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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , readers, , writing   



    “Would you explain your writing to me?”
    “Certainly — I write what I see.”

    “So, what you see is what you say?”
    “In my mind, I see it that way.”

    “But things aren’t always what they seem.”
    “In that case,¬†I write what I dream.”

    “Pray, how to tell the two apart?”
    “Some might say, therein’s the art.”

    “Then, that’s the art — to part the two?”
    “No, that’s the part that’s up to you.”

    “Up to me? But you’re the writer!”
    “Truth be told, aren’t you the decider?”


    • Lisa R. Palmer 7:08 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant!! Absolutely brilliant! Love this… ūüėÄ

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:30 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for that “dream” comment, Lisa. ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lisa R. Palmer 11:04 pm on March 12, 2018 Permalink

          It’s absolutely true, and real, offered in daylight by a conscious, enthusiastic fan… (who also happens to believe that dreams are often real as well – lol!)

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 12:03 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink

          Much appreciated, Lisa….and to show that “dream” comment was meant as a compliment, here’s a little ditty for the dreamer in us:


    • scifihammy 7:41 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Clever – and entertaining ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 10:18 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Nice set of rhymed couplets you have there, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:33 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        That’s “The Art of the Real,” Ricardo. Eat your heart out, Donald (“The Art of the Deal”) Trump.


    • thelonelyauthorblog 11:11 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      This is brilliant. Bravo.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:16 pm on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Muse earlier this year I had a thought in a similar vein and that happened when I realized I didn’t know anything. It was quite a moment because I’d been walking around for six decades and I didn’t know anything. I only thought i did.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:21 pm on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Don, count yourself fortunate to have been walking around for only six decades and not knowing anything — I’ve been walking around for over seven with the same disability. But at least we know what we don’t know….which is more than can be said of a certain President of the United States.


    • Don Frankel 6:11 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Muse full disclosure here as someone from my old neighborhood told me that a young Donald Trump used to come into Karl’s Lunchoenette where I worked as a teenager and that I used to make him milkshakes, vanilla by the way. I would have disclosed this before but I just didn’t remember.

      Also pointed out to me is that we played baseball against him. I thought he grew up about a mile from our neighborhood but it seems it was a lot closer than that more like a half a mile or even less. But that all makes Donald Trump my friend. That’s the way things worked in Queens back in the 1960’s, Sorry to disappoint.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:38 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        No problem, Don. I simply can’t abide the way Trump treats people and believes “it’s all about him” — but I guess friendship trumps everything (pardon the pun)….although the way you define (for want of a better word) friendship seems to me a bit of a stretch, considering that it’s strictly a one-way street. I always thought of friendship as a reciprocal relationship.

        Don, I like to think of you as a friend, so I hope you don’t mind my telling you how I see it. I certainly appreciate your telling me how you see it.


    • Don Frankel 11:51 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, when you make someone a Milkshake, they leave you a tip, especially the rich kids from Jamaica Estates so it was reciprocal. But I don’t only have friends who agree with me. That’s boring. My late wife and I agreed on practically nothing but we didn’t have angry arguments we just disagreed and had fun doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:55 pm on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Don, since I wasn’t a rich kid, I probably wouldn’t have left a tip if I bought a milkshake from you, so I hate to think that could’ve cost us a friendship. But I mostly agree with the rest of your comment, especially when it comes to politics. Too bad Trump doesn’t see it that way — at least, I assume he doesn’t, or he wouldn’t mock those who disagree with him.


    • moorezart 3:09 pm on March 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , comedy of manners, , , , loneliness, , , THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, trust, , writing   


    Did¬†you¬†fathom¬†that the title of my last post (THE OLD MAN AND THE SEASON)¬†was a play on Ernest Hemingway’s last completed novel,¬†THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA? Because that post was about aging and autumn, perhaps I was remiss in not including a Hemingway quote (such as¬†the first one below)¬†among those¬†I¬†gathered for the occasion.

    This post will attempt to make up for that shortfall with a selection of Hemingway quotes, starting with this autumn-appropriate eulogy he wrote for a friend:

    Best of all he loved the fall/the leaves yellow on cottonwoods/leaves floating on trout streams/and above the hills/the high blue windless skies./Now he will be part of them forever.

    For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.

    The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

    There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. 

    When you go to war as a boy, you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed, not you… Then, when you are badly wounded,¬†you lose that illusion, and you know it can happen to you.

    In modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

    True nobility is being superior to your former self.

    No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. 

    Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

    There is no lonelier man, except the suicide, than that man who has lived with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.

    But hold on — happy or not, this isn’t the end. The title of this post¬†is another play on words, this being¬†Oscar Wilde’s peerless comedy of manners¬†titled THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST….a parody of Victorian age¬†social¬†standing¬†previewed¬†in¬†this trailer for the 1952 film (not to be confused with¬†the inferior 2002 remake)¬†of the Wilde play:

    Now¬†(as the movie says when it’s over)¬†this is THE END

    • linnetmoss 7:15 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, Michael Redgrave! What a great cast this version has. Thanks for the trailer ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:34 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great cast, great movie. Just seeing the trailer makes me want to watch the whole film again!


    • arekhill1 9:59 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      While I am not sufficiently versed in Hemingway, not having read any since my extreme youth, the competitors in the Bad Hemingway Contest have always had my respect: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-09/news/vw-142_1_bright-boy

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 11:18 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff Muse. And, I got the reference to the the Old Man and The Season. But a slight correction on that. The Old Man and The Sea was the last novel Hemingway wrote while he was alive. He wrote a whole bunch of novels after he was dead. None of them were any good. But let’s cut Papa a little slack as it must be tough writing when you’re dead. I mean it’s hard enough when you’re alive.

      In case people reading this don’t understand, his last wife Mary, kept finding manuscripts in the attic that Papa had never published. Either he didn’t publish them because they weren’t very good or the people who wrote them using his name weren’t very good. Take your pick.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:52 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I agree that it must be tough writing when you’re dead, Don — for one thing, you get terribly stiff, and it has to be hard to type with stiff fingers. The light can’t be too good six feet under, either. But at least he didn’t need no ghost writer, because he was one himself.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Don Frankel 4:23 pm on October 27, 2016 Permalink

          Great one Muse. He was his own Ghost Writer.

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:52 pm on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Singielka, thank you for your “Like” — this is just to let you know that I tried to submit a comment on one of your blog posts, but it didn’t go through (something about an insecure connection). Sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 2:40 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        How lovely of you to attempt to follow up, and to comment that you did so. I get a more than a few folks whose online presence is impossible to access or locate – but I lack the time to leave them each a comment once I’ve tried and failed. I’m impressed.


        Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia Jobin 10:06 pm on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never cared for Ernest Hemingway’s works and it was a suffering to have to put up with them when they were assigned in English classes. Oscar Wilde, on the other hand, is a real favorite of mine. I loved reading The Importance of Being Earnest, and was part of a group that performed the original stage play in college….what great lines! Very interesting, the trailer you show here; I never happened to see “Earnest” as a movie. It seems it is a perennial.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 7:59 am on October 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I also love the Wilde wit (wild wit too, for that matter) — unfortunately, each succeeding younger generation seems less connected to an appreciation of such wordly delights….and “more’s the pity” (to repeat a phrase I used in my last post). BTW, I now find that the 1952 & 2002 films aren’t the only versions of the play; there was a 1986 remake as well. I think all three can be viewed online in their entirety.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sarita 7:56 pm on October 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      • mistermuse 10:09 pm on October 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean why don’t I click Like, I don’t see where I can click Like on your posts. Apparently your internet connection is incompatible with mine. In any case, I do not have sufficient computer expertise to know what to do about it. Sorry.

        Liked by 2 people

    • M√©l@nie 7:38 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      EXCELLENT post, Monsieur Muse… I always love your puns & intellectual “blendings”… ūüôā

      I love Oscar Wilde’s works – he is one of the titans of world’s literature, and you certainly know he passed-away in Paris – his “chosen” city…(I saw his tomb in P√®re Lachaise cemetery) btw, he’s still present in Paris these days: ūüôā

      • * *

      speakin’ of “papa Hemingway”, he’s been one of my favourite-US writers since high-school… I visited his villa in Key West a few years ago… you may have read my blog-post:

      Liked by 2 people

      • M√©l@nie 7:40 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        P.S. d√©sol√©e, but I forgot WP does NOT accept 2 links in the same comment… ūüôā that’s why, my comment is awaiting moderation… ūüôā


      • mistermuse 11:34 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I knew Wilde died in Paris, but your link filled in details I did not know. Merci!

        P.S. I do recall reading your Key West post & recommend your 2nd link to those who haven’t.

        Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 6:52 pm on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hemingway has some great quotes. Bleeding on the typewriter is a favorite as well as the one about trust. Oh, and the eulogy is beautiful. And the one about no happy end to love. And….

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:21 am on October 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I agree. I would add the one about being superior to your former self. Sorry to interject politics into this, but could there be a clearer example of not being superior to your former self (i.e. not growing as a human being) than the Republican candidate for President of the U.S.?

        Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Scheel 5:09 pm on October 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply


      The typewriter and bleeding–or some version of it–is more likely from Red Smith, the great sports writer. Although many have been credited with some variation. Yeah, I got the first Hemingway word play. He was one of my favorite authors early on and I studied his work endlessly–even into grad school. The comments on being dead and writing–were you aware that there’s a fellow who channels Hemingway and did a book on the conversations? It’s utterly fascinating–if it isn’t Hemingway’s ghost talking, it’s a remarkable imitation! Well, I won’t comment on the Trump allusions, just let the renewed e-mail discoveries and coming Wiki-Leaks dumps lead where they may! LOL

      Good post, muse!


      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 5:50 pm on October 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      No, I wasn’t aware of the fellow who channels Hemingway — he must be English (if you think that pun was bad, wait till you see my next post). ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 2:48 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Clever title. Wilde was a childhood favorite, but I never really warmed up to Hemingway. For me, a small book of quotes is about all I can get through where he is concerned – so thanks for yours.

      The comments on this post were fun to read too – and I love your theme (blog look) – which one is it?
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:36 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. I try to respond to comments with ‘in kind’ (as opposed to generic) replies, as I feel that anyone who takes the trouble to read what I have to say and to comment specifically (as opposed to generically) deserves a thoughtful reply.

      As for Hemingway, I think he captures the meaning of inspiration perfectly with the quote that ends “Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”


  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Jones, John Steinbeck, , , , , , , Willa Cather, , writing   


    How much time and thought do you¬†devote to coming up with¬†just-the-right¬†title¬†for your¬†story, poem or article? If you take writing¬†seriously, the answer is probably: as long as it takes to¬†nail it — which could be almost no time at all, if it comes to you in a flash — or, more time than a¬†less¬†intense writer¬†is willing to allot.

    Ernest Hemingway, for one,¬†evidently wasn’t the latter¬†type.¬†Case in point: in writing his¬†definitive¬†Spanish Civil War novel, he¬†didn’t settle¬†for less than¬†a killer¬†title that would encapsulate ‘the moral of the story,’¬†eventually finding it in this passage from a¬†1624 work¬†by the poet John Donne: “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

    As a writer of (mostly) humorous poems and posts, I’m inclined to go for witty and/or wordplay titles. Many times, the title to a particular piece all but suggests itself, but more often, no such luck, and I’m stuck — until eventually (as with¬†the title of this post)¬†a eureka moment rewards my resolve….or a poem resists¬†my labeling efforts, and¬†I just settle for:


    This poem’s title is Untitled —
    Not because it is untitled,
    But because I am entitled
    To entitle it Untitled.

    If I’d not titled it Untitled,
    It would truly be untitled….
    Which would make it unentitled
    To the title of Untitled.

    So it is vital, if untitled,
    Not to title it Untitled,
    And to leave that title idled,
    As a title is entitled.

    Moving on, suppose we try¬†a title quiz based on the Papa Hemingway model (sorry, those of you who’d prefer the mistermuse model). Here are five passages from classic original¬†works from which later authors lifted titles for their novels. Can you name the five¬†later¬†works¬†and pin¬†each tale on¬†its author (ten answers total)?¬†If you¬†name all ten correctly, you win the title (with apologies to Cervantes)¬†of Donkeyote Of All You Survey.


    Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree/Damned from here to Eternity/God ha’ mercy on such as we/Ba! Yah! Bah! –Rudyard Kipling

    The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley/An’ lea’e us naught but grief an’ pain/For promised joy! –Robert Burns

    By the pricking of my thumbs,/Something wicked this way comes. –Wm. Shakespeare

    Come my tan-faced children/Follow well in order, get your weapons ready/Have you your pistols? Have you your sharp-edged axes?/Pioneers! O pioneers! –Walt Whitman

    No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr’d,/Nor is Paul’s Church more safe than Paul’s Churchyard./Nay, fly to altars; there they’ll talk you dead/For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. –Alexander Pope


    OF MICE AND MEN –John Steinbeck
    O PIONEERS! –Willa Cather

    How many of the ten titles/authors did you get?¬†That last title, parenthetically, became part of Johnny Mercer’s lyrics to this 1940 hit song¬†composed by Rube Bloom:

    And now I fear I must tread on out….before something wicked this way comes.


    • Cynthia Jobin 10:29 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If there were an award entitled “The Best Poem about Title-ing An Untitled Poem” you certainly would be entitled to it. I recall a creative writing teacher who was a stickler about titles; she said leaving a poem untitled was lazy and a refusal to finish your poem properly. In the history of Literature it seems even the use of Numbers—Sonnet 24—has been acceptable, and often the first line or phrase of a poem is used as its title—-“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night….”.

      I liked the quiz. Pour moi it was a piece of cake. Just this past month I used a line from a Shakespeare sonnet for one of my titles: “Love’s Not Time’s Fool.” Thanks for an enjoyable post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:21 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Cynthia. I believe the exception to the ‘poems must be titled rule’ is the limerick, which should never be titled (if one were to follow the rules, which apparently exist to curtail my fun, so I have occasionally titled a few of mine).

        Congrats on getting 100% on the quiz. I hereby award you the title (in deference to your gender) of DONNA-KEYOTE OF ALL YOU SURVEY! ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:14 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got all the titles but sad to say did not know the last three authors off the top of my head. I guess I get a 70. But of course I knew the song.


    • mistermuse 9:05 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, you know how much I dig great old songs, so I’m giving you 30 bonus points for knowing FOOLS RUSH IN (WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD). That brings your score up to 100, which wins you the DON(FRANKEL)KEYOTE OF ALL YOU SURVEY AWARD….and well deserved, I might add!


    • arekhill1 10:32 am on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      AUTO REPLY: I’m on vacation. Any quizzes will be taken when I get back to my office.


    • mistermuse 11:07 am on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I auto wish you a great vacation, but no doubt you’re having one anyway. Safe trip home.


    • inesephoto 5:55 pm on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love your poem ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 11:20 pm on June 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got the titles but didn’t know all the authors. This was really interesting. Your poem made me laugh. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • JosieHolford 5:19 pm on November 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I got all but the Rudyard Kipling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:21 pm on November 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Well done, Josie. I had forgotten about this June 2016 post, so (if I do say so myself) title me PLEASED to ‘re-discover’ it, thanks to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 4:53 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , love of writing, , , , , , writer quotes, , writing   


    There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
    –Ernest Hemingway¬†

    Before becoming an internet¬†blogger several years ago, I had been a¬†much-published “typewriter”¬†poet and writer for over twenty years in various literary journals and magazines….yet I don’t recall ever being asked why I write. Perhaps the¬†motivation is obvious. I write because I’m a writer —¬†writing is in my blood. The reason¬†I write is akin to¬†the answer¬†Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid)¬†gave Rick (Humphrey Bogart)¬†in CASABLANCA:¬†We might as well question why we breathe.

    This is not to say that everyone who writes is a writer¬†who must write. Just as there are all kinds of people, there are all kinds of writers with all kinds of agendas, many of whom (from a passion standpoint)¬†appear more agenda-driven than writing-driven….and that’s all well and good, though I’m not sure¬†you can¬†have it both ways¬†and call yourself¬†a creative writer.¬†It seems to me that anyone who doesn’t love writing¬†for its own sake¬†is not on the same page as¬†a creative writer….and it seems that I am not alone in that opinion:

    A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
    –Maya Angelou

    The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. –Mark Twain

    We live and breathe words. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world….¬† –Cassandra Clare

    Fantasy is hardly an excape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.
    –Lloyd Alexander

    There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.¬† —Oscar Wilde

    Or maybe that isn’t all.¬†There are many more¬†quotes from writers¬†worth repeating, and I expect I’ll be repeating some of¬†them¬†sometime soon.

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