Whatchoo doin’?

I’ve been working on taxes. I don’t know why it takes me so long to get ’em done, but it does. Am only about three-quarters the way through, so I should finish up in two or three weeks. I don’t care as long as it beats the deadline.

I’ve also been working on my latest project, which I’ve mentioned before, three or four times probably. The book will be finished in about a month, if everything goes well. I have three or four books laying around that shows me or teaches me how to write a novel and maybe one of these days they will be successful. I have learned a lot over the last ten or so years about writing and I think this next book will be a hit with those who like to read Westerns. The title is “Life of Bobby Chase-the-Lord”, a young Cayuse Indian leaves home to start his own church, but he keeps running into obstacles accidentally that prevents him from completing his mission. I think it is exciting with lots of action, funny, and sad, and will appeal to all lovers of the Wild West.

The Art of Navel Writing

Yep, the title is correct. Most people don’t know it, in fact no one does, but the Art of Navel Writing has been in effect for thousands of years. Some have even called it a technical craft. But looking up crafts on Google was negative for this subject.

It all began with the old fellow, Math-lose=alala, who had nothing but time on his hands. One day, he was out on his back patio relaxing in the early sun when his neighbors yelled at him, causing a ruckus. Shucks, he wasn’t doing anything, but relieving himself and enjoying the quiet of the day. So, he retreated back inside and invented the art of navel writing. Relaxing in his favorite chair he wrote the first version of War and Pieces, a long story of 1181 pages, woops, navels. He had to convince his friends they should join him since he needed more space, but he ended up chiseling it out on the navels of all the Greek statues he could find, a total of two, plus his and his wife’s. He couldn’t write much on her navel because she was ticklish.

Nothing to do, but reduce the length. He renamed it War and cut out half.  He muttered to himself, “This won’t do, because now it’s all in Pieces.”

It’s funny how things work out in the end.

In the end, he looked it up in the Old Greek Dictionary and it read, “It’s ‘novel’, you idiot, N-O-V-E-L.”

 

Upcoming Arizona Events

Here are some events taking place in Arizona in February 2017:

Jan 28 – Yuma Medjool Date Festival – A great time is had by all in the family in downtown Yuma.

Jan 28-Feb 15 – American Indian Art Exposition, Tucson – Artists from 80 tribes exhibit and sell their works.

Feb 10-12 – Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival, Scottsdale – A chance for wine-a-holics to have a good time looking at art and tasting fine juice of the grape.(The waterfront is along a canal in downtown Scottsdale as opposed to an actual waterfront along a seaside. It’s been a long time since the desert was covered with water.)

Feb 10-12 – Gold Rush Days Rodeo, Wickenburg – One of the stellar events in this Wild West. Go to this before you go taste the wines.

Feb 11-12 – Winterfest, Lake Havasu – On your way to the wine fest stop at Lake Havasu and enjoy the Winterfest along the Colorado River.

Feb 17-19 – Lake Havasu City Rockabilly Reunion – Come back the next week after you sober up for great music and stuff.

Feb 18-26 – Head to Tucson for La Fiesta de los Vaqueros – Tucson Rodeo, Tucson. You know, the first State capitol of AZ.

Feb 25-26 – Polish Festival, Phoenix – No, it isn’t the Pawlish Festival, It’s delicious Polish cuisine, etc….

Feb 26 – Silver Lining Riding Showcase and Special Olympics Horse Show – Horse demos and two-horse shows. Ya-hoo!

My head is reeling from all this entertainment.

(Thanks to Highroads Magazine and AAA.)

Scrivener Doings

I’ve been working with Scrivener for a while, trying to figure out how it works. I have my manuscript mostly loaded in the book section and am making changes to it, but my next question is: How do I get into the editorial section or do I need to after I’ve made all the changes? Does it have an editing program?

I guess I won’t find out, until I get there. I have many changes to make to the manuscript and five or six chapters to add which is going to keep me busy for a time.  And I have quite a bit of reading to do on Scrivener. I don’t know how a simple program can be so complicated that they have to have training courses on it. Maybe I’ll find out, maybe not.

Anyway, my vacation is finally over. Getting through Christmas and New Year’s Eve was a trying affair this year, but we had a lot of fun while it lasted. So, it’s back to work we go and Scrivener staring me in the face.

 

Scrivener

Finally, I downloaded the Scrivener writing program after some difficulty. I had heard about this before and thought I would give it a try. I will try it out as soon as I learn what it does for me. Haven’t had any time to watch the training videos or even take the Quick Tour. Will start on those some time today, if football doesn’t get going for a while. I’ll have to watch the Cards play N’Orleans, of course.

The Cardinals are 5-7-1 and they have to win a couple more games to get even, but it would be nice if they reached the playoffs. I don’t have much hope for it the way they have been playing.

Merry Christmas to all, even the Cards, and ask Santa for a nice present. I have mine – Scrivener?

Robber Barons

Let me get this straight, Jay Gould was one of the coldest, calculatingest, crookedest of the Robber Barons in my opinion. He performed his prestidigitation before, during, and after the Civil War and made tons of money. He bribed Judges, Members of Congress, Bankers, and anyone else who fell for his line in the hopes of making money. Some of them did, I guess. Of course, this wasn’t unlawful at the time, so he had free rein. Gould’s struggle to get the Erie railroad and to corner the market on Gold with Jim Fisk threw the country into a financial crisis in 1869. Mister Gould was born on May 27, 1836, and died December 2, 1892, worth about $100 million. The obituary told how he took over Charles Leupp’s leather business and Charlie shot himself shortly after. Gould received accolades from some and others thought he was a really terrible man.

While Gould was raping the stockbrokers and railroad men, the people in the West were duke-ing it out on the Kansas plains for control of the cattle business, and there is still some of that going on today. A little rustling and fence cutting causes bitterness among the cattlemen and keeps the law busy. And so much for the would-be Barons of today with the stock trading and manipulation that goes on. even with all the regulations the Government has put in place.

John Audelay, English Poet

There is a lot of poetry that is “beyond my ken”, as they say somewhere in England or Scotland or Ireland, and there is a lot that I don’t care much about. That includes some of John Audelay’s scratchings, but I noticed that he was the first poet to write Christmas carols, the titles of which are unknown to me and so are the carols. John Audelay came from Shropshire, England, and passed away around 1426.  The “earliest biographical record places him in London in 1417, when he was part of the household of Richard, Seventh Baron of Strange, of Knockin.”

It was that Audelay was the chaplain for the Strange family when the Baron Strange got caught up in a brawl in St. Dunstan-in-the-East church on Easter Sunday, of all things, and Audelay accompanied him on his penance. And he seems to carry guilt for the rest of his life and tried to atone for it. He wrote two long poems, Pater Noster and The Three Dead Kings. And there are arguments going on for and against Audelay’s writmg them.

I chose to write this little piece because I found it interesting that he was the author of the first Christmas carols, but the article on Wikipedia, where I read about John Audelay  had none of the carols. If anyone knows which carols Audelay wrote, you may want to pass it on to Wikipedia for inclusion in the article.

Author Thornton Wilder

I thought this was the Wilder that writes comedy, Billy Wilder, but it isn’t. I started reading a bio of Thornton Wilder on Wikipedia and ran across the fact that he had received THREE Pulitzer Prizes. I thought, Wow, he must be some kind of writer. His Pulitzers were for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Our Town (the play), and The Skin of Our Teeth (also a play). Not only that he won a National Book Award for The Eighth Day, a novel.

He was basically a playwright it appears having written only seven novels, but thirty or forty plays. I saw the title The Bridge of San Luis Rey and thought that it may be a Western, but it actually takes place in Peru where a few people were crossing the bridge when it gave away. Wilder digs into the backgrounds of the people to see why they were on the bridge to begin with.

Wilder was well educated having attended Oberlin College and earned his BA from Yale. He got his Master of Arts Degree from Princeton in 1926. His preliminary schooling was in different schools, one being in China where his family lived during his younger years. He was bullied, or teased, at being overly intellectual by students at the Thacher School in Ojai, CA.

Thornton Wilder was in both World Wars, working up to corporal in WWI. In WWII he was a Lieutenant Colonel in intelligence and earned many ribbons and medals. Along with other homosexuals in the war, I assume he (and they) didn’t act like a man who liked men while they were fighting the war.

Anyway, Mister Wilder was a pretty prolific and fine writer from what I read. Personally, I haven’t read anything by him except parts of the play Our Town in high school. Our class had to out it on, and I had a small part. I’ve heard that this was practically a requirement in schools across the Nation.

Further reading: Thornton Wilder: A Life by Penelope Niven, 700 pages.