This is Tom Benedict's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Tom Benedict's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Tom Benedict
Recent Activity
If you do wish to contact your congressional representatives, keep this in mind: They get a lot of mail, and have no time to read it. Many politicians use a ranking system to help them apply a weight to an opinion. Face-to-face conversations weigh the most. Hand written or typed and signed letters typically come next. A phone call typically comes next. Email comes next. Form letters and pre-printed post cards rank lowest of all. Find out what system your representatives use, and use the most effective form of communication you can. In your communication, be succinct. Be clear. Don't wander off into long stretches of prose. Your letter will probably not be read by your representative. It will be read by a staffer. Don't leave the staffer guessing. They won't waste the time trying to figure out what you mean. A friend of mine used to work for a state legislator. His job was to count mail. To give you an idea of how this system of measurement can affect your communication, this was his system: If he couldn't read it for reasons of illegibility, poor copy, or bad handwriting, he threw it away. If he couldn't figure out the issue or the stance in one paragraph, he threw it away. If he could decipher the meaning behind a letter, he tallied the opinion using a point system. At the top of his scale, hand written or typed and signed letters got 100 points. At the bottom end of his scale, pre-printed letters and postcards only got one point. That's one point better than being tossed in the can. The few seconds it takes to sign your letter can be all it takes to make your voice carry one hundred times more weight than if you just printed it and stuffed it in an envelope. Find out what system your representatives use, and make your voice heard.
1 reply
We had a subscription at home, too. If I remember right, it pre-dated my mom becoming a teacher. (Hmmm... Chicken and egg?) We took Highlights and Ranger Rick. I don't think I could make a call between the two. Both were cool. I completely get the whole "who's driving the car?" thing. Hard to whoop it up safely while going through an underpass if you have to keep your hands on the wheel.
1 reply
Hey, glad you consider photography a creative pursuit! Now I don't feel so much like a putz. (I didn't do any writing yesterday, but did do some photography.) I just finished Language Barrier, and I'm getting ready to start Poor Places. I wanted to give you kudos on two stories, though: I really appreciated The Day After for two reasons. First, it's a zombie story. Second, the main characters were human and not some pumped up Rambo-style zombie hunters. It was an altogether human story. Cool stuff, and a rare take on the zombie mythos. Second, Room 302 was cool because you touched on blown highlights reducing the value of an interior photograph. DUDE you're a geek! All creepiness aside, that had me smiling. I don't like working interior lighting, which is why I mostly do aerial landscapes. It was a lot of fun at the end when he gets off the bus and makes that judgment call (no spoilers here.) Tough call for a photographer. Looking forward to Poor Places. Fun stuff! Tom
1 reply
In defense of the electronic form: I used to live in Texas. Over the years my wife and I collected a couple thousand paperbacks and hardbacks. Then we moved to Hawaii, and oh hell YEAH all our books came with us. We live on the "dry side" of the Big Island, and darned if it doesn't look a lot like West Texas. But... Book mold runs rampant here. No matter what we do, our books are dying. Hardbacks fare better than paperbacks, but some of my old Andre Norton and Marrion Zimmer Bradley copies look more like zombie books than real live breathing books these days. About a year and a half ago we made the decision to get as many of our new books in electronic form as we could. It was an excellent move. We haven't been able to replace all the "at risk" titles in our paperback collection, but I hope that's just a matter of time. I love curling up in front of the fire with a good book as much as anyone else. It's the book mold and crumbling pages that get me. Thanks for offering this as a PDF, Wil! Tom
1 reply
>click< Done. Sweet! More good stuff to read. I haven't read any of your fiction yet, so I'm looking forward to this. Is the work you do on your Project Do Something Creative Every Day strictly writing? Lots of forms of creativity, and from reading your stuff I can see you've done miniatures, models, etc. Are you doing those as well, or is this strictly a literary push? (Sorry, still reading back into your blog, so if you discussed this some time back I'm just not there yet.) Thanks, Tom
1 reply
The title to this one, and most of the content for that matter, reminded me of a Usenet post in one of the C groups titled, "When you kill the parent, do the children die?" Great to know it's talking about processes on a UNIX machine, but dayum! Very good post. And thanks again for pointing me to King's "On Writing" and John Scalzi's blog. Reading, learning, writing.
1 reply
Strange how many of us were sick that day. I was at home, feeling rotten, watching cartoons, and they broke in with the story. A friend of mine described it really well. It's like the color drained out of their head. I just couldn't believe it was true. There was all kinds of discussion at school the next day. Should we shut down the shuttle program? Should we shut down NASA? I remember telling people I'd be the first one to get on the next shuttle launch, given the chance. I believed it then, I believe it now: We can and should do these things. I agree, it's probably not the best use of NASA's tiny budget, but perhaps that just means we need to re-examine our priorities.
1 reply
Tom Benedict is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 28, 2011