One book leads to another...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG Holiday Frenzies!

December arrived with a bone-chilling wind out west this year. I gaze at a dozen summer plumped Dove huddling on a weaving ocotillo branch, and wonder how long before it snaps. Everything has its limits – including me.  And that’s basically what’s on my mind today, this first Wednesday of the month when IWSG members convene through blogging, Facebook and Twitter to talk about whatever is on our writing minds and agendas. See what we’re all talking about here.

By design or curious coincidence, the Question of the Month: “In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself in 5 years, and how do you plan to get there?” is perfectly timed for the week of ‘National Write a Business Plan Month’! 

Where do I begin when the trouble seems to lie in finishing what I’ve started? 

Five books, five years and who knows what in between. Sounds doable, but something has to give. My day job? Nah, I like the money. Writing? No way! Socializing? But I love it…

Perhaps it’s the holiday frenzies! Right now I delight in the dazzling displays, the renewed sense of hope and plans being made, the promise of bright smiles, big hugs, and good cheer. The roaring blaze can wait, I think, while I enjoy the kindling warmth of the season.

So if I don’t get around as much as I’d like in the next few weeks, know that you’re not far from my thoughts or my insatiable interest and that I wish the happiest of holidays to one and all!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

What was the greatest gift you ever received in a small package?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Trail Without A Trace

Toward the end of the 19th century, Frenchman Louis Le Prince boarded a train in Dijon headed for Paris. A pioneering inventor, he’d taken many trips to America to secure coveted patents on his latest inventions, and planned to return to finalize his patent pending on the first true Moving Picture Camera – before he vanished.

Le Prince was not on the train when it stopped in Paris, nor were any of his belongings. It was as if he’d never boarded in the first place, except that, as a person of notability, people had seen and talked to him. Though the entire train was searched and every passenger questioned, even Scotland Yard was baffled.

There was, however, plenty of speculation. Had Le Prince committed suicide by jumping off the train? Along with all of his belongings? Had his brother murdered him with an elaborate magic trick? Had his family requested his disappearance due to financial difficulties? Those in the industry had different ideas.

The competition was fierce in the cinematography field and none more so than one American trailblazer who actively obstructed every U.S. patent Le Prince ever sought.  In return, Le Prince assisted in the sharing of pertinent information belonging to the trailblazer to a highly interested group of European patent seekers.   

Consequently, with Le Prince out of the picture (no pun intended), the American trailblazer got the pending patent and possibly many more that might have belonged to Le Prince. Nonetheless, the trailblazer undeniably made quite a name for himself with prior and subsequent inventions of his own; which the world still appreciates today, but eventually Le Prince was all but forgotten.

Until 2008, when a graduate student perusing a timeworn book by Thomas Edison on motion picture history in the New York Library archives found this astonishing handwritten note in the pages, dated September 20, 1890:

“Eric called me today from Dijon. It has been done. Prince is no more. This is good news, but I flinched when he told me. Murder is not my thing. I am an inventor and my inventions for moving images can now move forward.” 

What do you think happened to Louis Le Prince? 

"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." - David Sarnoff, Pioneer of American Commercial Radio and TV   


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

He Crowned Thy Good

Good morning America, how are you?

If you’re reading this on Wednesday (as planned) that means the internet hasn’t crashed, we’ve survived the election, the sky didn’t fall and this is still our country! We’re on a roll folks. Let’s keep thinking the good thoughts as we go about preserving America as the greatest country in the world.

I’ve got a huge pot of chili simmering on the stove, but since it’s not yet ready, here’s a couple of what I like to call ‘comfort tunes’

Next week I’ll be digging up ghosts of patents past. Until then, stay strong, stand tall and stand together – We, the People, are the winners!

What song reminds you most of America? How many states have you visited? What is the best thing about living in your state?