Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mark Twain: Writing Tips

All Things Literary
(sorry NPR--If the paraphrase works--use it)

Want to be a great writer? Follow these tips. Mark Twain is back by popular demand.

  • Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.
  • Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
  • Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.
  • It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.
  • Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
    Signatures of Mark TwainImage via Wikipedia
  • The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
  • What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Guest Blogger Mark Twain--Water

Mark TwainCover of Mark Twain

I'd like to introduce my guest blogger, Mark Twain. As we know over the last week, we've been inundated with Hurricane Irene news. Well, Twain is an expert meterologist and here are some of his insights about water.

  • The solution to our water problems is more rain.

  • Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.
  • My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.
  • Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
  • In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
  • Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
Can you share your water experiences?
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Monday, August 22, 2011

What's Your Memoir?

In six words, can you write your memoir?
I heard in this Sunday's Sermon that Ernest Hemingway was asked to prove his writing skills by creating a short story in six words. He wrote: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." The congregation as a whole gasped with the power of the "story." Other examples:
  • I still make coffee for two. (From an 88 year-old man who lost his wife two years previously)
  • Revenge is living well without you. (Joyce Carol Oates)
  • Not quite what I was planning. (unknown)
  • If it looks good, eat it. (Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods)
  • Living is Christ, dying is gain. (St. Paul)
So I wondered, what would my memoir be? I decided:  
Dreams come true through due diligence.
Or--God answers prayer--Neil is proof. (But then, that's could be considered 12 words because I gave two examples!)
Or-- Shoot it, scrap it, share it.

Can you share with me, in six words, your memoir?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Time and Hour?

Cookie, AnyoneImage by scubadive67 via Flickr    Tuesday night NBC told a human interest story about a police officer Jeremy Henwood who was shot while sitting in his patrol car outside a McDonald's in San Diego. Henwood survived tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and no one expected him to die while eating lunch. Minutes before he died, a young boy entered the McDonald's and asked to borrow ten cents because he didn't have quite enough for cookies. Henwood bought them for him. Minutes later, he died.
     His last act, his last words were of kindness. What will ours be like?
     Will we be playing solitaire on the computer? Watching questionable TV shows? Dreaming about what we're going to do in the future? Will we die after maligning a neighbor or cursing our politicians or sleeping too late and ignoring our homes?
     We need to be cognizant that we are guaranteed nothing but the moment we are living. We must make our character count. How will people remember us?
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wacked-Out Words

Where'd we get these words?

So many words to keep track of!.Image via Wikipedia
  1. pulchritude--means great beauty. Sounds like me after food poisoning.
  2. flummoxed--confused? Again, sounds like the after effects of food poisoning.
  3. bung hole--sounds obscene to me. It's just a hole drilled into a barrel with a cork in it.
  4. concupiscence--sounds like problems with the urinary track--but it means sensual desire, lust
  5. synecdoche--I could never say this even though I had to teach it. It's a metaphor--like arm of the law for cop. The arm's a part of the cop. The ABCs represent the alphabet.
Can you give me some of your favorites? Maybe they'll show up here!
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