Venture in Authorship

 

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It’s going to an exciting month as I attend what has to be the biggest event in my writing life.  Sponsored by the Lee County Public Library here in Fort Myers, will be READ FEST 2017 on March 18th. Among many celebrated authors who have graciously agreed to appear at this event, I have been honored to have my own author table.

Libraries have long-held a consistent fascination for me since the age of 8. From that point on, I have held a library card in every place I’ve ever lived. This love of reading both for pleasure as well as general learning has been passed on to my children and grandchildren. They all love good stories in many different genres. This makes me so very proud!

 

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I find that the love of a good story is common to us all. Films carry on the legacy of passing on good stories of all sorts. But, as for me, give me a good book every time. Hopefully the continued love of the written word will inspire the present and future generation. This is the WHY that motivates all of the reading festivals around the globe!

 

Elwood vs. Ebeneezer

Like many of us who research via various information banks (or libraries) sometimes an odd factoid (as in ‘not necessarily a fact per se) POPS and sends imaginations on a side path. That phenomenon is akin to walking a dog, who suddenly pulls hard on the leash as it encounters a squirrel. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what motivates human beings to pursue a life philosophy. You know, we all have a basic philosophy that influences our daily actions. Some notions serve us well. Often, we can observe, a mindset fails to aid us in becoming worthwhile people.

Well, this morning I was fooling around and looking up things on the internet. For fun, curiosity urged me to look up Harvey. As many of you who have followed me (or at least peeked at my blog) I am an AVID film and theater buff. The quote I wanted was found in the Wikipedia article on Harvey. It goes like this:

Years ago my mother used to say to me, She’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

  • James Steward as Elwood P. Dowd

Harvey (1950)

As I read the above quotation, its opposite fictional character came to mind. Ah, yes, Ebeneezer Scrooge. My ‘dog chased that squirrel’. How do these characters compare?? 

Elwood

  1. Background – an upper middle class gentleman who pursues his gifts of hospitality and compassion.
  2. Lives with sister and niece with whom, for his part, fondness and concern are the hallmarks of his behavior.
  3. Manages to overcome the misunderstandings that prompt his sister to have him committed to an institution.
  4. So, Mr. Dowd and his beloved pookah, Harvey, continue in their amicable relationship.

Ebeneezer

  1. Background – an upper merchant class Englishman whose father rejected him (due to the death of his mother, as he was born.)
  2. Lived reconciled with his father and sister, until he was apprenticed in an accounting firm.
  3. Mr. Scrooge only manages to find redemption due to the intervention of his deceased partner (Marley) and the famous three Spirits of Christmas.
  4. Awake to his failings to live with others with compassion and consideration, he ends his days with a new set of values that benefit everyone else in his life and community.

CONCLUSION:  I, too, recommend PLEASANT.

Thanks for stopping by, Susan

Sojourning continues

My profound gratitude to the Happiness Engineers Team at WordPress for their assistance as I struggled to revamp my own domain!  It’s such a relief to have this support. As I have often reflected in previous posts, learning is an ONGOING PROCESS. 

When I graduated high school (sometime between the administration of George Washington and Barack Obama) most of us fledgling adults had the notion that you had all you need to face the challenges of life with high school diploma in hand. Oh, if that had only been true.  The fact is that as we move from job to job, school to school and place to place, we always come away with knowledge that we didn’t possess before. From the simple to the profound, you’re continually building your skill base. The blessings for me lie in the fact that I can safely say that I have successfully transitioned from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. How to keep from constant anxiety??  Learn, retain what is useful and discard the excess!

Lots of projects are underway for me this year. I am compiling an anthology of personal stories about what it was like to grow up in post World War II suburbia. It’s amazing as images of making snow angels in the first snow of the Christmas season with my siblings, to the ‘fun’ of elementary school memories come back as fully as if it had just happened!!

The sequel to Life Song: An Irish Odyssey progresses, albeit slowly.

Hope that your holidays were wonderful and satisfying as we progress through this new year.  Thanks for stopping by.  Always, Susan

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There’s always something new..

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In discovering historical evidence of current and previous civilizations and cultures, the diligent researcher realizes that one conclusion is truly inescapable: historical assumptions are constantly changing!!

As I delve into the history of medicine, time after time I must revisit previous information and match that with the alterations provided by present historians. When I was a child in elementary school, the then curricula was brief and flattering/scathing to  historical figures. Thus the student had to conclude that every major player in the world was one of two things:  hero or villain.

There was a play called ‘Porgy and Bess’. In it was a song that echoes my current take on history – “It ain’t necessarily SO!” Some historical educators have been taken aback when I contend that History IS under constant revision.

Case in point: medicine and surgery have been performed for over four millenia. Pharmaceuticals in current use today are reformulations the minerals and plants and animal by-products that have existed since earth’s creation. Which is ok, too. Too much or too little of something can indeed be dangerous or ineffective without specific knowledge of proper proportions. Surgical techniques have had to take into account the individual patient’s ability to withstand the physical rigors involved. Conclusion – you can’t be too careful.

There IS always something MORE to be learned. Nothing is a permanent FACT but that it will be subject to revision as new information comes to light. To me, that’s thrilling. Life-long learning is humanity’s living legacy. So, let’s hear it for archeologists, geologists and historians the world over! Thank you for all you do!!!  Author photo Sue 0815  Thanks for stopping by, Susan

P.S. ‘There’s always something new..’ IS the title of this piece. Hope it doesn’t confuse!