Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time Out For a Little Fun

Mid-month seems like a good time to stop and have some fun here at The Blood-Red Pencil. First for today are some recent comic strips that made me laugh, or made me think, or both.

From One Big Happy: Nick and Rose, Ruthie's grandparents, are sitting on the couch watching TV. Nick asks, "What channel is this?"

"A & E, Arts and Entertainment."

Nick adjusts his glasses as if he can't believe what he is seeing. "For the past hour we've been watching a deranged woman living in a cluttered, rat-infested house."

Then he turns to Rose and asks, "So, is this art or entertainment?"

Of course she has no answer.

This one from Zits was cute: Jeremy is at school and at 10a.m. he has a history test. "Easy," he thinks.

At 1p.m. he has a calculus quiz which he considers "No sweat."

His 2:45 English test is a "Piece of cake."

At 4p.m. he meets his girlfriend, Sara, who has a "How well do you know your girlfriend quiz" for him to take.

"I'm toast."
Think he enjoyed the jokes?
 Now some observations on the writing life

"With sixty staring me in the face, I have developed inflammation of the sentence structure and definite hardening of the paragraphs." James Thurber

"The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Mark Twain 

"To be able to write a play a man must be sensitive, imaginative, naive, gullible, passionate; he must be something of an imbecile, something of a poet, something of a liar, something of a damn fool." Robert E. Sherwood 

"A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction."  William Faulkner 

"I write to escape ... to escape poverty." Edgar Rice Burroughs 

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing." Kingsley Amis  

Did any of these quotes resonate with you? I did like the last one, although I don't like to annoy as much as I like to challenge.

Maryann Miller is a novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her latest release is Stalking Season, the second book in the Seasons Series. The first book, Open Season, is available as an e-book for all devices. To check out 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. Sometimes she plays on stage, but she does avoid computer games as much as possible.


  1. I like Mark Twain's quote. And I love Zits.

  2. Zits is one of my favorites, too. I raised three sons, so I can relate to the antics of teenage boys.

  3. Mark Twain's comment comparing the difference in word choices with lightning and lightning bugs resonated with me, too. Without looking at either the schedule or the signature at the end, I knew by the third sentence that you had written this piece, Maryann. Very nice — and a great way to start the morning. :-)

  4. Except for the poet thing, it appears that I am eminently qualified to be a playwright.

  5. I've always been partial to the Faulkner one. Or, as we always say, "Fiction writers lie for a living."

  6. James Thurber all over again here. LOL.

  7. Linda, does that mean that I have effectively branded myself as the humor person here? (smile) Actually, Elspeth does a first rate job with the humor, too.

    Christopher, I'm a playwright, but I have not considered myself a damn fool.

    Dani and Bob, I actually related to a lot of those quotes. Maybe I'm not branded after all. (smile)

  8. Maryann, thanks for the giggles! Not so sure Burroughs' quote is relevant anymore. I'm sure he never would have blogged and written online content for free, or accepted lowering advances!

  9. Good thing I just had lunch, or those first jokes would have made me hungry!

    Morgan Mandel


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. If a glitch is preventing you from commenting, visit our Facebook page and drop your wise words there: Blood-Red Pencil on Facebook