The Problem with Being Karen

Karen hadn’t asked to be named Karen. She hadn’t asked to be dressed in modest dresses, always with tights and shoes. She certainly hadn’t asked for her parents to use the sort of psychological conditioning that led to so many people saying, “Butt out, Karen!”

Once Mom and Dad passed away, Karen decided she’d finally do something about all the negative comments. She colored her hair, bought a pair of honest-to-goodness jeans, and changed her name to Kathy.

Upon leaving the Social Security Administration, she spied a couple arguing heatedly about what their married last name ought to be. Kathy couldn’t stand to see and hear such animosity between two people in love, and walked toward them. Before she could even open her mouth, however, the woman turned to her and said, “Butt out, Karen!”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Sorry for the delay, but I will hold you all in suspense no longer! After a close bet between three finalists, the winner is: Bruce Goodman.

Acrostic to an unnamed personage

by Bruce Goodman

Hell!
I don’t really detest anyone much.
Look, I’m not happy with the unfashionable woollen fabric
Like what some people wear;
About as frumpy as possible I reckon.
Really, I guess that means a detestation,
You know, of some sort.

Congratulations, Bruce! You are once again the most terrible poet of the week!

As I mentioned, it was a close race at the end. The two others had some intentionally misused words and some rotten rhyming. Bruce ultimately won because of his overall terrible poem. It wants to sound like a poem; it makes us think it might possibly be poetic. Then, it leaves the mind hanging like a sandwich at lunch that may have had some not-quite-in-date mayonnaise.

I mention finalists but the others weren’t half bad, either. I eliminated most on minor technicalities like not being terrible enough or not really reading like a poem. You all know I have trouble picking a favorite child each week.

Read through the terribleness and see for yourself:

Voldemort

by Peregrine Arc

Very tyrannical are you, bald headed twit
Oh, look at your Death Eaters running away again, you idiot
Lost is Nagini, curled around your toes
Dementors would have nothing to suck out of your remaining soul.
Everyone knows you were a spoiled brat
Many a time you could have turned back.
Or did you not care?
Really, I don’t think you ever loved another in your life
Twould have been just another game for you to ruin and set fire to with strife.

—–

Untitled piece

by Cynical Wordsmith

Does she have to scream at every meeting?
I can’t handle it
Am I allowed to punch her?
No but I can get up and walk out
Evadable

—–

Scientia Pontentia Est

by Violet Lentz

Could I possibly implore you
Oh ye of little sense
Not to fall for every 
Schemers
Ploy, as you peruse the
Internet?
Really, I’m not the only one that thinks, you
Are coming off half cocked
Claiming insider information
You most assuredly haven’t got

The ‘truths’ you’re privy to online
Have to be weighed with common sense
Evidently, in which you’re lacking-
Or you’d have thought of this yourself.
Really, I’m not judging- 
I just absolutely believe, that when Sr. Francis Bacon
Said, “Scientia potentia est”- he knew 
That knowledge can only be power, when your
Sources are correct.

—–

Marilyn

by Ruth Scribbles

M alevolent woman
A ppalling stink*
R ight-always
I nstigator-you name it
L iar (because she’s not always right)
Y acker-constant
N icotine addict*

—–

Tove

by Ruth Scribbles

T errible
O pinionated
V indictive
E vil

—–

To My Enemies

by Fresh Hell

Thou fiend
Of hell

May you never see light
Yearn for …light

Even I don’t like you
Now go away
Ease my workplace drama
Mind your own business
I think you
Stink

—–

Henry Clay

by H.R.R. Gorman

He looks like a dead opossum
E
xcept with much less hair
N
ever won a duel in his life
R
otten butthole of a man
Y
outhful joy never became him

Corrupt bargains were his specialty
L
ost more elections than Nader
A
llied with gilded corruption
Y
our political party is dead

—–

John C. Calhoun

by H.R.R. Gorman

Just a rotten son of a gun
Obsolete before he was born
H
air was an absolute mess
Nullification was the sword he fell on

Campaigned against himself

Carolina was his weapon
Attempted to dissolve the union
Lied about Adams and Monroe
How ’bout that Vice Presidency?
Oh, you did nothing?
Until you became a traitor?
Nullification was so stupid

—–

Don

by Michael B. Fishman

Diarrhea complexion & smelly mouth. Why do you talk so much about so little?
Oafish lapdog smile, your man-boobs wiggle and you’re not funny so stop trying.
Nasty Muzak is more interesting than listening to you drone on and on and on…

—–

Thank you for the laughs, the cleverness, and the horrible feeling in my gut. Perhaps the latter is indigestion and not at all related to the poems.

Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

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Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

A Chelsea by Any Other Name Would Still Be Sarcastic

I used to be afraid of the world knowing my name. I guarded it like I did my writing. Both were precious, unique things I should not give to the world for free.

There is also freedom in writing behind a mask. I’ve enjoyed pseudonyms in the past because I could then complain about real people in my real life with real details and how I really felt.

Besides the maturity of not-caring that comes with age, I’ve also grown to learn there is little that is private. I realized my name is not so special, and grants me little protection if when I am an insanely popular novelist.

My good friend, Peregrine Arc, recently wrote about the origins of her name and thus inspired my musings. Since I obviously do not use a pen name, I thought to list a couple I have used and their origins. I also wanted to open up the discussion to what name you think I could use as an alternate -buuut, we can cross that bridge when the story arcs to it.

  • Celine des Guimauves – In junior high school, our French teacher suggested we all choose a French name to use in class. There was a list: Monique, Elise, Natalie, etc. I chose the least odious from the list. That ‘middle name’ I added isn’t grammatically correct, but I was 12. C’est la vie.
    ‘Guimauves’ means ‘marshmallows.’ It was one of those words I flipped to in the dictionary and thought hilarious. Again; 12 years old.
  • Celine d’Espions – This was the gradual evolution of my French name over the years of French classes. Technically, the name was Céline d’Éspions, but we won’t nit-pick. The name also gave a nod to my spy-philia; I sincerely wanted to be a spy when I grew up. That may not be a past-tense wish…

P’Arc said she admired Peregrine Falcons, hence the use of the word in the first part of her name. She has an elaborate shrine at home with diving spaces and fish in streams and such, but claims she drew the line at dressing as one more than once a year.

Have I an animal that resonates with me? I loved dogs when I was younger and can bark like a German Shepherd. I definitely wanted to fly but did not want to eat bugs nor regurgitate my food for my young. Therefore, I resonated most with being a dragon. Most of the awesome fantasy beasts would do -even an imp, since I …sometimes behave like one.

Which doesn’t lead at all into my final thought: what’s in a name? I’m not attached to the one I have. I feel it doesn’t fit, somehow. When allowed any time to ruminate, however, I cannot find one that works. Even mention of the one I respond to does nothing to my soul when I hear it. Have you an idea for a name? I could use it for nom de plume purposes since legal name-changes are sticky affairs.

What do you think of pen names? Animal spirits? Your given name? Am I strange in not liking my own?

carlos-quintero-565901-unsplash

Photo Credit:
Carlos Quintero

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

WELCOME to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Week 22.

Please remove all dignified, appropriate rules about poetry and drop them behind a dumpster somewhere, read how to terribly poem, and look at the specifics below:

  1. This week, we are going to make an acrostic poem. The Topic of said poem is a person you detest.
    If his name were Bob, your poem might read:
    lessed waste of
    O rgans is
    ob
  2. For Length, your masterpiece must be no longer than the person’s name.
    Also, keep the number of people you hate and therefore wish to honor with a poetic address to three.
  3. Rhyme if you wish; don’t if you’d rather not.
  4. As always, make it terrible. The person you hate must sense, by aura of recitation alone, your loathing and aversion. He (or she) must follow the scent of vitriol to your computer and vow revenge upon your children’s children.
  5. Keep things PG-13 or nicer, if you please.

My children have Spring Break next week, which means I do not. Therefore, the deadline for this ‘weekly’ contest will be in two weeks. You have till 8:00 a.m. MST Friday (April 26) to submit a poem.

If you are shy, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain. I will be able to tell you whether I received it.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

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Photo credit:
Pixabay

Hello, My Name Is Actually

Hi. *Shakes your hand* My name is Chelsea. I’m not too fond of it, but haven’t found a better replacement.

Sometimes I try a different name. I speak it, softly, in my mind. I reach deep within, testing whether my soul feels a long-lost connection. Do I sense recognition; a neuropathic reaction?

Always, as with my current placeholder, I feel nothing.

That may have gotten serious, and fairly quickly. Sorry about that. In most of my writing I prefer some humor. In social situations, however, I have caused a few awkward pauses, followed by, “You’re a deep thinker.”

Naturally, I reflect, “Do you not think?” No, I do not say that sort of thing aloud -most of the time.

Though motivated by authenticity, honesty, information, and openness regarding vital issues; I retain a discretionary wall when it comes to relatives, my location, and deeply personal information.

I will write openly about depression, but keep a respectful distance from family affairs.

Again, heavy stuff. I have a tendency to want a certain thorough sketch of my person at first introductions. I seek complete understanding of my character and motivations, though best attempts will never be perfect.

People categorize as they wish, read the words they wish, surround themselves with like-minded peoples, and avoid the unknown unless they actively seek it.

For these reasons, I choose to finally admit my membership in a few common categories waaaay down here.

Firstly, that I am a mother. A married mother. I have children that I birthed and I attempt to raise. Since it influences my writing and observations on the subject of parenting, I specifically have four boys.

Secondly, I am religious. I am also not religious. The two play out in desires to write more sanitary observations, while understanding and agreeing with logical scientific ideas. I’d like to say the two are happily married, making love-eyes forever across a candlelit table. The truth is closer to them being married in general, with all the real-life disagreements therein.

At this point, if you’re still reading, you will learn that I own no pets currently. I briefly had a dog. A life goal of mine was to own several dogs, perhaps on a ranch somewhere. Then, I married an anti-dog man. No, I don’t blame him or think he’s odd. Yes, dogs are stinky, expensive, difficult to train, hairy, and were too much like a permanent toddler for me at the time.

Actually, I lied somewhat. I just remembered we have a Betta fish named Toothless. He’s black with purple shading.

I want my blog to be as unlimited as my writing desires tend to be: sometimes a poem; today a life reflection; a quirky story outlining a friend’s foibles another day. That may be a tad difficult to navigate.

My ultimate goal is to be world-famous, naturally. My realistic goal is to connect with a community of writers; to appreciate others, and be appreciated in return.

This is all rather deep. Perhaps I should have stuck with the usual If you could go anywhere..? question.

Even that would have landed you with Perhaps the moon

Chelsea by a rock

 

Kick It up a Notch, AKA How to Improve a Snippet of Writing

Hello, class, and welcome to another session of writing instruction. Today we will be discussing that little extra flavoring that will take your excerpt from blasé to at least palatable.

In layman’s terms, we’re going to start with a frozen pepperoni pizza and make it a meal from Mickey D’s. With practice, we may go as classy as Texas Roadhouse.

We’re going to need a lame sentence. No, not that one I just wrote. Or any of these descriptive ones.
Sheesh! You’re so literal!
How about, “When he saw her face, he knew he was in love.

Woman lights

This is not a terrible sentence. For one thing, it has my first step:

1. Please ensure that your subject matter is interesting.
Something readers want to read is the somewhat-necessary skeleton we need to even start improving that sucker.
Besides our example, you can go with topics of Science Fiction (The alien moved closer to the frightened child), Dystopian (No one had eaten for days since The Great Famine), Horror (She heard the heavy footsteps drawing closer, though she saw no one), or Fantasy (Erglefigman took the Staff of Woidjkin boldly, saying the magic words…).

2. Name your characters. If you’re running with that fantasy idea, name him/her/it with a more simple title (please!).
Does this idea seem daunting? You have the internet; use a name-generator.
Applied to our example, we have, “When Steve saw Elisa, he knew he was in love.
Yes, I used the name generator.

3. Don’t be afraid of other words. You’re a writer: words are the prismatic expression you splash upon a ready canvas.
Unsure what to say? As I have already mentioned in other How-To’s, Thesaurus Man has got your back. Don’t leave him hanging.
Looking up “saw,” “knew,” and “love,” we can spice things up to, “When Steve glanced at Elisa, he realized he was smitten.

4. Show, don’t tell. Yep, you’ve heard this one. Seriously -you read it three seconds ago.
Yes, sometimes you need to tell. A full-length novel where every single action was described instead of named would be torturous.
Instead of “He stubbed his toe, dropping the pizza sauce all over his father’s sleeve,” you might have, “A loud exclamation fell from Todd’s lips as pain spread upwards from his injured toe. His father, meanwhile, felt the stinging heat and saucy redness of pizza sauce spread upwards from his shoulder.” Yes, it’s more interesting -but, only in some ways. Always writing like that would be laborious to the writer and unclear to the reader.
So: show, but don’t be annoying about it. We’ll settle on keeping what we have and adding a sentence of detail. “The softly glowing lights reflected from her cupped hands to glint, temptingly, in her brown eyes. When Steve glanced at Elisa, just then, he realized he was smitten.”

5. Add dialogue. Do your characters have the ability to talk? Then, they should.
Vocalizations are normal; we all express ourselves. They can, and would, be used during action scenes. They need to be sprinkled in naturally around adjectives, reactions, descriptions, etc.
A conversation can also be used to show, not tell and thesaurusize your story.
The softly glowing lights reflected from her cupped hands to glint, temptingly, in her brown eyes.
‘Yes?’ Elisa asked. She’d noted his glance.
‘Um,’ Steve replied. He realized he was smitten.”

Man Phone

6. Inject your flavor of writing.
Everyone has a writing style, a flavor, a way of expression. If you feel you still haven’t stumbled upon this illusive thing, you’re in the same boat as many writers. In fact, I’m certain we’re about cruise ship-sized over here.
I am equally certain each artist has one, and that it will be uncovered the more one practices one’s art. You will lean to using certain patterns, words, jokes, phrasing, or anglophilic references.
Since I am the one writing this, our example has had my flavor this whole time.
Someone else creating a story might go with word patterns, nonsense terms, different ways to interrupt the actions and descriptions, or other things said and observed.

7. Go a tad over the top with characteristics, actions, settings, etc.
I mentioned several of the writing steps we’ve gone over so far in a previous post, including the advice to be specific. Being specific is important, as is writing believably, so the story is relatable. However, the general public also likes extremes of personality and actions.

For example, all of the characters in Harry Potter are distinct. Even minor ones have odd foibles like a weird goat fetish.
The adventures are outlandish, like allowing a 12-year-old to face a full-grown wizard after other deadly dangers. But, people ate it up.

On the flip side is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. If not for the audio version, I would have quickly lost track of which person was penning which letter and why that mattered. I found myself wishing for more differences of personality.

I’ll add a bit more to ours, and then leave it to cool on the windowsill. Hopefully it’ll garner a few stars of a passing critic’s famished review.

The softly glowing lights reflected from her cupped hands to glint, temptingly, in her brown eyes. Night sounds of distant traffic far below joined the background conversations of party guests. Steve felt frozen in sound, feeling, and time.

‘Yes?’ Elisa demanded. She’d noted his glance, and wondered at his expression.

‘Um,’ Steve replied. He realized he was smitten.

Pop! The first forgotten bulb broke against the patio floor near Elisa’s bare right foot. Pop! Clunk!, then a swishing coil of overlapping noises echoed from the walls and stairs nearby as the remaining lights slid from her careless arms.

Unencumbered now, she drew closer, stepping over the discarded strand. Steve saw her dainty feet illuminated from bulbs below as she stepped; noted her slight waver, her impending nearness, and the way a sudden rooftop wind pulled at her black skirt.

Steve knew life would never be normal again, and that he would never regret the inevitable upset. His eyes found hers, even darker now. She walked to stand right in front of him; poor, hypnotized fool.”