David Pye suggested in his 1968 book The Nature and Art of Workmanship that we should distinguish between the “workmanship of risk” and the “workmanship of certainty.”
Count me in as on the risk side. I was talking to my son just now and I said that I don’t touch mud unless I have a goal. This ‘goal’ is right in the middle of workmanship of risk.
B. 115 came about with the goal of a cup. In the course of making some utensil holders using the extruder, I kept two more cylinders at the end. The extruder always has a compressed puck that won’t extrude through. I took the two cylinders and split them, squeezed them together and settled them on the puck. The cylinders were floppy and fell into the shapes you see here. I pulled a spout and was done.
Fawn was overwhelmed. Her stomach took a drop towards the floor and her hands tingled. This was way different than smoking some weed in the park across the street from the school.
“I’ve got plans.”
Indeed he had. With the money he was going to buy a Cadillac SUV, get it armored, hire a bodyguard, and drive to Mexico. Things were cheap in Mexico. Maybe he would buy guns in Mexico or maybe he would buy them here in the US. In Mexico, he would buy a fancy house and hire maids. Some of the maids would know someone in a local cartel. The money to be made was bigger the closer you were to the source. After that he would be set for life.
Sandy wasn’t dumb. She had one her friends/buyers in high school ask Fawn something.
DM: ” hey I heard Tobin has rail to sell”
DM: “yeah a lot but you didn’t hear it from me”
Fawn came home from school to a mother who had lost her mind.
“He’s………..dead!” she screamed.
“What.” Fawn realized she wasn’t going to get more from Mom. Mom had always been ’emotional’ and sometimes dialog with her was impossible. This was the maximum. But was Tobin really dead?
Fawn couldn’t make any headway with Mom. Fawn couldn’t even get her to sit or lie down. She was too agitated to do anything but rock back and forth on her feet and scream. Fawn called her father at work. She wasn’t supposed to do that.
“You’re not supp…”
“Mom’s out of her mind. Is Tobin okay?”
“I see,” He’d been dealing with Mom for longer than Fawn had.
“Do your best with her. I’ll see what I can find out and be home as soon as I can.”
When he got home he told Fawn that Tobin had been shot in front of the SevenEleven. Driveby. He taken enough shots that he was dead before anyone could get to him. At the emergency room, Mom got a heavy dose from the doc and was either asleep or comatose. At that point Fawn and Dad were grateful for the silence.
A year later Mom was not much better and Dad was gone. Of course Mom had lost her job. Fawn hoped she knew enough to get Mom on disability. Uncle Harry was trying to help but he lived in another state far away.
Fawn was on her third shift. She was lucky that it was a front desk job at a hotel. Fawn could swear she was able to sleep with her eyes open.
Dr. Dobson knew what she was doing. She’d only seen the various scans of the patient. Black and white but mostly hazy gray. She knew how to read them and also what they wouldn’t be able to tell her.
Fawn was going after a bullet close to the spine. If she made the slightest mistake it meant the patient might be a paraplegic or dead.
“Is he under?” Fawn asked the anesthesiologist.
“Yep. Go ahead doctor.”
The respiratory team was prepared to keep him alive if something went awry.
Would she need to do a vertebra fusion? She’d only know once she was in. A 9-mm bullet was in with its head facing the incision, completely encased in scar tissue, blocking the flow of cerebral spinal fluid. There was a special tool for grabbing bullets. Huh this is America.
Fawn was as cautious as she had learned to be while performing the dissection. No damage to the nerve roots if she could help it. She put on the surgical microscope headset. She had two grips to move the light in tiny increments. She needed to be incredibly exact to release the bullet from the scar tissue. If she pulled too hard it was over for the patient, but if she didn’t pull enough the bullet was going to stay stuck. Got it. Bullet free from from the surrounding tissue.
There was no applause but a huge release of tension in the room.
As team was finishing up Fawn got to see the boy, Tobias. He had gunshot scars in many places. Tobias/Tobin. Fawn broke down and cried. Really sobbed for the first time in decades. The rest of the operating room did not know why. She’d just been phenomenal.
So my previous review was ‘Hidden Spring’ by Solms. Barrett’s book finished the hold at the library and I borrowed it.
The very first sentence called out the premises propounded by Solms. I had to look up any webpage with both their names. Panksepp is the name of the scientist that provided the basis for Solms and that is the name I searched for.
Wow. They call each other every name of disrespect one can use about another researcher.
Barrett debunks a number of ‘received wisdom’.
Facial expressions are unambiguous in showing emotion. Nope the experiment design primed the responders.
Facial expressions and emotions are the same in every culture. Each culture just has different names for them. Nope same bias.
Emotions are learned. Period says Barrett. She calls them constructed but same difference.
I am really looking forward to the rest of Solms now that I know Barrett’s stance.
Hollis was tired. Going on a book tour was “Sorry I’m not fun anymore”. She was not going to write that book. There was one more reader, the last in line. She was not holding a book though.
“Did you want me to sign your book?”
“You did a long time ago. I’m Betty Bell.”
Hollis did some quick arithmetic. Of course she remembered Betty Bell. But it was a common enough name.
“Named after the Betty in ‘Year of Goodbyes’ ?”
“No, I was born in 1957.”
“You were ten.”
“I found out later. How did you do it? Why did you do it? The only way you could have was if you hired a snoop. Did you hire a snoop?”
Hollis looked around. The bookstore clerk that had been her escort was starting to close up the store. He was as far away from her as he could get and still be in the store. There was no one else around.
“Yeah you can play like you don’t know what. I was eighteen when some customer told me ‘Hey Betty you’re in a book’. Funny. So I read it. The parts you didn’t get right, you probably put in to throw any of us that knew off.”
“Betty Bell is a character in a book. She’s imaginary.”
“Then how you did know dad… and sister Caroline you called her Charlotte…and the time train hit our dog…and I went to work at the “Glazed Cheer Grille”… so you never been to Mount Victory either?”
“The town was Logansville.”
Hollis had never had to deal with this level of crazy before. The staff at each bookstore was supposed to do that. This was a small bookstore though and Ed? or was it Chris? was now not around. She could yell for him but what if that made it worse?
“…got worse all the things that happened to Betty in the book happened to me after. The Grille burned down just like it did. I thought Bud was different from ‘Fred’ but then he done the same things. Who are you? What are you?”
Because her mind was racing, Hollis’ thoughts went in a strange direction. A lot of material appeared in her awareness in a instant. Although Betty was not a major character Hollis had put a lot of time fleshing her out. Especially because Betty betrayed Nikki, the protagonist at a key point in the plot. Betty, Betty, Betty. Her boyfriend was originally ‘Buddy’ before she changed him to ‘Fred’. She had changed the town’s name from ‘Mount Gilead’ when that sounded too biblical.
Hollis let out a big breath. She’d been holding it. She drew on what she knew of conflict resolution.
“Tell me more.”
It came rushing out. As Betty told more of the concordances between ‘Year of Goodbyes’ and her life she started to be less agitated. Unless she was more mentally ill than anyone Hollis could imagine it was starting to get creepy. There had not been a ‘Nikki’ in BettyTwo’s life but there had been a Vicky. BettyTwo told that she had been betrayed by Vicky. Hollis recalled that BettyOne had thought the same thing in the world of the book. She had left that backstory out to keep the plot moving. She knew better than to say anything about it.
Betty was wearing out. Hollis had no idea what to do next.
“Do you want to get a drink?” Hollis was no longer afraid.
“Six years sober.”
Hollis was really stumped. She started to wonder if she was in some kind of afterlife where she would be confronted by every one of the characters she had written.
“Write me a happy ending. You owe me that.” Betty turned and walked out almost at a run. Hollis knew better than to try and catch her. She had a job to do.
Betty meet Betty. Hollis has her eyes shut because it’s dark, too dark to see.