Friday, December 9, 2011

T'was the Night Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through my dwelling,
All the creatures were stirring, and they were all yelling.
The stockings were hung, and then fell on the floor,
And there wasn't a chimney, just the front door.

 I nestled the children all snug in their beds,
After I threatened, to knock together their heads,
And I in pyjamas that I got last year,
Attempted to find some holiday cheer.
There were presents to wrap, and gifts still for making,
And I groaned at the lack of my holiday baking,
My tree didn't look like a Martha creation.
And my messy house was a whole other frustration.
I thought of the gifts that I couldn't get,
Due to no money and a little bad debt,
And I couldn't help feeling somewhat depressed,
That I couldn't give what they wanted best.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my couch to see what was the matter,
And suddenly there sprang through my front door,
That jolly old elf of ancient folk lore.
His eyes how they twinkled as they surveyed me,
And my sad little gifts and my still sadder tree,
And then I saw through that snowy white beard,
That a dazzling smile had slowly appeared.

"You forgot," he said, "the most important thing."
"You forgot," he said, "what makes your heart sing."
I looked at him puzzled. What did I forget?
Was there still one more thing that I had to do yet?

 "Come with me," he said, and held out his hand.
And instantly we were in a long ago land
I could see three men, travelling from afar
And their eyes were turned up to a bright shining star.

 And then in a flash, I saw shepherds gaze,
At a glorious figure with white light ablaze
It hovered above them and filled them with awe
And spoke words of peace, yet, there was more that I saw.

 We were in a warm stable, with animals around,
I could hear angels singing, a most wondrous sound.
I saw a young maiden, a woman most fair,
With a lovely complexion and long brown hair,
In her arms was a baby with a glowing face
And I felt overwhelmed in this most sacred of place,
And Santa, dear Santa held me quite near,
And whispered so softly in my trembling ear.
"You focused so much on the gifts that you got,
That you didn't remember the gifts that He brought."
My heart almost burst, and my tears overflowed.
And I knelt before that baby, born long ago. 

Then suddenly back home, in my modern day room,
Gone was the stable and gone was my gloom,
Gone was dear Santa, but under the tree,
He had left the most beautiful nativity,
I looked in my hand, and there the babe lay,
I set the figure down in the manger of hay,
And with joy in my heart, my chores quickly done,
I thought of the gift of the Father's Son
And then I turned out the Christmas tree lights,
And I checked on my kids, and kissed them goodnight.
And when I looked out at the starry winter sky,
I saw from his sleigh, Santa wave goodbye.
                                                - Anna Maria Junus

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drum Roll Please - Winner of 2011 National Novel Writing Month

Yep, I did it. And it wasn't easy either because it turns out that their word counter is different from my word counter. I thought I was done last night. Thrilled that I had passed the 50,000 word mark a day early and by more than a hundred words I cheerfully went to the Nano site.

Looking for a way to verify my word count I clicked on the page that told me how to do it and where to find the link. There was a warning there that their word counts might not add up to my word counts. In fact there might be a discrepency by as much as a thousand words. Especially if I was using Open Office.

I was using Open Office. So I put my novel in for word count verification. It came up that I was short by almost TWO thousand words. Yep, I had a whole other writing session to go through and find a way to fit in another scene somewhere, because you see, I had finished my first draft. I had already ended it where I wanted to end it. And it was three o'clock in the morning.

So after a little sleep I was right back at it. And now it's official. According to Nano I have 50,465 words. According to my program I have 52,857 words. I get a certificate and badges for my website and bragging rights and a first draft of a novel. Okay, to most people it's not much. In fact when my writing group heard I was doing Nano, their eyes took on a glazed expression.

"Why would you do that? What do you get for it:"

"Well, you get this certificate that you print off your computer and you get badges for your blog." I could see I was losing them. I could see that I was losing me.
"I couldn't write two thousand five hundred words a day," one writer said. Note, this is a woman has self-published books so she's not a slacker.

"It's like training for a marathon," I said. "When you train for a marathon you work a lot harder than you normally do. This is the same thing. I'm not always going to write two thousand five hundred words a day. Just this month. But it trains me to write a thousand words a day."

"And I get a novel out of it." I added. This bit rescued me from forever lamedom. To a writer, a first draft of a novel is always a good thing.

"Well, a thousand words isn't bad. But when I trained for a marathon it took me six months to recover," she said.

Hopefully it won't take me six months to recover. I do plan on putting this first draft away for awhile and look at it at another time with fresh eyes. I have work that needs attention. Like those other five novels sitting in my computer in various stages of editing and requiring a publisher.

Can you imagine if I hadn't finished a day earlier and had discovered a word discrepency at midnight of tonight? Oh the pain.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

From 2004: The First Snowfall of the Winter Happens Before the Beach Umbrellas Are Put Away

I rarely take all my kids shopping.

I was reminded the other day why.

Just with that line I can see some of you writing your own columns in your head. Go ahead, it will probably be funnier than mine.

It was the Saturday of the first snowfall. I decided that it would be a good idea to take the kids shopping for winter things.

Do you have any idea how many pairs of gloves I buy? You would think I was buying for octopuses or something, because it seems that every year I have to buy several pairs for each child and several pairs for me. Not all at once mind you.

“Okay, here’s your gloves. These are YOUR gloves. Do not LOSE them. These are MY gloves. Do not WEAR them. If you lose your gloves I will not buy you more gloves and your fingers will freeze and fall off, and then your hands will freeze and fall off and then you won’t be able to hit your brother/sister anymore, and you will have to steal all my pens using your teeth.”

And so the day following the first glove useal, someone announces to me “Mom, I lost my gloves, can I borrow yours?”

And knowing that if my kids fingers freeze and fall off, I will have the school upset because my child will have to write his/her school work with his/her teeth and end up slobbering al over it, and then Social Services will come and take the children away, I allow the glove loser to wear my gloves.

Which they promptly lose.

And of course it will be the day when I have to go out to the car and sweep snow and ice off my car with my bare hands because someone decided to use the snow brush for something that snow brushes aren’t used for and they will have lost it.

If my fingers freeze and fall off, no one cares because that’s what mothers do for their children.

Anyway, we went out shopping that Saturday.

Turns out, everyone in the city was at Value Village and Walmart that day. You would think it was the Saturday before Christmas.

Now, I’m one of those rare folk who are fine in FRONT of crowds. If you put me up on stage, I will not lose my lunch, become speechless or paralyzed, or forget my name. In fact, I enjoy being up in front of crowds.

I do not like being IN crowds.

So while my children are pulling on my six arms demanding things and telling me to look over there and fighting over who gets what and who needs what and who’s turn it is to get what, I am also being pushed around by crowds who want to get somewhere while I’m stuck behind people who won’t let me get anywhere and it’s everything I can do to not suddenly stop in the middle of the store and scream.

It’s a wonder I haven’t seen this happen yet with anyone.

It will one day you know. Some poor mother is going to stop in the middle of Walmart, scream, “Stop this merry-go-round! I want to get off! And then curl up in a ball on the floor sucking her thumb.

I thought I was alone in this. A few days later I talked to some friends and found out we all feel this way.

“They need to have an express lane for panic attacks,” Mira said (all names have been changed to protect the guilty), “that way you don’t have to leave everything when you run screaming from the store.”

“You know how they have those signs asking you to leave knapsacks and suitcases at the customer sevice desk when you come in,” Gloria said, “well they need to have duct tape at the front doors with instructions that no child may enter without their mouths being taped up first.”

“Yes, that way none of us will be singled out and pointed at for being abusive mothers when we do it,” Trudy said. We all nodded in agreement.

“You know in some stores they have those taste testing stands…” Hazel said.

“Do I,” said Gloria, “I had to wrestle my kid away from those things just the other day. He thought he could eat lunch there.”

“Well they should have Prozac stands,” Hazel said.

“Then they would have to wrestle me away from them,” Gloria said.

So the next time you’re all out there, keep an eye out for those mothers. Our eyes are glazed over and we are smiling.

Always watch out for smiling moms. It’s a dangerous thing.


Note: While searching for a picture to go with this story I googled in "shopping with kids clip art". All I got was pictures of happy shoppers. Obviously the artists who create these images have never been shopping with kids. Or, they were warned by merchants that if they conveyed the truth they would get cement shoes and a chance to go swimming while wearing chains.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why I Choose to Be A Mormon

 On July 10, 1980 I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. I was seventeen (yes, I know, I'm giving away my age).

Since that time I have had experiences and questions that both cause my testimony to grow and create doubt as to the truthfulness of the church. This I believe is necessary in the our quest to know God. A testimony that never questions itself doesn't grow. A testimony that never doubts never tests. Faith is not immovable never changing. Faith has growing pains, times when we root ourselves in the ground and times when we fly.

There are some doctrines I don't agree with. You can't convince me that plural marriage was inspired, nor do I believe that only men should hold the priesthood, or that the priesthood should have been denied to African American's for so long.

But although there are many things that our church has in common with others – the gift of redemption, the belief in Jesus Christ the Savior, the sanctity of family, charity, there are other things unique to the church that I hold dear and cannot find anywhere else.

The First Vision

This is where my testimony of the church comes from. As sure as my testimony that God exists, I sincerely believe that Joseph Smith was visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I sincerely believe that he was directed to restore the church. I may have problems with some of Joseph Smith's other actions such as instituting plural marriage, his apparent manipulation of members, and destroying the printing press of the enemy, but what he did later in his life has little bearing on what he did when he was a young, innocent and teachable man. I see Joseph like I see David of biblical times. What David did while he was king does not take away from his killing the giant in his youth with the help of God.

Explaining my surety of the First Vision to non-members of the Church of Jesus Christ is like trying to explain the existence of God to an atheist. We do not speak the same language, nor does our sense of logic match. Although it's illogical to me that this world just happened without any direction, an atheist cannot imagine a being capable of creating such a wonder.

I always come back to the question I had when I first learned of the first vision. If God is all powerful, why couldn't he appear to a fourteen year old boy?

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

A few years ago when members of the church were challenged by then prophet President Hinkley to read the Book of Mormon within a certain time span, I took up the challenge. As I did so, I highlighted every time Jesus is mentioned or speaks. My Book of Mormon is covered with these little highlights. On every page in fact.

There are those who claim that Joseph wrote the Book of Mormon. It is impossible for a man with Joseph Smith's little education to have written the Book of Mormon. Studies done on the Book of Mormon reveal several different authors as well as different styles of writing. There is no other viable explanation for it that I have come across. How did the Book of Mormon come into existence?

It is also a testament to me that Heavenly Father cares for all his children. Those who view the bible as the only word of God overlook that the bible comes from one area of a vast world. Wouldn't it make sense that if God loves His children He would provide prophets and guidance for all of them, not just the ones in a small area? And wouldn't it makes sense that those leaders would keep a record? It would also stand to reason that there may be other records out there that have not been discovered or that are purposely hidden away. A God that provides direction to only small portion of the people that He created is illogical.

There are also stories in the Book of Mormon - most notably for me the visitation of Christ to the Nephites, that testify of His love and concern for all. When I read this I have no doubt as to the truthfulness of the record.

 Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost Are Separate and Distinct Beings United in Purpose

The bible testifies of this.

Genesis 1:26 ¶ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

Not only does this show God speaking to someone who is like Him, but it also hints at a Heavenly Mother, for Eve was not made in the exact image of Heavenly Father but she was made in the image of someone.

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Here we have an example of three distinct beings. Jesus rising from baptism, the Holy Ghost descending like a dove, and the voice of Heavenly Father saying how pleased he is with His Son.

Matthew 17:

1 AND after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

Another example of Heavenly Father and Jesus being separate and distinct beings.

In the Garden of Gethsemane -

Matthew 26:39
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
At the age of 12 Jesus astounded those in the temple with his wisdom. He explained to his parents who chastised him because they didn't know where he had been

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? Luke 2:49

John 10:
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

This apparently has caused some confusion by Christ's statement that the Father is in him and many churches use this as an example that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are all the same being. Yet Jesus continues to reference the Father as a separate being. We can be one with another and yet be distinct separate beings. We are all asked to be one with the Father.

John 14 is filled with Jesus referencing the Father. Here is an excerpt.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

John 15:1 I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Acts 5:

29 ¶ Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

I hadn't intended on focusing so much on this point but there's so many examples of this principle and it's in the Bible, the scriptures that we share with our Christian brothers and sisters. How did this other concept of them being one being come to be embraced? It's not logical. A simple and straightforward principal has become complicated and confusing.

The Apostles

As far as I know, the LDS church is the only one who has apostles. It's astonishing really. Jesus Christ set His church up calling His Apostles and after His death Peter became the head. If Christ did this, why hasn't every other Christian church done the same? We see another example of this in the Book of Mormon when Jesus comes to the Nephites and establishes His church there setting aside twelve apostles. To the other churches I ask “Where are your apostles?”


Throughout the bible there are example after example of a prophet or even several at the same time since there wasn't the communication then that we have now. Those men stand for God and are His mouthpiece. The argument is that since Christ came and fulfilled the law we have no need of prophets, but that has proven to be untrue. Why? Because the Christian church has splintered all over the place. The trick here is to know true prophets from false ones. I believe that President Monson and the presidents that came before him were prophets.

The Pre-Existance or Pre-Mortal Life

When I first heard this principal I had what I call a heart memory. It was instant knowledge that we did indeed live before with the Father up in heaven. There are several references to it in the Bible.

Jerimiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

 I love that scripture. It was directed towards Jerimiah but it stands to reason that God knew us all before we were born.

Revelations 12:7 And there was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The LDS church has scriptures that support these and go into greater detail. I know of no other church that teaches of our premortal life. Now there's an exciting adventure story.

All Will Have the Opportunity to Hear the Gospel.

There is no arbitrary picking and choosing of those who will get an opportunity to return home. If God is fair and loving He provides a way for all to return home. There are Christian churches that teach that if you don't accept the Savior in this life then you will never be able to. How fair is that?

The Innocence of Children

All children are innocent before God. They are not accountable for things they have no control over. We have no infant baptism for children do not need to be baptized. How marvelous to know this especially for those parents who have lost children.

Forever Families and Marriages

This is a promise that the relationships that we forge here on earth can continue in heaven if we choose. Many churches don't teach this and yet many people believe this. Most likely another heart memory. A mass heart memory. It's a part of those who believe in God. The concept of never seeing our loved ones again is too harsh a punishment for most of us to bear. The church also teaches that those who do not have the opportunity to obtain or retain an eternal companion in this life will have the opportunity later. How comforting. Especially for someone like me who has gone through a necessary divorce. I read the last book in the Left Behind series that taught that those who were righteous but didn't have a chance to marry would forever be alone. That doesn't sound like something from a kind and loving God. That's your reward for being a follower of God? It doesn't make sense to have to be punished for being good.

Worlds Without End

The LDS church believes in other worlds, other planets, other people. It's logical that if God had created one earth He would have created others. In fact it smacks in the face of the atheist who believes that the earth somehow happened, because the impossibility of it happening once only rises in improbability that it happens again.

Three Degrees of Glory

It's good to know there's more than two choices. We are not all bad and we are not all good. We are a little of both so it stands to reason that there are different degrees of righteousness and one bad mistake will not send us hurtling to hell.

Children of God

We are all children of God. Everyone. Every single person who has ever been born or ever will be. He loves ALL of us. Even the unrighteous and wicked. As a parent, I understand this. It doesn't mean He excuses bad behavior and in fact he probably feels more sorrow than we can begin to imagine for He will have to turn away so many of His children. He has provided a way for ALL to return yet many of us will choose not to.


No sitting around on clouds playing harps. Heaven is a place where we grow and learn and teach. It's a place where we love and are loved. A place where we feel joy and sorrow. We are ever growing and never stagnant in Heaven and our potential is unlimited.

I am sure there are other things that I have momentarily forgotten. There is so much within the church that I would never find out of it. So what if there are things that I don't understand, or agree with.

In fact knowing that the prophets and apostles are human and make mistakes only adds to my testimony. Heavenly Father loves all of us and uses us in our imperfections. If that means growing pains for the church then so be it. I love the fact that the church does not stay stagnant yet still holds on to the principles that are truly important. I love that I am not expected to blindly follow anyone off a cliff but I'm to pray about the things that I am told and then proceed as I see fit. Heavenly Father allows us, expects us, to make mistakes and that includes the leaders of the church because that's how we learn. So at one point we had polygamy which I am sad to say hasn't born any good fruit. But the church corrected itself. At one point not all men could receive the priesthood, that too has been corrected. There was the situation when women in the church were excommunicated for supporting equality. The very things they fought for are being embraced. At one point birth control was frowned on. Counsel has changed on that as have a lot of beliefs regarding abuse, rape and sexual relations between husband and wife. Things change because knowledge changes and it appears that Heavenly Father does not give us or prophets knowledge that we or society is not ready for. Yet the real things stay the same. Heavenly Father loves us. We are all children of God. Jesus Christ is the Savior and suffered for us in Gethsemane, died for us, and then was resurrected so that we will be as well.

For more on the church go to or These are both official sites of the church and more in depth study can be found there.

I do not speak for the church. I do not have the authority to do so, thank goodness. I speak for myself and have formed my own opinions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Welcome to Earth 101

“Welcome to Earth 101. I am your instructor, Henry. Is there anyone here that is not supposed to be here? Good. I am passing out packages for this course. Please take the one with your name on it and pass the rest down.

You have each received a different package. Although it may appear to be the luck of the draw, it is not. These packages have been specially chosen for you. There will be no trading.

You will notice in each of these packages a dossier. Take a look at the pictures. Read the biographies. Those people you see will be your family. As we get further on in the course we will be observing them. Study them. It is important that you know and understand them. You will be living your lives around these people.

“Excuse me?”


“There seems to be some mistake. I put in for a mission for a rich family in the United States and this package says I will be serving in Ethiopia among the poor.”

“I can assure you. It is not a mistake.”

“Moving along, although your memories will be taken away, there will be certain things that you will instinctively know how to do. We will teach you these things here.

For instance you will learn here how to make a production of going to bed. Baths, stories, pyjamas, hugs and kisses, goodnights, prayers, lost teddy bears, baby blankets, snacks, drinks of water, trips to the bathroom, scary monsters under the bed or in the closet, all will be techniques you will use to delay night time sleep.

Another example - when you are taking a long trip in the car, or on a train, or a bus, or a plane, you will repeatedly ask your parents, “Are we there yet?” Furthermore, even though you have just been at a rest stop and assured your parents that you do not need to use it, ten minutes later while you are driving down the highway you will suddenly announce that you must go to the bathroom immediately."

“Excuse me, sir. What is this ‘go to the bathroom?’

“That will be one of the things you will learn on earth that will teach your parents many things.”

“We will be teaching them?”

“Yes. You will teach them things such as love, patience, fortitude, endurance, and forgiveness. They will learn to be as a child again, yet they will have tremendous powers. You will also teach them time management, delegation, charity, sacrifice, unselfishness, and the ability to learn to accept imperfections yet still be able to motivate you to go beyond what you thought you could do.”

“We’re going to teach them all that?”

“Oh yes, all that and more.”

“Now, we are not expecting that you will accomplish this immediately. You will start small. We will give you the tools. Initially you will be given an annoying cry that will break out sometime in the evening when your parents will be under the foolish impression that they can relax. Along with that cry you will be given the endurance to keep it going until well into the early hours of the morning. As you grow older you will be given other tools. An annoying whine, a piercing scream, the ability to climb great heights without fear and a quick brain that will allow you to think of things that your parents had not thought of yet. You will be able to eat things that are not for normal digestion, yet have the willpower to turn away from those foods that others find tempting. As you grow older you will question your parents at every turn. Keep those questions coming. That’s how they learn.

“Before you get too cocky about this, I have also given your parents tools. For instance, mothers will have the ability to see out of the backs of their heads, and fathers will be able to make you feel like slugs under rocks just by looking at you.

Are there any questions?”

“I don’t want to go to Ethiopia.”

“Was that a question?”

“Can I get a transfer?”

“No. Next question.”

“I’ll trade a villa in Italy for something in France”.

“How about a trailer park in Iowa?”

“I’ll take the villa for a chateau in Paris.”

“You’ve got it.”

“STOP! STOP! STOP! You cannot transfer, trade buy or sell your missions! You get what you get! Now there’s the bell. Homework tonight is…”

“You’re giving us homework on our first day?”

“Your homework for tonight is to study those dossiers. There will be a test on them tomorrow.”

“Oh man, a test already?”

“I can see now that you will teach your parents well. See you first thing tomorrow.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chocolate and NaNoWriMo

It's the day after Halloween which means two things. Chocolate coma and the first day of NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month.

Which means that there quite a few of us who are desperately writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.

Why they pick the month before December I don't know. If you are a NaNo it means that you can't possibly get ready for Christmas before December. It's been a dream of mine to have all the presents wrapped and all the baking done and in the freezer ready for the first of December when I can spend the month just enjoying the season.

But that dream has to be put aside as long as I insist on doing NaNo.

So I was good. I got to bed at a decent time last night - I was actually tired at 11. What's up with that? Which had me awake at 5 normally I time I get to bed these days. I wrote my first 2571 words this morning.

I figured out that if I take off weekends and my birthday I can get the 50,000 words in by writing 2500 a day. I'm already ahead 71 words.

I've accomplished this twice. If you look at my sidebar and scroll down you'll see my 2004 and 2006 winner badges. Yeah, that's what you get for a prize.

But at least I've got chocolate. It's a requirement.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Flood, From a Woman's Point of View

“Noah, what are you doing?” Noah’s wife asked him. “You’re making a big mess. I hope you don’t expect me to clean this up.”

“I’m building an ark.” Noah replied.

“What’s an ark?

“It’s a big boat.”

“You’re building a boat in the middle of the desert?”


“Do you know anything about boat building?”


“I guess not, since you’re building it in the middle of the desert. Why are you building a boat in the middle of the desert?”

“God told me to.”

Her eyebrows rose up, “God told you to build a boat.”


“In the middle of the desert.”


“I can’t even get you to fix the front door, and you’re building a boat.”

“God didn’t tell me to fix the front door.”

“God isn’t the one who cooks your dinner either.”

“I’ll fix the front door when I’m done here.”

“When are you going to be done here?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know how long it takes to build a boat. I’m still getting the trees.”

“Well, when you’re done building the boat, I’ll get your dinner.”

“All right, Woman, I’ll fix your door.”

“Honey, is this because of your 600th birthday? Are you having a mid-life crisis?”

“I am not having a mid-life crisis.”

His wife shook her head, “Other men just buy a fast horse or lose a little weight, mine builds a boat, in the middle of the desert, no less.”

Noah ignored her and continued working.

“How big is this boat going to be?” she asked him.

“Big. Big enough for two of every animal and all of our family.”

“Hmm, I suppose I could always turn it into a bed and breakfast.”

“Hey, Mom!” Three boys called out to her. She looked out into the distance to see her strong strapping youths coming towards them carrying tree trunks.

“Did you hear, Mom? Dad’s building an ark!”

“Yes, I heard, Shem. I see you’re helping him.”

“It’ll be cool.”

“Well, I doubt that it will be wet,” she replied.

Ham laughed while his brothers and Noah and  glared at him.

“Didn’t Dad tell you?” Japheth asked.

“Tell me what?”

“It’s going to rain.”

“Oh, well in that case, by all means build a boat. Don’t let me stop you. But I still need someone to fix the front door.”


“They have to get wives.” Noah said to her one day.

“They’re too young,” his wife said.

“They’re all around a hundred years old.”

“Barely out of babyhood. Do you really think Ham is ready to get married? That boy can’t even make his own bed.”

“A wife could do that.”

“Oh yes, that’s what we women are good for.”

“Nevertheless, I have sent them out to get wives.”

“Just like that! Do you know how long it takes to plan a wedding, never mind three weddings?”

“Hey, if I can build an ark, you can plan a few weddings.”

“Fine! But I still need my front door fixed!”


She watched as Noah and the boys brought the animals on two by two into the ark. Then she sighed, “I won’t be able to turn that boat into a bed and breakfast now.”

She overheard her sons singing “The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah.”


After a nasty battle with sea sickness, she was able to get back on her feet and wander around the ark.

“Whose turn is it to clean up this mess!” she shouted looking around in disgust at the animal quarters. “Honestly, you people want pets and then you don’t even take care of them!”

“It’s Shem’s turn!” Ham shouted.

“It is not! It’s yours.”

“It is not. Maybe it’s Japheths.”

Noah’s wife stood with her arms folded in front of her. “I don’t care whose turn it is, you all can do it!” She spun around and stepped on a shovel which sprang up and hit her on the face.

“Who left this shovel in the middle of the floor!” she shouted.

“Ida Know,” they all said.

“Ida Know didn’t get permission from God to be on the boat! Where’s your father?”

“He’s talking to God.”

“Of course he’s talking to God. He’s always talking to God when there’s something to be done. Well, he’s going to talk to me.”


Ham’s wife sighed and said to her husband, “I’ll be so glad when we don’t have to live with your mother anymore.”

Shem and Japheth’s wives nodded in agreement. “Yeah, she makes us do everything around here.”


Noah and his wife stood on dry land gazing out at the water that was receding. He held her hand. “I love you,” he said.

“I love you too,” she replied. They were silent for a moment. “We don’t have to live in that boat anymore, do we? There wasn’t much for windows.”

“I’ll build you a lovely home with a white picket fence and you can have a garden where our grandchildren will come and play.”

“Will you give me a front door that works properly?”

He smiled. “Of course.”

She sighed and cuddled close to him. “Who knew that a midlife crisis would come to this?”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lunch On a Skyscraper

A few years ago I belonged to a writers group that sent out prompts. One of them was this picture. I discovered this while looking for another piece that I had written. Still haven't found that one. So here is what I wrote for this picture. I'd love to see other responses.

“Okay, everyone places.”

“Lois, they’re not looking rough enough, put a little makeup on them.”

“Sean, stop jumping off the beam. I know it’s just a couple of feet, we’ll be putting in the city shots later.”

“Okay guys, line up and look like your eating lunch.

“What do you mean ‘what’s my motivation’? You’re motivation is eating lunch.”

“No, you’re not getting danger pay for stunt shots. There are no stunts. You’re only three feet from the ground.”

“Where’s the caterer? Darcy wants horseradish for his roast beef.”

“No, Craig, there’s no Grey Poupon. You’ll have to live with regular yellow mustard.”

“Jordan, if you guys all cooperate you’ll have plenty of time to make it to your JLo video rehearsal.”

“Yes, Brock, I’m aware that we ruined your manicure. I promise, everyone can have manicures after these shots.”

“And loofah’s too.”

“Okay, look rough and mean. Pretend you had a fight with your wife.”

“Sure, Vincent. You can pretend you had a fight with your husband. Just don’t look like it.”

“I know Tigh is blowing smoke in your face, Mackenzie. You’ll just have to put up with it for the shots. We’ll get you a cancer screening test right after.”

“Jaimie, what’s in that cigarette! You can’t smoke that here! Lois! We need a tobacco cigarette!”

“Hold it, Carrigan is holding up a newspaper with one of his own ads in it. We can’t have a construction worker holding up a photo where he’s modeling underwear! Someone get another newspaper!”

“Dean, stop asking me what your motivation is! You’re a construction worker eating lunch on a skyscraper! What more do you need?”

“Fine, Dean, you’re a suicidal construction worker with vertigo eating lunch on a skyscraper. Whatever works for you.”

“Everybody stop smiling! I know you all spent a fortune for caps, but this isn’t the time to show them!”

“Okay, great shots. You can all go now.”

“I should have listened to my mother and become a brain surgeon. It would have been less stressful.”

Friday, September 30, 2011

Silly Love Song and I'm Not Talking About the Paul McCartney Hit

I've been listening to a lot of Michael Buble lately. I like Michael Buble and it's because of him that I've embraced the kind of music my mother grew up with and the kind that I was first introduced to but became to cool to care about.

However there is one song that has got to be the epitome of really bad love songs. It's an old song. A classic that unfortunately has made a come back due in part not just to Michael but American Idol and Glee as well. And in spite of love being the most popular subject of all kinds of music, this song is probably the only valentine song. Nope, hold it. I just thought of another valentine song which is actually a good one.

So what is that bad love song. My Funny Valentine written by the talented Rogers and Hart. It was most likely written as a joke song yet so many took it seriously.

Let's take a look at the lyrics.

My funny valentine (okay, so far okay. Funny is good. Funny is sexy.)
Sweet comic valentine (hmm. Is valentine turning into a joke)
You make me smile with my heart (that's sweet)
Your looks are laughable (okay now that's just insulting)
Unphotographable (ugly. Great. Valentine is ugly)
Yet you're my favorite work of art (normally that would be nice but now I'm thinking that Valentine is just a painting of a clown)

Is your figure less than Greek (the Greeks were known for being athletic with tons of abs and muscle. So sounds like Valentine is fat)
Is your mouth a little weak (receding chin)
When you open it to speak
Are you smart? (Questioning the intelligence of Valentine. Well if Valentine thinks being called ugly, fat and stupid is romantic then maybe Valentine isn't smart)

The first time I had heard this song I was watching the Captain and Tenille on their variety show. Toni Tenille is actually a good singer and she had a big hit with "Love Will Keep Us Together" a decent song written by the talented Neil Sedaka. She also had a hit with "Muskrat Love" a song about two rats in love. Why anyone would think that rats in love is romantic I have no idea but it was a huge hit. Which is why they gave her and her silent husband a variety show that called for her to sing "My Funny Valentine" to her two bulldogs who panted heavily during the song because bulldogs are bred to not be able to breathel. The bulldog inspired the phrase "so ugly it's cute" which makes it entirely appropriate although gaggy to sing My Funny Valentine to one.

Maybe I'm wrong but shouldn't you find your valentine beautiful no matter what they really look like? Doesn't love make us deaf, blind and stupid? Isn't it supposed to otherwise no relationship would ever last?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Because I Won and I Want to Win More

I won! I won! I won! Yep, I won a copy of One Wish.

CJ Hill is having another giveaway. This time it's two books. My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison and CJ's own debut novel Slayers which is out now.

I haven't quite figured out what the cover of Slayers is. It looks like some kind of shark to me.

For a more detailed look and a chance to enter go to An Author Incognito.

Congrats to C.J. on her first novel.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Because I Like to Win Stuff

C.J. Hill over at Author Incognito is giving away a free copy of Just One Wish by Janette Rallison.

She's also announced the debut of her first novel. Slayers will be out on September 27.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mish Mash

Disney is re-releasing the Lion King in 3-D. Was this necessary? What now, all the past movies will be released in 3-D? It's not like 3-D is even new. It's been around since the 50's. Makes me wonder what other movies could be in 3-D. The Star Wars saga (if they add movable seats you really will feel like your in a star war) Indiana Jones (imagine having that stone rolling at you), Jaws (you will be afraid again of going in the water) and the Exorcist. Oh, please not the Exorcist. I don't want pea soup spit up on me.


I stumbled across some cartoons that express my feelings about writing papers for college.

Hello? Hello? Note to salespeople. If you don't answer me when I say Hello then I'm assuming that you're a stalker and will be forced to call the police and report a heavy breather. And it is not my fault when you finally answer my hello that I can't understand your heavy accent.

When I went looking for a picture I put into google telephone monster images. Most of the images that came up were of Lady Gaga.


Speech that annoys me. The word is ASK not AXE. I don't know of any dialect where the word ask is legitimately turned to AXE. I don't care if it's Ebonics. I speak English.  If you want to ask me something that's fine. If you want to axe me then I'll have to run because that is just too dangerous for my taste.

And to those who say "and what not". They add this to speech when they're listing things or supposed to be listing things. Paper boats, a rocket and what not. What does that exactly mean? Is a whatknot a hairstyle? Is it an alien? As a toast master judge I had to sit through a 4H speech by a girl who was supposed to be talking about an aspect of training horses. There were what nots littered throughout her speech. Does a what not have to do with a horse?


What to read a funny book written in 1917? Yes, they wrote funny books back then. This one actually reads like it was written today. Check out my review at Views from Hobbit Hole.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review of The Key of Kilenya

For those of you who like light fantasy, read the review I wrote of:

Andrea was also kind enough to read the review and leave a comment. I'm surprised at the authors who know I'm reviewing their work who don't come and read the reviews and make a comment. When I had my book out I wanted to read whatever anyone said about it. Of course this isn't about authors who don't know I've reviewed them, but there are several who have known. So it's nice when an author takes time to acknowledge a review. It isn't just me. Many reviews from other bloggers on these virtual blog tours are not commented on by the authors. Andrea Pearson has taken time to say thank you to her reviewers and that is greatly appreciated.

I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Left to Write: The Information Dump

I'm sure you've all come across this. You're reading merrily away and then all of a sudden there's a whole bunch of background information told in a way that reads like a police report. The author has decided that you need to know absolutely everything about this character right now because there's no way that you'll be able to understand anything otherwise.

Even worse, sometimes this information is told to you in the middle of exciting action or intense dialogue. For some reason the author feels a need to take a break and let you in on why these two people are fighting or what led up to the action, or how come the hero is afraid of snakes or why the dog likes to turn around five times instead of three which is what normal dogs do. Whatever the reason, the author stops the action for no reason other than to fill in her audience.

Okay so your writing and you realize that maybe your reader needs to know something. There are ways to do this without doing the dreaded information dump.

First - Does the reader need to know that now? Can it wait for later? If there's action going on or an intense conversation the answer is yes it can wait for later. Do not interupt an exciting moment to reminisce. It's not the place. There are other moments in your novel for reminiscing. It's okay for your reader to wait for answers to questions they might have. It's good for your reader to have questions. It is not good for your reader to throw your book across the room in frustration.

Second - Is this information really important? Really? Does the entire background story of this character matter to this particular incident in his/her life? Does the fact that your character have a BA in French and has travelled the world matter right now when she's rushing her child to the hospital? Maybe it does. But if it doesn't just leave it in your personal files of character development. The info needed might come up later, but it might not. Just be careful that if it does come up later you're not pulling a rabbit out of a hat. You know "Oh, by the way, Sarah just happens to have a degree in French and it just happens to appear right at this particular moment when she's trapped in the lair of a half crazed mime in the middle of Paris." If this is a danger of happening then weave the information into the story somewhere else in a more natural way.

It is possible too that your reader never has to know why your hero hates snakes. Maybe the reader can just accept that about him and realize that there is a reason.

Third - Is there some other way to tell your reader this info. Maybe it can come up in dialogue. You have to be careful doing this. You don't want your characters telling other characters things they already should know. But maybe you can bring it up casually. Maybe Sarah mentions her ability to speak French to a new aquaintence, or maybe there's a place where she can naturally use this ability, like ordering coffee in a cafe in France or Quebec.

I'm also a fan of the flashback. Not everyone is, but I like them because it gives you an opportunity to show what happened instead of telling. Instead of your hero telling us how he met his wife, maybe you can turn back the clock and show what he remembers. It puts the reader right into the story and allows the author to give a more honest accounting - or not. It may allow the author to lie to us. Who knows. But it makes the telling more interesting.

You can also weave bits of information throughout your story. You don't have to explain everything at once. Little bits can come out at a time. Even within the same scene interupt the information with action or dialogue. Not exciting action and dialogue. Just normal actions and dialogue. Brushing teeth, driving a car, breakfast table conversation - "pass the milk" stuff.

Here's an exercise. Drag out one of your manuscripts and look it over. Is there a spot where there's an excess of information. Is there a better way of imparting it? Try several different ways of giving the information to your reader.

And now for a laugh. How not to impart information through dialogue.

"Susan, even though you're twenty-six and I'm twenty-seven when we were growing up in Regina Saskatchewan everyone thought that we were twins because you skipped a grade," Pamela frowned grumpily. "And now that we're both mothers and you have a two year old girl and I have a three year old boy, people still think we're twins because you colored your hair the same as me even though your skin doesn't look as good with deep brown hair as mine does."

"You're just jealous that I have longer legs than you and that I'm three inches taller and my dress size is two sizes smaller." Susan frowned deeper than Pamela. "And you're also jealous that I have a beautiful Cape Cod house while you're living in the trailer that our Grandmother Jessie from our Mother's side left to you when she died last November."

"Ah hah!" Pamela pointed at her younger sister. "You're jealous that our Grandmother Jessie left something to me. You've always been jealous of me. I bet it drove you crazy when Tom, your old boyfriend, married me instead of you."

Yeah, don't do that. Dialogue can be a great way to give out information, but try not to make your reader want to throw your book into the blender and hit puree.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Virtual Blog Tour

I've done another virtual blog tour review. For those who are not aware of what these are, it's a way for authors to go on tour while still in their pajamas and eating twinkies in front of their computer screens. They send out copies of their books to reviewers like me and wait in anticipation for the gushing raves they are fully expecting. The hope is that people will read these reviews and buy the book.

Now there is a risk involved. Although we're not supposed to gleefully annihalate the authors, neither are we expected to write such glowing reviews that readers will wonder if we fell into a toxi waste dump and became a superhero that blinds people with neon skin. It's about being positive and honest because no book is practically perfect in everyway.

As reviewers, we get paid in copies of the books. That's it. No other money or product changes hands. We also hope that someone will actually read our blogs.

So here's another virtual blog tour review.


Aunt Madge is all riled up. She had a reader write to her asking about advice on those baby beauty contests. You can read that letter and her response here. Ask Aunt Madge and while your at it, don't foreget to read her other pieces of wisdom - her word not mine.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Want to win an ipad?

In conjunction with the release of Pumpkin Roll the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for a new iPad. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog before November 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified November 3rd 2011.
For additional ways to enter, go to

Josi is a good writer. I've reviewed two of her books. To Have and Hold and Tempest Tossed. Plus she's been kind enough to read and comment on my reviews even when they were critical.

Pumpkin Roll is the sixth in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Series and it looks like a good one. They all look good. Don't those covers look yummy?

Books in the Series

Oh I wish I could get my hands on them, but I have to spend money on real food and rent.

About Pumpkin Roll

Sadie Hoffmiller is looking forward to spending her favorite baking season of the year making delicious New England recipes in Boston, Massachusetts, with her favorite leading man, Pete Cunningham, as they babysit his three young grandsons. But when the boys insist that Mrs. Wapple, the woman who lives across the street, is a witch, Sadie and Pete are anxious to distract the boys from such Halloween-induced ideas. However, it gets harder and harder to explain the strange things that keep happening, particularly after Sadie learns the eccentric Mrs. Wapple has been attacked in her home.

As the unexplained occurrences escalate, Sadie finds herself embroiled in yet another mystery with life-or-death consequences. Can Sadie discover whoever—or whatever—is behind the mystery before anyone else gets hurt? Or will this be Sadie’s last case?

You can read the first chapter here. Chapter 1 There's a recipe for pumpkin roll as well.

So now I hope I win an ipad. I could really use one.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Left to Write: Dialogue Tags

I don't claim to be an expert, however I have had some small success in publishing and I've learned what I like as a reader. Plus there have been a few that have reluctantly admitted that I'm a strong dialogue writer. So let's talk about those pesky little things called dialogue tags.

What exactly is a dialogue tag?

It's that he said/she said stuff you stick somewhere in your dialogue to let the reader know who is speaking. You wouldn't think writing Tom said or Susan said is hard. It isn't. But writers like to make things complicated.

Before we get started, first you have to erase from your memory everything that your grade six English teacher taught you about dialogue tags, unless your grade six English teacher was a best selling author, in which case he/she would have been in his/her vacation villa in Italy writing his/her next best selling novel and not teaching you grade six English.

Recently I was reading a conversation between two people, and it became the reason why I ended up writing this post. In this conversation she screeched, then he grumbled, then she harped, then he snarled, then she sneered, which made me groan and him to glare and then he reminisced for awhile to give the reader background information even though he was still in the middle of a fight, which caused me to scream.

Forget about snarling, screeching, and sneering. Just say said.

But said is boring and it doesn't tell the reader how they said it.

Exactly. Said is so boring that it becomes invisible. Your reader won't even notice the word said. And why do you want to tell the reader how the character says something? Shouldn't you show it?

What does a sneer look like? What does it feel like? Show your reader what your point of view character is seeing and feeling. Show us how the other characters are reacting.

But if I use said then whole lines of he said'/she said looks stilted and amateurish.

In a conversation between two characters you don't need to identify the speaker in very line. You just need a reminder every few lines. Readers can follow along quite well. However, this gets tricky when you have more than two people speaking.

In that case show us what's happening.

Tom brushed his hair from his eyes and adjusted the goggles over his face with his gloved fingers. “Race you down! Last one there buys dinner.”

In that sentence, the word said doesn't even appear. Yet we know Tom said something because the statement is connected with his actions. Not only do we know what Tom said, but how he said it without using any explanation. We get that he's excited and confident. We've probably discerned that he's skiing and if we haven't, the next couple of paragraphs will make it clear.

Now lets talk about those little ly adverbs that your English teacher taught you to tack onto the end of said to make your sentences more interesting. You probably spent a few hours with these guys and your teacher never told you that he sent out all kinds of work to publishers and doesn't understand why he's never been published.

“How are you?” she asked cheerily.

“I'm just fine,” he said grumpily.

“Well, you don't have to be sarcastic,” she said angrily.

"I'm not reading any more of this." The editor said pointedly.

Don't do them. Just don't. Not unless you want editors to use your manuscript for the paper plane contests that they have once a week in the cafeteria.

You need to trust your dialogue. Often the dialogue will automatically tell us how something is being said.

You need to trust your characters. If we know that he is generally a grumpy person we don't need to be told that he says something grumpily.

You need to trust your setting. If someone enters into a kitchen where bread is baking, and a character says “What's that smell?” then that's enough. We don't need to read “What's that smell?” she asked rapturously. You might want to show us how she's reacting. Maybe her eyes are closed and she takes a deep breath. Maybe she adds "it's marvelous". But don't tell us how she says it. Maybe the fact that she uses the word marvelous tells us something about her character that you don't have to explain.

You need to trust your audience. For the most part your audience can figure out without the sneering and the harping that a fight is going on and the characters are not getting along.

Aren't there exceptions to the rules?

There are always exceptions to the rules. “Stop! she said, doesn't work. It looks stupid. Not only that but it gives the reader opposing statements. You need to use yelled or shouted. It is redundant, but it supports the exclamation mark. The same with question marks. When someone is asking a question, you can use the word asked in place of said. In fact there are a few words that are almost as invisible as said  that are acceptable if not used too much- asked, stated, commented, added for example,. Y ou can even use an action word as a tag. “You're kidding,” he laughed. “I'm not going,” she pouted. Laughing and pouting are concrete words. Sneering isn't. Sneering is a perception word.

If you are going to insist on using an ly word as a tag even though I've told you not to, then use them sparingly. The same goes for words instead of said. Do not under any circumstances, unless you are deliberately writing a parody, use these words throughout a conversation. Even those concrete words need to be used sparingly, otherwise you've got people just pulling a bunch of faces which can get quite unattractive and distracting.

Here's a practical exercise. Get out a piece of dialogue that you've written, or write a new one. Now don't put in any tags at all. Just write it like two people talking. Or take out all the tags you've put in. Now read it over. Is it clear? What needs clarifying? Can you tell who's speaking? Now you can put in the tags. Just where they are needed. Put in said. How does it look? Can you do something different than “he said” without telling us how he said it? What is going on in the conversation? Put that in. Don't overdue it. The dialogue should sparkle on its own. It only needs a little support. Why encase it in an entire cast when it only needs a cane?

If you're writing a long piece such as a novel and you want to use that ly word because you don't know how else to convey it, put it in for now, highlight it in red, and after you're done writing and you're in the editing process, go back to those red words and ask yourself how you can show the reader how your character is saying things. If he's saying things sadly, then show us what he looks like. If he's the POV character then let us know how he feels. What does sad feel like? What does it look like? How is his statements and behaviors affecting others visually?

But what if the reader doesn't understand what I'm trying to convey?

Then the reader doesn't. She'll figure it out. She'll ask questions. Maybe she doesn't have to know everything right now. Not every question gets an answer.

For some fun there's something called a swifty. Years ago there was a series of books about Tom Swift, a boy detective. The writer was liberal with his ly words and as a result the term “swifty” was born. A swifty is a tag that is a pun of the statement. Here are some examples.

"I'll have a martini," said Tom, drily.

"Who left the toilet seat down?" Tom asked peevishly.

"Pass me the shellfish," said Tom crabbily.

"That's the last time I'll stick my arm in a lion's mouth," the lion-tamer said off-handedly.

"I might as well be dead," Tom croaked.

"We just struck oil!" Tom gushed.

"They had to amputate them both at the ankles," said Tom defeatedly.

"Who discovered radium?" asked Marie curiously.

"Hurry up and get to the back of the ship," Tom said sternly.

And that's why you don't use ly words.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Official: I Have a Multiple Personality Disorder

I found this fun site called I Write Like You plug in a sample of your writing and it tells you what famous author you write like. I have no idea how this works. It's great for those days when you have so much to do that you're overwhelmed and don't want to do anything.

So I plugged in both Blowout and Merrily We Roll Along fully expecting to see Erma Bombeck. Instead I got

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have no idea who David Foster Wallace is. Was he funny? Did he write like a middle-aged housewife in support hose?

So I thought I would try something else. I plugged in Charity and I got:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Didn't he write horror? I had no idea that my criticism of celebrity charity was in the horror vein. That's far more critical than what I had to say.

So then I try Frankie, Squeeze My Rubber Duckie only to get:

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I never heard of him either, but a search on Wikipedia - as a college student I am obligated to warn others that Wikipedia is not recognized by any college or university as being reliable which really I don't care about other than it makes it a pain to not use it in my essay bibliographies - reveals that Cory wears a red cape and goggles.

So then I plugged in And then shall many be offended and got:

I write like
Dan Brown
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Score! Although it's interesting that my rant is similar to a multi-bajillion selling author. Interestingly, it's the only blog post that made me money. Hmmm. Similarities? Maybe I should write more raving lunatic rants.

I thought it would be fun to ask Aunt Madge to do this too and she got:

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Which made her reply - "With a name like Chuck there's bound to be something wrong with him. He should write me for advice." I pointed out to her after looking him up on trusty Wikipedia that he was the author of Fight Club and that he's been called a nihilist to which she replied that she didn't know what that meant. When I explained that according to trusty Wiki it meant "without purpose" she stomped away, muttering under her breath.

So I decided to go back to me and I posted an excerpt from my book Roses and Daisies a charming inspirational love story about a heartbroken woman who runs away from home.

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Yes, the master of horror and the second one on the list. When I plugged in another of my chik lit novels it came back to Lovecraft. Is there something in the universe trying to tell me something?

Okay, so I thought I would try one of my juvenile fiction novels.

I write like
Anne Rice
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

The vampire lady long before Stephenie Meyers.

Okay, so it's determined that for some reason I like horror. What will it say to my middle grade book "Witches Brew-ha-ha".

I write like
J. K. Rowling
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Really! Really! The richest writer in the world! I am dancing. I just need to send that one out and wait for the money to pour in.