2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 75,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Editor’s Corner 101.8

The Precision of Words
Written by Shawn MacKenzie

“I do love perusing the dictionary to find how many words I don’t use – words that have specific, sharp, focused meaning.” … Geoffrey Rush

Scribe smallIt has been a Mad-Mouse sort of week, jostling me between work well done and pounding my head against an impenetrable stone wall, so I hope you bear with me if I am briefer than usual.

Today, as I was typing away at my keyboard (and deleting and typing anew), I began to think about our writer’s tools. The fact is, as a profession, writing is extremely light when it comes to essential implements. Pen and paper, they’re the basics. Of course, it’s the 21st century, and most of us have exchanged blank bond for a computer screen – to the eternal gratitude of many a pulpwood forest and their denizens. Much as I have come to rely on my computer, the Luddite in me still finds eternal delight in the feel of a fine fountain pen dancing across a pristine page.

Beyond that, the best tool a writer can have is a good dictionary.

A dictionary is a wonder – a good dictionary is a treasure. Between its covers lives the entirety of a language. And make no mistake, a language does live. It grows and changes, grafts on a foreign phrase here and gives fruit to a portmanteau there. It is full of infinite variety and as artful or as sloppy as we choose to make it.

Too often we writers get into ruts. We get comfortable with a primary palette of nouns and verbs and everyday adjectives. When we want to stir things up we simply trowel on the adverbs. Not that there is anything wrong with the everyday. If it suits. Your basic 8-pack of Crayolas can create lovely pictures. But after a while you might just want to increase the linguistic colors at your disposal. Green has its place, but Fern tastes of forest loam and Inch Worm is as warm as a May afternoon. crayola-by-nicole

In an instant, the ordinary flowers into a world of infinite possibilities.

Which brings me to my editorial advice for this week: Never settle for the imprecise simply because you can’t put call to mind the more exact alternative.

Get yourself a linguistic big 120-box of crayons. Use your dictionary. Religiously. The better your vocabulary, the more options you have to say exactly what you mean. Hell, open it at random and jump right in. I do this often, especially with the OED, a lexicologist’s dream. Use your thesaurus, too. While you don’t want your writing to sound like it was written-by-thesaurus, Roget’s tome and its ilk (the Oxford Writer’s Thesaurus is particularly good and accessible) can serve as catalysts for the imagination. When all is said and done, in that “Eureka!” moment as just the right word unrolls across the page, does it really matter the path it followed to get there?


“Webster’s—the original high definition entertainment.” …. Jarod Kintz

I will try to respond to messages as I am able. At times it may be in the form of a post or a direct email response. Guests who post, I will forward messages addressed to them. It is up to them how they decide to correspond.   — Shawn MacKENZIE – MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest

OP-ED: “Love”


OP-ED: “Love”

Post by jkm/tsk

Post Monday 29th December 2014


RANT of the Week

love we heart it

Love – We Heart It

VIDEO of the Week

Regular Division [I Love This Video for It’s Beauty & Originality]

QUOTATION of the Week

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure.
I make mistakes, I am out of control
and at times hard to handle.
But if you can’t handle me at my worst,
then you sure as hell
don’t deserve me at my best.”

― Marilyn Monroe

GIF of the Week

baby bird running on keyboard pt 1

 ART of the Week

#4 (c) jkm 2014

#4 (c) jkm 2014 [the secrets of love]

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“Letters to a Young Poet” [Part II of XXIX]

rainer maria rilke letters to a young poet COVER

“Letters to a Young Poet”

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Part II of XXIX

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 28th December 2014

RILKE Painting blond

(2nd week)

“… love your solitude

and try to sing out

with the pain

it causes you.

For those who are near

you are far away…

and this shows

that the space around you

is beginning to grow vast….

be happy

about your growth,

in which of course

you can’t take

anyone with you,

and be gentle

with those

who stay behind;

be confident

and calm

in front of them

and don’t torment them

with your doubts

and don’t frighten them

with your faith

or joy,

which they wouldn’t

be able to comprehend.

Seek out some simple

and true feeling

of what you have

in common with them,

 which doesn’t necessarily

have to alter

when you yourself

change again

and again;”

1 home large photo

One of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Homes

Dvorak, New World Symphony – 2nd Mvt Part 2,

Dublin Philharmonic, Conductor Derek Gleeson

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e.e. cummings #4 of 7

a writer's word new 14th june 2014
e.e. cummings

#4 or 7 part series

poetry, art & sound

Post by jkm

Post Saturday 27th December 2014

Dream Dream Dream – Everly Brothers

dive for dreams

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at the wedding)
never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for good likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)
in spite of everything
which breathes and moves, since Doom
(with white longest hands
neating each crease)
will smooth entirely our minds
-before leaving my room
i turn, and (stooping
through the morning) kiss
this pillow, dear
where our heads lived and were.

silently if, out of not knowable

silently if, out of not knowable
night’s utmost nothing,wanders a little guess
(only which is this world)more my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile
sings or if(spiralling as luminous
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss
losing through you what seemed myself,i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrow’s own joys and hoping’s very fears
yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:
yours is the darkness of my soul’s return
-you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars

mindless outburst (c) jkm 2014

mindless outburst (c) jkm 2014

Film View: “The Judge” Trailer

Glasgow Film Theatre
Film View: “The Judge” Trailer

Post by jkm/tsk

Post Friday 26th December 2014

The Judge Movie Trailer Official

Starring Robert Downey Jr – Robert Duval – Billy Bob Thorton

In “The Judge,” Robert Downey Jr. stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. — (C) Warner Bros.

“Even when the circumstances seem contrived, the actors mine moments of truth that resonate with raw emotion.”
Todd McCarthy – Hollywood Reporter

Rating: R (for language including some sexual references)
Genre: Drama , Comedy
Directed By: David Dobkin [Wedding Crashers]
Written By: Bill Dubuque , Nick Schenk
In Theaters: Oct 10, 2014 Wide
Runtime: 2 hr. 22 min.