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Friday, July 25, 2014

Imaginative Al's Comeback

It's time to Celebrate Small Things again, a blog hop that encourages participants to list a few things for which they're grateful every Friday. To join us, click on the list below. (You should! It's fun!)
Today I'm grateful for the return of Weird Al Yankovic with this spoof of Blurred Lines. What former proofreader could resist this song? It takes me back to my youth when Al was tearing up the charts with his catchy rhymes set to the tunes of various blockbuster hits.
     I just have to say that with the passage of time, you'd think he'd change his name to Imaginative Al Yankovic, or even Creative Al Yankovic. (Then again, he's always been a bit self-effacing.) Hey, Al! It's not so politically correct these days to label someone weird. Trust me, this kind of thing breeds bullying and the school districts are finally trying to put an end to all of that. If you think about it, that's one good thing resulting from the digital age. Kids might screw up spellings and take shortcuts in communicating with one another, but I'd argue that they are far more tolerant of differences. The teachers are working on it too. They're no longer turning a blind eye to incidents, as they might've in the past. They really are encouraged to try to foster imagination in their classrooms. And that's a good change from when I was young. Still, I can't help but feel nostalgic when Weird Al's getting millions of hits. Who'd have thunk it? (No one's immune to Word Crimes.)

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Live!

It's time to Celebrate Small Things, a blog hop where all participants give a shout-out to the things for which they're most grateful every Friday. Join us by clicking on the link below or simply visit the blogs of our hosts:
Scribblings of an Aspiring Author
Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse
                  and spread the attitude of gratitude!
     Today I'm celebrating a bouncing new baby blog! I"m going to be contributing to this marvel, along with five other writers. My posts will have a feminist-y tinge to them, and I'm going first, so please check it out when you have the chance. It's called All The Crazy. Since Krissy did most of the work to get it going (design-wise and logistics), a big shout-out to her! You're the woman! *song plays* I'll spare you my little dance, while subjecting you to this one.
     I'm also celebrating Sleeping Beauty. She gets a bad rap, in my humble opinion. Ellen Page's quote (below), posted on A Mighty Girl, pretty much sums up what I've heard about SB. (This also ties in to my group blog post, which is about girl characters as heroes in fiction.) As you can see, the quote insinuates that SB is a meek character because she simply lies around waiting to be rescued. Let me clarify: SHE IS UNDER A SLEEPING CURSE! If you've ever been under a sleeping curse, I'm sure you'll notice that you can't help but lie around. You're asleep.
     No one ever put Aladdin under a sleeping curse.
     Here's my take on Sleeping Beauty. She was going about her life in her little cottage, dirt-poor but happy, with her eccentric guardians, whom she
treated with the utmost respect and love. She found out that she was really a princess and thought WTF? (or a more refined version of that, since she's a fairy tale character). It seems like she's giving up her rightful place in the castle to go out with this alluring boy she met in the woods. I'd argue she really just wants to keep living her simple life--because she likes it. Anyway, she's forced to go, gets cursed, gets rescued. THEN--and here's the beautiful part--she smiles and wakes, picks up right where she left off. Gets on with her life, despite the interruption. No bitterness. No whining. Just: "Thank goodness that shit's over."
     She is a quiet hero, sure. But that doesn't make her any less of one. She reminds me of a ton of people I've seen going through chemo treatments as they drop off their kids to this and that activity, trying to keep routines as normal and even-keel as possible while they face-off with death. These heroes are almost always women, mind you. Sometimes not, but a lot of the time. Women fight in a different way (Thus, the breast cancer mantra: Fight Like a Girl). They can kick ass from a seated position.
     Today I celebrate all the quiet heroes who face the obstacles in their lives with bravery.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Biggest Strength

It's time for Wimp-out Wednesday, where I experiment with the interviewing techniques I'm too chicken to attempt during an actual interview. Today I tackle the dreaded whopper: “What is your biggest strength?” This question is an interviewing staple, and especially difficult to answer. My advice is to walk the tightrope between appearing cocky and conveying an air of utter incompetence. One must appear to be choosing from a long list of strengths (because who wants to hire a wimp?) or risk blowing it. All the while, you're sweating in anticipation of the pesky follow-up: “What is your biggest weakness?”
     This time around, however, I’m prepared.
     My biggest strength is my initials. (Oh no! Should it be are my initials. This is a writing job. I need to nail the grammar. No, is is right. I think. Shit! What’s the subject?) That is why I plopped them right at the top of my resume and used this inflated font to make them really stand out. I want to be known for my initials, you see. They took up a good three inches before I updated the layout so I could actually fit some qualifications on there.
     Let me explain why my initials are so strong. 
     Isn’t it self-explanatory? JK! I mean, tack a Rowling at the back of them and I’m the most successful fantasy writer in the world—and British to boot. I even have a theme park, well—my character does. Note that two letters share a stem in my initials. Pretty awesome! JKJKJKJKJKJKJK. They're also fun to type! Add them to a facebook post and they’re an excuse not to take anything seriously. You haven’t changed a bit JK; Love it! JK; You two make the perfect couple JK. I can back out of any post by simply citing my initials. They’re like a little disclaimer: The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect my opinion, so you can’t hold me to it! (Probably want to refrain from this one: So sorry for your loss. You’re in my prayers. JK) On serious posts, I stay on the safe side and leave the initials off. The selfie of me beaming like an idiot is enough of an identifier.
     Scatter some letters in between, and you have JunKet. Which I’ve always wanted to try if I ever got into politics. (Oh shit! Don’t bring up politics on an interview! What are you thinking? Take it back! I can't. Mental face palm. Mental! Oh no! You did one for real. All right, now JK stands for: Just Kiss this opportunity goodbye. Capiche?)

     My greatest weakness? That’s easy: hearing inner voices.

Friday, July 11, 2014

It's a Tough Job, But Someone Has to Do It

Today I'm celebrating going to the county fair! Not only going, but having an opportunity to plop myself on a bench and write. At the fair! What gives me this rare opportunity, you ask? My leg, of course! And the fact that I haven't been able to finish my book by the deadline. I'm still working on it, and I'm sorry to say the word count is not looking good. It's in danger of being far too long, as usual. When I was at 77 K, I thought it would be perfect, yet I still need to wrap up with my final scene, which has a carnival tie-in. I went a little crazy.
That's why I'm so excited to be headed to the fair. For people watching and inspiration, there is no rival. I'm sure to get just what I need to wrap it up, and my kids will be happy too!
Last year at the fair.
Enjoy your respective Fridays, everyone!
This post is part of a blog hop hosted by the following bloggers: Vik Lit (Scribblings of an Aspiring Author),
Diana WilderLG Keltner @ Writing Off the EdgeKatie @ TheCyborg MomCaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse
Please stop by when you get a chance and give them your support!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Celebrate Cool Jams

It's time to Celebrate Small Things, a blog hop hosted by Vik Lit (Scribblings of an Aspiring Author) and various co-hosts, including:
Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse
     Please visit their blogs and spread the celebratory vibe.

I'm celebrating my first concert in forever (since The Jonas Brothers don't count). My hubby and I attended The Plain White T's/ Daughtry/ Goo Goo Dolls Concert in honor of his birthday. We live a few miles from a really nice, open-air music theater but I had to buy the tickets online, since I sprained my leg and wasn't up to driving even five miles. The ticket booth is at the top of an extensive set of cement steps. The thought of climbing them sent shudders through my body.

It was meant to be, because the deal I found online included VIP parking (which is as close as the handicap spots). As an added bonus, the seats included access to The Ivy Lounge, a private club for those lucky ducks who hold season tickets to the theater. It was really nice. We had a drink and an appetizer and headed to our seats, which weren't very hard to access because the stairs were those spread-out kind that are pretty easy to navigate on crutches. The crowd ran the gamut of age and socio-economic class (someone  cracked out the pot, of course). So everyone fit in and had a blast!

Under normal circumstances, we would've gotten lawn tickets and sat on this big, grassy hill enjoying the sounds of summer. Seats under the pavilion were a rare treat, but I'm glad we splurged because it made my hubby feel special. And that was the whole point. Plus I didn't roll down the hill and break my leg.

Unfortunately my poor hubby was too busy maneuvering our car into the line to exit the parking lot to notice the girl who flashed her boyfriend as he waited at their SUV's tailgate with his buddies. That could've served as a supplement to his birthday present. Yet I'm the one who had the honor of seeing it. I tried to describe the sight as best I could, but I'm afraid I didn't do them justice. Ah well, some small things are best kept under wraps!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Give It Away

It's Wimp-out Wednesday and today I'm testing out a new interview strategy. Here's my prepared speech:

What I've got you've got to give it to your mama
What I've got you've got to give it to your papa
What I've got you've got to give it to your daughter
You do a little dance and then you drink a little water

What I've got you've got to get it put it in you
What I've got you've got to get it put it in you
What I've got you've got to get it put it in you
Reeling with the feeling don't stop continue

Realize I don't want to be a miser
Confide with sly you'll be the wiser
Young blood is the lovin' upriser
How come everybody want to keep it like the kaiser?
....
Lucky me swimmin' in my ability
Dancin' down on life with agility
Come and drink it up from my fertility
Blessed with a bucket of lucky mobility

What do you think? With my luck, the chorus will coincide with salary negotiations (give it away, give it away, give it away now...) but that should only intrigue potential employers. Budgets are tight these days. Then again, it's never good to undersell oneself on an interview. (Oh, who'm I kidding? I've been known to work for Fritos!) In the field of writing, I'll daresay that most everyone has done at least a little bit of work for free, be it book giveaways (which are so effective for garnering reviews and eventually boosting sales) or pro-bono writing for a cause that sparks your passion. It's an all-around good practice, and one you won't regret. 
So...Anyone have a pair of spiky pants I can borrow?