March of the Catfish

My friend, LA at

https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.wordpress.com

recently wrote about catfishing attempts on her Instagram page. For those not in the know, Urban Dictionary definescatfish” as “someone who pretends to be someone they’re not, using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

I don’t have an Instagram account, yet, but I’ve collected a variety of would be catfishers on Twitter. They’re kind of amusing in their attempts to woo me, a 63-year-old grandmother. Just for grins, I took a couple of screen shots of some of my potential “beaux.”

There’s a bit of overlap in the photos, but I think you can see that these seemingly earnest men are just what any woman dreams of. The pictures posted are likely borrowed from some poor unsuspecting schmuck’s social media profile. I do like how “Scott Tyler” praised the simplicity of my own profile. Surely I was looking for someone just like him to rescue me from my dreary life.

It’s easy for us to laugh, but if you’ve ever watched Dr. Phil you’ll know that a good many people, men and women, fall for online catfishing scams. It’s not unusual for a victim to spend thousands of dollars trying to help out or connect with someone they only know from a social media platform.

So, before you fall for some hunky looking guy or gorgeous gal who’s coming on strong on social media, read this piece about spotting someone who isn’t on the up and up:

https://whatismyipaddress.com/catfish

Peace, people!

A Seuss-a March

Theodore Geisel, better known as the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss, who wrote “The Cat in the Hat” along with dozens of other stories, was born on March 2, 1904. Americans honor Dr. Seuss each year by celebrating Read Across America Day on March 2nd. I meant to mention this in my blog on the actual day, but forgot. I did read on March 2nd, though, and hope you did, as well.

Theodore Geisel

Now, John Philip Sousa, was not born in March. Indeed, the famous composer arrived in this world on November 6, 1854, but he did become known as “The American March King” for his contributions in the world of American military marches. And, to tie into today’s post even further, he passed away on March 6, 1932.

John Philip Sousa

Similar names, aren’t they? Seuss and Sousa. Linked together by March and/or Marches. There is absolutely no point to this piece, but if you read all the way to the end, thank you.

Peace, and march on, people!

Marching to Target

We have a relatively new Target store in Tallahassee. While it was being built I was so excited. The two existing Targets are clear across Tallahassee, one way out on Thomasville Road, the other on Apalachee Parkway, both at least a twenty minute drive from Doright Manor. This new Target would be on MY side of town, nearer the universities, and along with it would come several new eating establishments. Yay!

When this Target opened its doors for business, though, I was disappointed. It was much smaller than a regular Target and everything in it seemed to cater to college kids on a budget. It did have a Starbucks, though, so that was a plus.

As I’ve become accustomed to this particular Target, I’ve become fond of it. It’s easy to get to, and I’m not as tempted to buy things that are “wants” instead of “needs.” They stock lots of healthy foods and have a decent wine section. And, did I mention the Starbucks?

One thing they don’t have these days? Hand sanitizer. As far as I can, tell no one in Tallahassee has any in stock, though, so I can’t complain. I’m sitting in the Target Starbucks typing this on my phone as I sip on my grande decaf coffee Frappuccino with almond milk. Yes, I’ve become one of those people.

I worked on my book before lunch and will return home to type some more this afternoon, but the weather is lovely and I thought a march, okay, a drive to Target would provide a nice break.

Peace, and march on, people!

Bummer Day in March

Today wasn’t awful, but it was a bummer. I got the second of my two shingles shots on Saturday. The first one didn’t bother me at all, but this second one hit me like a ton of bricks.

So, no writing today. I’ve mainly sat around the house feeling decrepit. My left arm hurts like hell, and I feel achy all over. I’d be more paranoid about this being something more sinister, but I watched Studly go through the very same thing a couple of weeks ago when he got the second shot.

Before I went to bed last night, though, I scribbled off four full pages in a notebook. I’d had an epiphany about my characters while I was washing my face and had to get it on paper before going to sleep. My hopes then had been to type it up first thing this morning, but the aforementioned decrepitude got in the way. Now I’m glad I wrote the scene down.

Here’s to feeling better tomorrow!

Peace, people.

Nothing to do with March

Yesterday, in order to get my thousand words written I had to go to a coffee shop. My housekeeper came and I didn’t want to be in her way. The two of us love to talk and that’s not an activity conducive to writing or to cleaning.

It was my first time to write in a public place, unless one considers the year I worked for a small town newspaper. Then, I was surrounded by other people involved in the same activity. My beat was society news and girls’ sports. I was much better at the second of those than the first.

But on Friday I carried my trusty Dell to the Starbucks on north Monroe and typed with abandon. I ran into a research snag, but thanks to Google and internet friends I got back on track fairly quickly. Fifteen hundred words flowed from my brain to the electronic page. Some of them might even be worth keeping.

As I was writing I recalled a conversation I had with Theodore Taylor, author of The Cay. We were both at a conference for English teachers. I was an attendee and Mr. Taylor was an invited guest. My seventh graders and I had just completed a unit on his novel, and I was delighted to find him at the event.

He told me how he’d written The Cay in a single weekend after encountering a group of black musicians in the lobby of a New Orleans hotel. Something about that experience sparked in him an idea for a book about a young, white boy and a black man who became dependent upon each other for survival.

Every now and then I wonder what it would take for me to write a complete novel in a forty-eight hour time frame. A visit with an alien species? A proposal from Jason Mamoa? It’d almost be like waving a magic wand. Abracadabra!

Peace, people!

A Rousing March

Honestly, I’m not being lazy, but I’m expending 99% of my creativity energy on my ever growing novel. Today (Thursday) I have my Olli class, “Fun with Writing,” at 1:30, so I wrote for a couple of hours this morning before getting ready for class.

The novel is still in the first draft stage, even though I’ve been working on it for more years than I want to think about. In the past I’d write a bit, edit, write some more, edit. It seemed like for every step forward I was taking two steps back. Thanks to the wisdom of our Olli instructor, Heather Whitaker, I’m just writing. No editing as I go. Just getting the story out. It feels good.

One might say, I’m on a mission, an inspired march, if you will. And a good march deserves inspiring music.

How about “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes? Rousing!

March of the Penguins

My daughter has a thing for penguins, so when I saw this photo on Facebook I shared it with her immediately, not realizing it was part of an advertisement for a cruise line.

Now, my daughter is ready to take a cruise to view penguins; whereas, I’m thinking if I go on a cruise do I really want to go somewhere cold? Can’t we just ship some of the little fellas over here like in Mr. Popper’s Penguins?

Peace and march on, people.

Generating Words in March

For those readers who aren’t into the masochistic art of writing you might not know that November is a special month known as “National Novel Writing Month,” more commonly called “NaNoWriMo.” During November writers are challenged to complete a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.

Every November I think that this is the year I’ll finally finish my novel. Every year, I fall short of my goal by approximately 49,750 words. Sad, eh? I start strong on November 1, but soon I’m lured away from my computer by thoughts of holiday meal preparations and Christmas shopping and a million other distractions.

Who’s to say, though, that another 30-day month wouldn’t suffice for NaNoWriMo? Why not March? Sure, it lacks the alliterative element, but the math would be the same. I’d still need to average 1,667 words a day to reach the 50,000 mark.

The good news is that over a period of several years, working erratically as the fickle spirit moved me, I have crafted a manuscript that two days ago was sitting right at 25,000 words. (I kept telling folks I was at 35,000–that just shows how long it’s been since I logged into my work. Again, sad.) So, if I can put together 50,000 words in 30 days, I’ll have 75,000 words.

There’s even better news—for the past two days I’ve written right at 1,200 words each day. Of course yesterday I had to pull out about a thousand words that just weren’t working to move the tale along. Those words go into my file titled “Misfit Words” for potential use at another point in the story. Thank heaven for word processing programs, am I right?

Why this burst of activity? Mainly it’s due to the Olli class I’m taking. Our “Fun With Writing” instructor, Heather Whitaker, has given me a figurative kick in the pants to get me unstuck. One technique I’ve found helpful is to interview my main character, or all my characters for that matter.

Ms. Whitaker provided us with a couple of lists of questions to ask characters. One’s the “Proust Questionnaire,” popularized by author/essayist, Marcel Proust as a parlor game. The second list is “Arthur Aron’s” list. Both can be found through a simple google search.

Now, there are a good many questions on both lists, and I didn’t try to ask my character every one. But just picking a few from each list solidified my understanding of the person my main character is. It’s been a game changer. She’s become much more real.

I sincerely hope I haven’t jinxed my current level of activity by writing this post. Sometimes my mind works in counter productive ways, but this feels good. I’m marching onward. Maybe this can be MaMaCoNo or March Maybe Complete Novel. Maybe not. That’s just ridiculous.

Peace, people!

March 2nd: I’d Rather be a Fence Post in Texas

March 2nd is a day dear to the heart of every native born Texan, or at least to those of us who paid attention in fourth grade history class. On this day in 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas, which it remained until 1845 when Texas became the 28th state in the union.

The Alamo
San Antonio

I was born in Lubbock, Texas, well after the Republic became a state; although, some days I feel like I might be old enough to have witnessed Sam Houston being sworn in as the first President of Texas.

Sam Houston
Coincidentally, Sam celebrated his birthday on March 2, making the day a double celebration.

Sam really wanted the state’s capital to remain in his namesake city of Houston where it had been established during the Republic’s existence. After much wrangling, though, the Capital was moved to the more central location of Waterloo. Thankfully that name didn’t stick, and the name was changed to Austin, in honor of Stephen F. Austin, Texas’ first Secretary of State, fondly thought of as The Father of Texas.

Continue reading “March 2nd: I’d Rather be a Fence Post in Texas”

March Onward

Just between you and me, I’m glad our extended February is over. That extra day in the month really sapped my strength.

And now we have March. I’m toying with the idea of a March theme for the blog. It would be a bit trickier to pull off than February’s love theme, but totally doable.

We could celebrate Sousa’s musical marches, the March sisters from Little Women, leprechauns, and the Ides of March. Then there’s Texas Independence Day, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, John Cowsill and Jermaine Jackson’s birthdays. Oh, and March Madness! I’m sure I’m leaving out other obvious takes on the theme.

Should I try a March-themed month. Aye or nay or meh?

Peace and march on, people!