Harper’s post on reading spoke to me on so many levels. Watch for the line, “Books are magic carpets.” Happy Easter and Happy Spring!
The timing of what happened yesterday vis-à-vis my blog post, “Death of a Salesman,” is eerie . . . Hitchcockian, if you will. Fodder for a Stephen King book. The Hallmark Movie Channel called me for the rights to the story.
My mail was delivered to the wrong house yesterday. Gasp, shock, horror!
It wasn’t just one slim envelope mixed in with someone else’s mail. It was the whole kit and caboodle of magazines, junk, and a bill or two.
Do you suppose my mailman read my blog post? Did he take umbrage with my observations and decide to hijack my mail?
But here is where the story gets more eerie.
(Cue creepy music . . . dum dum dummmmm.)
I never met the person who received my mail. She lives less than a mile from me by car. As the crow flies, her house is a hop, skip, and a jump away. (I love the opportunity to use two idioms in one sentence.)
The kind soul who was subjected to my junk mail sent me an email that said:
The post office mistakenly delivered to me a big chunk of your mail. Coincidently, I had viewed your great Blog before, so I went to your blog and got your email address.
Since I live so close, I was just going to come by your house and drop off your mail in your front porch after picking a couple of my kids up from school around 3. Hope that is OK.
The only thing NOT eerie about this story is she called my blog “great.” She is one smart cookie.
But here is something else strange. Very few people in my real life know I have a blog. Of those who do know about it, very few read it. (I could use some therapy about that.) How did she know about my blog?
So what are the odds?
Robin writes a post about the postal service.
Robin’s mail is delivered to the wrong address the next day.
Robin’s neighbor reads Robin’s blog.
Robin’s neighbor leaves Robin’s mail on Robin’s front porch with a note saying that she too is an aspiring writer and would love to get together to talk about writing.
(Why am I talking in the third person?)
Sure, I tag every post with “writer” and “writing,” but out of the six katrillion writer/writing blogs out there, my neighbor knows about my blog? And then gets my mail by mistake?
Again, what are the odds?
Three questions for you:
Does my mailman have a vast postal-wing conspiracy against me?
Have I buffaloed my neighbor into thinking I am a writer?
When a tree falls in the forest to feed the junk mail mill and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Thank you new friend and fellow writer for re-delivering my mail. Thank you Mr. Mailman for correctly delivering my mail to me in the future. I won’t blog about you again, I promise.
- Death of a Mailman (robincoyle.wordpress.com)
Let’s rock in the New Year at LouAnn’s place tomorrow night. Can’t wait to see you all. I’ll be the one wearing the lampshade at a jaunty angle on my head.
The New Year is fast approaching and what better way to say Goodbye to 2012 and Hello to 2013 than to have a party? Robin Coyle and I have decided to host a New Year’s Eve Party, but it will be a party with a difference.
There will be no cover charge, no BYOB, and no outlandish costumes (unless you have one you want to break out). Nope. You are granted access to this party with a positive comment or resolution (songs and dances will be accepted also—but they must be happy songs and dances).
So here is the formal invitation:
You Are Invited to a New Year’s Eve Virtual Party
Why: To bring in the New Year on a positive note
How: By leaving a positive comment or resolution
When: Why New Year’s Eve of course—all day and all night and into New Year’s Day
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Our virtual Christmas cocktail party tonight is canceled. Our hearts are too heavy. We may do a healing party on New Year’s Eve. Love to you all and be safe out there.
Just a little heads up. The Virtual Christmas Party is cancelled. I will be writing a lengthier post shortly, but thought I would tell you that out of respect and broken hearts, Robin and I have decided to postpone the party. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the town of Newtown, Connecticut.
As Maya Angelou said: “Each child belongs to all of us.”
UPDATE: Robin has provided us with an address for Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12 Dickenson Drive, Newton CT 06482 if you want to send some words of compassion, encouragement or prayers.
You pleaded. You begged. You sent me your firstborn child.
I promised. I swore. I vowed I would do it.
And . . . I have done it at last! What have I done, you ask? I put the Strong vs Weak Word posts in one easy-to-find place on my blog. No longer do you need to slog through some 180+ posts to find my words of wisdom. Er . . . my words of editing advice. Ahem . . . I mean my nagging about using strong words when possible.
If I may direct your attention to the left, you will gaze upon a link in the sidebar with the clever title, “Strong vs Weak Words.” Boy, do I know how to turn a phrase or what? Click on that puppy and you will have hours of pleasure reading ahead of you.
My motivation for getting to this project at long last was the blog posts from folks as they wrap up their NaNoWriMo challenge. They are now staring into the abyss of editing those 50,000 words. Have mercy on their souls.
For those of you who weren’t in on this bumpy ride of the Strong vs Weak Word series since its inception, it was born out of my own editing pain. I spent the better part of the summer polishing my manuscript. Whenever I ran across a weak, or oft-repeated word, I poked at it. If the word didn’t dance on the page, I poked it some more to see if I could fix the flat language. And when I could fix it, I shared my brilliant discovery with you, my unwitting readers.
Well, I am overstating my wisdom, but the response from you let me know that many of us share the same writerly tics, crutches, and the tendency to fallback on certain words. I lovingly call those words “cheeky little buggers.” They sneak in our writing unnoticed and do nothing to punch up the story.
An early discovery of a “cheeky little bugger” was the word “went.” My character went here and went there. She never strode, marched, tiptoed, or pirouetted anywhere. For example, change the words “I went to the principal’s office” to “I slunk to the principal’s office” and you have a better visual.
I plan to make the series into a made-for-TV-movie. Steven Spielberg wants to direct it. Until I can work out my 7-figure royalty payment with Stevie-boy, I’ll settle on working the Strong vs Weak Word series into a slim tome in the coming months, publish it, and then sit on my laurels. Fame and fortune will soon come my way. And yes, I do sign autographs.
Can I send back your firstborn children now? They are eating me out of house and home. And GAWD, the laundry is piling up.
Our friend The Eagle-Eyed-Editor did a great wrap-up post on our virtual beer-bash-blowout, er . . . I mean our refined literary and libation gathering. Check it out. And if you aren’t following The Eagle, why not?
Last Saturday night, I saw one of the most creative ideas I’ve ever seen in cyberspace and I can’t resist talking about it. Fellow blogger Robin Coyle hosted a virtual cocktail party, which I’ve never experienced before last weekend. We had a blast. There were drinks (burp!) and delicious nibbles (yum!), and somebody even kidnapped a lightshade. As the night progressed, some plastic pink flamingos ended up in Robin’s virtual pool and the more exuberant partygoers graduated to dancing on tabletops. (Okay, okay, people, I’m quoting from Katy Perry’s song “Last Friday Night.”) Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger, Elton John and James Taylor gave impromptu musical performances.
I suspect I saw a monkey swinging from a chandelier. That might have been an hallucination caused by a few too many chocolate truffles, however.
After midnight, things wore down a bit and some overindulgent bloggers had to be helped back to their…
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This clip about the “impotence of proofreading” made me laugh out loud. Who said proofreading isn’t fun and funny?
Here’s another performance of Taylor Mali, this time on the importance of proofreading your works.
A good laugh and yet some food for thought 🙂
Has this ever happened to you?
You work very horde on a paper for English clash
And then get a very glow raid (like a D or even a D=)
and all because you are the word1s liverwurst spoiler.
Proofreading your peppers is a matter of the the utmost impotence.
This is a problem that affects manly, manly students.
I myself was such a bed spiller once upon a term
that my English teacher in my sophomoric year,
Mrs. Myth, said I would never get into a good colleague.
And that1s all I wanted, just to get into a good colleague.
Not just anal community colleague,
because I wouldn1t be happy at anal community colleague.
I needed a place that would offer me intellectual…
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Here is a cautionary tale for all of us. So long posts with galleries of photos of beautiful things gone by. Sorry this is a reblog of a reblog, but the information is important.
I don’t normally “reblog” stuff. I like to write my own material… and usually my opinions differ from the orignal writer’s, so I need to write my own stuff anyway.
However, in this case, I think this post is powerful enough, and well-written enough that it can stand on its own. If you blog, and you have ever posted a picture on your blog that you did not take with your own camera, you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to read this post. Are you sitting on a ticking time bomb?
Many people think “It will not happen to me.” Guess what? It happened to author Roni Loren. Please click the link below to hop over to read her story.
By the way… in case you were wondering… all the art on my blog has been legally purchased. …
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Ever look up something on the internet and then 2 hours later you know how to plant potatoes, shoe a horse, and repair jet plane engines? This cartoon captures that phenomenon.
My post tomorrow will be on lists. A different kind of list than what C.B. wrote about here, but this is great foreshadowing for my next blog post. C.B.’s list of “to-dont’s” is priceless. I agree. Stay away from pink jelly beans.
Being an organized person, I have a number of to-do lists floating around my life. One by one, I draw a line through each task as its completed – I love the feeling of marking something off the list! While I love the idea of tracking all the “do’s” in my life, I was recently reminded that the “don’ts” are just as important.
A prompt in my writer’s group put forth the idea of making a don’t list. At first, this seems like a very negative list to make, but its really an opportunity to be positive and consider new possibilities. My don’t list became an itemization of uplifting reminders (and a little bit of humor).
Don’t . . .
. . . give up
. . . give in
. . . be mean
. . . be negative
. . . be too hard on yourself
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After spending a grueling weekend editing, the quote on this blog post moved me. Did the words make you teary too, or am I exhausted? How lovely they are.
“The best training is to read and write, no matter what. Don’t live with a lover or roommate who doesn’t respect your work. Don’t lie, buy time, borrow to buy time. Write what will stop your breath if you don’t write.”
— Grace Paley
Photo: Daehyun Park / Flickr Creative Commons
I ranted yesterday about the crazy problems over at WordPress.
If you are a blogger, you know what problems I am talking about . . . non-spam comments ending up in the spam folder, endless follow-up comments via email if you, God forbid, forget to unclick that little box, etc.
Here is an issue I haven’t seen mentioned. Is this happening to anyone else?
You read a great blog post, formulate a pithy comment, press “Post Comment,” and then POOF. Your comment disappears and doesn’t show up as being posted?
For those of you I follow and you haven’t heard from me, I apologize. I’ve commented. I really have. I promise.
I am going to stop wasting my time and attempting to comment until this issue is resolved.
But tell me, is the “disappearing comment act” happening to you too?
You thought I was done blogging for the day. I was, until I watched this video. I want that dog! My dog William’s biggest achievement is getting me to feed him dinner at noon. He is masterful.
You will love this post from Subtle Kate. So good. I just found her blog and it is full of great posts. You should stop by it and say hello.