Novel Sequels: the possibilities are endless

Jane the Negligent.
Writing a sequel is a pretty simple business.  Your characters are all set up for you.  The conflicts, the impediments, the wild tangents, red herrings, and extraneous characters are all there.  One need but follow the path that is already laid out for them.  It is also rather important to stick to that path lest you lose your way altogether.  Writing a collateral sequel (or whatever they call telling the same story from a different character's point of view) is much the same.  When you decide to do such a thing, you have found another character at least equally if not more intriguing than your original protagonist.

Both endeavors are also expressions of dissatisfaction.  "Oh!  I love that book!  I think I'll write a sequel," isn't really accurate.  You love the characters, you love the plot line or the situation or the environment or society.  You love all those things, but you believe the author fell a bit short in the treatment of it.  You'll just tweak it a bit.

I am a pathologic malcontent when it comes to reading.  Nine times out of ten, a book finishes before I do.  I have been known to stay up the entire night reading, or losing an entire day immersed in some kinder, gentler, more civilized place (or, at the very least, more romantic).  I devour books that interest me like a starving man at a smorgasbord.  Then, I delve into the what-ifs and if-onlys scattered about in the debris.

Laura the Prolific
I believe since I was old enough to read more than Dick and Jane (which was pretty early), I have lulled myself to sleep at night continuing stories that ended too soon.  Little House In the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder was probably one of the first and only partially sated my thirst.  I thought she stopped just when things really got interesting.  Laura, by the way, published her first novel at the age of 65.  There is hope for me yet!

The Scorpion and the Frog

One would think I would learn to never drop my guard or take anything for granted when dealing with insurance companies, but alas and alack, they stuck it to me again.

We just switched over from AT&T to Verizon and got two new Motorola Droid Pro mobile phones for absolutely nothing, all for signing up.  Spiffy phones, no?  Wouldn't you insure them?

Perhaps not, but I am murder on my phone, and I knew I would be dropping it regularly, at the very least.  It would meet its demise when I wash it or forget it on top of my car or I drop it on the blacktop in the middle of a torrential rain or one of the grandbabies dumps it in the toilet.

Joe Tarbet's SUU Sr Recital, Feb. 9 2011 - O! Vie Vil ich Triumphiren

Holy smoke! My family is so chock full 'o talent it amazes me. This is Joe Tarbet, my brother's son, at his senior recital. Gotta love those basses!

On Timeless Beauty

I'm not quite exactly sure how to take this, now that I think about it.  Like all brilliant poetry, there are many facets to explore and angles from which to view it.  Be that as it may, my son, Paul, age 23, has a Shakespeare class at university and decided to dedicate this to the senior people in his life.  The dedication was instigated when he said that no one told him they grow up so fast, referring to his five-month-old daughter.  He got a shower of 'cry me a river' from his middle-aged relations, and so thus came the sonnet in reply. I am going to go with my knee-jerk response on this one and proclaim it a beautiful sentiment and an undeniable truth.

Sonnet #2 by William Shakespeare

Rush Hour

Today, as I was driving (or not driving) in rush-hour traffic, I thought, Dang! It's going to take me 45 minutes to get from point A to point B. That's awful. I was driving through an area of suburbia which until recently has been rural and is still peppered with wooded lots and pastures, and lots of narrow two-lane tree-lined roads. The commuters wending their way home through the gloam made a caravan of headlights more than a mile long. Something about it didn't just slow down the cars but seemed to have a calming effect on the drivers as well.

I thought of how one hundred years ago, most folks wouldn't dream of traveling from my point A to my point B in just one day, especially because the area was thickly wooded, with small homesteads carved out of the forest, with dirt roads often up to the axles in mud, especially at this time of year. Even fifty years ago, such a trek would have taken several hours, not 45 minutes. What was I complaining about?

Growing Old Gracefully??

There was a time (a week or two ago) when I had little patience for the whole anti-aging industry.  I reveled the irony of the same women who are so proud of their bra-burning days are now visiting their pricey 'colorist' every six weeks to cover their gray and getting face lifts and breast implants—fueling a billion-dollar beauty industry as they battle against the creep of years.  Talk about a defense budget.

"Women should grow old gracefully," I would say.  "Wrinkles are a sign of hard-won wisdom and a life of trials overcome and joys embraced.  They should be proud of their battle scars."  Anti-aging creams and serums?  Pah!  Age-defying cosmetics?  Overblown.  Skin peeling, collagen injections, eyeliner tattoos?  Puh-lease!

It's a Pleasure to Be of Use

I try to get up to The Woodlands at least every couple of days to visit with my elderly friend.  She is currently in a skilled nursing facility recovering from a broken patella, and the subsequent surgery to repair it.  We (me, Marjorie, and Leslie, her roommate) visit, I jabber mindlessly hoping that they may find something I say mildly entertaining.  I ask them how they're doing and about their physical therapy.  Marjorie tells me if she needs anything, like her clothes collected and laundered. Then, I break out a book and read.  Currently, we are reading Marjorie's Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, and book of Leslie's called Visions in the Night, which is about messages God sends to us.  Dallas goes with me more often than not, we usually stay at least an hour (if not two) and we come away feeling like we did something worthwhile that day.

Today, after I got home from work, I decided that I really needed to go and see Marjorie because, due to my starting my new job and a trip up to College Station for Lynda's baby shower, it had been the better part of a week since we had last visited her.  Today being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Dallas was off work, so we gave in to my niggling conscience and headed out to see Marjorie.  We didn't get very far.