Thursday, July 12, 2012

No Newbery for Mr. Clean

The Hygiene Hypothesis:
Household cleanliness is inversely proportional to daily word production.

When I am procrastinating on a writing project, I tend to clean. I mean really go at it – as in, there are times when my kitchen island would be a fine spot for minor surgical procedures. So, if you know I’m working on a project and don’t want to pay those exorbitant hospital fees, have your physician give me a call.
Okay, maybe my hypothesis only holds true for me, but…
I once witnessed a neighbor polishing her mailbox until it became a blinding road hazard. Let me add that we live on a dead-end street 10 miles from the nearest town.
I never asked the burning why, but I have yet to see her name in print.
So there.

Well, the other day I was Googling home cleaning tips (yeah, I’m revising a novel), when I stumbled upon this gem –
“Pick any corner and work your way out.”
And I thought, wait a minute…
That’s not a cleaning tip – that’s a writing tip!
After all, the best way to get started on a writing project is to pick a corner – that wee wedge of an idea – and GO!
That corner may seem insignificant at first. In fact, it may seem like nothing at all, but it’s actually a big SOMETHING – a GREAT place to start.
And the GREAT writers know this.
J.R.R. Tolkien was once grading exams, when midway through the stack he came upon a blank sheet. He wrote down the first thing that popped into his head – “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” What the heck is a hobbit? he thought. But he had his corner. We all know what happened next.
So today when I hear the sweet siren call of tile grout, wainscoting, or even… my mailbox, I’ll head for that corner and work…
no fight, my way out.

PROMPT: In this corner is the super heavyweight champion of the world – YOUR great idea! Start there. Those filthy refrigerator coils can wait another day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And Now for July…

I never met a lasagna I didn’t like.
~ Jim Davis

Before we get too far into July, I want to let you know that it is National Lasagna Awareness Month. Yes, that’s right – Lasagna AWARENESS – not Lasagna Celebration Month, or Lasagna Lovers Month, or even Lasagna History Month.
What is THAT about? I mean, I can wrap my head around National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month or National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – but come on folks, if you’ve got lasagna you KNOW it.
Nobody needs to remind you to be aware…
Unless, of course, those National Month Makers are making you AWARE of the fact that lasagnas travel straight from molars to thighs in less than 30 seconds.
And while I’m at it – why July? I don’t know about you, but when it’s 95 degrees outside the FIRST thing I think of is cranking my oven to 375° for an hour.
·         A serving of lasagna has about 500 calories. Yeah, you’ll have to walk 2 ½ hours to remove it from your thighs.
·         If you make lasagna in July, it includes the dry sauna bonus feature.
·         Lasagna is awesome – face it, you could bake an old shoe in a pan of lasagna and it would still be good. That’s some serious awesome.

PROMPT: If you know Garfield the comical cat, you know his favorite food is lasagna. What is your main character’s favorite food? Get to know your story’s cast today by exploring all things foodie. They are what they eat, you know. Hmmm… I hope they’re not people.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Full Monty

Yesterday I mentioned the Globe Theatre – that magical place where many of Shakespeare’s plays first played. Well, I have another Globe story that I thought you might enjoy.
Back in 1997, a reconstruction of the Globe was built near the site of the original. It was beautifully created using the same materials – the only exception being a sprinkler system installed in the thatched roof. This was probably a good idea considering that the original Globe went up in flames in 1613 when a cannon misfired during a performance of Henry the Eighth.
Anyway, the Globe restoration cost a pretty pence. So, one way they generated money was through the “sale” of pavers that were to be placed around the completed building. For a hefty sum, your name could be engraved within the paver for all the world to see, like, forever and ever until the end of time.
As you can tell by the photo above, one of the paver purchasers was John Cleese of Monty Python fame. For those of you younger than dirt, John also played the part of Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter films.
However, John did not simply pay for his paver and move on. No, no, no. In fact, he told the Globe fund-raisers that he would NOT purchase a paver unless he could buy two – one for himself and one for his dear friend and Monty Python co-conspirator, Michael Palin.
But John had conditions
Yes, he would pay handsomely,
only if Michael Palin’s paver was right next to his.
they misspelled Michael’s name.

Forever and ever,
until the end
of time.

I’m guessing that John is probably responsible for the splotchy bit in the corner of Mike’s stone, as well.

PROMPT: It’s all about the Pythons and their Flying Circus today. Push the boundaries of “acceptable” writing. Get a little crazy. Go a little wild. Create your own dead parrot sketch or sing of the Spam we knew before the Net.