Tag Archives: blogging

What the Heck is this Blog About?

I read a lot of other people’s blogs for a lot of reasons.  As an old writing teacher and retired Grammar Nazi, I love to see where writers are on the talent spectrum.  I have read everything from the philosophy of Camus and Kant to the beginning writing of ESL kids who are illiterate in two languages.  I view it like a vast flower garden of varied posies where even the weeds can be considered beautiful.  And like rare species of flower, I notice that many of the best blossoms out there in the blogosphere are consistent with their coloring and patterns.  In other words, they have a theme.

Fox logic

So, do I have an over-all theme for my blog?  It isn’t purely poetical like some of the poetry blogs I like to read.  I really only write comically bad poetry.  It has photos in it, but it isn’t anything like some of the photography blogs I follow.  They actually know how to photograph stuff and make it look perfect and pretty.  It is not strictly an art blog.  I do a lot of drawing and cartooning and inflict it upon you in this blog.  But I am not a professional artist and can’t hold a candle to some of the painters and artists I follow and sometimes even post about.  I enjoy calling Trump President Pumpkinhead, but I can’t say that my blog is a political humor blog, or that I am even passable as a humorous political commentator.

One thing that I can definitely say is that I was once a teacher.  I was one of those organizers and explainers who stand in front of diverse groups of kids five days a week for six shows a day and try to make them understand a little something.  Something wise.  Something wonderful.  Something new.  Look at the video above if you haven’t already watched it.  Not only does it give you a sense of the power of holding the big pencil, it teaches you something you probably didn’t realize before with so much more than mere words.

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But can I say this is an education blog?  No.  It is far too silly and pointless to be that.  If you want a real education blog, you have to look for someone like Diane Ravitch’s blog.  Education is a more serious and sober topic than Mickey.

By the way, were you worried about the poor bunny in that first cartoon getting eaten by the fox and the bear?  Well, maybe this point from that conversation can put your mind at ease.

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Mickey is tricky and gets good mileage out of his cartoons.

You may have gotten the idea that I like Bobby McFerrin by this point in my post.  It is true.  Pure genius and raw creative talent fascinate me.  Is that the end point of my journey to an answer about what the heck this blog is about?  Perhaps.  As good an answer as any.  But I think the question is still open for debate.  It is the journey from thought through many thoughts to theme that make it all fun.  And I don’t anticipate that journey actually ending anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under humor, insight, inspiration, music, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life, word games, wordplay, writing, writing teacher

Mickey Notes

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This is the purple-furred Mickey Icon done Don Martin-style.

If you are one of those readers who has taken to regularly reading Mickey posts on Catch a Falling Star ( a habit that is probably bad for you, but certainly not fatal), there are some things and random recent developments that you should probably be made aware of.

  • Mickey recently finished a rough-draft novel.  After giving birth to a massive 12-month-long-gestating thought artifact like that, there is bound to be some necessary recovery time involved.  He may be difficult to understand for a while as he puts the pieces of his psyche back together again.  Using mental duct tape for such things takes time and patience.
  • The novel is called Recipes for Gingerbread Children.  If that arouses curiosity in you (a condition that I also hope is not fatal… You are not a cat, are you?), there are instances of rants and delusional spoutings about this story to be found in recent posts on this blog.  Unfortunately, it will not be published immediately.  You will have to wait to actually read it until I or my heirs eventually get it published… by whatever means necessary (though I have my doubts about the plan involving kidnapped alien slaves and mimeograph machines.)
  • The novel I do have nearing publication is Magical Miss Morgan.  I recently submitted approval for final edits to my project manager for Page Publishing.  Since I am investing my own money in this publication project, I am expecting that it will get published before 2017 is done.  I will continue to relentlessly plug the thing here.
  • Page Publishing is a less expensive and less professional publisher than I-Universe that did Catch a Falling Star for me.  If you are reading this for ideas about pursuing publication yourself, I would recommend the more expensive publisher first, due to the quality of their professional editors, though I intend to continue publishing my books with less expensive self-publishing options like Amazon from here on.  As I finish the publishing process I am now involved in, I promise to complain about publishers and throw Mark-Twain-like insult fits in future blog posts.  No one should have to repeat the egregious mistakes that Mickey has made.
  • Catch a Falling Star, the blog, will continue to be a blog about my artwork, my story-telling, my teacher memories, and my generally confusing and bombastic opinions about life, the universe, and everything… including pies.  Mmm!  Pies are good.  You might even want to look at my essay on Gooseberry Pie.

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In case you were not aware of it, this purple mouse-man is Mickey, and Mickey is the writer-spirit within me.  Mickey is not actually me.  You know how Mark Twain is not really a real person?  The real person was Samuel Langhorn Clemens.  Mickey is not a really real person either.  Michael Beyer, cartoonist, writer, and former middle school teacher is the real person… if any former middle school teacher can ever be considered a real person.

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Filed under feeling sorry for myself, humor, Mickey, novel, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, publishing, strange and wonderful ideas about life, work in progress, writing, writing humor

Green and Fuzzy Blue Brainwork

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There is reason to believe I have to reroute some of the back roads on the road map of my thinking parts.  I have been spending a lot of time in Elizabethan England lately due to my obsession with who I think Shakespeare really was.   There are a lot of dark alleys to be plumbed on that section of the map.  I really admire the Roland Emmerich film Anonymous about Edward deVere, the Earl of Oxford being the real writer behind the works of Shakespeare, but I do recognize that it is a work a fiction, and an altered-history work of fantasy fiction at that.    So I find myself not yet ready to tackle that particular essay in the Shakespeare series as yet.  More think time and creative-mixing time is needed.  I need to stop at one of the quaint little mental inns on that particular Elizabethan back road and get some much needed rest for my Elizabethan conspiracy muscles.

Meanwhile back in the real world, Trumpzilla has been busy wrecking the world I live in with a bleak inauguration speech written by Steve Bannon that works its fire-breathing magic to blacken the hearts and perceptions of people I love and care about who also happen to be staunch conservatives.  My Facebook feed is up in arms about how many people actually attended the inauguration ceremony and how unfair the media is for trying to make it seem like Trump’s celebration parade was a deserted wasteland when in reality it was… well…  what’s a synonym for deserted wasteland that won’t offend conservatives who will bend or break any truth to defend Trumpzilla’s turkey-tweets?

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But then, as I was going to QT for my morning caffeine-addict’s fix of Diet Coke, I heard Lionel Richie’s song “Say You, Say Me” playing on the radio.  Ah, the perfect metaphor.  It is a song used as the theme song from the 1986 movie White Nights about a Russian ballet star who has defected to the US during the Cold War and then was in a plane accident-incident that put him back in the Russians’ clutches.  The movie stars Mikhail Baryshnikov, an actual Russian ballet star turned defector, and Gregory Hines, the American tap dancer.  It is a beautiful movie that features amazing dance sequences, Russian conflict of interests because the dancer wants to be free and yet misses his homeland and culture, and a resolution involving intrigue and escape.  In many ways, the plot, centered around a Russian threat and dark days in a place where the sun doesn’t set, is exactly what we are going through with Trumpzilla.  But the song is about two people communicating and eventually “coming together, naturally”.

It started me thinking about the purpose of this blog.  I mean, you obviously know that this blog is really about me talking to myself about myself, if you are one of those crazy few who actually read this far through a goopy blog post like this.  I use this blog to think about myself, the world around me, and even sometimes, like now, to think about thinking.  Yet, I have a duty to the reader to reach that point where our thinking comes together, naturally.  If not, then why bother to post and publish at all?

So here’s what I think about the Shakespeare question, written in the tavern room at the inn on parchment… with a quill pen.  The real Shakespeare was a writer just like me, writing for himself.  And he discovered through the play-writing process that he had to share that writing for himself with the great wide world, because the Prospero’s magic of it could change the world for everybody.  That is the real purpose of Shakespeare’s existence, no matter who he really was.  And that is the real purpose of my existence as well, even if I turn out to be nothing more than one of the top hundred best writers that no one ever actually read.

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Filed under blog posting, conspiracy theory, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, humor, sharing from YouTube, soliloquy, strange and wonderful ideas about life, William Shakespeare

Unrepentant Blog Plans

I am not out of things to write about.  In fact, I have far more ideas than I have time to manage.  So I will waste some time I don’t have in plotting out the way forward through the creative jungle.

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I am at the climax of the novel Stardusters and Space Lizards.  I have seen by posting it chapter by chapter here that I must not only finish it, as a good, timely science fiction novel, but that I must experiment with publishing the entire thing on my blog.  I may later self-publish the thing, but you will get the chance to see the entire rough draft here… on Tuesdays.

I also have several cartoon series that I want to expand upon and publish here.  That includes my Action Figure Follies, my Tales From Fantastica, and Hidden Kingdom.  These are also posted in my vault, Mickey’s House of Fiction.

I want to post further on what I am learning about the perilous publishing journey that I hope to complete before I die, sharing with you some of the many secrets, tricks, hopes, and foolishnesses I have used to shoot myself in both feet and sink myself into the quicksand of author anonymity.

I have a post in mind about the YouTube videos of the NerdWriter, an auteur of infinite and in-depth ideas.  I want to share some of his amazing work and insights with you.

And the conspiracy theorist inside me is bursting to get out with everything I have learned about William Shakespeare. who has never really been who we think he is, and the very solid evidence of why I believe in this loony conspiracy theory when I don’t believe that the moon landing was faked by Franco Zeffirelli.

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At some point, too, I need to let you in on the creative processes that occur as I write the novel Recipes For Gingerbread Children.  It seems to be another inevitable novel that has to come out of me before my stupid old story-teller head explodes with it.

And maybe I need to explain who Dr. Seabreez is, and why there is more than just one me traveling through time and space and laughter.

I know that is a lot to threaten you with all at once, and you may find a post like this extremely boring.  In fact, you may have given up reading already.  But I do intend to make these writing abominations actually occur, so you may as well grit your teeth and get ready as the creative wheels turn, or have a flat, or grow spikes… something like that.

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Filed under blog posting, humor, Paffooney, pen and ink, publishing

The Irony of Regular Blogging

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This is an old artwork I have never shared before.

There are many things that I have noticed about being a blogger that are the opposite of what you might expect.  Let me list a few…

  • Listing stuff makes a daily post easier.
  • I have posted something on WordPress as a blogger ever day for twenty two and a half months.  I will soon hit two years without missing a day.
  • Writing every day makes the ideas flow more easily rather than running out of ideas.  The well refills faster than I can drink its waters.
  • My most popular post is Be Naked More , which gets views practically every day, but including artistic nudes randomly in a post does not increase its views and popularity even when I put “naked” and “nude” in the tags.

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  • Reproducing artwork on a blog is difficult when you draw things too big for your little scanner/printer.  No matter how good the camera and how bright the lighting, white becomes gray and the sparkle and luster of good colored pencil color is lost.
  • Good writing becomes more about writing less.  But it also has to be more carefully crafted.  The more I brew prose in my black cauldron of a blog, the more it seems to boil down to poetry.
  • Readers don’t seem to object to metaphors and purple paisley prose as much as editors and book reviewers do.
  • I like writing purple paisley prose (over-complicated grammatical structures with alliteration, metaphor, and asides that interrupt the flow like this one… taken to the extreme for humorous effect).
  • Art pieces can be manipulated and re-used or re-combined to make something new out of something old.  Computers make art-editing infinitely easier.
  • Most people don’t actually read your blog all the way through.  Some just like it for the pictures.  If you actually read this far, you can let me know with a smiley face in the comments.
  • There are many, many good writers on WordPress… as I am sure there are on other blog sites as well.  I despair of being able to find and read them all.  If you are reading this bullet point, you are probably one of the ones I have found and read and liked.  Blogging becomes a mirror that shows you your own self more naked than naked… not just what is under your clothes, but what you look like to yourself in your own head.  And the more you walk around WordPress naked like that, the more you want to show it all off.  (How’s that for an idea that will pull in the readers from the lonely parts of Siberia?)

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Filed under blog posting, foolishness, goofy thoughts, humor, insight, irony, Paffooney

Butts and Nolts

“Don’t you actually mean nuts and bolts?” someone is surely going to say.  Oh, yes, I misspelled that little item on purpose.  This is another inane post about the writing process and trying to improve my “brand” with my blog.  It is something I have no earthly idea how it works or how to go about it.  So I often have to go back and think about the nuts and bolts of how you put this stuff together and try like heck to figure out what I am doing wrong.

Dumb Luck

Doofy Fuddbugg here is an example of what a “Nolt” is.

So, the problem is, while the blog as a whole has been gaining momentum, my blog traffic is down for this month.  People are not viewing and reading my actual stuff and nonsense as much as they were in the other months besides February.  So I have to look again at what works and why it works.

A lot of my work generates interest from the real world outside of my stupid little head because of the artwork.  I am really probably better at drawing colored pencil Paffooneys than I am at the constant yadda-yadda-yadda of trying to write humor.  Pictures like Mr. Fuddbugg here draw people in better than anything else I can post.  Of course, the artwork I post from my favorite cartoonists and comic artists of the past, like Wally Wood and Rumiko Takahashi draw far more views than my own artwork does.  This is due to the undeniable fact that they are better known and better at it than I am.

And both of those artists are well known for the “butts” that are in their works.  Yes, nudes and naked pictures increase your blog traffic.  Two of my top ten posts of the past two years are Be Naked More (https://catchafallingstarbook.net/2015/12/20/be-naked-more/) and Naked and Nude (https://catchafallingstarbook.net/2015/03/04/naked-and-nude/).  (Sorry for the poor link quality, but my computer is still having brain farts and keeps shrinking stuff and blowing stuff up at random, so I cannot, for the moment, make proper links.)  So, I can probably boost my blog traffic by posting another nude I have never posted before, even though it may make it impossible to share this on Facebook.

Gryphon

This picture is actually a very complicated thing to post.  I have issues with things like sexuality and nudity because I was assaulted as a child.  And some of my nude drawings involve real-life models whose privacy I don’t want to invade.  (Yes, I had a real Gryphon pose nude for this picture.)  But this picture is old, having been created during my wild days as a grad-school college nerd.  Adding the “nude” tag to this post will undoubtedly draw in viewers.  (There really do seem to be a lot of people out there who want to look at naked Gryphons.)  And I am not ashamed at having drawn this pencil-piece.  It brings back lots of grand and glorious memories, though probably not the ones you think I mean.

Finally, I may need to get more aggressively insulting.  It seems to be the thing to do to create political humor with the impending Presidential Election coming up between the Wicked Witch of Wall Street and the Racist Orange King.

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The Orange King is very, very HYUGE! but his hands are small.

But there are difficulties in pulling that one off.  I mean, I spent a lifetime learning how to love the unlovable in the classroom because all students are able to learn and we owe them all, as teachers, the best education we can give them.  (Believe me, you will have a better life because I spent my teaching career trying to iron out the stupid from the laundry basket of Texas education.)  So I will have to settle for a more serene and gentle sort of political wit (if I may be allowed one last oxymoron).  Because I agree with Neal Gaiman on the subject of Political Correctness.

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There’s my two cents, such as it is.  Four cents after inflation.  I have had my say about the Butts and Nolts of this essay.  And if that’s not enough to explain it, then feel free to call me names in the comments and look at some of my other recent posts that nobody is reading so you can see how terrible those are too.  And thank you for actually reading the whole post.

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Filed under artwork, blog posting, feeling sorry for myself, finding love, humor, nudes, Paffooney, politics, writing humor

Mapping the Road Ahead

I have been doing this insane post-every-day thing for a solid year and a half since the start of this month.  That isn’t a sane thing to do if you are committed, like I am, to not posting pictures of the food you eat and blathering on about nothing.

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Braum’s chili… mmm… food of the gods!

Hmm?  Oh, no… that picture is an accident.  I didn’t put that there.  It’s not even a good picture.  Look at all that garbage in the background.  How did this picture get here?

But planning a daily blog can be difficult.  You keep having to make a map of the road you are planning to travel before you get there to see the lay of the land.  It gets tricky.  Almost as tricky as following the oxymoronic joke I tried to use as a title for this post.

Things happen all the time that make for good posts.  Yesterday was the result of my trip to the DMV.  If government offices don’t want to be the butt of satire, they shouldn’t make writers sit and stew in the heat for three hours and then not give them what they were waiting for.  But they apparently do want to be the butt of satire… or there wouldn’t be so much butt-ness to be found there.

I am a former teacher, having taught for 31 years.  I could’ve done this point about the recent education news in Texas.  Larissa Martinez , the Valedictorian of McKinney Boyd High School, used her graduation speech to come out of the closet as an undocumented immigrant.  It is an important issue.  This is a girl who will be nothing but an asset to this country.  She fled Mexico to escape an abusive father.  Her mother brought her to this country where she enrolled in school and quickly adapted to a new language and a new culture to achieve a 4.95 GPA in a well-funded Texas high school.  Her family immediately applied for citizenship in 2010.  As she gave her speech, her application had still not been processed.  I could write a number of posts about the immigration laws in this country being the real criminals.  Well, except laws aren’t actually people.  Okay, maybe I am not the best person to take up this vital issue.  But other people are reporting about this.  You can read more at this link;  Click Here!

So, maybe, I should just write more posts about Donald Trump becoming the next president of the U.S.  There is great opportunity  for humor there.  I am looking forward to Lonesome George W. Bush levels of comedy gold.

What then will I write about for today?  I am torn between a post for the fantasy book I just read and the movie Zootopia we saw last weekend.  But, somehow I have already reached my word-length goal for today.

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The milkshakes we had at Steak n” Shake after watching the movie Zootopia.

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Filed under autobiography, blog posting, goofiness, goofy thoughts, humor, photo paffoonies, writing humor