Back Again

It’s been awhile – about seven months to be exact – since my last post.  It’s been pretty easy to not blog during that timeframe, because, well, we’ve been busy in Beemsville.

Mostly it’s the kids.  I’m coaching their sports teams and involved in their activities.  I’m on the PTO and that’s been even busier this Fall after the co-Pres and chief water carrier for our PTO unexpectedly moved and switched schools.  I have additional work responsibilities and the wife is busier than ever.

But that’s life for us:  it moves along.

Still, I found I missed the blogging and journaling.  I have some books I’d like to review, some thoughts on The Walking Dead, Juergen Klinnsman, the Illinois political mess, and other random topics.  Also, the kids are getting old enough to share their thoughts from time to time.  And they’re pretty good writers with interesting perspectives.

So let’s see if we can reboot and see what happens.

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Thankful for Run-on Sentences

A few days ago my boy was scribbling intently on some homework.  His concentration level was high, and he continued writing until about twenty minutes past normal bedtime to finish it.  The project was a Thanksgiving-themed story using vocabulary words, and it began with a couple of gloriously long run-on sentences.  A whole long paragraph of descriptive scene-setting and character introduction.  These sentences moved along, without repeating information, plenty of dependent clauses and good conjunctions, without that messy punctuation fouling things up.

When the story moved to the action, the sentences became much more compact, and when the dialogue began, so did the jokes along with a lot of punctuation.  It was pretty great. Continue reading

Back from Hiatus

Caught up in events and suddenly it’s been six weeks since the last post…  Suppose this happens.  In our defense, this is the first lengthy break since the blog started years and years ago.

One thing I’ll be trying is shorter posts – more opinion and observation than longer article-style entries.  For example, instead of a full movie review, I may do three reasons I enjoyed it (or didn’t).  Expect some Illini (hooray basketball!), super-heroes and sci-fi, soccer, maybe some Illinois state politics and finances, some youth coaching, parenting, meta-cultural commentaries (that’s a thing, right?) and whatever else pops into focus.  More journal-like.

See you soon.

The Young Poet

My son told his mother he was going to be a poet.  He explained how he was going to grow a goatee, wear his glasses, and always have his notebook handy for the writing.  I cannot confirm whether or not he intends to drape himself all in black; however, his current favorite jeans to wear are indeed black.  The boy is seven.

Now I thought this was a fantastic idea, other than the whole, “how-do-you-expect-to-make-a-living-from-the-humanities-in-the-21st-century” problem.  And this doesn’t come as a total surprise:  the boy likes Shel Silverstein and has had those books read to him and re-read them several times.  Like many, he was reared on Dr. Seus.

Also, he just likes words.  The telling of jokes, an early affinity for basics puns, etc.  We consider this a good sign.  His older sister has had a hand in this as well, having written (an illustrated) several stories for him and setting an excellent example as a constant reader. Continue reading

Gotta work that 1st Person

I recently picked up a novel based on the premise and back matter alone – always a questionable choice – only to return home and find it was written in the 1st person narrator format.  For the non-writerly and readerly types,  this means the storytelling comes from one point of view, the narrator, using “I” (as opposed to third person).  This novel (which I’m not going to name because it’s not cool to run someone down) juxtaposed an ancient Celtic druid in a contemporary setting, which seems like an interesting take.  But I couldn’t get through one chapter.  Too much explaining, not character revealing, awkward, and I immediately knew there was no way I was going 300-plus pages with this narrator.  Back to the bookstore to trade in for something I will read.

The Beemsville take on 1st person goes something like this: works great great for short stories, Frank Miller graphic novels, and Magnum P.I.  For everything else – you better bring it.   Continue reading

Openings – ‘Replicator’ story

Here are the opening few paragraphs for a story I’ve been trying to finish for far two long.  The working title has Replicator in it, because that’s the piece of forgotten technology at the base of the story.  It’s sort of a future-history narrative.  And yes, I’ve set myself a deadline to get that first draft complete. Continue reading