Tag Archives: clichés

I Mean What I Say and I Say What I Mean . . . Except When I Don’t

Clichés can be good or they can be really bad. Case in point, the one cliché that has stood the test of time and is a mere one word

long is, “cool.” Other clichés include, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” which is something the majority of people do when purchasing a novel.

 “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Taking a moment to think about this saying makes it clear that the cliché fails to produce an overabundance of sense. If I’m dead, then game over. If I manage to survive this harrowing experience, I’ll probably remain skittish of whatever it was that nearly took my life.

“Innocent until proven guilty.” We all know that once you’re accused, you are automatically guilty in the eyes of the people. So, we might as well skip the middle man and stamp guilty on the suspect’s forehead.

I try to shy away from many of the new clichés that jump out every so often, especially in my writing. Some of the most notorious being, “My bad” . . . “What up” . . .  and one of the most overused, “Let’s do this.”

All in all, one that certainly rings true, yet if taken literally leaves one of two sides at a severe deficit, is “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

I realize that clichés have literal and alternate meanings; however, it’s a lot more fun bringing them to you as I have . . . still I can’t imagine bringing a pen to a sword fight!  

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I’ve Written Miles of Line With an Ink Pen and Slashed a Sword Through the Air…For me The Jury’s Still Out

ae32002e643ca97ec9048a3fcebc1a44Don’t ya just love cliché’s? There’s one in particular I’ve heard most of my life, and that is: the pen is mightier than the sword. I know what Edward Bulwer-Lytton was trying to say in 1839, and it certainly rings true, but when I attempt to embrace it, try as I might, I cannot. Each time the saying comes to mind, even though I’m a writer, I envision myself bringing a ball point pen to a sword fight–not a pretty sight. Nuff said.

Since I brought up the subject of being a writer, I’d like to mention the many new words you run across as you write. Along with writing, I’ve always had a good memory. Put the two together, add a little curiosity, and you’ll come up with someone who has a flair for trivia. I often receive compliments on my ability to retain a myriad of information, which translates into a  proficiency for trivia. Now, we all know what trivia is–which means my claim to fame is a head full of useless information.

I hate to say it, but it looks like I’ve written myself into another corner. On the plus side, that’s more work for me.

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How Else Could I Sit Here Looking This Goofy If I Weren’t As Goofy As I Look?

2665ac5bf28edf779a626550f2645249_free-vector-search-secretary-secretary-clipart-pictures_361-425You’re sitting in your writer’s room staring at a blank screen. Your assistant asks, “How do you come up with a blog subject to write about? Do you have a topic in mind or just stare at the monitor?”

“Shh,” you say, “you’ll find out soon enough.” If you were to take this whole scenario and place it neatly into a blog bag, what would be your criteria for finishing the aforementioned blog?

Now, since I just asked myself a question, it seems the next step would be to answer…okay, if that’s the way you want it, then an author should always be beholden to his audience.

Since I now have the blog firmly in start mode, I would begin finding ways to interject bits of humor into the text. I feel it’s important to maintain a lighthearted spirit throughout the piece, allowing the reader a respite from the daily grind, if only for a few moments. Secondly, I would include pieces of interesting information confirming this material was accurate. Then, I would make sure the blog was about writing or loosely based on writing. I use this format simply because I’m a writer and I enjoy learning fascinating blurbs of obscure topics, such as the origin of clichés and the like. And lastly, I’d  make the blog as good as it could be. How do you accomplish this, you ask? Well, for me it works to have my best buddy visit for a few hours and type these words of wisdom for her buddy. If you’re wondering what my secret is, I’ll call her the Sooze.

Please consider this my Monday morning smile from me to you!

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Collisions can Bring About Many Things i.e. An Overwhelming Psychotic Episode Pulling You Into the Belief That you Have a Best Selling Novel

stock-vector-cartoon-jail-bird-512010082The phrase, “naked as a jaybird,” kinda rings a bell, don’t ya think? It’s a cliché I’ve heard the better part of my life. This saying is something I’ve never given much thought to, but the other day we happened to collide and I was forced to delve deeper into this decade’s old phrase. I found several explanations, but the one I chose began in the 1920’s penal system. Jailbird was shortened to J-bird. Naked as a J-bird or Jaybird came about as new prisoners were indoctrinated to the ins and outs of their recently acquired living area. They were forced to walk from one end of the prison to the other completely naked, thus “naked as a jaybird.”

Not very exciting, huh? It’s like trivia, (which I love) lots of fun to play, but boil it down and what you end up with is useless information. Now, if you were to take a phrase, such as, “Naked as a Jaybird,” build around it with the precise words, you could end up with a whiz-bang novel.

See what we were able to do? Take a lowly catch phrase and turn it into a best seller. Wow, what an afternoon! I’ll probably be starting my book tour next week, so check my website often for a venue near you.

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Just Cause you Said it, Don’t Make it True. Just Cause you Didn’t say it Don ‘t Make it any Less Than Whatever it is.

Getty_cliche_monster2-165747732All of the years I’ve been stringing letters together to make words, words together to make sentences, and sentences together to construct paragraphs, some things never cease to amaze.

Case in point: clichés. You never seem to run out of one liner’s triggered toward engaging a thought process that would cause one to place a finger aside their face, gaze upward and utter, “hmm.”

As an example: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Now this one can go either way. If you and your significant other are to be apart for a weekend or so, I’d say yes. If it becomes more of a constant…what is that I hear…the rustling of divorce papers? Nuff said.

Here’s one of my favorites: “There’s a first time for everything.” Back up a couple of paragraphs and you can picture me with my finger aside my face, my eyes pointed toward the heavens, uttering the same tired response, “hmm.”  I’ve never had a broken leg…does that mean there’s one in my future? I never considered lopping off body parts and changing my name to one of a different gender. Kind of an odd comment to make, being a man with a lion’s share of testosterone and the first name of Lynn. Notice the name is spelled on the feminine side, but no matter, that confirms the lack of validity for this cliché, cause I’m going home with everything I started out with on this planet.

I see a couple loose clichés looking for someone to bother. Please excuse me while I work up a beat down.


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Which Way Did I Go? Which Way Did I Go?

lostI’ve never considered (until now) writing a self-help book. It came to me out of the blue. I was sitting at my computer entertaining the idea of writing a self-help book when it hit me, What do parents with graduating high school kids want most? They want more for their children then they had, i.e. a college education and a good career. They also want to obtain these ideals for their kids at the best price possible.

What do parents with children who share their desires dread hearing more than anything else? “I want to take a year off, travel around Europe and find myself before starting school.”

I guess that’s something I’ve never understood. I want…or better yet, need to find myself.

There are easy…nay, simple ways to accomplish this almost immediately without busting ma and pa’s savings.

If you don’t believe me, look in the mirror. Well, I’ll be, there you are. Now, if you step away from the mirror and become lost again, then, you need a lot more help than I can supply (not that I’m qualified to offer any assistance in the first place).

If you still feel the need to “find yourself,” then don’t blow loads of your mom and dad’s cash traveling through foreign countries. There’s no need to travel any further than the bathroom, and you’ll always know where you are.

So get lost, you bother me.

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Go Ahead and Laugh at Yourself; Everyone Else Does

poster215big-651x1024Occasionally, I’ll lighten up and dabble in the genre of humor. My last attempt was a novella about a young married couple with kids out to remodel their home on their own.

Now as you conjure this scenario in your brain, you begin to see that this very action is fraught with danger; however, we know all too well that fools rush in where angels fear to trod.

This being said, some folks failed to get in line when the protective mechanism of fear was handed out. This not only leads to bad behavior and by this I mean things like standing on a golf course during a  thunderstorm holding a lightning rod.

Perhaps checking the tension on your alternator belt while the engine is running (I know someone who lost weight doing this) is not the ideal time to perform this particular maintenance. The person in question didn’t drop a lot of weight, just the end of two fingers.

This can also lead to completely inaccurate statements, such as: cat nap. If you’re not familiar with feline habits, they can sleep up to 22 hours each day…just a bit more than a nap.

I don’t own a cat, but I have had a child and the statement “sleep like a baby” totally befuddles me. Children should sleep closer to the way cats nap and cats…I really don’t care what hours they keep.

And last but not least, why would anyone venture out and spend good money to have what is known as a motivational speaker blow smoke up your shorts?

I guess spending money to feel marginally better as someone spews streams of nothing at you is acceptable in some circles.

See what happens when you venture outside of your genre, heartache, nothing but heartache.

Think I’ll spend the weekend polishing up on my motivational speaking. There’s a depressed family of squirrels in my backyard that keep chewing wires and gas lines off my vehicles. So far they’re into me for over $1500 bucks. I’ve almost got them convinced to jump off the top of the highest oak tree in our yard. At least I’ll get some meat for my trouble.

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One Bug in the Hand is Worth Two in the Mouth…Or Something Like That

june bugI know in an earlier blog, I outlined a children’s book I was writing for my grandson. In this book, my grandson was a caterpillar and I was a granddaddy long legs. In other words, bugs. Although one was technically an arachnid, it’s still a bug.

Now these here bugs in many cases seem intelligent especially when you look at ants, bees and the like. They turn what seems to be chaos into a fully functional existence. This lifestyle operates without a glitch as smooth as silk.

This is actually more of an instinctual function and is present throughout the insect world. Then there comes the few six legged creatures that missed the bus when the gray matter was handed out. These poor individuals would travel the earth in blissful ignorance.

I’m only going to pick on one and that will be the June bug. It’s a large green beetle that flies around during the summer months seemingly going nowhere or doing nothing. In fact, watching one coming in for a landing is something akin to a brick attempting to perch on a clothes line while moving forty miles an hour.

All the information I am offering I have seen firsthand and is not cluttered with other people’s thoughts.

As a lad, I began calling the June bug the stupid bug when I saw one hovering around my house’s foundation. He seemed to want to go forward but didn’t know exactly how. He bumped into the cinderblock, moved a foot or so higher, bumped into the siding, then continued upward driving his head into the siding once again. He continued this pattern until he reached the top of the wall and flew over the roof.

Now if this bug wasn’t stupid when it started this journey, he certainly had mental issues by the time he finished.

If I think really hard (and you can take hard with a grain of salt) the most useful thing I’ve seen a June bug do is hover about a foot off the ground and allow a chicken to scarf him up. Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner the chicken didn’t seem to care.

I guess that shows to go ya, stupid is as stupid does and if stupid eats stupid it can still be tasty on both ends. I’ve ragged the insect and poultry world enough for one day and besides it’s time for Suzie to leave.

So, I’m officially done.

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If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It and If You’re Gonna Eat It, Then Make It the Real Thing; No Imitations Please…Just Saying.

jakeswaybackburgerHave you ever been curious about old wives tales, clichés, and repetitive sayings? I have the same interests coursing through my veins. In fact, I have formed a blue ribbon fact finding commission to investigate these series of adages. My main objective is to find the story behind these mottoes, be it fact or fiction.

I am an investigator caring not on which side this search ends but only that the truth be accurately told. On a side annotation, I will be noting my findings and turning them into what will most assuredly be a bestseller.

My first contribution to this list is the notion that rainy days are good days for ducks, when in fact ducks hate rain. Hold onto your britches.

Do you recall the misnomer that flew around for years, “blind as a bat?” Bats actually have excellent vision along with their sonar. Their sonar is so finely tuned that a bat placed in a room with an open window containing a box fan set on low was able to time the fan and escape between the moving blades.

The same bat was able to perform the identical maneuver with the fan turned to medium. With the fan on high the bat could not accomplish this feat, but how amazing that this small creation of God could slip between the fan blades moving as they were.

Have you ever heard someone say (in person or on television), “You can cut the fat and not the flavor?” Well, that’s about the biggest whopper I believe I’ve ever heard. (And I don’t mean with cheese.)

Why would anyone want to cut the fat? You know that fat equals flavor. Don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say. I eat healthy the majority of the time, but every now and again I want a greasy, fat laden, cheese covered burger, sausage sandwich or a pizza with grease running down my forearm. We mustn’t forget a slice of cheesecake or a bowl of full fat ice cream.

This of course is all my opinion, but also my blog, so by all means adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle, but take
time to enjoy an occasional guilty pleasure, preferably one that’s full of all the truly good stuff.

See ya next week and wipe that grease off your face.

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Dudes Don’t Let Other Dudes Call Dudes “Bro.” I’m Just Saying


dudeWe all know that books are usually dialogue driven or nudged along by the storyline. Which one tickles your fancy? I’ve never overly thought about my style of writing. It seems the common sense approach works best, i.e. if your characters are talking in a conversational manner, you’ve got yourself a mess of dialogue. By the same token, if they’re doing stuff with their traps shut don’t go tossing words into their mouths; it’s storyline time.

I guess you could say, it’s a personal preference about how you want to put the giddy-up in your masterpiece be it gabbing, doing, or a little bit of both.

I can’t help but imagine some of the reality-based TV shows made into novels. (Talk about turning the tables) Can you imagine one driven by dialogue? I believe it would go something like this:

“All right, dude, you go wait in the upstairs bedroom with your cameras, equipment and whatnot. You two dudes spread out around the house with your remote cameras and don’t forget the basement. I’m gonna hang right here, so call out if you see anything… All right dudes, to your positions.”

“Hey, dude, I heard something.”

“What did you hear, dude?”

“I don’t know, dude, but it was something.”

“Duuude! Did you see that?”

“No, bro, I’m in the basement.”

“Hey, dude, you didn’t say dude.”

“Sorry, dude, I was keeping it real; keeping it fresh.”

“Stick to the script, dude, we put a lot of time into that piece of paper.”

“Wait a minute, dude, did you hear that?”

“I heard something, dude. It sounded kinda like some dude saying something.”

“Let me rewind the recording dudes… Okay, dudes, here it is.”

“Hey, dudes, this is the dude from the other side that said something. Get out of my house dudes; you’re creeping me and my dudes out.”

You get the idea and I think we’ll all agree. Nuff said.

Thanks for taking time to read the ravings of a mad writer.

Until next week, keep it real dudes!


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