Tag Archives: parents

10 suggestions Poet James Russell Lowell

 

The Poet asked:  “Oh what is so rare as a day in June?”

1.     The flame created by the burning of your paid-off home mortgage.

2.     The look on the face of a three-year-old child who hears her dad’s car coming up the driveway.

3.     A wife seeing her husband of 55 years pain-free after recuperating from back surgery.

4.     Your dog’s tail when someone brings him his dinner.

5.     Grandpa’s joy at finding where Grandma hid the cookies after she left to play Mahjongg with her friends all afternoon.

6.     Grandma’s joy when Grandpa finally agrees to get a haircut.

7.     Parking the car in a rainstorm thinking you left the umbrella at home— and then seeing it lying in the back seat.

8.     The happiness of a boy who sees his homing pigeon land in its coop after being missing for a week.

9.     Ten Lords a-leaping.

10. And a partridge in a pear tree.

 

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Girl’s Choice

When I was in seventh grade a girl asked me to a “girls’ choice” dance.  It was the first formal type event I’d ever been asked to attend.  I was naïve and didn’t know that I was expected to buy and bring a corsage.

The girl and her mother were gracious about the fact that I didn’t bring a corsage, and the girl and I went on to the dance.

But I was so sensitive about what I considered my blunder that as we traded dances I’d say to my new dance partner,  “I wish they’d turn the lights down.”

Well those remarks got around to the girls at the dance and I was marked, not as dolt who didn’t buy a corsage, but a lothario who wanted the lights turned down.

Dr. Larry Day is a retired journalist turned humor columnist. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales from the Fourth Dementia is available at Amazon.com

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Kaybe’s Cosmic Christmas, Part IV

And so it was that a few days before Christmas, Emmaline and I heard a knock at the door.  When we opened it, there stood Kaybe, Zeeruba and young Reebie  Their Erector set arms were loaded with bright, beautifully wrapped packages.  Some of the packages shone with a cosmic glow, while some others hummed, beeped or whistled quietly.   We invited them to stay at our house for the holidays.  After they got settled in, we all went down to the Enchantment for a soft drink.  A big holiday party was in full swing.  Four Finger Fannie took the night off from waiting tables and joined in the fun.  Miniature Mike and Harry the Hulk and the other space aliens welcomed us.  We sang (and beeped and telepathed, and in other ways communicated carols and songs of the holidays.  And, cliché or not, the phrase fits:  “A good time was had by all.” And that, in cosmic terms, is a great deal indeed.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Dr. Larry Day is a retired foreign correspondent and KU J-School professor. He is now the author of countless short stories and the author of Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia available on Amazon.

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Unblocked Writers

Here is a story from my book, Day Dreaming: Tales from the Fourth Dementia. Call it  a sneak-peek into the book, if you will. This is from the chapter, Media Marvels. Enjoy!!!

Unblocked Writers

It’s fortunate that Gwendolyn McCafferty and Porter Collins didn’t meet at that writers workshop in Cincinnati years go. Something kept them apart—the stars, or fate, or maybe a slight case of indigestion. Whatever it was, not meeting at that time blessed their later lives.

They were both intense young writers back then, and their love would have gone “kabloowy” in less than six months. Gwen and Porter didn’t meet until they attended a gathering for successful writers in New York City. And now they’re married and living happily ever after.

Gwendolyn McCafferty and Porter Collins won prizes in the “Genre Be Damned,” category of the annual award ceremony in what used to be the National Writers Union Guild of The United States of America and Its Environs (NAWUGUSAE).

Gwen won for her mystery novel and household hints book: The Tell Tale Toilet. Porter took second place with his best selling kid’s self help guide and pet training manual: Ten Ways You and Fido Can Drive Your Mom Bonkers. The book was a sequel to his popular, Ten Places to Stash Your Stuff Where Moms Never Look.

On the night they met Gwen preceded Porter on the purple carpet. After that everyone gathered in the ballroom. The tablecloths on the round tables were divided down the middle—one side was striped and the other side was checkered. Gwen and Porter were seated side by side at the awardees table, Gwen on the striped side, Porter on the checkered.

“The seating was fateful and fortuitous,” Gwen later told friends.

“And felicitous,” added Porter.

Their fateful, fortuitous, felicitous meeting came after a long discouraging career slog for both of them.

After the Cincinnati writer’s workshop which both attended years ago but at which they didn’t meet, Gwendolyn spent 16 fruitless years trying to crack the literary fiction market. She tried to place her first novel Dullness at Dawn over the transom (the phrase was in vogue back then). Three publishers sent the manuscript back in the SASE package with rote rejection slips. Fifteen publishers didn’t respond at all. Gwen suspected that the publishers’ office staff members had never shown the manuscripts to editors; she thinks they recycled the back of her manuscripts for their own writing and helped themselves to her stamps.

Next Gwendolyn engaged a literary agent, who had a New York City post office box, to place Seeking a Way and Dark Plateau. The agent charged Gwen $1,400 over two years for “placement lunches and other business expenses,” then cut her loose with a letter that ended, “it’s no one’s fault. It’s just the nature of the market right now.”

Porter’s experience was almost identical. His novels, A Rationed Youth, Flawed Encounter, and Secret Endeavors were never considered by serious publishers despite Porter’s tireless efforts and his scrupulous adherence to suggestions in the self help book: Publish Your Novel or Bust.

Both Gwen and Porter rejected writer-subsidized publishing. It was known in those days as the vanity press. Their marriages, and Gwen’s second marriage, failed. After that they went from scut job to scut job, honoring their art and subsisting on occasional literary fellowships and ramen noodles.

In desperation they began to write nonfiction. Fortunately, both began to publish—slowly at first, then with increasing frequency. For the first time they made some real money.

Twenty-first century culture created a market for cross-genre writing. Technology and the economy had blown a hole in the word business. Book publishing, newspapers, magazines, and even the movie industry and television networks became economically fragile. But like 19th century sailing vessels they trimmed their sails and tacked into the wind.

In 2003 The National Writers Union Guild of the United States of America and Its Environs floundered. Its members jettisoned the organization’s leaders and NAWUGUSAE moved ahead with a slimmer silhouette and a new name: Writers Work, Inc.

The new environment encouraged writers to mix fiction and nonfiction. That created a lot of genre-crossing multimedia products.

Gwen McCafferty and Porter Collins prospered in the newgenre-busting publishing/communication environment.

Now they own a ranch near Letongaloosa, and they’re busy breeding blended livestock—elkalo, jackalopes, and sheeparoos. Next year they plan to market a line of exotic vegetables including such innovations as fudge-flavored carrots.

 

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