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Storytelling….. (Nostalgia series)

I was reading a particularly good story (Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde)  the other day and it set me to wondering;  when was my first memory of a story being told to me. The very first one? I must have been three or four when I first heard of Cinderella. Many stories were told orally by my mother.   It’s really amazing how many fairy tales she knew by heart. I believe that began my life-long-love of story telling.  When I got a little older, my mother went on to tell me hundreds of stories about her five sisters and their growing up in the woods of Tumwater, Washington.  (Wild Violets)

At about age eighteen my sister gave me three books by Erich Maria Remarque. I don’t remember why those particular books, or why that author. Arch of Triumph, A Time to Love and A Time to Die, and All Quiet on the Western Front. (First Editions, copyright 1954) I wasn’t a reader of books; a typical teenager who got plenty of assigned reading in high school left no time for pleasure reading. Sigh. I can’t believe I was ever of that mindset!

 I had idolized my big sister since birth and wanted to please her in all things so I began reading the first book. I was enthralled with the writing and the story. Sixty years later I still have those books; From that moment on I have always had a book in my hands. 

There came a time when I felt I should try my hand at ‘storytelling’.  Writing plays at first. Telling a story in less than 100 pages. It came so naturally. Friends who read my plays wanted more of the stories; fleshed out as it were. (What happened to the characters after the play was over; what were their lives like before the play began?) and they insisted I expand the stage play into a full length novel. Which, even though it took me years of labor, I did. 

As I lived my life I was always the one who sought out stories. I never tired of my mother’s tales about her and her sisters and what hellions they were. My own library of books grew and grew.  Walls  of books.

Around 1994, I sat down and wrote my first stage play…and as they say…the rest is history! By this time I had read hundreds of scripts (during my acting career)  so I found it extraordinarily easy to write in that format. It certainly sharpened my skills at writing dialogue. Along the way, I discovered that ten minute plays were very popular and for me, easy and fun to write. 

In another life I must have been a forensics detective because, as a hobby, I love murder, gore, forensics and clues. Characters come first for me when writing and one day Detectives Jack O’Roarke and Stella Garcia popped into my head. They were fully formed and rarin’-ta-go!  (World of Murder).

My advice to writers? If you’re just starting out, tell a story you know . You can always research a topic that you don’t know anything about but your writing will take longer, because you must get it right.  Keep writing!

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‘My momma always said, ‘Life is Like a Box of Chocolates’….or words (part 8)

An argument was presented to me recently in the film Words and Pictures (movie, 2013 with Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche)famous people, Marilyn Monroe

As the students looked up a word, on their electronic devices, the English, Honors teacher presented the theory that if the students relied on their device of choice they would see only the word that was assigned.  If they used the (paper) dictionary, and while thumbing through the pages to find the word, they would be exposed to other words and mostly likely one or two would reach out and grab them. 
 
I put it to the test. EQUIDISTANT Definition: equally distant <a location equidistant from two major cities>Origin of EQUIDISTANT
Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin aequidistant.First Known Use: 1556
 
NostalgiaA Greek word meaning to Grieve, to Ache
Modern Dictionary a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.            And:

Meritocracy:  A system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement

BUT then one can make a strong argument for ‘Pictures tell a thousand words’ too. Pictures almost always illicit some sort of reaction from us.

Can you look at any of these photos and say that you feel nothing?


The movie
Words and Pictures is worth your time!

 

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Nostalgia…through the wringer

Laundry (Small) Wash day  I just put a load of laundry in to my 21st century machine that wants to know my every wish for the perfect wash.  What temperature do I want? hot? cold? energy saver? Or perhaps cool?  One rinse or two? How long do I want to wash my semi-dirty clothes?  Do I want to wash them gently or harshly?

As I loaded my machine, one sweater would not sink into the energy-saving, cool, one rinse, water and for a second I looked around my (oh so very pleasant), laundry room for my ‘stick’.  Do you remember the stick your mother used to push down the clothes into the wringer washing machine?  Made of wood and  squeaky clean the stick was used only for that purpose;  pushing down clothes into the water and Tide detergent. I think ours was the old handle from a toilet plunger.  And, in the case of my mother, hell would rain down if you borrowed that stick for any other purpose. more »

Letter Writing……..a Look Back! Nostalgia

the art of penmanship  When was the last time YOU received a letter, hand written, from a friend or family member?  I bet it’s been years!!
I used to have a friend (passed away at 82) who did write me in long hand.  My brother sends me a typed letter that he copies, but it is really being sent to his grand-daughter’s ex-husband in prison!  I don’t count that.  In fact I’ve asked him not to send it to me, but he forgets by the time he has written the next one!  lol

Penmanship used to be graded in school.  Wow!  I am really dating myself, aren’t I?  I still take pride in my long hand but it’s tough to slow down long enough to write!

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“A Masked man and an Indian Rode the plains, Searching for Truth and Justice”. Nostalgia (part 5)

nostalgia, history, the lone ranger, radio             ‘Hi, Ho! Silver’         Nostalgia   

When I was a very little girl my mother and I would pull our chairs up close to our Zenith radio and wait for the iconic shout, “Hi-Ho Silver! Away!”  and the weekly  radio show of ‘The Lone Ranger’. The first of 2,956 radio episodes of The Lone Ranger premiered on  WXYZ. He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived either (it remains unclear)  by WXYZ radio station owner, George W. Trendle, or by Fran Striker, the show’s writer. It’s been suggested that Bass Reeves, a legendary Federal peace officer in the Indian Territory (1875 – 1907), was the inspiration for this character.

Each episode was introduced by the announcer as follows:  ‘In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!’

Then not too many years later I went to the Saturday matinees at the movie house and to watch the serialized adventures of the Lone Ranger. radio, movies, the lone ranger, tonto,  I believe that was my first crush on a guy. And Tonto was so exotic….what a duo!  Actors (above) Clayton Moore played the Ranger and Jay Silverheels was Tonto.

Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as “Ke-mo sah-bee”, meaning “trusty scout” or “trusted friend.” These catchphrases, his the lone ranger, tonto, nostalgia, silver, scouttrademark silver bullets, and the theme music from the William Tell overture have become tropes of popular culture.

The show and the characters were so influential that both actors took their positions as role models to children very seriously, in their daily lives,  and tried their best to live their lives by the creed that was created for them. It read:

I believe…

that to have a friend, a man must be one.
that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
that God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
that a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
that ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always.
that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
that sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

Just the other night I saw the first trailer, on TV, about the new movie, “The Lone Ranger”.  What a kick!  And under all that paint tonto, the lone ranger, radio, nostalgiaon Tonto’s face is Johnny Depp.  No surprise there; Depp has always gone his own way and chosen roles that intrigued him.  He has historically thumbed his nose at agents, managers, studio CEO’s, and accepted diverse and (others may believe) crazy roles.  Good on you! Johnny!loneranger.new

 

 

 

 

the lone ranger, silver, scout, Tonto, radio, nostalgia           The Horses:  I was horse-crazy as a girl and loved Silver and Scout as much as the heroes. According to the episode “The Legend of Silver”: before acquiring Silver, the Lone Ranger rode a chestnut mare called Dusty. The Lone Ranger saves Silver’s life from an enraged buffalo and, in gratitude, Silver chooses to give up his wild life to carry him. The origin of Tonto’s horse, Scout, is less clear. For a long time, Tonto rode a white horse called White Feller. Then Tonto is given a paint horse by his friend Chief Thundercloud, who then takes White Feller. Tonto rides this horse and refers to him simply as “Paint Horse” for several episodes. The horse is finally named Scout.  In another episode,  the Lone Ranger, in a surge of conscience, releases Silver back to the wild.

I remember that episode like it was yesterday.  I couldn’t believe that the Lone Ranger, MY lone ranger and MY Silver were to be parted. Not until the next Saturday, at the local movie theatre, did Silver return to his beloved master.

Yes, I am a writer of fiction, plays and poetry but the thing I really like about this ‘blog’ business is I get to write about writing and storytelling.  I can write about stories that intrigue and endure.  The story behind The Lone Ranger intrigues and certainly is enduring!
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!  A SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name:: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Karen Robards, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Caroline Leavitt, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Walter Mosley, Loretta Chase, Nora Roberts, Raymond Benson, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is November’s author and  slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. Raymond Benson is January’s author.

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