Halfway there

In this case, both halfway through the week and halfway through the novella. I’m loving that the novella is going well, but it is distracting me a touch from getting the novel done.

My mom was commenting that when she’s seen my blog recently (only intermittent Internet access), all she sees are how many words I’ve written. For readers who may feel the same as she does, here is other stuff on my plate that I’ve been dealing with, none of which sounds terribly interesting to anyone else, I’m sure: Continue reading

Leap Day!

I worked most of the weekend, catching up on freelance projects that should have been done last week, so I felt no guilt in taking today mostly to putter around at this and that.

Things I did:

  • Wrote 123 words on Treachery (first words in a while)
  • Chatted with other writers online
  • Read more of the current book
  • Tackled sending my first e-mail with MailChimp (I’ve been using Mailman)

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude." FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
Still on tap for the evening:

  • Dinner
  • Drawing with my daughter
  • More reading
  • Maybe even some thoughts on story structure

So mostly today, I’m thankful for a nice quiet day. What are you grateful for?

Z is for zephyr

The zephyr, as many know, is a west wind. Where I grew up, though, it had special meaning. The “gentle” Washoe zephyrs were a by-word. Here, in Mark Twain’s words, a description:

This was all we saw that day, for it was two o’clock, now, and according to custom the daily “Washoe Zephyr” set in; a soaring dust-drift about the size of the United States set up edgewise came with it, and the capital of Nevada Territory disappeared from view.

Still, there were sights to be seen which were not wholly uninteresting to new comers; for the vast dust cloud was thickly freckled with things strange to the upper air—things living and dead, that flitted hither and thither, going and coming, appearing and disappearing among the rolling billows of dust—hats, chickens and parasols sailing in the remote heavens; blankets, tin signs, sage-brush and shingles a shade lower; door-mats and buffalo robes lower still; shovels and coal scuttles on the next grade; glass doors, cats and little children on the next; disrupted lumber yards, light buggies and wheelbarrows on the next; and down only thirty or forty feet above ground was a scurrying storm of emigrating roofs and vacant lots.

t was something to see that much. I could have seen more, if I could have kept the dust out of my eyes.

But seriously a Washoe wind is by no means a trifling matter. It blows flimsy houses down, lifts shingle roofs occasionally, rolls up tin ones like sheet music, now and then blows a stage coach over and spills the passengers; and tradition says the reason there are so many bald people there, is, that the wind blows the hair off their heads while they are looking skyward after their hats. Carson streets seldom look inactive on Summer afternoons, because there are so many citizens skipping around their escaping hats, like chambermaids trying to head off a spider.

The “Washoe Zephyr” (Washoe is a pet nickname for Nevada) is a peculiar Scriptural wind, in that no man knoweth “whence it cometh.” That is to say, where it originates. It comes right over the mountains from the West, but when one crosses the ridge he does not find any of it on the other side! It probably is manufactured on the mountain-top for the occasion, and starts from there. It is a pretty regular wind, in the summer time. Its office hours are from two in the afternoon till two the next morning; and anybody venturing abroad during those twelve hours needs to allow for the wind or he will bring up a mile or two to leeward of the point he is aiming at. And yet the first complaint a Washoe visitor to San Francisco makes, is that the sea winds blow so, there! There is a good deal of human nature in that.

(Roughing It, part 3, published 1872)

Because of the Washoe zephyrs, I’ve always been fascinated by named winds, from siroccos to Santa Anas. In fact, once I discovered that Wikipedia has a list of winds, I started creating a story that named individuals after winds. Hmm. I’m going to have to take that off the back burner sometime.

What about you? Do you have a favorite meteorological phenomenon? How about a favorite Mark Twain quote?