Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: world

An Occasional Thing ~ Music for Writers :-)


Don’t know how often I’ll do this but, every so often, I’ll add a music video post.

Give me some of your favorites in the comments–performer(s) and title, or just the performer(s), or the uTube address. We’ll see if sharing some music can give us a little kick in the creativity :-)


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Words or Deeds ~ Which One Tells You More About A Person?


Most writers have heard the maxim, “Show Don’t Tell”.  And, even though action in a book can keep most readers turning pages, I find it oh, so ironic that those actions are being conveyed with words :-)

Language is strange! And strange means “foreign”. And, a blog written by someone who’s first language isn’t English prompted me to write this post.

Before I talk about that, I want to explore this Words/Deeds issue.

I’ll leave the strange situation of writing’s challenge of expressing deeds with words for a possible future post. Here, I’ll ask a number of questions:

Which do you feel more comfortable using to convey your heart-felt principles: words or deeds?

Even though many Holy Texts hold deeds above words, do you find certain situations demanding words more than deeds?

Can deeds “say” things better than words?

What do you do when you find a person’s deeds saying something different than their words?

Which can you trust more: deeds or words?

As I write this post, I’m performing a deed. I have to use words to create the result of the deed (this post). The affect of the result of my deed is different for different people. Some folks will respond to the result with other words in the comments. That’s the result of one of their deeds…

Are you starting to feel a bit of the bedeviling wonder I’m experiencing as I explore the interrelationship of words and deeds?

“But, he said he loves me!”

“Right, honey, but look at what he’s doing.”

“I know… But I love him…”

“Just watch yourself, baby.”

So, I started writing this post because someone started following me on Twitter and I checked the link they had in their profile and it led to their blog. It became obvious they weren’t very familiar with expressing themselves in English. I noticed they were from Indonesia but much of what they said let me know that, when it came to their daily deeds, they engaged in things nearly identical to people who grow up speaking English.

I have to say that a person “misusing” English is not reason enough for me to ignore what their trying to say. I have a friend from Lithuania. His art says way more than his words but even his words—crafted more from the structuring of his native language than from English—his words are deeply artistic and actually can say more to me than many who write “good” English…

One day, it’s likely our world will have one language that everyone learns, along with their native tongue, from their earliest years. [It won’t necessarily be English.] Everyone will be fluent in two languages—one that can create challenges of understanding for others and one that will unite our entire human family in the never-boring task of exploring the relative worth of Words and Deeds.
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How Do We Know Our Priorities Are Right?


Do you have a set of priorities in your personal life? Oh, maybe something like: Family > Work > Play…

Do you set priorities in your mind for what the government needs to do? How about your priorities for what your customers need?

How do you decide you have the right priorities? Is it basically a hit-or-miss, experiential kind of thing? Do you consult with folks you consider experts? Or, maybe, you don’t set any priorities ’cause you think they’re a waste of time…

[ So, let’s see: One of my priorities for this post is to get my readers thinking about priorities. Hmmm… So far, I have a bunch of questions posed that could, if my readers wanted to comment, be the basis for some kind of survey on priorities. O.K. That’s a first step but I need something more… An example? ]

I have a book that’s nearing final revisions. It expresses in action what I’ve had to learn through lots of study and personal experience. Basically, I’ve created a fictional world where the people solve the problem I’ve struggled with in my life, for most of the years of that life. What comes first? Peace or Justice?

Lots of people say we need, somehow, to have peace before we can ever hope to have justice, whether the arena is the World or the family.

So, in my own experience, before I had the right guidance given to me, I followed the common set of priorities–I tried to establish peace with other people so we could experience justice in our interactions. Since justice was a lesser priority than peace, I often acted in unkind ways to force a peace that could never last. I did things like threaten to take myself out of a relationship unless the other person acted the way I thought they should be acting so we could have peace.

Since threatening others to elicit behavior you want them to exhibit is an unjust method, I, slowly, learned my priorities were out of order. Justice had to come first, then peace might be possible–I had to act in ways that assured I was giving them justice by taking their needs into account.

What I discovered in this sadly lengthy process was that there was a third quality between Justice and Peace–Unity.

If I acted toward others with justice, we were able, more often than not, to reach a state of unity and peace flowed easily from that unified experience.

So, over far too many years, I learned that the formula, Peace > Justice, was wrong.

The right formula was: Justice > Unity > Peace.

Finally, I was ready to write the book……………..

[ O.K., that was another priority for this post–give an example of experimenting to find the right order for priorities and suggest folks look for any important missing priorities in their personal formula. ]

But, the priorities for this post won’t matter much if I mess with the priorities for this blog–Reading, Writing, and Publishing.

Then, there’s the blogging priority to keep posts short enough to hold the reader’s interest.

[ Slide gracefully into the main point of the post… ]

Setting priorities is important in reading–Focus > Relate > Apply

They’re important in writing–Create > Experiment > Finalize

And, publishing–Study > Apply > Keep Applying

I admit, I know a lot about reading, a bit about writing, and I’m still learning about publishing.

Some of those priorities might be wrong…

Your ideas???
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How Can You Write About Things You Can’t See?


Books are full of love. But love is something you can’t see. Oh, sure, love-making can be seen and endearing acts of love are visible but love itself is one of many human qualities in the invisible realm of experience.

How about Justice, Peace, Loathing, Frustration, Faith, Perseverance, Honesty, or Hope…?

I wager you saw at least a fleeting glimpse of some human action in your mind for a number of those words.

As I wrote them, frustration made me see myself, dealing with a service tech on the phone, trying to get them to admit that their company just might be part of the bandwidth problem I was having. But the frustration itself was invisible–only its effects could be seen, only what it was doing to me could be written down.

The tightening of my neck muscles, the racing of my heart, as I tried to control my frustration; the words I said to the tech: “Look, you said you have bandwidth limits for the different plans.” My voice was getting louder, my tone deeper. “Doesn’t that mean you have control of the bandwidth?”

I won’t continue the example because just writing about it is bringing the frustration back :-)

There’s a “rule” of writing you’ve probably heard: show don’t tell. Well, there are a huge boatload of human feelings and qualities that could never be shown even though authors thrill and chill us with their ability to show the effects of our invisible virtues and vices.

Many writers use music while they’re writing, some to set a mood they need to get into their zone, some to cause a mood they want on the page.

Since music and writing share many powers to reveal our invisible lives, I’m going to give you two links. I want you to have them because of the hope I hold for our embattled world, so deranged with crisis and grief–the hope that is humanity’s only salvation–lives in the hearts of our Youth.

Venezuela has a secret. They’re ensuring the peace and security of their future by teaching their children to create orchestral music.

I hope the video of The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra, high-schoolers who give adult musicians sweet chills of respectful love, will let you feel a bit more hope for our sore-tried human family.

And, the feature-length documentary, Tocar Y Luchar, To Play and To Fight, will show you how the kids in the first video reached such heights of virtuosity.

Music is supreme at making us feel the invisible strengths lying within our souls.

Writing is supreme at showing us those virtues in action.

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If you watch the videos, I’d *Love* to hear your response in the comments :-)
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“Leave Me Alone!” ~ Is Unlimited Freedom Good For Us?


I happen to live in what’s called the United States of America but I consider myself a citizen of the World.

The U.S. has always put out the line that it’s a free country…

Most Americans now feel hampered by what the combination of party politics and corporate greed has done to limit true freedom.

But, what is true freedom?

Is it doing whatever the hell you feel like doing?

If that were the case, no one would ever get a ticket for running a red light…

Does true freedom have something to do with working within a structure that helps you release your potential?

As a writer, I need to impose some structure on my creativity. If I didn’t, words the meaning of which when or if then never would sense make exampling for :-)

I’ve even been known to create a scene-by-scene outline for a book and then, as I do the actual creative writing, lacerate the outline, sever its limbs, cut into its flesh, and mutilate its form.

Still, if I hadn’t outlined first, my finished book might have resembled the patch-worked body of Frankenstein.

So, I think the best expression of freedom–freedom to release your maximum potential–comes when you have some basic structure or form established within which to create.

Therefore, I like traffic lights. I even like taxes (the principle of them, not their current distribution). I also like the formal dance of dating instead of the animalistic breeding some folks crave.

What I absolutely do not like is unlimited freedom to do whatever the hell my body and emotions seem to always be demanding of me. Sure, when I was twenty-something, I thought that was what life was all about–get what you can before it’s all gone…

Now, in my sixties, I realize that the most valuable possessions in life come after long, hard work–work done in a way that abides by principles that structure the release of my creativity in ways that have endurance–work that lasts long enough to get me up that mountain of aspiration to the peak of satisfaction–satisfaction that also endures…

Another thing I do not like is political/corporate power structures that beguile with promises of unlimited freedom and deliver mass slavery to cycles of consumption that never quite satisfy, never give lasting peace or security or tranquility…

So, yes: “Leave me alone!” But…

Please do give me the social structures that protect my freedom to create…
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