long time, no blog…

If you read this blog, thank you. And I apologize. It’s been so long since I last blogged.

I’ve been durn busy. And the time I’ve had for writing has gone into the writing of a new play.

It’s called Poochie, and it’s about Alzheimer‘s disease, how it progresses, and how it affects families.

And although I’ve finished a draft, the play is not finished. It needs some work. It needs a little something something — not sure what.

I’ve scheduled a reading, in order to get some feedback, for July 23. And I’ve booked the black box at the Looking Glass Artist Collective in Salisbury for Oct. 19-22. That’s for production. So wish me a couple of broken legs on that. I need to get the play in shape!

(Hint:  I’d love a few sponsors to help with production costs, if you know anybody…)

Meanwhile, speaking of plays, I got the nicest email from Laura Facciponti Bond — which I’d like to hereby share:

Dear Sam,

First, and most importantly, I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your writing. I very much appreciate how your blog encourages people to use, discuss, and perform your plays.  How generous!  I am a Drama professor at the UNC-Asheville, where I teach acting, voice, and directing.  I recently came across your plays and have used a few of them for class scene study, script analysis exercises, and discussion of directing approaches in my Directing I class.  I do plan to purchase your recent book of ten minute plays – in hopes of having my students use them in my future acting classes.

I have also been working on writing an acting text book – and am getting ready to publish it – hopefully in the next couple months. I was wondering about how you felt about my inclusion of some of your ten minute plays as appendices and recommended scene study material for the skills introduced in my acting book.  Would this interest you?  If so – I would be thrilled to include them, and would be sure to write to you for permission to use specific plays.  I would also include the address of your web site so readers can connect with even more of your plays.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this proposition.

Laura Facciponti Bond
UNCA Drama Department – www.unca.edu/drama

the most mundane blog ever

Built a fire this morning, using fairly big logs.

As I was bringing in the first log, I saw the first snowflake.  It was huge.  Then another.  And another.  A few minutes later, the flakes were smaller but there were a lot more of them.

Because I picked big logs, it took a few hours for the fire to really get going.  But it’s a long lasting fire and it’s giving off great heat now.

It was a tough decision, earlier today, while it snowed.  Did I want to sit in my office, where the windows gave me a beautiful view of the snowfall — or sit in my living room with the laptop, in front of the fire (with less view).

I did a little of both.  Then I went downtown.

Upon my return, my dog was sleeping on the couch, in front of the fire.

I made her move a couple of feet, so I could have the choice spot.

And now here I sit, with warm feet.  The fire to my right.  The dog to my left.

And I need to get up and go get some exercise — and don’t feel much like doing it.

The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends

I have a tendency to get worked up at election time.

This year, I did a pretty good job of staying cool, calm, and collected.

The best way to do this is by not watching TV — which I did not do for several weeks.

Then, about a week ago, I posted this little video on my Facebook.

I thought it was funny, but it garnered some harsh, emotional opposition.

Thus began the phase of me getting “worked up.”

I wrote a blog, and the response to that got a little personal.

What’s going on!

I know.  I know.  Don’t talk about politics or religion.

But news, weather, and sports should be okay.  These days, politics is news and news is politics — at the expense of real, consequential news.

But these tea party folks aren’t looking for a discussion.  They’re looking for a fight.  Many of them, it seems, just discovered the U.S. Constitution.

It makes me nostalgic for the day, prior to the Bush-Gore election, when the world wide web was much younger, when I tried to teach a 5th grade class a lesson on the electoral college.

I had the computer hooked up to a big TV, so you could see the red and blue states and click on Florida once for blue, and again for red.

This was fancy technology at the time — which was the point of the lesson.  I was demonstrating for teachers how the internet could be used, along with a TV, in the classroom.

As I began explaining that Presidents were elected by an electoral college, state by state, the classroom teachers eyes glazed over.  After a short time, they interrupted me to say that this material wasn’t important and that the children weren’t interested.

They were right.  Nobody was interested.  Until a few weeks later when we all got a huge civics lesson.

Now, it seems, it’s gotten crazy.  We’re all too interested.  And some of the novice politicos don’t have the best manners.

I remember handing out pamphlets for McGovern, and then going to Nixon’s inauguration.

Win or lose, it was all quite interesting — but it was more respectful.

On my blog, I wasn’t sure whether or not to approve the comments or delete them.  I approved and argued that people can respectfully disagree without getting…well…nasty.

Then, in order to feel a little better, I moseyed down to the Democratic headquarters and made a few GOTV phone calls.

And watched a bit more TV.

And blogged again…

And watched more TV.


But, in order to get myself back on track, I took a long walk today with my dog — out in nature.  It was quite beautiful out there, with only the sounds of leaves and breeze and geese.  I noticed that geese love to talk to me, but when I answer, it seems to throw them off.  They get quiet.

And I started humming one of my favorite songs:  “The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends.”

This made me feel great — but a little old.

One of those blogs about why you haven't been blogging

This is one of those blogs wherein you explain why you haven’t been blogging much.

Life happens.  I’ve been busy with business, visiting Mom (who continues to decline day-by-day), and dabbling with a new play.

But mostly working.

At one point, we had eight editions of Coffee News and did all of our layout, all of our own printing, and none of our own delivery.

We had no life.

Since January of ’10, we’ve had four editions and done all of our own layout, all of our own printing, and most of our own delivery.

Still no life.  And not much money.

Now, we’re not doing any of our own printing. Ah!

We’re doing a lot of delivery, still.

But we’re shedding the areas that aren’t working, and concentrating on more fully developing the areas that do.

We closed Huntersville in January.  In two weeks, we’ll be closing the Kannapolis edition and publishing three huge editions.

Our Salisbury edition does great.  All ad spaces are full, and there’s a bit of a waiting list.

Concord is doing great, and growing.

Mooresville is on the upswing.

By the end of October, we’ll be getting out of the delivery business — except for Salisbury (which is easy to deliver, since I live here and can handle it over two days).

This is just to say that we’re re-shaping the business.  Rather than working to grow bigger markets, we’re working to more fully penetrate the markets we’re in.  We want to create not only a successful business, but a better, more sustainable, more manageable business.  One with reduced potential, but reduced costs (and pressure).  One that is conducive to living an enjoyable life.

One that allows more time for writing.