Starting a New Feature - a Comic

I've played around with Pixton before. It makes the process of creating comics/graphic output a breeze, even for us art-challenged types.

I've decided to do a weekly comic, focused on my writing progress. It's not meant to be especially humorous, but just a light look at my life as a writer.

Here's the link.


Some Thoughts on Schools Gone Wrong

Schools have problems for different reasons. Seldom is it the teachers who are solely responsible for the problems.

More often, the problems start at the district level. Most - not all, but most - of the really stupid directives are imposed on principals, teachers, and schools from on top.

Here is one example.

The most important thing to remember about this (and most other things in life):
There is no Quick Fix for problems There are quick solutions - but they only provide the appearance of working. They will mask the true situation, and bite you in the a$$ later.
There are inexpensive solutions - but, they usually are less effective than the model on which they were based.
There are solutions developed by the people closest to the ground - they don't often scale well.
There are solutions that take time - often, the most effective. However, when the problem is not solved quick enough, these are usually summarily dumped for something else.

I'm going to suggest something radical. …

Monogamy Vs. the Alternatves

"Smash Monogamy" was one of the rallying slogans of the 1960's Feminist Radicals. Many of my generation accepted that a long-term relationship with a single male person was stultifying and outdated, and, as a result, remained single.

Some of them are regretting that today, as they face old age alone.

Does marriage have down sides? Of course. It can be difficult to bond in an exclusive relationship with someone, particularly as the relationship may last for 25-50 years of one's adult life. That higher figure would be the length of a marriage between a couple married in their early twenties, and living to the current average - around 75 years old.

However, the advantages, which include protection, mutual support, sharing child raising responsibilities, joined financial strength, and increased familial connections, can outweigh those restraints on individual freedom.

An anthropologist examines the "It Takes a Village" hypothesis, so popular with Feminists, Acad…

A Small Crank About Books

I like mysteries. I grew up with:

Agatha Christie (I loved that slice of early 20th century life shown in her books)The McDonalds - Ross and John D.Mary Higgins Clark (nothing beats her first book - Where Are the Children?)Rex StoutEllery Queenand so many more The mystery world has shrunk. Dismally. There are some that still put out great books. John Lescroat. Michael Connelly.
But, unfortunately, many - SO many - who are formulaic, derivative, and - Lord, I do hate these the most - Cutesie. As in a cat that solves crimes. Or titles that are puns or plays on words.

Or the many, many Crafting or Cooking books.

What they DON'T do is serve up a mystery - a murder or other crime without an obvious solution, but that can be solved if the reader is clever and pays attention to subtle clues.

Don't get me started on the Violence Porn.



Pushing Back Against the Culture

I'm a Fuddy-Duddy.

I already was, at a young age. Even in my teens, I was seldom one of the late night partiers. By 10:00, I was already yawning. In contrast to the many Owls (those who, like vampires, like the Night Life), I'm a Lark - up early, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Once I got past the adolescent stage of twisting myself into a pretzel to try to qualify as 'cool', I embraced my inner nerd, and lived a life more in tune with my natural inclinations:
Reading - fiction, non-fiction, cereal boxes.Not watching television, for the mosts part, unless there was a specific show on. In my house, the TV was off for hours at a time.Not all that interested in popular music. Seldom knew the band's names or backstories. When I did feel like listening to music, I was perfectly content to listen to classical or jazz. I STILL don't 'get' the appeal of the Rolling Stones - to me, they're an over-rated bunch of poseurs.Dress is casual, and tending to preppy, n…

The Collapse of Roseanne

Nine hours from Tweet to cancellation.

I suspect that there were a few meetings involved, a couple of phone calls. Channing Dungey is the point person being given the credit for Barr's scalp, but I would be surprised if she hadn't run this past others before making the decision. That is, after all, typical corporate behavior.

So, what likely happened?

Roseanne, after its astoundingly popular start, was picked up for a second year. All seemed on-track for a long series run.

Until the Real Roseanne Tweeted.

I won't link to the Tweet - I see no need to add fuel to the fire. It was a snide, nasty Tweet. But, considering other celebrities had used similar allusions about OTHER politicians, not that much worse.

And, Trump is a President, not merely an advisor to one. You might think respect for the office would temper such displays and comments.

You would be wrong.

The bigger issue is:
Why use that reference? Why now? Valerie Jarrett is no longer advising the POTUS. She presumably…