Like a Tourist

Prompt: Shipwrecked


Dear Wednesday,

It’s cartoon day and a chance to dip in to the many desert island cartoons, which seem to be a staple of cartoonists everywhere. Why, I wonder? I feel the urge to overanalyze creeping over me…

Don’t we all harbour a secret wish to start fresh? With none of the trappings, baggage, burdens of our daily lives? Maybe retreat somewhere isolated, simple, free from the roar of social media and day to day noise and distractions? Of course we don’t get to be shipwrecked with all our favourite books and cocktail ingredients, but… details, details.

Yet the desert island dwellers in cartoon land, for all they’ve been released from the worldly grind, keep reverting to the familiar, the comfortable, the normal, no matter how nonsensical.

So there’s the conundrum, the dilemma, the perplexity: We want the new, the adventure, the do-over but also crave the familiar and the predictable.

People are dumbasses.

cartoon island network

cartoon island tourist

cartoon island camera


I have to admit the islands do look peaceful. And warm.

Love and peace,

~~FP

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Corn for Tallness

Prompt: Express yourself


My dear Wednesday,

I (and you, and anyone) have the opportunity to express myself (yourselves) for thirty days this November, which is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, or Nano. The idea is to sit down with a fresh sheet of real or virtual blank paper and start writing— about 1600 words per day for a total of 50,000 words (about the length of Catcher in the Rye) by the end of the month. A first draft of a book. A novel. Written by me/ you.

I’ve met the challenge every five or six times I’ve “competed”— it is an honour system tally. You post your word count to the NaNoWriMo website and your finished manuscript, which they mechanically verify and then declare you a Winner. You get to print out a full colour certificate, frame it, and hang it on the wall of your office or dining room or nail it to the fence.

I am generally a “pantser” which means I start writing without the benefit of detailed outline, as opposed to a “plotter” who organizes most the structure, theme, plot, and characters ahead of time.

This year I am trying the Save the Cat formula, which divides the story into three acts with specific pivotal plot points (called Beats) in each. So I actually have a story outline, but as yet no defined hero character at all.

I realize plot and character are interactive; each forms part of the other. As the plot affects the character, so does the character affect the plot.

…So what makes a compelling character?

I await your answer.

Seriously.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, only the first of which is even tangentially related to today’s casual prompt, “express yourself”?

cartoon decorator-farming-new-yorker-cartoon_a-G-9180543-8419447

cartoon freshly-ground-pepper-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9476900-8419449

cartoon man-on-deserted-island-writes-tuesday-nov-27-dear-diary-still-no-si-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9168868-8419449


Peace, love, and lots of writing,

~~FP

Just So You Know

Prompt: Imagine


Dear Wednesday,

Do you remember a time when John Lennon’s song Imagine was considered controversial?

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Christians have condemned those words as blasphemous. According to a 2015 article in The National Review “to believers of older religion its (“Imagine’s”) open recommendation of an atheist faith cannot but sound lamentable and threatening.”

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

These lines were attacked as unpatriotic. The National Review article concludes that “few songs are more divisive”.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

This verse was condemned for its “communist overtones.”

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Did I say was controversial? This Lennon/Ono penned song is still vilified by right wing Christians and other religious fundamentalists and political ideologues. …What would Jesus think?

Relating to today’s casual prompt “imagine” in the most tenuous way is the first of these three of my favourite cartoons:

cartoon new-yorker-march-13th-2017-lars-kenseth

cartoon knight flowers-too

cartoon david-sipress-whac-a-mole-island-new-yorker-cartoon_a-l-9172422-8419449


Wishing you peace, love, blasphemy, unpatriotism, and communism,

~~FP

Waves and Clicks

Prompt: Undulate


Dear Wednesday,

Man has not invented the harmony of music.

It is one of the underlying principles of life. Neither could the harmony of movement be invented: it is essential to draw one’s conception of it from Nature herself, and to see the rhythm of human movement from the rhythm of water in motion, from the blowing of the winds on the world, in all the earth’s movements, in the motions of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and even in primitive man, whose body still moved in harmony with nature…

All the movements of the earth follow the lines of wave motion. Both sound and light travel in waves. The motion of water, winds, trees and plants progresses in waves. The flight of a bird and the movements of all animals follow lines like undulating waves. If then one seeks a point of physical beginning for the movement of the human body, there is a clue in the undulating motion of the wave.

  • Isadora Duncan, The Art of the Dance

Lovely.

Now, on to a selection of my favourite cartoons, which are entirely unrelated to this week’s prompt, “undulate”:

cartoon whale in bar


cartoon sold to paddle


cartoon desert island man


Have a wonderful Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, weekend, month, year, life!

~~FP