Friday, September 30, 2022

Writing advice from Will Smith

Smith, Will with Mark Manson. WILL. NY: Penguin Press, 2021.

Besides the fact that this is a really good read, there's great advice for writers here. See pages 268 to 270.

He begins with Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces; the basic theory of the Hero's Journey.  And then he breaks it down so it's easily understood and applies it to both historical storytelling and modern movies.  

You don't have to read Campbell's book; there's a shorter interpretation of it in Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey.  

You don't have to read Vogler's book because Will (and Mark) have it summarized down in those three pages. 

It's the path of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly; it is universal arc of transformation.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Did you do this?

 In the 1950s, we would put pennies on the track and come back later to collect the squashed pennies. 

In 2006, when I arrived at grad school on the train, I noticed a family waiting by the tracks. The didn't get on the train. Instead they waited until the train left and then gather up the squashed coins they had placed on the track. 

What do you know? Kids are still doing this. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A surprise purchase

Headed to Office Depot for more printer paper yesterday. But decided to go the opposite direction to Staples because I remembered the Miramar Air Show (with the Blue Angels) was close to Home Depot. I thought I'd also try out some of the office chairs because I've always hated mine. 

For years I had used a secretary chair while my husband used an antique office chair. When I moved to the West Coast, I brought his office chair to use. However, it never fit me right; the arms were too high and I hated it. 

So, I tried the office chairs at Staples and they also had annoyingly high arms. But I found a comfortable office chair with no arms!!! Very tempting. Should I get it? (news note - I did) I'm sitting here typing in my so comfortable new office chair. 

Oh. Yes. I also bought more printer paper.  

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Look for the Helpers

 An elderly man came into the library where I was working and asked for help finding his nephew's house. The Fallston library is not located in a town, It's in the middle of a field with a development behind it, so it was the only building he could see from the road. After a discussion with him, I realized that he really didn't know where he was or where he was going, but when he mentioned his son, I asked him if he knew his son's phone number. When I called his son, the son was shocked that his father had driven so far away - because he had Dementia. The son came to get him and guided him back to his own home. 

Even in his reduced mental ability, this man knew he could get help at a library

 Mr. Rogers always said, "Look for the helpers."  This man knew that he could get help at a library.  

Friday, September 2, 2022

The first word processor v. coffee

 One of my jobs as I worked my way through college was as a typist in the engineering department. Nice people, mostly. However, most if not all the professors were male with us typists all being females. One day I was ordered by the head of the department to make the morning coffee. I tried to explain that I didn't drink coffee and didn't know how, but he cut me off. So I tried. They never asked me to make coffee again. In fact, I think they might have figured out that I wasn't simply a high school grad, but was actually in grad school there, so they moved me from being a simple typist into a separate room with the very first MT/ST machine that had just been invented. (The IBM MT/ST was a model of the IBM Selectric typewriter, built into its own desk, integrated with magnetic tape recording and playback facilities) In other words -- the first word processor.  

Now, Imagine the shock of those professors - and businessmen all over -- when their companies dropped a desktop computer on their desk and fired all the female typists. What? Type their own reports? That's women's work.