Butterfly Myths: stories about my artist mom

butterfly mom close-up

JOAN MARIE SCELP STARR CARTWRIGHT LAURIA (b.1929, d.2012), my mother, was a jazz singer. As you might expect though, other people knew more about that part of her life than might an adolescent boy – I wasn’t old enough to see her perform in the bars and night clubs of the small, Eastern Ohio town…
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I love it when you talk baseball talk.

baseball talk tutor

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL throws out its first pitch of the 2014 season on Saturday in the series opener between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I welcome it. But I also have to admit that, in a era when climatic conditions – or at least our observations of them – are so dazed…
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Will I be content sharing if nothing comes back?

The Social Media Idiot

LATELY I’VE BEEN WRITING a lot about content sharing, the idea of offering to others the expertise or knowledge or tricks-of-the-trade that you have to give, both as a gesture of generosity and as a business strategy. First I wrote about how some creatives think it’s undermining content creators (here). Then, more recently, about how…
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Learn how to talk like a lumberjack talks

lumberjack talk tutor

YOU MAY BE a lumberjack, and that’s okay. But right now we’re talking not about the Monty Python sort, those lumberjacks who skip and jump, and who like to press wild flowers, and other things we won’t go into. This is about the “grease burners” and “wood butchers” that inhabit the hard world of hardwoods….
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How to really dish out the hash: Learn diner talk

diner talk tutor

THE AMERICAN THESAURUS of Slang may one day be the last place you’ll find diner talk, a rich and colorful dialect soon to be as extinct as Aramaic. Adam and Eve on a raft—wreck ‘em (an order for two scrambled eggs on toast); massacre the eggs, spoil ‘em, wreck ‘em (scramble the eggs); flop ‘em,…
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Content Creators and How to Lay A Golden Egg

content creators

COULD THIS BE a Golden Age for content creators? Has the Internet, not to mention the enhanced interconnectivity created by social media, expanded our opportunities? Many of my fellow writers, and designers, and various other creative people, now smack in the middle of this industry in transition, don’t necessarily see it that way. To the…
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Night of the Content Marketing Zombies

The Social Media Idiot

SHARING SCHMARING. According to certain creative directors I’ve heard from, you may be shooting yourselves in the foot, you who’ve bought into the content marketing movement. In their opinion, its tenet of freely disseminating business insights is not only an unsustainable business model, but it’s also contributing to widespread job losses every day. I wrote extensively…
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Stand up and talk like a cowboy, pilgrim.

cowboy talk tutor

EARLIER TODAY I returned to my home in Dallas after visiting family, traveling on Amtrak’s Heartland Express, a line that in about four hours crosses the  prairie that flattens out between Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Fort Worth, Texas. I took advantage of the peace and quiet, spending the majority of my time writing, but along the way…
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