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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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Rainbow Connection (#BOTB) ( #IWSG )

"I've heard that story before--a lot. Every time I hear it, there might be a few variations, but it's still basically the same story.  A good story is always worth retelling..."
                --a possible character from some future work I might write?


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 October 2 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!




October 2 question - It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


           As I typically try to approach things, I'm going to address this question with logic--or what seems most logical to me.  Using the old philosophical position that art imitates life, we might further extend it to a simpler concept that simply says "Art imitates".  Art is essentially the reproduction of that which has been seen or imagined.

           Monkey see, monkey do is the beginning of the process of learning and creating.  Learning to write and learning to read go hand in hand.  One cannot learn to write without first learning to read. And then there are the rules that must be learned so that we are all reading and writing from the same or a similar fundamental perspective.  Reading provides us with a sense of the rules of language and gives us examples of the ways in which other experienced writers use language.

          When we read more, we learn more and gain more experience.  We establish our voice by reading and hearing the voices of others.  We build our world upon the worlds others have built before us and with the help of those building the world around us.  By reading we keep up with trends in the literary market (good business sense) and try on the voices of others in order to further develop our own voice (good artistic strategy).  

          We should never stop reading because then our writing voice and idea development can stagnate.  If we stop our reading at our last favorite book then we are more likely to parrot that book rather than amalgamating many ideas, concepts and styles into something that is more true to who we are as writers.  Reading what others have written is perhaps comparable to a writing education in which we learn what exactly appeals most to us as writers.
       
          It's kind of like the song from The Muppet Movie where Kermit ponders the question: "Why are there so many songs about rainbows?"  We all have seen rainbows and the impact on each of us is our unique experience.  And when we've seen one rainbow we don't mind looking at the next one.

        Which brings us to a Battle of the Bands match using versions of Kermit the Frog's "Rainbow Connection"...

Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Rainbow Connection

       This song was written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher for the 1979 film The Muppet Movie.  In the film the song is sung by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) and has since been recorded by numerous artists.   I dedicate this Battle to our BOTB "host" Stephen T. McCarthy as I know he likes both of the artists I'm using.  For me this is a very tough choice as each artist brings their own special touch to the song.

        I also dedicate this Battle to all of the dreamers out there which means all of us.  If we aren't dreaming, we aren't living...


The Carpenters    "Rainbow Connection"  (1981)




Willie Nelson  "Rainbow Connection"   (2001)








Time to Vote!

        Now it's time for the music connection.  Which artist do you like best?   Pick one and have some fun!  You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.




Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside





Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday October 7th

          I'll be tallying the votes on Sunday so you've got a few days to get yours in.  But don't delay!  Vote now!

           What types of literature do you predominately read?   What do you tend to avoid reading?  For those who write, does reading the works of others tend to lead you to imitation or inspiration?






59 comments:

  1. I agree - you can't learn to write without reading.
    Definitely the Carpenter's version. Although no one sings it like Kermit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, Kermit was an original besides being the original. What an ingenious puppet character!

      First vote goes to The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I enjoyed this post on reading/writing. Little steps of each can bring much enjoyment. Writing we share can be rewarded. I don't share every thing I write. Sometimes just the physical process of putting down my thoughts on paper is enough for me alone.

    Other times I like to share.

    https://nothoughtsnoprayersnonothing.blogspot.com/2019/10/let-me-write.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't shared most of the stuff that I've written. Thanks to blogging I've shared more than I had before blogging.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Sorry I couldn't make the A to Z Challenge this year Lee, but was not up to it emotionally although I have string connectionc with the challenge.

    I vote for the Carpenter's Version for the BOTB.
    Most enjoyable.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I understand about A to Z. For me, I sometimes find it difficult to keep on blogging period.

      Another vote for The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Very interesting battle, Lee!

    There was something a little 'off' in the Carpenters version that I wasn't able to put my finger on, but I felt Willie was telling me a wonderful story. I'm giving my vote to Willie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary B, I've had this Battle queued up for I don't know how many years now. About time I got this one in the running.

      And a vote for Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Lee,

    The only reading I do these days and have for years is blog reading or Internet research. Before motherhood, I used to read a lot of horror or romance books. In recent years I discovered I enjoyed reading non-fiction stories and poetry more than I did in the past. I do believe what you're saying that being flutent in literature heps to craft one's writings skills. I know this and feel it so with my limited writing ability. I do okay when it comes to composing short posts and comments but that's really about it. I think that's why I try so hard to bring out poetic expressions whenever I can to stir my inner author. Maybe, my brain will settle down and I'll find pleasure in reading literature again. Now on to your battle. :)

    'Rainbow Connection' is such a sweet song. No one does it quite like Kermit. Karen's voice is lovely but I actually think I prefer Willie Nelson covering this song because his voice adds character like Kermit's does. Fun battle!

    Cast your vote now in the I (Who Have Nothing) BoTB showdown!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I tend to prefer non-fiction these days. When I read. If I read.

      A vote for Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Rue, A great question deserves a great answer doesn't it? Or at least some kind of answer I would think.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. I'm a firm believer that reading makes better writers and you've pointed out many valid reasons why that is. I'm a huge chick-lit reader myself (though most writers don't like that term anymore). If it's funny, smart, cute, and uplifting with a fun romance twist tied into it, I'm all for it. That being said, I'm not picky when it comes to reading. I'll pick up any genre, though I mostly tend to stick to fiction. Books inspire me, get my imagination going, and my writing is better for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brigitte, I read in many genres. When the writing is good then what I've read is memorable. Otherwise I've read to pass the time with no harm done.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. I think all writers started out as voracious readers. It certainly helps in honing one's skills. My preference for both is non-fiction.

    As for the battle, I thought the Carpenter's version was a little too "sweet" (as befitting a Muppets movie) and preferred Willie's grittier take. (Not to mention the fabulous guitar riffs!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, I like non-fiction far more than I used to and more so than most fiction.

      A vote for Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. LEE ~

    I don't think I'd heard this song before. (Not exactly a Muppets kind o' dude. I'll take Jeff Dunham, thank you very much.)

    I dig Willie Nelson's music overall (and especially his 'Stardust' album). And I've said it enough times over the years that I'm sure you must remember that I'm a huge fan of The Carpenters (Karen being my favorite vocalist of all time).

    In this case, I'm going to go along with what Debbie said: I think The Carpenters' version was a tad too "sweet" for my tastes. I mean, a song about "rainbows" is automatically bound to be a confection or candy-like, and I'm not sure it needs the added "sugar" of Karen's fabulous voice. Plus, I enjoyed the guitar work in Willie's rendition, so... Willie for the win.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. StMcC, I think you might actually like The Muppet Movie as it is witty, fun, and entertaining. I'd be surprised if you'd never heard this song--it got played a lot in the eighties.

      I wasn't sure how you might vote on this one, but it's a vote for...

      Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. This is the second time I'll say this today: Both are excellent readings of the song, so I have to make my decision on sentimental grounds and go with Karen and Richard Carpenter. Her voice is just so lovely on this...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John H, that reasoning makes sense to me.

      A vote for The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I am all for Karen Carpenter who has such a haunting voice and creates something wonderful with this song. Not a Willie Nelson fan for the most part. I think, to be a good writer, one must read because it opens up your eyes to different worlds not to mention grammar and all the words out there. I read mostly non fiction but I love good mysteries, fantasy and the classics. I am not one for romance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I typically don't read romance, but I have and enjoyed the ones I've read.

      A vote for The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. HA! Two artists that McCarthy loves...

    I actually saw Kenny Ascher perform this last February in New York. He is the pianist for The Birdland Big Band... the house band at the Birdland Jazz Club. Ascher is a "big deal!"

    This is a great, great song, and as much as it pains me to say it: both artists here do an excellent job with it. I dislike both artists 90% of the time, but I am voting for Karen here BECAUSE she sounds so sweet. To me, that's what the song requires. Kermit's "original" version has a sweet melancholy to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-Gun, how cool that you saw Ascher. I'd never heard of him before I put this post up.

      For sweetness, The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. I knew him first because he arranged music on a couple of albums for Lori Lieberman in the 70s. I listened to her a lot for a while. And, although I never liked the song, she collaborated on (and was the reason it was written) "Killing Me Softly with His Song." She was the first to record it too.

      Delete
    3. I didn't care for "killing me softly" when it came out, but I have come to appreciate it. I think it's a lovely song.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I enjoyed the Willie Nelson version, very much.

    One tally for Willie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, you got it! Thanks for the vote...

      Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I have a friend on FB and a childhood version of me that will crucify me for this, but I'm going with Willie. And as for the writing prompt, my thought is, how can you go out of the box if you have no clue where the box is?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. CW, every discipline starts out with some rules and you've got to learn them.

      A vote for Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Willie Nelson is my choice. He is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K, especially awesome when you consider his age and his long career.

      Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. I'm going with Willie here, but if I had the chance, I'd vote for Kermit! And agreed, there is no writing without reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liza, Kermit would have likely one this match.

      A vote for Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I love the Muppets. I vote for the Carpenters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.Diane, the Muppets are hard not to like.

      The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. A very logical argument. Makes total sense to me.

    I can hear Kermit singing in my head now for some reason. :)

    Cheers - Ellen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ellen, I think I tend to look at things from a mostly logical perspective.

      Kermit is da man--I mean, frog!

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
  19. I really like Willie Nelson's version better because I prefer a male vocal on it. I love Karen and the Carpenters but Willie's version was more relaxing.

    -- Amy
    https://ailovemusic.net/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy, I usually prefer a male vocal as well.

      Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. Gotta go with the Carpenters on this one. Reading is such a great teacher, hard to know how to write without seeing how it's done first. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, I learn a lot from reading.

      A vote for The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. Hi, Lee!

    I love this song; always have. Sometimes the simplest lyrics convey the deeper emotions or feelings.

    Willie Nelson, both as a writer and performer, is always on my fav list...but Karen Carpenter haunts my list with her pipes, steady and lilting...such a loss to the music world and for such a wicked condition.

    The Carpenters get my vote! Thanks, Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, Too bad about Karen's having such a short career.

      The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Mostly I agree with you. I think stories are everywhere though and reading is only one way to learn and expand the mind. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna, stories are indeed everywhere. Sometimes we have to look extra hard to see them while at other times they can whomp us in the head they are so obvious.

      Lee

      Delete
  23. Hi Lee!

    I’m sort of with Mary B. on how Willie Nelson’s version felt like a magical grandpa story; full of hope and wonder. Willie gets my vote.

    Kermit did this song? Wow.

    For the most part, I read for enjoyment. Content and style enhance the experience, and the better the experience, the more I’m inspired to not only write but to write at least half as well. I enjoy dramas, thrillers, mysteries, paranormal, historical and biographical fiction.

    Thought-provoking post, Lee. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, Willie has so much character in his voice. You should check out Kermit's version.

      A vote for Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  24. My writing evolves from my dreams - dreams inspired by life and reading. As a Joseph 'mono-myth' Campbell follower, I feel we are telling the same tale in a myriad of ways. Every rainbow is different yet the same phenomenon.

    As for BOTB, I vote for the nearest to Kermit - Willie with rasp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, I've written several stories inspired directly from dreams. There are only so many story types to be told with an infinite variety of ways to tell them.

      Another vote for Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete
  25. Definitely inspiration. Like you say, reading is a key part of learning and I don't think there's ever a point where we've learnt all we need to about expressing ourselves through language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick, there will always be something to read no matter how much we ourselves read.

      Lee

      Delete
  26. I knew I had to comment on this one since you brought in Kermit's song. The movie's in my top 10 favorite movies always; it has a special spot in my heart.

    As for which of the version I like best, it has to be the Carpenters. I've never heard Willie Nelson's version, but I'm not a fan so I wouldn't have. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mtich, The Muppet Movie is a real gem that I saw in the theater when it first came out and love it still.

      Again a vote for The Carpenters.

      Lee

      Delete
  27. Oh Wow! 3 votes from Facebook from my Cousin Tom, Uncle Bill, and sister Joni.

    The Carpenters x 3.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  28. Definitely Willie Nelson’s take. The suave male voice. The Carpenters’ was cute but a bit too soppy.
    My take exactly on the IWSG question of the month: logical approach. But you wrote it up so much better. With more flow and feeling. Mine was a bit clinical, in the style of Descartes. Argument counter-argument.
    Thanks. Have an inspiring week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan B, logic is usually the best way to arrive at an answer.

      At the last minute, a vote for...

      Willie Nelson.

      Lee

      Delete

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