Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sunday’s Article


Originally I intended to do an article related to St. Valentine’s Day. However, there has been a change. This weeks article is now going to be on the Baltimore Ravens. But as you know I am not a sports writer … so … this will not be the typical Baltimore Ravens article you will see this weekend.

Though I will tell you at the end of the article whether I support the Ravens or the 49ers.

Till Sunday … have a great day.

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Blog Hop


What’s a blog hop? Well this one was started by Scott’s friend Arianna. It is an interview, a list of ten questions. Each writer answers the ten questions and then selects five more writers they would like to interview. While learning something about those we like to read (and what they are working on now) it introduces our favorite writers to a wider audience of others who also might like their work.

Thank you Scott, I appreciate the opportunity. So, without further ado here we go:

1-      What is the working title of your book? The Quitter.

2-      Where did the idea come from for the book? Everywhere and nowhere. The main premise just popped into my head one day and I started toying with the idea in my head. All of my work begins with just one idea that percolates in my mind for days, weeks or months. Then I begin to talk the idea out, by the time I actually  put “pen to paper” I already know the whole story, and it is just a matter of getting to the details.

3-      What genre does your book fall under? I am not sure, I usually read either non-fiction or classic fiction. If I had to guess I would say probably adventure drama.

But, the strong connection between Ron and his ex-girlfriend Sara plays a big part in Ron’s transformation. Sara intuitively and intimately knows Ron. She is the only person in Ron’s life who has ever known him this well. His loss of Sara and his desire to tell her how sorry he is pushes him as a much as his desire to live.

4-      Which actor would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Ron, Craig Sheffer as Bill and Jennifer Connelly as Sara.

I actually answered this question last. I didn’t want to give the usual Brad Pitt answer. I thought about what kind of recommendations I would give to a director. I wanted people who “looked the part.” The part of Ron I felt was the most crucial. You learn about his life through flashbacks, but the real action is Ron alone trying to survive nature while re-living a life of mistakes and missed opportunities. Ron’s attitude, emotions and drive swing quite a bit during the story and I ended up thinking no one could pull that off better than Philip Hoffman.

5-      What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  A tragedy in the wilderness brings a halt to Ron’s life of running away, but is it too late to save his life, and his relationship with the one woman he truly loves?

6-      Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Neither, I have a publisher in the United Kingdom that read a sample, and wants to publish it.

7-      How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? A lifetime.

8-      What other books would compare to this work within your genre? Well, I don’t usually read books in this genre so I can’t really say. But if anyone out there has any suggestions after reading it I would like to hear them.

9-      Who or what inspired you to write this book? My dad was always telling me I was a failure and couldn’t do anything on my own. Sometimes I would not try my best at the things I did. If I didn’t try, then it wasn’t that I lost, I just didn’t try, and dad was wrong. But, when I began to get over this, I saw it in other people around me both strangers and people I know. People who lack self-confidence, and don’t try their hardest because they believe they will fail before they even start. Ron is someone like that, who finds himself in a situation where he has to try or die.

I think people are amazing and that EVERYONE has a great talent within them. Most people when they lose, someone else did not beat them, they beat themselves.

10-  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I think Ron’s hand-to-paw fight with a grizzly bear is a dramatic point, both for the book and for Ron. I spent a month reading nothing but grizzly bear attack reports. If Ron was killed by the bear, there would be no book. But I wanted a scene that could happen, something believable. It was a hard scene to write and took longer than any other scene in the book.

 

The writers I tagged are: Each author below is totally different from the other four. Sheri is also the only poet in the group. There were so many others I wanted to add, but I stuck with the foremat of five.

1- Sheri, The Other Side Of Ugly

2-  J.G. Burdette, Map of Time/A Trip into the Past

3- Deborah Rose Reeves, First we Read Then We Write

4- Barry, The Way I See It

5- K C Leighton

I recommend you check out all their sites as they are incredible writers and people. They all inspire me to become a better person!

Message for tagged authors: Rules of the Next Big Thing

***Use this format for your post

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.


Hope you all have a wonderful start to your week and take care!

 

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Frivolous Sunday


This is our “skipping through Target” day (if you don’t remember what that was click here “Skip to the Lou My Darling“).

Music. (We’ll hit three different kinds today.)

Today I share with you music. I like to listen to almost all kinds of music. I’ll start with a little Mozart. I listen to Wolfgang when I am carving, painting, or sometimes writing. I also listen to Mozart on those days I seem to keep repeating to myself, “Some people are alive, only because it is illegal to kill them!”

Next, the Master.

BB King. (quick what is the name of his guitar?)

Now on to one of my fav rock-n-roll bands — ZZ Top. This is my favorite ZZ Top song (it has a blues flavor to it).

Now for the poll. “American Woman” is one of my favorite rock-n-roll songs. It has a hard edge, electric guitar sound that just screams “American Rock-nRoll Baby.” But, I can’t decide which is my favorite version. I want you to help me out and vote for your favorite version.


(We are not judging the videos just the music.)

Now, go out to the world and spread smiles, humor, and above all … frivolity.

Have a great week.

Joe

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This Sunday’s Article


For almost two months now it seems as if the entire world has been so very serious. I feel sometimes as though a black cloud has descended upon us. Where has our smile and humor gone?

So, this Sunday is going to be “Frivolous Sunday”. I have a few of my favorite things for you too listen too, and then I am going to top our frivolity with a poll. A totally frivolous poll. Our frivolous poll will not give us world peace, feed the hungry, or outlaw criminals, it won’t even sharpen your pencil or make your morning coffee.

Then, all of us will spend the rest of our Sunday being totally frivolous, while smiling at everyone and no one. Let’s hope that this catches on … at least for one day.

So, until Sunday, soldier on my friends.

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Jocko … a Racist Icon or Deliverer of the Oppressed?


image of lawn jockey

image of lawn jockey, the Jocko style (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most lawn jockeys today are white, but over 100 years ago most were black. There are two styles of lawn jockey, the Jocko (black) and the Cavalier Spirit (white). The Jocko is the lawn jockey that interests us now.

The jocko lawn jockey had exaggerated features; big eyes, flat nose, curly hair and large lips. The skin tone was often a gloss black and during the American Civil War, they were made of cast iron. Legend has it that the inspiration for the Jock lawn jockey goes back to an American Revolutionary War hero, under General George Washington, though no supporting evidence has been discovered yet.

Charles Blockson, the curator of the Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, states the Jockos were used in the underground railroad during the civil war. He goes on to state that a green ribbon tied to the statue meant it was safe and a red ribbon meant it was not safe. Mr. Blockson says that many people who do not know the history of Jocko have feelings of humiliation and anger when they see the statue.

Many people discredit the Underground Railroad affiliation because red and green signals meaning stop/go or danger/safe were not standardized until World War One. If it were not for Judge Benjamin Piatt and his wife, I would have to agree.

Judge Piatt built a house in what is today West Liberty, Ohio; in Logan County. Judge Piatt was also the father of Don and Abram Piatt. The two brothers built the Piatt Castles (Mac-O-Chee and Mac-A-Cheek) after the civil war. The Castles are open for tours from spring to fall. Mrs. Piatt was an abolitionists and Benjamin Piatt a circuit judge. Due to the Fugitive Slave Act, the judge could not associate with his wife’s abolitionist work. Mrs. Piatt used their home as a station for runaway slaves going to Canada. When the judge was away Mrs. Piatt put a small American flag in Jocko’s hand to show it was safe. When the judge was home Mrs. Piatt removed the flag so the conductor and runaway slaves would know it was not safe to stop.

Being an officer of the court the judge had to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act and could not be aware of her activities. But of course the judge was no fool and was perfectly aware of his wife’s activities. To ensure he would remain ignorant of his wife’s activities he would always send a messenger to tell his wife when he was coming home.

You decide. Is Jocko an icon of racism or a deliverer of the oppressed?

In the future I will write more about the Piatt family and their wonderful castles.

English: Side of Mac-A-Cheek Castle, located o...

English: Side of Mac-A-Cheek Castle, located off State Route 245 east of West Liberty in Monroe Township, Logan County, , . Built in 1864, it and the nearby Mac-O-Chee Castle are operated as historic house museums. Under the name of “Abram S. Piatt House and Donn S. Piatt House”, the Piatt Castles are listed on the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Front and side of Mac-O-Chee Castle, ...

English: Front and side of Mac-O-Chee Castle, located off State Route 245 east of West Liberty in Monroe Township, Logan County, , . Built in 1864, it and the nearby Mac-A-Cheek Castle are operated as historic house museums. Under the name of “Abram S. Piatt House and Donn S. Piatt House”, the Piatt Castles are listed on the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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