Friday, August 17, 2012

Picture This

Without a doubt – a week at the fair provides a year full of stories.
There were cute-as-a-button baby things…

 Who, unfortunately, had to keep a sharp eye out for criminals…

 There were folks who took things WAY too seriously…

 And their cousins who clearly did not…

 There was a GIANT 3000-pound cow named Bubba…

 And a teeny, tiny pepper who had no name at all…

 Oh, and I can’t forget the BEST mode of transportation…

 Or the strangest…

 And with the exception of a few vegetables gone bad…

Everything was absolutely, deliciously ducky…

PROMPT: This post is all PROMPTS today – pick a picture and go for it!
Have a fair and FABULOUS Friday!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

She’s Gone Country

I have heard A LOT of country music this week – BIG surprise when you’re hangin’ out with cowboys, ranchers, and rodeo queens at the fair.
And here’s something I’ve noticed – country songwriters are a bit on the liberal side when it comes to rhyme scheme.
For example, here’s part of the chorus from a little ditty called Where I Come From by Alan Jackson –
Where I come from
It's cornbread and chicken
Where I come from
a lotta front porch sittin'

Has anyone ever told Mr. Jackson that chicken does not actually rhyme with sittin’?
The entire song is jam-packed full of near rhymes like turnpike/midnight, son/from, and biscuit/fixed it. And then… and then… it’s like he gets cotton pickin’ tired of tryin’ so hard, and so he busts it all loose in verse three –

I was chasin' sun on 101
Somewhere around Ventura
I lost a universal joint and I had to use my finger
This tall lady stopped and asked
If I had plans for dinner
Said no thanks ma'am, back home
We like the girls that sing soprano

I am not making this up.
And here’s the rub – Good ol’ Al has received 2 Grammys, 16 CMA Awards, and sold a gazillion records.
Well, where I come from, Mr. Jackson – songs RHYME!
But then I got to thinkin’…
You know, country music isn’t about the rhyme – it’s about the story.
And DADGUM, those hillbilly, hoedown, toe-tappin’ tunes are plum-full of plot.
Here’s a sample of a few you could give a listen to (Yeah, Alan, it’s called rhyme) –
 “She was an annoying little brat, but we grew up and got hitched.”
 “I shared a beer, and he shared his millions.”
 “I’m not good at anything BUT drinkin’ beer – and, dang it, I’m gonna prove it.”
“They gave me a girly name, and I never had therapy.”
And the list goes on…
and on…
and some of them even manage a right purdy rhyme.

PROMPT: If you’ve ever had a busted heart, leg, or universal joint – you could make MILLIONS as a country songwriter! Get started today by grinnin’ and pickin’ up a copy of Jim Peterik’s Songwriting for Dummies (no offense intended… really).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some Pig

As you may recall from yesterday’s post, this week I’m livin’ large at the Northwest Washington Fair.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t even think about a fair without getting all misty-eyed about Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
I loved that book when I was a kid.
And I still love that book as an immature adult. So after my shift as Corndog Queen, I set out in search of a humble pig (bonus points for wordy spider sidekick).
Well, I was making my way through the swine barn when…
Holy Hambone, Batman!

I ran smack into Uncle instead!
Or at least I thought I did.
Further inspection told a different story.
It turns out that “Uncle” is really an “Auntie.” 
And she’s rather large because she’s due to pop a posse of porkers any day.
By week’s end, I just might get to see a runty little Wilber, after all!

I will try to refrain from shouting, “Where’s Papa going with that ax?”

Writers –
You can’t take us anywhere.

PROMPT: If you don’t know Uncle, you’d better reread your E.B. White classic. Then pick a character and write his or her backstory. Templeton the rat, the stuttering goose, or the grumpy old sheep – I’m pretty sure they’ve all got tales to go with their tails.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Playing Fair

It's dollars to doughnuts at our state fair
It's the best state fair in the state!
~ Rodgers and Hammerstein

State fairs.
You gotta love ‘em.
I mean, where else can you see food in all its forms in such close proximity?
Why, just yesterday I saw a couple of chicken wings on a plate, and another pair on a chicken – of all places!
Yes, it’s the week of our WORLD FAMOUS Northwest Washington Fair where every year I volunteer to spend six days cooking corndogs for a good cause.
Obviously, the “good cause” is NOT the American Heart Association.
Anyway, this year it looks like the nation’s state fair competition is hotter than a deep fat fryer in the middle of August.
Rumor has it that Iowa has unveiled its latest weapon in the fight – the double bacon-wrapped, bacon-battered corndog.
And THEN –
They got a visit from the President.
I think not.
This is just so unfair.
Iowa already boasts the world’s largest revolving jail, truck stop, and popcorn ball – and now they have the first corndog to come with a coupon for free use of the fair’s defibrillator.
Mr. President, if you are reading this (and if you’re cool, I’m sure you are), I think you should come to OUR fair. We have espresso, crazy Dutch poffertjes (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either), and…

You know you want some.

Yeah, it’s a corndog eat corndog world out here, Mr. President.

PROMPT: Dredge up some of your old fair memories and deep fat fry ‘em into a whopper of a tale. Or get creative in the kitchen the Iowa way – bacon-wrapped Twinkies, bacon-wrapped ice cream, bacon-wrapped…

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yeah, It Wins the Race – Every Time

I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.
~ Abraham Lincoln

Welcome to another marvelous Monday!
I made good use of my lazy weekend by reading the historical novel The Year We Were Famous by Carole Estby Dagg – a book that just so happens to be the 2012 winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Young Adults.
First off, the Daggster clearly knows how to mine her ancestors! The book is based on the true story of her great-aunt Clara and great-grandmother Helga’s walk across America in 1896.
Just in case you have not had your morning joe – I’m talking about a walk across America in 1896 – a year well before the invention of Spandex, Nike, and Powerade. A feat like that took A LOT of perseverance (heck, it still does – even WITH wicking fabric, awesome footwear, and electrolyte-fortified hydration).
Well, apparently perseverance runs in the Dagg family.
Here’s what Carole Estby Dagg wrote in her Author’s Note at the end of the book…
“Helga and Clara inspired me to persevere in my attempts to tell their story even after twenty-nine rejections.”
Yes, Elbow-benders that’s twenty-nine, as in 29.
Carole continues –
“I just kept taking classes, writing, and rewriting one word at a time for nearly fifteen years before seeing the book in print.”
Um, did you catch that? Fifteen, as in 15 YEARS.
Carole finishes up what she has to say this way –
“I hope Helga and Clara inspire you, too, to keep walking in the direction you want to go, one step at a time.”

Slow and Steady…

I can’t think of a better way to start a week.

PROMPT: Strap on those Nikes, Reeboks, Tevas, or Dutch wooden clogs. Then take a step – even if it is just a teeny, tiny, baby one – in the direction of your dreams!