Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Takes A Village

Riddle: What is the unique characteristic of the following words:
coughing, thirsty, defiant

As all writers know, more than what you say, it’s how you say it: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Hzgzim5m7oU&vq=medium

I was noodling around on the 'Net Monday morning and found a review of a new book on Norman Rockwell.  The author of the book and the author of the article are pretty much in agreement that Rockwell's America never existed, that it was a fantasy of small-town goodness, of kind folks who never really lived (though I note the dust jacket of the book is a reproduction of Rockwell’s famous series of gossips, a severe – for him – dressing down).  Then I read this: http://www.wgxa.tv/story/small-georgia-town-forms-posse-corners-armed-robbery-suspect-20131108

Okay, Rockwell knocked the hard corners off, and ignored some of the nastiness – but millions of people recognized the America he drew.  And it’s still around.  It's true, you don’t get people to behave better by telling them what awful folks they are, but by showing them who they ought to be, what they’re capable of rising to.  Inspire and they’ll aspire.  Actually, in a way, that’s what we writers of the traditional mystery are doing.  We show ordinary people rising to the occasion, comforting the afflicted by restoring order and imposing justice on the wicked.  And we do it the novelist’s way, by showing, not telling.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day.  I’m a veteran (U.S. Navy) and I ate for free at two local restaurants – what a pig, right? – lunch with my husband and another veteran, then dinner with just my husband.  It felt kind of strange, accepting these kind offers from local restaurants.  I enjoyed my time in the service, I don’t need to be rewarded with free meals.  I had good duty, met some amazing people, had some wonderful experiences, learned some valuable skills.  But God bless the ones who didn’t have a good time, and heal their broken hearts.

Answer:  Each word contains three letters that appear in succession in the alphabet.


Linda O. Johnston said...

How wonderful that you're a veteran, Monica, and that your experiences were good. You deserved some extra meals! And I'll have to keep an eye out for that new book on Norman Rockwell.

Monica Ferris said...

Linda, here's a link to that article:

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, it is nice that you were recognized for your service.

Norman Rockwell's world might not have really existed, but I do think that people used to be more mannerly than they are now.

Maybe it's because so many people are chronically overtired.

Monica Ferris said...

Betty, I hadn't thought of that - people are too tired to be mannerly. You may well have something there! I know I get cranky when I'm tired.