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Mar 28, 2008

"I Never Got to Thank You" Project

We all have stories to tell about the people who definitively shaped our lives. Often, when we are enjoying the fruits of what people have poured into us, we are so preoccupied with the results that we lay the stories aside.

Bill Burns of the Loving Her Beautiful blog, is compiling our personal "letters of thanks" into a compelling book. His goal is to collect 100 Thank You Stories.

Bill writes: "I can assure you, this will be one of the easiest things you’ll ever write. First of all, you don’t need to create a story: it’s already written. You’re living it right now. Secondly, it’s not an essay or a work of literature. It’s a personal letter. And everyone can write a letter. A Thank You Story doesn’t show off writing skills, it re-connects one heart to another with a Thank You. It’s about sharing your story, in your words, in your way."

The deadline was slated for March 31st; however, to date, he has collected 11 stories, so he will persevere until he reaches his goal. He needs our help. Wouldn't it be an honor—for all concerned—to document our gratitude? Imagine how our missives might be an encouragement to the one we thank and to the innumerous others who will read them.

For submission information, click HERE.

Image from Grandma's Graphics.

Mar 26, 2008

The Shaggy Dog Story - Humor

I adore paronomasia, Feghoots, and Spoonerisms. I hope I'm not raising brows of suspicion because, in actuality, all of these terms deal with puns, storytelling, and plays on words.

A Feghoot, a sometimes long-winded method of storytelling, is also referred to as a “shaggy dog story” or a “groaner.” These stories—in the tradition of campfire yarns—generally end with puns (plays on words). The Feghoot sets up the punch line with relevant or irrelevant details and narrative, playing upon the expectations of the audience. Literally, there is a PUNch line. Many times, the ending is an elaborately tweaked cliché or saying, or it purposely ends with an anticlimax as proof of the storyteller’s skill of captivation.

Here are some examples that employ paronomasia and Feghoots:

A couple of clams were eating chocolate bars while two fish watched. "Did you see that?" one fish said, as the clams finished their treat. "They didn't offer us a single bite!"

"What did you expect?" asked the other fish, "They're two shellfish."

And...

Two middle-aged women who were constantly on a low-fat diet were on their daily exercise stroll. They were talking about how hard it is to lose weight as one gets older. One woman complained that she was in good physical condition, but there was too much weight under her arms. The other said that no matter how much she exercised, there was too much poundage on her abdomen. It seemed like it was there to stay. Her companion agreed, saying, "It's true. The lard works in mysterious ways."

About these words...

Paronomasia: \pair-uh-noh-MAY-zhee-uh\ noun — a play on words.

Feghoot: S. Joan Popek of dowse.com wrote: “Ferdinand Feghoot made his debut in the "Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" as the star of the series, "Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot" for years. Ferdinand was brought to life by Reginald Bretnor (1911-1992) under the pen name, Grendel Briarton. These short-short science fiction stories all ended with a pun. Hence, short stories ending with a PUNchline, became known as Feghoots.”

Spoonerism: Named after Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930). Spoonerisms began with social blunders such as when Rev. Spooner raised his glass to the Queen during a Royal visit and said, “To our queer old Dean.” Later, any incident of taking the first two sounds from two different words qualifies the result as a Spoonerism. Other examples of Spoonerisms would be:
  • Tease my ears (Ease my tears)
  • A lack of pies (A pack of lies)
  • It's roaring with pain (It's pouring with rain)
  • Wave the sails (Save the whales)
This next "punny" did not happen to me:

Late for work already, I was annoyed to find a strange car in my reserved parking space again. After locating a spot far away, I stormed into my office determined to have the car towed. As the morning wore on, however, my anger cooled, and I decided to give the driver another chance.

During lunchtime, I went outside and left this note on the driver's windshield: "Please don't take my parking space. If you do, and your car disappears, don't say I never towed you!"

Check out Tarzan's Tripes Forever and Other Feghoots for over 500 laughs...

Feel free to share your favorite shaggy dog stories under comments.

Mar 25, 2008

KJ's Egg-cellent Adventure

Can you believe that Christmas was exactly 3 months ago! The speed of life feels like a Post-It pad. I begin to pen, peel, and post; always astonished at how quickly I'm reaching for a new pad. Today, with Easter one day behind us, I caught myself mentally connecting to the next holiday. I immediately resolved to place more emphasis on the days in between. We are so programmed by marketing, aren't we?

I don't have my eggs in a basket, but I'm getting them lined up. Despite detours such as accidentally deleting browser bookmarks while braving the Web without reading glasses, I'm making progress. I've taken some leaps of Faith lately. My workspace is being prepared for where I'm going. As an insurance policy, I stocked up on several pairs of 99¢ Store reading glasses.

On another note, what happened to Easter Vacation? Throughout my schooling, Easter Vacation—and it was referenced as that—preceeded Easter. Family and friends could count on sharing one week off...together. Now, in a secular effort to disassociate with religion, to be politically correct, and/or to stave off collegiate idiocy, Easter Vacation has become a very broken Spring Break!

Take a look at my family's "Spring Break" schedule...
  • March 16th - March 22nd: Briana is off from college...
  • March 23rd -29th: Bryce is off from junior high...
  • March 30th - April 5th: Brock is off from elementary school...
  • April 6th - April 12th: I'm off from the Performing Arts studio...
  • My husband isn't off at all...
Now, what is a family supposed to do with this? One person is off and the rest of the family is saddled with the normal routine. For me, there is no break. Unlike Elmer Fudd, I won't be able to say, "West and wewaxation at wast!" and that's pwetty scwewy!"

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Mar 23, 2008

The Limerick Writing Contest Results...

The Limerick Contest is officially over and the votes have been tallied. As the contest was being conducted, I tried in earnest not to tabulate the votes. Nevertheless, I was somewhat prepared for a tie—and that's exactly what happened. Rather than belabor this contest and the fabulous efforts of all involved, I have decided to reward both of the winners with a copy of, Pink Ladies & Crimson Gents, Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses!

Congratulations to YOU BOTH! I have already pre-ordered one of the books and I will be taking care of the second order on Monday. The tome is scheduled for release in April. Please email your addresses to me and I will have the books shipped directly to you!

Thank-YOU to all of the participants! You provided some playful pleasure for all who stopped by!

Image: Victoriana's Victorian Gallery
[Click on the image to magnify the results.]

Easter Blessings!


Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;

Death is strong, but Life is stronger;

Stronger than the dark, the light;

Stronger than the wrong, the right;

Faith and Hope triumphant say

Christ will rise on Easter Day.

—Phillips Brooks, "An Easter Carol"

~•~•~•~•~

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
—Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

~•~•~•~•~

Our Lord has written
the promise of the resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime. —Martin Luther

~•~•~•~•~

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

—A. E. Housman

~•~•~•~•~

Vintage Egg Shampoo Label - "Grandma's Attic" Kit / Artella


Top picture: Courtesy of Garden Fairy