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A favorite book can comfort and enlighten.

In Books, Entertainment, Opinion, psychology, sociology, Uncategorized on June 23, 2015 at 1:58 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGONot too long ago, I published a Deer In Headlines column on the subject of how, as a writer, I’m frequently asked what books I read and why. Since then, I realized that I have a tendency to re-read certain books that I’ve enjoyed over the years and I know that most people do the same thing.

Click to watch the TV interview of this topic from Living Dayton, WDTN-TV2.

Click to watch the TV interview of this topic from Living Dayton, WDTN-TV2.

So, it had me wondering, in a world with countless literary choices, why we often choose to go back to an old favorite, rather than boldly going where we’ve never read before. After a little research and some asking around, I learned that the reasons we sometimes revisit the same bookshelf are more complicated than I first thought.

For starters, humans are creatures of comfort, at least to some extent, and many of us read because it was one of the ways our parents made a connection when we were very young. Reading was soothing, like an old blanket you wrap up in before bedtime and have a hard time parting with once it’s tattered and threadbare.

Gery holds copies of "Flights of Fiction" - one of his favorite books. Produced by the Western Ohio Writers Association.

Tradition might be another word to describe this idea too. Personally, I like to read Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol,” at the holidays every year – time permitting – as one of my own traditions. It’s a story that never fails to entertain and enlighten, and I always take away something new.

If a certain book imprints on you from a young age, you’re likely to go back to it again and again for the sheer level of reassurance it brings you. A familiar story can be calming and offer a welcome escape from the daily rigors of life or just a fun adventure into another world.

Re-reading a book you once read in your youth can also offer a different perspective. Life experience can change how we view ideas or motivations first encountered at a much younger age. Going back to that book you read in high school English class might just take your understanding of its meaning to a new level.

Plus peeling back the layers of the author’s work with a more mature perspective can even help you learn more about yourself. One article I read on the subject referred to this concept as, “cheap, effective therapy.”

When others talk about a book you’ve already read, you may discover that there are elements of the story you might have missed the first time around. Going back over it again on a quest to uncover those points for yourself can turn a good read into a great adventure, even if it’s not your first trip through the tale.

There are many other reasons why we re-read our old favorites. We may like the author or just enjoy the book for no readily apparent reason. Whatever your impetus, dust off that old copy of your favorite novel and give it another look. In case you are wondering, here are two of my favorite re-reads and a bit about why I choose to go back to them time and again.

I seem to repeatedly choose, “Microserfs” by Douglas Coupland. This is a fictional story, set in the early 1990s, about a group of Microsoft programmers who broke away to go out on their own while dealing with life’s road blocks. I always find it inspiring and I can easily relate to their desire to be part of “version one point zero.”

Another book I revisit regularly is, “Hit Man,” by Lawrence Block. There are four books in the “Hit Man” series, but I always go back to the original. The main character is, as the title suggests, a killer for hire. But the way Block presents him to the audience as somewhat mile mannered and tells the story of his rather violent occupation is intriguing and thoughtful.

I have others, but these make the point of how varied our favorites can be. Just like old movies and TV shows, favorite books have a meaning in our lives. Sometimes it’s just good to go back and visit that world, whether it’s over the rainbow or just down the street.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com

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Jamestown variety group to headline Tipp City 175th

In Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, history, Local News, News Media, Senior Lifestyle, Theatre, Uncategorized on June 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm

tipp logoTipp City, Ohio – The City of Tipp City will be commemorating its 175th Anniversary this year with a two-day celebration, Friday July 3 and Saturday July 4. The festivities will be held at Tipp City Park and include live entertainment, food, vendors and family activities.

“This is an exciting time for Tipp City, as we will be commemorating the 175th Anniversary of our wonderful city.” said Tipp City Mayor, Pat Hale. “The Planning Committee is working hard to put together a great event for the entire family. We are inviting the entire community to join in on the celebration.”

Friday evening will kick off the weekend with live entertainment, horse and buggy rides and guest speakers in the historical district. On Saturday afternoon, things get started with a parade celebrating Tipp City’s heritage. At Tipp City Park, visitors will enjoy food vendors, family activities and live entertainment headlined at 5:00 p.m. by The Brothers & Co. Music and Variety Show followed by an ‘80s band leading up to the evening fireworks display.

DSC_1589“We’re glad to be a part of such an historic event,” noted Gery L. Deer, of Jamestown, who serves tripple duty as performer, publicist and manager of The Brothers & Co. show. “That area of Miami County is rich in events that shaped the Miami Valley and Dayton’s outlying regions. We are going to give the visitors there a fun, family-friendly taste of old-style Americana entertainment.”

City Councilmen Matt Owen is chair of the 175th Planning Committee.“We are encouraging the entire community to get involved with the celebration.” he said.  “Throughout the year Tipp City has many events and activities and we are encouraging them to create their own celebration or activity within each of those events.”

More information can be found on the event Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/686370538176430/  The Brothers & Co. Show is presented courtesy of Gibson Law Offices and GLD Enterprises Communications.

 

Books and Co. hosts live reading by local authors of WOWA, June 19

In Books, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Entertainment, history, Local News, psychology, Technology on June 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm

IMG_0030Beavercreek, OH – Beginning at 7pm on Friday, June 19, author members of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will take the microphone at Books & Co. to present their popular, “Beatnik Café” event. Writers from all genres will regale visitors with original works of poetry and prose to the theme, “Leave No Trace.” The event is free and open to the public.

The live reading pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960’s, but with a more modern style. Reading aloud from original work, each writer will take the stage for 10 to 12 minutes, dazzling audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what.

Barbara Deer is the co-founder of the organization. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” she says. (Click to watch the television interview about last summer’s Beatnik from WDTN-TV2, Living Dayton 6-12-2014)

Barbara Deer, WOWA co-founder.

Barbara Deer, WOWA co-founder.

“Annual workshops are held all around the country, with two of the most well-known right here in the Miami Valley. But for most writers to thrive that type of support needs to come on a more regular basis,” Deer says. “Our group consists of professional writers and editors, college professors and everyone is ready and willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

wowa-beatnik

Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive.

WOWA Logo 2Now in its seventh year, this talented group of scribes definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Handcar Press (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly, free, public presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Communications. Books & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

What happened to real news?

In Business, Entertainment, Media, News Media, Opinion, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized, World News on June 5, 2015 at 11:38 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOIn my long, diverse career, I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the best news and media people in the business. I have provided content for Pulitzer Prize-winning publications and even earned some award nominations myself, in part thanks to my association with so many talented colleagues.

But, and I admit it freely, there are times when I am thoroughly embarrassed to be a member of the media in any capacity. Most recently, I feel that way regarding the nauseating, continuous coverage of the Kardashian “family” and their talentless train wreck.

I just don’t get it. Am I missing something here? I keep hearing them referred to as “superstars,” and, for the life of me, I can’t think of any reason they have even come close to earning that moniker.

But my point here is not to rant about these ridiculously out-of-touch people, but to ask my colleagues, what happened to the news and stories about real people? The world is filled with incredible stories of success, survival, family, and even plenty of dysfunction, if that’s your thing, so it’s not like there aren’t better subjects out there.

91389965_36f4f323cc_oBear in mind, I’m not referring to tabloids, celebrity blogs or grocery store gossip rags, but media outlets who claim to have journalistic integrity and brag about their commitment to bringing real news to the forefront. My favorite example of this kind of hypocrisy has got to be CBS, which now uses the social media hashtag “#newsisback;” really guys?

Recently, CBS News social media and even their morning show, which is advertised as, “responsible, intelligent information,” reported details about a Kardashian baby announcement. First, who cares? Second, can someone explain to me how something like that qualifies as “real” news?

One of CBS’s early morning competitors, NBC’s Today Show, can’t seem to get enough of the ridiculous Kardashians. This is primarily because E! Entertainment Television – which carries the Kardashian reality show – and NBC TV are both owned by NBCUniversal.

But, although I think they spend too much time on this nonsense, they get a bit of a pass because their program is more entertainment than news. That is, the format allows for more light-hearted stories, entertainment information, and so on.

However, in the case of CBS This Morning, if they are going to spend their ad budget slamming competitors while claiming to be the leading news resource, they need to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. If the producers and executive bean counters (because that’s who makes the real decisions) want to actually “be” the news leaders, they need to drop this stuff and stay focused. Let the cable entertainment shows promote this junk and give the audience what you promised.

As mentioned before, looking more closely, you find that media giants like CBS and NBC are connected to all manner of media, from publishing companies to film studios. The news programs are used to promote these endeavors and make more money.

For example, say some actor has a book coming out by “publisher A,” which happens to be owned by “media company B,” which produces “morning TV show C.” How better to promote the book and subsequent movie and rake in more cash?

Speaking of bean counting, a big chunk of the responsibility for this problem has to lie at the feet of the consuming public because if they weren’t “buying,” the media wouldn’t be “selling.” Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a self-propelling monster because if stuff like this were never aired in the first place, the public would never have seen it to demand more, and the cycle goes on.

I regularly struggle with content myself, albeit on a much smaller level, but I do my best to consider my audience. I ask myself what they would want to know and how my information will help them in their day-to-day lives. So should the big guys.

The production of news media is big business with lots of complex nooks and crannies, and, honestly, no one wants to see how the sausages are made. All I am asking is that news media practice what they preach.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. All Rights Reserved. More at gerydeer.com.