Jun 22 2017

What we have to say

“We have so much to say, and we shall never say it.”

– German-Swiss soldier and author, Erich Maria Remarque, was born on this day in 1898 (died 1970).

German novelist Erich Maria Remarque is best known for All Quiet on the Western Front about the German experience in World War I. The book was made into a movie which won the Academy Award for best picture in 1930.

Long term readers will know that I’ve spent much of the last year reading, listening to podcasts, and watching programs and movies based on World War I. Watching this film was a two-fer since I’m still working my way through the list of Best Pictures. I have a few to go.

Historic Occasions
(click the pic)

Remarque’s quote rings true with my current project, that of my grandfather’s diary from World War I. As I’ve studied and written and researched and listened, I have realized that there is so much to tell about that war that I never knew. Things that I never learned in school. Not just because I was only getting the American perspective, but that we never really spent that much time talking about the 20th century.

But you know in some of our history lessons the things we’re talk boil down to “Us = good. Them = bad.”

It’s just not that simple.

Oh sure when you talk WWII and bring in Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito, there’s a lot to be said about the good/bad references. At the same time, thousands of Germans, Italians, and Japanese were caught up in a war they didn’t start, that they didn’t understand. All they knew was that they had to follow their country’s leaders. And many brave individuals chose not to do so. That’s another post or hunnert…

The soldiers going off to war, the families sending them off, are often left with no choice. In my script I ask the question…what about the German mothers who also prayed for their sons?

It’s pretty much the same with what we’re seeing in the political realm today. I still contend that we’re not really that angry. We’re not really that far apart in what we believe and what we want for our country or our families.

It’s usually the politicians that get us into this mess. And it’s about time we realized they’re not going to lead us out.

There is no leader who will rise up to take us through the Red Sea and lead us to the promise land because he’d either call for an environmental impact study or want to drill for oil.

Personally, I’d like to toss out all of our “leadership” and start all over again. But that’s not going to happen.

All I can do is watch what I say and what I do.

And maybe, with things like my script, I can say some things for those who didn’t get the chance to say them on their own.

On this day in history.

Also on this day in history, the Pledge of Allegiance was formally adopted by the U.S. Congress. On Flag Day in 1954 the words “under God” were added to the Pledge. I grew up saying the Pledge daily in school. Maybe you did too. That’s not such a bad thing.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

Here are Five Things You Should Check Out

Five Takeaways From Tuesday’s Special Elections
Real Clear Politics
Republicans are spinning the loss as terrible news for Democrats’ hopes of claiming a majority in 2018, while Democrats insist that Republicans dodged a bullet.

IAMSHE Productions presents Five Flights by Adam Block
Click here to help them get their first project off the ground.

NBC Exec Says DOWNTON ABBEY Movie to Begin Production in 2018
Broadway World
“There’s a movie in the works. It’s been in the works for some time,” Edelstein told the Associated Press.

Congressional Black Caucus declines invite to meet with President Trump
USAToday
Months after agreeing to regularly meet with the White House, the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday declined its latest invitation to meet with President Trump and other administration officials, saying that its concerns “fell on deaf ears.”

All I’m saying is that he’s certainly not going to listen if you’re not there.

Hurry and get your tickets.
Love’s Labour’s Lost runs through Sunday at Agecroft Hall.
Richmond Shakespeare Festival/Quill Theatre

American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress, Cyndi Lauper was born on this day in 1953.


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Jun 21 2017

Heigh ho, heigh ho

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration,
the rest of us just get up and go to work.

Stephen King

True story: I wish I’d read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft years ago.

I’m due for another read.

Of course, I said that when I’m already in the midst of three books. Also, true story.

Somewhere in there King also has a quote about not being able to write if you don’t read.

He’s right though about inspiration.

True, I’ve done it myself. I’ve struggled with what to write. What to post.

I did it a bit with this post until I decided there was no one sharing a birthday today that I wished to quote, or no incident in history about which I chose to write.

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

Okay, I really didn’t look that hard.But, writing is work. And often it’s just about sitting down at the keyboard and writing away. That’s the exercise I try every morning when I strive to get in a thousand words or more. That’s the concept behind Nanowrimo.

When writing is your job, and it’s just one of mine, you can’t sit around waiting for the muse to show up. You have to sit down and write.

You may be writing crap, but at least you’re putting words together.

That’s what real writers do.

Let’s be clear. It doesn’t mean we’re writing good stuff. But we’re practicing and refining our craft.

If you want to annoy a writer tell him that you’ve always thought about writing a book when you’ve never actually had to sweat over a paragraph.

It’s not easy.

Still, that doesn’t mean that it’s not enjoyable.

When you know what you’re supposed to be doing and you go about doing it, then even the hard work is satisfying and rewarding.

I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Of course I wouldn’t mind a publisher sending me a nice healthy advance check.

That would be pretty inspirational.

You may not be a writer, but you have goals, and tasks, and dreams.

Whatever they may be you already know they’re not going to come to you if you’re just sitting around catching up on your favorite series.

And you already know that the job has to be done whether you’re inspired or not.

Inspiration is great when it’s there.

But perspiration gets the job done.

Time to get to work.


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