Friday, January 10, 2014

Hot Diggity!

Mug Shot: Toby M.

I know we've previously discussed the pitifully feeble Seattle Chihuahua

But apparently the Chihuahua à la Spokane is a different breed altogether.

These pint-sized powerhouses will not be stepped on, pushed around, or kicked to the curb.

They take matters (and steering wheels) into their own hands… er….paws.

Case in point —

Tabitha O. was waiting for the light to change at a Spokane intersection, when a car came “out of nowhere” and rammed into her.

“I looked up, and there was no one in the car — just a little dog up on the steering wheel peeking over looking at me,” she said. "I was shocked. I didn't know if I was crazy or if this little dog had taken a joy ride."

Clearly, Tabitha was perfectly sane.

The little joy-riding dog was Toby M. who was booked under suspicion of driving without a license.

At the station he did indeed produce a valid pet license.

Apparently, he was unaware that his nifty little jingle tag did not, in fact, come with driving privileges.

He was let go with a warning.

PROMPT:  Writing time flies when you anthropomorphize! Pick your critter — canines with cars, cows with guns, cats with Facebook privileges, or some such — and go hog wild today!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Resolve Dissolve

A New Year Poem

January 1: No desserts.
January 2: No desserts after 4 pm.
January 3: Doughnuts are NOT desserts.

PROMPT: Write about resolutions gone wrong… unless, of course, you've already given up writing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

You’re 79 and looking fine.

The fact that your funeral was held in 1977 is a small matter indeed.

Everybody knows you’re still out there.

In fact, when I was a kid, post ‘77 Elvis sightings were actually reported on the evening news.

I guess the Pre-Boomers of my parents' generation just couldn't imagine a world without The King.

So he showed up 

At Speedy Qs in Michigan…

Pennsylvania GetGoes…

And Alabama Piggly Wigglies.

Of course, this came in handy for me and my Gen X cohorts.

After all, whenever a 5-pound bag of Snickers…

Baker’s dozen of French Crullers…

Or deep-fried, triple-bacon double cheeseburger went missing —

We knew exactly who to blame.

PROMPT: What if you experienced an Elvis sighting? As a matter of fact, I think he just showed up in your current manuscript!

Trust me, your characters are all shook up.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It’s All Material

Good news —

This week is absolutely loaded with super writing possibilities!


Apparently, it’s ‘Someday We’ll Laugh about This’ Week.

And we've all experienced those crazy life moments that can only be appreciated through the lens of time.

I know I've had my share.

And, of course, I've shared a lot of them here.

Like my first teaching opportunity of graduate school.

Now, you may not have had to teach Human Sexuality to a bunch of Midwestern boys, but there is a possibility that you've…

Worn tangerine underwear with those new white slacks.

Wondered why the hell all the boys were half-naked in the girls’ locker room.

Realized WAY too late that the perfume you spritzed on before your mammogram was, in fact…

Spray-on glitter.

PROMPT: Pick one of your laughable life moments and give it to one of your characters. Trust me, they live for this stuff.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tolkien Tips

Last night I experienced the IMAX 3-D visual feast of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. So in celebration, I looked up an old J.R.R. Tolkien New York Times interview from 1967. Of course, it was chock-full of news we can use here at The Elbow

1. Get Bored. It was another boring day grading papers for Professor Tolkien. As he slogged through the stack, he came across a particularly dull essay. Instead of sobbing, gnashing his teeth, or banging his head against his desk, he simply scrawled the word “Hobbit” across the page. Then he set out on a personal quest to determine what the heck it meant.

2. Get Messy. Yes, we've talked about this before — Cleanliness may be next to Godliness, but it’s at least a Roman mile from creativity. Want proof?
Tolkien said: 

"My stories seem to germinate like a snowflake around a piece of dust."

Obviously, a lot of dust is a good thing.

3. Persist. Persist. Persist. Tolkien typed The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy using only 2 fingers. Yep, just two fingers and 14 YEARS… I’d say they were 14 years well-spent.

4. Get Inspired… By Chickens? Perhaps 14 years of the hunt and peck typing method went to his head. When asked about how he spends his 
8:30 AM to 2:00 AM “days” he laughed: 

"Working like hell. A pen is to me as a beak is to a hen!"

By the way, if you tend to be hard on yourself and tear down the writing you've done, you’re in good company. In this particular interview, Tolkien had this to say:

 “The Hobbit was written in what I now regard as bad style, as if one were talking to children. There's nothing my children loathed more!”

Well, here’s a newsflash, J-Double R —

It’s been in print for nearly 77 years.

And that’s the kind of “style” that could even get an Orc to smile.

PROMPT: Make up a word and scrawl it across a page. Then pack your bags for a 14-year quest. Oh, what an adventure it will be!