Nov
17

If only the world were more like Jeopardy

logo_jeopardyThe world is crazy these days and can get me down in the dumps. But I have approximately thirty minutes of solace each weekday when I watch Jeopardy. When the show is over, I am disappointed it can’t go on forever.

Jeopardy provides me with what I would like to see more of today. The contestants are smart as is Alex Trebek. Knowledge is valued here.

Jeopardy is orderly and polite. At worst (and rarely) Alex Trebek can be brusque with contestants but he is never mean or rude. Similarly the contestants are polite; they wait their turns. They answer when called on. There’s no crying or complaining or blame. No one is demonized.

Jeopardy is educational. I learn something almost each day I watch (though I don’t always retain it since my 61-year-old brain is more porous than it used to be). Sometimes what I learn is just how to pronounce a word I am familiar with reading but not saying. Sure, there are instances when Alex overdoes it with his fancy enunciation but even this is enjoyable.

Jeopardy provides a familiar order and routine but also keeps up with the times. You can tell the writers strive to make its content current.

Jeopardy is apolitical.

Jeopardy is well run. There are few glitches on the show; none come to mind. It just seems to hum along smoothly.

Jeopardy has heart. There are the celebrity games (never as challenging as real ones) in which prizes go to charity. This year Tournament of Champions contestants wore ribbons to honor Cindy Stowell, a contestant who passed away from cancer (and the show also gave a donation to the Cancer Institute).

Jeopardy gives credit where credit is due. Contestants routinely thank and express gratitude to their family, teachers, and mentors. Similarly, when announcer Johnny Gilbert was awarded a distinction from Guinness Book of World Records it was acknowledged on air just as was a long-time writer’s retirement.

Jeopardy assures me there are good people in the world who are thoughtful and smart. Today’s the final game in the Tournament of Champions and I don’t know whom to root for because all three contestants (Alan, Austin, and Buzzy) are great.

So on this Friday, when news is bleak and our leaders make us want to scream in frustration, I will turn to Jeopardy and have a short-lived respite from all that.

Peace, love, and solace

Nov
13

Artisans and artifacts

This weekend I went to a craft show called Show of Hands, put on by Orange Beautiful, and held at Architectural Artifacts.  I was impressed with the talent and creativity of the 82 artists there. And, I was able to start my Christmas shopping and buy some stocking stuffers. I also enjoyed walking the two floors of architectural treasures. Here are some my pics.

Peace, love, and solace

Just my type © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Just my type © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Boy toy © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Boy toy © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Stoned face © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Stoned face © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

There was a little girl who had a little curl © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

There was a little girl who had a little curl © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Gimme a hand © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Gimme a hand © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Saintly gaze © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Saintly gaze © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Abe Lincoln on a fresco © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Abe Lincoln on a fresco © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Why I’m a mess © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Why I’m a mess © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

W. C. Hombres © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

W. C. Hombres © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

 

Nov
07

Prayers and Thoughts & Action and Policy

Maples © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Maples © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

This won’t be a long post because I don’t have much to report. The news is dismal because there has been another mass shooting.

I concur with today’s  Chicago Tribune editorial, “How to help prevent the next gun massacre,” which concludes:

“Each mass shooting in America is its own terrible story that can’t be undone. The responsible perspective is to use the shock of the moment to take actions that will save lives in the future.”

If the world has gotten you down, you might do well to read Patty Somlo’s terrific article in Writing and Wellness; it’s titled “Why Writers Feel Depressed and How to Deal.”

Congrats are extended to J. Scott Smith whose novel Confession was a finalist in the 2017 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

I have a poem “September can be vibrant” in the latest issue of Foliate Oak Literary Magazine.

I continue to recommend writers follow The Practicing Writer and Monday Markets, which are both put out by Erika Dreifus. They often provide valuable information. For instance, did you know The New Yorker is looking for poetry?

We’re a week into NaNoWriMo; have you been participating? Or, maybe like me, you have promised yourself to knuckle down and write.

Whatever you’re writing or reading or doing, I wish you well. Be good to yourself and others.

Peace, love, and solace

 

 

Oct
30

New winner, new books

Mums © Ellen Wade Beals, 2015Hello there. Hope you have a bowlful of your favorite candy ready for the trick-and-treaters, and that you have plenty of leftovers, which you can then eat yourself when Halloween is over. Sugar high for everyone!

Woo-hoo. Big congrats are in order. Solace in So Many Words contributor Joan Corwin is the winner of the 2017 Tom Howard/ John H. Reid Fiction Prize for her story “Length of Days.” You can read it here. logo@2x

Two members of my writing group (The Writers) have new books.  Laurie Levy’s novel is called The Stendhal Summer and is out from Amika Press. She was just interviewed last night on WGN radio by Rick Kogan on his After Hours program.cvr_ss_sm

A. X. McNeally has a memoir out called Family Dinners–A Memoir of Hard Times, Hope, and Laughter.51B10LnjzzL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

How about you?  Are you writing? Are you reading? Hope so.

November is NaNoWriMo; here’s the link should you want to sign up.

Peace, love, and solace

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