"Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth."
A few minutes ago, I was sitting and watching an old movie, Funny Girl, starring Barbara Streisand when that quiet inner voice I usually ignore spoke up, much louder than it speaks most times, and, surprisingly, this time I listened, hearing: "Oh God, I am so unhappy." Contrary to always before, I immediately spoke up, out loud, asking myself, "Why are you unhappy?" And again immediately, I replied: "Because I am not writing the fiction stories I want to write."
Because it's so hard, and I am so lazy.
Good Gravy! That's not a good excuse. Just because something is not easy, but is hard, is not a reason for doing nothing. Just ask President John F. Kennedy.
I want to write fiction; I need to write fiction. Why? Because I have some things to say. And because I have a family and friends who deserve not to be hurt by my truthful words, I can not present harmful things as facts, but only by saying and showing these truths through the speech and the actions of fictional characters.
Or so it seems, to me anyway.
"Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures."
I was recently conned by Amazon.com to purchase (for a minuscule price) a kindle novel by a new author. I managed to read the whole thing even though it turned out to be one of those ridiculous zombie stories as told by a longtime dedicated methamphetamine addict. It was terrible, and I don't even remember the author's name so I will be unable to recognize him if another of his offerings is touted by Amazon in the future. I suppose I could go back to my Kindle and find out his name, but I don't really care enough to expend that much energy for such a minimal purpose.
Did You Know . . .?
Women can see more shades of red than men. The gene that allows us to see the color red is on the X chromosome, of which men only have 1. Because women have 2, they can see crimson, maroon, cardinal, ruby, and scarlet, but men may only see light red and dark red.
On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed as his motorcade drives through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was believed to have used a mail-order rifle in order to shoot the president from the sixth story window of the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald was shot and killed by Dallas restaurant owner Jack Ruby as he was being transferred from the police station to the county jail two days later.
WORD FOR TODAY
In Haitian folklore, a zombie is an animated corpse raised by magical means, such as witchcraft. The concept has been popularly associated with the Voodoo religion, but it plays no part in that faith's formal practices.
The figure of the zombie has appeared several times in fantasy themed fiction and entertainment, as early as the 1929 novel The Magic Island by William Seabrook. A new version of the zombie, distinct from that described in Haitian religion, has also emerged in popular culture in recent decades. This "zombie" is taken largely from George A. Romero's seminal film Night of the Living Dead, which was in turn partly inspired by Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend. The word zombie is not used in Night of the Living Dead, but was applied later by fans. The monsters in the film and its sequels, such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, as well as its many inspired works, such as Return of the Living Dead and Zombie 2, are usually hungry for human flesh although Return of the Living Dead introduced the popular concept of zombies eating brains.
"Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time."
Did You Know . . .? People were "unfriending" each other long before Facebook. In 1659, an English clergyman wrote, "I hope, sir, that we are not mutually un-friended by this difference which hath happened betwixt us."
ON THIS DAY IN 1887 the American inventor Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a way to record and play back sound. Edison stumbled on one of his great inventions -- the phonograph -- while working on a way to record telephone communication at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. His work led him to experiment with a stylus on a tinfoil cylinder, which, to his surprise, played back the short song he had recorded, "MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB". Public demonstrations of the phonograph made the Yankee inventor world famous, and he was dubbed the "Wizard of Menlo Park." Although initially used as a dictating machine, the phonograph proved to be a popular tool for entertainment, and in 1906 Edison unveiled a series of musical and theatrical selections to the public through his National Phonograph Company. Edison, who acquired an astounding 1,093 patents in his 84 years, died in 1931.
WORD FOR TODAY
Brogan [BRO-guhn or BRO-gann] noun 1. a heavy, sturdy shoe, especially an ankle-high work shoe. 2. a rough shoe of untanned leather, formerly worn in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.
Goldie Hawn is an American actress and film director. Hawn is known for her roles in television's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and films such as The Sugarland Express, Private Benjamin, Foul Play, Shampoo, Overboard, Bird on a Wire, Death Becomes Her, The First Wives Club, and Cactus Flower.
Marlo Thomas is an American actress, producer, and social activist known for starring on the sitcom That Girl and her award-winning feminist children's franchise, Free to Be... You and Me. Thomas serves as National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas, in 1962.
Nicollette Sheridan is an English television and film actress, known for playing Edie Britt on the ABC dramedy series Desperate Housewives and as Paige Matheson of the CBS primetime soap opera Knots Landing. In film, she is known for her roles in The Sure Thing, Noises Off, Spy Hard, and Beverly Hills Ninja.
Over on the Grammarphobia blog I encountered a short but surprisingly informational eye-opener about a supposedly taboo English word that I do not hear pronounced much anymore. Not within earshot of a woman, anyway.
Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.
Did You Know . . .?
William Saroyan, recognized as "one of the most prominent literary figures of the mid-20th century," received an astonishing 7,000 rejection slips before selling his first short story.
Saroyan made his breakthrough in 1934 in Story magazine with The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
Saroyan's advice to a young writer was: "Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell."
Also . . .
A note sent to George Orwell, rejecting his book "Animal Farm" -- "It is impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A."
On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote but handily defeated the three other candidates: Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas, a U.S. senator for Illinois. For preserving the Union and bringing an end to slavery, and for his unique character and powerful oratory, Lincoln is hailed as one of the greatest American presidents.
WORD FOR TODAY
rejection [ri-JEK-shuh n] noun
the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc. synonyms:
refusal, spurning, dismissal, elimination.
Pat Tillman was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. His service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and subsequent death, reportedly from friendly fire, were the subject of much media attention.
Sally Field is an American actress, singer, producer, director, and screenwriter. In each decade of her career, she has been known for her leading roles in the TV series Gidget and The Flying Nun, and film roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Norma Rae, Places in the Heart, Steel Magnolias, Not Without My Daughter, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Lincoln.
Ethan Hawke is an American actor, writer and director. He made his breakthrough appearance in the 1989 drama Dead Poets Society. He then appeared in such films as White Fang, A Midnight Clear, and Alive, before taking a role in the 1994 Generation X drama Reality Bites. In 1995 he starred in the romantic drama Before Sunrise, and later in its sequels Before Sunset and Before Midnight.
Joe Queenan's advice to aspiring writers is, "Don't write until you're 25. Don't write for the high school yearbook. Don't write for the college literary magazine. Don't write that stuff -- you never had any experiences, you don't know anything, just shut up."
--From The Writer's Almanac
Today is Election Day. Can you guess how I know that. I'll tell you: Someone called me on the telephone and told me so, and they told me who I should vote for and who not to vote for, and why. And they (I think most were volunteering school kids) called me about a thousand times over the last couple of weeks. Something like that.
What's even worse, many of the calls were recorded earlier and played back to me. No chance for me to tell the caller what I thought of them. Even though I sometimes did so anyway.
If I hadn't already voted early by mail, I would probably have abstained from doing so, just out of sheer pissed-off-ishness.
Did You Know . . .?
The first U.S. president to die in office was William Henry Harrison. He was only in office a month before he caught pneumonia and died.
On this day in 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was fatally shot after attending a peace rally held in Tel Aviv's Kings Square in Israel. Rabin later died in surgery at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. In 1992, Rabin had led the Labour Party to election victory and became Israel's prime minister. In 1993, he signed the historic Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and in 1994 concluded a formal peace agreement with the Palestinians. In October 1994, Rabin and Arafat shared the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres. One year later, Rabin was assassinated. Peres succeeded him as prime minister.
WORD FOR TODAY
1. concise and exact use of words in writing or speech: "the report is notable for its brevity"
2. shortness of time; "the brevity of human life"
Matthew McConaughey is an American actor. He first gained notice for his breakout role in the coming of age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993), and went on to appear in films such as the slasher Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the legal thriller A Time to Kill, Amistad, Contact, EDtv, and U-571. In the 2000s, he became best known for starring in romantic comedies, including The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, Fool's Gold, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Since 2010 he has had roles in the films The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, Killer Joe, The Paperboy, Mud, Magic Mike, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Markie Post is an American actress, best known for her roles as bail bondswoman Terri Michaels in The Fall Guy on ABC from 1982 to 1985, as public defender Christine Sullivan on the NBC sitcom Night Court from 1985 to 1992, and as Georgie Anne Lahti Hartman on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire from 1992 to 1995.
"Fine photography is literature..."
The PC has improved the world in just about every area you can think of ... New kinds of entertainment and social media. Access to information and the ability to give a voice to people who would never have been heard.
Well, I spent way too much time recently trying to write fiction, and I discovered that I am not a fiction writer after all. Not even in the NaNoWriMo silliness. So I guess I will just go back to scribbling down some of my life's daily happenings into my blog here, as I have been doing for a couple years now.
Blogging seems to satisfy my desire to communicate with others enough so that I can enjoy most of my time each day doing what I really want to do, which is reading books, napping, and watching movies, and viewing humorous and well-crafted television shows.
We'll see how it goes.
Did You Know . . .?
Farmers sometimes donate their extra pumpkins to zoos for the animals to eat and play with. Elephants love them.
On November 3, 1998, former professional wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota with 37 percent of the vote. His opponents, seasoned politicians Hubert Humphrey III and St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman, spent a total of $4.3 million on their campaigns. Ventura, the Reform-Party candidate, spent $250,000 -- money he raised by selling $22 t-shirts and accepting $50 donations from his supporters. His only political experience had been his years as mayor of Brooklyn Park, a suburb of Minneapolis, but his laid-back, straight-talking, libertarian approach to politics resonated with many Minnesotans -- especially young men who had never voted before. "I voted for Jesse because he was the most honest," one young constituent said. "If he doesn’t know something, he says he doesn’t know." Two years after leaving the governor’s mansion, Ventura moved to Mexico.
WORD FOR TODAY
zeugma [ZOOG-muh] noun
The use of a word to refer to two or more words, especially in different senses. Examples:"He caught a fish and a cold" or "She lost her ring and her temper."
Dennis Miller is an American stand-up comedian, talk show host, political commentator, sports commentator, actor, television personality, and radio personality. He is known for his critical assessments laced with pop culture references. He rose to fame as a cast member of Saturday Night Live in 1985, and subsequently hosted a string of his own talk shows on HBO, CNBC and in syndication.
Roseanne is an American actress, comedian, writer, television producer and director. She began her career in stand-up comedy at clubs before gaining fame for her role in the sitcom Roseanne. The show was a hit and lasted nine seasons, from 1988 to 1997.
Ken Berry is an American sitcom actor, dancer and singer. Berry has appeared in multiple television shows, one with his friend and mentor, Andy Griffith. Berry starred in the successful comedies F Troop, Mayberry R.F.D., and Mama's Family.
Kate Capshaw is an American actress, best known for her portrayal of Willie Scott in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. During production of the film, she met director Steven Spielberg, whom she later married.
Not necessity, not desire - no, the love of power is the demon of men. Let them have everything - health, food, a place to live, entertainment - they are and remain unhappy and low-spirited: for the demon waits and waits and will be satisfied.