New week, new fears

Posted in Life in general at 7:46 am by Marion

At last. The features I’ve been working on (sweating over) for weeks published in yesterday’s Daily Reflector. You can read them here.

This morning, as I stammered into the kitchen at 6:45 a.m. … much later than usual (5 a.m.) I realized I had missed the audio diary which was airing on Public Radio … I caught the last two or three minutes … I may have overslept on purpose … I get so nervous these days about anything that appears publicly.

You don’t have to be a writer to understand that fear. All of us have to endure difficult sessions of some kind or the other. Either we make presentations, or have to speak frankly with a boss, have to announce something we’d rather not. Or, we have to buck up and stand up for ourselves, you know, be assertive.

Those situations can be unsettling … but sometimes, when I realize things I’ve written will be read by others … it terrifies me to the core. It feels a lot like those dreams where you’re walking around without clothes on. I’m thinking, Why am I walking around like this? I am so embarrassed …

Writing is like that. Sometimes when I look at what I’ve done, I realize it’s the same as walking around naked. It is to utterly expose yourself… everyone can see my flaws and my very soul is on display. For uncertain renumeration, certain criticism and questionable status, every day, I write.

So begins another week … today I’m working on the story about the woman in Paris who’s being poisoned … or not … I have a new approach I’m going to try, a diary form.


Figuratively Speaking

Posted in Figuratively Speaking, Life in general, On writing at 6:28 am by Marion

Hello out there in Fiction Dailyland!

Today, Figuratively Speaking takes on the log … or, as we know it today, blog.

Why all the fuss about blogs?

From the first cave paintings, we human beings have shown that we think we’re somehow significant … that our thoughts, our reflections and our conceptualizations merit a record.

Thus, the log was born. As a noun, it can mean
— an official record of events during the voyage of a ship or aircraft
— an apparatus for determining the speed of a ship

As a verb, we have to log
— to enter an incident into a ship’s record
— to achieve a certain distance

Of course, we have the ubiquitous log on, log in, log out, log off.

The idea of a ship’s log comes from the Middle English sense of the word log as a “bulky mass of wood,” so there is a notion of heaviness. Determining the speed of a ship was done by using a thin quadrant of wood which was loaded to float upright in the water and whence, “ship’s journal,” into which information about the log board was recorded.

So from that humble, well, log, the log was born.

These days, with thousands of people connected to each other online, we share our own personal logs prolifically. Gone is the journal of old … why pen a private diary when you can broadcast the details of your life to the world?

Enter the blog, which is short for Web log.

Let’s not forget, however, one of the most beloved logs of all time … The U.S.S. Enterprise, whose “Captain’s log” led us through strange events on other planets, every week, compliments of James Kirk.

So I am signing off this captain’s log, and wishing you pleasant seas.


Welcome to Fiction Daily 2

Posted in Life in general, On writing at 5:51 am by Marion

Hello out there in Fiction Dailyland!

Welcome to the new WordPress blog! This is a happy day … though bittersweet, as today I say, “So long” to the familiar green-and-yellow circles of Fiction Daily 1 that have been my faithful friend for eight months.

From my first exposure to WordPress I knew it was my match … yet, so many obstacles kept us apart. When the old blog began to malfunction, a daring support technician at my Web host said, “Let’s go ahead and download WordPress and get started.”

I thank him for pushing me out of the airplane … otherwise, I would still be struggling.

As a background note, my Web host is discontinuing that old format, so in some ways, the airplane I’ve jumped out of is, in fact, heading for a certain crash.

In the days ahead I will undertake the task of archiving the past eight months onto this format. The old blog will still be visible, but as you’ve probably noticed by now, you have to click several times for it to open.

Once the old blog is archived I will keep the link live until, well, the bitter end.

I invite you to leave a comment with your thoughts about the new blog … and send along your requests for blog topics, too.

Signing off the first live entry … Marion


Under construction

Posted in Life in general at 8:34 am by Marion

Dear Fiction Daily Readers! I apologize profoundly for the lapse in blog entries. When the bugs began last week, I jumped ship and started a new blog.

I am so excited! At last, I have a WordPress blog … it’s like Christmas! I’ve wanted a WordPress blog for some time, but was afraid to try it. Being my Now, the WordPress blog is running in its most basic, experimental form, but I am working out the … well … bugs. I will post the link as soon as it’s Fiction-Daily-worthy.

In the meantime, I will post here and hope you can continue to read these entries.

NEWSPAPER FEATURE SUNDAY: On Sunday in the Daily Reflector, my feature story on seeing Jack Kerouac’s original manuscript for On the Road will publish. You can go to the newspaper and read it online.

PUBLIC RADIO FEATURE: On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the public radio audio diary about the trip will air on Public Radio East. Times are 6:40 a.m. Monday, 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, noon Friday and Saturday. On the station’s Web site you can stream the broadcasts. I will post them later.

2008-06-11 11:20:30 GMT


Posting on Kerouac

Posted in Kerouac, Life in general at 1:48 pm by Marion

MB at the New York Public Library Inside the New York Public Library, the original 120-foot long scroll for “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac awaits


Please visit the special Kerouac section of my Web site here.

You can find lots of photos, biographical information and posts about Jack Kerouac and the New York Public Library exhibit, “Beatific Soul.” I’ve also described Jack Kerouac in Rocky Mount, N.C., and visited his house in West Mount. A public radio audio diary of a visit to New York and reading “On the Road” is available here.

A new WordPress blog

Posted in Life in general at 1:31 pm by Marion

Hello out there in Fiction Dailyland!! This is my first entry of my new WordPress blog! Let’s see how it works! : )


Posted in Life in general, On writing at 8:38 am by Marion

As an ironic twist, after writing Friday’s Figuratively Speaking about the things that interfere with human progress … my blog was struck by a pernicous bug!
This entry will be brief … if you can read it, you’ve managed to get past the snafus …

A wonderful technician at Yahoo, my Web host, talked me through a new WordPress blog this morning so I will change my posts over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, posts may be short or erratic … Fiction Daily may be buggy for a while to come.

2008-06-09 11:26:42 GMT

Hello world!

Posted in Life in general at 6:22 am by Marion

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!


Figuratively Speaking

Posted in Figuratively Speaking, Life in general, On writing, Writers at 1:07 pm by Marion

Houston, We Have a Problem

Unexpected, unplanned messes have a profoundly disturbing effect on us. It’s part of what it means to be human that we rarely invite surprises. OK, if we receive a gift or a visit, we’re glad, but face it, there are a few minutes when we’re wondering … worrying … what’s in the box or behind the door.

That’s why we have developed such a rich lexicon to describe mishaps.

SNAFU. Love this word? Ever wonder what it means? Snafu means “a confused or chaotic mess.” It is an acronym, and since this is a family blog, I’ll use the G-rated version: Situation normal, all fouled up.

BUG. This word, in addition to its meanings of “to annoy” and “to record secretly” also means an error in a computer program or system.

The anecdotal story says a true bug was found in an early computational device, but it may have been used as early as Charles Babbage’s machine.

Today it’s great to use whenever something doesn’t work. We say there’s a bug. We also have “fly in the ointment,” which usually refers to a bug in our plans.

Bug is another great term for illness or germ.

Some other terms for problems

— In a pickle

— At the end of one’s rope

— In a crunch

— In a jam

— In hot water

VEXATION. This word is a personal favorite. When I’m frustrated or angry, it gives such satisfaction to linger over the syllables of this word, with its juicy consonants. That sinkhole in the yard is a real vexation.

In the week ahead, I wish you smooth sailing, few vexations or bugs and above all else, no snafus.

2008-06-06 13:13:42 GMT

New blog is live

Posted in Life in general, On writing at 8:31 am by Marion


I have opened a new blog using the WordPress platform and will post new entries there.

Over the next few weeks I will archive the old blog posts and add categories that will allow them to be searched.

If you use an RSS feed, it’s probably not worked well for some time … if you have problems finding the new blog or setting up an RSS feed, please let me know.

Thanks for reading Fiction Daily!
2008-06-12 10:10:46 GMT

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »