C is for…Well, You Know

One of two pallets of Girl Scout cookies in my garage.


One of two pallets of Girl Scout cookies in my garage.

I am the proud possessor of a Girl Scout. This is her sixth year as a Scout, and she belongs to a large, active troop full of highly motivated sellers, as the real estate ads put it. Last year her troop sold something like 50,000 boxes of cookies during the spring sale. My daughter, whose Scout name is Avocado (don’t ask), met her goal and sold 1200 boxes. She’s aiming, come hell, high water, and the economy, to sell another 1200 boxes this year.

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Feedback Saturday – What’s Missing?

There’s going to be a conference call soon.  It’s going to be discussing the future of the Book View Cafe and areas where we should look at channelling our resources to make the site better, more flexible and accessible, and of course, how to let you know about the new online and print titles we’ve all got coming out.

So, we’re asking; what’s missing from the site?  What do you want or need that we haven’t got right now?

Other quesiton: if you’re a registered BVC user, did you get your newsletter?  Did you like your newsletter?  What news would you like to be getting from BVC?

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Coming Out

bfobToday, I am coming out of the closet.

I’ve tried for years to fit in.  I’ve tried to just stay quiet and get along.  But I can’t do it anymore.  I just can’t.  I will just have to hope my friends will understand and accept me for who I am.

Regardless, today I have to say it.

I don’t like The Watchmen.

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Cascading Into Peace

The Columbia River Gorge

My husband and I have always considered the Columbia River Gorge from The Dalles, Oregon through Hood River, around Cascade Locks, and past numerous majestic waterfalls, as part of our back yard, even if we live 50 miles away.  We love it ice shrouded in winter, vibrant green with a myriad of wildflowers in spring, parched and sauna hot in summer, or glorious with red and gold leaves in autumn.  Clear blue skies, mysterious mist rising from the river or leaden clouds determined to dump buckets of rain, no two trips are ever the same, and never are we disappointed.

ice-falls1

We’ve taken serious hikes with day packs and lunches.  He has backpacked deep into the side ravines to find hidden lakes. On short spontaneous trips we stroll along paved paths barely stressing our muscles. Continue reading

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Nancy Jane’s Fiction Comment Page

It suddenly occurred to me last weekend that while anyone (except spammers) can comment on my posts here on the Book View Cafe Blog, I didn’t have any place where folks could make observations about the stories I’m putting up on Book View Cafe.

There’s no comment function on the main Book View Cafe site; it isn’t set up for that. But, I thought, why not have a link on each story to a page where people can discuss it?

So I set up Nancy Jane Moore’s Fiction Comment Page. There’s a link on each story to the post for comments on that particular story, and links on the comment page back to the stories. It’s set up on Live Journal because I had an account there I wasn’t using, but you don’t have to be a member to comment.

So if you have a reaction to one or more of my stories, please stop by and tell me what you think.

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Nancy Jane’s flash fiction for this week is “Happily Ever After.” Her collection Conscientious Inconsistencies is available from PS Publishing and her novella Changeling can be ordered from Aqueduct Press.

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EVERGREEN: On Becoming a Professional Amateur # 16: Some Writing Safety Tips

To finish off this series, I’d like to offer a smattering of “safety tips” that have come out of the mentoring and workshops I’ve done over the years. Some of these I’ve come by as the result of struggling with my own craft and some through struggles with other writer’s particular issues. As with all things, interpret them in a way that’s useful to you at this moment in your writing life. Continue reading

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Rescue Dog(s)

Badger Casil, aka Mr. Stinki, Pony, Onie, and several other nicknames, is a rescue dog. We’ve had him since 2001 and he was about two years old when we got him, so he is officially a “senior dog”. He shows few signs of slowing down. He is an off-breed standard Jack Russell Terrier – he is about half an inch too tall, and entirely too rangy for the general overall breed.

IMG00126 That is Badger wrestling with his current object of love – or playing “Kill the Monkey!” See, he has his tags, his shots, and you can’t see from the picture, but he is microchipped. If he is ever lost (highly unlikely as he is my constant companion and kept secure at all times), any veterinarian or shelter can instantly see who he is, and who his owners are (i.e. – me and Meredith).

The provenance of rescue dogs is often complex, but I was able to get a lot of information about Badger, because he came from the BARC Animal Rescue in Redlands, a very well-organized, well-operated group. BARC stands for “Benevolent Animal Rescue Committee” and it’s a national organization that has local chapters. There is also another BARC in San Bernardino County – they are all over. As animal advocates become ever-more sophisticated and organized, and education continues, some of the values of animal rescues are sure to become better-adopted throughout America.

Badger’s story could be the perfect rescue dog story. In fact, there are a series of children’s books (cough cough) – okay, I’ve written two Rescue Dog stories. And when I say “perfect,” let’s just say that the day Badger ran out of our front door and harried the poor man riding his bicycle around the cul-de-sac where we lived until he became so rattled that his bike went out of control and he tumbled over the handlebars into our neighbor’s ivy – well, that day wasn’t complete until, after I ran over and restrained Badger, only to look at the poor guy’s dirt-smudged face and recognize my daughter’s Vice Principal. Yes, that was a special day, indeed. Another special day was the one where, responding to non-pet person Mike’s concern about Badger being in the house, I purchased a steel spiral yard stake that said it would accommodate dogs of up to 100 pounds.

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Still Life with Keyboards

Words and music have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Just as I can’t remember being unable to read, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t delight in making music. We got a piano when I was in the first grade, and according to my mother, I was picking out tunes from the day it came into the house, even though I wasn’t allowed to start lessons until second grade. That was also the youngest age for joining the church choir, so that was the beginning of music as a formal, continuing part of my life.

I started writing somewhat later, but that early experiment didn’t turn out as well. Since I didn’t know how to construct a plot (I’m sometimes still not sure I do), I promptly wrote myself into a corner and couldn’t figure out how to escape it. I didn’t realize it was acceptable for a writer to back up and change the storyline. But at least I could read without these problems, and I did so…anything I could lay my hands on. That’s still true.

So I got a degree in piano, and continued to sing. I taught high school choir, and private piano. A decade or so after I got married, I added another keyboard to my life: the type attached to a computer. I took lessons in Basic and C, and started programming as a freelancer. After we moved to our current home, I stopped giving piano lessons; we lived too far out of town. But I still had the piano, and I still worked on my computer. After I got online, I started hanging out with writers, and it wasn’t long before writing came back into my life as well. I started trying to write seriously in 1989, and my first book came out in 1991. I was set!
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Desk Duty

This article in the New York Times about a teacher in Minneapolis, Abby Brown, who designed desks that permit her students to stand or sit as the spirit moves them put me in mind of my own recent quest for the perfect work station.

Not long ago, I complained to a friend of mine who happens to know a few things about spinal alignment that since I’d started doing so much writing, my back hurt. She asked to take a look at my work set up. I showed her. She laughed. Apparently, a down-at-the-heels recliner that lists to one side, a Continue reading

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Coraline: A Very Short Review

This does have a tenuous comics connection, via novel author Neil Gaiman, but I read the book when it first came out and then lent it to a friend, so I went to the movies today with only a dim memory of what the story is about.  180px-coraline_preview_shotWow, has 3-D technology come of age!  The entire film is dazzlingly, beautifully done, leaping to vivid life.  Mr. Bobinsky and his jumping mice alone are worth the admission.

The film is great, but the story fully bears its own weight.  All the depth and nuance in the story itself springs from the novel — the weird Freudian nuances of mother-daughter conflict, the spidery quality of the Other Mother, the creepiness of black buttons.  The book stands in the long, long chain of British children’s books, in which the kids fall through rabbit holes or open wardrobe doors or discover mysterious castles behind local hedgerows.  As a result it feels familiar and yet very new.  Delightful all the way around — see it while it’s still in 3-D if you can!

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