Wilderness — A Meditation

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Help for My Aging Brain

 Real Age is an excellent site you may wish to browse.  Below is one of their more recent articles that caught my attention.  If you or someone you know is in this 'late' stage of life where the ole brain is struggling to keep up, they may be helped by these hints.

Here's how to get four more stealthy brain boosters off the endangered species list and back into your life:
  • Less noise, more silence. Noise ages even 19-year-old brains. Loud noises during the night (planes, trucks, trains, the party next door) can disturb deep, restorative sleep enough to make your reaction times "old" in the morning. Try running a white noise machine to muffle disruptive noises at night. Exposure to high-decibels causes surges in blood pressure and stress hormones, and both can be major brain-agers. If you work in a noisy environment (factories, construction), wear a protective headset (hey, they even look cool). Cover your ears if a loud noise erupts near you (jackhammer, siren, low-flying jet, vuvuzelas). And when you've got to focus, turn off the radio and shut the door. Your brain is less able to screen out distracting sounds with age, making sharp thinking and recall more of a challenge if you're trying to balance the checkbook while listening to the ball game. Learn how to care for your ears.

  • Less artificial light, more natural light. Sun salutations aren't just for yoga class. When your prehistoric ancestors peeked out of their caves each morning to check for saber-toothed tigers, that first burst of natural light woke up the sweet spot deep in their brains that was responsible for daytime alertness. Same thing happens now: Greeting the day gets your brain in gear, boosting your ability to concentrate and turn out stellar work. The lightbulb over your bathroom mirror can't do this. It takes intense blue light, a wavelength so far found only in Mother Nature's homemade morning light.

    Scientists are working on artificial versions; there's early evidence that exposure to extremely bright blue-white light may reverse dementia and depression. For most, a few minutes of natural morning light may be all that is needed to feel bright eyed and bushy tailed.

  • Less stuffy, smelly air . . . more fresh breaths. You spend 90% of your time indoors, where stale air causes mental fatigue and even some diseases. The cause? Anything from mold or mildew to substances released by fresh paint, new carpet, cleaning products, and artificial smells, including, disturbingly, some air fresheners. The fix? Choose scent-free products. Open your windows regularly; open vents on air conditioners; and ventilate well when using cleaning products or scented sprays (even fragrances) and, of course, when you're painting anything or replacing carpeting.

  • Less clutter, more wide-open spaces. Visual clutter slows down your brain. That's why clusters of road signs double the chances that you'll miss the one you're looking for and why designers of Websites and hospitals aim for simplicity. We instinctively look at something uncomplicated while wrestling with tricky problems (which is why you'd rather gaze at a blank wall than a Jackson Pollock painting when you're doing your taxes). Clearing up the clutter in your files or on your desk, bureau, or shelves could do wonders for your bookkeeping, not to mention help your brain stay closer to age 18. Is there a hoarder in your life?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Meaning vs Happiness

"Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself -- be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself -- by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love -- the more human he is."
Baumeister and his colleagues would agree that the pursuit of meaning is what makes human beings uniquely human. By putting aside our selfish interests to serve someone or something larger than ourselves -- by devoting our lives to "giving" rather than "taking" -- we are not only expressing our fundamental humanity, but are also acknowledging that that there is more to the good life than the pursuit of simple happiness.

An article in The Atlantic which includes the quote above caught my attention.  You may wish to take a look. 

This morning hubby and I were having a discussion about my eagerness to depart the prairie for points south.  I tried to explain that these winter days I am not feeling bored, but that I am lonely for like minded friends and their conversations about topics that are of importance to me.

Recently, I have been busy as secretary of our community's zoning and planning commission.  Happy describes my wakeful hours during the three months it took to complete the community bound research, writing, and approval process for this commission.

However, today the job is completed and I find my mind in search of other meaningful occupations.  Having purpose is essential to my sense of well being. Viktor Frankl's admonition to reach beyond the self in order to have a sense of value resonates.  The Atlantic's article reminded me of how little happiness I find in my solitary pursuits and how important community related activities are in creating a sense of well being.  Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Challenge of Change

Omitted Data from Watarrka Sunrise
 Finally, it was returning to the classroom that encouraged me to live a life of my own, that distracted me from concentrating all my attention on an Aussie bloke. Intellectual stimulation as well as a new set of social contacts filled a space once overwhelmed by my jealousy of his busy work life. At the beginning of the new semester, I showed up for my first class in writing, editing, and publishing.

Accepting the offer of The University of Queensland to which I had applied a year previously, I enrolled in a master’s degree program. Energized by this new challenge, I leapt from the teacher's side of the desk, where I had spent the previous forty years, to the student’s side.

The course convener led us to believe that she would be a taskmaster. Her requirements ensured that we pay attention to detail, an expectation worthy of any competent editor. Wouldn’t you know, detail, according to every astrological commentary and personality test I had ever taken was not on my list of accomplishments.

You have no idea; Actually, I had no idea how many details were missed. I arrived in class minus assignments; sometimes I forgot to read my notes from the previous week. E-mail was a new academic tool. When had I ever used the Internet in this way? I had been on the web for over ten years, but I had never submitted an assignment for credit on line. The time had come to pay attention, to follow through.

Suddenly, there were others in the world who were intriguing, whose companionship distracted me from the emptiness of life as a retiree. Returning to the classroom as a graduate student provided an avenue through which I could validate my intellectual resources. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Watarrka Sunrise - A Fictional Memoir

All literature is fiction, including memoir.  The author’s brain filters experience and offers up for the perusal of readers certain facts and incidents while withholding others.  There is a coloring in the representation of certain scenes in the memoir depending on the mood or intention of the one relating the story. No memoir is in fact the whole ‘truth’, nothing but the ‘truth’. 

 If you are able to accept this assertion, let this warning suffice to inform you that the story which begins on the next page is the truth that the woman who lived these experiences is willing to share with you.

Her real world name is not Demi.  It could be. She could have paid a few dollars to fill out the proper legal papers and talk to a judge in a California courtroom in order to change her name to Demi Tryon.  She didn’t.

 She hopes that you will accept Demi as her avatar, her artistic creation, who lived the events and felt the feelings; one who sees clearly the association between her unique story and the universal story of Demeter, the Greek goddess of fertility. 

 In order to protect her friends, lovers, children, siblings, and parents, all the characters of the story are also avatars. Their physical characteristics and job titles, their social situations are similar, but not totally accurate depictions of real life. However, the dialogue between Demi and other characters approximate real life dialogue as written down in journals on which the story is based.

 Other examples of similar memoirs include DeFoe's Journal of the Plague  Years and Robinson Crusoe.  These examples place Watarrka Sunrise in some very august company.  I don't mean to suggest that my story deserves to cavort in the thin air that such volumes occupy.  I simply wish to suggest that other authors have used the fictional memoir to good effect.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

More Lists! :)

 Ok, so I found another list that I thought you might enjoy.  I spent forty years in the classroom.  I can attest to this list being accurate — well, most of it.  And I find it entertaining cause I'm no longer in the classroom.  Would you believe that folks in my community actually asked me if I would 'like' to join them in a Saturday program to keep the twenty-four younguns in my current community busy and off the computers that mesmerize them all week end long?  I suggest it is time for others to take on that responsibility, but I'll sharpen the pencils and stack the balls in the cupboard at the end of the afternoon...:)


1.) You get a secret thrill out of laminating things.
2.) You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.
3.) You walk into a store and hear the words, “It’s Ms./Mr. ____________ and know you have been spotted.
4.) You have 25 people who accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.
5.) You can eat a multi-course meal in under 25 minutes.
6.) You’ve trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day, lunch and planning period.
7.) You start saving other people’s trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.
8.) You want to slap the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 7 to 3 and have summers off”.
9.) You believe chocolate is a food group.
10.) You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.
11.) You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, the kids are sure mellow today.”
12.) You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.
13.) You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin. (no no no no no)
14.) You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
15.) You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.
16.) You can’t pass the school supply aisle without getting at least 5 items!
17.) You ask your friends to use their words and explain if the left hand turn he made was a “good choice” or “bad choice.”
18.) You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils.
19.) You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer.
20.) You understand, instantaneously, why a child behaves in a certain way after meeting his/her parents.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Written by a 90 Year Old and Copied by a 72 year old for your enjoyment

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 42 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it..

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

11. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...

14 Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

15. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

16. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

17. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

25. Always choose life.

26. Forgive but don’t forget.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

31. Believe in miracles.

32. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

33. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

34. Your children get only one childhood.

35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

36. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

38. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

39. The best is yet to come...

40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

41. Yield.

42. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Buried in the Sky - Padoan and Zuckerman

Damn!  I wrote and then erased an introduction.  

Short version — This is a book worth reading whether you are a mountaineer or simply a reader who loves good writing, a reader curious about worlds s/he has never visited before.  Check it out.  On Kindle, where I just bought it for my mountaineering husband, it is less than $10.  
“[O]nly now has an accurate, and riveting, account been published. Buried in the Sky, by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan, is a work of obsessive reporting. The authors (who are cousins) traveled across the world, conducting extensive interviews with nearly every person who was on the mountain in 2008 and using digital forensics to analyze the photographs taken that day. They weave a narrative that is hair-­raising and moving, but also precise — crucial given the technical complexities of expeditions and the often-hazy recollections of traumatized survivors. But what makes their book an indispensable addition to the genre is the way the authors explore the “cultural crevasse” underlying the ill-­fated expeditions on K2. They provide a long-­overdue historical correction to the familiar mountaineering story.”
Men’s Journal
“When disaster strikes, as it did during that August 2008 climb, it is often the Sherpas and their Pakistani brethren whose courage and skill can make the difference between life and death. We learn a great deal about these remarkable men. … Enthralling … phenomenal research and vivid writing create a memorable portrait not only of the events on the mountain but also of the people who make modern high-altitude climbing possible.”
— Wall Street Journal 
“Buried in the Sky is a significant departure for mountaineer literature.  In a reversal of perspective, the book chronicles the story of climbing K2 from the Sherpas’ point of view.  What happened on K2 in 2008 shocked the mountaineering world.  Eleven climbers died and three others were seriously injured.  It’s through the eyes of Sherpas that Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan tell the story of those fateful hours on the mountain.  Impeccably researched, the two authors travelled to Nepal and Pakistan where they conducted interviews with Sherpa climbers, their families, relatives and friends.  They deal with the worries of Sherpa wives and the yearly tragedies weathered by their close-knit families.  It’s a book that finally humanizes the unsung heroes of the mountaineering world and their hopes and dreams for a better life. 
Citation for winning the National Outdoor Book Award in history
Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer’s account of a disasterous 1996 Everest ascent, was a huge success, and Buried in the Sky will satisfy anyone who loved that book. Zuckerman and Padoan distinguish themselves by the depth of their research, especially into the lives and culture of the Nepali and Pakistani climbers and high-altitude workers — and their relationship with the American, European, and Korean teams that paid their salaries, a troubling transaction at times.”
Boston Globe
“[The authors] succeed magnificently, telling an intensely sad story with clarity, narrative skill, economy and drive, and from a very fresh viewpoint.  What separates BURIED IN THE SKY’s narrative of the harrowing events on K2 in August 2008 from a host of similar tales of mountain tragedies is not merely the rigorously-researched external view it provides. It is also its determination to pass the credit back to those with whom it truly belongs, and who are far too often overlooked in climbing books – the Sherpas and high-altitude porters on whom the whole project of western mountaineering is dependent. uckerman’s and Padoan’s emphasis on the heroic role of the Sherpas is as proper as it is rare in climbing literature. …  It will surely stand as one of the most distinguished works within a genre that includes Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Ralph Barker’s The Last Blue Mountain. That it was written by two newcomers to our activity makes it all the more impressive. This is reportage of the highest quality. We had no hesitation in awarding BURIED IN THE SKY the 2012 Mountaineering History Award.”
Citation for winning the Banff Mountain Festival Book Competition for best book in history
“[G]ripping … An absorbing book that goes beyond the typical mountaineering tale. … This book is mesmerizing.”
Deseret News
“A fast-paced narrative of one of the worst climbing disasters in the history of K2. … Zuckerman and Padoan offer glimpses into the climbing culture that are as rare as the thin air the climbers breathe   … A provocative perspective on one of the world’s most expensive and deadly athletic adventures.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Although Everest is the tallest mountain on earth, K2, “the Savage Mountain,” is a more difficult — and deadly — peak, and this compelling story brought back from its slopes is a worthy tale about a little-known aspect of these high-stakes climbs.”
Minneapolis StarTribune
 ”I admired Buried in the Sky and enjoyed it, too. Because the authors did their homework and wrote their story well, and most of all, because credit is given at long last to those who deserve it most.”
—Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard
“It’s a testament to the thrills in this book that I scoured the notes, eager to learn how the authors wrote their account of the 2008 disaster that claimed the lives of 11 people on K2. … [T]he authors’ commendable documentary about the people who carry the gear is overtaken by the chilling adventure story of one terrible day on the mountain.”
Smithsonian Magazine
“[A] revelatory look at Sherpa history and culture … highly recommended.”
“Fast-paced and well-researchedBuried in the Sky tells the story of the tragic events of August 2008 on K2, “the world’s most dangerous mountain,” from the point of view of the Sherpa porters. Eleven people, both Sherpa and Western climbers, perished after an ice fall took out the ropes that help guide climbers through K2’s notorious “bottleneck” section. Balancing differing versions of what went wrong, authors Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan have come up with a terrifying account of the tragedy. … Their narrative is a must-read for anyone fascinated by the people and politics of high-altitude mountaineering.”
“[A] page-turner addition to the library of great mountaineering books.”
Portland Monthly
“Buried in the Sky is an in-depth look at one of the most devastating climbing expeditions in the history of K2, the world’s most dangerous peak. Amanda Padoan and Peter Zuckerman spent years researching the day in 2008 when 11 climbers died and traveled across the world to interview eyewitnesses. But their book has a special twist–it examines K2′s deadliest day from the from the perspective of the men who set the ropes and carry the loads–high-altitude workers of the Sherpa, Bhote, Shimshali and Balti ethnicities. …  Buried in the Sky, while the story of great devastation, is also a beautiful tribute.”
Shelf Awareness
 “Buried in the Sky is a compelling account of the men who have literally shouldered the rest of the world’s mountaineers up K2. Zuckerman and Padoan track the Sherpas’ arc from childhood to the summit of K2, painting a refreshing, intimate picture of the inner workings of a tragic 2008 expedition. The authors bring alive the enigmatic Sherpa culture, which, ironically, discourages trespassing the forbidden Himalayan peaks, and skillfully guide the reader past the banal machismo that consumes most other accounts.  I really enjoyed and appreciated this book.”
—Norman Ollestad, author of Crazy for the Storm
An informative and inspirational book… I couldn’t put it down. I am proud to know of the determination and loyalty of the Sherpa climbers and their tireless efforts to risk their lives for the other climbers.”
—Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay and author of Touching My Father´s Soul
 “Buried in the Sky reveals the heroic deeds of the Sherpa. . . . [It] brings to light how immensely strong, loyal and talented the Sherpa climbers are. When most other climbers were faltering on the descent from the K-2’s summit, the Sherpa climbers not only rescued themselves, but also went back up to rescue others. Finally credit is given, where credit is due.”
—Ed Viesturs, bestselling author of No Shortcuts to the Top and K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain
“Buried in the Sky, by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan, a well-researched, detailed, and fast-paced narrative of the 2008 disaster that claimed the lives of eleven mountaineers descending from the summit of K2, will be of interest to every mountaineer (armchair or otherwise) interested in the climbing history of that  beautiful and deadly peak.  Particularly welcome is Zuckerman and Padoan’s focus on the experience and lives of two Sherpa climbers, Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, who at the risk of their own lives heroically aided others in getting off the mountain safely, and without whose efforts the death count would likely have been even higher.  It is reassuring to know that, even in an age of commercialized hyper-individualism on the world’s highest mountains, there are some mountaineers who still live by the values of the ‘brotherhood of the rope.’”
—Maurice Isserman, co-author of Fallen Giants:  A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes (2008)
“In 2008, eleven climbers died in one day near the summit of K2. Buried in the Sky is one of the very best books on the tragedy. Pacey, compelling and clear, this is an excellent account of what happened that fateful August day. More importantly, it tells the story and reveals the lives of those Himalayan-born high-altitude workers who risked everything for their ambitious employers – some of whom paid the ultimate price. These once anonymous figures leap off the page with all their hopes and fears — and astonishing courage.”
—Ed Douglas, author of Tenzing: Hero of Everest
“Through phenomenal research, Zuckerman and Padoan have dug deeper than anyone else into one of the most mysterious tragedies in mountaineering history. Thanks to their efforts, the heroism and humanity of the Sherpa climbers who saved lives while others were losing theirs shine through the chaos and grief of that awful day on K2.”
—David Roberts, co-author of K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain; author of On the Ridge Between Life and Death
¨Buried in the Sky isn’t just the story of the worst climbing disaster in the history of the “Savage Mountain,” but an important introduction to the native climbers from Pakistan, Nepal, and Tibet whose labors make most high-altitude expeditions possible, and whose heroic efforts keep the death tolls on K2, Everest, and other Himalayan peaks from rising even higher. The Sherpas climb off the page and carry a narrative that is as fast and as gripping as their superhuman ascents.
—Michael Kodas, author of High Crimes: Mount Everest in an Age of Greed
“Buried in the Sky is a gripping account of that fateful day in 2008 when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2. As it unravels the series of events that resulted from the unbridled ambition set loose on a dangerous mountain, it probes deeply into the lives of those courageous and unheralded professionals – the “thin-air” workhorses from Nepal and Pakistan. Heartbreaking. Sobering. Compelling.
—Bernadette McDonald, author of Freedom Climbers and Brotherhood of the Rope
¨As long as Westerners have been scaling the Himalayas, Sherpas—inhabitants of Nepal’s most mountainous regions—have climbed with them, not merely as porters but as expert mountaineers. Yet they have never been given their due. Here is the story of Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and Pasang Lama, who participated in the 2008 assault on K2 that left 11 climbers dead, though they themselves survived. The book takes pains to explore their culture and the burden felt by such impoverished young men who take on dangerous work that pays well yet remains an offense to the mountains they revere. Sobering.¨
—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
“Providing historical and religious background on Nepal and the Sherpa ethnic group, and a judiciously crafted chronicle of the devastating series of incidents that left 11 dead, this narrative is well organized and chilling. Zuckerman and Padoan’s extensive research, including information gathered from many translated interviews with survivors, provides clear evidence to support their version of events, and their conclusions raise hard ethical questions about often-impoverished local workers risking their lives to satisfy the ambitions of Western climbers. VERDICT Since many climbing chronicles tend to neglect the essential and expert contributions of Nepali Sherpas and Pakistani high-altitude workers, this work’s alternative viewpoint is eye-opening.”
—Ingrid Levin, Salve Regina Univ. Lib., Newport, RI, Library Journal
“[R]eveals the ethnic, cultural and linguistic complexities between and among the Nepalese and Pakistani porters.”
Albuquerque Journal
If you’re looking for a new addition to your mountaineering library than Buried In The Sky is a definite must have. With superb writing, hair-raising drama and two memorable protagonists, you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat as you turn the pages as quickly as you can. On more than one occasion I found myself in the “just one more chapter” mode, even as the clock said it was well past bedtime. I think you’ll be just as riveted as was and the story of these two Sherpas will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
“[G]oes to world’s edge to make the hidden visible. … Shed[s] light upon the previously-unshared story of the impact mountaineering has upon the Himalayan people.”
PQ Monthly
“Sherpas have long been the unsung experts of mountaineering, frequently possessing skill surpassing even the most publicized athletes to conquer peaks such as Everest and K2. Padoan and Zuckerman tell the story of two sherpas who survived the most treacherous K2 climb in history with previously unimaginable interviews and information on the plight and passion of sherpas, showcasing their idiosyncratic lifestyles and choice of profession.”
Bask Magazine
“Zuckerman … and Padoan do an admirable job, starting in a tiny Sherpa village where people believe K2 is inhabited by an angry god who regards climbing the peak as sacrilege. The authors try to explain why these people send their sons to tangle with the peak anyway, because there’s no other way to make money. For even more context, the authors delve into the history and culture of the Sherpa and Bhote people, who provide most of Nepal’s guides. They do the same for the valley of Shimshal, the cradle of the top Pakistani climbers. In the process, Buried in the Sky revisits not just the K2 tragedy but the entire history of Himalayan exploration through the lens of the oft-forgotten guides.”
Willamette Week
Reading this book I not only learned more about the legendary mountain, but at times I felt like I had been transported to its icy slopes as well. That’s a testament to how well written Buried actually is and the authors are to be commended for pulling that off. This is a book that can be proudly put on the shelf next to Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, as the two cover similar ground at times, although their stories are very different.
The Adventure Blog
Instead of the usual glorified gush from surviving sponsored mountaineers, the story centers on the Sherpas, giving a cultural context to their perilous work amid their most sacred places. The authors neatly lay out each of the characters’ backgrounds, personalities and philosophies as if laying out gear before an assault on the mountain. As they push for the summit, the story degenerates into a tangled mass of rope, ice, rock and dead or dying climbers. Despite multiple storylines, this book clearly communicates the imperceptible Death Zone logic and impossible language gaps that led to the deaths of eleven climbers, Sherpa or not. The story’s flow receives help from the book’s many maps, color photos and notes.
Mountain Gazette
“Using K2′s treacherous ascent as a backdrop, Zuckerman and Padoan explore the effects of tour-driven climbing on indigenous populations and their way of life. An awesome read about the human cost of big-business, high-altitude climbing. “
Booknotes, Elliot Bay Book Company
Since its release in June, the book has landed on bestseller lists and has been racking up the accolades, including the 2012 George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, as well as the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival’s 2012 Mountaineering Award.
The Portland Tribune
“Zuckerman and Padoan have written one for the ages. “Buried in the Sky” is a gripping piece of reportage, but like all the best writing, it transcends genre to become a moving story of human frailty and power.  As taut as any thriller, as transportive as a dream, it provides a potent and stirring reminder of why we dare to attempt the impossible—and the price we pay for that ambition. Read it and be enlarged.
I know this blog grows more eclectic day by day.  I write about trying to sell my own manuscript and then about Meyers-Briggs INFJ information and then about reviews of other good books that I want to make sure you note.  

Below you will find a series of excerpts of reviews on a book I just bought for my hubby's Kindle.  It is a story that sooooo needs telling and one that demands a wide readership whether the reader is a mountaineer or not. Please read a few of these reviews and consider a purchase of the book - less than ten dollars on Kindle.

Be well and be well read in whatever genre suits your curiosity...

Jesse Kellerman, internationally bestselling author of Potboiler. 
“Research is thorough and writing is clear and factual while remaining exciting and suspenseful–this is an enthralling book for anyone interested in extreme sports or mountaineering. If you enjoyed Into Thin Air, you will find this book equally fascinating.”
Little Apple Bookworm, a blog by the staff at the Manhattan Public Library
A gripping adventure story and an exploration of Sherpa customs and culture.”
Utah Public Radio
“Shed’s new light on K2′s deadliest day … In addition to documenting the biggest tragedy on the slopes of K2, Buried in the Sky also give a historical reflection of the Himilayan climbing culture, documenting the anonymous workers who do the heavy lifting, carrying the expeditions’ supplies while the name-brand explorers take the glory on the summit.”
KTNA, Talkeetna (Alaska) Public Radio

“Buried in the Sky” is one of the few books on mountaineering that isn’t told from a Western perspective. … Padoan and Zuckerman’s book details what happened on the day of the disaster and the intricacies of these differing native groups.”

Twenty Obsolete words - Shoud They Make a Comeback? 

I loved this blog entry and thought you might also enjoy.  I've included the couple of words that struck me as most useful and pasted them below.  If you are interested in finding out what the other sixteen are, check out the blog addy above.  Oh, and above all else — enjoy.  Conversations about language have the potential to be most entertaining.

* * *

Adj. – “Dismal” – This adjective is from Scots and may be derived from an old Irish word that refers to the wrinkling of one’s brow. An 1826 example of its use is “He looketh malagrugorous and world-wearied.” I’m tempted to also make the word into a noun: “Stop being such a malagrug!”
Verb – “To quarrel about trifles; esp. to quarrel noisily, brawl, squabble” – Brabble basically means to argue loudly about something that doesn’t really matter, as in “Why are we still brabbling about who left the dirty spoon on the kitchen table?” You can also use it as a noun: “Stop that ridiculous brabble and do something useful!”
Verb intr. – “To move swiftly or nimbly” – I can think of a lot of ways to use this one, like “I hate it when I’m frecking through the airport and other people are going so slow.”


Saturday, January 05, 2013

- - - - - - - - Watarrka Sunrise - - - - - - An Intrinsic/Extrinsic Journey for INFJs

I've spent the week writing query letters to agents in an attempt to entice someone to take on the task of selling Watarrka Sunrise to a publisher.  I won't send out my emails til 10 January.  Give 'em some time to celebrate before expecting anyone to click on the slushpile of emails.

I do know that the agents themselves in most cases don't read these emails.  An assistant sorts through.

I am also working on a marketing plan to sell Watarrka.  And you are part of that plan.  Enough beta readers have read my manuscript to convince me that it's not just written by a Meyers-Briggs Personality Sorter INFJ; the book probably will only appeal to an INFJ reader.  What does that mean?

It means that the story is not one full of overt conflict.  Yes, it contains more than a few tense moments and a passel of conflict resolutions dealing with underlying tension.  But, no matter the accepted rule that all fiction or narrative non-fiction has to have overt conflict; this book is an INFJ perception of the universe. 

There is enough internal tension created in the mind of the protagonist who recalls vividly her aunt's accolade. ' Oh if my little one grows up to be as good a daughter as you are, Demi, I will be thrilled.'

Balderdash!  Whatever did those aunties see?  I know, I know.  Like the rest of us, they saw precisely what they wanted to see.  Humans are predictable.

Demi strives to be perfect - whatever that means - but Demi is an INFJ.  Her choice of traversing the high ground manifests more in terms of mountain terrain than in courageous action. In the beginning she seeks safety, a commodity denied her during most of her life, by waltzing into wilderness which is rife with a lack of what she contends to most want.

And detail.  If you don't like detail, you won't like Demi's world.  She wallows in the beauty and extravagance of nature. If that is a background you enjoy, Demi's trip to Watarrka is one you would enjoy.  You may wish to check it out when it comes to your local bookstore, library, Kindle or Barnes and Noble.

Friday, January 04, 2013

You Think You Know Your INFJ Sweetheart?

Below is an interesting blog post I came across that I thought might be of some interest.  I'm not so sure I agree with every single item listed below, but all are worth consideration.  I love passing on other folks rendition of what it means to be a Meyers-Briggs Personality Sorter INFJ and know that some of you enjoy taking a look at this information also.  So here ya go — my New Years gift to INFJs and their partners in social interaction. 

INFJ Dating Bible or: How to Date an INFJ

INFJs are, by definition, rare, reserved, and unlikely to initiate anything, which means that many of them can end up alone and misunderstood. To help with things, I’ve compiled a list of points which I think would be of great use to anyone considering dating someone who identifies as an INFJ.  They seldom  initiate. They like it when the other person starts a conversation, contact, etc.

    * For most INFJs, omitting or distorting information is equivalent to lying, and at the very least will rouse their suspicion. INFJs have an acute sensitivity for stories which don’t quite fit. At the same time, INFJs also like to assume the best and can be extremely gullible.

    * INFJs are adept at nonverbal communication (eye gaze, touching, body language, etc.). Just because they’re not speaking doesn’t mean they’re not saying something.

    * INFJs have an extremely complex internal value system. An INFJ will see if you ‘fit’ into their world, and they’ll bend their own rules if they really like you. INFJs tend to have very high standards, but are also very accepting once they trust you and know you’re safe.

    * INFJs can be pretty intense emotionally. This isn’t to say that they can get into a heated argument, in fact INFJs avoid conflict, however they are easily hurt and feel very deeply. It’s not uncommon for INFJs to cry if they feel something very deeply.

    * INFJs are weird / odd / strange / extremely rare and they very much know it. They yearn to be understood and want to be accepted as they are (as most people do, of course). An INFJ is incredibly complex, so complex they confuse even themselves. They almost always feel misunderstood. They will be offended if you pass them off as ‘simple’ or ‘average’. Getting to know an INFJ takes work, so be prepared for that. A lot of gentle enquiry is required.

    * INFJs can often mimic other types.

    * INFJs are typically better in writing than in verbal communication. If you want to know an INFJ’s true feelings, ask them to write out what they think and feel.

    * INFJs don’t typically engage in casual relationships. Most of them will become too attached for it to be possible. If your intentions aren’t serious then you should probably steer clear of an INFJ unless it’s very obvious beforehand that they aren’t interested in a serious relationship.
    * An INFJ’s allegiance is no trifle. If an INFJ wants to stick by you, it means they really like you. Do not violate that gift.

    * INFJs consciously choose the people that are close to them. They would rather have a few very close friendships as opposed to numerous superficial ones.

    * They open up at a dinosauric pace. They typically hold themselves back and consider that behaviour to be part of their nature. They’ve been described as having ‘layers’ which only a select few people are privy to, the closer the layer to their heart, the fewer people are granted access. Do not expect to find yourself in the ‘top tier’ overnight. It often takes months or years to access the deepest recesses.

    * INFJs, like other idealists, love harmony. While an INFJ is relatively adept at conflict resolution, they do not appreciate the unneeded creation of conflict. An INFJ will strive for harmony.

    * The ‘N’ combined with the ‘J’ in INFJ means that they are future oriented. Do everything you can to make yourself seem like a long-term option. If you become destructively impulsive, an INFJ will lose the ability to see you as a long-term mate, and will become unhappy as a result. INFJs are future-oriented and have powerful imaginations and superb insight.

    * INFJs are extremely sensitive. Make sure that criticism is handed as lightly as possible and constructively. At the same time, INFJs love to please their partner, and will work on an issue if presented in the right way. When to be blunt with an INFJ: never. Be honest and direct, but there’s a fine line between direct and insensitive.

    * INFJs love helping people. If you’re bad at accepting help (yes, accepting help is a skill), then get ready to have problems. To reject an INFJ’s help is to reject their love, and one of the things they hold nearest to their hearts.

    * An INFJ’s ability to help people goes hand-in-hand with their ability to destroy people. Their keen knowledge of people’s weaknessess means they can either help you incredibly or destroy you, however the latter is extremely rare and is only reserved for people they believe have done serious harm to them or others.

    * They need patience but they give patience in return.

    * They’re curious about other people. To their friends, they are very accepting. However, the closer one gets to an INFJ’s heart, the more their standards will apply to the other person, which can sometimes create issues.

    * They often have darker periods where they close up. They can become monk-like and reclusive. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you, it just means they need to recharge.

    * They can be stubborn once they believe they’re in the right, especially if it has to do with their values.

    * INFJs need 2 things to thrive: trust and safety. Trusting you is about knowing that you’re ethically and morally upstanding (or at least in accordance with their values), and feeling safe is knowing that you’ll stick by them. INFJs don’t want to open up to people who might disappear overnight. If an INFJ feels they can trust you and feels safe with you, they’ll be very happy. The only added bonus is to tell them how much you appreciate them.

    * Their energy drains when around others. They will need time alone to ‘feel like themselves’.

    * Your energy will easily affect them. If you seem unstable, etc., it will seep into them and poison them. It has often been said that an INFJ’s partner has to be strong, and this is generally true.

    * INFJs live in a world of fantasy. They can have problems consolidating their idealism with the reality of the world.