Thursday, November 30, 2006

Show Us Some Respect

Three Kings (Success magazine cover) 1900 - J.C.LeyendeckerFirst of all let's get something straight. Christmas is not a "Winter Holiday" no matter what some may think or wish. Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, according to the New Testament of the Holy Bible. All the sophistry in the world cannot remove that fact from Christmas. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians told to celebrate this birth. In fact the New Testament enjoins Christians to celebrate one thing only: Communion. Not Easter, Lent, nor any of a host of festivals and celebrations that Christians have chosen to celebrate over the last two thousand years. But Christians do celebrate Christmas.

Having said that, let's move on a tad, shall we? A little investigation will show the faithful Christian that Jesus was not born in December - not under the Julian calendar nor under the Gregorian calendar. By all textual readings, the evidence is that Jesus was probably born in late August or early September. So we know that the celebration of Christmas is flawed from a standpoint of the time of the year. Is this important? No. Christmas is celebrated to mark the birth of Jesus, not to commemorate a particular time of the year. (For a similar problem, take a look at the timing of Good Friday and Easter)

Now, we know that one of the red herrings used by the Faithless has been to forward the claim that Christmas was simply laid over the Pagan celebration of the Saturnalia. This Winter celebration was the second of three which took place in December (by the Julian Calendar), the first being the Consualia on December 15, the Saturnalia on the 17th, and then the Opalia on December 19th. By lumping them all together and giving the celebration a Christian gloss, it is claimed, Christianity commandeered a Pagan Holiday for their own use. And so what? The purpose of Christmas, again, is to celebrate the birth of the Savior, the Messiah. It is not to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

It is a nice gesture for certain retailers to allow the words "Merry Christmas" back into their establishments. The fact that some had banned those words is a sorry sign. Under the handy catch-all of "not wishing to offend non-Christians," these same establishments managed to offend Christians. It would seem that, as usual, offending Christians is unimportant. Offending some amorphous minority, however, is evil and must be stopped at all costs. Thus we ban the word "Christ" from the Christmas Holiday. At that point, then, we also see the same old arguments arise: Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus, Christmas is just a retailers holiday, Christmas is too commercial, blah, blah, blah.

Look, any person in the Western World who is offended by the greeting, "Merry Christmas," is in need of psychiatric care, not in need of humoring. If I know somebody is Jewish, and I remember when Hanukkah commences, I definitely wish them a "Happy Hanukkah!" I certainly don't wish them a "Merry Christmas." But what rational Jew would ever feel slighted, debased, or insulted by a person wishing them a "Merry Christmas"? None. It is the irrational person who finds offense where none exists. And the irrational person should never be catered to.

I celebrate Christmas because it is the commemoration of Christ's birth. For no other reason. If I wish you a "Merry Chrismas," and you say to me, "But I'm Jewish," have I insulted you? Of course not! And I will, more than likely, reply, "In that case, Happy Hanukkah!"

If a Jew wishes me a "Happy Hanukkah," - and that has happened twice in my life - I would never dream of being insulted, or taking offense, or even correcting them. I've been bestowed with a nice blessing! How could that be offensive? My reply would be, "Why thank you! And a Happy Hanukkah to you, too!"

The real offense lies in trying to remove Christianity and Judaism from public. Rewriting history texts to downplay, or eliminate altogether, the force of religion on history, is foolish beyond reckoning. In the self-same text books that eliminate Christianity from history, you will find damned little information on the bloody march of Islam. How can anybody learn real history if they know nothing of the strengths and weaknesses of religion in human history? Squeezing Christmas from the schools is not simply an insult to Christians, but a danger to Jews, as well. Because we are seeing a deification of Islam in our schools that is acceptable to the Left, yet ignores the reality of its dangers to civilization.

The Eastern World took a different path, and thus has less interest in Christmas other than for its public ritualization - Santa, Christmas Trees, the department store sales, etc. - rather than the personal beliefs of its celebrants. That's as it should be. I rather doubt that the Vietnamese celebrate Cinco de Mayo. But they celebrate Tet. We celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, despite the fact that neither celebration is suggested in the Bible. It is in our traditions to do so. And our traditions are every bit as important to us as Ramadan is to Muslims. Just a reminder to those who oppose Christmas celebrations: Christians are in the majority, here. Why not try to accept us, with the same open-handed joy, that you do with Muslims?

Anyone who would rather opt out of Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations may do so. No offense taken. But please stop fighting so hard to destroy the Christmas celebration by calling it a Winter Holiday, and getting us ready for Eid.

For a Different Kind Of Christmas Poem, visit Anna at A Rose By Any Other Name, then check out her Cookies And Sweets! Boy, Howdy!

Then, take the time to read about Christmas Cacti at Born Again Redneck, where Patrick posts some beautiful images. Surf his site, if you haven't already. Good stuff to be discovered there!

Don't miss Angel's post titled No ChristmaS!.. ok? It isn't just in the PC USA that Christmas is under assault.

Addendum: Check out Gayle's post at My Republican Blog, Fight Back For CHRISTmas!

Cathrina commented on this post, and as I usually do with a new visitor, I checked her profile and saw she has a few blogs to her name. One of those blogs, Christmas Around The World, had an interesting post, part of which said,
"When my friend Laura and her husband returned from Europe at the beginning of summer, they returned with clothes and books. They rented an unfurnished apartment and took their stuff out of storage and unpacked more clothes and books. With very little money on hand and only one income, they realized they would be without a wardrobe for quite a while. Thankfully, their landlord was not an unobservant fellow and by the end of their first week, he came and offered to loan them his old wardrobe, which lay unused in storage until he could get around to refinishing and refurbishing them."

Follow this link and read the whole thing. I know you'll enjoy this.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I've been tagged! Oh No!!!!!!!!!

Tubby, over at Tubby's Comments, has tagged me and I decided to respond. But I narrowed my choices down, since my musical tastes are rather old-fashioned. Also, why not stick to a single artist or band? So I went with my all-time favorite band: The Beatles! Herewith ... my version of "Music Titles Self Description":

Are you a man or a woman?

Bad Boy - Ringo Starr
Teddy Boy - Paul McCartney
This Boy - The Beatles

Describe yourself:

The Fool On The Hill - The Beatles
Nowhere Man - The Beatles
Day Tripper - Beatles

What do people think when they are around you?

Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey - The Beatles
Happiness Is A Warm Gun - The Beatles
Hey Bulldog - The Beatles

How are you feeling?

I Feel Fine - The Beatles
Helter Skelter - The Beatles
I Don't Want To Spoil The Party - The Beatles

How can you describe your last sentimental relationship?

Imagine - John Lennon
I Should Have Known Better - The Beatles
Her Majesty - The Beatles

Describe your new relationship with your partner or suitor(s)

Long, Long, Long - The Beatles
Misery - The Beatles
Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles

Where would you like to be right now?

Flying - The Beatles
Here, There and Everywhere - The Beatles
Back In The U.S.S.R. - The Beatles

How are you with regards to love?

All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
A Taste Of Honey - The Beatles
Fixing A Hole - The Beatles (sorry, I just had to!)

How is your life?

Getting Better - Beatles
It's All Too Much - The Beatles
Not Guilty - George Harrison

What would you choose if you had only one wish?

Real Love - John Lennon

Write a quote or a famous sentence:

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - The Beatles

Now let’s rap it up...

When I'm Sixty Four - The Beatles
Across The Universe - The Beatles
Do You Want To Know A Secret - The Beatles

Thanks, Tubby! That was fun! I was pondering whether to try it with Frank Sinatra songs, but ... I went with my strengths. LOL

Now, just to spread the misery ... heheheeee! ... I'm going to tag Angel, Brooke, Kevin, and ABFreedom. We'll see if anybody takes up the challenge! Anyone else who wants to try it, please do. This is fun. :D

Monday, November 20, 2006

What Kind Of American Accent Do You Have?

In response to Patrick at Born Again Redneck, here're my test results (amazing!):

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Philadelphia

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

The Northeast
The Midland
The South
The Inland North
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

The Two Americas Waltz

Again the music begins, and with it a dance. One we've stepped to before. Call it the "Two Americas Waltz," if you like. The political failures of the recent past, flush with a midterm win, and seeking the White House prize in 2008, are cueing up the music, and polishing their shoes, choosing their partners and ignoring the less beautiful as they begin the waltz.

There was a time in early America, when the Puritans still held sway in New England, that a stream of thought said that if you were poor, you must be sinful. Indeed, to become poor meant that you had sinned greatly. This idea of poverty as a sign of a moral failing still haunts the American conscience to a certain extent. Thus we see John Edwards, failed Vice Presidential candidate, declaiming on the moral failings of America for allowing poverty to exist.

Forty years after the beginning of the War on Poverty, and trillions of dollars spent on the effort to eradicate poverty through government action, the same solutions are still being proposed to fight poverty. Which is to say, "throw money at the problem". No matter how much money has been thrown at the problem it continues to exist, outliving its original foes of the Great Society, who held the first, most lavish dance.

The problem all along has not been poverty per se, but ignorance. At first the ignorance was one of Society’s making, wherein black Americans were segregated, funneled into decrepit schools, ghetto-ized into professions that were menial, held less power, less prestige, and paid less than those allowed to whites. Thus was born the counter-step of the "Civil Rights Gavotte". Led by such notables as Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy and Shirley Chisholm, Medgar Evers and Mary Terrell. The Gavotte was so important it changed the American landscape and empowered all Americans, not just Black Americans to be everything they could be.

But for some, that was not good enough. Unable to accept the logic that equality of opportunity did not mean equality of outcome, they insisted on the "Two Americas Waltz," which insisted that any who earned more must be privileged and thus not dancing according to the rules. For these dancers, the purity of their souls over-rode all else.

There are indeed two Americas. But they are not Rich and Poor, or Black and White. The two Americas that exist today are Sense and Nonsense. Those who live in the America of Sense see the world as it is, seek to improve it through their own actions, and debate the methods to continue building a great America. Those who live in the America of Nonsense see an America of unimaginable poverty, racism, hatred, and despair. They seek to destroy the America of the Constitution by Judicial fiat, not through the consent of the people. To them America is not a place of endless opportunity, where your life is what you make of it, but a place where the Rich rule and despoil.

That America of Nonsense does not, in reality, exist, but is conjured on the dance floor with smoke and mirrors. Each time the dance is performed by its adherents, America suffers, and is impoverished; it is laid bare to the attacks of Tyrants and Savages, while the dancers ignore the blood and suffering of the people while insisting that it is all an illusion created out of the hate of the Rich. In short, America is endangered and made poorer whenever the Two Americas Waltz makes the national Hit Parade. And it is climbing the political charts again.

As for me, I don't care for the cotton candy tunes they play, the price they demand, or the smoke and mirrors we are expected to accept. While Al Gore and John Edwards circle the dance floor, with Nancy Pelosi and Alcee Hastings tapping their feet to the rhythm of the Left, we must remain outside the Hall, waiting for a better band to begin to play. It is up to us to call the tune, learn the dance numbers, and make the "Constitution Tap" the most popular dance around. And that means convincing Black America that education ain't a White Thing, but a Human thing, that excellence is not a sellout to the "Man" but the outcome of hard work and a life lived well.

So ignore the tunes jangling through the wall, and from the TV. Play your Constitution until it is a constant melody in your mind and a beloved harmony in your heart. GOD willing, we will sweep the country with our music, and then the world!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Remember America's Veterans

Hat Tip to Camojack!

Veteran's Day, November 11, 2006.

"It is the Veteran, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Veteran, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Veteran, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Veteran, not the campus
organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the Veteran, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Veteran, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Veteran,
who salutes the Flag,

Eternal rest grant them O Lord, and let
perpetual light shine upon them."

Read the rest, and don't forget the men and women who stood - and will stand - between America and her enemies. Our Veterans.

Never Again? November 1938

From The History Place
A massive, coordinated attack on Jews throughout the German Reich on the night of November 9, 1938, into the next day, has come to be known as Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass.

The attack came after Herschel Grynszpan, a 17 year old Jew living in Paris, shot and killed a member of the German Embassy staff there in retaliation for the poor treatment his father and his family suffered at the hands of the Nazis in Germany.

On October 27, Grynszpan's family and over 15,000 other Jews, originally from Poland, had been expelled from Germany without any warning. They were forcibly transported by train in boxcars then dumped at the Polish border.

For Adolf Hitler and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, the shooting in Paris provided an opportunity to incite Germans to "rise in bloody vengeance against the Jews."

Above Left -- A synagogue burns in Ober Ramstadt during Kristallnacht. Right -- Onlookers watch as the local fire department prevents the fire from spreading to nearby houses, but makes no attempt to stop the synagogue from burning.

From: A Teacher's Guide To The Holocaust
Legend: Cities where synagogues were destroyed.

Nearly 200 synagogues were set afire on November 9, 1938, in an officially orchestrated evening of widespread violence and vandalism of Jewish property. In addition to the burning of synagogues, Jewish businesses and shops were severely vandalized throughout Germany. Josef Goebbels, the propaganda minister under Adolf Hitler, masterminded this Night of Broken Glass.

Again, from The History Place:

On November 9, mob violence broke out as the regular German police stood by and crowds of spectators watched. Nazi storm troopers along with members of the SS and Hitler Youth beat and murdered Jews, broke into and wrecked Jewish homes, and brutalized Jewish women and children.

All over Germany, Austria and other Nazi controlled areas, Jewish shops and department stores had their windows smashed and contents destroyed. Synagogues were especially targeted for vandalism, including desecration of sacred Torah scrolls. Hundreds of synagogues were systematically burned while local fire departments stood by or simply prevented the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings.

About 25,000 Jewish men were rounded up and later sent to concentration camps where they were often brutalized by SS guards and in some cases randomly chosen to be beaten to death.

The reaction outside Germany to Kristallnacht was shock and outrage, creating a storm of negative publicity in newspapers and among radio commentators that served to isolate Hitler's Germany from the civilized nations and weaken any pro-Nazi sentiments in those countries. Shortly after Kristallnacht, the United States recalled its ambassador permanently.

In Germany, on November 12, top Nazis, including Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels, held a meeting concerning the economic impact of the damage and to discuss further measures to be taken against the Jews. SS leader Reinhard Heydrich reported 7500 businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned (with 177 totally destroyed) and 91 Jews killed.

Heydrich requested new decrees barring Jews from any contact with Germans by excluding them from public transportation, schools, even hospitals, essentially forcing them into ghettos or out of the country. Goebbels said the Jews would be made to clean out the debris from burned out synagogues which would then be turned into parking lots.

At this meeting it was decided to eliminate Jews entirely from economic life in the Reich by transferring all Jewish property and enterprises to 'Aryans,' with minor compensation given to the Jews in the form of bonds.

Regarding the economic impact of the damage from Kristallnacht and the resulting massive insurance claims, Hermann Göring stated the Jews themselves would be billed for the damage and that any insurance money due to them would be confiscated by the State.

"I shall close the meeting with these words," said Göring, "German Jewry shall, as punishment for their abominable crimes, et cetera, have to make a contribution for one billion marks. That will work. The swine won't commit another murder. Incidentally, I would like to say that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany."

Never again? That has been the cry of Jews around the world following World War II, and the horrors of the Holocaust committed by the Nazis and their allies. And, for a few decades, the world agreed. That is, as long as the Jews could protect themselves. After all, if some crazy, backward Arabs took it into their heads to try to kill the Jews, what of it?

What of it, indeed. Modern Europe is once again a hotbed of anti-semitism. The governemnts stand quietly by as Muslims attack Jews in the streets, with impunity, and blame "poverty, alienation, racism, etc." for the violence. What they never admit is their own growing acceptance of anti-Jewish sentiments and acts. Never again? In Europe of the beginning of the 21st Century, the Holocaust seems consigned to the dusty history books, and the dying memories of the survivors.

In the United States, as we witness the growing acceptance of the media and the Left of anti-Christian sentiments, and outright discrimination, we are missing the growing tide of anti-Jewish feelings and actions as well. It is here, and it is growing. If we are not watchful, if we keep our silence when we witness the acts of anti-semitism, then we are no better than the mass of Ger,man people who cravenly surrendered to the barbarisms of Nazi-ism.

Speak up! Don't let the "funny" little asides from the politicians go unchallenged. Don't accept the supposed humor of the anti-Jewish "jokes" on television. Fight it, Folks! Anti-Semitism is one of the symptoms of the growth of Socialism. And it is supported by the Leftists. So remember Kristallnacht, and remember the Holocaust. And fight the infection when you see it here. Because it is a symptom of a horror we cannot afford if we are to survive. As a nation, or as a civilization.

Never again? We'll see, won't we?

Read: Kristallnacht, Kristallnacht____The November 1938 Pogroms, and Kristallnacht - Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center for more information.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why Didn't I think of it?

From Patty, over at This, That, and Frog Hair 2, comes this gem:
Okay boys and girls pick up your chins and get a plan.
Dang it. This election was a set back but its time to put your money where your mouth is. Its time to prepare for '08 or you will see more of the same.
Two years seems a long time. I am telling you its just a blink away.
Well I have some thoughts on this one. My Pick is, Fred Dalton Thompson
My dream team would be Tompson and Zell Miller.
I like Thompson for many reasons. The main one is he believes in the constitution. A constitutionlist would uphold the office of president with the true nature of the laws. He is a reasonable man that has the experience that is needed to hold the office of President.
We all know Zell Miller is an Americian.Nuff said.

I think Patty's right. Thompson is a man with a commanding presence, and a down-to-earth way of speaking. He is, in fact, quite Presidential. This is a man elected to fill Al Gore's seat after Al left for the White House under Bill Clinton. He was re-elected in 1996, then decided not to seek another term. He's a very successful actor, which is what he returned to following his Senate stint.

A Conservative, I think he would be a fine choice for the Republican ticket in 2008. What do you think?

Still A Republican. Whoda Thunk It?

With a Hat Tip to Bookworm:

You Are 80% Republican

You have a good deal of elephant running through your blood, and you're proud to be conservative.
You don't fit every Republican stereotype, but you definitely belong in the Republican party.

And then there's this, too:

You Are 8% Democrat

If you have anything in common with the Democrat party, it's by sheer chance.
You're a staunch conservative, and nothing is going to change that!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Political Hangover

The morning after. The Democrats are celebrating, as they have taken over the U.S.House, and the Republicans are suffering the hangover that comes with a loss. Here in Florida there has been no real change. We hold on to the Governor's Mansion with Charlie Christ winning over U.S. Representative Jim Davis. A few of the races will get recounts. But here the status quo wins.

And even that was not a fait accompli. Considering how the Republican Party distanced itself from the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Bill Nelson, I have to wonder if Katherine Harris could have won. The Party tried to convince her to pull out of the race during the Republican Primary. The Party's choice? William "Bill" McBride. A complete unknown in the state of Florida. Indeed, the name Bill McBride was not associated with the Republicans but with the Democrats failed Governor's race of 2002. That Bill McBride was a Liberal creature of the Teachers' Unions and the left-wing of the Democrats. How wise is it to choose a candidate whose name is the same as a failed candidate from the opposition party?

Yet, that's exactly what the Republican Party of Florida did. Why? Because they decided that Katherine Harris was "damaged goods", one who could not win a statewide election because of the 2000 election recount horror. Her crime then? To follow the Constitution of the state of Florida. The state Republican Party turned its collective back on Harris because the media played her up as dishonest, as a political hack, as "unelectable".

In short, the Republican Party here in Florida cut its own throat.

How did the Republicans fare in the rest of the U.S? Not well. Better than the MSM expected, but that means nothing when you consider what the Libs will do with Nancy Pelosi now taking over the office of Speaker of the House. House committees will be taken over by partisan Democrats so Liberal, so Leftist, that they could never win an election on the national stage. If you thought we had gridlock before, my friends, you ain't seen nothin' yet! The MSM will play this up as a huge win for the Democrats. Don't believe it. What happened yesterday was nothing historical. It was the norm for the mid-term elections during a two-term Presidency.

Now we take a collective gulp of air as we begin to swing into the 2008 Presidential Election Campaign. Will the American Electorate come to its senses? Or will they stick their heads in the sand, again, and ignore the real dangers that exist out there? I hope they wake up and smell the coffee. Appeasement is no longer a choice we can make on the world stage. Democrats think it is. Will they wake up? We'll have to wait and see. But something tells me they will fall farther and farther under the thrall of the extreme Left. The huge amounts of money flowing into their coffers from the rich Socialists like George Soros and Ted Turner will grow. And the quid pro quo will hurt America.

Does America survive this slide into "navel-gazing" and ennui? I don't know. But I won't give up. I refuse to dive into the shallow end of "single-issue" politics as so many seem content to do. Do I support John McCain as a Presidential candidate for the Republican Party? Nope. But guess what? If he runs, and wins the primaries, I will support him to the hilt. Because he won't be Hillary, or Al, or John sKerry. I have problems with the stated positions of many Republican hopefuls. But I will not sit out the next elections because of some single issue with which I have problems. That way lies suicide.

So, all of you disgusted Conservatives who are moaning with the pain of this morning's election hangover, it's time to "Cowboy up"! Pop a few aspirin, clean yourselves up, and get back to work!

This is the United States of America. Get busy!

Monday, November 06, 2006


It is Tuesday, November the 7th, 2006. Election Day in the United States of America. The Right to vote is nearly sacred. Use that right and vote. If you don't vote, don't whine to me about all the things that are wrong in these United States. Your opinion means less than nothing to me.

Don't try to tell me that your vote doesn't count (nor, by extension, does mine). Don't tell me that politicians are all alike. I don't want to hear that all the negative ads have 'turned you off'.

Vote! Otherwise you can bay at the moon for all I care. I won't listen to you. Your vote may well cancel mine. That's how it works. I would rather you were voting the same way as I am. I would rather that my votes were always the winning ones. But ultimately, even that doesn't matter. What matters is that you and I, as Americans, exercise the franchise that our ancestors fought for, and died for, and vote.

You say you support the Troops? Show them! Prove it! Go to the polls and vote! Don't mumble about how the lines are too long, the weather is poor, you just don't have the time. If you don't vote, then you don't count! Not to me, not to the majority of Americans, and not to the American men and women who are, even now, risking their lives and futures to guarantee you the Right to vote.

Don't let them down. Don't make excuses! Vote!

GOD Bless America!

UPDATE: (with a Hat Tip to Camojack)
The Only Issue This Election Day ~ by Orson Scott Card

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

Read it all, Folks! And VOTE!

UPDATE II: As I commented at Sister Toldjah,
I voted! It wasn’t anywhere close to being as busy as it was in the 2004 General Election. But there was a line. Only the third time in the last decade I can recall waiting in line.

As always, I thanked the Poll workers as I left - they do a good job and they work a very long day.

ID security was hightened in Pinellas County. I have a mailing address I’ve used for nearly 20 years. My Voter Registration card shows my home address. I had to go to an Election Clerk to get okayed. That was a first. I didn’t mind. She called up the chain of command until somebody said I was okay. Must have seen my voting record, huh?

Also, this time the election machines were turned around so the voter faced the hall. Before, when you stepped up to the machine, your back was to the hall and the people. More security? Dunno.

Happy Election Day, everybody!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo

If you've looked at my sidebar - and why wouldn't you? It's a work of art! - you may have noticed the long banner proclaiming me a Participant in the 2006 National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo.

I gave it a try last year, with high hopes and insufficient preparation. I failed, finishing with a meager 12,000 words. By then I was bored with what I was writing and busy with other things. But at the start I was pumped! The idea, of course, is to write 50,000 words in the space of a month. The object is to write a novel - actually part of a novel, because no publisher will pick up a 50,000 word novel. Not these days! - in a single month. For folks not interested in writing fiction, 50,000 words is the goal, too. For whatever subject they choose.

At NaNoWriMo you update your numbers, post a bit of what you have written, and encourage others to keep going. Why? Because writers are fragile creatures, easily tempted into doing other things. We're a bit like Irish Setters - easily pulled away by a shiny object. We use the slightest excuse to not write, be it taking out the garbage, suddenly needing to paint the garage, or watching that documentary on The Johnstown Flood that's showing on the PBS channel (actually I saw that some years ago. It's one of the finest documentaries I've seen, after Ken Burns' "The Civil War".) We writers will fight the need to write.

And so ... NaNoWriMo. A group effort to keep ourselves and other writers typing away at our avocation. This time around I have my outline ready, as well as a short synopsis that covers the idea I have. This morning I managed a weak 600 words, but I did have errands to run. Yes, I know. It sounds like an excuse, but I had to get my car registration, do the laundry, watch "The People's Court" and take a nap (still fighting the lingering effects of bronchitis). The point is ... I started, and I have much story rolling around in my head. So I expect to complete the effort this time.

Now, it's not too late to join, if you're so inclined. It's never too late, really. Sign up, find a forum you might like to join - you can come join the one I'm in, if you like - and get to writing. The neat thing is you don't have to write only that novel or textbook. Everything you scribble counts. And why not? It's writing. And that's the goal: to produce writing!

Some of you - very few, I'd bet - may recall that I did something similar in May of this year. I posted here and here on the subject. In that first post about PriNoWriMo - our own "Private Novel Writing Month" - I said:
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 [FREE] 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.

And how did our little attempt go? Well, with eight of us in the group, we managed to have one lady hit 102,353 words by the finish! Another fellow went to 71,000+. Three of us hit the 50,000 mark. We did what we wanted to do, which is write. And the camaraderie helped. It was fun. And useful. Now, my writings are unfinished, but that's okay. I found that I wanted to do more with it and that would take a lot of thought. What I'm attempting this time at NaNoWriMo is something I've been thinking about since I wrote my novel, which is to say a prequel. And that's what i'm starting. I won't finish it in NaNoWriMo, but I intend to get more than 50,000 words of it written.

And that's a fair start, don'cha think? Check out the links, and then why not come look at the National Novel Writing Month. You just may join!

UPDATE: 1636 words, and it should have been more. I got "Irish Settered". One of my friends managed 7526 words! Yeesh! That's bloody amazing! She must have begun shortly after midnight. What a great output! That means she has some inspiration. That means she'll hit the 50,000 mark in less than ten days! Oy!