We'll be back to normal blogging soon, once the day thing craziness ends.
Oh, before I forget, JoNoWriMo kicked off today. It's sort of like NaNoWriMo, but you get longer, and it's more about the community and your own goals then getting wordcount out. (tip o' the hat to Catherine Shaff-Stump)
Some new writers wonder where you can get ideas. My response has always been, "keep your eyes open." Well, sometimes you have to keep your ears open as well. Last week NPR ran a series on Mongolia in Transition. While most of the articles talk about a country with deep problems and growing pains exacerbated by the world wide recession, there was also this report on the Naadam Festival (story version with more info). There are several wonderful points in that story (including in the extras on the web) that include a child singing inspiration to his horse, the scene around the ovoo, how the boys race, and that it's 15 miles (hint, the Belmont Stakes is the longest of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing here in the US, and it's only a mile and a half, much of the stakes making questions if the horses can make it). Yeah, lots of story bones in there.
Speaking of potential story bones, the Ghost Fleet of Singapore. Well, that ain't good. And I guess it's as good a time as any to say when the economists (and Fed) say the recession is ending it means the esoteric numbers and positions of businesses have stopped falling and begun improving. And this is also a way of saying, if you really want to get something for the holidays, get it now (before the shortages hit - and the stories of shortages). Still waiting for the Wii. (grokked from Jeff Beeler).
Off topic links
The Recession Inspired iPhone 3G case. (thanks to Dan B.)
A Times article on the "Government Takeover" of the student loan programs. Strangely enough, this is an actual take-over of an industry (grated, it's the Federal Government actually reasserting it's powers, after outsourcing the program in the 90's and 00's), but you don't hear much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over it.
A CNN article on wellness programs at work. We have such a program at the day thing. It's also "voluntary" (except the several emails about how we have to have so much participation to actually get the discount, and we have enough people on COBRA and extended family coverage that every single one of us working must participate for it to work, but yeah, it's only voluntary, just make sure you sign up on this very public and visible form of when you'll "voluntarily" participate). Yeah, sign me up for the "skeptical" side of the argument (including the forthcoming argument of "you all need to lose weight and get you're stress/hyper-tention under control). Oh, and did I forget to mention they asked the question of, "Do you take a medicine that effects your mood?" To which I said yes (I take Wellbutrin, hopefully will stop soon). It came back on the "aggregated survey" as "These many employees use drugs to alter their moods." Um, no, that's not what you asked. The first is a medical intrusion, the response is an accusation.