I recently read a “writer’s advice” column telling authors to avoid political posts if they want to increase their book sales.
This is how whole populations are silenced.
Those of us who write, have a responsibility to speak up loud and clear for those whose voices are whispers.
If writers shy away from expressing their views, they are capitulating to those in power, who happily quash any questioning of their authority, action or inaction.
Throughout history, writers have been at the forefront of free speech. If we stay on the side-lines, in order to make a profit, we do a disservice to not just our own readers, but to our society in general.
A friend of mine posted this fun piece on Facebook, and I thought you, Dear Readers, would enjoy playing along. The link is at the bottom of this post.
Below, is the result I received when I entered my birthdate:
Waning Crescent in Capricorn —
This Birthday falls on a Waning Crescent in the constellation Capricorn. Sometimes called the “Old Moon”, this phase is visible in the Eastern sky just before dawn. Each day of the Waning Crescent the Moon’s bright side is getting smaller until the New Moon.
Individuals born during this Moon Phase are extremely imaginative and creative. They also are very spiritual and attuned to the unseen forces of the Universe.
Waning Crescent Moon
The Waning Crescent Moon is the very last Moon phase, where the Moon is nearing the completion of its cycle. Individuals born under this phase are influenced by the energy of an aged, wise Moon, and are gifted with a kind of energy that isn’t necessarily reflected in personality or even in the physical world.
In other words, you are likely a talented psychic who is closely in touch with your spiritual side, even if you may not realize it. Through dreams and daydreams, you may receive insights or even visions that help you to be more successful in life. In line with this tendency, you may also have an extremely active imagination. This is because human imagination is the most active under low light conditions – near-darkness, with just a hint of what’s around us, is a very fertile ground for the imagination.
Your deep insights can make you seem mystical, like you exist in a different dimension from other people. Combined with your tendency to have unconventional hobbies, behaviour, and opinions, this can make you somewhat of a loner. Many people may find you too eccentric to relate to on a deeper level, even if they appreciate your wisdom and advice.
Your best bet is to find people who are just as imaginative as you are, and who appreciate you in your entire glorious, weird self.
(I’m guessing some of my friends here fit this mold!)
AS A “BACK YARD BIRDER” TWITTER HAS A VERY DIFFERENT MEANING FOR ME!
FATHER’S DAY WAS YESTERDAY AND SUMMER ARRIVES TODAY!
TO MARK BOTH OF THESE IMPORTANT DATES ON THE CALENDAR—I DECIDED TO SHARE SOME SPECIAL “TWEETS!” Pour yourself a cool refreshing lemonade, iced tea, or something a little stronger, perhaps? And please do enjoy!
I have a question for you.
Why do writers (in this day and age) use pictures of old typewriters, pencils, pens, close-ups of typewriter keys, copybooks, lined tablets, et al as their website’s header image?
We all know that none of their blogs are produced using those arcane tools.
I mean, sure, some may begin by writing out their thoughts on paper with a wooden stick or ink-filled implement. But, c’mon—none of us would be able to access and read any of their brilliant posts, if that is where their efforts ended.
For instance—that is not me at the top of this page, and I did not use a typewriter from 1918 to accomplish this post. So, why do you suppose people think the only way to let their readers know that they are writers, is by reaching back into history for their photos?
I think I know the answer.
There is no romance, or mystery, or nostalgia in viewing a computer screen. Perhaps in one hundred years, there may be. But not now. Not yet.
To prove my point, dear readers, I leave you with this antique version of the “backspace key”—reminisce with me for a moment:
See what I mean?
My book, “Bosses and Blackjacks: A Tale of the ‘Bloody Fifth’ in Philadelphia” takes place at the beginning of the last century, and includes references to and the whistling of, tunes from that era.
Would you like to spend a little time in the misty nostalgia of the early nineteen hundreds?—No problem! I’ve created a playlist for you of the following songs mentioned in the book:
1. Meet Me In St. Louis — 1904, Singer: Billy Murray
2. School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids) — 1907, Singer: Bryan G. Harlan (Recorded in Philadelphia.)
3. I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside — 1909, Singer, Mark Sheridan
4. Give My Regards to Broadway — 1905, Singer, George M. Cohan
5. Rigoletto — 1908, Singer: Enrico Caruso
6. Hark The Herald Angels Sing — Sung by Children’s Choir
7. Let Me Call You Sweetheart — 1910-1911, Sung by: The Peerless Quartet
8. I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now — 1909, Singer: Manuel Romain
9. It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary — 1914, Singer: John McCormick
10. Danny Boy — 1913, Singer, 1917 Ernestine Schumann-Heink
11. For Me and My Gal — 1917, Singer: M.J. O’Connell
12. The Star-Spangled Banner — 1814, Written by Francis Scott Key (GVES News Broadcast)
13. Jingle Bells —1857, Singer: Tom Roush
14. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles —1919, Sung by: Irving Barr and Albert Campbell
15. Over There — 1917, First recorded by: Nora Bayes, Pictured on the sheet music.
16. K-K-K-Katy —1917, Singer: Billy Murray in 1918
17. Hail! Hail! The Gang’s All Here — 1917, Sung by Shannon Quartet
Feel free to sing or whistle along! And then, return here and tell us in COMMENTS —Which tune is your favorite?
Here’s the link:
STOP THE PRESSES! I’VE BEEN INTERVIEWED!
No, not on CNN…on the interwebs!
And, naturally, I had to share it with you, Dear Readers.
Now’s your chance to get all the inside dirt! You can finally put your mind to rest from all those questions that have been keeping you awake at night…you will be IN THE KNOW!
L.C. Bennett Stern bares all! (Completely untrue.)
Remember—you heard it here first! Now, go forth and spread the word “to infinity and beyond!” Oh wait, that was Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. Sorry. Anyway, tell people—okay? Please?
Why have we stopped admiring the brightest among us, in favor of those who are only capable of “bumper-sticker” jargon? I know there are always two or three or twenty sides to every story–but they can’t all be accurate. When, as a nation, have we stopped caring about facts?
This is a dangerous path we are on. I would use the tired term “slippery slope,” if I weren’t so sick of hearing it. We’ve fallen into the trap of trendy terminology and, if we are to advance, we have got to stop.
Every political scandal does not have something to do with a “gate.” Every problem we need to solve does not have to have a “war” waged against it.
The media has gotten caught up in the Manhattan advertising practice of the clever logo or jingle. Dumbing down the population makes the population easier to control.
I’m curious about the words or phrases that you, dear reader, are completely and utterly sick of hearing. Maybe, together, we can create a dictionary of words and phrases from hell. I look forward to your suggestions.