Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Time Out For Some Fun

We're starting a new year and looking for new opportunities for fun. Between the Yoga links from Dani, and the humor from Elspeth, as well as my humble offerings, we are doing our part here at The Blood-Red Pencil to help you stay healthy and relieve stress. When I read the following from humor writer, Slim Randles, I couldn't help but think of those few writers who have a penchant for using such big words we have to read with the book in one hand and a dictionary in the other. I really don't think that is the way to win over readers. Just saying...

“I can’t stand winter,” said Herb Collins, who had dropped in at the Mule Barn’s philosophy counter for a quick cup. “There’s nothing to do.”

"Get out and enjoy it,” suggested Doc. “Go skiing. Go ice fishing. Build a snowman. Do something. Then you’ll feel better.”
 “I don’t think your advice will take,” said Dud. “Herb seems to be intransigent on this one.”

We all looked at Dud.

“You see, he said he couldn’t stand winter,” Dud continued, “which shows he has a proclivity for intransigence on that particular subject.”

We looked at him some more.

“If he were to take up a winter hobby,” he continued, “he could stop being intransigent and enjoy things more.”

Even Herb was staring at him now.

“I usually,” said Herb, “enjoy a proclivity in that direction, but winter is pretty boring, so maybe I really should be intransigent on this point.”

“Well Herb,” said Dud, “even though you might have a proclivity this season for being intransigent on your attitude about winter, you could kinda ease up and consider a hobby. That way you’d be showing a proclivity for transigence.”

“Transigence?” said Doc. “I thought those were people who lived under bridges. You might want to look that one up, Dud.”

Dud blushed as we laughed.

“Say Dud?” said Steve, the cowboy. “Wasn’t proclivity last month’s word?”

“Yes,” said Dud, “and I believe I’ve used it a couple of dozen times already.”

“And now this month’s word is intransigence, right?”

Dud nodded.

“Well then,” said Doc, “it looks like you are going to have a proclivity for saying intransigence this month. That’s a veritable plethora of proclivity my friend.”

Dud pulled out a pencil and grabbed a napkin.

“How do you spell it, Doc?”

“Spell what?”


We just groaned. Sometimes education can be ugly.

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, Home Country, and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press.

Posted by Maryann Miller - novelist, screenwriter, editor and sometimes actress. Her most recent mysteries are Doubletake and Boxes For Beds, both available for Kindle and in paper.  Stalking Season is the second book in the Seasons Mystery Series, hardback and digital, along with Open Season, the first book in the series. For her editing rates, visit her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas. 


  1. Yep, when you move beyond two syllables, I'm usually left scratching the ol' coconut ... wait, aren't there some three syllables words in there? Obviously, I don't know what I'm talking about.

    1. Just take a deep breath, Christopher and all those 3-syllable words will go away. LOL

  2. I am intransigent in my hatred of winter. I am a tropical flower stuck in a temperate zone.

    1. I'm with you Diana, although I don't hate winter if there is some snow to play in. I just hate the winters in TX that involve lots of wind, sometimes some ice, and very little snow in which to play. If it's cold, you should at least be able to build a snowman, right?

  3. I couldn't help but to eye Dud with his big words, too. LOL

    1. I'm sure you would like to have him in one of your writing classes, Shon. You'd teach him not to use those big words. :-)

  4. "plethora of proclivity" Try that one three times fast Dud.

    1. I think Dud is one of those slow-talking cowboys, LD. If not, his tongue would turn into a pretzel if he tried to say those big words fast.

  5. How funny! I'm all for building the snowman, Maryann. Hopefully, that doesn't give me a proclivity for intransigence -- which sounds like a disease, by the way. :-)

    1. You're right, Linda. It does sound like a disease. I love building snowmen and flying kites.

  6. I have a proclivity for using certain words quite often, but you'd ban me from the blog if I used them.

    1. LOL, Polly. I let my protagonist use those words on paper.

  7. I'm not very keen on outdoor activity in the winter, anymore, but that's because it's been either too cold or too slippery lately. However, when the sidewalks are negotiable, and the air is not below zero, I do enjoy going on walks with my dog.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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