Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Serenity #168

Funny Pictures of Cats With Captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Dreaming of naps. Only dreaming. Awake but dreaming. I think this kitty nabbed my nap.

Almost forgot to do today's post. Was working on the Book Drum project right up until the deadline. I finally populated the sixth section at 10:40PM which qualified me for consideration in the Tournament. Then I started putting bookmarks into the still empty 24 page sections, copy/pasting from my notes like a dervish to see how many I could get in there before the 11PM deadline at which point they would be taking a 'snapshot' of where all the Profiles stood. I needed 11 to not leave any empty. I got five or six done before 11 I think and then kept on working for the next hour until I got at least one bookmark in each 25 page section. I didn't bother with any media. I focused on titles and authors from the epigraphs heading the chapters throughout, adding Wikipedia links only, no other media. I'll go back and add pictures etc later.

I've been so hyper-focused on this project for the last twenty days that I'm not sure how to loosen my grip. But I have to as I've another commitment in twelve to fifteen hours at the library to set up my crocheted bookmark display. Which isn't ready as I described yesterday. I may not get more than a nap if that between now and then. I'm going to be tucking tails, weaving ribbons, blocking bookmarks, ironing ribbons, threading beads and hopefully finishing at least one more bookmark that is the first of a new pattern with a new stitch I just learned.

I'll try to take pictures for posting later this week.

Read more...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

So, So, So, So Busy

wen ai fineesh mi big  job u b furst 2 no
moar funny pictures


26 hours left to get my Book Drum profile of The River Why in shape for the tournament. I can continue to work on it regardless but won't qualify to be considered for prizes if I don't have all six sections of the profile populated by 11PM PST Sunday February 28. Until this morning I'd put all my efforts so far into the Author and Bookmark sections and after a week of work on Bookmarks I'd put up 25 Bookmarks for the first 10 pages. A Bookmark is like a mini blog post in some ways but on a specific topic pertaining to a specified page in the book. The idea is to identify something that could possibly be enhanced for a reader by further information or visual or audio augmentation.

In the case of the River Why a lot of maps, pictures and video of Oregon locales especially the rivers are in order. But I've also added stuff about fly fishing and fly tying, meeschaum and briar smoking pipes, Izaak Walton's The Compleate Angler, Dylan Thomas, Scottish Divine Zach Boyd, British Author and friend of Tolkein and C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Nijinsky, the blues singer Taj Mahal, H2O, St, Augustine, Tweed, Winnebago, the Rover P4, calligraphy, name etymology, Orvis the giant fishing gear retailer, Rattray's Highland Targe pipe tobacco, Glenfiddich, For each of these topics I provided whatever visual or audio item might pertain, wrote a paragraph or two and linked to outside resources for for citation or followup. All of that and more and I still working on chapter two and haven't passed page ten!

It's a bit like creating an informal encyclopedia targeted at whatever is mentioned or alluded to in the story. And David James Duncan likes to pack his paragraphs with mentions and allusions and begin each chapter with epigraphs relevant to it. He also loves puns and other kinds of word play.

When I woke at 5:30 this morning after five hours of sleep and set to work I would not let myself return to making bookmarks until I got the last four sections of the Profile populated so I spent the first several hours of the day working on the glossary section and got 30 some words and definitions input I have more ready to go but I'm leaving it at that until I get all the rest of the sections populated. This afternoon I finished preparing the Settings section. That leaves me with the Summary and the Review. Probably no more than 1500 words total between the two most of which already exist in my notes but need extensive editing.

As soon as I get them done I can return to creating bookmarks. It's going to look rather funny to have only one of the 25 page sections of Bookmarks populated when there are over 300 pages counting the Afterward. I hope to be able to put one bookmark into each of the remaining 12 sections.

And even though I have until 11PM tomorrow, I shouldn't really give all of my time and effort to the Book Drum bookmark project as my other bookmark project deadline hits Monday afternoon when I have an appointment at the local library to set up a display of my crocheted bookmarks in their glass display case. And I'm sooooo not ready for that either. Oh I've got nearly 100 crocheted but only half a dozen are dressed in their ribbons and beads and tassels and nearly half need their tails tucked and nearly all need to be blocked--even those that once were because the way I stored them and fussed with them their edges curled. And even the dressed ones have wrinkled ribbons as most of them were made for myself or Ed and have been in use and the ones that weren't were stored with the naked ones part of the time so their looking bedraggled themselves.

But I'm not good for much in the way of quality work at the moment. Can't keep my eyes open and I've been making two typos for every ten keystrokes for the last two paragraphs. Gotta give into it.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Forays in Fiction: Landscape


The Columbia River Watershed

I mentioned here last December when I signed on to the Book Drum project that I was justifying it in part because it fit with a project I needed to do in order to move forward with one of my WIP in which the main POV character had as intimate and comprehensive a knowledge of The River Why as its protagonist Gus Orviston had of Walton's Compleate Angler. She is able to quote lengthy passages and ruminates on scenes and characters walk in her dreams. But in order to do this, I needed to re-read the book and not just a quick for fun re-read but a careful, contemplative, and close page-by-page with pencil in hand re-read.

I'd known this for years but kept putting it off. Then the Book Drum opportunity presented and I immediately saw it as just the right kick-im-the-pants. Its the perfect project for my penchant for collecting research materials while giving me a useful venue to share that material while it percolates into the story substrata where it needs to settle and stew before it surfaces again as story elements uniquely suited to my story world.


The Snake River Cuts Through Hells Canyon on the Oregon-Idaho Border

Today I prepared several Book Drum bookmarks related to settings while simultaneously preparing the Settings section of the profile. I got an eyeful of maps and landscape. And it is already at work on my sense of my story's landscape. I began to get glimmers of how landscape acts on character as dramatically and irrevocably as character acts on landscape. I had 'learned' during NaNo last November that the progenitors of the five to seven generations in my storyworld had settled in Idaho sometime in the late 1880s or very early 1890s (about a generation before WWI). I knew that sometime between the World Wars some members broke away and some of them settled in SW Washingtion and others in The Rogue Valley in Oregon. But that was as far as I got.



The Seven Devils Peaks on the Easter (Idaho) Rim of Hells Canyon



Today I saw the landscape that seemed tailor made to draw to itself those craving isolation and provide them with both the resources and the rationale to insulate further, fear deeper, and grow more rigid in thought and deed with each succeeding decade.




The Deschutes River Meets the Columbia in Eastern Oregon


And I saw some other locales that could have played a role in the journey of this family from the east coast or the subsequent journeys of the few who turned their backs on them and their untenable utopia to strike out on their own, escaping the percolating paranoia yet at times wistful for the companionship and collaboration; the safety and certitude. And I begin to understand how some of the children of the exiles who had been too young to comprehend the tensions and terrors beneath the surface but old enough to remember their original home with fondness and longing, might dare to return with their own children...

Some of those are pictured here but many are not as so few were Creative Commons or Public Domain and thus not usable for Book Drum and thus not downloaded.



The Firehole River in Yellowstone Park Wyoming


Well whatever else comes of today's efforts I've gotten a valuable brush-up on my Pacific Northwest history and geography and learned some things I don't remember ever knowing.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

David James Duncan Part 2

The David James Duncan official web page

It's under construction as of late February 2010 so has only one page which keeps you abreast of recent or near future appearances, links to info on his books and other publications and media he has any involvement in.

Online resources for information about David James Duncan:

The Wikipedia article on David James Duncan

The bing reference page for David James Duncan

The David James Duncan page at Open Directory

An Inventory of his papers: David James Duncan Papers, 1959-2002 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

The River Dry -David James Duncan rows through a wheat field to save salmon—and we’ve got pictures - by Sarah K. Burkhalter

Publications:

Books

The River Why - a novel (1983; 2002 20th Anniversary edition: ISBN 1578050847)

The Brothers K - a novel (1996 ISBN 055337849X)

River Teeth - personal essays, stories and writings (1996, ISBN 0553378279)

My Story as Told by Water: Confessions, Druidic Rants, Reflections, Bird-Watchings, Fish-Stalkings, Visions, Songs and Prayers Refracting Light, from Living Rivers, in the age of the Industrial Dark. -- personal essays (2001, ISBN 1578050839)

Citizen's Dissent (co-authored with Wendell Berry) (2003, ISBN 0913098620 )

God Laughs and Plays: Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right (2006, ISBN 0977717003)

Frank Boyden: The Empathies (2007, ISBN 1930957572) (Duncan provided companion prose for some of Boyden's 96 drypoint images)

Essays/Articles/Stories

(David James Duncan has been published in many periodicals and anthologies and many of the pieces were then re-published in one of the collections bearing his name and visa versa. This is a partial list of titles for his short pieces with links when available to read online)

Web Exclusive - When Compassion Becomes Dissent: On the post-9/11 struggle to teach creative writing while awaiting the further annihilation of Iraq

He Sets Me in the Stream: A short story

What Fundamentalists Need for Their Salvation: In defense of truth, stewardship, and neighborly love - adapted from God Laughs and Plays. This adaptation was awarded a 2006 Pushcart Prize

On Salmon and the Soul

Their Bodies are Needles: A Song and a Prayer for the Greatest Travelers of the Pacific Northwest

Of Love and Prayer

"Bird Watching as a Blood Sport" in Harper's Magazine in 1998

The foreword to Thoreau on Water: Reflecting Heaven (2001, ISBN 0395953863)

An essay, "A Mickey Mantle koan: The obstinate grip of an autographed baseball" in Harper's Magazine in 1992.

A number of op-ed pieces supporting the preservation of Montana's Blackfoot River

Other Media

Radio:

A Native Son of Oregon Writes of Heartbreak, Determination - High Country News -- Interview by Adam Burke regarding My Story as Told by Water. (May 26, 2003) -- This is a text recap by Adam Burke with a few excerpts from the radio broadcast in which Duncan discusses his life, art, passions, and activism. The link to the audio archive in this article was dead. But the quotes from Duncan are worth a glance.

Film:

Troutgrass -- a film/documentary about the making of a bamboo fishing pole, following the bamboo from its home in Southern China through its transition into a fly rod in use on a Montana river. Written and narrated by David James Duncan

Stage:

This year, 2010, Repertory Theatre Book-Its world premiere adaptation of "The River Why" plays on the Center House Theatre stage February 9 through March 7. For more information on the show, or to buy tickets, check out


Speeches:

Podcast: "Salmon Worship: Is It Wrong?" Pt. 1

Podcast: "Salmon Worship: Is It Wrong?" Pt. 2

Keynote speech for the Extinction Stops Here rally (September 19, 2006)

Duncan is scheduled to be Keynote speaker for the Cardinal Virtues Conference at Viterbo University WI THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2010 7:00pm Fine Arts Center Main Theatre

Interviews:

Activism, Fly Fishing, and Fiction—A Conversation with David James Duncan conducted by David Thomas Sumner:

By Hook and By Book: David James Duncan, author and fly fisher, answers questions

The World's Longest Conversation - Smokebox Interview conducted by mail from June 2002 to September 2004

Pacific Northwest Quarterly: Meeting the Author of The Brothers K -- Interview by Daniel Lamberton

Interview: David James Duncan Author of "The River Why" on water, salmon and the policies that are killing them

A Q&A with David James Duncan, author of 'The River Why' on the occasion of the book-it repertory production in Seattle Feb/Mar 2010

Awards and Honors

Winner of the Dr. O. Marvin Lewis Essay Award for My Advice on Writing Advice

Lannan Fellowship

Honorary Doctorate for Public Service from the University of Portland

American Library Association Best Books Award for The Brothers K

1992 New York Times Notable Book for The Brothers K

Two Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards -- one for The Brothers K, the other for The River Why

1999 Best of the West: The River Why is given 35th spot on the San Francisco’s list of Top 100 Books of the 20th century

2001 Western States Book Award for Nonfiction for My Story as Told by Water

2001 National Book Award nomination for My Story as Told by Water

2003 American Library Association’s Eli Oboler Award (with co-author Wendell Berry) for the Preservation of Intellectual Freedom for Citizen's Dissent

2006 Pushcart Prize

Inclusion in four volumes of Best American Spiritual Writing

The River Why was chosen as one of100 books from the years 1800 to 2000 that exemplify the best of Oregon’s rich literary heritage by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission


[The above is the list of works, awards, and misc portion of the Author section of the Book Profile I'm creating for Book Drum. Yesterday I posted the bio.

I still haven't found an image of Duncan for which attribution and permissions are clear or any contact info for acquiring such permission so I've not yet been able to post a picture of Duncan on the Book Drum Profile. The image I posted above I deemed OK for posting on a personal non-commercial blog as I've seen it posted elsewhere by reputable websites sans attribution which leads me to believe it is an image released for such purposes as in a press kit or promotional package. If anyone seeing this has reason to object to my use of it here please advise me via email at joystory AT gmail]

Read more...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

David James Duncan Part 1

David James Duncan father of three, fly fisher, novelist, essayist, speaker, activist, teacher, contemplative, and practitioner of what he calls “direct, small-scale compassion/activism,” was born in Portland, Oregon in 1952 and raised in a working-class east Portland neighborhood in a family in which three generations of ardent Seventh Day Adventists (on his mother's side) preceded him. He attended Adventists services and Sabbath School until age 15 when, finally deemed of age to choose, he bowed out having long before discovered there was more of wonder, grace and God Presence in the burble of a trout stream, a stand of Redwood, a leaping Chinook Salmon, or the wide open sky than in any pulpit or cathedral.

His father introduced him to fly fishing while he was still in elementary and over the years his love for it has deepened into a devotion so deep and a practice so devout it seems identical with religion. Later he would imbue his two novels, The River Why and Brothers K, with the images, metaphors and analogies drawn from fly fishing and intimate connection to waterways.

While in Junior High the loss of his brother (just 17) had a profound affect on Duncan, providing an early and sharp lesson in grief and loss. Awareness of this may have prompted his high school teacher to hand him Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks and from that novel he learned the power of story to enlighten and transform, which sparked in him an undying love of the novel. Says Duncan: "This love had nothing to do with desire for fame, money, or even publication. I was simply smitten by the power of the novel to create an atmosphere in which a reader's inner wisdom would sometimes reveal itself, and I yearned to create such atmospheres on paper myself." (David James Duncan from "An Afterward, Twenty Years Later" p296-297)

For the duration of his high school career he read novels voraciously, "an older friend who went off to Stanford University. He started sending me reading lists and books, and my friendship and correspondence with this guy grew so much more interesting than anything in high school that I basically quit studying anything except great novels."(Smokebox Interview)

In the twelve years after graduating from Reynolds High School, he worked as "delivery driver, tenant farmer, factory grunt, lawn mower, Little League baseball umpire, janitor, tree planter, tree pruner, wilderness retreat caretaker, bartender, truck driver, toy-maker, warehouse manager, house painter"(297) and during those same years he also graduated from Portland State University, explored the paths of the inner or contemplative life, visiting Trappist and Buddhist monks, traveling to India, attempting vision quests, read avidly in the wisdom literature of many spiritual traditions, all the while continuing to read and write fiction.

In 1976 he abandoned a 200 page WIP to begin writing The River Why which he started submitting in1980 and which was rejected by over 20 major publishing houses over the next two years (including all the same ones that had rejected Norman Mcclean's A River Runs Through It several year's earlier) before it was picked up by Sierra Club Books in 1982.

Duncan continued to alternate between the Portland area and the Oregon coast for about a decade after the release of The River Why before moving with his wife sculptor/ceramic artist Adrian, and their two daughters, Celia and Ellie, to live on a trout stream at the headwaters of the Columbia/Snake river systems in Lolo, Montana

Duncan has been a sought after teacher and speaker for schools and events. He was the William Kittredge Visiting Writer at the University of Montana for the fall semester of 2002. He gave the Keynote speech for the Extinction Stops Here rally,September 19, 2006. In 2008 he spoke and read from The River Why at Hope College IDS Student/Faculty Retreat. And is scheduled to be Keynote speaker for the Cardinal Virtues Conference at Viterbo University WI, April 15, 2010.

Two of his most passionate concerns have been for the protection of Norman Maclean's river, the Big Blackfoot, in Montana from the river-killing leaching method of gold mining and pressing for removal of the four lower Snake dams which are driving NW Salmon to extinction. For the latter he has teamed up with American Rivers and will be speaking at their NW regional office’s 8th annual dinner and auction in Seattle on March 4 2010.

His essays and stories have appeared in Big Sky Journal, Gray's Sporting Journal, Harper's, Northern Lights, Outside, Orion, The Sun, Sierra, and a myriad of anthologies, forwards for other writers, and other publications.

Duncan told Smokehouse the interviewer in 2004 that he was working on several long fiction projects, a novella collection featuring female protagonists set in the West, a novel with working title Eastern/Western and a second novel, a comedy about reincarnation and human folly he used to call Nijinsky Hosts Saturday Night Live but has since relegated that title to a section of the whole now with working title:

The Reincarnatio

Non-Rhyming, Non-Catholic Western-American-Dialect

Montana-&-New York-Locale

Divine Comedy,

Version 2.

A Novel



[The above is the bio portion of the Author section of the Book Profile I'm creating for Book Drum. Tomorrow I'll post the list of works, awards, and misc.

I still haven't found an image of Duncan for which attribution and permissions are clear or any contact info for acquiring such permission so I've not yet been able to post a picture of Duncan on the Book Drum Profile. The image I posted above I deemed OK for posting on a personal non-commercial blog as I've seen it posted elsewhere by reputable websites sans attribution which leads me to believe it is an image released for such purposes as in a press kit or promotional package. If anyone seeing this has reason to object to my use of it here please advise me via email at joystory AT gmail]

Read more...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010



The epigraph heading chapter two of The River Why, "The Rogue River fishing War", was a piece of verse and when I followed up on the attribution below it I discovered a musician I'd never heard of before and am now grateful to have discovered him.

I'm a goin' fishin', Mama;s goin' fishin'
An' de baby's goin' fishin' too.
Bet yo' life
Yo' sweet wife's
Gonna catch mo' fish dan you.
--Taj Mahal

I was delighted to then find a YouTube vid featuring Taj Mahal singing this very song.

For more of Taj Mahl's music and news of performances and appearances visit his website.

You can pretty much count on all of my posts between now and next Monday featuring something I've researched and developed for my Book Drum profile for The River Why.




taj mahal siging the song in the epigraph "i'm a goin' fishing'

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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Rogue River Valley

The Rogue River as seen from Table Rock just a few miles from where we live.


Here are some of the results of my research on the Rogue River Valley for the Book Drum profile for The River Why by David James Duncan.




And here's a sweet little documentary about the wild and scenic Rogue River complete with commentary on the stats, history and fact.



For those wondering what Book Drum is all about and haven't wandered on over there to check out their concept, well this is an example of a 'Bookmark' in a book profile. I put these and more into a Bookmark at the first mention of the Rogue River in the book. Which is in the title of chapter 2: The Rogue River Fishing War.

Hoping to get half a dozen more Book Drum Bookmarks put together tonight. As you can see that is a lot like expecting to put together half a dozen blog posts. But the time consuming part is the research and media gathering which is already done for many of them and I'm getting quicker at getting the pieces all plugged in.

I only have until Sunday afternoon to complete the profile and submit in order to compete for the prize and I began to suspect yesterday that I'm not going to make it. At least not if I continue to be so inclusive in my choice of what to illustrate and stubborn about searching until I find something usable. My list of things in the book that I think warrant illustration or explanation is huge but if I don't want to end up by Sunday with a 100 Bookmarks for the first five chapters and nothing after that, I better change my strategy. I'm thinking of skipping along through the book after I get Chapter 2 Bookmarked and choosing 1-3 things per chapter or even say, 3 things per 25 pages since that is how they have the sections split up and that way there would at least be something and not nothing in every one of the sections and I can continue adding material from my notes after the contest has been judged next month.

I have the Author page done. At least as done as I'm going to for now. I never did find a photo of David James Duncan usable for this commercial project and I spent hours and hours over three days looking so I'm going to let that go for now. I linked to plenty of resources that included photos.

The other sections of the profile I still have to put together are: Setting, glossary, Summary and Review. Setting will be easy as I'm collecting material for it as I research the Bookmarks relating to place. Glossary is just a matter of plugging the info into the form but again I probably have way too many words collected and need to be choosier. Summary is just a matter of setting myself to the task of writing a 100 to 500 word objective overview of the novel. Review is dicier that is where I get to express my own take on the story and...well...there's a reason my book reviews are so few and far between. I tend to collect enough info and make enough notes for something more akin to a term paper than a book review and then get overwhelmed and or distracted and not get it into postable form. Just like I do with my stories. *sigh*

OK back to work.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Serenity #167: Haiti in Our Hearts



Watch. Remember. Give. Pray.

We are the world. We are the children.

We are family.

We are one.

Love is no small change.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why Do I Go To Extremes



I thought to put up another quick Billy Joel vid for today so I could get back to work on my River Why project for Book Drum and when I saw the title for this one I thought 'perfect' to go with the comment/plaint 'why do I always push a deadline over the cliff?'

Then I watched the video and noticed the drum action and thought 'cool, I can mention that and say I'll have to look into who drummed for Billy Joel. But not now. Next week after my Book Drum and bookmark deadlines are past.'

Then I noticed this video in the related:



So now I know who Billy Joel's drummer was. And that he gives lessons and that there is one lesson related to the drum action in 'I Go To Extremes' that can be downloaded. A 43 minute lesson. Sure, and i bet it's $50 right? But no. It's only $4.99. That I might be able to swing in the near future.

Meanwhile a whole slew of Liberty Divitto vids showed up in Related. I started to add them to a quicklist so I could send them to my Drums playlist for later perusal but I reminded myself that this was something that could wait, that I had all the info I needed to return and harvest them later. But I couldn't resist watching a couple more:









See what I mean about going to extremes? Two vids would have been plenty and I might have been back to work on River Why half an hour ago. Sigh. This next week is going to fly by with me feeling like I'm falling out of the sky the whole time.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

The rest of My Rainbow


Where am I going to put eight more?

This evening I took the plunge and ordered 8 spools of size 10 crochet thread online. In 7 to 10 days I'm going to have to figure out where to put them. LOL. Seeing as how my current drawer was full + 4 as of Sunday when I bought six new colors at the local Jo-Ann store. But as I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I've been having a hard time finding the colors I'm hankering after in the stores. I've been looking for some of them for nearly a year now. In spite of that I wasn't prepared to buy online because shipping cost increased the price from anywhere from +1/3 to double. For example: if one spool = $2.49 and shipping as is typical is $5 for an order from $0-$5. Then ordering one would cost $7.49 and ordering 2 would cost approximately $10.

Well I've been getting Jo-Ann e-mails ever since I signed up for them when I went to a grand-opening of the new Longview store when I was at my Mom's last spring shortly after my new crochet obsession began and I started collecting my rainbow. There have been a lot of 50% off a single item or 10% off an entire order coupons but neither one of those would have helped much with my particular dilemma. Then a couple days ago I got a Jo-Ann e-mail offering a flat rate shipping deal good for three days. $5 no matter what the total of your order. Meanwhile I still had the $25 gift card Ed had sent me while I was visiting my Mom in January which I hadn't spent then because I never got to go shopping while I was there and since then I had been dithering over what and where I wanted to spend it. And I had, in fact, not even unpacked it since I got home in late January but had just done so when I finally unpacked my desk misc yesterday.

Perfect timing eh? Almost like a sign.

So I did it. I ordered 8 spools fo a totalr $19.92 + $5 = $24.92. Which leaves 8 cents on my gift card.

Here they are:

M
e
x
i
c
a
n
a


O
a
s
i
s


Variegated Lt
P
a
s
t
e
l

Variegated
P
a
s
t
e
l

P
a
r
a
k
e
e
t


Hot

P
i
n
k



M
e
l
o
n



F
u
d
g
e


Only one of the colors on my priority list is still missing -- gray. It wasn't offered in the right type and size of thread. I've seen that one in the stores before though so I'll just keep my eye out for it again. I also want to collect several more in size 20 or 30 thread, preferably a variety of variegated. That size makes a very delicate and lacy bookmark.

Meanwhile, I've just this evening, finished making the last single-color bookmark with the new thread from Sunday. I was strictly limiting myself to one per day as I need to keep my focus on the Book Drum project for the duration. 9 days to go. Though that's only a worry if I'm that anxious to be in the running for the prize. I'm not sure I am. At least I don't want the thought of that pressing on me and making me anxious and thus spoiling the fun or worse, causing me to get sloppy.

I just scrolled up to drool once more over the colors on there way to me in 7-10 days. I was thinking seven days means possibly next Friday. But then I realized I had better hope for the following Monday as next weekend is down to the wire on The River Why profile for Book Drum. But on the other hand, if they arrived on Friday or Saturday I could have several bookmarks in the new colors made up for the display at the library Monday afternoon.

Sigh.

Or I could hope for a best case scenario in which I make stupendous progress on the profile before they arrive on Friday or Saturday. Hmmm.

Of course it will take more than hope. I have to get busy.

Choices have consequences.

Read more...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The River of Dreams



I'm going to try to duck in and out of here real quick tonight as I'm deep into my The River Why project for Book Drum. The deadline is looming, Feb 28 is a little under 10 days now, and I don't want to break the hyperfocus I seem to be in this evening.

So I'll leave you with this Billy Joel video that came up in one of my searches for media and info relating to The River Why. Having my head full of the scenes and themes of the novel, I was struck with a sense of wonder as I seemed to see them being played out on this little YouTube screen. I've loved Billy Joel music since Jr. High but had never thought of him or his songs as spiritual but now I can't see this one as anything but.

My favorite verse:

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To the river so deep
I know I'm searching for something
Something so undefined
It can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind.
In the middle of the night.

*shivers*

Note the flyfisher in the very last frames.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fishing for Facts and Photos



One of the ways Book-it promoted the upcoming production of The River Why in Seattle was by a flash fish mob. Fun and quirky just like the novel.


I spent the last six writing this and the previous post. This one first. Does that confuse you? Well beginning with the next paragraph and to the end was written in the previous post before what now appears there was written. Then I realized that I hadn't yet answered the question in the title, Why The River Why? So I went back to the top and thought to add a paragraph or two of the explanation I had in mind. And once again I seemed to loose my ability to detect when enough was enough and I'd soon doubled the post in length and the bottom half was a complete change in subject. I considered deleting it or moving it into my journal but then I had the thought that if I split the post in two I'd have Wednesday's as well as Tuesday's post done, leaving me free until after dinner on Thursday if I chose. (I just took all the words of both posts over to Whiz so I could use the word counter. 2644. Only 600 some odd short of 2 days NaNo quota!!! If only it were November.)

I have just spent the bulk of the last 24 hours working on my River Why profile for Book Drum. Visit my December post Drumming for Books if this confuzzles you.

At any rate, this was the second over 16 hour session I put in on it in the last week. It was Thursday/Friday when I spent over six hours just looking for a photo of David James Duncan that was either creative commons or had a clear provenance with contact info for its owner so I could request permissions for its use on a commercial site such as Book Drum.

I had expected that to be a fairly easy task as I've encountered so many author photos in so many venues in my wanderings on the web. I knew it was common for there to be a press packet available for journalists and failing that at least a contact page somewhere on the author's or publishers sites.

But David James Duncan's site was under construction and had only the front page. No about, no contact, no press packet. Only one photo and that with no attribution. I finally had to forgo my goal of populating the author page of my profile for The River Why before I quit my session to sleep. And discouraged by that, I did not pick up where I left off when I awoke but instead buried myself in watching DVDs for a good twelve hours over the weekend.

One of those DVD was Normal People Scare me which I posted about and it set me off on another round of surfing the Asperger/Autism resources online, collecting links and notes. I also slept hard and Sunday got to go out to dinner with Ed and then shopping for crochet thread. My first time out of this house in two weeks!

So last night I set myself to get it done already! I decided I would make one more quick pass through the usual motions, collecting the links and recording my moves so that I could describe them in an email to the editor at Book Drum so he would know what ground I had covered when I asked his advice. And once I had that info, I would proceed to organize the rest of the material I had collected for the Author page: links to some of his essays online, his web page, the Wikipedea article on him; facts pertaining to the timeline of his life for the bio; lists of his published works and awards. I had pages and pages of these in my note taking ap WhizFolders. Well, it would be pages and pages if the topic windows weren't as bottomless as Crater Lake, holding potentially as much as my RAM could handle.

OK, couldn't help myself had to check. Word count on one topic was nearly 4K and the other nearly 2K and that's with 20-90+ character links making up at least 30% of the total character count.

So there was a lot of info and it was loosely organized by type but there was still a number of links I'd collected that I hadn't visited yet to confirm their usefulness or at the least their aliveness. And of course that only led me to more links that had to be followed. Sigh.

And once followed, explored, read, contemplated. I began the project soon after I posted last night. Meaning soon after 1AM. And it was 1PM before I was finally satisfied with the completeness, tidiness, accuracy, and integrity of the material in Whiz and was ready to start transferring it to Book Drum.

Of course it took me an hour to get un-clumsy with the Book Drum platform. It has a resemblance to blogger from over five years ago. It's clunky and glitchy. I like to say cranky and by the time I started working with it so was I. Yeah, clunky, glitchy and cranky.

When I got about two-thirds done with creating the 30 links (30 before I noticed I'd put the same info into two different lists and had to eliminate one) I realized I'd been making a colossal error when filling out the link dialog form. I thought the second box under the URL box was meant for the highlighted text that you wanted turned into the link and so I'd been making the extra step of returning to copy that text as soon as I'd dropped the link in. Then one time I goofed and didn't get the text copied so when I returned to the dialog box and pasted I found I'd pasted in the link again but I noticed that just as I clicked to insert the link. When I returned to the work area to click the highlight off I discovered that the hover text now had the link in it instead of a simple copy of the highlighted text.

Of course! Duh!!!! Makes perfect sense. Now that is useful info. I vaguely wondered why that hover text was only mirroring the highlighted text. But I hadn't made the connection with the text I was pasting into that form. *shakes head and thumps it with fists*

So I did it the right way for the remaining 8 links and then went back and re-did the rest. By then I'd been up for 28 hours and still had this post to do

Was planning to do a quick video post related to what I've been working on. Hence the vid that heads this. But once I started typing something cut loose. I tend to get hypergraphic when sleep-deprived anyway but I think it had something to do with reading so much by and about a writer all day and manipulating words with cut and paste but doing very little composing and something in me was itching too be cut loose.

No, I was not plagiarizing. I was taking bare, essential facts: proper names, dates, titles, a few nouns and verbs and arranging them in logical groups or sequence and then adding whatever was needed to make coherent sentences.

Something about what I've been doing in the last 30 some hours must have sparked something major in me though because during dinner tonight while I was 'chewing the cud' so to speak, I had a flash of insight into the characters of my FOS story world, into the very plot and timeline tangle that has had me stalled out for months. I ruminated on it while doing dishes and planned to get finished fixing those links, then get a quick post up and then spend a half hour or so getting those thoughts down in the FOS worksheet WhizFolder. I was thinking I would just type wild kinda like I'm doing now without worrying too much about keeping perfect order of the info--just get those ideas recorded so I wouldn't forget.

Because I could very well forget as I'm likely to crash down off this lit up brain state and sleep like I'm dead for ten to twelve hours and then wake with a brain that feels like chewed cud for the first four to six hours.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why The River Why?



Book-it Repertory Theatre in Seattle is currently putting on an adaptation of The River Why!! It's running through March 7.

Oh how I wish....

Adapted and Directed By Myra Platt. Yes, a woman adapted and directed a play about a young man's quest for life's meaning based on a novel written by a young man in a year when it would probably have been an even rarer thing to see. 1983, the year The River Why was debuted was just 8 years after my high-school guidance councilor told me I should just get married and have kids and raise them untroubled and write stories for them instead of aspiring towards a child psychiatrist's training in order to help troubled kids and write their stories because at some level, already, I knew that stories could save lives. (I'd been inspired by Dibs in Search of Self in 7th grade and Sybil that year. ) Gee thanks Mr. G.

Oh how I wish....

Watch the preview above. It looks magical. Just like I remember the story being when I read it around 1994.

Why did I choose The River Why by David James Duncan for my Book Drum project?

Because I can say without a sliver of exaggeration that this story saved my life.

I was living in Longview WA right on the Columbia River at the time. The town of my childhood and only a day trip away from most of the locales the story was set in, many of which were familiar to me from encounters while growing up just a few years behind the narrator Gus Orviston.

The year I read it, my life was in meltdown. It had been three years since I was diagnosed with the eye disease my mom inherited from her mom. RP. Retinitis Pigmentosa. AKA tunnel vision. I'd been assuming it was so for three years already. I was already legally blind by the time I was diagnosed at age 33.

It had been six years since our move back to Longview had forced mt to drop out of school just shy of my senior year at Ashland, OR SOSC (now SOU) because there was no four year school within reach and thus I'd defaulted on my student loan and the powers that be had sent the hell-hounds after me as did my own conscience.

It had been two years since I'd learned that the fundamentalist 'Bible Believing' group I'd been raised in was imploding while doctrine-drunk 'Brethren' slinging verses like
Ninjitsu shuriken slashed and burned their way through the hearts of families, excommunicating one another and their spouses and children along with them. 50 years of inter-marriage among the families had created an intricately woven 'extended family' that was now torn asunder. Several hundred people across half a dozen states west of the Rockies were affected. Cousins and best friends were forbidden to have any 'fellowship' because their respective fathers or husbands were on opposite sides of the fence. Like my mom and her twin sister. Fence sitting was not an option. If you didn't choose a side you were exiled from both.

It had been six months since the mother of three month old twins Ed and I had been babysitting for several weeks did not arrive at the expected hour to drop them off, calling two hours later with the news that that morning she had found one of the boys blue-faced and silent and the other red-faced and screaming, grasping his brother's cold ear in his fist. SIDS. And because they were identical twins the other twin needed to be kept on a monitor until he was past one year and anyone caring for him had to be trained. Thus we lost both 'our' babies.

And just a few months later, I was to make my final, unequivocal choice as to which side of the fence I was on. Neither. I left the pasture altogether. My choice was triggered by the trauma of witnessing an infant disciplined by his father with a hand over the mouth to 'deprive the baby of the reward of hearing himself cry' because those cries were willful rebellion don't you know.

And rebellion was worse than the sin of witchcraft don't you know. (1 Samuel 15:23)

And having a will of your own was the equivalent of rebellion don't youu know.

Obedience was the prime directive. Obedience to the Word of God. Which commanded children obey their parents and warned us that our nature being born out of nature was naturally rebellious don't you know.

That the thoughts of our hearts were only evil continually so of course we couldn't be trusted to have our own don't you know.

So our thoughts had to be trained early and often to conform, to follow a rigid, narrow path flanked by an abyss of terrors. For narrow is the way and few there be who find it don't you know.

Into the middle of all that came David James Duncan's little fish tale. It wormed it's way into my heart, hooking me with its humor, its laugh-out-loud scenes depicting characters having a riotously good time exploring their world and their own minds. Thinking singular thoughts. And disagreeing without banishing or abandoning one another. Yes, even a wife disagreeing with her husband or a son with his father did not bring down the wrath of the Almighty.

A young boy not yet shaving could have thoughts that opposed his mother's or father's or pastor's and Mount St Helens didn't blow, the river didn't flood, the lightning didn't strike, the tumor didn't grow.

Before the tale was through I'd glimpse another way, a possibility that lifted me out of despair and inoculated me against its power to overpower me. And when that moment of choice came a few months later, I had the image of Eddy the first time Gus laid eyes on her. A woman alone in the wilderness fishing alone in the wilderness, jumping naked into the river to chase after the steelhead that was towing her pole up stream. And she caught that fish and towed it ashore and reeled it in and killed it herself. That woman alone in the wilderness.

That image sustained me through the coming trauma of feeling myself cast out into a wilderness alone. A wilderness of both dangerous and nurturing thought that often seemed the twin of each other, thoughts that had to be wrestled, baited, hooked, teased, subdued, reeled in, caught and released or perhaps cooked for dinner. For what is food for thought if not thought itself? Thought could be wily and slippery and strong but I need not be mastered by it. I could be its master without the aide of a Master (priest, king, father, husband, pastor)

It's been 16 years and that image still sustains me. I never quite managed to slip into Eddy's skin, inhabit her sure poise or clothe myself in courage such as hers but just knowing it was possible to imagine it was possible gave me something of courage to continue in the face of the fear that stalked me in the coming years. It might have been half the size of a mustard seed but it had potential.

So that's why The River Why was my choice for this project.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

When is Enough Enough?



This is the current state of my crocheted bookmark project. On March 1st I'm going to be putting on a display of them in a glass display cabinet at our local library. I don't know how many I'll need to make a good display. I'm sure I have enough crocheted but none are prepped for display. The only 'dressed' ones I have are bedraggled from the way they've been stored or used--ribbons wrinkled or creased, edges curled.

I have 20 some fresh off the crochet hook that still need tails tucked and blocking before they can be dressed. Half of them have six tails apiece the others two. Then there are forty some that have their tails tucked but about half of them still need to be blocked before they can be outfitted with ribbons and beads.




This is what the last completed one looked like when finished. But it's not available for the display as it was given as a gift soon after that picture was taken.




Yesterday I got to add six new colors to my collection. One of them, the light blue one, is also a different kind of thread from the traditional mercerized cotton, it is also cotton but has a different feel--less slick, a bit like flannel. It's called bamboo and I've seen them listed in the catalogs online and wondered what the difference was. I'm not sure how it will work for the bookmarks but if it doesn't, it will make a nice light-weight scarf.

The other five colors I got were traditional size 10 mercerized: yellow, burgundy, antique white, lavender and copper.

I have learned that I need to grab as many of the colors in stock at the stores that I don't already have that I can afford that day because to order online would nearly double the cost per spool by shipping costs. And so far I haven't found a store that will order a color/kind for me. Most of the stores I've tried--the big name franchised craft stores and box stores don't stock more than half a dozen kind/colors at a time. And that means there might be 3 or 4 size 10 mercerized and two will be white and black. The most common colors after white and black are red and blue.

There might be a couple spools in size 3 or 5 called fashion or sports weight as they're used for apparel like hats and scarfs. And there might be a white or black (never both at the same time) in size 20 or 30 weight. I'm anxious to expand my collection of 20 or 30 weight. The finished bookmark is lacier and more delicate. Currently I only have it in one pastel variegated and one white. I also have white in tatting weight of 50 and 100. I also have a black and gray variegated and a green and white variegated in tatting weight. All of these came from either Ed's grandmother's sewing or my mother's.

I've learned they do seem to change the variety seasonally.

In the size 10 I am still looking for bright pink, bright turquoise, gray, peach or pale orange, bright orange, chocolate brown and just about any variegated in brights or pastels. There are others I wouldn't mind having but those are the highest priority. If I had to choose my top three: bright turquoise (about the shade of Blue Mews kitty in the pic at top), gray and a variegated usually called Mexicana.

I'm thinking I might have better luck growing my collection by looking on Craig's list or a local want ads or flea market for someone trying to sell their remnants. My bookmarks are really good projects for using scraps. My own collection began with what was in Ed's grandma's sewing basket when she passed in 2006.

But if my collection gets any bigger right now I'm not sure where I'd put the newcomers.


I got the six new ones squeezed into the drawer but only by keeping four spools in the silver gift bag that holds up to four which I use to keep whatever is on the hook or about to be portable. The bag still held the black, white, bright green and light green from when I last worked over a week ago. Since the picture was taken though I switched them over and the bag now holds the burgundy, antique white, copper and lavender.



Here's the silver bag in a pic taken last summer shortly before my six month stay at my Mom's ended..

Can you believe my netbook fits in that bag even with four spools in it? It's not a very secure way to carry it but I did a couple of times.

I'm itching to pick up the crochet hook again. I had no choice but to set it aside nearly two weeks ago after I used bad judgment by crocheting more than 16 hours out of one 24 hour day. I think I made 13 that day. The following day I could barely type for the pain in my right wrist, thumb and elbow. Silly, silly me. I sometimes don't know when enough is enough.

Besides being afraid I'd go overboard again, I'm also aware of all those tails yet to be tucked on the ones I made last month. And there's the prepping for the display.

Then there is the Book Drum project that finishes up the last day of February.

Then there are several library books and DVD coming due in the next two weeks.

And my room is a disaster. I'm still not completely unpacked from my most recent visit to Mom's. I've been home since January 24!

There always seems to be some piece of a project that is missing an element--like tonight, I had to hunt for the USB cord for my camera.

So it really doesn't appear that I have time to crochet just now.

But maybe just one?

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Serenity #166



Enya is always good for serenity. I'm in an Enya mood today.

I got to go thread shopping today and added six new colors into my collection for the crocheted bookmarks. Took pictures so might post them later this week.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Normal People Scare Me




Normal People Scare Me

This is a 9 minute set of clips from the 90 minute documentary I watched today. It was conceived of and co-directed by an autistic 15 year old kid. I don't have enough thumbs to give it the number of thumbs up I would like to--at least a dozen. This gave me great insight into what its like to see the world through their eyes. I think I'm going to have to check it out of the library again so I can watch it several times right around the time I'm ready to start writing actual narrative and dialog for the story for which this is research.

And then I spent hours and hours--literally lost count--doing further research on autism spectrum disorders online.

That's the way I do research. I lock my mental jaws on and won't let go. The research is for a character in one of my WIP. Not even a major character but the son of one.

Taylor Cross co-directed with his mother Keri Bowers
Joey Travolta produced and mentored
Taylor Dayne sang the theme song " Locked Inside of Me" which was written by Joey Travolta and Jeff Lass

(Yes, that's John Travolta's brother. I couldn't resist going to Joey's Wikipedia page to see because what are the chances that two men close enough in age to be brothers with the same last name and both with first names that start with J and both in the film biz, that they are completely unrelated.)

Here are some of the links I collected. I haven't yet visited all of them and even those I have I wouldn't dare to vouch for as I'm still feeling my way around. Though several at the top of the list are associated with Taylor Cross's film in some way so they're probably cool.

www.normalfilms.com/
This is the official website for the film and several more on related issues.

www.cureautisnow.org

www.autism-society.org

www.joeytee.com

www.actorsforautism.com

www.theautismperspective.org

www.autismbites.com

www.generationrescue.com

If this looks a bit haphazard its because my eyes were wore out before I started putting the post together so I'm just slapping this togehter with a lot of cut and paste from my notes and directly of web pages. Trying to avoid as much reading of small fonts as possible as well as typing because I'm so fumble-fingered and frazzle-eyed. I think I've been awake for something like 36 hours. Trying to remember. What day is this?





I was collecting 5-10 vids in my quick list for every one I watched or partially watched and when i made myself quit I had over 60.

Obsessed much?

I will only share one more.





Some of the highly creative people who either had diagnosis (and only among the cases of modern individuals still living)or there has been speculation regarding how the known issues on the autism spectrum fit their known traits and eccentricities:

Jim Henson
Michael Edward Palin - comedian, Actor, Writer
Satoshi Tajiri - Electronic Game Designer
George Orwell
Charles Darwin
Henry Cavendish
Charles Schultz
Hans Christian Andersen
Einstein
Jane Austen
Sir Isaac Newton
Alfred Hitchcock
Wolfgang Mozart
Michelangelo
Thomas Jefferson
Craig Nicholls
Woody Allen
Thomas Edison
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Dan Ackroyd
Bill Gates
Lewis Carroll

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Forays in Fiction: Paint by Number Storytelling?



Can it really by that simple? I don't know. It seems so pat, simplistic. Yet I can't find a single point to argue with. So is my doubt based on my fear of the implications in light of my having yet to finish a book length story after being at it for decades?

The Monty Python skit in the following audio only vid is a better reflection of my experience with the writing of a novel. Except I'd be more likely to doodle my character's names than my own.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Exercising My Inherent Vice

I've found yet another way to tempt and tease and and tantalize my book lust.



Go West by Maurice Gee



Under the Dome by Stephen King



A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray



The Alchemyst by Michael Scott



The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak



Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yaaaawn!

Watch this. nao jus try not yahn.  Darez ya!
moar funny pictures


I'm going to have to do a quickie post tonight as I'm still seventy pages out on a library book that was due yesterday and in order to dodge the fine I need to send it with Ed when he leaves for work in the morning so he can drop it off in the drop box. I've stayed up reading for four to six hours two nights in a row and this morning I didn't sleep until after 11AM and then slept fitfully for under four hours.

I could have had the book finished yesterday evening but I spent hours and hours writing. Not on my WIP. In fact not on any files of my own. It was all in blog comments, email, IM or other web forums. All that writing has primed the pump well and I'm itching to put similar effort into my own creative work.

But first I need to finish that story or it will haunt me until I can get it back from the library.

When I woke up Ed was installing Microsoft Office 2007 on my netbook. A co-worker had been given a package that included 15 licenses and he gave us two. Awfully generous eh? I spent a couple hours after dinner exploring One Note, Outlook and Access. Barely skimmed the surface.

I love exploring new applications and discovering what they can do and how they might fit my needs or inspire me do or create something I hadn't thought of before. I could spend hours more at it--if I could keep my eyes open. But that wouldn't get the book finished and the story is calling to me.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Timeline With Microsoft Visio



Ed downloaded Microsoft Visio for me today so I could play with its timeline template. For years I've been looking for something that would help me map out the timeline of my story world which now streaches from the Civil War era to five or ten years into the future (currently that happens to be 2012). I was disappointed that Visio wouldn't let me insert dates preceding December 31, 1899. I get that it was created as a project organizing tool but still. Where is their imagination as to other uses. Timelines are huge in schools for teaching history.

Since I couldn't put in dates preceding the 1900s, I chose to start with the birth of Faye's grandmother in 1914. I took it to the end of 2001. The top pic is a screenshot of the entire timeline but the text is unreadable having been reduced to chicken scratches. It still gives a sense of the scope though.



Above is a shot of the timeline zoomed in on the decades of the 1980s and early 1990s. There was a string of births around then depicted by the red diamonds. Two actual historical events are marked by the black squares. And three significant plot events are indicated by the aqua triangles.



Here is a section representing about two years that is so dense in plot points that it is nearly useless as tool for decreasing my confusion. And I don't even have all the plot, birth and historical elements included yet. Three separate stories/novels are represented here and at least two more have significant events during the same two years.

So I'll probably have to create a separate file and make a timeline covering the ten years from 1993 to 2003 so that the elements can be unmingled.

I spent about three hours putting this together from my notes. Ed teases me that I spend more time fiddling with my notes and 'polishing my tools' then I do writing the stories. I used to feel embarrassed at that charge as though there was something unsavory about it. As though it was an accusation of slacking off, dawdling, avoiding the hard work and so forth.

But after my experience last week of getting nearly zero words after four days of intense effort at making myself sit in front of the keyboard while depriving myself of as many distractions as possible, I have reaffirmed my sense that I have specific work-environment needs to stimulate creativity and productivity that can look from the outside like goofing off.

Shuffling through my notes and reorganizing them in a graphically visual fashion has served to stimulate my imagination and thoughts and make me feel more than ready to re-engage with my story world. I even felt the urge several times to start typing into my notes but resisted it because my focus was in getting this posted and so I needed to get the timeline completed. But now that I know that playing with the timeline stimulates such urges, I will make use of that in the future. The same thing happened when I created the mindmap last fall while prepping for Nano.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

There's sexist and then there's sexist.


"Book Reading Party" Bud Light Super Bowl Ad 2010 Commercia
Uploaded by rosebudmag. - Sitcom, sketch, and standup comedy videos.


I didn't watch the Super Bowl so I didn't see the commercials but I began stumbling on a lot of sites where an intense conversation rant is taking place over the sexism in the Bud Lite commercial. Many of these are accompanied by the video of the ad so I got to see it. I confess that my first reaction to it was to crack up. Sure there is blatant sexist stereotyping going on here. But it is so over the top it is almost a spoof of itself. More the flavor of a sitcom written in the Jr High boy's locker room. The kind of thing that calls attention to crass behavior to mark it as crass. It leaves me wondering why Budweiser wishes to be typecast as a tasteless, low class beverage.

Compare that to the advocacy ad sponsored by Focus on the Family. The tone at first is touching, heart-string pulling with a woman talking as she gazes at a baby picture about how she still worries about her son who had a touch-and-go start in life and then Tim Tebow 'tackles' his Mom, knocking her off her feet which abruptly changes the mood to light-hearted and funny that quickly segues into touching again as mother and son face the camera cheek to cheek and the message: celebrate life appears on the screen along with the URL to Focus on the Family where the Tim Tebow story can be seen in full.




Which one of these is the most sexist in intent? Which the most dangerous for women?

I see a stark difference between them. The Bud Lite ad exploits our culture stereotypes while poking fun at them which actually works against implying that such behavior ought to be the norm. Which means we've come a long way from the 1950s era in terms of how women's and men's roles are depicted on TV and film.

The Focus on the Family ad though, is a subtle weapon in the hands of a declared patriarchal agenda that won't be content until women's roles are returned to the 1850s era. The ad presents a touching story of one family's triumph over adversity, one family's ultimate joy and sets it up as a tool in the service of enforcing a new dark age on women's autonomy.

I find it very telling that they chose the image of the son tackling his mother and knocking her to the ground. I believe it is a not so subtle (and yet probably un-conscious on their part) message from Focus on the Family as to their true intent.

Seen in that light it is not so funny; not so cute; and far from heart-warming.

I first became aware of the existence of this ad well before the day it aired. I received a number of requests in my in-box to protest it and call on CBS to pull it. But that goes against my sense of right as much as the religious right agenda does. It is more than just the free speech aspect too, though that is huge in itself. I would rather have it out there where everyone can see it in the full light so it can be examined and critiqued and become the subject of dialog and debate that engages everybody in a discussion of the implications. I do not hold with any stifling of another's voice. Not even when I disagree. Especially when I disagree.

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