My love for the cinema makes me sometimes wonder if I was born a few decades too late. I think I would have enjoyed the “hey-day” of movie-going -- the 30’s and 40’s -- when going out to a movie was an “event” in and of itself. For evening shows, people got dressed up to go sit in huge, plush theaters -- not the little cracker-box rooms that make up our multiplexes. Tasseled, velvety curtains would part, a massive screen would be revealed, and the crowd would applaud. For the next few hours they were transported by movies like “Gone with the Wind” -- movies with colors so rich you could almost taste them. These audiences watched actors who (although far from perfect) were unblemished by the tabloid rumor mill. Movie-goers didn’t know and didn’t feel the need to know all the “dirt” on celebrities, and they probably cared very little about these stars’ political “stances.” The movie was the thing.
The matinee audience was a little different. I salivate at the afternoon adventures my dad tells of. Twenty-five cents got you a Coke, a popcorn, a 15-minute serial, and two full-length westerns. Afterwards the escapades continued, not in front of a video game, but in the backyard -- where slingshots, stick horses, and skinned knees became the tools of the Old West.
I know that in one sense, there is no such thing as “the good old days.” But I do think that our wonderful medium of film, once so epic and “untouchable”, has become tainted by Hollywood gossip, $3.00 candy bars, and the depiction of casual immorality as “the norm.”
That being said, I’m still a fan of the cinema (at least some of it). I took my oldest son to the movies today. (Read the rest here. . .)
Friday, July 28, 2006
When I was a kid, whenever anyone would have an "aha!" moment where the lightbulb went off in our brain, my grandfather would say, "Well, you learn something new every day." Just like that, stating it as a fact. You learn something new every day, whether you like it or not. And it's not usually big, important stuff, either. It could be something as simple as finally figuring out what "lefty Lucy, righty tighty" means.
As I get older I'm not so sure that I learn something new every day - in fact, I probably forget more than I actually learn. That's why I'm working on a new project, "Learn Something New Every Day." The goal is to come up with 365 new things that I'll compile into a booklet so that readers can learn something new every day.
Want to help? Share with me some tidbit of knowledge that's made your life easier or some piece of knowledge you think others need to know. I've already begun to compile some trivia (when the first Miss America was crowned and when), household advice (the way to see if an egg is fresh, for example), historical information (who said the famous "you can fool some of the people" phrase), and basic stuff everyone should know (like when Bugs Bunny made his screen debut).
Care to share? Send your trivia to email@example.com with "Learn Something New" in the subject line.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Just a quick note to let you all know about a new writing workshop, The Will Rogers Writers Workshop. It's scheduled for March 15-18 in Oklahoma City and is presented in partnership with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop and hosted by The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com.
Workshops that are tentatively scheduled include:
Writing Funny in Serious Times
Short Takes Make a Long Career (writing briefs and items)
Take My Advice: Write Features
Regional Magazines: an Overlooked Market
Finding a Niche (specialty writing)
Political Humor Almost Writes Itself
Connecting With Readers
Secrets of Successful Column Writing
Let People "See" Your Story
From Print to Screen
Working With Your Editor
Syndication: an Elusive Dream
How to Win Writing Contests – and Why Try?
The Wild World of the Internet
Writing On the Road: Tools and Technologies
The Business of Writing: What Freelancers Need to Know
For more information, visit the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
Posted by Joanne Brokaw at 10:12 AM
Friday, July 14, 2006
I was searching for a quote I read from Steve Martin about writer's block and found the whole essay he wrote on writing. Very funny. :)
Posted by Joanne Brokaw at 10:47 AM
Monday, July 10, 2006
According to my favorite trivial website, HolidayInsights.com, July is National Anti-Boredom Month. Of course, we missed Nude Recreation Week, which would have been loads of fun. Maybe next year.
In any event, this is a great time to share ways that you avoid boredom. Like, oh, I dont know ... surfing the internet, checking email, eating Breyers Vanilla Fudge Twirl ice cream with Hershey's hot fudge and whipped cream, or blogging in the buff.
Posted by Joanne Brokaw at 6:49 PM
Monday, July 03, 2006
Ahh...July 4th. The thought of this holiday brings up fond memories of hot dogs, ice cream, and fireworks (before there was a drought--now our county has a ban in place)--and, I must admit, a certain very catchy anti-men Martina McBride song.
But ever since I became a mom, I've dreamed of another kind of Independence Day--the day my kids will:
- get dressed--alone.
- get their own drinks.
- make their own meals.
- do their own laundry.
- do their own dishes.
You get the drift.
Of course, the minute that one of them does something grown-up, I start getting misty. I don't want them to grow up too fast--just quick enough to give me a break every now and then.
As for me, I've always been a tad too independent. Strong-willed, too. (Anyone relate?) Growing up on a Texas ranch, with a mom who was ill for many of my teenage years, made me very capable. I learned how to do all the housework, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and carpooling early on.
In fact, since my dad was my "boss" for several summers, I also learned my way around a hoe, hose, tractor, horse, and riding lawnmower. Just don't get me near a branding iron--it isn't pretty. (On "branding" days, I stayed inside with my mom and fixed beans and cornbread for the hired help. I'm all for women's lib, except when it means I have to watch calves get "fixed." Yikes!)
Don't get me wrong. Independence can be a wonderful thing. Except when it comes to my relationship to God. In that facet of my life, I need to be dependent (not just daily, but minute by minute) on His wisdom, guidance, and grace.
I think He gave me kids--energetic, messy, willful boys, to be specific--to bring me to my knees (sometimes that's figurative, and other times, like when I'm cleaning floors and toilets, it's literal).
So tomorrow, I'll grab a hot dog, watch the fireworks, and thank God once again for the way that parenting makes me fall on the floor (sometimes in agony, many times in confusion, and often in laughter).
Martina McBride, eat your heart out!
Posted by Dena Dyer at 2:54 PM
Sunday, July 02, 2006
On St. Patrick's Day, anyone who does not wear green is teased with a pinch.
So, on Independence Day in the USA, what happens to those who do not wear red, white and blue?
Kathy Carlton Willis
Living Out Loud Communications and Manuscript Editorial Services
Posted by Kathy Carlton Willis at 3:44 PM