Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Five

A quintet of things to do and think about this weekend, in between watching weather reports for the approach of Frankenstorm Sandy:

1. Save the indies. Want to help some indie bookstores? Books of Wonder (New York) is doing an online fundraiser right now, with special art- and book-related gifts for different donation levels. BoW is a fantastic children's bookstore that hosts tons of events and really supports authors (and readers, of course!) Please click over and donate if you're so moved.

Another indie bookstore that a community is trying to save is Chester County Books and Music in West Chester, PA. If you're in the area, please drop by there. They're also having some multi-author events!

2. Skype an author--for free. Kate Messner has collected a list of authors who Skype with classes and book clubs for free. Pass it along to your favorite teachers, librarians, and book-club organizers!

3. Breathe. Professor Nana blogged recently about time management, to-do lists, and how it's okay to be dormant sometimes. A sample: "Like many of my friends and colleagues, I have a tough time saying NO. I agree to things thinking they will not take much time and then discover that I have said YES to so many things there may not be time to do them all."

4. Ponder. Here are a couple of snippets from my writing notebook. The first is, "Nobody else is going to tie your bow." That was supposed to be a note for something I wanted to blog about, but the trouble is, I'm not sure what I meant by that. Food for thought! On the other hand, "You are freer than you know," is obvious--in fact, so obvious that I don't have much else to say about it, and can't turn it into a whole blog post.

5. Enjoy the literary flair of scientists. I learned of this via Govexec.com. The National Weather Service's Extended Forecast dated 3:13 PM EDT, October 25, began in sober meteorologist-speak ("Despite a modest cluster of outlying deterministic solutions and ensemble members from the various modeling centers"), and continued with jargon such as "amplifying polar trough" and "hybrid vortex." It then veered rather startlingly into creative and literary territory: "... once the combined gyre materializes, it should settle back toward the interior Northeast through Halloween, inviting perhaps a ghoulish nickname for the cyclone along the lines of "Frankenstorm," an allusion to Mary Shelley's gothic creature of synthesized elements."

Now, was the possessor of this golden quill a frustrated English major who was shunted into weather forecasting? Or a Renaissance man or woman, comfortable in the worlds of both meteorology and literature? I don't know. All I know is: YOU ROCK, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

And stay safe, everyone.

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