Thursday, March 21, 2019
For instance, I would not pull up to the front door of a hotel to check in and unload luggage for fear someone would get mad at me. Now I do it anyway (but it's a struggle every time). And, guess what, no one has ever gotten mad at me.
Part of this is also my fear of screwing up. If I don't know for sure how to do something, and don't think I can figure it out, I will just shut down and not do it. My middle son does the exact same thing. I guess he got my genes.
All of this is part of why I think I might be on the Autism spectrum, admittedly not far on it. But when I look at my childhood, I think I might be further along the spectrum than I think, I'm just faking it well as an adult.
And I still hate getting in trouble. People who don't care if they get in trouble amaze me. I kind of wish I could be like them, but a lot of them are criminals and psychos.
It's also part of my over-active imagination. I can always imagine the worst case scenario.
How do you feel about getting in trouble? Let me know in the comments below.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
|Steakhouse 55 Steak|
But the best steak is one you don't have to cook, i.e., bought in a restaurant. Ruth Chris Steakhouse (which is a chain) makes really good steaks. I haven't been to one of those forever (since my oldest son graduated the University of Washington and that was June of 2012). I keep waiting for my second son to graduate college so I can take him there.
But the best steak I've ever had was at Disneyland. Seriously. Off the Disneyland Hotel is Steakhouse 55. Like Ruth Chris, you order a steak and then you order side dishes to go with it. And it's quite expensive (Ruth Chris is cheaper, relatively). I didn't see the bill (it was a family dinner and my father paid) but I saw the prices on the menu. I was there about 11 months ago.
The steak was in every way perfect. Tender, juicy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection. The only weird thing was it was served with a bit of bone marrow inside a bone (see picture). I wasn't sure what to do with that, so I left it alone.
It felt as if the steak literally melted in your mouth, it was that tender. And it tasted so good. And the sides were delicious. They had both potato and vegetable sides. We ordered a multi-layer chocolate cake for dessert, and it was amazing.
If you're in southern California, I would suggest visiting Steakhouse 55. I also recommend reservations. And maybe a short-term loan to pay for it.
In my novel Treasure of the Black Hole, there is a scene where my character is having breakfast with the emperor of the Core Empire. And it's almost food porn. You should check it out.
Thursday, March 7, 2019
|Mt. Rainier (left of center) from my house|
On a clear day from my house I can see three Cascade Range volcanoes. The most prominent of these is Mt. Rainier, the tallest mountain in Washington State. At 14,411 feet, it lords over much of the State. I've seen it from east of Ritzville when the conditions are perfect.
One of the best views of Rainier is from a ridge called Ryegrass between Vantage and Ellensburg on I-90.
Rainier is considered on of the most dangerous volcanoes in America. It's proximity to urban areas (Tacoma and Seattle and their suburbs), means there is great potential for destruction if it ever erupts. Unlike volcanoes in Hawaii, the threat isn't lava, it's lahars. As snow and glaciers on the mountain melt from the volcanic heat, they mix with dirt to make mud flows that head downhill. That's a lahar.
Here's a story from last fall about Rainier's (and Mt. St. Helens) eruption potential.
The other volcano I can see is Mt. Adams. Mt. Adams is more isolated and volcanologists don't think it's going to erupt soon. So it's much safer than Mr. Rainier. If you drive through the small town of Goldendale in southern Washington, you get a great view of Mt. Adams if the weather is good. And, if conditions are right, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood. You used to be able to see Mt. St. Helens from there, until it blew its top.
Finally, the third volcano I can see is just the very top of Glacier Peak. While Glacier Peak has a similar expectation of erupting as Mt. Rainier, it is very isolated so the danger is mostly from ash. Glacier Peak is so isolated you have to hike miles just to get to it.
Living in central Washington State, I don't have to worry about hurricanes or tornadoes (although we do very rarely get small ones that don't last long). But earthquakes and volcanoes, those are our disasters of choice. I should know, I was here for when Mt. St. Helens blew.
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Once we had a huge wind storm with 100 mph winds. And the tree stayed up. Other, smaller trees in the area came down. But our tree survived. I remember whenever the wind blew, our neighbor would look out their back window watching the tree. Because if it came down, it would likely hit their house. But it never, ever came down.
Then we sold the house in 1999 and moved to central Washington. The sad thing is, the people who bought the house took that tree down because they were afraid it was going to fall. So after 100 years or so, it was finally taken down by fear. I felt bad about that.
Do you have any memories about trees? Let me know in the comments below.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
|End of the Line|
The last prompt is: "Onward." Not exactly sure what they mean. (I've always heard that as "onward and upward.")
Onward, I'm going to try to keep writing, keep selling books, keep being read by strangers. Keep trying to do freelance work and keep busy. Try to keep enjoying life. And just keep writing.
And, as always work toward my goal of being read by strangers. And, I hope, make a little money in the process.
What do you plan to do from here on out? Let me know in the comments below.
Thursday, February 14, 2019
It is at the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco. You take the same exit as for the airport. You can see the hotel from the freeway.
My two panels are:
I Wrote a Book - Now What?
16 Feb 2019, Saturday 11:30 - 12:30, Room 3125 (Red Lion Hotel Pasco, WA)
You've done it. You've got the book. It's a tome. A masterpiece. A precious jewel you've polished and cut and edited to within an inch of it's life. But what's next? Do I send it to an agent? Directly to a house? Small press? Author collective? Indie Publishing. Our panel of authors will break down the pros, cons, and other particulars of your options, and hopefully help you along with that next step.
16 Feb 2019, Saturday 16:30 - 17:30, Sage Room (Red Lion Hotel Pasco, WA)
We often hear about it in the fine arts, but people in any career field can experience imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome can also occur in any aspect of life - not just in one's career. What is it, and why does it happen? What are strategies for countering or pushing past it? Come talk to the pros about their strategies for dealing with the traitorous voice inside that says their art isn't good enough, and how they break through to create.
And I'll be in the main Vendor Room from time to time selling books. So look for me. You might snag a free bookmark! And maybe buttons.
Thursday, February 7, 2019
I live in a subdivision outside the city limits. My neighbors to the north are named "White" (I know this because they have a big sign in an island in their driveway saying "The Whites"). They also have a flagpole and fly either a U.S. flag or a Seahawks "12" flag from it. I noticed this year they didn't put the "12" flag up. Maybe because the Seahawks did poorly at the beginning of the season. Toward the end they played well enough to earn a "wildcard" slot. And then lose to Dallas.
I don't know much about the Whites. They have an annoying dog who barks a lot. At least no one can sneak up on our front door because that dog barks at them. He drives an old Ford pickup that is puke beige with red markings. It is long and has dualie wheels.
My neighbors to the south are Hispanic. I don't remember their names but they are nice people. Once when there was a fire in the field behind out house that threatened the house and I was out there with a garden hose trying to hold it back, their youngest (who was then in his late 20s) ran over with another garden hose to help me fight it. The the fire department showed up and put it down in about ten seconds with the massive water flow from their truck.
The neighbors directly across the street from us I know almost nothing about. They have kids who look to be about 12 or 13 years old. Next door to them are neighbors we've known since we moved into the neighborhood in 1999. When my sons were in scouts, they were also involved in scouting (and still are). He's a retired Navy doctor and she's a retired nurse. I wrote a story about them for a local magazine.
How do you get along with your neighbors? Let me know in the comments below.