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Fun With Words ~ Pronunciation Variations April 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
30 comments

Lumpus-MooseLearning to speak English is not intuitive.

Words spelled the same are often pronounced differently, and words spelled differently often share a common pronunciation.

Sound, bound, wound . . . but tuned, wound, swooned.

It’s hard to learn to read when we’re told, “just sound it out,” and the sounds are ever shifting . . . even for words spelled exactly the same:

1) The doctor wound the bandage around the wound.

2) The farmer used most of his acreage to produce produce.

3) The overflowing dump had to refuse to accept more refuse.

4) Each week, we polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead the way if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) There is no time like the present to present a present.

8 ) At the Army base, they painted a bass on the head of a bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) Invalid insurance will do the invalid no good.

12) The oarsmen had a row about how to row.

13) I won!  I am number one!

No matter how long we wonder and ponder, the pronunciation variations of the English language are apt to remain a mystery.

It’s why we love to write . . . right?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Feel free to share a few of your favorite English language idiosyncracies below!

Planet Word February 23, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Travel & Leisure, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
15 comments

For those of you with a love of linguistics . . . Planet Word is on the horizon.

And admission will be FREE!

D.C.’s Franklin School Will Be A Museum of Linguistics

And there is a line of handy dandy Food Trucks outside for inevitable snack attacks in the stacks!

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more about Planet Word: A Message from the Founder

Little Pitchers Have Big Ears February 10, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Humor, Writing & Writers.
48 comments

Donald-Duck-BaseballMy feet dragged down the hall.

I found my older brother Wally sprawled on his bed doing homework.

He glanced up, saw my glum face, and said, “Hey, Teddy.  What’s wrong?”

“Mom and dad are getting divorced.”

Wally shook his head.  “No way, you doofus . . . they’re BFFs.”

“I heard her say so.”

“To who?”

“Don’t know.  Her bedroom door was closed.”

“What did you hear?”

“Hmm . . . ‘I’m tired of being taken for granted.  I want to be swept off my feet’ . . . whatever that means.”

“That doesn’t mean they’re getting divorced.”

“Duh!  I know that!  I’m not stupid.”

“Duly noted.  What else did you hear?”

I better get flowers this Valentine’s Day . . . or I’m getting a divorce.”

Wally frowned.  “I don’t get it.  Mom doesn’t even like flowers.  She has allergies.  They make her sneeze.  I wonder if . . .”

Just then, mom appeared at the door.

“Hey, guys, guess what!  That play I auditioned for . . . I got the part!  Rehearsals start tonight so I’m busy going over my lines.  Pizza OK for dinner?”

Wally nodded.  “Pizza’s great. Hey, mom, do your lines mention flowers, divorce, and Valentine’s Day?”

Now mom looked confused. “Yes. How did you know that?”

“A little pitcher told me.”

I grinned at Wally and hugged mom. “Great news, mom.  Break a leg!”

* * * * * *

Written for Susanna’s 2nd Annual Valentiny Writing Contest.  Entries accepted through 2/14.  Complete rules ~> HERE.

 

 

 

There’s An App For That? November 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Life Balance, Writing & Writers.
34 comments

PC-CatI am enjoying getting to know my way around two new Apple devices . . . despite the S~T~E~E~P learning curve encountered in transitioning from Windows XP (and an archaic flip phone).

Navigating the menu bars on these high-tech tools has been both fun and time-consuming.

question-mark3aA whole new world of technology has opened up for me, including that of the App store.

So today’s post will be über short . . .

Just a quick question:

What’s your favorite App?

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

iThink . . . iCan . . . November 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Less IS More, Writing & Writers.
42 comments

Apple-Logo-in-YellowThis is the first blog post I’ve written on my iPad mini . . . utilizing a Lilliputian keyboard.

It’s the first Apple product I’ve ever owned.

It’s the first time I’ve done any “serious writing” (ha!) on a diminutive keyboard.

It’s the first time I couldn’t rely on my able mouse to help me highlight, cut, paste, and otherwise edit my musings.

What should you expect?

That it will take me twice as long to say half as much.

300px-Escher's_Relativity

Aah . . . that’s better!

Piles of Poetic Jello February 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
48 comments

170px-alice_par_john_tenniel_30Wading through descriptive prose that sounds poetic but makes no sense is like trying to climb over a pile of jello.

It’s rarely worth the effort.

When poetic prose adds depth without detracting from the story line, a lilting flow is relaxing and peaceful.

In contrast, when writing causes readers to get mired down deciphering images that make no sense, it’s just nonsense.

And it’s distracting.

Mainspring_wind-up_keysBy way of example:

“I am hypnotized by keys, thick fistfuls of them, I can taste their acid galvanization, more precious than wisdom.”

~ White Oleander, Janet Finch

Blech!

When writing detracts from my enjoyment of a book, I ask myself whether I should forge ahead through the dreck . . . to see if the unseen destination is worth the trek.

The answer is almost always:  Nah!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Dress It Up (El Space)

Spools of Gossamer Thread February 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
23 comments

448px-Alice_05a-1116x1492If writers wrote only from first hand experience and observation without extrapolation, we would not have been gifted with:

Harry Potter
Gulliver’s Travels
Alice in Wonderland
Mary Poppins
A Christmas Carol

When writers write from the heart, our worlds collide into a kaleidoscope of shared experience.

Hookah optional.

Of course, we never step into the same stream, book, or painting twice ~ it’s always New . . . Now.

170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_02Why insist on writing only “what we know” when most thoughts and memories flow from fertile imaginations fueled by spools of gossamer threads?

Keep honoring your creative curiosity!

Even if you end up chasing harried white rabbits bewitched by pocket watches.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  You Don’t Know What It’s Like To Be . . . (Behind The Story) * How Jack Daniels Kicked The Bucket (Another Day in Paradise)

Big Magic ~ Creative Living Beyond Fear December 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Magick & Mystery, Writing & Writers.
44 comments

InfinityIn Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) addresses some of the challenges people face when creating.

In my words, not hers:

Don’t let fear of being rejected, ridiculed, or misunderstood stand in your way . . . you can’t please all of the people all of the time.  Create for yourself.

When ideas come to you, you can grab them and express them to the world as part of your portfolio . . . or let them drift off into the ether.  If  you drop the ball, the Universe will toss it to someone else because ideas want to be expressed.

170px-alice_par_john_tenniel_30When you feel inspiration tugging on your sleeve, be curious and follow it to see where it leads.  Curiosity and Creativity are congenial companions.

You don’t need a signed permission slip to live a creative life or attend a fancy ball dressed as the Court Lobster.

You don’t have to be original to be authentic.  Share whatever you care to share.

It is not your job to save the world through your creativity . . . it is your job to express yourself to the world.

Sometimes the well runs dry . . . and sometimes “inspiration arrives, out of a clear blue sky.”

Some ideas arrive in full regalia, ready for transcription.  Other ideas require a bit a coaxing before coming into being.

IMGP1472aWhat you write, paint, sculpt, cook, or sing doesn’t have to be important.  It can be silly, amusing, confusing, or whatever.  Do what you do because you enjoy doing it.

When you feel genuine enjoyment while creating, you win, no matter what happens with your work “out there.”

You don’t need a professional degree or fancy credentials to create beautiful art.  Just do your thing.

People aren’t thinking about you, they are thinking about themselves . . . so do what you want to do.

Don’t strive for perfection . . . good enough is good enough.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Writing Without Distracting November 5, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
43 comments

220px-Arthur-Pyle_The_Enchanter_MerlinDiversity of vocabulary and a playful turn of phrase add depth and flavor when they complement the prose without distracting from the missive.

That said, writers who douse paragraph after paragraph with lexicon that is not a natural part of their vocabulary remind me of cooks who over-season food rather than letting it speak for itself.

When a writer writes with thesaurus in hand to impress readers with a depth of vocabulary not possessed in common measure, I lose interest and turn my attention elsewhere.

Not that I’m missed.

Aah . . . that’s better!

But what does our distinguished panel of experts have to say?

Woodstock-&-SnoopyJohn D. MacDonald: My purpose is to entertain myself first and other people secondly.

Blaise Pascal: Anything that is written to please the author is worthless.

Marianne Moore: Any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others.

Samuel Johnson:  Read over your compositions and, when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.

SnoopyAlfred North Whitehead: A man really writes for an audience of about ten persons. Of course, if others like it, that is clear gain.  But if those ten are satisfied, he is content.

Mickey Spillane:  Those big shot writers . . . could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.

catlady

Grace Metalious: I’m a lousy writer; a helluva lot of people have got lousy taste.

Snoopy2John Hall Wheelock:  Most writers are in a state of gloom a good deal of the time; they need perpetual reassurance.

Georges Simenon:  Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.

Peter De Vries:  I love being a writer.  What I can’t stand is the paperwork.

Related post:  Defending the Chamois (Silver in the Barn)

Chicken Soup . . . For The Writer In You September 22, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Writing & Writers.
14 comments

Chicken-Little-PosterFor those of you who enjoy writing and storytelling, Kate Crimmons shared a link that might be of interest:

Upcoming Book Topics in the Chicken Soup Series

Topics come and go.  Right now, submissions are being welcomed on the following topics:

Alzheimer’s and Dementias Family Caregiving ~ October 30, 2015.

Angels and Miracles ~ November 30, 2015.

Blended Families ~ June 30, 2016.

Dreams and Synchronicities ~ March 31, 2016.

Military Families ~ November 30, 2015.

My Very Good, Very Bad Cat ~ The deadline date for story and poem submissions has been extended to SEPTEMBER 27, 2015.

My Very Good, Very Bad Dog ~ The deadline date for story and poem submissions has been extended to SEPTEMBER 27, 2015.

Stories about Teachers and Teaching ~ June 30, 2016.

The Joy of Less ~ October 30, 2015.

The Spirit of America ~ November 30, 2015.

Donald-Duck-DivingThe site contains additional information and submission guidelines.

C’mon . . . don’t be Chicken!

Dive in!

Aah . . . that’s better!