Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship: (n) the skill possessed by a craftsman

 “Oh…are you still writing your little blogs?” she asked me, having obviously just taken a fresh batch of condescension out of her oven.

I simply replied, “Yes.”

It’s not what I wanted to say. funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I yearned to tell her the number of people who were stopping off at my blogs, and even fudge the figures a little higher.

I wanted to point out the power of the written word.

I certainly had an impulse to make her feel smaller—that she was unable to do what I could do.

But I recently have realized that if you’re ashamed of what you’re doing or how small it is, then you’ve reduced your life to a trickle of envy.

I am not envious. Matter of fact, every day when I sit down and write to you, I think about two things:

1. I want to be content with my content.

I want to make sure I’m telling you things that will exhort your journey instead of further exhausting you.

2. I want to honor the craftsmanship that goes into forming a sentence, completing a paragraph and promoting an idea.

I don’t want to sit around and argue about my style or my syntax. Instead, I want to admit that my ideas can always be better presented, with tighter structure and fewer words. It is ironic that the greatest lesson a writer learns is to write less, and then edit even more.

What is the shortest distance between two points? Let me give you a clue. It isn’t a run-on sentence with lots of purple prose. It is finding a way to say it that is easy to comprehend, but still lights a candle in the brain.

It is craftsmanship.

It’s when I watch the plumber working on my toilet, and he’s in the middle of completing the project when he pauses, looks at it carefully, disappears, and then comes back from his truck with another piece. And then he turns to me and says, “It would have been fine with that bolt, but this is going to be much better.”

Goddamn it, if I don’t want to hug him.

So my dear friends, I continue to write my little blogs, and I do it in the pursuit of craftsmanship.

For at 10:42 P. M. every night, this pursuit grants me great peace of mind.

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Court TV

Court TV: (n) reality TV

I am afraid I am not going to be a very objective observer and writer on this subject. Even though I should offer both sides of the situation concerning Court TV, I personally am a fan.

I’m embarrassed by that, because normally I don’t relish reality TV, and find it to be rather, shall we say, unrealistic.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But the lack of realism is what grant the appeal to Court TV. Seeing people who cannot escape the truth, although they try repeatedly to do so, standing before a judge and having their inconsistencies and misrepresentations aired in front of the entire audience, is just too sweet to resist.

Some of these judges are better than others—but honestly, all of them have a particular boiling point, where they go from jurisprudence to “what the hell were you thinking?”

It is enriching to know that lying, though common, also has a very definite result: you get caught and you look stupid.

Court TV exposes you if you sold a rotten car or if you cheated your landlord or if you failed to maintain enough distance on the highway. In the meantime, it will also uncover all sorts of emotional struggles, unfaithful partners and nasty feuds.

I feel the need to apologize for my dependence, and I will tell you that I’ve watched less and less as the years have gone by.

But recently I discovered that Judge Judy comes on in the afternoon—right after I’ve finished writing my blogs. And honest to God, I’ve been tempted to hurry up an edit in order to go see her fillet the latest lying fish.

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Comfortable

Comfortable: (adj) clothes or furnishing providing physical ease and relaxation.

I didn’t become a writer because I favor timeclocks. Deadlines were always dead to me.

I avoid them.

It happened to me this morning. I got up in the middle of the night and enjoyed a creative time of scrawling and bawling. I often do that.

The sheer beauty of God’s Universe and the joy I have in emoting about it sometimes turns me into a silly little girl who just found out that the boy she likes
didn’t check the right box on the note she sent asking if he liked her.

So when I awoke again, at what would be considered a normal “getting up time,” I was not comfortable with such an explosion of energy.

Guilt slipped in.

I thought to myself, I’ve got to get busy–write my blogs and post my articles, prepare my podcast. Hardboil my eggs.

My God, without all of these responsibilities, who am I? I become just some sort of guy walking around, breathing air, enjoying life as it happens, appearing to be without reasonable constraints.

I rolled over.

Sure…my blogs are getting posted later today. I assume this will merely create intrigue rather than disapproval. And if there are people out there waiting for them, they shall have the pleasure of perusing them in the afternoon.

It is important on our journey to be comfortable. You can tell when you’re around someone who is festering a gut-full of tension, because all you have to do is suggest the idea of pursuing comfort in your adult life, and they will quickly explain why this is impossible, irrational and a sign of having a “Peter Pan Syndrome.”

Peter Pan wanted to stay young.

I don’t need to be young. I can get old…

Just as long as you let me be comfortable.

 

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Byzantine

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Byzantine: (adj) excessively complicated plan

My scribe–typist, comrade or only person who’s willing to work with me on posting my blogs–told me this morning that we had reached the last word in the B’s on our quest for Words from Dictionary.

Comically, that word happens to be “byzantine,” which is basically a convoluted plan to do something that seems to have bizarre ramifications. In other words, something like writing an essay on every word in the dictionary.

It seems to be a deal you make with God, so that when He comes to take you to heaven, you explain, “I can’t go. I’m only on the letter E.”

After all, even a small child of four years would probably not make it through the entire dictionary–to zoology–in his or her lifetime.

A byzantine plot, adventure, or quest is so outlandishly contrived that one would wonder over the sanity of the instigator.

Yeah. That would be me.

See you tomorrow at C.

(That was clever, wasn’t it? “See you at C.”)

 

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Blip

Blip: (n) a flashing point of light on a radar screen

Dictionary B

“Listen, man, you’re not even a blip on the radar screen.”

I’ve heard these words several times in my life, from people who wanted to make money off of me by promoting my works, or folks who wanted to limit the value of my mission by insisting it was ineffective.

People don’t want to be nasty–jealousy just makes them that way. Matter of fact, you can get rid of an awful lot of “nasty” in your life if you just decide not to be jealous.

No, I’m not a blip on the radar screen.

  • I’ve never received a phone call from CNN asking for an interview.
  • The Tonight Show has eluded me.
  • I have not appeared on any bestseller lists.
  • I am not being vetted for any national position.
  • The awards I’ve received have been scrawled on paper instead of presented as gold statues.

But since I’m not a blip on the screen, I can do the hell whatever I want. No one is concerned, because they think my meager attempts are meaningless.

Meanwhile, one after one, day after day, minute by minute, I encounter fellow-human beings and try, for the brief seconds I am with them, to make them glad they are alive and encourage them to be more hopeful about their prospects.

I write blogs which are read by unseen strangers who happen to stumble upon me accidentally. Yet, stumbling upon me, I try to make sure they are delighted by tripping my way.

Fame in America is a revolving door.

The powers that be will never actually let you inside the building. It’s reserved for old money, old clients, old stars, old politicians and old ideas. So as soon as you think you’re entering, they will find dirt and grime to smear all over your character and revolve you right out the exit.

What you want to do is be a flash in the pan–a moment when people see light and wonder if there is the possibility of more up ahead.

 

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Artichoke

Artichoke: (n) a European plant cultivated for its large thistlelike flower heads.dictionary with letter A

If there would actually be male and female artichokes, do you think that the woman would ever turn to her husband and say, “Artie, you got no heart…”?

I don’t know much about artichokes.

I have a friend who uses them to make a soup, and even though it’s very good, the substance that floats around in the broth kind of reminds me of broccoli stems.

Now, broccoli stems are not my favorite part of the broccoli. They always remind me of miniature renditions of the bean stalk that Jack climbed. They’ve got little places on them for your feet to situate for climbing, which are also very difficult to chew sometimes.

If somebody asked me what an artichoke tastes like, I would probably respond, “Green.” There is a whole series of vegetables which have a green taste. I’m sure they’re distinguishable, but I would be hard-pressed to describe that subtle nuance.

So as you can see, I am fumbling a bit with this subject, because everything I write is going to be incorrect due to my lack of knowledge. (But since that does not stop anybody from composing articles on blogs, I will persevere.)

I do recall that one thing I liked about my friend’s artichoke soup was how creamy it was. But that was probably due to butter and whole milk.

So if I was asked to give a definition for the artichoke, I would first compliment it for having a heart, and I would say that it represents the “Green Race” very well.

 

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