“Times like these…”


Research your own experiences for the truth…

Absorb what is useful…

Add specifically your own…

The creating individual is more than any style or substance.

                                                                          Bruce Lee

There are quite a few things that I am still trying to work out. Anger, frustration and just plain exhaustion are never useful when it comes to get any creative efforts done with any satisfaction.

There are times when you just have to take a pause. But life goes on regardless of the conditions you are in.

Sometimes, you try to keep different parts of your life separate from each other. Sometimes it works. And sometimes it does not.

The picture here is of the Ropes Course, that I have been part of for about 28 years now. I am not going to mention the name of the organization here. The reason is that I try to keep what do here and what I have to do on the course separate.

As for the Ropes Course I have acquired “knowledge” over the years. I would never call myself the be all and end all “expert”. I do not believe they truly exist. And I try to avoid any long term contact with anyone claiming to be one. The reason is every time I run the course I learn something new or have to deal with a situation I never encountered before. There is process on the course. And that process need to be run over and over again while making adjustments to conditions on hand at the moment.

The Ropes Course has a series of events that designed to help people with team building, problem solving, trust, planning, decision-making, communication, leadership and self-esteem. The course has had its “ups and downs” over the years. The problem is that this is an “experience’ and it is not “required” for advancement. We live in a society at the moment that is more fixed on checking off a box. Plus, people do not want to risk having an experience without a guarantee on the outcome. All I can do on the course is set the “Parameters” the actual “Experience” is what the person is willing to do with it in that moment. I also think the more memorable experiences happen when they come without a preconceived notion. Or one that was required beforehand.

I only am mentioning this because a similar thing happened (and still is) with my writing.

Steven Pressfield’s idea of Resistance as he described in his book The War of Art is dead on accurate. I can testify to that. But would anyone listen?

It has been hard to get any real face to face feedback on what I write. I do not like talking to people who stare at floors. And two word answers are not very useful, And certainly not very engaging. But it is what is. Being acknowledged and to be in some validated is the Mirage on the Edge of Cyberspace. I have to move towards it but getting there may not happen. Using WebStats is not the best Metric either. Social media can be very (for the lack of a better term) Temperamental border lining on Apathetic. It just the most available promotion tool at this time on the Internet.

Ben’s essay The Kind of Writer You Want to Be started me thinking. And where to begin. So I am starting with the Blog. I like when I get ideas that are in my head out. I have Stream of Conscience going when I write many of them. I like getting ideas out and how they may be related to other ones. Basically, it is more about where I find myself in that moment. I know I am not for everyone. Believe me. But the blog is first for myself to get those ideas out. And see where they may go. But I hope that if someone reads the post they may find something for themselves in it. Or would be to add something I may not have considered. The blog is where I find myself at that Present Moment

As for long term writing goals, I am going to follow the advice of Derek Sivers Keep Your Goals to Yourself. But I will say, it involves fictional writing.

To borrow an idea from baseball.

You can have what is considered to be a successful career by being a .250 hitter. Who is also .750 comes to Swing and A Miss.

As I have to remind myself on the course start with the process and keep working it. Stop over thinking the end Product. Be present in the moment.

Also I need to remember to keep an eye and an ear out for things that may help along the way. And pass them along.

Finally, give credit when it’s due.

#OurCreativeBoat is courtesy of Mentorless.com. There are a lot of articles there I have bookmarked for later reading. The problem is I do not have Internet access at work due to company policy. And Windows 10 does not save articles for off line reading. Does anyone have a solution for this problem?

#ShowYourWork is courtesy of Austin Kleon and his book “Show Your Work”. It is book I continue to reference as a reminder for myself.

Posted in General thoughts, Life's Experiments | Leave a comment

Some Times

 


 

I am in the midst of doing some online researching. I stumbled upon some Concerning Information that broke the flow.    

However, what it is I am not going to share at this time. I want to React to it. But I am not sure if that is going to be right Action.

Plus, I am not sure if there is anything I can do About it anyways. Because sometimes the only recourse is Nothing.

May be Bruce Lee was correct when he said,

“Be like water making its way through cracks.

Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it.

If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water.

If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.

You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle.

You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

 

Today, I might be able to do is getting some Chinese Take Out and think it over.

But I am going try not to go Too Deep with it.

I might get stuck there.


 

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And then What?

 

Thinking about being a writer?

Be prepared.

To accept that this will happen to you at some point.

It has been quite some time since there has been any updates on this site.

There were quite a bit of setbacks and interruptions on my end.

Plus, I have been doing some re-evaluating of the site.

 

New postings will be coming soon.


 

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“Going the Distance”

Netflix’s has been streaming the first five Rocky movies. The sixth one, Rocky Balboa is worth the effort to find. Too bad Netflix does not have this streaming. And the upcoming Creed (about Apollo Creed’s son going into boxing) looks promising.

I have downloaded the first one to my Kindle. I have to say that after almost 40 years since it was first released it still holds up. I also think that Sylvester Stallone is underrated. I know his career has had its Ups and Downs. His mannerisms open him up to parody. Yet, he is still going.

I was reading some back story about the first Rocky movie. Stallone was living paycheck to paycheck when he wrote the screenplay. There were many groups interested in making the movie. However, there was one point. He could not be the star of it. He held firm it was his movie to star in. The producers were even willing to pay him more money not to be the star. He stood firm. And the rest was history.

Boxing movies are filled more times than not with a bunch of clichés. In fact, the final fight is anticlimactic. Here what makes it a good story is that everything in Rocky’s life outside of the ring is in conflict. Those conflicts are driving the drama of the story. Too many times, audiences over look this and base their opinion on the Final Fight.

The Rocky series was up and down as a whole. First two were good. The third one was a bit excessive. The fourth one was definitely a product of the 80’s. Although, Putin is trying to revive the Hollywood image of the Evil Russians. But he does not have the charisma to pull it off. The fifth one was practically pointless. And the sixth revived the series and was a good way to wrap up the series.

I have the Rocky Balboa: The Best of Rocky soundtrack. It features music from all of the movies. The rock songs on the album were mostly used for the cliché workout montages that were common in 80’s movies. A side effect of the MTV programming. The songs that work the best are the orchestral ones by composer Bill Conti. I like listening to those types of songs for movies. Because if close your eyes and listen you can imagine the story of the movie. (Star Wars by John Williams are another favorite). Listen to Gonna Fly Now (“Theme for Rocky”). You feel like you’re walking into a Coliseum. You can sense a fight coming.

The song I really like is Going the Distance. Here is a performance. You can imagine the fight.

The part people overlook about the first movie is that Rocky lost the fight. It was not about winning or losing for him. All he wanted to know was that he was capable of lasting all the rounds in the match.

This scene is tied to one in Rocky Balboa where he is challenged by a younger box to fight in an exhibition match. He needs go up against the usual bureaucrats to get approval.

This is the relatable scene. We live in a world of social media judgment. By people, who will never get up and roll up their sleeves to help. We have created a political class of people who say they know better than us how life should work. We get impeded by more paperwork and insurance requirement than is logical. Too many “What if’s” not challenged by enough “So What’s”. Whether we Win or Lose. Because that is not ultimately in our hands. It is about Opportunity to do so to our abilities.

And that scene is why the character of Rocky resonates with us. And why after all these years he still has a place in our culture.

Posted in Human St(r)ain, Movies, Music, This I Believe | Leave a comment

Paradigm


I am in the process of retrieving my files and transferring them to my new laptop computer. Another word of advice. Not only remember your passwords. Remember your settings and configurations too. Eliminate any potential stress when you can.

Also Windows 10 takes a bit to get use to.

I was out a computer for a couple of weeks. My company had an employee discount program but you have to order through them to take advantage. So during the wait I was outlining ideas on notepads. It is now a process of weeding through them. The hardest part is picking where to start that process. The best option was anywhere.

I have been stuck on the idea of the paradigm within the notes I had. Paradigm is the word describing the pattern, model or framework. If you have ever done any screenwriting exercises the term paradigm comes up frequently. Prime reference is the Syd Field Paradigm that will be frequently quoted. It can be useful. However, sometimes it becomes a trap too. There is a point when too much analysis can almost destroy the original idea.

But the funny part is that this premise has been working in other parts of my life.

As I look at the model or the framework of many of my relationships I can see the paradigm has shifted too. A few weeks ago, I went to a gathering I had avoided for a while. But the month of September has been a challenge for me for the last three years. It took a bit to find its new normal. All I can say about the event (for myself) is the elements are still there but there has been a shift. It is not a bad thing and there is some good things there too. But it is different.

It is what it is.

And time will always being make the changes.

Make of the best of it. Move forward.

Back to the notepads.

One the best parts of a Coen Brothers’ film is the soundtrack. This was featured in The Big Lebowski. It is the song stuck in my head whenever I am thinking about the Paradigm.

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