Here are the offensive little beggars. You might want to jot them down one last time.
– just, really, very, perhaps, maybe, quite, a bit, completely, almost, amazing, literally, stuff, things and got.
The list is longer than ten because some of the words are redundant and grouped together. Read the article and I promise it will all come clear. Using them, and words like them, makes your writing weak. Avoiding them makes your writing tight and powerful and strong.
My first thought was, oh really? Got? But I can describe my entire day using the word ‘got’. Have you got a minute? I got up, got dressed, got breakfast, got in my car, got to work, got bored, got through it, got home, got hungry, got tired, got to sleep by ten. Do you suppose she’s got a point?
My second thought was perhaps that’s maybe a bit harsh, though. Or you might even say almostcompletely upsetting and discouraging. I mean that literally. Especially for those of us who’ve got things to say that are just quite amazing. You know the kind of stuff I mean. Very good stuff. Quite amazing really maybe very good things.
My third thought (I know, amazing, three thoughts in one day) was that if I cut out all those words from this blog (or just this post) half of my written work would disappear. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, nevertheless I would not like to see that happen. Because it was quite a bit of work. And then I realized I use the word ‘that’ too much as well.
So I won’t do that.
Honestly I really don’t feel like taking this advice to heart even though I suspect it’s good and amazing stuff. I believe powerful and strong is for cleaning products and body builders and electrical storms. And of course strong and serious people with something brilliant to say. I’m rarely serious. So I’m excusing myself from paying attention to this list.
Although perhaps not completely. I will maybe try really very hard to cut down on the use of these offensive little words. Quite likely tomorrow. Or one of these amazing days.
It’s another day in paradise. Going out for dinner again today. Spent all day yesterday reading a book. Lived through a crazy thunder-storm last night. And now the sun is shining like it has no idea it’s fall. Just another page in this amazing life. Hope your day has been fantastic too.
The 11th Possibility is the idea that, regardless of data to the contrary, something unexpected and outside the realm of ordinary thought is always potentially around the corner.
“A coin is flipped 10 times, and in each instance lands on either heads or tails. But even after the normalcy displayed by the first 10 flips, the result of the next flip is still unknown. The coin could turn into a bird and fly away. The coin could land perfectly on its ridged edge. The coin could dissolve upon landing. It could defy gravity and remain stuck in the air. This is the 11th Possibility.”
This is an amazing Prompt for the Promptless by Rarsaur. It’s SO amazing, it has taken me five days to figure out what ‘outside the realm of ordinary thought’ could possibly mean to me. Because there are some pretty weird thoughts floating around out there, and I may have had one or two of them myself, if I want to admit it. “What do you think happens next?” is my favourite question of all time. To answer, and to ask.
You walk into a dark room and flip the light switch on. Normalcy says that the light turns on. What are some possible 11th Possibilities? Who knew flipping a switch could conjure up such interesting visions? Here are a few unexpected (but highly desirable) possible outcomes to turning on the lights.
1. You are no longer in Kansas or wherever you thought you were. This is suddenly Narnia and Oz combined, but without the scary parts, like lions and witches and tin men with no brains.
2. A genie appears to offer you three wishes. And they don’t have to be off the top of your head either! He leaves you his card and says you can call him later after you’ve had time to think about it.
3. You discover Johnny Depp has dropped by and has been sitting here in the dark waiting to ask you for some help with his pirate research. Or anything really, who cares. Because oh my gawd, look, it’s Johnny Depp.
4. You can hear the ocean and feel the warm sand beneath your feet and the sun on your face. A cabana boy hands you a tall and fruity umbrella drink that smells like strawberries and fresh pineapple and a tropical breeze. You take a sweet cold sip and think you must have died and gone to heaven. You get out the duct tape and tape that light switch in the on position, because ain’t nobody gonna be allowed to turn that sucker off.
5. Some old man who looks a lot like Dumbledor is sitting in the lotus position on your carpet and wants to explain the mysteries of the cosmos to you over a glass of wine. And he doesn’t even have to kill you once you know everything.
6. All the beautiful people you’ve loved and lost have come back to say a quick hello and to let you know they’ve never been more happy and fine and that they’re not really lost at all. But come on, being summoned by a light switch is just a tad too bizarre, even for them. Better make this a sweet and happy reunion, because it’s highly unlikely that this kind of chance encounter will happen for you twice.
7. Someone who calls herself Ms. Universeand is dressed like a Christmas Angel, tells you to trust in her and her magical powers, live in this beautiful moment, be happy now and love your life. Be One With Your Couch,you’re pretty sure she says, so you lie down and close your eyes and smile at the beautiful synchronicity in your world. And when you wake up, you know it wasn’t just a dream. Because there’s angel dust everywhere.
8. You are blessed with a little epiphany, a little ‘aha’ moment when you flip the switch and the light comes on. Here’s your home, exactly the way you left it. You are filled with gratitude and appreciation for your family and all that you have to share with them. When the light comes on you are suddenly able to see that this life you’re living is nothing less than a magical gift and that your happiness has never depended on whimsical daydreams. It has always been right here, just waiting for you to flip the switch and find it.
(But seriously, that one where Johnny Depp wants to hang out with you? Man, that one would be such a bonus.)
Is there anybody out there who loves to fly? Who wakes up in the morning with the fervent wish to just hop on a plane and fly around for hours and hours? Do pilots and flight attendants dread having a day off where they have to content themselves with wandering around on the ground? Maybe that’s the thing that needs complaining about. I don’t get to fly to Paris for breakfast today! Damn, my life sucks. But I could if I really wanted to. There’s a certain beauty in that.
Travelling from one place to another has never been my favourite thing, but when it becomes necessary, I’m happy that there are so many choices in how to get from here to there. And so far flying is the fastest. Everybody has had a “bad” experience on a plane; screaming children, long delays, crazy turbulence, a seat mate from hell, luggage lost, cookies tossed. The ultimate worst case scenario would be to crash and die, and if you keep that in your mind while you’re zipping through the air at ridiculous speeds it makes the rest of your complaints seem a bit silly.
So I’m very reluctant to pick one particular flight out of the many I’ve taken and gripe about it. Because every one of them got me to where I was going or got me back home in one piece and here I am, alive and happy and able to talk about it, and not so annoyed that I’ll never do it again.
Life is short. And in the grand scheme of things, so are flights. How incredibly lucky we are to live in an age where travelling anywhere in the world is possible. All you have to do is buy a ticket and get yourself and your passport to the airport and the rest of it is all done for you. Think about that when the in-flight movie is boring crap. Your flight might not be perfect, but it’s perfectly amazing that you get to take it.
Yesterday I talked to a man who had only one leg. He came rolling into the Vision Centre in his wheel chair with a beaming broad smile on his face. It was a smile so fiercely beautiful I had to smile back. I don’t know how anyone who looked at him could hope to do otherwise.
While his glasses were being adjusted, cleaned and repaired, (all the helpful mundane things we do all day), we had one of those little chats that strangers are prone to having. Is it getting any warmer out there as the day goes on? Do you ever remember a spring so late? He told me it was snowing again and he said it with such delight. You should come out to the parking lot and see it! All those gigantic flakes just floating down. You can catch them on your glove – they’re like tiny bits of lace. Fragile, but captivating and wonderful to look at. So perfect it’s amazing!
But in my head I could see our driveway, and the snow shovel, and the banks and the horrible roads. So I gave my head a shake to get rid of those pictures in it. I said we don’t think to look at the fascinating side of things often enough, do we? It’s so easy to focus on the negative instead. But you’re right, this kind of gentle snowfall has a certain charm if only we choose to see it.
I didn’t look at the place where his left leg should have been, although my eyes wanted to. I didn’t let them. I didn’t ask him how long he’d been without it, or how hard it might be to get himself dressed in the morning and in and out of a vehicle and across a snowy rutted parking lot. And what do you do with all those left boots and shoes and pant legs? How horrible has your life been and how hard was this to accept?
I said none of those things that were in my head, because we were just two ordinary people having an ordinary conversation, being pleasant and accepting of each other the way we happen to be at this moment, no deep introspections required. He got his glasses back and he was on his way.
All afternoon I kept thinking good thoughts about snowflakes. I thought about those airy little bits of lace, there for a moment on the back of his glove, and how they made his face so blissful. His mood was so intoxicating, I wanted to give him a hug and thank him for that.
When I was little I decided one day to eat some dirt. Just to get it over with. I remember thinking that since life was full of all kinds of things you had to do that were unpleasant, it was probably a good plan to do them as you thought of them, rather than let them all pile up and have a lot of them to do all at once. So eating dirt was one I could get out of the way, and once it was done I would never have to concern myself with it again. Pretty convoluted thinking for a little kid. I remember it tasted pretty disgusting.
Since I did my blog on the 98 things a woman should do in her lifetime, I cannot get it out of my head that I really need to write three haiku poems about my most amazing, horrible and baffling sexual experiences. I draw the line at framing them for my ‘boudoir’ – even dirt eaters have their limits.
So, here they are.
Down by the boat locks
Lost in each other ’til dawn.
This is forever.
(Well, let’s face it, it’s pretty difficult to relate a very personal experience and have other people get it. And being restricted to five-seven-five syllables it’s damned hard to fit in anything even remotely erotic. When we went to school in St. Catharines, W. and I used to drive down to the canal and “watch the boats”. This particular night I don’t remember if there were any ships going by or not. But that was the night we knew it would last, and it WAS amazing.)
Sand chafes. Too much beer.
Heart throb retches on the beach.
Bad scene, so screwed up.
(This goes way back to when I was an experimenting teenager, and I’m a little happier with the images it conjures up, although I seriously wanted to use the ‘f’ word. To really emphasize that passion and puking don’t mix. So feel free to substitute it in the last line. You know how they say your first time is so memorable? I believe they’re right.)
Big talk, wants action.
So much hype for what goes down.
Think perhaps he’s gay.
(Well, I mean really, how else do you explain the sudden backing down and subsequent lack of interest in me. There was no chemistry. And he was such a nice guy too.)
OKAY! I have satisfactorily gotten this haiku nonsense out of my system. It is WAY harder than it looks and I am SO never attempting it again. Unless there’s a choice between writing haiku and swallowing bugs, in which case I might reconsider.
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