You provide a valuable service, and I wanted to express my gratitude for getting to be part of it.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Creative Writing Class in March 2020 open for registration now

We will soon be welcoming Spring and that means I will be teaching my Creative Writing Class at Tri-County Community College. If your writing has just gone stale and you can't seem to make yourself sit down and put words on paper, take this class. If you are a new writer and need some help from friendly folks, just like you, and a teacher who remembers what it was like in the beginning, register for this class. 

We will meet on Monday evenings, March 9 - March 30 at 6 - 8 PM on the campus of TCCC.

Description:
Creative Writing: Perhaps you want to write about yourself or other people you know, places you have been or family history. Perhaps you have always had stories wandering around in your brain and you want to write fiction. Not sure? Your questions will be answered to help you discover your writing niche. This class is for aspiring writers or others who need motivation to put words on paper.

Join this informative class and learn from Glenda Council Beall who lives in the mountains of western North Carolina and whose work has been widely published since 1996 in numerous journals, magazines and online reviews.  She is also the author of three books.


Eight hours of instruction, Mondays, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Tri-County Community College   $50.00

Register with Lisa Long, Director of Community Outreach, by calling 828-835-4241 or email her: LLong@tricountycc.edu

Comment from a writing student in 2018:

Glenda Beall's studio creates a safe atmosphere where I can be vulnerable in my learning, my writing and the group's critics. She imbues a tenderness of spirit that is contagious. It manifests as a well- grounded kindness that encourages the person and supports the writing process. ...Thank you, Glenda, for your many years of service to the writing communities. Sincerely and with much gratitude… Ayer G. (writing student, 2018)


Another former student:
Yours was the first writing course I’ve taken in years and you gave me not only many wonderful insights but lots of fun and very welcome encouragement....I’ve been thinking about applying for a low residency MFA program as I transition into retirement (again).
--- Don B. - student in class at John C. Campbell Folk School.


Our classes at TCCC are fun and informative. I am always delighted when the students say they don't want the classes to end.
No pressure, just encouragement and tips from knowledge I gleaned from my teachers and all the workshops I have taken for twenty-five years. Beginners are welcome. We will help you get your thoughts and memories on the page.
Put the dates on your calendar now and sign up now. 
Remember, if the class is not full a week before March 9, it might be cancelled.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Politics, Property and Political Correctness


Closing out the year with some humor by Roger Carlton


If I learned one thing from more than 50 years of public service, it is that the most intractable problems are often solved with humor. 

Today we are very polarized. People are addicted to using electronic devices and social networks to yell at each other. After all, such means of making a point does not require facing your opponent and looking them in the eye.

Here are a few thoughts meant to be humorous at the end of this very polarized year.
1. A conservative believes that “What is mine is mine and what is yours we can negotiate or take.”
2. A liberal believes that “What is mine is mine and what is yours belongs to everyone.

3. An independent believes that “What is mine is mine and and give me some time to think about yours.”

The Founders believed in certain inalienable rights unless you were a slave or a woman. It took four score and seven years for President Lincoln to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation and an additional two score and 17 years for women to be granted the right to vote. That is 87 and 57 years for those who don’t count in scores.

The prehistoric cave dwellers communicated with grunts and pictures on cave walls. As technology progressed, native people used drums and smoke signals. Some people think the smoke is still used. 

Early technology included the Pony Express, telegraph, hard line phones, television, newspapers and magazines. Once our Tennessee neighbor, Al Gore, invented the Internet, Facebook and Twitter soon followed.

Frankly, this columnist thinks tweeting is for the birds. When people tweet, it is an insult to our avian friends except perhaps the goony bird. That noble American bald eagle doesn’t tweet. He hunts with the goal of feeding his family and he mates for life.

So my friends, we come to the end of a “year of discontent.” Here are a few suggested New Year resolutions. 

Turn off all communication devices at dinner. It breaks my heart to see parents and children having dinner at a restaurant while all are clacking away  on some device. 

Second, ban all family responses that use the word “whatever.” The word defines disrespect and not caring.

Finally, if you must tweet, the victims of the tweet should be allowed to finish their sentences before the send button is mashed.

My best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Should Military Justice Be Different?

Roger Carlton
We welcome an article today by Roger Carlton, columnist for the Robbinsville, NC newspaper, The Graham Star. 



Military justice is different from civilian justice, and it should be.
 Fighting a conventional war like Vietnam or World War II is governed by the Geneva Conventions and Protocols which are 70 years old and basically designed to overlay the act of war with a degree of humanity. These are two concepts that are very difficult to align.

The United States has five military branches that are governed by senior officials that make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff who report to the Secretary of Defense and the President who is Commander In Chief. The Department of Homeland Security is also involved. The key point is that a civilian is at the top of the command chain. Oversight of the entire defense process including spending and declaration of war is provided by Congress through committees and eventual votes. At least that is how it is supposed to work to ensure a balance of power between the military and civilian authority.

Recently this extraordinary balance fell apart. 
It has happened before. President Truman had to terminate General Douglas MacArthur because he exceeded the authority granted by the Commander In Chief during the Korean War. Truman was no wimp. He made the ultimate decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II.

Recently a Navy SEAL posted pictures of himself with the corpse of an Islamic fighter.
After eight tours of duty, he was charged with many counts and served time in the brig. With long established military justice procedures followed, he was exonerated of all charges but one and sentenced to time served. That should have been it, but the White House decided to intervene. In fact, the President had ordered the Navy Secretary to release the Navy Seal from the brig which he declined to do. Such direct communication from the White House around the Secretary of Defense is highly unusual and violative of long-standing protocols. The Secretary of the Navy was dismissed after his own admitted mistake of not following the chain of command.

The Navy Seal had offered to voluntarily resign. The questions were at what rank since he had been busted down a rank, would his discharge be honorable or what is called "general under honorable" and could he keep his SEAL Trident pin. The Navy Secretary was told by the White House to restore his rank and give him the pin. These decisions should have been made by what is called peer group review. This means people make these decisions who have stood in the shoes of those in the line of battle and have broad perspective unvarnished by politics. Political interference instead resulted in the Navy Secretary being ordered to restore the pin.

This political interference in a tried and true process is enormously disrespectful of our military. 
We have the best military because they understand their role as guardians of democracy. Our military is highly trained, well equipped and disciplined. With few exceptions that are handled internally, these folks should be left alone to do their job. I learned from my own experience as a City Manager overseeing police chiefs for most cases of police discipline.There are exceptions to ethical conduct at the local level as well. However, I found it very difficult to insert myself into the decision-making process of someone looking down the barrel of a gun.

Let us all learn something from this. Keep politics out of a process that is damaged by interference. 

Follow chains of command until the situation has become so egregious that you have to go around the chain. Support the whistleblowers who have the fortitude to do the right thing. Have faith that the voters will see through the veil of toxic fog that defines our democracy today and do the right thing next November.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Reading and Writers

I was very happy today to get a good report from my favorite doctor, my cardiologist. I have been a bit depressed due to my chronic pain in my hip and leg, but I was told that I am physiologically younger than my chronological years, and while I might need to slow down my intensity, I should not stop doing what I enjoy. I can do that. 

As a senior adult with the usual stresses, I was thinking about making major changes and walking away from writing, Netwest, Writers Circle around the Table, and teaching. But today I decided to rethink my future. 


A writing class at Writers Circle around the Table

In the past week, I have received calls and emails from local people who want to know when I will teach again, where can they go to take classes in writing.
I am reminded of why I began my Writers Circle studio. I like to take writing classes and I like to teach beginning writers. I like to give them the chance to see what they can do, to instill confidence in them, to give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams in a safe environment where they cannot fail.

I was reading a post on the site of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press,

about the benefits of reading for older adults. Writers are important to society in general, and often they don't get the respect that visual artists and musical arts receive, especially in their local areas. How we would miss writers if they were not working all the time to bring us books, stories, facts and news we want to know about.

I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My house is filled with books, so many I don't have room for all of them and I am giving away books all the time. I subscribe to a couple of magazines also and enjoy browsing through them. 

Reading takes us out of our present and puts us somewhere else for a time. The writer on Progressive Rising Phoenix Press explains this in the quote below:


The Health Benefits of Reading

Life of a senior can indeed be stressful. Health problems and family worries wear a person out. And at an advanced age, stress can be costly. To the rescue comes the book, which is a real treasure during difficult times. 

A good novel can take you to different places and different times and distract you from your worries. It helps you to take a deep breath and face problems calmly.

Many studies have shown a connection between reading and mental health. Reading as an everyday activity can reduce memory decline by 30%. The scientists have also discovered that brain stimulation provided by learning or solving puzzles minimizes the probability of having Alzheimer’s disease

Another excellent benefit of reading is that it improves the quality of sleep. Anxiety, pain, and side effects of medications can make falling and staying asleep very difficult. Reading before bedtime is a perfect way to help your brain slow down and tell your body that it’s time for its well-deserved rest.
We writers must continue with our work, our passion, to write the words that others need to read. 
We don't have to write the next great novel or the most praised play or memoir. We can write whatever pleases us and share it with the world. A book of short stories, a poetry book, a self-help book---someone out there wants to read what we write. I enjoy writing for my blogs. Some people leave comments and some write emails to tell me how much it means to read my blog posts. My page views are often from foreign countries. And many people read what I write but never tell me. 

I would love to hear from you whether by comment or by email. See the Contact Form on the sidebar of this blog. Go there and follow directions to write your thoughts and send them to me. Let me know you read this blog.