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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Things that get you down

I have decided I am not going to watch the TV news anymore. It is too depressing. They only put on the bad stuff: tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.. They never put on anything uplifting. Where I live, one channel has a newscast that runs for three hours every evening. I only watch until the weather forecast comes on because every half hour they begin again with their sensational story that everyone is talking about at the moment and re-hash it in the next segment. It is all downers. They rarely, if ever, put on the story about the local kid who struggled to get the time to study because he had to help support his family yet made it into college on an academic scholarship, or the EMT or fireman who was awarded a promotion for exceptional service. Nor do they tell of the cop who got a gang to turn to basketball or baseball instead of drugs and juvenile delinquency. People need to hear these kinds of stories, too! They need to tell us of the lady who volunteered after her job to teach children to read, and about the teacher who has inspired thirty former students to pursue careers in engineering instead of dropping out, and how they honored him with a scholarship in his honor. When they start broadcasting more of this kind of news, they will get me back.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Starting over

Here I am at the beginning of another writing project. As if the creation of my first book wasn't enough grief, I am now trying to produce one using my wife's grandkids as models. Fortunately, they are good models. Each of them has an interesting personality and traits that translate well into a story. They are of the correct age for a novel about youngsters and old enough to be able to do some interesting things as a group. Like some of the stories that have gone before such as the Hardy Boys or the Nancy Drew mysteries, their characters give a good mix that enables the plot to have multiple twists and turns. I describe one as brave, another as musically talented, the third as artistic, and one as athletic. Together, they have the makings of a team that has just the right mix of talents and skills to do the things outlined in the plot. I am not letting them know that they are being incorporated into the story until I had finished it. I want them to see themselves the way I see them. I hope that this has the desired effect. I love all of them, and I love the two new ones who are too young to be incorporated as they are only two and newborn. Maybe, if I live long enough, I'll write about them, too. Thanks to the experience gained with writing Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, this one should be easier.