Thursday, July 4, 2013

Writer Blogger meet up

I like meeting new people, which is a bit unusual for someone as shy and reclusive as me. Small talk is something I'm not good at, and I often find dealing with group activities annoying because it seems there is always someone who can't get it together.

The first time is always the hardest, but the meet up was fun. There were 5 other people, though more had said they were coming. The adventurous part of the event was finding parking. Maybe some attendees bailed at the difficulty. The entire Rose & Crown parking lot is now a Stampede beer garden. There used to be an open area across the alley that could be used for overflow parking, and it's fenced off for construction now. On street parking is limited.

Everybody seemed to have a good time. It's a new group so there were lots of intros. One of the people presented some good info on increasing readership. Another topic was on plot structure. It's a bit different than other writing or critique groups, but I think it will be fun.

Partly my interest here comes from doing a lot more writing recently. There's been some interesting stuff happening with the novel. I was really pleased that I created the need for a particular scene with two characters, with a particular result. Then I turned around and wrote that scene along with some other good stuff that fit in. Of course, it's all very wordy right now, and needs to be trimmed, but that's ok. I'm still at the barf it out on paper stage.

My legs are still feeling tired from the strong spin the other day. I may have overdone it a bit.

The old plants transplanted into the flower boxes, and the new ones seem to be happy. There are new blooms and growth showing up. So far not many weeds.

I was given a word at the blogger meet up. Mine is Watergate. Which I think was fortuitous, because I've been thinking about the "gate" suffix for a while. It used to be that political scandals had names suffixed with "affair" or "scandal". Now everything is gate. It's boring.

One of the recent ones here was Duffygate, and some news today shows it still has legs. It seems there was discussion of partisan funds being used to pay off his debt, which means the Prime Minister pretty well had to know, since he's the head of the party and has to sign off on that sort of stuff. More to come on this. Harper must be very happy that Parliament is shut down for the summer.

But Duffygate, for a while on Twitter they at least explored other names. My preferred one was clusterduff. Part of the problem with giving these issues superficial names is that the issues becomes superficial. The headline of the day. Soundbite journalism. Said and forgotten for the next soundbite, while important and complicated issues don't get discussed at all. As I've said many times, we are long overdue for grown up discussions on many issues.

Oratory used to be a prized skill. It's been mostly replaced here in Canada by obfuscation, partisan sniping, ought right lies, and a complete lack of respect for the taxpayers, or themselves even. Many Canadians despised Pierre Trudeau, but he was a brilliant and eloquent speaker in both languages. I can't think of anyone since then that even comes close. Such a shame.

Monsoon season is over, and now we are into Stampede weather. (So much for grown up discussions for the next 10 days.) This usually means warm and sunny during the day, with delight side effects, and  periodic thunderstorms or rain showers in the late afternoon/early evening. There's been some good thunderheads building and dissipating this afternoon. I haven't done any Snapseed art lately, so here's one of the storm cells building, only slightly dressed up in Snapseed.

Lastly, the South LRT line is running again as of this morning. They pumped many millions of litres of water out of the tunnels, replaced about 100 meters of track warped into a roller coaster ride, checked and fixed electrical stuff, and replaced the track bed where it had been washed away from the end of a bridge. Just amazing! So if you were wondering if you wanted to come to Stampede, do so. Please and thank you.


  1. I'm jealous - your writing group sounds fabulous. I'm looking forward to hearing more about the meetings when you go :)

    Duffygate or Clusterduff doesn't matter - what matters is that we, the taxpayers, are getting the wool pulled over our eyes every time there's a chance they think they might get away with it!! Don't get me started.

    Glad to hear the novel is coming along :)

  2. Sneaky, sneaky, there, Keith...;) And yes, unfortunately the suffix "gate", heck, I've heard it used by people in the freakin' Middle East! I'm sitting here over in Western "Infidel Land" wondering how anyone over there would even know about Watergate or in fact, do they even get the "gate" aspect? As for the recent Senate "gates", what, like We didn't see this coming? Hellloooo People of Canada, you allow anyone to be "ushered" into a post with NO actual experience to earn said Post, what do you get? People with connections milking an already juicy position in political life...DUHHH! IF, as "they" say (and I "could go all diabtribey on the "they", but won't), Canada as a Commonwealth country has to have a Senate, then elected Senators ONLY, please...crikey. We vote'em in, we vote'em out, that may go a longish way to avoid Users and puleez, just because your were a CBC/CTV Talking Head on politics, does NOT mean you're senate-worthy...;)As for YOUR use of MY word...sneaky, sneaky...I was hoping for a literal use only because I can't get enough of that Era...that's me though, all by myself in my own American political psychosis...Cordially, if not drunkingly, Barbie, aka MsBurb, High Chief Mucky-Muck of the Calgary Writers & Bloggers Group


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