Quill to parchment

The quill to parchment method of writing was used for centuries, no for two millennia with paper finally replacing parchment as the writing surface. Although it is reported that paper was invented in China about 105 AD made of bark, fibers of rags, and hemp. Before the quill, the writing instrument was the reed pen who’s origin was about 400 BC. Both were dipped into ink to write with, although the quill was much more durable made of a feather that could be cut down to sharpen it for extended use much like a pencil.

The pen and paper obviously are still used but is slowly being phased out with tablets and computers as the writer’s choice. It should be mentioned that the quill and reed pen utilized capillary action where ink was drawn up into the instrument and slowly released as you wrote on the surface. You think there’s a problem with modern fountain pens there was no comparison for an entire document could be destroyed by a pause with ink flowing and/or dripping across your work.

Progress has yielded convenience and efficiency to our fingertips. We have it so easy compared to our ancestors and still, some of us balk at sending a relative so much as an email.  Imagine how hard that letter would have been with a quill and parchment. The mind can only imagine what the future has in store for later generations as a means to communicate. Telepathy?

Portion of life

For most people, if you look at a portion of their life that they enjoyed most it would be their vacations. Many of us live for the next vacation, it can’t come soon enough. Believe it or not, a good percentage of Americans can’t seem to find the time or have the means to take vacations. Because it’s a time we enjoy most it seems it should be a priority and if you can’t find the means at least you could take a day trip to enjoy nature and life.

Nearly two years ago I had a portion of the book I’ve been writing for years published in an international literary magazine called AOIS21 Media. Since then the road is like this. I have the bulk of the manuscript ready but every few days I work on it refining, changing, rearranging to make it ready to present to a publisher. I’ve also spent countless hours reading and listening to e-book publishers and speaking with some to get their advice on publishing. An arduous task at best.

Essentially this work of the heart has taken a portion of my life. I’m amazed by authors like James Patterson, one of my favorites, that releases books every couple months it seems.  I know he has a template or a formula which he starts from so it’s not as difficult as a brand new creation.

My wife and I are very fond of vacations though we get so tied up in life that there are way too many years when we skipped a vacation. At least when we didn’t find time for an actual vacation we’ve at least taken a getaway weekend to regain our sanity and remember how to breathe. That’s the key, remember how to breathe its an essential ingredient for living.

The media has lost its way

Yellow Journalism is a term that was first coined during the famous newspaper wars between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer II. Pulitzer’s paper the New York World and Hearst’s New York Journal changed the content of newspapers adding more sensationalized stories and increasing the use of drawings and cartoons. Sound familiar now?

Pulitzer began to publish a cartoon of his own that he titled “The Yellow Kid” in 1896. The cartoon became one of many objects fought over between Hearst and Pulitzer during their rivalry. Hearst later took R.F. Outcault the creator of the cartoon from Pulitzer the news was over-dramatized and altered to fit story ideas that publishers and editors thought would sell the most papers and stir the most interest for the public so that “Newsies” could sell more papers on street corners.

During the Spanish-American War Hearst was the first newspaper to station a team of reporters in Cuba to monitor the events happening there. When a reporter sent a telegram telling Hearst that there was not much going on there, Hearst replied with his famous telegram,”You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” What our networks are doing today is no different.

Media needs to be objective, accountable, and responsible in their reporting. Actor Denzel Washington, an actual victim of the now labeled “fake news” lie, aimed his critical eye at the mainstream media last month and cited them as purveyors of today’s untruths. He said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed. In our society, now it’s just first who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true. Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you’ll get good at; including BS.”

My personal belief is perhaps Walter Cronkite was one of the last great reporters. He was far more objective than journalists today. Here in Arizona, we have the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and mass communication. I can’t say how objective they are but I hope instructors have open minds. Musically speaking, there’s a song by En Vogue called Free your mind that does an excellent job of summing up the solution to our media and race relations this country faces. “Free your mind and the rest will follow, be color blind don’t be so shallow, free your mind and the rest will follow.” The best advice we could receive to date.

Daily Post

Dylan anything but artificial

How do you describe the first songwriter to win a Nobel Prize in literature? Most any word but artificial will suffice. The media is calling him “impolite and arrogant” for going into hiding after receiving the award.  Those in the media taking this attitude apparently don’t know Bob Dylan. He spent the early part of his career behind the scenes writing songs for many other recording artists. To me, it comes as no surprise for him to react this way.

I was but a kid when Dylan, 75 was already mastering his art. One of his best-renowned work is “Blowing in the wind” made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1963. One of my personal favorites was recorded by Jimi Hendrix and also recorded by Dylan “All along the watchtower”. Dylan wrote a number of songs, acting as the voice of a generation. He wrote for himself and for artists leading the civil rights and anti-war movements like “The times they are a changin”. Another group that spoke for the baby boomer generation was the Beatles but they didn’t stay with us like Dylan.

Dylan is for real. He’s written songs for numerous movies like “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” in the film “Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid”. The Nobel prize will be officially bestowed to Dylan Dec. 10 in Stockholm; it only adds to his very long string of awards. The Daily Post Artificial

How do you get over being stumped?

Front tree
Was my beautiful mesquite showpiece until a storm made a stump of it

We all get stumped or baffled one time or another. The issue is what do you do to get past it?  Of course the solutions will vary widely depending on the given situation. When you run across something you’ve never seen before and you have the time you can get by with a little help from your friends. Let’s say you literally find yourself with a stump in your front yard and you’ve never encountered it before. Chances are someone you know has an answer.

When you’re stumped writing on a subject or even finding time to write as I have you may look to friends for an answer or buckle down and get your answer yourself. Looking for an answer from others may go out as a plea for help- like this. How many of you are posting your blog as often as you originally intended? I’ll be honest, I thought I’d be posting more often than once a week or every ten days. Those of you that have stayed the course can you share your secret? Life has happened on me and it also held back the completing of my book on time.

I’ve been stumped much like my poor tree pictured above. I guess I haven’t had the discipline to “get er done” but I have to do so many other things to get by. Don’t you wish you had the luxury of just focusing on your writing like King or Patterson? Any way you cut it, even if it keeps you hanging on;  you have to get past it, make the best of it and carry on my wayward son.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/stump/”>Stump</a&gt;

The art of understanding

Communication is a curious thing. It’s like the song by Simon and Garfunkel the Sound of Silence, “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening” then again the problem of understanding comes from people listening but not hearing. And we all know there’s the types that can’t listen because they’re too busy speaking.

Listening and then understand are actually two different arts or attributes that one possesses. Listening is being attentive to the subject that is speaking and understanding is the processing of the information wherein successful communication is completed. Upon hearing the words we can learn or imparting them we can teach one another. This too is spoken by Simon and Garfunkel.

Again, if the words don’t reach you, if you don’t hear them properly, process them as they were intended they fall on deaf ears and that’s how so much miscommunication happens, things are taken out of context and improper reactions, responses and actions happen every day. It sounds so basic but consider speaking to someone from another country where English is their second language or even speaking to someone from the UK where so many  things have different meanings despite both being spoken in English.

This has been long and drawn out but I hope you see the point that understanding is taken for granted so often every day so much so that simple words spoken to a cab driver can land you in not only the wrong direction, wrong place and wrong city unless you’re attentive. The solution for so many of us is to reply back to the speaker with our understanding of what they said with their confirmation and then proceeding. Do this and life’s almost like a box of chocolates.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/understanding/”>Understanding</a&gt;

Ultimate question what is my purpose?

This is the question that has perplexed mankind since the dawn of time. It also brings the corresponding questions into mind like how did we originate, who am I and why am I here? Philosophers have struggled with this and offered up their explanations and versions. Actually only you can answer these questions as you are unique in your own way.

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion.” Bishop T. D. Jakes addressed in my upcoming book is a quick answer (excerpt in magazine). Steve Jobs also addresses the fact that you can’t connect the dots looking forward only looking back so you have to trust in something. “There’s no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born and how you become truly alive.” Oprah Winfrey.

Michael J Fox said, “I believe a purpose is something for which one is responsible; not just divinely designed.” Perhaps the best advice comes from Martha Beck “If your life is cloudy and you’re far, far off course you may have to go on faith for a while, but eventually you’ll learn that every time you trust your internal navigational system, you end up closer to your right life.” “You change your life by changing your heart.” Max Lucado.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/purpose/”>Purpose</a&gt;

Finding your identity is my book’s key

As I look back on those development years when I thought about what do I want to be when I grew up? I had no idea. The question was asked of me in sixth grade when we were required to write an essay and I was the only one that wanted to have my own business. Before high school ended when we all met with guidance counselors for our career choice there was little direction given for my future.

So like so many others I flip flopped majors in college and then changed careers so many times my head was spinning.  This is why I’m finishing this book on not only helping the youth of America find what they were meant to do but giving them a glimpse of so many different fields of endeavor that they can feel more comfortable with the choice they make because they were able to get an insider’s view before making the jump.

This is not only invaluable for those starting out in the job market it’s also a great tool for those that thought they made the right choice but are truly unhappy. It will also serve as a reference guide for those that find themselves back on the job market from “downsizing” or as they say now “rightsizing”.

Once you know who you are, what you like, or what you love you can be on your way to vocational bliss. As you go don’t forget to write all concerned. Bonne journée et Au Revoir!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/identity/”>Identity</a&gt;

Personal posts make the connection

My blog started with the intention of reporting on the process of my book publication and copywriting beginnings. Looking back I see the posts that were of most interest were those that focused on personal details about myself and actually that’s what I’m looking for in other blogs too. Still, I find that quite surprising but I haven’t really had a blog before, all the writing I’ve done has been in columns or articles or marketing materials.

We made the move from the frozen tundra to paradise or the “oven” as some call Arizona the same year the Cardinals moved from St. Louis. We have not regretted the transition except sometimes during the heat of the summer or during a dust storm. Dust storms are a common occurrence during the summer in the “monsoon” season. I’ve also witnessed  a “sandstorm” in Monument Valley several years ago. They’re similar but enough sandstorms can take the paint off your car.

We moved in the early fall so the weather was still nice back east and at 102 with no humidity it made summer last until the next spring. Arizona starts heating up typically in early May but last year it was gorgeous 90 degrees or less until June. Upon arriving we were in an apartment complex and as Thanksgiving neared we were still swimming in the community pool but nobody else was. Living in the southwest thins your blood so when it’s cooler or cold you feel it deep down to your bones unlike a visitor. Snowbirds, are what makes the economy move here.

We currently have a perfect property for snowbirds for sale. It’s a 2 bedroom, 2 bath just over 1100 square foot property.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-stat-connection/”>The Stat Connection</a>


Adage for the ages

It all began when I worked at a trade in a cabinet-shop. The crew working there were from vary different backgrounds. We had a high school student, a musician people from other trades and even a guy with underworld connections. Most of all I befriended a relative of one of the owners who was a biochemistry professor at a National college until he gave it up because of his principles to work there.

Doc as I called him since he was the only one with a PHD had many philosophical, intellectual discussions with myself and another worker during our lunch hours. It was during this time that I coined the phrase or adage here.

“Why do I bang my head against the wall? Because it feels so good when I stop.” I know it’s simple but it got a lot of laughs over the years and at least for me get a sense of relief during periods of frustration.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/quote-me/”>Quote Me</a>