Monday, January 30, 2012

Alliteration Contest Entries and Winner!

This Alliteration Contest was full of fun, fantastic features to make your Monday meaningful. Entries included (in order of appearance):
The misadventures of Melanie Martineau who munched on mildewed macaroni (ew!) by Melissa Cunningham
Matthew Tandy’s two tanned tightrope tango-ers that teetered topward
Audacious alligators with artistic animal arms by Wendy Swore
Lisa Asanuma’s wicked, wild, witty witches with their wily wares
Carolyn Frank’s book review for the story She Sells Sea Shells (whose sappy sequels should stay secret)
Silly Sally Smith and her sloppy sweet shop whose snacks spawned sporadic seizures by Shelly Brown.
Talk about a mouthful! And an earful.
All the stories made some kind of sense, stretched vocabulary skills, and some didn’t have a single non-alliteration filler word. They did an excellent job! (Two thumbs up/clapping) While I hoped for 10 entries to make judging worthwhile, I’m still going to award a sweet snack of Idle Isle Toffee Balls to none other than (drumroll):
Shelly Brown!
Her entry not only made me laugh, was the longest at over 100 words, but told a story with a beginning, middle, and end. I am impressed! I’ll soon share Shelly’s submission:

Silly Sally Smith sells sixty sloppy sweet snacks. Sally savvily serves sweet snacks side by side Samuel Stonehenge's Salad, Sandwich, and Salsa Shop. Saucy Samuel Stonehenge says salads, sandwiches, and salsa support sturdy sustenance and Sally Smith's sweet snacks spawn sporadic seizures. Sally Smith saw Samuel Stonehenge's sentiments as short-sighted speculation and sassily said so. Samuel Stondehenge was smitten by Sally Smith's strong, snappy, spirited slant. "She's smart," Samuel surmised. Suspisious, Sally sulked to the sweet snack shop sullenly. Silently, Samuel slinked into the sweet snack shop, said 'sorry' with a sunflower spray, shopped- scoring seven sticky sweet snacks, stole a smile, smirked self-satisfied, and split. Sally seemed softened to Samuel's sumptuous salads, satisfactory sandwiches, and spicy salsa, and seemingly someday might settle for Samuel's spousal schemes. Someday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Alliteration Aptitude Contest - Say What?

Ready for some fun? Let's beat the winter blues and play around with words, or should I say letters. It's purely a fun exercise that just might stretch your vocabulary. We could make it a CONTEST if ten or more willingly participate. All you have to do is put together a sentence or string of sentences that start with the same letter and make sense. Readers hear the same sound over and over. Other uses of alliteration can be found with vowels or syllables that sound alike, but we'll concentrate on the easiest method--the first letter.
The following example is one my dad and his dad made up together for a high school assignment way back when. He memorized it and randomly repeats it .
   Slim Summerville slowly sauntered seaward. Several sailors  suddenly seeing Slim's subconscious surroundings slyly stole Slim's shorts, socks, shoes, shirt.
Pretty cool, eh? I decided to add on to it with:
  Suddenly, sleepless songbirds sang silly songs singularly seeking secure streets showing serenity.
My dad and grandfather came up with 19 words. I added a dozen more for a total of 31! Can you beat that? Can you make me laugh or groan? Let's set up some Contest Rules:
1. Make sure you are a follower on my blog. Standard stuff.
2. Put together a sentence or more that makes sense using first letter alliteration. Filler words are okay but they don't count. Be willing to let me post my favorites on my blog Monday January 30. Don't forget to come back to read them!
3. Send your name and entry to by Saturday January 28, 2012 at 10 PM Mountain Standard Time.
4. If there are at least ten entries, I will publish the longest, funniest, worst, etc. of my choice. The overall Grand Prize winner will receive a prize--possibly something to do with quality chocolate.
So tell your friends and have fun with it! I can't wait to read them!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Year's Best . . . Opinions?

  I spent time looking up different lists for the Top Books and Movies of 2011. We all like to see rankings, right? My hope included finding fabulous information to pass along about the best plots and fresh ideas to inspire you and me. Not gonna happen—at least not in the way I imagined. Want to know why?
  There is no single Top Ten List to analyze. There's multiple lists and they don't agree. Some lists are based on sales at individual stores, some by category, or an editor’s choice. Everybody’s list is different. That’s because we each have our own world of favorites. 
  What inspires me might mean diddlysquat to you and vice versa. That is, until I tell you what the story/movie is about and something piques your interest. So, I’ll keep sharing a few book reviews and writing ideas and one of these days you might say, “Wow. I’m going to have to read that.” Or something might spark an idea or just make you smile and be glad you stopped by. (I’m sure glad you did!)
  So, in your world of favorites, what do you like to read or write? Do you spend all your time in one genre or branch out? I've been learning to branch out more this past year. Had to see what all the hype was over Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games. Well-written, intriguing, thought-provoking, and a different type of read for me. It ended up as a top favorite. That's what hype and opinions can do. Got any predictions for this year's favorites?

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Tale of Two Pillows

  This photo shows two pillows I recently made and gave as gifts. The one on the right is pieced, has piped edges, a rosette, and I designed it to open in the back for washing or re-stuffing. It took a lot longer to make than I thought it would but I love how it turned out. The pillow on the left was much simpler and took less time to make. It's nice enough, but I don't love it. Writing can be like that.

  Good writing usually takes longer. You've got to put in the time and it always takes longer than you thought it would. We add specially touches through revisions because we have the attitude of not settling for less. We learn something that can make it better and use it. We put in hard work to make it perfect and end up with a beautiful product. Voila!

  This example follows the four steps to success that I posted last week. (Scroll down to view.)
Now get out there and show the world some success!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Just Four Steps to Succeed

Call it a New Year’s goal if you like. I’m calling it a choice. I’m choosing that this will be a successful writing year. Easier to say than do. A hundred things will compete against me. Some days those other things will win out. That’s life. But I can start fresh each day with a “secret” arsenal of successful habits.
1. Attitude enhances your chance for success. Give yourself a pep talk. Post inspirational thoughts or award certificates near your computer. Use a reward system or whatever works for you. Somebody is going to write a great paragraph or page today. Why not YOU?
2. Successfully manage your time. We don’t find or set aside time. We manage it by prioritizing and scheduling. Ask yourself, “What matters most for today?” Stick to that plan as much as possible, even on days when writing comes lower on the list. Have no regrets—tomorrow is another day. Just make today the best that you can.
3. Plan on hard work. Recognize that almost everything takes longer or includes more effort than originally anticipated. So why do we do what we do? Just write for the love of it and know that even prep work or crappy writing has benefits. If you look at your typed page and find one sentence or paragraph worth keeping, you have achieved a measure of success. And who knows? The creative flood gates might have just been opened.
4. The more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know. True, but whatever knowledge we attain gives us power—the power to succeed. Each new piece of information we put into practice adds to our recipe for success. We gather the ingredients a little at a time and realize that, unlike a piece to a puzzle, there is an infinite number of ways to improve our craft and feel better about what we accomplish. Learn something new to implement through classes, how-to books, critique groups, and published examples.
How can/do these steps work for you?