The Boy is on a mission that’s doomed to fail.  You see, he decided some months ago that he wanted to grow his own vegetables.  When he told me this, I was thinking, ‘Wow, how bizarre’, you know, on account of the fact that he probably couldn’t name by sight, all the different varieties that I regularly cook for him.  Well, that and he’s kind of a – real man’s man – so, if he were to take up a hobby, I would’ve expected him to construct mopar engines or something along those lines.  Hey, not that I’m complaining – I’d rather have a fresh bunch of tomatoes to put in a salad, than a grease-smeared garage floor any day.

First hurdle for him?  How to convince me that tearing up one side of our property to build his mini-farm is a good idea.  <-Um, nope.

First of my compromises?  You get six pots to go on my side deck – knock yourself out.

Second hurdle?  How to stop Steven King (our resident evil squirrel) from lounging in said pots and chomping on all the veggie buds.  The Boy’s solution?  Build a screen enclosure over MY deck. <-Ah, not in this lifetime.

My second compromise? Here’s some netting.  Deal with it.

Third hurdle?  How to get me not to freak out when I get home and find that all his treasured pots have been moved into our master bathroom because  he’s heard there might be a freeze warning. <-WTF???

Third compromise?  Ein, there ain’t one.  I’ll put up with a lot, but sharing my private space with foiliage that, quite frankly, is getting more attention than I am most days?  No way!

So, that brings me to my latest dilemma and how to deal with it.  You see, I’ve noticed that we’ve gathered quite an eclectic crew of nature’s finest around the old homestead.  Two hawks, an Osprey, a family of bunnies and Steve King’s extended family, to name just a few.  And, all of them are circling – by air and land – It’s kinda freaky .

Seeew, my first thought?  Madge is at it again. (For those of you who are new to the blog – Madge is my mother who’s hell-bent on feeding any critter that drags itself into the yard) Drives the boy nuts, so naturally she does this totally prohibited sharing on the sly.

I head over to her place (she and dad have an in-law suite that’s attached to our house) and I flat out ask her if she’s feeding the animals more than usual because I think they’re getting organized and may take The Boy’s much loved vegetable pots hostage.  She stares at me for a second.  I can see those tricky blue eyes of hers gleaming as she thinks about what to say to me.

Me, in a come on kind of fashion: “Mom?”

“Oh! All right!  All right! I have. Because ever since my bird house fell over and The Boy put it back up, the birds won’t go into it.  So,  I’ve been throwing the peanuts and bird seed on the ground”

Which, in the circle of life, explained the rabbits – which explained the hawks and…well, you get where I’m going with this.  But that didn’t explain the abandoned aviary condo The Boy had built her for her some years back.  Hmm… ?

I grabbed a step ladder and marched out to her backyard.  When I climbed up and examined the birdhouse I almost fell off.  The bottom of the structure was missing its floor – someone  (and WE know who that was) had taken out that piece – leaving nothing but spiky nails poking  through.  It was, for all intents and purposes?  A rack. No wonder it had been abandoned.  The discovery of which was bad enough, but when I saw that The Boy had audaciously gone one step further, I was truly impressed.  For there, over the tiny arched entranceway, he’d neatly printed in black marker:

‘WELCOME TO MADGE’S DINE AND DIE’.

Crapatola! At that moment it was official.  The Boy had been living with me too long. :D  LOL!  *shrug*  Now, I’m thinking I may relocate the condo. Yes, it might look nice on my deck. hehehe ;)

M.

I love that idea!  And thanks to LORIN OBERWEGER over a Pitch University I got to think about what this actually means.  That small phrase says a whole bunch, doesn’t it?  You bet!  And, hey, if you haven’t had a chance to check out this latest article at Pitch University you should.  The site is filled with all kinds of great content thanks to Diane Holmes, and her gang of great people. :)

Okay, here’s what I said in comments:

My thoughts about gaining the heart of the end reader is tied completely into a writer capitalizing on their character’s emotional transformation during the course of their journey.    I always think in terms of taking the bling out of the story.  Remove the guns, murders, stalkers or mayhem, and imagine your hero/heroine having a cup of coffee in a regular old kitchen three weeks after the carefully constructed jeopardy has been removed.  Would they be interesting to listen to without the bling to shine them up?  I kind of think, if the answer is no – then there was no emotional transformation because the inciting change was dependent upon external conflict.  To me,  it’s really the internal conflict/revelations that work to draw a reader into being invested in a character. I mean, if I’m only paying attention to what is happening to these people because there’s gunfire and a bad guy around every corner – the characters are replaceable and could be anybody.  And, as a reader that’s invested the time to get to know them?  I want those characters to be better than just anyone.  I want them to be people I care about and would listen to even if they’re only having a coffee together.

Of course, don’t tell The Boy, because he’s as boring as they come when he sucking back his java. ;) Meh, this is a good thing because it inspires me to be that much more creative, right?

Speaking of creative, Pitch U also has a contest going on – so get over there!  Throw down those pitches people!  Don’t be shy.  It’s a great learning tool for all writers in every stage of their careers.

M.

Seriously? This is the title I needed to use to get you here?  Meh, I’m not going to judge. I probably would have clicked on the link too. :)

Seeew, now that you’re here, whatcha want to talk about?  Sex?  Hmm…  what can I say about that?  Uh oh, a writer’s random thoughts are getting ready to scatter.

Did you know that impotence is grounds for divorce in 26 U.S. states?  Interesting.  Best part about that?  Your soon-to-be ex would likely grant you a quickie divorce rather than let that get out about him.

How about: when a woman gets off, her body releases endorphins (our natural painkillers). So. Really when you think about it, having a headache is, in fact, a bad excuse not to have sex. And about having sex?

Did you know women who read romance novels have sex twice as often as those who don’t. <- Waaaay!  It’s a fact!

Bet you didn’t know either, that a giraffe’s erect penis can reach four feet long. <-Okay, don’t ask about how I knew that one.  Let me just say, that it involved me, taking my two kids and their cousins to the zoo on a brisk day, which probably accounted for the frisky – and wholly inappropriate – bisexual behavior I had to shield the little ones from.  Kinda tricky too, I nearly missed all the action myself. ;)

Boy, this is fun.  What can I say about lies?  Ooh, I know.  When I write I prefer to throw in a few internal dialogue lies.  You know, so the reader’s in on it. In this example – I’ll purposely use a schmuck to make it fun – so, um, don’t judge me. ;)

A guy in a bar says to the woman he just met.  “My place or yours?”

She smiles and quickly replies, “Yours.”

He hesitates.

She notices.  “Is there something wrong?

He clears his throat. “Wrong? No” But he’s thinking:  Geez, that was fast. I hope you’re as good looking when I’m sober…

Then at his place she admits as she flirtatiously undresses, “I love being naked.”

He grins, thankful the room is well lit, “Great.” he says, until her dress comes off. Then his interior dialogue goes something like this:   Damn, on second thought, let’s turn off the lights and close the drapes and…shit, I may need a blindfold for this.

Then they’re down to brass tacks in the dark. Let’s see if I can work the spanking in as promised.

Him asking: “Are you comfortable?”
Her bent over his knee.  “Yes.” but then she asks, “Hey, this is your first time doing this, right?”
He gives her bottom a little smack and answers: “Yeah.” but he’s thinking – today.

Sure, I know.  I probably could have fleshed out the spanking thing.  I’ll have to think about that.  Maybe doing one that’s funny someday.  Anyone out there ever write a spanking scene where the macho hero is left with the hot seat?  Inquiring mind wants to know.  And if so, how did it read?

Okay, a challenge.  Can a spanking scene be written where the very masculine hero gets the taps for a change?  Can it be funny?  Seriously, does anyone have one on-hand <-pun intended ;) to look at?  Christine Bell?  Roni?  I’d ask you Jami, but quite frankly, I just don’t see that in the cards.  I could be wrong.  You want to surprise me?  Leona?

M.  Patiently waiting to be surprised. :)

Actually, it was more like confess or else. That’s right.  In my day this was the mantra and now all I have to do is buy an Apple I-phone, download one application, and I’m good with God?  <-um, what?  Wow.  But wait.  It gets better, because now I can confess my sins on a daily basis.  Huh, like I was missing that opportunity all my life.  Not!

To give you a little insight into the ritual (from the good Catholic-school-going-girl that I was) this is when you confess your sins to a Priest to be absolved of them. In my school – all us girls would line up outside the library doors every Wednesday and wait to confess our weekly sins to Father Brady. And, no shit, it was like a religious swap-meet in the hallway. We’d all be on the prowl for a good transgression.

Me:  “Hey, Kim, what are you saying today?”

“Ah, I think it’s time I used the: I was mean to my little brother.  I haven’t used that for awhile.”

“Oh-Kay, I’ll tell him I ditched my chores a couple of times.”  Invariably, someone would pipe-up from behind me.

“Aww, dang it, Murphy, I was gonna use that one today.”

Whereby we’d all start brainstorming for those who didn’t have a decent sin to tell. I mean, you couldn’t go in there and just stare at the guy.   And, you know, finding the perfect something was a delicate balancing act.   If the sin was too bad, you might get stuck saying more than a couple of prayers to get forgiven.  So, some days, it was hard work.  We persevered though, *sigh* those were good times – lost – now that you can do a virtual confession.

Correction.  A virtual reconciliation.  That’s right.  Reconciliation is now the term being used instead of confession.  Hmm… let’s think about this.

To confess is to admit to

To reconcile is to put to rights

Yep, so I thought about this.  Long and hard.  I did, and I was surprised to find that the writer in me was more offended by the exchange of these two words – that do not mean the same thing at all – than I was by the religious process that said exchange, completely watered-down.

Holy flaming thong of Beelzebub!  Am I the only person out there – wondering how one reconciles something they haven’t admitted to first? Interesting.

But then, I guess lots of things have been acceptably watered-down these days.  Take Beelzebub, for example.  I used to picture him pacing in a craggy pit, filled with gaseous-lava-oozing  fireballs, that burst when they connected with his razor sharp horns and spilled in noxious fumes around his trident spiked tail.  And yet, now?  Meh, a visual of Bernie Maddoff will do. :)

So, is this a good thing?  In my opinion, no.  Especially when it comes to words and clarity of meaning.  The more murky a word translates the harder it is for a writer to convey their story succinctly.

In my example – if reconciliation satisfactorily replaces the term confession?  What does that mean?  Will we one day be writing the sentence:  “She reconciled to him that she slept with his brother.” <- LOL!  Typing that, I was more offended by the incorrect usage than I was over what she’d done. <- That ain’t good.

M.


Am I God? I’d like to be.  Not because of the all powerful thing, although, that would be cool. I’d like to be God simply because I think she should be a woman.  She isn’t, though.  You want to know how I know this to be true?  Only a man could screw things up this good. :)

Okay, I’m going on a little bit of a fun rant here – and who inspired this mini-tirade?  The Boy, of course.  He prefers to think of himself as my muse – Hmm.. muse versus object of smack-down?

“I’ll take smack down for 400.00 Alex.”

Yesterday, there I was, designing a sample of a centerpiece for a wedding reception.  It was going very smoothly, so once I needed to let things set and dry, I moved on to a lighted iron arbor type thing. (don’t ask – I’m ambitiously creative- no matter how hard the darn thing is to design and put together) I’m winding small lights through the metal using floral tape to make the wires disappear.  Can anyone say, T- D-OUS!  When The Boy parks his ass on the couch and proceeds to watch me.

Here’s the visual: I’m standing on a small step ladder – teetering and winding and taping…and, oh, all right – swearing, because you know, it’s hard to do.  When he opens his flapping jaw and starts in.

“Gee, that looks like a lot of work.  How many of those do you have to do?”

“Five.”

“Wow.  Hey, I think you missed a spot.  When I squint my eyes there’s a hole.”

Me, coming out of my awkward stretch to turn and glare at him.  “Really?”

“Yeah, right by your elbow.  No, your other elbow.  Uh, wait, I was wrong.  The bulb was just turned a little.”

Me, closing my eyes, taking in a deep breath and starting again.

Him being annoying: “I thought you were going to do trees?”

Me: stretching and threading, “I was, but then I found these pieces of iron and decided they’d work better for the patio reception area.”

“I could have helped with the trees.”

Me thinking as my back is breaking.  ‘You could get up off your sorry ass now and help.’ He is 6′ 3 after all, so he wouldn’t need a step ladder.  I grumble.  “Yeah, I know.  But seeing as how there’s no power tools involved I guess you’re not interested.”

Him laughing.  “Are you mad at me for something?  That bulb needs to go a little to the left.”

Me: “@#$#@!  *&%$#,   &^%$#@ !!!  If you’re not going to help – go into the family room!  Don’t sit here and tell me what I’m doing wrong.  I manage quite fine all day without you directing me.”

Him: He stands up and walks over to me.  It’s one of the rare times were actually at eye level.  He reaches out and plucks a bit of fluff off my shoulder to casually inquire: “So, when my mother gets to the gates of hell are you going to let her in?”

Me: Blink. Blink.

Well, suck me dry and call me dusty!   There you have it.  According to The Boy, I’m not God.  I am, in fact, the gate keeper of hell.  Which, when I thought about my day, kind of made sense.  So, I shrugged and pushed through the rest of my work, happy in the knowledge that one day I will have some kind of power to wield over my mother-in-law and of course, The Boy – because he was definitely joining us at the eternal BBQ pit of purgatory for not helping me with those damn lights!

M. :)

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