The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seven Things You Won't Be Able to Unthink

       Yesterday I was surprised. Upon checking out Cathy C. Hall's post, I saw I had received an award. It involves lots of money. Lots of photo opportunities. Lots of whirlwind press tours. I cannot wait.

        In the meantime, here is the lowdown:

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award rules are:
• Display the award on your blog
• Link back to the person who nominated you
• State 7 things about yourself
• Nominate 15 bloggers, link to them, and notify them about their nominations.

First, here are the 15 handful of bloggers I am nominating. (Hey, Cathy didn't follow the rules. I am going to maverick it up just like she did and be a follow-the-trailblazer.)

Val--She has a small but fierce following. Seinfeld's show was about nothing. Her blog posts are also about nothing... and the hilarity is real and it's spectacular.

Shay--All you have to do is check out her poetry, and you know why people follow her with their mouths all frothed up...

Pat--Her posts about her dog and her cat always make me smile... or make me go "awww."

Mama Zen--MZ does more with less. She writes powerful poetry in just a few words.

And here are the 7 things about me:

* I really love high heels, but my family forces me to wear Crocs. (Okay, I love the look of high heels... on other people... while I sit there smugly, wearing my comfortable Crocs. And my family doesn't force me to wear them. Instead, they beg me to ditch the Crocs. Not gonna happen...)

* I'm an expert donkey basketball player. Actually, I've only played it once, but it was a huge hoot. Everyone sits on a donkey (instead of acting like a donkey, which I sometimes do). It's done in a high school gym. The donkeys stand there, completely still, which makes you get all cocky, until the trainer walks by and smacks the donkey on the rear. Then, the donkey goes from standing still to 53 mph in 4 seconds... and while you're careening around the gym, you're also supposed to try and make baskets. (This was done as a fundraiser for the school district I used to teach in.)

* One of my all-time favorite books is Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton. If you want to read a heartbreaking novel about what apartheid did to one family, this is the book for you.

* I've been skydiving three times. All tandem jumps. Someday, I'll do a solo jump.

* I was a tomboy growing up. I wore overalls every day my junior and senior year of high school, played tackle football when I was a pre-teen, and never even wore lipstick until I was in my 40's. Seriously. (And you all thought I was a Glam Queen...)

* In reality, I look just like Halle Berry--at least once a week, someone stops me and wants to get their picture taken with me--but I frump myself up so everyone around me doesn't feel like they're in my shadow. Okay, in actuality, people see me and without me even telling them, they know I'm a teacher. Maybe it's the BUS (butt-ugly shoes)? Maybe it's the Samsonites under my eyes? Maybe it's the downtrodden spirit I (sometimes) stink of? Who knows... 

* I belong to the best writing critique group there is. The WWWPs--there's five of us--and we laugh so much, it sometimes tests the absorbency of our pantyliners.

There you have it. If you don't have to gouge out your mind's eye after envisioning me riding a donkey with my Crocs on and my frumpy hairstyle all in a swirl... well, you've got a stronger constitution than most...

Monday, March 2, 2015

When Poetry and Prose Intersect

       I am currently reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I'm a little more than a hundred pages into it. As its central characters, the novel has a blind girl living in France and an orphan boy living in Germany. The boy is being groomed by the Nazis because of his genius when it comes to radios and anything else his mind grasps. Somehow the two are going to connect... I'm not sure how.

       It's slow reading because I'm savoring the lines. Doerr writes prose like a poet. The images, the lines--they're so well crafted, and if the reader rushes, some gems will be overlooked.

       Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine is like that as well. I could just imagine Bradbury--like a diamond cutter--turning each phrase this way and that way, chipping away bits until the brilliance of his words was allowed to shine. Don't we all want that as writers and what we all hope for as readers? Don't we all love when the words just drip off the page and flash their brilliance?

      What is a fine line or phrase you've encountered (or crafted) recently? A writerly mind wants to know...