Category Archives: Writing

My Novel – The First Lines


Good morning Everyone!

I am working on my first mystery novel.  In fact, I’ve finished it twice already in the last twelve months and I’m just digging into my third go-round.  Naively, I thought that the major part of the work involved in writing a book came while working on the first draft.  Alas, that is not so.  I thought I’d share you with the original opening lines, and then the new revision opening lines to get your comments on the changes (if you want).  There’s also a poll so you can vote for the opening you like best.

Original:

The 2011 annual Christmas dinner for the local Webster County bar was memorable. Due to a hectic trial docket, the dinner was held December 23, much later than normal and a rare dusting of snow greeted each of us as we entered the venerable, but still elegant, Radford Grill. The party’s attendance was up that year; William Henderson, the esteemed local bar president for the last 15 years (mostly because no-one else could be bothered with it) and head of the local Democratic party for the last 20 years (mostly because nobody was better at it) had arranged for an after-dinner speaker of national prominence, an unusual treat for our normally cash-strapped local association.
Memorable achieved never-to-be-forgotten status after the national speaker (who was every bit as good as anticipated) stopped talking. As the applause died down, William stood up from the white clothed head table and went to the podium.
“I’d like to thank my good friend, Tim Tolar, for that wonderful presentation. Now, folks, it’s up to you whether you want to…”
At that  moment, Jackson Herring threw the double oak doors at the entrance to the meeting room open with a bang and strode purposefully towards William at the podium.

Revised:

Christmas, cocktails and crime are a curious combination and one that none of us – not me, not Boyd and especially not William – were ready for. When I first arrived at the Christmas Dinner for the combined Webster and Windover County bar, the most trying ordeal I anticipated enduring was coping with Boyd’s latest dating partner, Cindie with an “ie.”
I had counted myself lucky, though, when Boyd sat by me, and Cindie with an “ie” sat on his other side at the half table allocated to our firm. I would like to be able to say that I couldn’t understand what Boyd saw in Cindie with an “ie” (she had introduced herself that way to so many people that I couldn’t separate the name from the qualifier), but the reasons were self-explanatory. Boyd certainly hadn’t been looking for character or intelligence when he asked her out.  As president of the Webster County bar, William, our senior partner, and his wife Molly, along with Molly’s guide dog Sidney, were at the head table.
We had made it through dinner and finished listening to the nationally known speaker that William had persuaded to speak to our always cash-strapped local association, when it happened.
“I’d like to thank my good friend for that wonderful presentation. Now, folks, it’s up to you whether you want to…”
At that moment, Jackson Herring threw the double oak doors at the entrance to the meeting room open with a bang and strode towards William at the podium.

Thank you for your help, and have a great day!

Nancy

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Occupational Hazards


Good morning Everyone!

Do you remember all the news reports from a year or so ago that the National Security Agency was “mining” everything Americans write or post online in their quest to prevent terrorism?  Whether it’s true or false, I have always maintained that the banality of my e-mails, cell phones and online messages (with the exception of this blog, of course!) was more than enough to punish any governmental official who is attempting to comb them for information.

When you watch one of the many shows on TV these days that show real life murder investigations, don’t you want to scream at the perpetrator for being stupid when one of the ways he or she gets caught is because he or she googled “how to murder my _______ without getting caught” in formulating their plans on their home computer?  I mean, really!  That’s almost as clueless as was the Wicca-adherent-gone-mad out West who listed the phone number of the man she killed under the label “sacrifice” on her cell phone!  (Yes, that is a true story, by the way.)

I am working on my second mystery novel.  The first, currently called Sleight of Hand  is finished but needs more editing.  Because my plot requires a victim to be murdered by arsenic, I needed to find out where you could get arsenic, how it is used, how it is detected and what it does to its victims and how soon.  I also needed to learn whether there are any medications which are powders taken before meals.  and what kinds of crops are grown in North Dakota.  (Curiouser and curiouser, yes?)  So what do I turn to?  Google!  (Which, of course, led me swiftly to the information I need.)

With queries in my cache now like “how to murder using arsenic” and “where to get arsenic” I now am praying that no one in my household gets even a stomach virus for the next twenty years and am considering hiring a taster for more insurance!  I can just see the conversation now – “Well you see, officer, it’s like this….”  I at least hope that my searches provided a rare flash of interest to the poor NSA employee in charge of mining my data.

Maybe all those people on Investigation Discovery were innocent after all!

Have a great day!

Nancy

A Letter from my Fourth Grade Self


Good morning Everyone!

Mark is steadily working on getting the garage unpacked so that we can get both cars in – winter is coming, and neither of us are fond of scraping ice or wiping cold wet dew off of our car windows.  While we were working on unpacking, we came across a box of keepsakes I got from my grandparents after they both passed away.  In it was the following letter to them from me in fourth grade.  I thought I would share it with you.  While I cannot, alas, replicate the handwriting on the computer, I will faithfully follow both the capitalization, color and spelling in the original.

Page 1 of Letter

Page 1 of Letter

Dear Grandma and Grampa, 

How are you?  I’m fine and am feeling happy.  It’s the “Fourth of July here and the time is 18 min. before 9:A.M.

Cheryl is going in to 2nd Grade.  I drew a picture of a Cat and it is good.  Guess what?  We have a dog for a little while.  Stacy is go to kinderegarden.   I have a bulliten board.  How is Clyde?  Cheryl and Stacy are fine.  I am going into fourth grade and know a little division.

Page 2 of Letter

Page 2 of Letter

Is Debbie Joe there?  Tell her that I’m taking sketching lessons and bowling lessons.  I wish you could call us and say hi and a few other things but most of all I wish you could come over and see us.  Debbie might like to here about Chinese Operas so I will tell abuot them.  They are rather noisy and the singing tone mostly in a high voice.  Shopping at the Exchange is fine, though I have not done it much.  Stacy is bugging me for a peice of paper

Page 3 of Letter

and just now got on from Dad.  Our Amah is vacuming the rug.  At night I like to listen to the Crickets and sing myself to sleep.  It’s pretty noisy just now.  I’ll write a story for you.

Yours truly,

Nancy Merilynn Linn

The Magic Book

Once when Language had not been invented but was just invented there Lived a Lovly maiden named Napoli  Now, once she had been free to do what she wanted

Page 4 of Letter

but a witch locked her up.  There was only one way to get her out of the cell and that was to find the book the Wisard of Os.”  Now a handsome prince came galloping along one day and every night came forth and Said “Come forth, Come forth please thee, Sweet Napoli.”

“And she would answer”

How Can I,

When Can I,

The cell cannot be unlocked by Poetry.

Countined in next Letter.

A few explanatory notes:

1) We were living in Taiwan at the time, the early ’70’s.  It was hard and expensive to make overseas calls from the United States.  There was no such thing as the internet, home pc’s or e-mail.

2) Stacy and Cheryl are my sisters.  Debbie Jo is my cousin.

3) Clyde was a dog that used to be ours but whom Mom and Dad had given to Grandma and Grandpa when we moved somewhere with base housing that didn’t allow pets.  Grandpa and Clyde, in particular, were great buddies.

4) An “Amah” is a live-in housekeeper.

5) Alas, a follow up letter with a story continuation either a) did not survive, or b) was not written, so Napoli remains locked up to this day!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Actually At Risk


Good morning Everyone!

Somewhere over the course of the last ten years or so, two phrases have steadily infiltrated American English to the point that they are becoming seriously irritating to me. especially when I hear them used by people on TV.  Those two phrases?  “Actually” and “at risk.”

“At risk” is a phrase promoted by the 24 hour news media crowd – after all, “Your child is at risk for measles” sounds exponentially more urgent than “one out of 1000 children catch measles each year.”  (None of the children in the United States should catch measles; they should be vaccinated against them instead.)  If I am told I am at risk for heart disease, flu or just catching a cold, I am instantly more concerned than if I am told that there is merely a chance that I could develop or catch the same thing.   What the people using that phrase don’t mention is that I am also at risk for winning the lottery, flying to the moon and winning the Nobel Peace Prize – but I’m not holding my breath for any of those things to happen soon, either!

“Actually” has become an overused meaningless filler word.  Most of the time, I hear “actually” in sentences such as “I actually went to the store and bought groceries.”  Well, yes, I assumed you did “actually” go to the store; I didn’t think you sent your evil twin instead.  I suppose there is the argument that “actually” is meant to indicate personal presence as opposed to “virtual” which would indicate that a person viewed or did something by computer, but most of the people who use the word interminably are not trying to be that precise.  I think people use “actually” now much in the way we used to say “ummm…” when we didn’t know what to say.  I think it’s time we stopped “actually” doing things, and simply started  doing them, but then that’s just me.

I, of course, catch myself using both phrases far too often

Because I am actually at risk for having to go to work today, I better close for now.

If you have any pet vocabulary or grammar peeves, I’d love to hear about them!

Here’s hoping that all of you are actually at risk for having a great day today!

Nancy

Bibliophilic Friday: Robots and Foundation


Good morning Everyone!

Robot from Print Shop Professional 2.0

I have been (sort of) participating in a WordPress Challenge called “Blogging 201,” which is designed to help bloggers improve their blog.  One of its suggestions is to have at least one weekly feature, so here’s mine:  Bibliophilic Friday.  All the feature really does is give me a chance to talk about some of the many, many books that I love.  I’m not entirely sure that you can be a writer if you don’t also love to read; at least I couldn’t.

We’re going to start with  Isaac Asimov’s Robot series and Foundation series, mostly because that is what I have been reading for the past few weeks.  Many of you are probably familiar with the movie “I, Robot”, which was (very) loosely based on Isaac Asimov’s work.  The movie, however, is nothing at all like the book.  While I did enjoy the movie, as in most cases, the book is much better.  The Isaac Asimov book, I, Robot, is basically a group of short stories tied together by the theme of an interview with robotics expert Susan Calvin that traces  the history of the positronic robots in Asimov’s imaginary future world from their beginnings towards the point where they are an integral part of the world.

One of my favorite stories in the book tells the trials and tribulations suffered by a two-man field team of robotics experts whose job is to test all of the new robots that are developed by the company.  In this particular story, they have been assigned to assemble and teach a new group of robots to handle an energy beam for earth; the energy beam has to be directed “just so”, or it will lose focus and end up frying major cities such as London or L.A..  The most important jobs the robots have is to keep the beam focused during radiation storms in space.  Well, our intrepid duo puts together a robot, who, with its positronic brain, deduces that it would be impossible for the men to have created it, given how much flimsier and less intelligent the men are then it.  Instead, the robot decides that its creator is the computer running the energy beam and that the job of all is to serve it.  It also deduces that the computer creator has given the men the delusion that they created the robots out of kindness and concern for their weakened condition.  The robot also converts all of the other more primitive robots in the energy station.  When one of the men gets frustrated and says something negative (ie., expletive deleted) about the energy beam computer, the men are locked out of the control room for blasphemy. The story goes forward from there.  It is really very funny!  The other stories in the book are equally entertaining, with just the right mix of humor, emotion, intellectual challenge and sometimes even pathos.

After re-reading #25 or so of  I, Robot, I decided to read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy.  It is considered one of the cornerstones of modern science fiction but I just never had gotten around to it.  I am delighted that I finally did!

The original three novels are the kind of books that you have to stay up until midnight reading just because you can’t wait to see what happens next.  There are two prequels (actually written after the first three novels) that are just as exciting.  In the Foundation books, a mathematician named Hari Seldon has developed a system of mathematics called psychohistory that is capable of predicting the future based upon the acts of billions of individuals.  At the time of the book, mankind is spread out over millions of worlds and part of a galactic empire that has existed for tens of thousands of years, but which is about to fall.  Seldon uses his branch of mathematics, psychohistory, to develop a plan that will reduce the period of  “the dark ages” that would result from the collapse of the Empire from 10,000 to 1000 years, and the first three books are about the plan during is first 400 or so years of existence.  The prequels are, of course, about Hari Seldon and how his psychohistory and the Foundation that supported it was developed.  (There are at least two other, later Foundation novels, but I haven’t read them yet so can’t recommend them.)

One fascinating development since Asimov wrote the Foundation novels is that something approaching psychohistory seems to be developing today.  There are people working on developing models that will use all of the data, chatter, discussions and decisions out on the Internet in order to predict future geopolitical events.  Google  and Bing already do some predicting on an individual basis – if you’ve ever noticed, while you’re writing a search query, they busily try to give you choices on what you are trying to ask based on what they predict your questions to be.

So, for you science fiction fans out there, what is your favorite Isaac Asimov science fiction book?  If you are a fan of some of his non-fiction work popularizing different sciences, let me know which one of those are your favorites!  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Consideration


Good morning Everyone!

It’s good to be back!  For any of those kind enough to notice that I haven’t posted for about five days, we are back from a family trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Since I worked the whole time (ain’t modern communications grand?) I can’t really call it a family vacation, but we still had fun and Kayla and Mark got some well deserved “Daddy-daughter” time.  I even learned something about myself – I may be overly concerned with being considerate to others.

Raking

Raking Words
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

I have a program on my work computer called WordRake.  It highlights words and phrases it thinks can be deleted from whatever draft I turn it loose on.  It is a great tool for my work in legal writing and entertaining, too.

I am particularly amused when the parts of my work briefs that WordRake lights up like New York on a dark winter’s night are quotes from appellate cases.  (Hey, we all get our kicks somewhere!)  I also enjoy arguing with it about its editing selections.

Using a GPS

Using a GPS
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Our relationship reminds of the first trip I ever used a GPS – it was in a rental car on a trip to Boston.  My mom (who grew up there) was visiting as well.  She loved to ride with me and to program the GPS so she could tell me that it was wrong and direct me to go a different way, thereby giving the GPS a heart attack.  At one trip, it got so frustrated it stopped giving directions and simply churned through “recalculating” for about five minutes!

Last night, I was using WordRake on a work draft, and I caught myself agreeing to some edits that I wouldn’t have done on my own because I didn’t want to hurt its feelings by ignoring it too much.

That’s probably taking consideration a little too seriously, don’t you think?

Have a great day!

Nancy

A Highly Biased History of Writing, Part I


Good morning Everyone!

We take writing for granted – this marvelous ability we humans have developed as a way to share information with each other, even across thousands of years and millions of miles.  Today, in the year 2014, I can read the thoughts of people who lived thousands of years before me.  Have you ever wondered how it began?   I did, and thought I’d share with you my discoveries from the Ugg Clan Chronicles.

Cave man hunting

Ugg Hunting

Ugg was hunting one day.  While he was gone, Suzugg,  the third youngest Ugg child, with some indeterminate assistance from the twins, Uggo and Uggu involving a rock and a fall, hurt her leg.  Seeing that the injury was more serious than the normal bump or bruise which every Ugg child was expected to take in stride, Uggette a/k/a Mrs. Ugg, decided that a trip to the local medicine man (two valleys over, fifth cave to the right) was in order.

Medicine Man

Local Medicine Man

A trip to the local medicine man was not easy.  The local medicine man was only considered the local medicine man because the next closest one was in New Jersey, which would not be discovered for another 8000 years.

New Jersey State Bird

Mrs. Ugg was faced with the task of hauling fourteen children, one of whom would have to be carried (Mrs. Ugg nominated Uggo and Uggu as the carriers, in light of her suspicions as to their role in Suzugg’s injuries) across two ridges and two valleys.  This meant an overnight trip, which meant that Ugg was going to be back sometime before they could return.

Cave Man Family Funny

Ugg, Uggette and a few of their blessings

Uggette had to figure out a way to leave Ugg a message he could understand or else he would worry – there were an infinite number of reasons your whole family could be missing when you got home from a hard’s day hunting and only one or two of them were benign.  And an unnecessarily worried Ugg was a very angry, grumpy Ugg once he recovered from his relief that everyone was okay.

Multi-tasking as most mothers do – comforting Suzugg, keeping Uggodu and Uggodo from burning down the forest in their quest to see what was and was not flammable (we’ll discuss the history of alchemy and chemistry some other time), explaining to Uggita and Uggito that no, you could NOT eat every plant you found in the forest indiscriminately and keeping a sharp eye on Guidugg, who never missed a moment of mischief if he could help it – the harassed Uggette was hard put to find a message that would make sense.

Mischievous Cave Boy

Guidugg

Uggette finally drew a stick figure in the ground of the cave with an X over one leg and drew an arrow in the direction of the medicine man’s cave with fifteen dots underneath it, thereby inventing pictographs, numbers and art at the same time.

Uggette was right; the trip did end up being an overnight one.  They reached the medicine man about an hour before sunset.  While he took care of Suzugg, the medicine man’s sympathetic wife took care of Uggette – putting Uggette’s fourteen children with her own ten and placing the four oldest from either family in charge of the rest – and sitting Uggette down on the nearest rock for a relaxing cup of tea.

Old ethnic fabric texture

The Medicine Man’s State of the Art Woven Rug

When Ugg arrived around midnight, worried, tired and irritated, the medicine man’s wife took care of him too.   A peak at his sleeping family assured him all was well, and a quick word with the medicine man assured him that Suzugg’s ankle was only sprained, not broken (or her leg missing, as he had half feared was what was meant by the pictogram – pictograms can be somewhat lacking in terms of precision).  He gratefully sank down by Mrs. Uggette on the medicine man’s state of the art woven rug, and gave her a quick hug as he did so, pulling the cured bearskin over him.

And that was the beginning.  We’ll move further into the development of writing as recorded in the Chronicles of the Ugg Clan in later posts.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Fn.  All images come from http://www.clickartonline.com and are fully protected by copyright.

 

 

An Unexpected Detour on the Information Superhighway


Good morning Everyone!

The day after Memorial Day, I spent about an hour working on a “Beginning of Summer” post.  I saved several drafts of it while in the WordPress.com New Post area, but while I was trying to upload some of the pictures, I got a message that my computer was blocking out certain images.  Since the message gave me the option to do so, I chose to look at everything without blocking.  The computer obliged me and reloaded WordPress, but somehow in the process, all the work I had carefully saved was lost.  FN.

Uh Oh!

Uh Oh!

This poses quite a mystery to me, since I can’t imagine what happened to all that information which was supposed to be safely stored on the WordPress servers.

head scratching, wondering, thinking

From http://www.clickartonline.com by Broderbund. All rights reserved.

We have digital internet, which means that information from my computer passes to the WordPress server in separate packages of information, called bits.  In a perfect world, I would be the only person working with the WordPress servers, and my little packages of information would be the only ones out there traveling the information superhighway.  In that case, the travel would look something like this:

digital internet bits

One Traveler on the Information Superhighway

Since, as you already know, this world is not perfect, I am willing to bet that there is NEVER a time when only one person is using the WordPress servers, and that more often than not, the path to the WordPress servers looks like New York City traffic at rush hour, something like this.

digital bits internet routing

Many Travelers on the Information Superhighway

The beauty of the digital internet and digital bits and routing hardware and software that I don’t begin to claim to understand is that, in a heavy traffic situation, the little bits of information coming from my computer (the red stars) somehow know to search for the least traveled route to WordPress, meaning that my information still gets to WordPress very quickly, even if the path to WordPress taken by my bits is longer than the original route.

digital bits routing alternative

My Bits Taking the Road Less Traveled By (With apologies to Robert Frost

So far so good, right? Everyone still with me? Anyone need an air horn blasted by their ear to wake back up? Here’s the problem, however  – when I saved my work on WordPress, my bits started traveling from my computer to the WordPress servers, but in the interim, when I told my computer to show me everything, the bits disappeared. WHERE DID THEY GO? Where do all the bits that somehow drop out of sight end up? After careful thought, all I can offer you is a few suggestions.

lost bits routing digital internet

Possible Detours on the Information Superhighway

Take Saskatchewan, for instance.  Saskatchewan is a Canadian province directly north of the states of Montana and North Dakota, with a population of just over 1,000,000 people as of 2011.  A bit from the Great State of Alabama would enjoy kicking back in the summer there for vacation, where temperatures range with highs between 75 and 82 in July, while back here at Alabama we will be somewhere between 95 and 100 with 100% humidity.

moose, royal canadian mounted police

Welcome to Saskatchewan!
from http://www.clickartonline.com; Copyright protected.

Timbuktu, on the other hand, represents mystery and adventure and a bit aiming for a little excitement on vacation could do quite well kicking around there for a while.

Safari, traveler, explorer

A Bit Exploring Timbuktu; from http://www.clickartonline.com; copyright protected.

As any airline traveler in Alabama knows, Alabama bits must go through Atlanta to fly to anywhere else in the United States or the world, AND the Atlanta airport takes some skill to navigate correctly.  I am positive that there are thousands of bits wandering desolately through the Atlanta airport looking for the right flight to take them on to their ultimate destination.

Aerial, Atlanta Airport

Atlanta Airport; Photograph released into the public domain by Nikon

A bit that is either 1) just plain lost or 2) looking for a very quiet place to relax  could end up somewhere like Franklin, Georgia, population approximately 950 people, on the banks of a river with a river walk and a boat launch.

Bits that wind up in Seattle are looking for higher education at the hands of Microsoft, Cray or Amazon, among many other available tech companies in the area.  Since a higher education takes years to achieve, these bits will stay off the highway long enough for it to have changed completely and for them to have forgotten their original mission.

Seattle

Downtown Seattle; photograph by Daniel Schen, from Wikimedia Commons

The bits that end up in Shangri-Law, the corporate law division of the paradise known as “Shangri-La”  live in a fantastic venue, but have to work hard, too.  It’s not easy policing the information channels of the world to ensure that Shangri-La remains a myth and that any information that might allow world travelers to discover its real location is removed or distorted.  These bits also will not be allowed to leave without a complete memory wipe, lest they deliberately or inadvertently lead others there.

Shangri-La, Sky Captain

Shangri-La, the location of the celebrated corporate law firm of Shangri-Law

I envy the bits in Never-Never Land – they get to play in the many computer games Peter Pan and the Lost Boys have acquired over the years (just because they don’t grow up doesn’t mean they haven’t kept up with the latest toy trends.  Rumor has it that even Tinker Bell has been seen playing with her cell phone and a fashion designing app.)

The bits that end up in the South Pole are dedicated to scientific research, since that is the only reason bits or people currently travel to the South Pole.  It makes me feel a little bit better to know that at least some of my earlier post was lost to ensure the advancement of humankind’s knowledge about the world we live in.

Penguin, South Pole

Travel Poster for Bits Enticing Them to the South Pole
from http://www.clickartonline.com, copyright protected.

If you have any stray bits wandering around out there, I’d love for you to let me know where you think they might be hiding!

Have a great day!

Nancy

FN.  There is nothing, I mean NOTHING, more irritating to a writer than to completely lose a piece he or she has put time, energy and imagination into writing.  It’s almost impossible to recapture the flavor of the original piece from memory.

Here I Blog Again….


Good morning, everyone!

I want to lose weight.

Actually, that statement is not quite true.  What I really want is to go to bed one night and wake up the next morning about 95 pounds lighter and looking like Sophia Loren, or the actress that plays Ziva David on NCIS and stay that way while I eat as many chocolate donuts, candy and cake  as I want.

NCIS, Ziva, Cote De Pable
Cote De Pablo from NCIS

It has occurred to me, after a couple of years of studying it, that it ain’t going to happen that way.  It’s just not.  And unfortunately, I am one of those people who have to do everything “right” in order to start losing weight.  By “right” I really mean I have to follow the complete package – food, exercise, lots of water, you name it.

Armchair
Where I prefer to sit!

I also am singularly unmotivated to put in the effort and time required for the full lifestyle change that losing weight and then continuing to stay at a healthy weight and have good health habits permanently (translate that to “eat right and keep exercising”) takes.  I know what I should do, but I can’t seem to translate the “should” into “want to.”

I am, however, very motivated to write.  Signing onto my blog and sharing stuff with as many of you that care to read about it is something I really enjoy.

So, I have decided to combine the “want to” with the “have to” in a new blog, “Tales from the Mom-side:  Weight Loss Adventures” located at the cleverly named www. weightadventures.com.  (www.weightlossadventures.com was already taken.)  The hope is that the desire to write will outweigh the lack of “want to” with weight.

Pen, writing, blog

This new blog will be a little different from this blog.  It is going to be  more restricted in scope, really focusing on weight loss and health issues.  I probably will publish around one post a week, in which I will set forth my goal for the week, or share any useful information that I may have come up with during the week, or observations I have or whatever else about the “getting healthy” process that strikes my fancy.  It also will have a Twitter feed in the side bar, once I figure out how the heck to do that, where I will share “tweets” about temptations or observations or times when I have to make a choice related to my weekly goal.  That way, people interested in this new blog won’t get multiple posts on one day if I am having a particularly challenging day, but I still can share my thoughts with those who may be interested (and I freely admit that the pool of those interested may be a set of one – myself – but you never know).

I thought I’d start off with a really simple goal this week – eat breakfast at home every day.  By changing my customary driving breakfast of two-plain-biscuits-with-grape-jelly- and-three-chocolate-cookies-please at McDonald’s (the cookies are really for snack later) to the bagel/bread and peanut butter that I also like, I will save both money and calories.  Let’s see how I do!

All of which is very long way of saying “Here I blog again!”

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

A Rose By Any Other Name?


Good morning everyone!

They (ie., William Shakespeare) once said that “a rose by another name would smell as sweet.”  Due to an unfortunate encounter with perfume that was loved by another not wisely, but too well, I have been thinking about that quote, and I just don’t believe it.  If I offer you a rose, I am offering you not only the physical object in my hand, but the centuries of allure, legend and mystique that travel with the word “rose.”  If all I was offering you was a “rosa berberifolia,” I don’t think you would be nearly as impressed!  Even if you were, the name “rose” sounds better than “rosa berberifolia“.)

To further prove my point, I offer you edited versions of the following famous (ie., taught in most English classes nationwide) poems:

Daffodils

From William Wordsworth’s “Daffodils”:

I wandered lonely as a cumulus
That floats on high o’er depressions with predominant extent in one direction and natural land elevations, usually less than 1000 feet above its surroundings, with a rounded outline.
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden Narcissus pseudonarcissi;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the air in slight motion relative to the earth.

Tiger

From Robert Blake’s “The Tiger”:

Panthera Tigris! Panthera Tigris! Combusting bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

lark, flight

From Tennyson’s “Come Spring” ( Excerpt from the second stanza):

Up leaps the passerine, gone wild to welcome the season beginning with the March equinox and ending with the summer solstice,
About her glance the Paridaes, and shriek the Cyanocitta cristatas,
Before her skims the jubilant Melanerpes erythrocephalus ,
The  Carduelis cannabina’s bosom blushes at her gaze,
While round her brows a woodland Columba palumbus flits,
Watching her large light eyes and gracious looks,
And in her open palm a halcyon sits
Patient–the secret splendour of the brooks. …

Question Mark

They just don’t have the same ring to them, do they?

Have a great day everyone, a good holiday weekend!

Nancy