For this week’s post, I thumb my nose at a piece of writing advice. (Well, two pieces actually, since I just used a cliché.) Good writers, they say, opt for the word “said” during dialogue so as to avoid scenes like:
"Let's go to the movies," he posited.
"I disagree," she demurred.
Herewith, consider my nose thumbed.
“I want to climb that mountain,” she says.
The foothill lures her spirit,
Beckoning wide paths seduce her.
Flooded with energy, she skips.
“The path gets narrower,” she notices.
A switchback challenges her footsteps,
Scribbling tree roots trip her.
Worried but still powerful, she continues.
“Should I carry on?” she puffs.
The incline steals her breath,
Aching muscles betray her.
Depleted of oxygen, she schlepps.
“I can’t do this,” she whines.
An obstacle blocks her progress,
Darkening skies shadow her.
Deprived of hope, she sleeps.
“But . . . my goal is just there,” she awakens.
The dawn illuminates her next steps,
Daunting barriers dissolve before her.
Reinvigorated by inspiration, she climbs.
“What a view!” she cries.
A summit reveals her success,
Haunting memories flee from her.
Satiated with completeness, she savours.
“Now what?” she wonders.
The downward path answers,
Waning desire to remain prompts her.
Evolved for a new task, she descends.
“If I go down, I can climb a higher mountain,” she says.
For 6 minutes, write lines of dialogue. The first letter of each new line must be the next letter in the alphabet, A to Z.
Here is my result. Keep in mind . . . I only had 6 minutes so, yeah, it’s a little crazy. And I didn’t get all the way through the alphabet the first go-round. I got as far as O. All the letters after that I completed in a subsequent 6-minute time allotment.
An elephant can't fit through there.
Butt's too big.
Can we push?
Don't think that'll help.
Elephant weighs eight tons.
For F*&!'s sake.
Get me a lever.
How about an axe?
In case of emergency, break ass?
Joker, ha ha.
Look behind the mandrill's cage.
Manny the Masturbator?
Notice how he drools when you walk by?
Oh no, he prefers blondes.
Perhaps everyone does, even the elephant.
Quite annoying, that is.
Ridiculous, like this situation.
Suppose we go around?
Through the zebra's field.
Unbelievable how you used the Z word before the end.
Verily, I say onto you ... no worries.
X was the real problem, because there's another word for Z.
Yes, this place is a real ...
My first poem for April’s poetry month. I decided to do an Ottava rima because it sounded like Ottawa, where I live, even though Ottawa has nothing to do with the number 8. (Ottawa is derived from the Algonquin word “adawe”, which means “to trade.”)
The poem has eight lines with an abababcc rhyming scheme. Inspired by the photo below.
Going through old posts, I found a picture to give us a boost today.
It is the time of year for potholes in Ottawa, Canada where I live. The ground is thawing and contracting after expanding through the frozen winter. Road salt exacerbates the damage to the asphalt that crumbles under the wheels of cars.
On this pothole, patched by black asphalt, a happy person painted an orange happy face.
When life sends you potholes, put on a happy face.
My family is so many generations deep in Canada that I don’t really feel Irish. A little Irish-ish, maybe.
Enough that tomorrow I will drink Irish beer and eat Guinness Stew sopped up with Irish Soda Bread.
I do it to honour my ancestors who immigrated and suffered—really suffered—so that I can sit in my warm house and eat plentiful food in good health. They lived in a remote log cabin. No plumbing. No furnace. No Mac’s Milk on the corner or butchery down the street.
It is especially fitting to do so this year, during a pandemic, because in 1866 my ancestors lost three children in one week to a diphtheria epidemic.
Children aged 13, 11 and 9 just . . . gone . . . in the space of a week.
Three children in one week lost to a disease that we never have to think about because WE HAVE VACCINES.
Time has made some people complacent. North Americans born after 1920 don’t know how death used to brush up close in daily life. Our generation has never seen with our own eyes an entire family wiped out in a week, because WE HAVE VACCINES.