The Two Gifts I Most Want From You

butterfly mom close-up

AN IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY COMPELS ME to be this bold. To come right out and ask you, someone I may have never met, to give me, a total stranger, not one but two gifts this holiday season. And I can’t even lie and tell you that it’ll be that easy for you to give them. Sorry to…
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Butterfly Myths: stories about my artist mom

butterfly mom close-up

JOAN MARIE SCELP STARR CARTWRIGHT LAURIA (b.1929, d.2012), my mother, was a jazz singer. As you might expect though, other people knew more about that part of her life than might an adolescent boy – I wasn’t old enough to see her perform in the bars and night clubs of the small, Eastern Ohio town…
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Content Creators and How to Lay A Golden Egg

content creators

COULD THIS BE a Golden Age for content creators? Has the Internet, not to mention the enhanced interconnectivity created by social media, expanded our opportunities? Many of my fellow writers, and designers, and various other creative people, now smack in the middle of this industry in transition, don’t necessarily see it that way. To the…
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Night of the Content Marketing Zombies

The Social Media Idiot

SHARING SCHMARING. According to certain creative directors I’ve heard from, you may be shooting yourselves in the foot, you who’ve bought into the content marketing movement. In their opinion, its tenet of freely disseminating business insights is not only an unsustainable business model, but it’s also contributing to widespread job losses every day. I wrote extensively…
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Is Open Content turning creatives into dinosaurs?

The Social Media Idiot

NOT EVERYONE IS ALL that crazy about the big changes in marketing that social media hath wrought. I’m referring to certain individuals in my tribe, the “creatives,” who are going through a kind of evolution of their own as they figure out how to respond to this changing landscape. More specifically, they question the validity of…
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Talk like a jazz man, you jive turkey.

jazz slang tutor

MUSICIAN FRIENDS WILL BE quite impressed when you sprinkle into the conversation a little lyrical lingo from their universe, and one of my favorite old books, the American Thesaurus of Slang, is just the place to find it. Jazz slang, and where I heard it first My own introduction to that world came at a…
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Are we telling stories on ourselves?

DID YOU EVER wonder how much our creative “offspring,” those ideas, innovations, or enterprises we personally give birth to, reflect or reveal who we are as individuals? That question occurred to me just a few minutes ago when I came across a story I wrote years back, stream-of-consciousness style, scribbling it atop the collage at…
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What do we get out of giving?

EzraVancil

OKAY, THIS IS GOING TO SOUND WEIRD. Self-aggrandizing perhaps. Or self-serving. Maybe all three. I hate it that it might sound that way. But honest, that’s not at all what I’m trying to do here. Instead it’s a revelation that I want to share, one I had just this morning, triggered by a comment on…
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The Case for Authenticity

“I WENT THROUGH some very tough years after that and have just found my love for music and life again…I don’t remember much of those years or my life..” Just hours ago, I read those words in an email from a musician acquaintance I hadn’t talked to in almost ten years. He was in part…
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