NaBloPoMo – November 2009

[This is the post I did to open my NaBloPoMo season. While I will blog daily, I may not always be into copying and pasting between my regular blog and this site. So following the path of others, I will post the links to my posts here.]

Well, It’s November, which is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoM0) and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The keys to succeeding at both are finding time and being disciplined. Not easy to do in our ADD-instant result expectant-crisis management kind of world.

This year’s NaBloPoMo will also serve to help jumpstart my blogging, which I have left so by the wayside. I will also be blogging not only at this site, but also at my livejournal, which will also serve to chronicle my NaNoWriMo progress. I will also blog at my social action blog, which documents causes and nonprofits issues that interest me. For kicks, I’ll have my opinions at my soap fan blog also.

This year’s NaBloPoMo roster is:

More Explore

My Writing Exploration

My Social Awareness and Action Blog

Soap Fan Sound-Off


Twas the day after the November elections and all over the waves, I woke up to find out that Maine still won’t grant marriage to gays.

You can always read this and other posts at:

Twas the day after the November elections and all over the waves, I woke up to find out that Maine still won’t grant marriage to gays.

I tweeted and shared the info along with many others to organize and make sure that Maine joins other places in doing what is right by their citizens.

I find out that Mayor Tom Menino managed to hold onto Boston and Chris Christie took over New Jersey as governor despite ‘Mean Girls’ style taunting about his weight.

‘Creigh Deeds’ is definitely one of the more interesting names I’ve heard in a long time.

I don’t know the results of the Cambridge, Mass elections yet. I did vote for the first time in a long time. I had forgotten that they vote in a system akin to the one that the ISU (International Skating Union) used to use until the 2002 Olympics. I prefer my balloting straighforward. Ranking candidates and such is a little too much for my weary brain after a long day of work. I imagine it’s why the same people vote in the same people over and over. New people would question the system and want change and since many of those people would be from the ‘gown’ set, they would never be heard and be branded as outsiders who don’t understand and want to get rid of the ‘uniqueness’ that is Cambridge.

In reading the answers to the questionaires that each candidate filled out online, I noted how a number of them did not mince words when it came to gunning for City Manager Robert Healy.
I agree that he has been in there for a LONG time. I can’t recall at any point in my life when he wasn’t the City Manager.

Many of the candidates did make good points about what was wrong with the city of Cambridge, including shortness of funds, affordable anything, acknowledging that Cambridge is a city with problems that go way back because of years of denial, and the fact that Cambridge has always been a city that is not just the bastion of Harvard and MIT, but of bus drivers, waitresses, office workers, maintenance workers, small business owners-the ‘town’ of the ‘town and gown’ and a segment often not represented enough until something catastrophic happens.

So I will now go see online who the new bosses of Cambridge (likely the same old bosses) are as well as find out if I need to add Maine to the list of those states I have to educate about allowing same-sex marriage.


Lessons in Writing from…Marion Zimmer Bradley-Part the First

[From my wiritng blog, My Writing Exploration:]

I never had a formal writing course. That is, I took creative writing in college, but to fulfill a requirement, not as a focus.

Many of my lessons in writing came from paying attention to the general introductions and the mini-introductions to the short stories of the Sword and Sorceress anthologies edited by the late, great Marion Zimmer Bradley (MZB).

She was a prolific author who wrote in many genres at some point in her life. She lived very comfortably in fantasy. In addition to her Darkover novels (which also showed her sci-fi chops at times), she was well known for her retelling of the Arthurian Mythos from the female perspective in a book known as the ‘Mists of Avalon.’

I read the Sword and Sorceress (S&S) anthologies beginning in high school. To this day, I must admit that my first reading of the anthologies were always of those introductions and then I would go back and read a story or two here and there. The mini-introductions reminded me of the irascible grandmother or grandfather, who knew their craft and didn’t understand how these kids could get as far as they did without doing things proper.

Tips I picked up from these pages included:

-Being able sum up a story and/or a novel in one sentence
-Following the guidelines so that you are giving the editor what they are looking for
-Working at it until you get it write
-Watching that grammar

MZB died in September 1999. I found out first by looking at the S&S XVII and noticing that the copyright was in the name of the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust. Then I found one of those retail bookstore newsletters that you usually ignore and I saw her picture and then that dreaded term-the ‘late’ Marion Zimmer Bradley.

There is a website for the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust:

If you don’t happen to have the money or the time to collect the S&S anthologies, there is a section at the
Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust website that just happens to be called ‘Articles on Writing,’ which just happens to have an article entitled ‘Advice for New Writers.’ Each article is relevant and full of sound advice told in that MZB style. Definitely worth reading and worth coming back to for a refresher from time to time.

So thanks MZB, for inadvertantly teaching me useful things while I read about strong swordswomen and sorceresses.