I love the word whisps. Don’t ask why. I’m sure the answer would unsettle us all. I like the word so much I created an alien race called the Whisps and the story after them. Try saying whisps, but whisper it. Now say whisper whisps five times fast while whispering. Try whispering whisping whisper whisps

Makes your lips go on strike, doesn’t it?

Fascinating, I know.

Not a bad weekend. I got in some needed relaxation. It was a busy week last week, and will prove to be a busy week coming up. For this weekend, however, aside from reading a really excellent book, we went out with friends a few times, did a game night, napped aggressively, hit the bookstores.

Last night I did my weekly thing at Ward’s pub with the old banjo. Another, and better, bodhran player was sitting in, so I kept my percussion contributions limited to the spoons, which I’m actually getting pretty good at. I’m even getting the finger-sweep trick down. They even got me to sing. Sing. I don’t sing in public. I don’t carry a tune well and don’t know how to sing in tune with instruments. For some people it’s natural. For me it’s work and work I’m not good at. Still, someone had requested “McNamara’s Band” (yeah, I know) and they were going to sing it themselves, but couldn’t remember the verse about Uncle Julius. Because Uncle Julius is about the big Swede in the band, and I happen to be of both Irish and Swedish extraction, it’s the one verse I know very well… so I got dragooned into singing that specific verse.

So I belted it out, more reciting than singing, in a goofy Swedish accent which probably sounded more German than Swedish. Ah well.

Aside from that, my revelation for the evening was that it’s time to learn some new tunes. I’ve picked up some new bluegrass ones for the five-string banjo. Now it’s time to pick up some new Irish tunes for the four-string banjo.

Wish me luck.

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I’m working on a number of interesting projects right now. One that’s particularly fun is Growing Up With Monsters: My Times at Universal Studios, in Rhymes! by Carla Laemmle and Daniel Kinske, with foreword by Ray Bradbury and illustrated by Jack Davis and Hermann Mejia. It’s pretty much the definition of delightful, and I’m having fun with the layout. I get to be a little more creative than usual. The cover is going to be tricky as I have to integrate some very fine art with cover type. But the inside? Yeah, that’s rocking.

A number of other projects are either out for proofs or I’m awaiting further materials. I have a book on Design Integration for Intellect that is also in the works. That’s more of a text-book style book and it’s coming along very well. That will ikely go out for proof this week, a week ahead of schedule.

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Last week I mentioned Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s new series at her website about freelancing. Today I offer up the link to the second post in that series: The Freelancers Survival Guide: Priorities. She discusses the prioritization and balancing of such factors in the freelancer’s life as Family, Health, Work, and Leisure. It’s important stuff. I think a lot of us, at one point or another be it for reasons of school, work, or some other obsession, has let things get out of balance at one time or another. Ms. Rusch offers some good insights. Well worth checking out.