Really curious

Since we are all in this together, (those of you that live in the United States especially), I am curious (really) if you have any thoughts, or concerns regarding a new Disinformation initiative by our federal government?

In case you haven’t heard, Nina Jankowicz has been appointed head The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board as executive director.

What could possibly go wrong?

It’s hard to believe

I’ve been invited to be part of a panel discussion tonight at our local library , called The Making Of A Story.

It should be fun.

I’m going without any notes. Just going to speak from the heart.

The topic is on the process of getting published.

What is hard to believe for me is it has been 20 years already since the publication of my first book.

20 years!

I am pretty sure I have at least one more book that needs to be published living inside of me. Probably a compilation of my favorite blog posts.

I’m curious. (I’m asking this to any of you that may be reading this) Have you ever thought about writing a book, or getting something you’ve written into print?) I would love to interact with you just a little bit about that if so.

It isn’t as hard (nor as expensive) as you might think. Things have change enormously in the past 20 years with technology. Print on demand technology, allows you to get a proof copy in your hands (last time I checked) for less than $100.

Conversations at a wedding reception

We were at a wedding reception yesterday. Wanted to tell you about a brief conversation we had with a woman at our table.

Couple of years ago, I remodeled her attic.

Took an unfinished, dark, dingy un-insulated attic space , and turned it into something that was a nurturing and usable.

It was a fun collaboration between the two of us. She told my wife last night, one of the things she most appreciated about me was I never said to her, “You can’t do that.”

I told her this conversation reminded me of a book I’d read on the creative process. Why it is important not to let the nay-sayers in our lives squelch that creative spark she had.

I paraphrased the following from that book:

“How does the creative impulse die in us? The English teacher who wrote fiercely on the margin of your theme in blue pencil: “Trite, rewrite,” helped to kill it. Critics kill it, your family. Families are great murders of the creative impulse, particularly husbands. Older brothers sneer at younger brothers and kill it.

You have noticed how teachers, critics, parents, and other know-it-alls, when they see you have written something become at once long-nosed and finicking and go through it gingerly sniffing out the flaws. AHA! a misspelled word! as though Shakespeare could spell! As though spelling, grammar and what you learn in a book about rhetoric has anything to do with freedom and the imagination!

Yes, I hate orthodox criticism. I don’t mean great criticism, like that of Matthew Arnold and others, but the usual small niggling, fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them when they are wrong, and results only in putting them in straitjackets of hesitancy and self-consciousness, and weazening all vision and bravery.”

The woman at our table told my wife, I was like an older brother that she never had. 🙂

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And on a somewhat related note….I was invited to be on a panel at our local library the end of the month on how to self publish a book. There will be a spot to share about anything else we would think is helpful to any potentially budding writers. My plan is to share an excerpt from this book, and talk about the 8 year “writers block” I experienced after someone pulled that stunt on me (“fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them when they are wrong, and results only in putting them in straitjackets of hesitancy and self-consciousness, and weazening all vision and bravery.”

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Well, that’s what was on my mind this afternoon.

It’s a quiet drizzlily afternoon here on the farm. My creative impulse has been somewhat quiet of late. I’m OK with that. I’ll leave you with a snippet of another wedding reception we watched recently on Youtube. The bride’s sister has a Youtube channel called the Minimalist mom (of whom we have been binge watching), that’s the short version of how we wound up watching this clip. I got choked up watching them dance at the end. Just something about watching people celebrate life….

A Fresh Start

I recently read an interview of author and farmer John R. Erickson, that really spoke to me. It was a behind the scenes look at his life, and touched on a wide variety of topics. Reading it, made me want to have someone interview me like that.

I reached out to a fellow blogger (Deb) who said she was game. She sent me a list of questions back in early December. I was working on the interview again this week, when I pushed a wrong key and deleted the whole thing.

Dang.

So now, I have to start over.

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For completely different reasons, I deleted my personal blog a month ago. Swore I’d never do it. Not at least without giving a heads up.

There are a handful of fellow bloggers I’ve interacted with over the years..Lilly, Dr Victo, Susannah…I’m sure there are a few more. Fellow bloggers I enjoyed bantering with, who suddenly dropped off the radar w/o warning.

Kind of ticked me off.

Made me a little sad.

Wished I could have at least said “good by.”

Well, I did the very same thing.

Deleted close to a 1000 blog posts with thousands and thousands of comments.

I was at a dark and introspective place in my head at the time.

With a WordPress blog, there are just a couple of buttons you have to push to delete it. They even ask you “Are you sure?” Would you rather set it to “private?” Because once you push the delete button, there is no getting it back. Period.

Relationships via the Internet tend to be a little tenuous by their very nature.

I realized again this week, I want a place where I can write about topics that are on my mind that don’t really lend themselves to a farm blog.