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Music, news, and writing.

Cheap Trick, Mankato, Minn., Aug. 7, 2015.

Cheap Trick, Mankato, Minn., Aug. 7, 2015.

Cheap Trick, Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Mankato. These rockers were in top form. I went through a stretch about 10 years ago when I saw them a few times. Robin Zander has a great voice, but his stage presence has never impressed me. However, on this night he was smiling, having fun, and really connecting with the audience. It was clear they all were having a great time at this outdoor show on a beautiful summer night. In this era of crap music with non-talents taking the airwaves, thank goodness we have acts like Cheap Trick still going.

Robin Zander sounded great.

Robin Zander sounded great.

“50 Years Later, We Still Haven’t Learned from Watts,” New York Times. Nothing happens in a vacuum. All the issues we face have a historical precedent. Let’s learn from that, shall we? Fifty years ago, the media made it look like the riots in Watts exploded out of nowhere, when in fact Los Angeles had been experiencing racial tension for years. We can draw a parallel between Watts and today’s Ferguson and Baltimore. The media and those in power (i.e., mostly white), are like, “Huh? Where did this come from? We had no idea things were so bad!” Heads in the sand!

My writing group. I asked a lot from my writing group this week: I wanted feedback on the first 40,000 words of my work-in-progress. I gave them a few weeks, and they pulled through in a major, fantastic way. Their feedback actually makes me excited about revision, which is usually a task I dread. If you’re a writer but you’re not in a writing group, get with one immediately!

What’s making you happy this week?

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