Don’t Touch That Dial (Or, a brief digression about waiting room televisions, HGTV, and the reasons why the pursuit of knowledge is more fun than knowledge itself)

I was at our local hospital’s imaging center a few days ago for a couple of CT scans. I’ll spare you the reasons at this time, because that’s not the point of this post. If it becomes something worth talking about, you can rest assured that I will. My wife and I were sitting in […]

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Cognitive Dissonance (or: a brief digression about God, the Scientific Method, a family history with alcoholism, and a belated requiem for The Cars’ Benjamin Orr)

According to Psychology Today, the term cognitive dissonance is defined thusly: Cognitive dissonance is a term for the state of discomfort felt when two or more modes of thought contradict each other. The clashing cognitions may include ideas, beliefs, or the knowledge that one has behaved in a certain way. I’ve been aware of the […]

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Cinematic Perspective (Or, a brief digression about sensory engagement in movies, writing dialogue and narrative POV)

You like movies? I like movies. Some movies, anyway. Stories told through the medium of motion pictures tend to be memorable because they engage the senses of the person watching them. Sight and sound, certainly. These are the two obvious senses engaged. But, I think I can make a case for the other senses as […]

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“Hey, Guys!” (Or: a brief digression about gender-neutral terms and how an old dog can learn a new trick)

Like so many of you out there, I’ve used the term “guys” when referring to groups of people comprised of both sexes. I never once thought the word would make anyone feel excluded. In fact, I’ve always considered it a gender-neutral term. It’s not, however. The first Merriam-Webster definition of guy is “MAN; FELLOW.” While […]

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A Story is Born (or: a brief digression about fiction writing, idea generation, and Gilmore Girls)

During the last six months of 2021, I managed to get 10,000 words written of a novel-length story idea that’s been percolating in the back of my head for more than twenty years. Since I average 250 words per printed page (double-spaced, 12-point type), that’s forty pages. Not a bad start. These forty pages are […]

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Looking Forward (February 2022 Update): New Year, Same Pathology

This is the quadmonthly happiness report for February 2022. Our company motto is “Read. Play. Watch. Listen.” And, then, of course: “Write About It.” “Read” Since the October 2021 update, the following books were completed: Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon, by Keith R.A. DeCandido (urban fantasy/media tie-in) Big Damn Hero (Firefly #1), by James Lovegrove […]

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Nonplussed about Unpaired Words (or: a brief digression about problematic words, Euclidian geometry, and Sesame Street)

This bit of tangential thinking was forced upon me by the word “nonplussed.” Which reminds me (a tangent of a tangent—I should coin a word for this definition), of Sesame Street, a show that existed even when I was young, kids, only with more Big Bird and no Elmo. The show would always announce that […]

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