Thursday, June 29, 2006

Last of the flood pictures

This week has passed me by in a blur!

The town of Conklin where my store is located is still under mandatory evacuation. The water is still high, there are numerous gas leaks and several houses have blown up already. They're saying maybe by Sunday they'll open it back up. This picture is an ariel view of the area where the dance studio in yesterday's pixs is located. Center in the picture is The Castle (the Conklin Town Hall). And the diagonal line of trees running from top corner left to center right is Conklin Road. All the tan is water! And there are many houses along both sides of that road.
Now here's the left handed bright spot. See the water rushing out of this manhole cover...See the tree in the background with the building with the row of windows...That's my church! Not a single drop of water in the church...Thank You Jesus!While facing in the other direction at the same manhole. A family that goes to our church is packing up to move to Kristy's mom's house because......this is their basement! It is full of water, and with no electricity, they need the Fire Dept. to pump it out. Notice the top of the water heater and the water halfway up it!
That's why I called it a left handed bright spot! On one side the church didn't sustain damage but on the other side part of our church family is hurting. Please pray for Shawn and Kristy Steele!

Well another bright spot, I've found two blogging neighbors, who both happen to be memebers of our Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Stop by Tina's Blog. She's got additional pictures. And give a shout out to Kevin Lucia. He's only about seven miles from me as the crow flies!

More Flood Pictures

A few more pictures of our once in a lifetime flood (we hope)! This is the Yelverton Dance Studio. I won that award a couple of month's ago for designing their costumes.
This is the road I need to travel to get across the river to my store. Do ya know how Emergency Officials tell you not to cross standing water...LOL...This guy didn't listen! At the sametime in the background that you can't see, a car was floating up Court street!
This is a section of the Binghamton flood wall that was holding up pretty well to the onslaught of the river!
And this section of the flood wall was being a little overwhelmed. All in all it looks like, for the most part, the flood wall system for the city will keep the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers at bay!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

State of Emergency

Good evening my friends. I am sitting in the middle of a 9 county state of emergency. "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!"

This is unprecedented flooding, never seen before in our area. First note...I am safe and sound. I live on top of the mountain. If it floods where I am, they'd better break out the ARK! My pond did overflow the dam last night, I lost all my plants and the infamous plastic heron washed away but was found. He is now planted safely away from the water. This shot is facing the dam that it went over and is up level with.
I knew I couldn't get to my store in the town of Conklin (my store is also high and dry, but both ends of that town are under water) but I decided to go downtown and see how bad it was. This was what our road to town looked like in many places from ruunoff. We had 9 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. Oh, and I did drive through all these rocks.
There were two fatalities out my way when a bridge washed away and two drivers in a tractor trailor were swept away. This is the trailor trapped under a bridge.
I worked my way into the city, and even in areas that weren't near the river, they were going to spend the day being flooded because of the flood water backing up into the sewer system. From a distance I saw a manhole cover blow off, but I didn't stay in that area. This is from another spot that was soon to be flooded.I made my way to the main bridges in Binghamton. This is a few pictures of what they look like.
The big problem and danger is water breaching the flood walls. This bridge is attached to the length of flood wall, and it is also a close up of the bridge above. Notice the water up level with me...and the bridge! I decided it wasn't safe there if the leaking section of flood wall nearby gave way...so I beat feet outta there!This was the flood wall at 11 AM this morning.This was the flood wall with water pouring over it tonight at 5PM. I apologize for the picture, I took this one off TV where I was safe!The water has breached the flood wall. A major hospital, Lourdes, is being evacuated as I write. The flood wall system is being compromised on all sides. And my church sits on one of those sides...two blocks away from the wall. The neighborhood has already been evacuated.

You can see some additional pictures at my best buddy, Debra Brand's blog.

Please pray for the people of my area. This is devastation on a scale never seen here before!

WAKING LAZARUS


The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance announces our selection for June. I am so excited about this month's book!

It is WAKING LAZARUS! You might know this title because it it the debut novel of Tony L Hines. Tony is the Founder and CEO of the CFB Alliance....three cheers to him for creating a great organization!

But I digress! The book starts off with a bang! "The first time Jude Allman died, he was eight years old."


Jude Allman gave up on society after they turned him into a curiosity. But then what can you expect for someone that has died three times and come back to life just as many times?

He changes his name and goes into hiding in Montana, a broken man. And he does a decent job as a janitor. He has learned to avoid most of society but then children start disappearing. He can't hide any longer. His true identity is found out by a curious woman that he instantly fears.

She draws him out of hiding, making him face questions that have haunted him since the first time he died. As he opens himself up, and relives the memories of his own deaths, Jude grows stronger. Then he has to turn more determined when he realises that his own son had been kidnapped.

Jude holds the key to stopping the abductions, and find his son. What if his deaths aren't just accidents? what if there's a reason behind it? What if he was brought back for this?

This is a must read. And I won't tell you that I'm partial to the town in the book called Bingham...considering that the nearest town to me is Binghamton..which means Bingham town! Or that Jude is one of my favorite names. I'll just tell you it had me going, right to the very end. Tony does a great job of weaving red-herrings and suspense into the perfect basket!

Ways to buy WAKING LAZARUS:

Amazon.com


Christian Book.com


A Christian Book Seller in Your Area

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lesson 7: Personal Stakes

Good Tuesday! I must say it has been an adventurous ride. I want to introduce you guys to a new friend Ron "The RAT" Southern. He is the awesome guy that I met on the Google Help Groups for Blogger. I'm here to tell you that's a tremendous resource, Ron and a bunch of other knowledgeable people are dispensing great advice, and in real time!

Oh, the mess up was not Blogger....It was operator difficulty! Somewhere along the line I opened up a Source Code template and started woring in it...Can't do that...it makes Blogger throw up!

Okay...Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel.

In case your just joining our regularly scheduled program...what I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: Personal Stakes.

It is easy to dismiss the protagonist's personal stakes as just another way of saying what motivates him. That's too simple. Personal stakes are more than just what a hero wants to do. They illustrate why. Why this goal and the action that must be performed, matters in a profound and personal sense. The more it matters to your hero...the more it will matter to your readers.

What are your protagonist's personal stakes in your current manuscript and how do they rise? Why does he/she care? Why might he care more?
Without personal stakes, even the highest-voltage thriller is an empty plot exercise. Raise the personal stakes and we will all care what happens in your story no matter whether the plot is boiling or not.

Step 1. what is your protagonist's main problem, conflict, goal, need, desire, yearning, or whatever it is driving him/her through the story.

Step 2. What could make this problem matter more. Write down as many new reasons as you can think of.

Step 3. When you run out of reasons, ask yourself what could make this problem matter even more than that?

Step 4. When you run out of steam, ask yourself what could make this problem matter more than life itself.

Follow-up:For all the ways to deepen the personal stakes that you created above, work out how to incorporate each into your novel. Include at least six.

Conclusion: Every Protagonist has a primary motive for what they do. Outward motives are easy to devise, but inner motives most powerfully drive a character forward. Don't just look at all the possibilities...Use them! That is what raising personal stakes is all about. It's extra work, but the results will be a more gripping novel.

And now the joke for the day!!!

An Amish lady is trotting down the road in her horse and buggy when she is pulled over by a cop.

"Ma'am," said the cop, "I'm not going to ticket you, but I do have to issue you a warning. You have a broken reflector on your buggy."

"Oh, I'll let my husband, Jacob, know as soon as I get home," responded the Amish lady.

"That's fine. Another thing, ma'am. I don't like the way that one rein loops across the horse's back and around one of his testicles. I consider that animal abuse. Have your husband take care of that right away!" instructed the cop.

Later that day, the lady is home telling her husband about her encounter with the cop.

"Well, dear, what exactly did he say?" asked Jacob.

"He said the reflector is broken," replied the lady.

"I can fix that in two minutes. What else?" wondered Jacob.

"I'm not sure, Jacob...something about the emergency brake".


YAHOOO!

I'M BACKKKKKK!!! I'll be posting Tuesday later on tonight. I've got to recover all of my template changes....I love you all!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Good Monday and I can't seem to get this post on line...Speaking of surprises...Whatdaya think about the new look? I got the horizontal menu up just fine but Mimi is helping me get the stupid banner to work! Now that I know how to do these things I'm getting dangerous...Bwa hahahaha!

Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel.

In case your just joining our regularly scheduled program...what I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: Character Turnabouts and Surprises.

It would be interesting to compare early drafts to finished manuscripts to compare how scenes get resolved. We normally don't get that opportunity, but many times we find scenes that do not play out the way we expect them to.

The whole thrust is a surprise, or perhaps the scene turns in an unexpected directon, or a character does something that we do not anticipate. This comes from trying different approaches to a scene. In essence, that is what Reverse Motives...the next exercise, is about...trying different approaches to see if they work better. Here's an exercise.

Step 1. Pick a scene featuring your protagonist. What are his/her main actions in the scene. What are they trying to accomplish, obtain or aviod?

Step 2.Write a complete list of reasons why your protagonist is doing what she is doing. Write down as many of her motives as you can. Do not look at the next step until your done!

Step 3. Circle the last reason on your list.

Step 4. Rewrite your opening scene, only this time, send your protagonist into action (or avoidance) foremost and primarily for the reason you circled.

Follow-up: Reverse motives in six other scenes.

Conclusion: You may wind up retaining the original motivations in many scenes in your novel, but it is likely that some of them will become more engaging after a motive reversal!

And this joke, isn't a joke at all. It's real word etymology!

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before commercial fertilizer's invention. So large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term "Ship High In Transit" on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T " (Ship High In Transport) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word.

Neither did I.

I had always thought it was a golf term.

LOL...Don't shoot the messenger either...This is real word etymology!


"Don't look at me. You're the one reading. I'm relaxing!"

Friday, June 23, 2006

Good Friday....auhhh, the weekend! Lesson 6 will be on Monday, so that our weekday readers don't get behind.

Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel.

In case your just joining our regularly scheduled program...what I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: Heightening Larger-Than-Life-Character Qualities.

We're going to work on sharpening the larger-than-life qualities throughout your story. So, okay...where to start? The opportunities can crop up anywhere. It only takes being alert to the possibilities of sending your protagonist or POV character beyond what is usual.

Look for ways to heighten anything that your protagonist says, does, or thinks...to take the temperature up, or down for that matter! Play against the prevailing mood of the scene.

A larger-than-life protagonist talks, acts, and reasons independently. Let you hero's speech, actions, and thoughts follow their own course, regardless of what's going on. Surprise us! That sounds hard, but it really is only a technique!

Step 1: At random in the middle of your manuscript, pick anything at all that your protagonist thinks, says, or does. Heighten it. Make it bigger, funnier, more shocking, more out of bounds, more over the top, more violent, more insightful, more wildly romantic, more active, more anything!

Step 2: Take another action, thought, or line of dialogue and make it smaller, quieter, more internal, more personal, more ironic, more offhand, less impassioned, barely noticeable.

Step 3: Select twenty-four more points in the story where you can heighten or diminish something that your protagonist does, says, or thinks.

Conclusion: Larger-than-life characters powerfully attract us because they are surprising, vital, and alive. They do not let life slip by. Every moment counts. Every day has meaning. How can you give that kind of life force to your protagonist. Turn up the volume!

And now a joke, compliments of Ric!

A cat died and went to Heaven.

God met her at the gates and said, "You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking."

The cat thought for a minute and then said,"All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hardwooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on."

God said, "Say no more."

Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.

A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together.

God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat.

The mice said, "Well, we have had to run allof our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little rollerskates, we would not have to run again."

God answered, "It is done." All the mice had beautiful little roller skates.

About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found her sound asleep on her fluffypillow.

God gently awakened the cat and asked, "Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?"

The cat replied, "Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending over are delicious!"


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Good Thursday! Auhhh...almost the weekend....so much to do and so little time!

Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel.

In case your just joining our regularly scheduled program...what I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: Larger-Than-Life-Character Qualities.

Hey the guy is talking about zingers. Now this is right up my alley! He's not quick on the draw with retorts but he's happy that one of the pleasures of writing a novel is that an hour later you can still go back and add one in! Until the manuscript is turned in, there's plenty of time to slot those zingers in.

Zingers, barbs, shots across the bow, those things that you hear that you wished you had said...How do you build a larger-than-life character in your current manuscript? What does your protagonist say, do, and think that he, she, or we, would never (well in most cases I might)ever venture?

Use this exercise to develop those qualities...but do not rely on that alone. Look for opportunities throughout your story to heighten these qualities.

Step 1. What is the one thing that your protagonist would never, ever say?

Step 2.What is the one thing that your protagonist would never, ever do?

Step 3. What is the one thing your protagonist would never, ever think?

Step 4. find places in your story in which your protagonist will say, do and think those very things. What circumstances? What consequences?

Here's some clues about larger than life actions.

Winking as a stranger is easy for a flirt, but not for a shy person. Taking a swing at someone is nothing to a boxer, for a nun it would be life changing....I was going to say for Bernita, instead of the nun...but for some reason I don't think that would be too life changing for her...me either for that case...LOL

Okay...what ever it is, it has to come as a surprise, feel big, feel outrageous.

We'd all like to feel that way at one time or another. Here's your chance. Let your character do, say, or think something memorable!

Find twelve more points in the story where your protagonist can break out!

Find a single point where the protagonist pointedly lets an opportunity pass by!

Lesson done!

Let's go for some life-changing questions...LOL!

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

Why is it that to stop Windows 98, you have to click on "Start"?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?



Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Lesson 3: Inner Conflict

Good Wednesday friends. I trust you are all well and accounted for...LOL!

Let's continue our study. Yanno (tm Snark) some of you ladies that are reading , or have read Maass, can chime in with things that you've learned. I'm just providing a bare bones outline...Sheesh, I wish I had bare bones...but that's another issue! LOL!

Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel.

What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: Inner Conflict.

A good step for growing beyond the technique of adding character dimensions is investing your protagonist with two goals....needs, wants, longings, yearnings, desires, pinings...okay you get the drift!

But to make it work...the two have to be diametrically opposed. When the character is being pulled in opposite directions, you have conflict....and that's what makes a character truly memorable!

The best part is the inner conflict doesn't need to be limited to your protagonist. Wahooo! Any character can be conflicted!

Okay...is your character conflicted? Have you expressed it clearly so that the readers are sure about it? What actions does it cause? How does it affect other characters in the novel?

Step 1. Thinking about your protagonist as a whole, what does he/she most want?

Step 2. What is the opposite of that?

Step 3. How can your protagonist want both of these at the same time? What makes him/her want them both? How can he/she persue both desires?

Conclusion: In creating real inner conflict, it's not enough to just make inner turmoil. True inner conflict involves wanting two opposite things that tear the protagonist in two directions!

And now for a little Pet Humor

Buy a dog a toy and it will play with it forever. Buy a cat a present and it will play with the wrapper for 10 minutes.

Although cats are rather delicate creatures, and they are subject to a good many ailments, I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.

Dogs and cats instinctively know the exact moment their owners will wake up. Then they wake them 10 minutes sooner.

Dog's have owners. Cat's have staff.

Dogs shed, cats shred.

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult?

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.

Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

I hope to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.

People that hate cats will come back as dogs in their next life.

We wonder why the dogs always drink out of our toilets, but look at it from their point of view: Why do humans keep peeing into their water bowls?

Women and cats will do as they please... men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.

In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Good Tuesday! Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel.

What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: multidimensional Characters.

In well-constructed fiction, multidimensional characters keep us guessing as to what they are going to do or think...In other words there is always more of them to come! Plot events by themselves can bring out a new side to your character.

How many sides of your current protagonist do you reveal? Is he/she multidimensional only in your mind or actually on the page? Take a careful look at your manuscript. On which specific pages do you show another side to your protagonist's personality.

Highlight the passages. How many are there? List the page numbers. How many extra dimensions to your character do you really show?

Hint: The more dimensions your character has, the more involving your novel will be!

Step 1. What is your protagonist's defining quality? What is their most predominant trait? What kind of person are they?

Step 2. What is the opposite of that quality?

Step 3. Write a paragraph of your protagonist demonstrating the opposite quality. Include this paragraph in your novel showing your character's conflicting sides.

Do these three steps multiple times to open up extra dimensions to your character.

The joke of the day. I'm pretty sure I got this one from Ric!

When I was married 25 years, my husband looked at me one day and said, "Honey, 25 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10 inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25 year- old blonde.

Now, we have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma TV, but I'm sleeping with a 50 year-old woman. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."

Well, I've always been a very reasonable woman. I told him to go out and find a hot 25 year-old blonde and she would make sure that he would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car and sleeping on a sofa bed.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Good Monday, The reappearance of my blogging buddy Bernita has led me to a new topic...LOL...it has nothing to do with putting people's pictures on milk cartons...although I did entertain the idea for a minute...er, uh...for an hour...oh never mind!

The subject is Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel. Now the man knows his business! He is the President of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York, and he sells more than a hundred books a year to publishers.

What I am going to endeavor to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Let's get started on Section One: Character Development

If your character sucks, nobody will like them. That's not to say that they can't have problems. But how much tolerance do you have for somebody who is constantly the negative charge on the magnetic, and wallowing around in the mud of self-pity.

What you've got to do is have the character lift him/her self above their curcumstances like a phoenix rising from the ashes. How do you do that?

You've got to start from the beginning and give us a reason not to just throw the book at the wall! Do you feel sympathy for the protag? Do you see yourself in them? Do you want them to win?

Quickly evoking that kind of identification with a protag is one of the secrets of brakeout fiction! ALERT! Most manuscripts don't manage to do this!

EXERCISE:

1.Who are your personal heroes?

2.What are their greatest qualities?

3.When did you first become aware of their qualities?

4.Assign that quality to your protag. Find a way, even a small way to demonstrate that in their first scene.

Follow-up: Prior to the climax, find six more points where your protag can demonstrate heroic qualities, even in a small way.

Conclusion: Demonstrate special qualities right away, and you will immediately turn your protagonist into a hero or heroine...a character whose outcome matters.

Questions and comments are welcome!

And I didn't forget the jockularity for the day!

A Blonde Goes On Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Regis: "Barbara, you've done very well so far - $500,000 and one lifeline left -- phone a friend.

The next question will give you the top prize of One Million dollars if you get it right ... but if you get it wrong you will drop back to $32,000 -- are you ready?"

Barbara: "Sure, I'll have a go!"

Regis: "Which of the following birds does not build it's own nest?

Is it........

A-Robin

B-Sparrow

C-Cuckoo

D-Thrush

Remember Barbara its worth 1 Million dollars."

"I think I know who it..but I'm not 100%...

No, I haven't got a clue. I'd like to phone a friend Regis, just to be sure.

Regis: "Yes, who, Barbara, do you want to phone?

Barbara: "I'll phone my friend Maggie back home in Birmingham."

(ringing)

Maggie (also a blonde): "Hello..."

Regis: "Hello Maggie, its Regis here from Who Wants to be a Millionaire-I have Barbara here and she is doing really well on $500,000, but needs your help to be a Million.

The next voice you hear will be Barbara's and she'll read you the question.

There are 4 possible answers and 1 correct answer and you have 30 seconds to answer -- fire away Barbara."

Barbara: "Maggie, which of the following birds does not build it's own nest? Is it:

A-Robin

B-Sparrow

C-Cuckoo

D-Thrush"

Maggie: "Oh Gees, Barbara that's simple.....It's a Cuckoo."

Barbara: "You think?"

Maggie: "I'm sure."

Barbara: " Thanks Maggie." (hangs up)

Regis: "Well, do you want to stick on $500,000 or play on for the Million, Barbara?"

Barbara: "I want to play, I'll go with C-Cuckoo"

Regis: "Is that your final answer?"

Barbara: "It is."

Regis: "Are you confident?"

Barbara: "Yes fairly, Maggie's a sound bet."

Regis: "Barbara.....you had $500,000 and you said C-Cuckoo ...you're right! - You have just won ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

Here is your check. You have been a great contestant and a real gambler. Audience please put your hands together for Barbara."

(clapping)

That night Barbara calls round to Maggie and brings her down to a local bar for a celebration drink and, as they are sipping their Champagne, Barbara turns to Maggie and asks "Tell me Maggie, How in God's name did you know that it was the Cuckoo that does not build its own nest?

Maggie: "Listen Barbara, everybody knows that a Cuckoo lives in a clock."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Womanly Advantage

Advantages Of Being A Woman

Better know as....Why it's better to be a Woman!

1. We got off the Titanic first.

2. We get to flirt with systems support men who always return our calls, and are nice to us when we blow up our computers.

3. Our boyfriend's clothes make us look elfin & gorgeous. Guys look like complete idiots in ours.

4. We can be groupies. Male groupies are stalkers.

5. We can cry and get off speeding fines.

6. We've never lusted after a cartoon character or the central female figure in a computer game.

7. Taxis stop for us.

8. Men die earlier, so we get to cash in on the life insurance.

9. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

10. Free drinks, Free dinners, Free movies ... (you get the point).

11. We can hug our friends without wondering if she thinks we're gay.

12. We can hug our friends without wondering if WE'RE gay.

13. New lipstick gives us a whole new lease on life.

14. It's possible to live our whole lives without ever taking a group shower.

15. We don't have to fart to amuse ourselves.

16. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.

17. We can congratulate our team-mate without ever touching her butt.

18. If we have a zit, we know how to conceal it.

19. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.

20. If we're dumb, some people will find it cute.

21. We don't have to memorize Caddyshack or Fletch to fit in.

22. We have the ability to dress ourselves.

23. We can talk to people of the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.

24. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we're aware that we look like an idiot.

25. Our friends won't think we're weird if we ask whether there's spinach in our teeth.

26. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.

27. We'll never regret piercing our ears.

28. We can fully assess a person just by looking at their shoes.

29. We know which glass was ours by the lipstick mark.

30. We have enough sense to realize that the easiest way to get out of being lost is to ask for directions. (The Israelites wondered around the desert for 40 years before Mrs. Moses asked for directions!

Friday, June 16, 2006

UPDATE

Bernita has been found!

Technical difficulties have interrupted the audio and video portions of her programming. Hopefully all will be restored by Saturday!

Thank you all for the prayers! You guys are the most wonderful people in the world ((((HUGS))))

SPECIAL MESSAGE

Regular programming has been interrupted to bring this
special message!

My blogging friend Bernita Harris is missing in action. This is the second day that she hasn't posted and that's not even close to being normal!

Ric has suggested that it may be something as simple as her cable going out. I pray to God that it is that mundane.

But that is the reason for the post. Please everyone that reads this, help me pray for Bernita! I know a ton of my Christian friends read this blog but do it in the shadows and don't comment in public. So I need your help, too!

Please pray for my friend Bernita.

Father, I know that You have us in the palm of Your hand, that You know the number of hairs on our heads. Father I ask Your protection for my friend Bernita. I ask that order her steps and those of her family. If she is ill, Father I ask for Your healing...mind, body and spirit.

In the Name of Jesus, I pray this. AMEN

Thank you friends. I will keep you updated!

Balls and Bucks

A Scotish man was at a baseball game.

It was the first time he had ever seen the sport so he sat quietly.

The first batter approached the mound, he took a few swings and then hit a double. Everyone was on their feet screaming "Run, Run."

This happened two more times, with a single and a triple. The Scotish man was now exited and ready to get into the game.

The next batter came up and four balls went by.

The umpire called "walk" and the batter started on a slow trot to first. The Scotchman, extremely excited now, stood up and screamed, "R-R-Run ye bugger, rrrun!"

Everyone around him started laughing.

So the Scotchman, extremely embarrased, sat back down. A friendly fan, seeing the Scotchman's embarassment, lened over and said, "He can't run - he got four balls."

The Scotchman then stood up and screamed, "Walk with pride, man...walk with pride!"


Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Light and Maxine!

Hey we made it over the Hump, and I didn't even notice! It's all down hill to the weekend now! LOL

Over at Charis Connection, there's a great article by James Scott Bell, the writer, on using dialogue as a major storytelling device.

I can identify with the concept readily because in analyzing why I like a particular book, it's usually because the book was an easy, fast read....Guess why?...mostly dialogue! I hate to admit it, but I've caught myself skimming narrative to get to the dialogue at times.

How do you write?...More narrative, or more dialogue?

And without further interruptions...a joke!

An elderly couple go to their doctor for a checkup.

The man goes in first. "How're you doing?" asks the doctor.

"Pretty good," answers the old man. "I'm eating well, and I'm still in control of my bowels and bladder. In fact, when I get up at night to pee, the good Lord turns the light on for me."

The doctor decides not to comment on that last statement, and goes into the next room to check on the man's wife.

"How're you feeling?" he asks.

"I'm doing well," answers the old woman. "I still have lots of energy and I'm not feeling any pain."

The doctor says, "That's nice. It sounds like you and your husband are both doing well. One thing though - your husband said that when he gets up to pee at night, the good Lord turns the light on for him. Do you have any idea what he means?"

"Oh No," says the woman, "He's peeing in the refrigerator again."

Yikes!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

For The Birds!

Good Wednesday. These pictures were prompted by my blogging friend Stephen Newton He takes magnificent pictures, mine pale in comparison, but I get the point across...LOL!

Stephen recently posted a beautiful picture of a Great Blue Heron. This is my version of that...The bird looks kinda' stiff huh? LOL...That's because it's a decoy. That's right...that puppy...er, bird is all plastic! It's to keep the real one away. Apparently they're a very territorial bird, and one won't inhabit an occupied spot!



These babies are the reason for the decoy! The real Heron uses my pond as a gourmet restaurant. It lies...er,stands in wait in the shallow end and sooner or later the stupid goldfish and Koi go..."Oh look, sticks...let's go see!" and the heron grabs them. To add insult to injury, there's a big flat rock nearby that it uses as a dinner plate....Then leaves me the bones! Haven't seen him land since the decoy took up residence..He flies by every now and then to see if the coast is clear yet...LOL!



And this is a long shot of my peaceful, country critter inhabited pond!



I thought this joke was appropriate because my friend Stephen lives in Florida!
This is an actual job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida... and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!

NAME: Greg Bulmash

SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.

DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.

EDUCATION: Yes.

LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

SALARY: Less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.

REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.

HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.

PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?

DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?: Of what?

DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: Yes. Absolutely.

SIGN HERE: Aries.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

GOOD NEWS!!

Great Tuesday...so much news!


Outstanding "Seatbelt Suspense" novelist Brandilyn Collins is writing a new series entitled Kanner Lake.

The first book in the series is going to be Violet Dawn. (We will review the book in September.) To showcase this series Brandilyn has created Scenes and Beans. It is a real blog for the fictional characters who frequent the fictitious Java Joint coffeehouse in the town of Kanner Lake.

Do I have you sufficiently confused?

Well Brandilyn posted a list of the characters and conducted auditions from her BG's (Bloggees)who frequent her website...I won a spot! I will be blogging as one of the three people playing the part of Sarah Wray, owner of Simple Pleasures, a tourist gift shop in the town.

Congratulations to all the crew who got parts. And as soon as the list of people and their blogs are available, I'll post them. I know several people like Dineen Miller, Gina Holmes and Dave Meigs but I'll wait till I have the whole list! I"m going to create a separate sidebar box for the project.

And....my good friend Bernita Harris did an awesome interview over at Flash Flood yesterday...go check it out. Bernita looks so cute sitting in her garden!

And last, but not least....a joke!

George went on a vacation to the Middle East with his family, including his mother-in-law.

During their vacation in Jerusalem, George's mother-in-law died.

With the death certificate in his hand, George went to the American Consulate Office to make arrangements to send the body back to the United States for a proper burial.

The Consul told George that to send the body back to the United States for burial was very, very expensive. It could cost him as much as $5,000.00.

The Consul told him, in most cases the person responsible for the remains normally decides to bury the body there in Jerusalem. This would only cost him $150.00.

George though for some time and answered, "I don't care how much it will cost to send the body back, that's what I want to do."

The Consul said, "You must have loved your mother-in-law very much considering the difference in price".

"No, it's not that," said George. "You see, I know of a case many, many years ago of a man that was buried here in Jerusalem. On the third day he arose from the dead! I just can't take that chance!"

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mistaken Speech

Good Monday morning! This weekend I ran into two actual examples of wrongly comprehended speech...LOL!

They were the kind that give you an instant brain freeze! Especially the kind that make you go...huh, say what! It seemed totally appropriate that I found two similar jokes...LOL...Now you'll know how I felt, without giving away the actual perpetrators!

A very modest lady applied for a job at the factory where they made "Tickle Me Elmo" dolls.

It was Friday and almost quitting time, and hurriedly the boss told her to to report for work on Monday. He quickly explained to her she would be stationed on the assembly line just before the dolls were packed into boxes.

On Monday they started up the line and within twenty minutes had to shut down because one worker couldn't keep up. The boss went down the line to find the problem.

The new employee was very busy trying to do her part but she had a bunch of dolls waiting for her. Closer examination showed she was sewing little cloth bags containing two walnuts in the appropriate place on the dolls.

The boss could not control his laughter and said, "Lady, I said to give each doll Two-----Test-----Tickles."

And my personal favorite...trust me, if you've ever been a nurse, you know what I'm talking about!

A male patient is lying in bed in the hospital, wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose, still heavily sedated from a difficult four hour, surgical procedure.

A young, student nurse appears to give him a partial sponge bath.

"Nurse", he mumbles, from behind the mask. "Are my testicles black?"

Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, "I don't know, Sir. I'm only here to wash your upper body and feet."

He struggles to ask again, "Nurse, are my testicles black?"

Concerned that he may elevate his vitals from worry about his testicles, she overcomes her embarrassment and sheepishly pulls back the covers.

She raises his gown, holds his equipment in one hand and his other equipment in the other hand, lifting and moving them around.

Then, she takes a close look and says, "There's nothing wrong with them, Sir!!"

The man pulls off his oxygen mask, smiles at her and says very slowly, "Thank you very much. That was wonderful, but, listen very, very closely... A r e - m y - t e s t - r e s u l t s - b a c k?"

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Driving Test Q & A

This should keep you occupied 'til Monday!

The following are a sampling of real answers received on exams given by the California Department of Transportation's driving school.

Q: Do you yield when a blind pedestrian is crossing the road?
A: What for? He can't see my license plate.

Q: Who has the right of way when four cars approach a four-way stop at the same time?
A: The pick up truck with the gun rack and the bumper sticker saying, "Guns don't kill people. I do."

Q: When driving through fog, what should you use?
A: Your car.

Q: How can you reduce the possibility of having an accident?
A: Be too drunk to find your keys.

Q: What problems would you face if you were arrested for drunk driving?
A: I'd probably lose my buzz a lot faster.

Q: What changes would occur in your lifestyle if you could no longer drive lawfully?
A: I would be forced to drive unlawfully.

Q: What are some points to remember when passing or being passed?
A: Make eye contact and wave "hello" if she is cute.

Q: What is the difference between a flashing red traffic light and a flashing yellow traffic light?
A: The color.

Q: How do you deal with heavy traffic?
A: Heavy psychedelics.

Q: What can you do to help ease a heavy traffic problem?
A: Carry loaded weapons.

Q: Why would it be difficult to be a police officer?
A: It would be tough to be an idiot all day long.


*sigh* And these are REAL answers...Be afraid...be very afraid!



"You've got about three seconds to get that thing off my head!"

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ten Best Excuses

TGIF...remember these for next week! Have a great weekend!

10 best excuses when you get caught falling asleep on your desk:


10. "They told me at the blood bank this might happen."

9. "This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in that time management course you sent me to."

8. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out. You probably got here just in time!"

7. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm."

6. "I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance."

5. "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory toward people who practice Yoga?"

4. "Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."

3. "The coffee machine is broken..."

2. "Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot..."

And the #1 best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk...

1. " ... in Jesus' name. Amen."



"Listen bird...do you know what KFC means?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Apples and Wine

I want to send out prayers and get well blessings to my friend Dave over at Curmudgeon's Rant. He had a heart attack last Wednesday. We are praying for your speedy recovery Dave!

I also send up prayers for the Sullivan family that my friend M.C.Pearson (Mimi) knows. Their 11-year-old son Kyle drowned at a pool party on Saturday. The funeral is today.

And I'd like to give a cudos to my friend M.G.Tarquini. A story she wrote for Spinetingler Magazine got a shoutout from Miss Snark!


God bless Ric's family..they are a wealth of material. Thank you Charley...wherever you are!

Women are like apples on trees.

The best ones are at the top of the tree.

Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt.

Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy.

The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing apples.

They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Now Men.... Men are like a fine wine.

They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Share this with all the good apples you know.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

If My Body Was A Car

"Go for it Bernita...I'm ready...LOL!"



It's Hump Day and this is for all of the women out there who feel like I do!

Hat tip to Ric! (Yea ladies...blame it on him!)

IF MY BODY WAS A CAR

If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull, but that's not the worst of it

My headlights are out of focus and it's especially hard to see things up close.

My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather. My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.

It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed.

My fuel rate burns inefficiently.

But here's the worst of it -- almost every time I sneeze, cough or sputter.....either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!

c2003 Linda S Amstutz


"I think I'm going to barf!"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Right Equipment...Or Type

LOL...*shiver* Today is 6/6/06...or the infamous 666! I wish I had rasberry sound effects, this would be so much better...ptthhhhh!!

I procurred this little funny from my blogging buddy Denise Belinda McDonald's mama. Give Dennie a round of applause..she just sold her third book, The Inn Crowd to Samhain Publishing! Wahoo....*the crowd goes wild!*

One morning, the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies, (thinking, "Isn't that obvious?")

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you," says the game warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.


"Get off of me! You aren't my type!"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pecans In The Cemetary

Good Monday morning. I trust you all had a fabulous weekend! Hey...at my age, fabulous is just waking up in the morning...thank you Jesus...can I get an AMEN!

It's official...Tony Hines, the Founder and CEO of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance has asked me to be the Director of the organization...and I have accepted. Gulp! We presently have eighty-four...count 'em (84) members.

Wouldn't it be cool to get to 1000! I've got a lot of ideas for cool stuff and we've got a lot of energetic people...together we'll be an unstoppable force! More on this to follow...


Ric's got some great relatives....this is from Charlie


On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

"One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy.

Several nuts dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle.

As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me. One for
you, one for me."

He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off.

Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.

"Come here quick," said the boy, "you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls."

The man said, "Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk."

When the boy insisted, the old man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.

Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one
for me..."

The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord."

Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter
and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done."

They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike!

Smile, God Loves You!!!

Blogger was being a poop...so no picture today!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Prom 2006

Good Saturday...Yesterday was a rousing success for our first First Friday. There were at least 40 participating blogs. You can go Here to view the full list.

Tonight was the big prom, so now I can show you the dresses that I was commissioned to make...I couldn't show the pictures before they showed up in the dresses...Secretive teenage society...no one can see the dress ahead of time.

One reason for having a dress made......last weekend at another local Prom, six girls turned up with the same dress, in the same color...LOL!


They all bought them on the internet, trying to outdo each other...LOL! As I hear it, they almost came to blows over it....teenage angst! *Sigh* Am I glad I passed that years ago....I've got
way bigger fish to fry. PS...in most cases I used double sided Hollywood tape in strategic spots to keep "the girls" from getting away! That's part of the service of being a seamstress! And as one of my girlfriends put it. "It also keeps the boys from getting fresh!"




























































I must add one caveat, in case some of these raise an eyebrow...The girls brought the pictures and material...and even a parent...I only made what THEY wanted...none of these were my idea, just my talent at recreating a
picture! I haven't gotten the studio pictures of the costumes I did this year. They will be taken as group shots in the coming weeks, so I'll put some up as soon as I get them!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Good TGIF....I've joined a new project called First Friday. Every month we will feature the first chapter of a Christian fiction novel. Our first selection is:


Deliver Us From Evelyn
(Harvest House Publishers)
by Chris Well

Everyone from the Feds to the mob is scrambling to find the husband of heartless media mogul Evelyn Blake. But no one can decide which is worse—that he is missing, or that she is not ...



CHAPTER ONE

Sunday night. April 23.

On his last day of this life, the Right Fair Reverend Missionary Bob Mullins checked the party dip. Just stuck his finger right in there, pulled some glop free, stuck it in his mouth and sucked.

Hmm, good dip.

He wiped his saliva’d finger on his jacket, popped the top off a can of Pringles, shuffled a neat row of curved chips onto a Dixie brand paper platter.

There.

Setting the can down, he stepped back from the secondhand coffee table in the middle of the shag-carpeted office, looked at what his party planning skills had wrought. And he saw that it was good.

He went to the stereo system across the room, selected a CD. Personally, he would have preferred something by the Rolling Stones, maybe Exile on Main Street or Beggars Banquet -- muscular, honky-tonk rock ’n’ roll you can get drunk or stoned to, depending on your mood. He could really go for the bluesy wail of “Tumbling Dice” right now.

But the music library here offered none of that. Besides, his marks -- that is, the members of his “flock” -- held certain expectations regarding what music was appropriate for a prayer meeting. Especially in a small armpit of a town like Belt Falls, Illinois.

(Who names a town “Belt Falls,” anyway?)

The ladies would be here soon. Then Missionary Bob could use his people skills, honed from his years of "ministry," to good effect. Would lead the group in a spontaneous (but carefully planned) evening following “the Lord’s leading” -- some Bible, some hymns, some ministry time. A carefully rehearsed prayer, a combination of wails and pleas, which experience had shown to be a very effective prelude to the passing of the offering plate.

Swept up by the rush of maudlin and spiritual emotion, the ladies would cough up plenty.

“Yea, but there are those who do not have it as comfortably as we do,” he found himself practicing, fiddling with chair placement in the circle, maneuvering pillows on the couch. “Poor children who do not have the food or clothing or shelter such as we take for granted.”

He double-checked the handy photos on the table. The orphanage in Mexico went by a lot of names. It would not do for the Right Fair Reverend Missionary Bob Mullins to get all weepy-eyed over JESUS AMA A LOS NINOS PEQUENOS and then whip out a photo showing a bunch of tiny brown faces smiling under a banner that said CHILDREN OF HER MERCY ORPHANAGE.

Following the fiasco in the last town, he’d played it cool once he got to Belt Falls. (Really, who brings a wagon train across the frontier, breaks ground on a settlement and says, “From henceforth, this shall be known as ‘Belt Falls’”?)

Ever since Andrea -- his partner, his companion, his ray of light -- had got Jesus, she'd stopped helping with the scams. Stopped helping him fleece the flock, so to speak. She laid it on thick enough, It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, and all that.

He tried to smirk it off, tried that face that always brought her around, but it didn’t seem to work anymore. Whatever had got hold of her wasn’t letting go.

Missionary Bob would never admit it to anyone, least of all himself, that the dividing line between success and failure began and ended with Andrea. When she was working with him, the scams worked like butter.

But then she got religion and the whole machine went up in flames.

Not that Missionary Bob got the clue. He kept working his games, town to town, each new gambit failing, each new town harder to crack than the last.

Once he set up shop here in Belt Falls (don’t even get him started about the name of the town), he took his time getting to know the people. He found them to be a small, close-knit community, smugly going to their church services.

Smug, but not that pious -- it did not take much effort to plant sufficient evidence that the only pastor in town was a raving drug user, maybe even a dealer. Not enough evidence to get the man convicted -- even the hick sheriff saw it was a weak case -- but the hapless pastor had to make only one phone call to the wrong deacon asking for bail money before word of his unholy lifestyle rushed through the congregation like wildfire.

In the eyes of God and the law, he was probably an okay guy. But once a congregation chooses to believe the worst, a preacher may as well pack his bags and move on.

Missionary Bob had even heard tell of one particular church, somewhere in the Midwest, where the members had booted the pastor because he'd had the temerity to wear short pants to a church potluck.

Yep, hell -- if it existed -- would be packed to the lips with smug, busybody churchgoers who ran their preacher out of town because he had worn shorts to a church potluck. Or, as in this case, was the victim of circumstantial evidence planted on him by a traveling huckster.

He stood and straightened his dress jacket. Felt a bulge in his left pocket, was surprised to discover a coaster with the face of Jesus on it.

He looked around the office, befuddled. When had he picked this up?

You don’t have to lift anything here, he reminded himself. You’ve pretty much lifted the whole office already.

Missionary Bob, in what used to be the hapless pastor’s office, heard steps echoing from the foyer, somebody clomping up the stairs. My, my, thought the Right Fair Reverend Missionary Bob Mullins, these ladies do need to lose some weight, don’t they? Whoever this was, she was pounding the stairs to wake the devil.

He stopped fidgeting with pillows and stood up straight, getting into character. Thinking of his plan, his mission, remembering the correct accent and speech patterns of a Right Fair Reverend Missionary, an accent as specific and undeniable as the drawl of New Orleans or the wicked blue-blood of Boston.

There was an insistent pounding on the door, a battering, really, if he had stopped to think about it. But he was too wrapped up in the character of a Right Fair Reverend Missionary. He slapped on a toothy grin and opened the door. “Welcome, child, to -- ”

It was a man. A. Large. Man. A grizzled bear towering over him, bloated flannel shirt cascading out of pants where they were almost tucked, tractor cap on his head declaring EAT ROADKILL. The grizzly bear pressed his flannelled beer belly against the Right Fair Reverend Missionary, leaned down from on high and belched, “I’m Darla Mae’s husband.”

The Right Fair Reverent Missionary Bob Mullins broke character and cursed.

The rest of the confrontation was like a dream, a nightmare of slow motion, the bear smacking him, a freight train to the skull, tossing Missionary Bob across the room. Hitting the coffee table as he went down, elbow in the dip. The grizzly roaring, storming in, Missionary Bob on the floor, scrambling backward, away, fleeing in the only direction he could, farther into the room. The angry husband kicking the table over, party snacks flying, dip spattering across the bookcase.

As Missionary Bob kicked to his feet, always moving backward, until the wall stopped his escape, one question kept flashing through his mind: Is this about the fake antique Cross of James or is this about the adultery?

Either way, his back against the wall, this grizzly man bearing down on him, Missionary Bob was out of options. The giant man, his eyes red, had barrel fists clenched and ready to swing, like jackhammers.

There was a noise behind the grizzly, at the open door. “Missionary Bob?”

One of the ladies.

The enraged husband turned at the voice. Missionary Bob took his one and only chance, grabbed the stone head of Moliere, clubbed the grizzly across the side of the head. The man stumbled backward and fell.

Missionary Bob, fueled by anger and fear and blind, stupid adrenalin, kept clubbing, again and again. The man on the floor now, blood streaming from his head. Missionary Bob clubbing him with the bust again and again. On his knees, on top of the man, clubbing him again and again and again.

Finally, adrenalin loosening its grip, Missionary Bob became aware that the man was not moving. Clutching air in hot, painful gasps, he dropped the bust to the carpet.

Felt something wet on the side of his face, wiped it with his sleeve, saw blood smeared on fabric. Not his own blood.

Gasping, wheezing, he looked up and saw the witnesses, ladies pooling in the doorway, staring agape at the Goliath on the floor, downed by the David with his stone.

© 2006 Chris Well

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Exercise and Alligators

It's Thursday....Short weeks are confusing and exhausting (see the Pond on Wednesday)...I'm still a day behind!

Well this is a good example of just what exercise will get for you...so knock it off!

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. Now she's 97 years old and we don't know where the hell she is.

The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven’t lost a pound. Guess you actually have to go.

I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

And last but not least: I don't exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.


"Another alligator attack!"