There is no excuse for driving intoxicated when you have the means to avoid it.
A bit preachy, sure. But the arrest of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay just points out once again the arrogance, and more directly, the stupidity of some of those in our society that feel they are above the law simply because they have immense assets.
I understand that drugs and/or alcohol seem to have a grip on Irsay, but I am still baffled by the notion that a man could build a football powerhouse in Indianapolis, and along with it, a personal fortune in excess of a billion dollars, and yet he can’t see the folly inherent in driving under the influence in a car laced with drugs.
He obviously needs help and hopefully this will shake him into seeking it. But my God, what a fool. For all his brilliance and insight, what a damn arrogant fool. He should just be glad he was stopped before he killed someone.
Books on writing can be utilized in different ways.
To be honest, I would rather read a well written novel than a book explaining how to write a well written novel. But all writers read books on writing sooner or later. How you view the material can make all the difference.
You just purchased a new book on the craft of writing. You can approach it with traditional trajectory, scribbling notes in the margins, highlighting, completing the exercises, uh… I mean, prompts. But before grinding through its pages like required reading in a text-book, consider viewing your new guide as if it were a cook book. Skim through it until something catches your eye. Something fresh, nourishing, creative.
And, like a cook book, you can either follow the author’s recipe in exact fashion, striving for a dish that appears just like the picture on the cover, or you can experiment. Add your own ingredients or toss the ones you don’t like. Change the cooking time and the temperature. If their prompt is a hairbrush, write about a plunger. If their target is a thousand words, cut to five hundred. If their muse is a sunlit glade, make yours a dumpster, pelted by acid rain.
Expand your library. Like switching from American cuisine to Italian, try writers’ commentary over step by step processes. A Moveable Feast is no “how to” book, but it is edifying, as well as entertaining. There are lessons to be learned in Hemingway’s exchanges with Scribner and Fitzgerald.
Reading good writing, fiction or otherwise, can be as helpful as any book on execution of the craft. Immersing yourself in Smiley or Steinbeck is like bathing in ink. No matter how vigorously you scrub afterwards, some of what you read is going to stain your next manuscript, whether it seeps in consciously or not. And yes, I must admit, I read that last piece of advice in a book on writing.
Now get cooking.
The best of the year on Edited by Mjollnir.
Those of you with WordPress blogs have seen the annual reports they send out. This is what stood out in mine.
Here are some notable pics from the year as well.
A year of communication destinations.
The following is a cloud I created containing all of the countries from which someone viewed my blog during the last year. Larger names indicate more visits. My only question, where’s Norway? Uff da! Well, there’s always next year. My thanks to every visitor, near and far.
Indonesia United Kingdom
Israel Columbia Taiwan Thailand
Brazil Pakistan Australia
South Korea Spain Russia
Serbia Japan Poland Philippines
Each Autumn, the changing weather ruffles a few feathers, in both species.
Slip, slide, swoosh, SMACK! Every November, it’s the same thing. As soon as those little white crystals start falling out of the clouds, humans go completely stupid. Winter piloting skills, often accumulated during years of driving in icy conditions, are curiously jettisoned. People go too fast, or too slow. Merging becomes a lost art. Signals lose all validity. The myth of 4X4 invincibility shatters, often ending with the ass end of an SUV protruding from the ditch. Every year, humans have to re-learn how to navigate in Winter.
And so do geese.
In this case, I’m speaking specifically about Canada geese – seasonal residents of a drainage field or fairway near you. Other migrating birds encounter similar challenges, but I’m most familiar with these large, chin-strapped waterfowl. Around the same time that humans are busy not putting on new wiper blades and not acquiring snow tires and not allotting more time for commuting, geese are busy not flying very well.
Actually, throughout the Inland Empire, geese begin their preparations before humans. They start gathering and flying in late summer. Scan the eastern dawn as August rolls into September, and you’ll see groups of the large birds flying, not in the iconic V formation most of us imagine, but rather, in something resembling a smeared Q from a HP 7210 running out of ink. And then there are the stragglers, laggards that roam the sky alone, constantly honking to locate their gaggle. Yes, odd as it might seem, these animals, that will soon fly in efficient flocks, over thousands of miles, must re-acquire the ability to do so. And they do. By November, the sloppy Q’s have been snapped into sharp V’s, the lead slot being exchanged with smooth precision. It truly is a wonderful transition to witness.
So, the next time you are caught behind a Volvo going three mph through a half-inch of snow, or are forced to pull over to avoid the speeding F-250/Transformer mutation flying up on your rear, take the opportunity to contemplate the Canada goose. Even these intrepid birds have to relearn their winter travel skills.
If you liked this post or are interested in migratory birds and their sanctuaries, you might also want to read this.