The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It Only Takes 6...

Six-word memoirs. How would you say something of substance in only six words?

My students began working on these today and in just part of an afternoon, they came up with some amazing ones. I'll try and post some of them on Friday or next week.

But trust me, they're good.

I'm hoping some of you try writing one. (You could always leave it in the comment section.)


photo--google images


To give you a taste of what they're like, go here.

So don't waste any more time... write a six-word memoir now.

And if you want to see a photo of me that was taken over 40 years ago, go to my post on the Muffin.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fun is What Makes the World Go 'Round... and Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday # 57


This is a picture of my son. (He's the one on the right.) My boy's a little over six-feet tall, just in case you think the guy who runs with scissors is normal, height-wise.

Ian plays Ultimate, which (in case you didn't know) is like soccer, but it's played with a frisbee.

He also loves to play basketball, football, tennis, soccer and volleyball. He enjoys joking with his friends and family. He's got a zest for life.

At the end of May, Ian will be getting married. After the wedding, I hope he and his bride continue on the joyous path they've started traveling on... 'cause life is too short to miss out on the delights living has to offer. 

And now, onto this week's book blurb offering:

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. A book on the history of statues? A how-to book from Bob Ross? He turned over in his grave over some recent paintings, and now--risen from the dead--has turned to sculpting. You decide.

Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.

Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. Currently, she's super busy. She and her hubster sold their house to finance Lisa's latest obsession. It's Viggo. Again. Yes, Lisa is stalking Viggo Mortensen (she wants to photobomb him) and her understanding husband has agreed to take the proceeds from the sale of their house to pay for her adventure. They bought the old Partridge Family bus and are criss-crossing the country in search of the elusive actor. Since she's unable to host the book blurb bit anymore, I've taken over.

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:


The Solitary Man--Off the Grid

If you loved the first two books about Norman’s real life camper adventures, you’ll love the third one in the series.

Not content to merely live as a minimalist--space-wise--our quirky hermit is now transforming his living space so he can live completely off the grid.

After spending hours poring over research volumes at the library, Norman came back home and immediately boarded up all the windows of his home-sweet-home. Then, he went shopping and bought a trunkful of pork and beans. He boiled some eggs. He pickled cabbage and canned it.

With the camper as tight as a tick, and with Norman’s belly full of gas-producing food, he’s confident he’ll be able to heat his home with a regular supply of methane.

Will his plan work? Will he be able to reduce his carbon footprint through beans and deviled eggs? Read The Solitary Man--Off the Grid to find out. (149 words)  


And for Val and Pat and anyone else who wants to work ahead, here is the photo for next week:

photo by pixabay


    

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Wanna Come Out and Write?


 Do you live in the St. Louis area? Do you have plans on Saturday? Would you enjoy being able to write for a few hours?


This is one of the sculptures at
Laumeier Park.


If you answered "yes" to each of those questions, come to Laumeier Sculpture Park on Saturday (4/22) from 1-4.

We're meeting at the main entrance. It's a Camp NaNoWriMo session, but anyone is welcome to join us--kids and adults.

If you come, bring a water bottle and a snack to sustain you... and remember: I have my eye on you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Old News, New Stories and Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday #56

Forgive me bloggers, because I've slacked. 

It's been a week since my last post.

Oh, I could whine about why, like

  • I procrastinated finishing my future daughter-in-law's Christmas stockings (a bridal shower gift) until the last minute.
  • I procrastinated working on my students' mid-quarter reports until Monday.
  • Monday evening, I planned on working on my mid-quarters once The Voice was over. Unfortunately, I fell asleep watching The Voice on Monday, long before the last battle round ended, which meant I'd have to finish the school work on Tuesday.
That--my procrastination--is old news.

As far as the new stories, I went to a Listen to Your Mother cast meet-and-greet last night. Each of the writer-performers got up and introduced themselves. Each woman told a little about what their story was about, along with what their first record album was, what their three favorite movies are, what their first concert was, and the most important question: salty or sweet.

There's a rehearsal tomorrow, so if I don't slack next week, perhaps I'll share some great phrases or snippets from the stories. So far, I know that there's a story about someone who had "the meanest mother" and a story about motherhood that began by fostering a child. One of the women could be a stand-up comedian--she's that funny just when she's talking off-the-cuff.

The afternoon St. Louis show is almost sold out, so if you want a ticket for that one, you'd best get it soon. For tickets, go here.

And now, onto book blurb stuff.


Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. A book on the history of statues? A how-to book from Bob Ross? He turned over in his grave over some recent paintings, and now--risen from the dead--has turned to sculpting. You decide.

Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.

Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. However, she's been busy for the last few years. Currently, along with all the books she juggling in their pre-published state, she's also preparing to move--to the beach--which means she and her hubby are going to have to go into the witness protection program, otherwise Linda O'Connell will hunt them down and became a squatter* in their spare bedroom. (By "squatter," I don't mean Linda will squat down because of a too-full bladder, I mean she will move in and won't move out until the police come for her... she loves the beach that much.)

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:
   

photo by pixabay


Rufus the Crabman


Rufus Leaking loved the beach and wading in the water along the shore. He spent hours exploring the shells and the sand.


One summer, he snuck a hermit crab into the family station wagon. Rufus yearned for a pet, and Herman seemed like the perfect one. The little boy dreamed of the fun he’d have with the tiny creature. They’d watch Spongebob and Finding Nemo together. They’d listen to old Herman’s Hermits records. They’d have crabwalk races in his room.


Somewhere between Sarasota, Florida and Provo, Utah a horrible stench filled the car.


It seemed Herman had scuttled his way to the big beach in the sky.

Later, Rufus invented a tank that would keep a crab alive on a cross-country trip. With his product, there’d be “No more dead Hermans.”  Hopefully Mr. Wonderful will like his business plan… because Rufus and Herman #17 are scheduled to make their pitch. (150 words)





So, I have the same questions for you:

1) What's your three favorite movies?
2) What was the first record/8-track tape/cassette tape/CD you bought?
3) What was your first concert?
4) Salty or sweet?

And just for Val, here's the photo for next week:

photo by pixabay



Sunday, April 9, 2017

The New Dress Blues and Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday #55

       Shopping for a formal dress--as mother-of-the-groom--is almost as bad as shopping for a swimsuit. In some ways, it's worse.
       
       Of course, I'm not going to have to take a razor to my nether-regions, nor will I have to worry about chestal coverage when it comes to a gown for my son's wedding. However, no one is snapping pictures when I come out in a swimsuit, and since this evening will be chronicled with loads of photographs, I want to look fabulous presentable unlike a troll.

      So far, these are the top contenders:

#1



    This dress has some definite advantages, the main one being the reaction it will cause in the wedding guests. Because of the sparkly sequins, I'm sure once a person stares at me, they'll start having seizures. If people can only glance quickly in my direction, that means they can't really judge me as hideous-looking... which makes this dress one of my top three choices.

#2



       This dress might move up to the #1 position as I continue to contemplate the dancing I will do at the reception. The main feature I love? That longer back part, that makes the dress almost look like the dress is coming apart, like the woman wearing the gown got her heel caught in the hem and it's getting torn off the waistline...
       ... Because this is something I probably will do. Some clothing malfunction will happen that evening. Hopefully not of Janet Jackson proportions (no one wants to see old lady boobage) but the following things could happen (and have happened in the past):


  • a slip slippage. Once, my half-slip lost all its elasticity when I was standing in line (in a crowded college room) to register for classes. I was in my 40s. Everyone else was young and cute. I had no choice but to step out of my slip and slip it into my purse.
  • an underwire revolt. Once, my underwire bra battled me and won. The wire escaped its satin encasement and sprung out, flaunting itself above my v-neckline.
  • spillage. You name it, and I've slopped it down the front of me. In public. Always at times when I had nothing else to change into. Blueberry smoothie--minutes before I started my teaching day. Ketchup/grease in a school cafeteria or restaurant (sometimes both from the same meal). Red wine (this one never happened minutes before I started my teaching day).
          Of course, I am right-this-minute busily working on bedazzling a pair of Crocs to wear to the wedding and reception. But in case I can't get them finished in time, this will be the perfect dress to wear, because if I wear shoes with even a stumpy heel, I'm going to get them caught in my dress when I dance... 'cause I dance like Elaine Benes. This dress looks like it's already ripped up...


                              You've never seen Elaine dance? Here's a few of
                                                     her performances.


     And here's #3--


     This dress might be the one I ultimately choose, because if I stand still for long periods of time, I think I'll resemble either some drapes, or a tall couch. Or if I sit and don't move too much, I might end up camouflaging myself as a love seat. 

Help me choose. Reply with your vote, so I can decide on which one is the gown of my dreams.

And now, onto book blurb stuff.

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. A book on the history of statues? A how-to book from Bob Ross? He turned over in his grave over some recent paintings, and now--risen from the dead--has turned to sculpting. You decide.

Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.

Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. However, she's been busy for the last few years. Eating lunch with Cathy Hall. Competing with Cathy Hall over the Korean children's book market. Up to her armpits with work from her editing business. Working on her own writing...

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:
     


photo by pixabay


Maura’s Mojo


She was told plenty of times, “You got powerful mojo goin’ on, girl.” When she was a teenager, Maura could stop somebody in their tracks… with just her unwavering stare.
It was no different with her husband Russell. Maura could usually get him to stop his aggravating antics. Stop belching on command. Stop ogling young women he clearly had no chance with. Stop digging in his ear… and then wiping it on the steering wheel.
But one thing she couldn’t curtail was Russel’s finger fondness. Her husband loved pointing his finger, and it was unstoppable.
Finally, feeling like enough was enough, Maura promised, “If you don’t stop pointing that finger at me, something bad’s gonna happen.”
And then one day Russell waggled his finger under Maura’s nose… and immediately he turned into a statue.

Will Maura undo her mojo? Or will she be happy with her tall, extra-firm man? (149 words)


And if you want to work ahead (unlike Sioux, who's working several days behind), here is the photo for next week:


photo by pixabay

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Little Limerick, Anyone?

Claudia, with her recent post that includes a haiku, reminded me that April is Poetry Month. I'm not refined enough for haiku. Something edgy? Something that borders on offensive? That's more my style...

I love limericks. I especially love writing round-robin limericks. When a certain group of writer friends get together, we ask for extra cocktail napkins wherever we're dining, and each of us writes a first line of a limerick, and then we all pass in the same direction. Each person writes a line and then passes, until each napkin has a finished limerick to share with the group.

 What is a limerick? According to one source, "a limerick is a humorous poem consisting of five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines only have to have five to seven syllables, and have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm..."




Often, limericks have made-up words (or made-up endings to words) to adhere to the rhyme scheme. Once we were in an Italian restaurant and our waiter's name was Fabio. Our table cloth was made of paper. We ended up writing a limerick for our server on the tablecloth as part of his tip. It went something like this (and honestly, I only remember the first line and the fifth line rhymes,,,The rest is made up):

There once was a man named Fabio--
Who waited on us for his jobio.
He brought food so fast--
It made us aghast.
Later, we all felt quite flabbio.

Here's a better one:

There was a young belle of old Natchez
Whose garments were always in patchez.
When comments arose
On the state of her clothes,
She replied, "When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez."
—Ogden Nash


I'm tossing out a few first lines for limericks. You pick one, write the other 4 lines, and include it as your comment (if you'd care to). Or (probably better yet), ignore my suggestions. Come up with all 5 lines, and share with the rest of us.


  • Sweet Linda wrote and lived in the St. Lou
  • There once was a lucky gambler named Val 
  • There once was great baker named Lynn
  • There once was a sweet dog owner named Pat

Come on... It'll be loads of fun.