Random Thursday: Cute Groot, Slick Vids, and a Sad

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

How can it be the middle of September already, when the days and weeks are dragging like a series of lead-lined Mondays?


First, the Sad

Sad Kitty

My friend Grace, who has been putting up with me for ten years both in and out of the library,
is leaving for New Mexico this weekend to head her own department.

A small,  selfish part of me wishes I hadn’t given her such a glowing recommendation.

A slightly bigger part really doesn’t want to deal with the return of all the craft stuff I dumped in her spare room the last time I moved.

But most of me wishes her well and all of me will miss her very much.

And none of me envies her three-day cross-country trip with those two cats of hers.

Prenez soin de vous, mon ami.

Et les chats, trop.



This makes me want to unplug for a while and read a book.

I mean, right after I finish this post, check my e-mail, ramp up my high scores in Fruit Ninja, and watch those funny robots again.

(I know what you’re implying, Kev, and may I remind you that you’re the one who e-mailed me the embed code for this through Facebook, via your iPad.)



Baby Yarngroot


Okay, that’s not all: Click His Galactic Squeeness for his free (!) crochet pattern
from Her Awesomesauceness Twinkie Chan.

And then make me one, please.

(Thanks, Watson—too bad we’re both knitters . . . )



by Ion Lucin.

Whoa.  Just . . . Whoa.


Poetry Wednesday: Shakespeare Made Crystal Clear

Let’s see if I remember how to do one of these . . .

I know I’ve voiced opinions about Shakespeare around here before—hard to avoid it, really—though looking at past posts, I’ve mostly just complained about how it seems like every member of the Association of Gorgeously Voiced British Actors appears to be contractually obligated to recite the same five summers-day-beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-besotted sonnets, which completely ignores the other hundred and a half.*

What’s worse, it seems to me that even when someone’s secretary accidentally transposes numbers and an AGVBA member records a surprise (#103, anyone?), it still tends to sound the same: carefully pronounced and enunciated in exactly the same sonorous, soothing way, Modern English rhyme clunkers and all.**


You could argue that while Shakespeare’s plays are meant to be performed to be fully understood—which is why high school students can have such a tough time slogging through a reading of Hamlet—the sonnets aren’t, unless one is pitching woo at a potential lover who has the fortitude to be the focus of a point-blank recitation of #18 without gigglesnorting  or the self-esteem to be compared, falsely or otherwise, to the subject of #130 without being vaguely insulted.***

But just as watching a performance of a Shakespearean play doesn’t magically grant understanding of every line, reading Shakespeare’s poetry silently to oneself doesn’t fix those rhyme clunkers—or solve my little ennui problem.

Luckily, linguist David Crystal and his son, actor and writer Ben Crystal, have at least a partial solution.

According to them, it’s all in the pronunciation:

How cool is that?

It doesn’t solve all the cultural references, of course but it does clear a lot of the contextual static; all those fuzzy puns and definitions, all those off-kilter rhyme schemes and scansions suddenly start harmonizing just by tuning one’s inner ear to a different key.

And to this lover of language and staunch defender of Chaucer, it’s a fascinating key.

For those language nuts among us who want to know more about of Original Pronunciation, or for those who just want to hear more of Ben Crystal’s voice in its OP register,^ he gave a terrific lecture on the subject (and in that pronunciation) a few years ago. It’s an hour and a half long, but Mr. Crystal is a wonderful speaker and likes to make his audience laugh, so it’s well worth it.

If you need a little more convincing to spend that much time on historical accents, however earthy, here’s a teaser:

I don’t know about y’all, but the next time I encounter a Shakespearean sonnet, I’m gonna read it in pirate.^^


*Which isn’t to say that I wouldn’t welcome any member of AGVBA  to visit any time they like and recite anything they wish in my living room for as long as I can keep the doors lock and the duct tape secure they see fit.

** Sonnet #116 has several of ’em:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

***Don’t start with that one, gentlemen—it’s not as reassuring as you’ve been told it is.

^Which totally makes him eligible for the AGVBA—who’s with me?

^^Though I’m sure my favorite performance of the St. Crispin’s Day speech (Henry V) will always be in pure, unapologetic Bronx:

But Meanwhile . . .

I have no post for you today.

But I do have an image of the Ultimate Imaginary Wrinkle Dog that will magically make you forgive me all transgressions, past, present and future and make you come back tomorrow for the first Poetry Wednesday we’ve had for a while.

Himalayan Squishie


More of Dave Kellett’s irresistible squishiness—oh, hush, you know what I mean—can be found here.  And here.  And starting here.

See you tomorrow!

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Burning Bright)

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!


Some of you have been worried about the poor, misguided werewolf who tried to murder our hero with his teeth in the first few paragraphs of this story.

You’ll be happy to know that Turner has just dragged the poor guy away, perforated patellas and all, to wait for the police so that Tom can have a nice, relaxing phone conversation with his sister, Jackie.

Jackie, if you were wondering, is not a duck.


“Whoever sent this clown thought I’d be an easy target,” I said.

“Oops,” she said. “Is the clown still alive?”

“So far.” A couple of thumps and a muffled yell came from the next room. “Turner’s turning him over to Kyle now—one of the perks of a backalley view.”

“Fourth floor?”



See?  Nothing to worry about. In this universe, Bumbles bounce. Mostly.

Regardless, I’m absolutely tickled that some readers stopped seeing Tom as a victim and started seeing him as dangerous in his own right.  I think Tom would be pleased, too; he’s worked hard for it.

Speaking of working hard, the world I’m building here is coming together enough that I was forced to tear the first two chapters into chunks this week, cobble ’em together with bailing wire and chewing gum, and retype everything to smooth over the scars, because I’m told that continuity is important.

I have some leftover bits that I’m saving for later, in a document cleverly titled “Bits”.  They’re good snippets, but they don’t belong where I originally put them.

Does anyone else do rewrites, mid-WIP? Or do you just pause to flip back to chapter three and slap a post-it with “Fix because Norbert is now a turtle* starting p. 74“?  Or maybe just forge ahead, teeth gritted, and plan to beat the continuity gremlins out in the second draft?


Bats*No, I’m not planning any wereturtles.  I do, however, have this weird idea about what werebats would be like, which is why we don’t try to cure insomnia by watching National Geographic shows about urban bat colonies at 2am.  Or maybe why we do . . .


Image of a Malaysian tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni — see what I did there?) by B_Cool  via Wikimedia Commons.

Random Thursday: Random Relaxations

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

 I’m thinking that the Universe wants me to take more naps—and far be it from me to argue with the Universe.

Okay, yeah, but this time, I agree with it, so . . .


 I’m Dreeeeaaamiiing . . .

  . . . of mooooooore bookshelves.


Then again,
just think of the opportunities for osmosis learning!

(From Watson , who sent this to me just hours after I donated half my writing space bookhoard to the library.
Guess I’d better start accumulating again.
Like I needed the excuse.)



I dare you to watch this only once.

Told you.


Fully Stuffed and Operational

As if millions of people suddenly yawned in exhaustion . . .

Operational PIllow

  . . . and were suddenly silent.

Because in space . . . no one can hear you snore.

(From my husband, who is either finally getting into the spirit of Random Thursdays, or needs to lay off YouTube)


Committing Sudoku

Tetris became just a tad too nerve-wracking for me,
so I succumbed to the lure of a free Sudoku app,
hoping for a little relaxing brain exercise.

Turns out, the games on this thing are timed.
And shockingly addictive.

Naturally, I can quit any time I want.

I’m just gonna get my top time under four minutes, first . . .

(Mom, this is all your fault—nature and nurture)


Perfect is Not Approximate

It is this.

Told you.