Friday, September 24, 2010

Be True: Op-Ed Impact with Appeal

Art Buchwald, Miami Book Fair International, 1989Art Buchwald image via Wikipedia
The Art of Column Writing: Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists

The best, most lasting op-ed writers build their reputations on reliability--sticking to balanced facts, referring to evidence on both sides, making clear arguments, with examples, as powerfully as possible and without intentional distortion.

Art Buchwald, co-author of The Art of Column Writing (see book cover graphic, above) made his views and observations known humorously and unforgettably. I sometimes stood on the opposite side of his conclusions, yet I always enjoyed his work.

Mr. Buchwald knew well the art of likeability joined with honesty and frankness. There was no sign of the bitter write who tends toward fact-bending. This prolific writer never showed bitterness and kept his fans' attention from the first line to the last.

Aim to keep your readers' interest for a long time; help them want to read more, even if they don't always share your views. Argue the facts you know fairly. Inform and entertain in your own style. Keep developing your style. All along the way, you might even change some opinions. (Op-ed writing links are on this page, right column.)

Read "Trains, Airplanes, and Cars" - BELOW. 
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Airplanes,Trains, and Cars"-This Title Would Not Have Made It

"Airplanes, Trains, and Cars" could have been a title for this movie, but could not have brought the smooth-fitting tempo it deserved. And, it could not have fit the two unifying and high-level comedic performances that bring this story home. Steve Martin and John Candy deftly pilot, chug, and drive home this comedy of climate and technology foibles, complicated by the unpredictable human elements. "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" fits these actors' tempo. Within the framework of snowstorm and seemingly endless transportation glitches, life dumps on their characters trying to get home for spite of each other. Martin and Candy lead this hilarious story to its moving end--with comic misdirection via planes, trains, and, automobiles. 
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Those Aren't Pillows Edition)
Titles matter.
Planes Trains & Automobiles [VHS]Steve Martin Comedy Collection (Planes Trains and Automobiles / Out of Towners / Leap of Faith)Uncle Buck

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Monday, September 20, 2010

What You Need to Know about Non-commercial, Free Photos

A breakdown of the different types of CC licen...Image via Wikipedia

Pie chart attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

You need to know how to use photos copied and saved from photo sites, beyond the technology. Copyrights come into play, so you need to read the terms and conditions every time. Some photo sites include a variety of permissions. Always give attribution for your photo sources on blogs and web sites.

Know your rights; learn the meanings and conditions for use of combinations of CC, Creative Commons, photos, as in the pie chart at left.

Save allowed photos to a computer file.

Look for graphics that enhance your ideas, information, and presentation.  

Flickr, Photoxpress, and other online photo sites have free photos. I have used Photoxpress for Baltimore Examiner articles. The article template helped meeasily insert photos and attribute them. (Baltimore Examiner is folding now. See article link, below.)

Streetwise Low-Cost Web Site Promotion: Every Possible Way to Make Your Web Site a Success, Without Spending Lots of Money (Adams Streetwise Series)Your best photo source may be your digital camera.  
D-Link DCS920 Wireless-G Internet CameraKodak EasyShare Z1485 14MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5 inch LCD (Black)Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W230 12 MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom and Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization (Silver)Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 10MP Digital Camera with 12x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD (Silver)

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Economics/News Breaking-President to Announce Today

An example of a breaking news intro graphicImage via Wikipedia
Breaking News. If the President names Elizabeth Warren to a significant consumer protection post today as expected, then maybe, just maybe, some significant fairness will coming into the credit system that has unfairly and unwisely allowed consumers to dig their own deep well to fill with overwhelming debt garbage. 

She's mad (video). Follow the video link to hear her arguments and see how mad and why she's mad. After a All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan short Mercedes blurb  Elizabeth Warren speaks. Forgetting the usury principles of early days of America, Americans in official and everyday-life capacities have not only driven the economic car into the ditch, but when trying to pull it out have headed it back into the wrong direction.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Montana Air, Four-Wheelers, and Friends Reunion

IMG_0018Image by Eva Perales via Flickr
What a glorious week on a fabulous Montana ranch. The invitation included life-long friends, catching up, walking, horseback riding, four-wheeling, and gobbling up delicious, healthy ranch food. In Dillon, we found a Lewis and Clark poster, printed in anniversary commemoration of their treks through the region, helped immeasurably by Sacajewea, a young woman of the Shoshone tribe.and informative. Montana Skies
Jim, my long-time cowboy of Tennessee and Washington, DC, agrees that this vacation reunion in Montana was unbeatable.

Wherever you travel, write about it for your blog and submit an article idea to a state or regional magazine. See the magazine archive page on this blog; the link is on the right column of this blog.
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Photograph of the view from Lemhi Pass, eastwa...Image via Wikipedia
Image below from Flickr
What a glorious week on a fabulous Montana ranch! What makes this Montana ranch where we were so special goes beyond its ordered working appearance and arrangement, beyond the awesome beauty of the mountains and pastures. Beyond handsome horses in corral, being saddled up. Beyond the sheer scary fun of four-wheelin' up woodsy hills and down into dry gullies, over small rocky streams. (I ran over a lot of sage; was rewarded by its delicious aroma, following along.)

Above all, it was the presence of treasured friends, including new ones, and hospitable staff, that made the place come especially alive for us. The beauty of awesome views, the shared outdoors adventures, and excellent food were shared among special people. That, my friends, made the week especially memorable. 

Flyfisher's Guide to Montana (Flyfisher's Guide to)En route, through Idaho, Inn at Elmwood Estates in Hailey, provided a comfy bed and exceptional breakfast feast before the drive into the hills and steep slopes of Montana near Lemhi Pass. The scenic Pass road to the top is even more beautiful coming down. 

'Been a while since your last getaway? Plan now, and travel to places you've never been, even if not far away. The museum you keep intending to visit. The sports team you've not seen "live" for awhile. The recreational adventures too long on the back burner. The reading you've let go. The fresh air and night skies you don't take time to enjoy? Think how terrific special breaks can be. I hope you see friends, or make new ones, on the way!

Yippee, Montana! "Work, Fun, Love" per CM, a new friend, along with LM. If I start adding more new friend initials, I'll not finish. Every one was memorable.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11-The Church that Stood, and Stands

2015/A.M.: MSNBC showed film from 9/11/01; FoxNews covered ceremonies in NYC, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. Others, business as usual during the critical hours of memorial.  FoxNews interviewed people on the scene at the Pentagon and in the White House, as well as NYC. 

2010: "New Yorkers and family members came to honor the victim's of 9/11. ...Four moments of silence were held at 8:46 and 9:03 a.m., when the planes hit the towers, and at 9:59 and 10:28 a.m., when each tower fell." (Source:, 9/11/10-"The Little Church that Stood"-by Adrian Carrasquillo)

The 2008 article, "The Church that Stood, and Stands," first posted on, 9/11/2008, the seventh memorial year:

2008-Remembering St. Paul's Church - ("The Church that Stood, and Stands", 9/11/08-by Jean Purcell):

Soon after September 11, 2001, my husband and I were in New York City. We went  to Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center had recently stood strong, towering into the skies above the Hudson River. Now, we stood in a long snake-line of people paying respects, alongside a black iron fence enclosing a uniquely special church. In line,  people wore professional, sports, and casual clothes. As if it were a normal day. Patience and quiet stood in line, eerily on display, where normally there would have been rush and noise in the normal city routine.

Ground Zero view outside St. Paul's

The black iron fence in front of the church immediately next door to the towers bore memorial ribbons, flowers, and photos, the latter placed in hopes of finding family or friends safe, not a victim of the deluge of steel, fire, and smoking dust. Also attached to that church fence were written prayers and poems. The church, which had, amazingly, stood intact through the tragedy of that morning of September 11, 2001, now provided unique comfort and hope outside, as well as within. for rescue workers, pastors, priests, rabbis, medical people, and others who love their fellowmen and what America stands for, a haven for prayers and free food and drink for exhausted Ground Zero workers during brief, dusty breaks.

Today is the seventh memorial year of that 9/11. The World Trade Center site pit, which marks that infamous attack by fanatic-driven aim in the skies over the Hudson River from Boston, shows signs of change, a memorial setting in progress. When the memorial opens, I hope visitors will notice the church that stands nearby, embraced by that iron fence that bore loving notices for a long, long time. If ever that church suffers a direct attack, it is a great comfort to know that the Church it represents, the body of faith led by Jesus Christ, will stand eternally.

Acts of terror and the ideology of those who took over four American airliners will not win. Our faith, hope, togetherness, and spirit of determination and devotion to freedom will remain victorious. Those who love, treasure, and seek to protect freedom will vanquish their ideology and their efforts. May God bless all who honor the memory of the helpless, the rescuers, and the comforters who died on 9/11/01. Like that church that stood and still stands alongside the site of the World Trace Center's Twin Towers, may we always be prepared to serve, comfort, and offer hope to others.
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:14-17). 

2001 -St. Paul's Church, next to the Trade Center site, went into action to serve food and water and provide brief relief and prayers for firefighters, medical rescue teams, police, and others...On that fateful day of reverberating shocks, America suffered multiple human loss at: World Trade Center Twin Towers, North and South, NYC; the Pentagon, VA, just outside Washington, DC; a farm field in PA. We do not deny. We do not forget. We remember the victims of terrorism that died that day, and the brave living who lost  yet went forward, due to their love.  
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