Jun 23 2017

I don’t know how to diagram this post

 

Those of us who write spend our entire lives in an endless English class.

American screenwriter,film and television director, film and television producer, comic book author and composer, Joss Whedon, was born on this day in 1964.

True story. I never learned to diagram sentences. It wasn’t taught in any of my English classes.

And, also true story, I was only an English major for one quarter before I switched to Speech.

But, even a year or two after my last English class (I was never any good at math), I’m still learning English, and grammar, and almost on a daily basis, spelling.

Word and spell check have made me lazy.

I have a dictionary and a style manual at my finger tips, but I generally go to Google. It’s easier.

Still, as a writer I am constantly trying to better my craft.

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

Okay, I confess, a lot of times my writing style here on the blog is a bit, let’s say, creative.

I forget which writer said it, if indeed it was a writer, but the idea was that you need to learn all the rules before you can break them.

I probably got a little ahead of the game on that.

But I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my craft. Whether, as I mentioned the other day, it’s re-reading Stephen King’s book, or finding a new webinar, or even just playing word games to increase my vocabulary.

There’s a certain amount of vulnerability in being writer. You put words together and then let people read them, and judge them.

It’s the same for me in the acting and graphic design that I do.

So, there’s a bit of pressure to get it right. And then to get even better.

Let’s not get silly, we all know that I don’t have time right now to take another writing or English class. But, when and where I can, I’m working on it.

You may not be a writer, or an actor, or an artist. But wherever life has taken you, or you have taken your life, there’s always room for improvement.

That’s true whether you’re twenty or approaching sixty.

There’s always room for improvement.

Or is that Jello?

It’s the weekend.

Here are Five Things You Should Check Out

The Best Advice for Writers in 2017
Writers Unplugged

10 Things You Need to Do After You Publish Your Blog Post
Smart Blogger

Virginia Republicans could learn from Julius Caesar
The Washington Post

Senate Republicans Reveal Long-Awaited Affordable Care Act Repeal Bill
NPR

8 Brutally Honest Truths You Need To Hear If You Want To Get Your Shit Together
Educate Inspire Change

American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress, June Carter Cash, was born on this day in 1929 (d. 2003).


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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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