Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas gift to you: Favorite Christmas Carols/ Tunes

Okay, so I had fun ripping on some horrible Christmas songs yesterday. Now I will treat you to my personal favorites. There are quite a few more of these, and surprisingly, there are several people who made my "worst" list who have an entry on my "best" list. I guess they just were the risk-taking types, no? As per usual, I will try to include a video with each as I can find them. I can't really put these in any particular order; the only thing I can tell you is that I will let you know which one is my ultimate favorite at the very end. Please enjoy!

1. "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney.
I think this song embodies the happiness and simplicity of the joyful season. I can't help smiling when I hear it. That's what a modern Christmas song should be.

2. "Step Into Christmas" by Elton John.
I love that it opens with "Welcome to my Christmas song, I'd like to thank you for the year." What a nice, humble gesture from a superstar. Otherwise it manages to conjure the same feeling for me as the McCartney tune.

3. The Twelve Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser.
If you haven't seen this version of it yet, you MUST watch it. It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, especially toward the end. Trust me.

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas by John Denver and the Muppets.
Any self-respecting Muppets fan would agree that there is nothing quite like Beaker taking a solo: "Mee mee mee mee mee mee!"

5. "Some Children See Him" by James Taylor.
I love his whole Christmas album, but I really like this song; the lyrics are so beautiful, so I chose it to represent the album.

6. The Nutcracker Suite.
This will always remind me of Christmas since I went to see the ballet every year from when I was about seven until high school. I don't have a particular favorite version, as long as the themes are recognizable. Here's probably my very favorite song from it when I was a little girl. I wanted to BE the Sugar Plum Fairy.

7. "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby.
Probably my favorite non-religious Christmas song. It's a great movie, too! And I love Bing's voice. Having lived part of my life in southern California, I truly appreciate the white Christmases I've had and will have in the future.

8. "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole.
It's a close call for me between Nat's version and Mel Tormé's original, but I had to go with Nat here since I haven't chosen his other songs. Just a gorgeous voice.

9. "Christmastime is Here" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
The classic song from the Peanuts' Christmas special. I love both versions: the instrumental and the one with the children's choir. I think the words are terrific, which makes it understandable why so many artists have covered the tune. However, call me old-fashioned (I am in this case!), but I still like the original the best.

9. "The Christmas Waltz" by the Carpenters.
I told you I love me some Carpenters. Here is the proof. A lovely song not many people sing anymore, but I like it. I particularly like Karen Carpenter's version of anything since our singing voices are scarily alike.

11. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Michael Bublé.
I have grown to truly appreciate this song since having to divide my time on holidays between my family and my in-laws. We trade off on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it works well but it still doesn't prevent me from missing my mom a bit when the big day is approaching. Sigh. Michael Bublé is not bad to listen to (or look at) while feeling these pangs, however.

12. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Judy Garland.
I used to tease my husband for preferring the "depressing" original lyrics to the song, but considering it was written during World War II and reunions were much more uncertain at the time, I have come to love it too. So this one's for you, honey.

13. "In the Bleak Mid-Winter" by Julie Andrews
This is my all-time favorite Christmas carol; it doesn't really matter to me who is singing it. I chose this version because I particularly love the words: it is a poem written by Christina Rossetti and it can make me tear up sometimes. What a lovely way to prepare your heart for Christmas.

14. Ave Maria (Biebl version) by Chanticleer.
Okay, I know I said earlier that technically Ave Maria is not a Christmas song. But people do tend to think of Mary around Christmas (I wonder why?), and this arrangement of the song is my favorite ever, to listen to or perform. I love the soaring soprano line; I was lucky enough to sing that part once. Ahh. And Chanticleer is the most amazing all-male a cappella singing group ever. I mean it. They can sing anything.

15. "O Holy Night" by Josh Groban.
I adore Josh Groban's operatic-caliber voice and how effortlessly he seems to sing. I am very sad to say that apparently this song is unavailable on iTunes, and somehow he left it off of his Christmas album last year. However, I think that his version is the best one recorded in the last 10 years.

16. "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan.
Two of my favorite Canadian acts team up for this one. I like the fresh take on the song as well.

17. "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by Jars of Clay.
I adore the words of this song as well; it encompasses the discouragement we can all feel at this time, but ends with such hope. I love the older versions too, but I could find the video of the Jars version.

18. "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" by the Judds.
This is another nostalgic song for me. My mom had the Judds' Christmas album and we learned the harmonies and sang along with them. This is her favorite song from the CD, and I love it as well. I have only ever heard one other group even sing this song, but it is really a pretty, lilting song.

19. "Love Came Down at Christmas" by Jars of Clay.
This is another Rossetti poem set to music, reiterating the theme that love is at the heart of Christmas. What better message could there be?

20. "Christmas Song" by Dave Matthews.
One of the few original Christmas songs to come out in the last few years that I think is brilliant. Just a beautiful, gentle song.

21. "What Child is This (Greensleeves)" by Sarah McLachlan.
I like this hymn anyway, but Sarah's take on it is really unique, and I like it. Very soothing, making it almost like a lullaby.

I hope you enjoy my little collection as much as I do. Please feel free to comment on your favorite, whether or not I included it. My Christmas playlist is over 12 hours long, so I had to be very picky choosing these few songs. Odds are I have at least some version of yours too!

I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season and a marvelous, enlightening new year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top Ultra Most Hated Christmas Carols

Today, as promised, I will elaborate on my most-hated Christmas carols. For now, I cannot finish my tribute poem as I said I would yesterday--I was drawn into a spontaneous game of Skip-Bo with the in-laws. Family bonding will trump blogging for the time being.

Anyway, here it is without further ado. These songs are in no particular order; they all make me want to rip my hair out by the roots. There are fifteen, so it's a good length CD to throw at something moving very fast so that it shatters. I don't blame you if you don't click on the videos to hear these monstrosities (a few of which I am sure you have anyway, and I'm sorry), but I will provide them when available.

1. "The Twelve Pains of Christmas."

This song makes me grate my teeth until I feel like I am getting a headache. It is a poor attempt to parody the original Twelve Days of Christmas song, but it features very bad impressions of Archie Bunker, a whiny kid and assorted other characters I don't want to hear complaining about the negative aspects of the Christmas season. I feel that if a song is supposed to be funny, if it is not funny, it fails.

2. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" performed by the Sinatra family:
Frank, Nancy, and Frank Jr. Frank thought it would be cute to turn the song into a list of crappy presents he got from his kids. It wasn't. 'Nuff said.

3. "Santa Baby" by Madonna.
I think this song can be pretty cute and/or funny when performed with some subtlety, but when Madonna sings it, it is like she is either drunk or trying very hard to be Adelaide from Guys and Dolls, doing her strongest New York accent. Ugh.

4. "Merry Christmas, Darling" by the Carpenters.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Carpenters. I grew up with their "Christmas Portrait" album playing many times throughout December and own a copy myself. But this original (I think) song on that album is just the cheesiest thing I have ever heard. I mean, really: "The logs on the fire fill me with desire/ to see you and to say..."???? I have yet to be turned on by firewood. I realize that is not what the lyric is intending to mean, but when you leave a big pause right there, that's how it sounds. Fail.

5. "Old Fashioned Christmas" by Frank Sinatra.
This is looking like I don't like Frank either. I do, usually, but he is great at finding some cheese. This is another example of it. I take particular issue with two very dated lines from the song: "My mom's there in the kitchen, basting the Christmas bird", and "You can't find that at the Automat."

6. "Jingle Bells" by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
I usually adore big band arrangements, but upon hearing this version of Jingle Bells, I just about choked. It contains a horrible original verse in which "Down in Mexico, we ain't got no snow...sit around all day, hear the music play, ev'ry time we sing, tequila glasses ring!" Um, racist much??? Those lazy, drunken Mexicans. I am appalled that they are still playing this crap on the Holiday Traditions station on Sirius XM Radio. It may be traditional to be racist, but we don't need to perpetuate that one.

7. "Jingle Bells" by Barbra Streisand.

This is abhorrent for other reasons. First of all, as she often is, Streisand gets overindulgent with her arrangement. Secondly, she decides to act superior to everyone listening to her sing by attempting to dismiss the line "he got into a drifted bank and then we got upsot," by repeating, "Upsot??" as if it is not a word. Barbie, honey, it may not seem like a word to you, but think for two seconds about your context clues. If you're riding in a sleigh and it runs into a big ole snowbank, what do you think will happen? What words you know sound like upsot? Upset, perhaps?? Sigh.

8. "The Christmas Shoes."
This song is played entirely too much every year. I feel like it was written by some disturbed individual who is preying on everyone's emotions around the holidays in order to sell some copies of a song. It is attempting to pull every string to get a tear to the listener's eye: a sob story, not-very-talented children singing, and a kid whose story could just as easily be a scam for him to then take the "Christmas shoes" down the street and fence them for cash. Ugh.

9. "Christmas Song" by the Chipmunks.
Again, this song tends to be very overplayed. Maybe it is especially annoying lately to me because of the two horrible movies made featuring the rodents in the past few years, but I could go my whole life without hearing this song again.

10. "Last Christmas" by Wham!
This is my least favorite of the genre of Christmas songs that I feel has the least to do with the actual holiday: the whiny love song. OK, it sucks that you tried to give your heart to a jerkwad last year, but do you have to whine about it this year too? Other songs in this genre are "All I Want for Christmas is You," "Blue Christmas," and the ever-popular "Pretty Paper." Apparently the birth of a savior means nothing to these people if they can't get laid. UGH.

This one pairs inane lyrics ("Merry Christmas" x4, "The hope that he brings" x4, etc.) with some really questionable chords in the children's choir. Probably my least favorite part is near the end, however, when they repeat the soprano line: "On this night! On this night! On this very Christmas night!" about 500 times.

12. "Merry Christmas America."
As far as I remember, this song was just an attempt to turn "God Bless the U.S.A." into a Christmas song. Apparently it has gone into hiding, however; I can't find it on Google despite repeated attempts to locate it. Perhaps because the title seems to coincide with a lot of op-ed pieces on the so-called "War on Christmas." Not going there.

13. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Whitney Houston.
Unfortunately, if you are listening closely to the lyrics of the recorded (not the live video above, that is just for reference) rendition, Miss Whitney is not completely with it for one reason or another. She clearly misses some lyrics entirely. I am not sure how this take ended up being the one considered "radio ready;" I probably would not have wanted to be present for the recording sessions if this is really the best take she did.

14. ANYTHING by the Ray Conniff Singers.
Their arrangements are the ultimate in bile-attracting cheese, and their delivery leaves nearly everything to be desired. Ever heard their version of "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer"? It's the one with people shouting "Rudolph! Rudolph! Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer!!" Do I have to explain further why they are horrible?

15. "Christmas in the Northwest" by Brenda White.
I am pretty sure most people living outside of the Pacific Northwest region have been spared this gem, but it is SO incredibly cheesy that I had to share it with the masses here. The chorus: "Christmas in the Northwest/ is a gift we all can share. / Christmas in the Northwest/ is a child's answered prayer. / Take away the presents / and they still have a dream, / for Christmas in the Northwest / is a gift God wrapped in green." Need I say more?

So, there you have it. Fifteen putrid, festering excuses for the frothy delight that SHOULD be Christmas songs. I'm sure I probably left some that make you retch off my list. Feel free to share your misery with me--I may have just forgotten about that one!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poetry Challenge #21: "Night Before Christmas" tribute poem

This challenge, aside from being inspired by the season, is a bit of nostalgia for me. I used to read my dolls the traditional Clement Moore poem every Christmas Eve, and I plan to do the same for my children when they are old enough. So it is with the utmost respect that I will write my own version.

First, for everyone's reference, here is the original poem:

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

After nearly an hour at work on this, I am not ready to share what I have so far. So my apologies, but I will post it hopefully tomorrow along with the carol countdown. Have at it, my little elves!


Due to an impromptu date night tonight, my list of my personal Worst Christmas Songs will be moved to tomorrow. We had some lovely Chinese food and saw The Princess and the Frog. It is really a wonderful movie, I highly recommend it.

I am delaying the song post mostly because I haven't done a Poetry Challenge in a month and I need to get that done tonight! I will be back with that later.

Knowing how much work I have ahead of me I had better not write any more here...I hope to post the challenge before midnight.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Hello. We have arrived at our destination for the holidays relatively unscathed, if exhausted from the LONG journey. I passed some of the time in considering what to include in this week's holiday-related blogs. I also have not forgotten about the poetry challenge. Yes, patient readers, it will make its triumphant return tomorrow.

As a brief preview for tomorrow and following, I will deposit here the first of my analyses of Christmas songs. In this case, it is a list of songs that really should not be considered Christmas songs, since they are not explicitly addressing Christmas itself.

1. "My Favorite Things." This favorite from The Sound of Music hardly even mentions anything from winter. "Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes" and "sleighbells." I suppose you could also stretch "brown paper packages tied up with strings" as Christmas gifts, but that is super boring wrapping paper if you ask me.

2. "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Another kind of cute, kind of disturbing song in which a man tries to get into his date's pants by getting her drunk using his superior debate skills.

3. "Jingle Bells." Probably the best-known Christmas song of children really has no mention of the holiday in its lyrics. It's simply a sleighing song. In its innocent form (or if you like a twist, try James Taylor's take), it's perfectly harmless, but it's not a Christmas song.

4. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" again, cute, snowy lyrics, a little romance, but no actual Christmas is alluded to, much less mentioned.

5. "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm." I actually really like this song, but sadly, no mention of Christmas. It's really just a jazzy winter love song.

6. "Amazing Grace." Another of my favorite songs, but again, it's a great hymn but not a Christmas one.

7. "The Lord's Prayer." See #6.

8. "Hallelujah Chorus" from the Messiah. I just performed this for my church choir, but I realize that it was written as the grand finale for the whole work, which ends with Easter, so it really belongs at Easter. I am not sure how singing it at Christmas got started, although I realize it is now a widespread tradition.

9. "Winter Wonderland." Another non-Christmas but very wintery love song.

10. "Frosty the Snowman." Unless you use the Frosty quote from the movie, "I'll be back on Christmas Day!" instead of "I'll be back again someday!", it makes no mention of what is celebrated annually on December 25.

So, there's a taste of what I am bringing you over the next days. I think I'll probably start with my least-favorite lists (religious and non-religious) along with rationales and hopefully video examples of each, and then on Christmas I will post my very favorite songs/renditions for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Wednesday, isn't it?

And it's already 10:15?? Drat!

Such is my life lately that I actually did not register that it was Tuesday yesterday until about 11:45PM. Hence my utter failure to produce a poetry challenge. I am not sure how many times I will have to apologize for my utter mental meltdown lately. I can only point to my intense but worth-it experience with NaNoWriMo last month.

With that, I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. With next week comes some help with my little boy, since we will be headed for Grandma and Grandpa's for the holidays on Sunday. Whilst there, I hope to provide a few holiday treats for what readers have doggedly hung on during my dry spell: my top ten favorite Christmas songs, as well as the ten that belong in my Hall of Shame. I realize I promised that last year too, but I really will do it this time.

As a heads-up, for the next Poetry Challenge I plan on doing a "Night Before Christmas" tribute poem. As in, I will co-opt the rhyme scheme and rhythms of the classic poem but write my own twist on it. That is much what Dr. Seuss did to arrive at "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." So if that strikes your fancy, go ahead and get to work!

Friday, December 11, 2009


This winter seems to have slowed my blood. It is so bitterly cold the last few days, it has made me loath to go outside or do much of anything other than sleep and burrow under blankets. I apologize for the lack of poetry challenge this week; I promise to be better next week. I figured it would be pretty pointless to put it up on a Friday night.

By my mom's request, here is the link to the recipe for the Macadamia Nut Butter cookies with dried cranberries. They are really good and don't take long to make, I recommend them so long as you have a food processor of some kind to grind up the macadamia nuts.

Haiku News

believed to be murdered by
roommate, nintety-eight.

"Sins of my Father"
features druglord's son's attempt
to make some amends.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas cookies.

Among my favorite things in the world to do is make Christmas cookies. I always have to make a few traditional kinds, but then I always (at least lately) will experiment with a few new ones, as well. But a few readers have requested the recipes for the "traditional" ones I've been making since I married my husband, so I will post the recipes below. If I'm feeling particularly productive later maybe I will post pictures as well.

Bon Bon Cookies
(I usually double this recipe since they go fast in our house)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/8 tsp salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
chocolate chips
*if the mixture is dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix everything but the chocolate chips. Form by teaspoonful into a ball around 2-3 chocolate chips. Bake 12-15 minutes until set but not brown. Cool completely, then dip tops in glaze.

Glaze for bon bons:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
tint with a few drops of food coloring
I like to sprinkle the wet glaze with nonpareils or something tiny to make them fancier.
These are probably my husband's favorite thing ever.

Chocolate Crinkles
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz melted unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix sugar, oil, chocolate and vanilla. Mix in eggs, one at a time (I have been breaking them in a separate bowl since a mishap involving fishing lots of eggshell out of the batter!). Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake until almost no indentation remains when touched, 10-12 minutes.
These are probably my all-time favorite, despite the dough being sticky as all get out when rolling them!

So there you have it. I was typing this up while the dough for these macadamia nut butter cookies was chilling, but now they are ready to bake so I'd better get going. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Sorry about this, but I keep getting wrapped up (no pun intended!) in Christmas prep work lately and it has been hard to remember to come by and update my blog in a timely manner. For instance, earlier today I realized I was intending to do a poetry challenge today, but I waited WAY too long for that, my brain is mush now. So I guess I will try again with that tomorrow. My sincerest apologies.

Also, I wanted to say that if you all are interested I would be happy to share the "traditional cookie" recipes that I've been making annually for my little family. Just let me know in the comments and I will reproduce them here. I make my husband's mother's bon bon cookies and chocolate crinkles--they are very good! I'm also trying out a few new recipes this year but haven't gotten to them yet.

So, I am lame today but hopefully will redeem myself tomorrow...hang tight, sports fans!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hour shortage.

Lately it has been hard to find the time to fit everything in that I would like to do. I am in the process now of making my family's favorite Christmas cookies, and while I have the first ones made I have to wait until 11PM tonight to bake the second kind (they have to chill in the fridge for 3 hours and I forgot that until I started making them at 7:30...drat! At least I will have a trusty helper in my dear husband. That will be kind of fun, since I am usually doing the cookies alone.

My little boy is growing up so fast. We asked him earlier where his knee was and he said, "Knee!" and pointed to it. He also marveled at the tropical fish tank at my doctor's office the other day and said "Ishhhh," with a very smooshy face. It used to be that he would learn a new word every week or so, now it seems to be more like one or two a day. It really won't be long now before he is breaking out long sentences!

Haiku News

Med student seeks tips
from her alma mater's coach,
wins $100k.

Can you say cheater?
Senator admits he tapped
girlfriend for a job.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Funny kid.

I love what a personality my little boy is turning out to have. He will often approach the dog's food bowl, a no-no for him, and then shake his head and say, "No-o", then walk away from it. He had the same reaction with one of his books at bedtime tonight, prompting me to think he was tired enough to skip that one.

This evening, just before dinner, the boy had been wandering around playing with the toys that caught his interest as I talked with his father about our respective days. Finally, he planted himself between us, looked up at me, and screeched: "Uuuuuuuuuuu-puh!" Well, okay, sir! What a funny little dude.

Haiku News

Tom Brokaw involved
in fatal car crash in Bronx;
he and wife unhurt.

Despite total lack
of evidence, jury finds
Knox guilty--tragic.

Delaware U. grad
student discovers letter
Tom Jefferson sent.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Christmas miracle!

I managed to be amazed by the same phenomenon every year, it seems. I go to make one of my husband's favorite kinds of cookies, and when preparing the dough (which uses no eggs, just a lot of butter, sugar and flour) it always looks like it will never go together. Finally, I remember that the recipe has a note that says "if dry, add 1-2 tablespoons milk." I add one tablespoon of milk, fully expecting to have to add another, but five seconds later the entire bowl is filled with a completely cohesive dough. Amazing.

The other thing that I had nearly forgotten about Christmas was a child's wonder at seeing a Christmas tree. The boy and I were watching the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and I was watching his face when they pressed the button. His eyes got really wide, and then he said, "Woooooooow." Just priceless.

My dear friend and reader of this blog, Kristin, has published a poem in an online poetry journal. You can read her fine work here.

Haiku News

Graduation joy
cut short by a fatal bomb

Amnesiac's brain
is dissected as I write;
you can watch it here.

Real-life "Terminal"
unfolds in Tokyo airport;
Chinese man squats there.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm back!!

Hi everyone!

I not only survived NaNoWriMo, but I won!! I never thought I would be able to catch up after starting out nine days in, but it really helped that I was able to sit down and knock out 4,000 words a day for at least five days in a row. I also found that the site Write or Die helped to kick my butt. You set a time limit and a word goal, and hit "write," and you attempt to reach your goal. As long as you keep typing, nothing bad happens, but if you stop for long enough (I think it is at least ten seconds), the site will play "MMM Bop" at full volume until you start up again. Now there is some motivation.

Another site I discovered in my writing toils was; when you answer one multiple choice question correctly on their site, they will donate 100 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program, and you can play as long as you like. There were a few days lately where I managed to donate quite a bit of rice, searching for an interesting vocabulary word to work into my novel.

Finally, I realized at the end of my labors that I actually have a piece with some potential. At least I don't want to burn it or bury it right now. I would like to see if I can scrape the grime off and shine it up enough to show it to other people. So I'll probably be working on that over the next month or three, but I think it is worth it. I would love to get a book published someday, and if this one is it, that would be pretty awesome.

I realize that I used to do Poetry Challenges on Tuesdays, but being that I just wrote 50,000 words in 21 days, I am pretty spent just now. I will pick that up next week. However, I think I have a few haiku in me.

Haiku News

Argentine model
dies after cosmetic butt
surgery went bad.

Baldwin calls movie
career a "complete failure;"
"Complicated" blows.

Though his mom is gone,
baby Moses has always
known a mother's love.