An aspiring author confronts the literary demons of the world and sets off in search of an agent.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thrice Upon a Time: Inflationary Language with Victor Borge

What if the English language evolved to reflect inflation? Victor Borge provides the answer!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Extremely Dangerous Word

Armageddon. Apocalypse. Cataclysm. These are words used to describe the end of the world and while they invoke images of doomsday, the words themselves are harmless. You can say them as often, and whenever you want, and no devastation will occur.

There is, however, another word, a most unlikely word, if misused, could result in total annihilation. The word: tattarrattat. Originally coined by James Joyce, it is believed to be the longest palindrome in the English language. It is also an onomatopoeia.  You may say the word once, but take the greatest care not to repeat it too many times.


An upcoming article in the prestigious scientific journal, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, reveals the terrifying findings of a recent study.  The prominent physicist, Helvetica Edison,  while conducting research at the Large Hadron Collider, happened upon a strange quirk involving palindromic onomatopoeias – words that are simultaneously palindromes and onomatopoeia. The discovery, he noted, “frightened me to the core of my being.” If you were to recite a word such as tattarrattat a thousand or more times in a row, the world would come to an end.  Edison’s calculations demonstrated that a rip in the fabric of the space/time continuum was highly probable and the resulting black hole would swallow the earth.

“The odds of any one person being able to correctly pronounce tattarrattat a thousand times consecutively is extremely low, but it only has to happen once – and poof! – we’re toast.”

Friday, June 18, 2010

Grammar Pet Peeves from Huff Post. Your, err, you're going to love this!

From HuffPost: Their readers chose the worst grammar, spelling, punctuation, and malapropism mistakes ever.

 People who break the rules of grammar
will end up in the GRAMMAR SLAMMER! 


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Unleashed Imagination

From the artist, Enkel Dika, wow!  Makes me wish I still had my old typewriter.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taming Your Characters

My favorite scene in Antoine Saint-ExupĂ©ry’s The Little Prince takes place when a fox asks to be tamed by the Little Prince.

            The Prince asks, “What does that mean – ‘tame’?”

            “It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”

            “‘To establish ties’?”

            The fox goes on to explain, “To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other…To you, I shall be unique in all the world.”

            Maybe it’s all the coffee I’ve been drinking this morning, but the fox’s explanation seemed especially relevant to character development.  For any character an author writes about, odds are, there are thousands and thousands of similar characters in thousands and thousands of other books.  The question becomes: how does the author establish ties between the character and the reader, make the reader feel a need for the character and, above all, make that character unique in all the world?”

            Ah, to succeed in creating ties to the reader and to tame my characters! Hmmm…how the heck am I going to do that? I’m not sure, but I suspect it will involve drinking a lot of coffee!