Tag Archives: Andy

Fading Away . . .

Most writers I know believe that, for some inexplicable reason, it’s easy for other writers to get their writing done. I certainly believe this.

For example, I know that it’s easy for Carol to knock out a book in a few days, tinker with it for a day or two after that, and then ship it off to her agent. She’s publishing on a pace slightly more than a book a year, so that means she’s got about 50 weeks of free time in any given year.

Andy is cut from the cloth. She’s so disciplined and efficient that she can write a complete chapter between labor pains. She now has three boys and a house to take care of—no problem. Books appear in her head, fully-formed, and she just needs to find a few minutes each night to sit at a keyboard and download it all. Kind of like taking dictation.

Anyway, like Carol, Andy is awash in energy, creativity, and free time.

In contrast, I am a tortoise, and not the plodding, successful type featured in the time-worn fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.” I am a prehistoric tortoise, one slowed not only by the weighty and cumbersome shell but also by the ravages of age. In the time it takes me to write a page, Carol and Andy will have popped out four or five polished chapters, baked an apple pie for their neighbors, watched three episodes of “Jersey Shores” and bossed around their yard boys for not keeping their lawns and sideburns tidy enough. In the time it takes me to finish a book, glaciers will have moved a mile closer to the sea. And it’s likely that my oldest granddaughter will be a graduate student by the time I can conceive and finish a new book.

I’m telling both of you this because I am officially retiring from throwing up words—and from writing blogs. To steal and morph a line from “His Coy Mistress,” “Had I words enough and time” I would be able to write a blog, teach my classes, grade my papers, and work on my own writing. But I’m not Speedy Gonzales or the Roadrunner when it comes to putting words together, so it’s time to conserve what feeble writing energy I have for writing a book project, not a blog.

So I’m going to fade away, to melt into the floor like Oz’s Wicked Witch, to ride off into the sunset, to crawl into a rocking chair with a 2-liter bottle of Geritol, to use what few lucid moments my brain can spare on writing books—and maybe playing with the grandkids.

Carol, Andy, and Kyra may soon be advertising for a replacement Junior Assistant Co-blogger for Throwing Up Words, and I’m sure they’ll have many fine, talented applicants.

Be warned, though, the pay sucks.

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Filed under Chris

Paranormal Haiku?

Andy ordered me to be the judge of the paranormal haiku that one of this blog’s two readers may write this week.  In case you’re reading, let me clarify what “paranormal haiku” are.

Paranormal defined:  literally, “two normals.”  Rarely confused with ‘fewanormal,’ which refers to three or four normals.  When Ann Dee and Carol Lunch Williams are together, you definitely do not have a paranormals.  Informally, ‘couplanormals’ is sometimes substituted for ‘paranormal,’ but its use is still considered nonstandard.  The prefix of this term, ‘para’ comes from the Greek, meaning “two” or “one more than one.”  ‘Normal’ is a city in Illinois (here’s their website) and is the capital of Weird County and the twin-city of Abnormal, Illinois.  The city of Normal derives its name from a hero in Roman mythology, Norman Medusaminster, who is considered the father of modern psychiatry.

Haiku defined: though misunderstood by many to be a traditional form of Japanese poetry, haiku is actually an American verse form developed by students at University of Kansas in the 1960s.  After a big basketball victory in Pfog Allen Fieldhouse on the KU campus, a literary group of long-hairs met to celebrate the big win by smoking a brick of maryjane.  While they were floating in their sweet and smoky whiter shade of pale, they began composing short poems to capture their enlightened states of euphoria after the big win.  After several attempts at naming their new verse, they settled on ‘High KU,’ which, in their stoned condition, they misspelled as ‘haiku.’  The spelling stuck.

Paranormal haiku defined:  two short poems celebrating the heroic deeds of Norman Medusaminster written in the precise form of the traditional High KU.

Of course, not everyone has my refined and sophisticated understanding of poetry, and their ignorance of the English language and of serious poetry perpetuates the misunderstanding of haiku in general and paranormal haiku in particular.  Two notable perversions of paranormal haiku are quite prominent in  American pop culture these days: Spam haiku, sometimes also known as ‘spamku,’ and Zombie haiku (don’t miss the accompanying video), but, as I have already established, these are amateurish perversions of true, literary paranormal haiku.

One other thing to remember about your submission, an important detail that Andy forgot to mention.  Because I bring so much prestige to the competition by serving as judge, there is an entry fee of $75 per syllable for each poem you enter.  That, and the $5 paranormal haiku handling charge.  So be sure to include 5 brand new $20 bills with your submission is you want it to be taken seriously.  Include only 4 brand new $20 bills if you want your submission to be taken.

Good luck, and may the best writer include the proper entrance fees!

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Filed under Chris, Project Writeway