Posts tagged “humor

Write Naked ~ Because Education Should Be Fun

I will admit, I don’t pick up a lot of craft books. Mainly because my reading time is limited and when I’m not reading for pleasure, I’m Beta reading or editing. I have started more craft books than I can name and fully intend to return to them at some point. It’s rare I pick one up and read it cover-to-cover. Even rarer still to find myself giggling through it. Most are, in my humble opinion, a bit dry. Often redundant. Some even read like they were written by a motivational speaker who has gotten into the schnapps.

This book…WritingNakedCovermanaged to be one of the rare ones, and I highly recommend it whether you’re a newbie looking for guidance, a veteran needing some reminders, or anywhere in between. Also, if you have a class to teach, use this book. Your students will thank you. Warning — bring your sense of humor. One of the things I love about Josh Langston’s writing is his sharp wit, and he manages to keep it handy even in the throws of instruction. I mean, come on, people, he titled his book Write Naked (Oh, but Google is going to have a blast with that one!).

As the back cover states: WritingNakedBlurb

Chapters are short and concise, and include exercises at the end — for your writerly brain, not your physical body. I have already dog-eared the chapter on commas. It seems I have an issue with those. Possibly semi-colons as well. Probably because a semi-colon is basically a hyped up comma. Right?

Anywho… I digress. If you enjoy the lighter side of learning, then this book is for you. If you need to brush up on some of the finer points of penning prose, this book is for you. If you just want to be entertained whilst expanding your horizons, yeah, you guessed it. Go. Now. Enjoy.

You can grab your very own copy of Write Naked by going here (or, apparently, by raiding Mr. Langston’s trunk or attending one of his classes — and I can only imagine the fun that would be!). 

I leave you with a bit about the author (and my favorite picture of him):

Josh in stocksJosh Langston writes books which amuse, anger, enlighten and entertain. He regularly mines history for background material that’s little known but reliably fascinating. His plots are complex, interconnected and layered with humor and suspense; his characters are rarely predictable, and even his bad guys tend to be both engaging and diabolical.

A graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism, Josh’s writing tastes quickly shifted away from reportage. His fiction has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, and he currently has two short story collections in the Amazon top 20 for genre fiction.

Thrice nominated for Georgia Author of the Year by the Georgia Writer’s Association, Josh has branched out more recently into contemporary thrillers and currently has seven such titles on the market along with an historical fantasy trilogy set in the 1st century BC, plus a handful of short story collections.

The 12,000-year-old Whisper, his latest novel, is set in two worlds separated by a dozen millennia.

Published by Janda Books, Whisper will debut on October 1, 2015.



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Best of the Betas

A manuscript goes through many, many stages before being released to the big, wide world in all its (hopefully) polished perfection. One of the most important steps along the way is the Beta Read. Most would be books see one or more rounds of Beta reads before final editing. The invaluable task of Beta reading is done by a volunteer force of — you guessed it — Beta Readers. Every one of them is a precious gem to be coddled, applauded, and honored at every opportunity. (Also, on occasion, paid back by becoming their Beta Reader. Mwahahahahahaha!)


In all seriousness, I love my Beta Readers. Truly. I adore them, value them, and appreciate them to the ends of the earth and back. For the most part they are just as I like them; brutally honest shredders of the written word, not afraid to tell it like it is. No sugar coating. No pulling punches. What I really appreciate about the majority of my Betas is their exquisite sense of humor. You have to have that if you’re going to work with me.


Since Bound in Shadow ~ The Coinblade Chronicles (otherwise known as Driev’s tale) is firmly back in the center of my plate, I took some time to read through my first round of Beta comments. I laughed, cried, swore, grinned like an idiot, scowled, argued my decisions as though my Beta’s were in the room, then decided I couldn’t possibly keep all the fun for myself. So, for the sheer entertainment of it, as well as a look at the life of a writer, I decided to share some comments.

I received this one from one of my most priceless BRs: “There are about eight million semi-colon/comma errors, but I marked ’em all for you, just ’cause I like you. It has nothing to do with me being OCD about ’em.”

Obviously he’s not OCD, and not the least bit over-dramatic either. Eight million? Really? Who can even count that high? But, just to drive his point home there were these in-line comments: JL1

Until finally!


Followed in short order by:


Yes, yes I can. And guess what? I DO IT ON PURPOSE! *sobs* He’s so mean. And yet…


Hurray for me! 😀

Outside of nit-picking the daylights out of my creative use of punctuation (aren’t the rules more like guidelines anyhow?), my Betas also alert me to typos, misused words, repetition, things that make no sense, and the obvious faux pas which I’ve obviously missed the first ten times around.


“A murmur of descent” — should this be “dissent”?
Maybe. But it’s spelled correctly, so points for that, right?

“pinching something from Runoff’s bizarre” should be “Runoff’s bazaar” unless it’s just a really weird place. 🙂
Hey, it very well could be a weird place. Don’t judge.

 “thru” throws me off (“Do you think you can follow thru now?”). I think it should be “through” unless there’s a specific reason for the drive-thru spelling.  
Drive-thru spelling. *snork* No, that’s shorthand typing when the brain is moving too fast for the fingers.

I’m sorry… the twelve year old boy in me giggles every time I read the word “taint” He needs to quit it. Not your fault. Mine. 
*face palm*

 On the street with Dolph: Did Driev tap his blade against his teeth when there’s dirt and blood on it? Ick.
Yeah. I know. But he later washes it down with alcohol so it’s all good, yes?

“She hurtled her fallen comrade” should be “hurdled” if I’m reading it correctly (hurtle = move quickly, hurdle = jump over) 
Ta-mato, ta-mahto. “She hurtley hurdled.” There. Solved that problem.

-“flat, only slightly angled roof” It can’t be both flat and angled unless by “flat” you mean “untiled” or “smooth.” 
Smooth! I meant smoooooove. Yeah. That’s it. Uh-huh. That’s what I meant alright.

-“I’ll hold you personably responsible.”
Just about everyone decided to pounce on that one. Geez. Make one little typo…

 -“I traced a random pattern…” Patterns can’t be random
Are you sure about that? I mean, it’s random but it forms a sort of pattern. Randomly. In a patternly kind of way.

“A monstrosity of wood and iron, the original architect…”  That’s a pretty unusual architect.
And he made some pretty unusual things to. Mostly out of paper mache and duct tape. Occasionally popsicle sticks. *looks around innocently* What?

“there were getting to be more players in this game than I could keep track of.” Yeah, me too at times … *g* 
Things may have been a bit unclear in the preceding passage. In my head it all made perfect sense.

-“All of them, including the few women I saw as I followed my new friends across the vast foyer, were clean-shaven” Um, clean-shaven women? Maybe reformulate?
Um, well, maybe they were dwarves. I believe Gimli described dwarven females as ‘hairy little women’. So. Yeah. Maybe they were dwarves.
Clean-shaven, dwarven women.


Thank you, Superheroes!


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Caving to Pressure ~ WIPpet Wednesday

Because it received such a great reception, I am continuing on with the unnamed beginning of the non-WIP for this week’s WIPpet Wednesday. It has absolutely nothing to do with the threats I received should I not continue on. You’re getting a little over 25 sentences for the 25th. I’m giving you two of last week’s for continuity sake, and two extra because it just ends better.

Another blast of air assaulted Dachus but he didn’t dare let go of the woman’s shoulders to wipe the spittle off his face. The teeth snapped again, with less vehemence, as the creature tipped its head to peer past his human shield. Directly at him. A head, Dachus noted, easily as large as a farmer’s cottage. Gold-green eyes narrowed, and Dachus flinched away from the serpent’s tongue that darted toward him.

“Let him scent you,” the woman ordered, her voice sharp as hardened steel.

The tongue — surprisingly dry and smooth — danced across his face, and Dachus somehow managed not to soil himself.

“There now, little one.” The woman reached up to scratch the beast’s jaw, and it made a crooning noise low in its throat. “Are you quite finished with your little temper tantrum, then? Hmm?”

Dachus straightened his shoulders. He started to clear his throat but another glance at the dragon prompted him to change his mind. Instead, he reached out and tapped the woman on the shoulder. “If you don’t mind, I’m looking for Master Jannis.”

She glanced over her shoulder, gold-flecked, green eyes sweeping over him in much the same way the dragon’s tongue had. “And you would be who?”

“Dachus Branacous, of the Proupunua’s private court.”

“And your business with Master Jannis?”

“Is just that. My business.”

“I see.”

“Look, mistress– “

“That would be Master to you. Master Jannis, to be precise.”

Dachus snorted. “You can’t be a Dracon Master, you’re a –“

She arched a dark, slender brow at him, and leaned back against the dragon’s upper shoulder, arms folded across her chest. And the beast — Dachus swore it chuckled at him.

I’m still playing catch-up from two weekends away/busy, so that’s all your getting from me this week. Have a great day and WIPpet On!



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Returning Home

I leaned my shoulder against the rough wood surface of the door and shoved.  Hard.  The hinges groaned in protest as they turned inward, and I echoed the sound as the smell of must and neglect wafted up my nostrils.  The sunlight, filtered into hazy shafts, landed squarely on the pile of unopened mail scattered across the floor.  I cringed.  There were weeks worth of posts from Leila, Kate, Raewyn, and all the others with whom I’ve shared comments and likes.  A special gift from Pat had slid from the heap and lay neglected under the entryway table.  I fished it from its resting place — ignoring the caress of cobwebs — and placed it on top of the rest, scooping it all into my arms.

I sneezed, and the sound chased itself around the beams in my study, shaking more dust from its resting place and bringing on a barrage of more sneezes as though in retribution for my absence.  The pile of neglected posts slid across the surface of my desk, some once again finding shelter on the floor.

“Damnit.”  I grabbed the runaways, and dropped them into my chair.  “There, now I won’t be able to sit until I read you.”

Something scraped on the floor behind me, and brought with it the alluring scent of parchment and India ink.

“Hello, Blog,” I said, without turning.

Her warm breath slid down the back of my neck.  “You’ve been avoiding me.”

“No.  I-“

“You’ve posted to your other blog.”

I pursed my lips.  Blog moved into my line of sight, her wispy essence flowing like water along the currents of air.  She looked thin, and a sense of regret tugged at me.  “Look, I-“

She directed a finger at the pile of posts.  “You’ve neglected them as well.”

“Yeah,” I drawled the word as my brain scrambled for a satisfying reply.  “I’ve been busy.”

“And that makes it all okay?”

“Well, you know, life and all.”

“And your Muses?”

I licked my lips and shifted my gaze anywhere but at Blog.

“So,” she said.  “Your Muses get attention, as does your other blog.  All aspects of your life take precedence over me?  Have you seen Twitter lately?”

Her voice hardened enough to make the question a demand.  I took a deep breath and risked a glance at Twitter’s perch.  Blue feathers littered the floor below the scraggly, moth-eaten looking creature that had once appeared so vibrant and alive.


“Hmf.”  Blog folded her arms across her chest and glared.

I wanted to say something, anything to make it better.  I gave it up in a desolate shrug.

“You need to take us more seriously.  We serve a purpose.  We help you stay connected with your peers, with others like you.  Look at the friends you’ve made, the community you’re a part of.  A community, I might add, that lays neglected and dust-covered across your desk.  And Twitter-“ she ran a hand across the bird’s bald, bug-eyed head.  “Poor Twitter suffers worst of all.”

“Jeez, Blog, rub it in why don’t you?”

“It doesn’t matter to me.  I’ll just languish away, a jumble of code, left to die in the cold vastness of cyberspace, soon to be forgotten.  A footprint on a sandy beach, slowly dissolved and washed away by the sea.”  She sighed.  “You’ll miss me.”

“Oh for crap sake, do you need to be so melodramatic?”

Her eyes flashed and Twitter let out a squawk.  “Did it ever occur to you that you have too many muses?  Too many projects going all at once?”

“I have no control over the muses,” I countered.  “And I can’t help it I’m a damn conductor for every idea that flitters past.”

“You need some kind of filter.”

“I need a shot.”

“In the head?”

“Oh, you’re funny.”  I looked down at the pile of neglected posts, at Twitter’s ragged form.  “Okay.”

“Okay, what?”

“I’ll get a handle on it,” I said.  “I’ll pare my list down, prioritize, set a schedule — all that stuff.”



She raised her brow and I knew immediately what she meant.  Not that!  Not my innocent little diversion.  “Aw, c’mon.”

“Yes.  Stay the heck off MSN Games and away from Bubble Town and Fairyland.”

Crack the WIP!

Friday Social Frivolity

And, to cap off your week, or start your weekend, yet another version of silliness. This week, I poke at Social Media. Enjoy.

Honestly, sometimes *I* have the attention spa- bright shiny! Bright shiny!

This is why my dogs don’t use the computer.

Sad, but true.

Now *this* is what Face Book should really mean!

Write on!


Fridays are For Fun

For today’s fine, frivolous fare, I decided I’d share some of my all-time favorite quotes.  These are not the pithy, inspirational type quotes, that help us rise to the occasion through the day, but rather the ones I like to interject into actual conversation.  Yes, because I’m that weird.  Most of them people just don’t get, unless they happen to recognize the source, and some of them have been slightly altered.

“It’s so stimulating being your head.”  Must be said with phlegmy accent ~ especially on the ‘h’ in ‘head’.

Do you know where this is from? One awesome, awesome movie with delightful characters.

“Shake your head, boy, your eyes are stuck.”

Rather self-explanatory.

“Looks life gelfing.  Smells like gelfling.  Must be gelfling!”  Normally used when smelling suspicious foodstuffs, or trying to identify some unknown item.

Do you get the feeling I like muppets?


“Surely you jest.”  Followed quickly by,“Stop calling me Shirley.”

Pun-tastic! Also a great fan of Over, Unger, and Dunn.


“I’ve come to chew bubble gum and kick some ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.”

Never actually saw this movie, but I’m using the line during the Zombie Apocalypse.


“I aim to misbehave.”

Just . . . yum.


And the normal weekend conversation, with heavy English accents,“Wha’d’ya wanna do?”  “I dunno, wha’da you wanna do?”

Yup . . .

Write on!

Writerly Quotes for Friday’s Frivolity

“In the same way that a woman becomes a prostitute. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and finally I did it for money.”
– Ferenc Molnar (1878-1952 – when asked how he became a writer)


“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”
– T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)


“I never made a mistake in grammar but one in my life and as soon as I done it I seen it.”
– Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)


“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”
– Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)


“I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.”
– A. J. Liebling (1904-1963)


“A burro is an ass. A burrow is a hole in the ground. As a journalist you are expected to know the difference.”
– United Press International Stylebook, cited by Bill Walsh in “The Elephants of Style”


“Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research.”
– Wilson Mizner (1876-1933)


“The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.”
– Marty Feldman (1934-1982)


“From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”
– Groucho Marx (1895-1977)


“Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.’”
– Jef Mallett (b. 1962)

Write on!