Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Memories from The Anchoress

The Anchoress posts a memory from some years ago. A memory that I had forgotten. Funny how a sudden remembrance can raise forgotten emotions, too.

It's like that when I write, although I wasn't really prepared for such a reaction when I began. To dredge up emotions, so as to examine them, and describe them in my own writing, is alien to me. Maybe it's my upbringing, or maybe it's that whole White-Bread protestant thing, but emotions were not really up front in my mis-spent youth.

Probably that's one of the reasons I went into acting in school. Somewhere within me I had a fascination with the emotions. Evoking strong emotions in acting is not as easy as some folks think. Yet it is so satisfying when it works for you.

So, in the Arts, emotional response is important. Maybe it's really everything. After all, what do we really remember from a Museum tour? The workman-like sculptures and paintings? No. Of course not. We remember those works that draw the emotions out of us.

So, too, with literature. Emotions must be there, within the story, or the reading seems somehow bland, lifeless. And to me, it is lifeless. One of the reasons I quit even trying to wade through some classics of literature was because so much of it was simply dry: a boring recitation of the facts of a story. Herman Melville evokes nothing in me but sheer boredom. What the man needed was a very energetic editor.

So, when the Anchoress posts a memory of something I have long forgotten, it is refreshing in that the emotions are right there! Alive! As fresh as the day I first experienced them.

How 'bout you? When you re-read a novel, do the emotions come back? The laughter, the tears? Are the memories of the story fresh again?

Read the post from The Anchoress. See if you remember.

Monday, April 24, 2006

National Novel Writing Month - a different take

NaNoWriMo 2006 Participant
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it's called by participants, runs each November for ... yep! a month. In that month participants are encouraged to write 50,000 words or more, as a way of jump-starting their writing, throwing a deadline at them, and generally giving writers a reason to write.

Gimmicky, maybe. But it attracts a whole lot of writers, and more each year. Sign-ups begin in October of 2006 for the 2006 version.

Okay, whoopdeedoo, eh? So what's the point? What's the "different take"? Well, I'm glad you asked, even though you probably didn't. In the Yahoo group set up by the last session of Writopia's f2k writing class, a discussion began regarding NaNoWriMo. A few of us had participated (I did, but didn't finish), and we were asked about it. Seems like everybody got their opinions in, whether or not they had participated. And, no, not everybody likes the idea.

One of our group asked if someone would join him as he did a something similar, writing 50,000 words, starting in May. He wanted some support, which a lot of writers need, and wondered if it would be worthwhile.

Well! I, being addicted to making web pages, and now blogs, sat down in front of my computer('cause if I sat down in the back of my computer I wouldn't get much done, y'know?) and set up a blog with the express purpose of facilitating a Novel Writing Month for our members. A sort of light-weight NaNoWriMo for our own bunch of writers. In my own extremely clever way, I named it "Private Novel Writing Month". (Yeah, yawn, but the name ain't the point, is it? LOL)

It's not a bad little site for us, and as we begin on Monday, May 1, 2006, I think it'll do us well. After all, we don't have the bells and whistles of the real thing. We aren't trying to be the real thing, either. We're just trying to see if we can dedicate enough time to accumulate 50,000 written words in a month.

Is that important? No, not as such. To make the total a writer will have to write 1613 words each day.

"Big deal," I can hear you say, "who can't do that?"

A lot of writers, I would answer. When we're "on", there isn't enough time in the whole world to write all that we need to write. I know! I've been there! For a writer, there's no more powerful feeling. None. And 1600 words is a drop in the bucket.

But when a writer is not "on" or is struggling to get the story straight in his own mind, 1600 words may as well be a million. He can't find them to write them.

So, let's give some credit to anybody who puts him/herself out there in this manner. They, and I, are trying to do something that is very hard to do for most of us. And with some support, encouragement, and quite a bit of bragging(heheheee!), the five of us who are embarking on this month-long marathon may well create the foundations of a new novel for each of us.

You can check out what we're up to, and perhaps how we're doing here.

Update (8:24 PM): We may have added a sixth member to our PriNoWriMo blog. Hope so! The more the merrier. Well, not if we're supposed to share my M&Ms, but you know what I mean.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Weekend Calling You-hoo-hoo-hooooo-hoo-hoo-hooooo!

Things going on this weekend? Maybe some things, but all I know is I have to work. This afternoon a co-worker and I pressure washed 9 big outside trashcans. You know the kind: smelly to the heavens! Yeesh!

So, with that to think about, why not do some surfing to other blogs and see what's up?

Angel is looking forward to a Rainy Weekend.

At The Captain's Quarters, Captain Ed is talking about CIA leaks. Very damaging stuff.

The Anchoress has a nice post regarding Judas. If you've been paying attention, you know this is something nasty. The Anchoress gives a good look, as she always does.

And she's linked to Vanderleun at American Digest. This is a remarkable look at the Judas Gospel, and what it means for certain people. Take a gander.

Victoria, at Sundries, is wishing Queen Liz a Happy 80th! Hardly seems possible that the beautiful, young, British Queen of the 1950s, is now in her eightieth year.

Got any more?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"All Fame Is Fleeting"

I’m nobody of any real importance. I hope that the time will come when my writing affords me a small measure of fame (notice that word is not capitalized!), as well as enough money to pay off my creditors. But I have no true ambition to be famous. Not in the way of, say, Stephen King, or Arthur C. Clarke. Success is something I think most of us strive for. But Fame?

These days it seems there are an awful lot of famous people out there. People famous for nothing of importance. They aren’t famous for winning great battles in War, or saving many lives, or inventing some great device that moves human progress forward.

These famous people are not modern versions of Thomas Edison. We have no new Alexander Graham Bell before us. Leonardo DaVinci is merely a name referred to in a popular novel.

No, what we now have are people famous for being, well, famous! Their claim to fame would seem to be being in the news. After all, if you have seen Paris Hilton on television – in that odd series she made with Nicole Ritchie – you know she isn’t an actress. There’s no talent there. She’s not particularly attractive, unless you are into the starving model look, and her voice is non-descript at best! There’s nothing there! So, why is this female famous? Well, that’s part of the problem, Folks.

Two views of Paris Hilton. Yawn.

You see, assuming you have never known or have forgotten, Paris is an heiress of the famous Hilton family. You know them: big, expensive hotels, right? So is that enough for her to be so famous? Well, no. You see there was something more. Paris had a rather nasty boyfriend and they filmed themselves doing the dirty. The reason for Paris Hilton’s fame originally was a tape surfacing of her performing fellatio.

Now, isn’t that special?

So, for the wonderful accomplishment of giving a blow job, Miss Hilton is followed and photographed, and touted, and …. Sigh

She has nothing to say, has nothing to give the world, can improve life in no discernable way. But she is famous!

Look, there’s nothing wrong with a little fame, on a local stage, for little things. But there’s no need, or call, for the kind of screeching fame that seems to be handed out to the dumbest, ugliest, nastiest people on the face of the earth. Are actors really that important in your life?

Is Representative Sukdollahs really the person you want to emulate? Does Senator Windbag actually have something important to show you? As leaders, are they leading, or following the opinion polls and following from ahead? Are they famous for winning a political race? Does their fame consist of being loud, obnoxious, and unacquainted with any form of truth? Is that all there is to them?

Sadly, that’s about all there is to most any politician. They say what they must to get elected, then re-elected in perpetuity. They are seekers of adulation and money. Fame draws them like a red-neck epithet draws Jesse Jackson. They are not only not worthy of our support, in almost every case, but they do not deserve even the most fleeting of Fame. Yet, Fame they have.

The MSM feeds them. Dazzling photos, and breathless interviews that reveal nothing so much as their very emptiness, are fed by the MSM to a waiting audience. And that audience – you and I, Folks! – are eager to pay for the latest garbage of a magazine. We eagerly tune in to the TV for our latest episode of “Inside Edition” or “Hard Copy” or whatever is showing us the Celebrities. Celebrities who do nothing, say nothing, are nothing. Celebrities who are famous for so very little.

Fame is fleeting, or so it used to be. Now, Fame is devoid of meaning. Fame is actually empty. Because we have made it, and allowed it to become, meaningless. Thus, the brave individuals who entered the burning WTC towers, on 9/11/01, are pretty much faceless to us, though they should be famous. As a group we give lip-service to their selfless sacrifice. As individuals, we don’t know them, remember them, or care about them. Just ask the local reporter for the names of five firefighters who died in Tower Two. Hell, ask for one name.

Can anybody remember Richard Nixon’s running-mate in the 1960 Presidential election? I can, and I was five-years-old at the time. Anyone?

Richard M. Nixon for President/Henry Cabot Lodge for Vice-President

How about Barry Goldwater’s running-mate? No? Those running mates were both important men. Famous in their own right as public servants.

Barry Goldwater for President/William E. Miller for Vice-President

Can you name Bill Clinton’s first Secretary of Defense?

How quickly Fame is gone, in this cynical, empty age. And most Fame today is for nothing, Folks. Nothing at all.

And me? I’m nobody of any real importance. I'm sure not famous. Not at all, not for anything. I’m just me. Nice to meetcha!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Some Common Sense Dating Rules?

Ten simple rules for dating my daughter at Smile Of The Day, has this gem:
"Rule Three:
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: you may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist."

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Gotta love it~! Now, I think that particular rule ought to apply in all public places! Every restaurant, shopping mall, department store, bus stop, ..... you name it! Is there any single explanation that can cover the reasoning behind wandering about in public, looking as though you have a load in your pants?

When you don't?

Look, if only criminals were stupid enough to wear their pants in that manner, I'd have no problem with it. After all, can you imagine any of these butt-for-brains running away from a cop dressed like that? Heck, they can't walk away quickly! That would mean any citizen who became a victim to these turd-in-the-pants types could stroll up to them and catch them. Brilliant!

Sadly that isn't the case. No, these babes-in-need-of-diapers tend to wear their pants like this because of peer pressure, and at times the need to intimidate the older folks. Me, I have to squelch my guffaws whenever I see these clowns-without-makeup wander through my work-place.

Sorry, fellas. It's not a fashion statement, it's not cool, it's not the "in" thing. It's just among the stupidest copy-cat styles to ever come down the pike. Any male above the age of six, who wears drawers that look as those they are holding in a bear-dropping (scat!) of immense size, needs to be pointed at. And laughed at. And perhaps have their pants stapled to their waists.

Good Lord! These clowns will be able to vote! Oy!

In the meantime, why not go visit
Smile Of The Day and see some funny posts? Well worth your time!