The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, August 4, 2017

Misconceptions and Back-of-the-Book Blurb #70


              I hate chihuahuas. I really do. They're small, they yap a lot, and they're ankle-biters. 

             However, I discovered I like chihuahua mixes. This is my half-sister's dog (Chloe) and she is a cutie. She's an odd-looking dog, which probably accounts for part of the reason why I'm so fond of her.

            Before I visited the Grand Canyon, I imagined there would be hundreds of people jostling at every viewing spot. In my mind, every time we stopped, there would be a crowd 10 or 12 people deep, all of them trying to see the canyon. The night before we went to the park, I even dreamed that someone pushed me (deliberately) so they could get a better look.

          We got to the park and to the canyon before the sun rose, and it was just us. No one to spoil the surreal quiet.  At various times during the day, there were one or two dozen people--at most--at each spot. At sunset, there were more people, but definitely less than I initially envisioned.

          And my final misconception for today: success can be measured only by how many books/articles/stories we've published. That's what some people want us to think, but it's so, so wrong.

         Not long ago, Angela Macintosh sent me a link to a story she'd gotten published. Not only is it raw and unflinching, she also used a clever way to organize it. (I am sooooo going to steal her organizational idea, along with teaching my students about it.) 

         No, it's not a book. Angela won't get rich off this publishing deal. It's a slice-of-life story. But this one story could help other people who are touched by someone's suicide. She's made a difference in the world. In my opinion, that means Angela's successful. (If you would like to read her story, go here. )

          And now onto book blurb stuff...
            Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a nonfiction piece? Is it a guide for nudists? You decide.

         Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book. 

          Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, has three different cabana boys at her beck and call, and writes while looking at a lovely landscape. What a life! Now, however, she's too busy to host a weekly book blurb, so you're all stuck with me.

           Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:

The Four-Dollar Mystery
          Andy couldn’t figure it out. People would stop, they’d smile while they handed him money, but every donation was $4. Folks didn’t hand him a dollar. Or some change. Or a five-dollar bill. Each and every time, they gave him four bucks.
Oh, Andy was grateful for everything he got as he stood on the street corner and begged. He was desperate. Two weeks earlier, his wife and kids had gotten snatched by masked ninjas dressed in black. Every night he’d sob himself to sleep, worried he’d never see them again.
But this four-dollar mystery now eclipsed his worries. What kind of crazy was this? Every person gave the same amount:  $ 4. It was truly bizarre.
Will Andy get his family back? Will he raise enough to get karate lessons? Most importantly, will he ever figure out why he’s getting help in four-dollar increments? (a gross; 144 words)

Speaking of ninjas, if you have somehow missed watching this video of the "literal" version of the song Total Eclipse of the Heart, you can go here to see it.

And for anyone who wants to play next week, here is the photo:

Monday, July 31, 2017

I Love My Job (She Whispered)

     Last week, I was in a car with five other women/girls. Two other adult women--all 3 of us on the verge of turning 60--and two 11-year olds.

This was the back of our rented minivan when we left.
We needed lots of "stuff" for the six of us for the week-long trip.

     One of the women was talking about how much she hated her job. The other one was talking about how she was looking forward to retiring. I kept my mouth shut (feeling a bit guilty?) and simply reflected on my job... 'cause I retired and then went back to work.

Here is a shot of five of us--one of us was
"missing" when the picture was taken.

     I love my job that much.

     Now, if you're thinking that I'm in some saccharine-sweet dreamland, you'd be wrong. I've had teaching jobs where I loved my students and colleagues, but would poke pins into principal voodoo dolls every night. I've had serious struggles with occasional students. I've been driven to drink (chocolate milk) because of a few parents. But the everyday work?

     That I adore.

      And I'm wondering how many other people love their job... Am I in the minority? I imagine I am. I imagine most people hate the work they do, or at least they dislike it for the most part.

     So my questions are:  Do you love your job or do you hate it? If you're retired, what is the best part, and do you miss any part of your former job? If you aren't crazy about your job, what would be your dream job?