Friday, November 04, 2005

Met A Writer

Well, there isn't much exciting going on at work yet. I did start out at Amazon.com. I was away from home for 14 hours so just popping onto the computer for a brief look-see.

One of my buddies I hadn't seen in a month or two asked how writing was going and this guy that overheard came and talked with me. He's writing a screen play. He's got some experience in production. He was telling me some funny stories about his work on various television shows. Sounds interesting to me. Too bad he isn't in my department, that means I probably won't get to talk to him a whole lot.

I did get on the Amazon.com website and notice that Dara Joy's That Familiar Touch is going from $40 to about $190! Those are used, directly from private people or independent used bookstores.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

All About Annalee

Nabbed from Ellen F. Anyone can do this if they'd like.

1. First name? Angela
2. Were you named after anyone? My grandmother. My pen name is after myself... those names belong, just not my first name.
3. Do you wish on stars? Yes
4. When did you cry last? Someone egged my truck. When I realized they did real damage to the paint job, I cried.
5. Do you like your handwriting? My handwriting is worse than ever. I type too much. Writing out the bills gives me cramps these days!
6. What is your favorite lunch meat? Bologna.
7. What is your birth date? Dec 7
8. What is your most embarrassing CD? I can’t think of one I’m embarrassed to own.
9. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Yes.
10. Do you have a journal? This blog.
11. Do you use sarcasm a lot? I prefer to think of it as wit.
13. Would you bungee jump? I’ve skipped the opportunity. There is a swing shot thingy here in town I told my nephew I’d go on next summer. I’m chickening out 8 months ahead of time.
14. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? No.
15. Do you think that you are strong? Yes.
16. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Seattle Sludge... it’s a hopped up Rocky Road.
17. Shoe Size? I wear a 9, but a 10 feels so good I buy an 11. That’s what my grandfather always said. But the thing is... it’s true with me.
18. Red or pink? Red.
19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? Sleeping in.
20. Who do you miss most? I think of my grandma most often.
21. Do you want everyone you send this to, to answer? If they want. It’s long.
22. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Light blue Capris with no socks.
23. What are you listening to right now? The hum of my hard drive.
24. Last thing you ate? A meat loaf sandwhich. Left overs.
25. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Purple.
26. What is the weather like right now? Chilly. Clear. Calm. There was a storm earlier.
27. Last person you talked to on the phone? My mother I think.
28. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Height, size, over all qualities before specifics.
29. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yeah. Great author! I nabbed it.
30. Favorite Drink? Diet Pepsi.
31. Favorite sport? Hiking.
32. Hair Color? Brown, silver.
33. Eye color? Blue-Green.
34. Do you wear contacts? I wear glasses.
35. Favorite Food? Almonds.
36. Last movie you watched? Duplex.
37. Favorite day of the year? Any day that is special.
38. Scary Movies Or Happy Endings? Happy endings.
'39. Summer or Fall? Fall.
40. Hugs OR Kisses? Kisses.
41. What Is Your Favorite Dessert? Chocolate covered almonds. LOL.
42. Who Is Most Likely To Respond? Hmm...
43. Who Is Least Likely To Respond? Hmm...
44. What Books Are You Reading? Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
45. What’s on your mouse pad? Don’t have one. I have an optical mouse.
46. What Did You Watch Last Night? Duplex.
48. Favorite Sounds? Jingle Bells
47. Favorite Smell? Last time I was in love... the guy. Other than that, I’ve got inhalent allergies. In fact, I’m sneezing right now over something.
50. Favorite animal. Macaws. There was a macaw in Duplex. They’re birds... technically. ;) I had to smile when Ben Stiller, got all pissy about macaws being parrots. But, the thing is... they are in the same biological “family” as parrots. But macaws can’t cross breed. The problem is that we use the word “parrot” to describe a huge range of birds that are colorful, just like we use the word “cat” to describe anything from a lion to a tabby cat. Doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.
51. What’s the farthest you’ve been from home? Matzatlan, Mexico when I was living in Alaska.
52. Do you have a special talent? How about... digital art.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Finished Undercover Love

[Moved this and embellished.] Before I started reading Northern Lights I finished Undercover Love by Lucy Grijalva. I don't want to put any spoilers in here, but let's just say... wow. It made me laugh and cry. There were a few parts in there with that emotional punch that catch my attention.

I saw a post the other day on Romancing the Blog that got me thinking about my reading habits. I'm far more likely to be found reading smaller run books by outfits like Lionhearted than by Jove (ha-ha, by Jove, you've got it!). Lionhearted opened nearly 10 years ago and I think they've got fewer books published in that time as a company than Nora Roberts has as an author. I've known about them for most of their lifetime as a company because it's been my habit to seek out books by smaller publishers I was pleased with for a long time.

I do this in more aspects of my life than reading. I have a pair of Minnetonka mocassins, I don't have anything Prada. My favorite River Phoenix movie was "My Own Private Idaho" not "Stand By Me"... though I liked them both, I'm more likely to enjoy an Indie than a blockbuster movie. I've always been more likely to live in a small town than a city. I don't avoid blockbusters, or cities. In fact, I now live in a small city. But, I don't see it as more "happening" than my old tiny town was. These traits probably have a lot to do with having grown up in "Lunacy". [NOTE:Nora Roberts created a fictional town in the same neck of the woods as Talkeetna. Sure feels like she modeled Lunacy in part after Talkeetna. I bet she went there then? I've only read 2 chapters, but so far I'm enjoying the book.]

Anyway, I grew up in Talkeetna. This image below has been on one of my websites for about 4 years now. This is sunset over Denali from the banks of the Talkeetna River not far from where I grew up. My folks sold the property we lived on about 5 or 6 years ago, but this was pretty much my view growing up.



This is one of the homes we rented when I was in grade school. It is about halfway down the runway from downtown Talkeetna and a view of Denali as the runway ends at the river. Being on the runway, I got to see all kinds of characters and world travelers. Every summer there were mountain climbers from Germany, Japan and all over the world really. Reading the first few chapters of Northern Lights, so far she's nailing the characters in small town Alaska on the head. A memory came to mind last night when I was trying to think of the chunk of land to the west of Talkeetna and Denali. I remembered this story.

One summer a customer of one of the more famous bush pilots came and parked his truck along the runway. He'd hired this pilot to drop him off in the boondocks so he could go hunting or fishing. Time went by and pretty soon there was grass growing up to the floorboards of this truck. One day a raggedy man with a scraggily beard comes and asks my father's buddy, "Where's blankety-blank blank PILOT"?

"Well, he's usually over there in his hangar."

Reportedly there was quite a ruckus over in the hangar after that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Northern Lights

I bought a "best-seller" today folks. I haven't bought a book that was set apart as a "best seller" for so long I can't recall doing it. The reason that I did? Because Nora Roberts decided to tackle Alaska. 600+ pages worth too. How does she do it? This wasn't her only book this year. Part of the reason I want to read this book is because Bernadette said it's good. But I would have anyways because having lived in Alaska for over three decades I'm always curious when my home state shows up in literature.

Admittedly, I'm really curious how someone with over 280 million books in print will handle writing about Alaska. If Ms. Robert's makes any blaring errors, I won't mention them here because I've recently read Rebecca Brandewyne's post on Author's Reviewing Books. Mostly I blog about what I enjoy reading anyway.

But, I have learned from errors that I've caught in fiction about Alaska before. Like once I saw a FILL-IN-THE-BLANK on a cover. It made me decided that when I was writing about a locale I haven't lived in before that I would make absolutely sure that FILL-IN-THE-BLANKs existed.

A TV show once had their police officer/pilot fly from Ketchikan to Kotzebue (which they pronounced wrong) and back again in one day in a Cessna. Ketchikan is 2/3's of the way to Seattle from Anchorage, and Kotzebue is another 500 miles north. I think they're about 1500 airmiles apart as the crow flies, I'd have to double-check. With an air speed of 150 mph... it's a 20 hour round trip flight without time for fueling or restroom breaks.

Actually, I've had much difficulty getting from Anchorage to Ketchikan in one day. I will now give a discription that has happened to me 2-3 times in the 3 years I lived in Ketchikan.

The flight from Anchorage to Ketchikan is often called the "milk run" because they stop everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, in between and drop off the mail. Actually, the probably drop off the milk too.

It takes about an hour and a half in a jet from Anchorage to Juneau, where it is fogged in so they divert back to Sitka -- which wasn't on the flight manifest but has decent weather. In Sitka they let you off the plane to eat their famous homeade pie, their treat. Then, when Juneau clears everyone makes a mad dash to board the plane again, only to sit and wait because the fog thickened again.

Finally you will be cleared for take-off, get to Juneau and try to land but abort -- at which time you will remember in the back of your mind that Alaska Airlines lost a jet in Juneau by running into one of the many mountains that surround the town. After an hour of circling Juneau, you'll land, then sit and wait again for the fog to clear. This time they won't let you off the plane because they don't want to miss their window of opportunity. Two hours hours later everyone is cranky and the airlines staff comes up with a reasonable solution. There is a ferry leaving in two hours and would anyone like to get onboard will have their tickets covered rather than a refund on their airfare.

After the people who'd rather take the ferry home get off the plane, another hour passes and the jet finally takes off, skipping Petersburg (making the few Petersburgs passengers very unhappy they didn't take the ferry) because it is just too damn foggy, worse than Juneau.

The plane lands in Wrangell -- which miraculously has great weather. At this point they realize Ketchikan has poor weather. It was good all day there up until this point. While they're wondering what to do, the fog in Petersburg lifts, which hasn't gotten it's mail in three days so the jet turns around north again. Once home the Petersburg residents are so pleased they begin to cheer, they've been trying to get home for 3 days too.

By the time you fly over Ketchikan, 14 hours into the trip, you're only on the way to Seattle because the pilot admits they don't have enough fuel onboard to circle for more than 10 minutes safely. In the back of your mind your thinking... please God, don't let Seattle's automated system be offline because if it's foggy down there too and we're running in on fumes...

You drag into SEA-TAC and they offer to put you up in a hotel in Seattle, or fly you back to Anchorage. Either way you know your chances aren't good for getting home anytime soon, so... you chose Anchorage because you get massive air miles wracked up on your account.

24 hours later you get home, passing the ferry you chose not to take as you take the ferry over to Revilla Island from Gravina Island. KIA is on another island and there is ferry service between the two.

I've never seen a book deal with these kinds of realities. But then... it wouldn't make for very climactic suspense would it? It was a necessary evil for living in SE Alaska though.

[Man, this is a long, long post. If you've read this far you're a real trooper.]