“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
I like lunch. I don’t officially eat lunch, but Mom does. And once in a while she shares it with me. I’m not allowed to beg, but sometimes (every single day), that rule accidentally gets broken and Mom says the word, “No human food” just before she gives me a tiny taste.
I do not believe there is a huge difference between human food and dog food. Yummy and delicious is yummy and delicious, no matter what the container looks like.
Mom likes to use “short, easy words” just like Winnie the Pooh. And most of the time, that’s exactly what she uses when she writes stories AND when she talks to me. She says, “Sit” not “Ensconce yourself”
and “Down” not “Move towards a lower position”
and “Fetch” not “Pick up and deliver.” I understand these small words and they do the job well…. except when they don’t.
In stories, it’s not about the size of the word. It’s more about what the word really says and whether the word needs help from another word to say what it needs to say. This is especially true with verbs, which I think are something like burps. Better to say, “Trudge” than “Walk slowly with head down” and better to say, “Chomp” than “Eat quickly and noisily” and better to say, “Whisper” than “Speak softly in hushed tones.”
So in an effort to keep things short and precise, I would like to say, “Gimme some!”
Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. He would’ve been 109 years old. He is the Best Doctor Ever on account of no needles, no looking into ears with a flashlight, no sticks stuck into forbidden places, and no touching of my bits and pieces.
Waiting for the Doctor. Hoping for the Best.
Mom also loves Dr. Seuss for a million other reasons – his wild imagination, his silly rhyming, his crazy stories, and the fact that his first book was rejected 27 times before anybody said they liked it. Misery loves company.
Mom’s #1 favorite Dr. Seuss book is The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins from 1938.
Normally, Mom and I steer clear of anything that smacks of numbers, but counting those hats is so much fun and so suspenseful that we can’t resist it. Also, a hundred years ago, Mom’s 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson read that story to her class and Mom and her friends giggled and counted and were afraid for poor little Bartholomew not being able to take his hat off for the king.
As of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Mom is up to date on her 12×12 Challenge. She has written 2 new stories in the past 2 months. Now it’s a new month and time to start a new story.
In which direction should she go?
Direction? Up, of course.
King of the Hill of Filth
What will be original?
Original? It doesn’t get any more original than an old dog learning a new trick.
Who will step out of her list of character ideas?
Character? This one.
Or this one.
Or this one.
How will she make the story sparkle?
Sparkle? With a tiara, of course.
Am I sparkling, yet?
Stories need a lot of talking. Mom calls it Die-A-Log. That word makes no sense to me. I understand Bite-A-Log and Trip-Over-A-Log. I do that a lot. But Die-A-Log is puzzling. Even Dye-A-Log seems colorful, but silly. But Mom likes it and she puts lots of it in her stories.
Today, she decided to put more action in between the Die-A-Log. She said, “Talking is good, but too much talking is bad.” and “What we need here is some action!”
ACTION?! That’s my specialty! So I jumped on the chair, slid across the floor, flipped the rug over, bounced on the couch, pushed a pillow onto the floor, crashed into the door, shook my stuffed fish, leapt over my bed, and somehow ended up tangled in the table legs.
Mom said, “Can’t you sit still for five minutes?”
What happened to less talk / more action? Huh?
Just in case, I’ll have my action face ready.