Writing Exercises

Thoughts on Common Metaphors, Similes & Idioms (Not to be confused with common idiots.)

I should be more specific. These are in fact, my thoughts, on common metaphors. In an effort to filter my at times unrequested thoughts and opinions on matters at hand, I have grown accustomed to having conversations with myself. First, I have a thought and then, I respond to my thought. Typically in agreement with my original thought, but at times I debate the alternative, or play the devil’s advocate as they say.

The Devil’s advocate? Why is it that an opposing view to the original point of view is so easily associated with the Devil himself (or herself, however you choose to see it)?

In out lining potential chapters for a book that I am writing, I sat thinking of catchy titles for each chapter. Wanting to not only use phrases that would fit the subject matter that would fill the pages but would also resonate with the reader and draw them in. One that kept sticking out to me was, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree. Quite frankly, it often does. Literally and figuratively speaking. When an apple falls out of a tree it is prone to roll or bounce on the ground in any direction, which could potentially take it far from the tree. Figuratively as the metaphor is truly meant for, I can think of multiple instances in my life alone where I would say the apples fell far, very far from the tree. I have known children raised in day-to-day dysfunction who grew up and found a way to not only be successful, but organized, on time, and high functioning in almost every aspect of life. I have also known first hand, individuals that had wonderful and only slightly dysfunctional (because let’s be honest we all have some degree of dysfunction in our family) upbringings who have turned out to be abusive, narcissistic, dictators unlike anyone in their family. They are more like the rotten apple that grew on a kumquat tree. All of the kumquat are sitting back wondering how in the heck that apple began to grow on their tree. I could go on, and name names, personal and celebrity to prove my point, but I won’t. You know who you are.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? Other than Mary Poppins I don’t know anyone whose mother or care giver handed them a spoonful of sugar when forcing them to take castor oil, cough syrup, or any other prescribed meds that we were forced to take when we were sick. Have you tasted fish oil? Just a tablespoon a day helps reduce your chance of cancer, reduce anxiety, depression and increase brain and heart function. No amount of sugar is helping the gawd-awful stench and taste of fish oil leave your mouth, not before and not after. Mix it into your morning yogurt or smoothie. What? And destroy my love of perfectly delicious foods that will hereafter taste like fish oil when I have them for breakfast. By the way, none of the claims for the benefits fish oil have actually been verified.

You made your bed, lay in it? First of all who lays in their bed after they have just made it? You take the time and effort to get the sheets smooth and straight, then you fold the corners at just the right angle like mom taught you to do. The last thing you are going to do after completing that is jump in and mess it up! What people are actually saying is that you created this mess, now  you get to live through it. What they should say is, You wet your bed, now go lay in it. Wouldn’t that be more accurate?

A stitch in time, saves nine. I imagine if I google that I will find the meaning. I think a cliché, or saying should stand for itself. If I am going to use it on the regular then when I say it, I and the recipient should be able to make sense out of the meaning straight away. A penny spent from a dime, saves nine. Now that I would understand. If I spend less than what I have then I am actually saving more than I am spending.

Slippery as a snake. Anyone who says this has never touched a snake. Now mind you, I have not touched all breeds of snakes in the world and thus may be mistaken, but the snakes I have touched are anything but slippery. Snake skin is smooth or scaly, rough more so than soft and typically dry. I suppose snakes that live in the rain forest or tropics are at times wet. I have not, as of yet, felt a slippery or slimy snake. Sneaky as a snake, now that would make more sense to me, as I believe snakes tend to slither upon the ground quietly in an effort to not be heard nor seen. That way they are able to sneak up on their prey and take them quite literally by surprise and then swallow them whole.

Like taking candy from a baby. Okay, who made that up? Taking candy from a baby is anything but easy. And yet, when used the speaker is referring to how easily something was done. Not only is taking candy from a baby not easy it also isn’t enjoyable. No sooner have you taken the candy and said baby erupts in a loud fit which includes, wailing, shreeking and other annoying vocalizations of their displeasure. If you find it fun, well than you my friend are sick.

I could care less, this one I have always said wrong, er I mean correctly. If I could care less, than I am quite possibly caring too much about whatever it is I want you to think I do not really care all that much about. And what am I doing caring what you or anyone else thinks about whatever it is in which I do or do not care all that much about? I should simply speak my peace, my mind about whether or not I like, love or hate it and let that be that. You may think whatever you like, I couldn’t care less.

I imagine there are more, but my eyes and my brain are tired. Sleep is calling me and my bed yells all the louder. And so, I say good-night to you and to me.



Writing For The Moment

Thought Recording Devices. Squirrel.

If only I had a recording device in my brain. I suppose one could argue the point that is exactly what a memory is for. I would then need to admit that my memory fails me time and time again. You see, I write the most amazing articulate speeches in my head. I respond to questions that have been raised or that I imagine will be raised with well thought poignant answers. I write chapter after chapter of my personal memoir in detail. Even editing the language and grammar as I go along. There is but one problem. All of this writing happens in the most inopportune places. Places like while I am out on a long walk through the woods, driving around on errands, as a passenger on a long road trip, or while in the shower no-pooing my hair. As I am writing in my head I find myself thinking that these thoughts are fleeting. Although they are good, well written indeed, by the time I get to the place wherein which I could actually write or type them out they will be gone. If I am lucky the idea will remain, but the words will be lost.

I imagine there will be a day in the not so distant future where what I need will be available. At a cost. On the one hand it would certainly require some kind of surgery to implant the recording device. Then you would need the service that would transfer the data from the device to a computer or most likely a cloud service somewhere. Both of which would cost money. On the other hand there are those that would fear the other potential cost would be even greater. Implanting a device such as this could potentially open a person up to the possibility of their thoughts being monitored by someone else. Be that a hacker or the government. Big brother is always watching, they say.

Having my speeches, writings, and ideas recorded while I am out and about would be very helpful indeed. Having every thought that I think recorded and potentially available to others, well that is unnerving at best and bit scary at worst. That’s not to say I have terrible and disturbing thoughts. Come on though, who hasn’t had a bad thought or two here and there? That moment when your not-so-sweet and not so innocent child has torn through your presentation rendering it illegible and unrecognizable. That time when your dog decided your prototype was a snack. Imagine the poop pick up that will entail. Or how about that moment when your spouse, partner, significant other said something the peeved you. Or that one day when you were standing in line at the bank waiting for your turn at the teller and a well thought out plan of how you would rob a bank began flooding your mind. It could happen.

I have tried the many suggestions that have been offered as a solution to my problem. Keeping a note pad and pen next to my bed, the shower, in my car among other places. I have had a tape recording device or two and have even recorded a few thoughts on to one when it happened to be near me at the exact time I began to write in my thoughts. that device sits on my dresser tape still installed with dead batteries. The thoughts on it have yet to be heard. There was even a time that I downloaded an app on my phone where I could record things to be played back later. There it sat on my phone unused for such a great length of time that I finally uninstalled it in an effort to free up storage space. Maybe that is my problem! Maybe the problem isn’t that I need a recording device imbedded in my brain. Maybe I need to free up storage space so that I can better store and then recall the information!

And so I sit here typing away these thoughts in an effort to free up storage space. While I was out on my walk/jog this morning I wrote quite a bit actually. I wrote a response to an email that I received from my sister. I wrote the title, tag line and intro to a book idea I have about a wonderful vacation spot that our family visits on a very regular basis. I wrote a text to my daughter, well that one I actually remembered and sent when I got home. I wrote a post for Facebook to caption a photo that I planned on taking at the end of my walk. And in some ways I wrote or at least started to write this blog article. The big stuff, the email and the book are lost somewhere in my mind or in the part of my memory that gets defragmented to free up space for other things more present. There are bits and pieces still there. I could likely recall at least some of it if I focused. If I tried. This blog post was but a squirrel…….