Friday Fun: 3 Random Things Seen & Heard This Week

by @thewritermama on January 27, 2012 · 7 comments

I’ve never been a person who gathers up things that are “fun” and puts them in a blog post.

But now I’m wondering, why not? There is so much positive to partake of right before our eyes on a regular basis. Isn’t some of it blog-worthy?

Let’s try it for a few weeks and see. Cuz that’s how I roll. 🙂

Who Needs a Good Laugh?

Let’s start with the artistically absurd. Want to see what my husband and daughter were watching on the Internet while I was in NYC last weekend? It’s a show performed in 1996 that merges Star Wars and Les Miserables.

The fun part, for my family, is that my husband is a big SW fan and he produced Les Mis at Wilsonville High School last year. Our daughter, Samantha, played one of several Little Cosettes. She was singing this in the backseat of the car when they picked me up at the airport. If you watch long enough you will see Han Solo singing a tune to “Greased Lightning,” as well!

P.S. If you are drinking something, you might want to take pause because this is pretty funny. At least, it cracked me up.

Celebrate People Who Are Thoughtful & Kind

Something caught my eye on Twitter a week or so before the Writer’s Digest Conference. The fine folks at WD were buzzing that the somewhat controversial Mr. Barry Eisler would be speaking at the conference. Someone in the ethers piped up and said, “And Christina Katz will be there too, right?” And that just made my day. I have nothing against Barry Eisler, of course. As it turns out, he may ruffle feathers online and in the news, but in person he is completely unassuming and friendly.

But back to the guy who wanted to make sure I was still coming. Turns out his name is Karl Sprague and you can learn all about him in his blog. I appreciated that Karl posted this poem by James Michener on his “about” page.

Karl says, I strive to be what James Michener described as a “Master in the Art of Living.”

Master in the Art of Living

A master in the art of living

draws no sharp distinction

between his work and his play,

his labor and his leisure,

his mind and his body,

his education and his recreation.

He hardly knows which is which.

He simply pursues his vision

of excellence through whatever

he is doing and leaves

others to determine

whether he is working or playing.

To himself, he always seems

to be doing both.

–       James A. Michener
I think you can learn a lot about a person quickly by noticing what they appreciate. In this case, I think we can learn a lot about what Karl is all about because he is so generous in sharing his appreciation. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you want people to get to know you and enjoy knowing you, share a little more with us about what you appreciate and we’ll pay closer attention.

Make Good Things Happen

Okay, forget “fun” for a sec. I knew there was one more point I wanted to make at the end of my talk on Micro-publishing at the Writer’s Digest Conference. And this is it. Bottom line is this: you are either one of us: a person who makes good things happen. Or you are one of the others: a draining, whining, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately energy vampire.

Now, obviously, it’s not nearly this black and white. But honestly, sometimes, for me, it is. I can spot a person who has decided that I owe them a favor a mile away. I can see them coming at me before they are even coming at me. This is probably because I could not always tell and have been duped several times. I was so busy being generous with absolutely everyone that I was not using good discretion. My bad. I had to go back and analyze the difference between genuinely delightful people and those who put on that front so they can advance their own agenda. And I get it now. I’m not likely to forget either. (I have a lot to say on the topic of practicing good professional boundaries in The Writer’s Workout, specifically chapters 115, 297, 334 and 359.)

So, back to Karl’s blog. I love this post Karl wrote about his experience from the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference where he describes in detail, nay, even analyzes the friendly leadership qualities of a person he’d met at the conference. That person is George Davis. I’d noticed him online as a positive force to be reckoned with last year and I was not even at the conference. I didn’t get to spend much time with George this year. But that’s not the point. I can tell that he and Karl and Barry are going to go far. Why? Because they are people who make good things happen. And if you focus on nothing else in your writing career, making good things happen would be enough. Because it all comes around eventually. And those who give the most good, reap the greatest rewards, each and every day.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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  • Very nice!

  • nice post!

  • Karl Sprague

    Christina, thank you for the wonderful, kind, humbling words. If you’re going to talk about people who make good things happen, start with the lady you see in the mirror.  I’d heard so many good things about Christina Katz / The WriterMama, your passion for helping authors and the positive results from your books and coaching services – that I was anxious to see you in action. I left New York appreciating fully why clients love you and peers respect you. I left a fan.  Keep up the good work. – Karl Sprague

  • AND I’ll have you know that under Dr. @KarlSprague:twitter ‘s good influence and @VirtualDavis:twitter’ self-styled flaneur-ism, lol, we recreated the Grandeur that was Stecchino with a special re-doing of the deed during the superb @WritersDigest:twitter Confab #wdc12 this year, sliding across sheets of Manhattanite ice to revisit George’s peculiarly potent Stecch-nique and to try to wage theatrical derring-do with La @friendgrief:twitter(don’t say Rodgers and Hammerstein to her) — Ms. @KathyPooler:twitter and the omniscient @DanBlank:twitter can vouch for all this carrying on. I was the one with a Campari the size of the roast duck I ordered.

    Followed by something about your better Malbecs of 2007. 

    What’s the matter, did I not live-tweet this session or something? 🙂 

  • Kathleen Pooler

    Christina and Porter, What a fitting tribute to @karlsprague and @virtualDavis, the “dynamic duo” of #wdc12! So happy to be witness to all the goodness,the laughter,the learning and the commaderie. Even the great theater debate between @porter_anderson and @friendgrief with @danblank refereeing added to the fun memories. Thanks for the reminder@christinakatz of the things in life that are really important~ good people making good things happen just by being who they are. Kathy

  • That would be “camaraderie” 🙂

  • What a surreal way to start the week. 🙂 From Les Mis Wars to Karl Sprague’s MFA in the art of living, Christina Katz grand-slammed this post like “Greased Lightning”! And as long as I’m mixing metaphors and entertainment genres, I might as well take a deep bow for the gracious cameo. Christina, Karl, James A. Michener and Han Solo, thank you. Porter and Kathleen too. What flattering company. I’m honored. This self-styled flaneur (thanks, PA!) invites you all to a tribal huddle (tribal hug?) and a mug of grog at AWP12. Who’s in? Hope to see you all again soon.

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