Thus ends Hell Week, with a three-hour car ride ahead of me to visit folks we haven't seen in some time, which will be nice, except for the expected rain. When I return, the crowds that packed the area for the baseball Hall of Fame's induction weekend should have subsided--it was pretty crazy, let me tell you, I don't think I've seen the area this crowded since Cal Ripken, Jr. went in. Another little bit of revision work is done, which hopefully will get POWERLESS back out on sub very soon. I dipped my toe back in the water of another project before I had to get back on the revision horse and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Last week, when I was looking for something to read, I picked up our old copy of The Grapes of Wrath. I'd forgotten how good this book is, and how good Steinbeck was. Funny, when people ask over on AW about dialect and whether to really pepper their dialogue with it, I usually suggest they do it sparingly, as it often annoys me. The Joad family and all the people they encounter say 'somepin' and 'meetcha' and 'jus', and it didn't bother me a bit. I guess you can forgive almost anything when a story grabs you. It's also interesting to look at this story in light of what's going on in the world today, and the growing gap between rich and poor. At one point, Ma Joad says, "If you're in trouble or hurt or need--go to poor people. They're the only ones that'll help--the only ones." While not strictly true--there are plenty of caring, generous rich people--studies have shown a growing distance between the haves and have nots, not just in wealth, but in social interactions and empathy. Steinbeck captured this very effectively.
I've had a truly bizarre spike in number of visits to the blog this month. Can't explain it. Something similar happened last August as well, which brought with it a rise in spam comments, until I disabled anonymous commenting. Last night, I received 16 spams to the e-mail linked to this blog in a 40 minute period. All the spam is the same (I think; I don't open it), offering me "Safe & Fast M.A.L.E.-E.N.H.A.N.C.E.M.E.N.T." (Euphemism mine). Hey, anyone remember what happened to this guy? Haven't seen him on the TV in quite some time.
That's about all I've got for today. Hope you all had a nice weekend.