Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Jingle All the Way


I've got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle...

Went shopping with my wife this morning, and I was fine 'til we got to the hot dog section. Then it happened. The Armour hot dog song started banging around in my head, but all I could remember was:

Hot dogs, Armour hot dogs

And that was all I could get. I knew the tune, but couldn't come up with the rest of the lyrics. That was frustrating. Doubly so for Wendy, as she had to listen to me sing: "Hot dogs, Armour hot dogs."

Fortunately (for me, not for her), I saw the Oscar Mayer dogs, and pretty well know that one by heart. Come on, gang, sing it with me. Here 'tis:

I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener
That is what I truly wish to be
'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener
Everyone would be in love with me


She bought Field Hot Dogs.

And, speaking of jingles, I always figured the TV show Lassie should've had lyrics, so I came up with some. If the show ever comes back, I'm ready. They're sung to The Brady Bunch theme:

Here's the story
Of a boy named Timmy
And he fell down a very deep well
Then along came
A dog named Lassie
And everything was swell

You're welcome.

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sunday Afternoon, Wine, and Jazz


And not necessarily in that order. Perfect weather this past Sunday, August 27th, to hear the hottest frosty beasts around, the Baja Yetis. I forgot to wear my Yetis T-shirt that day, but they finally had CDs for sale. Yay! So, now I can listen to the Yetis anytime.

A perfectly bohemian atmosphere, too. Just the way I like it. Wendy and I and my father-in-law (who really loves jazz, by the way) like to get there early. Get a good seat up front, under a shade tree, that way. We packed our grub, carried our chairs, and a small fold-out table. Might as well be comfortable, y'know.

We weren't sure at first how many would appear. It got close to starting time, 3 o'clock, and not many folks yet. But right at three, here they came. Kids, dogs, and people in all shapes and sizes. Young, old, colorful costumes, folks doing artwork, a fellow on a powered, one-wheeled skateboard thing, everyone. Lots of color, lots of fun. Great vibes everywhere. It had sort of a carnival atmosphere.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the wine. This is part of the Jazz Arts Foundation, Inc., of Lexington, KY. Once a month, they have Jazz on the Porch at Talon Winery. And Talon has some mighty fine wine (apologies to Three Dog Night). This time we had their Monarch, a dry red, funky, with a hint of soul. Goes great with dark chocolate.

The Yetis play some of the best jazz/funk/soul I've heard, most of it their own concoction. Amazing talent coming from these guys. Yes, they play a few standards, such as Duke Ellington's "Caravan", and Horace Silver's "Song for My Father". But they crank out some jazz-rockin' originals. Did I mention they have a CD now? Called Gone Planet, it features ten Yeti originals.

I'd better get out of here afore I wear out my welcome. Before I go, though, I need to give a nod to Sunday's band members. We had Shaun Owens on trumpet, Danielle Barkman on drums, Bill Underwood on saxophone, Mark Falk on bass guitar, and Brandon Bowlds on guitar. Also joining them for a few songs was a member of another Lexington band called Coleslaw. His name is Jacob O'Donnell, and he has the fire. Plays sax like he's been playing it for a hundred years.

Great job, guys.

A few noteworthy sites before I head out:

The Jazz Arts Foundation, Inc. -- The Jazz Arts Foundation

Talon Winery -- Talon Winery

The Baja Yetis on Facebook -- The Baja Yetis

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Know I Put it in a Real Careful Place


I prepared to start back to my novel editing last night, having gotten my writing fix resolved with a handful of blog posts. Hunted up the edits from my two beta readers, and... couldn't find pages 45 through 59 from one of my readers.

Okay, don't panic. I still have my work in progress. And I have those pages from my other reader, but it still wouldn't let me focus, like a splinter in the finger.

My wife, who is one of my readers, helped me look. We searched through every place I might have carried those pages off, then distractedly set them down. Nope. Nada. So, I sighed, slipped on my writing holsters and six-shooters, and said, "Well, I still have all your pages, hon. Plus, it's not as though I'd lost my work-in-progress." Which, as Wendy knows, would've required her to medicate me and have me committed if that'd happened.

Anyway, I called forth my Muse, Fairon, who just kept poking me in the shoulder, saying, "You're a writer. Write."

I sat down, set the pages beside my computer that I needed to work on, noticed there seemed to be too many pages to be just 15 in number. Idiot, I thought, as I counted them out, and there were the missing pages, stacked underneath the other ones. I laughed at myself, went upstairs and told Wendy, who breathed a sigh of relief, as she knows too well how stressed I get with that sort of thing, went back downstairs and got back to work, Fairon saying, "That, my supposedly non-superstitious friend, is an omen. Don't leave your work for that long again."

"Yes, ma'am," I said, and saluted her. She seemed mildly amused/annoyed at that, and reached over and drank my coffee.

"Hey! That's my coffee," I said.

"Quit stalling and write. Good coffee, by the way," Fairon said.

Keep writing, friends.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ode to a Blotted Orb


I stood on our deck
And said what the heck?
And looked down on the ground

To my surprise
With no harm to me eyes
A shaded 'clipse, partially round

Keep writing, friends.

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.