Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Leftover Bad Writing

Now that my 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Vile Pun winner has popped up on numerous websites, a few folks have been curious about my other submissions that didn't make the cut.

Were these too good to be bad? Too bad to be bad? What? Anyhow, here they are:

“I’ve been dying to kiss you, Griselda,” Herman said as his heart went thumpity-thump, and—while locked in a passionate embrace with his beloved—he suddenly realized that getting his pacemaker from eBay (“one owner, only slightly used”) maybe wasn’t such a good deal after all, but at least his last words were appropriate.

Dumping her comatose husband’s soiled Depends into the trash and wishing that the staff at Happy Manor Nursing Home would take a more active role in the personal hygiene of stroke victims, Martha was interrupted by yet another phone call from her mother-in-law inquiring about her son’s progress, to which Martha replied, “Well, he’s a changed man.”

Double, double, toilet trouble,” muttered Anne, as she tried to keep the twins, Hamnet and Judith, on their respective potties until they’d produced something, while casting an eye at her husband Will, whose poised quill and inscrutable look told her that he was once again stuck on a line for his new play, though she’d nagged him to give up writing, get off his can, and get a job that produced a regular income, not that he ever listened to her.

“We’ll have more fun than a barrel of monkeys,” Milton’s blind date said when she called to confirm the time and place they’d meet, but Milton, a zoology buff, knew that monkeys are cantankerous little buggers with sharp teeth and a habit of flinging feces when they were angry, so he tucked a couple of emergency bananas and some moist towelettes into his pocket just in case.

Whenever I pass my childhood home, a mid-Victorian (or maybe it’s late Gothic) mansion still perched on the corner like an over-dressed but out-of-style hooker, I still hear the tinkle-tinkle of the doorbell (or perhaps it’s the leaky plumbing), see the ornate chandeliers (and remember what a bitch all those crystal prisms were to clean), recall secrets shared in the cellar (and the two or three servants still buried in the conservatory), marvel that the place is now assessed at over two million, and thus will never forgive my siblings for selling it for a mere hundred thousand, which meant I only got $14,285 before taxes, even though that seemed like a good deal at the time and the place was quite the fixer-upper.

“Lassie, help! I’ve fallen down the well!” yelled Timmy, but the brave dog, having already rescued the klutzy tyke from the well three times this week and concluding that Timmy’s removal from the gene pool was a good thing, didn’t heed the boy’s cries but instead speed-dialed his agent and begged for a new assignment, preferably one where a male collie didn’t have to pretend to be female, an act which had subjected him to ridicule from that scruffy Rin-Tin-Tin who considered himself the top dog because he saved the fort from Indians, no matter how politically incorrect that was nowadays.
OK, I can see where a few of these were a bit wordy. In the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, you venture past 60 words at your peril.

Some of the above losers were composed about the time I was writing the chapter in my middle-grade novel Stuck where two obnoxious twins fall through the floor in an old outhouse, so that no doubt accounts for three entries with poop references and one with a falling into something reference.

Note to my crit group: Yeah, I'm still revising Stuck.



Blogger Amy Tate said...

Ugh. That gives me a headache.

12:07 PM  

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