Monday, July 12, 2010

99 Bottles of Pop on the Wall...

Our annual vacation spawned the following variations of "Bingo" (yellow cars, excluding trucks, buses and motorcycles):

Bing... no. Translation: it doesn't count if I can see for myself the car isn't yellow after all.

Fingo. Translation: fake bingo, or: that car looked yellow, and totally had me fooled. But it's white. Or tan.

Chingo. Translation: you are a cheater. I had that one first.

Squingo. Translation: squirrel!

Gringo. Translation: green car. Just to change it up a bit, and make my parents turn both ways to see who overheard me.

And, for the remainder of the month of July we are fun-electronics free. Translation: I don't get my Netflix, facebook, or blogs. Hubby doesn't get online gaming. Kids have no xbox, nintendo, wii, dvds (except the magic instructions one), or tv. So, dear readers, I'm signing off temporarily. See you August 1. I will be sure to back up and read your blogs for these next 3 weeks after I'm back.

Happy writing, all!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Horror!

Angst Moment #1

Daughter: The earth is always turning, isn't it?
Me: Yes it is.
Daughter: So, sometimes we're upside down?
Me: Exactly.
Daughter, with rising hysterical notes: We're upside down... right now! I can feel it!

Angst Moment #2

Voice over loudspeaker: Free sample of jerky at the jerky counter!
Daughter: Do they have beef jerky here?
Me: They have all kinds of jerky here. They even have elk jerky!
Daughter, with rising hysterical notes: Elf jerky??

Monday, July 5, 2010

Uh, Yeah.

Observing the police department's automatic doors, Son wondered why police cars needed to be enclosed.
Me, making it up as I go along: Probably so that people who might be mad at them for something don't spray paint them.
Son: So let me get this straight. Teenagers when they get mad at people paint their cars?
Me: Sometimes, yes.
Son: What color?
Me: More like... swear words.
Son: Like, "You suck"?
Me: Exactly.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reading Like a Writer

So, I figure I'm a well-read person. I have been reading for a long time, and I teach literature, so it's all good.

But just when I thought I was out of world-changing paradigm shifts (the last two being: motherhood, and film literacy, which forever changed the way I view visual media) along arrives another. For the first time ever I am reading and re-reading fiction from a writer's perspective. It goes something like:

Speech marks, moderately long sentence minimally punctuated, grade level vocabulary, attribution tag not necessary because of context, a short paragraph to punctuate the last three longer ones.

And at the same time, all that lit-crit stuff, like: plot, conflict, characterization, description, rising action, etc.

I've never read for chapter length before. Or how many turning points a middle grade plot can sustain. It's like The Matrix! It was there all along and I had no idea. So after decades of reading, I've finally logged my first full year of reading like a writer.