Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: video

“Knowledge Sets Us Free, Art Sets Us Free. A Great Library Is Freedom.”


That quote in the title of this post is from Ursula K. Le Guin and is the lead idea in the essay, How Libraries Save Lives, on BrainPickings.

These two quotes follow the first:

“If librarians were honest, they would say, No one spends time here without being changed.”

~ Joseph Mills

“You never know what troubled little girl needs a book.”

~ Nikki Giovanni

Then comes a statement from the author of the essay:

“A beautiful testament to that emancipating, transformative power of public libraries comes from one such troubled little girl named Storm Reyes, who grew up in an impoverished Native American community, had her life profoundly changed, perhaps even saved, by a library bookmobile, and went on to become a librarian herself.”

And, just before I show you a video about Storm Reyes, I must lead you back to a post I did In October last year, Everyone’s Story Matters, about StoryCorps

On with the StoryCorps video about Storm:


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Honoring My Best Friend


It’s been said a writer needs the companionship of other writers

I’m able to fulfil that dictum through my experience of Second Life—hanging out with writers from many countries

However, I am blessed through one of those writers being from Australia and becoming my Best Friend

It’s been noticed that a writer feels better about the demands and tasks of their profession when they have a confidant

My Best friend is my Confidant

Some of you know I recently had a major operation, left carotid endarterectomy (the little video is not what they did to me, that’s further down the page) , basically, a surgeon slitting my throat open, then my carotid, then cleaning out the gunk that was stopping blood flow to my brain

Naturally, I must take a number of medicines—one was messing with my kidneys—doctor told me to stop taking it

So the body takes measures for working with foreign drugs and, when they are removed, the body takes different measures—two days of roller coaster emotions ensue

My Dear Best Friend got hit with the result

At least, at the age of 67, I had some conscious control over the expression of my emotions—knew it wasn’t my soul expressing itself but the poor pitiful ego trashing around

So, while I was bitchin’ and moanin’, I was also engaged in a running commentary on the rotten state I was riding through

Still

Even though I had a “reason” for being so ill-tempered, I didn’t feel like my Best Friend deserved such treatment and said so

She said it was alright!

I went on a mini-rant about it never being right for her to have to put up with such behavior—even my “righteousness” was tainted by my emotional imbalance :-)

I calmed down

She sent me two videos

One I will keep to myself

One I will share—noting that a writer doesn’t have to be in emotional hell to benefit from it

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A Tribute To My Virtual (Real) Friend . . .


Regular readers of this blog know well my work on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life.

Some of you have read the guest post I did for Joel Friedlander, Second Life: Virtual Book Promotion and Word of Mouth.

Some folks claim that friendships in virtual worlds aren’t real

I would say two things:

They didn’t use the right virtual world.

or

They’ve never been in a virtual world.

Perhaps a quote from that guest post is in order:

“If you’ve never experienced virtual reality, the first, obvious yet often-overlooked, fact is that there is a real person behind every virtual person. You may be sitting in a fake coffee house, ‘drinking’ fake coffee with a 3-D representation of another person, but that other person is ‘there’, responding to you

I have a friend on Book Island named Donjuan Writer.

He’s ultra-intelligent, from the UK, living in Sweden, writes awesome poetry, and is looking into making films in Second Life.

I’ve had many amazing conversations with him.

Recently, he told me he’d had a “breakout” event—performed some of his poetry in public.

There’s a video down there with him performing the poem and I’m going to put the words here, too.

First though, I want to give the definitions for a word used in the poem—bollocks:

1 – the testicles.

2 – [treated as singular] nonsense; rubbish (used to express contempt or disagreement, or as an exclamation of annoyance).

War On Bo**ocks

Ladies and gentlemen,
Brothers and sisters
Children and animals
Flora and fauna,
rent boys and feminists,
movement-makers and cynical bastards,
people of the world,
I declare a war,
on Bollocks.

Let us not be mistaken
this is not a war on dog’s bollocks.
“Dog’s bollocks” is our unifying cry.
No
it is bollocks
and bollocks alone
that calls us to action.

For too long,
bollocks has paraded itself as reality.
Broadcasted bollocks
has been viewed by our children.
Bollocks has been exposed to the peoples of other cultures,
even the very notion of culture,
has become bollocks.

We have no idea to what degree bollocks may have infiltrated our borders.
We can never document how much bollocks has gone unchecked.
And while the bollocks that springs to mind
hang before our opened eyes,
the untold bollocks beyond our peripheries,
aside from our focus,
underlying the fabric of our cares,
hanging there in the gob-smacked vacuum of the truth-filled cosmos,
continue to taunt and dare us.

There is so much bollocks in our midst that it is fair to conclude that the world rests on the top
of almighty bollocks.

To the bollocks, I say “bollocks”
and take back what’s rightfully mine;
my bollocks
my business
and the bollocks of men, women and children
are their own bollocks.

The bollocks we rise against
are the bollocks that would destroy us.
the bollocks that would enslave us,
the bollocks that would have us teetering on the edge as we slave away in a rut that has us pummeled and bombarded by bollocks
day in
day out,
the bollocks belligerently bashes, beats and bastardises
our rights to just hang about and talk bollocks.

Our rights will be etched loud and proud on our collective, human constitution,
the right to bare bollocks
in the name of world peace
space travel,
clean energy,
healthy food
affordable medical care
access to education
and the longevity of life;
the ability to travel the globe
with a smile on our faces and to smile without fear in the face of a new endeavor
an endevour into the future
the future that is free
from this bollocks.
Brothers, sisters, hermaphrodites,
hear my plea,
Bollocks to bollocks
it’s dog’s bollocks time!


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Education, Music, and Writing


“We don’t need no education” are words from Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall.

They’re followed by “We don’t need no thought-control”.

Equating education and thought-control is easy in our current world-culture.

Plus, thought-control doesn’t only happen in the classroom—film, TV shows, mainstream media, clergy, and advertising all attempt various forms of “education”

And, many books of fiction “educate” us by immersing our feelings in situations so seemingly real we absorb dangerous “lessons”—unless we’re on our guard.

The word-history of “education” includes the meanings “lead out”, “bring out”, and “lead forth”.

So it would seem we do have the ability to protect ourselves from improper “education” by not letting ourselves be led around, whether the enticement is to our hearts or minds.

In a post from March, Music & Writing ~ Kissin’ Cousins, I said:

“Many authors can’t even write if their favorite music isn’t playing

“Some writers have special music they play for each character in their story

“Even though I treasured books as a youth and considered English as a major in college, until I got to my 40s, Music was my Muse.

“I played brass instruments as a child—sang in the church and later on the secular stage.

“Even when I did write some poetry or attempt a story, I ‘thought’ of the writing as a performance nearly identical to music.”

“Personally, I find the Spirit of Music to be closely related to the Spirit of Literature—word and tone having sprung from the same human Roots

I also feel music educates us since it has such power to lead us, to bring forth feeling and thought

Some folks are very careful about what music they listen to.

Some folks are very careful about what they read.

Some folks aren’t careful at all about either

Can you see similarities between writing and music?

Do you think they both “educate” us, even if we sometimes don’t notice it’s happening?

I’ve always loved to study but always had problems with most of the “education” presented in schools.

Are you that way, too?

If so, you should appreciate this video:


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Is Humor A Cure-All?


Writers, and other creative folks, sure do need humor, if only as a weapon against depression.

But, does humor do more than make our emotions easier to handle?

There’s a video at the end of this post that’s embedded in the article I’m going to link to but it’s such a great stress reliever that I had to put it here for readers who may need a quick fix of healing laughter.

That article I’m going to link to is, Humor Affects Our Psyche, and the author is Carter Lee.

He cites studies which apparently show that humor can:

  • Boost the immune system and circulatory system
  • Enhance oxygen intake
  • Stimulate the heart and lungs
  • Relax muscles throughout the body
  • Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  • Ease digestion/soothe stomach aches
  • Relieve pain
  • Balance blood pressure
  • Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

He also has a soon-to-be-released book, When Jonathan Cried For Me. Here’s some of the blurb:

“For most of his life, Carter Lee struggled with a low self-esteem, unhealthy self-confidence, increasingly in-docile anger issues, and his weight. After his wife left him, taking her son with her, Carter Lee hit rock bottom. Deciding to persevere on, he became determined to find a way to transcend through his trauma on a journey to find a genuine inner transformation.”

“Carter Lee is blatantly honest about his inner demons and wears his heart on his sleeve. More than just a motivational, inspiring, educating, or entertaining read, this book transcends any one genre by coalescing strengths of each form into a powerful teaching tool.  He is witty, unconventional, and has a knack for describing highly technical mental processes in layman’s terms. Sometimes controversially, but always with honesty, Carter Lee delivers what so many of us need: a real way to facilitate internal change and transformation…”

So, Carter Lee gets my gratitude for pointing me toward a book that promises to be rewarding and a video that can pull me out of any ol’ bad mood :-)


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