Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why Do I Blog?

The main reason I continue to publish this daily blog is to force myself to write every day, even on those days when I would rather be doing something other than write.

Harlan Ellison once said, "People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it."

Anther reason for blogging is to challenge myself to keep on keepin' on, and to prove to myself that advancing age is not (or perhaps is) affecting my ability to think, and then to explain those thoughts by way of the written word.

Even though I am aware that the blog has few readers, that fact is of little import. I read it, each and every day, and I judge what is presented both subjectively and objectively.

Subjectively, I find that most of what I write is brilliant while I am writing it and then is mysteriously transformed overnight into disgusting crap.

Objectively, it's even worse than that.

At times I think that I should dig up some of my old unpublished stories that are rotting away in the depths of digital limbo, rewrite them, polish them until they gleam, and then post them to the blog. But I just never get around to doing so. And that might for the best. Or maybe not.

Why not give Flash Fiction a try?


By Gene Chambers

Richie," his mother asked, "why is Carol being such a stranger lately?"

Richie said nothing as he pushed some peas away from his mashed potatoes and trailed his fork through a congealing puddle of gravy.

His little sister said, "Carol dumped him."

"Oh no," Thelma said. "When, Richie? Why?"

Richie remained silent; stared down at the untasted food on his plate.

Thelma Richards addressed her daughter, "Why did she do that, Lily?"

Lily, munching a mouthful of fried chicken, said, "Carol's dating a Junior now, a big, mean football player; got no time for itty-bitty Freshmen like Richie."

Richie pushed his plate away and opened his battered notebook.

He turned to a page of doodles and scrawled phrases.

Richie vigorously erased the scribbled "wimp, nerd, wussie..." and drew in its place a bold, black swastika.

Thelma said, "Lily, don't talk with your mouth full."

"You asked me," Lily sputtered.

"Brat," Richie whispered.

"Zit-Face," Lily screeched.

Richie glared at her, bared his teeth,and growled.

"You kids stop," Thelma said.

Richie erased Sad Sack; drew a Skull and Crossbones.

"Mother," Lily said, "can we get a puppy?"

Richie drew a cartoon dog, thorn-crowned and crucified. He rapidly sketched hulking Roman soldiers clubbing the dog's corpse.

"We don't have much luck with pets, Lily," said Thelma. "Remember Dusty, and Stormy, and poor little Cootie?"

Richie smirked at Lily, his eyes squinted, nose wrinkled, and teeth still bared. He resumed creating graffiti.

Lily sniffed and said, "If Daddy was here..."

"Now Lily," Thelma said, "Don't start that again. Daddy's gone, and we're better off for that.

Richie ripped out the sheet, crumpled it, and threw it at the waste can.


He stood up, retrieved the errant missile, dropped it into the can, and tromped it down five times.

Then he turned and stomped out of the room.

Copyright 2013 Gene Chambers



Such as to provoke laughter.
ludicrous - ridiculous - laughable - comical - funny


Historical Clip

Elizabeth Blackwell

On January 23, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell was granted a medical degree from Geneva College in New York, becoming the first female to be officially recognized as a physician in U.S. history.



Gail O'grady
Born Jan. 23, 1963
Age:  49 years old

Gail Ann O'Grady is an American television actress. She is best known for her roles as Donna Abandando on NYPD Blue and as Helen Pryor on American Dreams. She was a series regular on the The CW Comedy Drama series Hellcats, playing the mother of the Marti Perkins, called Wanda Perkins, before Hellcats was subsequently cancelled in May 2011.

Born Jan 23, 1919
Died Jan 13, 1962

Ernie Kovacs was an American comedian, actor, and writer, appearing on such iconic and diverse shows as Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Saturday Night Live, The Uncle Floyd Show, Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street, and The Electric Company,

Some of his most well-known films were: Operation Mad Ball, Wake Me When It's Over, and Our Man in Havana. He garnered critical acclaim for roles such as the perennially inebriated writer in Bell, Book and Candle and as the cartoonishly evil head of a railroad company in It Happened to Jane, where he had his head shaved and his remaining hair dyed grey for the role.

In 1960, he played the off-center base commander Charlie Stark in the comedy Wake Me When It's Over. His own personal favorite was said to have been the offbeat Five Golden Hours (1961), in which he portrayed a larcenous professional mourner who meets his match in a professional widow played by Cyd Charisse. Kovacs' last film, In North to Alaska (1961), John Wayne's character's hair flies off with the first punch of a fight with Kovacs as a con artist.

Sail a Crooked Ship, was released shortly before his death.

Born Jan 23, 1964
Age:   48 years old

Mariska Hargitay, (born Mariska Magdolna Hargitay) is an American actress, best known for her role as New York City sex crimes Detective Olivia Benson on the NBC television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a role that has earned her multiple awards and nominations, including an Emmy and Golden Globe.

The daughter of actress Jayne Mansfield and actor/bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, Hargitay is a former beauty queen who made her film debut in the 1985 horror-comedy film Ghoulies, and her major television debut in the 1986 adventure drama series Downtown. She appeared in numerous roles in film and television shows throughout the late 1980s and 1990s before being cast as Olivia Benson, a role that led to her founding the Joyful Heart Foundation, which provides support to women who have been sexually abused.

Born Jan. 23, 1898
Died: Mar. 2, 1987

Randolph Scott was an American film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety of genres, including social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals, adventure tales, war films, and even a few horror and fantasy films. However, his most enduring image is that of the tall-in-the-saddle Western hero. Out of his more than 100 film appearances more than 60 were in Westerns; thus, "of all the major stars whose name was associated with the Western, Scott most closely identified with it."

Some of his films were: Seven Men from Now (1956)  The Tall T (1956)  Decision at Sundown (1957)  Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) Westbound (1958)  Ride Lonesome (1959) Comanche Station (1960)

In 1962 Scott made his final film appearance in Ride the High Country, a film now regarded as a classic.


Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.

--Truman Capote

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