Category Archives: Writing

I write fiction…sometimes I share some here

Haiku Kachoo

Sometimes on Facebook
I perform feats of haiku
Now I post them here

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Sock-puppet

image by Rion / CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Oh…hello, spider
Wait there while I arm myself
Hey, where did you go?

Pack of ten hot dogs
Yet buns come in bags of eight
What madness is this?

Fresh from the dryer
Sort and fold the fragrant warmth
Where’s my other sock?

Ah, peanut butter
Smooth spread of roasted delight
I eat the power

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Have a haiku you’d like to share?  How do you dispose of the two extra hot dogs?  And how many socks have you lost to the devouring void?

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The Breakfast Taco Not Meant to Be

Cereal-Fruity-Pebbles

A delicious bowl of Fruity Pebbles cereal
PD image via Wikimedia Commons

On a morning bright with promise,
I attempted a reinterpretation
Of the breakfast taco.

But, alas,
When I held aloft my intended feast,
The Fruity Pebbles escaped
In a flurry of rainbow snow,
Leaving my tortilla as empty as my dream
Of the breakfast taco not meant to be.

Blog Hop: My Writing Process

A Cat

A cat improves any blog post…
PD image via Pixabay

Recently the most excellent Ellen Gregory tagged me for a blog hop where writers answer four questions about their creative process.  The rules require one to publish their post on a Monday and tag three people, who are supposed to publish their posts the next Monday. They tag three more people, and the blog hop spreads in the manner of one of my favorite metaphors, the zombie virus 😉

I was supposed to do my post last Monday, but I couldn’t because of assorted busyness that included a trip to visit my grandparents and eat their donuts, which were chocolate-frosted and deliciously decadent (the donuts, not the grandparents).

Since it’s Monday again, I will attempt to propagate the zombie virus help keep the blog hop going.

And now for the questions…

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The Month of the Haiku

I’ve never been a huge consumer of poetry, but I’ve long enjoyed silly fun with haikus.  As February is National Haiku Writing Month, I’ve written a few which Catherine Johnson has kindly posted on her blog.

And while you’re there, check out some of her other posts.  She does a lot of fun stuff with poetry and painting and is an all-around excellent human.

How to Write an Academic Paper (with Zombies!)

But first, a word from this post’s sponsor:

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because only zombies and bandit-survivors of the nuclear apocalypse have no need for proper grammar.

Don’t be a zombie or a bandit-survivor of the nuclear apocalypse.

Pencils

A Bouquet of Pencils
PD image via Pixabay

As part of my continuing exploits as a middle-aged college student, I took an English class, which reacquainted me with the writing of academic papers.  They conformed to the same basic structure, one which worked well when destiny later demanded I write a scientific research paper for a biology class.

Now I will share this powerful knowledge with my blog followers.

Yes, both of you.

A basic academic paper has three parts:

1.  An Introduction

No, not the kind of introduction where you’re like, “Hi, my name is Hercules and I’m a legendary hero.  It’s a pleasure for you to meet me.”

Instead, the introduction lays the groundwork for the paper.  It might include an amusing anecdote, an attention grabber, important background information, or other wondrous and informative possibilities.

One thing the introduction MUST include is a thesis statement, which outlines the paper’s main points and indicates the overall stance the author will take.

2.  A Body

No, not the kind of body that could turn into a zombie when you’re not looking.

The body of an academic paper presents the main points, with supporting arguments and explanations to back them up.  If writing a research paper, it should contain properly-cited quotations plundered from an authorized repository of human knowledge, such as a library or the internet.

Writing a Paper

The Hands of a Writer at Work
PD image via Pixabay

3.  A Conclusion

No, not the kind of conclusion that ends with a cliffhanger, like when a galactic bounty hunter escapes with a scruffy-looking nerf herder frozen in carbonite, and the teacher has to wait three years to find out what happens next.

In a proper conclusion, the writer generally repeats the thesis and main points, but using different words to create the illusion of exciting new content.  The best papers often end with an insightful piece of wisdom, promising calamity if humankind ignores the grim warning contained within.

*     *     *

Now for an example…

The Friendship of the Dead

Since George A. Romero’s classic film, Night of the Living Dead, appeared in 1968, zombies have shambled and devoured their way into popularity.  Today, one cannot throw a stick in a random direction inside a bookstore without toppling a pyramid of zombie novels, and zombie movies continue to spread through theaters, much like the contagions they depict.  Cities across the nation host regular “zombie walks,” festive gatherings where participants dress as their favorite zombies for entertainment and charitable purposes.  Despite their iconic status, zombies lack personal hygiene as well as social grace, ensuring they make terrible friends for the living.

Zombies ignore their grooming needs.  When the living start their day, they put on clean clothes, brush their teeth, and comb their hair.  Zombies do none of these things, no matter how many days, weeks, or months shuffle past them.  Their lack of personal maintenance often results in unfortunate skin conditions requiring an ointment, yet even then, they cannot trouble themselves with a minimum level of care.  As a result, zombies fail to look their best when taking them out to dinner for the evening.

Once at the restaurant, zombies reveal their astounding lack of manners.  If they do not bite the server, they use the wrong fork with their entree, assuming they bother with silverware at all.  Zombies often eat with their fingers, despite how poorly this works with soup and pie, while their hampered social acuity blinds them to the scandalized stares they draw from the restaurant’s other customers.  They spurn the after-dinner mint no matter how much they might need one, and they never offer to pick up the check, nor do they chip in for gas on the way home after yet another dining fiasco.

Though zombies find many fans among the living, their failure to pursue effective beauty regimens, along with their insufficient social skills, make them poor choices for meaningful friendship.  Their popularity endures despite these shortcomings, but what of the danger in continuing to hold them in such high regard?  The next time the living attend a zombie walk, they might fail to tell the difference between real zombies and themselves and not even realize their mistake until their dinner guests stick them with the check at the restaurant, leaving them without enough gas money to get home.  What fate for the living then?

Chef

I Like This Picture of a Chef
PD image via Pixabay

*     *     *

Do zombies really make terrible friends?  Could they be merely misunderstood, like some shambling horde of 21st-century Casper the Friendly Ghosts?  Or is it Caspers the Friendly Ghost?  Caspers the Friendly Ghosts?  Oh, I give up…

The Hidden Dance World

Except for The Dresden Files and the first Twilight book, which I reviewed here, I haven’t read much urban fantasy.  Not out of any dislike of the genre–it’s just how my reading habits have unfolded over the years.

But I think I have a sense of the genre’s possibilities.

I’ve also never seen any dance films like those exemplified by the Step Up series.  But after seeing a number of movie trailers, reading various capsule reviews, and consulting learned scholars, I’ve realized something…

Urban fantasy fiction and dance films have a lot in common.

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Lather: The Twinkle Jackson Story – A Round-Robin Tale, Chapter Two

image via Laird Sapir

Last year, some of my writer friends banded together to fight crime take turns writing an epic saga, The Octopus Knows.  Each writer contributed a chapter on their blog, and together they discovered a harrowing drama replete with mystery and glittering pageantry.

My academic obligations prevented me from participating at the time, so I missed out on the fun.  Now everyone is collaborating on another story, and this time I’m able to contribute.

As the universe itself is a rather structured place, it follows certain rules.  This narrative effort is no different:

1) each writer must pick up the story where the last person left off and continue it on their own blog, and

2) provide a link back to the person who wrote the entry before theirs as well as a link at the end of their chapter directing readers to the next person on the list.

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