my web searches, usually when I need as much information as possible. I use AutoRealm to draw maps. Those are the programs that are on my computer.

On the ‘net my most visited site is Wikipedia, followed closely by Bartleby’s. Fiction Factor is an excellent resource.

The list goes on and on. Elsewhere on this site is my Resource section. I need to keep adding to it but it still is a decent listing.

What was my point with all this? Crap. Can’t remember. Sheesh.

A rose by any other name…

…would still be a rose. Which is why I am having naming difficulties. See, I gotta book project where the time frame, in our terms, is oh, 1700s or so. The names of the people are mostly normal, with some odd spellings here and there. They have a Goddess that I have named Divitia. The priests and priestesses got another name because I hate the word priestess. So, using the Eastern philosophy term ch’i, and using a British word for maid – char, I came up with their titles.

A Nun or Monk (also the unisex name is Ch’an) is someone who works for the Abbeys or Monasteries directly. They act as groundskeepers and secretaries and clerks. They have said no vows to Divitia although they may attend any of the training.

A Sister or Brother (with the unisexual name Ch’anma) is someone who has taken at least the first set of vows to the Goddess. They are considered servants to her and act as teachers, counselors, and whatever else field they are interested in.

The Ch’anmata are the actual priests and priestesses. They are the ones that provide the sermon (Speakers) and the ones that do the higher level of management and supervision. They can also be an Archimandrite (head Ch’anmata of an Abbey) or an Abbot (head Ch’anmata of a Monastery).

Universally, the Ch’anma and Ch’anmata are called Ch’a. This helps when it is not known what level of vows a Ch’a has taken.

See how much fun writing a book can be? Especially a science fiction or fantasy?

My current problem is that I need to somehow reveal the why of such an odd spelling. So, after browsing Wikipedia, WordWeb, and making copious notes, I came up with Ch’andra as the new name of their Goddess. Chandra is a Hindu god so I thought it kinda fit. I started this whole name thing because in Simple Sarah and Long Lea, my use of the titles for the religious folks changed from chapter to chapter. After I decided that for the fortieth millionth time, I started writing again. I currently am writing about children. But I can’t use the term ‘kid’. So, I came up with ch’en as the name for ‘kid’ and it will be both the casual name and the formal name, like when one someone says “Child, you are the cutest thing!”, in this they’ll say “Ch’en, you are the cutest thing!”

Totally confused now? Me too. Hopefully I will have it all figured out by the time I say ‘The End’…again.

Writing with a headache…

…just ain’t possible. I am getting better at noticing the difference between a headache because of my neck and that same headache on its way to a migraine. I caught it in time today. Took my med, got tucked into bed with my ‘hose nose’ on, a pillow over my head, and concentrated on breathe in, breathe out.

I actually slept for about two hours. I woke up with it 95% gone. The final bit of it left after I ate and took another med.

I hate taking pills. I take far too many daily ones without adding in something like this. I take 17 pills a day from 9 different medications. 2 anti-depressants, 2 anti-hypertensions, and one each of anti-inflammatory, thyroid, potassium, muscle relaxer, and migraine. Then add in the PRN migraine med, the inhaler, and the muscle relaxer can be tripled. My pharmacy knows my voice on the phone.

Luckily, Medicaid pays for 6 prescriptions a month or else I would have to pay out over $500 a month. I still pay nearly $90 a month out of pocket. At one point I had 12 different medications.

We call my medications by nicknames so I don’t sound like a pill addict. Usually we go by appearance, especially if it is one I have been on for a long time. Like ‘blue thing’ or ‘purple football’. My muscle relaxer we call ‘laxer’. Anything we can do to take their mental power away. You know?

Nothing I have will kill me, which most days is a good thing. 😉

At any rate, I still managed to get 1562 words done today on ‘Scholarly Way/Centric’. Have you gone to read the snippet yet? Let me know what you think of it.

I need to do some more research about editing. Oy.

Funk O’ Matic..but wait, there’s more!

12/11/04

I am going through kind of a funk again. It’s not nearly as bad, just a result of two rough counseling sessions. So I’ve not gotten much writing done this week bur really, do I care? Nope.

I did, however, get some work done on ‘Scholarly Ways/Centrics’ this week. It is up to just over 12K already. I put up a snippet of the original version. It’s not all that great but it’s just a hint of what it is like now.

Lorna and I had an interesting discussion on ‘sentience’ today. What makes an organism sentient? Where is that line between being self aware and doing what we are programmed to do? A dog risks its life to push a child out of the way of a speeding car. Is that sentience? Or is it just what the dog was bred to do? One resource on Wikipedia says that ‘sentience is the ability to experience suffering.’ I am not sure I understand that, however. In order to determine sentience we would have to see the world through the eyes of that being. We cannot assume that the showing of teeth in what looks like a big smile is in fact, a big smile.

In an ant colony, the ants are born into their roles. There job was determined while they were still in the egg. They do not stray from that path. In the movie, ‘Bugs Life’, one of the ants realizes there has to be a better way to do things. He sees himself as capable of much more than he was born to do. He wants to make a difference. THAT is sentience. But how to show that? How do we know that the dog wants to make a difference by risking its life? How do we know that Timmy really is in the well?

Then there is ‘sapience’, which is putting humanoid characteristics onto/into something. Artificial Intelligence is a good example of sapience.

In Real Life, I ordered some most of Lorna’s Christmas presents already. I hate to try and go shopping this time of year so I do it online. The price for shipping is well worth it to me. I ordered them from several different sites. Now I have to try and remember if I got everything. Oh, and her birthday is in January so some of the stuff I found I won’t order until then.