Smile. Be kind. Hug a tree . . . If you missed a previous post, visit my archive.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Four Paws"


Some dogs follow you everywhere you go. You walk into another room, in time, there's your dog checking everything out. You're in the bathtub and suddenly a wet black nose comes through the curtain sniffing, and then the head appears with an expression of "Well, would ya look at that!"

Can you stop him? Not really. He's just being a dog. Our pets accept us so readily for being the way we are. Perhaps we should do the same from them. (H.N. Wright)

Animals are such agreeable friends; they ask no questions, pass no criticisms (G. Eliot)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Concrete Language"

Prefer the specific to the general, the definite to the vague, the concrete to the abstract.

A period of unfavorable weather set in (Or) It rained every day for a week.
He showed satisfaction as he took possession of his well-earned reward.
(Or) He grinned as he pocketed the coin.

If those who have studied the art of writing are in accord on any one point, it is this: the surest way to arouse and hold the readers attention is by being specific, definite, and concrete. The greatest writers-Homer, Dante, Shakespeare-are effective largely because they deal in particulars and report the details that matter. Their words call up pictures. (Strunk & White)

Happy Writing,


Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Walt Whitman"

Within the crowd of passengers on that December day in 1855 stood a man dressed in laborer's clothes. In his checkered shirt, baggy pants, and broad-brimmed hat, Walt Whitman resembled the crew that piloted the ferry. He had the large build and ruddy face of someone who spent his time outdoors. Whitman admired the simple, hardworking ferryboat pilots. He often rode beside them on his many trips across the river. "I am a common working man,too," his clothes told the world. But Whitman, a former journalist, teacher, and builder, had chosen to be a poet. The poems in Whitman's small book, Leaves of Grass, expressed how it felt to be one man, yet one with all humanity. "Every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you," he told his readers.Whitman's poetry proclaimed his love for his fellow human beings. Through his words, Whitman believed, he could reach across time and great distances to connect with other people. The poetry in Leaves of Grass spoke directly to its readers, asking them to "thrust me beneath your clothing, where I may feel the throbs of your heart or rest upon your hip." (C. Reef)

"I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence . . ."

A great poet to study.

Until next time


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Four Paws"

Confessions of a dog owner: Are you guilty of the following? Market research found the percentage of dog owners did the following:

1. Do you kiss your dog? 51%
2. Would we find in your wallet a picture of your furry friend? 40%
3. Talked to your dog over the phone? 33%
4. Have you ever called your child or spouse by your dogs name? 38%
5. Have you dressed up your furry friend with a ribbon or scarf? 86%
6. Is your dog named as a beneficiary? 28%

I'm guilty of all but #6. I admit it. I'm a little foolish when it comes to my dogs. Can't help it. I love them. Somehow, they've ceased to be animals and have become instead my treasured friends.

Annie Oakley once said, "Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life."

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." (R. Caras)

Til next time,