Author, Bengal Cat Pictures, Hyperbole, Rainbow Hill Meanders, Writing

My Hyperbole of Life

Recently a new reader favorited “My Hyperbole of Life”. Now that the Bengals have redone their introductions it’s my turn. Many things have changed over the hill at the year and yet…

The last sunrise of 2015 over the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier

I still wear one million and one hats. I have eight million books, six thousand notebooks, and about a billion chores.

Let me explain.

Hats

Hats = roles played in life.

So maybe one million and one is a little exaggeration, but I think we’ve all been there.

Think of all the titles you have, not just a work title, but also titles of see (insert your name here), they’re the expert, your role in your family older generation and younger generation. Most of us have a role as someone’s child, sometimes labels that also include parent, cousin, aunt, uncle and all of us are some relation five times removed from our mother or father.

We have our role with friends (and once again our titles of expertise within our group).

Some of us have roles as parents, or volunteers, or community leaders, environmentalists or hobbyists, sports positions or… as you can see the list goes on and on and on.

That’s what I call a hat. If you had a hat for each role and title your closets would be brimming over with headwear.

Notebooks = Organization

Every hat you have comes with its own needs and supplies. As a writer mine usually come with a physical notebook to keep track of lessons, vocabulary, characters, etc.

Basketball and baseball

If you play sports then your notebook is all the equipment required, the information about all the games and the contact info for everyone involved.School song book

If you play an instrument then your notebook is your instrument, your sheets of music, your rehearsal time, and your schedule and contacts.

If you’re a little organizationally obsessive like me then you keep a line of notebooks ready to go for each committee or group to which you belong. A Saturday night writer’s group means: grab the blue folder on the way out the door. Or on a larger scale, going to an Anime convention means grab the yellow folder and the over-flowing garment bag packed with costumes, trinkets and smaller organizational bags.

Bookcases

Eight Million Books = a whole lot of books. Those I own, referenced and shelved and dusted. Sorted into read and ready to read. The eight million includes a pile of library books, recommended books, research books and loaned books.

One Billion Chores = just about everything else. With only a billion to do, I’m probably on the low end of the scale. There are always dishes to do, clothes to wash, gardens to weed, tables to dust, items like a car (or the random appliance breakdown) to fix and have serviced, carpools to drive, and papers to sort.

I’m not about to get into a contest on chores. I keep my life fairly stream-lined.

Despite all of the above, I also add lots of things in my life that don’t fall under a category of hyperbole.

I will and do write or edit two thousand words a day.

I spend at least an hour a day playing with cats. If I don’t the cats will find most vexing ways to get attention.

This year exercise is no longer allowed as a maybe. Email and social media are always checked every morning and always replied to.140608 -  - medium-12

I love to hear from people, to listen, and respond. Out of the trillion things above, my relationships whether person-to-person or from the ethereal internet will always gain my attention and a response.

~lisa

 

 

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Bengal Cats, Blogging 101, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convo Friday

140412 -  - medium-13Today I inaugurate “Cat Convo Fridays“.

The truth is I talk to cats and they talk back to me. I thought Fridays would be a good day to share the transcripts of those talks. I have translated the cat part for those not fluent in meow.

Loki: Hey, hey, hey.

Me: I hear you, where…oh, there you are.

Loki: Hey, hey, hey.

Me: I heard you the first time. What are you doing in the bookcase?20110905-60d-0209-small

Loki: You need to catch up on your reading. Right now!

Me: Why right now?

Loki: Cause…uh…you remember that poem you read me?

Me: I’ve read you a lot of poems.

Loki: The one by Francesco Marciuliano. You know, the “Forever” one

Me: Ah, yes. “Forever is a very, very long time.” What does that have to do with the bookcase?

Loki gives me what I think is an evil grin and knocks a few books from the shelf.

Loki: I’m very clever and I want a lap, right now…forever

How can I say no to that face? I search the selection Loki has knocked to the floor and pick up the book with the greatest number of pages.

Me: Happy now?

Loki: PURR

And that is all for today because Kuri now wants to edit this morning’s post. See “While You’re Typing” by Francesco Marciuliano

Me: What is it this morning, Kuri? Punctuation or grammar?

Kuri gives me the look. It’s the look that says: Really, Lisa? Do I really have to spell it out for you?

Me: Uh, right. Spellcheck.

~lisa

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6075654.Francesco_Marciuliano

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Author, Bengal Cat Pictures, Hyperbole, M-P, Writing

My Hyperbole of Life

I wear one million and one hats. I have eight million books, six thousand notebooks, and about a billion chores.

Let me explain.

Hats

Hats = roles played in life.

So maybe one million and one is a little exaggeration, but I think we’ve all been there.

Think of all the titles you have, not just a work title, but also titles of see (insert your name here), they’re the expert, your role in your family older generation and younger generation. Most of us have a role as someone’s child, sometimes labels that also include parent, cousin, aunt, uncle and all of us are some relation five times removed from our mother or father.

We have our role with friends (and once again our titles of expertise within our group).

Some of us have roles as parents, or volunteers, or community leaders, environmentalists or hobbyists, sports positions or… as you can see the list goes on and on and on.

That’s what I call a hat. If you had a hat for each role and title your closets would be brimming over with headwear.

Notebooks = Organization

Every hat you have comes with its own needs and supplies. As a writer mine usually come with a physical notebook to keep track of lessons, vocabulary, characters, etc.

Basketball and baseball

If you play sports then your notebook is all the equipment required, the information about all the games and the contact info for everyone involved.School song book

If you play an instrument then your notebook is your instrument, your sheets of music, your rehearsal time, and your schedule and contacts.

If you’re a little organizationally obsessive like me then you keep a line of notebooks ready to go for each committee or group to which you belong. A Saturday night writer’s group means: grab the blue folder on the way out the door. Or on a larger scale, going to an Anime convention means grab the yellow folder and the over-flowing garment bag packed with costumes, trinkets and smaller organizational bags.

Bookcases

Eight Million Books = a whole lot of books. Those I own, referenced and shelved and dusted. Sorted into read and ready to read. The eight million includes a pile of library books, recommended books, research books and loaned books.

One Billion Chores = just about everything else. With only a billion to do, I’m probably on the low end of the scale. There are always dishes to do, clothes to wash, gardens to weed, tables to dust, items like a car (or the random appliance breakdown) to fix and have serviced, carpools to drive, and papers to sort.

I’m not about to get into a contest on chores. I keep my life fairly stream-lined.

Despite all of the above, I also add lots of things in my life that don’t fall under a category of hyperbole.

I will and do write two thousand words a day. I do spend an hour a day (minimum) playing with cats and walking the dog. Exercise is no longer allowed to be a maybe. Email and social media are always checked every morning and always replied to.140608 -  - medium-12

I love to hear from people, to listen, and respond. Out of the trillion things above, my relationships whether person-to-person or from the ethereal internet will always gain my attention and a response.

~lisa

 

 

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Author, Books, Holidays, People

Happy Towel Day

Towel Day is observed every May 25 by fans of Douglas Adams and his famous book series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. I highly recommend this read to anyone who has yet to come across it.

Amazing, but true, on this day you are supposed to carry a towel throughout the day. The importance of towels can be found in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe in Chapter 3.

“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”

Swan with shades

“Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth …you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, Chapter 3

“More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value…any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with:” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe in Chapter 3

To  “know where one’s towel is” means to be in control of one’s own life.

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was a multi-talented man. Besides writing the best-selling Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe series, Adams wrote several other pieces including, but not limited to, three stories for the Doctor Who television series and a few sketches for Monty Python.

A fun set of factoids about Douglas Adams and his books: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130311/hitchhiker-author-douglas-adams-42-facts

For technophiles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_in_The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Towels

“The fictional universe of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams is a galaxy-spanning society of interacting extraterrestrial cultures. The technological level in the series is highly advanced, though often unreliable. Many technologies in the series are used to poke fun at modern life.”

Here’s to carrying a towel around with you today.

~lisa

Many thanks to my daughter, Alicia Hall, for the towel origami

Towel MonkeyBengal and monkey

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/05/celebrating-author-douglas-adams-its-towel-day/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9289617/Douglas-Adams-celebrated-by-fans-worldwide-on-Towel-Day.html

http://www.douglasadams.eu/en_adams_bio.php

http://douglasadams.com/news/

 

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Author, Books, E-H, People, Uncategorized

“Elementary,” said he.

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

The above is one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes quotes.

Sir Author Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859. Today I celebrate his birthday and one of the most famous duos of literature, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

I can’t imagine anyone not being captured by the premise and ideas of the stories of Sherlock Holmes. I suppose there are some, but none I know.

Contrary to popular belief, Conan Doyle never wrote the line “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/elementary-my-dear-watson.html

“Excellent!” I cried. “Elementary,” said he.” – Sir Author Conan Doyle. This quote is about as close as it gets to the common conception. First appearance of the popular non-Doyle phrase was in Psmith Journalist in 1915.

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Besides Sherlock Holmes and non-fiction, Doyle wrote in a wide variety of genres including fantasy, science fiction, poetry, romance, historical novels and plays.

His fantasy, The Lost World was turned into a TV series Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1999-2002) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240278/

A complete and accessible list of all of Sir Author Conan Doyle’s literary works: http://www.online-literature.com/doyle/

Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes characters have appeared in many forms through the years: Besides the books, there are Sherlock Holmes comic books, music (“Sherlock Holmes” by Sparks), radio shows, television shows, video games and movies.

The best site for everything about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his literary works is the official website of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/

Sherlock Holmes

“Rivers of ink have flowed since 1887, when Sherlock Holmes was first introduced to the world, in an adventure entitled A Study in Scarlet.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate

“Most of the great detective’s fans know him so well, that they feel they have actually met him. It would therefore be presumptuous to try and define him here, as his many friends and admirers may each have very different views about this legendary personage.”- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate

Modern Day Sherlock Holmes exist in blockbuster movies and contemporary television shows.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018ttws

http://www.cbs.com/shows/elementary/

Have I missed any contemporary shows? My daughter’s favorite show is Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch who she says is the best portrayal of the super sleuth she’s ever seen (sorry RDJr).

One of my favorite stories about the author (see complete story at http://www.siracd.com/life/life_ski.shtml) begins with: “It seems odd to think of a time when people didn’t ski in Switzerland. However when Conan Doyle arrived in Switzerland in 1893, with his first wife, Louise, that was the situation.”

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Two favorite Sherlock Holmes quotes on Rainbow Hill are:

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.” – Sherlock Holmes (I often wish I could say this)

And this quote appeals to the engineering half of the family:

“Come, Watson, come!’ he cried, “The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!” “Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.”

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month so I will take this aside to mention Sir Author Conan Doyle’s father, Charles Altamont Doyle, who struggled with mental illness which included spending some of his last years at a lunatic asylum.

Hopefully we are more enlightened now in the way the mind works and can show the same compassion to those struggling with mental illness as Conan Doyle did in his biography.

“My father’s life was full of the tragedy of unfulfilled powers and of underdeveloped gifts.  He had his weaknesses, as all of us have ours, but he also had some very remarkable and outstanding virtues.” – Sir Author Conan Doyle http://www.siracd.com/life_father.shtml  http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

What are your favorite Sherlock Holmes tropes, characters, quotes and shows?

“My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.”

Now that is the business to be in!!

~lisa

A cool BBC cult page for Sherlock Holmes fanatics: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/sherlock/

The biography at http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/ is an excellent read full of quotes from Sir Author Conan Doyle.

Another excellent site devoted to the life and work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: http://www.siracd.com/

There are so many excellent Sherlock Holmes quotes, many lines of which have made it into our everyday vernacular. Try these sites for a start:

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/sherlock-holmes

http://sherlockholmesquotes.com/

 

 

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A-D, Bengal Cat Pictures, Bengal Cats

Books and Bengals

 

B is for Baserville Old Face

Baskerville Old Face is a font that was designed by John Baskerville in England in 1757.

Bing has some great images of this font at http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=BASKERVILLE+OLD+FACE+FONT&qpvt=BASKERVILLE+OLD+FACE+FONT&FORM=IGRE

I found this great site for fonts. Besides giving information on an incredible array of fonts, this site will identify fonts for you. Totally cool.  http://www.typophile.com/typeid

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

I have a pile of books as tall as I am stacked up beside the bed.  The books in this pile are my “read now” choices.  There are other piles of books scattered through the house also  awaiting their turns to be read and treasured.  And lastly there are a few piles of “wow, these are treasures and I’m going to find a place for them  on my overflowing shelves.”  I’ve been accused of inhaling books faster than they can be printed, but alas that’s not true.  I read often and read well, but not  faster than the industry can publish.

I’m also  always looking for more books. Do any of you have recommendations for “Must Reads”? What should I add to the top of my reading pile? I’m always interested in discovering the next great book. In future blogs I’ll be talking a fair amount about authors and books. Send me your suggestions and I will try to include them.

To start off here are a few of the non-fiction books I’ve recommended in the past.

QUIET by Susan Cain
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I’ve been trying most of my life to overcome shyness and the label of being one of those “introverts”. I find this book incredibly inspiring and affirming. It’s a good challenge to common assumptions about the value of different personalities. SPOILER ALERT: They’re all good and all have equal worth. See also http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/susan-cain-ted-talk-2014-quiet-revolution/comment-page-1/#comment-40255

I COULD PEE ON THIS AND OTHER POEMS BY CATS by Francesco Marciuliano
My most favorite poem in this collection is “Forever”, followed by all the rest. Seriously, if you know cats, then you know that there isn’t a single poem in this book that misses the mark. Thank you Francesco!

THE CITY IN HISTORY  by Lewis Mumford.
Erudite, comprehensive, thick and challenging. This is a must for anyone who wants to understand the form and function of cities; their histories from prehistory to today and their potential. It also provides long convoluted sentences that are a delight to break down into component parts and have the fun practice of diagramming sentences. Not for the trepid.

RATS by Robert Sullivan.
A creepy, but enlightening book. I may understand rats better, but think I’m more scared of them now than I was before. To call a human a conniving rat, is far more of an insult than I originally imagined.

THINK SMART: A NEUROSCIENTIST’S PRESCRIPTION FOR IMPROVING YOUR BRAIN’S PERFORMANCE by Richard Restak, M.D.
It is a touch didactic, but inspiring. Makes me wonder if anyone has written any dog or cat equivalents addressing the subject for them. I would guess the answer for our beloved four-footed friends is probably play and play some more.

THE SECRET LIFE OF SLUGS AND SNAILS: Life in the Very Slow Lane by David George Gordon.
Did you know that slugs have 27,000 teeth?

IN THE COMPANY OF CROWS AND RAVENS by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell.
I will never again look at crows the same way. It is a witty narrative that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about crows and everything you never knew. There are over forty species and they all mate for life. These are highly social birds that communicate and demonstrate some social learning. And here I thought they were all just the carrion crows of Tolkien’s worlds.

BENGALS

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The Bengals
20110905-60d-0209-small
“B” for Bengal = “B” for Busy… very busy. Most cat experts would say that Bengals are not for inexperienced cat owners.  I would tend to agree.  Bengals are active and expect their companions to be equally active and engaged. These cats will find ways to entertain themselves such as: TP unraveling or rabbit kicking it into a snarled tube of inseparable paper, wall-climbing, the floor-is-lava games, bottle cap hockey, feather stick jousting, cupboard opening, dog-riding, bathroom yodeling (great resonance in there), house galloping, paper or plastic chewing, houseplant taste-testing, poltergeisting (“Really, they did, the shoes moved all by themselves.” & “Keys? What keys?”), shelf vaulting, knick-knack soccer, and the list goes on. This is what my cats do when bored and we have play sessions several times a day besides having their Bengal companions to keep up with them. I firmly believe that Bengals should come in twos. Their appetite for attention and stimulation is quite large.
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I have seen my cats go downstairs without touching the stairs, but instead bouncing cartoon-style from one side of the wall to the next with a rain of pictures falling in their wake. That said, my Bengals are the sweetest, most-attentive companions and joys to be around. They are very very smart, maybe I should toss in a third ‘very’ to emphasize that. They help with everything and will try to mimic you (typing, opening doors, taking baths, answering the phone). Did I mention that the majority of Bengals sort of like water? They will play in their water dishes, and jump into the bath with you — until you start locking the door for privacy. And you start locking the door for privacy after you find out they can open an unlocked door on their own. I was warned that Bengals are companion cats, but not cuddle cats. They get bored with being held and don’t like their freedom restricted. That works for me, but somehow I have three very talkative Bengals that are quite happy spending the whole day on my lap, especially if one of their brothers is already there. These are big, leg-numbing cats (mine range from 12 to 16 pounds). I love that they are so affectionate and involved with my life, but it takes a fair amount of patience to adopt this breed and adapt to each cat’s unique personality.

Hiyu at a distance120213-S90-5009-small
On a final note because anytime you talk about Bengals you need to put it in, Bengals are hybrids of domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. They have to be at least fourth generation down from the wild cat to be counted as domesticated. And one more endearing quality: like proverbial dragons, Bengals like shiny objects and other stuff they for some reason label as treasure. They will steal and hide these treasures from you or bring them to you as rewards for your good behavior.  There are many rewards for having such constant wonderful companions.  There will most certainly be more Bengals in future posts.

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Bengal Cat Pictures, I-L, Introduction

Introducing Rainbow Hill Meanders

“Please excuse the mess. This blog is currently under construction.”

Rainbow Hill Meanders is thus named because (surprise, surprise) the house is on a hill and it has many skylights and some inlaid multi-colored glass.  When the sun shines, and even in the Pacific Northwest this occasionally happens, rainbows appear everywhere. The cats love this.  I also think the hill sometimes wanders through the space-time continuum.  When that happens who knows what will pop up here.

The author of this blog is Lisa Kraft, writer of fantasy and science fiction. You can find out much more about her at http://www.lisakraft.me/.   She also writes for the photo blog, Photocatography .

Meanders is also because my interests are varied and sometimes random.  I am passionate about writing and all things that involve words.  I’m a bibliophile (that implies a problem with buying too many books and over-frequenting the library). My other interests are a bit eclectic.  Beside books and writing,  I like Bengal cats, fantasy, seashells (especially the nautilus), remote places, linguistics, history, good narrative, tengu, world mythology and… I expect this list will grow into a sidebar. Right now, this seems a bit like a singles ad.  I’m also based just outside of Seattle so you can also expect Seattle to feature in some posts.

I’ve given up soda for lemon water, sugar for veggies and couch time for exercise. It’s a tough transition, but am now, better late than never, finally listening to all the advice I’ve always given my children.

Speaking of children, check out the Kansas City Ballet  http://www.kcballet.org/. It’s very cool. 

Also speaking of children, you’ll find a few things about teaching — high school.  I admire how brave she is.

When we speak of husbands, you will probably find several comments on Xbox and photography.  Did I say to check out http://photocatography.wordpress.com/ ?

A few other tidbits:  I love black opals, the diversity of the people around me, and the diversity of opinion which makes this world so fascinating to live in.

Favorite quote (or at least my favorite at this moment, for sometimes my nature is fickle):  “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt

I’m addicted to Twitter. Follow me there at @lisakraftme

I lurk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.kraft.547

Webpage is http://www.lisakraft.me/

I love feedback, comments and questions.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

— lisa

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