Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rogue Meat

In lieu of a writing exercise today, I have decided to tell you all a little anecdote about my odd morning.

Actually, it all started a couple of days ago. I came home Sunday evening to a... different smell in my house. It wasn't overwhelming or completely offensive; it was simply strange, and I had a hard time placing it. Figuring that one of my roommates had cooked something that, to them, might have smelled wonderful earlier that evening, I shrugged it off. It would wear off once I woke up in the morning. No harm done.

Yesterday, I woke up and honestly didn't notice any smell. Of course, I don't spend much time anywhere in my house other than my bedroom and bathroom, so it's natural that I wouldn't smell something that was, say, originating from the kitchen. Last night, however, I came home after work through the back door leading to the kitchen, and the smell was still hanging stagnantly in the air, only intensified. Okay, I thought. Leftovers... I hope that was the last of it. It honestly was starting to smell pretty rank.

This is Gigantor. Well, he looks kind of like this anyway...
A.D.D. SIDE NOTE: The only reason I entered through the back door to the kitchen was because my door - the door that leads directly from the back yard into my room - was, at the time, being occupied by Gigantor, the Human-Eating Spider (pictured right... kind of).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trumpet Fanfare!!

Finally, the internet is back up, and I am able to post the winners for the first issue of Make It Up Monday!


There were a total of 56 entries, guys!!!! I was so excited to read through them all, but I must admit I found myself stressing a bit over who to pick, why to pick them, and whether or not I would step on any toes by not picking their entry.

And then I realized, I am not an expert. There was some really excellent writing that filled my comments section, but I can't pick all of it as I would so like to do. It's a contest, and every contest deserves a winner. So without further ado, I have narrowed down the 56 entries to 5 winners all of which I loved for different reasons varying from the cadence of the speech to something as simple as giving me a good chuckle.

Without further ado, here are the winner's for last week's Make It Up Monday contest!!!

Nicole said...
     John Burns had seen things during his life that he wouldn't have wished on any man, no matter how evil his deeds may have been. Yet the rejection he received of his request to serve in the Civil War broke his heart. Still on crutches, the shrapnel wounds were almost healed, and by the time he was assigned to a cavalry, he would have been fine and fit for duty.
     His superiors assured him it was not his injury, but his age; and had he a son to go in his place, he would be well taken care of.
     With no heir, Burns hung his noted 'peculiar' garb, removed his boots, and lay his Winchester by his side.
     Just in case.
Alissa said...
     Nothing says America like a gun, a rocking chair and a crotchety old man.

Summer Ross said...
     Bullet 1.00, Funeral arrangements 3000.00, convincing others not to trespass- priceless :) 
 Linda said...
     The shutter on my camera snaps with its familiar electronic sound. “Good one grandpa!” I yell. ”I’ll send that one to Mom.” At least there is one truth in what I’ve just said. It is a good photo. It captures him in his usual pose, slumped in the old rocker, his scrawny hands clasped round his thin frame as he squints, not at me, but at the view of the dry, dusty pasture that lies between the ramshackle old house and the road. This is where he seems to spend most of his days, just rocking and occasionally fiddling with his old rifle. Gout makes it too painful to walk about much. But he isn’t my grandpa and I’m certainly not going to send the photo to anyone’s mom, let alone mine. He is my perfect victim, picked out from the archives of the local newspaper, and yet another lonely old man whose daughter went missing some twenty five years ago. When I turned up six weeks ago and announced that I was MaryAnn’s son, he just said, “You’d better come in”. And that was that. He’s got money stashed somewhere, they all have. I wouldn’t even be surprised if there was some gold. A few more weeks of being the perfect grandson and I’ll be back to the city with a well-earned “inheritance”. He can’t take it with him anyway. “Yeah, Mom will like this one, Grandpa. You never know, she may see her way to coming out here to see you again.” I feel bad about giving him false hopes, but it keeps him sweet. He looks at me now and I detect a different look in his eyes. Amusement, perhaps? A sly, evil grin spreads over his weather-worn face. “I kinda doubt that, son”. I feel a stab of anxiety in my chest and my throat tightens. Has he cottoned on to my con-trick? “You see,” he went on, “MaryAnn ain’t never gonna come back because she’s buried out in that yon pasture”. I want to run. “And I know,” he chuckled. “’cos it were me that buried her…” Think, think! Did I see him load that damn rifle?

Rachael Melody said...
     "As the oldest remaining survivor of the War of 1812, how do you feel? Is it true that you were shot in the legs by a total of four lead musket balls? Did you knowingly kill anyone? What did it feel like to fight against your own country after fighting against England so long ago?"
     When the young reporter, suavely dressed in long-tailed coat, top hat, and all the finery and frippery of the Victorian age, finally stopped for a breath, John spit tobacco into the weeds and stroked his sharpshooter's rifle.
     "It's a good day for huntin' squirrels."
     "Sir?"
     The cravated man never received an answer. John had spoken his last words.

Now go look at their blogs, guys! They're all really great and worthy of a read if not a follow. :)

Once again, thank you all so much for your entries. Keep writing!!!

Tune back in tomorrow for the 2nd issue of Make It Up Monday!

Peace.
Stef.

Friday, August 27, 2010

ACK!!!

I promise I have the winners!!! I'm not procrastinating!

My internet is being a little bitch right now, so I'm posting this from my phone. BOOOO!

At any rate, I have to go to work, so I will attempt to fix this web access problem once I get home this evening.

Please forgive the inconvenience!

Peace.
Stef.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Exercise #173 : Your Neighbor in Your House

Friendly reminder: the Make It Up Monday contest is up at 5pm today! Enter your submissions HERE!

Also, if you have any questions for me to be answered in an upcoming post, go HERE!

And now for the exercise...

Describe your living room from the point of view of your neighbor. What does he/she notice? Feel? Think?

1,2,3, GO!

This couch is nicer-looking than mine.
Poor thing, it's been through the ringer...
Mary walked into the living room and was slightly startled by the stacks of boxes against the right wall.

"Oh, sorry about that," Stefanie said casually. "My roommate's moving out at the end of the week, and she needed a place to put all of her boxes."
Sitting down on the tattered, beige couch, Mary made herself comfortable. The couch sat surprisingly low on the couch, but upon sitting she felt completely engulfed in comfort.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Exercise #172 : Ending

A short story begins with these two lines:
Sometimes, out on the boat, she wanted to tell Louise. 
This was before Louise got the tattoo on her shoulder.
Write the last paragraph of the story.

For my purposes, this "she" is going to go by the name of Eleanor.

1,2,3, GO!

It had been a trying year, with money gained, friends lost, and then money lost. The question that lingered on both of their minds was if, in the end, it had been worth it. For Eleanor, her growth was obviously visible. She was coming into her own, forming into the person she had always wanted to be, and life seemed to be heading down the right track. Finally, things were looking up.

And all Louise had to show for it was that damned tattoo.

END

I finished this one on well under 5 minutes, but I feel like I got my point across. Plus, the exercise only asked for a single paragraph, right? As far as I'm concerned, I'm good to go here.

Moving on...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Exercise #171 : Telephone

We have a few ongoing things going on here at 52 Weeks of Wordage, and before I continue with the exercise, I'm just going to alert anyone who might not have seen the posts.
  1.  Introduce yourself and shamelessly plug your blog while visiting other 52 Weeks followers' blogs!
  2. Weekly contest, "Make It Up Monday!" Submit by Thursday at 5pm to be featured on my blog on Friday!
  3. Ask me anything you want to know about my writing, my life, my creative process, etc... The sky's the limit!
Now for the exercise... 
 How does your character answer the telephone? What does her voice sound like? How does she hold the telephone? (Or does she use an ear-clip, or does she prefer the speaker phone?) What does she typically say? When she goes out of town, what is the message she leaves on her answering machine? How does she feel about the telephone? What does her ring tone sound like? Where is her telephone? How many telephones does she have? Who does she call? How much does she spend every month (and can she afford it?) 

Make up as and answer as many questions as you can about her telephone use. In your last 30 seconds, go back and notate the three most telling things.

I will be completing this exercise with the use of one of my characters from my current "Work In Progress" (WIP - see tab above for excerpts and character profiles), Natalie Hansley.

1,2,3, GO!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Who Is Stefers the Great??

Stefers the Great - aka Stef
Ack! No makeup! Don't judge...
Over the last few days, I have been joyously overwhelmed by the wonderful responses I've been getting through the comments on my posts and my Formspring and e-mail accounts (contact info found in the Contact Me tab at the top of the page, just under the name and blog description), and I just want to thank you once again for your support and participation.

As I've been reading the responses I've gotten, I feel like I'm getting to know each one of you, but I've realized that, except for the About Me section, you don't know all that much about me!

New Weekly Installment!!!

First, let me thank you all so much for your comments on my last post. I haven't gone through them all yet (Over 95 comments in a single day?? WOW!) but plan to give each of your blogs a visit and hello. :) I've really loved the ones I've visited already and can't wait to see where your blogging journey takes each of you!

If you haven't done so yet, go HERE to introduce yourself and tell me about your blog!

Welcome to [insert trumpet fanfare]...

The name of the game is "Make It Up Monday," and the rules are as follows:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bonjour New Followers! Well met!

You'll quickly notice that I love lolcats.
Don't judge... They're hilarious.
Today's post is going to be pretty short, but it's purpose isn't for me to write, but for YOU to write!

Tell me a little bit about yourself! Who are you, from where do you hail, what is your favorite thing about blogging or reading other people's blogs? Tell me anything you'd like!

If you have a blog, don't fear the shameless plug! haha Leave a link in your comment and go visit some of the blogs linked by your fellow commenters.

Speaking of your blogs, I've been going through my list of followers and looking at your blogs. There is some really great content out there! :) Let me just say that I am so humbled that you would be interested in following me and my project. You're all so wonderful, and I can't thank you enough.

So get on with it already! Leave a comment about yourself!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Responses to ... Your Responses

If you haven't read the post that spawned this one, go HERE.

In going through your comments on the "Mr. Perfect Is Out There..." post, I figured it would be easier to write a response via a blog post instead of writing an epically long comment in the comment form. Plus, I know that a lot of people don't want to go wading through all of that business.
Because there were so many wonderful responses there's no way that I can get to them all, but I will respond to as many as I can.

SIDE NOTE : Click on the names of the people to visit their blogs!!

Let's chat...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Exercise #170 : Belgium

What do you know about Belgium? Write down what you can in five minutes. Be as specific as possible (and don't forget the chocolate).

I have a confession to make.
I know almost nothing about Belgium. No, not almost. I know absolutely nothing about it.

In fact, the chocolate didn't even come into mind until it was mentioned in the exercise itself... Sigh... I'm not dumb, I promise.

This is Belgium, located between France & Germany.
Does anyone know anything about it? I'm honestly at kind of a loss...

Must go off to think for a little bit... perhaps pick up a copy of the encyclopedia...

-------------------------------

UPDATE!

Consider me Successful Suzie, because I have found something on which to write!

Drumroll, please...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mr. Perfect Is Out There...

... but he's just hiding from you at the moment.

I don't trust his cheesy little grin...


Someone said this very sentence to me today, and I couldn't help but stare blankly at him in disbelief. Seriously, do people think that the trials of life and love can be appeased by such platitudinous drivel? And we won't even touch the "Mr. Perfect" part of the comment. Maybe in a later post...

I've expressed my distaste of marriage at my age in a few previous posts (the one that's coming to mind at the moment is THIS ONE), but I'm feeling the need to express myself further. Bear with me. And don't worry, the writing exercises will resume tomorrow.

I am 23 years old (due to turn 24 in November), and I have been in 1 serious relationship that lasted 1 and 1/2 years and a few non-serious flings. This does not make me an expert on relationships. In fact, it makes me a novice... or perhaps an expert on being single. I'm ok with this.

What I'm not ok with is this feeling of getting left behind.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Uh........ WHAT?? Blog of Note!!

I logged into Blogger.com today to work on an upcoming post, and this is what greeted me:


Blog of Note. Blog of Note? BLOG OF NOTE!!!!!

That was my thought progression when I logged into Blogger today and read all of the lovely comments left on my posts. Thank you all so much! You sure do know how to make a lady feel good about herself.

Honestly, I can't even comprehend it quite yet. In one day, my itty bitty little blog has grown exponentially in followers, and my hits have gone through the roof. It's absolutely amazing, really.

Who do I thank? The Powers That Be at Blogger.com? My loyal followers who keep me going with their support and love? My parents with their top-rate upbringing skills? Gah, I have no idea. Consider the aforementioned thanked copiously... and then thanked once more for posterity.

But here's the thing... I am now just a wee bit terrified. Now that I have so many more followers, I feel the need to post absolutely brilliant fiction, to write with a golden quill and wow all readers with my fantastic words. But I have a confession to make...

You see, I've been writing all my life, from the time MomLady handed me a journal and said "Write" up to this very second, but I've never really considered myself to be all that great of a writer. I have a way with words, sure (and I'm totally not digging for compliments here), but in comparison to the authors with published books on the shelves of lucrative bookstores I have a long way to go. Hence this little blogaroo!

Now that I've gotten my freakout moment out of the way, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all of my new followers at 52 Weeks of Wordage. I am Stefers the Great (follow me on Twitter!), and I can't express to you how delighted I am that you decided to stop on by and give me some of your valuable time.
http://cincinnatichiropractic.com/clients/267/images/542680_Welcome_Mat_on_Forest_Trail.jpg
See? The mat says you're welcome in my forest... Perhaps my neck of the woods?

At any rate, I am so very, very pleased that you've come to join me, and I am hoping to get to know each and every one of you!

Peace.
Stef.

Exercise #169 - Human Body Action Verbs

Energize your writing with action verbs! This is an easy exercise to help train your brain to think in terms of action verbs. Focusing on actions the human body can perform, provide one (or 2 or 3) verbs per letter of the alphabet. For example:
  • arch
  • bounce, burp, belch
  • cartwheel, call out
  • dither, dunk
  • exit, enter, expand
  • fling, fart, fall
  • gallop, galumph, grit (teeth)

Keep going! Get to Z if you can...

1,2,3, GO!

I'm going to try and write at least 2 for every letter. We'll see how that works. :) Good luck to all partaking in this exercise! Post what you come up with in the comments section!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Exercise #168 : Butterfly

Another prompt. Use this as your opening line:
They were eating dinner when a butterly floated in and landed on the meatloaf.

Here's a question: Why does everyone bag on meatloaf? My Mom, an excellent cook (that is, if she's home long enough to make something), makes absolutely delectable meatloaf. I mean, sure, the name of the dish leaves much to be desired, but what is it about meatloaf that makes people's faces immediately warp into something that looks somewhat like Worf from Star Trek (you know... furrowed brow and whatnot...)?

I've always had good experiences with meatloaf, and I'm kind of sad that it has such a bad rep. Sigh... Poor meatloaf.

1,2,3, GO!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Welcome to the Weekend, & My Cat Fetches...

I'm taking the weekend off from 52 Weeks here, but I thought I'd leave you all with a cute little video taken by yours truly.

I came home after work today and cleaned underneath the couch (side note: it's amazing how much stuff can accumulate under there!), and I found a few cat toys that had been chased/batted into the abyss who knows how long before. I threw one of the toys out of the way so I could sweep (like I said, amazing what I found there), and Lily, always the huntress, went off to attack it.

Moments later, I was bent over with my broom and dustpan, and I heard this high-pitched little meow. Turning around, I spied Lily sitting  at my feet, her big doe eyes looking up at me, and the toy was laying directly in front of her. Odd, I thought.

I picked it up and threw it again for good measure, and once again, she returned shortly after with the toy in her mouth. I thought it was so adorable that I took out my phone and filmed it. Enjoy. :)







Holy crap, I totally just became that cat lady. Ugh. When did that happen???

Peace.
Stef.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Exercise #167 : Don't Look Behind You

Today's exercise is courtesy of Leslie Pietrzyk, a novelist who lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
Without turning around to look, write a list of everything that is behind you right now. Be specific and thorough; be literal and metaphorical.

1,2,3, GO!

It depends on how you look at it, really... Technically, everything in the world is behind me, but that's the kind of answer you'd expect from some pompous philosopher.

In my most immediate proximity, there are two grey-topped desks behind me, complete with computers, chairs, and various office supplies. Yes, I am at work... But being as there is not currently any data entry for me to enter into the computer it would seem that I have a free moment to myself. It's rare in this office; there's always something to do. But today was slow, and I get a chance to take a breath.

The office printer whirrs gently behind me as one of my co-workers gets up from his rolling chair to retrieve his printout. His chair slides gracefully across linoleum, and I feel slightly guilty for writing this blog post instead of doing something... anything.

But I've digressed, haven't I? Things behind me...

I am sitting in a building within a building, if that makes sense, and one of the walls of this inside building stands silently to my aft. The outer building - best referred to as a warehouse - doesn't actually feel like a building when you're standing within its walls. Have you ever been in a building with ceilings so high that you feel like you're outside? That's kind of like this place. In fact, it reminds me somewhat of this iconic place:

You can't expect me to talk about a warehouse without referencing my beloved Indy, can you?

At any rate, it's filled with boxes upon boxes, skids upon skids, and various other insundry that weighs more than I can even comprehend.

Forklifts are awfully convenient in this venue.

END

Ah, the meandering ramblings of me...

What about you guys? What is, right at this second, behind you? Don't turn around to observe; simply start writing and see what you can visualize in your mind's eye.

GO!

Peace.
Stef.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Exercise #166 : Your House, Room by Room

This is an exercise in vivid description and gestalt. For each room in your house, list three (and only three) objects that best describe it, and list one (and only one) adjective that gives its overall "feel." If you have time, do the closets.

This is a point in my life at which I feel relieved to live in a small house. Three cheers for being poor!!!
My house! Cute, right?

Hip, hip, hooray!
Hip, hip, hooray!
Ah, crap...

1,2,3, GO!

 Before I even begin this exercise, I'm going to look up "gestalt." I've used it before, and I have a general understanding of what it means, but I'm thinking it's about time I find a precise definition so that I don't continue using this great word all willy nilly.

gestalt: n.; from German, literally translated as 'shape,' or 'form': 1) a structure configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts, or 2) a configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that it cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts

Yay, Miriam Webster!

That being said, let's get on with it, shall we?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Exercise #165 : Bob's Front Page

What if Bob appeared on the front page of his local newspaper-- but he didn't know about it until the following day?

http://privatelibrary.typepad.com/.a/6a01156f7ea6f7970b0120a742d508970b-800wi"Holy crap!" Estelle bellowed from the kitchen, her raspy voice breaking loudly through lips that were dangling a lit cigarette out of the left side. "Bob! Come here!"

"What?" Bob hollered. He was sitting in his chair holding a cold beer and watching the football game, and nothing short of the Lord Jesus Christ's return could make him move.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Exercise #164 : Opening by Ovid

Ovid wrote: "Jupiter from on high smiles at the perjuries of lovers." Use this as the first line for what could be the opening paragraph of a novel about love.

1,2,3, GO!

Jupiter on high smiles at the perjuries of lovers. It has been said that if one is lucky enough to be the focus of her watchful yet favorable gaze will forever be lucky in love, despite these perjuries. However, if one should so unfortunate as to gain attention from her malignant eye... That person is doomed forever to roam the Earth alone, celibate not by choice but by divine orientation. 

We join one such unlucky individual as he has just come home from one of the most disastrous dates in his life.

END

Oh, good gracious. Remind me never to anger Lady Jupiter!

Oddly enough, however, I actually have a question for you, my lovely readers:

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Exercise #163 : Tina Tries to Help

In two sentences or less describe Fran.
In two sentences or less describe her living room.
In two sentences or less, very specifically put Fran in the livingroom (for example, she might be sitting in the wicker chair by the window reading the newspaper, or, she might be sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the fireplace doing her meditation, etc).
Then, Tina comes in and tries to help. In what way? What exactly does Tina do? And/ or say? How does Fran react?

1,2,3, GO!

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