Near 500 words: Grammar-ing rhymes with hammering

Note: For all who wanted the mystery, “The Great Squirrel Caper”, it’s in the works and on its way. 

In need of a writer, I’m your man. I can make a screwdriver sound sexy. You want to spunk up your orange juice, just pour in some vodka. Then turn it with a screwdriver and that screw goes write in. Folks, as you can see. I have those mixed metaphors down pat. And talk about similes, well, we shouldn’t gossip.

If you want your house to stand, you want to use a screwdriver that’s going to drive in them screws good and hard. (Now get your heads out of the dirt. I’m not talking sex here. ‘Course if I was, same words might work in reference to condoms.)

When it comes to clichés, I’m your man. My philosophy is why take the road not taken when you can hit the hammer of the head and take the easy way out. That road not taken is going to have a lot of weeds and burrs. Who knows? It might even have some lions and tigers and bears, oh my. I know I would prefer being a cowardly lion than a dead one. So I’m taking heart and using my brain. I’m taking the Yellow Brick Road. If it was good enough for Dorothy, it’s good enough for me.

I just want you to know I got those parts of speech all wrangled and branded. Why, ladies and gentlemen, there isn’t an -ly adverb I haven’t used. And talk about split infinitives. Isn’t “to boldly go” so much sexier than “to go boldly”.

I think so. And so did James Tiberius Kirk. Otherwise he wouldn’t have written it in the Captain’s Log so many times. And after taking so much gup from Spock over “to boldly go does not compute”. Of course, it computes. It’s write there in the Captain’s Log. It may not be logical, but it sure is a Kirk-ism. Absolutely.

There I did it. I managed to put in an interjection. Don’t you think it spices up my writing a punch?

Unlike grammarians everywhere, I have a passion for the passive. When you think about it, you never want to take a pass on the passive if you want to be passionate. Why I used to date a girl who was all the time asking me, “Where were you last night?” If that ain’t passionate, I don’t know what is. And she said it so passionately. In spite of everything.

Uh-oh. I done gone and done it. I can hear them grammarians chomping at the bit, telling me not to use a sentence fragment. Here I go fragging my sentences all over the place. I can see the smoke coming out of their ears. Well, all I have to say is there just ain’t any pleasing some people. Like Abe Lincoln said, you can please some of the people all the time and you can please all the peeps none of the time. That leaves no time left for pleasing moi.

Anyway. (There I went and did it again.) If you’re looking for a writer who can write all formal like, I’m not your man. My motto, after all, is why not end a sentence with a preposition. Everybody does it. Oh, I know what my mother would say. “If Everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?” Of course, I wouldn’t. It’s a cliff, and I am afraid of heights.


haiku for the day: words

There are days when I sit down and start to write. For the next couple of hours, I slog through ten words. Nothing but nothing comes. No inspiration. No story. Just crap. And on the crap scale, not very good crap. It’s enough to make a fellow want to give up on the writing. No matter how hard I try the words can’t be forced. 

Then there are other days. Those are the ones I live for. Words upon words. Sentences upon sentences. Paragraph after paragraph come tumbling out of my subby-conscious. Like some train, they roll down the track and onto the paper with such ease I ask myself where they have been hiding all this time. Suddenly that story that’s been hiding for months shows its face and I catch it.

Some call it the Muse. I am not sure what to call it. Maybe it’s the payoff for showing up. At least, that’s what I want to believe.

a phalanx of words
birds swooping down from the sky
for the the empty pages

haiku for the day: the writer

It always the same. I get up in the morning and face that blank screen. “Feed me,” it keeps saying. And I keep feeding. Two hundred words one day. Five hundred another. I’ve even written two thousand words on a good nanowrimo day. It’s helpful not to have to start with a blank sheet. To at least have an idea where you’re going. 

Then the magic happens. The dragon gets a new hat. The castle has a new prince. The princess is given a new dress. And Cinderella is fitted with a new slipper. Or Jack chops down the beanstalk and the Jolly Green Giant is saved. Hansel and Gretel discover the hidden treasure. It’s in the oven. Or should I say in the microwave. After all, the witch is a very modern witch.

Amazing how the imagination works, isn’t it?

keys on a keyboard
one hundred and one ready
novels in waiting

Near 500 words: No More Comparisongs

“What are Comparisongs?” you ask.

Comparisongs are those I compare myself with. But there is no way on God’s green earth that I am going to come close to catching up with them. I am talking writers here, of course. If I was a musician, they would be musicians.

When I was young and green, I wanted to be the next Hemingway. ‘Course I didn’t have the machismo in me that the Maestro. I wasn’t into hunting or fishing or bullfighting or punching someone’s lights out. That didn’t stop me from wanting to match myself up against the Master. I thought I could write simple declarative sentences and make them sing as good as Papa did. Little did I know how much hard work had gone into those sentences.

Being Hemingway for me was like a rich kid from New England trying to be Mark Twain. That kid would not have had a chance. He might have had some Mayflower in him. He sure wouldn’t have had much Mississippi mud in him the way Sam Clemens did. And he probably would not have wanted to be a riverboat pilot either. Or a newspaper man, for that matter.

Being a Southerner, I could’ve taken on Faulkner. After all, he wrote sentences as long as the Big River. Faulkner didn’t interest me. I knew there was a story there but I sure didn’t have the patience to find it among all those sentences. They didn’t make much sense to me. The one thing I did have was some storytelling in me and it was rarin’ to get out.

When I was young and wild and had my head up my rump, I thought I had the potential to do anything literary I wanted. That was my expectation. Little did I know that there was a heap of life those writers, and others too, had lived and I had not lived it.

Along the way I took on Graham Greene and Alice Munro and William Trevor and Yasunari Kawabata. I wanted to do what they had done. Only there wasn’t nary a way it was going to happen. Sure, I could take a shot at imitating their sentences and try at the stories they wrote. But I wasn’t them, and they weren’t me. They had lived their stories. And I forgot that the only story I had to tell was my own.

What story was that? It was the story built out of my own life experiences. I was no Midwesterner who took off for Paris after suffering a war wound on the Italian front. I was no English rover who saw the underside of the world and lived to write about it. Elegantly, I might add. I was no Canadian woman nor Anglo-Irishman. I was not Japanese.

It took me a long time to lay down the expectations and the Comparisongs and take on the mantle of the writer I was to be. But this Thanksgiving I am thankful for the Journey and for those Masters who showed . And also thankful that I have reached a place in my vocation when the only expectation I have is this. To let go and sing my stories the way only I can sing them.

Near 500 words about this or that or the other

I know. I know. This post isn’t quite 500 words. But it could be. You see, it’s time to make a decision.

It’s been a long and winding road with Lady P.P. Now something says that I should let it be. At least, for a while. What shall I do with Wednesdays? Over the past several years, I have posted longer pieces for the Wednesday posties.

I spent all of 2014 on a short story blitz. A famous short story became a prompt for one of my short stories. In 2015, Uncle Bardie took on “Hamlet”. In 2016, it was the humorous novel, “Politics in America” which really couldn’t compete with real life American politics. 2017 was the Year of Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott.

So what now? I’ve been debating. I do have some ideas. Possibly a humorous mystery novel, “The Great Squirrel Caper”.

But then again, maybe I should take a break from the longer stuff and compose a number of five-hundred word pieces, give or take a few words. The pieces will be about this or that or the other. Some humorous and others a bit serious. Nothing that causes the fumes to come out your ears. After all, this is entertainment, not earth-shaking.

Maybe give something a historical perspective, such as what were the Cave Dudes and Dudettes like. It’s always good to get back to the good ol’ days when I was something of a fool on a hill. Or reflect on a word like “wrangler”. Or just which end of a dragon does the flame shoot from. Or what would the Abominable Snowman wear on a hot summer night. Or it might be a short story. Or maybe I’ll just hang loose with Michelle or Lady Madonna.

The thing is that I shall try to keep it as close to five hundred words. No long speeches.

And you being my faithful followers, Uncle Bardie would love your input. You might even make a suggestion or two. As the Eliza Doolittle song goes: