Running With the Word Pack

wordplay

I had need to let the words fly today, just to play. Here ya go. A few musings on why I write. Fasten yore seat-belts.

I write because it calms the storm. Because I get to do things like this, where I just toss the words out and see what happens.

I write because I didn’t get to do this back when they were teaching us “how to write” in school. We spent our time diagramming sentences, and worrying about topics, punctuation, and grammar. Sure, those are important things, but what’s most important is to let the words fly, try to get those thoughts bouncing around in our heads on paper.

So, now, I write because there’s all this stuff, ideas, and whatnot bouncing around in my noggin, and it’s fun and exciting, and sometimes powerful, and I’m amazed at what comes out. And I have to share it. Because it just might connect with someone else’s craziness.
I have stories and observations, odd spins on things that are alive in my gray matter, but the words are like babies up there in my head, waiting to form. It’s not until I get them flowing down my arm and on the paper or the computer that growth happens. As should be obvious by now, I’m a stream-of-consciousness writer, and I have no idea what’s going to happen until I turn on the tap. And even then, there’s still growth and shaping that has to happen.

Every so often I get lucky and a piece comes out fully formed, and I’m not aware of it until I go back and look at it later, or until someone reads it and says, “Nailed it.” Other times, though, the words are giant stone blocks on the page that have to be busted up, chiseled, and moved around. But always, it’s the process that’s magic. For, after all, words are wondrous creatures, and we create little magic spells when we plop them down just right, in the proper order.

And those little magic spells can hop in our readers’ heads and take them to some pretty cool places.

And that’s why I write.

’til next time…Adios.

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Just Another Wild Hare

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All hail the wabbit! Yep, I’m speaking of Bugs Bunny, who made his first appearance 75 years ago in “A Wild Hare”, from Merrie Melodies. As with any great legend, the stories of Bugs’s birth are as elusive as the wascawwy wabbit himself, so take your pick. One possible origin is that animator Ben “Bugs” Hardaway created an ornery rabbit for a short he co-directed. The short was titled “Porky’s Hare Hunt” and featured kinda-sorta Bugs Bunny-like rabbit. Depending which ‘net source I checked, this early pre-Bugs either wasn’t named or was called Happy Rabbit. Adding to the confusion, later work by “Bugs” Hardaway has a rabbit named Bugs’ Bunny.

So, officially, “A Wild Hare” is where we see the birth of Bugs, although he’s not referred to by name, unless they did a “…starring Bugs Bunny”, or something similar in the credits. But, watching it again, as he confounds Elmer, all the ingredients are there. He’s most certainly Bugs, with Mel Blanc providing his voice, along with trademark lines like, “Ehhh…what’s up, doc?” We also have Elmer using his classic “Shhh, be vewy qwiet. I’m hunting wabbits.” Absent was his famous stuttering laugh afterwards. But it’s definitely Bugs.

Almost forgot. One thing us kids learned was classical music (without realizing it) from B. Bunny. And we got a brief intro to themes to come in that first Bugs and Elmer cartoon. At one point, Bugs strides off, away from Elmer, walking cowpoke-style, and for a few seconds I heard an Aaron Copland riff. It was either from “Appalachian Spring” or “Rodeo”, not sure which.

Over the decades since, Bugs and crew went through a whole carrot bunch of changes. Here’s a quick shot:

In 1941, Bugs gets screen credit for the first time. Right after the title “Elmer’s Pet Rabbit” appears, we see a nonchalantly-reclining Bugs and the words “Featuring Bugs Bunny”.

Going with the beginning super-hero phase of comics and cartoons, in 1943, we have “Super-Rabbit”, where Bugs gets super-powers from, of course, a “super carrot”.

Bugs’s first encounter with future long-time adversary/rival, Yosemite Sam, occurs in 1945’s “Hare Trigger”.

And, as part of our classical music education, in 1946, there was “Rhapsody Rabbit”, where Bugs plays a little of the “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” by Franz Liszt. At one point, Bugs takes a phone call, using a phone inside the piano. Someone’s calling for Mr. Liszt, to which Bugs replies, “Who? Franz Liszt? Never heard of him. Wrong number.” He then continues playing.

For most of us, the most famous, and most imitated, is 1957’s “What’s Opera, Doc?” I can’t even think of it now without laughing. Here we have Elmer with his “spear and magic helmet” and Bugs as a Valkyrie, in an absolutely hysterical mash-up and smash-up of Wagner. Of course, everyone’s favorite line is “Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!”

And then, the big event, for us Saturday morning cereal and cartoon junkies, was in 1962 when we got “The Bugs Bunny Show”. That was epochal.

Over the years, Bugs has continued to evolve. In 1989, our friend, Mel Blanc, who had voiced Bugs and so many other characters over the years, left this earthly plane. But, as Bugs would say, “The show must go on,” so voice actors Jeff Bergman, Greg Burson, Billy West, and Joe Alaskey became Bugs’s new voices.

Supposedly, there is a Bugs Bunny film in development, but I couldn’t find out much about it. That being said, Bugs is alive and well on DVD’s and the ‘net, so poke around out there, my friends, and save a carrot for the wabbit. I’ll leave you with a link to “A Wild Hare” from 1940:

https://www.yahoo.com/tv/bugs-bunny-a-wild-hare-by-andy-swift-youve-got-to-125187476180.html

‘til next time…Adios.

Posted in Comedy, Comic Books, Film History, Music, Random Meditations, Superhero, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Singularly Hysterical

Single

My wife is not only an artist, but a writer, too. I would like to announce the release of her novel on Amazon, titled “Singleminded”. This is a light-hearted novel that follows one Becca Thorston through the difficulties of singlehood. Becca is a young woman who wants to be hooked up with a guy, but also enjoy her single lifestyle. But there are all these well-meaning friends and family who want her have a permanent relationship, but the ones they throw her way are not the right ones. Just one of the many single scenarios Becca encounters is the classic restaurant situation. She goes out to eat, by herself, and the host (or hostess) asks, “Just one?” We’ve all been there and can relate.

Take this fun, slice-of-life ride along with Becca in “Singleminded”. You can find it on Amazon for the Kindle.

‘til next time…Adios.

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Artist at Work (and Play)

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Just wanted to catch everyone up on some of the artwork that my wife, Wendy, has been turning out this year. She’s an amazingly versatile artist, working in several media, and especially pen and ink. I’m always fascinated by what her next will be. Currently she has several block sculptures in progress. The sculptures themselves are complete (she uses only found wood and metal) and she’s applied the base coat. Now the fun begins when adds her pen and ink detailing. Now, of course, she has help at times—one or both of our cats offer assistance, including finding and swatting at loose pieces of metal, especially the dangly ones. One of our fur babies laid on some of the metal pieces beside Wendy while she was working.

The photo above is of one of her pieces available for sale at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. On July 21st, 2015, Wendy demonstrated how she creates her block sculptures. Here is a link to the Artisan Center and her demo: http://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-Stream.aspx?viewMode=ViewDetailInNewPage&eventID=%7BA245BCC8-84F8-40BE-85D0-9CF3FD458454%7D&activityType=PressRelease.

Here are a few more examples of Wendy’s work:

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Recently she also completed a mural for the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky. Here are a few photos showing the progression of her work:

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If you go to the Patterson School of Diplomacy’s Facebook page, you can see other photos of her mural.

Wendy also had an article published in the magazine Zen Doodle Workshop in the Summer 2015 issue. In her article she tells you how to design your own deck of cards using pen and ink designs: http://www.northlightshop.com/art-magazines/zen-doodle-workshop.

Also take a look at her website and blog. Here’s those sites:

Web site: http://www.wendycurrier.com/

Blog: http://wildwomanart.blogspot.com/

’til next time…Adios.

 

 

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It’s Sharktacular!

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Okay, folks, it’s that time of year again. Time for the first of the long-range Christmas ads, but most importantly, it’s Sharknado Season. Yep, this week on the Syfy channel (still don’t know why they abandoned their old title, the Sci-Fi Channel), Wednesday, July 22nd, at 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time, we get to watch Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! I haven’t heard yet about any one-time showings at local theaters, but just keep watching the skies, sharkophiles. I’m sure it’ll get there eventually.

This time around, our fearless ‘Nado-Busters defend a wider area, from Washington, D.C. down to Orlando, Florida, from the Finned and Toothed Whirlwind of Death. We start off with our heroic, vacationing couple, Fin (Ian Ziering) and April, aka April Sawhand (Tara Reid) on the beaches of sunny Florida, when this latest attack occurs. Soon, the chainsaws will be flying as Fin and April get to work.

Possible shark bait on this cruise include Bo Derek (10), Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle), David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider), and Erika Jordan (Piranhaconda). Erika is playing NASA Engineer Harleen Quinn, which, for the Batman fans out there, Harleen Quinn is the “real name” of super-villain-bad-girl Harley Quinn, sort of a female Joker. Oh, and for us ‘Nado fanatics, Cassie Scerbo is back as Nova.

I got a kick out of just running through the character list for our sharktastrophe. Names like: Manic Tourist, Shark Protestor, and Terrified Kid. So, get ready, folks, the gags and in-jokes will soon be airborne.

In case you want to get warmed up, here are some of my previous posts for the original ‘Nado and ‘Nado 2.

http://writenaked.net/2013/09/20/filmed-in-amazing-sharkarama/

http://multimediameditations.com/2014/08/01/tonights-forecast-sharks/

http://multimediameditations.com/2014/08/04/are-we-jumping-the-shark-again/

http://multimediameditations.com/2014/08/05/oh-no-not-another-nado-part-deux/

Happy sharking, everyone!

‘til next time…Adios.

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Random Meditations, Superhero, Television, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pardon My Acronyms

acronyms

Thought I’d take a look in the electronic world and see what kinds of technology-related acronyms are floating around that we use often. Just sort of curious about the ones most of use and when we use them. The first thing I noticed in my cruise around ‘net world is that acronyms are everywhere. And they have multiple meanings depending on context. Sooo…that being said, let’s get rollin’ ASAP.

And there’s our first one—ASAP. Now, most of us know this one as ‘As Soon As Possible’, but that’s not all. It also stands for the Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals. Hmm, so I wonder if their members have ever seen an email that says something like “…and so we need to have a meeting of ASAP ASAP”?

Continuing on, it can also mean ‘As Slow As Possible’, but that one seems counterproductive when you need something ASAP.

But before I dive into the deep end of the pool, let’s get to first cause and see if we can find out when all this acronym jazz started. According to the web site (or website, depending on where you look) dictionary.com, the word acronym cranked up between 1940 and 1945. A google search says that it was formed from a couple of Greek words—akron (not the city), meaning end, or tip; and onuma, meaning name. So, end of the name is what it kinda sorta means. But who decided to put those Greek words together and why? Certainly not the dead old Greeks, as ‘acronym’ didn’t come about until the 40’s.

Now, what was happening in the world then? How about World War II? And aren’t there a bunch of military acronyms?

Yep.

Like SNAFU. Situation Normal All F***ed Up. Substitute the letters of your choice where the asterisks are. I cannot. This is a family-friendly site.

Growing up, I learned about AD (or A.D.) and BC (B.C.), and all us kids heard the definitions as Anno Domini (as in 1945 AD) and Before Christ (as in 1,000,000 BC—when Raquel wore her fur bikini). But that got into all sorts of calendar fun, so we moved to a more globally-standard CE (or C.E.) for Current or Common Era (which is it, folks? Current or Common? Make up your minds.) and BCE (or B.C.E.) for Before Current (or Common) Era.

Confusing things further, in the 1970’s (or 1970s, which is material for another post), we got our first ATM’s, or Automated (or Automatic) Teller Machine. I have seen, and I know you folks have, too, signs advertising ATM Machines. Automated Teller Machine Machines?

Along the way, also, we saw the rise of VCR’s (Videocassette Recorders—why weren’t they abbreviated VR’s?), which played VT’s (Video Tapes, although we really don’t use that term) in the VHS (Video Home System, patented by JVC—Victor Company of Japan, Ltc—I don’t why they didn’t become known as VCJ) format or the BetaMax format(which did not have an abbreviation that I could find, but if it did, would’ve been the unfortunate ‘BM’, though BetaMax was the superior format). And completely confusing matters, they threw DVD’s (Digital Versatile Disc, although it used to mean Digital Video Disc. I would disagree with the ‘Versatile’ designation, anyway, as it’s not as versatile as a video tape) at us. One source mentioned a DVD as a compact disc, which it is, but it’s not referred to as a CD, which we think of as an audio disc.

Well, I’ll take my leave now, as I’m all confused, and I’m sure you folks are, too.

TTFN, as Tigger would say.

‘til next time…Adios.

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The Editor is In…

mood-writing

So, now I’m at the surgical level with editing the novel, also known as the “slaughter the adverbs and adjectives” phase. That’s where I spend an inordinate amount of time deciding whether a character ‘carefully walked’ or ‘walked carefully’ or just skulked. I can better see now when one word works better than two or three, or perhaps the whole damn sentence should just go away. White space in writing is as important as it is in art.

I also see now some of the quirks I use in writing. If I had to pay for all the times I use ellipses, I’d be flat busted. Can’t seem to help myself sometimes. And the word ‘just’. That one just creeps in everywhere…

The downside to this phase of the process is that, when I’m reading for pleasure (which is preferable to reading for pain—why would anyone read for pain, anyway?), the editor in my brain is still working away, sitting behind a desk. I was reading in bed last night, rewriting a book I’d just started (see, another ‘just’ just crept in) reading. I found typos and several places I could tighten it up. Just about had my highlighter unsheathed.

On the upside, as I’m re-reworking my manuscript, I’m actually reading some passages where I think, “Hey, that part there, yeah, that one. It doesn’t suck as bad as it used to. It almost sounds like I know what I’m talking about. And there’s a hint of a plot in there, too.”

So, for all my writer friend blog readers out there, it gets better. I’ll leave you with a quote:

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. “
— E.L. Doctorow

‘til next time…Adios.

Posted in Random Meditations, Word Origin, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments