AS THE FLYING GEESE MIGRATE, SO SHALL I – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP# Tuesday: MIGRATION

Given one thing and another, flying away seems like a really fine choice.

Allison Krauss with the voice of an angel, flying away.

WHILE I WORE MY PANOPLY, THE CANOPY COLLAPSED – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP for Sunday – Panoply


So there I was, sitting in the pouring rain in my panoply which was becoming rapidly rusty. Searching, was I, for somewhere to hide from the infinite wetness pouring from on high.

Suddenly, there appeared before me (oh snap!) a canopy to cover my panoply! It was a freaking miracle. Until the canopy collapsed atop my panoply.  It was, as someone recently pointed out, WET, as in containing a lot of water.

And now, someone is going to have to polish my panoply or never again will it shine in the glinting sunlight of the medieval lists.

Lists? What lists? Do I have to sign something?

PORT OUT, STARBOARD HOME – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – POSH

That was the way to travel. Port outboard, starboard on the way home. POSH – the comfortable way to travel aboard a steamship. Now, it means something else. Elegant or fancy. Even “dressed up.”

titanicstory.com

But once, it meant how you chose the best room on the steamship carrying you on your worldwide travels.

I would like to travel POSH, wouldn’t you?


Just one addition:

Once upon a time, there was a great sea captain. Every morning, before he talked to his crew, he went to his safe, took out an envelope. He then read its contents, nodded, and moved on with his day. He never told anyone what was in that envelope (or the safe).

Not surprisingly, after his death, everyone wanted to know what was in the envelope.

It was opened. It read:


PORT = LEFT


I was always taught by people I knew who sailed that the most comfortable cabins were always “port out, starboard home.” I never met a sea-going person who did not know this. It has to do with how the ship takes oncoming waves or the position of the sun on the deck of the ship. Only the wealthy could afford two separate cabins, one for outward bound and the other heading for home.

What do dictionaries on the Internet know about the seas? Not much!

A SLIPPERY SLOPE – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP THURSDAY – SLIPPERY


Life is a slippery slope, or at least it is for me. The last time I tried to climb a slope, it was so slippery, my shoes stayed in the mud and my butt stayed on the grass. Very slippery. And sloping.

Clearly, I should not try climbing slippery slopes, but it was so lovely down there, in the mud by the river.

A personal slippery slope

People use the term “it’s a slippery slope” when they are warning you that something you are doing is likely to get you into trouble, generally trouble from which you have previously extracted yourself.

I’m now at a point where I’ve slid down all the slopes. Everything is slippery and it’s nothing but slopes. So I’ll plod along and try to keep my shoes out of the river and the muck.

SO MARTHA ASKED, “CAN YOU ENFORCE IT?” – Marilyn Armstrong

Wednesday RDP – COPYRIGHT

Martha wrote a little piece this morning titled “Can You Enforce it? (and Rambling Nonsense) by Martha Ann Kennedy. It’s good reading. Pretty much everything Martha writes is good reading, even when I don’t agree but especially when she waxes lyrical and I feel I’m in Grammarian Heaven.

In this case, much of the post is about getting a copyright on your book. Government and other versions of copyright are almost free or very cheap, so we pretty much all get one. Because just in case someone wants to make our little book into a major motion picture (BILLIONS at the box office, or maybe TRILLIONS) — or even a very minor one ($1500, opened at two movies nationwide and went to cable where it is rarely seen), it would be nice to get a bit of whatever money might accrue.

Most books don’t make much money. Some make a lot, but the number of authors whose books make oodles of money can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Even well-published authors who can count an occasional bestseller in their collection usually need another job. I don’t know if it’s the terrible contracts we sign. Authors are not contract lawyers. I often think our contract lawyers are also not contract lawyers. Their degrees were bought and paid for on the Internet. The cheap kind on which they misspell the name of the university.

I commented how I copyrighted my book as if someone was likely to steal it. Meanwhile, publishers, producers, TV moguls, and the staff of Saturday Night Live steal ideas from people who interview for the show (I know a few of them) or steal the writing of living and sometimes rather well-known authors. They don’t pay anything for the work, so while they are raking in the big bucks, authors can barely pay rent.

The original French Angelique

Anne Golon spent a lifetime fighting to get some of the money from the widely published set of books titled “Angelique.” She kept writing them, too and was still writing when she died last year. She also finally won her lawsuit over her publisher (French courts). By then, she was well into her 90s and had been fighting for her ownership rights for more than half a century.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s books were stolen by everyone and printed by everyone everywhere for decades. I remember when I read them in the 1960s — while I was having my back fused, so I had plenty of time — there was a whole chapter at the beginning of the book saying that unless you could read this section, you were reading a hijacked copy of the book. Of course, if you were reading a hijacked copy, there was no page to read, so you’d never know it anyway.

His son, Simon Tolkien (J.R.R. was long gone by then) recovered the copyrights, got some kind of payment from whatever publishers still existed.

American version

All four of Shirley Jackson’s children spent much of their lives fighting for her rights. They won — maybe twenty years ago? — and now you actually have to pay to buy her books, which I do gladly because she was brilliant and is credited by many authors (including Stephen King) as one of the authors whose work lighted their way.

ALL of these books were copyrighted, for whatever good it did. The theory of big corporations is (1) they have a lot of money while (2) you, the author,  don’t. (3) Even though you legitimately own the rights to the book (which may have been previously published under your name and they are stealing the book AND your name), whatcha gonna do about it, eh?

Funny how rigid the copyrights of corporations are and how flimsy are those of authors, composers, et al, isn’t it? There’s a book about how this applies in the music industry, called YEAR ZERO, a novel by Rob Reid which I have read a few times and written about. It never stops making me laugh and cry. It’s science fiction, but with footnotes. It’s available in print, Kindle, and as an audiobook. I recommend all of them.

As the final thought in her post today, Martha points out that most of us can’t run and would make a tasty snack for any large predator. Here, in charming Uxbridge, we have acquired black bears. We are supposed to call the cops if one shows up in our driveway, probably heading for our trash can, which bears refer to as “brunch.” I assume that our two police officers (it might be one and a half, I’m not sure) will try to shoot the bears being as even counting the trash, there’s not enough for a bunch of hungry bears to eat. But maybe they can fish in the Blackstone? There are trout, I’m told.

I personally think I’m the kind of person who would make a light snack for a bear lacking hunting energy. I don’t think I’d be particularly tasty. Too old and stringy.

THE COPIOUS JOY OF MUSIC WE LOVED – Marilyn Armstrong

THE COPIOUS JOY OF THE MUSIC WE LOVED


From the group “Three Dog Night,” written by Hoyt Axton, this has to be the most joyful noise to come out of a radio during the 1970s. It still makes me want to dance!



LYRICS:
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him drink his wine
And he always had some mighty fine wine
Singin’ Joy to the world All the boys and girls,
now Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

If I were the king of the world
Tell you what I’d do
I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the wars
Make sweet love to youSingin’ now,

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
(INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDE)

You know I love the ladies
Love to have my fun
I’m a high night flyer and a rainbow rider
A straight-shootin’ son of a gun
I said a straight shootin’ son of a gun

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me Joy to the world

All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls

Joy to the world
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Now Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me …

I SIMPLY CANNOT FATHOM … – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP-SUNDAY:  FATHOM

“I simply cannot fathom,” she said, “How anyone with a dribble of intelligence can think like you.”

“Not everyone thinks everything Trump does is always a bad idea,” he countered. “After all, we wouldn’t want to give those babies back to ‘bad parents,’ would we?”

“Really?” she said as one of her eyebrows rose high above her right eye. “I think he is a moron without a moral center — or even a concept of right and wrong — and anyone who supports him and whatever crap he’s pandering is at least a double moron. Bad enough to be a moron — I have to assume that’s DNA at work — but to willingly follow one? That is literally unfathomable.”


A fathom is a unit of length in the imperial and the U.S. customary systems equal to six feet (1.8288 m), used especially for measuring the depth of water. There are two yards (6 feet) in an imperial fathom.


What could he say? She was unreasonable. He thought maybe it was all about language skills. He wasn’t even sure what “fathom” meant and he sure as hell wasn’t going to let her know that.

“I’d become,” he thought gloomily, “A triple moron.”


Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) loved the paddlewheel steamboat and the river. As a matter of fact, it was during his years on the river he chose his pen name. “Mark Twain” was a frequent call of the leadsman. It meant that the water was 2 fathoms (12 feet) deep and therefore safe water.


He didn’t consider the possibility of changing his political opinions. Not for a second.

Fathom.

He’d have to look it up online, assuming it was spelled like it sounded.