Tagged: shoes

When I First Saw Yoda

  • by jendeeply involved in this deadly charade
  • I’m not sure I agree with her
  • lips parted in a delighted smile
  • human hair was tangled in the knot
  • I have a new theory about the brontosaurus

Tune in next time part 189                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

When I first saw Yoda perched atop his dumpster, I had no idea he was deeply involved in this deadly charade my life has become. Tessa always said that I like trouble the same way fruit flies like a banana. I’m not sure I agree with her most of the time, but lately I think she must be right. I can picture her saying it, her lips parted in a delighted smile as she holds out a knotted rope for my inspection. As I recall, human hair was tangled in the knot, but it wasn’t Tessa’s hair. Not that time anyway.

Now, crouched in this Harmonious dumpster, my feet shoved into Yoda’s crocs, surrounded by fire-damaged bikinis, I decided that Tessa was completely right. Much like fruit flies and bananas, I’m always hovering near trouble, drawn by the scent. It’s in my blood.

And suddenly I have a new theory about the Brontosaurus, which is what Tessa and I called my mother’s colorfully illustrated plans for world domination. A new theory that explains everything.

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As I Walked Past the Boot Department

  • k-avatarthe Russian seemed to almost deflate
  • in a silver sequin hunting outfit topped with a plumed hat
  • turned my blood to icy slush
  • it hurt more
  • ivory fans, flamenco shoes
  • past the boot department

As I walked past the boot department of the Vladivostok Marks and Spencer, I beheld a sight that turned my blood to icy slush.

Igor had found me, and there he stood in a silver sequin hunting outfit topped with a plumed hat, in his hands ivory fans, flamenco shoes on his tiny, awkward feet.

The Russian seemed to almost deflate as my horror manifested as mad cackling, and it hurt more to see his disappointment than it had to pull out the arrow he shot into my buttock in Prague.

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2013 Holiday Prompt

In this special holiday edition, the stichomancy prompt phrases were all taken from Christmas carols. Jen and Kent both tackled the same set, with markedly different results. Whose do you prefer?

  • so lively and quick
  • dashing through the snow
  • he began to dance around
  • tis the season to be jolly
  • nine ladies dancing
  • when we finally kiss goodnight

k-avatarKent’s take:

“I forgot these things were so lively and quick,” Herb remarked, drawing a bead on one of the creatures dashing through the snow in the clearing.

“And I forgot they bite! Ow!” exclaimed Remmy as he began to dance around holding one boot up out of the deep drifts, a creature dangling from the toe.

Herb chuckled, prompting Remmy to ask him with some vehemence just what was so damn funny.

“Oh, nothing. Just, tis the season to be jolly, I suppose,” drawled Herb in reply.

Remmy shook the xenopod loose and stomped it, muttering about better times before the invasion. “I’ve had enough for one day. Let’s go get drunk at the Nine Ladies Dancing. I’ll buy.”

“Okay,” Herb said. “I’d like to see that sweet little barmaid again anyway.” Herb’s opinions on the invasion were slightly more mixed. “When we finally kiss goodnight, I’ll find out what those suckers on her tongue feel like.”

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by jenJen’s take:

My blind date with Bertram started out well enough. I found him to be so lively and quick-witted that I was able to overlook his unfortunate ears. I thought him quite galant when he offered to pay for dinner, but halfway through the meal he began to dance around in his seat like he had to pee. Then he grumbled at our waiter, “It’s winter, dude! Tis the season to be jolly well sozzled so you don’t notice the cold! Bring me a yard of Schnapps! And one for the lady.”

He finished his shots in record time, and most of mine, all the while telling the tale of a bachelor party he’d recently attended where there were no fewer than nine ladies dancing naked. I was unimpressed.

Bertram’s fate was sealed when he said to me, “Hey babe, when we finally kiss goodnight, I’m going to slip you the tongue.”

Horrified, I left him at the table and went dashing through the snow and wind all the way to the subway station so he couldn’t follow me home.

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Transformation Into a Wolf

  • k-avatarHi. Hello. Hello? Heh-lo.
  • – Stark naked!
  • grew owl’s wings and talons
  • congenital anonymity
  • muddy boots took up a lot of room

Transformation into a wolf is actually a highly unusual form of lycanthropy. I’ve known only two werewolves, but at least eight people who grew owl’s wings and talons at the new moon. Dozens of weremonkeys, too. But best not to dwell on them.

These unfortunates almost always learn of their plight at dawn, when they awaken in some unfamiliar outdoor locale – Stark naked!

I met Marie on a rooftop that way. She was still groggy, sated with innocent flesh, and slow to wake up.

Hi. Hello. Hello? Heh-lo.”

At last she discovered her nudity and woke with a gasp. I gallantly offered my coat, and took her downstairs to my condo. We first made love in the hall closet, where muddy boots took up a lot of room. Then we moved on to the kitchen, and finally the bed.

Marie doesn’t remember me. My curse is different from hers. Rather than agonizing metamorphosis into a mindless beast, I suffer from congenital anonymity.

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Have You Ever Heard of Hieronymus Warhol?

  • by jensluggish and contented
  • didn’t have bathtubs
  • He died in 1970
  • tooth and toenail
  • I’m vain and I’m lazy
  • put him at a cobbler’s bench

Have you ever heard of Hieronymus Warhol? He died in 1970, sluggish and contented, in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro where the inhabitants were so poor they didn’t have bathtubs. Or so rumor has it.

What really happened in Rio was that Warhol ran afoul of a politician by making unwanted advances at the man’s wife. Warhol was famous for saying, “I’m vain and I’m lazy,” so the politico had him kidnapped and put him at a cobbler’s bench where he was forced to make the lady in question a pair of stiletto heels using only tooth and toenail for tools.

In later years Warhol called it one of the most grueling and sexually satisfying ordeals of his life.

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Were He a Commoner

  • k-avatara bonny lord and a merry one
  • under the eyes
  • grinned involuntarily with appreciation
  • blue-gray eyes suddenly keen
  • would have been described as stocky

Were he a commoner, Smedley would have been described as stocky. But he was a bonny lord and a merry one, often at the same time, and so he was accounted robust of stature.

Smedley’s position at court afforded many luxuries. His special favorite was dancers, one in particular with many jingling bells and cymbals and tattoos under the eyes. When she swayed and twirled before him, Smedley grinned involuntarily with appreciation for her grace and flexibility, which a, shall we say, stocky personage might view in more frankly vulgar terms.

One gusty winter night a new dancer appeared before Smedley. He sat forward in his chair, blue-gray eyes suddenly keen. The newcomer’s feet were just as nimble, howsoever they might be clad in perplexing low boots that set up a clattering like hailstones with her every step. The cane and the straw hat confused Smedley most of all.

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It Wasn’t Long Before Bernard Fell Under Suspicion

  • by jenmass
  • punishments
  • suspicion

It wasn’t long before Bernard fell under suspicion. He attended mass with Father Mulcahey on the Sunday in question. He had a criminal past. His boots were found in the garbage can, caked with mud.

Bernard maintained his innocence, claiming the Father was just a good friend from way back. And as for his record, well he’d taken his punishments, paid his fees!

He couldn’t explain the boots though, and was quickly lynched by the angry mob.

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Francine’s Toes Hurt

  1. by jenCharacter – South American cannibal
  2. Setting – submarine
  3. Object – lucky rabbit’s foot
  4. Situation – new shoes today

Francine’s toes hurt. The new “sensible” shoes were worse than her old heels.

Stopping her pacing, Francine leaned against the wall of the submarine passageway and felt the faint vibration. They would be in Caracas soon.

Francine rubbed her lucky rabbit’s foot and thought about what it would be like to be reunited with Stanley after all this time.

The mix-up, last time, had been unbelievable but understandable. Stanley and Ngegue looked exactly the same. Still it was embarrassing to explain to both the Bridge Club and Stanley’s mother that she had mistaken a South American cannibal for her own husband.

No matter. Everything was about to be put right. Ngegue would go back to his tribe, Stanley and Francine would return to the State Department.

Francine wondered, though, whether Stanley would ever live up to Ngegue’s performance in the sack.

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Jerome Hung His Pompadoured Head in Shame

  1. by jenCharacter – Elvis impersonator
  2. Setting – prison
  3. Object – engagement ring
  4. Situation – unplanned amputation

Jerome hung his pompadoured head in shame. He was no longer fit to wear the spangly jumpsuit. He’d have to sell his collection of blue suede shoes to pay for his lawyer. It was either that or Lola’s pretty pink engagement ring, and he could never do that to her. Any woman who could overlook what he did was worth her weight in bacon. If only Lola’s mother hadn’t reached for the sandwich just as he was about to cut it…

Well, at least he’d get the chance to perfect his “Jailhouse Rock” dance routine. Hopefully the other inmates would be understanding.

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Weasel Stomping Boots

We all have our particular words that we tend to overuse. When writing in tandem with a partner, the weasel-word list can be twice as large.

In our partnership we have a system for keeping this issue under control. We have an actual list to work from and we use the software’s find function to track them down. Here’s the clever bit: we color-code them throughout the text so they jump out. That way we can skim through the manuscript watching for clumps. This is something we do together in real-time, so we can discuss whether to keep or stomp each weasel as we go. It would probably work out all right to divvy up the work, but we like the double-team approach for this particular aspect of the revision process.

Most of our weasels are qualifiers — almost, just, seem, appear, etc. — but we also use our color-coding technique to help us spot passive voice and repetitive sentence structures. It’s a great way of prompting yourself to really see how you’re using words, encouraging an analytical reading mode rather than getting drawn into your own story or glazing over because it’s all so familiar.

In our writing, and in work we review for our critique group, we have noticed a tendency to adopt pet words. These pets are generally not weasels (because who would want a pet weasel?), just regular words that get stuck in the writer’s head for whatever reason, and wind up on the page an inordinate number of times in a passage. BTW – “inordinate” was a pet word we encountered at one time.

With a writing partner, you have two sets of fingers creating the pet words, but you also have two sets of eyes and ears looking out for them. For us, that’s a beneficial trade-off.

What herd of weasels do you have to wrangle? How do you go after them?