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4-H Writers Show Potential

I received this year's Noble County 4-H Creative Writing Projects the other day, so I'll be busy with the judging for several days.

I kind of hate that word, judging. Who am I to judge? I should forward all of these to George R.R. Martin or J.K. Rowling, they could judge ... but they're probably busy buying countries, or something.

When people start referring to me as M.R. Hunter, maybe I'll be too busy too. Until then, it's only right to help along aspiring authors. I was one, once ... and in many ways I'm still aspiring, along with inspiring and perspiring. So I'll do my best to do right by them.

Still, it's hard to be objective, especially when you can still remember how flimsy your own self-esteem was back then, and by you I mean me. Also, there are three categories, and it's important not to judge one by the standards of another. It would be like judging a college essay, then using the same standard to judge a third grader's "what I did last summer" paper.

Every 4-H entry I've read showed potential for great works to come. I hope I'll see all their names on a bookshelf, someday.

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Happy Independence Day

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men -- deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

 

 

 

On this Independence Day, remember that while we have differences, we've always had differences. We're still all human beings, far more alike than different. Most of us--at least, most of  us outside of Washington, D.C.--want to keep this country free and great, even if we disagree on how to do so. So disagree: But try to find areas of agreement, and respect each other. And be kind.

 

We need each other now more than ever before.

Happy Independence Day

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men -- deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

On this Independence Day, remember that while we have differences, we've always had differences. We're still all human beings, far more alike than different. Most of us--at least, most of  us outside of Washington, D.C.--want to keep this country free and great, even if we disagree on how to do so. So disagree: But try to find areas of agreement, and respect each other. And be kind.

We need each other now more than ever before.

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Psychoanalyzing my temper

I lost my temper the other day. It was over something I considered to be childish actions, which made me act childish, which I suppose is the way it usually happens.

Now, I get frustrated a lot; impatient fairly frequently; grouchy all the time. But I only "lose it" as the term goes, infrequently--maybe just every five years or so. I saw red, lost control. You can tell when I'm that angry, because I start shaking. I don't even shake when I'm scared, or maybe in those cases I'm too frightened to notice.

I didn't like it.

In fact, I wasn't able to sleep the next night, and it bothered me for days. I don't want to be the guy who upsets other people, unless its with bad jokes and silly antics.

I'd like to be the fun guy. I'm not, but I'd like to be. I am seen, by many people, as the funny guy, although maybe not as many people as I think. Funny is good. It makes other people feel good, so maybe they won't lose their temper.

And so I make a lot of jokes, and I write humor. I've been the complainer, and after being around other complainers I learned that being around complainers sucks. So I accentuate the positive, and stuff down the complaints, or try to make them funny.

But have you noticed the funny people are often messed up?

The funniest person I knew of was Robin Williams. He killed himself.  In the entertainment world, it seems like the funniest people all too often end up immersed in drugs, alcohol, overeating (that would be me), and other self-destructive behavior. Why?

Well, I'm not a professional funny guy, but I play one on the internet. I think the problem is that we use humor as a defense, which means we often make fun of our problems instead of facing them. While young we learn to either put on a happy face, or show no emotion at all.

I dunno, I'm no shrink. In fact, at the moment I'm just associating freely.

The point is that sometimes the quiet ones aren't calm and well adjusted at all--they may just be the people who are shoving their anger down deeper and deeper, until every, oh, five years or so it bursts out, leaving people to say "Wow--where'd that come from?"

Again--I don't like it. Anxiety, man, it's real. I used to make fun of this stuff.

I recognize some of the causes, things as varied as my writing career, politics, and work burnout, but dealing with them isn't so easy. Maybe that whole primal scream thing isn't such a bad idea, after all. Maybe people who get mad and scream at others all the time are more emotionally healthy than I am. Or maybe I simply am one of those guys, heavily filtered.

But I'll tell you this: I'm not going to go around yelling at people just because I'm having a bad day. That just makes things worse for everyone. No, something else is in order; and I'm thinking of something in the basement, which I've had for several years but never set up.

A punching bag.

And if that doesn't work, there's a pizza place right down the street.

Sometimes things bug me.

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