Thursday, February 28, 2008

Signs of Spring

Spring comes early to Southern California (don't hate me, ye who live in snow country), and thanks to slightly more than our usual amount of rain this winter, it looks to be a particularly pretty spring. After several years of drought, I'm especially happy to see the hills greening up so nicely. Last year Orange County had all of 2.2 inches of rain, so this is a really nice change. We'll have a few months to enjoy the green before things heat up, but by mid-summer, the green will be gone and the hills will be their usual shade of light brown.

Here are a couple of pictures of Orange County. The rainy street scene was shot on Sunday during our most recent rain, and I took the sunny picture this morning. Both are beautiful to me, the rainy scene perhaps more than the sunny one, since rain is far rarer than sun in this climate. And we need it so badly.

Linda / Lyndi

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Which Tarot Card Are You?

I had medical procedures done this morning that involved twilight sleep and I'm really not alert enough to come with anything profound, but I remembered this tarot-related quiz and thought it would make a fun subject. I've taken it twice now, and both time I got the same answer: The Tower.

Yikes, the Tower? This isn't a card I'd have chosen for myself. In fact, it's one of the scariest cards in the deck, usually showing a tower being struck by lightning or otherwise destroyed. The meaning, according to CyberWarlock of Warlock's Quizzles and Quandaries, follows:

You are The Tower

Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.

The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.

The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.

So what does that mean to me? I'm not going through any kind of upheaval in my life or my thinking, at least not as far as I know. Or is it just a fun quiz that means nothing? Hope so, LOL.

Anyone else brave enough to take the quiz? If so, let me know which card you get.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Linda / Lyndi

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Go With The Flow: More on Pisces

I don't know who came up with the slogan "Go with the flow" but it could be the unofficial slogan for the sign of Pisces. As a mutable water sign, Pisces can be pretty hard to pin down. Conventional wisdom says that the best matches for Pisces are the other water signs of Cancer & Scorpio and the earth signs: Taurus, Virgo & Capricorn. I can see how someone born under an earth sign could act as an anchor for a Pisces, but I can also imagine that the Piscean tendency to go with the flow could be a bit difficult for a more practical-minded earth sign to understand.

In looking at a list of famous people born under this sign, I noticed that it seems to include more than the usual number of creative people. Here are some famous Pisceans:

Edward Albee, playwright
Harry Belafonte, singer
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet
Sir Richard Francis Burton, explorer & translater of the Kama Sutra into English*
Frederick Chopin, composer
Grover Cleveland, president
Albert Einstein, mathematician
Georg Handel, composer
Victor Hugo, novelist
Senator Edward Kennedy
James Madison, president
Michelangelo, artist & sculptor
Zero Mostel, comedian
Vaslev Najinsky, ballet dancer
Rudolf Nureyev, ballet dancer
Auguste Renoir, artist
Rimsky-Korsakov, composer
Dinah Shore, singer
Anthony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon, photographer
John Steinbeck, novelist
Elizabeth Taylor, actress
Earl Warren, governor & chief justice of the Supreme Court
George Washington, president

* Richard Burton was the first Western explorer to trace the source of the Nile, so how's that for a literal example of a Pisces going upstream!

Linda / Lyndi

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pisces!

Pisces is the 12th sign of the Zodiac and thus represents the end of the human journey through life that starts with Aries. Does that mean every Pisces has absorbed the wisdom of the ages? Not exactly, though there have been some extraordinary people born under this sign, like Michelangelo and Albert Einstein.

Pisceans tend to be creative and intuitive, often artistic, charming, good-natured, compassionate and free-spirited. Not that you won't occasionally meet a sarcastic, acid-tongued fish. The sign is ruled by Neptune, god of the seas, and as the tides ebb and flow, so does the moods and energy of the Piscean.

The sign's symbol is that of two fish swimming in opposite directions. Or are they swimming in a circle? Sometimes it can seem that way. Pisceans aren't generally known for their ambition, but they can be single minded. While it's all too easy to get distracted by all the pretty coral in the ocean and the sandy beaches and sunlight, salmon are driven to swim upstream to spawn, often against tremendous obstacles.

In her classic book on Sun Signs, Linda Goodman says that the fish facing in different directions represents a choice not a dual nature. Pisces will be tempted to swim downstream, after all, it's easier, but "to swim upstream is the challenge of Pisces -- and the only way he ever finds true peace and happiness." *

Watch for more on Pisces in the next couple of posts.

Linda / Lyndi

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Learning to Blog

Hi everyone,

I'm taking an online class on blogging taught by superblogger Suzanne McMinn, and I'll be using this blog for my homework, so please bear with me as I experiment with different ideas and methods. The upside is I'll try to blog more often.

I could use some help with this. What do you like to see in a blog? What topics interest you? Do you like pictures with the blog entry or do they take too long to download?

Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thanks.


P.S. Blog novice that I am, I just recently discovered I'd had the comment feature set to only accept comments from people with Google email accounts. I've changed that now so anyone can comment. What can I say? I'm a little slow at times. :D


Friday, February 8, 2008

Fear and the Neurotic Writer

Fear and the Neurotic Writer

Writers face fear every day. Fear that the current book won't be as good as the last one, fear that it won't sell, fear of bad reviews, negative fan mail... Most of all the fear that I'll never be able to do this again. The list goes on and on. Fear and uncertainty are the writer's constant companions.

It's not just writing-related fears. This week I found myself wimping out of a promotional opportunity because it would take me out of my comfort zone. Now I don't mind speaking in front of a group. In fact, put a microphone in my hand and I'm a happy camper. I know that will sound strange to many of you, since fear of publish speaking is one of the biggest phobias around. I think it's because I've always been such a wallflower. In a group, I'll be the one fading into the wallpaper. But when you're the speaker, suddenly you're the center of attention, and I just don't see the downside to that.

Face-to-face promotion is something else entirely. I'm fine talking to other writers about point of view or some other technical subject, or introducing strangers to the joys of reading e-books. I really enjoy showing my readers and sharing my enthusiasm for the technology. But don't ask me to toot my own horn and tell you why you should buy my book. Suddenly I'm the shyest person around, and normally I don't have a shy bone in my body. So I don't mind being the center of attention as long as I don't have to sell anything.

I recently downloaded a sample of Arianna Huffington's latest book, ON BECOMING FEARLESS to my Amazon Kindle. The book is about women and fear, and it sounds really fascinating. One passage struck me in a personal way:

"...ironically, the woman who appears well adapted my be the one who has simply become most comfortable being governed by her fears, while the 'neurotic' one is still gamely struggling to reach fearlessness."

This paragraph really resonates with me. The writing business seems to make us crazy, if we weren't already nuts to begin with. I used to think of myself as fairly well adjusted -- until I started writing, then I became a card carrying neurotic, and I still am.

So now I don't feel quite so bad about being neurotic. It means I'm still trying. And who knows? Maybe I'll work up the nerve to tackle that missed opportunity.

In the meantime, I'll be speaking to the Cactus Rose RWA chapter in Las Vegas next weekend on Point of View and having a wonderful time.

Lyndi / Linda