Archive - Nov 2003


November 12th

Word for the Day: Salubrious

Afternoon coffee-time discussion at the nursery today: I said I thought I would have some green tea. I have heard its effects are.... "Salubrious?" Joe piped up. Yes. Salubrious was the word I was searching for. But what does it mean? I thought beneficial would be a good synonymn. Joe thought healthful, and he ran to find a dictionary.

Ken, upon arrival of the dictionary: "They'll just use another big word to tell you what the first big word means." (Ken is our resident cynic. One of them, anyway.)

A Literary Attempted Homocide?

Spent last evening at my friend Lyla's. We solve the world's problems in the Red Nook, which is her study. Because we both read Dickens' David Copperfield in the last month, we discussed the characters as if they were family members.

November 11th

Small-town drug stores

Yesterday, I drove around peddling my book to area drug stores, as well as other places.

Times have changed for small-town drugs stores as a direct result of last year's state budget crisis. Insurance payments from the state were reduced to the point where the drug stores were being reimbursed less than their cost for some prescriptions. They had to fill the prescriptions to fulfill their contract with the state, but if they kept filling those prescriptions at that rate they would lose money.

MPR in the morning

My radio alarm comes on to the Morning Show on MPR with Dale Connelly and Jim Ed Poole. Yesterday, they played "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot, the great ballad written about a ore ship which sank in a storm on Lake Superior. Yesterday was the anniversary of the sinking. Many many memorable lines in the song which begins: "The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down, of the great lake they called Gitchagoomie."

November 10th


My favorite weekly newspaper is a rollicking small town paper out of Mendicino County California called the Anderson Valley Advertiser. It is run by Bruce Anderson, with a couple of dozen contributing writers.

Anderson has no fear. He rakes the local government over the coals. He goes after judges. He goes after school boards. He attacks the local radio station. He attacks environmental wackos as vigorously as he slices up right-wing nuts.

Liability, schmiability

I have heard some response to my column about saving old churches. Everybody says, yes, they should be saved, but who will pay the liability insurance? I have asked in return, how much is the liability insurance on a closed church? All I have heard in response is that it is horrible. Horrible.

Monday, Monday

Foggy this morning, but warmer. I much prefer temps right around freezing with overcast to cold and clear--during the day, at least. When it is in the single digits, clear and windy; when you drive to town accompanied by those wisps of dry snow sliding across the highway, that's when winter seems like it will never end. A few drips off the eaves, a crow cawing from the treetop, a foggy morning, and a person can imagine its the end of March.

November 9th

A book in a month?

This is write-a-novel-in-a-month month, according to somebody on the web who is trying to do just that. The goal for those who are devoting this November to producing a work of fiction is to write 1,300 words per day. That would result in a 50,000 word novel in the space of a month.

This is not such a dumb idea. Writing is more work than inspiration, and the biggest battle is sitting down and getting to work. Thirteen hundred words in a day is reasonable, and it just goes to show how just a little work per day will produce big results in a short time.

This week's newspaper column

Last week, a full moon shone on a still night when the temperature dipped slightly below zero. The snow on the ground doubled the brightness. On such nights, the outdoors looks like the middle of the day seen through a welding mask. Eerie, but beautiful.

Because of the moonlight, I didn’t need to turn on a light when I got up for a drink of water in the middle of the night. With no lights on, I spotted a buck grazing underneath the oak tree fifty feet outside the sliding glass door.

Book signing

Held a book signing at the nursery yesterday. A nice crowd. Sold 210 books. Signed them all. Brother Joe provided music during the day. Mom made cookies for the event. By the middle of the day Mom had to run home and print out copies of the recipe for her turtle cookies, which she then had to autograph! Gift shop manager Dot sold many gift items. Friend Sheila from Ada came and helped keep the cookie jar stocked.