Quotations On Change

Standard

barack-obama-1129156_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

                                                                             Barack Obama

 

pacifist-71445_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

                                                                           Mahatma Gandhi

 

catholic-1295787_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

                                                                           Mother Teresa

 

charles-french

“In this time of repeated gun horrors, in a time when most Americans want gun control, remember to make your voices heard, to pressure politicians, and to vote.”

                                                                          Charles F. French

Quotations On Leadership and Change

Standard

martin-luther-king-jr-393870_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

                                                              Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

General_of_the_Army_Dwight_D._Eisenhower_1947

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

                                                               Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

barack-obama-1129156__340

(https://pixabay.com)

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

                                                               Barack Obama

 

 

Dining With Characters, Part 4–Revisited

Standard

Romantic_Landscape'_by_John_Trumbull,_Dayton_Art_Institute

(commons.wikipedia.org)

(John Trumball)

I chose this painting for the mood of calm it suggests, perhaps after a storm.  It seems like an ideal piece to suggest that redemption is possible.

For this particular culinary and fictional interlude, I want to speak with a few characters who have achieved redemption at the end of the work in which they appear: Ebeneezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Leontes from William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Larry Underwood from Stephen King’s The Stand. Some characters are heroic from the beginning of the story through to the end, but some, if not the complete antagonist of the tale, are deeply flawed. In the cases of these three characters they are all deeply damaged, if not morally defective, when we see them much earlier in their respective works.

A_Christmas_Carol,_Ignorance_and_Want_by_John_Leech

https://commons.wikipedia.org

I thought, given the nature of these men, an afternoon of a few glasses of ale might be the perfect way to discuss what they have learned or how they came to an understanding of what they needed to change in their lives. Scrooge, of course, had to learn not to focus his life on the acquisition and hoarding of material goods, and that people and their welfare should be his concern.

Pauline_Implores_Leontes

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leontes)

Leontes, in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, allows baseless and unprovoked jealousy to overtake him, and he becomes a vicious tyrant who casts out his loving wife and infant daughter.  He also loses his son to death as a consequence of his terrible actions. It is only at the end of the play when he sees a “statue” of his wife Hermione come to life that he is able to understand the enormous errors he has made and their horrible consequences.  He has to face knowing that his actions cause deep and almost unimaginable pain to other people.  At the end of the play, he is a changed man, one who seemingly has grown as a result of his wife’s extraordinary act of mercy.  His redemption can come only through the forgiveness of another.

The_Stand_cover

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stand)

At the beginning of Stephen King’s epic The Stand, Larry Underwood is a dissolute rock and roll emerging star, who has fallen prey to temptation, drugs, and a very dangerous crowd. He comes back east to visit his mother just in time for the outbreak of Captain Trips. If you have not read this book, I will go no further with the plot, but I do recommend it highly.  King acknowledged that this book was his homage to Lord Of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien and the same level of epic sweep and individual morality and action occurs here.  For Larry Underwood, his most powerful moment is that of personal sacrifice.

As a writer, a reader, and a teacher, I am very interested in how characters change within the arc of a story.  I would want to ask these three how it felt to achieve their most powerful changes at or near the climax of the pieces.

Are there any characters, who have achieved redemption, whom you would like to speak with about their journey within their tale?

 

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Quotations on Thinking

Standard

albert-einstein-401484_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

                                                                           Albert Einstein

Plutarch_of_Chaeronea-03

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

                                                                          Plutarch

 

philosophy-2603284_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

                                                                         Socrates

 

 

3 Days Quotation Challenge: Day 3

Standard

I was nominated by Marc Alexander Valle at https://mavtheauthor.wordpress.com for this quotation challenge. Thank you, Marc for this honor and challenge!  If any of you have not visited his blog, please drop in and read the work of a talented writer.

This is day 3 of the challenge, and today I feature a quotation from another blogger!

My quotation of the day!

“I’ve always said that it will be the everyday person that changes the world, not politicians or those in power.”

insearchofitall https://insearchofitall.wordpress.com/

Thank you for this wisdom.

The Rules:

1.) Either once a day for three days, post a quotation, or post all 3 quotations at one time. It is your choice.

2.) Nominate and notify three other bloggers of the challenge.

3.) Thank the blogger who nominated you.

The nominees are under no obligation to complete this challenge, but it would be fun if you do.

My Nominees:

Amy Reese at The Bumble Files https://amyreesewrites.com/

KC Redding-Gonzalez at Zombie Salmon (the Horror Continues) https://zombiesalmonthehorrorcontinues.wordpress.com

Kate M. Colby at Kate M. Colby Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Nonfiction Author https://katemcolby.com

Once again, thank you very much to Marc https://mavtheauthor.wordpress.com for this challenge!

Best TV Shows of the 1950s and 1960s: Part V, The Addams Family

Standard

Addams_gomez5

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

For my next installment in this series, I will talk about a show that I find fascinating on many levels: The Addams Family. Seemingly a sit-com about a group of misfits, based loosely on figures from horror films, whose adventures are fodder for laughter, it was actually a demonstration of a completely loving and functional family.

family-222762_640

(https://pixabay.com)

This unusual family, given to behavior that was not indicative of the so-called normal American clan, has had numerous incarnations since the late 1930s. Created by cartoonist Charles Addams, this family first was seen in The New Yorker and continued appearing there for several decades. Then, from 1964-1966, the family was featured in the sit-com on Television, complete with the catchy finger-snapping tune that so many people know. Several feature movies and a musical followed, so the characters continue on in new variations to this day.

jackie-coogan-401000_640

(https://pixabay.com)

As a child, I loved the silliness of the show as well as the Gothic atmosphere. I loved the classic horror films of the 1930s and 1940s (which will become a later blog series I will write), and this show was evocative of those movies.

frankenstein-394281_640

(https://pixabay.com)

Today, I see a series with a far deeper meaning that what I perceived when I was very young. This family is not one of which people should be frightened. Rather, they could be held as an exemplar of a loving and in love couple, who after many years of marriage, still carry great chemistry in their relationship. They love their children and their extended family.

heart-19804_640

(https://pixabay.com)

Additionally, this show interrogates the need that America seems to have for normalcy. We are taught that everyone should behave according to set standards, or we are somehow wrong. Certainly the members of the Addams clan do not abide by such behavioral proscriptions. They are able to define their own lives and live decently without harming other people. But they are different from others.

roses-210021_640

(https://pixabay.com)

This point clearly speaks to the issue of bigotry and tolerance. While it does so metaphorically, it still make the necessary and vital stand that we, as a society, must embrace other people, no matter their differences: of gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, nationality, neuro-diversity, intelligence, and many other so-called divisions that are often applied to humanity. While always funny, The Addams Family is ultimately a show about understanding and inclusion, a theme that should resonate today.

Carolyn_Jones_John_Astin_The_Addams_Family_1964

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

A Revision Dilemma

Standard

robertfrost

As I work on my third draft of my second novel, a young adult future speculative book, I have realized that I have an interesting problem from the very beginning of the book. I had spent a fair amount of time drafting and editing the prologue to the novel, and I was reasonably certain that it was pretty good. Certainly, it was not perfect, but still it was in a workable state.

decision2

After an initial read by a few people, I had two completely different responses to the beginning. One person loved the opening and said it would pull a reader into the world of the book; one said that, while it was well-written, it did not seem to lead directly into the plot of the novel.

decisions1

I tell my students in my various First Year Writing courses when two peer evaluators suggest that a problem exists in a particular part of their papers, even if then offering disparate solutions, that they should consider very carefully a problem, in that section, does exist. They should consider the various suggestions, but always remembering they are the authors of their own writing, make a decision on revision themselves. No matter what anyone suggests, the author must always retain the final say in the writing. BUT all authors should consider suggestions from all readers they respect.

decisions3

I decided that the best way to approach this problem was to write another prologue, one that led directly to the main character and to the plot.

revisions3

After I complete that revision, I will read and have the book read with both prologues, one after the other and see which should stay. I think I know which will be better, but for now, I have to wait and see.

revision1

The Importance of Revision in Writing

Standard

ernest-hemingway-401493_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?
Hemingway: It depends. I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied.
Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?
Hemingway: Getting the words right.”

(Ernest Hemingway, “The Art of Fiction,” The Paris Review Interview, 1956) 1

paper-3033204__340

(https://pixabay.com)

The act of revision is an absolutely necessary part of writing, no matter what kind. Essays, stories, novels, books all require that the author not be satisfied with initial drafts. “Re-vision” means to re-see, or to look at the work from another perspective. This idea is something I try to teach my students in College First Year Writing classes, and it is crucial that I apply the ideas myself to my own work.

When I look back over my writing of the last few years, I can see that I employ this practice. I wrote at five-seven drafts of the chapters of my dissertation for my Ph.D. in English, and I continue to revise with the novels I am currently writing. I wrote 13 drafts of my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1; I did six drafts of my second novel, a young adult speculative work.  The second book in my supernatural series is almost ready to be released at 6 drafts–Gallow Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2. I have learned to be more focused in my revisions, so I have been able to cut down the numbers a bit.

Of course, the writer can revise in several ways. Do we do a complete rewriting of the draft trying to deal with everything, or do we focus on a particular aspect of the novel, for example structure or characterization? I do not pretend to know what each writer should do. I suspect that it varies according to project and writer.

What I am certain of is that we must continue to work on the writing, trying to see it in new ways and looking for various problems to fix.

notebook-1886731_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

 

The most important point is for writers to keep writing and revising!

1. From http://grammar.about.com/od/advicefromthepros/a/rewritequotes.htm 3/28/2015.

The Importance of the Liberal Arts: Revisited

Standard

platosinstitute

(https://pixabay.com)

I was looking over some of my early blogposts, and I decided I wanted to repost this piece about the Liberal Arts and their importance.

I had a piece published in the “Education Guide” of the Sunday, 2/15/15, edition of The Morning Call, the largest newspaper in the Lehigh Valley, PA. I am very proud of have the article in the paper, because I am very proud to be part of the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.

The Wescoe School is the name of the adult college program for Muhlenberg College. In this school, adults are able to gain full Bachelor degrees in a variety of majors and programs as well as certificate of study if they are focused on one specific area. I have been teaching college English courses for many years, and I have been an adjunct instructor at many colleges, but I am deeply impressed with the quality of education and the care for the adult students that are demonstrated in this program.

I was honored to be asked to write this piece, and I hope that I delivered a clear and sound explanation of the Liberal Arts, both in terms of history and application. I am an unrepentant Humanist; I still believe in the power of education to help people and in the ability of writing and words to help bridge gaps among people. Even at my age, I remain an idealist. Especially in the Wescoe program, I see education having a positive impact on students, many of whom have never attended college, might be starting their higher education in their 40s or 50s, and many of whom have full-time jobs and families. Their ability to learn and achieve never fails to humble me and to reinforce my belief in the strength of the Liberal Arts.

adult-education-3258944_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)