• A couple weeks ago, I went to a meet-up of writers in Jefferson County.  It was a small group, and I enjoyed it.  A couple of published authors, and a fairly loose discussion of things we’re working on.  I discussed the space station murder mystery I am planning, and while I didn’t receive a lot of input or advice, I feel a lot more confident about a specific direction I want to take the story.  I may read one or both of the published authors.  I’m looking forward to meeting up with them again.
  • I read Old Man’s War by John Scalzi.  I like the author’s writing style.  This is the second book of his that I’ve read, and I frequently read his blog.  His use of language is very readable, but with a frequent flourish of expression.  He also has intelligent things to say and observations to make about people.  However, he is a little weak on plot and suspense.  Old Man’s War is particularly weak on that regard.  It is much like Starship Troopers in that it depicts the fighting force of the future by charting one man’s progression through it.  Creative with the science and technology, but only barely what you could call a story for its lack of a goal.  Still, at least this one wasn’t preachy about political ideology.
  • There is also a science-fiction book club I want to participate in, this one being run by the Kirkwood library.  I just finished reading Uprooted by Naomi Novik, the book to be discussed next month.  I definitely enjoyed it.  I’m not sure what to expect from a book club discussion, having never been to one (although I do have some idea after reading Among Others by Jo Walton).
  • Another meet-up group I considered but rejected was a camping group.  The idea of camping with a bunch of strangers just doesn’t appeal to me.  I am simply not that social.  After my camping trip last month, where I camped in solitude some of the time and in noisy campgrounds at other times, I realized that I much preferred the quiet isolation.  I am a loner.  An introvert.  Camping, I realize, is a chance to get away from other people.  I’m sure I would enjoy camping with friends, but I don’t think I want to meet new people that way.
  • Half of the bradford pear tree in my front yard fell during a storm and landed on my mom’s SUV.  And by half, I mean the southwestern half.  It split down the middle, and one side came down.  No rot, nothing unhealthy or dead.  Just weak wood.  This species of tree is notorious for it.  It grows so tall it cannot support its own weight.  If you have a bradford pear tree, plan to have it topped every two or three years, or consider removing it.  Also, in Missouri it has become invasive, cross-pollinating with dogwoods.  Anyway, my mom’s SUV was totaled, but she is having it partially repaired anyway.  It has taken two weekends to get the rest of the tree removed and the whole thing cleared.  Also, there is now zero shade in the front yard, and I am thinking about what kind of tree to have planted to replace it.