Am I the only one? I don't think so.
I keep a running list of sentences, paragraphs and ideas that I might want to use later. I mean my stuff, not quotes and things.
It is no help that inspiration happens at inconvenient times. You know what I'm saying, right? A good idea is, as you know. a terrible thing to waste.
It is pretty simple. I keep it easily accessible in the cloud, able to be edited from any device (except Kindle, unfortunately). I use Google Docs. It is a basic, numbered list. Some items might have 500 words, and others might have just a few words.
Once I use an item, I delete lest I accidentally use it a second time. How awkward would be if a reader was reading something of mine and thought, "Great line. Where have I read that before?"
There's nothing complicated about Google Docs. It functions much like Microsoft Word. Word is ultimately more sophisticated and has its place in a writer's life, but mostly, I use Docs. It is free, and I can even write with it on my Android.
If you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google account. Take a look at Google Drive. It is somewhere between DropBox and Microsoft Office.
Similarly, when an idea gets big enough, it gets its own file. Nothing may come of it, but it is always there, like Ahab's white whale, beckoning me.
Happy birthday to the Lord of Lords, to the King of Kings, to the One we adore, to the Ancient One, to the Ageless One, to the One who was in the beginning and will always be, to the Savior of souls, to the Forgiver of Men and of Women, to the One who knows us and who will never forget us, to the Painter of clouds, to the Composer of wind songs, to the Sculptor of mountains, to the Poet of love, to Him who is coming back soon, to the Child once born of Mary, to Him, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah and Victor, Redeemer and Friend.
Whew! I wondered if somehow this blog had offended Kim Jong Un, hence the drop in traffic.
I've known this song for 35 years. It, along with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, was one of my first favorite songs. I don't know when I first heard it, but it has always haunted me. First, it occasionally popped up on the radio, then I bought the cassette, and now, listen to a digital version off a playlist.
Of course it haunted me. A guy becomes so fascinated with space travel, or intoxicated by it, that he decides to disconnect from Ground Control, and fly freely. He knows the implications of this choice are eventually dire. He's left the Earth and isn't coming back. He sends a message back to his wife that he loves her.
Chris Hadfield -- he's a real live astronaut -- took a different take on the song. In fact, he recorded actually in space. Real space, not just high up in a special plane. Take a look, listen to the rewritten lyrics.
It seems the Peet's Coffee & Tea people bought the Caribou company. Most of the Caribou stores will close, if not already. Some will be converted into Peet's, others, like mine, will be vacated, to eventually house some other, unrelated business. Mine is among those closed for good.
The place had been dwindling. Employees left in droves -- old timers were replaced by people who rotated in and out. The hours were reduced too. I could not longer work late there. It became fast food, so to speak.
A Peet's will open up nearby in another old Caribou in downtown Wheaton, IL. The coffee, I expect, will be better. It can't help but be. Caribou was improving, but was still stuck in the old-school cafe method of not roasting and delivering the same day. This meant the coffee was often stale.
I went because of the atmosphere and people. When I wanted better coffee, I bought from Intelligentsia or I Have a Bean. The people though, were wonderful.
There was Mike, the piano teacher. I talked metaphysical authors with him. And Dave the computer guy. He explained Bitcoin to me. Plus, a myriad of fellow writers, and a group of Russian guys who played dominoes. I didn't know the Russian guys, but I looked forward to the others.
Sooner or later, I met with every friend who lives locally there. Now, I need a new place. Peet's won't do -- that former Caribou is too small and too for any decent conversation. I have other cafes that do much better, like River City Roasters, and the recently open Café K'Tizo.
Oh sure, there are places like Starbucks, and I suppose I wind up there. But where will the others be?
Sooner or later, someplace will settle in as "the place," but for now, I'm wandering.
I never met Sandy, but originally used his site as a guide as I developed my own. I took mine a different direction, but applied a great many of the things he used.
I have speechwriter.net redirect to AmericanSpeechwriter.com. I invited you to check it out. You might enjoy the classic speeches. I've included text, video and audio whenever possible.
Have a great day!
Man, he was good. The world just got a little less funny today. Age 63.
My official Facebook page. Books, ideas, literature, art, tall tales, short tales and cattails. See the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Fans of Twain, Kipling, Thurber will find this a friendly place. From the quirky to the funny to the unbelievable. Family-friendly. We talk about classic children's literature, what makes good horror, the integration of the arts. I occasionally offer free stuff, announce speaking engagements and literary performances.
My Pinterest page. This leans heavily on the craft of speech writing and speech delivery, but I post fascinating discussions on creativity as well, like a two-hour interview with Robert Downey, Jr.
My Instagram photos. Here I am in pure play mode. While I'm only using my smartphone, and I'm entirely untrained as a photographer, I'm always on the lookout for interesting ways of seeing the ordinary. Whether an unusual angle, funky lighting, or a a strange juxtaposition of some commonplace items, you're bound to see something fun. The bananas are there.
My Twitter page. Here, it is a mix of everything in bite-size gulps. The fullness of my interests flows through, from chess to jazz to running to coffee.
My LinkedIn profile. Want to connect professionally? Head on over and find my profile. I'm all business there. You'll see my email address which will help you connect. I'm especially interested in connecting with others in the communications industry. Then, after we connect, message me an introduction.
How to Have a Brilliant Slideshow (Or Not)
My recent article on LinkedIn looks at whether or not using a PowerPoint slideshow is a good idea. If so, why? Please check it out, and leave a comment. I love reading what others think.
Slideshows have long been a part of public speaking. More often than not, the speaker spends hours dwelling on every jot and tittle. Some of that is good and healthy. The speaker refines his or her message, trying to say clearly and persuasively whatever brings them to the podium. Mostly, though, the speaker is stuck sorting through templates, font choices and figuring out what to say on each slide. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we need to remember what's of primary importance. Read more.
As you may know, I'm a hardcore non-party member. I am not a Republican, which disappoints a great many friends. I'm not a Democrat, which infuriates another portion. I'm not Libertarian. I didn't join the Tea Party. When I ran for Student Council when I was in fifth grade, I ran Independent.
I expect to stay that way.
Most of what I see in politics disappoints me, as does the heavy partisan side-choosing that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
I don't like the littering of this good Earth with political signs. OK, that's less serious than aggressive corruption, but it does bother me.
Two of Illinois' recent governors are in jail. One is Republican. One is Democrat. I voted for both of them.
As such, I have turned down every political speech writing opportunity.
I thought about how I can help good candidates. Yes, you are out there. Some of you play fair, live with integrity, and avoid the angry finger pointing and blame game. I want to help you.
Find me here:
|A woodcut from La vida del Ysopet |
on sus fabulas historiadas depicting
a hunchbacked Aesop surrounded
by events from the stories
in Planudes' version of his life.
And people to write new, good songs. Nothing wrong with the old songs, but we sing those an awful lot. People don't remember what they mean.
While we are at it, add in some storytellers. Real storytellers. Real poets. Not just the shouters and complainers.
We need a few Hans Christian Andersens, some Aesops, a Charles Perrault or two -- ones which never are heard on NPR and bankrolled by anyone East, West or Middle. We need them in parks and bedsides, porches and bars. They need names no one knows, without a slew of books or a university office. And yet, everyone knows them, and everyone wants to listen.
We have better coffee and more places to buy it, but fewer coffeehouses. People have run to the cities to live because people have run to the cities to live, but they aren't together. They are just in the same place, complaining and shouting, drinking coffee and not singing new songs.
Jugs bands are a start. Maybe someone with a guitar. Or someone with a glass of lemonade to share while telling some old tale they just made up.
That would be all right, don't you think?
No, it is not just a funny picture site. That's George Takei's Facebook page. I'll admit there are one or two cute kitty pictures, but they are reading books. These are smarty cats.
I ask important things. Extremely important things.
Today, for example, we are delving into favorite punctuation marks. Which one is yours?
But it doesn't stop there. We discuss the science of humor. Watch interviews with Jerry Lewis and other great comedians explain why they are funny. They know why we laugh at what they do. Similarly, you'll watch John Cleese lecture on the creative process.
We talk about classic children's literature, what makes good horror, the integration of the arts. There's a lot going on. Stop in and stay for awhile.
My page description says, "Books, ideas, literature, art, tall tales, short tales and cattails. See the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Fans of Twain, Kipling, Thurber will find this a friendly place. From the quirky to the funny to the unbelievable. Family-friendly."