580: That’s One Way to Do It

http://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/580/thats-one-way-to-do-it?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+talpodcast+%28This+American+Life+Podcast%29

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Giving Comics The Finger Bun Toons! YAY!

Ty Templeton's ART LAND!!

Dance the Bat-Toonsi baby. Let’s give the comics industry the Finger.

We’re coming up on an anniversary on Feb. 8th of this year.

That will mark the 100th Birthday of Milton (Bill) Finger, the REAL creator of Batman.

Mr. Gotham City hisself... Mr. Gotham City hisself..

Now according to the official story, Batman was created by Bob Kane (and no one else) but most comic fans know that’s not the true story.  While there’s no doubt that Bob Kane did contribute something to the character of Batman (apparently he came up with the name), the overwhelming creative force behind the super-hero we all love was Bill Finger.

Without Bill writing the scripts and shaping the visuals, we don’t have Robin, Bruce Wayne, the Bat-cave, the Batmobile, the Penguin, Gotham City, the Signal, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred the Butler, Wayne Manor, the Batarang, Catwoman, the basic look and color scheme of the Batman costume, the Joker, The Riddler, The…

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Writing 101 – Can I write?

I signed up for Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit. The first assignment is to ‘take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.’  Then if you feel brave, click on that friendly/scary Publish button.  If you’re reading this, then I guess you know which I did.  You’re ahead of me, because I don’t know yet.

20:00 minutes – Timer starts:

Can I write? Or can I recall how to write?  Not that I ever was any good.  Maybe I was school report good or business letter good once.  I don’t know that I am anymore.  Maybe, the more interesting question is can I tell a story?  Have it make sense? Be compelling.  Can you do that from the shadows?  Hiding away.  Will I have to stand naked for all to see?  Hair a mess, crooked tooth, warts, moles, scars and all.  Standing in the park waiting to be abandoned. Can I tell my truth without showing myself?

In 12th grade, I took a writing class that was supposed to help you get ready for college.  Everyday we had to write for 20 minutes in a notebook, without stopping, anything that popped into our heads.  At first I dreaded the idea of trying to come up with something interesting to write.  Which is odd given I was the going to be the only one to ever read it.  Eventually I looked forward to it each day.  I would think about what I was going to write.  After the class was over, I never really keep up with it.  It was a combination of lack of structure and fear that someone might read it.  The same year I had another class.  Something about life skills. Anyway one of the assignments was to write about your family.  I was honest.  I told the truth.  My mom found the paper and was very upset.  So upset she had a meeting with the teacher.  Don’t get me wrong.  This does not lay all at her feet.  That fear was there before it actually happened.  It just did not help.  So each time I write something, I have the same fear I imagine we all do.  That someone will read it, hate it and shame you.

That does not make me special.  It makes me ordinary.  The thing is I know some extraordinary people.  One in particular. So once again (I have tried a few times since then), I jump (maybe a small jump) into the blank page.  I guess 30 years since HS, it is a blank screen.

Not sure if I can complete the 20 day course.  Don’t know if I will ever write anything really good.  Don’t know if I will overcome my flaw or be undone by it.  But lets be honest, I have many flaws.  Some days it seems all I can do is make mistakes.  Don’t really know how people don’t see that.  Maybe they are too busy seeing there own, even if they only see them in other people.

Can I write? Sure I can string some words together, make lots of spelling errors, grammar mistakes and some errors I never even heard/read of.  Can I write while standing naked, alone, afraid with others slinging mud just to feel better about themselves.

Timer rings

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

This is how problem solving actually works. Many like to project an image of knowing how to do things right the first time. Often, the truth is that knowing comes from doing it wrong many times before doing it right. Even then, it can take a while to get it right consistently.

The Daily Post

Thomas Edison, inventor of  the commercially practical incandescent lightbulb (among other things) and natty dresser. Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb (among other things) and natty dresser.

What can we, as writers, photographers, artists, and bloggers learn from American inventor Thomas Alva Edison? Plenty, as it turns out. Edison is famous for many inventions, including the phonograph, a commercially viable lightbulb, and the motion picture camera.

His success resulted from trial and error, and many, many failed experiments before creating a lightbulb that could last 1200 hours, just as an example. He could have stopped. He could have given up. He chose to frame his work in a positive light:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Edison’s philosophy is particularly compelling to anyone who does creative work:

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.

How many rough drafts, spoiled drawings, and blurry photos have you created before that stroke of serendipity? Are you looking at a…

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Signs you might be turning into a zebra

In case you are ever bitten by a zebra and you are worried you might be turning into a zebra (which happens more often than you might think), here are the top ten signs you might be turning into a zebra:

10. You everything in your wardrobe must be stripped.
9. Black and white are your two favorite colors.
8. You think hiding in front of a picket fence is a good idea.
7. When you see a nice lawn you think “Hm-mm, lunchtime!”.
6. Cats make you nervous.
5. You start to sleep standing up.
4. Hanging out in the sun all day with a bunch of friends eating leafy greens sounds like a great way to spend the day.
3. You begin to wonder why horses get all the attention
2. You count by stomping your foot.
1. You hang out with older slower friends just in case a lion is around.

It’s so easy not to try

(©Glenn Yarbrough 1980)

It’s so easy not to try,
Let the world go drifting by.
If you never say hello,
You won’t have to say goodbye.

It’s so easy not to try,
Never stay around to cry,
Move along when troubles come,
Like a mindless butterfly.

For what good is it to love
When the loving always ends?
Travel on the road that’s straight,
Not the one with hills and bends.

It’s so easy not to try,
Let the world go drifting by.
If you never say hello,
You won’t have to say goodbye.