Monday, February 23, 2009

Cough Cough

This blog, along with the rest of my life, has been neglected for a couple of weeks while I've tried to get rid of a cold that has settled in my chest. The cold symptoms are gone, but the cough has turned into one of those obnoxious guests that just won't leave. Everybody has a suggestion for how to get rid of it. I've tried so many remedies--traditional and nontraditional--I'm not sure what I'm putting in my body anymore. It reminds me of the bell on my dog's collar. We put it there when he was tiny so we wouldn't step on him. And since he still tends to get under foot we decided to leave it there. My kids now have a warning cough letting them know I'm about to enter a room. "Quick, there's the cough, turn off the computer!" (I'm just kidding of course. My kids better know there'd be heck to pay if they hide anything on the computer.) Anyway, this morning Brandon offered to stay home and take care of me. He even offered to write my book for me. Since the offer came while he was searching for a paper his teacher was expecting to see, I had to turn it down. But I was tempted.

Friday, February 6, 2009

St. George Anyone?

Tomorrow morning I'm loading up the car and heading to St. George for a book signing. My very first. Which I realize is lame. My book's been out a couple months and I should have done several. I just hate the thought of sitting there by my lonesome hoping people will stop by and talk to me. So I got brave and planned this one for a time I was going to be traveling through the town anyway. Except that the trip got canceled and the book signing got rescheduled. So I'm just driving the four hours in each direction for the sole purpose of sitting by my lonesome. I hardly know anyone in St. George. And hardly anyone in St. George knows about the book signing. So if you happen to have plans to be in St. George tomorrow (February 7) - please stop by and help me not look pathetic! I'd be sooo grateful. I'll be at the Barnes and Noble from 1:00 to 3:00. You won't be able to miss me. I'll be the one sitting a table looking desperate for a friend.


The teenage girl in Where Hears Prosper--Paige--has a way with words. She likes to think up things like similes and metaphors. And she likes to think she's pretty clever. But apparently, she ain't got nothin' on some real teenagers. I don't know the source. But they're great, even if the author thought up every one him or herself. I can only hope to someday attain such brilliance...

It's hard to pick favorites, but I'm going with #1, #3, #20 & #23.

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it..

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup. (Prof. Wood's personal favorite)

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12.. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23.. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.