~~~As Above So Below ~~ Be True to Oneself ~~~

Friday, February 26, 2010

Writing Passion: My Bad

I can't trace my passion for writing, but it might have been from a memory I have of childhood play.  I was with a friend, playing in a muddy, dirt filled area.  It was late into a lovely Indian summer, so we were warmed by the sun, and very chilled as the sun descended.  We were deep into the creation of some village.  We used mud, stones, sticks, grass, whatever.  There was some large story going on with the created villagers.  

Now, looking back, it feels ancestral as ways of knowing some past life was being re-enacted.  It's a strong memory of story creation, and possibly where my writing passion has evolved from.

The history of writing is vast, and it evolves from pictorial to hieroglyphical to phonetic.  Many different writing tools were used:
  • sticks
  • feathers
  • quills
  • clay
  • stones
  • shells, and eventually papyrus, paper, and computer.
The author of this book considers writing a great invention and I concur. 

There is some suffering involved in this ardent means of conveying the spoken language.  The writing organism consists of those grammar skills that can plague a writer endlessly.  Luckily, with daily practice those skills sharpen so editing doesn't have to be such a pain.  With daily practice comes the memory of childhood play.

Nevertheless, the process leads to such open-mindedness and interesting research that I do believe it aids in keeping one young. Certainly it can be used to empty the demon thoughts that don't pay rent in one's head! It is great mental exercise. I consider writing as anti-aging treatment. 

Since we distinguish our humanness from other beings by writing our language, it helps to keep it in the now - current.  This is where some playfulness can come into writing, and playing is anti-aging!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Writing About Writing

Any writer gets to the blank page syndrome and suffers from not writing.  A paralysis type grip seems to download on empty pages to remain empty. I'm feelin' the pain, now and then, too. So there are ways to upload the words.  Here's some offerings for anyone else needing some inspiration.
  • Let yourself be conscientious about the not writing blank page syndrome, but don't feel guilty and beat yourself up.  Piling remorse on the pain doesn't really do anything to de-stress the situation.
  • Read some bad writing. Really, poorly written crap. You know you can do better. Allow for some contemplation on the doing better part.
  • Exercise differently than you normally do- like go bowling instead of weight lifting, or go swimming instead of skiing.  Your creative juices may just start flowing in ways you'd never imagined.
  • If you are reading a really good book while trying to write, you may be comparing your writing to a published, famous author's work.  Don't. That author started somewhere, sometime, and experienced blank page syndrome too.
  • Write down your random thoughts without worrying about grammar.  Don't re-write or correct any misspellings or punctuation.  Just write.  Don't try to make sense of your words. No one else has to read them. You don't even have to.  It is just a way to get your page full; a way to begin again.
Writing is so about beginning and continuing.  It is about those scraps of paper in your backpack, purse, on your bedside table, in your car, next to the toilet.  It is about the pictures in your mind and in the sky and on the beach.

The thing is - one must actually be mechanical about the physicality of writing.  Pen in hand, or keyboard ready- feel the words coursing from fingers to tools, to paper.  It's a start to continue.

I really enjoy Natalie Goldberg's books to keep me inspired and writing. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Cat's Meow: 1920's Article

Hello readers.  I thought you might enjoy this article I wrote for InfoBarrel.  It's a great site to get articles published and make some $$$ from adsense.  You can sign up for InfoBarrel (it's free) on my link if you'd like to write. Here's my article reprint.

Those jazzy 1920's created a time that is probably as revisited as the 1960's. A swanky fashion, created by liberated women such as Coco Chanel was matched by gangster fashion inspired from the one and only Al Capone. The prohibition of alcohol didn't stop the youth from having a good time, instead speakeasies flourished. A flapper sub-culture became legend thanks to the Ziegfeld Follies. In short, the 1920's was the cat's meow.

Numerous words were said with a knowing tongue-in-cheek attitude:
· bump off - to murder, kill
· cheaters - eyeglasses
· copacetic - wonderful, fine, allright
· hoofer – dancer
· gams - a woman's legs
· heebie-jeebies - the jitters
· keen - attractive or appealing
· pinch - to arrest.
1920's history even included the introduction of the popular Chinese game, Mahjong.

New Morality
Although folks were singing the Blues, mainly laments about a mate, there was a new, looser morality going on. Cars with a combustion engine (rather than a steam engine) had been introduced, so more people were driving the more affordable cars. The increase in consumer products made for more affordable pricing. There was an emphasis of youth culture over the older generation. This was a sort of coming out from a stricter generational view of society.

Relationships in the dating sphere changed. Dating became informal - no chaperones. Couples went out and the man paid for the night out. Singles broke away from parental authority and enjoyed an emerging independence. Let's imagine a dating scene. Jo picks up Sally in his automobile, and they drive through some newly invented traffic lights to a speakeasy. Sally is dressed fashionably with a feather boa adorning her flapper dress. They order hair of the dog (shot of alcohol), and maybe even indulge in some Indian hop (marijuana). Then they become hoofers to a jazz singer's soulful tune, or maybe some ragtime piano music. They can do the shimmy, turkey trot, and bunny hug. Once Jo's dough (money) is spent, they take off in his car and maybe park for awhile, since they realize they are stuck on (having a crush on) each other. See how this new morality looked in the 1920's?

Bee's Knees - phooey
It wasn't all the bee's knees (extraordinary, the ultimate). They didn't write self-help books about making up like nowadays. Certainly the new morality led to trouble, infidelity and sorrow for some. One famous actress of the 1920's history was Evelyn Nesbit. Her affair ended with her husband murdering her lover. It was quite a big story at the time, and not exactly the cat's meow.

Along with the inventions mentioned, penicillin and band-aids can be added. This was great, because baseball players like Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees needed to stay well to hit 60 homeruns in 1927. So did Charles Lindbergh with his first successful transatlantic flight. No doubt those two fellows did some talking to the Sky Boss with their great endeavors.

There were five major movie studios; Warner Bros., Paramount, RKO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and 20th Century Fox. One of the more famous films was "The Jazz Singer" with Al Jolson acting in it. He didn't win any awards at the time, however. Here's a link to a short video about 1920's history, enjoy, and Don't take any wooden nickels!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine Central

Poor St. Valentine.  The dude was beheaded in 296 by the Roman emperor Claudius, and 200 years later Pope Gelasius declared him a saint.  Since then, Feb. 14th has had something vaguely to do with love.  Valentine was the patron saint of lovers, although he may be a wee bit chagrined at how the 21st century materializes his day.

Another famous dude, Paul, wrote a famous, timeless letter to the Corinthians, and a part of it is quoted all over the world.  1 Corinthians 13: Love Quotes shares the beautiful words from the letter, and gives a little more meaning to love on the 14th.

In the mean time if you aren't able to give your love a kiss and a hug or a hand written card, or bring her/him coffee or tea and a treat in bed, maybe you'd like to be material and purchase some love gift.  Nothing wrong with that.  Here are some ideas for her:
  1. Savon de Marseille with Crushed Local Flowers 300g-Lavender (French lavender soup)
  2. Valentine Raspberry Hearts Box - 25 pieces (Intentional chocolate)
  3. Sterling Silver Pendant Cubic Zirconia CZ Heart Journey Pendant Necklace - For Valentines Day Gift 
and here are some gift ideas for him:
An added note about love, loving oneself is not selfish.  To believe that you are a part of something bigger, and that you are so much greater than what happens to you, that is a great maturity beyond material loving.
So, love yourself this Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Knockout Dropper: 50th Mission

I've been obsessed with the myriad history of World War II.  Specifically the Flying Fortress of the U.S. Eighth Airforce.  Exactly, about a plane that completed 75 missions, The Knockout Dropper.  It was a B-17 that came through the war with little damage, and was scrapped at Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1945.

My father (1st Lt John P. Manning) was the Knockout Dropper's pilot for it's historic 50th combat mission.  He wasn't one to ever speak much about the war so most of what I know has been through research and old newspaper clippings that I am fortunate to have copies of. He also left a journal of his time at Molesworth, England that I found when he was dying.  All my siblings have copies of it, and my mother has the original.

There were many heroes from the men and women who served in WW II.  I don't mean to dismiss any of them.  This particular blog post is just focused on referral to the U.S. Eighth Airforce that mentions the Knockout Dropper.  Here are some books that I have found that mention the B-17.

These two for sure mention the Knockout Dropper's 50th mission.

These look good also:
My dad's flying history while based in England for the European theatre was probably pretty much like other heroes - it's just that he was my dad, and I have wanted to know more about that plane and that event that seems harder to research as time passes.  Perhaps you would like to know more about it also? There is much more offered in my article, "The Knockout Dropper: 75 Combat Missions," that you may find helpful.

Boomer Galaxy is a blog from a baby boomer, about this baby boomer era and all it's relations.