July 09, 2009

Your Assignment, Should You Choose to Accept - 7/9/09

Once again, it's time for fun and frivolity thanks to the brilliance of Mama Kat and her Writer's Workshop. This week's prompts:

Tell us about a "dirt cheap" (I think she left out the word "vacation" here) you've taken this summer.
(inspired by Anti-Supermom)

2.) When I grow up I want to be like...
(inspired by Jenny Says What?)

3.) Describe a difficult moment that you survived.
(inspired by Sarah M.)

4.) List five things you like to do while camping...or five places you'd like to go.
(inspired by Kisatrtle)

5.) What are you paranoid about?
(inspired by Melissa)

I had a lot of trouble choosing even a single prompt this week. They just didn't speak to me. Not that every blog posting actually speaks to me, aloud or anything. (Sometimes it's just a whisper; sometimes, I have the sense that the writer has been sneaking around inside my head and writing MY thoughts. Now, that is really frightening).

So I had to use my Magic 8 Ball homegrown logic with the list, and I decided I'd try #2. The voices in my head wanted me also to try #5, since paranoia may be among the many mental afflictions I currently nurture within myself.
There are many, and they all want their fifteen minutes of fame, ya know?

2. When I grow up, I want to be like...

Ok, we know this is a hypothetical question. Why? I'm fully formed, I'm old - stick a fork in me, I'm done. There is no more 'growing up' for me, my only growth over the past couple of years has been horizontal.

I can't think of one individual who fits the bill of who I wish I were like; it's more of an amalgam of several people. I'd like it to be like the Chinese take out menu - one from column A, two from column B, that sort of thing.

So, I've decided to list my traits that need work, and then the person (or persons) who I think best exemplifies the trait (my opinion of it, anyway):

Intelligence: Albert Einstein, and the person who invented washable markers

Why? Einstein is scary smart. I'm not sure I wouldn't use my brains for evil if I had his intelligence, so the world is better off that I stood in the Express line for brains.

Common sense: Benjamin Franklin
Why? I've read some of Poor Richard's Almanac. He gave no-nonsense advice to his readers. Also, if he saw a problem that needed solving, he would logically work his way to a solution. For example, church steeples had this nasty habit of getting struck by lightning. So he invented the lightning rod.

He invented, he negotiated, he wrote. Ben had it goin' on (and he was a big hit with the ladies). I have also read his biography (by Walter Isaacson). He was ahead of his time, and could get along with the power brokers of his time, as well as the powerless "little people" (not talking Munchkins now, I'm talking about the common citizen).

Ambition: Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters
Why? Hello? Have you ever seen a one-woman conglomerate before? Oprah may not have the face that launched a thousand ships, but just one plug from her for your book or product, and she's launching someone's career. She believed in her abilities, and persisted. She would accept nothing but excellence from herself.

Barbara Walters is a trailblazer. She broke the glass ceiling in television journalism. She is still working, though she recently said on The View that she has lost her ambition. And you know what? I like her more now, she seems so human.

The View is my daytime TV guilty pleasure. That, and Maury Povich, where every woman who comes on the show lookin' for her baby daddy is always 1000% positive that this guy is the one. Now, THAT'S confidence!

Kindness: Mother Teresa
Why? Come on, picture this. The slums of Calcutta. Lepers. She loved and cared for all of the downtrodden. Her life's work was to have us love one another...and she said we must start within our own homes.

Financial acumen: Suze Orman, Oprah.
Why? Oprah knows how to make money, Suze Orman tells ya how to keep it.

Sense of humor: Mark Twain, George Carlin

Writing ability: Mark Twain, Erma Bombeck, Peg Bracken, Stephen King (just for sheer volume)
Why? With Twain, Bombeck and Bracken, you get the folksy humor and common sense that I want to emulate in my writing.

If you ever get a chance, read Mark Twain's letters, they are exquisite. You can download and read them for free on The Gutenberg Project.

I have other favorite authors, and there are other people that I admire, but this list is a good start.

5. What are you paranoid about?
Sorry, but the voices in my head tell me that someone will do something bad to me if I answer this. Today, I think I'll listen to them. I'm 1000% positive on this one.


  1. I am with you on number 5, I am also too paranoid to write about this. I really enjoyed your answers too, and I love Mark Twain, when I was in America I stayed in Hanibal where everything was Mark Twain because he lived there as a child..... Great post!

  2. I love this post you picked some amazing people to be like! (Although I still prefer Jerry reruns to Maury its just funnier to me. Especially when you watch the interviews where Jerry said that he wanted nothing more than to be like Maury and now Maury is more like Jerry)

  3. I live in Missouri, and I haven't been to Hannibal yet! But I have been in Elmira, NY, where he lived as an adult.

  4. I love how you gave the different pieces of the people you wanted to be or at least emulate. I love most of the people on your list.

    Great job.

  5. stopping by from MamaKat's.
    great post!

  6. I love Ermma Bombeck. I wish everyone did. Have you read Stephen King's On Writing? Awesome book.

  7. I just love your name. It makes me smile every time I see it : )

    You aspire to be like a lot of great people. What a nice post.

  8. For having a hard time finding inspiration in the prompts you did an outstanding job with this post. I love this philosophy of being like a "Chinese take out menu". I think there is a book idea in there.

  9. I am diggin the authors you chose.

    This last year I had the honor of teaching history at the middle school level. In 6th grade they learn all about the enlightenment writers, in 7th grade, it's the founding fathers of our fair America and the Articles of Confederation (actually what governed the US until the Constitution was complete)
    BUT, nothing prepared me for the History channel rendition of Ben Franklin and the underground SEX scandal! *gasps* really? Turns out his ability w/ the ladies was as a match maker and what some refer to as a "key club" swinging life!
    *Jaw hanging open*
    OF course, pure speculation....waht was I going to say? OH
    Great list!

  10. I love your Chinese menu approach to a personality makeover! And such good choices! And Peg Bracken...did she write those "I Hate To Cook" and "I Hate To Clean" books? I think my mom had those and I used to read them. Haven't thought about those in years!!! And your writing is well on its way to being what you hope for!

  11. I love that you picked Stephen King for volume. bwahaha! (love his books, BTW).

    How are things looking on the job front there?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. :)

  12. You picked all smarties! Good job! Now we all think you're really smart too. :)

  13. What a wonderful combo person you have created.

  14. Stopping by from Mama Kat's. Huge thumbs up to the Mark Twain emulation. :)

  15. That was a cool list. I would never have thought of it that way. and the paranoid thing with the writer talking to you in your head is spot on. Funny.

    TYhanks for stopping by. I'll be back.

  16. And check out Laura Purdie Salas' thursday 15 words or less poetry challenge. You'd probably dig it.


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!