3 October 99

I have a headache. Once again the ten-minute job has turned into the two-hour aggravation. For some reason (I suppose there's a reason, though I'm sure I'll never find out what it is), Netscape decided to mess with the html code I saved for updating causing Notepad to dispense with all formatting when I saved the updated code. Go figure. (I know it was Netscape's problem because I saved the same code using IE Explorer and Notepad had no problem with the changes. What I don't know is why I was inspired to switch over to IE Explorer and save the code anew. The Muse of Programming must have been attending.)

Anyway, the day started out well. Beautiful mild weather. And, for a wonder, I felt good when I got up. I took my apple and tea out on the back porch and read a few chapters of Kinky Friedman's murder mystery, Greenwich Killing Time, then went to get cleaned up. Janice showed up just as I was getting out of the shower and we went for a walk. The walk was just the exercise I needed, and Janice filled me in on her doings. When we got back we sat on the back porch for a bit, then I went over to the stand to work. Unfortunately, that's where my cousin found me and gave me the "simple" website changes to be done ASAP. Well, they're done now, but it's two hours later than I'd like it to be. See, I've been taking care of myself, not staying up and getting overtired...

I was planning on doing some reading. I am enjoying the Friedman book. It whips right along. Interesting, too. His books hadn't come my way before and when I saw him on Charlie Rose last week I decided to look them up.

I think I mentioned that I was working on Eric Idle's Road to Mars. Haven't finished it, though. I probably will, but it hasn't held my interest-- no story, really. I also picked up and read Morris West's Eminence-- mostly. The problem with that one was that though the main character, a Cardinal Rossini, and the situation, the politics of electing a new Pope, were very interesting, ol' Morris decided to pull his punches. He gave the Cardinal an old love interest, reintroduced her into his life, then, just when the Cardinal's life was going to get really interesting, Morris killed her off, letting the Cardinal off the hook. Rats. It would've been a helluva good story if the Cardinal had retained his vocation, his honor, and been elected Pope all the while having a living ex-lover and illegitimate daughter in town-- and, if you couldn't see that all coming on page two, you must live in an alternate universe! Ah, well. Next time, Morris. If you're really interested in reforming the Catholic Church, you should buckle down show them the way. But then, why should you be any different from the rest of the hacks?

Lot's of writers avoid the nitty-gritty, the really, really interesting issues. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro avoided it in Tempting Fate: the vampire Saint Germaine was saved from having to reveal his true nature to his adopted daughter when she was viciously killed by Nazi troops at the age of 15. Not only did she not have to deal with his revelation, neither of them had to make a decision as to whether she should become a vampire herself...

And John D. MacDonald avoided letting Travis McGee deal with love and marriage in The Green Ripper by viciously killing off the girl-- and that was odd because Trav has already been married once in The Turquoise Lament and that had been handled quite nicely...

Hrmph. The worst thing about both those books was that the authors sent our heroes on senseless killing rampages in the name of revenge. What crap! Come on, guys, deal with the tough questions! Illuminate the human experience! Any hack can kill off a character and wallow in violence and destruction. It takes a Writer to to deal with living characters and Life.

Pfui. I'm going to bed. And even though it's way past my bedtime, I'm going to read for a while. Sometimes the books turn out to be gems. And reading a really good book is restful...





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