March 27, 2006

Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican

Filed under: Political Chapter — chapterhouse @ 4:46 am

You may have seen this one before, but it's worth reviewing.

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today:

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush II needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all humankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, but the Attorney General can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Feel free to pass this on. If you don't send it to at least 10 other people, we're likely to be stuck with more Republicans in '06 and '08.

Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

And, let me add a couple of recent ones my own:

We must respect the sovereignty of the Afghan government, but it was okay to oust the legitimate government of Iraq.

We will help rebuild the Mosque that was bombed in Iraq, but our own citizens are still living in tents in Louisiana and other Gulf coastal states.


March 19, 2006

Three Years Ago

Filed under: Political Chapter — chapterhouse @ 7:06 am

Three years ago, we were in London, standing outside Parliament and protesting the war. I tried to find the pics of the sit-down that happened right in front of us, but with all the packing for our alleged move to NC, I couldn't. But it blocked traffic for hours, and the London police were marvelous about it all. We hated to leave civilization!

How is it that we, the protestors that night, were talking about the very same things before the war started that people are just beginning to talk about now, three years later? Like, there aren't any WMD's because the weapons inspectors said so; like, this is going to be another Vietnam, and we'll be mired in for years to come with massive loss of life on both sides; like, this is going to provoke bloody civil war; and like, why aren't we going after Osama; like, why does the president of the US think Osama and Sadam are buds, when we know that they despise each other? Why, exactly, is it that we knew these things then, BEFORE THE FUCKING WAR STARTED!?! and our alleged president ignored ALL of this information?

Just wondering.

P.S. and why are we paying a substantial portion of the cost to rebuild the mosque that the insurgents blew up, while our own citizens are still living in tents in Louisiana? And why are we rebuilding Iraqi schools and hospital, when our own are so badly in need of attention, not to even mention the lack of basic healthcare for our citizens?

March 12, 2006

More Kinky Cat Saving

Filed under: Next Chapter,Pen to Paper,Political Chapter — chapterhouse @ 10:39 am

Some have asked me what the title, Save The Cat!, means. I hadn't the foggiest idea before I started reading the book. Here's the deal: Snyder gets down to the basics of good story-telling, and one absolutely necessary basic is an early "save-the-cat" scene. That meant that my Main Character should do something, very early in the story, that will demonstrate that hey, this is a decent guy (no matter what he does later on). He could, oh … save a cat, for example. 🙂

I did not have a save-the-cat scene in Gino's Law, but now I do. This makes so much sense, and gives readers (both of them) insight into Gino's true nature right away.

Here's something that amazes me about writing: your subconscious knows the story waaay before you do. I needed a save-the-cat scene, so I went back to the beginning to look for a good place for one. It needed to be plausible, and to fit naturally into the story. Hmmm. I already had a scene where Gino, a landlord, is talking to one of his tenants, named Brandye.

Let me back up here a moment. The house that "Gino" lives in is based on Maxwell House, the one I've been trying to sell so we can move to North Carolina!

The apartment that "Brandye" lives in, in my story, is actually — in real life — occupied by a lady who is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Viola! "Gino's" save-the-cat moment is right there, and was right there all along! All I had to do was have "Brandye" be a Katrina survivor whom "Gino" had let live there rent-free for several months until she found a job and put some savings together!

I got to shake Kinky Friedman's hand last night. He was in Dallas for the day. First, he was Grand Marshal of the annual Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day parade (see his site for a picture of that, and yes, I know it isn't St. Paddy's Day yet, go figure), then he went to the Wine Therapist (don'tcha love that name?), where we were, to meet and greet, and then on to a fund-raiser, which we didn't attend because we're cheap. Hey, we did buy some memorabilia at the Wine Therapist, though!

Did you know that there's a Kinky Friedman action figure? That sez stuff in his very own actual voice? My favorite slogans are, "Why the Hell Not?" and "How Hard Could It Be?" (to be Texas governor.) Did you know they also have Kinky Friedman Salsa? And CDs? I love this guy. Talk about low key — he just walked into the Wine Therapist — no announcements, no fanfare, just came in with his trademark hat and cigar and started chatting with people, shaking hands, and autographing stuff. My friend Grace, the artist, brought her daughters with her, and the youngest one got her jeans autographed by Kinky!

It was such a hoot!

After that I, along with Pooks, Grace, the artist, and her daughters stampeded went next door to The Tipperary Inn because we heard that men in kilts were over there (poor Tomcat followed along.) But we didn't stay long, even for men in kilts, because the air conditioning was out. So, we had dinner at La Calle Dolce.

then i'm afraid i got a little tipsy when I made the mistake of ordering more more wine …

March 11, 2006

The Golden Cat Saves Kinky

Filed under: Pen to Paper,Political Chapter — chapterhouse @ 8:50 am

Whaaaaa? This post contains three different subjects, and the title, The Golden Cat Saves Kinky, ties them all together. Trust me.

First, if you are a writer, whether aspiring or published, whether you write screenplays or novels, you simply must read Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder. This book boils it all down to the basics. Snyder is a screenwriter, and his book is for screenwriters. But I am an aspiring novelist, and the basics of storytelling, in whatever medium, still apply.

I'm only on page 47, and I've already learned three extremely important things:

(1) Start (preferably before you've written a word) with a good logline. This is the one-sentence description of what the book (or movie) is about. If you can't come up with a good logline, you don't have a good story yet. Try this with your own work and you'll see the truth of this.

(2) Your title is joined to the logline. It should also say what the book/movie is about. Think about what the title would look like on a book cover, or better yet, on a movie poster. For example, the first title for my work-in-progress was "Paradise Parkway." After coming up with the logline, the title had to be changed. It is now "Gino's Law" with a subtitle, "For Every Action, There's an Overreaction." That title and the subtitle imply all kinds of interesting things, don't they? Way better than "Paradise Parkway."

(3) There I was, thinking I was writing a "Whodunit" or even a "Whydunit," when the story I was really writing belonged in one of ten unique genres listed in Snyder's book: The [story of the] Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece is all about the quest and how the hero is changed along the way.

Okay, I skipped ahead in the book and read his take on Midpoints. Snyder says that the story's Midpoint is just as important as the First and Second Turning Points. This helped me tremendously in plotting Act II of Gino's Law.

See? "The Golden Cat Saves" portion of the title makes sense now! That leaves us with the Kinky part. (To any perverts out there: stop slobbering already! Ew.)

Tonight we're going to actually see and meet Kinky Friedman, who's running for Governor of the State of Texas! He's on a petition drive to get on the November ballot. Tomcat and I Saved Ourselves For Kinky (didn't vote in the primaries) just so we will be eligible to sign the petition.

Kinky is a writer and singer (he founded The Texas Jewboys.) He is also a brilliant, witty, down-to-earth man who is fed up with both the Republican and Democratic Parties in Texas. We have a great tradition in this state — there are tons of Independent voters, myself included. In Texas, we do not have to register with any party if we do not wish to. I have voted for candidates of both of the major parties, although it's been a long time since I've voted Republican. How long? Since the Funda-mentals took it over in the Reagan era.

So there you have it: The Golden Cat Saves Kinky.
Thank you for your time.

March 3, 2006

Is It 2008 Yet?

Filed under: Political Chapter — chapterhouse @ 8:31 am

Garnie raised this question in her comment to my last post.

I just finished reading Al Franken's newest book, The Truth, with jokes (look over there on the right under "Currently Reading.") As always, Franken is careful to document his work in appendices. This administration is criminal, and it's way beyond anything Tricky Dick ever did (I suppose that moniker could be applied now to both Nixon and Clinton, couldn't it?) Treason is not too strong a word. This was not "news" to me, but many of the incidents in the book were. The more I read, the more I wept (figuratively) and the angrier I got (not figuratively.) For the love of God and this country, we have got to get these people out of the Whitehouse AND the Congress.

No, it's not 2008 yet. But THIS is a Congressional election year. If we succeed this year, then we may not have to wait until 2008. Can you say "impeachment?"

And if we can't succeed this year or in 2008? Well, Tomcat keeps telling me that it's really not that cold in Canada.

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