Writer’s Village University an online affordable place for writers

It has come to my attention, I haven’t written about Writer’s Village University (WVU) since I mentioned it in 2016- Wheeeuw!  Where has the time gone?

I used www.toondoo.com to make this

RJ Hembree (Bob) Created WVU in 1995.

I have been part of Writer’s Village University for a few years.

What WVU has done for me?  One day in October of 2015, I was a passenger in a car that was rear-ended while we were sitting at a red light. I was talking to the driver, turned to my left when the force of the impact lifted me and threw me towards the windshield. My seatbelt engaged and slammed me back into my seat. My left side hit the seat first.  I was able to hobble away -due to pure luck. My doctor told me, that if I had hit straight back, I would have died instantly; instead, I damaged the left side of my cerebellum and my optic nerve. One- of many -very scary issues was that I couldn’t read and understand anything. I would try and read and reread a sentence and I couldn’t understand a word. It took me months of piecing together one word at a time.  I used a piece of paper to block all words except for the one I needed to read.

created at toondoo.com

How does this wiggle into WVU?

 

Those classes, at WVU, helped me to keep trying. Keep reading. Keep learning, even if it was only one word. I am stubborn. I had paid for a WVU membership and I planned on getting my money’s worth. So I pushed blindly forward.

I found a wonderful group of writer’s who share, learn, and have fun with an exchange of views in classes, and on the forums.

If a book is needed for class, there will be a link where you can buy it, usually at Amazon. I have saved a lot of money by finding the reading material either from eBay, at my library or on Hoopla digital.

If you sign up for a class then find you can’t finish the class, you can drop it and try again the next time it comes around.  Usually, the next date will be posted under the class information.  Labeled: Event repeats.

Sure, you can read and do the lessons by yourself. But, when you interact with classmates through comments and questions you will learn ‘how to see’ and ‘fix’ your own writing.

The length of each class is shown on the class sign up page. The course page will have information and each lesson listed.

By joining an open class, ( one posted on the calendar)  you will receive a lot more information than is listed on the course page. You will be able to ask questions of the Mentor or the Facilitator

A moderator adds welcome posts and extra information. Answers questions, post assignments, and track’s attendance.

A facilitator is more visible steers communication, welcome and introduction posts, posts assignments, texts, and feedback instructions. And is the go to person for reporting problems, while taking the class.

I would recommend, that once you completed a class that you enter it into the MFA program.

 

Credits are counted by weeks. A two-week class is 2 credits, four weeks is 4 credits.

Once you have gone through the core classes and submitted into each workshop.    You will be eligible for an MFA certificate.

Writer’s Village University is not an accredited school.

Please, make sure to keep a copy of your finished and entered classes. I keep a hard copy in a folder. (No I don’t but I am printing that out as I am typing this (um, not really but I will)- Major problem-My printer is out of ink.)  {{GRIN}}

On WVU you will meet wonderful writers of all ages, in all stages of learning.

Downside: Writer’s Village University is not an accredited school.

Writer’s Village University Publishes an  E-zine called the Village Square. Submissions are restricted to members of Writer’s Village University in the MFA program.   Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Photography; Writer’s Village University (WVU) also, has a photography group.

Here is my prose poem, from the July 2018 issue. I tend to take from my life. Can you guess what was going on when I wrote this?

Dump The Core!

By Gerardine Baugh

It is just after ten at night. Michael changes the channel so Captain Janeway shows up in black and red; she is leaning over Ensign Wildman and strokes Naomi’s chubby baby cheeks. Can all that new baby smell come through the screen? The Captain wants to add the baby’s name to the blanket she had knitted. Michael imagines her with balls of yarn rolling across her ready room, knit-one-pearl-two, she shouts out, warp core breach, which brought Michael to his feet, and sends him rushing to the toilet. “Dump the core!” He yells as the door slowly closes behind him. Explosions pour from the television rousing his cat. The cat stands up slowly stretching, paying homage to the assault on his nap with a sun salutation; then leaps off its pillow, and with padded paws hurries across the floor to the bathroom door, pushing it open with its head. The thud could be heard over the rising volume. Just as the phase discriminator of the sensor array brings tears to the cat’s eye’s it runs back to the living room. Where it steps on the remote changing Michael’s world into the horror of home shopping. He shuffles out of the bathroom, his pants dusting the floor. He grabs the remote and helps Voyager realign in the correct space as a grappler draws him back to his warp core breach.

LOL! 

There is so much more at WVU then I can list here. Come in for coffee and stay awhile. You won’t be disappointed.

Flight of Monarch Butterflies in my yard

I moved out of Chicago (in the middle 1990s) and relocated to the far northwestern part of  Illinois, I noticed that the Milkweeds I had grown in my Chicago backyard -to attract butterflies -were nowhere to be seen in my new home, and that any butterflies I found around my new home were weak and dying.

Odd, right! Especially since I was out of the city and surrounded by farms and open prairies. Miles of  Illinois countryside. I had assumed the butterflies would be abundant. I was wrong.

Humans have always ignored the tiny life forms that buzz and flutter around; we were lead to believe they were unnecessary and an inconvenience. We are slowly understanding how wrong we were and that we need to protect nature if the human race is to survive.

Before I moved permanently out of Chicago, I  had gathered Milkweed seed pods from my Chicago garden and planted them into my new garden.

As my property grew upward and blocked some of my Milkweeds from the farm fields pesticide, my Milkweeds proliferate, and they attracted Monarchs.

In 2015, The Washington Post had an article, “As pesticides wipe out Monarch butterflies in the U.S., illegal logging is doing the same in Mexico.”

Monarchs are the world’s ‘miners canaries’ are we listening?   Large companies profit from the production and sales of poisons.  Those companies are feeding on our fears of bugs or insects known as Entomophobia or Acarophobia.

We have groups like the Monarch Way Station NetWork.

Monarch Waystation Network

The Monarch Conservation Database of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service~ “We have developed a database to capture information about recently (i.e. since 2014) completed, ongoing and planned conservation efforts for the monarch butterfly….This includes improving and creating habitat by enhancing milkweed and blooming nectar plant resources.”

 

This is a wonderful site to find out how to help the Monarchs in your own backyard.

Direct Action

“Monarch populations have already lost an estimated 165 million acres of breeding habitat across the United States to herbicide spraying and development. Yet when the Environmental Protection Agency approved new dicamba products in 2016, it did not even analyze risks to monarchs” ~kansascity.com

And then there is Monsanto. Heavy sigh… the company that profits from the sales of their pesticides. Monsanto is also in control of our food supply. 

All of the Monarch pictures are my own.  All photo’s and the video were created in my yard. A big ‘Thank You’ to the Monarchs.  If you would like to have your own butterfly garden check out ‘Pollinator Habitat’  at the Monarch Waystation Network

What are your thoughts on the plight of the Monarch? What are your thoughts on Monsanto?

 

Gifts for Father’s Day from MasterClass.com Daniel Negreanu Teaches Poker

 **Attention**  A 7-day Free Trial of the MasterClass subscription offering, the All-Access Pass! For the next seven days. (June 15 thru June 21)  Here is the LINK

Masterclass.com
Daniel Negreanu Teaches Poker

This is an amazing Father’s Day Gift. My dad loved to play poker. Does yours?

 

Here is a taste of the 33+ video lessons.

 

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker

 

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker

 

If Dad isn’t interested in Poker there are other video lessons to choose from at MasterClass.com

Maybe your Dad loves Basketball, then check out, ‘Stephen Curry Teaches Basketball’

Maybe he’s into  photography, then check out, ‘Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography’

Roseanne Barr, Valerie Jarrett and the planet of Twitter

Photo by Donald Tong from Pexels

 

Unless you are living in a cave… on Mars, you must have heard about Roseanne’s tweet.

Ms. Barr wrote if the “ brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.

I saw it and had two reactions. First I was confused and thought, ‘who is this ‘vj’?  

Well, after doing a Google search I found that is Valerie Jarrett. She was a senior adviser to Barack Obama throughout his presidency. She was born in Iran where her father, a doctor, was part of a program that sent American physicians to developing countries. And her ethnicity is mixed black and white.

I dug deeper and saw that Valerie’s great-grandfather, Robert Robinson Taylor, he was born, June 8, 1868. He was the first African-American to graduate from MIT(1888-1892) Her great-great-grandfather, Henry, was the son of a white slave owner and a Black mother.

Valerie Jarrett did her undergraduate work at Stanford and received her law degree from the University of Michigan. She married in 1983 and divorced in 1988. She has one child.  She worked in two private law firms. She eventually specialized in Commercial real estate. She worked for the city of Chicago’s Law Department under Mayer Harold Washington and a series of positions under Mayor Richard M. Daley. Valerie Jarrett met Barack Obama in 1991 through Michelle who was applying for a position in the Chicago Mayors office. And, Valerie was the CEO of the Habitat Co.

I could go on and on, but this is an amazing resume.

Let’s get back to Roseanne’s tweet: the ‘muslim brotherhood’ is a documentary, filmed in Egypt examining the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt after 2011’s uprisings.

This movie, the second referenced in the tweet,  I didn’t have to search out, ‘planet of the apes’ the 1968 version with Charlton Heston and Roddy Mcdowall.

Or maybe you prefer the novel, Planet of the Apes by
Pierre Boulle. Here is a sentence from the synopsis on Amazon: “On this world, humans are savage beasts, and apes rule as their civilized masters.”

The intelligent species were evolved from apes. They were scientist and thinkers. The gorillas were the law keepers. They were a very intelligent, decent species. Well, the Gorillas were controlling asses.

Hmmm. Dare I say, just like some bosses?

And lastly,  “…had a baby=vj.”

Okay, I still didn’t get the reference. Roseanne hadn’t added a picture to her tweet. So it was all up to the reader’s imagination.  I searched out  Valerie’s pictures online and wondered what picture Roseanne had been looking at, Valerie is very pretty.

I have taken some horrible selfies where I resembled a cast member on the walking dead.  But…I couldn’t find a picture of Valerie that resembled that tweet.  Roseanna didn’t add a picture to her tweet, and reading this tweet we can see why. Roseanne tried to explain her reasoning for the tweet- with this tweet.

I was drinking my morning coffee and my local news station put up a picture. That did it…. and I nearly choked on my coffee.

Really! Yes, really. Oh, wait I am supposed to lie. I didn’t find that picture; my local news station did. Wait, how do I know it was local? –Because I only have antenna TV.-  

Some history on Roseanne, I did have a few nervous breakdowns and was hospitalized several times. It was very difficult,” this was said in January 2018 on Page Six.

“Roseanne, who first told the world that she has multiple personality disorder in 1994, says it’s not easy dealing with switching between “Somebody” and “Nobody.” ~ by By ABC NEWS July 12, 2001~abcnews.go.com

Even with Mental health issues, Roseanne continues trying to make us laugh. And we do.

According to Variety:Roseanne” averaged a 3.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.2 million viewers. The first two episodes of “Roseanne,” airing back-to-back last week, stunned industry analysts when they averaged a 5.2 and 18.4 million viewers between them.”  That’s a lot of guffaws.

So when Roseanne’s tweet went out and people ‘complained’ on Twitter. Roseanne took it down and apologized, more than once. 

And then she begged ABC/Disney to forgive her. She even explained her thought process was mixed with Ambien, movie references and she thought she was white.

Some people got it.

Of, course the makers of Ambien had to chime in and cover their pharmaceutical butts, and adding their own slice of hate.

Gotta love the way Sanofi US shows concern for the people who take their drugs. I hope Roseanne sends them an email and they add this side effect.

The list of side effects for Ambien is staggering. Let me grab one:

  • quick to react or overreact emotionally

Now, we know why kids mental health issues are ignored in schools. Not my problem- our drugs don’t cause that- we don’t know what you’re talking about- didn’t hear about it- not my department- not a known side effect- let me take a message- Zero tolerance no gray area-they should have known better- I don’t want to discuss it-

The Twitter community can be downright threatening.

Guess, we now know how Disney feels about people with mental health issue; they don’t help them or back them up, they fire them.

Hmmm, or maybe its just woman with mental health issues they don’t like because I found an article titled:

Huge pedophile ring exposed working at Disney World

Back to my views on Rosanne’s tweet. I was insulted by the powers that be- not Roseanne.

They tossed Roseanne Barr to the dogs. She is a comedian who keeps trying to make us laugh, while she cries inside. 

Shame on you Disney, shame on all the haters. Next time try and read the text and figure out what it means before you take a word like ‘ape’ and think youget ityou didn’t, shame on you for hating just for the sake of hating.

I agree she should never have said it.  But,  the fast and swift ax that fell is ridiculous.  People shake their heads and insult the person and make fun of the illness while not even understanding it or ever having known the effects of mental illness or what can happen while taking Ambien.

It is like telling a person who is in pain or who has cancer that their illness doesn’t matter or it isn’t real.  That they -the person in pain- needs to take responsibility for the inconvenience that they are causing everyone. Some illness don’t have borders. Just because you aren’t hurting like Roseanne doesn’t mean her pain is any less.  One day you may be in her shoes.

Go ahead tell me why I am wrong. Just stick to the subject matter. I hope I gave you enough to work with.

 

  • variety.com
  • Twitter
  • People.com
  • Articles Chicago Tribune 1993
  • aaregistry.org
  • IMDb
  • Amazon
  • usnews
  • pexels.com

Structuring your plot cut away what doesn’t belong

Lesson 11 Case Study: Structuring the Plot

masterclass.com

I normally take the first few sentences that, David Mamet says at the start of his video lessons. Today, I just listened and used one from the center of the video and one at the end.  I laughed at each one.

masterclass.com

David loves structure. I have a thing for disorganization.  I wondered how I could come together with Davids teachings.   I can. He tells us to see the structure at the start, watch it move through the middle the end, Act 1 -Act 2- Act 3.  Watch for change.  See the weight of the knife. How does it change?

Structure is very important, I mean I think a lot about structure. And I think about our greatest western philosopher. I think a lot of you guys have already beat me to the punch, when I say of course it was, Daffy Duck. Because Daffy Duck asks the essential question of philosophy which is “Say what’s going on here, anyways”

Masterclass.com

 

People said, Michelangelo’s statue of David, Right, pretty cute. And they say, my God how did you do that? He said, I just looked at this block of marble and I cut away everything that wasn’t David. And so, I grew up like everyone else thinking my God how brilliant. Until I realized, that what he was really saying, was buzz off.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(Michelangelo)

Playing with Prose poetry

pixabay.com

My Culture Walk

by Gerardine Baugh

I am an anomaly. A person of color, that grew up in a neighborhood of even more color. Fact: life’s color doesn’t reflect from your skin. When I was a kid I had no idea I was one color or another until I was called out and told that my skin color was wrong, different, strangely overrated. Easily trapped like those Chicago rats, a Norway rat from Asia a migrant, a refugee deformed by poisons consumed. Rats chew through wood, glass, metal with teeth that continued to grow never really wearing down. Keeping them chewing, to live. To be poisoned to live to keep searching. To hunt, to quest, to explore to find a way out of the dark, avoiding death, the color of one rat no different than the other in the dark. Obscured in fur-covered skin. My hair won’t cover my skin color. I am human. I can see the rat. It pushes up from the hole under the house along the back wall near the alley close to food. Closer to the poison and no closer to getting what they need. Never seeing the color of its skin. Humans perceive one top layer. Ignoring the other six layers of protection.

 

Enishi Russian Blue Loves to have his nails trimmed

Color Cats Claws 

by Gerardine Baugh

Trimming cats claws. Eighteen toes, five toes in front. Four toes in back. A polydactyl cat has more toes. Hemmingway’s cats have six-toes and still live in Key West. Their owner died in Ketchum, Idaho. Nails fly as they are clipped. Some cats enjoy getting their nails trimmed. Other cats complain muttering growls. Nails grown beyond their blood supply are shed like a coat of long hair, shorthaired, others hairless –cats. They comb their hair with their claws. They groom, climb, protect and hunt with their claws. Old fashion wives, jealous wives, with their tail’s tales, worried their cat will steal their breath, needed their claws removed. Misinformation places a claw as a weapon, not seen as a cat’s finger, fingers with nails that need to be trimmed, or polished. I wonder what color my cat will like, pink or blue, possibly clear.

February’s goal to write without stress

I made it through January 2018; now, my goals for February.

What I found, by doing a monthly goal, and not just a full year of resolutions is that instead of losing momentum by mid-January, I became eager to get to the end of the month. –With a sprinkling of stress.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/alcohol-background-bar-beer-452744/

I found, that instead of taking all day to run through a Blog posting-which I did that first week– by the second week I was able to post-to-get-done without overthinking. Blah-blah-blah! Still came out but, it still became a post. If I had passed over a day because I didn’t feel like it, or I couldn’t think of anything to write I would have regretted –just not trying.

I had wanted to start this month by writing an opinion piece on the Woman’s March. It didn’t pan out. I have sent out emails and never got a response. Now I am waiting for a Facebook message, while I do some more research.

My march

Last month I posted on books I was reading, or sites I visited. I will add updates to those this month.

I want to get back to doing a nature walk post. This month’s goal is to write without stress.

Mywalkingpath

So, what you gonna do with that knife, Mamet?

10 Structuring the Plot (Cont’d)

“So, What’s my objective? Aristotle says that is the only thing that matters. What is the objective of the hero, to get from point A to point B; the scenes are the incidents and each indents builds up into a three-act structure. Okay, so the first Act structure is where my ideas run out Act 1. The second Act I don’t remember that- I am to drain the swamp when I am up to my toosh in alligators. ……”

…act I act 2 act 3 Its all about a knife,….same knife but the knife has a different weight in each act…

I watched this lesson three times. I am enjoying David Mamet’s enthusiasm as he teaches about plotting.

Today is the last day in January. I posted something each day so my GOAL has been completed…Hmmm,  on to February, 2018 and a new twenty-eight-day GOAL.

Have you seen Lesson 9 David Mamet Structuring the Plot

Screen shot Masterclass.com

“I am covered in tats and my left arm is Admire Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay, 1895. And my right arm, and I think I am the only guy who has this, you tell me, is the final scene from Kramer vs. Kramer. And on my chest is the first chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey. But it’s reversed so, I can read it when I m shaving. And on my back, it’s good night moon..”

I listened to this video three times, and I will listen again. I love how David Mamet talks. He starts out talking about how he normally dresses and his tats. I have a tattoo on my right arm, ‘This Living Hand’ by John Keats. I had asked for it to be put on upside down so I could read it.  I was talked out of that placement…Hmmm, maybe  next tat.

Back to David Mamet and Lesson 9.

He tells us:  he uses corkboards and tacks on index cards or butcher paper and draws out where the story is supposed to go. He will easily ‘see’ if his story is working out.  He will be able to see if the progression makes sense: from  scene 1, to scene 2, to scene 3, By laying them out he can see if the progression makes sense.

Screen shot Masterclass.com

This will reduce his story to an incident. Example:  I walk up the stairs. Or I sat down at a table;  put that on the board.  You can see if your story is staying in line with where it is supposed to go.

Screen shot Masterclass.com
Screen shot Masterclass.com

Need more information on David Mamet’s Masterclass dot com. Click on his name, in the top left sidebar.

Sound Poetry Monday

What?  Nothing

By Gerardine Baugh

Computer-ease a sound that comes out

Mute-mute-mute-id -ed

Chopped up pieces for your ideas

Photo by Markus Spiske freeforcommercialuse.net from Pexels

Their ideas, part of my ideas yet not really philosophies-ease

I click on, on, on to see, see, seen  what is not there

Yet, I never notice the absent-ness

In the words a byte at a time

Pixabay

Void of reality

Just a follow-ing  of ants

A step across my keys, in an attempt to find out,

Nothing. Comes of it-it-it

I wonder how can something come from nothing?

Write, write, written later read, without reading

Seeing red, in lines, read

____________________________

Why am I not seeing past worlds, wordily, words  that lack depth,

an- an acumen

That- tat ran-ran  around chasing  tails as an end

of a long line of nihility -ness

My Walking Path