Commit to a Writing Practice Part A – 3 important songs?

I have no idea how the description and title of this prompt is even remotely related to writing about the three most important songs in my life and what they mean to me. So I am going to split this into a two part post with relevant tags on each.

The prompt told me to try free writing and gave a bunch of advice intended to let all my fabulous ideas and wonderful words just flow on to the page. Unfortunately, my self-evident truths will not allow me to accept any of this advice because it all runs counter to who I am and how I write. Here’s each point of advice and how I feel about it.

• Keep your hand moving. (Don’t pause to reread the line you’ve just written. That’s stalling and trying to get control of what you’re saying.) No, that’s trying to make sure that what I’ve said might make some sense to the reader.
• Don’t cross out. (That is editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it.) If I don’t edit as I write, the post will get too long and convoluted. I wouldn’t want to read a post that was too complicated or too boring.
• Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don’t even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.) I draft in Word which does this all for me.
• Lose control. I have, but more around the number of posts I want to write, not what goes in each post.
• Don’t think. Don’t get logical. I’m a German Taurus so I have to do both under the laws of the universe.
• Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.) Gotcha! I’m good with this one. Anonymity helps.

The prompt goes on to say “Just let go” and ends with this quote from Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator

“Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.”

Borges’ first published book included a series of non-fictional essays and short stories, using fictional techniques to tell essentially true stories. Borges also wrote poetry, essays, screenplays, literary criticism, and edited numerous anthologies. His poems embrace the same wide range of interests as his fiction, along with issues that emerge in his critical works and translations, and from more personal musings.

My self-evident truth about the relation of Borges’ advice to my writing is that, since it’s more appropriate for fiction writers and I write non-fiction, it’s not related at all! The philosophical term “Borgesian conundrum” is named after him and has been defined as the ontological question of “whether the writer writes the story, or it writes him.” I can get behind that thought in some of the non-fiction stories I write. Thanks, JLB.

A Room With a View (or Just a View)

Where shall I go? What shall I do?
If I could zoom, where would I go?

Maybe I would go to that room where I could find Scarlett, Rhett and a cast of thousands.
That room might be a good old fashioned library, filled with books and only books
Just books of all titles and sizes, subjects and authors, old and new, true and not.
I picture the library in one of those films that I watch over and over again.
That’s “Ever After” with a young Drew Barrymore and a young Dougray Scott –
So young that the movie makers were not afraid to give us a hint of the young man’s manhood in his white tights and codpiece!
There’s a spiral staircase in a many-windowed tower where all the walls are bookcases
That’s light and bright
With inviting nooks in which to sit and read and includes one of those great and precarious ladders that slides across the tall bookshelves

Come to think of it, maybe I would go to that other room where I could find Scarlett, Rhett and a cast of thousands
Any, preferably, old movie theater would likely do.
There is only one snack bar. It’s on the ground floor along with restrooms that are fabulous architectural monuments unto themselves.
All accessories are heavy and ornate, especially in the screening area.
Like the old and now demolished Carthay Circle theatre in Los Angeles, where my dear and now departed Dad took me to see Gone With the Wind for the very first time.
I miss them both.

carthay circle exteriorcarthay circle interior

What inspired my title and tagline?

What inspired my title and tagline?

After 59 and a half years of traveling along this crazy journey of life, I’ve reached the point where I feel comfortable keeping my own counsel in just about any situation. I hope others can learn something from my experience. If what I have to say has any value to anyone, I hope that my self-evident truths will be evident to them, too.

I know that my journey is not over. By my estimation, I have probably lived only two thirds of my life to this point. That means I should have another 25 or so years to go before I reach the end of this road. In that time, I don’t want to cut myself off from learning new truths from others and possibly tweaking some of my own as a result.

Representing my journey at this point - 2/3 complete with one third to go heading into sunny skies with possibly some mountains still to climb
Representing my journey at this point – 2/3 complete with one third to go heading into sunny skies with possibly some mountains still to climb

 

Holiday Traditions of A Blended Faith Family

Traditions: we’ve all got ‘em, especially around the holidays.  What is it about my family’s traditions that keep them going strong for my children in our blended faith family?

I was raised by two liberal Jewish parents.  The Hanukkah tradition in our home included lighting the menorah each night, then opening one of the presents that had been arranged around a three foot tall foil covered Star of David my dad made as a substitute Xmas tree.  The presents grew in size (and probably in value) over the eight nights of the holiday.  I think one year we might have broken Mom down and got a tree, which we euphemistically called a Hanukkah bush.  Every year Dad put the blue and white “Xmas” lights in the window.

My spouse was raised as a Mormon and was married a couple of times to at least semi-Mormon women.  He brought a lot of leftover ornaments to our marriage.  I was pregnant when we celebrated our first Xmas together.  He was so excited and told me that our baby had to have a Xmas tree, even if she wasn’t here to see it yet.   I went along with it when he went out and purchased a new fake tree and put it up in front of the window in his house.   He pulled out the recycled ornaments and lights and we decorated it together.

Fast forward about 3 or 4 years.  We now have two daughters who are well acquainted with both their Jewish and Mormon grandparents and know that the beliefs of each are nowhere near the same.  In the interim, every year, we put up the new fake tree with the recycled ornaments.  By this age, the kids are in pre-school and other places where making Xmas ornaments is standard practice.

So we expanded the tradition by adding a menorah, and then two menorahs so there would not be fights over who would light the candles.  I continued my family’s Hanukkah gift-giving practice starting on the first night with equal or equivalent dollar store items for each of my girls and ending eight nights later with equal or equivalent department or book or electronics store items.  The kids made new ornaments and decorations at school and scouts every year.  We also started to buy ornaments as souvenirs on family trips so over the years the new ornaments replaced the recycled ones, which were falling apart or breaking anyway, and the fake tree became a very real part of our holiday traditions.

Later, decorating and undecorating the tree were added as family activities.  Our family, being non-traditional in many ways at this time of year, did it a little different than most I knew.  Dad and Mom would take the tree out of the box and build it.  Then Dad and kids would string the lights, followed by Mom and kids unpacking boxes of ornaments and decorations, trimming the tree and the house. The whole process, including participants, happened in reverse at the end of the season.

Who I am and Why I’m here – Blogging 101 Assignment

I’ve been fiddling around with wordpress for a few months now so had pretty much already established this info on my home (or is it about?) page which I think everybody can get to so they can see for themselves.  Please ignore the size of my picture there, though.  My ego is not that large so eventually I think I’ll at least try to convert that picture to thumbnail size.

As instructed, I’m adding tags, also from homepage + blogging101.

Hope to meet and chat with some of you in the commons, as soon as I register, of course!

Roomba is not enough!

My Chore Robot — FINALLY!.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/you-robot/

As the first robot that I know of that does one of those onerous regular household chores, Roomba was a good start.
It’s just not enough, though, since there are so many other regular household chores that are equally onerous and are too numerous to mention. Like Tim Pepper (link to His Chore Robot above, I hope), it would be great if we could program our young adult children who live at home to at least empty things. On the other hand, if there was an MT, we’d have to program it to act like an affectionate and grateful adult child!

Lazy Girl’s Milkshake

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pick-your-potion/

Thought I’d invented it while I was pregnant 20+ years ago but found out that I had not.

Anyway, you concoct it by dumping a bunch of ice cream in a glass, pouring milk over it, then stirring to desired consistency. I of course use low-fat ice cream and non-fat milk.

That is all. Enjoy!

Couldn’t Watch all the blood in “Old Boy”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cant-watch-this/Can’t Watch This

When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

Above is 7/21 daily prompt and, coincidentally as I was catching up on stuff, I came across it today, 7/24, after having viewed Spike Lee’s film “Old Boy” on DVD last night.  Now, most of Spike’s films, based on what I’ve read about them and the few that I’ve seen, tend to have some redeeming social value.  This one was no exception but…

I had read a review or something about “Old Boy” and knew it had a pretty good case, which was why I was interested in seeing it in the 1st place, along with aforementioned and anticipated redeeming social value.  What I hadn’t expected were a lot of bloody scenes, and I do mean bloody.  Samuel L. Jackson was uncredited but played a pretty pivotal role in all the action, and I do mean action.

I understand that “Old Boy” may have been based on a Bruce Lee type film previously made in the Orient and fight scenes in those don’t bother me because the ones I’ve seen didn’t show a lot of blood or closeups where you would expect to see blood or broken bones.  It was just  entertaining to watch Bruce’s choreographed moves and follow the flying bodies.

Now, for “Old Boy” put Josh Brolin in the Bruce Lee role and insert gruesome close-up images of blood and broken bones in the fight scenes.  Add to that images where Brolin tortures Jackson by removing pieces of skin from around his neck, like a dotted line, and Brolin say by the time he was finished he’d be able to remove Jackson’s head simply by pulling it off and you get the picture.  This was actually the point where I had to start covering my eyes, though I did spy a long needle coming out of Jackson’s neck later in the same scene.  This bloodletting occurred after Brolin had broken into Jackson’s torture chamber for hire by bashing the head of the guard, who had just been sitting at his desk minding his own business, with a sledge hammer.