Harry Potter Art Exhibition

There’s a Harry Potter Art exhibition coming to Houston. It’s 3 days and it’s completely free! The exhibition will also include LOTR, Marvel, and more and happens to be extremely close to where I am.

Not sure of the quality of this thing, but I have to go, right?

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Boston: Day 1

Yesterday I encouraged every one of you to travel. So I feel it’s only appropriate to take you with me to Boston for these next eight days.

5:30AM

I will never enjoy having to wake up that early. For anything. But I hated it just a little less yesterday. I was already fully packed. Out the door around 6:15.

8:45AM

LIFTOFF. Guys, my flight was overbooked. But no one was dragged off the flight. There was one mishap. An older man in a wheelchair got separated from his wife. He boarded without her. She was not going to be able to get on. A woman who also was not going to be allowed on volunteered her husband OFF the flight. All was well. I was in the FIRST seat inside the door! Score!

2:45PM

I arrive at my first vacation destination. The Harvard Art Museums. Originally not on the itinerary at all, but I’m against the captivity of any animal. So I scrapped my plan to go to the Franklin Park Zoo and instead turned my attention toward art.

The sun was so bright in my eyes I actually couldn’t see the button to take the picture. Also, caused this odd look on my face.

6:00PM

My first meal in Boston is free because the service I received was terrible and I would not leave without complaining.

6:45PM

I arrive back at my Airbnb for the Night where the walls are a bit thin and the air is chilly.

Tomorrow will be a full day. Three museums on the docket and also the first night of my personal challenge to eat at a different Mexican restaurant each night.

On Portraits of Courage

Portraits of Courage is a book of paintings done by George W. Bush. The paintings are of military veterans who have served since 9/11. The former president has come to know these veterans personally once he left office.

This is one of those times you have to forget about politics. All of his profits as the author will benefit the George W. Bush Military Institute, which means the money is going to veterans.

George W. Bush largely stayed silent during the years of his successor, but his first real foray into the public eye in nearly a decade is for a great cause. I can’t speak on the quality of the paintings in the book because I haven’t seen them, but I can speak on the quality of the stories alongside them. I’ll say it until I’m no longer able to, our military veterans represent the best we have to offer as a country. I fully understand that you may already have organizations you support, but this could be something you get behind.

Are you interested in Portraits of Courage?

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I have a bit of a special relationship with this series. In elementary school my art teacher would play the audiobooks while we worked. I believe it’s also how I was first introduced to Harry Potter.

I’ve never read the books. I definitely don’t remember any of the stories from 13-15 years ago. The one thing that has stuck with me is that I know I enjoyed listening to the stories.

Now Netflix has adapted the first couple of books in season 1 of its new series. It may be time to read the first few books and watch the series. I mean, a trip down memory lane never hurt anyone.

What’s your experience with this series?

Pop Up Books

I can’t recall reading too many pop up books as a youngster. Maybe I wasn’t interested. Maybe I was too busy sleeping all the time. Or maybe there’s no specific explanation at all for my lack of pop up book reading.

But I can tell you that they’ve become great works of art. I’ve seen several extremely detailed pop up books in my time at HPB. I’ve even been asked by one guy specifically for pop up books because he claimed to collect them. I can’t adequately describe the feeling upon opening up one of these books because I’m an adult and I feel my opinion is mostly indifferent at this point. But I have been surprised by their complexity a few times, which leads me to believe that kids would be over the moon.

Do you or a kid in your life have any experience with pop up books?

Writing in School

I’m talking about everything that comes before college. How much are students actually required to write? I remember in second grade having to write some kind of essay or paper in class. I think we were being taught something about the format. Similar assignments were given during the rest of elementary school. The writing was always done in class.

But I’m sitting here thinking about my middle school years and I can’t remember writing anything substantial during that three year span. And then in high school we generally wrote one major paper a year and spent months on it. I wrote about Dracula once, violence in video games, and two topics that I can’t seem to recall at the moment. All of that is to say that I was not forced to write hardly at all until I stepped foot on a college campus. And I think this could be a contributing factor when it comes to people saying writing is a dying art. Imagine if millions of students across the country have similar experiences. And then they enroll in a degree program that is not writing-intensive. Mine was, but my degree plan had a grand total of two math classes. College algebra and Stats. I’d prefer a class that required 15 essays in 15 weeks over stats every day of the week. But I imagine there are MANY programs that are just the opposite and have very little writing.

All I’m saying is that perhaps it isn’t the media or non-writers who are tossing around this myth that writing is a dying art, maybe it’s the entire education system that’s pushing this idea along. I don’t know. How much were you required to write in school?


On this day in 2014 I published Listen to Audiobooks?.

 

How Many Writers do you Know?

I just read the headline of some online article that writing is a dying craft. Or something of the sort. And now I’m writing this post.

See, I know there are way too many writers out there for any one person to be aware of. I couldn’t tell you if there are ten million writers in America or half of one million. It’s impossible to know. And I don’t want to know. But I think it is interesting to think of how many I know.

Let me think about this for a second. I won’t include any of you from WordPress because at the end of the day I’m not sure I really “know” any of you. Maybe you feel differently. Anyway, I think the number of writers I know who are not known to me because of WordPress sits at one. Ha. I bet you thought it would be none. But it’s one. A co-worker of mine (I think) is currently working on a book. He’s told me all about it countless times. He’s told me about his characters, his chapter titles (cause he uses them), and his process. But that’s it. There’s no one else.

But I know many of y’all have writing groups and book clubs full of writers and all kinds of things that have enabled you to know and meet writers on some kind of regular basis. I just haven’t had the same opportunities as of yet. But I also don’t claim to be representative of the population at large.

So tell me how many writers you know. And I’ll let you decide whether or not you want to include people from the World Wide Web. Also, do you think writing is a dying art? I don’t. I think it’s evolving like everything else.