This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Beginnings ( #BOTB Results & #IWSG )



Another year has come and gone, leading to another beginning of another year which will come and go.  Personally I'm looking forward to another good one, but optimist that I tend to be I always look forward to more good years...

       
Arlee Bird several years ago before having shed a mustache and several pounds and those extra pounds were in no way connected to the mustache.

I'll get to my first Insecure Writer's Support Group of 2020 in a short while, but first let me report in the results of my first Battle of the Bands of this new year...

Battle of the Bands Results



         My Battle of the Bands for January 1, 2020 was between versions of Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years" as performed by the Isley Brothers and Jimmy Scott.  To my ears both versions were outstanding, but many of you seemed a bit disconcerted with Scott's vocals.  Upon first hearing his version (yes, the vocalist is Jimmy Scott who is a man) I was also a bit thrown off, but the overall musicianship in this rendition quickly won me over.  After all, I chose to use this version for a good reason:  I liked it!

      And because I liked the version by Jimmy Scott so much I decided to give my vote to that one.  As far as I'm concerned, the version by the Isleys is fantastic and I probably like both versions about equally, but Jimmy needs my vote.  His voice takes some getting used to, but he had the goods as far as putting forth a good jazz interpretation of a song.

Final Vote Tally

Isley Brothers         11 votes

Jimmy Scott              3 votes

Simply Red                1 stubborn vote

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The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog




The co-hosts for the January 8 posting of the IWSG are T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff.




January 8 question - What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?



           Among my fondest memories of childhood was listening to adults tell stories.  My mother entertained my sister and I with stories of her childhood.  Some of the show biz friends of my parents also told tales that captured my attention even though they likely thought I wasn't listening. And then there were the movies and television shows I would watch.  I grew up with stories and once I learned to read and write I was on my way to a fascination with writing.

         The first story I recall writing was a horror tale that I composed for a third grade class assignment.  Somehow naturally gravitating toward the "write what you know" school of thought, I drew upon my experiences of traveling across country with my family as we relocated from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to San Diego California. However the real writing inspiration came from Rod Serling's Twilight Zone.   

         As a fan of scary movies from early childhood, I was drawn to Twilight Zone soon after I had discovered the show on television.  I relished the surprise endings and the quirky stories fueled my imagination.  Far into college and into the present day that show--which still can be found regularly in television reruns and other sources--has influenced my writing to a great extent.  And it was watching that show that made me think that writing might be something I could potentially do one day.

          Maybe writing didn't turn out quite like I dreamed, but then those Twilight Zone shows had those surprise endings.  In my life I've lived plenty of stories with surprise endings.  The nice thing is that the big story is still continuing and more surprises are sure to come.



         Next post will be another Battle of the Bands on Wednesday January 15th!




34 comments:

  1. And now, I have the Twilight Zone musical theme running through my mind! Had it on last week. My husband channel surfed, found it and stopped. They are still good and still creepy!

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    Replies
    1. Liza, sometimes it's difficult to just pass by Twilight Zone, but then there are those times when I feel like I'm in the "Twilight Zone".

      Lee

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  2. Life itself is a surprise ending.

    I liked The Twilight Zone. I also love the Twilight Zone ride at Disney World.

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    1. L.Diane, the Twilight Zone attraction at the Anaheim Disney park closed a few years ago before I had a chance to ride it. But I never go to the Disney parks anymore.

      Lee

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  3. Writing might not have turned out like you thought, but it lead to this blog and the A to Z Challenge. That's huge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, I would have never started this blog if I didn't like writing.

      Lee

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  4. Hi Lee, the Twilight Zone will always be a favorite I think it will be in syndication as long as people watch TV. Have a great New Year!

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    1. Stephen T, I think more than one network shows old Twilight Zone episodes. Don't see it going away anytime soon.

      Lee

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  5. That's a great writing inspirations story! Probably a lot of writers, myself included, have been influenced by TV shows or elements of them over the years.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I'm pretty sure that a lot of writers might indicate that Twilight Zone was a writing influence.

      Lee

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  6. What a wonderful memory of Mom telling stories! I can see how that would get your mind juices flowing.

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    1. HR, all parents should tell their children stories--especially stories about their own childhoods.

      Lee

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  7. Wow! Your blowout was even worse than mine! It happens... frequently. I knew that both of our Battles would be lopsided affairs, but I thought mine would be a bit closer than it turned out.

    I LOVE 'The Twilight Zone' and have every one of the original Rod Serling episodes on DVD. Not only was the writing consistently good, but there were also some exceptional acting performances in a good number of those episodes. (Also some pretty poor performances, too, however.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, I thought my outcome would be closer as well.

      The DVD copies would be good to have to avoid the commercials. I've seen almost all episodes several times. Probably aren't any that I haven't seen.

      Lee

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  8. It's never too late to start writing. It's in you!

    There are much scarier shows and movies these days than Twilight Zone, but I still can't watch it in bed and expect to fall asleep. It still frightens me. I LOVE that.

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    1. Teresa, not only some recent productions are more scary, but they've often gotten far more gory and realistic and I'm not sure I'm liking the direction some of it is going. Old shows left a lot to one's imagination. I think that's where the lasting scares come in.

      Lee

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  9. I remember The Twilight Light Zone well. Good one! Always creep me out.

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    Replies
    1. Em, I loved getting scared when I was a kid as long as it was a fun make-believe scare.

      Lee

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  10. Replies
    1. Anna, a good surprise is fun and can be mind stimulating.

      Lee

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  11. I love the original Twilight Show. What a great show. Some were better than others, but when they were good, they really hit it out of the park.

    The Talking Tina episode inspired my first published book, The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave. "I'm Talking Tina, and I'm going to KILL you." Classic.

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    Replies
    1. JH, as I have watched the reruns in recent years I do see some episodes that seem pretty weak now, but most are well written stories.

      Lee

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  12. I loved the Twilight Zone show. Also, Outer Limits. And you are quite right - there was always a twisty, turn-y ending. So I'm with you on not worrying about that the writing journey hasn't quite been as envisioned. The credits are rolling yet!

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  13. Wishing you lots more good surprises, Arlee! I love a story with a good twist.

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  14. Enjoyed reaqding your post as always Lee.
    Had the winner with the BOTB, Look forward to the next one.

    Yvonne.

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  15. I enjoyed the Twilight Zone too. Love catching some that I missed. Interesting to see all the young actors. Outer Limits was good too, as was One Step Beyond. Don't make TV like that anymore. Happy New Year, Arlee.

    Janet’s Smiles

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  16. My dad has told family and friends that he can't figure out where I get my fiction writing skills and creativity from. That surprised me because the answer was, almost literally, right under his nose. My dad isn't a writer bur he, along with my mom and many other relatives are all great oral storytellers. So I can see where your family played a role in your development as a writer.

    I Twilight Zone has been a big influence on my writing of fiction too. I've loved watching the series and, even though I never really intended it, people have told me that many of my horror and Sci fi stories have Twilight Zone-like surprise or ironic endings. Thanks for a great post!

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  17. Well, at least it wasn't a shutout. ☺ The Twilight Zone was one of my favourite shows, too. Great writing, so it's not a surprise you were influenced by it.

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  18. Now you see, Arlee, I can't do scary. Not stories, not TV, not movies. But we did take the family across the country on a camping road trip from New Jersey to California Redwoods, among many other stops. We had a blast, but the long driving days in the beginning were tough. All best to you--even without your mustache--in 2020!

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  19. I don't do scary, but I do love writing something with a surprising twist at the end.
    Twilight zone was an active inspiration to the imagination. We loved it, still remember different episodes.
    I decided I would be a writer in 3rd gr. There was something about putting words together was exciting.

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  20. Hi Lee! Thanks for sharing your memories about storytelling. It reminds me of my days at summer camp and how the counselors would read the Chronicles of Narnia to us after lights out. I enjoyed your writing.

    I found you through the IWSG site. I only found it the January 8th prompt a couple of days ago, but I think my post actually covers the February prompt as well. I am completely new to the IWSG process. I am not at all sure I am "doing it right" yet but am confident I will receive guidance as I go along. I do know, however, that I am already inspired by finding a place where folks are sharing their work and receiving encouragement and feedback. Thanks for sharing and I will be taking a look around your site!

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  21. I LOVE (still) the Twilight Zone, always have, always will. I used to watch the Night Gallery also when it came out, but it scared me more than TZ did...
    I still think Simply Red also has the best version of Holding back...! Yeah, I know.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee