Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Some Links

The Sun Online - News: This is my 4-wool drive This article about an unusual knitting creation was forwarded to me by Absolute Write member Annabella.

Snowbooks has one of the best "Author Information" pages I think I've ever seen. Thanks Andy for leaving that link down in the comments to the Vogon Poetry post.

Big sale on selected items at the OhDawno's Ebil Library and Gifts store. The donation to AW stays the same but you pay less!

Recently someone sent a rather nasty email to a fellow AW moderator. I had posted in a thread, along with many others, that was the source of the emailer's anger. This emailer coined a word: "Dawnolites" about "wannabes that hide between comic book names and cutsie little photos with little party elements on their furry little heads " she called those of us who support AW: "poor brainless Dawnolites" and "cutsie Dawnolites".

I kinda like it - Never thought I'd have a cult. I wonder what the initiation ceremony should be.

I would like to remind anyone who happens by here today that there are a couple things that Uncle Jim has said that writers should remember. (There are actually lots of things he's said you should remember - go read his "Learn Writing with Uncle Jim" thread at AW to see a lot of them!*) You want a publisher whose books you can physically find, and hold in your hands, in your bookstore. You want an agent who has sold books you've heard of. 'Nuff said about that.

*I Googled that phrase to get the link all quick-like and was surprised to see that my CafePress store is the second hit on that phrase! Wow.


Monday, June 19, 2006

I've Got My Site Up now hosts a webpage that links to all my blogs (here, on Live Journal and the one hosted on the OhDawno domain) as well as the CafePress Newsletter Index.

It's pretty basic right now - I'll be polishing my html and CSS skills before I try much tweaking.

The most important thing that's on the new site, however, isn't all the stuff about me, it's the new page I put up to share with you about the Absolute Write fundraising idea that Chacounne had. It's a very simple web page, so don't expect a lot of bells and whistles. I'm just happy I figured out how to get the dang thing up!

I've also posted one review on POD People today and submitted another, my own, to Medievalist's review site. The POD People review is by emeraldcite, who has agreed to be a POD People reviewer and his first review went up today. Do read! My review is about the book, The Making of a Bestseller by Brian Hill and Dee Power. I'll link to it when it gets posted.

My daughter flew back south this evening. I'm all empty nest-y again. It was such fun having her around. *sigh* She tells me her new place (yep, she recently moved) has a pond and two fish. Carlos and George, I believe she and Her SailorBoy named them. She's closer to the State University but further from the community college she's been going to (I think I remembered that correctly).

Ack! It's after midnight! I better wrap this up and try to get to bed, full day of meetings tomorrow, starting bright and early at 8 am. Lucky me.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Short Update and News Post

I sent out a new edition of my CafePress newsletter which you can subscribe to by email (look for the subscription box in the sidebar) OR read here .

The lovely and talented Chacounne has offered to create unique handcrafted needlework bookmarks for five special someones. I'll be posting some pictures and the details of how to be one of the five on my website, as well as blogging about it here and posting it on AW, etc.

If you want to pre-order, sight unseen, contact me and I'll send you the details directly via email. I'm working on constructing a special webpage and setting up a PayPal account, which will probably take all day. So if you don't want to wait and be one of the "first come, first served" when I post it on my website, email me soon.

By the way, I've seen the sample work and it's beautiful - you can choose your own design from a large number of lovely examples of expert stitchery and your own color scheme.

Chacounne is donating the entire $20 price to AW. That's $100 total to help Jenna pay the bills and the technical helpers that got us back up and running, and keeps AW on the net, every day.

Hosting a huge bandwidth sucking site like Absolute Write Water Cooler isn't cheap; she's got a ways to go to recover from all those days of lost site revenue and other expenses undertaken to get our data back intact.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Father's Day and other stuff...

“Give a dad a fish and he will eat it.
Teach a dad to fish
and he will drink beer on the dock.”

...Shoebox Greeting Card
(yes, Frank, I thought of you when I heard this)

Father's Day is nearly upon us. Did you send Dad a card? Buy him a tie or some lovely Old Spice cologne and aftershave? Or maybe your dad is a BRUT kind of guy.

I think my dad would love a case of York Peppermint Patties. I sent a chocolate and cookie basket.

The other day, driving home, I was listening, as usual, to NPR's "All Things Considered." They had a great piece playing called 'Funny, but No': Shoebox Cards' Hits and Misses. I love Shoebox cards. My kitchen calendar is a "Maxine" calendar. What a great gal (even if she is just a cartoon). And she has her own website now. It's not just because I'm "getting up there" in years myself, I would have loved her when I was 18 - I have always aspired to her attitude about life - her logo says "20 years of yelling it like it is." My kind of people.

Here's another lovely Father's Day quote - one that didn't quite make the cut at Shoebox:

"You'll always be my Dad.
That's one thing the casinos can’t take away from me."
...Rejected Shoebox Idea

I don't get why that one didn't fly - seems a lovely sentiment to me. I highly recommend listening to the archive version of the piece. You can also read the book: Shoebox Greatest Hits and Misses from Hallmark.

My son wrote and called me - he's doing well. He got to blow stuff up the other day and loves the French toast they have at breakfast. There's a Family Day coming up at the end of July and then Basic Training graduation on September 1st. Of course I'll be going!

Later on today or tonite I'll be finishing up a newsletter to my CafePress subscribers and it will go out at 3am tomorrow morning - although it features CafePress items (to support AW!) it also has some other tidbits you might enjoy.

Please subscribe over in the sidebar or at OhDawno's store. There are other ways to contribute listed on the index page at, including a "must have" list of books on writing that Uncle Jim (James D Macdonald) recommends. Don't buy a one of those books without using the link - Amazon sends a portion of the proceeds to AW when you buy your books using the links in the list.

Lastly, I hope you're all keeping up with the AW Chain of blogs - there's a button in the footer you can click for more information. I've posted the links to the chain's blogs in the sidebar. There will be some new bloggers in Round two - you can read all about it over on AW.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

International Weblogger's Day Is Here!

This post's topic is one I'm just beginning to explore because I find myself interacting with people for whom I have the greatest respect, and in some cases great affection, but who have said things about "Republicans" and "Evangelical Christians" (the addition of "Evangelical" is an edit - I shouldn't try to post at midnight) that have hurt me, because I have long been both. I have had to think about why I was hurt and I realized it was because I was holding on to labels that no longer represented what I believed in when I adopted them in the first place. But I hate what has happened to these formerly honorable words - that it's gotten to the point where I have to give up being identified with either because the connotations do not fit who I am, what I believe.

"Republican" and "Evangelical Christian" have come to represent in the public's mind - and particularly among progressive people, political positions and extremely narrow religious ideas that are, admittedly, at this point in our political and social history, morally reprehensible to me. These words have come to stand for bigotry, a mindless type of nationalism, the imposition of a certain set of cultural standards on people who have just as much right to determine their own as we do, and much, much more.

However, unlike many other socially liberal folk, I don't agree that government intervention is necessarily the answer, I think the least government is best. Yes, that's simplistic, but in so many cases I find if I boil it all down, it's a basic liberal tenent, and I can't align with it. Add to it that I have a deep seated faith that needs expression and the liberals I've encountered in life and online often seem to have a very disagreeable attitude toward that.

So, I'm searching. I think I'll find something, someday.

Here's what gives me some hope - recently seen in American Prospect (From their site: "The American Prospect was founded in 1990 as an authoritative magazine of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics." (bold emphasis is mine):

An article titled God’s Army
"And today, many evangelical leaders believe that a growing number of these voters are prepared to return to the Democratic fold, but only if Democrats stop misunderstanding, neglecting, and even intentionally ignoring what was and should be a natural constituency."

further on in the article:

In February, Christianity Today’s cover blasted “Why Torture is Always Wrong.” Joining with the Catholic Church, more than 50 evangelical Christian leaders and organizations recently voiced their support for an immigration bill that would allow illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens without returning to their native countries. And earlier this year, a group of 86 evangelical Christian leaders launched a campaign to educate Christians about climate change and urged the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to curb global warming. The campaign calls on Christians to battle global warming, “which will hit the poor the hardest because those areas likely to be significantly affected first are the poorest regions of the world.”

These concerns sounds pretty progressive. So, why are so few white evangelicals voting Democratic? Wallis believes Democrats have ceded the territory of religion to the Republican side, allowing them to use it to divide the electorate. Or, as Wallis has said, “I think this idea that all the Christians, all the religious people are jammed in the red states and the blue states are full of agnostics is a bit overblown in the media. It's more complicated than that.”

And this link has some additional interesting points.

There's a group I've also been reading and thinking about - I hope to carve out time to study in more depth what they are and all they're saying - my relatively superficial review leads me to think they might be what I'm looking for in some aspects, but I'm not sure yet. It's the Network of Spiritual Progressives

Finally, I was listening to NPR one day and there was a piece being broadcast about a formerly Pentacostal preacher, someone who had ministered one of those huge "mega Churches" and had once been a close compatriot of Oral Roberts who had decided that Christ's death was a sacrifice of universal salvation - that one does not have to acknowledge and be 'born again' - but that all mankind is saved by Christ's act. This minister has lost nearly everything for this belief. After listening to him and reading this site, I want to learn more.

So, that's my post for InWeDay...something I've been pondering for along time - and will undoubtedly continue to ponder. Thanks for reading along.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tomorrow is the Day!

Tomorrow is the 3rd International Weblogger's Day. I hope to have a worthy post for you - I've been working on something near and dear to my heart that I will share - it's a bit more serious than my usual fare, so I hope you'll be understanding.

If you haven't heard of this event you can click on the link at the end of this post and read about it (if you didn't already click on the link in the paragraph above), sign up for it and be registered as a participant.

In other news, my daughter is here! Yay! She has a number of friends that want her attention this week but we've booked a shopping extravaganza day and I'm also hoping for a lounge around in the sun like sloths afternoon as well. I got to test drive my new patio furniture on Sunday and have a nice rosy glow which should fade to a barely noticable tan later this week. Acheiving a somewhat less than glow-in-the-dark white skin tone and losing 10 lbs. are my pre-Convention goals. Thank goodness I have 71 days to go!

I hope you are all checking out the "Blogosphere Project: AWChain" blogs. The first round is at full circle (if not now, soon) and all the posts have been wonderful!


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dawno Generates a Vogon Poem Masterpiece

A recent post on Fireflies in the Cloud: The New and Improved Blog of Matt Dinniman references a much commented upon post on Making Light about the city of Minneapolis sponsoring poetry readings in their muni busses and light-rail trains. Most agree that it's A Bad Idea(tm).

In the comments section of Matt's blog d.t.kelly brings up Vogon Poetry. "Ah," I say to myself, "I know where one can generate their very own Vogon poetry! I shall post mine." Thus the following work of Great Art was created.

See, see the Introspective sky
Marvel at its big orange depths.
Tell me, Matt do you
Wonder why the warthog ignores you?
Why its foobly stare
makes you feel disgusted.
I can tell you, it is
Worried by your pufflubby facial growth
That looks like
A jam.
What's more, it knows
Your puce potting shed
Smells of tree frog.
Everything under the big Introspective sky
Asks why, why do you even bother?
You only charm limburger cheeses.

Vogon Poetry Generator from the BBC.

P.S., There's actually a Technorati Tag for Vogon Poetry!


Friday, June 09, 2006

Star Trek, Cute Kitten, Hot Dogs and My Daughter's Coming to Visit

I think most of you know I'm a Star Trek fan. In my original blog at I posted about a couple trips to Vegas for the big convention at the Hilton. We're going back this year for the 40th Anniversary con, should be fun. And, no, I don't dress up.

Anyway, the other day I was sitting innocently at my desk when the SO sends me a link to a YouTube video of Patrick Stewart singing to Gene Roddenberry which made me laugh out loud in my office - and I had the door open...the peeps in the cubes outside didn't say anything so I hope I didn't disturb them. When it was over I saw another Star Trek themed video in the side bar and I wanted to share it with you. It's called Star Trek Cribs - The Director's Cut.

However, if you want to induce a cute coma, watch this : Kitten vs Frontrow

Nothing much else to say - I picked up my new glasses today - got two pair. One has pewter colored metal half frames but they're at the bottom and that appealed to my sense of whimsy - also since the glasses are primarily for reading when I need to look up over them there's no frame in the way. They have graduated lenses but the distance portion of the lens is pretty thin since the lens itself isn't very tall. The other pair are full black frames but with some white detail and they looked classy. I got them both because I couldn't decide which pair I liked more.

The SO came with to the mall to pick them up. While walking to Lens Crafters we looked at some new VAIO laptops at the Sony Store (didn't see one I had to have) and bought some stuff for the kitchen at Williams Sonoma - I needed a knife block and a pair of plastic tongs, what I ended up with were metal but with rubberized tips - this is so I won't scratch the coated rollers on my hotdog machine.That was one of my Christmas gifts last year. I don't like fried or nuked hotdogs and the SO doesn't like them boiled so when I saw this in Fry's last year I told him I thought it was cool.

I also spent a lot of time today organizing my playlist and bought some new tunes for the iPod. Got a Gary Puckett and the Union Gap album and a Jefferson Starship album...couple of singles...I deleted a bunch of Sinatra and Dean Martin - need to go back to the library and be more selective - there were lots of duplicates, Christmas Music...I'll shape that list up and reload them.

My daughter of the Bees and Bears Shouldn't Teleport blog is visiting next week - I'm sooooo happy!! Of course I need to clean things up in her room, uh, it got used a bit as a place to toss some stuff...I promise, sweetie, I'll get it all out of there so you can find the bed! It will be nice not having the 'empty nest' for a week.

I've got a post in draft that is serious and semi-political, I just got inspired and felt like it was time to say something about how I feel...that's the teaser - you'll have to watch for it. If you want to know when I've blogged, well, you can subscribe to my blog with Feedblitz or put me on a Technorati Favorites list. Check out the sidebar.

Don't forget that AW still needs your support - even though the forum is back up while it was down there was no site income to support the bills!


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Pets in Costumes, Absolute Write Status & Fundraising, Dawno Got a Letter From Her Boy!

  • guinea pig (thank you TNH for posting the link in Particles)

  • ferret

  • bunnies, rats, hamsters

  • Do I really need to say more? Look at the expressions on the guinea pig...

    I think most folk know that AW forums are back up and they seem pretty stable. I posted an AW Monday Meme for sharing the experiences. OhDawno's CafePress store is showing up in post signatures and blogs/sites all over - there have been 10 orders and so far $17 has been collected for AW. Thank you! Check out the newsletter (I worked really hard on it, just to toot my own horn a bit) but haven't sent it out since there are still only 6 subscribers...I'll send it out on Friday, no matter what.

    I've gotten some requests with more fund raising ideas that I'll be getting to work on this week and posting more about - so do come back to check - better yet, subscribe to my blog via FeedBlitz (subs. button in the sidebar) and you'll always know when there's a new post! You could also go start a Technorati Favorites list (also in sidebar) and have a real time index of all of your favorite blogs' posts when they happen ...(to show up at Technorati).

    I finally got a letter from my son. He wrote it on day 2 of basic training:

    ...I'm here at Ft. Benning and I've now been in boot for 2 days so far...I am loving this very much it's like Airsoft 24/7 and I'm in heaven...My 3 drill sergeants are very cool. I'm not just saying that because they would smoke me if I didn't, I really mean it, they are very good soldiers. Anyway, I'm alive and well and doing great..."

    We'll see how he feels in a few weeks. I was so excited to hear I had a letter I bolted home from work a bit early the other day! If you have a list of people you remember in your prayers, meditations, good thoughts moments, etc., please think of Dawno's soldier when you do.

    Speaking of work, I'm putting in a lot of extra hours and it leaves me less time for reading blogs, posting here and at AW, etc. I haven't forgotten you if you haven't seen a comment in a while, I'll try to get over to your place soon.


    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    Thank You!

    The CafePress store is finally showing some statistics - there have been 7 items ordered! Thank you so much. Jenna thanks you, too, I'm sure.

    Today I spent a great deal of time working on putting together an OhDawno's newsletter and a new website.

    Yep. I built a website. (Couldn't have done it without Medievalist and

    It's very simple site, but it serves the purpose. If you check over in my side bar, there's a box set up for subscribing to the OhDawno's CafePress Store newsletter. Under it is a link to my new site, where you can preview the newsletter.

    If you decide to subscribe, rest assured I'm not going to fill your inbox with merchandizing. The system is set up so they can't go out more than once a week. I probably won't do them that often - only if there's something worth talking about, like a new design. The current edition is more news-y than ads-y, but I do mention an item or two, just to keep it fair to CafePress, which offers the newsletter service to their store owners. They also hide the email addresses from me so I can't harvest them for my own nefarious purposes. All I know is that I have 4 subscribers. I think two of them are me, since I set up test emails.

    If you get a chance to take a peek at the newsletter site, tell me what you think.

    Another Update About Absolute Write's Forums

    I received an email from Birol, one of Absolute Write's Supermods and the official Town Crier during the board crisis:

    First, the board is still down. It is not yet open.

    What is happening is Jenna, Charlie, and Scott are attempting to escalate use in order to see when, or if, the board goes "boom." (Gotta love those technical terms, don't you?)

      • First, Jenna and Charlie logged in. The board was fine, so
      • The supermods were introduced to the mix. There were a couple of lags, but nothing major, so
      • The moderators have now been added (yes, if you are a moderator, you can now log in, check on your board, and try to break things.)

    There have been a couple of minor issues with the mods in, so where we go from there, I don't know. The error messages were forwarded to Scott. I'll let you know when I know anything new.

    On the plus side, all the data appears to be intact and the board is getting healthier all the time.
    Please continue to be patient. We'll get everyone home soon. :)

    In other news here at Dawno's: I've added a newsletter to my offerings at the CafePress store. I'm working on Vol. I, no. 1 today. If you want to read it please go to the sidebar and enter your email addy in the teal colored newsletter subscription box.

    I'm going to start work today on my own webpage at It's scary - I've never tried anything harder than tweaking the html in the templates provided here and on my old blog. But, I've got the tools and both CSS for Dummies and HTML for Dummies - what could go wrong? (that was humor...just in case you thought I'd completely lost it there for a moment)

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    I Am So Going to Regret This in the Morning

    I came home a little early today but ended up napping from around 6 to 8 pm. Thus, here it is at 2 am and I’m still awake. I need to get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow because I have a whole list of stuff to do that I want to accomplish in the morning so I’ll have the afternoon to sit in the sun reading.

    Why am I posting then? Couple reasons. First of all I want to thank all the new folk who are visiting, and especially the ones that comment. I will try over the next few days to get everyone on the blogroll. It is wonderful to make new friends and connect off the ‘Cooler with folk I only knew from there.

    Next, I’m not whining or begging here, but there have been no sales on the CafĂ© Press store. Is it too expensive? Are the items not presentable? Help me make it better, because it’s for Jenna and AW, not me. Again, please be assured that I don’t make a penny off of any of it. Actually, if I do sell items I’ll be taking a tax hit – and gladly, it’s not that I can’t afford it, so don’t worry about that. But if there’s anything I can do to improve things or if you have any promotion ideas, please email me (there’s a ‘contact Dawno’ section over there in the sidebar with my email addy) and let me know. Thank you.

    Lastly, I need to talk about my son again. It’s been about a week since he told me he’s actually started training. I worry about him every day. It’s so hot and humid, it will be so physically and mentally challenging. I’m positive he doesn’t realize what a sheltered and fairly privileged life he’s led and now the real world is undoubtedly trying to knock him on his ass and keep him there. Add to that the imagery of Memorial Day, the near daily pieces on the families of soldiers in Iraq that I hear on my drive to or from work and my own upbringing as an Air Force brat during the peak of the Viet Nam war. I am constantly fighting down the urge to just curl up in a ball and go catatonic – visit a happy place and never come back. So I’m just getting it out here, not asking for anything from you but your patience as I vent. Thanks.

    Meanwhile, the folk at Absolute Write have been continuing their efforts to get the site back up. Please don’t sit at your computer clicking refresh, go to the Refugee Camp and watch the news posts for when it’s ok to give it a try. It was up for about 9 minutes yesterday but things aren’t stable yet and it’s back down. You can help most by keeping your browser pointed to the Refugee Camp and not trying to log onto AW until you get the go ahead. Thanks!

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Wandering Around the Blogosphere...

    A collection of posts/sites I've recently been refered to:

    I spent a little time at PlagiarismToday, which unlike "Christianity Today" isn't a place for plagiarists to find support and uplifting articles about spreading the gospel of stealing other folk's work. (Sorry, I did have one of those mental flash images of it being just that and had to share)

    Plagiarism Today talks about the issue of internet plagiarism that I brought up in my post "Uh, That post title looked really familiar". It's an elegantly designed blog, well organized and the author is articulate, providing great advice and useful references. Dawno recommends you put it in your blogroll or bookmark it for personal use. Thank you Laurie at Perigrinas for bringing it to my attention and writing a great post of her own on the topic. (Her new header graphic is very pretty, as well).

    Jenn Hollowell has a blog that's all about collecting the AW/Barbara Bauer posts - fabulous reference. A recent post on a site called (another one for the blogroll!) has a letter from Jenna, that she sent out in her Absolute Write newsletter, reprinted in its entirety and you should go read it and thank for reposting it. Also found on Jenn's listing was a post at The Article Writer worth a read. The neat thing about that blog is all the great references in the side bar. Don't miss it.

    And Jason at A Moment of Reason has posted an AW Update story with a great quote from JAlpha that I encourage you to read. (Was it posted at the Refugee Camp? Jason just sited it as "from a thread I started in another forum")

    I hope you all visit these places and say "thank you" as a grateful AW member, or writer who supports AW, in their comments (if allowed).

    Jenna and crew are working very hard to get AW Forums back up for us - until you hear otherwise, PLEASE don't go there and hit "refresh" obsessively trying to be the first person back in - it makes for a lot of emails to the site admins and problems with the restore.

    Jenna's still not out of the woods, even when everything gets back to normal, on the expenses that have piled up. She's not gotten any of her normal revenue stream and that's what pays the bills. Please, if you can spare any amount, push the paypal dontation button in the sidebar and help out.

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    A Palliative for Absolute Write Withdrawal Symptoms

    New items are up at OhDawno's Ebil Library and Gifts CafePress store. Total proceeds from all sales go to support Absolute Write. They make great gifts for your favorite writer, too.

    More items will be added soon. Your suggestions are welcome. If they come with the appropriate graphic and written permission to use it, that's even better!

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