Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Random Thoughts from the Bathtub Ranch

I'm not actually writing from the Bathtub Ranch, but the idea of sitting in an old bathtub (preferably claw-foot) on a pile of pillows with a laptop on my knees, legs flopping over the side seems like the height of coolness to me. Which only goes to show you just how desperate a person can become, I suppose. I took this photo west of Oxford, MS, as we left town after our trip to visit Rowan Oak, last weekend. I'd been hankering to photograph it for a couple years, but this was the first time the spouse was the one in the driver's seat and both willing and able to pull onto the narrow shoulder. The timing is seldom right; it's a busy road and the shoulder is puny. I had about 5 seconds to snap before he said, "I've got to move," but I thought the photos turned out pretty well.


I'm about 75% finished with The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima and absolutely loving it. Hubby wants my help sticking blue tape along the edges of the hallway wall in preparation for painting trim, but I should finish Mishima tonight and hope to have a review up, tomorrow.

The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking has been briefly set aside because the author recommends beginning a 28-day cycle of meditation on a particular Thursday in order to end up on a Wednesday. I had to look at the calendar to see if that was really going to work and, sure enough, it is. The concept of waiting till a specific day to meditate briefly gave me giggle fits, but I love positive thinking and I'll give it a whirl. Why not?

Joe Hill's 20th-Century Ghosts is short stories; and, with short-story collections I have a tendency to read one story then set a book aside to let my brain finish playing with the characters and situation for a time before proceeding to the next, so it's going slowly but still progressing. Writing a review will require a lot of thought, but I can tell you that the man (son of Stephen King) has a knack for scaring the crap out of you. If that floats your boat, great. In general, I dodge horror but ghost stories are an exception. So, it's not surprising that my favorite story thus far was exactly that - a ghost in a theater. I loved it; it's still haunting me. Pun intended.

Start Late, Finish Rich has some excellent suggestions. My favorite concept is looking at everything you spend money on, for a time, to see where your "latte money" is going. By "latte money", the author means those little piddly expenditures that add up significantly - like a daily cup of latte. He does some tricky math and I don't always agree with him - seems like, at times, he's deliberately attacking other "save up fast" authors. But, I think with this type of book, you have to use your head and just give and take the principles that work for you as an individual. I stalled on it to finish up some fiction reads but it would be a quick read if I focused.


A character and situation have recently come to me, so I've been taking notes. Apart from two years of NaNoWriMo ( which I "won" - meaning succeeded at reaching 50,000 words - both years), I haven't done much fiction writing in quite a while. So, it's exciting to have a very specific and well-defined character suddenly tackling me; I missed that.

I hear the sound of tape ripping. Better go.

May the tape of your life be lengthy and multi-colored,
Bookfool, waiting to meditate


  1. Giggling is best done pre- and post-meditation, not during. :P And the idea of lounging in one of those bathtubs makes my back hurt. I must be older than you. (hehehe)

  2. Very interesting picture!
    I'm really looking forward to your review of The Sound of Waves.

  3. By the way, great photo. Love the black & white!

  4. Anonymous8:18 AM

    I love that picture!
    Have you read Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill? I hear that is pretty scary. I want to read it :)

  5. I would like to write a novel in a month. But not sure if I will be able to. :)

  6. cdnreader,

    Good points! No giggling during meditation. Okay, got it. I fit nicely in a tub because I'm a shrimp, but note that I'd need a lot of pillows. I'm old, too; I just overlook discomfort. LOL


    There are a whole lot of bathtubs at that place - it's really fun to see in person. I've always thought it would be fun to stop and walk around. I loved The Sound of Waves!! Hope to get that review up in a couple of hours.


    If you meditate in the garden, you're going to get a little dirty. ;) Thanks on the photo.


    Thank you! No, I haven't read Heart-Shaped Box. There was an article about Joe Hill in the paper, when the book was just about to be released and they mentioned 20th-Century Ghosts. It sounded so much more interesting to me, that I ordered it from Great Britain *instead* of the novel. If you read H-SB, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


    Nobody ever really knows if they'll be able to complete that kind of a challenge. I told myself I was going to and I did succeed, but life can get in the way and that's no big deal. The thing is, you'll definitely write more than if you didn't attempt the challenge - it's a good motivator. You should try it in November! Bear in mind that Thanksgiving happens during NaNo and it's good to get the Christmas letters/cards done *before* you start writing. I haven't sent cards for two years (apart from a handful for AN2R). By the time NaNo ends, I'm scrambling to get ready for Will's birthday and then have two weeks left to get ready for Christmas. That's the hardest part - the aftereffects!!

  7. Thank you, Bookfool. I put Joe Hill's novel "Heart Shaped Box" on reserve at the library 2 weeks ago (still waiting for it) and I didn't even know he was Stephen King's son until you said so. That is awesome.

    That's a really cool picture. You should submit it to the Parade Magazine Photo contest.

  8. Kookie,

    I live to keep you informed. :)

    I've pondered the Parade Magazine contest for other photos. Hadn't even thought about it for this one. Maybe I'll give it a whirl. Thanks for the suggestion!

  9. Anonymous1:45 PM

    Ok..so where is your latte money going :)
    I'm glad you found my blog, and yes of course you can link to it!

    nice photo, by the way. so good in black and white

  10. Jessica,

    Books, of course! :) Actually, there are some other small things we could get rid of and I personally object to the monthly gym fee. I can't stand gyms! I have to listen to the birds tweet and breathe the fresh air for my exercise, and hubby's gone 80% of the year. So, that needs to go. We've only kept it because the youngster occasionally likes to swim outside of team and swim club hours.

    Thanks, I'll link to you when I get back from picking up kiddo!!

  11. Jessica,

    I forgot to say thanks for the compliment on the photo, also. I have to dash and I get flippy when I'm in a hurry. LOL

  12. I've been wanting to read some Mishima for awhile. He's one of my girlfriend's favorite authors. Sad he's not around anymore.

    Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking sounds great too. I'm a big fan of eastern culture. I have quite a collection of Buddhas and Hindu god statues.

  13. Hi Chris!

    I think I can safely say your girlfriend has good taste. :) I just posted my review of The Sound of Waves and I felt like I was at a loss for words but I'm sure I'll reread it. I read a little about Mishima's short life at Wikipedia. He was a pretty interesting guy. Yes, it's a shame he took his own life. Just think how much more he could have written if he'd lived another 20 or 30 years!

    I haven't read a great deal on eastern culture, but I love positive thinking and I try to mix in plenty of international reading to keep my mind open, you know?


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