Should Some People Be Banned From Writing?

As a writer I am constantly in a state of choosing the right metaphor, something that will enhance my writing, make it go down smooth as silk. I love metaphors. For me, it is what makes for good, interesting prose. I realize everyone might not be of the same opinion but I’m not here to argue my case. –Thank goodness.

Granted, it’s not always easy to come up with a great metaphor. After all, a metaphor should make sense as it is an implied comparison between “two unlike things that actually have something in common.” Right? Okay so we’re comparing two unlike things but still… the “something in common” plays a key part. Agreed?

Sometimes in our zeal to find the perfect metaphor, we over do it a little. Well, that might not be you or I, but I found a list of metaphors from student essays showing us how NOT to write metaphorically.

You may or may not have seen this before. It’s on several sites if you do a Google search.

Maybe I’ve got a strange sense of humour but I found some of these, if not most of them, hilarious. Maybe it was just the mood I was in. Heck, am I kidding? I’d have to be in a pretty crummy mood not to giggle over these.

I can only guess that the authors were trying to be humourous, if not, perhaps they should be banned from writing. I’ll give a few examples ..you let me know.

How Not to write Metaphorically:

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.

*****
The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
*****
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

*****

It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.

****
She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

****

It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

I’ve added the link here if you’re interested in seeing the complete list. There are some pretty funny ones.

If you can come up with any original examples of how NOT to write metaphorically I’d like to see them. I could use a good laugh right about now.

Bitter, Sweet Book Trailer

If you’ve ever put together a book trailer or anything of that nature, you can appreciate the amount of time and work that goes into producing one. Without my daughter’s help this trailer would never have happened. I’m quite pleased with the results. Once again…Thanks Mel!

Shameless Self Promotion

 How’s this for shameless self promotion?

I just couldn’t resist!

Take Off, Eh!

Remember these guys?

To quote two of our more famous Canadians, Bob and Doug McKenzie, “Take off, Eh!” Which is exactly what I plan to do tomorrow. While I’m not heading off to Bob and Doug’s Great White North, I will be out of the province for the week. Not to fear, I’ll still be online, keeping up with you all. And yup, they even have high speed where I’m going to. High speed and baby kisses. What could be better?

If all goes as planned my lovely daughter and I will be putting together a book trailer for Bitter, Sweet. If all doesn’t go well….well, I guess we won’t. But we’ll have fun playing around with the program regardless. Who knows maybe Miss Charlotte will offer her opinion of the subject.

So that’s it. I’m off to pack my bags and clean the house before tomorrow. See you all from Moncton!

Virtual Tag—I Got Caught

As a kid I was never very good at playing tag. (I wasn’t called shorty for nothing.)

It’s been years since I played tag and it’s showing. I can’t run any faster than I could back then. I’ve been tagged by Linda Cassidy Lewis in a game of Virtual Tag. Now Linda claimed in the comment section of this blog post, Why Age Makes You a Better Writer that she’s ancient, but if that’s so she is still able to outrun me. (Those darn short legs, I tell you!) Linda, you’re one heck of a woman!

Now that I’m tagged I have eight questions to answer about myself and I’m to tag five more players. Since I just recently picked on some of my blogging friends I’m not going to tag anyone, but by all means if you want to participate I’ll take volunteers. If You’re not volunteering you can sit back and heave a sigh of relief and keep reading.

Are you ready? Here ya go..

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?

Super power? You’ve got to be kidding! Heck, if I could be six inches taller I’d settle for that.

2. Who is your style icon?

For anyone who knows me in “real life” you’re getting a real laugh out of that one. Aren’t you?

3. What is your favorite quote?

There are many quotes I like but my favourite is:

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

When my book came out a few people told me it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

This may come as a shock but I don’t own a CD player or an iPod. I do have the sound track to Forest Gump on my computer. Not to mention a play list of songs my darling son made for me to play while on the treadmill which includes such favourites as “Rock Lobster.”

6.Are you a night owl or a morning person?

I guess getting up at 5:30 means I’m a morning person.

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

We have a cat who thinks he’s a dog so I’m not sure which I prefer.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

The meaning behind my blog name Laura Best, Author? If you don’t know by now or can’t guess you’re in a heap of trouble.

Whew! That wasn’t so bad.  I made it through to the end. Anyone who wants to jump in and volunteer to let me catch you in a game of virtual tag (remember I can’t run fast) let me know.

The Write Time

Silly though it may sound, when I wrote my novel and set it in the late 1940’s, I didn’t stop to consider that I was writing a historical novel. When I saw my book listed in the historical section of one bookstore I remember being surprised.

I’ve always been fond of that time period. It is familiar, welcomed. It brings me comfort. I don’t know why. All I know is that I slip back into that time quite easily. In some ways it doesn’t feel like so long ago—I know, I know, it really does sound silly when I put it that way.  Sixty years wasn’t happening  just yesterday, was it?

Here are the fact: my current WIP is also set in the late 40’/early 50’s and the one before that has one story thread set around that time period as well.

Anyone seeing a pattern here?

Maybe it is because I listened to so many stories about my mother’s own childhood that in some strange way I feel as though I belong there. A child is left with lasting impressions. My mother is a wonderful storyteller. Maybe this is the reason why I like that time in history more so than those years of my own childhood. I’m amazed at the things my mother can remember concerning styles, fashions, ideas and fads. I only wish my own memories were as clear.

I’m wondering now if there is a certain time period you enjoy reading or writing about or do you like to read or write contemporary stories or stories set far off in the future?

House On Mosher’s Island

Thought I’d post this picture courtesy of Syr Ruus.

Awhile back I was told by the good people at Sagors Bookstore in Bridgewater that several people had identified the mystery house on the cover of my book as being a house out on Mosher’s Island off Nova Scotia’s south shore. Naturally, I’ve been curious about it, knowing that I’d likely never get a chance to check it out for myself.        Thanks Syr!

At the book launch someone asked about the house on the cover and my editor, Caitlin, said it was one they had on file and she didn’t know where it had been taken.

Now someone I know made mention that they thought it was a house that would have been in the community back in the 40”s but of course we know that’s impossible. Right?

Okay, there are some obvious differences between the house in the photo and the one on my book, but then we all know what can be done with graphic design today. So this one’s for you to decide.

Is it the same house? Or it is just someone’s over eager imagination?

A Small Part of the Whole

When I had my book launch nearly a year ago, I was overwhelmed by the show of support from the community I live in. Not only did many people from the community come out but some from Truro (2.5 hrs away), Halifax, the Valley and South Shore. The energy in that little community centre was staggering. Good vibes were floating everywhere.

As a community we shared in the success of the book, and later many people said they felt proud, not only for me but as a community. Look what we did! We showed everyone what East Dalhousie could do. The folks at Nimbus were a little bit surprised themselves I think.

I remember saying to everyone that day that in many ways it felt as though the book belonged to all of us, not only because of the setting, but because as a community we share in one another’s success. It’s a part of what being a community is all about, and I meant it!

Small communities are like a big family. We share in one another success, failure, hurts, sorrows, and happiness. We are there to pat each other on the back, to scold one another if necessary, to laugh together and above all to lift each other up during the darkest times. It doesn’t matter if you’ve moved away or remained here your entire life, nothing can truly separate you from the small part of who you are if you grow up or have ever lived in a small rural community.

This year we seem to have suffered many losses as a community. But we are strong. Tragedy has touched each individual family over the years and yet we can still find a way to laugh, to stand in awe of life’s mysteries, to be empowered by the very burdens we share. Together we are made stronger.

These past few weeks, the community shares in one family’s grief as they suffer a second most tragic loss in a few short months. These deaths have touched each one of us, not only on the surface but in that place within us that reaches far, far deeper. We have lost another one of our own.

On the surface we will smile and continue on with our daily lives but inside there is a small place hollowed out from our sadness. But we are strong and that place will heal as we remember that each one of us is a small part of the whole.

A Writer’s Life

Plenty of wind and rain from Hurricane Earl at the moment, and for some reason writing that makes me feel as though I’m a weather forecaster.  Still, it is my truth at the moment.

Our power was gone by 9:30, which isn’t a big surprise. The wind is fairly strong. Hopefully it will be back on sometime today. So glad I can use my laptop to do a bit of writing to help pass the time. Already, I’ve finished reading one book and read another, and am now into chapter three of yet another one. In case you’re wondering I’m not a speed-reader. I’ve been reading some YA novels.

They say it’s important to read books in the genre that you write in and I happen to think this is good advice. It helps keep our heads in that space, and helps to inspire us in our own writing. It gives us fresh new ideas.

Many moons ago, when I first started to take my writing serious, I was not reading fiction at all. In fact, I was reading plenty of non-fiction books until one day it dawned on me that hey, maybe I should be reading fiction since fiction is what I’m trying to write. I needed to get myself into that place where fiction happens. So I started reading plenty of fiction. At the time I was concentrating on adult short fiction as I worked at learning my craft. It had only been these later years that I have settled into writing from a child’s perspective. And yes, I am still very much in the learning process. For a writer, I’m not sure that it ever ends.

A few weeks ago, I happened upon a used book sale while in town. All the books you could stog (Is stog a word? My word program says no, but  in my world the answer is yes.) into a  grocery bag for 5 bucks. There was an entire box of YA and middle grade readers, many of them written by Canadian authors and published by Canadian publishing companies. Sweet! I didn’t have to think twice. So I grab up quite a nice selection and put (stogged) them in my bag. I was smiling all the way home. But now is the time to start reading through them. A writer’s life cannot consist of all writing. Reading is also important.

So while the wind is still blowing and the power is off, I’ll be reading and writing. Just part of a writer’s life. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend wherever you are!

Feeling the Heat

I’m told the humidex was at 41 today that 106 f if you’re in the US… Just saying

With the sweltering heat we’ve been experiencing this week, as we await the arrival of Hurricane Earl, these photos of Lake Torment are a welcomed sight.

I love the name, Torment, which was part of the reason why I chose to have one of  the scenes in my novel set here. I have no idea where the name originated from. If anyone reading this knows please, please tell. And if you don’t know you can make something up. It might make for interesting reading on the sweltering  hot day.

I have to say I love the clouds in these photos .

There are some pretty interesting name places around here. This summer I’ve been driving past Kill Dog Cove Road every day. Each time I see the sign I have to wonder where the name came from. If a name like Kill Dog Cove Road doesn’t inspire this writer’s mind then there’s little hope. I’m also partial to the Goose Chase Road in New Germany, not far from where I live. Pretty inspiring names if you ask me. Who knows one or both may make it into a story somewhere down the road.

Do you have any interesting place names to share? Or maybe you’ve figured out where Lake Torment got its name. In either case perhaps I’ll stop admiring those photos of the lake and go for a swim while I’m feeling the heat..

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