Friday, July 20, 2012

I Need to Buy a What? Horrors!


Well, sort of.  You may have noticed a rushed feeling to my posts this week.  Much of that is due to a time crunch of the best kind...trying to get ready for vacation.  This weekend hubby and I are heading to Disney World.  What? You're surprised that a couple old fogies would chose Disney for our get-away?  Would it help if I told you we're going with both our sons and daughters-in-law, and all the grandkids?

It's going to be quite a trip.  I may even bore you with a picture or two when we get back.

But first I have to go through that horror of horrors: buying a new swimsuit.  Sure, I know some women love to shop for clothes, even swimsuits.  They are not overweight grandmothers.  Trying to stuff my body into what passes for a swimsuit these days, while standing under painfully harsh lighting in front of a three way mirror is not my idea of a good time. Which is why I've put it off till the last day.

But Disney World has water parks.  Two of them.  And my grandkids expect me to join them. I do not disappoint my grandkids.

Maybe I can wear a wet suit.

Before I go, I have a couple shout-outs I want to do. 

There's still time to get in on the Meet and Greet contest over on Back to Basics.  Lots of cool prizes there.  Check it out.

Also, check out this awesome trailer for Liz Fichera's latest, HOOKED. 

I've got a true funny for you.  Remember the grandson I hired to do yard work for me (to pay off the glasses he lost at camp)?  His contract specified the work had to be done before Disney World.  Naturally, he put off getting finished until the last couple days.  No problem, it's not like he'd have to work around bad weather or anything in the middle of this terrible dry spell, right?  He's here today to finish and guess what's it doing out.  Can you say "Gene Kelly"?

You've probably figured out that I will not be posting next week.  Look for me again on Hump Day, August 1.  Have a great week next week.

And since you haven't had one for a while, here's a

Groaner of the Day: 

A mother skunk gave birth to twins, whom she named In and Out.

One day In was out, so she aked Out, "Out, go out and find In. In's out and I want him in. I've been looking for him but I can't find him. Go out and find In and bring him in."

"What?" said Out.

"In's out, Out, so go out and find In and bring him in."

So Out goes out to look for his brother In, and within seconds of leaving, he comes back with In in tow. 

His mother asks "Out, how did you find In so quickly?"

In replied...
(get ready)
(here it comes)
"In stinked."

(hey, I'm giving you a whole week to get over this one)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

And Over the Hump We Go

Happy Hump Day!

As always, here's a collection of silly pics and other items to get you over the mid week hump and on the easy downhill slope to the weekend.  Hope you're having a great week.

Here's a short story about...a short story.  I'd love to have written this one.

I've been picking on our feline friends a lot lately so today is all canine.

Hey, dogs are funny, too.

Silly string, anyone?

This next one is in honor(?) of the hot summer most of us are sweating through this year.

Ahhhh. That's better.

This one just struck me funny.

So did this one.

And here's your weekly "aw".

Come on, you know you said it.

Okay, I can't remember where the heck I am in the blooper, trivia, quote, etc. rotation but I'm in the mood for bloopers.  Enjoy these and have a great day.

Church Bulletin Bloopers:

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

[I love these next two.]

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Fly-by Post With Trivia Answers

Anyone who visited last Friday knows I'm feeling a little time crunch and stressing out over its impact on my writing time.  My thanks to all of you who stepped up to give me a good smack. 

This weekend didn't help the situation.  I spent all Saturday working on the mission project home re-build - eating dirt and rolling in pink insulation.  (I'm going to feel prickly for a week.)  Sunday was claimed by church and family, which is as it should be.  But now it's Monday and I'm even further behind.

So this will be a quick fly-by post wishing you all a happy Monday before I dive into my WIP.

Answers for Friday's Trivia Questions:

1. Two of the longest-running musicals in the London West end theater scene opened in 1981 and 1984 and feature the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. What are they?

Several of you guessed Les Miserables, which is certainly a long running show but isn't an Andrew Lloyd Webber.   Cats was another top vote getter and that is correct.  The other is Webber's Starlight Express.

2. Born in 1847 in Hungary, he grew to become an American journalist and publisher who eventually purchased the New York Sun and the St. Louis Evening Dispatch newspapers. Who was he?

A few of you recognized this one as Joseph Pulitzer.

3. Near what body of water, not far from what town, did Henry David Thoreau build a cabin in 1845 and live for more thatn two years?

A number of you knew Walden Pond but only Eve knew it was near Concord, Massachusetts

Thanks for coming by today.  I apologize for the semi-post.

Quotes for Today:

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."  ~William Somerset Maugham

"Do not put statements in the negative form.  And don't start sentences with a conjunction. If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do. Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague."

~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where Did the Week Go?

Wow. It's Friday. TGIF and all that. But...well, the week's almost gone and I planned to get so much more done that actually happened.  Again.

Things started off well. I got almost everything on Monday's do-list done.  Almost.  Just a few things that rolled to Tuesday.  Which meant a few more of the things on Tuesday's list rolled to Wednesday.  Yeah, there were a few things that popped up that weren't on the list but really not that many.  Everything just seems to take longer than I plan for it.  Poor planning?  Or maybe poor execution.

It wouldn't be so bad except I always get the things that other people are waiting for done first.  Makes sense, right?  Get those critiques off to the crit group, take care of those committee e-mails, get the correspondence and blogs and all that stuff out of the way first and then do the non-deadline items.  Except right now, one of those non-deadline items is my WIP.  Nobody waiting on those re-writes but me.  Easy to let it slip to the bottom of the list.  To roll over to the next day.  And the next.

I know what I need to do, of course.  Change my priorities.  Set a writing scedule and stick to it.  Put my writing first. I know this.

I know it.

I just need to slap myself around a little and get back on track.  Anyone care to jump in and add a smack?

Hey, remember the grandson who lost his glasses in the lake at Scout camp?  He's doing the responsible thing and told his dad he'd pay for the new glasses, but he'd have to do it in payments.  Well, I'm doing my part.  I hired him to cut down some of the broken branches left by that big wind storm we had a couple weeks ago.  He did a lot of the work today.  Guess how much writing I got done while waiting to see if he was going to fall out of a tree.

Actually, I was proud of him.  Worked like a dog all day for money he knows is going right to his dad.  He's growing up. Nope, I'm not ready for that either.

Okay, I'm going back to work.  But please don't forget to give me a smack upside my head, or a well-placed kick, or something.  Sometimes I need a little push.

Trivia Questions for Today:

1. Two of the longest-running musicals in the London West end theater scene opened in 1981 and 1984 and feature the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. What are they?

2. Born in 1847 in Hungary, he grew to become an American journalist and publisher who eventually purchased the New York Sun and the St. Louis Evening Dispatch newspapers. Who was he?

3. Near what body of water, not far from what town, did Henry David Thoreau build a cabin in 1845 and live for more thatn two years?

Do you know?  Give them a try.  I'll post the answers on Monday.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Double Dose of Funnies and a Contest Winner, Too

Happy Hump Day. 

Back to a five day week this week for many of you so here's a double helping of funnies to get you over the mid-week hump and on the downhill slide to the weekend.

But first...

the winner of last Wednesday's Kaption Kontest

(drum roll please)


Karin's not a blogger so no link back but I will be e-mailing her to arrange for her prize. 

A big thanks to everyone who played.  I love reading the great captions you all come up with.

Now, for today...

I've got some fun pictures for you and in between are classified ads,
which were actually placed in newspapers in the U.K.

I love our friends across the pond.



8 years old, Hateful little bastard. Bites!


Wouldn't we all love to have a friendship like this?



1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbor's dog.





Also 1 gay bull for sale.


Such a face!



Must sell washer and dryer £100.




Worn once, by mistake.


Don't panic.  I didn't forget your "aw".

It's a good one.

Okay.  That should do it.  Did you get a few chuckles, snickers, or maybe a good LOL?  I hope so.

Let's wrap up with a few bloopers.

Medical Chart Bloopers: 

The patient refused autopsy.

On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

She is numb from her toes down.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Five Basic Truths About Critiques

At the monthly meeting of the local writers' association last week, we broke into groups of ten to twelve and each group did a critique on three pages of whatever each person brought to share.  The groups included a mixture of writing experience and genres so, not surprisingly, the critiques covered a wide range of comments and suggestions. 

Listening to what everyone had to say, and tossing in my own critiquing experiences, I came up with five basic truths about critiques.

1-  A critique is not always correct.  Just because a critique suggests something needs to be changed/deleted/strengthened/etc. doesn't mean it does. 

2 - Sometimes a critique is correct.  And it may give you the insight you've been searching for (yea!) or it may leave you pounding your head against your desk.

3 - Genre makes a difference.  Good writing is good writing but there are conventions and practices that vary from genre to genre.  It can be difficult for a romance writer to critique a hard core sci fi or for the sci fi writer to critique a cozy mystery.   

4 - Most critique partners or group members have individual strengths and weaknesses.   One may be great on dialogue, another can spot a punctuation error a mile away.  It helps to know who's good at what.

5 - In the end, it's still your story.  Critiques can be enormously helpful in making your story as good as it can be, but it's up to you to decide how, where, and when to use the suggestions of others.  It's got to be right for you.

What do you think?  Do you agree with these?  Care to offer your own "truth" about critiques?

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with today's post but it's been so blasted hot lately, I thought it might make everyone feel a little cooler.  I took this after an ice storm last February.

Did it help?

Thoughts for Today: 

How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some people don't have film.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Mishaps and Family Traditions

Well, Fourth of July has come and gone.  Looking at another day (several more days, actually) of triple digit temperatures.  I'm trying to keep the veggie garden and some of the flowers watered but I think the grass is toast.  Or is that toasted?

We had a classic summer moment last weekend.  My thirteen year old grandson came home from a week at Scout camp.  A mini-crisis in the family had elected me as the welcome home chauffeur. The bus rolled in (after a 15 hour ride) at 2:00 a.m.  He stumbled off, looking taller than when he left, tanned brown, hair sun bleached and stiff with lake water and lack of shampoo, sunburn peeling across his nose, every inch of exposed skin liberally dotted with bug bites...and no glasses.

Before Camp

I hugged him (he still lets me). I asked if he'd had fun.  He had.  Except for the mosquitoes.  Then I asked, as casually as I could, if his glasses were in his backpack.  They were at the bottom of a very large lake in Wisconsin.

The next day, his father (my youngest) posted on Facebook that he was glad to have his son home, even without his glasses and teased him a bit for losing them.  Before I could comment, one of my son's high school friends jumped in with..."I remember you losing yours at Kings Island...  It was the chute from the water ride that knocked them off..."  

I could write a book on the creative ways my sons found to lose or destroy their glasses (and contacts) over the years.  The ladies at the optical store knew my voice so well, all I had to say was "Hi" and they asked, "Which one?" and placed the order for  a new pair.

Nice to know some things never change.

Something else that never changes - foot in mouth.  I was at my local writer's group meeting last night and we were discussing our public reading coming up in August.  Got the date and location, just needed a theme. For some unknown reason, I piped up, "long, hot summer".  Maybe I was thinking of one of my favorite classic movies. There were a few off-color interpretations then the idea was accepted.  So now I have to write a short piece of some kind (under ten minutes) to read next month related to a long, hot summer.  I have zero ideas.  Contrary to what I said above, I don't think a litany of my sons' eyeglasses mishaps would work.  Anyone have a bright idea for me?  Beyond keeping my mouth shut next time?

Okay, that's it for the Friday rambling.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Stay cool and be safe.

Quotes for Today:  (on revision)

"The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile." Robert Cormier

"The difference between the right and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug." Mark Twain

"The wastebasket is the writer's best friend." Isaac Singer

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kitty Kat Kaption Kontest

Happy Hump Day

And a very Happy Fourth of July!

This is probably a day off for many of you so it's not a hump day at all, but I've got these great cat pictures just begging for captions so I've decided to do a caption contest.

You know the rules.  Leave me caption for one or more of the five pictures below and you'll be entered in a drawing to win a book from a list of titles.  One chance for each caption.   

U.S. and Canada blogging friends only please.

Okay, lets see those captons!






Weren't those great pictures?  I received them in an e-mail so I'm afraid I can't credit the source.

No, I didn't forget your "awwww".

Here it is.

Come on.  You know you said it.

Since we are busy celebrating today, I'll keep the the contest open until Monday night (July 9) and announce the winner next Wednesday.

Have a great Fourth!

Church Bulletin Bloopers: (gotta love the church ladies)

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?"  Come early and listen to our choir practice.

The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."

And the answer to Monday's trivia question - as several of you guessed...

All were dyslexic.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Person of Interest - Not the TV Show

Recently I was bemoaning the cancellation of the TV show Harry’s Law. I was a bit upset over the reason the show was cancelled but more because I liked it. It was a lawyer/courtroom drama that addressed issues not quite as cut and dry as “did he do it?”

One episode was about the term “person of interest”. The basic story line was a person had been labeled a “person of interest” by police, although he wasn’t a serious suspect or even under ongoing investigation. However, since the case remained open, his “person of interest” designation remained and was impacting his life, his job, his family, etc.
No, not these guys.

So what is a “person of interest”? We’ve all heard the term. It’s sort of like a suspect, right?

Not really. Unlike “suspect” and “material witness”, “person of interest” has no legal definition.  Legal definition.  Here are the definitions and explanations I found online:

…someone law enforcement authorities would like to speak with or investigate further in connection with a crime. It may be used, rather than calling the person a suspect, when they don't want their prime suspect to know they're watching him closely []

Someone who isn't a suspect in a crime, but just in consideration.  alternate definition: This is the libel-proof way of really saying "we think this guy is a suspect but we don't yet have probable cause and we want to talk to him and hope he's stupid enough to confess and make our case." []

… a phrase used by law enforcement when announcing the name of someone involved in a criminal investigation who has not been arrested or formally accused of a crime…  It is often used as a euphemism for “suspect”… []

Whoa. So this term that has no legal meaning, and by definition means someone who is not a suspect, is generally accepted to mean a “suspect who just hasn’t been officially named as a suspect…yet.”


In the 1996 bombing at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, security guard Richard Jewell was labeled a "person of interest," sparking a media frenzy despite a lack of evidence of his involvement. Jewell was tried in the media  for three months before being cleared. He was never charaged or even declared a "suspect". He was only a "person of interest".   Once exonerated, Jewell brought a number successful libel suits against media organizations whom he accused of ruining his reputation.

Dr. Steven J. Hatfill,  a "person of interest" in the 2001 anthrax attacks case, was hounded by the FBI and the media for six years without being called a "suspect" or having legal proceedings brought against him.   Dr. Hatfill also won several lawsuits subsequent to his being cleared but his professional reputation and employment prospects were ruined. 

Listen to the news this week. Listen for the words "person of interest".  How are they used?  What impressions are being given?  Do you find this a little scary?

(Um...and do you also see a good plot device?)

Please share your thoughts.

My apologies on the late posting today.  We had some severe windstorms roll through Ohio the last few days and I'm the volunteer coordinator for a local disaster response team.  Been busy rallying the troops.

Trivia Question of the Day:

What problem did Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and General George Patton have in common?

The answer will be in Wednesday's blog.