Holidays in the Cloud

IMG_0266.JPGKaunas, where I live, has a reputation as being artsy and clever. We’re home to 6 different universities and are considered the “most Lithuanian of Lithuanian cities.” Now, nationalist pride aside, one of the things this means is that while Vilnius, the country’s capital, gets the pressure of being the proper and sophisticated “big brother” we get a little more freedom to be wild and crazy. We get to indulge ideas.

One of those ideas has found form in our annual Christmas Tree design for the big, official city tree in Rotuse Aikste (City Hall Square). A few years ago, our tree was made of the recycled bottoms of green, two litre coke bottles. The year after that was a gold, angel festooned spectacle followed last year by a tree “knitted” from recycled plastic bags. Continue reading “Holidays in the Cloud”

A Palace, a Castle and Some Lights… What’s involved with a day trip to Riga?

DSC_0207When Monika says “There’s a bus tour going to Riga to see the light festival,” your first response should be “I wanna go.” At least that’s my response. Going with Monika on a day trip is always fun, especially to another country, so I was in! Rasa was game as well so we told Monika to book it for us. See, this wasn’t just a “let’s go” trip, this was actually a bus tour operated by the company she works for, Guliverio Kelionės. Continue reading “A Palace, a Castle and Some Lights… What’s involved with a day trip to Riga?”

Anne R. Allens Blog: Is Talent Overrated? 8 Things that are More Important than Talent for Writing Success

Typewriter - logo (color)Anne R. Allens Blog: Is Talent Overrated? 8 Things that are More Important than Talent for Writing Success.

While I disagree that skill overrides talent completely, I agree 100% that without skill all the talent in the world doesn’t mean anything.

I know a number of people with an amazing amount of talent but no skills. I also know people with little talent but with the prerequisite skill set. In either case though, there’s a certain amount of talent required. There are some people, who no matter how much they work and struggle and acquire skills will never get anywhere because there isn’t enough raw talent to push them into that realm.

Review: 30 Days in the Word Mines

30 Days in the Word Mines
30 Days in the Word Mines by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun, easy to read kick in the pants for aspiring writers. I read it as a possible text for my creative writing class.

The conceit here, especially coming as it does at the start of this year’s NaNoWriMo, is that Wendig, a prolific author and blogger, will guide you through 30 days of writing. It’s a good conceit. It works and I can certainly see how reading a chapter a day at the start of your writing will give you a nice little push for the day’s word count. And Wendig is a fun teacher, the kind you always wish you had in school. He curses, goes off on tangents, and generally doesn’t feed you any bullshit. This is a good thing. There’s not a lot of padding here. reading it straight through took less than an hour. And while none of his advice is particularly new or inventive, it’s presented in a fresh way and he does offer some insight befitting his “I’m a professional, I’ve been doing this for a while” credentials.

What this isn’t, however, is a book for base beginners. He gives solid advice, yes, but with no explanation or tutorial. It’s like trying to learn plumbing without knowing what the wrenches are called. Once you have the basics, this is a wonderful way to push yourself through a month of writing.

View all my reviews