13

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October 13, 2017, is our second Friday the 13ths in 2017. Most calendar years have at least one Friday the 13th, but no more than three Friday the 13ths. The last time there was only one Friday the 13th in a calendar year was in May 2016 and the next time won’t be until August 2021. Did you know there were three Friday the 13ths in 2015 (February, March, November)? Yup, we survived! It will happen again in 2026. This year, in 2017, there are two Friday the 13ths (January and October). Today is it.

Now if you have friggatriskaidekaphobia – an irrational fear of Friday the 13th – Here’s something to consider this year’s second Friday the 13th on October 13, 2017, happens exactly 39 weeks (3 x 13 weeks) after the last Friday the 13th in January 2017. Just think 2018 is right around the corner and it has two Friday the 13ths. The first one comes on April 13, 2018, exactly 26 weeks (2 x 13 weeks) after the Friday the 13th in October 2017. Then the second Friday the 13th of 2018 falls on July 13, 2018, exactly 13 weeks after the first Friday the 13th in April 2018.

Just noting the coincidences involving the number 13.

Getting Myself Prepped for NaNoWriMo

There are so many things to establish in the background to assure continuity in a book that hadn’t crossed my mind until I began this undertaking. It made me appreciate all the authors I’ve read in my lifetime. Wow!

I feel reasonably comfortable with my conflicts and my protagonist. I have several minor antagonists and one major one who will definitely make his handsome presence known. Putting pictures on my character trait list did help. I found looking at them and imagining how they would handle different complications enjoyable. Yesterday, I worked on my antagonist, oh he’s  handsome and dangerous. I looked at a lot of pictures of men before deciding I really like how Patrick Dempsey looked in all black, I could easily see him as my Thanatos.Thanatos1

Now, I’m working on an outline I’ll be comfortable working with over the next month. Who knew there would be so many different types– Snowflake, 3-point,  5-point, 8-points, traditional bullet point, Vogler’s, Campbell’s, pure summary, skeletal outlining, flashlight outlining, free writing, visual mapping, contextual prepping and of course all the different software for outlining. Yikes, it’s confusing.

I’ve been reading Vogler’s Writer’s Journey and Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Some days I feel like I read more than I write because it’s all part of the process of fine tuning my craft. And naturally, everyone has a different take on successful writing techniques.

My setting was pretty easy I’ve created a fictional town in Maine called Bayhollow, the next town over is a college town called Stone Lake with a university called Kampden University. There’s an active military base about 10 miles away in a town called Deadzone. All of these locations are very near the Canadian border.

On WDC they have prep challenge which thus far has kept me to the task which I’m finding helpful because it’s all new to me. Also, there’s the lingering dread 50,000 words hovering too. I find comfort in seeing familiar names pledged to do NaNoWriMo. Misery does love company.

I was reading Theresa’s blog this morning and thinking about how I overcome writing challenges. My go to is my camera when nothing else works. There is something about looking through the portal of small space that makes my muse happy. My perspective is different and very targeted.

The other day while I was creating my setting I had been gathering all the logistics like population, restaurants, and businesses. (world building) I took a break and caught up on reading blogs. Yes, I’m guilty of reading and not always leaving comments. But in this instance, Theresa had drawn a fence on a white background with shading to give the impression of winter or even a sandy beach. I took it as winter in my mind and I saw my protagonist breaking down on a back road and trodding along this seemingly endless fence. The timing was perfect for my muse because it sparked another opportunity for frustration in what seems like mountains on her journey to better her life. Thank you Theresa.

Another way I open my mind to writing is cutting the newspaper into shreds, readable shreds. I grab random titles and move them around I create a poem or a line that fits perfectly in what I’m working on that may have never crossed my mind.

 

The first poem could easily be part of a conversation my protagonist has and the second could be a fearful moment added to the scene in the cemetery.  Muses work in interesting ways as Barber Adagio for Strings by the London Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the background.

I do enjoy having dark classical playing in the background. What can I say my muse is a bit twisted.

My compost bin enjoys all the snippets of paper when I’m done so everything has a purpose if you open yourself to the possibilities.

Quotes about Conflict

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”~ William James
“The greatest conflicts are not between two people but between one person and himself.”~ Garth Brooks

Honoring a young man from my home state of Maine

I want to extend my condolences to the family of Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, he was killed during the raid on May 5 about 40 miles west of Mogadishu, the Pentagon said in a release. Milliken was a native of Falmouth, Maine and assigned to a Navy unit based in Virginia Beach. Milliken served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star medals.

Please add his family to your prayers.

 

Adopt a Slang Expression

Won’t you consider adopting a word or two?If you’re from Delaware, Maryland, or Virginia and think having shat fall from your pinetrees is abnormal, then we have news for you: you are among the many Americans losing touch with your historical regional dialect. And let’s be frank: can our language, our literature really afford to lose…

via Endangered American Slang Needs Your Help — Electric Literature – Medium

Age and Mental Health

Aging is challenging enough without having misinformation complicating things.

CRAIN'S COMMENTS

Does mental health improve with age?

That’s the thesis of an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (1) suggesting that might be the case.  The argument is based on a survey of 1546 people between the ages of 21 and 100.

The thesis is based on two errors in design and analysis of data:

  • A single survey conducted at a single point in time can never establish any form of causality.  You need to follow a group of people over time to establish trends and what might underlie them.
  • The alternative hypothesis is that people who are mentally healthy live longer than do others.  The data in the study is consistent with that theory.  In fact, by virtue of the fact that the mentally healthy are less likely commit suicide, by definition, they live longer.

There are several questions that the article does not address that could be of vital importance:

(1)…

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Featured Author Marcus Julian Carbos

There are people you cross paths with in life that when you hear them speak you find yourself leaning forward because their voice is mesmeric and entertaining. At our local writing group in Langhorne, there is one writer who not only has impressive writing skills he has a public speaking voice that captivates your attention. His name is Marcus Julian Carbos, and he is the author of the upcoming book The Path to Arcadia, a military sci-fi. The tale takes place shortly with an insight of our political world and its shortcomings.  Even if the military is not your cup of tea, the story from his point of view is very engaging.

Marcus also does his take on society with his youtube videos called Society is an Illusion. He also is out there on Twitter, if you’re into the tweet world.

If you are into getting fit, he teaches Tai Chi in the local Philadelphia area for beginners to the more advanced levels.

In Marcus’s own words, “A modern day Renaissance Man, well rounded and firmly grounded, I recognize that all disciplines came from the singularity, and all are interconnected. Whether the art of rhetoric, the discipline of history or the science of astrophysics, each can be used to interweave a picture that can attract many from the outskirts while forging new paths in industry. As a problem solver, I like to get to the core of issues and believe in the evolutionary theory that all systems are emergent and should never become stagnant. But as a writer, I recognize and utilize the power of the literary and oratory. No matter the industry, no matter the group, without communication, both internally and externally, they are destined to fall. In that way, communication is a science but when utilized as an art, not only will an organization survive, it will thrive.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0wGRPNtvsE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tuv90k5oQq0&feature=youtu.be

Poetry Refreshes the Soul

Arnold Adoff explained his definition of poetry: “…a fine poem combines the elements of measuring music, with a form like a living frame that holds it together. I really want a poem to sprout roses and spit bullets; this is the ideal combination. My poems should be read three or four times – once for the meaning, once for the music, and once for how the music and meaning go together.”

From this Bus Window by Arnold Adoff

From this bus
pulling away from the curb
I can stretch
my neck. I can just stare into
the eyes

of a bicycle
messenger:
he is the
meat

of
the
sandwich
between
this bus and the moving van
on his other side.

Then he blows the whistle glued between his lips,
and sprint-pedals out of the sandwhich
and slides ahead of us both: bus and van,
and around
his corner.
We ride on.

“Poems should be like fireworks…ready to explode with unpredictable effects.”~ Lillian Moore

“In poetry, syntaxes have little meaning, the order of the words is the order of your heart.” ~ Peter A. Rosado

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Adoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Poems should be like fireworks…ready to explode with unpredictable effects.”