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A Good Writer Can Make Stupid Amazing

Posted on July 4, 2016 By In Writing With no comments

Christmas in July? Really. Back in the day we used it as a promotional stunt in radio. Today, that gimmick is now a viable programming alternative.

Good Writing

Maybe it’s kind of a weather thing. You know. Christmas and snow. Freezing temps. Helps us somehow feel cooler in the sweltering heat of July.

Regardless of the reason, some local radio stations are playing wall to wall Christmas tunes. Please spare us, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

Not to be left out, at least one TV network has gone wall-to-wall Christmas programming. That would be on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. Admittedly, I’ve seen most of them.

So yesterday, with absolutely nothing else on TV worthy of note, I watched The Case for Christmas. Yep. Please don’t think badly of me.

Synopsis: Santa Claus (George Buza) must hire a lawyer (Dean Cain) when a man sues him for emotional distress.

Starts out silly. A goofy looking guy shows up at the North Pole to serve Santa a summons. The elves are even goofier. I suppose criticizing elves is not politically correct but I’m being completely transparent here.

Commented to my wife, this is stupid. Silly. But, I kept watching all the way to the end. Why? Turned out to be a really good story. Enough for a lump in my throat and a few sniffles when Santa was vindicated.

Hats off to the writer(s) for taking a silly premise and turning it into an entertaining story.

Sometimes when I am writing, I feel that my fiction ideas are silly. Then I see one of these movies based on plots that are way out in left field and the writers still manage (most of the time) to make their stories interesting.

Moral: Don’t shy away from silly, goofy, or bizarre. If you can turn those ideas into compelling and entertaining stories then you have arrived.

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Parting Thoughts On American Idol

Posted on April 8, 2016 By In Nostalgia , Writing With no comments

Up until 2003, I thought Reuben was a sandwich with sauerkraut. And then came Ruben Studdard on American Idol. “Ruben! Ruben!” At the time, I was working two fulltime jobs and didn’t have time for television but the talk about the Alabama contestant was unavoidable.

Yes. It’s true. I missed Season #1 and a singer who is now one of my all time favorite singers. Kelly Clarkson is amazing.

In fact, my life didn’t normalize until Season #4, which was my first opportunity to tune into the biggest TV ratings hit of all time. At least I was there to see the artist who become the most successful of all the Idol contestants. Did you catch the words Carrie Underwood whispered last night at the conclusion of her solo performance? I ran the recording back a few frames just to make sure I was right. “Praise the Lord.” Thank you, Carrie. Well said.

Just as a side note and probably nothing that the critics have ever bothered or wanted to point out. (Not politically correct) How many of these talented kids learned to sing or developed their talents singing in church?

So, I was a late bloomer and didn’t get on the American Idol train until the 4th Season. Missed some amazing talent. Lets here it for reruns.

In Season #5, an Alabama singer was again making a bid for the top spot. “Soul Patrol” and Taylor Hicks.

Favorite season? Oddly enough, Season #10. That’s the year that my wife and I adopted Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. “Baby lock the doors and turn the lights down low.” Still pulling for them to have a successful career and to stay true to themselves.

Ever since I have been a fan. There was only one time when I was ready to jump ship. Niki Manag and Mariah Carey. Need I say more?

Critics said, as recently as yesterday, that Idol died when Simon Cowell left. Well, it never died for me. In my mind, American Idol wasn’t about Simon, Randy, Paula, or Kara. I remained loyal to the show because of the amazing young talent and their heartwarming stories.

For anybody whoever doubted the level of talent exhibited on Idol, we were treated to a tasteful sampling of it last night. There were definitely some “wow” moments. Thanks for an incredible show.

In the end, Idol was a popularity contest which means that the best talent doesn’t always win. But, as we learned, you didn’t have to win the crown to have a successful career.

As an old DJ, I’m proud that one of ours was the show’s host. Great job, Ryan. I’ll reserve my thoughts on Brian Dunkleman. Even my spellchecker is struggling with that name.

And despite what the critics and Simon Cowell had to say on the matter, the best REAL judges were Harry, Keith, and Jennifer.

There you go. My two cents worth about a television program for the history books.

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