Roy Smeck on Ukulele

And he is not Eddie Van Halen's Dad.


Dexter and Noodles

This is the absolute, very first song that my son and I learned on guitar.  We adore The Offspring (still do), and this song is so lyrical, haunting and we watched the DVD a gazillion times to see the fingering.  We had two guitars and each played a part.  We did it pretty damn well, to be frank, and I wish I video taped it.  We got into it so much, we went to Lowe's and bought a chain and a small lock to make a necklace like Dexter in the video.

That was, maybe, seven years ago.  My son is overwhelmingly versed at guitar now.  And I sit here, old and feeling drawn, like Barney Rubble, strumming chords on my ukulele.  "Pull the shades, razor blades, it's so tragic...dirty magic", indeed.


Longhand Novel Writing

I am going to try my 'hand"--hee hee--at longhand writing. I've hit a roadblock with the Mac, and it's labyrinth of "save as" and "file" commands, nevermind the lugging it to the library every few days.

Many other famous writers, such as John Irving (Cider House Rules, Garp, etc.) write longhand. Many have hired typists to enter the longhand into the computer. Heck, some--like the late Sidney Sheldon--transcribe their novels. Yes, he literally dictated them. Barbara Cartwright, romance queen, used to have a courtroom stenographer write down her novels. Barbara sat on a couch and stroked her cat and dreamed up the novel No joke!

And should we forget about all the fabulous authors--JD Salinger, Gertrude Stein, FS Fitzgerald, Hemingway, some of the best ever--who had to type directly into a Smith Corona typewriter, one peck at a time. That was before White Out! No wonder the few modern typing writers, like Cormac McCarthy and director Woody Allen, savor their typewriters so divinely: they're almost irreplaceable.

Longhand, by pen, is slower, but more thoughtful. Longhand can be input with Dragon Naturally Speaking v.11, and even if it gets one in 20 words written like alphabet soup, we are going back and editing the entire thing again, right? If you've not tried it, at about $60, it's much better than prior versions, and one can read their longhand into a desktop $20 microphone and save boatloads of keyboard time. That is one tip I might suggest to you, my fellow free-hand writers.

John Irving writes his first drafts in fancy $35 Boorum and Pease bound journals. For the rest of us, stenographer's pads--the kind with spiral bound at the top and flippable for a flat lay on the desk--work wonders, and can easily poise on a monitor side stand for easy transcribing. Try that with a leather bound journal.

Many, from my online search this morning, espouse freehand writing as a remedy for computer snags and viruses. But, don't forget, although computers get the sniffles with a virus and might lose our hard work in one massive "ka-choo", paper is not forever.

Just ask my neighbor down the way whose house is now cinders after their cat, Jinxy, kicked over a tea candle.


Wild 4 Hypnosis Wisconsin Dells

A horrendous show in the Wisc Dells.  Bawdy, staged, humorless and obscene.  But, memorable, I give it that.


Writing According To William Faulkner

“I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing that, only then does he take up novel writing.” —William Faulkner


Leon Redbone

I scored a second row ticket to see Leon Redbone at the Performing Arts Theater on a week. Really looking forward to it.

My Favorite Robert Frost Poem

A brilliant reading, with text. This poem, particularly for anyone from new England, rings so very true of a walk in the woods. Written by Frost in 1916, it is timeless. The words are so true, in fact, that it can bring a reader to tears. Weeping, from the authenticity of it all.

Listen, if you dare.


The Opening

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 1, opening words of book


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