Tag Archives: humor

Team Sidious?

Several months ago, I wrote a post titled Feed the Muse: Get in the Game where I discussed the important lessons I learned from reading Ray Bradbury’s book Zen in the Art of Writing.   To feed the muse, he prescribes  a diet of reading (poems, short stories, essays, novels, anything really) and watching plays, movies, and TV shows.

He also stresses the importance of stepping away from your keyboard and living your life. Bradbury says, “by living well, by observing as you live, by reading well and observing as you read, you have fed Your Most Original Self.”

So go ahead. Write about everyday moments like conversations with your kids. Write about memories from your childhood. Write about the things you’ve observed: the eccentric old woman at the coffee shop, the beggar on the street, the loudmouth at your son’s baseball game, and on and on. It will help you find your voice, or at least preserve a memory.

I feed the muse by posting under the following categories:

  • Book Reviews
  • Conversations with My Kids
  • Feed the Muse (obviously)
  • Inspiration
  • Memories
  • Musical Monday
  • Poetry
  • Quote of the Week

I wanted to do something fun for Friday so here is one for Conversations with My Kids:

The following conversation occurred at the dinner table while my husband, son and I were discussing his baseball tournament for the coming weekend.

Son: What team do we play first?

Hubby [looking at the tournament schedule on his phone]: Team Citius.

Me [looks across table]: Sidious? That’s a strange name. What are they? Star Wars fans?

They stare at me blankly.

Me: What? You know…Darth Sidious.

Son: I think it’s Latin for something, but I think you mean Darth Vader.

Me: Oh. Well anyway, I did mean to say Darth Sidious.

They stare at me wordlessly again.

Me: C’mon. Don’t tell me I know more about Star Wars than you two. He was Chancellor Palpatine before he revealed his dark side.

Son: Oh! The freaky-looking old dude?

Me: Yeah.

Hubby [shaking his head]: Momma should be on The Big Bang Theory.

Well, if I’d seen how it was spelled I wouldn’t have mistaken the team for Star Wars fanatics and imagined them in Storm Trooper uniforms.

What? It’s not a crazy idea. I just Googled “Star Wars baseball” and found this:



Heh. Heh. Oh, and it turns out my son was right. Citius is Latin for “faster.” Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) is the Olympic motto.

Also, I apparently need to watch The Big Bang Theory, since those are my peeps. 🙂




The Form Rejection Letter Decoder Thingy

Another use for those pesky rejection letters…wallpaper, insulation (because we poor writers can’t afford heat), door stop, and now the rejection letter decoder thingy. Love it!

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Form Rejection Decoder Thingy For an Easy-to-Read Version
Use the PDF link in the Blog Post

A helpful blog entry from Brevity’s managing editor Sarah Einstein. Sarah will be talking about rejection, acceptance, and writing as part of the panel “Getting Short-Form Nonfiction to Readers: A Publication Panel” on the Friday morning of AWP Seattle:

Every couple of weeks, a writer-friend sends me an email or a Facebook message with the text of a rejection letter in it, asking me to help them decode it. Most often, they want me to help them figure out how close they got to being published, which is an impossible task. I couldn’t even tell you that if it was a submission to Brevity… ultimately, either we took the piece or we didn’t. We do have tiered rejection letters. If you got our “close but not cigar” rejection, you should probably turn around and submit that…

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Conversations with My Kids: The Best Defense

With the start of basketball season right around the corner, I’m reminded of the time my son first played basketball on a team. They were all very young and to help the players grasp the concept of man-to-man defense, each player wore a colored wristband that matched one on the opposing team. All they had to do was find the player who wore the same color wrist band and make sure he didn’t score (without touching him, of course).

My son was a decent defensive player, but there was one game in particular where he seemed to grasp this concept exceptionally well.  I had never seen him play so aggressively. The poor boy on the opposing team didn’t have a chance of scoring because my son was on him like, well, white on rice.

Here is the post-game conversation:

Me: Wow, buddy. You played really good defense today.

KJ: That kid was not nice, Momma.

Me: What did he do?

KJ: He was trash talking.

Me: Really? What did he say?

KJ: I can’t tell you. They were not nice words.

Me: Did you say anything to him?

KJ: Yeah, I told him, “Well, you’re not getting the ball boy!”

Ha! Ha! I love that my son taught a little trash-talker a lesson without stooping to his level. It made this Momma proud. 🙂

Conversations with My Kids: My “Einstein” Moment

If you’re not familiar with the YouTube episodes of Convos with My Two-Year-Old, then you’re missing out. These episodes are reenactments of real conversations this guy has with his daughter. They’re reenacted by him, occasionally his wife, and a grown man in the role of the daughter. They’re absolutely hysterical. Here is one that will have you rolling with laughter:

As a parent, I can relate to these moments because I have so many similar ones stored up in my memory. Kids are little comedians without intending to be, and sometimes they utter statements so profound you are left speechless.

I have some of these moments written in a journal or on scraps of paper, but I’m sharing them here too, as part of my “Feed the Muse” series. Like I said in this post, feeding the muse isn’t just about reading books on the craft. Read everything (novels, short stories, magazines, poetry, advertisements, etc.) and watch everything (movies, TV, plays, etc.). It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad because you can learn what does NOT work as well as what does. But most importantly, LIVE life. We draw from the well of our experiences when we write. The depth of that well is up to you.

“My  ideas usually come not at my desk writing, but in the midst of  living.” ~Anais  Nin

This little gem is from November 2011. My son was eleven at the time, and I was helping him with his math homework. I wasn’t getting the answer I expected to a problem and couldn’t figure out why.

Me: “Huh, that’s weird. The formula should work. Let me try it with different numbers.” I arrived at the expected result from the answer key. “See, it worked that time. Why isn’t this one working?” I continued to be perplexed about the first equation. I’ve always been  good at math. I’m a CPA, after all, but I was beginning to question whether I was smarter than a 5th grader. Suddenly I realized my mistake. “Oh! I know why. I copied that number down wrong. See, now it works.”

KJ: “Oh whew! I was starting to think the math people got it all wrong. You know, like Einstein and those people.”

Apparently, my son thinks pretty highly of his mother if he ranks my intelligence above Einstein. 🙂