art inspiration observations

Woodpeckers & Thistles

As I’m out and about walking the dog or mowing the lawn or peering out a window or whatever, I’m keeping an eye on nature. I’m not sure if that makes me a naturalist or a phenologist or just curious about what’s going on around me, but I especially enjoy plants and birds. This year, a pair of woodpeckers built a nest in one of our oak trees. I had noticed that woodpeckers had made…

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Food for Thought on Independence Day 2020

2020 has been a tumultuous year so far, as many people have pointed out already. We have a pandemic to contend with that has caused 132,000 deaths in the United States, massive unemployment, and economic upheaval. Donald Trump and his White House Administration, with the all-out encouragement of the Republican party at all levels of government, has created chaos by continually dismantling whatever parts of the federal government he can get his hands on. And…

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Membership Orgs, Don’t Do This to Your Members

Last fall, I became a member of the Arbor Day Foundation. Yay, trees! I love trees. I want to save trees. The Arbor Day Foundation loves and plants trees. Sounds like a membership marriage made in heaven, right? Not exactly. Almost immediately after becoming an annual member, like within a couple of months, I received a mailing from the Arbor Day Foundation asking me to renew my membership. What the what? Excuse me, I just…

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Becoming a Writer

Several of John Scalzi’s essays/blog posts in his book “Don’t Live for Your Obituary” are sticking with me such that I want to bounce off them with my own blog posts. One such post is called “Imposter Syndrome, or Not” (page 395-401 in the book, dated January 30, 2016 on his Whatever blog). Scalzi opens the post discussing how so many writers suffer from Imposter Syndrome, the feeling that they’re just not good enough at…

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A Thought Experiment on Flag Day

Today is Flag Day in the United States. I thought it was Father’s Day, but that’s next weekend. My days are all messed up with working from home because they just run into one another. I can see why holidays are so important for marking time. I don’t typically pay much attention to Flag Day, but as circumstance would have it, I was thinking about the U.S. flag a couple of days ago. Here was…

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