Ukulele Dreams! Wonderful Rendition

Lovely version of a classic tune. So simple, ukulele and voice.

A voice like ripples in a clear pond.


Robert Frost, Himself

Robert Frost reads one of his most famous poems, from PBS video archives.

Frost wrote one of his most famous poems, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," at his home in Shaftsbury, Vermont in 1922. It was published the following year in a volume of poems called New Hampshire, which earned Frost one of the four Pulitzer Prizes he would receive in his lifetime. This clip came from a 1958 film shot at Frost's farmhouse in Vermont.


Women Of Fiction

It’s been said that male readers will read male writers, and women readers will read both male and female writers.  I tend to read males, but have pushed the boundaries of my learned ways to find female writers that I enjoy.  And find them, I certainly have.
Ann Beattie’s new short story collection, The New York Stories, spans her decades as a short story writer for The New Yorker magazine, and they are fantastic slices of life, not only about the city, but also rural New England.  I’m enjoying one now about the stone wall, and a doctor who must keep it up on his property, the townfolk forcing him to do so.  Characters as vivid as a tie-dyed shirt. 
Joyce Carole Oates has written some neat stories -- the one about Punkinhead comes immediately to mind, about the guy who wears a Jack O Lantern on his head.  And of course my Kindle has non-fiction, such as Bird By Bird by Annie Lamotte, which I have reviewed here and an Amazon recently. 
There are so many that remain on my “to read” list: Toni Morrison.  Maya Angelou.  Willa Cather from Jaffrey, NH.  Eudora Welty (although I own her book “On Writing” to be fairly convoluted). 

My goal is reading for 2011 and 2012 is to assure an even balance between male and female authors.  Young and old authors.  New and vintage authors.  

So many books, so little time.  

Kitties! Slides!


Holden Really Wondering What Will Happen To Him, Not The Ducks

I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go? I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away.

The Catcher in the Rye -- JD Salinger (65 million copies sold)
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 1


The One That Started It All for MCR

I'm not okay.

According To Holden

Sex is something I really don't understand too hot. You never know where the hell you are. I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away. Last year I made a rule that I was going to quit horsing around with girls that, deep down, gave me a pain in the ass. I broke it, though, the same week I made it - the same night, as a matter of fact. ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 9


Featured Video: My Chemical Romance

I'll be doing some awesome MCR videos this summer. Enjoy (or not).


Wham O Whirlee Twirlee


Amazing song from a truly epic album: My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade.

Every song, meaningful.  Soulful.  One of my top ten--no, top five--albums of the past decade.


Writing Method Shared With My Fellow Writer

I have a suggestion, Laura: do exactly the opposite of Nanowrimo.

Ever feel hungry but get to the restaurant, order a meal and have it come to your table in a heaping pile on your plate and suddenly lose your appetite. "God, how'll I ever eat all this?"

The late best selling novelist Graham Greene had an ideas that he used religiously. 

I read that Graham Greene, playwright and novelist with over 30 titles to his name, wrote precisely 500 words daily. Not a word more, even if he was on a roll. Then he’d look over the words, add a little polish, but keep going the next day for another 500 words.

Greene was a bestselling full time novelist; we are working people with kids and families. How should we use the Graham Greene system for our busy lives? 

250 words each day. No more, no less. Staying with his “rule” kept it pure and simple. If one could cheat up to 500 one day, then none because of something going on the next day, it loses its focus. It becomes easier to say we missed it one day, so I’ll make it up this weekend, and it never happens. Like working out at the gym, the body that misses the work out cannot really make it up later. Or the farmer that misses planting season can’t really sow the crops later. It has to follow the rule.

250 words a day is one page of typed text—double spaced! It’s next to nothing. This post is 207 words to right here—this point—and I did it in five minutes.

But, aha, we all need to keep in mind (me, too; this write-up is for me) that a competed manuscript is about 365-400 pages. At 250 measly words a day, every day (even if we have to write on the toilet, on a plane, while waiting at the school , etc.) is a novel in one year.

The same system can be used for editing (e.g. edit with a fine comb 250 words daily--maybe even 500). The key is the snack sized morsels.

Cheers, my friend. (P.S. Total count of this post, 286 words!)


Today, it's off to the Naperville Ribfest!

Past performers include Sammy Hagar, Los Lobos, and last year we saw the dinosaur rock of Blue Oyster Cult. Sure, this years it's REO Speedwagon and we can see Tommy Shaw and Styx (I'm sure we;ll catch a couple tunes from Styx: I mean, who could pass up a live version of "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto")

But the real reason we're going is on Stage Two, the blue stage--the guy they fail to even mention in the promo video, the real current star of the day: Kenny Wayne Shepard! Rock on, brother Kenny.



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