Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Random Thoughts

The other night after being asleep about an hour, the phone rang. Immediate thoughts of injured or dying family came to mind. Do you know what kind of words I said when I learned it was a telemarketer? It was a computer controlled telemarketer for Seniors no less, and I could not even rant at a living being! Calling Seniors in the middle of the night to warm them of the dangers of falling? Get real.


This has been an odd summer in that we have had some cool days and long for rain too. There have been some excruciatingly hot days, but they have not gone on for weeks and weeks. You can often expect that in the Midwest in July! Now we are getting ready to jump into August…the back to school month. Our phone popped today from family and friends needing help in the coming weeks. I hope we can keep up energy in these old bodies, that things go well for all those we care about. 


I have my autumn writing contest submissions mailed off! Six entries and I hope something does well. I am waiting on a couple of submissions from magazines too. I have exchanged several emails with an editor over a nostalgia piece and sent several pictures. He wants to use but no date for publication given. I need to be forming new ideas but with a busy August looming I probably won’t even be able to THINK much let begin to write. Meanwhile, I hope to keep reading because reading good writers is one way I think I hone up my own writing—by studying their examples.

DH loves toting in the tomatoes right now. He is getting a few every day. Since we were paying $5 a pound for nice slicers, these are handy in the kitchen. Love tomatoes! Love corn too, but we can not eat much here at this house. One nice pan of roasting ears was pure Heaven last week. It seems that the summer eating has gone as fast as the summer days. Already people are beginning to think of fall crops, of fall produce. Only a month away from the hummingbird migration…and we notice that the birds are still here but in less numbers. We have not heard our wrens in a couple of days…wonder…?


Last week while it was so hot, I could enjoy early mornings on the deck, but by noon it was uncomfortable. That meant long reading times inside. Nothing wrong with reading! While I ran across a couple of books I just could not continue reading, I found two good reads. I no longer punish myself to finish a bad book. I was never a quitter, taught always to finish what I started, I now give myself permission to put down a bad book!

I read John Grisham’s The Innocent Man that he wrote in 2006, a work of non-fiction. He follows the investigation and trial of men after a murder, am extremely brutal and sadistic one, in Ada, Oklahoma.  The police and prosecutor made a mess of the situation and sent two innocent men to jail for twelve years. One was five days from being put to death before a stay arrived that saved him long enough to be found innocent. It is scary this book…how close any one of us are to being misunderstood, pushed aside, falsely accused, and denied a fair treatment.

The other good book was a piece of fiction but full of researched details. Wildwood Boys by James Carlos Blake is about Bloody Bill Anderson and William Quantrill. Blake makes the history of the Border Wars and Bleeding Kansas come alive, although I will admit it is a rather ugly read not for the faint of heart. While I knew of Order 11…of Burnt Mill…of the burning of Lawrence,Kansas, of the 90 plus Union soldiers massacred over at Baxter Springs, Kansas, Blake put the events in order and let me see them on a type of timeline through story.

I grew up in Kansas and to be honest, I did not really hear that much about the Missouri side of the story. I do remember hearing in grade school that the Jayhawks were “just an imaginary bird”. No one along the way explained to me the meaning of those red legs, those blue jacket feathers. Nor did I ever understand the meaning of a Rebel Yell! Frankly, Union and Rebels were neck in neck with the horrors they committed. Blake’s writing is good, the book a page turner, but be warned it is a gruesome tale!

And so, August is coming like it or not...I believe I'm  ready. 


Elephant's Child said...

Telemarketers? Bleah. Particularly the automated one. We are getting calls from one of them time and time again at the moment.
Good luck with all your submissions.

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, June and July were miserable in my world. I did little if any writing or reading, and have yet to catch up with journaling for the grandkids. I can't complain about the weather. I love it when I find a good book and that is what I plan to do for the next week. Read and do only what I want to do, not what I have to do. I am ready for some R&R. Telemarketer's make me crazy. We seldom answer our land liner any more. It's nonsense or political stuff. Have a great week.

Patricia A. Laster said...

How can you stand to read those gruesome books? And they're not even classics, are they? That's what I'm trying to catch up on. Just finished James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It was all I could do to keep up with the odd way the man wrote. I couldn't/wouldn't even finish The (something) life of Bees because of the violence against blacks. My landline phone hasn't worked since early July when a tremendous thunderclap hit the house (didn't bother my internet/computer, I may divest myself of that expense. But I've been saying that for quite a while. Good post, girl. I sent in 5 entries for a fall contest, too. Enjoy August.

Lynn said...

Love all your random thoughts. And the recommendations on the books. Sound a bit scary, but interesting just the same. Life does seem busier these days and I'm not sure why. I've been trying to stay off the computer as much as I can and just write letters :-)