Showing posts from September, 2016

Life With Harmony the Cat: The Ten Commandments for Humans

My name is Harmony and I am a cat.  Now that we have established that, I’ll get to the point.

There is a two-legged, mostly hairless creature who lives in my house.  I call her Big Human.  It has come to my attention that Big Human has often written about me, including here.  It’s only fair to give me equal time.
Because I do not have fingers or opposable thumbs, I have persuaded Big Human to type this into the Big Flat Thing That Does Funny Stuff.  I did this by staring at her, meowing forcefully and threatening to bite her ankles.  It works every time.
Here are my Ten Commandments for Humans.
1.Thou shalt acknowledge The Cat as master and obey The Cat in all things.  If more than one cat shares the domicile, thou shalt obey the Top Cat first, then all the others.
2.Thou shalt acknowledge that The Cat is master of the house and owner of all things therein, including porcelain figurines, Christmas nativity statues, hairpins, rubber bands, pens, pencils, Q-tips, jewelry and anything els…

Reading for Writers

There are two things that budding writers hear all the time: (1) Write what you know;* and (2) You have to do a lot of reading.  To most of us, reading is enjoyable.  There are, however, ways to make reading even more fun than it already is.  Here are some suggestions.
1. Start a drinking game:  one swallow of beer for every cliché you come across.  It is considered cheating if you are unsure if a phrase or sentence is a cliché or not and you take a swallow, anyway, without looking it up.  You have to raise your glass or the bottle/can of beer and shout, “Shame!” before you take a sip.
2.Make a list of every cliché that causes you to take a sip of beer.  When your list is long enough, write a short story or a novella, incorporating every one of those clichés.  See if you can get it published – under a pseudonym, of course.  You don’t want to be blamed for that one.

3.Put 50 cents into a jar every time you read the latest bestselling novel before you start reading the work of your unknown…

Writing a Perfect Funny Piece if You Are a Slow Writer with ADD

Writers are ALWAYS publishing essays, and even books, about how to write.  I’m not going to do that – well, at least not this time.  I don’t know what I might do tomorrow, let alone a year or two from now.
Instead, I would like to share with you my own personal habits when writing a short piece, such as a humor essay or a short-short story.  I am not about to advise anyone else to do things this way.  You see, I am not what you would call a naturally prolific writer.  I write the same way I read – slowly.  And oh yes, I have a mild case of Attention Deficit Disorder, in addition to genetically inherited long-term low-grade Depression.  These things make trying to do anything complicated even more complicated, if you know what I mean.  So please don’t use me as a literary role model.
This is what usually happens with me when I’m trying to write a short piece, in more or less this order.  By the way, I love to exaggerate when I write humor.  Just saying.
Get a good idea Decide the idea…

Awful Lessons Taught by Familiar Stories

There are fairy tales, folk tales, books and movies that have become so familiar to us that they are programmed into our nerve endings.  In most cases, we are taught to see positive messages in these stories.  On the other hand, there are multi-layers in these familiar tales, and if we look deeper into them we find some lessons that are best left untaught.  Here is a partial list of these sneaky subliminal messages.Batman:  You can always recognize an evil person because they are the weirdest looking bunch of psychopaths on the planet. Beauty and the Beast:  Bestiality will be rewarded.
Cinderella:  Your most important measurement is your shoe size.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears:  If you are a cute little blonde kid, it is okay to wander into a house when the occupants are out, eat their food, mess up their furniture and sleep in their beds, then, when they come home and find you, run away without even offering to clean up after yourself.
Hansel and Gretel (a):  If you get lost in a fore…