Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Memoirs

Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction.
~William Zinsser


Hi folks! Like last week, this Wellness Wednesday post was inspired by a press release.


I was charmed by the summary for the film Spettacolo:
Once upon a time, villagers in a tiny hill town in Tuscany came up with a remarkable way to confront their issues: they turned their lives into a play. Every summer, their piazza became their stage and residents of all ages played a part – the role of themselves. Monticchiello’s annual tradition has attracted worldwide attention and kept the town together for 50 years, but with an aging population and a future generation more interested in Facebook than farming, the town’s 50th anniversary performance just might be its last. SPETTACOLO tells the story of Teatro Povero di Monticchiello, interweaving episodes from its past with its modern-day process as the villagers turn a series of devastating blows into a new play about the end of their world.
What's the link to Wellness Wednesday? It made me start thinking about memoirs. Maybe you'd be interested in writing a wee memoir about yourself or a friend or family member? It seems like it has the potential to be rewarding and therapeutic.

* Memoir prompts
* Reasons for writing memoirs
* Writing a flash memoir
* How to structure your memoir
* A memoir-writing workbook




Monday, August 14, 2017

Sharon Isbin and Berta Rojas

Let me explain something about guitar playing. Everyone’s got their own character, and that’s the thing that’s amazed me about guitar playing since the day I first picked it up. Everyone’s approach to what can come out of six strings is different from another person, but it’s all valid.
~Jimmy Page


Sharon Isbin and Berta Rojas for Music Monday:







Thursday, August 10, 2017

In my mailbox

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.
~Phyllis Theroux



A poem wallet from Irene

I love pulling the mail out of the box and finding something exciting inside. This summer has provided a bounty of delights. (I'm not including everything that everyone sent because it's a lot of photos already and I want to give you a good look at poems.)

From Carol Varsalona:



From Buffy:


From Joy, who enjoys correspondence more than just about anyone I know:

From Michelle Kogan:

From Irene, who used a book as her springboard:

From Robyn, who used a map of my locale for her clever steampunk critter:


I also shared the poem I received from Iphigene earlier.
A bonus shout out to my friend Amanda who sent me a care package of some of her handmade soaps.

One last quote:

Alice Adams wrote a sweet note to me after my first novel came out when I was 26, and I was so blown away that I sent her a bunch of stamps by return mail. I have no idea what I was thinking. It was a star-struck impulse.
~Anne Lamott


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Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!

Wassily Kandinsky

Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and... stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to 'walk about' into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?
~Wassily Kandinsky


Works by Wassily Kandinsky today. Kandinsky was a law professor who decided to leave the university and devote himself to art, a choice partially instigated by seeing an exhibit of French impressionists.

More Kandinsky quotes:
Each period of a civilisation creates an art that is specific in it and which we will never see reborn.
The more frightening the world becomes ... the more art becomes abstract.
Color is a power which directly influences the soul.


Wassily Kandinsky with Paul Klee in Guethary, France, 1929

Yellow-Red-Blue
by Wassily Kandinsky

In the Bright Oval
by Wassily Kandinsky

Above and left
by Wassily Kandinsky

Distinct Connection
by Wassily Kandinsky

Hommage to Grohmann
by Wassily Kandinsky

Merry Structure
by Wassily Kandinsky

Quiet Harmony
by Wassily Kandinsky

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Character Day

Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow and only one thing endures - character.
~Harry Truman


It might be fun for fiction writers and readers to have a "Character Day" where you dress up as your favorite character (does such a thing already exist?), but for Wellness Wednesday, we're talking about something a little different. I received a press release that explains:
There are 7.5 billion people on this planet, and each one of us has a unique character, determined and developed by genetics, our environment, and ultimately, ourselves. The fourth annual Character Day scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, 2017, presented by Emmy-nominated Film Studio Let It Ripple, will explore meaning, purpose and the science of character through a LiveCast Q&A with prominent global thought leaders like the Dali Lama, Krista Tippet, Al Gore, Angela Duckworth and more.

Character Day focuses on the idea that if you concentrate on certain parts of who you are, you can develop your character and ultimately lead a more meaningful, successful and happy life.

Spearheaded by Tiffany Shlain, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, thought leader and founder of The Webby Awards, Character Day highlights recent breakthroughs in the social science and neuroscience behind character development, and provides the tools (films, discussion kits, online resources), for free, for millions of people to engage and develop the character strengths needed to thrive in today’s world. ..You can sign up at CharacterDay.org.

Character Day Trailer from The Moxie Institute on Vimeo.



Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.
~Cassandra Clare


A rather mysterious quote:
You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans.
~Ronald Reagan


Monday, August 7, 2017

Watch out for Lucy

The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.
~Samuel Butler



We have a dog named Lucy who likes to go off with stuff and take it under the sofa, where she can eat it/chew on it to her heart's content. She's done that with lip balms, boiled eggs, donuts, pill bottles, shoes. If Lucy's backside is sticking out from under the sofa, it's a good idea to get down and see what she's got. Sometimes even just the way her collar is rattling will make me suspicious. Recently when my husband was away and he said he couldn't find tea that he thought I'd packed, I said, "Let me go look under the sofa." (It was there.)

This morning when I said, "Watch out for Lucy," this song started going through my head. There are no dogs in it, but plenty of trouble...



Eric Clapton

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A collection of words

Lexicographer: A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.
~Samuel Johnson




Next week I'll share some poems from the summer swap, but in the meantime I have entries from Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language (1755). They're not poetry, but they are poetic, and they make me want to use them in poems. For instance, did you know that "anthology" once meant "a collection of flowers"?

Anthology. n.s. [ἀνθολογἰα, from ανθος, a flower, and λέγα, to gather.]
A collection of flowers.
A collection of devotions in the Greek church.
A collection of poems.

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Daggersdrawing. n.s. [dagger and draw.]
The act of drawing daggers; approach to open violence.

They always are at daggersdrawing,
And one another clapperclawing.
Hudibras, p. ii. cant. 2.

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Afterlove. n.s. [from after and love.]
The second or later love.

Intended, or committed, was this fault?
If but the first, how heinous ere it be,
To win thy after-love, I pardon thee.
Shakesp. Richard II.

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Fopdoodle. n.s. [fop and doodle.]
A fool; an insignificant wretch.

Where sturdy butchers broke your noodle,
And handled you like a fopdoodle.
Hudibras, p. ii.

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Camelopard. n.s. [from camelus and pardus, Lat.]
An Abyssinian animal, taller than an elephant, but not so thick. He is so named, because he has a neck and head like a camel; he is spotted like a pard, but his spots are white upon a red ground. The Italians call him giaraffa.
Trevoux.

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Grubstreet. n.s.
Originally the name of a street in Moorfields in London, much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems; whence any mean production is called grubstreet.
I'd sooner ballads write, and grubstreet lays.
John Gay.
[What's a temporary poem? I guess it must not have been very well-regarded...]

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Blatteration. n.s. [blateratio, Lat.]
Noise; senseless roar.

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Anybody want to make a sentence or poem with one in the comments? Mainely Write has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Donna!