Admitted

I will admit it. I’m consumed by this election. And the weather has been darn good for golf. So, I’ve done no writing unrelated to the election and I’m not reading much fiction. Right now, I am reading Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, which is a pleasant distraction from current events.

If you care who I’m working for, it’s Hillary Clinton. Too bad she didn’t win in 2008, but I’m definitely up for this time around. If you wonder why, here’s just one good summary:

100 Reasons to Vote for Clinton

Now, back to it.

Update on the Work: Whew!

Sat down at 8:30 a.m.  It’s now 5:19. My eyes are tired. Wondering why my back isn’t.

(Blog break for Tylenol fix, just in case.)

Three new scenes. Maybe they will end on the cutting room floor, but two of them have been in my head since the beginning. So there.

That’s it. I’m calling up my Beta-Readers. (Shout out to Roz Morris for the term. No, I haven’t employed you but I’ve devoured your Nail Your Novel series.)

Nine hours ago, here’s what my Autocrit dashboard looked like:

Capture

And, twenty minutes ago, this is the update:

stats

(That doesn’t count the separate Grammarly runs.)

No, my momma never said there’d be days like this.

But, I’ve had them and I love them!

Now, on to the vino.

Math Problem? What an insult!

Since when did a fundamental right to personal liberty become a math problem? Since Casey (1992), that’s when.

The fundamental flaw of Casey has always been its concession that some people could suffer a 100% denial of a constitutional right so long as those people denied their constitutional right were not a “large fraction” of the people seeking to exercise that right.

Does that work for gun ownership? Of course not. But when it comes to a woman’s right to privately decide issues related to her own medical care, let’s do math!

Now a woman at the blog FiveThirtyEight has laid out the analysis in a way that should make the outrageousness of this approach apparent. Though she doesn’t seem to get it herself; she simply hopes that a Supreme Court opinion in the case heard yesterday (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt) will offer a “clearer way to do the math.” Perhaps that’s tongue in cheek? Don’t think so.

Whole Woman’s Health is not a third-grade arithmetic problem. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said at oral argument, “What it’s about is that a woman has a fundamental right to make this choice for herself.”

Related:

The Women Take Over | Slate

The Supreme Court’s Test For Abortion Laws Is A Poorly Defined Math Problem | FiveThirtyEight

Kennedy Hold the Key in Texas Abortion Case | Scotus Blog, Amy Howe

Supreme Court Hears Arguments Testing Texas Abortion Restrictions | Nina Totenberg, NPR

 

Roger Pascal, 1941-2015

Mentor, colleague, partner, friend. Roger Pascal, one of the great influences in my life passed on this week.

The case described in the fourth paragraph of this obituary is the one on which I first worked with Roger. There were many more thereafter.

Thanks for the memories, the opportunities, the fun. RIP Roger.

Roger Pascal, a renowned lawyer who for 50 years served as a litigation partner with the law firm Schiff Hardin LLP and as a volunteer attorney, general counsel, and board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, died of cancer at his home on Sunday, December 27.

Source: Roger Pascal, 1941-2015

Non-Fiction Now

So yes, I went to the Non-Fiction Now Conference. Of course, I did not have to travel far. Just across town. That’s physical travel, of course.

Psychic travel went much further. Back to the excitement of learning. Of being among people who are striving through a singular endeavor — yet with individual destinations. Young and old (like me).

Such a range of people. From experts and high-end producers to those just starting out (like me). From those with supreme confidence (cocky, shall we say) to those working through grave self-doubts. I’m somewhere in between — an explorer.

Three days of fun. I couldn’t keep up with the young ones, who ran a schedule beginning at 9 a.m. and ended when the 9 p.m. readings at coffee houses wound down. I took a break on Friday night to keep to my regular symphony commitment with my very important wife. That’s a very important change from behavior in previous professions — family first, life first. We’ll make this writing part of life, not the whole life.

What did I gain at this conference?

  • Inspiration: Brian Doyle was great; others, too.
  • Perspective: All those different people; all those different presses. (I heard no one here mention self-publishing. This is a world of academics. Publish or perish is their world.)
  • Recollection: Experts, too, should strive for perspective and sometimes they don’t. One panel with an exciting title about research was all about navel-gazing. Literally, one panelist read her research on navels, which was, indubitably, interesting. But then each panelist read his or her research. That’s it. No thread binding these interesting vignettes together. No lesson. Just an implication from the panel’s title that only academics were legitimate researchers. Hmm — not impressed.
  • More books for the shelf. At discounted prices.
  • Reminder: Closed minds are everywhere. One woman walked out of a panel. She later told me she felt her religion (“Christianity”) was being insulted and she wasn’t putting up with that “anymore.” Really?

Glad I went. Now, back to the keyboard. Typewriter

Retirement

This is the first time in forty years that I’ve not held a professional license from one state or another. It feels good.

What am I going to do? Over the next month, I’m going to enjoy a visit with friends who are coming from Chicago, go to Iowa to visit family, play in a three-day golf tournament at Flagstaff Ranch, get reacquainted with the Oakcreek Country Club (as well as play at Continental as long as the weather holds and the greens aren’t punched), hang some pictures, and watch the leaves change.  At the end of the month, I’m going to attend the Non-Fiction Now Conference. Then, we’ll see what November brings – hopefully, days of writing and golf.

What I’m NOT doing: Moving from Flagstaff, taking a big trip, going off the deep-end (I hope).

Stall?

My book effort has been sidetracked. I don’t think it’s stalled. I think I’ve just been busy with life.

This authorship is a third career for me and I’m trying to avoid the mistakes I made in the first two careers — the primary one being that I made the career the number one priority in my life and living my life secondary. This time, I took a week off to spend full time with my family over the 4th of July; to enjoy our wonderful town of Flagstaff; and to celebrate my love’s 70th birthday. (We’re thinking of that as the new 50.)

I’m also not getting younger and I need to work on staying physically fit. Before 40, I barely thought about that. At 65, it’s a primary focus and it needs to be if I am going to accomplish anything else, including writing a book, or books. I’m in training with a golf coach and I spend at least an hour every day in vigorous exercise and more hours several days a week on skills training and enjoying the game. This also has become a significant part of my social life.

Finally, I also need to close out career #2. It’s not as easy as resigning and walking out the door. There are commitments to honor and investments to divest. That’s getting done. It takes time from the book effort. But that should stop in a few months.

I know I have the discipline to write. I proved it in college, law school, and in two prior careers. So, when life stops interfering, I’ll get back to the discipline of blocking hours at least 4 days per week to sit in my chair and write the book.

Loving life….not in stall.

Self-Publishing Tips & Tricks | Flag Tech Talk | Flagstaff Technical Lectures

I think I’ll drop in on this tomorrow night:

Self-Publishing Tips & Tricks | Flag Tech Talk | Flagstaff Technical Lectures.

I’m not sure if self-publishing, or some hybrid, is the future of the industry. But it’s always good to know what’s going on in an industry you’re part of (or would like to be part of).

Yes, It’s Been An Unusual Spring….

 The 1.00″ of rain at Flagstaff airport yesterday was the 6th rainiest June day on record for the city (which dates back to 1898). The record is 2.40″ from 06-29-1956. The previous record for June 5th was 0.40″ in 1903.

— Posted by US National Weather Service Flagstaff Arizona on Saturday, June 6, 2015

So, it’s no wonder that we’ve never seen a spring like this in our twenty-one Flagstaff springs.