Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ye Gods! We Lost Power Here for 90 Minutes Tonight!

A large part of Tacoma lost power at about 5:30 this evening. Jackie and I were worried that the power grid had gone down and that we'd be without A/C for hours or days. I was already making evacuation plans to the beach for tomorrow, as there's no way I'd survive in 99 degree heat without A/C.

But the power is back on, the A/C is running again, and thunderclouds are looming overhead, so we may get some very unwelcome lightning strikes around the area (in tinder dry conditions).

All kinds of unusual "fun"!

Keep us in your prayers. We 're usually in the safest area of the country, so this stuff is all new to us!

Jackie and I are okay where we are but a lot of our neighbors are surrounded by very dry forests and woodlands, so lightning strikes right now can potentially be very deadly...


I just stepped outside for a moment and it took my breath away! The thermometer on the BACK side of our house (away from the sun) reads 105 degrees! That has to be a record up here in the Pacific Northwest, and it isn't even the hottest part of the day yet -- that comes just under two hours from now this time of year at 6 p.m.!


I've let every local elderly friend know that we have air conditioning, in case they don't. So far no one has taken us up on the offer to hang out with us, but it's supposed to be even hotter on Thursday, so I anticipate that at some point we'll get some visitors.

This is just awful!

I've had to leave my office a few times today to get to a cooler area of the house because even with the AC set at 72 on Jackie's side, my thermometer reads 74-80 over here (depending on where it is and whether there are lots of windows). I'm okay here, even comfortable in most areas... but it's still mighty darned warm. I have fans running in the rooms I'm in to keep the AC circulating well.

It's just astonishingly HOT! I feel for anyone without air conditioning. And most people DON'T have it up here, because temperatures like these are so rare... or have been, before the past few years. I think global warming is doing its number on us here, for sure! (I knew that when I went to Alaska a few years ago and saw what has happened to the Tracy Arms glacier -- Sawyer Glacier -- and Mendenhall Glacier in just the past 60-100 years.)

We'd better turn this around or our planet will become uninhabitable to everything except tortoises and cockroaches!

I'm making sure our birdbath has water in it. Flocks of several species of birds are hanging around it like it's the only fresh water for miles... and for all I know, it may be!

This is horrendous!

From President Obama Re Health Care

Dear Friend,

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you about health care than peace of mind. Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become seriously ill.

It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:

No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
No cost-sharing for preventive care
No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
No gender discrimination
No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
Extended coverage for young adults

Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid

Learn more about these consumer protections at

Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo. But we know the cost of doing nothing is too high.
Health care costs will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, and state and local governments will go bankrupt.

It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and guarantee the health care security and stability of every American family.

You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social network.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

The Infamous Striped Shirt Skits Revealed

In my first book about De, A Harvest of Memories, I alluded to a couple of "infamous," semi-bawdy, strictly-for-laughs, 100% fantasy striped shirt skits that I had written after I had seen De wearing a particularly "sexy" (to me) blue and white striped shirt. Several people have written to me saying they wanted to read them after reading my book. The skits were in the original manuscript but had to be edited out because of word count constraints. So I'm publishing them here for the first time.

If you're printing out these "outtakes" and placing them into my book where they belong, these skits belong with the chapter, "Humor... A Difficult Concept."

And after you've read them, you'll realize what a card and a rascal De Kelley was to actually WEAR the same shirt at the next convention he knew I would be attending. (That story is in my book.)

I'm just using bogus initials for the other friend in the skits because she doesn't want to be identified in any way. ("Names have been changed to protect the guilty!" ROTFL!)

Infamous Striped Shirt Skit #1

De is onstage in Oakland on Saturday

De (to F -- short for Friend) Hi, F!

MF: Hello, you handsome devil!

De: Well, thank you!

F: I call 'em as I see 'em.

De: I know you do. Glad you could make it. (To audience.) She's from Tennessee. She follows me everywhere. She's crazy about me.

F: (joking) No, I'm not. I just want to be in the audience the day you slip up and wear that blue and white striped shirt in front of Kris.

Kris: Shut up, F.

De: I don't get it...

Kris (nervous): Shut up, F.

F: If I don't warm him, he might actually wear the darned thing sometime.

Kris: You're right. And then I'd chew my knuckles to the bone. Maybe we should tell him. But how, without making me look like a fool?

F: Don't worry. Let me handle it. Trust me. (To De.) She likes that blue and white striped shirt you wore to dinner on the east coast Trek cruise. And you've worn it a few times since then -- to conventions Kris wasn't at.

De: Oh, I see. Well, I'll be sure and wear it tomorrow so you can see it in person, Kris.

Kris and F: NO!!!!!

Kris: Oh, God, no! Anything but that!

De: Now, that doesn't make any sense at all: tell me you like something particularly well, and then tell me NOT to wear it.

Kris: Drop it, F. Forget it. Please.

F: Don't worry. I can handle it. (To De.) It makes perfect sense. Kris likes you, and she LOVES that striped shirt. COMBINE the two and she can't be held responsible for her actions -- and I sure as hell can't hold her down!

De: You can't be serious. Are you telling me that my lack of a striped shirt is all that's keeping me safe from Kris?

Kris: (sweating bullets; leaping to her own defense) Well, I wouldn't go THAT far! (to F) Now that's enough!

F: That shirt acts as a sort of visual stimulant to her, I guess. Sort of like an aphroDEsiac...
(Everybody in the audience laughs like crazy.)

Kris: Gee, F, thanks for explaining it so I wouldn't be embarrassed! Next time I'll handle my OWN explanations, thank you very much!

De: (also laughing) Well, that's CRAZY!


Infamous Striped Shirt #2

De arrives on stage on Sunday wearing the blue and white striped shirt!!! He's grinning like the Cheshire cat and looking straight at Kris, implying: GOT'CHA, KRAZY KRIS!

De: Good morning, Kris!

Kris: I don't believe it. You little sh--!

De: Do you like my shirt???

Kris: I love your shirt...

F: Kris, would you like my help beating him to a pulp?

Kris: No... Let him have his fun. We'll see who gets the last laugh. (To De.) Okay, smarty pants, you want to live dangerously... (She gets up and heads for the stage)

De: (laughing) What are you going to do to me?

Kris: I don't give away the ending of a story any more often than you do.

De: You're not going to do anything you'll regret later, are you?

Kris: Why Deee... there's nothing I could do to you that I would regret later...

De: (smile fading, a wee bit of alarm setting in) Kris -- are you going to do anything to me that I would regret later?!

Kris: Gee, I don't know... I guess we'll find out!

De: Kris... F? Help?

F: Sorry, De. You were warned. You made your bed. Now you're going to have to lie in it. (F gets up, looking as if she'll assist Kris)

De: OK, you two! Enough is enough. Just WAIT a minute!

Kris (arriving on stage, fondles the material on De's sleeve): Nice material, De...

De: OK, I surrender. You win. Let's call it even.

Kris: EVEN? I haven't even BEGUN to get even!

De: CAROLYN! Help me!

Carolyn: Sorry, De. You have it coming. I TOLD you not to wear that shirt!

De: CAROLYN! (Carolyn shakes her head and crosses her arms, showing no mercy or sympathy.) (De to the girls) OK, I'm taking this shirt off, right now. OK?

F: Great idea. That'll get KRIS off your back, at least.

Kris: Of course, then you'll have F to contend with. She just LOVES hairy chests -- especially yours.

De: Oh, dear... Look, ladies... I'm sorry. I was just trying to add a little levity to these proceedings.

Kris: Well, I'm entertained.

F: Me, too. I don't think I've ever had a better time...

De: Uh... perhaps I'll read my second poem now...

Kris: If you think you can...

De: (clears his throat) "Twenty years ago in a galaxy far, far away..." (Kris starts unbuttoning De's shirt.) Oh, crap... where was I?

Kris: Beats me!

F: Frankly, my dear, we don't give a damn!

De: CAROLYN, LOVE OF MY LIFE, MY WIFE, MY SALVATION! If you love me, you will come up here right this minute and tell these two women to leave me alone!

Carolyn (to Sue, De's fan club Prez): I think he's had enough. He's about ready to cry.

Sue: I agree. Poor guy...

Carolyn: All right, girls. At ease!

F: (to Carolyn) Thanks for the heads up about the shirt, Carolyn. We worked hard on this got'cha half the night, and it went even better than planned!

De: You -- you PLANNED this?! (glaring at Carolyn, completely flabbergasted)

Carolyn: Well, of course, dear. You DON'T think I'd have let it go on this long if I wasn't in on it, so you?

De: I am going to BURN this shirt! And if I didn't like the three of you so well, I'd...

C, F and K: You'd --- ????

De: I don't know. There's nothing I can come up with that's appropriate punishment! I'd like to turn you ALL over my knee!

F: Ooh, sounds like FUN!

De: Oh, Lord... here we go again...

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Perhaps you have a little better understanding of how I "achieved" the moniker "Krazy Kris" in STAR TREK fandom?

There's plenty additional evidence in the book, so those of you who have read it know already that the name fits... or did, in the earliest days of my association with the Kelleys.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Next Installment -- DE-Mented: Crazy About De

OK, over the past week at some point I found the original (unedited) manuscript of my first book about De Kelley (DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES, My Life and Times with a Remarkable Gentleman Actor). I'm going through it to glean the DE-mented, crazy stuff that was edited out due to lack of space and due to the fact that the book would debut just two years after his passing which, to many fans and me, was still within the period of mourning. (I was trying to keep the volume a bit more sedate and respectful than our association actually was, out of respect for his fans who would be reading it and coming to grips again with his passing toward the end of it.)

Y'all so enjoyed the Bunny Rabbit "Trekker Treat" story a few blogs ago that I'm encouraged to dig out "the rest of the story" and let you in on some more of the insanity. I think you'll appreciate De all the more for his wild sense of humor after this is all over!

Here you go. Enjoy!

The following adventure took place not long after the letter I sent De on page 20 of DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES... in case you're keeping track.. very early on in the newly-budding association I was at that time developing with the Kelleys. By this time in the story, I had met them only once (May 4, 1968); had not yet gone to a second convention or re-met them in person and had dinner with them in Denver. In other words, I was still very much on the outer edges of fandom, but was writing to them and keeping them grinning...

So, with that little bit of background information, here we go. (Print it out and place it into the book after page 20, if you want.)

In November, I planned the next adventure. I would fly to Tampa, Florida for De's next convention, in January. Then my car broke down, and I was suddenly penniless again. I was livid... I was sad... I was DE-straught. But I was resolved not to let this "little" (ARGHHH!) tragedy kill me.

The week before the con, I went to the dentist for a check-up. The experience there provided all the ammunition needed for the next funny letter to the Kelleys.

I wrote:

"Dear Ones:

I want to pass along to you some vital professional advice. It's revolutionary.

Up until today, I thought I had heard it all. But I was wrong.

Today I went in for my regular dental check-up. The dentist looked around in my oral cavity and couldn't find anything on my teeth worth complaining about, so he asked, "And do you also brush your tongue?"


If he hadn't had both hands and some sort of lethal-looking device shoved halfway down my throat, I would have laughed. Instead, I almost choked. When he let me up for air, I said, "You're joking, right?"

"Not at all."

He was serious! He said that people who brush their tongues taste food better. He said that bacteria found on the teeth are also on the tongue; it only made sense that they should receive similar treatment.

O.K. I accepted that; it sounded logical. But that led me to ask, "But -- how do you brush your tongue without gagging?"

He had an answer for that, too. He said, "Stick your tongue out and pant while you brush."

I was beginning to wonder if I had run into one of those dentists you're not supposed to trust as far as you can throw them. (I'm still not sure I didn't!) But now I am dutifully brushing my tongue, as well as my teeth. And it gags me every time, because I refuse to pant in a house where others live and where the walls are thin. I mean, can you IMAGINE?!

"What's she DOING in there?! (silence) (long pause) "I TOLD you we should have had her confined when she started talking to animals, but NO! YOU said she'd out-grow it! And now THIS!"

But the dentist is right: food DOES taste better! (Just what I need, is for food to taste better: I'm already 30 pounds overweight!)

I have been thinking about this conversation ever since. And I thought, "Well, I'll bet THIS is something Carolyn and De haven't been written to about before! It isn't easy coming up with a letter of the month to you that won't end up sounding like old hat, you know. I mean, don't you get tired of hearing how wonderful you are, how you have changed people's lives for the better... all that serious, mushy stuff? Isn't it REFRESHING to know you can always count on me to update you on oral hygiene and other medical and dental advances now and then?

Love you,

Kris (pant, pant)

I sent that letter off on a Monday, the week before the Tampa convention weekend. I didn't figure they would even receive it until after the convention, so I wasn't expecting anything the day my Florida friend (with whom I was planning to visit and hobnob with at the convention while in Florida) called to give me the lowdown on what was happening back there on the east coast.

She floored me by saying, right off the bat, "Oh, Kris, the most awful thing happened..."

My throat fell into my shoes. "What?!" I cried.

She said, "My car broke down on my way to the convention, and I missed De's appearance completely!"

I was so upset by that, I started saying, "Oh, no! Oh, NO!" so much that she finally had to tell me to shut up so she could tell me the rest of her story. "But I DID get to see him AFTER his appearance."

"Oh, SUPER!" I said. "Where was he?"


I screamed, no doubt deafening her.

As it turned out, my friend had seen De and had ended up on the same shuttle flight between the Tampa and Fort Lauderdale conventions. De had invited her into first class to sit with him and Carolyn, and they had gotten to talking about this goofy letter I had sent them, so De had decided to have my friend play this silly joke on me. He had directed my friend to hang up on me as soon as she reached the punchline (so it would sink in that there was NO WAY she would even have known about the brushing-the-tongue letter without him having told her), but she couldn't bring herself to do that.

Now, remember, I still hadn't spent more than 15 minutes with the Kelleys over the course of 18 years. I couldn't believe that they would go out of their way like this to make me feel a part of the convention I was so heartbroken over not being able to attend.

My friend called me all weekend long to tell me what was happening. One night the Kelleys even came very close to calling me on the phone from a restaurant that they and my friend were at, except that the place was jam-packed and they were hidden back in a quiet alcove. De would have had to risk being spotted going to the phone, and that would have turned the whole evening into an unscheduled personal appearance, so reluctantly, he finally decided against the idea. He told her, "You'll have to tell Kris that, in this instance, it's the thought that counts!"

And, of course, it was everything. I'll never forget it.

The next convention was two months later, in Denver. My friend had joked with De at the Florida con, "Well, I drove all the way here to spend your birthday woth YOU, so now we will fly to Denver in March so you can spend our birthdays with US!" De asked, "Your birthdays are in March?" She said, "Uh-oh. Yeah..." De said, "I won't forget that, you know..."
We started fantasizing what De might mean by, "I won't forget your birthdays." At one point, I kidded, "Gee! Maybe we'll end up at dinner!" (I was sad because I had missed out on the dinner in Florida, so it was on my mind, big-time.) Then I added, "I'd even pay for it -- providing we go to McDonalds!" My friend lost it over that "plan of action."
The ridiculous scenario hit her like a ton of bricks, so both us us started writing goofy skits in which we wind up at McDonalds in Denver with De and Carolyn. The skits had De posing beneath the golden arches with both of the birthday girls until he was frozen like a popsicle in the icy temperatures; they had him sucking helium out of balloons and yelling, "He's dead, Jim!" in a falsetto; all sorts of crazy, riotous stuff.
My friend wrote to the Kelleys, telling them just enough about the skits to get the basics, and then sent a $5 book of McDonald's gift certificates to them, asking them if they might enclose them in a birthday card to me! De did better than that: On a post-it note emblazoned with "Trust Me: I'm a Doctor" he wrote "maybe you can use these in Denver!"
I haven't the faintest memory of anything else I received that year for my birthday, but I've never forgotten De's post-it note!

It was at the next convention, in Denver two months later, that I actually re-connected one-on-one in person again with the Kelleys... and they never let me go after that. But that's all in my first book about De. In case you haven't already read it, now would be a good time! There's a link to it in the first paragraph of this blog entry. Hint, hint...

You won't be sorry if you click on it and actually get the book. Check out the reviews at Amazon and other online bookstores...

If any of these blog posts give you a grin or anything else of value please tweet them! Thank you!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Update -- and a Brand New Kelley Story to Enjoy!

Finished a 20 hour, $500 project today and started another one. WOO HOO!

Also went to the movie today with the wee ones again. Wendy, Jamie, Casey and I saw Horton Hears a Who, a Dr. Seuss classic that's even better with the voiceovers of Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell and Carol Burnett. I've seen the movie before, but twice is not too many times. I'd probably enjoy seeing it a third time, and a fourth, way down the road sometime. Very clever, very well done.

I fertilized the lawn and watered it today since the temperature was slated to reach only 75 degrees today and tomorrow. After that it's soaring into the 90's again. I wish it would stay 75 for the next four days, but that isn't going to happen. My garage sale is Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m...

If I think I can survive it, I want to help out at the northbound Rochester rest stop (south of Olympia) on Monday from 6 a.m. to noon or 2. Don't know if I can make it past 10 though, if the temperature is going to skyrocket. I dehydrate and overheat very easily these days. The rest area is in the trees, so that should reduce the temperature by 15 or 20 degrees, I think. I'll call Vernita on Sunday and see how they're faring. I just need a little encouragement to know I won't die doing a good deed. (It's a fundraiser for the women's ministry at CFAN. They're offering free coffee to travelers and accepting donations.)

What else? My hair is getting too long. I have given it four months to hang down to the lower part of my jaw, but I just can't handle it anymore. I tug on it all the time and it feels like straw. I don't think it looks that much better on me, either, although others disagree. I just don't want to have to mess with it, and so I don't, and then it looks like I don't mess with it, so shorter is better for me. I'm gonna get it chopped off next time I go in. Yes. And the sooner the better.

The baby birds are almost too big for their nest anymore. I'll catch a few more photos of them -- better ones this time, I hope -- before they fly away. I expect they'll start thinking about that in the next week or so.

Yesterday I took photos of the garden and of Jackie with its first fruits -- an armful of zucchini and a quart or more of peas. We had mushrooms and zucchini for dinner last night with peapods on the side. Scrumptious. There's nothing like homegrown produce. And those peas are producing so fast it's hard to keep up.

Guess that's about it for now. Oh... I owe you a new De story, don't I? *sigh* OK... Here you go..

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Trekker Treat

The Kelley Home

A friend and I were going to knock on A.C. Lyles' Bel Air door one year at Halloween time dressed in the most pathetic (by design) rabbit costumes possible, and say we were there to audition for a sequel to De's movie NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (a.k.a. in fandom as Attack of the Killer Bunnies), which AC produced and directed. (I was also AC's star polisher at the time, so he knew me and my friend well enough that he wouldn't call Bel Air Security or shoot us when we arrived at the door.)

We fashioned ears out of white panty hose/leotards and placed cardboard into them so that when we pulled them onto our heads, they'd look really, really dumb! (Again, by design.)

We got mens white BVDs/briefs and pulled those on over white jogging pants and glued gaudy, misshapen bunny tails onto them. We had something on for t-shirts but I don't recall now what those looked like. (That's why I wish I could get to my journals or the unedited version of HARVEST OF MEMORIES right now... but I can't.)

Ready, set... all that remained was to call AC's wife to make sure they'd be home so we could surprise him with this outlandish stunt.

We called. The phone rang. Martha Lyles picked up the phone, listened, laughed, and then said, "I'm sorry to have to tell you this but AC isn't even in town right now. He's back on the east coast campaigning for President (George Herbert Walker) Bush. I'm sorry you went to all that trouble for nothing."

Deflated, disappointed, and frustrated, we hung up. Then my friend perked up noticeably. I asked, "What"?'

She said, "Let's do it to De."

I said, "No way."

She said, "Oh c'mon! It was his movie, too -- and we've spent a small fortune here on these asinine costumes."

I repeated: "No way. Absolutely -- no -- way -- in -- hell with you catch me in the Kelley neighborhood in these getups."

"Why not?"

"Because I visit there. His neighbors think I'm sane. No way am I going to give them any other way to think of me."

My friend moped... and moped... and moped... until I began to consider her dumb idea.

She saw that and perked up again, like a dog about to be tossed a bone or a ball.


"All right..."

She jumped up.

"All right," I repeated, "but it goes against everything I believe in. I can act like an idiot in Bel Air, because nobody knows me there, but Sherman Oaks is different..."

She already had the door open against the possibility that I might back out on the idea.

We went...

We drove to the Kelleys address, got out of the car... My friend grabbed a handful of Science Diet kibble and held it tightly in one fist. That did not bode well at all, but I had no idea...

We walked up to the front door of the Kelley abode and knocked.. waited... knocked again...

Suddenly we heard the garage door open "behind" us. (Take a look at the configuration of the Kelley home in the photo above, and you'll see where the front door is -- to the left side of the garage up a little walkway -- and you'll know what I mean.) We turned to face the street and the direction from which the sound of a garage door opening was emanating.

Around the corner came De, blocking our escape. He didn't look any too happy. He threw a look across the street to see if any of his neighbors were witnessing the atrocity, and saw they weren't. That seemed to relieve him. But he still didn't look overjoyed to see us.

My friend fake-hopped over to where he was, fist of Science Diet kibble held under her tail, and when she got to him, she "crapped" it onto the sidewalk and said, "Oh, Mr. Kelley, I'm so excited to see you again!"

Fastidious De looked down at the bouncing, rolling kibble, frowned, and knelt down to begin retrieving it. I was mortified. My friend (by now she was quickly becoming my former friend, for having dragged me into this embarrassing fiasco) knelt, too, and started to help him pick up the fake poop, but De would have none of it. He stood back up, frowned like the great badass actor he was, and pointed toward his front door. "Get inside the house. Now. Get. Inside. Now."

It was as close to Toby Jack Saunders as I ever saw him get in real life.

We. Went. Inside. The. House. No further questions asked. Yes, sir, Mr. Kelley!

Once inside, a cheery voice called out, "Hi, girls! Come on back!"

We scurried to the work room, where Carolyn sat. She howled when she saw us. "What on earth are you two up to now?" she asked.

I quickly said, "We were going to go trick or treating at AC's and do a NIGHT OF THE LEPUS number on him, but he's back east campaigning for the President..." I glared at my friend so she'd finish the story, but she didn't... so I added, "So 'we' -- cough cough -- decided we shouldn't waste our efforts and ... came here instead."

oh please, oh, please, Carolyn, figure this one out and realize that it was not my idea!

By this time De came into the house, into the workroom, and joined Carolyn in a chair across from us. I decided he really wasn't mad; he had just been "portraying" pissed.
He looked at both of us sitting there in our pathetic costumes and shook his head. Then he offered, "You know, in those rabbit ears, you two look a little bit like nuns."

My friend laughed and replied, "No one has ever thought of me as a nun before!" and De retorted, "I'm sure of that!"

I was blushing horribly and since I was dressed all in white, it showed.

That's the first and last time I ever trick or treated at the Kelley home. And it was under duress, I can assure you.

Still... as I revisited it again just now, I was laughing so hard and so loud that Jackie came over to see what was happening over here... so it's a memory that I treasure to my toes now!

I tell you... we were insane back in the good old days of yesteryear...

If any of these blog posts give you a grin or anything else of value please tweet them! Thank you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thought You Might Like to See My Boys...


Baby Birds in Our Fuchsia Basket

Despite our finest efforts, a mama finch laid four eggs in a nest she built in one of Jackie's hanging fuchsia baskets out on the front porch. Honoring her diligence and tenacity, we decided to water around the little nest, making sure the eggs weren't swamped or harmed. About a week ago four naked baby birds hatched.

Mom and Pop birds stay very busy bringing them food; Jackie and I drop ice cubes into the fuchsia basket (far away from the nest) to keep the fuchsia as happy as we can under the circumstances. The chicks are now fully feathered and twice their original size. They sleep non-stop unless the basket moves -- then they watch to see if it's mom or pop bird or Jackie or me. If they see a human, they stay quiet. If it's a bird, they open their beaks and beg. They all look well-fed and healthy.

This morning Ashley (one of my cats) was spotted sitting on the ledge below the basket/nest as parent birds chirped and flitted wildly, having a general conniption fit over the proximity of the I.Q.-of-a-doughnut intruder. (Ashley is lovely but missing marbles.)

When Jackie heard what was going on, she very uncharacteristically screamed, hollered and bolted onto the front porch, banging a pan, scaring poor, curious Ashley into the next county so he won't even think about coming back to the vicinity of the front porch. (Ashley is so sensitive that it probably worked, but just in case it didn't, we put a baby gate across the opening to the front porch and lots of scary-looking things on the railing below it. I haven't seen Ashley in the front again, so I hope it works.)

When I think the birds are ready to venture out, both kitties will be sequestered inside the house until we're sure the wee ones have learned how to fly. Don't worry! The wildlife in our proximity gets as much respect as any of our pets do. We even plant extra vegetables so the critters can have some, too.

The cats bring me dead baby shrews and field mice almost nightly, so they're doing their anti-rodent duties for the most part. We had to hire a mole catcher for the mole that was tearing up the lawn, though. I don't know if the cats are too timid to tackle a critter that large, or if moles just can't be caught by anything less than a mole trapper. I think it's the latter. I had a cat once who brought me a half-grown hare, completely unharmed. Kitty was so confused, and probably hurt, when I turned, carried the bunny back into the woods, and turned it loose. She must have thought I was crazy or, at the very least, ungrateful. Indeed I was grateful -- grateful she hadn't hurt the poor, scared thing!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bloggers UNITE!

If you're a blogger and want to expand your business footprint, here's a great link to help you get started:*2%2Eanh_2081479

It's always a good idea to offer your expertise on other people's blogs. One way to do that is to offer to be a guest blogger in exchange for a link back to your site. This works great for people in affiliated or auxiliary businesses.

Example for Writers: Perhaps SEO experts may like to know what makes for a riveting SEO-driven article or home page. Offer your expertise in exchange for a lesson on how to do the research to determine great SEO keywords. Or business owners may want to know how to write a flyer that actually converts to buyers. Offer a guest blog on the topic in exchange for a lesson on exemplary customer service or simplified accounting.

Whatever your area of expertise, there are probably counterparts or affiliated businesses or resources whose fellow bloggers would be happy to exchange a little of their knowledge for a little of yours. And every link back and forth will raise your ratings in search engines.

It's a win-win situation.

Obviously, do your research. You want to link only to reputable, trustworthy, professional-looking websites and producers unless your own business is disreputable itself. I trust none of yours are!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

WOO HOO! I'm #33 Out of 23, 484 Providers in Writing Category at Elance!

Last time I checked (several months ago) I was very happy to report that I was #67 (or something like that) out of more than 23,000 service providers in the writing category. I checked again today. My position has risen to #33 out of more than 23,000 providers -- this, despite the added competition from new Elancers! (With the economy in turmoil, a lot of unemployed or under-employed folks are flooding freelance websites wanting to make some money while they look for other things to do.)

Since I'm in this for the long haul, it's gratifying to see that, despite the intense flood of added competition, I'm still rating right up there with the big guns and even ascending in the ranks. As a sole provider, I may never reach #1 or even the top #10 (a lot of Elance folks work in teams and can produce more as a result), but it's pretty astonishing and very lovely to find myself so high in orbit with the best of the best!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Walter Cronkite Passes at 92...

Anyone older than 45 remembers Walter Cronkite almost as a family member -- a wise uncle. Those of you who never knew him have truly missed out.

I'm sad to hear of his passing, but know that his legacy as a "newsman's newsman" is secure. Everyone in the news business today owes something to Cronkite, and few will ever approach, let alone match, the reputation he developed across the decades.

For many of us, he was the "face of history" during our entire upbringings. From "You Are There" to the CBS Evening News, he was a compass and guide. His reputation is sterling.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Moon Landing 40 Years Ago...

Ah, yes, I remember it well! I even took a picture of the moon from Cle Elum, WA on the first day a man stood on it.

Thanks to Mary Doman for the following:

For those of you currently following the real-time simulation of the Apollo 11 Moon mission 40 years ago on , please be advised that after the "landing" on July 20, the site will be available for you to access the mission at your own pace and convenience. This site will definitely be a valuable resource for those who wish to study and enjoy our first venture to another world!

Hot Hot Hot!

It's freakin' hot again today! Thank God for air conditioning -- that's all I have to say...

Last night I went swimming with the McNivens at the Puyallup High School pool for an hour or more. What a hoot. I think I must've been an otter in another life (hence my instinctive fear of sharks, just about the only animal on the planet I have a truly morbid fear of???).

The outing was a lot of fun. I'll do it again a time or two a week if I can continue to afford it. (It's just $3 each time, but the past two months of too little work have made me either paranoid or major wise; I'm not sure which!)

I walked once early today (32 blocks) and twice (64 blocks) yesterday. It's too hot to go out again this afternoon, so that's not happening! No way. No how. Huh-uh! I don't do well in hot weather. Yesterday I fell asleep on the hammock for about 45 minutes in the sun (with plenty of sunscreen on) and when I awoke, I was dizzy and very unhappy for 15-20 minutes. I dehydrate too quickly, I think. Gettin' old(er)!

This Saturday we'll be having another Writer's Edge meeting at church and Sunday we'll be having a baby shower for a lady who's husband is serving in Iraq. (I think I told you this already.) Next weekend is the garage sale unless it's too freaking hot to survive it. I have a lot of fans I can set up, so it should be okay...

Jackie was out having a play day (I guess) with her company team a couple days ago and fell down while running after someone with a water balloon after having been hit with one. Her hip is really hurting, but this morning she said it's 50% better. That girl. She says she has to remind herself that she isn't 30 anymore. Yup, I agree.

Jackie should play in swimming pools if she wants to get crazy and wet. They're safer... providing you can swim and the water is 5 feet deep. The girls (Casey and Jamie) could've drowned me twice yesterday if I hadn't been in just 5 feet of water. (I'm 5'7" tall.) I need to teach them that water fun requires them to understand that people need to come up for air at least every 15 seconds or so. They don't quite "get" that yet! They will before summer ends... maybe before the end of next week, if I have my way!

Monday, July 13, 2009

For Michael Jackson.... With Love...

Recent rumor has it that the accuser, Jordan Chandler, now in his 20's, has since recanted his allegations against Michael Jackson.

I never did think Micahel was guilty. And he was acquitted in the second case.

Yet the ignomy of all of the speculation and aspersions has caused his legacy to be tarnished horribly.

It's pathetic.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What a WONDERFUL Outing!

Temporary Captain Kris pilots the craft into
uncharted (to her...) territory
Setting out from a Gig Harbor marina...

The REAL Captain of the vessel, Timothy Acker

"Oh, the pirate's life for me!"
Kris and Tim just before "taking" a Chinese grain ship
anchored in Puget Sound (yeah, right...)

Today was one of the most enjoyable days of my entire life.

Remember several weeks ago when we had a Writer's Edge meeting at Point Defiance -- or, I should say, when we planned a meeting for Point Defiance and got rained out and ended up at the Antique Sandwich Shop near Point Defiance?

Well, during that meeting one of our members invited those of us who were in attendance that day to go boating on his yacht at some time in the future, and today was the day we picked. Unfortunately most of the people who were at the Point Defiance meeting had other plans for the day, so just four of us could make it... (There was room for six more.)

What fun we had! We saw seals, jellyfish, lots of other boats of all kinds, and we had a close encounter with an anchored Chinese ship.
We took lots of pictures with my camera. Our host had two Jamaican pirates wigs on his yacht, so we donned those for a few photos as we floated next to the Chinese ship. Pret-ty hysterical!

The day was perfect -- upper 80's. The sky was blue, and we were all in the best of moods. It was more fun than three barrels of monkeys. Oh! And the captain of the boat made me captain for more than a half hour and went below deck while I steered the yacht... so I was in charge of keeping everybody dry and above water all that time. I'm happy to report that I didn't let 'em down and that the real captain got his boat back without a scratch or a dent in it!

I finished three more Elance projects this weekend, and there will be many more this coming week so, God willing and the creeks don't rise, I think I'll be out of the hole financially starting this month again. I have four regulars now, so won't have to worry as much when one of them goes on hiatus in the future as I have others to keep me busy should that happen.

Guess that's all for tonight.

A Final Word About Michael Jackson To His Thousands of Detractors

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

~Teddy Roosevelt

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Have Decided... Cocooning is Healthy!

In an effort to be less insulated, a few months ago I decided to venture out and read news items and the on-line comments that readers/viewers make about them. During this time, there is one thing I've discovered: there are a lot of mean-spirited, spiteful people out there, Democratic and Republican, Independent and Green, gay and straight, conservative and liberal, left and right, smart and dumb, progressive and racist.

And it astonishes me and makes me want to pull my head back into my shell and disengage. Because if I don't, I might catch the fever and go as insane as so much of the rest of the human pack.

Stuff like that feeds on itself. Instead of listening, reading and learning when we hear a contrary opinion, we all crouch in defensive/offensive modes and decide to "make 'em pay for their outrage." Or, at least, I tend to want to do that (but don't, thank the good Lord!) whenever I hear someone (gleefully and with malice-aforethought) lambaste an on-line opinion with which I agree.

My response -- even after counting to ten -- is often, "What the hell is the matter with people, that they have to bash others who don't happen to agree with them?" Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree and behaving civilly to each other? Was it ever a reality, or have I just been living in a bubble of my own making my whole life?

It astonishes me that people can't disagree agreeably. No wonder the world is in the mess it's in! What has happened to mutual respect and honoring? Did we ever have it (except for a very few)?

I know there has been mud slung in politics since the beginning of the Republic, so I'm not even talking about politics right now. It just seems that with any topic or issue with two sides, there are those on both sides who dedicate themselves to being creepy about it... treating the other side like crap (belittling them, etc.) while getting their own opinion out there.

It stinks. It just stinks. I have decided that gazing out into the world and engaging it is painful and not worth the effort.

I want to love humankind. When I read or see stuff like this going on, it makes me want to divorce my species and take up with some other... one that has more scruples. There are many of them: elephants, dolphins, the great apes, the lesser apes...

Someone taught me when I was little that we are an evolved species, placed higher than the rest. The species that established this questionable hierarchy was, of course, the human species. And I can see where it might be true. We're apparently the only species that can utterly affect the planet (for good or for ill) with our intellect, prowess, and powers.

Going back into prehistory, it was God who deemed us the apex of His creation (at least here on Earth). After venturing out into the world of news and commentary, I can't help but think He should be seriously re-considering the hierarchy now, when He sees how feebly most people regard and abide by his Golden Rule and the ten commandments.

He must be really, really disappointed. I certainly am. As His so-called "image-bearers," there must be a carnival funhouse mirror standing between Him and us -- because I don't see His image or His love in many of us out here.

It's pathetic.

I like my cocoon, the one that my mother, DeForest Kelley, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandella, Gandhi, the Holy Spirit, and others wrapped around me to help me feel safe and beloved.

It must be frightening out there. Just a few glimpses, and I'm convinced: I'm happier right here, wrapped in the love of people and memories that reflect God's grace and mercy.

You can keep the world. There's very little I see in it worth having.

But a better one is right around the corner!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Veggie Tales

I took in a free movie with Wendy and the kids this morning at the mall. Figured it was okay becauseI had already spent four hours writing for Elance clients between 5 a.m. and 9, and kids and summer only last so long.

We saw a Veggie Tales movie about pirates -- cute show with a great message, of course.

Amy Ulen will be by in a while for a short visit and to drop off some items for the upcoming garage sale. Maybe she'll have time to catch me up on her life and to tell me a little about using her schoolroom as a lab for my writing class. I need to learn more about that... I've been imagining teaching copywriting and other forms of writing, and think I would really enjoy it. Especially copywriting!

One of our fuses have blown, so the garage doors and the freezer in the garage don't work at the moment. We'll see if we can get that figured out this evening...

That's about it for now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

For the First Time in My Life... as I watched the Michael Jackson Memorial I really, really, really wanted to witness a resurrection. I wanted Michael to pop out of that beautiful casket his body was in and be alive
-- and healed from every addiction and sorrow, too.

Of course, had that happened, his death would have been deemed a hoax, a publicity stunt, because most of the world doesn't believe in God, and without God, no resurrections!

But... I really wanted that to happen. I would have believed, and that would have been good enough for me!

So... he's gone. He's really gone. His little daughter's few words were heart-breaking and Al Sharpton's words were fabulous. I also hope what one of his brothers said will come true: "Maybe they'll leave him alone now" [the people who keep bringing up Michael's weirdness or past charges of -- but you know the story, and I will not make reference to them again].

I can't figure out what the "hold" on me is when it comes to Michel Jackson. I think I recognize his innocence and I know I vibrate violently when I think someone has been railroaded, so that's part of the reason. Another was his enormous talent. Another is his sad story.

But what lasts is that, despite everything, he never stopped loving, caring, or giving. A lot! He gave hundreds of millions of dollars away to good causes across the globe.

He opened doors that no one will ever be able to close again in the realm of race relations. He was a pioneer, a student of excellence, and a terrific friend.

I will never stop being sad for Michael Jackson, but I am enormously grateful that he lived...

His light and the effects of his talent, personality and giving will radiate outward forever.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'll Be Glued Tomorrow to the MJ Memorial Service

I don't know why for sure, but I'm still mostly in denial about Michael Jackson being gone. It's just too sad to think that he got through his whole life with so little happiness to show for it, other than his three children...

I'm ticked off that part of his legacy will reflect scandal... a scandal of which he was acquitted. (And paying off the earlier claimant was not an acknowledgment of guilt, it was simply getting the story to go away so he could resume his life. It's easier, faster, and a whole lot cheaper career-wise for a celebrity than is going to court to prove innocence -- as he did the second time -- as long as you have the money to do it.)
In fact, it has been documented that he wanted to fight the first charge, but his insurance company insisted that he settle. It never sat right with him that he should allow his reputation to be scandalized for the sake of expediency or a quick disappearance of a false claim against him.

I know most people think of guys as always horny, but one in five has almost no sex drive, and I think Michael was probably among those folks. (People who love/enjoy/seek sexual pleasure can't imagine why everyone else doesn't. Those who don't wonder why anyone else does.) I know people who knew him well and, without exception, all felt he was one of the sweetest, kindest and most loving individuals they had ever met. I'm going to continue to think that way about him.

I think his explanation to Martin Bashir in Living With Michael Jackson about having slumber parties with kids is reasonable, given the fact that he was denied a childhood altogether and given his desire to be "like Peter Pan" and never grow up. (It was still a very unwise thing to do, given the earlier claim against him, but no one ever accused Michael of being a rocket scientist in the common sense department; in fact, quite the opposite!)

I also understand why he said that he loved kids and animals most: because they told him the truth; they were honest with him. And they didn't expect anything from him except his love and his time. He surely didn't know who else he could trust, especially after the two scandals, during which kids brought claims against him (prompted by relatives who smelled money, most likely).

So tomorrow at 10 my time I'm going to try to find a way to say goodbye. Again, I was not a huge fan.. but I was always on his side," hoping for the best, wishing him some semblance of a normal life and a modicum of peace despite his horrendous upbringing.

His father seems terribly twisted, and based on Michael's recollections of his upbringing and the many beatings (some of which his mother feared he wouldn't survive), it's not hard to understand why Michael had issues...

It's just a very, very sad story and I hate unhappy endings.

I pray that he's at peace now. It's overdue by about 50 years.

From Neverland to Foreverland:
RIP Michael Jackson
by Kristine M Smith
You never had a childhood
But still you learned to dance
You never joined a playground
But still you took a chance.
You always did your finest
You wore yourself plumb out
Your skill was beyond description
No one was left in doubt.
And when we wonder why you did
The freaky things you did
We shake our heads, our breath in sighs --
We know it was your "kid."
The one who just would not grow up
To get serious and sad
And yet, and yet, we wonder still
Was it sadness that you hid?
We wish you were here to see the love
The tributes and the tears
But pray you 're near some bright star now
Enjoying all the cheers.
As you moonwalk to eternity
We hope you know somehow
The good you did, the cheer you gave
Is what we remember now.
--Kristine M Smith
C. July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Almost Up In Smoke -- A Scary 4th of July Just Passed By!

In all the years we've been hosting fireworks, we've never had a night quite like last night! T'was a night to remember, with a happy ending... but it didn't start out very promising, for sure!

We had at least ten onlookers last night, all arranged in lawn chairs behind a stack of wood (we felt quite safe from any potential unanticipated glitch). We carefully irrigated the lawn all afternoon and into the evening so everything was well saturated.

As we sat marvelling at the glorious displays of color, light, and noise (rather wimpy, compared to decades ago, and today I'm thanking God for that!), one of the fireworks fell over sideways, shot across the yard toward the house, set a pair of jogging pants afire, then spun around and headed out toward the front yard, hit a tree, did an about face, and then headed straight for the startled, and suddenly scrambling, onlookers.

Dawn and Isabella were both hit by two pieces of one hot, flaming mass -- Isabella just a wee bit (thank God!) on a tiny spot on her face; another chunk of the same piece hit Dawn squarely -- and very, very hard -- above the liver. Yet another piece hit Casey in the back (she was already headed out of the area with her mom and Jamie the moment they saw the firework start to take on a life of its own). Again, hot, ow-ee and scary, but nothing fatal, 911-ish or too terribly awful. Again, I say PRAISE GOD! And again, PRAISE GOD!

As soon as we made sure everyone in attendance was OK, Wendy spotted the flaming jogging pants sitting on a garbage can against the patio screen, pointed toward the flames and said, "I think your house is on fire!"

I ran over and threw the flaming pants away from the house onto the cement patio, and they seemed to go out. (Not long after, they flamed to life again, but Jackie spotted them and put the kibosh on the flames for good.) Everything else looked fine, but we wandered around the front of the house too to be sure that no errant sparks had ignited any part of the lawn or shrubs that hadn't been as well watered as the back yard had been.

Of course Phil felt terrible. (He was setting off the fireworks, as he always did - heretofore without incident over many, many years.) Grandpa Dennis felt horrible (for having bought the fireworks). They both looked shell-shocked and miserable. The girls were scared and crying; one swore she'd stay home next year instead of coming out for fireworks! We all assured the men that none of it was their fault; but that didn't do a whole lot to assuage their feelings.

All in all, a powerful reminder of how potentially dangerous an errant firework can be. No one was seriously injured but all of us grown ups agreed that next year we will stick to pop-its and sparklers for the yard and watch everyone else's bigger stuff from afar. (All around us on all sides were very serious fireworks displays -- from Ft Lewis, the Puyallup Fair, and other public venues -- so we continued to enjoy the show long after we put ours to bed.)

Also yesterday, we rode bikes at Orting for 15 miles, and I went out this morning (from home) and rode for another 6 miles or so.

It's very hot here again today. Jamie and I went for a one mile walk while Jackie weeded the front lawn, then Jamie sprinkled Grammie Jackie's back with water to help cool her down. Then she selected several roses from our garden to take to Grandpa George later today. (He just had some surgery and is at home recovering slowly.) She also made two cards for Grandpa George. He loves those cards sum'pin' fierce because they're created with such love and care from one of his wee ones! (I made him one from his kitten, since the kitten can't write and misses him, too.)

I finished up an Elance project (I think) this morning; will know for sure after I hear back from the client.

That's about it for this time.

(That's enough excitement for one weekend, ain't it?)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Praise the Lord! Best News I've Heard Since Nov 4, 2008!

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sorry. Maybe some of you liked her... but the moment McCain picked her, I knew the GOP didn't have a chance in 2008... and that made me happy...

...and this makes me happy.

I feel great relief to know she's not going to be anywhere near the hallowed halls of power. She scared me absolutely spit-less.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Busy Gal!

OK, it appears I'm back in action, thank the good Lord!

I walked this morning before it got too hot. It was close to 90 here today and is supposed to hit 90 tomorrow, so I'm also thanking God for air conditioners. Up here in the Pacific Northwest it's very humid and anything above 82 degrees is really, really sauna-like and awfully miz'able unless you happen to be a hot-house plant. (I'm not. Too much extra blubber on my body for that designation.)

Our riding mower isn't back yet so Jackie mowed the lawn (or much of it) with the push mower this afternoon when she got home. I was fast asleep in front of a fan, since I started working again at 5:15 this morning and wrote until after 3.

Much as I adore writing, it does wear me out! It takes a lot of brain work to keep coming up with unique turns of phrase without sounding so far out that the message gets obscured by the prose. What I write must sound conversational and imbued with personality, and of course far from dull when I write for businesses. It has to work like a tractor beam: it has to capture the reader on the first line and hold them till the last one, and then prompt them to action. There are hundreds of different ways to do that. It's finding the right one to fit the style and personality of the business that takes some doing... but it's also what makes a job creative and fun. (And ultimately exhausting by day's end, but in a really satisfying way.)

I completed two more rewrites today for a client and bid on several more projects. I expect I'll get a number of them.

In case I don't get back to this blog before Saturday, I hope all you U.S. of A. folks have a fabulous 4th!

Oh! Hey!

My kitties turn 13 on the 4th. (That's the day I decided they were born, since they were a wee bit over two months old when I adopted them in mid-September 1996.) I considered naming them Yankee and Doodle or Doodle and Dandy or Yankee and Dandy but ultimately decided to remain sane and named them Archie (because he arched like crazy whenever I petted him) and Ashley (because he was the color of ashes and had already been named Ashes by his rescuer before I adopted him). So Archie and Ashley it is.

Alas! Everybody thinks Ashley is a girl because of his name, his long flowing mane, and his flirty, feminine ways. (Is my "fur son" gay?!) But I named him after Ashley from Gone With the Wind (even though I'm not that old!), so he was definitely named after a fellow!

Can I help it if most Ashleys these days are female?

What else? That's about it, folks! Have a great evening and Friday and weekend if I don't get back to you before then -- or even if I DO!

P.S. I'm approaching 950 blog entries here at Almost Famous. I might make it to 1K by August 1st if I keep going like this! Goodness...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

All Righty, Then!

Gadzooks, maybe all I needed to do was proclaim publicly, "Though He slay me, yet will I believe!"

The floodgates opened this morning. I got three new projects today, and two of them are long-term and will also spawn additional types of writing from the ones I originally was doing for the clients. WOO HOO!

A fellow I'm writing blogs for now is interested in having me possibly create an e-book or a white paper for him; another wants me to rewrite/enhance his entire current website and several other websites that he has going, plus he wants blogs, too, and PR's, and other things.

The newest client is thrilled, says I'm the first writer he's had that he doesn't have to correct or ride herd on. (He's a busy professional and shouldn't have to be riding herd on service providers. I wonder what's wrong with the other writers he has working for him? That would make me crazy!)

Yesterday something I helped write/finesse ended up being touted all hour long across the bottom of the screen during AC360 on CNN, so that thrilled me to no end. (Sorry, I can't divulge which one it was; I'm ghostwriting, so it's a secret.)

I was up at 5:30 this morning because I wanted to see if anything came in for me to write, or to see if I had received any feedback on things I wrote yesterday. It has been a long day already, as a result, but a very positive, good day. I didn't get out for a walk today; that's the only bad thing. I was only out of this chair long enough to move the water sprinklers, eat lunch, and put the dog out for her twice daily run in the grass (so she'd unleash anything out there instead of in here).

Also, a reader of this blog (she goes by the alias Chrystabel, don't ask me why!) has suggested that I try to get a part-time job at a communty college teaching writing and has offered her classroom as the lab for it. I'm trying to get more information about that. She thinks I'd be really great at it. Hey, maybe I would... (I haven't taught writing yet at my church -- I've just critiqued there. Maybe I ought to try it out on my own "guinea pigs" at church before I foist it off on anyone else, huh?) It might be kinda fun.

Of course, Chrystabel is also an actor as well as a teacher so I'm just SURE she doesn't have the shyness issues I have. The first time she ever saw me was at a TREK convention when I was all alone on stage talking about De, so she probably has no idea how shy I am or how terrified I was, because I'm a helluvan actor myself when I have to be!

So yes, I could teach some genres of writing (journaling, memoirs, articles, PRs, sales copy, etc.) ... but I would have to find a way to quickly get out of my own way and just let the information flow.

Maybe Chrystabel could give me some lessons...