Posts

Minister Jeff's Wedding Speech and Ceremony: An Analysis

Image
I've been a minister since 2012, but I haven't done anything with it, until now. I recently officiated the wonderful wedding of Ashley and Joshua Plecas. It was a lot of fun. It was also a unique experience. I'm going to break it down here.


Many people are afraid of speaking in public, which is reasonable. It's an animal thing. All of those people staring at you is intimidating. Eye contact is one of the fundamental forms of dominance displays. I've learned to enjoy it. But, a wedding ceremony is a little different.

When I'm giving a speech I only have to worry about me. I'm 100 percent in charge. If I want to change something I just change it, and nobody else even knows. A wedding is a little more like acting. You have to wait until it's your turn, other people are moving and responding to you. Also, people want to know what you're going to say beforehand.

Luckily for me Ashley and Joshua are pretty easy going, and I have a bit of experience creati…

Two Wrongs Don't Make it Right. Or, do they... ?

Image
There are a lot of interesting phrases in English. Sometimes they are useful, sometimes they are not. I often find insight in taking contrarian stances. This stems from an interesting conversation I had on Facebook recently.


Let's call the woman I was talking to Bethany (because that was her name). She brought up the whole two wrongs not making the situation right. It's a phrase that never seems to be questioned but I always thought was odd. If you have tolerance for intolerance then the intolerance will dominate the situation, whatever that situation might be. Anyway, this is how I explained it. I removed Bethany's last name, otherwise it is a direct quote.

Bethany I think I could turn that old phrase. Two wrongs don't make it right. It's wrong to murder. Person A murders person B. Person C kills (because we reserve the word murder for killing that we don't like) person A. Is this a justified action? Possibly, it's debatable. Let's say it's the old…

Quora and the Oddity of Popularity

Image
Sometimes I answer questions on Quora. I'm not sure why. From what I can tell most people don't know why they interact with Quora, although they could always make up a reason. It's a unique site. Anyone can ask a question, and anyone can answer a question.


None of my answers have been very popular. One accumulated over 6 thousand views over 3 years. On Quora that's not much. But over the last week I had one answer accumulate over 12 thousand views. Popular posts are still ten times that number on Quora, but 12 thousand is still quite a decent number of people. What surprises me is what the post is. It's a simple little book recommendation post. I will put the link and then the whole post here.

https://www.quora.com/Which-are-the-5-best-fiction-novels-one-must-read/answer/Jeffrey-Alexander-Martin

At present it has 12.7 thousand views, 32 upvotes, 6 shares, and 5 comments.

Which are the 5 best fiction novels one must read?

You are asking an impossible question. Alas, …

My Application to De Montfort Literature

Image
I've applied to this unique publishing company. I think they have the potential to radically change the entire industry over the next few years if their model works. I'm going to include everything I've sent them here. Let me know what you think of it.



Jonathan De Montfort had to sell his soul to become rich, which is how he described it, but now he owns his own hedge fund in England. He wrote a novel, possibly as part of trying to reclaim his soul, that's my conjecture. When he started sending it to publishers he thought the publishing industry was very odd indeed. The author took all of the risk. Since he's rich he decided to launch his own publishing firm. He decided to turn the risk on its head and put it on the publishing firm instead of the author.

Authors will be paid while they are developing their novels, 24,000 British pounds per year. But, you cannot sign up with another publisher for two years after you leave De Montfort, and any ideas that you discuss wi…

Twenty-Two of My Dreams, Not Interpreted

Image
I didn't have very many dreams when I was a kid, at least not that I remembered when I woke up. Now though, it's different. I dream every night. Very vivid dreams. And when I wake up I remember them for a little while.


I started recording some of them a few months ago. Many of them I missed because I either forgot or they faded as I moved to get my pen and notepad. At this point I haven't even been writing them down because I'm not sure why I was in the first place, but they are interesting.


1 - A young girl is alone in hell along a black river. She is surrounded by red light, but beyond that it is all black. It is kind of like a hard sand desert environment. I saw her from above at an angle.

2 - I'm sitting at a table writing with an automatic recording machine also writing, not a voice recorder, this machine was physically writing out what I was saying with a pencil. The recording device shiny silver. There was a classic radio playing music to the side of the roo…

Ideas and Such

Image
I have a friend in Russia that writes stories in English, Oleg. A few years ago a meteorite exploded above a Russian city and coated the city in alien dust. What if there is alien bacteria, or an alien virus, from the meteorite? That's what inspired Oleg to start writing. I've helped him a little bit with editing some other works he translated for friends. Next year he plans to publish an anthology of flash fiction horror stories featuring writers from something like a dozen different countries. It's a cool project. I'm going to contribute and co-edit it with him. So, today I'm going to come up with a flash fiction horror story idea, but I'm going to go over seven completely different ideas I've had first, because horror isn't my main focus.

Number One
This is a two brothers story. That archetype has a great tradition with Cain and Able and Romulus and Remus. In this idea I take two brothers. Something sets them on exploratory quests, I'm not sure wh…

What is Fiction? And, for that matter, what is art?

Image
I've been thinking quite a bit about why we read fiction. Here is how I'm defining it, I'll explain it afterward. Fiction, and art in general, is a make-believe conceptually modeled simulation of reality, often exaggerated and distorted into hyperreality, that is useful for emulation learning as well as being an entertaining and enjoyable end in itself.


Basically, I've come to the conclusion that we read fiction, and appreciate art in general, for two different reasons. One, to prepare for life, to practice life. To try to understand and wrap our minds around people and situations. In this sense fiction is a distillation of life. A novel is a sort of potion, essence of life. The second reason is almost the opposite. Sometimes we read fiction, or delve into art, to escape life. Decisions and problems are too much. We are worried, we are frustrated, and we need to go somewhere else, do something else, be someone else.

I will probably delve more into this in the future. T…

Eleven Comments From ESL Students

Image
It's interesting to get comments from students. Through one of the companies that I teach for I have an almost random selection of students. A student pops up, a workbook pops up, and we start. That's where these comments come from. They are mostly translated from Chinese into English, so it might sound a little odd.


Here they are, in reverse chronological order.

1 - Thank you for your patience

2 - Thanks tor teaching me English toningt.In fact,you should teach my little brother,but he is very shy and it is a first day to learn English.I hope you don't angry with him. Thank you!!

3 - Very patient teacher who will guide children in communication, good teacher

4 - Thank you! Ttacher.

5 - I am sorry, teacher, I will not send my heart, only one, do not mind. I really like your class and I'm glad to meet you

6 - You are a good teacher. You teach well. Thank you.

7 - Teacher you are very good ! I like you soo much ! Your class is very fun ! I will study English forever,and I…

More Subjects