Oops - I'm a day late again. Not my fault, summer happened. Or at least a suddenly warm spring.
Saturday - Saint Patrick's Day - was lovely, especially on the sunny patio of my local Irish pub, Daniel O'Connell's. Shared some beer and songs with friends, then headed off to another watering hole, the Carleton Tavern. Never been there on St Paddy's day - it was packed. Irish music, Irish stew, Irish people. We met a guy who was talking about a tattoo he had, "KCW" - which apparently stands for "Keep Canada White". My friend diplomatically replied, "Well, today we're all Irish" and raised her glass in a toast. He was obviously not interested in debating his views at that time - narrow as they might be - but my second thought, after thinking that's a racist thing to say, was that it wasn't a very achievable objective, as Canada didn't start off "white" and isn't now. And who fell into his definition? Just fair haired British? Danish? German? Italian? Red haired and freckled? I would have liked to explore it further some time, just as something more that can be put into a story sometime. I did realize would not be necessarily a reasoned discussion at the time -especially not when we'd just slammed back some tequila shooters.
Speaking of which - the Carleton, being a basic tavern, serves the shooters as a shot in the bottom of a standard 8oz draft glass. They're not about to waste the time and money on shot glasses, it's only a tavern after all. Place still has the same dark panelled walls, small octagonal wooden tables, ancient rickety wooden chairs. Layout obviously used to be the standard division of a main room labelled Mens and a smaller one labelled Ladies and Escorts. The former for beer only, the latter serving mixed drinks. Definitley a rich place for local colour and valuable research as I nurse a quart of beer. Back to the party - my entertaining neighbour in the pub ( and he really was a nice friendly guy) was with a woman who was deaf. She could read lips quite well, so I just had to make sure she could see me talking. An interesting skill too, as she was able to tell - in the midst of a loud bar - that the woman across from her was trash talking the people around her. Big battle, raised voices, drama. I've seen people sign and/or read lips from one city bus to another, then crack up over some joke. Could also be used to "say" sweet nothings in a rowdy pub - but maybe you'd get turfed out for inappropriate signing.
I was glad Sunday that I'd decided around 9 pm the night before that I'd had enough Irish for the day, and headed home. It was nice to enjoy yet more sun the next day, without a hangover. Coffee at a cafe, then book sale at local store, pint on a patio, sci-fi book club meeting - Air, by Ryman. Home for dinner, back out to listen to tail end of Sunday jam at the pub - some nice flute and guitar - while reading Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Diamond. It's for a book idea - see below.
So - in the midst of all that sun and fun - not much on the objectives.
- editing my WIP - cleaned up summary and made some general notes, then did another scene. Have about 85 scenes, so will need to step up the pace if I hope to edit this novel, and the sequel, and be ready in October to plan another November NaNoWriMo novel.
- short stories - really liked last Friday's - what if modern GM corn was introduced (via time gate?) thousands of years ago into North America. Would that be a big enough tipping point to allow the First Nations to develop far enough to meet the first Europeans as equals and as trading partners? Would they be strong enough to resist the conquerors? Had a lot of good comments on that. Some comments on the dangers of GM corn - which I still feel is a debatable point, after reviewing some mixed literature on it. Some comments too on whether this would be a sufficiently strong difference in their development - again, food for thought, so to speak. I could add a twist that enhances the spirit powers of the native peoples - sort of an Avatar thing. Anyways, I've started some research on it all- part of which is reading Guns, Germs, and Steel. The author looks at our history - not just the past 4000 years, but back much further than that, and examines the possible reasons that different civilizations grew at different rates, and to different end points. Essential knowledge for my "what-if" I think. And a good addition to my reading - see below.
- blogs - been keeping up with them - sort of. Oh, who am I trying to fool - I'm back at March 13th. Damn. Do have an intersting link to share, from Terrible Minds - on creativity. (Warning - his language is coarse at times.) His point #10 encourages you to read not just fiction - spread your interests. Read about the Large Hadron Collider, about massage technique, about Irish politics, about insect pathogens. To be creative, to be able to blend things together in interesting and new ways - you first need a variety of things crammed into your brain. So - here I am -returning some fiction books to the library and reading about the evolution of civilizations. Hence -
- new objective - read. Not so much to encourage myself, as I have no problem spending hours at it. No , objective is to first read selectively in the day, for an hour. Then other books can fill in as time permits.