Saturday, July 13, 2024

My New Short Story Is on Reedsy Prompts

 


I have a new short story, "Polaroid Dreams," on Reedsy Prompts. It's about a man who finds a Polaroid photo of a pretty girl in his new apartment. He falls in love with her and the thought of her. Problems arise when she materializes in the flesh and wants to pursue a relationship.  

Please check it out and give me a like if you enjoy the story. 


https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/6m1eb5/



Saturday, June 29, 2024

My New Website Is Live!

 



Hello. If you have been a frequent visitor here, I wanted to tell you about my new website. 


My new content will be appearing there starting on Monday, July 1, 2024; however, it is 

live, and you can check it out now. 


I hope that you will follow me there as you have done here. I appreciate your support!


https://www.victorlana.net/home



Sunday, June 23, 2024

Review of My Book 'Love in the Time of the Coronavirus'

 


Please check out this review for my book 'Love in the Time of the Coronavirus.' 

It was written last year, but it was just brought to my attention today.

Thank you for your continued interest in my work.




Monday, June 10, 2024

Saying Goodbye to An Old Friend – The Death of My Blog

During my life, it has always been hard to say “Goodbye.” Sometimes, like when I am departing for a trip, it is not as difficult because I know I will return to see friends and loved ones again. However, it is those irrevocable “goodbyes” – like the death of a beloved person or pet – that are very difficult to accept and experience. Those are the moments I wish I never had to deal with and, unfortunately, I have had too many already in my life. There is no control in those moments, and the sadness is compounded because I know it is forevermore. 

One of those “goodbyes” is forthcoming. This blog – which I have called home since 2006 – will be expiring on July 1, 2024. Therefore, https://viclana.blogspot.com/ will be no more. My first post on this blog was a review of the TV series 24 on March 28, 2006. It and the 1,163 other articles posted here will soon be gone. Alas, like Hamlet’s Yorick, all the nuances and laughter and sadness of this blog will be gone. All the images that accompanied my posts will be vaporized. My sadness is infinite and lingering, but it is time to literally turn another page. 

My new website is being established now but, like with anything new, there are some growing pains. In one sense it is exciting to start over in a new place, but the feeling of mourning all that I put into this old blog for the last 18 years is palpable. It is, in many ways, an integral part of me. Letting it go is more than difficult but now inevitable. 

You can check out the new site when you want. Fittingly, this article will be the last one here and the first one there. It feels like the old man turning over the new year to the baby on New Year’s Day. Out with the old and in with the new. I just wish I could feel more celebratory, but my emotions are more in line with a funereal mood. 

These are the last words I will write on this blog. Before it expires, I will post the information for the new website one more time . Sometime around midnight on July 1st this blog will fade into oblivion. 

I want to thank all those readers who have come here for a visit and sometimes many more than one time. According to my analytics page – which will also fade into oblivion – I have had visitors from all over the world. So, I want to thank those who stopped by from Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Australia, Russia, China, Finland, Norway, the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Iceland, and many more places across the globe including the United States. It has been an honor to share my thoughts and feelings with you. I hope you will visit the new website and continue to follow me. 

 Alas, poor Blogspot; I shall miss you!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Why You Should Not Say Happy Memorial Day!

 


Normandy American Cemetery, Normandy, France


Why you should not say “Happy Memorial Day” this weekend? Because it is not Halloween, Thanksgiving, or someone’s birthday. It is not a “happy” occasion at all. Yes, this weekend is the unofficial start of summer, which for many people – including my children – feel is a very happy occasion. However, the actual reason why we celebrate is far from joyous.

Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

My father visiting a fallen friend's
grave. France, 1945

So why do we celebrate Memorial Day?  Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. This is a day of respect for the dead, a rather somber and sacred day for people who have loved ones or friends who have died while working to protect us whether on land, in the skies, on the waters, or overseas.

Learning Why This Is Day is not Happy

I too in the past have mistakenly wished people a “Happy Memorial Day.” That was until I ran into someone selling Buddy Poppies outside our local post office last year. Buddy Poppies are sold by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and help finance veterans’ needs in rehabilitation, service programs, and the VFW National Home.

The older gentleman wearing a hat with “WWII Veteran” written on it looked up at me with a somber face and held up a poppy. He quoted from “In Flanders Fields,” the great poem by John McCrae – who served and died in World War I – “‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row.’ The poppies in the poem were growing in a graveyard for American soldiers who died in battle. There is nothing happy about that, son.” Needless to say, that changed my thought process very quickly.

Unknown Soldier Memorial,
Normandy, France

I should have been more conscious of what I was saying. I felt like telling the man that I had visited Normandy, had seen all those graves, that I understood the sacrifice made by Americans and other troops as they came in on those beaches below the cemetery where many of them were cut down as they came off the boats, but I had carelessly used the word "happy" anyway, and I apologized for doing so as I paid for my poppy. I knew better now.

What Should We Do on this Day?

Most of us would not walk into a wake or a site of worship for a funeral and start greeting everyone with the word “happy.” That same protocol should be observed on this day. So then, you might ask, “What should I do I this day?”

In the article “5 Things Not to do on Memorial Day,” we are given solid advice. The first thing on the list is not to wish anyone “Happy Memorial Day.” It is also suggested to not thank people currently serving – they are alive, after all, not to disregard the importance of the day, not to forget about the day, and not to let politics of any kind distort the day’s importance. As my father often told me, “Being patriotic is not political.” I have never forgotten those words.

Remembering Memorial Days Past

My Dad as Uncle Sam in a 
Memorial Day parade late 1970s

In the past growing up we celebrated this day by going to or marching in our local VFW parade. My father dressed as Uncle Sam for many years, and then we would go back to the local hall and have hotdogs and hamburgers served with pitchers of beer and soda. All those men and women who had served were “happy” in the sense that they had survived their service, even those who were sitting in wheelchairs. But none of them talked about their bravery and, when asked about it, a solemn expression would come over their faces, and it was time to move on.

Enjoy the Day for What It Is

So, this Memorial Day 2024, please don’t wish anyone a “Happy Memorial Day.” It is especially hurtful for anyone who has lost someone in service to their country. Instead, if you are so inclined, mark the day by flying the flag, attending a parade, and applauding those who are in it.

Go home and have your barbecue and let your kids play in the yard, and remember that those who died did so for all of us, just as those in the service of their country now are currently protecting us. Another year of safety and freedom are worth celebrating.

 

 

Friday, May 24, 2024

Hemingway's Lost Suitcase – My New Story on Reedsy Prompts

 


Please check out my new story, "Hemingway's Lost Suitcase," now live on Reedsy Prompts. This is the promotional blurb:

In December 1922, Ernest Hemingway’s wife Hadley lost his suitcase filled with all his written work – what he called his “juvenilia” in a letter to Ezra Pound – in a Paris train station. It has never been found until now.

This is a contest, so if you like what you see please give it a like to bump it up in visibility for review.

Thank you!  I hope you enjoy the story. 

https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/4d1sfw/




Thursday, May 16, 2024

'Batman' TV Show Reunion in 1988 on FOX's 'The Late Show' Is a Nostalgic Gem

 



The Batman TV Show Reunion in 1988 on Ross Shafer's The Late Show on FOX is a nostalgic gem. I am currently watching the series all over again courtesy of METV here in New York. I stumbled upon this video, and it seemed like a coincidence, but in the world of comic book heroes there are no coincidences. 

What I didn't understand as a kid  that the show's best jokes were for my parents and going right over my head  is apparent to me now.. The tilted angles of the camera and the walking up the sides of buildings where famous people would open their windows and converse with the Caped Crusaders, are all coming back to me, and I am loving it. 

Watching this video is bittersweet. This show was filmed in April of 1988, and Alan Napier (the stalwart butler Alfred) died a few months after this broadcast. Also, every one of the stars who appear in this video has passed away except for Burt Ward (Robin).

Adam West (Bruce Wayne/Batman) will always be my favorite Batman because he made such an impression on me when I was a kid. His voice, his mannerisms, and his dry sense of humor all coalesce and make him the Batman I think about when I hear that word.

Oh, and be sure not to fast forward the commercials. You will be seeing ones that people in New York were watching back in 1988. This video is a wonderful time capsule as well as a tribute to my favorite TV show from my childhood.

Enjoy, old chums!