Category Archives: Writing

Idiosyncratica October Challenge

This month, Gessy challenged the group to write a short scene of about 100 to 300 words without using any adjectives. The following is my humble effort:

Do Not Disturb

Standing outside Russ’s door this morning, I knew. Today is Sunday, and the note inside his window had been there since Wednesday. It said, “Please do not disturb. I am resting today.”

I tried to convince myself that he just needed time. Or perhaps he had forgotten to take the note out of the window. But I knew.

I knocked on the door. No movement. Russ didn’t answer.

Walking back to my apartment, I saw the landlord coming toward our building. There were police officers with her. I watched as they climbed the stairs, and then as she let the officers inside Russ’s apartment.

They came back out within seconds. It was summer in Texas and the air conditioner wasn’t running. They spoke into their radios, using code I didn’t understand. I went inside my apartment and watched from the window.

Minutes later, people in uniforms were beginning to swarm. Men in suits drove a car that resembled a station wagon. Someone pulled a stretcher from the back of it.

How long had they been inside Russ’s apartment? I opened my door just in time to see them leaving again. There was something on the stretcher, but it wasn’t Russ. The bag was zipped from end to end.

The ground started moving toward my face. I collided with it.

Returning now from the hospital, I look up at Russ’s window. The note has gone.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


National Punctuation Day®

Well, it was yesterday, so I’m a day late. But to make up for it, I always carry exact change.

I first read about this at SaintPaulGrrl’s Northern Exposure. I intended to post about it yesterday, but had a lot of personal stuff going on and simply forgot. Punctuation is something we use daily, though, so it’s just as important today as it was yesterday, I suppose.

In comments, Miranda gives a great example of how much difference misplaced commas can make, for instance:

The panda walks into a bar… he eats, shoots, and leaves!

The power of the comma changed a passive panda, which eats bamboo shoots and leaves, into a homicidal psychopath! It’s a crying shame.

Seriously, though, please check out the website for National Punctuation Day®. It’s a handy resource for all your punctuation needs. And they’re open seven days a week, 24 hours a day!

From their website:

5th Annual National Punctuation Day® helps schools and businesses promote good writing skills and literacy

PINOLE, CA — Why is punctuation important Jeff Rubin the Punctuation Man and founder of National Punctuation Day explains that without punctuation you would not be able to express your feelings in writing not to mention know when to pause or stop or ask a question or yell at someone and without punctuation you would not be able to separate independent clauses and show an example of how a business lost millions because of an errant comma so dont forget the most important punctuation mark $$$$$$ OK so a dollar signs isnt a punctuation mark but its important dont you agree

Do check it out!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Idiosyncratica September Challenge

This month, Archie challenged us to write approximately 500 words on the “joy of losing” . This was the most difficult for me so far, and I have to admit I’m terribly nervous about posting it. But I’ll take a deep breath and publish it, just as soon as I finish this introduction.

This purely fictional piece was inspired by Truthwalker, a fellow blogger who evacuated his home yesterday morning to avoid Hurricane Gustav.

Truthwalker is a former Christian who shares quite candidly on his blog his progress, thoughts and feelings as he discovers a new way to live . I can personally relate to many of the changes he is experiencing, and I appreciate his being so open about it all in the face of how difficult that can be, and for the opportunity to follow along on his personal journey.

I am thankful for the inspiration, and I’ll be looking forward to his safe return.

Here is my story:
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Saturday Cartoons: Award Ceremony

A couple of months ago, my friend, Gary, received his first blogging award! I was not surprised at all to learn that Gary had received an award for excellence in blogging. He is an outstanding blogger, after all. I was caught off guard, though, when I saw my name on the list of people to whom he had passed on the award. Perhaps it was shock that caused me to miss the part that mandates passing it on (OK, that’s probably not what caused it but it sounds better than admitting that I had a Duh! moment).

The award was designed by Kate, and here are the criteria for receiving it:

“It’s issued by bloggers to bloggers who show excellence and thoughtfulness in blogging, especially those who are not afraid to be related to a monkey.”

I would like to thank Gary for bestowing upon me this honor. He is a brilliant writer whose opinion I value very much, and to receive such an award from him is very meaningful and encouraging.

Now, keeping the criteria in mind, I would now like to pass this award along to:

Allusions of Grandeur

Gone Fishin’: Postcards From God

Quarkscrew

The Bad Idea Blog

The Sensuous Curmudgeon.

I would have passed it along to Ed Darrell of Millard Filmore’s Bathtub, but Dorid had already given it to him. My husband Mike was on Gary’s list as well.

Now, in celebration of this prestigious award, and in honor of my fellow primates, I will now present today’s Saturday cartoon, which I believe to be appropriate for this very special occasion:


Ren & Stimpy – I’m Gonna Be A Monkey

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


The Slippery Slope Of “Press This”

While the new Press This Bookmarklet has received mostly good reviews, some people have expressed concerns that it only makes life easier for content thieves.

I confess that when I first learned about this new WordPress feature, I had the same concern, but that was based on faulty information given to me by someone who had used it. I was under the mistaken impression that the feature copied entire posts and/or pages. I now know that it does not do that, although it can certainly be abused in that way.

This seems to be what the majority of complainants are arguing: it’s a bad idea because content thieves can use it to steal other people’s work. But content thieves were stealing other people’s work before and will continue to do so if it is removed.

People who steal content will do so regardless. People who do not steal content are not going to suddenly trash their values and start plagiarizing just because now it can be done with greater efficiency.

To those of you who think WordPress should not have this feature, I submit that you should stop blogging altogether. After all, posting your content on the internet makes it easier for people to steal it. And we should probably stop emailing and using instant messengers because they’re also prone to abuse. Better yet, let’s just shut down our computers and call it quits, because the internet itself is prone to abuse in uncountable ways.

Now that we’re no longer using computers, we can focus on all the other things that are potentially dangerous or harmful. How about cars? We shouldn’t have cars because people can drive them while intoxicated and kill or injure themselves and other people.

We should probably get rid of our phones too, because they’re often used by stalkers to harass people. And while we’re on that slippery slope anyway, let’s go ahead and dump our kitchen knives, since people have been known to use them as weapons. And the kid’s baseball bat needs to go — it could be used to vandalize someone’s property.

Matches can be used to commit arson. Belts can be used to beat children. Pillows can be used to suffocate people. Antifreeze can kill animals. People can drown in swimming pools. Or bathtubs. Ropes can be used to strangle people. Cameras can be used to exploit people. Binocular and telescopes can be used to spy on people. Sleeping pills can be used to commit suicide. Or murder. Gasoline, paint and a variety of other things, when huffed, can result in hypoxia.

The list goes on.

We don’t get rid of any of those potentially dangerous and harmful things because we recognize their usefulness. They make our lives easier and often more enjoyable. Let’s keep Press This for the same reason. There are steps you can take to deal with content thieves, and those steps are exactly the same with or without this new feature.

Now go and press something.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Splogs And Scraper Sites

Boy, is this ever becoming a problem!

I don’t claim to be among the best writers on the internet, but when I write something and publish it on my blog, it belongs to me! It is immediately protected by copyright, and no-one has permission to copy and use it for any purpose not protected by Fair Use.

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Library of Congress
U.S. Copyright Office

Nevertheless, my work (and yours) is being copied on a daily basis by splogs and/or scraper sites.

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Post 100

This is my 100th post!

I thought this might be a good time to consider what I’m doing here. When I started this blog, it was because I had a lot on my mind and nowhere to go with it. I was feeling discouraged with the world and needed a place to vent some of my frustration. The first thing I wrote here was A Little About Me. Here are a few lines from it:

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