More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

Darkest before dawn

The Flying Nun seems to confirm all the stereotypes we have about the 1960s. What else besides massive drug use can explain its basic plot of a nun with aerodynamic headwear who can fly around Puerto Rico when the wind is right. (Sure, the show was based on the book The Fifteenth Pelican by Tere Ríos, but still.)

Yet, as a child in the sixties, I loved that show. My mom bought me the soundtrack album that featured Sally Fields singing, “Things are always darkest before dawn.” Fifty years later, that song still has special meaning — especially now.

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Lessons from a town hall meeting

I attended my first town hall meeting last night. It was a teleconferenced town hall, which was a pity because I had a funny protest sign in mind. This town hall would also disappoint those who like shouting and screaming. I could only stay for the first hour, so I might have missed some good stuff after I signed off.

I learned some lessons from the experience. You may find them useful regardless of who your elected representative is and how much you agree or disagree with that person.

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Writing Reseda: Free fallin’ (and risin’)

Reseda High School front gate in 1955 and 2014

In previous installments, I cited scenes from movies about Reseda. Here’s another scene set in Reseda from a book I hope you’ll see soon:

Whenever I drove into the heart of Reseda, I felt like I was going into my past. Stores and restaurants had new names and bright coats of paint, but they still looked like the places where I used to go with my friends after school.

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Banish boring words

Does your writing bore you? You might be using boring words. Words like happy and sad are repetitive, and they don’t express your complete feelings.

Donna Norton of Custom Writing provides this infographic listing alternatives to 28 boring words. Use them to make your writing more expressive and interesting.

Writing Reseda: Nowhere is safe

If you saw another movie set in Reseda, Boogie Nights, you have a hard time forgetting that donut shop scene. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin the movie or your appetite by describing it. Let’s say that the violence in it shocked a lot of people, except for me. That’s because I lived in Reseda in the 70s and 80s.

I’ve written about Mary Ann Henderson and the Carl’s Jr. robbery elsewhere on my site. But my concerns about being safe in Reseda started before then.

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