Thinks You Should Read: October 23, 2018

In case you’ve been distracted, or in case you just weren’t looking, here are some things you should read this week.

The Facts About Georgia’s Secretary of State Canceling Voter Registrations
Erick Erickson
In other words, the 300,000+ people you are hearing about who have had their registration canceled have not voted in seven years or otherwise made contact with elections officials during that time despite the state trying to contact them.

Michael Avenatti hit with $4.85-million judgment for unpaid debt as court orders eviction of his law firm
LA Times
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, was hit with a personal judgment of $4.85 million Monday for his failure to pay a debt to a former colleague at his longtime Newport Beach firm.

The Trump Administration Isn’t ‘Dehumanizing’ Transgender Americans
David French in The National Review
This is the basic definition of sex that has existed for millennia. It’s the basic definition of sex as understood by the men and women who drafted and passed Title IX. In our constitutional republic, if one wishes to amend this definition, then the proper path is through legislation, not the Obama administration’s bureaucratic memo. Indeed, in multiple jurisdictions across the country, legislators have done exactly that — amended nondiscrimination law to explicitly protect “gender identity.”

Titanic II! Replica of doomed ship to set sail
A replica of the “unsinkable” ship, which promptly sank on its 1912 maiden voyage across the Atlantic, killing 1,503 people, now has a sail date four years from now.

But How Much Are You Reading?
Writer Unboxed
Being writers here, we’re all likely agreed that the act of reading is valuable in many important ways–the cultivation of imagination, the development of concentration capability, the joy and necessity of critical thinking (whatever happened to that?), the marvelous gift of vocabulary expansion, and so on. There’s little need for us to defend the value of reading to each other; other choirs need to hear us preach that one, not us.

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With a little help from my friends

When you think about, I’ve had a good couple of weeks.

My play. Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy, premiered to what I would call rave reviews…unless everyone was lying.

I don’t think they were.

Was it everything I’d imagined it to be? No, of course not. Nothing like that ever is. And, I had those conversations with other playwrights. You prepare the words and, with a great deal of angst, turn those words over to someone else’s vision.

Don’t get me wrong. The company producing and the director worked very hard to be faithful to my vision, to the work, and to take good care of my family.

Including the final dress rehearsal, I saw the show four times. I found myself wondering if every writer goes through the same. Each time I saw the show, I’d find small things here and there that I need to edit.

A time will come for that. I will take the director’s notes, let the work sit for a few months, and then go back to make it better. That’s the way writing works.

I’ve often said that everyone needs an editor. If you read here often, it can also be said that everyone needs a proofreader.

But I’m not writing directly about the script today.

What overwhelms me even more are the friends who have walked with me through this project and, perhaps more importantly, came to see the final project.

Of course, there’s my wife, who along with being my life partner (for better or for worse), is my Chief Proofreader. Many times, I’ll get a morning email after she’s read this blog with just the tiniest of corrections. But, she walked with me through this process. Through talking about it, through the trials of writing, and rewriting, and through the first reading and subsequent rewrite.

There’s my good friend I met on stage. We’ve been partners in crime, so to speak, since we played Sherlock (he) and Watson (me) some four years ago. Together we’ve produced two historical events, and have had many adventures. Some of them comic enough to be book worthy. He talked me through the process from the first moment of inspiration (which I write about here).

There were friends from theater, friends from church who came to see the show and to offer their support.

There were good friends from college who scheduled a family visit so that it coincided with one of the weekends of the show.

There was the good friend and another partner in crime when we thought we ruled an association in DC. We didn’t actually rule, we just thought we did. We had not seen each other in almost twenty-five years. He came to the final performance and we went out for adult entertainment beverages after. It was as if no time had lapsed at all.

While not related directly to the play, I had the chance a few weeks ago to spend a day in Annapolis with my best friend from college. We’ve shared life events together. Our weddings, the death of both of our fathers, and more.

I tell you all of this because I realize how blessed I am.

To get all sappy with the quote, it’s like what Clarence says to George at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life.

Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.

Of course, unlike It’s a Wonderful Life, no one is dumping a laundry basket full of cash on our dining room table.

Just to be clear, we wouldn’t snark at that.

I digress (But, just in case, PM me for the address).

To get to the point, what all of this has told me is the importance of those friendships. Some fairly new, some decades old.

And there’s value in trying to keep those alive.

Facebook, for all of its horrors, has been an amazing tool for that.

Still, as a natural introvert (honest, it’s true), it is difficult to reach out and plan those connections, those get togethers.

So, I’m sort of putting myself out there and saying that I’m available for the beer and coffee circuit.

Life is crazy.

Seriously, just go spend a half hour on Twitter. It’s a freaking circus and there’s no ringmaster.

The clown music is playing.

We need to take care of each other if we’re going to get through this mess.

Let’s meet on the Midway for some cotton candy and fried Oreos.

Or coffee.

Coffee is good.

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