It was 5:59 a.m. as Larry made his way from the back storeroom up the big center aisle past the heaped sales tables to the glass doors. He could feel the tension in the air as the press of women bore down on the plate glass. He hoped it didn’t break before he could get the door open. He couldn’t stand Early Bird sales. Usually he tried to hide out in the stock room for the first fifteen or twenty minutes till the blood lust had calmed down a little on the sales floor. Continue reading “Point of View Exercise”
It’s come to it at last. Scuffles in broad daylight over the catnip patch.
Fluffy Bum, who rarely ventures outside has discovered Miss Kitten’s well kept secret. There’s catnip in the vegetable bed. In hindsight, Miss Kitten’s been hiding her little habit very well. We just thought she was feeling good for her age. Little did we suspect she’s been getting high on catnip. We think it’s been going on for months. It’s only recently come to light, however, since Fluffy Bum developed a fondness for the “evil” weed as well.
Miss Kitten has made it plain that if she sees Fluffy Bum anywhere near the catnip, there’s going to be trouble. But the power this plant has over them is truly incredible. Even in the certain knowledge that she’s going to get beat up, Fluffy Bum makes straight for the catnip at every opportunity.
Today Miss Kitten made an even bolder move declaring her adoration for her special herb. She purred and rubbed face in the catnip, took a bite, and then attacked the plant as if it were hiding a family of mice.
A freelance writer interested in adventure travel wrote me to ask:
“Is there any room for professionals with these adventure jobs? Like you, I am a desktop publisher with an MA in Creative Writing and a BA in Technical Writing. Do these adventure jobs have openings for people who want to use their education while working and traveling instead of shifting gears to lead tours or bartend? Those jobs sound great, but I would feel guilty abandoning my years of education and experience.” Continue reading “Writing for the Adventure Travel Market”
Why do people drive around in the fog with no headlights on? Do they think they are immortal? This morning we had to go through a thick fog on the way to school, which makes me nervous to begin with. I mean it’s one thing when I’m alone in the car, but when my children are with me I worry much more. It seems like one in every four cars has no lights on–the drivers oblivious in the pea soup. Now I don’t know about the rest of the country, but most vehicles where I live are HUGE. For example one particular “immortal” I passed this morning was driving a 1-ton, dual wheeled pick-up truck. To make matters worse, it was a BLACK pick-up truck, and it was about 6 feet from me when I finally saw it–traveling at seventy miles per hour. YIKES!
And did I mention the little old lady driving at speed down the shoulder? Large white sedan, no lights. It’s amazing she didn’t kill anyone. Combine that with the never-ending road construction, the high speed limits, and the lead-footedness of most of the drivers in Madison County, and you really take your life in your hands when you venture out in the fog here.
And then there are the fog lights. After living and driving in Europe for many years, I became familiar with the rules for using fog lights. A friend once told about being stopped in a rental car in England because his fog lights were on when they shouldn’t have been – the policeman leaned down and asked “Foggy in there, is it?” Here in Texas, the cars have BIG fog lights on the front, and none on the back, and there are no rules in the state of Texas to govern their use. The result is that you see these yahoos in their pick-ups with fog lights blazing at all hours of the day and night in every kind of weather EXCEPT FOG!!!
In 2010 I belonged to the Madison County Writers Guild where we worked our way through Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft. It was a lot of fun.
Here’s a part of the first exercise we did. The instructions were to write a paragraph that included at least three repetitions of a noun, verb, or adjective.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, came the noise from across the aisle as the man chewed his Fritos. She tried to ignore him, staring straight ahead as the elevated train squealed going around a bend in the tracks. Crunch, crunch, crunch – it was growing louder as to her horror, the man leaned across the aisle. He stank and his clothes were foul and stained. The smell of him was even stronger than the smell of the corn chips. Crunch, crunch, crunch, Smack! She heard closer still as he reached out and tugged her sleeve. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to will him away.
“Excuse me, Miss” he exhaled his foul breath across her, “but can you tell me what stop comes next?”