Tag Archives: words

Words Matter: Hens, cocks, etc.

8 Apr

*briefly wonders how much spam and how many misdirected clicks will result from that second-to-last word*

Today’s post over at Sleep Talkin’ Man (which is hilarious, by the way, and you should subscribe or add it to your RSS feed or whatever you do to track these things) highlights one of my enduring stances: the words we choose to use matter (I’ve been meaning to write more on this…maybe someday). I don’t care if it is “only” a text message or tweet or message board posting. Use a word incorrectly, spell it wrong, muck up your grammar, and don’t be surprised when you’re misunderstood. But I digress.

STM also reminded me of a story from my high school days. So I thought I’d break my chain of non-blogging days (#postaweek, ha!! …can I blame it on preparing to move?) by sharing it.

During my senior year, I took what was, I believe, the only psychology course (surprise, surprise) on offer in the entire school. One day, the teacher read us brain teasers, and we tried to answer them, discussing the logic involved, challenging our assumptions in thinking, etc. One of the teasers was:

“If Mr. Brown’s peacock lays an egg in Mr. Green’s yard, to whom does the egg belong?”

(I’ll put a break here in case you want to consider that for a second.) Continue reading

Write a haiku about something that drives you nuts.

14 Mar

DailyPost’s idea for today: Write a haiku about something that drives you nuts. So here’s mine:

Haikus are poems
With really specific rules.
They drive me insane.

I majored in English at university (if you missed that about me). During one of my poetry classes, we were required to write a sonnet. I wrote an entire 14-line poem, in iambic pentameter, with an ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme, about how much I hated writing sonnets.

My professor loved it.

Are the voices in my head bothering you?

4 Mar

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~ E. L. Doctorow

I’ve long (semi-jokingly) maintained that all writers are at least mildly schizophrenic.

Let’s get the definition out of the way. Contrary to the confusion caused by many films and television, schizophrenia is not synonymous with Multiple Personality Disorder (or is it Dissociative Identity Disorder now? I’ve lost track). According to MayoClinic.com, schizophrenics “interpret reality abnormally” and may suffer “some combination of hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking and behavior.” Some theorize that the reason Van Gogh famously cut off his ear was in an attempt to stop auditory hallucinations.

Beyond blogging, I haven’t done much of my own writing in quite a long time, but I can say with a straight face that the protagonist of my intended Young Adult book is still in the back of my mind, whispering to me. Continue reading

Holiday Storytelling: The Night Before Christmas

24 Dec

Well, the countdown calendar I’ve had for many years now looks like this:

Countdown to Christmas!

Yes, I'm a Disneyphile, what of it?

…so it must be time for the iconic Christmas poem! Not that it matters when you can’t see me (I did think of doing a video, but there were technical difficulties with the fireplace), but I’ll be reading from this edition, bought on a whim a few years ago when I realized I didn’t own a copy of Clement C. Moore’s poem. It’s gorgeous:

Night Before Christmas cover

So without further ado:

The Night Before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore

Or click here.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
BLESSED YULE!
…just…have a fantastic season,
however you celebrate!

Holiday Storytelling: Yes, Virginia…

23 Dec

In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote to The Sun newspaper in New York to ask a very important question that had been weighing on her young mind. On September 21, editor Francis Pharcellus Church replied in what may be the most famous – and certainly still applicable – letter in the world.

Is There a Santa Claus?
by Francis Pharcellus Church
as published in The Sun, September 21, 1897

Or click here.

Church's letter

Church's letter

Holiday Storytelling: How Claus Made the First Toy

22 Dec

This is just one chapter of L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

How Claus Made the First Toy
by L. Frank Baum

Or click here.

The entire chapter recording was five and a half minutes long, and AudioBoo has a five-minute limit (as you’ve probably realized from some of my multi-boo readings). I didn’t think it was worth it to do “parts”, so I found a bit that wasn’t strictly necessary to the excerpt and deleted it. But I’d gone to such trouble to re-record it on the first go and provide a distinct voice for Jack Frost (why he came out vaguely Australian is anybody’s guess, and I do apologize for the mangled accent) that I couldn’t just toss it into the Recycle Bin. So, like any good DVD Bonus Features section, the Refuge presents this deleted scene:

Or click here.

Holiday Storytelling: A Letter from Santa

21 Dec

What I wouldn’t give to hear Hal Holbrook read this. I’m sure I don’t do it justice.

A Letter from Santa
by Mark Twain, to his daughter Susy

Or click here.

Holiday Storytelling: Santa’s Flight Exam

20 Dec

This is awful, sorry.

Santa’s Flight Exam

Or click here.

Holiday Storytelling: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

19 Dec

Because it’s just not Christmas without the old grouch, is it?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Dr. Seuss

Part 1: Or click here.

Part 2: Or click here.

Holiday Storytelling: The Christmas Fairy of Strasburg

18 Dec

I think this is going to be the last tree-related one. Tomorrow starts Christmas Week, and I’ve found several Santa-related stories!

The Christmas Fairy of Strasburg:
A German Folk-Tale

Or click here.

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