Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grades Done, Etc

Finished my grading and will turn them in today. So now I'll return to blogging. There were so many old posts piled up that I'd never get through them so I'll just pick up commenting again starting today.

This post will be a hodgepodge. First, a quick report on my talk at the library on "The Care and Feeding of Writing Groups." It didn't turn out terribly well. Lana was there, and four members of my writing group, another ex member of the group and her mother, and then "two" people who actually signed up for the presentation. Only one of those was there at the beginning, although she did buy three books after the talk.

I also thought I could have been smoother in my talk, particularly at the beginning. I was a bit discombobulated at the low turnout and it took me a moment to figure out how to basically present an hour presentation to one person. I'll have another chance to do better on Tuesday, when I give the same presentation at another branch of the library.

Second, Wicked Words Quarterly, Issue 3, has just been released. It contains a story by me called "Long Dead Woman in a Black Dress." I've got my contributor's copy but haven't had a chance to read it yet, although the stories sound intriguing.

Third, almost two weeks ago Lana and I spotted a small fire burning in the woods down the road from our house. While Lana called the fire department, I started putting it out. It was burning slowly through the leaf litter so I was able to get the primary flames snuffed. The fire truck arrived and started spraying things down. We left. Later, we drove back by and it was still smoking but we didn't think much about it. But the next day I saw that flames had sprung up again. The fire folks had plowed an area around the fire so it was unlikely to get out, but I was afraid it would catch the trees and then be able to leap the gap. Once again we put it out and then I later poured water on all the smoking places. Unfortunately, the fire seemed to have gotten down into some half buried logs and it continued to smolder and occasionally flare up again for nearly ten days, even though we had one light shower and several heavy dews. A couple more time I poured water on the hot spots, and finally noticed yesterday that it appears to have completely died away finally.  Rather scary how long such a fire can keep smouldering.

Fourth, Adventures of an Arkansawyer is getting some good comments, although only one review has appeared on Amazon so far. I have a few copies here if anyone wants a signed one. I"m asking $9 for the book, same as Amazon, and I'm not sure how much the mailing costs would be but probably not much. Email me if you'd like a signed copy. kainja at hotmail dot com

Hope all has been well with everyone while I've been gone.



Oscar Case said...

Everybody busy Xmas shopping is my guess on the number who showed up

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a long time for a fire to smolder. I would've continued to douse it as well.
Your next talk will be smoother I'm sure.
And congratulations on your short story being in that issue!

sage said...

Glad your grades are in! Is the area the fire burned filled with peat? That is scary to have fires flame back up.

I'll have to get me a signed copy of your book!

David Cranmer said...

Sounds like the fire department should have you and Lana on call, Charles.

Cloudia said...

You are a firefighter!

Hey, Christmas season people are too busy! You need a different time for your presentation, I think.

Glad your grading work is done, Charles.

ALOHA from Honolulu

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, I wouldn't have slept if I knew there was a fire within licking distance. Glad you and Lana took care of it and are safe. Shouldn't the FD have taken care of it all the way? It'd be interesting to read your thoughts on "The Care and Feeding of Writing Groups."

the walking man said...

It's not so much putting the hotspots out AFTER they flare, it's knowing where they could be.

I one time did a poetry reading for 5 people, the barista was one of them and I was another. Oh those heady days of public speaking.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, yeah, not a good time of year for it, I guess.

Alex, thanks, man

Sage, years and years of pine needle litter, with buried old logs. Almost like peat. Email me if you're interested in the book.

David, that's what Lana said. :)

Cloudia, yeah, I think that was a big part of it.

Prashant, I guess the firefighters didn't realize how embers can smoulder down in leaf litter like that.

Mark, that's one reason I went down to look after dark at one point, so I could see the glow.

ivan said...

Supposing I was there to give a leture and one person came.

Being in similar positions in the past, I quit lecturing and took up lounge singing.
It was supposed to be for seniors.

Two people came and they were in their teens to hear my 23-"Skiddoos and Amscrays."

"Oh you kid! It's the bees' knees!"

G. B. Miller said...

Glad to hear you're back online none the worse for wear. Perhaps you can make an annual pilgrimage to my blog to pop in and say hi.


Father Nature's Corner

BernardL said...

The business is notoriously slow just before Christmas. I hope your next library talk works out much better.

SzélsőFa said...

I can relate to your experience at the library.
I am singing in a women's choir, we have about 30 members, and at times we outnumber the audience. At one occassion the majority of the audience comprised of family members, organizers and yet there were like 15 person sitting in the rows and 30 standing on stage.
It is a devastating feeling to face such a small audience. You are willing to perform to one person only, but the feeling is just not the same... :(

pattinase (abbott) said...

Will never forget the time I saw a man giving a talk to an audience of one. He carried on like the room was full. A real trooper. (And I think the one was a book store employee).

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, maybe I'll try singing next time.

G. B., will do

Bernard, yeah, I thought this might be early enough but apparently not.

Szelsofa, yes, it just feels rather awkward. Especially at the beginning.

Patti, although I started slow I finished strong as I got into it. But it's strange.

Riot Kitty said...

Writing and amateur fire fighting? I'm impressed. Seriously!

Charles Gramlich said...

Riot, growing up in the country I actually had quite a bit of experience fighting fires, although not formally.

Brian Miller said...

ah stinks that only one person showed...i think i would have got some coffee with them and just had a conversation....yikes on the fire....there was a fire i passed on the way home yesterday and there were guys tending it but it was i feared it might get out of control....

Charles Gramlich said...

Brian, there were two at my talk tonight. :)