No NaNoWriMo

I like to think of myself as (somekind) of a writer but I’ve never participated. I owe myself an explanation but I can’t think of one. When November rolls around and I begin seeing NaNoWriMo prompts here and there I usually ask myself this question: who’d read it? The answer I give myself is “probably no one.” I guess that’s an explanation, a crappy one but it is what it is.

I have a degree in English Creative Writing Nonfiction. Shouldn’t I be writing something somewhere for someone? Shouldn’t I at least be doing that NaNoWriMo thing? Nah, nobody would read it!

I may not be a very productive writer but at least I’ve made one photo a day for the past 311 days. Project365 began on January 1 and I elected to participate. Photographs tell a story, don’t they? I think they can, it might not be novel length, but it’s still a story.

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What story does this photograph tell?

 

Wednesday’s word: Songwriting

How do you write a good song? I have only one to my credit. I should have at least a couple thousand by now! I hear so many good songs by great songwriters that it seems like I should be able to come up with more than one.

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I have attempted to compose many times, and failed miserably. Whoever said “I’m my own worst critic” must’ve been a writer. I’ll have a verse and maybe the start of a chorus, reread it and decide that it’s a cliché, or that it probably won’t make any sense to anyone but me, eventually convincing myself to trash it.

 

 

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How do songwriters like Jason Isbell, John Prine, Eminem, Sam Cooke, Kris Kristofferson, and all the other greats do it? David Crosby was asked in an interview how he comes up with his songs and he said (I’m paraphrasing): “It just kind of floats down and enters my head.” I’ve heard other songsters say in interviews that writing about life, all the normal and abnormal things they’ve experienced, is pretty much how they do it.
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I don’t have the courage to write songs about my life. There’re too many tragedies. Even so, I don’t think I’ll give up trying. Hopefully I’ll come up with my second one before “the Man sends down his angels for me.”

 

Getaway weekend

I’m sure everyone has time for one or more a year. If you don’t, you need to start making time. They can revitalize, reinvigorate, restore and refresh, they can rekindle, reconnect, and can pretty much give you a complete makeover. You need them so try to do all you can to have them. And they don’t have to be expensive.

cannon_leaf_instagramWe had one this past weekend, two destinations that provided two different restorations of body, mind, and soul for two people. She and I experienced them together, as husband and wife, but each place we visited brought feelings and emotions that are separate and unique to us as individuals. I can’t tell you what she felt inside, but I’ve known her long enough to understand that such weekends are vitally important to her and to her well being.

 

longwood_ortonWe also understand that sometimes it’s okay to have a weekend getaway by ourselves or with a friend. The important thing to remember when this happens is although you aren’t together physically, you cannot be separated emotionally, because that’s one of the mysteries of how love works.

 

Version 2I’m not a native Pennsylvanian, so when it’s time for one of my weekend getaways without my wife, I travel a little over 500 miles south to Kentucky. It’s a trip I’ve been taking many years, starting in 1988 when I first moved from there. I have brothers and sisters in Kentucky, a son and daughter, and two grandchildren.

I urge you to make time for weekend getaways on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

Adjustment

Seasons change, as do us humans. If we didn’t change and grow in some way or other we wouldn’t be a very interesting species. How much do we change and how is it measured? I’m not sure there’s a specific formula for that because we’re all different.

Change is inevitable, whether we like it or not and we can’t always know what will happen afterwards. If we accept it, we make the necessary adjustment(s) and move on. If we don’t we may decide to fight it, either alone or with other likeminded folk. When that happens I think there are three end results, one is positive, one is negative, and one is neutral.

A positive outcome would be that everything will stay as you like it and you don’t have to make any adjustments. Then there’s the negative outcome where you tried fighting but lost and you have to make adjustments or be miserable. And then there’s the neutral outcome where the change didn’t really occur but might so you’re stuck in limbo till it does or doesn’t.

Seasonal change is also inevitable, at least here in our neck of the woods. Autumn has arrived with its chill and it’s impossible for any of us to do anything about it. (Much like the recent supreme court hearing fiasco.) I try to make the necessary adjustments but it keeps getting harder and harder with each passing year. But I don’t think I’m as vocal about it as I used to be.

I’m beginning to think that some adjustments aren’t really necessary at all. I’m going with the flow, drifting downstream. And that’s ok.

Peace.

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The people(?) have spoken

I said I believe Christine Blasey-Ford and still do. I also said that I didn’t think Kavanaugh belonged on the highest court in the nation, and I still believe that too. But regardless of what I might believe regarding Kavanaugh or Blasey-Ford, Kavanaugh is now Justice Kavanaugh, and Blasey-Ford is….what?

Will Christine Blasey-Ford go down in history as a strong and brave voice for millions of women (and men) who’ve suffered through the shame and mental anguish of sexual assault? Will her courageous testimony to the senate bring a louder voice to the #MeToo movement?

What about Justice Kavanaugh. The word “justice” in front of “Kavanaugh” doesn’t sit right with me. It’s skewered by his angry and uppity attitude when he gave his testimony during the senate hearing. Is that the demeanor he’ll be using as Justice Kavanaugh?

Time will tell in both instances.

White male privilege

I’m pretty sure I stirred up a hornet’s nest with my last blog post, you can read it here. The nest is actually located on my Facebook page, in all the comments under my post linking to that blog post. I suggest you go there and read through them. It shows me how divided we are on something that shouldn’t divide us: sexual violence. Perhaps I would see it differently if I were a woman.

I tried to gain a better understanding of why some women stay in abusive relationships when I chose Women’s Studies as my minor in college. My mother stayed married to our alcoholic father for over 40 years. There are many reasons why this is so, but I think the main reason in the case of my parents was because Mom believed the marriage vow “for better or worse” meant just that, and no matter how worse it got, she wouldn’t leave.

My friends, and even some family members, have asked: “Why did she (meaning Christine Blasey-Ford, not my mother) wait so long to say anything?” And: “She’s not credible because she said she hates to fly yet does so anyway when going on vacations and business trips.” I’m sure you’ve heard the same thing from folks you know. And you probably agree with me on the divisiveness of our nation.

There were many issues discussed by me and my feminist classmates in college; the social and cultural constructs of gender, sytems of privilege and oppression, gender norms, sexual orientation, and other social inequalities women face. One thing that stands out in my mind during that time can be seen in the way that Brett Kavanaugh presented himself during the senate hearings: a powerful man lusting for revenge against a woman, and/or men, who he believed had wronged him.

I think Brett Kavanagh is a man so full of himself and his accomplishments that nothing else matters. I saw an angry, hateful, disrespectful, white male. And I was shamed by what I saw. He does not belong on the Supreme Court, and in my opinion should have his credentials as a judge and lawyer revoked.

She said, he said, he said he didn’t, she said he did…

Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford had their say in front of millions of people. I watched all of her testimony, and a lot of his. My vote for innocence or guilt: she speaks the truth, he doesn’t. I’ll keep it that simple. But, of course, it never is that simple.

I honestly think Ford was more sincere and credible than Kavanaugh. He just seemed mad, even though I noticed him holding back tears, it didn’t convince me that he wasn’t a liar. He sounded boastful and proud of all that he had accomplished in school, being selected for Yale, blah…blah…blah…you ain’t no higher in life just because you’re a Yale graduate! Smarter in matters pertaining to law? Perhaps. Perhaps you’re also a smart liar.

Will we ever know the honest to goodness truth? I doubt it. I was hoping to hear Kavanaugh admit to being an asshole teenager, I was thinking he might be humble and confess that he did something stupid and wrong. Instead all I saw was a very angry man who admitted to nothing more than liking beer!

My sister was complaining that there was nothing else to watch on TV. My wife complained that she couldn’t watch the news because the hearing was preempting regular broadcasting. Both wondered why it demanded such network television coverage. I wondered why they wondered.

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