Writing on Mountain Moving in my other blog, I came across this post and decided to share it with you all. Writing is like mountain climbing. But you have everything you need to climb it. Happy Climbing! Gram and Imma 😀

Other blog post: http://doyoumeanwhatiknow.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/gods-mountain-removal-service/ (sorry not posting till 9/7)

Lee Fullbright's Room

Crime writer Patricia Cornwell (of the best-selling Scarpetta series) said in a recent interview that writing is hard work; that “it isn’t just sitting around fantasizing, or having a drink with somebody and talking about how cool it would be if you write a story. It’s work.”(italics mine, because of course I agree)

Cornwell also said, “And research isn’t easy. But if you’re going to have a character who’s a musician, you should learn everything about that you possibly can.”

As an aside, The Angry Woman Suite (see sidebar), does have a musician; a pivotal character—and guess what? I don’t play an instrument or even sing (at least you wouldn’t want me to), and I don’t remember how to read music … everything this character (Francis) does in the way of music was researched.

But what really, really struck me about the Cornwell interview is when she said this:

“You…

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A Question from Gram


Have you noticed Imma has been around a lot lately?  I’m not sure what Gram’s problem is, but she has been content to allow Imma to play.  Of course she’s been quite busy elsewhere, so that could be it.  Today Gram has a question:

 

Gram:  Imma, I appreciate you posting while I’ve been busy with life.

Imma:  You’re welcome any time dear.  I love getting to play with words.

Gram:  You know I’m jealous that you seem to jump right in and create.  You seldom have writer’s block, but I sure do!  Why is it so much easier to write something off the cuff for you?

Imma:  I just sit down and let it flow.  Whatever comes to me ends up in my writing.  I do research sometimes, but I keep it fun and creative.

Gram:  Maybe that’s my problem.  I seldom just sit down and write.  I have to think about it, and I have to make it just right.  That drains me at times.

Imma:  That’s OK, Gram, that’s why we work so well together! {winking at Gram}

Gram:  {laughing} Two pieces of a puzzle, aren’t we.    . . .

copyright 2012 Angela Masters Young 

Are you a left-brain writer who envies the spontaneity and ability to write quickly of your right brain writing friends?  Gram feels your pain.  She is seldom spontaneous and usually takes longer to complete a project than her right-brain friend.  She is more likely to draw from a tangible subject as well that requires a bit of research and arrangement.  While she appreciates word play, she is more likely to enjoy watching Imma doing so.

 

Her biggest problem is perfectionism, and the need to get it just right.  Her integrity is at stake after all.  When she does sit and write, her writing may involve list making, organizing, or coming up with topics or headings for her paragraphs before she actually begins to write her article, post, or book.

 

Gram is not a huge fan of the need to find pictures for her posts or articles because this, too, takes her longer.  She has to have the right picture.  She often sends Imma off to find or create pictures if she can’t find what she needs easily.

 

Are you an over-thinker? 

Do you think it has anything to do with your left brain? 

Is spontaneity a problem for you? 

Do you hit writer’s block, sometimes in the middle of an article, because you can’t make it “right”?

 

If so, rest easy.  This is just a part of being you.  We need these writers just as much as we need the others.  But, if we can tap into both sides of the brain, like Gram and Imma, we can have the best of both worlds!                     {Sorry my drawing skills are a bit rusty}

Wednesday Word Play: Palindromes


It’s time for more word play.  Today we look at Palindromes!  Palindromes are, of course, words, phrases, sentences, or numbers that read the same forward as backward.

First let’s have a little quiz to see if you can guess a few short word Palindromes:

1.   The Middle of the day — ____________

2.   A female sheep — ____________

3.   Our body’s sight organ — __________

4.   The sound a horn makes — ___________

5.   Songs sung by yourself — ___________

6.   A baby’s “food catcher” — ___________

7.   Having to do with government or citizenship — ___________

8.   A baby dog — __________

9.   Something even or flat — ______________

10. What we often call Robert — ___________

I bet those were easy for you, but just in case you had trouble, here are the answers in order:  noon, ewe, eye, beep, solos, bib, civic, pup, level, Bob.

According to wikipedia, “Composing literature in palindromes is an example of “constrained writing”.  Gram and Imma are firm believers that playing with words is a great exercise for the budding writer and those whose pen has grown gray hair.

Here are a few examples of Palindromes to while away your play time today:

I’m sure a Democrat made this one up:    Dubya won? No way bud!

A common one:  A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

Was it a rat I saw?          Madam, I’m Adam          Will a foe rise?

 

Rats live on no evil star          Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?           Evil Olive

 

Race car              Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog!

 

Ma is a nun as am I         A Toyota’s A Toyota           Star Wars’ raw rats!

 

Never odd or even          live not on evil         

 

If I had a Hi-Fi          May a moody baby doom a yam?

 

Race fast safe car..          we panic in a pew           Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo.

 

 

I’m not sure what the deal is with palindromes and rats, but that’s another story.

From a great site called Fun With Words, I found these:

Word-Unit palindromes:   (the words reverse, not the letters)

Kings, are you glad you are king?

Fall leaves after leaves fall.

Says Mom, “What do you do?” – You do what Mom says.”  (Love this one 🙂

You know, I did little for you, for little did I know you.

First Ladies rule the State and state the rule:  “ladies first.”

Please me by standing by me please

Blessed are they that believe they are blessed.

You can cage a swallow, can’t you, but you can’t swallow a cage, can you?

Did I say you never say “never say never”?  You say I did.

For extra fun, this site also shows a Line-Unit Palindrome.  (Lines reverse)  This would be a great exercise if anyone would like to try it.   Click on the links in this site to have more fun with words.

Do you know any palindromes you’d like to share?  Do you know of other kinds of palindromes?  If you decide to write a Line-Unit Palindrome, please leave a link so I can check it out.  Be sure to check out the related article below – it’s amazing!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our play date today.  I’m going to let Weird Al Yankovich sing us out with his palindrome song:  Bob

 

 

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Sorry the video didn’t show (even though it showed in the preview).  If it’s not fixed try going HERE.

Creativity Sparks


What sparks you?
Images from morguefile.com

Today I want to share something I think of as a great creativity sparker. That may not be a word, but it is now 🙂 This idea starts with something called a journal jar. A journal jar is a jar (duh!), such as a mason jar, in which you put strips of paper with a different topics. In the Journal Jar, you can write things like, “Went to the zoo, 00/00/00”, “Fourth of July”, etc., using them to spark memories in free writing biography form.

Writers can create an idea jar. Start with slips of paper, add random topics, pull a topic and start writing. The idea is to free write and not over-think the thing. This is a creative exercise meant to spark your creativity.

If you try this, let me know how it works for you. I think this idea would work for children who can write as well. Might as well train them in creative writing, especially during those long summer days of “I’m bored!” Enjoy 🙂

Read more at http://www.favecrafts.com/Gifts-in-a-Jar/Journal-Jar/ml/1#DHFpq7VqBm15xLPK.99

Word Play: Illiteration


 This one is from Gram.  In the continued spirit of playing with words and all the many things that can go wrong in the English language, I want to share a word from the Urban Dictionary.  A few examples follow the definition.  I hope you enjoy 😀

 

Illiteration –

1.  The repetition of spelling mistakes in the consonant sounds of words.

“Sychologists pstudy sychology” is an example of illiteration.

 

2.  The use of illiteracy and general lack of knowledge of the english language to embarrass oneself.

 

“I don’t have a car. Your going to half to take me their.”

“That was a horrifying display 0f illiteration.  I hope you cry yourself to sleep tonight.”

 

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=illiteration

 

My first thought was, “Hmmm, I think I can find a few examples on Facebook, so I went trolling and . . .

 

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

►”Your suppose to take me to the store…”(You’re; supposed)

 

►”Someone was surly watching over me.” (surely)

 

►”I have a sprang wrist.” (sprained)

 

►”…ur body know what u need.” (You’re; you)

 

►”…you are to nice…” (too)

 

►”…thinks she’s getting a call tomorrow she’s got another thing commin” (think coming)

 

►”…my internet is off rite now.” (right)

 

►”…messages you mite have sent…” (might)

 

►”…looks like my ___ maybe born today…”  (may be)

 

And in other places:

 

►”at a lost for words?” (loss)

►”…and further going on to ….” (OK, this one is just redundant, but I like it 🙂

►”pas” (past)   ►”I have an ideal (or idear).”  (idea)   ►”suppose to”  (supposed)

►”warsh” (wash) . . .

 

I’m going to leave some of the fun to you.  Do you know someone who uses illiteration?  Do you have any examples?  Would you like to share?  Um, I mean share the illiteration, not the person 🙂

 

I have to admit I have about 5 words that I always misspell the first time I write them.  Aware of my problem, I go back and check these words out.  I often know how to spell them correctly but still misspell them every time!  Maybe you share this failing?  One word is judgement (actually spelled judgment).  Another is definately (actually spelled definitely).  Come on, confess; you have issues too, don’t you?

 

I also want to offer an apology to anyone recognizing him/herself in this post.  No disrespect was meant (and it may not have come from you).  I love these types of errors and the people who execute them.  (pun intended).  So, hang in there with me and laugh.  You might as well 😀

 

Have an illiterate free day!

The right brain/left brain conundrum: Do you hold yourself back?


The following is an excerpt from an article in which Dian Curtis Regan, a prolific writer of children’s and YA material of all kinds, offers some advice to newbies.  The article is “Ask the Author:  Dian Curtis Reagan” by Jon Bard of Children’s Book Insider (check out his newsletter).

 

 

Library of illustrated children's books

Library of illustrated children’s books (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question:

I recently decided that I wanted to write and illustrate a book for children. My main problem is wondering where to start. I feel that I have a solid idea, but I become paralyzed when I actually try to write. What would you suggest a first time author do to overcome those fears?”

 

The Answer (Bolding mine):

“Feeling “paralyzed” when you try to write means that your left brain is overriding your right brain. Your logical side is saying, “This is a ridiculous idea. I can’t write a book.” One way to get around this is to approach writing in a playful manner. Don’t think, “Oh my gosh, I’m writing a book.” Play with the story idea. Singsong the lines. Play a “what if” game with the main character: What if Jamie opened the door to her bedroom and found a forest instead of the hallway? Play pretend. What happened next? Become 9 year old Jamie in her fantasy world.

“Clustering” is a way of unlocking your right brain, the creative side. I’ve used it many times and have taught it to my students. The idea is simple. Take a word or phrase–perhaps the good idea you’ve come up with–and quickly jot down everything that pops into your mind. Scribble all over the page. Do NOT stop to think or analyze or read what you have written so far. That is your left brain trying to limit you again. Keep brainstorming for a minute or two. The subconscious brain makes all kinds of connections that will amaze you. Once I wrote “peanut butter” while clustering the word “lonely.” Where did THAT come from? When I’m home alone for dinner, I often eat a peanut butter sandwich. Bingo.

Story idea: A latchkey child who lives on peanut butter sandwiches. While using this technique with students to develop a main character for a story, we went from a very stilted, ordinary girl to a girl whose socks never match, who can’t go into a shop without secretly trying to steal something, and who is embarrassed because her nose is always runny. The students were amazed by the vivid character they’d created–all by clustering. Try it. Children’s books are playful, therefore the writing of them should be, too.”

 

She has much more advice, but I loved that she brought up the right brain/left brain conundrum in her answer to starting to write.  This was an “aha” statement for me.  I have written a few children’s books for my own kids/grandkids, but when I sit down to write one for others, NADA!   The ideas for them abound, but getting them to come alive, or even take one breath, never happens.  I think I understand why now.  Why I didn’t think of this I don’t know – it is right down my alley after all – but it took seeing it from someone else to jar me.

 

Do you ever get stuck when you sit down to writer creatively?  What do you do to spur yourself?  Do you give up or keep at it?  Do you have any advice for others in this situation?  What else do you have to say/share? 

 

More Word Play: Euphemisms


Today, we’re going to play with words again.

eu·phe·mism

eu-phe-mism  /ˈyufəˌmɪzəm/ Show Spelled [yoo-fuh-miz-uhm]    noun

1.  the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.
2.  the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”
Euphemisms often hit the funny bone.  It is a ‘nice’ way to say something without coming out and saying it.  No, we’re not going X rated here.  Has your family or friends ever sat around and thought up euphemisms for something?  Such as passing gas?  Of course, when we do this, we often make up new ones which adds to the hilarity.  But even if we stick to the tried and true.  It’s a fun game to play.  Here are some ephemisms I’ve seen/heard/found:
x
x
x
x
Flatulance                             Fat                              Death    
“Passing gas”                           “healthy”                      pass away
Skunk on a scooter                 big                                 fought the long battle
Mouse on a motorcycle         hefty                              meet your maker
“Not me” did it.                      big-boned                      six feet under
Butt burp                                 overweight                    pushing up daisies
Silent but deadly                    well-built                       kick he bucket
Whoever smelt it dealt it      plus-sized                      put down (animal)
7.4 on the Rectum scale        pleasingly plump
Air bagel                                   rubenesque                  Unemployed
anal ahem                                                                        between jobs
backdoor breeze                     Nose                            a resting actor
backfire                                    honker
barking spiders                                                              Lying
blowing the butt bugle          Nose mucus             economical with the truth
blowing you a kiss                  bat in the cave
butt trumpet                            boogers                       Arguments
cut the cheese                                                                have words with
       a stinker                            More                           full and frank discussion
       a poot                                Internet Troll
fire a stink torpedo               Bite the dust           Perspire/glow
                                                  downsizing              visually impaired
                                                  pre-owned vehicles      wardrobe malfunction
                                                  stretching the trut        A dear john letter
x
x
x
x
Ok, some of those are fun and some, eh.  But this is another way to play with words.  Keeping it clean, what euphemisms do you hear commonly?  Have you ever made them up?  Do you know any really funny ones?   How about those politically correct euphemisms?   Whether you just enjoy these or add a few of your own in the comments, relax and have fun with the English language. 😀     I wonder how much having a boy around had to do with my choice of topic today????

The English Language: Gotta love it 3


This one, again, I do not have a clue who wrote it.  It’s up to you whether to read it or not. 😀

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this ..

There is a
two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word,
and that is ‘UP.’

It’s easy to understand
UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?  At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?  Why do we speak UP  and why are the officers UP for election  and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?   We call UP our friends.   And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.   We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.   At other times the little word has real special meaning.   People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.   To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.   A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.  We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed
UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.  In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.  If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.  It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may
wind UP with a hundred or more.  When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.  When the sun comes out we say it is clearingUP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it
UP, for now my time is UP,
so…….it
is time to shut UP!
Now it’s UP to you what you do with this email post.

The English Language: Gotta Love it 2


Richard Lederer at 2006 Mensa World Gathering

Richard Lederer at 2006 Mensa World Gathering (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This came in the same e-mail (and I’m sure you’ve all seen it at one time or another) but I did find out who wrote it.  Richard Lederer, a man who has used and abused the English language for a living.  He is definitely a man after my own heart, and someone I plan to explore more closely in the future.  Enjoy 🙂

 

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France .. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig..

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your
house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’ ?

The English Language: Gotta love it


Today we look at the English language again.  I LOVE language/words!   For a post on my other blog, I looked in a thesaurus trying to get a different way to say “Random Ramblings”  My favorite was “Promiscuous Ponderings’.  You can take a look here if you like.  I did not use that title, of course, but I sure was tempted.

The following (and the next two posts) comes from an e-mail I received.   I’d love to give credit, but it was anonymous.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did. 😀

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture..

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

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