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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


For those who love "Dylan"

For 50 years he has inspired musicians and songwriters, politicians and protesters, presidents and popes. Dylan celebrated his 70th B-Day on May 24. A gallery of famous friends and admirers shared what he has meant to them--- and the world.

Jimmy Buffett-From the man who never grew up. I would simply like to say that Bob Dylan's music has kept me forever young.

Smokey Robinson-Bob is unique unto himself, a one-of-a-kind artist. He's controversial and commercial and underground and all those things at the same time.

Tom Brokaw-Bob is the sound track of one of the most profound generational and cultural transitions in American life.

Maya Angelou-The truth is, Bob Dylan is a great American artist.

Martin Scorsese-Bob is ageless because he keeps turning new corners, beating down new paths, redefining himself and his art as he goes.

Judy Collins-I met Bob when he was still Robert Zimmerman, playing in Colorado in 1959. We met up later in the Village when he was playing Gerde's Folk City, singing old Woody Guthrie songs-not very well, quite frankly. But he was charming, very nice, and we got drunk a few times together.

Bono-When I was 13 Bob Dylan started whispering in my ear. It was a hoarse whisper, jagged around the edges, not too plain truths . . . ideas blowing in the wind about how the world could be a better place if we could just get it out of the hands of the hypocrites.
(L. Sloman)

I enjoyed reading these comments. I hope you did, too.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Epic Writing"

I'm not one to get bogged down with page after page of backstory in my writing. Epic's call for a lot of research and backstory to bring the reader up to date. If my writing needs a backstory, I usually do it through dialogue or a couple of short narrative sentences. Just giving my reader bits and pieces as they read. Writing an epic story would be the death of me. Epic's usually have to many characters for me to keep up with. Three or four characters is about my limit to connect with. With epic's, I found myself skipping over the pages to get back to the current story. I write with the attitude, keep the stakes high, tension pulled tight, and then boom, main character has changed somehow. Conflict solved. End of story. Give me a new story to read.

However, I will confess, I did read Ken Follett's epic story: Pillars of the Earth and his follow-up World Without End. Loved the story. Connected with the characters. But thought it would never . . . never end. I was exhausted by the last page. Almost gave up on the story once or twice.

Now, with the Harry Potter books, I read all seven. I never once felt bogged down with too much backstory. I couldn't wait for the next one. Why? Because J.K. Rowling is a master of keeping her story moving forward. Backstory was kept to a bare minimum. That's the kind of writing that keeps me reading.

Epic's or quicker reads. Either way, I'm glad we readers have both. Having a choice is a good thing. What do you like to write? Would you like to write an epic? If so, share your thoughts.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Desk, Starbucks or Easy Chair"

Where do you write? At your desk? At Starbucks? Or your easy chair? Every writer seems to have a special place that helps them create. Where words flow on the page with the least amount of effort. I've tried several different types of desk. Some were to high. Some ended up to short. Some to long or narrow. And the chair that goes with the desk, hell . . . way to hard. After all this, I gave up on the desk. Never tried Starbucks. The constant roar of people and coffee grinders would probably distract my thoughts. Not to mention the sweets that would lure me away from my writing. I write in my easy chair. I like the softness and the kick-back leg support. I have a small stool I lay paper and pen on. My lap top sits very nicely in my lap. Been writing this way for a year. I love it. I'm comfortable, content and free to let the words flow. It works for me. What works for you?


Friday, May 6, 2011

"Fertilize Your Brain"

Like libraries, museums represent humankind's attempt to store knowledge and information and make them available to the public in an organized way. Some communities are fortunate enough to have museums designed primarily for children, and they often involve pleasurable experiences for little ones from infancy to ten years old. It has been learned that the most crucial period for learning occurs between birth and six years of age. Countless studies clearly establish that educational dollars spent to encourage learning by children at this early age are both productive and cost-effective. An excellent example is the Children's Museum of Portland, Oregon, which serves over ninety thousand vistors yearly. Not only do visits to this find facility produce obvious benefits immediately but they can establish in children the habit of visiting such cultural repositories. The earlier you introduce your children, son, daughters, nephews, nieces, grandchildren to the thrilling and informative exhibits that all museums feature, the better. And of course, you learn a few things yourself if you accompany them. (S. Allen)