Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I did it!!!!

As of the final week of NaNoWriMo, I've passed the 50,000 word count.  My official word count is now 50,603.  And I have a nice little ol' Winner's Certificate to nano_09_winner_120x240prove it,  a, well, a picture.  Which I'm pasting. Or posting. 


More on my thoughts about NaNoWrimo, and what it taught me, as of December 1.  For now, I can only say, it was very good discipline!

Anne G

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Week Three

I have successfully managed to make it through Week Three of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month!  I am now at 42,118 words.  I only have 7,882 more words to go, to make 50,000.  And I will probably make that goal a bit before the end of the month, for whatever that's worth.  Some people have written much, much more than I have.  And even with 50,000 plus words, this piece is nowhere near a "complete" novel, not counting the probably drastic revisions it will have to go through.  On the other hand, I have learned a great deal, which, to me is the most important thing.  Writers should always be learning things.  One thing I've learned is, you can produce quite a bit in a relatively short time, if you put your mind to it.  And the discipline of doing this has been very good for me.  I produced pages, even when  I had my little "computer problem" that kept me, temporarily, off the Internet(I"m still waiting for my ISP to deliver my nice new, improved modem, but that's another story).  In any case, I will report back in fuller detail, somewhere around December 1.  There are others who will have produced far more than I have, but I don't care.  The experience of just sitting down and writing this stuff has been quite an eye opener for me.  And I will be reporting on it in some detail on December 1, or thereabouts.  Stay tuned.

Anne G

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grrrrr!!!!! More computer woes!

Something died in my junkpile laptop last night. I'm not, at the moment, sure what it was, except that I can't connect to the Internet(it's a good thing library funding was restored around here, because I'd be in real trouble if I couldn't access a computer somewhere!) You see, it could be the connection card. Or it could<> be my ISP, which said it's upgrading everybody's modens. I upgraded the modem, which they will kindly send me, about Thanksgiving time(wonderful timing, that!) If not. . . .and it's the wireless card. . . .About all I can say is, I'm going to scream. And you're all going to hear it. Computers, unfortunately, are something you can't live with and you can't live without. I find my laptop very, very useful. Until something like this happens1 Ugh, ugh, ugh!
Anne g

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Seattle City Council gave a press conference today

Yes, that's what they did.  I didn't know about it, and I would have continued on in complete ignorance, had it not been for the fact that I had to return some books to the library.  I returned them, and then went to the floor where most of the kinds of books I want to read, are kept(and I found some good stuff, too, later).  But when I got there, it was immediately obvious that Something Was Going On.  The "something" turned out to be a Seattle City Council press conference, which they'd decided to hold in the biggest room in the library.  The part where the council members were speaking, was roped off, mainly, it turned out, to keep people from getting in the way of the innumerable news cameras, not to keep out the "hoi polloi".  There was a very large pink ceramic piggy bank sitting beside the esteemed council members, and as each council member finished speaking, they dropped some symbolic change into the large pink piggy bank, which, they said, was to be added to the Rainy Day Fund.  The reason for this, it turned out, was that our budgetary woes had been sufficient that they had to dip into it to fund some of the many things the City of Seattle must fund, to keep itself running.  And one of those things is the Seattle Public Library system.  One of the council members(I think it was Richard McIver,but I'm not sure), patted himself on the back for saving most of the hours for the library system as a whole, and keeping most of the library staff jobs.  Some libraries are still going to have to cut hours, at least in the next year, but some of them will continue to be open as they are now, the computer system will be there for job seekers, and best of all, there won't be another week-long "furlough" , when the entire system shut down last August. 


All of the Seattle City Council member patted themselves on the back for saving the budget in general, and for their particular areas in particular.  I"m grateful that they found a way; I'm especially grateful, and thankful that I did my part to encourage this to happen, because unemployment is still high around here, and people are going to need those library computers in order to find jobs -- not  everybody has one at home, and I know  that many job seekers don't(or may not have access to the Internet, even if they do), much though they might want such things.  I am grateful that the Seattle City Council was responsive, and ignored the mayor's original request(he ran for reelection, but was voted out of office in the primaries, because he'd become increasingly unpopular because of decisions like this).  I am grateful that we have a library system that, at present, isn't hurting too much, unlike library systems in some other parts of the country.  But there's still plenty of work to be done, and what I'm hoping is, that in the coming year, the Seattle City Council and other library-friendly groups, will seek ways to find some alternate system of funding, so that there can be a cushion against harder economic times, in the future.  the King County Library system has such an "independent" source of funding, so it never faces these kinds of problems.  I hope the Seattle system will work to find something similar.

Anne G

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Week 2

This is the end of Week Two of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  I am modestly -- at least compared with several other writers on that list -- above goal, and will make 50,000 words at the end of the month if I keep on doing what I'm doing now.  I'm confident of that.  But there are days when I have more trouble writing, than others.  Today was one of them.  But I know such stuff happens, so it hasn't wrecked my confidence.  Now, on to Week Three!

Anne G

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flash! Funding partially restored to the Seattle Public Library!

In all this dull recessionary news lately, there is a bit of good news here, because the Seattle City Council has voted to restore some funding to the Seattle Public Library System.  Which means some of the staff that was going to be cut, will stay on.  And all of the hours at the Central branch, and some of the "important" neighborhood branches, will remain more or less the same.  Unfortunately, the branch I mainly use is one of the ones that is going to have its hours cut so that it isn't open on Fridays or Sundays.  At least not in 2010.  I'm heaving a great big sigh here, and we'll just have to keep working on restoring all the funding to all the libraries.  It will be an uphill struggle, by the looks of things(but I suppose that at the very least, job seekers will be better able to use the computer and employment search resources they have.

Anne G

Spam, spam, spam!

I seem to have been having some trouble with spam, sent to this blog, lately.  I don't know if any other bloggers I'm connected with have been having this trouble.  You, Gentle Reader, won't see it. Because I've been rejecting it every time I see it.  Some of it is just laughable. One idiot sent me some spam --in Russian, probably via some basement in Moscow.  Or St. Petersburg.  Or God-knows-where, Siberia.  In any case, the stupid idiot apparently didn't count on the fact I can read Russian(though not so well as I once could), so I understood perfectly, this stupid character's "advertisement" for "sexy girls".  Ugh.  Nor are you going to see those wretched Viagra ads they used to send to your e-mail.  I reject them all, dear, blog reader.  And believe me, it's going to stay that way.  But, to Blogger -- do something to filter out the crap before it gets here.  It's getting tiresome.

Anne G

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anybody wanna buy a very old castle?

According to, you can buy a 11th century castle in the old region of Gascony.  It looks nice on the outside, and has walls 3 feet thick, so it would probably be quite comfortable in the summer.  Unfortunately, it needs a lot of work, and doesn't seem to be too close to any major towns, though the countryside looks attractive, and the local town seems to get a lot of visitors during the summer, thanks to a local festival.  But still. . . .if you're interested in the Middle Ages at all, maybe buying this old castle would be worth your money -- if, in these economically stagnant times, you happen to have any.

Anne G

I don't usually do this, but. . . . .

I'm adding a blog to my blog list.  It's not the kind of thing I would normally add to this blog list, but the man does seem quite legitimate, and he e-mailed me nicely, so I feel obliged.  Besides, there are some nice pictures of outer space and stars and things there, and I'm sure some Gentle Readers may well be interested. 


You can find the blog here.


Mr. Chakravarthy, if you are reading this, I've added you!

Anne G

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wolves are good for the environment

Farmers and ranchers may not like wolves much, and they're still trying to shoot them in Idaho and Montana(and some idiot or idiots did in a whole pack that used to roam Yellowstone National Park.  But they sure are good for the environments they exist in, whether the farmers, ranchers, and wolf haters know it or not. A recent study on Isle Royale, whose wolves are world-famous, seems to show that when wolves chow down on the local moose, they leave bits and pieces behind(not to mention wolf droppings, and such.  And these "leavings" are apparently good for the local forests; the trees and other things there are healthier when there are wolves around, chowing down on their moose dinners.


Furthermore, this isn't the only time I've read about things like this.  There are wolves on or near the British Columbia coast, that eat a lot of salmon, in the seasons when salmon mate and the runs are abundant.  They just wade in and catch themselves as many salmon as they can eat, which is a lot easier than chasing down the "blacktail" deer(they're a subspecies of mule deer), and eating them.  Of course, they have to compete with grizzly and "black" bears for the salmon, too, but there, the salmon runs are more abundant than here in the Puget Sound area(and a lot less full of pollution, too).  The result of all these leftover salmon carcasses?  Again, the forests where wolves leave their bits of salmon(helped by the various bears and perhaps other wild things as well) are a lot healthier than forests where there aren't any wolves.  Which suggests that, indeed, contrary to the yowls of farmers and ranchers, wolves are, indeed a Good Thing. 


Just an addendum here:  I believe the wolves of this part of British Columbia, are classed in the same subspecies as the two packs that wandered into Central and Eastern Washington, and settled in to raise families.  There probably aren't many migrating salmon any more, in the nearby streams, but there are plenty of mule deer.  So the wolves doubtless eat them.  And are probably, even now, starting to make the forests healthier.  Which is a good thing, because there are people in those areas whose incomes partly derive from those forests.  Even if the local farmers and ranchers don't like this, the presence of the wolves, in the long run, may be healthier for all.

Anne G

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Week One

I've gotten through a whole week of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month!  I still don't know what I'm doing, but I've written "above quota" for the month.  It's been an interesting experience so far.  The good thing about it is, I've learned a lot from just doing this one week.  First of all, I've kept at it.  I've also learned that, even with just a single character to start with, I can take a whack at writing a novel.  Better yet, it has forced me to concentrate on actually writing, in a disciplined way.  I usually get out about seven pages per session, and what I have always seems to be more than is required(I keep track of the word count.  I'm reasonably confident that I'll succeed in this endeavor, even if, on some days, they words just don't come very easily.  They didn't today.  And I'm confident that I'll succeed, even if the result isn't very much  -- yet.  It's basically a very rough draft, and I know I'm going to be changing a lot of stuff for whatever revisions I make.  But beyond that, I don't know how the story is going to develop.  I know how it's going to end -- very dramatically.  But it's a "prequel", so it is also going to tie into what I'm writing now.  So far, BTW, I've written 14,433 words, by actual count.  That isn't as many as some, but it's above what you're "supposed" to do, so I'm patting myself on the back.  We'll see how Week Two goes.  I'll report back, naturally.

Anne G

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another ray of hope for the Seattle Public Library System

Yes, it's true.  There is still another ray of hope for our poor, beleaguered  Seattle Public Library System.  It appears that The Gates Foundation has chipped in $50,000 to help the library's job resource center.  It may not do anything to keep libraries open, or prevent a systemwide "furlough" next year, but it may help job-seekers around here.  And those folks desperately need some help in these tough economic times(even though they're supposed to be getting better).  I certainly hope so.  And I hope the Seattle City Council sits up and listens.  We need all the help we can get.

Anne G

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Today is the first of November.  And it's also the first day of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  I'd heard about it, maybe two years ago, but wasn't ready to try anything.  So I didn't submit any part of my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals, the Invaders trilogy(that's my working title).  However, as I worked on the Invaders trilogy, certain characters grew and grew and grew.  These characters were not originally going to be much of a part of my original work, but Mat Kruvennachild, known on Earth as Mat Fartraveled, ended up being a much bigger character.  He needed a book to himself.  So now I'm starting to write a prequel, whose central character is Mat.  He most definitely has his own story, and it's an interesting one, too, traveling from the Refuge Planet where he was born(though his parents died in a freak blizzard, collecting woolly mammoth underfur), to medieval Earth, whose "modern" humans are always seeming to need help of one kind or another.  I plan many adventures for him, and an ending that leads into the Invaders trilogy, though I don't exactly know how that's going to happen.  But happen it will.  All I have to do, during the month of November, is write a total of 50,000 words. I've written 1836 so far, this first day! I hope I'll end up with more than that, though. And on the first of December, I'll set it aside for a while, go back to working, hopefully finishing the second draft of the first book, then getting into the second draft of the second book, and finishing the first draft of the third.  After that, I'll probably just pick it up again.  I'm excited.  But it will mean that most likely, I won't have too much time for blogging this month, though I will check in to let everybody know how I'm doing, from time to time.  And if anything important about Neandertals, or wolves, or libraries, or anything else that tickles my writing fancy comes up, you will be informed.

Anne G