Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dumber than Dirt

I have been running around in circles trying to get everything done. I know you have days like that,too. Lately it seems like I have decades like that. I didn't post last week, because I was working at the election (sorry) and today is almost over. I haven't had a single minute to write anything post worthy. So I decided to post a segment from (drumroll please) Dumber than Dirt. This is Part one. Come back next week for Part Two.

Dumber than Dirt
A Preposterous Parable For Pigs and People
By Linda Garner

(You will find many p’s in this phable, and no f’s. Instead of f’s you will phind ph.) Have phun!

There was trouble in Pigville. Big, big, pig trouble in Pigville. You see, the pear crop was dying out. Pears were the phavorite phood of every single pig who lived in Pigville. Of course, they were not in danger of starving. They wouldn’t go hungry, because there were lots of other phine pig delicacies growing in Pigville. There were peas, potatoes, parsnips, petunias, and parsley in abundance. Pigs enjoyed all of these phine swine phood. But you see, the pigs who lived in Pigville were particularly phond of pears. In phact, they loved pears. They craved pears. Unphortunately, a pear blight had destroyed most of the crop.

“Whatever shall we do?” asked Percival at the Pigville town meeting. “I call for solutions.”

“I’ve an idea,” said Parley P. Pigg. “Perhaps we could move to Piggadelphia where we can buy pears at the Piggley Wiggley.”

(If you happened to have guessed that Parley P. Pigg was the little piggy who went to market, you just might be correct.)

“I hate to think of moving to the city,” said Priscilla Pigg, Parley’s wife. “It will not be good for the children. A pharm is still the best place to raise piglets. We don’t want them to turn into hams, after all.”

Could it be that Priscilla was the little piggy who stayed home?)

Prudence Pigg was next to speak. Being a very practical pig, she suggested moving to Hawgtown where pears were plentiful, but Pompous Pigg politely protested. Pompous Pigg, you see, was very particular and some might say prideful. He felt that Hawgtown was not very prestigious. There was much discussion and eventually, you might say the idea of moving to Hawgtown phell phlat on its phace.

The Pigfolk were pheeling a little down about things, when it was decided to send the three little pigs, (yes, the very ones you’ve heard of), oph on an adventure to phind a new place to live. So that is how Peter, Polly, and Parry Pigg happened to go off to seek their phortune. There is another story you may have heard about these pigs, but this is the true story.

Aphter the three little pigs had wandered about in the woods of Piggsylvania for about 40 days they found a wonderful spot to build a new town. It was a Pig’s Pearadise, for there were many wonderful varieties of pears growing hogwild. It wasn’t far from Swine Lake, and it was half way to Hog Heaven. There were plenty of materials to build houses of straw, sticks, or brick, and room to grow every kind of pvegetable imaginable (see glossary on page 5). It was absolutely perphect in every way, except one. The nearby phorest was inhabited with spiders. Now these particular pigs were not particularly phond of spiders.

Do you like spiders? Would you like them better if they were jumping spiders? That’s right, these were jumping spiders, and these jumping spiders liked nothing better than to jump on pigs, and tickle them with their spider feet. Now wherever the jumping spiders tickled you, you would immediately grow an ugly wart. Not only were the warts ugly, but they were itchy. What were the pigs to do? Should they move to this Pigg Pearadise complete with jumping spiders? Or, should they stay put in Piggville with no possible hope of pears?

To be continued...next week.

Linda Garner

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Awesome Agent and Summer Dancin'

Have you been to Mary Kole’s blog yet? She's an assistant agent for the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Oh man! Now I've got that secret agent song stuck in my head!)

If you haven’t, you’ve gotta check it out! I’ve been reading her past blog posts (Yeah! That good.)

If you don’t know who she is, take a look at my personal blog post from Writing for Young Readers. She is the one at the end of the dance throwing the papers in the air.

She has excellent advice (and when I say excellent, I mean super tremendous) and she can dance! Check it out, you won’t be sorry.

Sorry this post is so short…I’m dancing in the kitchen with Jack Johnson (okay, not him, just his music) this afternoon. Hooray for the beginning of summer!

Oh and btw, what are your summer writing goals and how do you keep them? I’d really like to know!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Awake, Dang it!

It's 1:15 a.m. and I'm awake. Awake! I'm supposed to be asleep. Did you hear me? It's 1:15. A.M. I'm really tired, but my little eyelids just keep popping open. It's a weird combination of excitement, stress, creativity, and for good measure...a runny nose.

The excitement is about Writing For Young Readers Conference (or whatever it's called). Today was fabulous, and I can't wait for tomorrow. The stress is about the piece I decided to revise one more time tonight at 10:00 p.m. and the subsiquent discovery that my printer is out of ink. The creativity is about all those ideas dancing around in my head. I love you, ideas, but could we just go to sleep.

Now I'm more stressed because it's 1:20 a.m. and I need to get up at 6:15 a.m. and find a copy store and make my lunch and shower and eat breakfast, and...

By the way, what are you doing up? You should be in bed too? Is it your runny nose? Try some vitamin C.

G'nite. I'm going back to bed. I've got a big day tomorrow.

Linda Garner

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prepare, Prepare and Repeat.

Hi guys! So, I just got back from a fun (busy) day with my kids and realized it was my day to post. So...I'm reposting a post from last year when me and my critique buddies went to WIFYR (because we are going again next Monday! Woo hoo! And someone forgot to pack...so I must prepare myself of an awesome week of writing.) Here is my advice on what you should pack and new notes (in blue) for what is happening this year)! Have a great week everyone. =)

Today, an abundance of people (including myself) shall be at our first writer’s conference of the year (actually my second this year).

Am I excited?
Oh, so much!

I have been packing my backpack for weeks (um...day...that's one day) with the essential must haves:

-M&Ms (because I have a noisy stomach and really, no one wants to be startled by that thing!) (still very true, but I need to pack more than one bag, because I ate those things in one day...maybe I'll bring those new pretzel M&Ms. They are so good.)

-Pencils (even a pen, because I have broken a pencil a time or two and writing with plain wood just doesn’t work well. I did try to chew off the wood, but I had wood shavings stuck in my teeth for a week!)

-Paper (To write on… and make spit wads to launch at people who are making me jealous). (j/k I would never do that, and that incident in New York last year - Not me.) (I've still never been to New York, so you can't blame me. Although, I'd love to visit the Big Apple...I'll leave my spit wads home.)

-Tissue (For crying into because I’m still revising my book and want to show it off). (LOL! I'm revising a different book. How funny! Will I ever be done?)

-Crackers (Please see MnM’s above).

-Notebook (At the conference last year I brought home piles and piles of notes! I expect the same today). (Still the same. Love those notes!)

-Deodorant (this one is pretty self explanatory).

-Couple of chocolate bars (because chocolate is the magical food made by tiny magical creatures from a magical land *sigh * and it’s so, so good!)

-A little extra coinage (for silly things like, food, bottled water, gas – stuff like that).

-Antacid (There is a funny story behind this, I promise, but just not enough time to disclose. So sorry, and if you’ve heard the story * head hung low * you have my deepest sympathies). (I totally forgot about that story! It was so funny! I can't stop laughing...remind me to fill you in later.)

So there you have it! My list of stuff that I am at this very moment (next week) dragging through the halls with other devoted writers, breathing in the fumes of excitement and hope. If you see me, feel free to ask for a handful of M&M’s, hopefully I haven’t eaten them all yet (yeah, I did...sorry about that), but it is very possible that I still have a few good sheets of paper left for spit wads.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wouldn't It Be Fun

You should have seen their faces. We handed out the candy and asked them to wait until everyone had one before opening them. They picked their favorites. We let them take their time. On signal they unwrapped, all at once. The girls were sure surprised. Some girls laughed. Some were not too happy.

The candy was tootsie roll pops. We used different flavors, but we had unwrapped them earlier and switched the wrappers. The girls didn’t suspect a thing until the wrappers were off. The experience led to a lively discussion about how things aren’t always what they seem.

It happens to everyone now and then. Things just don’t turn out the way you expected. That book with a fabulous cover turns out to be a dud. The movie that everyone raves about isn’t what you were hoping for. Heroes disappoint us. Things that look easy turn out to be hard. Plans break down. A beautiful morning turns into a rainy afternoon. Things don’t always pan out.

Life has a way of surprising us too. We don’t always get what we bargain for. Cars break, even pretty ones. Friends sometimes let us down. Stuff costs more than it’s worth. Bills pile up and bodies wear out. Sometimes people with lots of troubles look very happy and those who don’t appear to have a care in the world have misery we can’t guess about.

With candy, with books and movies, with weather and life, we learn to go with the flow. If we’re smart, we also learn to reserve judgment and eventually we figure out that you can’t always tell from the outside what’s going on inside. The old saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” has lots of real life applications.

With people you can’t really tell either until you get under the skin. Looks can be deceiving, but hearts don’t lie. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could get to know each other before we judge? Wouldn’t it be fun if you could see inside my heart and I could look in yours and we could know what’s real and what’s pretend?

Wouldn’t it be fun?

Linda Garner

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bad Words!? Do I have to Wash your Mouth out with Soap?

Well, my kids are out of school for the summer. I can't believe it's already summer! When did this happen and where was my memo?

Anyway, my daughter's teacher (who is a lifesaver and awesome all around woman) gave the children in her class a reminder of bad words. Yes, yucky bad words. Come on....you know you've said them before.

As I was sitting at my table revising, my cutie daughter quoted the poem to me.

I immediately ran to my Internet and looked up the author. It was written by Brod Bagert. I was very moved. You'll see why in a minute. BTW, you can visit Brod's website HERE.

I love this poem and I think it's a great reminder for all writers out there (Okay...everyone, not just writers). I hope you enjoy!


She actually said it.
She said it in class.
It sounded so nasty,
It sounded so crass.

The children stared,
The teacher scowled.
The custodian cried,
The principal howled.

Then poor little Patti,
My very best friend.
She opened her mouth,
And she said it again.

"Bad words, bad words!"
We all began to chant,
Never! Never! Never!
Never say the words....I CAN'T

So remember: keep on writing (dreaming, running, eating) and never say those yucky bad words!

If you want more of Brod's poems, buy his book Giant Children. I found it online at B&N. =D
Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Treasure Hunt

I hope your summer will be filled with fun and adventure, along with relaxing moments and a great book to read. My author friend Joyce Dipastena has organized a summer treasure hunt to give away some awesome books for your summer reading pleasure. A different book is featured each day.

To enter you must go to the website or blog of the featured author and find the answer to the question. You can enter every contest, or just the ones that interest you, and you can enter them all now. You don’t have to wait until the contest day to do your sleuthing. Correct answers earn you a chance to win the book. The hunt officially started yesterday, so one day is already gone. Hurry over and get started. Click here to join the fun.

Happy Summer!

Linda Garner