Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Topper

I'm usually not a complainer, but the past month and a half has just sucked. Between medical issues, family issues on all sides, the financial state of affairs all around, and my non-existent writing time for my professional development, I'm ready to explode! To top it all off, one of my dogs has decided that she should crap in the house and then hide it with whatever she can get a hold of. It's like the crowning turd on top of the huge steaming pile of crap already covering me.

For about two months, the dog has been leaving a pile of sh*t in the house at least once a week. She's getting older, I'm trying to be patient, but she's rapidly wearing out her welcome. I know I should probably take her to the vet, but that's just not an expense that's in the budget right now. So she leaves these surprises in the house that I have to go on a scent-o-rama scavenger hunt for. I can smell it. It's somewhere in the house. I just have to literally uncover it. The major pisser is that I'm usually in the house when she does it. I would gladly let her outside, but apparently that's too much to ask. So now, not only do I have to pick up a pile of dog sh*t, but I have to do laundry to boot, because she covers it up wit a layer or two of camouflage. Usually someone's clothing that happens to be within her reach. I feel like Sam Winchester after he lost the rabbit foot. ("I lost my shoe.") It's like the final straw. I'm going to lay waste to the surrounding populace because my incontinent dog is devious enough to bury her crap under a layer of my husband's dress pants! I have a feeling they won't accept that as valid enough reason to get me out of a killing spree in a court of law. Maybe if I throw in my slow and torturous metamorphosis into a redneck, I might be able to cop a plea bargain with a sympathetic prosecuting attorney.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Real Definition of Girl Power

I want to be this girl when I grow up!

I love the dad's marine salute to her at the end.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just Can't Be Serious Today

Okay, so I was going to try and be serious today and write about censorship, the dangers of spouting off opinions on blog comments, and subsequently the horrors of banning books. I just can't seem to go there today. Too serious. Instead I'll give you a little glimpse into my deranged psyche.

I have a mental list, just for kicks, (that will now be preserved for posterity on this blog) of people I could never imagine ever having sex. Not that I could never imagine having sex with them (which I couldn't). Just never imagine them ever having sex, period.

In no particular order, here they are:

Burl Ives
Phyllis Diller
Fred Rogers
The Queen of England
Edward James Olmos
Adam West
William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
Jaleel White
Pat Morita
Mel Brooks
Michael Dukakis
Sam Kinison
Barbara Bush

There are others, but now that I have you thinking about it, who'd be on your list?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Country Music Song Writer Envy

Country music song writers are great storytellers. As you may have read a few posts back, redneck seems to be rubbing off on me because I recently started listening to country music. But I have to say that I've gained a great deal of respect for them this year.

In the past I thought of country music as some kind of twisted joke. I was convinced the old saying was true. What do you get when you play a country song backwards? You get your car back, your wife back, your heart back, your old hound dog back, your house back, etc. I never for a second thought that I'd be appreciative of their skill in setting scenes and evoking emotion with only a few lines. Lines that rhyme to boot! As a writer this fascinates me. These authors create an evocative story that can be told in three minutes. For instance, here's one of my recent favorites penned and sung by Dierks Bentley. Check out this beginning.

Becky was a beauty from south Alabama.
Her Daddy had a heart like a nine pound hammer.
I think he even did a little time in the slammer.
What was I thinkin'?

Those are the first four lines of his hit What Was I Thinkin'? The second line is awesome! Such description! Definite use of hook in my opinion.

Tim McGraw and The Warren Brothers wrote this next one. It's a fictionalized letter prepared by a soldier in case he dies in the line of duty. It's called If You're Reading This, and I can't listen to it because it makes me cry every time, but that doesn't mean I don't love it. Here's a section out of the middle.

If you’re reading this
Half way around the world
I won’t be there to see the birth of our little girl
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
Stands up for the innocent and the weak
I’m laying down my gun
I’m hanging up my boots
Tell dad I don’t regret that I followed in his shoes

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed that it would go
And if you’re reading this
I’m already home

The emotion evoked is stellar. Something I feel that I lack in my writing. I can't seem to open up enough, or be courageous enough, to pour my emotions into my writing, which inevitably, I believe, will hold it back.

Here's some great setting and character description from Redneck Yacht Club by Craig Morgan.

Bass-trackers, Bayliners and a party barge,
Strung together like a floating trailer park,
Anchored out and gettin' loud all summer long.
Side by side, there's five houseboat front porches,
Astroturf, lawn chairs and tiki torches.
Regular Joes rocking the boat, that's us:
The Redneck Yacht Club.

Bermuda's, flip-flops and a tank-top tan:
He popped his first top at ten a.m.: that's Bob,
He's our president.

I love the description of their president. Nineteen words, and he's captured. I can completely visualize him.

And as a romance writer, I have to put some sweet stuff in too. Here's the last verse of Little Moments by Brad Paisley.

When she's layin' on my shoulder on the sofa in the dark
And about the time she falls asleep so does my right arm
And I want so bad to move it 'cause it's tinglin' and it's numb
But she looks so much like an angel that I don't wanna wake her up
Yeah I live for little moments
When she steals my heart again and doesn't even know it
Yeah I live for little moments like that

So there's a few examples, all done with an economy of well-chosen words, perfectly strung together. Man, that's something as a writer I definitely am trying to aspire to.

No one who knew me in the past would ever believe that I'd become a country fan. It's got to be that redneck really is contagious. I refuse to believe anything else.

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