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Getting Along: The Art of Moving Forward Together


by Jennifer Paros


All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.

~Jack Kerouac



When my youngest son was four, he made up a song that went, You have to get along/But you gotta have free, which spoke to his desire to join with others without hampering his individuality. That’s a jingle that has continued to suit him and his life throughout his seventeen years. He wants everyone to think independently – and clubs, organizations, political parties, religions all seem to require conformity of thought. But, of course, agreement among the masses also serves humanity and moves us forward, supporting the freedom of its members.

In the arts there are groups with ideas and criteria that define what is good or bad or even what “art” is. Periodically, artists break from the agreed upon and create something different. In doing so, the collective’s thinking expands. In Paris, in 1874, a group of artists held their own exhibition separate from the Salon (a state funded, juried exhibition that was the only means for artists to show their work at the time). These artists had all previously been rejected by the Salon and were tired of the rigidity of its rules and expectations. They broke from historical themes and academic painting approaches – groupthink about what art should look like, how it should be made, even its subject. This was the beginning of Impressionism. more...



Fanboys Revisited


by Cherie Tucker




We’ve looked at the trick of having “FANBOYS” stand for for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so to help you remember the comma rule; however, there is a tendency to err on the wrong side. When your sentence consists of two parts that could be separated into two stand-alone sentences, you need a comma before one of the FANBOYS to tell the reader that the first part is over and that the next part is on its way.


John went to the store in the pounding rain last night, but he forgot his wallet.


In that sentence, there could be a period after “night” to show that the first part was complete. The comma introduces the second half of the sentence that also could stand alone. (By the way, a sentence that is composed of two independent clauses is called a “compound sentence.”)


However, you don’t need a comma if one of one of the FANBOYS is not a divider in a compound sentence. more...




Another Kind of Writer's Journey


by Terry Persun



Like most writers, I started out being an avid reader: from the time my parents read children’s books to me, to the first short stories my brother introduced me to, to the first novels I checked out of our school library. Even as a child, my interests were broad, and I would read everything from mysteries to science fiction and science to biographies. My brother was five years older than me and allowed me to read whatever books he read. It took a few years before I got there, but when I did, it was great. I read and learned to love poetry while in grade school. I read spiritually-oriented books because my uncle would send us boxes of books he’d read. I read tons of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs – including John Carter of Mars and Tarzan – because both my parents enjoyed those books.

I started out reading just for pleasure, but eventually started reading with deeper insight. I recall reading about an Army sergeant, and how difficult it was for him when he had to kill enemy soldiers. The story gave me insight into how people force themselves to do something that is against their moral code – even though the crime is aimed at someone who is an enemy. In other stories, I learned how a murderer feels and why he might have gotten to the point in life where he believed in what he was doing. In a well-written story, it’s easy to see both sides of a situation.

As I grew older, I began to question people who did things I wouldn’t think of doing – like get into fights, break up with someone, steal. I wanted to learn their motivations, their thought processes, the emotions they channeled and then had to fight back. Developing a better understanding others is not done only through reading, of course. Such knowledge can be accumulated through watching television, movies, plays, or by listening to music. I began to learn how different we each are by asking questions of my relatives, friends, and, eventually, people I got to know at work. more...


October 2016

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