Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Want It Done MY Way

Tucson Weather Today


I once edited a small-press print magazine, Whispers & Shouts, and I soon learned that most writers (especially young writers) do not desire helpful criticism of their submission, no matter what they say; they want praise.

There was one young lady that I thought had potential... the story she submitted was interesting and she seemed to be adept at most of the usual skills writing students are enjoined to acquire.

But there was one glaring error; the story's ending was so much of a cliche that any observant reader past the age of thirty would recognize it immediately. When I notified her of this, and offered an alternative ending (which was original and delightful, if I do say so myself) and told her I would accept the story for (paid) publication if she would rewrite it using the alternative ending , the young girl responded swiftly with, "No. I want it printed just the way I wrote it. Please send my story back in the SASE I originally sent you."

Of course, I did so.

Youthful writers are not the only writers that are offended by somewhat harsh but truthful criticism. Some are aged individuals, often those who have been unsuccessful in getting their work published over a span of  years. Some of these otherwise intelligent and logical oldsters can grow unbelievably angry and childishly abusive when receiving straight-talk criticism. They suffer what I like to call the old "I'll take my bat and go home" syndrome.


NASA reports that the Cassini spacecraft is going to compose a Special Portrait of Saturn … and You!

NASA's Linda Spilker writes:

"One of the most exciting Cassini events in 2013 will be the unusual opportunity on July 19 to image the whole Saturn system as it is backlit by the sun. With Saturn covering the harsh light of the sun, we will be gathering unique ring science and also catching a glimpse of our very own home planet.

"One of the best parts of the mosaic we're making on July 19 is that we'll be able to take a picture of Earth - and all of you - from about 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away. We think Cassini's July image is a special opportunity for Earthlings to wave at our photographer in the Saturn system. We hope you'll go outside, look in the direction of Saturn and send us pictures of yourselves waving."


Linda Spilker is the Cassini project scientist, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

There is another blog post about Viewing Saturn -- When and Where to look if you want to Wave at Saturn by By Jane Houston Jones.

From Los Angeles (and western states) wave at Saturn low on the eastern horizon from 2:27 to 2:42 p.m. PDT on July 19, 2013. Saturn’s approximate location is shown, but it will not be not visible in the daylight.


Jane Houston Jones is a member of the Cassini education and public outreach team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a long-time amateur astronomer and host of JPL's "What's Up" stargazing videos.



Los Angeles' full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula."



On this day, June 19 in 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair. The Rosenbergs were the first U.S. citizens to be convicted and executed for espionage during peacetime and their case remains controversial to this day.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a statement declining to invoke executive clemency for the pair. He stated, "I can only say that, by immeasurably increasing the chances of atomic war, the Rosenbergs may have condemned to death tens of millions of innocent people all over the world. The execution of two human beings is a grave matter. But even graver is the thought of the millions of dead whose deaths may be directly attributable to what these spies have done."



1. To direct or impose with authority and emphasis.
2. To order (someone) to do (something); urge strongly; command
3. To prohibit or forbid.



Moses Harry Horwitz
(June 19, 1897 – May 4, 1975)
Moe Howard was an American actor and comedian best known as the leader of The Three Stooges, the farce comedy team who starred in motion pictures and television for four decades. His distinctive hairstyle came about when he was a boy and cut off his curls with a pair of scissors, producing a ragged shape approximating a bowl cut.

Phylicia Rashad
(born June 19, 1948)
Phylicia Rashad (born Phylicia Ayers-Allen) is an American Tony Award-winning actress and singer, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show.

Maxwell Emmett "Pat" Buttram
(June 19, 1915 - Jan. 8, 1994)
Pat Buttram was an American actor, known for playing the sidekick of Gene Autry and for playing the character of Mr. Haney in the television series Green Acres.

Mary Kathleen Turner
(born June 19, 1954)
Kathleen Turner is an American actress. She came to fame during the 1980s, after roles in the Hollywood films Body Heat, Romancing the Stone, Prizzi's Honor, The Accidental Tourist, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The War of the Roses, Serial Mom, and Peggy Sue Got Married.


Hemingway's remarks are not literature.
--Gertrude Stein


  1. Interesting comments about criticism, Gene. Inspired, partly, by the discussion on Writers on the subject?

    I'm trying to remember if I were ever that stubborn that I turned down publication because the editor wanted a different ending. I don't think I was ever in that position, but I'd like to think that, even when I was younger and more ignorant (though not, perhaps, more stubborn) than I am now, I wouldn't have been that foolish. Of course, I could be wrong.

    1. Yes, your piece on Writers stimulated my memory of those busy, busy editing days. The young writer was a 15 year old girl and evidently thought her story ending was original and someone would pay her more than my $10 for it. I'm sure she has learned (from experience) better since then, back in the middle 1990s.

      Thanks for the comment, Nora.