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Showing posts from November, 2009

"Odd Dogs & Cats"

Exercise #97: "Odd Dogs & Cats" Use 2 1/2 minutes to make a list of really odd names for dogs & cats. Then use the remaining 2 1/2 minutes to match each name with a type of dog; a color; and the one adjective that would best describe its personality. For example: Mister Trotsky. Chihuahua. Black. Shy. This one should be fun. Lord knows that, as a dog walker, I'm exposed to a lot of Bellas, Bears, and Abbys, but every once in a while I get a dog whose name is completely out there. Some of them are funny, and some are just down right bizarre. GO! Tittles - dog, Yorkie-Poo, caramel-colored, prissy The Honorable Lord Fitzwilliam Darcy* - cat, black and brown stripes, master hunter Mr. Fluffybutt (I'm not kidding...) - dog, Newfoundland, white, bashful Nhunhu (pronounced NOO-noo) - dog, Australian Cattle Dog, brown and black with white/grey specks, aloof Diogi (pronounced dee-OH-jee)* - dog, Chinese Chongqing, ruddy brown, tiny but brave Kitty Kitty - cat, blac

You Are a WINNER!!!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah! HALLEEEELUUUUJAAAAHHHHHH!!! Congrats and many back pattings for me, for I have won NaNoWriMo on this oh-so-important day of November 26th, 2009 topping out at 52,845 words! Wooooooo!!! The moment could only be improved by streamers and confetti, but sadly I was writing to feverishly to buy any... I'll just throw a few crumpled balls of paper in the air instead. That's good enough, right? While I reached the 50,000 mark I'm still not done with the plot. In fact, I have a little further to go. I don't care about that, though. I wrote 50,000 words in a month!!!!! Wow! I am so proud of myself. I entered this month with trepidation, but I stuck it out and ended up writing more in one sitting than I have in... ever. Yay!!!! Wooooooooo! Ok, enough celebration (yeah right!)... When all of you cross the finish line, let me know! I want to celebrate with you! :-D Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Peace. Stef.

"Trouble Sleeping"

Exercise #96 : "Trouble Sleeping" Here are the nanes of the characters: Glenda; Howard; Fecky Hastings; and Asa, the old sheepdog. For each one, in three sentences or less: when and why did each of them begin to have trouble sleeping? How did each one cope (or not cope)? Tick, tock... Ah, trouble sleeping. I am most definitely not a stranger to this problem. Before I got mono, I would lie in bed for hours before I was able to fall asleep. It was absolutely ridiculous! I'm hoping that, with this new-found easy sleep pattern, insomnia will not rear its ugly head each and every night. Well, let's start with the exercise, shall we? Glenda - Glenda is a young woman who has just started her political career, and her insomnia began to present itself when she was given the opportunity to join a group of elite politicians who will help her gain a severe amount of clout amongst her peers. She dealt with her sleeping troubles by getting a prescription for a pretty hefty sl

"Little Dog (or Cat) Name Poem"

Exercise #95 : "Little Dog (or Cat) Name Poem" This is an exercise in using alliteration and rhythm. The other day on C.M. Mayo's blog she posted this poem: Little Dog Name Poem (To the Tin Whistle & Gamelan) Tater, Tot, Louie, Boomer, Bridget, Bijou, Elpis, Roxy, Leader, Lucy, Lola, Coco, Chloe, and of course--- drum-rolllll--- Picadou. Take a look at the alliteration: Tater, Tot Boomer, Bridget, Bijou Leader, Lucy, Lola Coco, Chloe (well, close...) and the rhythms... (an easy way to get the feel for the rhythm of writing is to read it aloud, but with your hand covering your mouth). The exercise is this: Make a list of some 10-15 dog names (or cat names or horse names, whatever you prefer)--- just slap down whatever names occur to you--- then, rearrange the names into a little poem using alliteration and some kind of rhythm. GO! Stream-of-conscious names: Lily, Kitty, Zola, Maggie, Cocoa, Bushka, Ellie, Abby, Bella, Indigo, Chester, Max, Ally, Minnie, Molly, C

Future Neighborhood

Exercise #94 : "Future Neighborhood" Describe your neighborhood as you would expect it to appear 10 years from now. Et allez!!! (And go!!! in French heh) Well, I live in what would be referred to as the "nice ghetto." It's gradually getting better, but 10 years from now, I don't think very much will have changed. Sure, there will be new inhabitants, and the streets may be repaved, but the houses, while pretty old, are extremely sturdy little houses. Unless there's some unforeseen catastrophic upheaval involving the end of the world or a land buy-out it's all going to remain. The neighborhood used to be really bad. In fact, it was once as crime infested as West Nashville is now (That place is SCARY.), but it has tamed over the years. I only foresee improvement in that area, and I actually think it will make significant progress in the next 10 years. A lot of families are starting to make their way over here, and that's definitely having an af

"George's Movie Plot" and Motorcycle Trauma

Exercise #93 : "George's Movie Plot" Plot a movie in 5 minutes! I am not kidding. Just answer the questions about George in one sentence or less. How old is George? How does George make a living? What does George want that he is unlikely to get? What does George secretly want that he is unlikely to get? What is George most afraid of? What is George secretly most afraid of? Now, it so happens that one day, much to George's surprise, the very real possibility arises that he could get what he has always wanted. How does this happen? (Again, in one sentence or less.) What might be an obstacle to his getting this? What might be yet another obstacle? And a third obstacle? Then, what happens? Does he finally get what he wants, or something else? In the end, how has George's life changed (or not changed)? How does George feel about this? What is the last image you would leave on the movie screen before the credits roll? This one is kind of overwhelming! haha Let me fir

"Heaven & Sky"

Exercise #92 : "Heaven and Sky" John McGahern, the Irish writer, recently died. In yesterday's Washington Post there was an interesting obituary written by Matt Shudel, which ends thus: "Mr. McGahern composed his final book, the memoir evoking the spirit of his long-dead mother, after receiving his own cancer diagnosis. 'Heaven was in the sky,' he wrote in the book. 'My mother spoke to me of heaven as concretely and with as much love as she named the wild flowers. Above us the sun of heaven shone. Beyond the sun was the gate of heaven.'" This is so marvelous, I scarcely dare to comment -- but here goes. What gives this passage such power is the drum-beat of repetition. Heaven is repeated four times; sun twice. Also, the structure and length of the last two sentences are almost identical. Try writing a brief passage -- 4-5 sentences -- using repetition. Well, folks, I'm REALLY behind on NaNo, so this is it for today's exercise. I'm h

"More-Organic-Than-Thou & Etc"

Exercise #91 : "More-Organic-Than-Thou & etc" Triple, quadruple and quintuple-decker adjectives can be fun! For example: easy-to-hose-down tile ladies-who-lunch hairdos A run-to-catch-the-school-bus outfit A disguise-the dog-hair-oatmeal-brown sofa more-organic-than-thou shampoo Make up some to go with the following nouns: Car Bike university petunias pizza book scarf shoes yoghurt watch backpack bathrobe purse kitchen gizmo dog sofa cell phone notebook guinea pig summer vacation hotdog GO! Too much to do today. Ugh... Feel free to take part in this exercise. Will meet back up with you later on tomorrow. :) NaNo fell behind today. Lots to do! Ahhhhhhh!!! Peace. Stef.

"Once Upon a Time"

Exercise #90 : "Once Upon a Time" Write the beginning of a story that begins, "Once upon a time." If you need some more of a nudge, include the following: a girl named Florinetta a dog with three legs a swing a porch boiled celery the air smelling of autumn GO! Once upon a time, Princess Florinetta of the land of Arandell was searching desperately for some boiled celery. It was her favorite afternoon treat, and when she went into the kitchen to find some, she discovered that it had disappeared. She remembered that there had been a plastic bag full of stalks yesterday, so where had they gone? "Mimi?" she called to her maid, but she received no answer. "Mimi!" Florinetta rand around the house, searching for her trusty maid and finally found her outside, swaying peacfully on the swing on the porch. The air smelled of autumn with colorful leaves falling gracefully from maginificent oak trees, wind blowing to and fro, and crisp breezes whipping

FINALLY!!! Clips from my recital! Woo!

Instead of the normal writing exercise, I am going to post the videos from my recital!!! Yay!! :) Aren't you all excited? haha I went to my mom's house and transferred the footage over onto my SanDisk 8GB USB drive, and voila! Just a little cutting, and I've got YouTube videos! Anyways, without further ado... My recital! The first clip has the following songs: Und ob die Wolke - Der Freischütz (Carl Maria von Weber) Flow My Tears - John Dowland In the mornin' - Charles Ives The second clip has the following songs: Piangete - Giacomo Carissimi Almen se non poss'io - Vincenzo Bellini The third clip has the following songs: Le Secret - Gabriel Fauré Les Berceaux - Gabriel Fauré Die Stadt - Franz Schubert The fourth and final clip has the following songs: Liebesbotschaft - Franz Schubert Moments in the Woods - Into the Woods (Stephen Sondheim) And there we have it! I hope you liked it. I know I had fun doing it. Peace. Stef.

I Have Added a New Character!!!! Duhn Duhn DAAAAAH!

This is the 6th Character Profile in my NaNoWriMo novel character profile series. Meet Ruth Harlowe, resident glorified prostitute on board the Spectre, and she has been in love with Captain Eldon Whitlaw since she stepped on board. She was the first woman to take part in the Alternate Transportation Payment Methods Plan (ATPM Plan), offering her body as compensation for transporting her to a nearby system, but when she got there she stayed on board with hopes of maintaining a romantic relationship with Eldon. He, the womanizer that he is, has absolutely no desire to become romantically entangled with this woman, but he does enjoy the benefits he receives from her so he gives her attention while also making sure that she knows he does not want anything serious. Over the years, her love for him grows stronger even though it is not reciprocated, and, while he does not love her, he does care for her. They have an odd relationship, one that is entirely intimate but skewed. She keeps d

"Improbable Rescue" & a NaNo Update

Exercise #89 : "Improbable Rescue" In his delightfully wacky Pronoia Is the Antitode for Paranoia, Rob Brezsny writes: "Bach's St Matthew Passion is a highly regarded musical composition. Yet the score disappeared and the work wasn't played for years after Bach's death in 1750. In 1829, composer Felix Mendelssohn rediscovered the long-lost manuscript being used as wrapping paper in the estate sale of a deceased cheese salesman. He arranged for a public performance of the piece, and its revival began." Please note the marvelous specificity: "being used as wrapping paper in the estate sale of a deceased cheese salesman." Recount ---or invent--- another improbable cultural rescue in 5 sentences or less. Wow. St. Matthew's Passion being used as wrapping paper makes my heart weep a little. I mean, I'm not a Bach fan. I recognize that he was incredibly influential, but his music isn't my style. That's partly because, as a singer, m

"Body Language: Two People Talking"

Exercise #88 : "Body Language: Two People Talking" Two people talking usually do a lot more than "smile" and "nod" at each other. One might cross his legs, or, scratch an ankle, or smooth her hair, etc. Then there's interaction between the two: one might reach across the table and lay his hand on top of her wrist. She might touch her own lip, to indicate that he has a crumb of muffin hanging on his, etc. Make a list of all the little (and big) gestures you can think of that two people might make while talking to each other. Ah, gestures. This shall be fun. And... GO! cocking an eyebrow crossing legs towards or away from the person to which one is speaking tapping the foot avoiding eye contact covering the mouth with a hand holding hands clasped in one's lap pushing glasses up the nose rubbing the end of one's nose leaning on the table, elbows firmly planted rolling eyes fidgeting twiddling of the thumbs raising eyebrows smiling / frowning /

Madelyn Hansley - A Poster Child for Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

More research posts!! :) This one is going to focus on the mental illness of Madelyn Hansley as discussed in THIS character profile. Go look at it to catch up! :) In that post, I didn't talk about alcoholism, but I think it would be extremely applicable to add that to her list of illnesses. She feels alone and desperate so she self medicates, losing herself in alcohol but effectively numbing the depression. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is caused by a deficiency in thiamine (Vitamin B1) and often occurs in alcoholics, although it can also result from malnutrition, cancer which have spread in the body, abnormally high thyroid hormone levels, long-term dialysis and long-term diuretic therapy (used to treat congestive heart failure). The symptoms of dementia caused by Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome include confusion, permanent gaps in memory, and impaired short-term memory. Hallucinations may also occur. Ah, what a little research can get you... Very rewar

"Image Patterning, Starting with Jell-O"

Exercise #87 : "Image Patterning, Starting with Jell-O" This is an exercise in working with imagery to create a sense of connectedness within a narrative. Take this as your opening line: The Jell-O was not his favorite dessert. Write on anything, but be sure to use the following imagery (in addition to Jell-O): overdone steak; a barking dog; too much perfume; a squishy blue velvet couch. Then, tie it up with an ending that somehow -- in some way -- returns to the Jell-O. Man alive, this one is going to be hard. It's just really involved. I guess I just need to dive in. GO!!! :) Jell-O was not his favorite dessert, but it beat the overdone steak that he had just forced down a few minutes ago. The gelatinous, jiggling mass of horse hoof leftovers sat peacefully in the small bowl at his fingertips, but each time he tried to dip his spoon in for a bite he kept hearing the sounds of pained whinnying in the distance. "It's not just made from horse hooves,"

And So It Begins... The NaNo Madness

Well, friends, it's November, and we all know what that means! National Novel Writing Month has officially begun! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I was a little scared at first being that this is my first attempt at the seemingly lofty 50,000 word count goal, but I'm feeling pretty good. I went to my region's kick-off write-in, and from around 12:30 - 2am I wrote approximately 1700 words. Day 1 bare minimum write goal completed! Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't write more today. Oh, no, no, no. I have decided to try and get approximately 3,000 words in per day. That way I have a nice buffer zone for later on in the month when I inevitably hit a dead end / lose the wonderful benefits of this adrenaline rush. haha If you haven't already, add me on the NaNo website! My username is FarEom. The more writing buddies the merrier, says I! Good luck to all of you NaNo-ers!! Peace. Stef.