Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Words and Phrases for 2014

The Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary update their additions once a year. Their web pages will list more words that are not added formally to their printed editions.

Both the printed and the web pages are interesting for their choices. I am not a purist when it comes to languages. I use many slang terms. I also appreciate that the English languages, both American and British, change quickly mainly due to the internet and the number of people who use English to communicate either in a chat room or while conducting business. What I do not understand is how some of these words and phrases make it into a hard bound copy of a dictionary. Some seem like slang and a fleeting fantasy while others make sense and will stay in use in a quarter of century. I starred the words I think will disappear in a decade or less. What do you think?

CATFISH: 1. any of an order of chiefly freshwater stout-bodied scaleless bony fishes having long tactile barbels; *2. a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes
*CROWDFUNDING:  the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community

FRACKING: the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas)
*FREEGAN: an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources
*GAMIFICATION: the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation
HASHTAG: a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)
PHO: a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles
POUTINE: chiefly Canada; a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds
*TURDUCKEN: a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey

SMH: shaking my head negatively

*AMAZEBALLS: extremely good or impressive; amazing

*DOX or DOXX: publishing private or identifying information about a specific individual with  malicious intent

ACQUIHIRE: buying a company for the value of its staff and not for the product or service itself

CLICKBACK: content on the internet that draws attention to and thus visitors to a specific web page

*VAX: vaccination

*HUMBLEBRAG: ostensibly modest, self deprecating comment to draw attention one’s self or accomplishments

*HENCH: man who is physically fit

*ADORBS: cute, adorabable

*MANSPLAIN: man, usually, explaining to a woman, usually, something using a condescending manner

*LISTICLE: article on the internet that uses bullet point or numbers for emphasis or clarity

Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to Confuse Readers

While on a trip to Whistler and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada last week, I read several books. The one that interested me the most was Cheryl Strayed's autobiography Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Never have I been so full of conflict about a book. If I do not care for a book, I put it down. I did not care for this book but was challenged to find out why.

The writing was both bad and good. The main character had a few likable traits but mostly I did not care for her and her choices. She related parts of her life experiences, real or not, that were foreign and distasteful to me. I disliked her language and morals. I disliked her family. I found it hard to believe that she went on a 1,100 mile long trek along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) which runs from the Mexican border to Washington state, is rugged, and traverses through some serious wilderness areas. It was especially hard to read knowing it was written 17 years after she did the summer long hike. She based her recollections on her journal which she never mentioned writing.

I was not of the demographic for this book: young 20 year old somethings who were looking for  answers and adventure without actually working for either. So why did I read this long book? I kept hoping for a major change in the author because she finally took charge of her life instead of letting serendipity and dumb choices rule her life. Was she ever going to learn? And if so, what was she going to learn?

Most of the book was driven by her inability to accept the tragic death from cancer of her young mother, aged 45; Cheryl was in her early 20's when this happened. I am sure she was devastated but never possessed the skills or support system to be able to work through this challenge. She says she was able to understand it by the end of the hike. Hmm.

Strayed, an illogical made up legal name, took on a solo hike without any preparation except some wrong advice from a outfitters store and an old copy of someone else's experience hiking the PCT. She did not practice before hand, packed her back pack the night before she started the hike without knowing how to use many of the items she tried to carry. She had not broken in her hiking boots and was woefully unprepared for what life always hands you: unexpected often dangerous situations.

Again I wondered why I read this book. Strayed used metaphors poorly, left the reader hanging on some precipitous literary overhangs and with questions about the veracity of her sentences. BUT...she kept my interest through out. I kept expecting her daily struggles to be more interesting. I wanted her to learn some things along the way. I kept hoping for both. Instead, Stayed returned again and again to flashbacks to explain her present circumstances as if they were an excuse for her poor choices. Doing heroin for months on end, assessing every man for his potential for sex (should I ask him or will he ask me?), and marital and familial infidelity all were big events in her life. Unlike other readers, I did not mind the flashbacks as disabling to the concentration of the reader. She was able to move the story along seamlessly through them. Her days were monotonous with she wrote each line using the same description ad nauseum of how stinky and dirty she was, how her toenails were black and falling off and how often she laid in her tent at night wanting to read but not being able to. Yet I kept reading.

If I could understand the reasons for my reading this tome, I would write a best seller about an unsympathetic person who spends her days making poor choices and not bathing. It will be about a woman who professes to have read great literature but then has no intelligence to prepare to hike along miles of rugged desert territory. I will meet people along the way but distance myself from then because "I vont to be alone!" but never uses the time alone to think through her the reasons for her past choices or plan for a more stable future.

If we writers could let go of what we have learned about writing and try some absurd plot, maybe we too would be famous. Obviously there are points I did not understand about Strayed's writing. She has written several other successful books which I will not read.

I should have known I would not like this book when I realized it was an Oprah 2 book club choice. I never like the books Oprah chooses. This book is a national best seller and an about to be released movie starring Reese Witherspoon.

Have you read books you did not like and not because your book club was going to discuss them next week? Why did you do so? What compels us, especially writers who should know better, to read a book where we do not care for the main character or believe in the supposed veracity of the tale?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Murder Mystery Party: Update

by Jennifer Lamont Leo

For the last few months I've been writing my first audience-participation-style murder mystery. I thought you might be interested in getting an update on how it's going. (See previous posts here and here.

To recap, the event is a fund-raising dinner in support of a local history museum. We (I and my brainstorming museum friends) have set the mystery our town in the 1920s, featuring real characters from local history (like a schoolteacher, an actress, and a pair of sisters who owned a shop for ladies), mixed with characters that are purely fictional but represent "types" of the era--i.e., a train conductor, a journalist, a Pinkerton agent, etc.

In addition to a 13-member core cast, every audience member will be assigned a historical persona to portray. Since not every guest will be equally enthusiastic about playing "let's pretend," I've made these characters peripheral to the main story. If a guest is assigned to play, say, Oscar the German butcher, he may choose to come all decked out in a bloodstained apron with a thick accent straight from Bavaria, or he may completely ignore it. The choice is his and won't affect the main mystery one way or another (in my opinion, it will be infinitely more fun to play along--but, of course, I'm biased).

Here's how I and my crack team of brainstormers put this thing together. After deciding on the setting (time and place), we chose the crime--in this case a murder, but it could have been a theft or kidnapping or other evil deed. Next we decided on the victim, the perpetrator(s), the motive(s), and the method of dispatch.

Once we had the main story thread sketched out, we started sifting in false clues and red herrings. Who else in the cast of characters might have had a motive for killing this particular victim? What evidence could be found to make others look suspicious, but ultimately be found innocent? Most important (since we want the audience to actually be able to solve the crime), are there enough clues that an astute observer could figure out the solution, but not so many that the solution is obvious from the beginning?

While my team and I are working on the story (they're helping brainstorm, I'm doing the actual writing), others have been busily finding a venue, planning the food and decorations, and working out the evening's logistics.

This should be very fun! I'll continue keep you posted on our progress. If you have questions about the process, let me know in the comments. In the meantime, if you happen to find yourself in North Idaho on November 13, there could be a murder weapon with your name on it!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Put Down the Pen, Pick Up the Paintbrush: 4 Ways Making Christmas Cards Helped My Fiction Writing

With bleary eyes and aching head, I shut down the computer, thoroughly dissatisfied with the week's progress (or lack thereof) on my novel. Storyline snarls and a dulled creative spark had worn me down. My word count suffered as I deleted as many sentences than I'd written.

The impetus for hitting "save" and shutting down was that I was scheduled to head off on a weekend retreat at a nearby campground. The retreat would be focused on paper arts--rubber stamping, card-making, and scrapbooking.

Now, I'm no artist. The example above is, shall we say, primitive. But I do enjoy making my own Christmas cards by hand, and I'd planned to use my time at the retreat to get a jump-start on that rewarding but laborious process. After all, it's already September, and time's a-wasting. However, this time I wearily considered begging off. After the lack of writing progress I'd been experiencing, how could I justify taking two whole days off to work on my Christmas cards?  I needed to be writing, writing, writing. (cue crack of whip)

In the end, I chose to go to the retreat, and I'm so glad I did. Although I did not write a single word the entire weekend, I made more progress on my novel than I had in weeks. How could this be?

(1) Visual art stimulates writing creativity by exercising a non-verbal part of the brain. To give words, sentences, paragraphs, and grammar a rest and focus instead on color, shape, and perspective helped me change my own perspective. The various aspects of my brain, estranged for some time, managed to reconnect in fresh ways.

(2) Working with one's hands helps the ideas flow. Once I was more or less forced to concentrate on something other than solving some hairy plot tangle, my brain went ahead and solved it without me, as if saying, "Get out of my way and let me work."

(3) To clumsily paraphrase John Lennon, creativity is what happens when you're making other art. In other words, ideas sometimes flow when you switch to working in a different medium. "Frankly, getting out of your comfort zone creatively will often lead to your most creative solutions," wrote Stefan Mamaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield in Caffeine for the Creative Mind. 

(4) Spending quality time among other creative people: priceless. Writing is a solitary journey. As an introvert by nature, I usually don't mind the isolation. But to be among artists in full working mode was invaluable for "catching" the creative bug myself. Being among so many talented people for a whole weekend opened my mind to new connections, observations, and ways of seeing that I never would have stumbled across on my own.

So if you find yourself mired in writer's block, try picking up a paintbrush...or a camera, a pair of knitting needles, a bottle of glitter glue, a skein of embroidery floss . . .and make magic happen. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, September 19, 2014

An Introduction to Fabulous Idaho Writer - Joan Opyr

I just “discovered” a writer whose writing is funny and irreverent; thoughtful, provoking, and unique beyond belief … and she lives in Idaho. Joan Opyr is the author of three award-winning books, Idaho Code, From Hell to Breakfast, and Shaken and Stirred. In addition to her Idaho series, she is working on a “Southern family chicklit gothic,” completing nursing school, and raising a family.

Idaho Code Amazon Book Description
Idaho Code is a funny book about love, family, and the freedom you can find in a state that values individuality more than common sense.

Small-town Idaho, where everyone knows your business, is no place for a baby dyke to go looking for love. Especially when murder and homophobia are stalking the streets. For Wilhelmina “Bil” Hardy, trapped in the coils of her eccentric family and off-the-wall friends, neither the course of true love nor amateur sleuthing runs smooth. Mistaken identity, misunderstandings, and mysteries galore take Bil to places she’s never dreamed of visiting.

Quote from Shaken and Stirred
Sometimes, I think my story is about addiction and adultery. Other times, I think it’s about bad luck with the Avon lady. And not just one – one I could chalk up to chance. Two rotten Avon ladies feel more like a curse.
Interview with Australian author and writer, Jesse Blackadder
Q. If you were a book, what would it be and why? 
I wish I were Beowulf, but in fact I am Thud! By Terry Pratchett. Why? Because at the heart of that book is an abiding sense of the painful unfairness of the world combined with an obligation to make that world better. And it’s really, really funny. Plus, trolls, dwarves, a Nelson Mandela made out of diamonds, and a bitter, recovering alcoholic cop who keeps on trying.

Joan Opyr Biography– Bywater Books
Joan Opry was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, the daughter of a professional ballerina and a damn Yankee. She has a BA and MA from North Carolina State, finished the course work for a PhD at Ohio State, and is finishing a BS in Nursing at Lewis-Clark State College. Her goal is to be a middle-aged woman who can’t seem to settle. She is the author of three novels, each of which won a Golden Crown Literary Society Award. Two were Lambda finalists. Her most recent novel, Shaken and Stirred, won an Independent Publishing Award.

Her books, published by Bywater Books, are available on Amazon.
Maybe I’m more like an anthropologist — a funny anthropologist. It’s like Margaret Mead and E. F. Benson had a baby and then dropped her on her head. - Joan Opyr

Opyr Blog
Opyr also writes on her blog, The Hell You Say: Musings – okay, ranting – from the author of Idaho Code and From Hell to Breakfast. Her unique writer’s voice comes through loud and clear in her posts, which are crammed full of humor and wit and that ever-elusive item for most of those who write – quotable text. This is one author you need to check out ... she's fabulous ... and I'm not just prejudiced by the fact that she rides a motorcycle, although I hope to meet her some day on the road less traveled.    

The Writing Process or We Want the Funk
Post by Joan Opyr
June 9, 2014

I’ve been tagged by the fab and groovy Andi Marquette in a writing process blog hop. There are four questions. Here are my four (or more) answers.

Q. What are you working on?

Right now? The NCLEX. I just graduated from nursing school, and I sit for the boards later this month. I’m one of those writers who needs a day job, not only because writing has not thus far made me rich but because I need a lot of human interaction and excitement to feed my imagination. I can’t just shut myself up in a room and write. Some writers are like cerastium — they grow like mad in stony ground. I’m more like a rose bush. I require constant feeding, pruning, and spraying for aphids.

That said, I am working on a couple of projects. One is a third and final book in my Idaho series, a sequel to Idaho Code and From Hell to Breakfast, called, tentatively, Wish in One Hand. I feel that there’s more to be said about Bil and Sylvie and about the evolution of lesbian life in Idaho. I started work on Idaho Code in 1994. Twenty years have passed since then, and it’s been eight years since the book was published. We will soon have marriage equality here. Times have changed both in the state and in the nation since my characters were fighting anti-gay propositions like Proposition One. I’m not sure we even dreamt of same-sex marriage back then. It seemed amazing enough that we had Ellen or Ross’ ex-wife and her girlfriend on Friends.

My other project is Southern family chicklit Gothic. It’s about five sisters growing up in the Great Depression. There’s a major character in the novel who’s lesbian, but the book isn’t lesbian-focused. I’m not consciously trying for a crossover. I no longer care if my books are pigeonholed as lesfic; I write what I want to read. But this is a bigger story, I think, and I’m trying to get into the heads of characters with whom I don’t have a lot in common, apart from being Southern and a woman. I don’t have a title for this one yet. Perhaps Look Homeward, Hell’s Angel.

That was a joke, y’all.

Q. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

That’s a tricky one. My books are funny, but so are a lot of other books. I write funny mysteries, but that’s nothing new. I write funny dysfunctional families, but Amy and David Sedaris have raised the bar so high on that front that I hesitate to mention it. What’s more, the Sedaris siblings are, like me, from North Carolina. I think I hate them. They’re sucking up all of my oxygen.

Perhaps what distinguishes my writing is that my humor is broad but also weirdly erudite. Or maybe I mean dilettantish. I have a mind full of trivia. I began my educational career as a medievalist. My role model as a writer is Chaucer. I think my goal has always been to write a Canterbury Tales featuring gay people. As Chaucer may already have done that with The Pardoner, there might be nothing unique in this, either. Damn it.

Q. Why do you write what you do?

Because I want to read it. I write books for me, for my friends, for my family. I write books about people who interest me or make me laugh.

Q. How does your writing process work?

At the moment, it works like a 1968 Volkswagen with no heat, a broken gas gauge, and windows that won’t roll down. When I’m in the groove, it purrs along like that Maserati in Joe Walsh's Life's Been Good. I’m either feast or famine. When I write, I write. I sit down and type until the story is out. I wrote my third novel, Shaken and Stirred, in two weeks — meaning the first draft, that is. I spent another year editing it. I’ve heard many times that the art of writing is in the editing, but unless you’ve got a draft to work with, art is not possible. If I can just get it out, I know I can get it right. Well, nearly right. I’m never entirely happy with the finished product. I think if I were, I’d stop. No more books. Time to lie down and die.

Need more specifics? I do write to music. In fact, I make up a soundtrack that I think will suit the mood of the story. Once I have my main characters, I put together five or six hours of music that I think they’d enjoy. Sometimes, certain songs or pieces of music appear multiple times. Back in 1994, when I was working on Idaho Code, I made mix tapes using CDs and a dual cassette deck. And so now you know that I am 105.

What else? I eavesdrop. I go to the mall, to Jiffy Lube, to my doctor’s waiting room, and I listen. I don't record, even though my iPhone would let me do that. I take notes. I listen for patterns of speech, figures of speech, idiosyncrasies of expression and, always, funny stories. People are so interesting, especially when they have no idea they’re being observed. I want to say that I feel like Jane Goodall, but someone might get the idea that I think of other people as chimps, and that’s not right. That is deeply wrong. Most of the time. Maybe I’m more like an anthropologist — a funny anthropologist. It’s like Margaret Mead and E. F. Benson had a baby and then dropped her on her head.

One final confession: Moleskines and fountain pens. I compose on a computer, but I take my notes in Moleskines and I write with a Parker Vector fountain pen in blue-black ink. It’s a habit, it’s a superstition, it helps get me in the mood. Some writers drink. Others sleep around.  I like beautiful notebooks and smooth pens. I’m a writer with a happy liver and a happy marriage.

"Hilarious Spoof" doesn't begin to cover it
From Hell to Breakfast Amazon Book Review
by Jill Kuraitis

This masterpiece in the genre of Small-town Lesbian Ranch Vietnamese Pawnshop Murder Mysteries is even funnier than Opyr's first book, Idaho Code.

Hang onto a notebook to keep track of the wonderful characters and their various nicknames, be ready for coffee-spitting while you read, and consider reading it aloud to someone - it's even funnier that way, especially if you can do accents.

The descriptions and characters are so vivid you will being seeing it as a movie by the end of the first chapter.  Good book!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Writing Inspiration from Turkeys and Other Living Things

In a recent post, "Freelancers: Where do you get your ideas?" fellow blogger Jennifer Lamont Leo listed suggestions for finding writing inspiration. I'm lucky in that ideas come running down the long, curving driveway to my house each morning ... my turkeys.  I just watched a squirrel play with one young family of turkeys.  The squirrel scared the younger ones and enjoyed making them run, chasing one after another.  But the tables turned and the mature turkeys put him on the run.

 Watching nature at play in my front yard on a beautiful September morning.  What fun!  Then I remembered that turkey hunting season is another September tradition ... a tradition of which I am not fond.  I wrote the following column for The Spokesman Review in October of 2007.  I hope you enjoy reading about my feathered friends and recognize the natural writing opportunities that surround you no matter where you live.

North Idaho Garden Art

I prefer my turkey alive and well, thank you.

Where did all the turkeys come from this year?  It seems like North Idaho, from the Canadian border to the Palouse, is being overrun. All summer we have had to dodge slow-moving groups of turkeys on the road in front of our house. They are everywhere. A small flock slowed me down when I went to visit a friend on the other side of the mountain recently, and we’ve seen dozens of turkeys alongside the roads and in the woods during our summer rides.

For years, we’ve enjoyed our feathered visitors, but this year they have become a nuisance. Flocks of 10 to 50 turkeys visit our house several times a day, slowly pecking their way across our yard, leaving little presents in the grass, and nesting in my garden.

So, when I heard it was hunting season, I thought, “Thank goodness!” And, I understood when the Idaho Department of Fish and Game responded to reports of high turkey populations and earlier landowner complaints, by extending the length of turkey hunting season this year and increasing the limit from two to five, with properly purchased “special unit” turkey tags.

But then I saw how serious these hunters were. They geared up for opening day on Sept. 15. They sighted in their guns, stocked up on ammunition, and bought those extra tags. They scoped out their area, double-checked their licenses, and gassed up their rigs. There were legions of them – all heading for the hills (my hill) in their camouflage-colored shirts, pants, jackets, bib overalls, boots, hats, and gloves. Some are just readying themselves for their big game hunts by taking out a few turkeys, while others are avid bird hunters.

With great hearing, amazing eyesight, and a 270-degree range of vision, turkeys aren’t easy targets. But they are vulnerable if they run into any of these gun-toting enthusiasts. They even have to watch out for bow hunters. These guys arm themselves with compound bows (often camo, of course), and
barbed arrows that would scare the turkeys to death if they just saw the lethal-looking things, let alone got shot by one of them.

That started me thinking about my turkeys. I find their awkward gait endearing as they run down our driveway, and their calls keep me company while I garden. I like to watch a stately group of nine toms I call the “Graybeards,” and I’ve enjoyed watching one harried hen carefully herd her babies around all summer.

The other day, my husband had to shoo one curious gobbler out of his shop, and not too long ago we spotted a turkey in an apple tree just about 20 feet from our house. Turkeys are thought to be dumb, but this turkey balanced shakily on a small branch, then pecked at apples until he made them fall ... to the waiting turkeys below, who, well, gobbled them up.

Then I started thinking about all turkeys.

Did you know they have scouts: dependable, loyal turkeys who watch for trouble while the others eat? Did you know they sleep in trees at night, or can fly up to 55 miles per hour for short distances?
In fact, they are quite amazing birds. Did you know they can run up to 25 mph? It makes me wonder how the one with the crippled foot seems to keep up with the others – do they wait for him? Then there’s that brilliant one that fed the others – what about him? He must be a turkey genius – maybe a turkey Einstein. 

Just thinking about him made me realize, I don’t think it’s fair that hunters sit quietly in a turkey blind and use turkey calls to call in an intelligent bird like this, or any other unsuspecting family of turkeys, just out for an evening stroll. I don’t think it’s fair there are hunters out there, just waiting for the chance to kill my favorite North Idaho gobblers.

So, I guess I don’t really mind dodging those turkeys in the road, or those droppings in my front yard, after all. And to all you hunters out there, please don’t shoot my turkeys.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cliches Are Good for the Soul

Cliche: a phrase, word, or idea, that has lost its original effectiveness or power from overuse.
I know, I know, every writing expert admonishes writers NOT to use cliches. They are said to be the mark of a lazy writer. They are characteristic of inexperienced and/or unoriginal writers.

Well, I may not be a writing expert, but I am a reading expert and I've discovered that I'm as happy as a clam when I read a cliche every now and then. For me, they're as comfortable as an old shoe and as welcome as an old friend.

I find them to be deceptively simple, instantly recognizable phrases that are usually the most economical way to say what needs to be said. They add clarity, depth, and a little bit of charm to the words I read.

Why should writers be asked to waste time reinventing the wheel? Why spend hours searching for the perfect, witty words to say something when somebody came up with the perfect, witty way to say it eons ago?

For heaven's sake, these phrases have stood the test of time and proven they are the cream of the crop. Can you even imagine writing a phrase so perfectly constructed that it becomes common usage? I can't.

Isn't this discrimination? There are as many quotes in today's literature as there are Chins in a Chinese phone book, but you never hear of them making critics foam at the mouth like they do when they encounter a cliche.

Writers use quotes to give depth and reinforcement to their work, just like cliches. It's like the pot calling the kettle black, and I don't get the difference. Quotes are just cliches with acknowledgements. Maybe if I start enclosing my cliches with quotation marks, they won't rub my critics the wrong way.

And that's not all. There are proverbs, sayings, witticisms, anecdotes, and euphemisms. None of them seem to drive the experts nuts like cliches do. It's discrimination, any way you look at it.

Searching online I noticed one expert article after another entitled, "Avoiding Cliches Like the Plague." What the heck? It's okay for them, but not for us? I did, however, find one particularly witty cliche-critic who did practice what he preached. His title? "Avoid Cliches Like Erectile Dysfunction." Really?  How far does one have to go to create a catchy new phrase?

Despite all the negative hype, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for those of us who admire the familiar brevity of a cliche. Banding together on the Internet, cliche lovers offer a scintilla of hope that cliches might one day become a tad more welcome than a skunk at a yard party.

Cliche: Little facets of the truth.  
One of those cliche-admirers, Steve Lautenschlager, began an online list of cliches, which he called "...little facets of the truth." As his list of cliches grew, he discovered that "other people were oddly, strangely, obsessively, perversely, intrigued by cliches as well."

Glad to know I'm not alone.

If you are looking for a cliche (for whatever nefarious reason) be sure to browse through these websites:

My favorite cliche: as happy as a clam. (Just makes me feel good.)

My least favorite cliche:  no-brainer. (Because it's DUMB. Even thinking it's a no-brainer takes a brain.)

Favorite cliche quote: Not all my cliches are original. - Football Coach Chuck Knox

CHALLENGE: How many cliches in the above post? Do you have a favorite cliche? Least favorite?

DEDICATION: The above post is dedicated to Jennifer Lamont Leo, who strives to understand my addiction, but who is also rumored to be planning a cliche intervention for me.

NOTE: This is an updated repost from 2/14/2011.