Tag Archives: Talking Heads

Gardening And Et Cetera

Saturday I was gardening for the first time in a while. Technically I was weeding. There are a lot of them and it’s time to get the front and back yards in shape. Have you been putting that off? Have you been putting anything off?

Now is as good a time as any to do something that you’ve been procrastinating about.

In my case recent rains have made the ground a lot softer which makes weeding easier. I still spent 90 minutes on my knees pulling the green stuff out of the ground. Probably have about 12 more hours worth. The thing is – I actually kind of enjoyed it once I got into it. Sort of a whistle while you work thing. I was actually singing a little bit of “Pull Up The Roots” by Talking Heads. Snow White was right. Whistle while you work. Or sing. Or hum. Or whatever works for you.

I also thought about gardening as a kid with my dad and the rest of the family. He was the one that really made us get out there and I didn’t really like getting out there then either. But just like Saturday, it could be enjoyable if you let it be. It doesn’t hurt to let the soil get softer, but there’s nothing wrong with working smart.

Again. What have you been putting off? Can you “whistle while you work”?

This led to me not writing Saturday night or Sunday or Monday. That’s ok. I did do 30 days or more in a row.

New rule. If I’m going to keep going with this, then maybe taking a 2 or 3 days off or a little more isn’t so bad. 30 Days On. 3 Days Off. No reason to get down on yourself. That’s a good ratio. Just have to keep it up. Get back on the horse. Stick to it. Keep the rhythm. You get the idea.

How is your writing going? If it’s not what you would have hoped, consider doing morning pages just like Julia Cameron tells us in The Artist’s Way. Or sort of like it.

I spoke to someone the other day who reminded me that she expected you to put pen to paper. I say – if the keyboard fits, wear it! Do it in the way it works for you. Some of you may actually be speaking into a microphone and having a program convert the spoken word to the written word. As long as it works. You don’t have to do EXACTLY what others do as long as you develop a discipline of your own. Don’t make a law of it. Make sure that it keeps you creatively productive.

Earlier today I posted a video here in the previous post. I suggest you take a look. I actually found this guy on Comedy Central. Be open to inspiration. He could be saying something that’s really valuable for you. If not, move on. But at least check him out. His name is Kyle Cease and he’s more than a comedian. He seeks to inspire.

My wife and I saw The Hunger Games and we both enjoyed it thoroughly. If you haven’t seen it and you can read the books first, do. You only have to read the first book before you see the first movie, but you may appreciate it more than the other way around. Why see it? You’ll have something to talk about with teenagers and young adults now and in the next couple of years. And you may find yourself moved. I know I did. They found a great Katniss and Donald Sutherland does a great job as the President. If you aren’t familiar, it’s post-apocalyptic North America so it’s no longer the United States (or Canada?), but a place called Panem.

One thing that amazed me was that I really didn’t think it was as long as it was. I’m pretty sure it’s close to 2 1/2 hours, but I was wondering why it was so short. I could have watched the movie if it was twice that long. Are there a couple places where you realize that it’s aimed at young adults and teens? Yes. But those parts were brief. They really did a good job of making it for everyone. Lenny Kravitz does a good job as Cinna, too.

If you don’t know who those characters are you’ll just have to pick up a copy of the book or go see the movies.

Was the book better? Yes, but really isn’t that always the case? You just can’t fit it all in on the big screen in the short amount of time you have. I read the book quickly, but it still took me a few days.

I’m glad to be back writing. Keep your chin up. Keep going no matter what. If you take a break, don’t make the break too long. But always, ALWAYS come back and write and write and write some more. See you Wednesday!

Listening To Pandora As I Write This

I don’t recall if I’ve posted this way previously. You can try different things and see what works best for you. Fresh from the shower and reclining in bed with a laptop on top of a pillow on top of me. Pandora is playing my Talking Heads station through my Kindle Fire. This is nice. For me.

This might not be ideal for you. You have to figure that out for yourself. Maybe you just need to have a different station on Pandora. I happen to like Talking Heads quite a bit and Mr. Jones is an interesting and fun song. Maybe you want silence or Sinatra or Kevin Bacon. Does he sing?

Friday afternoon and feeling relaxed. My wife is having some friends over and they take over the rest of the common area in our house when they get together. Six or seven usually. Besides, I love our bedroom. So, I can be tucked away for hours and out of their way. Maybe I’ll go for a walk later.

Where am I going with this? Not sure. Remember, that’s the point of Julia Cameron’s method. Just write. And write. And see what happens about 30 days in. Give or take. You can do it. You just have to give yourself permission.

If you think of it as unproductive, that could really get in your way of doing it or enjoying it. She has helped a lot of people unlock their creativity. And I’ve already gotten some compliments. Strategically, Tweet Geist Guy does follow a lot of writers and people who love books on Twitter. I might have told you previously that my thinking is that writers write. I assume that some writers who are Twitter will tell other people. And, if I get brave enough to have some tough criticism at some point, I’m sure I can find a few of them who are more than happy to step up. LOL

Oooh…love this music. The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star. Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World. My favorite genre is alternative music from the late 70’s and early 80’s. I do like a lot more than that and I stretch that definition when I start to include The Cranberries who really arrived in the 90’s.

I think that certain types of music can make you more productive and some of you may not agree, but maybe classical-type music is one of the best for opening the creative valve. I had a teacher in high school that introduced me to that idea. Alice Byrne. She was really something. I don’t think she thought I belonged in her advanced class, but I think I proved her wrong over a couple years. She was one of the first feminists that I actually knew and interacted with in my life. She really believed in education. Secondary education, to be specific. Ms. Byrne eventually got a Phd. and continued to teach in high school. THAT’S how important she thought high school education was and is. I assume she’s still around. I maintain contact with some of my classmates and haven’t heard about her passing.

Alice Byrne ran for the school board where she lived in Del Mar. This was the late 70’s before the backlash to feminism in the U.S. She ran on the slogan, “Mother’s Milk Pays Off”!
Now THAT’S a feminist! She won. Lots of people thought she was nuts to have that as her campaign slogan, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t close.

She taught me about real literature. I still remember feeling sheepish when I asked her if Sounder qualified as great literature. I had no clue. I learned a lot from her. To this day, if you think anything of the way I write, I believe it’s mostly due to her. I got a better education in high school english from her and my 9th grade teacher than most people get in college today. I’m getting a little sentimental right now. Pause…

I am amazed that more people aren’t interested in reading and/or writing. I am fortunate in that I didn’t have any learning disabilities, though my wife thinks I have ADD. I think she’s mostly joking, but I am old enough that that diagnosis wasn’t around back then, so I was never tested for that.

Really, though. How many times do I hear someone say that they’re bored? Pick up a book. How much crime could we prevent if we got more people interested in reading? I don’t mean to say that we could get rid of all of it, but surely some idle hands wouldn’t find the “devil’s workshop” if the put them around a book.

We don’t all enjoy the same kind of books. I’ve always assumed that readers like some sort of story. My son does to some degree, but he really excells at technical reading. Maybe that’s better if he’s going to read Grey’s Anatomy on the way to the medical profession.

Now I can hear the laughter from the other room over my Kindle playing The Cars “Shake It Up”. I guess the party is almost in full swing.

Maybe THAT’S how we need to sell reading. A party in your head.

I stumbled upon one author that I love many years ago. She certainly made it close to a party atmosphere in my head. I joined the Science Fiction Book club and got some books free with the purchase of a single book and I was introduced to Anne McCaffrey. I think the first book of hers that I read was The White Dragon. I started The Dragonriders of Pern in the middle of the series. I didn’t realize that it was science fiction as it read more like fantasy. Only later did I find out about the technological origins of the people of Pern. My dad even enjoyed them.

This was when my parents were going through a divorce and my dad had to rent a place in Escondido, CA, down the hill from Valley Center, where the family had lived. He borrowed some books from me and really surprised me when he read all about Pern. He was more of a Louis L’amour guy. My dad was really into westerns and John Wayne, so for him to like science fiction really said something about the author. He always referred to Star Trek as Star Dreck or something like that. I don’t know to this day if he actually liked Star Trek and was making fun or if he didn’t really like it at all.

He’s gone now and I can ask my sister, but I may never know. But he did tell me that he liked the Dragonriders.

That’s another reason to read. You can share and talk with friends and family who read. That’s been a problem for me as many people in my larger family are simply not readers.

I don’t get it.

Remember those commercials that said, “Reading Is Fundamental”?

I saw those and it just made sense to me. I didn’t really understand at the time how many people needed to hear that message. Also, remember the “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” commercials?

Some in my family have been annoyed when I shared my personal belief that “Reading Is Not Optional”.

That reminds me. I get a little annoyed when someone wants me to explain a book to them that they haven’t read. I don’t mind if they are thinking about reading it, but some people
basically want me to summarize a book for them so they can “get it” and not have to go to the effort of reading it.

You’re kidding, right? Yes, I’m talking about you, Jack, if you ever read this.

We can go places when we read. Expose ourselves to new ideas. Challenge long-held beliefs. Reinforce others.

Quite simply, we expand our world.

We need more people who want to expand their world. I didn’t mean to get ranty here, but I’m tired of people who don’t want to potentially expand their thinking.

I think I’m about 30 years tired of it. I think it’s time for something. Maybe I’ll talk about that next time.

In the meantime, either read a book or write a book. Or both.