October 25th, 2007


Still Around

What? It's Been Over Two Weeks?

Yeah, yeah, I know I've been neglecting my very own LiveJournal blog. I had a cold, probably a sinus infection afterward, spend ten days trying to dry that out, am on my second, no, third round of "batching it" as Mrs. Dr. Phil is away for a few days. So I've been busy and while I've meant to post some things, I haven't gotten around to it.

A Writing Thought

One of the activities we did at the 2004 Clarion Workshop -- in fact it was on the first full day of the workshop -- was write down ten first lines to stories. Just write them down, right then and there.

Every now and then I go back to the file I typed up afterwards. Several of the lines, with variations have gone on and been used somewhere in a story. One went on and became a Clarion story. Indeed, it provided the opening for my new story for Week 2 of the workshop.

For some reason I thought I'd used all the ten opening lines, but there's still some good fodder in them. Still, I might sit down and generate another ten first lines sometimes. And you can, too.

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Let me know if any of those really grab you and you want to know what happens next -- and maybe I'll work it. (grin)

Exam Time

Mostly what I've been writing this week has been exams for PHYS-1130 and PHYS-1150. You know, whenever I think I've written an "easy" exam, I should know better. If a student asks if the exam is easy, and I say Yes, they should run for the hills. (grin) Usually, in a class of some 60-70 students, I expect the first zoomer and the first person to give up to turn a paper in around the 25-30 minute mark. The exam on Tuesday? First paper came in at 40 minutes, and by the official end of class at 50 minutes, half the papers were in. Today -- even worse. First paper in around the 44 minute mark -- and only about one-quarter by the 50 minute hash. Yikes.

Or maybe I'm overthinking things. Maybe it was easy enough that people were able to keep working, rather than just giving up. Uh... right. I'll see what the grades are like. As I said to both classes, I suppose there'll be one helluva curve. (double-grin)


Frost on the roof this morning. Temps in the 50s. Highs only in the 40s by Sunday. Just a week ago we were back up to the 80s and had lots of sun. This is supposed to saturate the reds in the leaves, so as our color season ramps up here in West Michigan, it should be spectacular.

The 'rents in Greensboro NC report nothing but yellows. They're on drought restrictions for water, though not quite as dire I don't think as Atlanta. And nowhere near as devastatingly dry as the Los Angeles to San Diego hillsides which burned up with the Santa Ana winds this week.

Old Technology

It was pointed out that those people in the firezone who have "one of those ancient" standalone telephone answering machines, rather than a centralized voicemail box service, have been able to use them to call home and see if their home still exists. If you hear your outgoing message, the house must be there and it must still have power. If you don't get it, could just mean the power's out or been shut off.

But it is nice that some of this "quaint" old tech still can do a few things the fancy pants stuff can't. (the-third-way-grin)

More random goodness later. STILL waiting, along with albogdan for the judging results for the Q3 Writers of the Future contest.

Dr. Phil
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