Tag Archives: writing

In Praise of Pen and Paper

People say flying is safer than driving.  I think there are a lot of reasons behind this.  For one thing, most people have a couple of cars, but few people have a couple of planes parked in front of their houses.  Unless they’re John Travolta.  Which means most people drive a lot more than they fly.  So there are more wrecks than there are plane crashes.

Doesn’t mean planes are way better than cars.  I like what one comedian said about it – “At least when my car stalls, I don’t plummet 30,000 feet.”  Good point, man.

Also, planes have creepy faces.

Also, planes have creepy faces.

Same with computers.  I like computers.  They make a lot of stuff easier.  You can copy and paste without glue, and you can save entire books to tiny travel drives that you can then lose, and you don’t get ink on your fingers or bed sheets.  I used to write in spiral notebooks with an erasable ink pen.  I couldn’t erase the ink  off my sheets, which happened because I always had a spiral and a pen in my bed writing stories, and sometimes forgot about them.  I used to have stacks of these notebooks.

I don’t write by hand much anymore.  I blame school for destroying my hand with all the notes I had to write.  My hand cramps if I write more than a paragraph now.  But that’s okay, because we have computers, and we can store stuff on the Internetz or even better on the Cloud.

I like clouds.  Sometimes they look like bunnies, or Velociraptors.  I’m not so sure about storing information on them. They don’t seem that stable, what with the fluffiness.

Happy little cloud . . .

Happy little cloud . . .

Last night I wrote on a story.  I spent a few hours.  And then I saved it.  I’m pretty sure I did, because it always asks if I’m sure I don’t want to save and it didn’t ask that.  Computers are supposed to check on you in case you’re stupid that way.  Right after it disappeared from the screen, I could not find it.  I thought it was accidentally saved in a temporary file. You can’t find those blasted things for anything.  I did all the stuff it said to recover files in the troubleshooting guide, except actually shoot the computer, which I was tempted to do.

There are various ways to extract files from your computer.

There are various ways to extract files from your computer.

I think my work is on a freaking cloud somewhere.  Poof.

Pen and ink might be old fashioned.  But when I’m done writing, it doesn’t plummet 30,000 feet into the cybersphere either.  Sometimes I miss the old days, even with inky sheets.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Here I am baby
Signed, sealed delivered
I’m yours
– Stevie Wonder.

Is blogging writing?  I find that an amusing question.  I’ve seen people debate this in various articles, blogs, and so on.  Many people don’t know what blogging is, and if they do know, they don’t care.  Isn’t that just, like, an online diary?  Isn’t it kind of, you know, narcissistic?

me
Wait, where did that come from?

Well, yes, but I’m really not sure what isn’t when it comes to writing.  And yes, of course blogging is writing.  I know there are some bloggers who would hesitate to call themselves writer, as if writer were this magical title only bestowed upon those lucky enough to get published.  Let’s think about that a moment, shall we?  Who do we know who has gotten published and has the brain of a sea monkey?  That’s right.  E.L. James has been published and made millions!  Does that make her a writer?

Yes, it does.  She’s a BAD writer, yes, but still, a writer.  Anyone who puts a pen to paper or fingers to keys is a writer.  But there are, as always, degrees.  I had a college professor hand me back my paper once and tell me, “You can write, Alice.  I can teach certain things like structure and grammar, but I can’t teach this.  You have it or you don’t.”  Would you believe I had a major crush on this teacher?  Yeah, big surprise.  But he had a point.  People can improve to an extent, but either you have natural talent, or you do not.

E.L. : You don't.

E.L. : You don’t.

So there are bloggers out there, just like there are some published writers, who suck.  I mean, really suck.  Reading E.L. James was like repeatedly hitting speed bumps with my car, only instead of speed bumps they were stupid things.  La la la STUPID  la la STUPID la la la STUPID STUPID STUPID la la etc.  It’s hard to concentrate that way.  I’ve seen some blogs -no none of yours – that are also pretty awful.  A good way to find some of these blogs is to check out some of the random people who follow you before anyone else knows who you are.  For instance, there was one guy from the Middle East whose blog consisted mostly of pictures of half naked, overweight American women.  He was one of my first followers.  But he was what I’d call a “bad blogger.”

He DID earn one of these, though.

He DID earn one of these, though.

But there are so many good bloggers!  And just like with publishing, there are many who haven’t been noticed yet.  They just need a little push, usually from someone who already has an audience, and then bang!  Like me, they become wildly famous!  Yeah, okay, I’m not a famous blogger, but that’s okay.  I have an audience of loyal readers and I’m happy with that.  There was a time, and this probably happens with a lot of bloggers, that I thought – hey, maybe someone will publish this mish-mash of stuff I vomited on the page!  But I’m mostly past that now (not that I would turn it down Mr. bored publisher who happened upon my blog!).  All I’ve ever really wanted was to make people laugh, and sometimes think a little, but mostly just laugh.  And I do that.

Ha, ha, ha.

Ha, ha, ha.

I’ve seen what writers go through to get published.  Just check out Carrie Rubin’s blog to see the fun she’s had on the road to publishing.  By the way, she has this book out, and another one is coming out soon.  But the thing is, it’s just not worth it to me, at least not at this point.  Maybe when the kids are older, maybe when I have more time, maybe when I start farting unicorns, I don’t know.  But right now, at this moment, what I have is okay.

So in a way, this is kind of my love letter to my readers, and just in time for Valentine’s Day.  I can pretend I don’t care if anyone reads my stuff.  Like, I am a writer, and I’m good at it, I know this, and I don’t have to have people validate it.  I don’t have to, but, well . . .

signed sealed delivered

Pathetic?  Some might say so.  So be it.  Because here I am, right here, writing for myself, but also for the ones who read me.  I’ve discovered that there are more than I realize, people who read and don’t comment, who just “like” or even who just breeze by.  None of us can know how much we affect other people day by day.  Some of the best comments I can get are “That made me laugh.” or “That brightened my day.”  or best of all “That made me snort my drink through my nose, thanks Alice!”

So now I thank you.

Signed, sealed, delivered,

Alice

I Write the Posts . . .

I write the posts that make my readers cringe

I write the posts that say goooofy things . . .

Oh, hello there, just channeling my inner Barry Manilow.  Occasionally I throw him up.  I bet you didn’t know how poetical I can be.  Well, first off I’m an English major (no, seriously) even though I just ended a sentence back there with a preposition (I can name you 50 of those.  There’s no point, but an English teacher made us memorize them in 7th grade).  I also have troubles with commas and semicolons and occasionally I will write a run on sentence and forget hyphens but really who cares about doing that or using multiple “ly” adverbs cause it’s totally my blog.  Where was I?

poetry 2

Stay with us, Alice

Poetics!  Right.  Did you know that according to that writer generator everyone’s been talking about I write like Stephen King?  Scary, huh?  Or possibly this dude I don’t recognize.  But my favorite match was William Shakespeare.  The Great Bard himself, of course!  Forsooth, verily we art alike and crapeth.  You don’t believe me?  Well, I was just talking with some peeps about growing my blog the other day and they said peeps like them some poetry.  I can totally rock with that.  I wrote poetry back when I was in elementary school.  Sadly my parents did not save it, which is a shame because I’m sure I was the ultimate prodigy there.

We're practically twins, Will and I.

We’re practically twins, Will and I.

Back when I went to church, I was at some ladies retreat thing.  For some reason they wanted us to write a poem.  The others in my group found out I was an English major, so obviously I would know poetry, right?  Here is the poem I wrote:

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Jesus is Great

And so are You

They didn’t ask me to write a poem again, for some reason.  But I just know I have a spark of genius in me, some bit of Longfellow, or Frost, or Seuss.  Okay, here goes.

Children are angels

Who fell from Heaven

And into Hell

The Things will just love the sentiment in this one, I’m sure.  But there’s something wrong.  Oh, I know – I didn’t make it rhyme!  While I have read some really great free verse poetry from my fellow bloggers, I have also known quite a few people who thought free verse was an excuse to write really bad prose in a fancy way.  I like rhymes.  Most of the time.

If you write it pretty and put a flower on it, it is automatically good.

If you write it pretty and put a flower on it, the poem is automatically good.

It’s hard to make a living as a poet.  Unless you do something like write greeting cards.  I could totally do that.  Along the same thread, here’s my greeting card for expectant mothers.

You’re having a baby

A treasure to keep

You’ll change lots of nappies

And you’ll never sleep.

I know, such untapped potential!  You will notice that not only did my poem rhyme this time, but I used a British word for diapers – nappies.  Anything British automatically makes you sound like an intellectual.  Now I can go to book stores and do poetry slams and wear berets and sip fru-fru coffee and spout my theories about life.

So I ask you – are you a poet and don’t know it (it never ends, the genius)?  Or do you know it?  Who is your favorite poet?

The Week Ahead!

March your calendars for stupid!

March your calendars for stupid!

Hullo, all.  I thought I’d update you on what is coming up (besides possibly my lunch) in the week ahead.  Tomorrow we have our eleventh lesson in 50 Shades Flunked.  It’s a doozie.  Don’t miss it.  I know some of you have skipped class lately, and risk being dropped from Smut University.  Sad Pony cries for you.  Especially if you still don’t realize you’re enrolled.

Also, I’m proud to announce that the Things and I have finally finished Twilight II: New Moon.  It took us a while.  I think we rented it three separate times.  The Things became interested in chores and early bedtimes.  But we persevered, readers, and I do believe this is the best one yet, thanks to the nutty brilliance of The Things.  It will be another three-parter, starting on Thursday.

But what else will you do with this blog, you might wonder.  Or, what WON’T you do with this blog at this point?  That’s up to you!  If you have suggestions of something you’d like me to write about, just let me know.  I’m happy to review crappy books and movies, because I have something wrong with me.  Actually I can write about almost anything, whether I know what I’m talking about or not, because I don’t have to bother with pesky research.  Anyhoo, just drop me a line down the rabbit hole in the comments or an email.  See ya soon.

Alice

And that is why I get nothing done.

My family went away last weekend.  They left Saturday morning.  I was hoping to use this time to write on my book.  Here is what I had gotten done by Saturday evening.

  1. I woke up at around 8:00 and ate breakfast and said bye to family and sat at the computer and did facebook and checked my wordpress and responded to some comments and obsessively stared at my stats.  Also I emailed.
  2. I went back to bed.  Woke up again at about 11:30.  I ate leftover pizza.  I messed around on the Internet a bit more.  I searched Google Images, which is scary, in order to find pictures to represent my interviews of fictional people, which was better than the night before when I spent about half an hour trying to find the sexiest picture of Commander Riker from Star Trek.  I went back to bed.
  3. I woke up again about 3:30.  I got on the Internet. 

No I’m not.

You may be seeing a pattern here.  I have a problem with the Internet.  I’m not sure, though, that I have an actual Internet addiction.  You see, I took a quiz – on the Internet – a while back and it said probably I had a problem, because I took the quiz in the first place, but really, I think the problem is something else.  I call it insomnia + medication + lazy.  Also, we recently bought a new bed.

Not this one. I just think it’s awesome.

For thirteen years, my husband and I had been sleeping on a bed that was handed down to us by someone who had slept on it for at least thirteen years as well meaning the dust mite population was probably up to 5 billion by that point.  Also, it was rather uncomfortable.  This mattress was made when manufacturers thought it would be the height of comfort to put buttons all over the top.  My husband started sleeping on the couch and bringing cushions and blankets and leaving them on the couch all day which kind of annoyed me because that is not the Better Homes and Gardens look and I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart hates me.

So we decided to buy a new mattress with our tax return money.  We didn’t realize, though, how much they charge for mattresses.  They apparently are made from gold thread spun by Rumplestiltskin.  So we went to a few stores and we laid on this bed, and then that bed, and then another bed.  One bed was too hard, and one was too soft, and one was just right but cost a million dollars.  Finally, we tried a mattress at one store that had one of those padding things added to the top and it was gushy but there was this problem that we were too close together.  I couldn’t believe this was a queen mattress.  I informed the mattress store people that we’d been married over ten years and really didn’t want to be that close to each other anymore.  They thought it was funny, and then they realized I wasn’t actually kidding.  I don’t like touching people when I sleep.  I like a no touch zone during sleepy times. And I’ve touched hubby a lot by now so that’s kind of old hat.

Too hard, too soft, too freaking expensive.
Also they all have bears in them.

So we went with the king mattress.  It’s huge and fills up a large part of our bedroom.  The kids loved it and so I had to buy them a real trampoline.  They still use it.  But so do my husband and me.  I can’t even tell my husband’s in it with me.  We call to each other from either side of the mattress.  And it is major comfy – maybe a little too comfy.  Because I like to sleep on it.  A whole bunch.

So I got a new mattress.  And I have a computer.  And that is why I get nothing done.