Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 16 June 2002

A good weekend, if not a very productive one. I'm still very busy at work, and the stuff I'm doing currently seems to use the same part of my brain as writing does, making it hard to get anything done after work except try to recover.

Jackie saw an article in the local paper on the various botanic gardens in the area. We used to go to Allerton Park a lot, although less often lately. So, we saw that one and though, what a good idea! We haven't been there in a long time. Then we read a bit more of the article and it mentioned a botanical garden at Lake of the Woods state park. I'm not sure we've ever been to the botanical garden (although we've been to the park). So, we decided to go to that one. Then we read a bit more of the article and it went on to talk about the arboretum at the University of Illinois. We'd been there once, a couple of years ago, but it sounded like they'd added quite a bit to it. So, with three good choices, we ended up picking the easiest, and going to the UofI's arboretum.

It was fun. It's pretty big, and a lot of it is not developed, so it's kind of park-like--lots of lawn with a scattering of trees. There's a big formal garden, and another smaller garden that has herbs and vegetables, and a topiary garden that's supposedly inspired by Winnie the Pooh. Japan House is also on the grounds, so its Japanese garden is integrated into the rest of the arboretum. The one time we'd been there before was a couple years ago when Steve came to visit. I remember that we sat in the Japanese garden and composed zne haiku.

Today was my writer's group meeting. One person had let us know in advance that he'd be absent, another turned out to have an emergency at the last minute, and yet another wasn't there and still hasn't been heard from (leaving us all to wonder if she's okay). So, it wasn't a big turnout. But both of us who'd submitted something for critique showed up and exchanged critiques, so it turned out okay.

I had submitted the four mini- and micro- stories that I'd written a couple weeks ago. I'm still hoping to get another critique or two on them, after which I'll do a quick rewrite and then submit them.

Besides that, we mostly took it easy. We watched "From Russia with Love." I've seen most of the various Bond films many times, but I could barely remember this one. I may never have seen the whole thing--I found that I started remembering things around the middle, as if perhaps twenty or thirty years ago I'd come upon it on TV, in the middle and watched from that point.

I called my dad and wished him a happy Father's Day. I'll call him again tomorrow and we can exchange happy birthdays. last year Father's and and our birthdays were all the same day. He came to visit me at Clarion, we exchanged presents, and went out for a good lunch.

I did some geeky things, too. I installed the Esperanto language pack for Mozilla. Now all the menus and dialogs in Mozilla are in Esperanto. I'm not sure it's possible to do anything geekier than that. I cleaned up the web site, deleting a few extraneous files. A couple of the graphics files were much bigger than they needed to be, so I created fresh jpegs, increasing the degree of compression by quite a bit. The space on Prairienet is only 1 MB, but that's enough for several years of this journal, as long as I don't have very many (or very large) pictures. The space I freed up will add months to the length of time before I either have to move the journal or make some major rearrangement of it.


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