About this Blog

Here you will find information and writings by Carrie Dalby, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as the ups and downs of life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Literary Defeat

I've lost a battle with a book. Not just any book, but a classic. A standard from this past century in the literary library of the greats. One of the most referenced works I've come across in articles and books about the craft of writing. And I quit!

My brain was having too much trouble wrapping around a text which is out-numbered by footnotes on many of the pages. In the five to ten minutes of reading time I get here and there throughout the day it was too difficult to keep track of the train of thought an hour or two later with such detailed references. Nearly impossible to grasp the details while being pulled at by one child and questioned by another.

But I need the information from this book- which has been sitting on my shelf for nearly a decade. Plot is my weakest link and I believe the knowledge in this book will help me with plotting my stories. I finally dusted off the book two weeks ago but have accepted defeat on page twenty-six.

Instead, I cheated.

I goggled “Hero's Journey” to find a tidy outline of the steps in the travels of a character rather than trying to trudge through The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. And I found a gem on an educational website which translated nicely to be printed out on two pages in document format. It now rests on my desk; encased in an archival page protector. The crisp page glaring like a white flag.

I've surrendered the fight, for now. I'll try it again when my brain functions better.

P.S. I try to stick with nonfiction reading during the day. So now I'm rereading Herself by Madeleine L'Engle (one of my favorites). The collection of quotes is just the thing to be able to read a few pages here and there. Plus it's uplifting and empowering. And at night I'm reading Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson.

P.P.S. The book that won is on the left side of the shelf, white with red swirls and a blue text box. L'Engle is the shortest book in the center of the inspiration and how-tos.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I'm getting closer to catching up on projects around here. For example I'm down to one scrapbook to catch-up on (see blog posted May 20, 2009). Though by the time I order pictures again I'll have at least 3 months worth of new pictures to attend to. But as my baby girl grows, I take fewer pictures each month. And we haven't had a major outing since March so there isn't a photo-documentary waiting to be freed. Translation= it should be easier to keep up on things from now on... or at least this next time.

One thing I have done lately is taken several videos. Those have been fun. Just thirty-ninety second snippets of my kids at play: recording their laughter and movement.

Oh, and my mother gave me a little photo album of random pictures of me from the time I was a toddler until my twentieth birthday. So those will have to be placed. Some might be duplicates from shots I already have in scrapbooks. If that's the case, I'll pass them along to unsuspecting family members so they can strategically place the oddball photos instead of me.

The photo on this page is from the batch my mother gave me. Yours truly, in my Wonderland, October 1995. It was in this room where “Wonderwegian” was born. I was always changing things around. Posters on the ceiling as well as globes and record albums hanging, too. And that's just a third of the room, with my “black and white wall” taking up the main backdrop. The other walls (and ceilings) were covered with a colorful assortment of rock posters/albums and nature prints.

My taste has always been all over the place but I like to think that now I have less clutter.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm Melting!

Last month we were blessed with unseasonably moderate temperatures along the Gulf Coast. So far June is making up for May's easy days. The heat index is 99 right now, the thermostat is reading 95F. One can only pray for afternoon thunderstorms to cool things off a bit but this week doesn't haven't much stacked in favor for rain.

Yes, I'm talking weather.

Out of topics or news, you might be thinking. Not really.

Exterior climate affects my interior climate.

Ask my family- they'll let you know I've been running hot lately. Easily frustrated and short tempered. Diffidently not my usual self. But 'tis the season for stress and anxiety- at least for me. Trapped inside during the summer much like northerners are trapped inside during the winter.

My oldest son has trouble regulating his body temperature, as part of his immune system issues, so he over-heats easily.

Mosquitoes are attracted to my middle child like squirrels to magnolia blossoms. (Yes, those critters eat the magnolia buds!)

The baby doesn't need to be around heat or bugs.

And I don't want to either, if I can help it!

So we spend a lot of time indoors.