Thursday, August 17, 2017

Where Have all the Good Words Gone?


Okay. Time to scooch up to the metaphorical table and get started. I had plenty of good ideas flying around my head in bed this morning. So, where are they now?

Crack the knuckles. Or... maybe not. A touch of Uncle Arthur (what my Uncle Buck used to call arthritis) in the hands these days. Probably from cracking my knuckles.

I had some sort of riff I was going with this morning about coffee, and all I can recall now is that I've had some good coffee lately. Also some tea disguised as coffee. Needed more Ummph!

Quick aside (reader warning: there may be several asides. Sorry). Ummph isn't in the Thesaurus. I found oomph and umph in various online dictionaries, but no ummph. Hmm, that's a shame.

Anyway, one of the best cups was, I believe, called Marksbury Bold, at Good Foods Co-Op, a good, bracing cup, that kicks you right in the forehead, but with zero after-taste. It would go outstandingly with some dark chocolate. And red wine. Merlot. On the deck.

Well, time for a coffee/wine/chocolate break afore I do some more writing.

Be seeing you.

Keep writing, friends.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Must... be.. More... Productive...


One of my gripes about current trends in some writing magazines is the push to be more efficient, more productive, more... more. Perhaps it's because I'm a lazy writer, or perhaps it's because in my former job as a computer programmer, the emphasis was on faster output. Even now, I hear the galley-slave drum beat. But enough whining.

One article recently spoke of "... conserving, protecting, and leveraging..." your time banging words out. That word leveraging in particular is one that's always annoyed me. What I'd like to see are more articles on writing techniques, grammar problems, or ways to deal with writing slumps. Telling me I need to write more, harder, faster is not helping.

Sorry, folks, guess this turned into a gripe session, but I think there are plenty of other writers out there who've run up against this issue.

Keep writing, friends. Not harder or faster. Just writing.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Just Getting the Fingers Moving


Just so you know, I'll be all over the place with this post. Apologies beforehand.

Trying to get the word-jam moving. No excuse. The last couple of weeks have been hectic, but even so, I could have been writing. Yeah, I did a little, but not every day. And I know what happens when I don't.

So, anyway, here I am, trying to get my scattered thoughts together. We've had the electrician in to fix a few things; plumber to replace the garbage disposal, and the plumber back the next day to fix what he didn't fix properly; car A/C fixed; doctor stuff; and just random busyness (or is it business?). So, today, a Sunday, I decided would be a day to ease back the throttle.

Oh, yes, and then there's the genealogy addiction. That's my drug for when I'm stressing.

Well, at least this feels better now, getting some words on the page.

The change in the weather has helped mellow me out, too, today. Sitting on the deck this morning with Wendy, I felt a little coolness to the air. Yeah, I know it's still August, but I sensed a subtle change in the light. Pre-fall.

We sat there having breakfast, watching our birds and squirrels. And I need to pick up more bird seed and suet this week. Right at the end of it and my babies will certainly let me know they're running low.

Oh, and I also saw a white rabbit running from our yard to the next earlier today. And no, one pill didn't make me larger. It really was a white rabbit. Someone's pet, I think. Now I'm gonna hafta cue up some Jefferson Airplane.

I feel better now. Next post might be more coherent. But I'm not promising. Now, at least, I can return to my editing.

Keep writing, friends.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Zombies, and Diamonds, and Africa, Oh My!

Always at least one casualty in the Black Friday line

Long before we had track speed, flesh-munchin' zombies, we had slow-walkin' zombies. (Hmm, I wonder if Jones in the old Ray Stevens song was a zombie. He was sorta slow-walkin'.) The first movie zombies were slow-walkin', but they weren't killers like in last night's "The Zombies of Mora Tau".

Haven't written a movie review, so I figured it was high time.

All us Scoobies at the Tates Creek Classic Horror Film Club met for our regularly scheduled scare-'em-up and watched some undersea diamond hunters head for deepest, darkest Africa (Okay, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. That's about the same, right?), and incur the wrath of swimming zombies.

This was a fun little film, straight from the 1957 drive-in movie days, that had double-billed with "The Man Who Turned to Stone". Nothing terribly scary here, folks, if you're squeamish on horror flicks. No blood. Sure, a zombie might stab someone, or whack them on the head, but no munchin'. The screenplay, from writers George H. Plympton and Bernard Gordon, keeps things rolling, but it's definitely MST3K material. Plus, there's Allison "50 foot" Hayes. She's really pointy. I can't imagine that bra was at all comfortable.

Anyway, if you're looking for a fun B (or Z) horror flick, this is fun. And keep telling yourself, "It's in Africa, it's in Africa." Watch for a real live African duck in one of the lake scenes.

Keep writing, friends.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Few Steps Closer


I've been away from my blog for a while. You know how it goes. Life.

Started with the slowdown of the 'net on my old laptop. I say old, but it's only eight (nine?) years old. Yeah, I know. It's a Windows Vista machine. But it got the job done.

Then there was the search for a new laptop, buying one, the new laptop crash a few days later, the recovery.

Had a plumber out for a new garbage disposal. Got it installed. Water all over the kitchen.

So on and so forth.

But today, Wendy and I worked a little more on the path to what will eventually be the Writer's Pen. A place for us to work away from the house.

Now, I'm not delusional enough to think that somehow, magically, I'll turn out massive amounts of new writing. Or that Wen will crank out all manner of art. Nope. It's just a place that's different. A place where we can go that has fewer distractions, where we can open the windows (installed ourselves), hear our birds and squirrels, and perhaps have a visit from them as well.

So, that's what I've been up to lately. Now, back to the edits on my novel.

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Slow Electrons, Rapid Holidays

Loadin', loadin', loadin'
Keep them pages loadin'

Why don't he write? I'll bet you're wondering. Well, it's about time to put the ol' Windows Vista laptop out to pasture. Can't get no support these days, and trying to load certain sites on my Firefox browser is like wading through mud with hiking boots. So... we'll see if I'm able to get this post launched. Cross your electronic fingers.

Not much writing-related info in this post. Just a couple of odd things Wendy and I encountered while we were out this morning. Stuff that made us cock our heads dog-sideways and go, "Wurff?"

Cracker Barrel. The gift area. Always changes with the approaching seasons, right? Okay, so, we walk in and did a serious double-take, asking each other if we'd Rip Van Winkled and slept through a month or three. Halloween decorations and stuff on display. Yup. And right beside the Halloween stuff was fall stuff, and possibly even Thanksgiving bobbles. We just kept on going to our table. I didn't have the stomach to see if Christmas goodies were out.

Oddity number 2. Toys"R"Us. We want an inexpensive little badminton set for the backyard to get a little after-meal exercise. So, we asked the young woman (possibly a twenty-something, perhaps a little younger) behind the counter if they had any.

Okay, you ready for this? Her response: "Is that like some sort of a game?"

I'm tired and old right now. Gonna go watch cartoons.

Keep writing, friends.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Where Have all the Adverbs Gone?

Signs bother me. Well, okay, it's not really the signs that bother me, but the words on the signs. I passed two today on the highway that stuck in me like a splinter.

"Drive Safe," the sign read. Now, I'm not certain what kind of safe that is, unless it's a particular kind of roadside service for commuters where they can lock up their valuables. Yeah, that's it. A drive safe. Interesting new business.

What the hell happened to adverbs? Has it become cheaper to drop the '-ly' and turn nouns into adverbs? Is there a shortage on certain letters?

But perhaps I'm a Luddite at times. Maybe I need to loosen up my hold on the language and not go all Thurber. Whom I happen to love. And, yes, I did just 'verbify' Mr. Thurber. I know that a language needs to grow and change to remain alive. Else, you end up with Latin. Which really isn't a dead language. It's more of a living dead language, as it still comes in handy in crossword puzzles. Latin even gave us the dance called the salsa. Salsa's also good with chips. But I regress.

Perhaps I need to relax and embrace the new words and phrases. I'm just a little confused about certain ones, though. For example, I saw another sign that read, "Homegrown Student Checking." What does that even mean? Who's checking these homegrown students? I wish someone would explain it to me.

Ah, well, I'm going to try and ease up. So, for my next post, I'll get into this whole verbify business.

"Every morning, Poseidon would awaken at the Kraken of dawn."
               -- Anonymous

Keep writing, friends.