All posts tagged: DPchallenge

The Snoop Dog Rap: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

This week’s writing challenge: The Best Medicine is an invitation to “Poke fun at yourself, write a limerick, find the absurdity in a real-life situation, come up with some groan-worthy puns, sketch a comic, put some fictional characters in a farcical situation — all’s fair in comedy.” Obviously I don’t have a humor blog, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use this photo I took on my recent trip to The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C.! New to the neighborhood, walking down the street Wondering ’bout the neighbors I’ve yet to meet Got my dogs on the leash, poop bag in hand My sneakers on my feet, to avoid the sand Loving the weather, loving the breeze People so friendly, bless you when you sneeze Pet owners walking toward other owners Business suits, runners and even stoners All give the nod, the slight shake of the head Says it’s damn early to be outta bed. Size doesn’t matter, we’ve all heard it ‘Cept when your dog drops a tiger sized sh*t. Pooping …

One Ring To Rule Them All – edited (Weekly Writing Challenge)

YO MR. WHITE! AND MR. STRUNK! The infamous Strunk and White, purveyors of compositional advice, implore us to omit needless words in our writing. American author Ernest Hemingway, nicknamed “Papa,” embraced this writing philosophy. Known for an unadorned, sparse prose style, he favored short sentences with strong verbs and very few adjectives or adverbs. While Hemingway is well known for this style, he — like the rest of —worked hard at his writing: Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do? Hemingway: It depends. I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied. Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you? Hemingway: Getting the words right. – Ernest Hemingway, The Paris Review Interview, 1956 OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS In writing, it’s important to omit needless words, the cruft that obscures what you’re trying to say to your reader. Never use more words than you really need to communicate — be brutal: remove all the words unnecessary to conveying meaning. Let’s look at one example. Consider this sentence. …

Raised in a Cuban Starbucks

Through the years, she has slowly begun each morning with a cup of coffee to start her day. She holds the warm cup with both hands for some time, never rushing the first sip…the sip that promises a stream of memories only the actual scent in the air can rival. She closes her eyes, the cup warming her hands, and lets the memories warm her heart. Back in her childhood home, standing in the doorway of her galley kitchen, she sees her mom before the stove waiting on the familiar appliance that is iconic of a Cuban kitchen. It is the cafetera, and it does so much more than make coffee. She recalls many days when not long after the coffee started to brew, the sound of the doorbell would announce a family member or neighbor drawn by the familiar aroma. As always, they were welcomed into the kitchen for a dainty vessel of strong, black, liquid that never lasted as long as the laughs and conversation around the kitchen table. They always came. They always …

“One Ring To Rule Them All”

The digital clock on the nightstand read 3:43 am, as I awoke from a deep sleep to the sound of what could only be bad news. Phones ringing in the middle of the night don’t often carry with them the promise of anything good on the other end, especially when your spouse works the night shift. Still, I hesitated to answer it as I looked around the room as though looking through an old window covered in a thick, grimy film. Three rings, then four rings. On the fifth ring, my arm stretched out in a wooden motion as though someone was holding the marionette strings that were forcing my body to perform the actions my mind was trying so hard to resist. I picked up the receiver, and before I could say a single word was inundated with an avalanche of words tumbling out in a voice I was more familiar with than the very palm that held the phone. I inhaled deeply, filling my lungs with air, slowly lifting the weight that seconds …

How Much Stuff Do We Really Need?

Every year we kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving, a day when we stuff the turkey, stuff ourselves and give thanks for all the people and stuff in our lives. We’ve barely had time to digest the Turkey before we’re out the door to be the first ones in line to get more stuff to place under the Christmas tree for our family and friends, more stuff to ensure we are the most decorated house on the block, more stuff to find a place for, more stuff to dust, and more stuff to ultimately ignore. When is it enough? When is it too much? In this video, Father Scott J. Brown references a family in Ethiopia who seems content with twenty-eight possessions in a 360 square foot hut, a very different picture from the average 2500 square foot American household. At what point do we have enough stuff in our lives? Scott J. Brown is also a children’s author. His latest book, a must read, tells the story of three kings who face the dilemma of …