Saturday, August 27, 2005

Of Jobs, Markets and 5 yr Old Cheese

I’ve got a relatively new job and I can honestly say that I’m really enjoying it, much to my surprise. I work in a convenience store. Now, I can hear some of you scoffing, but think about it, when you run out of milk, or cigarettes or need chips in a hurry, who do you think sells it? People like me. Who do you think give the best customer service? People like me. Now that I have that off my chest, let me tell you what I USED to do. Once upon a time I worked as a member of the recruiting & dispatching team at a temp agency. Well, someone’s (NOT MINE!) sex drive and adulterous ways literally screwed me out of that job, and I found myself laid off and with a family of four other mouths to feed. So I took a job I never really wanted in order to make ends meet; working in a food processing factory. Suffice it to say it was nasty, cold and an hour and a half (on public transportation) commute…one way! So then, a family friend suggested the present job to me. After much pros & cons list making, I applied, interviewed and landed the job. I’ve already expressed an interest in the empty assistant manager position, and if things continue in the current vein, it looks possible.

So I’ve been working my tail off to prove myself, to the point of working nearly 82 hours in 13 days. Today (Aug 27th) was a much-enjoyed day off. This morning my Sweetie and I went to the Farmer’s Market here in Cambridge. We were lucky enough to great some great deals, as well as try something new…5 year old Canadian cheddar. Even my kids like it, and one of them is VERY picky! We got crookneck squash, which is almost impossible to find in our neck of the woods, fat corn on the cob that wouldn’t fit on our dinner plates it was so huge, gorgeous amber honey, and organic potatoes. We also bought crunchy apples for the kids that I cannot eat due to a pesticide allergy, blueberries, raspberries, the aforementioned cheese, a plump chicken, sausage and the nicest, tastiest tomatoes that tasted better than my own.

We had a feast for dinner tonight. I barbequed chicken, she made homemade biscuits with the new honey, melon, berries, tomato slices, cucumber slices, corn on the cob and man…are we STUFFED!

I can’t recommend farmer’s markets enough to you folks. Track down your local market and let’s support the farmers. Not only is local honey good for your allergies, but the only way to keep our farms is to support the folks who work in the fields. So while the summer is still here, deny your grocery store some of your hard earned cash, and save our farms by buying local.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now, but if you want to share your thoughts with me, I can always be reached at

Enjoy the update and support a farmer today!

Carolyn aka Taleweaver

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Books and What Makes A Difference

I was having a conversation with a friend just this afternoon about books and fiction, and what stands out. We also discussed formulaic fiction, and how it leaves the reader wanting. I can remember one book I've read in which the opening line was something like "It was raining the day I died." It was Roseflower Creek, and I've never forgotten how that book broke my heart. It had an opening that made me sit up and take notice, and I haven't read anything like it since. I've also recently read "Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood", and it too stands out among the crowd, if for no other reason than it's style and voice. Too often, we can watch a movie made from a book, and yawn because the movie is not unique. This one is. Reading the book is like watching the excerpts that ended up on the editing room floor. It's follower, "Ya-Ya's in Bloom" has the same sassy style. It's also addicting!
As an author, I have learned quite a bit in recent years about both good and bad writing. What will make a story or article melt into the pool of obscurity, and what will make a piece stand alone. I admit that my own novel was quite the learning curve. Nowadays, I want a book that will stick with me as much as yesterday's oatmeal. I want fresh characters, dialogue that makes sense. I want purpose and morals, lessons hidden like pearls in muddy oysters. I want to remember a book long after I've returned it to the library, or it's owner, or tucked it away with my other books.

What about you? What makes you remember a book? What will make you fork over your hard-earned dollars for the printed word?