Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

8/28/08

Submitted a Children's Book for Publication


The Title
The Boy Who Hated Doing Everything
. It is a short book, intended for the 7-10 year-old crowd, told in a classic American fable style, with silly images and characters, and situations that are preposterously fun.

The Gist
Jeremy is especially lazy, thinking only of himself. His mother goes to the neighbor’s to borrow coffee, and while she’s gone, the plumber, a fireman (with Tuna Salad, a gray and white kitty), a baseball team and his father all come by just before lunch. Jeremy never answers the door, and so they wait.

What Happens Next?
Will Jeremy gets his beloved rainbow parfait? You might imagine the pandemonium that ensues as the visitors figure out what to do, but, what I really want is that Henry Holt and Company publishes it for children to read.

The picture is my submission and letter to them, as well as a copy of my 2007 edition of the Writer's Market Deluxe Edition. I sent it today, 3-day, first class. Cost me a dollar in postage, and, not more than an hour of writing.

Within six months, my four-page tale is either recycled or sold.

Now, to prepare the next one. I have several started, and one essentially finished.

8/27/08

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Cold Shot (Live in Texas)

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Cold Shot (Live in Texas)

Stevie Ray Vaughan died August 27, 1990 in a helicopter crash on the way to Chicago.



(original MTV video)

8/26/08

A Hymn To God The Father - John Donne

Read this the other night to an artist's group I am active in. As my art is poetry, and poetic-related writing, I have been reading samples of my own work. This month I did again, but also, introduced the group to John Donne, one of the greatest English language poets and a great man of faith. He died in 1631, and, for the nonreader of poetry, is left for freshman literature classes to read.

A Hymn To God The Father

by John Donne

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallow'd in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, thou hast done;
I fear no more.

8/19/08

Art Education for the Non-Artist: review: The Penguin Dictionary of Art And Artists: Seventh Edition (Dictionary, Penguin) (Paperback)

"The Penguin Dictionary of Art And Artists: Seventh Edition (Dictionary, Penguin) (Paperback): Art Education for the Non-Artist

I am a writer, not an artist, and thoroughly appreciate "The Penguin Dictionary of Art And Artists" by Peter and Linda Murray.

Though a dictionary, I am using it as a primer. While I am aware of major movements, schools and the artists, and, of course, the most major of works, there is so much I missed that I am reading now. Getting deeper into Picasso, Dali and Van Gogh is a must, as is learning about Dada (I am glad that never stuck).

As I read other materials in my attempt to acquire and bone up in all the arts (music, literature and the visual arts), this is becoming a strong tool for cross-referencing periods in artistic development, especially from a Western hemisphere perspective.

Each entry is encyclopedic, not like a dictionary. There are no etymologies or pronunciation help, just definitions.

What pleases me most is that I understand what I am reading. Lacking the rich artistic vocabulary is no problem. Everything is explained intelligently, simply but not superficially.

I fully recommend "The Penguin Dictionary of Art And Artists" by Peter and Linda Murray.

Anthony Trendl
http://anthonytrendl.blogspot.com/

Driven - by Trendle Thomas (Jazz)

Trendle Thomas is not my brother. Despite a shared name, my own brother has no particular musical skill. This guy, though, has some chops, as does the band he's with.



Driven - written by Trendle Thomas
Chris Rhodes - Bass
Trendle Thomas - Keyboards
Kevin Childress - Drums
Kevin Basiliko - Sax
Artie Campbell - Additional Keyboards
Ray Brooks - Percussion

Worth Repeating: Politics in a Box: Why I Am Not a Republican, Why I Am Not a Democrat

Most of this post is a rerun, edited somewhat the highlight the more important and current concerns.

A reader of a recent post suggested she knew my bias, but, if anything, I am realizing more and more my dissatisfaction with both Barack Obama and John McCain. One is supported by NARAL (the leading abortion rights group) while the other supports cell stem research beyond the degree I am comfortable with.

No matter how much I enjoy listening to a Barack Obama speech, I cannot get beyond his ardent support of abortion rights.

As much as I am convinced John McCain's experience is fundamentally more substantive than Barack Obama's, he is part of the "establishment." You know the Generation X catch-phrase, "Trust no one over 47." Seriously, he knows how to get things done, but at what cost?

Idealism or experience? That's not the choice I will be making in November.

My question: Who will lead our country best, following closest what I believe morally, ethically, making decisions that will protect my country? Right now, I have no good choice.

A number of readers of my blogs wonder where I stand politically. I have managed to incense supporters of both parties. Readers of my more political posts wonder, and for good reason. I argue for and against their capacities.

I will not put politics in a box. You might say I'm nondenominational. I'm not independent exactly, as I probably will never vote for a third party candidate in the presidential election. I can't find a good reason to. The old idea that it is throwing away a vote makes sense. Yet, I am not registered as a member of either the Republican or Democrat Party.

All candidates disappoint me. None meet my needs, and so whomever gets my vote will be second best. I have written in support of candidates that later showed me I was too quick to endorse, and likely will again.

If one really excited me, I think it would only be giving too much trust in government. I am not cynical, but no man or woman will solve society's troubles. No party, even one I entirely agree with, can do that job.

I am prolife (more on this).
  • That means simply I think aborting unborn children is wrong, and that women or men making the decision to do that are killing a child.
  • It also means I think killing inmates is equally wrong, and that the judge or jury, as well as doctors and guards involved in moving that inmate toward death are wrong. They are willfully killing.
  • One of the greatest ills of society in America has been done by Planned Parenthood, which has sugar coated abortion, and naive, but well-meaning women have ended up choosing to kill their baby with Planned Parenthood's knives and poisons.
I am fiscally conservative.

  • Don't ask me for financial advice. Not my speciality. However, I think debt is a bad idea, we should pay for what we buy, and we should work toward a stable economy. I doubt I'll get disagreement there. I don't like taxes, but who does? Necessary evil, but we should avoid getting the government paying for too much. That is, we need to pay taxes to pay for essentials, but there a lot of non-essentials.
I am mixed about welfare.

  • So many people are not born with money, or have the capacity to make much money. Children suffer from parents who are lazy, but also from having parents who struggle with physical and psychological problems. We must care for these people.
  • Those of us in a position to help individuals should. Hire, teach, give, whatever. Those of us with more to give should also give to good organizations doing good things in this category. This can reduce the government's need to help.
  • So, you could say I don't want a nanny state, but, likewise, I don't want a nanny church. I hear, "The Church should help." Yes, they should, but if we ourselves are not helping who we can, asking the government or Church to step in is not right.
  • This is based partly on theology, partly on experience. There's eight years of working with jail and prison inmates and homeless individuals, living in the tougher part of town, getting to know gang members, murderers as well as the guy who made one bad decision but is at his core a good man. I saw the everyday issues, not merely sociology class theory. My beliefs are not based though on a social gospel, but a Christ-centered Gospel that includes loving my neighbor.

What else?

  • I don't think the government should tell us who counts as married. Am I for gay marriages? Perhaps in the secular sense, I don't care. As a Christian, that's another matter. What a judge does matters to the government. What my church does matters to me.
  • I think Islamic terrorism is here to stay, and we need to be proactive in solving this problem of hate.
  • I am not pro-war, but, I think we must aggressively pursue Osama bin Laden, and all other terrorist leaders. As prolife as I am, I think it is consistent to stop them by killing them if necessary. One captured, though, no matter how guilty, we should not kill even bin Laden.

Politics are part of life, and imperfection is part of politics. There is nothing to lose sleep over, or endure angst as a result. The problems with each candidate are plenty, and too many now to type, so, for now, this'll be enough.

8/18/08

Freedom of Speech: Obama, McCain Talk with Rick Warren

Freedom of speech lives in America. Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church in California, opened a dialogue with Barack Obama and John McCain. Obama has been very direct in calling himself a Christian, and McCain has not been as direct. Read the news.

As a prolife and anticapital punishment Christian, I am pleased that this stuff is getting addressed.

It is a well-known fact that Barack Obama is comfortable with abortion, tolerating whatever moral he has for the legal right to kill an unborn child, yet is likewise comfortable leaving Iraq to fend for itself in order to save American lives.

It is also a well-known fact that John McCain is comfortable with war, tolerating whatever moral issues he has sending American soldiers into harm for the legal right for a democratic Iraq to exist, yet is likewise comfortable denying a mother a right to abort the life of her child, placing the mother's choice second to the child's imminent birth.

All moral issues are viewed through a moral compass. For Christians, that compass happens to be what they believe God wants. Either way, we all have standards.

Whether or not churches should be injected into the political process was not too deep a struggle for Reverend Jesse Jackson, Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Phleger, or Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. They all seemed very comfortable with preaching their politics in churches.

Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter explained directly they were Southern Baptists. Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. held their personal beliefs somewhat quieter. George W Bush happens to be a member of the same denomination as Hillary Clinton.

A church is just a building, and Rick Warren in just a man, and the congregation he is a pastor of are just people, some of which are voters. He got Barack Obama on stage with John McCain, something no one else has previously done.

I hope the Muslim groups have similar forums. I am curious what John McCain and Barack Obama would say to these questions in a mosque, and how Muslims would phrase them.

8/12/08

Attractive Face More Important Than Voice? What About Bob Dylan?

China chose a cute seven year-old girl to Milli Vanilli a song sung by a less attractive girl. They justified this as image management. America does this too, but not officially as a country, but how we shop. However, there are ways we move beyond this.

We do buy music from the unattractive, or the non-golded throated singers.

These have huge followings, yet would suffer on American Idol. Some aren't pretty enough, or sing with an unusual style.

  1. Bob Dylan
  2. Johnny Cash
  3. Jim Morrison
  4. John Lennon
  5. Janis Joplin
  6. Van Morrison
  7. Barry McGuire
  8. Jim Croce
  9. Meatloaf
  10. Lyle Lovett

Andy Warhol As Seen Through Poetic Words: review - Warhol-o-rama

"Warhol-o-rama" by Peter Oresick is creative, insightful, culture-grabbing and well-written.

As poetry, it lacks. I am deciding to not consider it poetry, though, in the classic sense. Why? Andy Warhol was not an artist in the classic sense. Judging it, comparing it against the established canon of great literature would be unfair, and likely not Oresick's intention.

Oresick takes and applies poetically aspects of Warhol's imagined life -- both the life we saw through his public appearances and the life we saw through his art, plus all kinds of intriguing curiosities that may have been Warholian.

He did his homework. Relatively young at 55 years old, Oresick could not have known of Warhol in his pop culture heyday. An extra point goes to him for this, as it is clear he broadly examined Warhol's truth and legend.

What's Here?
This is difficult to explain. In short, Oresick took Andy Warhol out of the 1960s, and looked at him from the modern generation. Then, he wrote a poem or short creative structure piece about a part of Warhol. When he does it well, he mimics Warhol's own personality and style while looking him straight in the eye.

Each piece is unique. While sometimes Oresick's tone and pace is reminiscent of another piece, he, like Warhol, did not limit himself stylistically. Unlike E. E. Cummings, another inventor of poetic structure, he remains in clarity. Readers can understand the subject the first read through. Those who know Warhol's life and work will see more references and allusions, but there is enough to satisfy the reader new to Warhol.

Thankfully Oresick never relies on one style, or falls into 1960s-speak, or falls into a Beat style. Instead, he gives us Andy Warhol, not Kerouac or Dylan or Ginsberg.

Some are short pithy statements like one titled, "For Andy Warhol Was a Flake among Artists." The piece is brief: "But an artist among flakes." Crammed with irony, adulation and insult, there is plenty to chew on, no matter what side of Andy veneration the reader sits.

There is a letter, "Andy Warhol for the Widow of Andy Warhol." Warhol had a portable recorder he would call his 'wife' but was otherwise unmarried. The piece is a formal, stock letter from the New York Hospital asking his widow to pick up personal effects -- which is a ditto machine and aniline purple pigment. The line structure is poetry even though the text is prosaic.

There's a parody, "Andy Warhol for Carpatho-Rusyns: A Polka," written to the tune of a Weird Al Yankovic song. It describes Warhol as bohemian and flamboyantly gay, themes Oresick explores heavily.

The dependence on a caricature of Warhol, as opposed to looking at his deeper artistic impact is a weakness in the book. There is more than this, but the balance occasionally leans too close to the surface, and not enough toward the art. Still, given Warhol's own self-promotive persona, he himself might be smiling, having achieved this once again postmortem.

In all, it is a dependable collection. Art students looking for a primer on Warhol's cultural impact can peruse this and gain a taste of what things were about. Nonartist writers like me, those of us who have seen Warhol's work with amusement, can get a better appreciation of what was going on. Warhol fans will delve happily into this, bathing in the statements and laughter of an unusual era in American art.

I fully recommend "Warhol-o-rama" by Peter Oresick.

Anthony Trendl
http://AnthonyTrendl.blogspot.com

8/11/08

Phil Keaggy - Amazing Grace

Phil Keaggy - Amazing Grace

Phil's been a favorite musician for a long time, and seems to be one tried and true as a man of faith as well as music.

8/8/08

Lamb Unto Slaughter, Unto Savior (poem)



Whatever good there is of me it is because of the holiness and glory of Him.

Lamb Unto Slaughter, Unto Savior
Anthony Trendl

Wretched I am by pebblestones and cockleburs
as I walk this lonely night, wondering who I am.
What is a lamb worth who has sinned as I have sinned?
Thickets of dead meadows follow me,
tangling once white wool
wondering if I can still be loved.
Shadowing groves of ghastly things charge me of how lost I am.
Where is the shepherd to whom my flock he tends?
Behold... beyond this curséd acre, a lamb is coming for me!

The lamb is the kind shepherd who picks burs and pebbles
in our days, and seeks us in the night.
From the thickets, from the coppiced briars, He carries me
yet Himself is thorn-scarred and bur-laden from the wicked wood.
Together, He takes me home and together we look for sheep,
but alone He is my shepherd, who alone pursued me
as a lamb going where only lambs can go.
"Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management in which young tree stems are cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years, the cycle begins again and the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested again." (Wikipedia).

I like this image -- and the general image found in the poem -- because it is a nurturing one. We know God prunes for His good, and His good is ours. It is violent, taking from chaos and unruliness that which is hurting what could be magnificent, leaving what can be used and grown into a healthy brush. God's hand is harsh if looked at only from the perspective of the cut branch, but, if we see the fruit growing the following season, we see His hand is kind, and, in reality, good.

See CS Lewis' The Great Divorce for an excellent metaphorical tale on this theme.

8/5/08

Tim Eriksen sings "Amazing Grace"

Tim Eriksen sings "Amazing Grace"
Very different tune, same words.



Tim Eriksen sings "Amazing Grace" Western Mass. style.

The tune, "Fiducia," is the one most often used for this hymn in the old New England tunebooks ("American Vocalist," "The Revivalist" and scores of others).

www.timeriksen.net
www.myspace.com/timeriksenmusic

8/3/08

The Long and Not Winding Road: Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail

We stayed here (see video: Sugar Maple Inn - Kendall, WI). The white line is the Elroy-Sparta Trail.













Our wheels, a side-by-side tandem recumbent.
















Live to ride, ride to live. One motorcyclist, preferring not to pedal off into the sunset, passed us as we dined in a one-room school house-cum-restaurant.







Not everywhere was Charlie Trotter's Restaurant. This is the Hidden Inn. We expected something bed and breakfast like, but instead found a local biker bar that also served as a place to register turkey and deer kills. Fantastic burgers.







As you can see, the walls are not done on the outside. Inside, besides the cigarette smoke, it was a basic bar and grill, with most patrons opting for the bar aspect. One woman offered us to join her at her home to smoke some pot. Not being smokers of any sort, we politely declined, and she got into her truck, beer in hand, and left. There was not anything we could do to stop her.











Our wheels drew a lot of attention, but unfortunately, not much speed. We only rode 22 miles.















Three tunnels were along the route. We rode through a 3/4 mile one, and walked a 1/4 mile one, which you see here. That was part of a six-mile walk.











No ghosts were these entering 'the light', but two weary bikers who walked through the tunnel.












The path was in many ways like where I run, but we saw no runners, and the views were incomparable.












We'll be back.

8/1/08

Misspelled, But Quoted: Finding Significance Briefly

So what if they misspelled my last name (only one 'e' in my name)? So what if they cited a different website (the correct one is also listed). A magazine quoted me.

A book review I wrote about an English-Hungarian edition of classic Hungarian poetry has been quoted in an English-language periodical covering and sustaining Hungarian culture. The quote is minimal, but it is an honor, since, only a few years ago, I had never heard of most of these poets. I am, by far, still an early student of Hungarian literature.

The issue came out in early 2008, but I only noticed it now.

To keep up with the news of my career, see the news area of AnthonyTrendl.com. As I list there:
NHV Book Review -- As Time Elapses and Sustains - The Lost Rider: A Bilingual Anthology by Ágnes Vashegyi MacDonald (New Hungarian Voice, Winter 2008: Volume VI - Issue I) (regarding my review of classic Hungarian poetry, The Lost Rider: A Bilingual Anthology.
Cover of Rolling Stone by Dr. Hook

Somebody Loves Me (Ain't It Nice to Know?)

Happy Anniversary. Mine. Four years now.

At 5:30 pm, Hungarian time, on August 1, 2004, my wife and I wed on an island, in the Danube River, in the shadow of the Savoyai Castle (cool video in Hungarian) in Ráckeve, Hungary (site in English).

The bilingual wedding started at 5:00 pm, but it was not until 30 minutes later that we got to the "I do" part.

Honeymooned in Venice, Florence and Rome.