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Repost: Hoping This Helps Someone Somewhere

No matter how difficult your situation is, I hope you find peace.


NightWare Review Part One (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Two (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Three (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Four (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Five – Final (internal link)

My first suicide attempt (internal link)

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Chat GPT and a Challenge to My Fellow Writers

The Challenge: Take a popular and out of copyright work, have Chat rewrite it in a modern style, and then edit the result to improve on its writing.

In this short example, I’m attacking Jules Verne still popular “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” Verne’s works are partly the basis of today’s Steampunk.

Here’s the first chapter, freely available at Project Gutenberg. The original, a version Chat tried to write in the style of Tom Clancy, and then my lightly edited final. Of, course, I am assuming you are using Chat to produce your illustrations.

Notice immediately how much shorter Chat’s opening is. It lacks the scene setting of the original but modern readers of action novels are often in a hurry and will not abide a languid opening.

Verne: Chaper 1: My Uncle Makes a Great Discovery

Looking back to all that has occurred to me since that eventful day, I am scarcely able to believe in the reality of my adventures. They were truly so wonderful that even now I am bewildered when I think of them.

My uncle was a German, having married my mother’s sister, an Englishwoman. Being very much attached to his fatherless nephew, he invited me to study under him in his home in the fatherland. This home was in a large town, and my uncle a professor of philosophy, chemistry, geology, mineralogy, and many other ologies.

One day, after passing some hours in the laboratory—my uncle being absent at the time—I suddenly felt the necessity of renovating the tissues—i.e., I was hungry, and was about to rouse up our old French cook, when my uncle, Professor Von Hardwigg, suddenly opened the street door, and came rushing upstairs.

Now Professor Hardwigg, my worthy uncle, is by no means a bad sort of man; he is, however, choleric and original. To bear with him means to obey; and scarcely had his heavy feet resounded within our joint domicile than he shouted for me to attend upon him.


I hastened to obey, but before I could reach his room, jumping three steps at a time, he was stamping his right foot upon the landing.

“Harry!” he cried, in a frantic tone, “are you coming up?”

Now to tell the truth, at that moment I was far more interested in the question as to what was to constitute our dinner than in any problem of science; to me soup was more interesting than soda, an omelette more tempting than arithmetic, and an artichoke of ten times more value than any amount of asbestos.

But my uncle was not a man to be kept waiting; so adjourning therefore all minor questions, I presented myself before him.

He was a very learned man. Now most persons in this category supply themselves with information, as peddlers do with goods, for the benefit of others, and lay up stores in order to diffuse them abroad for the benefit of society in general. Not so my excellent uncle, Professor Hardwigg; he studied, he consumed the midnight oil, he pored over heavy tomes, and digested huge quartos and folios in order to keep the knowledge acquired to himself.

There was a reason, and it may be regarded as a good one, why my uncle objected to display his learning more than was absolutely necessary: he stammered; and when intent upon explaining the phenomena of the heavens, was apt to find himself at fault, and allude in such a vague way to sun, moon, and stars that few were able to comprehend his meaning. To tell the honest truth, when the right word would not come, it was generally replaced by a very powerful adjective.

In connection with the sciences there are many almost unpronounceable names—names very much resembling those of Welsh villages; and my uncle being very fond of using them, his habit of stammering was not thereby improved. In fact, there were periods in his discourse when he would finally give up and swallow his discomfiture—in a glass of water.

As I said, my uncle, Professor Hardwigg, was a very learned man; and I now add a most kind relative. I was bound to him by the double ties of affection and interest. I took deep interest in all his doings, and hoped some day to be almost as learned myself. It was a rare thing for me to be absent from his lectures. Like him, I preferred mineralogy to all the other sciences. My anxiety was to gain real knowledge of the earth. Geology and mineralogy were to us the sole objects of life, and in connection with these studies many a fair specimen of stone, chalk, or metal did we break with our hammers.

Steel rods, loadstones, glass pipes, and bottles of various acids were oftener before us than our meals. My uncle Hardwigg was once known to classify six hundred different geological specimens by their weight, hardness, fusibility, sound, taste, and smell.

He corresponded with all the great, learned, and scientific men of the age. I was, therefore, in constant communication with, at all events the letters of, Sir Humphry Davy, Captain Franklin, and other great men.

But before I state the subject on which my uncle wished to confer with me, I must say a word about his personal appearance. Alas! my readers will see a very different portrait of him at a future time, after he has gone through the fearful adventures yet to be related.

My uncle was fifty years old; tall, thin, and wiry. Large spectacles hid, to a certain extent, his vast, round, and goggle eyes, while his nose was irreverently compared to a thin file. So much indeed did it resemble that useful article, that a compass was said in his presence to have made considerable N (Nasal) deviation.

The truth being told, however, the only article really attracted to my uncle’s nose was tobacco.

Another peculiarity of his was, that he always stepped a yard at a time, clenched his fists as if he were going to hit you, and was, when in one of his peculiar humors, very far from a pleasant companion.

It is further necessary to observe that he lived in a very nice house, in that very nice street, the Konigstrasse at Hamburg. Though lying in the centre of a town, it was perfectly rural in its aspect—half wood, half bricks, with old-fashioned gables—one of the few old houses spared by the great fire of 1842.

When I say a nice house, I mean a handsome house—old, tottering, and not exactly comfortable to English notions: a house a little off the perpendicular and inclined to fall into the neighboring canal; exactly the house for a wandering artist to depict; all the more that you could scarcely see it for ivy and a magnificent old tree which grew over the door.

My uncle was rich; his house was his own property, while he had a considerable private income. To my notion the best part of his possessions was his god-daughter, Gretchen. And the old cook, the young lady, the Professor and I were the sole inhabitants.

I loved mineralogy, I loved geology. To me there was nothing like pebbles—and if my uncle had been in a little less of a fury, we should have been the happiest of families. To prove the excellent Hardwigg’s impatience, I solemnly declare that when the flowers in the drawing-room pots began to grow, he rose every morning at four o’clock to make them grow quicker by pulling the leaves!

Having described my uncle, I will now give an account of our interview.

He received me in his study; a perfect museum, containing every natural curiosity that can well be imagined—minerals, however, predominating. Every one was familiar to me, having been catalogued by my own hand. My uncle, apparently oblivious of the fact that he had summoned me to his presence, was absorbed in a book. He was particularly fond of early editions, tall copies, and unique works.

“Wonderful!” he cried, tapping his forehead. “Wonderful—wonderful!”

It was one of those yellow-leaved volumes now rarely found on stalls, and to me it appeared to possess but little value. My uncle, however, was in raptures.

He admired its binding, the clearness of its characters, the ease with which it opened in his hand, and repeated aloud, half a dozen times, that it was very, very old.

To my fancy he was making a great fuss about nothing, but it was not my province to say so. On the contrary, I professed considerable interest in the subject, and asked him what it was about.

“It is the Heims-Kringla of Snorre Tarleson,” he said, “the celebrated Icelandic author of the twelfth century—it is a true and correct account of the Norwegian princes who reigned in Iceland.”

My next question related to the language in which it was written. I hoped at all events it was translated into German. My uncle was indignant at the very thought, and declared he wouldn’t give a penny for a translation. His delight was to have found the original work in the Icelandic tongue, which he declared to be one of the most magnificent and yet simple idioms in the world—while at the same time its grammatical combinations were the most varied known to students.

“About as easy as German?” was my insidious remark.

My uncle shrugged his shoulders.

“The letters at all events,” I said, “are rather difficult of comprehension.”

“It is a Runic manuscript, the language of the original population of Iceland, invented by Odin himself,” cried my uncle, angry at my ignorance.

I was about to venture upon some misplaced joke on the subject, when a small scrap of parchment fell out of the leaves. Like a hungry man snatching at a morsel of bread the Professor seized it. It was about five inches by three and was scrawled over in the most extraordinary fashion.

The lines shown here are an exact facsimile of what was written on the venerable piece of parchment—and have wonderful importance, as they induced my uncle to undertake the most wonderful series of adventures which ever fell to the lot of human beings.

My uncle looked keenly at the document for some moments and then declared that it was Runic. The letters were similar to those in the book, but then what did they mean? This was exactly what I wanted to know.

Now as I had a strong conviction that the Runic alphabet and dialect were simply an invention to mystify poor human nature, I was delighted to find that my uncle knew as much about the matter as I did—which was nothing. At all events the tremulous motion of his fingers made me think so.

“And yet,” he muttered to himself, “it is old Icelandic, I am sure of it.”

And my uncle ought to have known, for he was a perfect polyglot dictionary in himself. He did not pretend, like a certain learned pundit, to speak the two thousand languages and four thousand idioms made use of in different parts of the globe, but he did know all the more important ones.

It is a matter of great doubt to me now, to what violent measures my uncle’s impetuosity might have led him, had not the clock struck two, and our old French cook called out to let us know that dinner was on the table.

“Bother the dinner!” cried my uncle.

But as I was hungry, I sallied forth to the dining room, where I took up my usual quarters. Out of politeness I waited three minutes, but no sign of my uncle, the Professor. I was surprised. He was not usually so blind to the pleasure of a good dinner. It was the acme of German luxury—parsley soup, a ham omelette with sorrel trimmings, an oyster of veal stewed with prunes, delicious fruit, and sparkling Moselle. For the sake of poring over this musty old piece of parchment, my uncle forbore to share our meal. To satisfy my conscience, I ate for both.

The old cook and housekeeper was nearly out of her mind. After taking so much trouble, to find her master not appear at dinner was to her a sad disappointment—which, as she occasionally watched the havoc I was making on the viands, became also alarm. If my uncle were to come to table after all?

Suddenly, just as I had consumed the last apple and drunk the last glass of wine, a terrible voice was heard at no great distance. It was my uncle roaring for me to come to him. I made very nearly one leap of it—so loud, so fierce was his tone.

Chat, retitling Chapter 1 to: Operation: Lidenbrock

In the heart of one of the most secure and prestigious institutions of Hamburg, a discovery of monumental proportions was about to unfold. The year was 1863, and the world was on the brink of a scientific revolution. The man at the center of it all was Professor Lidenbrock, a man whose reputation was as solid as the geological formations he studied.

The professor’s study was a fortress of knowledge, filled with the spoils of countless intellectual conquests. Shelves groaned under the weight of mineralogical specimens, ancient texts, and complex geological maps. The air was thick with the scent of old paper and dust, a testament to the years of tireless research conducted within these walls.

Lidenbrock himself was a force of nature, his mind as unyielding as the rocks he studied. His eyes, sharp and calculating, missed nothing. They darted across the room, landing on a dusty, unassuming book. It was an old Icelandic saga, a relic of a bygone era. But within its pages, it held a secret that would change the course of history.

As the professor opened the book, a cryptic parchment slipped from between its pages. His eyes narrowed, the gears of his brilliant mind already turning. The parchment was covered in a code, a series of runes that would baffle a lesser mind. But Lidenbrock was no ordinary man. He was a scholar, a scientist, a decoder of the world’s most complex puzzles.

The room was silent as the professor studied the parchment, his mind racing. The implications of this discovery were enormous. If he was right, this could be the key to a journey no man had ever undertaken. A journey to the very center of the Earth.

The world was about to change, and it all started here, in the quiet study of an unassuming geology professor. As Lidenbrock delved deeper into the mystery of the cryptic parchment, one thing was clear: this was just the beginning. The real adventure was yet to come.

Slight Rewrite by Myself

Hamburg, Germany. 1947. The Nazis had lost but science had won: scientists could now go back to discovering the world and the universe for their own sake, and not for the purpose of winning or losing a war. It was time to rebuild and go forward.

Enter one Professor Lidenbrock, a petroleum geologist, whose lab and equipment were all very much intact, despite the war. The Nazis had allowed Herr Lidenbrock to study and research along war lines during the the Third Reich’s Campaign.

His assignment had been to develop alternative fuels for the German Army, although Lidenbrock had at every turn deliberately slowed his work, convinced the war was an act of absolute madness.

Developed long before the war, Lidenbrock was a man whose reputation was as solid as the geological formations he studied. And now, back at the professor’s laboratory at Hamburg, was a discovery of monumental proportions about to unfold.

The professor’s study was a fortress of knowledge, filled with records and artifacts of countless intellectual conquests. Shelves groaned under the weight of mineralogical specimens, ancient texts, and complex geological maps. The air was thick with the scent of old paper, some mold, and dust, a testament to the years of tireless research.

Lidenbrock himself was a force of nature whose eyes, sharp and calculating, missed nothing. They darted across the room, landing on a dusty, unassuming book, recently unpacked from yet another crate of old books for him to look over. It was an old Icelandic saga, a relic of a bygone era. But within its pages, it held a secret that would change the course of history.

As the professor opened the book, a cryptic parchment slipped from between its pages. His eyes narrowed, his brilliant mind already turning. The parchment was covered in a code, a series of runes that would baffle a lesser mind. But Lidenbrock was no ordinary man. He was a scholar, a scientist, a decoder of the world’s most complex puzzles.

The room was silent as the professor studied the parchment, his mind racing. The implications of this discovery were enormous. If he was right, this could be the key to a journey no man had ever undertaken. A journey to the very center of the Earth.

The world was about to change, and it all started here, in the laboratory of an unassuming but well known geologist! As Lidenbrock delved deeper into the mystery of the cryptic parchment, one thing was clear: this was just the beginning. The real adventure was yet to come.

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These Are the People I Deal With

I don’t expect anyone to read this except for search. And I don’t expect anyone to sympathize with my complaints, either, because this is the way the world is arranged. I’ve was raised to be a nice person but there are too many mean people to overcome. This is not something I can win. And, given my constant nightmares since 1988, not something I can cope with.


This weekend at a community picnic, I was introduced to an old cowboy who asked me what I did for work. I told him that I work part time online, at which point the conversation quickly drifted south because of him. He told me that the greatest computer was between our two ears, the human brain. And I said, I agree with that.

He then went on with a whole series of statements and questions that were aggressively going after. I think I think when I start talking about computers and what I do online, it’s so far out of reach of most people that they think that I’m trying to be smarter than them, or somehow they feel inferior. I think that’s a great deal of it. They have an inferiority complex to anybody that’s working with computers. They act as if I’m trying to prove that I’m smarter than them, when in fact, I usually don’t start the conversation at all because I’m so far out of reach with what I’m doing, with what most other people do that it’s not even worth bothering to talk about.

Like all of the work that I’m doing with AI and Chat right now. And it’s very discouraging because I had a friend say to me recently that it was possibly economic, because not everybody can afford a computer or the resources that I have, and that’s not really the case at all. I should probably stop at this point and refresh everyone’s memory that early on, before the Internet went commercial, back in about 94, 95, with the advent of Mosaic. Mosaic was the first graphical based Internet browser that you could see images with that became relatable to people. Images provided a boost to advertising, but librarians had been on computerizing, their catalog, card catalogs, for years before.

And so when personal computers came out, they started populating libraries with them. Especially, really around 84, when IBM came out with its own personal computer for the masses. There was this Charlie Chaplin advertising campaign that was hugely successful. But years before, Apple had been trying really, really hard to place computers in the school to get these lucrative contracts, and they did a good job. They started about 1980 with the Apple II.

So by the end of the 80s, computers were basically in every library and school. And so everyone’s had an opportunity since then to use computers in one way or another. Night school classes, adult education classes since really the late 80s, early ninety s. And I’ve actually been on computers since 1978. Over 40 years.

Everybody’s had a chance. But an idiot like this that I was talking to, he doesn’t want to go to the library. I’m sure he hasn’t been to the library in decades. He probably can’t remember when he checked out a library book last. I have many computers.

I think I have two desktops, two laptops, two tablets. I also have a library card from Pahrump. A library card from Goldfield and a library card from Tonopah. And I am in those libraries, actively. I’m checking out books.

All of those libraries have a computer. I think it’s just laziness on most people’s part and not having an interest. It’s easier to put down somebody for what they do than to ask about it or just say simply nothing at all. These are the people that drive me crazy. There’s so much amazing stuff going on and I don’t mind if they’re not interested, but it’s the librarians that I’m infuriated with.

They’re the gatekeepers in education and they don’t want to know about Chat or AI. So it’s not really economic. It is a deliberate decision on many people’s part not to engage, not to learn, to let the things go by. And people that are actually interested, that are burning to create, that are trying new things, that are experimenting with new things, those are people that are something to be put down on because I think it might remind them of how little they want to know, how content they are with their own little world. And that’s fine as long as you don’t go out and bully people or put people down.

This is the way I can make some money. I can make this money part time. I’m doing a good service and yet I have people people commenting who don’t even know the basics of writing and business writing.

Self-sustaining freelance writers are maybe four or 5% of the population. That’s it. Everybody else is doing a second 3rd, 4th job to enable their hobby or their passion the and as far as nonfiction writing goes, nobody understands that. As far as business SEO, there’s nobody that I know, haven’t known for a couple of decades that has any idea of what I’m doing. But if they ask, if I try to explain, it’s just an immediate putting down of what I do.

It’s just this prejudice against the unknown, which is really the root cause. If you don’t know something, if somebody knows something you don’t, you don’t want to hear it. Instead of asking questions about it or letting it go, they want to put it down because they’re bullies. That’s all they can do. They’re trolls.

And maybe it reminds them of the fact that they’re dead to the world, that they have no interest in inquiry.

Anyway, I just wanted to put down what I have to deal with almost every day in my effort to be creative. I really have to keep it hidden. Can’t discuss it because it’s like we’re going back to the Dark Ages. One idiot, in fact, who’s in charge of something historical, he was talking about computer literacy, computer literacy in such a way that I asked him this:

You’re not holding out computer illiteracy as a point of pride, are you? And this guy’s a former engineer and he thought about it and said, that’s a good question, actually. I am. This is a living, breathing, talking luddite. He doesn’t want to learn.

He wants to put down people for learning. We’re going to go back 300 years into the Dark Ages when people were prosecuted and killed for trying to learn things, for trying to advance science. We’re going to try to discredit them. Or Mao’s Cultural Revolution, in which anybody with higher learning or higher ambition was killed. That’s what we’re going to get.

We’re going to go back to the Dark Ages and then we’re going to take 300 years to come back again. At the end of the Dark Ages, they had to reinvent all the math that the Greeks had done, what, 1500 or  2000 years before, because people were criticized and killed for trying to learn new things. And now we have people writing about chat and AI who don’t actually use it, haven’t experimented with it, but don’t want to learn. They just want to put it down. So it’s frustrating, but that’s the world we live in.


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Death or Glory and What Do You Want From Life?

Death or Glory by The Clash

Now every cheap hood strikes a bargain with the world
And ends up making payments on a sofa or a girl
“Love and hate” tattooed across the knuckles of his hands
Hands that slap his kids around ’cause they don’t understand how

Death or glory
Becomes just another story
Death or glory
Becomes just another story

And every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock and roll
Grabs the mic to tell us he’ll die before he’s sold
But I believe in this and it’s been tested by research
He who fucks nuns will later join the church

Death or glory
Becomes just another story
Death or glory
Becomes just another story

Fear in the gun-sights, they say lie low
You say ok, don’t wanna play the show
Now all you’re thinking, “Was it death or glory now?”
Playing the blues for pennies sure looks better now

Death or glory
Just another story
Death or glory
Just another story

From every dingy basement, on every dingy street
Every dragging handclap over every dragging beat
It’s just the beat of time, the beat that must go on
If you’ve been trying for years, we ‘lready heard your song

Death or glory
Becomes just another story
Death or glory
Just another story

What Do You Want From Life? by The Tubes

What do you want from life
To kidnap an heiress
or threaten her with a knife

What do you want from life
To get cable TV
and watch it every night

There you sit
a lump in your chair
Where do you sleep
and what do you wear
when you’re sleeping

What do you want from life
An Indian guru
to show you the inner light

What do you want from life
a meaningless love affair
with a girl that you met tonight

How can you tell when you’re doin’ alright
Does your bank account swell
While you’re dreaming at night
How do know when you’re really in love
Do violins play when you’re touching the one
That you’re loving

What do you want from life
Someone to love
and somebody that you can trust
What do you want from life
To try and be happy
while you do the nasty things
you must

Well, you can’t have that, but if you’re an American citizen you are entitled to:
a heated kidney shaped pool,

a microwave oven–don’t watch the food cook,
a Dyna-Gym–I’ll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home,
a kingsize Titanic unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum,
a foolproof plan and an airtight alibi,
real simulated Indian jewelry,
a Gucci shoetree,
a year’s supply of antibiotics,
a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth
and Bob Dylan’s new unlisted phone number,
a beautifully restored 3rd Reich swizzle stick,
Rosemary’s baby,
a dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams,
a new Matador,
a new mastadon,
a Maverick,
a Mustang,
a Montego,
a Merc Montclair,
a Mark IV,
a meteor,
a Mercedes,
an MG,
or a Malibu,
a Mort Moriarty,
a Maserati,
a Mac truck,
a Mazda,
a new Monza,
or a moped,
a Winnebago–Hell, a herd of Winnebago’s — we’re giving ’em away,
or how about a McCulloch chainsaw,
a Las Vegas wedding,
a Mexican divorce,
a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot,
or a baby’s arm holding an apple?

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Free Digital Download

Life is too often an advertising optical illusion, promising sex, speed, or money with its images, when in fact there was nothing there to begin with. Like this illusion of cigarette endorsements promoting flavor, smoothness, and style points while spinning you into an early grave. Does that sound profound? Okay. I’ll knock it off.

24″X30″ when printed out. Those smiling faces can hypnotize. It’s saved as a jpg to economize on file weight. Should be decent looking printed in draft mode but use good paper. Click on the image below. And then right click on the image to download. Patience, Grasshopper. This is an 18 megabyte file.

The second photo shows the work unframed. Light ’em if you got ’em.

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That’s What I Remember Most from the Movie

A beautiful girl eating breakfast while sitting at a corner view window and dressed in a man’s shirt. San Francisco transitioning from the Beats to the unwashed Hippies, who introduced their grime and the acceptance of same to that magical set of streets and hills.

I vividly remember as a young child how suddenly everything changed. One summer, undoubtedly 1967, the playground equipment at Golden Gate Park near the start of Haight-Ashbury was no longer occupied with children but taken over by filthy young people dressed in rags and stumbling about in a daze. One guy wore what looked like a World War I aviator helmet with spectacles, the kind Snoopy had on when he battled the Red Baron in Peanuts. What was going on?

After that it was anything goes. North Beach sleaze branched out of its accepted borders, the bath houses came in, AIDS, Golden Gate Park filled with the homeless camping, used needles everywhere. I spent a lot of time in The City around Y2K when a friend lived a few blocks from the Park. Now, I only go back to visit a certain dentist and I no longer know the skyline.

Herb Caen once said that he felt sorry for any child growing up in San Francisco. They’d go out in the world expecting every city to be as beautiful.

We used to dress up before going into The City. Now, you’d just be a mark.

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My Last Post on Text to Image?

My Etsy store is here:

It’s possible that this is my last post on text to image technology. If you don’t get what is happening now, what will happen over the next four or five years, then you need to be wrapped up in a heavy blanket, put in a rickety canoe, and then pushed out into the waters of the ice floes. I’ve written about this before (internal link)

Today, I was envisioning a ghost train project for Goldfield, Nevada. Something I could promote the town with, you know, ‘old timers swear they can still hear the steam whistle of the No. 33 when the moon looks just right. . . ”

This is what this free crowd sourced program (external link) produced in about one minute and fifteen seconds, using the key words ghost train, illustration, and high definition.

These illustrations are good enough for a children’s book. Maybe an adult’s book. Did you get that?

Maybe you are a YA book writer but you can’t draw worth a damn and an artist is way too expensive to hire. Well, meet your new graphic artist. Today! Maybe for every page of your book. Heck, a child can now illustrate what they write. A child!

What’s next?

The program can’t produce conceptual ideas well, like the future meets the past, arrogance poorly defined, and so on. Still. Still.

Anyone who can’t see the future in this image needs to get in that canoe. Now.

And here it is for sale. It took me longer to post and print a draft than to generate it at Crayion. This would make a great poster to keep and store away. Put it in a time capsule so that thirty years from now you can reflect how far that ghost train has traveled.

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I’m Wide Awake – I’m Not Sleeping – Bad by U2

Bono thought Bad unfinished lyrically but he came to embrace it in nearly every concert since Live Aid in 1985, filling in the gaps with whatever inspired him at the moment he was singing.

Brian Eno, most well known with the Talking Heads, had changed the sound of U2 at this time from a straight ahead rock and roll group to an experimental group that came back to hard rock only when needed.

This was the same course the Beatles traveled, as their fame and bankroll grew enough to let them depart from the music their fans always demanded to the songs they wanted to create and play. This song, for example, is about addiction. It is a testimony to the strength of both bands that their followers increased despite continuing ventures into art rock.

At the end of the song, the best U2 songs turn into a spiritual. At the end of the song, the best Irish singers turn to wailing. The Irish have a longing put into them by their inherent melancholy and a history of lyrical poets. It builds on generations killed by the Potato Famine more than a century ago, with those fleeing from it now scattered across the globe and missing from their mother country, and now the loss of life to The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

We can only wonder if they can ever “Let it go.”


If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would
Let it go

If I could throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame
If I could through myself
Set your spirit free, I’d lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so, fade away
Wide awake
I’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they’d
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in bloodshot eyes
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

If I could, you know I would, if I could, I would
Let it go
This desperation
Separation, condemnation
Revelation in temptation
Isolation, desolation
Let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go

Oh now, and so to fade away
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

art editing writing organizing writing Uncategorized Writing by others Writing tips

Do You _Love_ to Write?

Do you love to write? I know business writing isn’t often fun, most of the time it isn’t, but do you love the sound of words in your head and do you revel in getting the right words in the right order?

Maurguerite Henry was a spectacularly successful author of children’s books in the 1950s and 1960s. On her acknowledgment page of Album of Horses, illustrated by the gifted and earnest Wesley Dennis, she writes this:

Dedicated to these horsemen
who drove me on with kindly spurs

And then, after naming twenty or so people in great detail, full name,
title, organization, she pens this:

and to
these libraries who provided roomy stalls and plump kernels of fact

To be clear, in this politically incorrect time, she lists several  women under the name ‘horsemen’. Horse people understand, even if the socialists in the teacher’s lounge at Berkeley do not.

Let’s not lose this moment: this is a writer who loved writing. It shows! As Denzel would say in the movie Training Day, “Oh, so you get it now?”


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Once Again, The Failure of Writing Assessment Tests


Posted on Jun 21, 2022

June 25, 2022. Google has not yet linked this profile site to my primary site. Go here for my primary site:

I am so sick of writing about this.

Online business writing, like writing for magazines and newspapers, must be clear and straightforward. There is no reason to dive deep into a grammatical problem like these tests want you to. None. Recast the sentence. Eliminate the problem with simpler language. Don’t try to rehab it! Get rid of it.

Seven years ago I started writing and editing part-time for Infocus in Vancouver. Know what my writing test was? First, they paid me for my time, and second, my assignment took over 11 hours to complete. That’s a writing test. All this other stuff is crap.

All the employer wants is a score, any score, on a piece of paper so they can eliminate you in favor of another person who survived their made up bilge. Good luck to both of you. Not!

Instagram post text follows:

Writing assessment tests have no relevance, none, to online business writing under deadline. These tests are always scraps of SAT prep materials or old college grammar questions. You should never be penalized for failing to solve a problem that should have never existed in the first place. And, an employer (or their third party contractor) will never tell you what guide they are using to make their decisions nor will they let you argue about other constructions.

Of, course, most companies hiring this way have no idea of what CMOS or AP mean. Also, much of this is the job of the editor or the person who assigned the work and not the writer. The writer’s job is to provide something in substantial compliance with the requirements given and to always make deadline. If they hand in something difficult, well, it happens. The editor fixes it. Just don’t expect the writer or the editor to be Fowler, even if these nonsensical tests want them to be.

And by the way, Fowler let people disagree with him on many things. Not so these idiots.