Saturday, January 29, 2011

The way this cardinal was angled reminded me of that lawn game, Jarts. I thought it was interesting how folded its legs were when it bent over to eat.

I have a commitment to speak at the next Toastmaster's meeting in two weeks. Now, I HAVE to practice this presentation! I am going to read the entire Toastmaster's book real soon because it has been helpful. For example, last Thursday I read that it's not a good idea to make a presentation entertaining and informative so I removed some humor that I had not yet added. I'm also removing two slides and starting with a question as has been suggested to me by the head of the Vernon Toastmasters. That will plunge me right into the topic, a better idea.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I was really heartened to read that "Science Takes Spotlight in the State of the Union Address" in Scientific American. About time!

I've set a goal of month's end to finish a first draft. After that, I'm refocusing on the presentation. I need to practice. Today I came up with a catchy little kid-oriented name, something that sounds more fun than "climate change presentation." My latest thinking is that I will start with the town library. What I really need more than anything else is to set a date of when this is happening otherwise, I'll keep making writing the priority.

At our critique group meeting we only had time to review one thing due to snow, a late school opening and a new driver I preferred to drive safely in. We are reconvening early next week to finish and hopefully snow won't block our way this time. My article will be reviewed next week, but in my head I'm already thinking I'm stripping out a paragraph or two.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Here's another photograph that Walt took of the female cardinal, a regular visitor.

I was thinking last night that one of the difficult things for me at least, has been deciding where best to put my time and effort. At any given time, you can write short or long pieces for adult or children and on any topic. Then of course there is the other stuff--presentations to create and practice, grants and fellowships to apply for and contests to enter. Trying to pick my way through a myriad of choices and chart a path that works for me is a constant dilemma. I look back and think about some of the duds, the things I spent time on that never got me anywhere. Time has given me some wisdom to reduce the waste, but a crystal ball would sure be nice.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yesterday, I was out on snowshoes. Although we've had a lot of snow this season, I've been either too busy or too sick to enjoy it. Here's a photograph of what happens when your snowshoe falls off. I kept right on trudging through the snow wondering why one leg was sinking way down deep and the other wasn't (guess which one?) . After going quite a ways, I looked down and for the first time ever, found my snowshoe was no longer on my foot (you can see it in the photograph). This is what happens when one forgets to tighten the snowshoe. Duh.

Today, I went back to working on my larger project because I feel a need to write this. At the end of the day, I decided that this beginning is better positioned in the middle. Now, I need a spicy new beginning. Hm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our new kitten, Twinky, is quite the technician. When there's a problem she's the first one on the scene ready to do the repair. When there's not a problem, she's right there, inspecting the work.

Writing about climate change can be challenging when the writing is for kids. I reread my article and thought the ending was rather dismal. Today, I reworked that ending and made it refer back to the beginning, about the research study. I'm happy that I could put something nice together in a weeks time, but I think that's because the research and the material were so familiar.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I received some great news this past week from the National Association of Science Writers:

In July, I'm headed to the Highlights Foundation Writer's Workshop at Chautauqua! Everything I've read about this workshop is a glowing review. It's nice to start the year with some fabulous news. As I told my kids, it takes persistence. This is the second time I've applied for funding to the workshop. I'm hoping they help me iron out the wrinkles in my big project.

Lately, I've been working on a magazine article about climate change for two reasons. First, I have an email critique deadline next week and nothing to show for myself. Secondly, I'm laying the groundwork for some bigger plans. Finally, this is the same subject I've been writing about, a subject I know very well, so it was fast and easy to put it together.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I finally shot a decent picture of the bluejay that often feeds on the back deck.

I have been immersed in Powerpoint lately, adding transitions, animation, color, maps, and photographs. The presentation with hands-on science is ready to go and looks great! I'm not sure if I want to invest more time dealing with sound which I was unable to get to work. Hm.

Today, I'm diving into research papers and I think I might be able to work simultaneously on a bigger project and on a magazine article on the same topic.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Since I've been slowly adding to my favorite lines, mostly for my own amusement, I decided to add a separate link on the right for quotations and remove them from the "about me" section.

Today, I'm posting my own photographs of the cardinals that have been visiting. They make a handsome pair, him in his bright red suit and her with her fancy headpiece. The male cardinal has an expression that makes me think, "what are you looking at me for?" I love watching them.

I have a glimmer of hope that an exciting opportunity that vanished last year may reappear this year. If so, I will seize upon it with every morsel I've got. Meanwhile, I'm going to finish up two headpieces for costumes for a climate change presentation.


When I first started writing, my native language was COBOL.  ~LRZ 7/1/14
I don't let Hope play in traffic because she'll get hurt.  Instead, I keep her close to my heart. ~ LRZ 7/20/13

Picking a story is like finding a gem at a quarry and knowing just how to turn it so the sun makes it sparkle. ~LRZ   10/26/12

There's nothing quite like meandering through the Midnight Garden, picking words and making new arrangements. ~ Linda Zajac 7/26/12

My writing friends are Hope and Patience.  Hope is on a pogo stick, springing eternal.  Patience is a silent friend.  I want to make her talk. ~ Linda Zajac 4/7/12

Some times pulling the words out of me is like yanking a knotted skein of yarn. ~Linda Zajac 9/2/11 post

Transitions are the stepping stones in a river of story. When they're too close, they sink in a bog, too far, and they're lost at sea. ~ Linda Zajac 1/23/11 Facebook post

Shredders are the hungry pets at publishing houses. Lined up against the wall, there's Teddy, Eddy, Betty, and Freddie Shreddy, all waiting to get fed. ~ Linda Zajac 2/2/11 Facebook post

Writing is like building a snowman. You break your back rolling and rolling trying to make nothing into something, but you've no idea where this snowman will end up nor the journey you will take to get there. Over time, with a little luck, the snowball will start ripping up the grass.~ Linda Zajac 2/24/09 post (3/6/09 dream)

I don't want my success to come from playing someone else's music (after listening to a tribute band). ~ Linda Zajac 8/7/09 post

Ideas need freedom to roam and flourish, but "standards" are the leash that restrains them. ~ Linda Zajac 11/1/09 post

If we accept the facts as facts, we lose the ability to uncover inaccuracies. ~ Linda Zajac 11/13/09 Facebook post

I'd rather take a longer time and write it well than take a shorter time and write it often. ~ Linda Zajac 1/1/10 post

Rejection is a blessing in disguise. The disguise is so clever it hides the blessing. ~ Linda Zajac 6/8/10 post