The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrating Small Writing Victory: Torn: A Play for Holy Week

As I've said before, every author needs to celebrate the small victories. I'm celebrating the fact that several churches around the US purchased and hopefully, successfully performed my Easter play, Torn. This play revolves around two characters, a deciple of Jesus Christ and a priest from the temple. They are drawn together by the torn temple curtain in front of the arc of the covanent. Both have lost much on this hectic day, and it all comes out during their encounter.

As it states in the production notes: "For as long as we have been able to communicate with one another, storytelling has played an important role. Lively storytelling has been used to pass along valuable information in a way that is always memorable and easily understood. Little has been written about the tearing of the temple cloth in Jerusalem during the crucifixion of Jesus. Here a distraught young temple priest and a grieving disciple provide vivid tales of loss and vulnerability from both sides of the Crucifixion event. There is no blame placed in this play for the events that are portrayed, but there is a challenge given to everyone who watches the story unfold."

It's a good little play and I'm glad to see it has found several church homes.

For most of us, all us authors out there, it's mostly about small steps. Celebrate the little victories when they come!

Shingles: A J.S. Brooks Public Service Announcement

Have you been overworked, stressed, and sleep deprived lately? I have ... and it led to a case of shingles. Shingles is a virus. It lives inside most humans, sleeping away the years until a foolish person overworks, stresses about it, loses lots of sleep, and has a drop in his/her immune system. And then it springs forth. Shingles begins as a prickling sensation in one part of your body. There is no sign at this point. I thought I had a light sunburn on my scalp, but there was no reddening. A week later, red, angry, swollen, painful lumps appeared ... on my head in my case (such fun). Shingles only shows up in one location and only on one side of the body; it's peculiar that way. The swellings get tiny little ulcerations on them and during this time the individual is contagious. Will he or she pass along shingles. Oh no, that would be too simple. No, shingles is related to chickenpox and an infected person may pass along chickenpox to someone who has not had it (or the vaccine) in earlier years. Shingles lasts roughly 12 weeks. The swellings scab over and disappear in 2 to 3 weeks. You feel an ache in the affected area and can take ibuprophen for this. The level of pain varies from person to person. Me, I've been pretty lucky so far. I will warn you, shingles can affect your thinking and your emotions. I find myself with a hair trigger temper these days that is definitely not normal for me.

So, why tell you all this? For two simple reasons:

  • 1. Get some rest people. Never mind the fact we have lights and electricity and all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to keep us up and entertained all night. SLEEP PEOPLE! Find ways to reduce stress and stay healthy. It's the best medicine against shingles.
  • 2. ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THE SHINGLES VACCINE, especially if you are over 60. GET IT! DO NOT WAIT!!
This has been the first (and hopefully only) public service announcement of J.S. Brooks Presents: Michael and the New Baby.

Buy the book, read it to your child, relax, and go to bed early. Stay healthy out there readers!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Wishing Americans everywhere a happy 4th of July! Remember what has been (and continues to be) sacrificed in the name of freedom. Take a moment to pause and remember all those who have struggled and risked all for this nation. Make the rest of the year a year when the great values of this society are furthered and divisions are healed.

And ... when getting ready for fireworks, remember the immortal words of Mark Twain:

Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.

- Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar
The business aspects of the Fourth of July is not perfect as it stands. See what it costs us every year with loss of life, the crippling of thousands with its fireworks, and the burning down of property. It is not only sacred to patriotism and universal freedom, but to the surgeon, the undertaker, the insurance offices - and they are working it for all it is worth.

- Speech, July 4, 1899, "The Day We Celebrate"

Thanks to for making these and so many other memorable Mark Twain quotes so readily accessible.

We at J.S. Brooks Presents will be spending time away from the computer, celebrating the holiday with family. We wish you a happy, healthy, hopeful holiday in which no limbs are lost and no property destroyed.

Happy 4th everyone!