Even With Sleep I Procrastinate

This post started off as something else. Actually, I’ve just scrapped the other post : getting stuck writing poetry; in lieu of today’s Daily Post prompt. Sleep Procrastination.

A slightly ironic post since I didn’t go to bed until 3AM last night, or was it this morning?  Then was awake by 8:30-9AM. Six hours of sleep is not enough, but it’s becoming more common with me and my generation. We stay up way later than our parents, and we run ourselves on caffeine and pure adrenaline, though with the lack of motivation I see, there isn’t much adrenaline floating around.

Eight years ago I would feel guilty if I was up at midnight. Now I don’t think twice about it.  Heck, if I go to bed before 1:30 I feel like I’m doing really, really good.

And what am I doing in these early hours of the morning, “when the whole world is fast asleep”?  Nothing useful. I rarely write because I’m usually tired. NO, I play on Tumblr and bounce around looking up things that could wait till morning.

If I would just turn off my laptop, open up my book, and read for ten minutes, I’d be out like a light. But I put it off. And right now as we are getting to our busy growing season, I need to be up earlier, yet going to bed after 2AM is not conducive to that. Or my overall general health.

So, maybe this prompt is a wake up call (no pun intended) for me to change my habits. Like stop writing posts late at night and do it in the early parts of the evening when I have some down time. And Tumblr will always be there wit things I’ll like. I can’t see it all. Nor should I try.

So, I know Marie of Presents of Mind and C.B. Wentworth know about my Tumblr addiction. I’ve mentioned it enough. Mimi, my friend is like this too, playing way too late. Does anyone else have my same issues?  Do you stay up way later than you should and then run on empty? Do you put of sleep for other fascinating things? Vote in the poll. (My first one for this blog)

And lastly, read the article that the Daily Post used.

What Keeps You Up at Night

Signing off

Kate

Hold Thy Tongue

Michael Connelly at Bouchercon 2010 in San Fra...

Michael Connelly at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have this thing. It’s called wanting to be right. I always want to be right. In an argument, I want mine to be the one that ‘wins’. I just have this need to be right.  It’s not a very good  personal trait to have. Not that being right is wrong, but feeling the need to be right all the time. It’s kind of hard to explain. And I want to go on a rant when I feel I am right. Hence the title of this post. Do I say something or hold my tongue? Since this is my blog, I’m going to say what I want.

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, I’ve been following this blog of a young author/writer. By young, I mean he just graduated from college last year, I think. So for me, when you are ten years younger than I am, you are still a baby in my eyes. Partly because I swear, anyone under 25 seems to act like a child half the time. So this young writer doesn’t believe you need to read older books to learn style, yet he is a reader of James Patterson, Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly, etc. Where do you think those author’s got their inspirations? From new books? By disregarding older books, you are disregarding the newer author’s inspirations, and by default, the new authors.

Darkly sparkling Chandler dialogue inspired 4 ...

Darkly sparkling Chandler dialogue inspired 4 radio plays and a TV-film remake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance James Patterson was inspired by The Day of the Jackal , a thriller novel by English writer Frederick Forsyth. Michael Connelly was inspired by Raymond Chandler as well as Robert B. Parker. You can read each of the interviews/articles where I found this information, below.

James Patterson – His Story

Crime Master’s Career has Chandleresque Origins (Michael Connelly)  

Robert B. Parker Author Interview On Writing Mysteries

And in the process of researching these author’s inspiration, I read a brief bit on Raymond Chandler cited by Wikipedia as “Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction.”

Whoa. So, without Raymond Chandler, two very well known authors might never have been. So, clearly it’s not necessary to read anything of his.  He couldn’t possibly know anything.  Can you sense the serious sarcasm here?

I’ve noticed a trend with younger writers. They think they know everything. Especially if they have written something or self published. Did you know that Albert Einstein knew everything about relativity? (again sarcasm) Einstein could just disregard Sir Isaac Newton because he was sooooooo old. Newton couldn’t have possibly known anything about anything. Einstein had it all figured out by those scientists that had just figured out things recently…………………………………………………………..

Great argument.

Image via My Soul Doth Delight

I know next to nothing about writing. But I don’t act like I know everything and if someone a decade older than me were to tell me something regarding writing, I’d listen. I find it counterintuitive for a young writer to tell someone, in their own way,  that what the older writer is saying is, say, wrong. By saying you disagree with the thought that it might be a good idea to read older books is not a really wise statement or frame of thought, in my opinion. I think this goes in line with my post the other day about reading the classics. See HERE

Now, again, how does all of this apply to being right or wrong?  I know I’m right. I know that you need to read older books to know how to find a style and to, GASP, learn a thing or two about writing.  What would this young writer say if  Michael Connelly told him to read a Raymond Chanlder book? “Oh, I don’t need to. It’s old and I don’t read old books?”  That seems foolish and immature in my opinion.

And my opinion is right. As you can see —>

For those interested the blogger I’m discussing is Write me a book, John! and you can read his blog at this address http://johnguillen.wordpress.com

I’m not hyperlinking because I don’t want to connect directly to the blog through this post. Just copy and paste.  The current post in discussion is ‘Genre, Which Genre?’ and I have commented a few times on the post. This is all if you are interested.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his posts, but this is a follow up to my post about the classics the other day. And it just leads me to wonder how you can be a really good writer if you are not willing to read , and read, and read, and that includes old books. Pardon for the long post and semi rant. If this becomes a regular occurrence, I may have to stop reading this blog. Whew!

I would love some feedback and opinions on whether you agree or disagree.

Signing off

Kate

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Currently

Currently I’m not making bread.  I should be.

Currently I’m not folding clothes. I should be.

Currently I’m not sending books to people who’ve requested them on Bookmooch. I should be.

Currently I’m not posting a review for a book I read three weeks ago. I should be.

Currently I’m not sorting books that have gotten out of hand. I should be.

Currently I’m not writing blog posts even though it’s been almost a month since my last one. I should be.

Currently I’m not decluttering areas that need it. I should be.

Right now I’m thinking about an email I want to send to a friend, the Once Upon a Time fan fiction I’m currently interested in, the book I’m writing, the music I want to listen to, the boxes of books I want to go through, and the blog posts I should write before the holidays get going.

I’m so behind of what I want to do versus what I should be doing versus what I need to be doing.

Currently I am not…..  And I should be…..

Signing off

~Kate

 

Being a Blood Hero

I was out of the loop for a week and a half due to some health issues, but during this time I donated blood for the first time.  It was a fascinating experience, and one I plan on repeating in May when there is another blood drive.  I’m donating blood for health reasons, but while donating was for my benefit, it is also hopefully going to help someone else.

After donating I went on the website and started reading the statistics and information about donating blood.  Here are the statistics from the company I donated with.  Blood Centers of the Pacific.

Blood Centers of the Pacific helps 50,000 patients every year with blood donated by community volunteers.

BCP works closely with businesses, community groups, non-profit organizations, churches, synagogues, schools and colleges to schedule “on-site” mobile blood drives. We process more than 200,000 blood components, and distribute about 145,000 pints of blood and almost 24,000 units of platelets to more than 40 hospitals annually.

So, wow, that is kind of amazing how much blood is used.  And this is just in Northern California.  You add in all the other blood banks and the Red Cross, and that’s a lot of blood used and needed.

And here is some information taken from Wikipedia regarding blood donations.

Storage and blood shelf life

The collected blood is usually stored as separate components, and some of these have short shelf lives. There are no storage solutions to keep platelets for extended periods of time, though some are being studied as of 2008.[78] The longest shelf life used for platelets is seven days.[79] Red blood cells, the most frequently used component, have a shelf life of 35–42 days at refrigerated temperatures.[80][81] This can be extended by freezing the blood with a mixture of glycerol but this process is expensive, rarely done, and requires an extremely cold freezer for storage.[37] Plasma can be stored frozen for an extended period of time and is typically given an expiration date of one year and maintaining a supply is less of a problem.[82]

Demand for blood

The limited storage time means that it is difficult to have a stockpile of blood to prepare for a disaster. The subject was discussed at length after the September 11 attacks in the United States, and the consensus was that collecting during a disaster was impractical and that efforts should be focused on maintaining an adequate supply at all times.[83] Blood centers in the U.S. often have difficulty maintaining even a three day supply for routine transfusion demands.[84]

Donation levels

The World Health Organization recognizes World Blood Donor Day on 14 June each year to promote blood donation. This is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the scientist who discovered the ABO blood group system.[85] The theme of the 2012 World Blood Donor Day campaign, “Every blood donor is a hero” focuses on the idea that everyone can become a hero by giving blood. As of 2008, the WHO estimated that more than 81 million units of blood were being collected annually.[86]

In the United States it is estimated that only 111 million citizens are eligible blood donors,[87] or 37% of the population.[88] However less than 10% donate annually.[88] In the UK the NHS reports blood donation levels at “only 4%”.

Donor health benefits

In patients prone to iron overload, blood donation prevents the accumulation of toxic quantities.[90] Donating blood may reduce the risk of heart disease for men, but the link has not been firmly established and may be from selection bias because donors are screened for health problems.[91][92]

Research published in 2012 demonstrated that repeated blood donation is effective in reducing blood pressure, blood glucose, HbA1c, low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein ratio, and heart rate.[93]

I think donating blood is a really amazing thing.  I never did it before because I thought I couldn’t handle it.  And after being ill right after, and being a bit woozy all day, I’m not sure how well I handled it, but my doctor said I could. So, I plan on doing it again two more times this year.  I like thinking how I might help someone who needs it.  I think it’s something we should all be thinking of doing.

Do you donate blood?  Have you ever thought about it?  Are you one of the 90% of people that don’t donate?  Maybe you could consider it. Check out your local blood banks or the Red Cross.  Talk to your doctor.  Can you be a Blood Hero?

Signing off

~Kate

Being Proactive

I am being incredibly proactive.  I just finished writing my post for Christmas.

Next year.

Yes, I decided that I never get around to a proper holiday post, so why not do it now, while I’m in the spirit and have major inspiration.  I need to add a picture, but I have it all ready for the 24th of next year.  It’s kind of fun.  Like a little present to myself and all my readers.  Now, sure, it takes away the surprise if I tell you now that I already typed it up, but will you actually remember that I told you that?  Probably not.

I’m never one to be very good at blogging on time.  In fact, I’ve become quite horrible about it.  I was much better with the WordPress challenge of Postaweek  last year.  It was much easier when I had a deadline.

But I’m trying.

I’m trying to get back on track to blogging more regularly, along with writing query letters and writing in general.  I’ve gotten bogged down in holiday cheer and the whole relaxing after a crazy summer and fall.  I have millions of ideas in my heads, and actually some time to write, yet I spend it futzing and reading.  Oh well.  Reading is important.

So, here’s to one of my New Year’s resolution of being proactive.

Signing off

~Kate

Happy Thanksgiving (Gobble Gobble)

http://www.bing.com/az/hprichbg?p=rb%2fLambTurkeyKiss_EN-US8313167147_1366x768.jpg

A lamb gives a turkey a kiss on a farm in Lindsborg, Kansas c. Joel Sartore/National Geographic/Aurora Photos

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers.  Enjoy all the fun and festivities. Don’t forget to watch The Parade.  And if you are lucky enough to be there in person, good for you.

We have so much to be thankful for, living in this country. It is the best, and we should be proud of it.  Let’s keep it that way, and God bless every one of you on this special day.  Don’t forget the reason why we have this holiday.  Celebrate your freedom.

Signing off

~Kate

Suspended for Long Hair

While I think most school dress codes are a good thing, there are times you sort of wonder.  There are always going to be times when a rule needs to be stretched and in the case of an Ohio boy growing out his hair for a charity, that is a time for such a stretch.  Below is the article taken from Yahoo news.

Student suspended for growing hair for charity Locks of Love

By

Shine On Blogger

 

By | Shine OnWed, 24 Oct, 2012 1:43 PM

Zachary Aufderheide has been suspended by his school for growing his hair even though it is for charity. (Facebook)Zachary Aufderheide has been suspended by his school for growing his hair even though it is for charity. (Face …What was supposed to be a thoughtful gesture for charity has resulted in a suspension for one Ohio teen.

Zachary Aufderheide, 17, of Canton, Ohio, is growing out his hair to donate a 10-inch ponytail to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs for cancer patients.

However, his growing hair violates his high school’s dress code, so Canton South High School gave the junior an ultimatum, cut his hair or face a two-day in-school suspension.

Only one inch away from his goal, Aufderheide chose the suspension. He doesn’t know what will happen at the end of the suspension, but is determined to donate his hair.

Aufderheide’s mother, Robin, tells ABC News that her son approached the school board in September to explain the importance of what he was doing and to ask them to support him in reaching his goal.

“I can understand where they’re coming from. They’ve had this dress code policy for so long, but I don’t understand why they can’t make one simple exception this one time,” Zach tells WKYC-TV.

Despite board members commending Aufderheide’s efforts, they still voted to uphold the school’s dress code.

“What he’s doing is against board policy. The decision on this one, tough as it was, was to follow the board policies written,” says school board president John Martin.

“I feel pretty disappointed with their decision because, honestly, I really put a lot of heart and soul into my demonstration, like, my presentation of the idea to them, and then when they just all unanimously voted against it…it was just kind of heartbreaking to me,” Aufderheide tells ABC News.

Aufderheide insists that he’ll maintain his hair at regulation length following the donation to Locks of Love.

Last winter, a Michigan teen was suspended for the same reason.

Seventeen-year-old J.T. Gaskins, 17, is a leukaemia survivor and wanted to give back by donating to Locks of Love.

“I’m fighting for them to make it an option for kids to grow out their hair for Locks of Love, to make it a part of the school and raise awareness for all cancer charities out there that can help patients,” Gaskins says of the petition he and his mother launched, asking the school to change its policy on hair.

“It wouldn’t be a change to where people find a loophole just to grow out their hair.”

“I’m fine with all of their rules,” Gaskins adds. “I just think that with this, they could try to make a compromise.”

The school responded to the petition with options for Gaskins, promising to support the teen as long as he styled his growing hair in a way that was compliant with school rules, kept out of his eyes and off his shirt collar.

In the end, Gaskins opted to look for a new school.

Should school’s hair rules make exceptions for Locks of Love donations? What about other dress code violations in the name of charity?

So, what say you, all my readers?  Personally, for a boy who has survived  leukaemia, I think this was a wonderful thing to do.  I also think this Locks of Love sounds like a very good charity.  As I just had my hair cut to shoulder length, it would be hard to have that long of hair for a while, but what a wonderful charity.  Something to think about for the future.  Check it out.

Signing off

~Kate

Running For Myself

Recently I have taken up running and last night I accomplished a mile.  For many, that might not be very far, but for me it was huge.  Now, granted, I didn’t run the whole mile straight, but in increments.

Why did I start running?  Well, honestly I have to thank George as the one to inspire me to start it up.  George is in really good physical shape and he runs.  Recently he told me about an 8 mile run he did.  8 miles!  I can’t even dream of that right now and I’m not sure I will ever get there, but that’s not the point.  George is the reason I wanted to try running.

I think one of the other reasons for deciding to tackle something that I’ve tried before and said, ‘No way am I ever going to do that again”, was because in the last month I lost 8 pounds due to a jello and ice water diet.  (no, that was not intentional, but due to some health issues) While loosing that much weight wasn’t quite what I had been going for, I had needed it.  It kind of became my reason to keep it off.  I’ve wanted to lose about 15 pounds for a while and now that half of it is gone…. What’s stopping me from those extra few?  Pretty much only myself is stopping me.

I’ve run three times since starting two, almost three, weeks ago.  I know, that means I’m running once a week.  Not much, but on the off days I’m biking uphill into town for the mail, or to go to the library, or well, just whenever I need to go into town.  That little bit extra keeps me going.

Is running fun?  Not really, at least not at first.  But there I was finishing up running half a mile thinking to myself, only two more laps and I have a mile. I can do this.  After the 3/4 mark I was grinning.  Beet red and glowing (I.E. sweating)  I thought I might not make it, but I pushed.  That last 1/4 mile was kind of killer.  But you know, I made it.  I finished out the running on one of my new favorite songs (One Direction’s “That’s What Makes You Beautiful”) Don’t go off on that, I like funky music.  I was so red and gasping for air.  I was tired and hot, but I felt great.  Talk about a high.  I was buzzing. It might have been from lack of oxygen, but I really think it was that adrenaline rush.  And talk about a rush.  I was glowing, not sweating but actually glowing, for about two hours afterwards.

So, after some really bad dance moves and jiggles on the football field (where I ran) and a nice bike ride home I was wired.  I can’t wait to tell George who recently told me that first run is horrible.  Man was he right, but he was also right that it gets better.  Damn straight it gets better.

I can’t wait for my next run.  It might not be till next week, but I seriously can’t wait.

On a side note, the running made me inspired to write more. Don’t ask  me why.  Maybe it was the high. (and pardon that rhyme)

Signing off

~Kate

Don’t Start Typing Till Your Nails Are Dry

red nails

red nails (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sounds like a manual for writing, and I may have to keep that in the ‘title’ box for later use.  For now, it’s about my vanity, or well, the attempt to have some vanity.

Even though I write, which seems to put stress on my fingers, and how they look, one of my ways to stay girly and classy is to do my nails.  I love painting my nails and having them looking nice.  It’s somewhat of a lost cause since half the time I’m picking at the hangnails, or biting them, but I do try.  Having pretty nails makes me feel like one of those über popular writers.  You know, the ones on the back of their books, in their classy outfits, jewelry, just so hair, and perfectly manicured nails.  Amanda Quick (Jayne Anne Krentz), Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, and so on. 

For being writers, they look really classy and put together.  I wonder if they always look like that when they are brainstorming in the middle of the night, the glare of a laptop making them look haggard, because we all know that laptop light is not flattering.

They probably don’t.  I realize that those are glamour shots on the back of the books.  (I want a glamour shot like that…)

So, while I may spend half my days in the yard killing my paint jobs and adding to the already lost cause of hangnail, having a nice polish on my nails makes me feel good.  Now, that being said, like the title says, wait till your nails are dry before typing. It’s killer on the tips and if they are wet, smudge central.  Right now I’m tempting fate since I just painted them… Oh well, that’s what nail polish remover is for.

For those of you who like to pain their nails regularly, check out these two blogs.  Polish You Pretty is all about the hippest polishes and designs.  I crave half the colors they review.

And The Lacquer Log where Gigi posts reviews of the nail polishes she has enjoyed. (again, half of them I want)

Signing off

~Kate

Real Men Don’t Hire Hookers

I rarely delve into the political world but I am going to tonight.  If you have been paying attention to the news this week, then you know that there is this major scandal down in Colombia way, involving Secret Service agents, Military personal, and prostitutes.   Now, I have no idea what happened, and I think it pretty sad there is such a situation like this.  My thoughts revolve around two comments made last night by political pundits.  I was amazed by one, pleasantly so, and kind of disgusted by the other.

The first comment came from Ret. Col. Ralph Peters.

“Real men don’t hire hookers, ever.” And also, “I don’t care how muscular you are or how many guns you have, real men don’t hire hookers.”

Now, that is a pretty profound statement, but really, if you think about it, it’s true.  If you are a real man, you don’t need to hire someone to , eh hem, service you.  I could expound on that, but just start reading Scot McKay and his view on being a real man.

The second comment came from Brit Hume.

“This is a case of boys will be boys.”

Uh, excuse me?  Oh, so the Secret Service ‘men’ were boys then?  What the heck are they doing protecting the president then?  I’m sorry, but that is just a cop out.

Now, I don’t believe in prostitution.  I don’t think it a good thing, but you are never going to get rid of it.  Just like you will never get rid of drunk people, drugs, and any other nasty vice.  But just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.

Now, I can see legalizing it in this country… BUT, I don’t want to see it on the strip in Vegas. (I’ve never been to Vegas, but I hope to one day)  There were originally red light districts.  Let’s keep it there, and nowhere else.  If you are caught bringing a call girl, hooker, etc. to your hotel room, you should be fined up the ying yang.  Children shouldn’t be exposed to that.

I still don’t think it good. Oh, and the ‘boys will be boys’ comment has got to be one of the dumbest sexist comments ever.  What would have happened if the Secret Service had been all women and they hired gigolos?  All heck would have broken loose.  Why is it men can go out cavorting, but women can’t?  I’m not saying they should, but why is it okay for men to go and sow their oats, but not women?

Okay, this is a mild rant.  I’ll leave you with the quote by Col. Peters.

“Real men don’t hire hookers, ever.”

I think that sums it up.

Signing off

~Kate