Stanley Berpsmog spent a lot of time in his room to escape his mean older sister, seven year old Bertha. Not that his room was all that interesting. She had already broken all his toys she could get her hands on.
He lay on his stomach on his bottom sheet, having kicked all of the rest of his bedding to the floor. Now he threw his pillow on the floor too. He would have liked to punch someone.
But hmmm. His bottom sheet had an interesting hole in it about the size of red grape. He stuck his finger in the hole. It was warm. No, it was hot!
I’m sure you have some too. What are they?
Need more grammar practice? Here’s a site where you can get one-on-one instruction from a grammar expert.
Many of you wonder if you should have a professional editor. I recommend it! Here is one who I’ve worked with who is stellar.
You’ll love her.
Some phrases just roll off the tongue. I like “rolled oats” because of the long “O” in both words. In fact it inspired me to see if I could extend it. This is good practice for poets since the sounds of words in poetry is so important. Here’s mine. You try one too.
Lonesome Jones owns forty glorious rolled oat stores for those poor bores ordering s’mores.
I waltzed out of the local grocery store, pushing a cart full of bags and shoved them in the back of my Honda Fit. I slid into the driver’s seat and then huffed in annoyance. A folded flyer was stuck under the windshield wiper. I yanked open the door, balanced on my left leg, and reached around to pull the flyer loose. I unfolded it and read the large Times New Roman bold letters:
“The earth is shifting beneath you.”
For some reason this phrase evokes Thanksgivings as a kid when odd smelling grandparents and weird uncles came over for a big turkey dinner. It wouldn’t be long before one of them would scowl and say, “In MY day, we…” with a variety of endings. Perhaps they walked ten miles to school and back (barefoot) and thought I was a slacker because I was in a car pool. Perhaps they only had one or two books, and it infuriated them that I turned the corner of a page down to mark my place in my paperback. Or perhaps they thought my attempt to fling a pea off my spoon across the table into my sister’s big mouth would have brought on severe corporal punishment if they’d acted up at the table.
Times have changed. As we become the parents and then the grandparents (though I sincerely hope I do not smell odd), I can feel this phrase wanting to rise to my lips as I watch nephews, nieces, and grandchildren do the unthinkable.
“In MY day, we didn’t take phone calls during dinner, not to mention checking your cell phone and texting every two seconds.”
“In MY day, we had to go out in the cold weather and hang out in the back yard to sneak a joint instead of lighting up in the house.”
“In MY day, we only had one television, and if Pop wanted to watch football, we didn’t get to watch An Affair to Remember.”
How would you end that phrase, “In MY day, we…”?
Never-Never Land was where Peter Pan and the Lost Boys lived. Two stars on the right and straight on until morning.
I find myself using this phrase often as a place that doesn’t exist. (Example: Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen has been living in Never-Never Land.)
But what if we could create our own, preferred Never-Never Land? What would it be like? Yes, this is a tricky question. The more you think about it, the more details you give it, the less it holds together.
Even so, when times are tough, it would be nice to go to Never-Never Land. Take me to yours.