April 12th, 2008

Blow My Mind

Dream-sand

Cool: Dreamt vividly enough last night that I felt things.

I was in a crowded, beach-packed version of Lincoln City, Oregon at night, barefoot and wandering on the sand and wondering how high the high tide was going to be. I could feel the sand on my feet, and how my balance shifted while walking. (Once I had a dream vivid enough that I tasted something. I won't tell you what I tasted.) Large ships were right off-shore, backlit by lights on their decks: a cruise liner and an aircraft carrier.

The beach, the water, and the big ships off-shore are recurring images in my dreams, going back years, so it was kind of comforting. There also was some new things: the dreams aren't usually set at night. (Oh, and this dream had product placement: I went into a convenience store well-stocked with Viso vitamin drinks.) There was this visual thing I like where the big ships were more hinted at, and I felt their mass more than I saw them; kind of like how some of the creatures are visualized in The Mist, but this time not harrowing, just big and cool.

So I probably slept deeply last night, deeply enough to dream all that.

Okay, now to get out in the real, non-dreamed weather (the niiiiiice weather, finally). I'mm taking myself to breakfast at Genie's, then walking and bussing up to Fred Meyer for groceries. Later, taxes, finally. Lucky I have simple taxes to figure out. But next time, Chris, DON'T WAIT SO LATE.
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Scorpio

April 27th fundraiser for Portland writer D.K. Holm

Word up, Portland peeps:

There's a writer in town named D.K. Holm. I've been a reader of his on-and-off for a few years; he's also a friend and colleague of several of my local critic friends.

And he has esophageal cancer. And he's a freelance writer without health insurance, faced with the prospect of thousands of dollars of medical bills.

So his friends have booked a fundraiser to help Holm: Sunday, April 27th at 7 p.m. at Cinema 21 in NW Portland.

There will be music (by Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini), a silent auction, and more. There will also be dramatic readings of some of the hate mail his writings have inspired; coffeeinhell will be employing her good radio voice to read one of them.

This is a guy whose entertainment writing is read, and vouched for, by entertainment-coverage hound Kevin Smith (Holm's written for Smith's Quick Stop Entertainment for years, starting back when it was Movie Poop Shoot Dot Com). He's a great analyst of the work of Quentin Tarantino (two books' worth so far, and that's not all of his print-published work). He's a good, talented guy, and thus this is a good cause. I'll be there.

(Thanks to coffeeinhell for the heads-up and Mike Russell for creating the "Help D.K. Holm" webpage...)
Scorpio

One really stupid writing hangup.

Here I am, shirtless and about to do my taxes. (There. That combo probably got jenphalian all hot and bothered. Heh. Edit: Uh, probably not, according to zarhooie. Joke rescinded!) I'm back from my weekend grocery shopping, preceded by a treating-myself breakfast at Genie's, and as this involved a lot of outside walking, I've been enjoying the nice weather. And sweating.

Back to what inspired the subject line. While on the bus I was reading Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King, who likes writing in dialect -- lots of "warsh" and "more'n" and the occasional "Sat'dy" -- and I thought What does that look like while it's on a computer screen being spell-checked? Unless King is adding these terms to his spelling program -- that's one thing I miss about WordPerfect, by the way, that you could see a list of the words you'd added -- or (of course) if he's drafting with pen and paper as he sometimes does, the screen's going to have lots of red underlining. And then I realized I don't like seeing all the red underlining when I'm writing on MS Word. And that maybe I steer away from writing certain words, or from writing at all...and I decided Y'know, that's a really stupid hangup.

It's good I never used that early spell-checking program that actually beeped when you misspelled something. (That program was advertised with a commercial where a street painter paints STOB or the writer of messages on a baseball stadium reader board writes IT'S A HOME RIN.) I figure that feature got dropped really quickly.

Maybe I should turn off my Spellcheck and trust both my decent spelling skills and my Webster's Unabridged.

P.S. And because this reminded me of it, here's Spellbound, a poem I like to quote by Penny Harper:
I have a spelling checker
It came with my PC
It plainly marks four my revue
Mistakes I cannot sea.
I've run this poem threw it
I'm sure your pleased too no.
Its letter-perfect in it's way
My checker tolled me sew.
Me 1

FLASHBACKS: Tales of a Fourth-Grade "Huh?" thing

While cleaning, I found a school newspaper from April 1984. It has my almost-earliest published writing. (My earliest, I think, was in the third grade, but I haven't found that yet.) It was the Trantwood Talebearer from Trantwood Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Va., and it was published (according to the cover) April 30th, 1984, when I was 10 1/2 years old. I had two pieces in it.

And now, Internets, I cringe-ingly present those two pieces to you:

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Also found, and possibly to go up here later: articles I wrote in 7th and 8th grades. And those pieces sound more like me than the above two do. Yes, already in the late Eighties I had something approximating a style...