I've maxed out. Closed this blog.
This is a way of making myself write something coherent and grammatically correct almost every day. I'm opinionated and need an outlet. I'm also prone to flights of fancy. Thanks for stopping by. |
| I have a title for this year's Nanowrimo entry. But I don't like the one I threw on last year's. All this time and I haven't come with a better one yet.
In both cases, the story was in my mind and thoroughly worked out in advance. I didn't plan on doing either one for Nanowrimo, but the timing just worked out. I don't know how John Grisham does two or more novels a year, since it takes me one year to get a first draft. (But then he doesn't have to hold an outside job any more, or take care of his home every day.) So I guess I need outside help with the title.
Basically, it's about starting over. There has been upheaval on every level, government, business, financial, military, family. Death of children has occurred, and now a marriage betrayal is a part of it. Yet they find a relatively safe haven in a rural community and start again with some crazy old ladies and some farm neighbors. From a technological modern big city life to an agrarian, simple life, maybe they can start again. More dangers and tragedies occur, but there are also signs of hope and community restructuring. Can one couple survive as a couple? There's no garantee, no smooth happy ending.
What kind of title should it have? Starting Over is too bland, like a self-help book. I called it While We Were Healing, but that's totally wrong. They weren't healing. At the end, they are surviving, but not renewed. I'll consider any suggestions. You might have one that gives me a hint of what I want. Feel free to comment.
| Consider the source. I guess we need to remember that all the time.
I read the current issue of Time and was absolutely depressed. I kept reading to see the cover leads. Life as we know it, and may love it, is over according to these writers. The scientists apply the principles of cells to the nations of the world with authority. One person's personal plight becomes the story for all mankind. I had to spend some time in quiet reflection after I closed the magazine. I gave myself a pep talk. If I swallow everything I read, there would be no hope for the future. Of course, this small magazine is trying to sell copy, so they care less interested in the truth than sensationalism.
The writers of those mostly short articles are not typical of all U.S. citizens. The magazine presented a very small and eccentric segment of society but did so as though this was the definitive picture of the present and future. Those individuals pretend to have greater insight and understanding than all others. How presumptuous.
It's taken me a while to get over it, but I know better. The U.S. is not the greatest country on earth because it has cheap food and cheap gas at other countries expense. It can produce its own food, its own gas, and alternative power sources. It is the greatest nation because of its beliefs, because of its self-government, its grass roots strength, its charity, its hope, its promise. That's not going to go away.
Unlike the writers of this magazine, many people still believe in monogamy, family, church, ethics, and love. Americans and many others still believe in defending the underdog, taking unpopular stands, and working for justice. Just because someone is a celebrity, a published author, or a noted scientist, it does not follow that he or she is the possessor of great truth or wisdom.
Consider the source. If it goes against what you know to be good, truthful, honest, or have eternal value, it needs to be ignored or disputed.
| I'm so technologically challenged. The social media is beyond my limited abilities. I do know how to post photos on Facebook, and I actually check it out 3 or 4 times a week. Mostly I just "like" other people's posts or photos.I get to keep up with a few cousins, 2nd cousins, and former co-workers.
Tonight, I updated my Twitter account. I opened it in 2009, made a post that day and haven't looked at it since. I had to change the password. The surprising part is that it told me I'm following 17 people I either don't care about or never heard of. It also showed me a number of followers, mostly advertisers. I don't understand. Facebook I get. You allow friends to look at your page and you can look at theirs. Twitter I don't get. It goes right over my head.
Then there's Pinterest and a number of other things. I want to know for my small business and for my church. I feel like I have to catch up and learn these things. Too bad there's no free class for "social media nerds", mostly us older folks. Then there's a number of hardware things for preserving data on the go and at your own desk. I'm told my computer is slow, not because I need a new computer or that anything is wrong with my service, but I have too much data. With writing, and photos, go figure, too much data. But there's still plenty of memory space!
My head is spinning. I need a Tylenol.
| Listen to politicians talk about women's issues! Just what are the supposed women's issues, anyway? Are you talking make-up and fashion? Birth control? Get real.
Women's issues include the national debt, border security, crime, jobs, healthcare, aging, nuclear weapons, military, racism, religious persecution, education, childcare, pork barreling, the environment, business, international trade, etc. Any issues affecting the daily lives of American citizens ARE women's issues. The decline of cities, the plight of the family farmer, industry, these are all issues that affect women. Constitutional law and the proper maintenance of the three arms of government and balance of power all concern women.
It's time politicians wake up and realize that women are not a special interest group. Women make up the majority of voters! We outnumber the men. So stop treating us like we don't count, or like we can't think. And just for the record birth control is an equal responsibility of men. Births can't happen without male participation, so they need to take some responsibility for preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Furthermore, people like Donald Trump have to stop talking down to women, talking down about women. They are just meant to be his servants or his arm candy. His face isn't exactly attractive, so he shouldn't refer to anyone else's face. He's an overgrown pompous, spoiled rich boy, in expensive clothes and shoes, leading a pampered life. What does he know about doing a man's work? When has he done any plumbing, or carpentry, or auto mechanics? When did he work on a farm or serve in the military? When did he do any lawn work, carry anything heavy, operate heavy equipment, or work on an assembly line? He can't identify with real men. He's a great big sissy boy with a big mouth.
I don't normally talk about people this way, but he's shot off his mouth a few times too many and needs a taste of his own medicine. Women are not second class citizens, with the pretty ones to be admired by him, and all the others disdained. You've taken too many donations, Trump, and who knows how you'll pay back the favors. You've already told us that's the way it works.
| I have to get ready for OctoPrep and NanWriMo. So I guess that means Christmas shopping now. Maybe baking some things for Thanksgiving and freezing. I suppose the shopping and wrapping are the biggest time consumers. Freezing some food for unexpected company is a good idea.
I may even do some Christmas cards in advance. But I will not get any decorations out until December. The family has many obligations for Christmas, so they many not all be here at the same time. But they're always here for Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately my new job has some bad hours, from early to late, 7 days a week. So we're doing a lot of Subway, which is good for not doing dishes. I don't commute as long for this job, but I'm more tired from all the running around and standing so much. I get home and plop my feet up for a long time. But I'm getting more accustomed to it. I did it all the time when I was younger. And I had more hobbies and more of a social life. (Now my married life is another story, best kept for a soap opera and whining.)
Here and now, I'm writing more seriously. the computer helps me preserve things, so I won't lose them like I have in the past. ( A whole novel and lots of poems, a few short stories, lost when I moved.) And Excel spread sheets are excellent ways to keep details straight. I just have to fit all of it in together at this stage of my life, with my current levels of energy
| We're facing changes like all families do. Dad is getting more feeble on his feet. His memory is not so good. His hearing is terrible. His vision is bad. But he still drives--in the daytime or early evening. He still works 24 hours a week. He still holds his grandson and great grand babies, plays with them and teases them. He goes to church and does the grocery shopping. He goes to all his appointments alone because none of us are available to go with him.
Meanwhile the babies are getting more numerous. The little ones are learning to talk better, and are getting into everything when they come to visit. I like seeing 4 generations together. I color with them and study toys, watch cartoons and videos. If the one to whom I'm reading falls asleep, I have to finish the book by myself, so I can know what happens to Cute Gray Squirrel.
| I rode around in my own subdivision today looking for a particular residence. I knew that houses ranged from reasonable to huge and elegant, nothing close to flashy rich. But I was surprised to find a very rustic area, where the integrity of nature has been preserved. I love that look. The wood siding combined with brick, lots of decks and rustic railing. It hit me that you don't have to be so careful about yard maintenance in that kind of neighborhood. If there are vines on the ground, so what? Leaves? Who cares?
Unfortunately, I live near the entrance on the main road. It's several miles long. Expensive houses are intermingled with cheaper ones like mine. We sometimes have the redneck yard of the week. But no one would notice if we weren't in the middle of all those nicely manicured lawns with perfect mulching. If I ever get to choose another home, I'm going for that country or rural look. Trimming shrubs and pulling weeds is too much when you have other things to do. I don't even like dusting inside the house, and that's necessary everywhere. I certainly don't like dusting outside the house.
I used to have a magnet on my refrigerator that said "Dull women who have immaculate homes". That was my excuse. I have too many things to do, like read, research, community service. I can't do that much housework--only what really has to be done. Then I moved in with my father and what has to be done increased substantially. Using the magnet as my standard, you can look at my home and see I must be pretty exciting!
I'd still rather spend time on the Internet or in a book than dust furniture when I'm not at work. Or pull weeds, though the latter can be a good calorie burner. I need to drive around my community more and see what's there.
| I watched a baby Looney Tunes cartoon today with the two year old. Baby Bugs Bunny was trying to be a magician. He failed, but Grandma Bunny gave him some encouragement and sent him out to play. It was an excellent cartoon. And a really good uplifting lesson to be had by adults, as well!
The part that really caught my attention was the awe with which Baby Bugs asked, after watching some birds hatch, "How did you baby birds get inside those eggs?" To a child, watching that happen for the first time might make him think the birds had somehow magically gotten trapped inside the shells. Baby Bugs went on to discover the "magic" of springtime right in his own backyard.
We get so jaded that we often fail to see the magic all around us. Seeds become plants. Buds become blooms. Butterflies are drawn to certain kind of shrubs only. A killdee puts his nest in the grass, but pretends to be wounded and distract you if you go anywhere close to his nest. Some snakes hatch from eggs just like birds.Crocus come up in the snow, bloom, and are gone in a few days. There is wonder and awe all around us every day. Our world, our universe is a very magical and wonderful place.
| Visit any nursing home and you'll find a patriotic crowd. So many served or had close family members who did. They recall the sacrifices and the duty. Many have stories to tell.
I have some friends who go to sing at the nursing home twice a month. They report on a gentleman who slumps in his wheelchair and doesn't participate in anything. When they start singing any patriotic song or hymn or a series of them, he sits with perfect posture and salutes the entire time. He looks sharp and alert. The seniors haven't lost zeal for their country.
My brother worked in a senior home for a while. One of the goals there is to get them to socialize instead of withdrawing. He would ask the men about their service, where they served and when. The men would start talking to a spellbound listener and would tell unimaginable tales. The things they lived through and survived were astounding. Now as old men, their strength and heroism is unknown and unsung.
All the children in my family can say the Pledge of Allegiance at age two and beyond. We're teaching them the songs. We want them to grow up with that same sense of patriotism that seems missing from society at large today.
| With an increasing number of children in my family, I've been looking at more cartoons and toys lately. You can't help but compare to your own childhood days. I'm sure there was a lot of merchandising then, as well, but my parents were strict budget people, as most parents were. Kids today must really feel deprived if their parents keep a tight budget or simply can't afford all the goodies.
We had Howdy Doody, Captain Kangaroo, Sherry and Lambchop (the sock puppet), and Warner Brothers Cartoons. "Th-Th-Th-That's all, Folks." I guess you could count Roy Rogers, Sky King, and My Friend Flicker. Of course, there were comic books for children who could read. Even Disney wasn't selling clothes and such. You could get Super Man or Zorro lunch boxes, But most were just plain plaid or prints that you could use year after year. Book bags were plain. Knap sacks were olive and carried by boys only.
Things began to change.Bugs Bunny and Barbie started showing up on school items, then GI Joe appeared.By the time I was in college, Charlie Brown's gang was seen everywhere. It took about 10 years or more after the books became best sellers and most newspapers carried the comic strip. Disney characters were being turned into toys and stamped on clothes. Within a few years, Disney stores appeared in malls all across the country, not just in theme parks.
Posters became a mainstay of college dorms, featuring Yosemite Sam, Road Runner, sometimes with political remarks.By the late sixties posters were an economical replacement for framed photos and enabled children and young adults to make their statements. They're still mainstream today.
So H R Puffenstuff is a thing of the past. Kids hardly know who Barney the purple dinosaur is. Not many know Tweety Bird, but the parents remember. So what do I see on TV with my little visitors? Paw Patrol. Sofia the First. Dora the Explorer. Spongebob Squarepants. The cartoon version of Mickey's Clubhouse. Bubble Guppies.
In the toy aisle, I find Paw Patrol toys and games. Dora has been around for years, at first in books, now in dolls and games. Spongebob to the max, in many sizes with all his cohorts like Crabby Patty. Disney Princesses (how realistic is that for little girls?). Sofia the First in everything from party themes to costumes. to dolls, games, and books. Then there are the movie merchandise, like Frozen. I've never seen the movie, but preschoolers love it. They could fill a house with Frozen toys, musical instruments, home decor, etc.
So if you're a writer, a cartoonist, or illustrator, copyright your idea. In the long run, you could have a clothing line, a toy line, a game line. bed linens, snacks, school supplies, outdoor decor (Minnie Mouse has garden items), even Christmas decor. Your idea could even sell insurance. And kids everywhere will cry to have it. The kids who grow up with it will want the sponsored items as adults, and your next generation will benefit from it. Today's kids are your marketplace.