Monthly Archives: July 2010

Weirdest Wisdom #18

Oh, yeah.

Another one.

A feathered creature clasped in the manual members is equal in value to a brace in the bosky growth.

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A Musical Note: Hedgehoppers Anonymous – It’s Good News Week

Today’s music is WAY OFF the charts.

Hedgehopper’s anonymous had only four songs which actually reached the charts in the U.S., and all but one of them has been pretty much forgotten.  I fact, there’s a chance you’ve never heard this one, either.

A controversial song, the original was pulled from the air, and the band forced to re-record with “nicer” (read more P.C.) lyrics.

In searching for this to share, mostly all I found was the revised version… then I found the one I present to you today.  Sound isn’t top quality, but it is the original song.

The awful lyric?  I’ll tell you, the line goes, “…there’s lots of blood in Asia now, they’ve butchered off the sacred cow, they’ve got a lot to eat…” 

It is, indeed, a message song from the “olden days”.  Be that as it may, it has a lively beat, unforgettable lyrics (I still remember them!), and is one that, if you listen carefully, will touch you in its own way.

Please forgive the graphics.

May I present, It’s Good News Week by the Hedgehoppers Anonymous:

Blogosphere: Staying at the Top of Your Game

New to the Series?  Start with Part One                   

Blogosphere: A series
Part Thirty:  Strike While the Iron is Hot!
 

Image: I made this one.

Now that you’ve gotten into the habit of briefly outlining your future posts and storing them in your Blog dashboard or some other convenient place, you’ve probably discovered that you have more time for planning and scheming.  This is where bloggins starts to go from a frenzied to a well-planned frontal assault (pardon the military jargon).

Carrying a notepad or a digital recorder with you everywhere gives you the opportunity to start collecting Blog topics, ideas and inspiration wherever you happen to be.  If you have a smartphone, or have set up your cell phone for texting, you can send messages to your home computer as well.  If you are out with a phone that doesn’t record, you can call yourself at home and leave a message.  Whatever works. 

Image: blog.tradetang.com

By the way, this process is great for your other writing projects, as well.

Keeping a list of possible topics is the sign of a well-organized Blogger.  It is the sign of a Blogger who is never at a loss for words.

The last thing you want to do is assume that the blindingly clever idea you just had will live forever in your memory.  My guess is, if you think about it, you’ll recall situations where the idea hits, but before writing it down, you do just one more thing, then turn confidently back to the great idea only to notice it has flown away. 

Really good idea may come back, but they might not.

Don’t take the chance.  Record your ideas when they hit.

Do it every time.  You’ll be glad you did.

Continued in Part Thirty-One

A Side-Step: Rodney Dangerfield and Dylan Thomas

Maybe it’s the day, or maybe it’s the mood, but as I reviewed some of the things I’ve thought about over the last month or so, I was reminded of a very cool scene in a movie that you probably did not see, because it sounded too stupid for words.

It wasn’t too stupid for words, and though I had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to see the thing, and I am glad to say it was worth it.

It is the story of a wealthy man who decides to go to college (something he missed earlier in his life), when his son gets accepted at a prestigious school.  The man is rough, crude, and irreverent, but he is still determined to “make it” through the system.

The following scene is a part of his final board of exams.  He has just about given up, believing himself to be both a fool and a failure, when his English professor (Nancy Kellerman), reminds him of a poem they had studied together. 

I wonder if you will be as moved by this as I was (and am).

Daily Challenge: Writing and/or Life

Image: RikScott

While this is only the second official installment of the new Daily Challenge format, those of you who have read UhW for some time know that challenges abound.

Today’s is a bit different.

Typically my challenges are about character development, dialogue, story arc, the basic nuts and bolts of fiction writing.  I trust these bon mots are useful to you.  They come from my own questions and struggle to write a better story.

Likewise, today’s topic comes more from real life than some stretch of a fantasy world.  The topic is time.

Elsewhere I’ve hinted at age and maturity being helpful to one’s writing.  I have also tipped my hat (so to speak) to younger writers who seem to have boundless energy, and who are still weeks, months, years—decades, even—from facing the physical slowdowns that come with advancing age.  Not, mind you, that I have anything against getting older.  It beats the hell out of the alternative.

But energy and concentration are the key.

In a flurry of excited discovery, of movement into new realms of writing, short stories, for example, blogging, journalism, and can I even whisper it?  Ghost writing?  Life can get complicated.  Difficult even. 

I have found that the harshest deadlines are those I impose upon myself.  A frenzy ensues.  An addiction to reach out, take on one more task, finish them all.  Time isn’t always on our side.

I love to write.  These days, one way or another, I write at least 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Is that cool, or what?  What?  No, you’re right.  It isn’t.

I love to write, but at what cost?  Do I think that my work, whatever it is at the moment will last?  What is the trade-off?

I love to write… but I am driven to write as well.

So, pardon the maudlinness (yes, a real word, I checked), and sing along with me for a moment.

Writing is life—for many of us, at least—but life is life, too.

Today’s challenge is to stop writing.  Stop for one day.  Don’t do any.  Don’t read, either.  Lay your books, your newspapers, your blogs, all of it, aside for one day.  Just one.  And see how it feels.

Chances are guilt will set in, but let that go.  See, the challenge is to stay involved in life.  In your life.  In the lives of those around you, even in the lives of strangers.  Where do YOU think the experience needed to write well comes from?  You don’t really believe you make this all up out of whole cloth, to you?

So, that’s it.  Maybe today isn’t the right day, but how about tomorrow?  I won’t be blogging tomorrow (stopped doing Sunday blogging a couple of months back).  How about you?

How about a walk in a park?  A drive in the woods?  A party with friends?  No, not a movie.  Even in a group, a movie is an individual experience.  Get out and be with people.  OK, fine, you can talk about writing, just don’t do any.

Then, come back and let us know how it went.

Your thoughts?

Weirdest Words #17

Didn’t we just do this?

Time fries when you’re having erm…  can’t think of one.  Ah, well.  Here is today’s bit of twisted sense.

Liquid relish for the female anserine fowl is the individual condiment for the male.

A Musical Note: Simon and Garfunkle – The Sounds of Silence

 

If you have been following the Musical Note segment, you’ll know by now that I have a deep, abiding love for music, a kinship, really.

In fact, I believe that listening to, and really appreciating music is every much a musical talent as making the music.  The previous statement will seem fatuous to most, but to those of you who really listen with a critical ear, who look for the games the composer does with melody, who studies the lyrics, and really works to understand, I think you will know what I mean.

Music has the ability to touch us in ways that written word, even video media cannot.  It was as though music can get past the forebrain and into the seat of emotions and non-verbal understanding.

It really doesn’t matter how you listen to music, or why.  It is time now to listen to a song.

One thing I’ll say about “The Sounds of Silence” is it was the first song I ever sat down and memorized.  There are a lot of songs stuck in this old head of mine, but this one was the first that got there on purpose.

I give you Simon and Garfunkel and The Sounds of Silence.