Aug 11 2017

A Writer Confesses


In my writing, as much as I could, I tried to find the good, and praise it.

American historian, and author (Roots: The Saga of an American Family), Alex Haley, was born on this day in 1921 (died 1992).


I confess that, yesterday, I fell for another “you can make a bazillion dollars this weekend” webinar. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But the premise was how “easy” it is to build a passive income by writing books. And, how you can do it in a weekend.

I won’t say too much more, and I won’t identify the presenters. They’ve found their niche. They’re making it work. I’m just not so sure that their system is the success I’m looking for.

But the webinar was free.

Until the sales pitch.

I don’t know how to get the point across that, if I had an extra $1,997 to spend on your success program I probably wouldn’t need your success program.

There are no easy routes. There are no sure-fire methods to become an overnight success.

If people can do it, then God bless them every one.

For me, the reality is that slow and steady will win the race.

The Write Side Shop
(click the pic)


And, I don’t race.

The webinar was not a total waste of my time. I got some good ideas. I took some good notes.

At the same time, I could have used the time for a read-thru of the script.

Don’t worry. I got that done as well.

It’s Friday. As we’ve discussed this is not the vacation I was looking for.

Still, we’ve made some significant progress around the house.
The older son went through his room and took a few more things back to Atlanta, and we boxed up the rest for storage until he has a larger place, or a larger transport vehicle.

As you read this, he and his lovable, but large, dog are on their way home to Atlanta.

She’s been with us since Christmas of 2015. The house will seem a lot quieter.

And a good big larger.

Not to worry, she’s not the only livestock residing here. We worry a bit about how her older brother will do without her.
They’ve become good friends and companions.

No, we do not need a replacement animal.

I have two days of weekend to get some final projects done and to get some organizing done before heading back to the office on Monday.

This is not one of those posts like last year’s post-beach week post where I say that I’m ready to face the next 358 days. But, I sort of am. The change of pace has been good.

I did not take the advice of the webinar and write a New York Times bestseller over the last week.

I did not get every piece of paper or book or old appliance dealt with.

And, that’s okay.

I’m heading back to the grind with a fresh Self-Journal, a better attitude, and a plan for moving forward.

The fall calendar is filling up with a friend’s wedding, some acting and directing opportunities, the first official read-thru of my script and more.

I’m not sure any vacation is ever perfect. Even if it’s a staycation to get stuff done around the house.

Like I said, I didn’t write a bestseller. But I did come up with a few new book ideas.

I should take a week off to work on them.


Trump Toughens Warning on North Korea
The New York Times
“Frankly the people that were questioning that statement, was it too tough, maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” he told reporters. “They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, many years. It’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”

Trump administration defends travel ban at Supreme Court
USA Today
In an 84-page brief that served as the opening salvo in a Supreme Court case scheduled for oral argument two months from Thursday, the Justice Department argued that Trump’s vow to ban Muslims during last year’s presidential campaign is legally, if not rhetorically, irrelevant.

The Democratic Party’s Looming Fundraising Crisis
The predicament isn’t simply that there is a funding gap between the parties; it’s what kind of money they attract. Republicans have quietly taken a decisive edge over Democrats when it comes to small-dollar fundraising.

Google Cancels Town Hall After Employee’s Controversial Diversity Memo
Google CEO Sundar Pichai cancelled a company-wide Town Hall that had been organized after an employee was fired for writing a memo that criticized the tech-giant’s diversity efforts.

You Heard it Here First: NY Times Editors Deny Reading Their Own Newspaper
[T]he Complaint alleges that the allegedly false statements of fact that are the subject of the Complaint were contradicted by information already set forth in prior news stories published by the Times. However, these prior stories arguably would only evidence actual malice if the person(s) who wrote the editorial were aware of them.


Scottish-English actor and singer, Ian Charleson, was born on this day in 1949 (died 1990). Charleson played olympic runner and missionary, Eric Liddell in the 1981 Best Picture Chariots of Fire.


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Aug 10 2017

Honorable writing

Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party.

American engineer, politician, and 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, was born on this day in 1874 (died 1964).

Hoover is not remembered as one of history’s most successful presidents. Defeated by FDR in a mid-Depression landslide, Hoover continued to speak out about big government and policies. More on that is a history lesson for another day.

But, consider a time when politicians could debate ideas and not personalities or scandals.

(click the pic)

Maybe we’d all feel a little better about participating in the process.

Truth is, as distasteful as it can be, it would still be much better if we all would participate, even when we don’t want to. I’ve said this before, if you don’t vote, and don’t actively participate in the electoral process, then you really have no room to complain.

But enough about that. Let’s just try to be honorable in all that we do.

It’s Thursday and my staycation is rapidly slipping away. We’ve made some progress.

And yesterday, the older boy and I spent some time playing in the amusement park. He used to work there as well, so we took the time, and an extra ticket, to go play.

Progress is happening on the writing front. Editing of the script continues as to plans for this blog and plans to use another blog property for promotion of the script.

This afternoon I’m scheduled to participate in a webinar that promises to teach me the method to make a substantial amount of money in a new business. I’m sure there will be a pitch at the end. But I’m optimistic enough to think there will also be some valuable material. I’ll let you know.

Perhaps figuring out this writing thing, and particularly this writing income thing, is the same lesson I had to learn with my script.

In the writing of the story of my grandfather, based on his diary, I had to come to grips with the fact that I was writing one story, not all of them. I had to write with what I had and I had to quit researching and reading about World War I. It’s a fascinating time in history and there’s so much I didn’t know, and so much more I still don’t know.

But while the research was helpful to the framework of the story, it was not helpful to the telling of the actual story…if that makes sense.

So maybe, just maybe, it’s time to stop expecting the experts to tell me how this is done and time to just sit down and do it.

Maybe it’s time to stop talking about writing, and reading about writing, and time to just start writing.

But, as I noted the other day, there’s also the promotion of the writing.

So, whilst I struggle with sorting this out, let me just caution you with a list of things you should never say to a writer.

1. Is your book/script done?

I’ll let you know.

2. So, what do you actually do?

I struggle to put words together that still mean something in a world of emojis and memes.

3. Where are you published?

I’ll let you know.

4. I wish I had time to write.

Me too.

Actually, I have to make the time, because I’m a writer, not a wisher.

5. I’ve thought about writing a book, but I’m too busy.

Then you’re not a writer.

6. Can I have a free copy of your book?

Can I have your paycheck?

7. Can I be a character in your book?

Sure, just pose for this chalk outline.

8. Can you edit/proofread/write something for me?

Will you mow my yard for free?

9. We’re out of coffee.

Hold still, I’m almost done with the chalk outline.

10. We’re out of wine.

I’m sorry. Have we met?


It’s almost Friday. The staycation is almost over. There’s work to do.

Fall is coming.


More Problems Than Assurances For Paper-Thin Northam Campaign
The Republican Standard
While the top lines have given the media a story to run with, Democrats are rightfully worried about the crosstabs showing a closer race than they’d want this early in the game considering Northam is behind Gillespie on fundraising and campaigning.

But there’s no voter fraud in Virginia…

Student headed to prison for registering dead voters for Democrats
A former staffer with Harrisonburg Votes, a political organization affiliated with the Democratic party, paid to register area voters during the weeks leading up to the 2016 National Election, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for causing 18 fraudulent Virginia Voter Registration Forms.

Bakers Refuse To Make Trump Cake For 9-Year-Old Boy
The Washington Times
A boy whose letter to President Trump made national headlines last month reportedly wanted a pro-Trump cake for his birthday party, but his mother was unable to find a baker willing to fulfill the order.

6.5 Million Americans Paid a Fine Rather than sign up for Obamacare Coverage
The individual healthcare mandate requires every American to buy health insurance or pay a fine. In 2016, 6.5 million Americans chose to pay the fine rather than sign up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

Christianity’s Manhood Problem: An Introduction
The Art of Manliness
Men are not only less likely to attend church, they are also less likely to participate in their faith in other ways. According to Pew Research, Christian women are 7% more likely than men to say religion is important to them. And as David Murrow records in his book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, research conducted by George Barna found that women are far more likely to be involved with their church and faith on nearly every level.


You don’t have to be crazy…
The Write Side of My Brain
You don’t have to be crazy to act here, or write here, or direct here…but it helps.


American actor and singer, Jack Haley, best known for his role as The Tin Man in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was born on this day in 1898 (died 1979). Haley was cast as The Tin Man after actor Buddy Ebsen was hospitalized due to an allergic reaction to the silver face makeup used for the role. In the hopes of avoiding a similar occurrence, paste was used to apply the aluminum dust to Haley. Haley suffered an eye infection that led to his being off the set for four days and required surgical treatment to avert the chance of serious eye damage.


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