I Said No to Hemingway

mow-book-launch-003-4

 

 

 

Posted by Kathy Waller

 

Last weekend, I wrote a post about cows. It ran to over 1100 words, and I hadn’t covered even half of the cows I’d planned to. Furthermore, it was silly. I scrapped it.

Coy © David David

“Coy” © David David

Today I started a post in which I intended to compare a book by artist-author Shel Silverstein to the novels of Katherine Paterson. The first part–the Shel Silverstein part–ran to over 1300 words, and there were more to come.

That posed a problem, as most of the piece was to be about Katherine Paterson.  I liked what I’d written, and so would other English majors, some of them, maybe, but most people aren’t English majors. They find literary criticism tedious. So I scrapped it.

 

© David Davis

“Lmao” © David Davis

 

© David Davis

© David Davis

Then I thought about writing a brief post about symbolism, drawing from the novels and stories of Ernest Hemingway. It was going to be lighthearted and self-effacing–because symbolism is my least favorite literary device, owing to the fact that I rarely know it when I see it.

In my head, the post sounded both interesting and amusing. But before I could put fingers to keys, it began to sound like it could run to another thousand words or more. I’m glad I realized that before I wrote. Scrapping three posts, even justified scrapping, would hurt.

© David Davis

© David Davis

So here I am with no post. I’ll be traveling the next few days and want to get my post written and ready to go online before leaving. So I’m grabbing the next topic in the pile–Alien Life Forms on Earth.

Although NASA hasn’t officially admitted this, reliable sources within the organization swear that these beings not only visit Earth, but actually come here for rest and relaxation. Most gather at Alien Resort, “a favorite vacation spot known throughout the universe.” At the request of my husband, CEO (I guess that’s what he is) of Alien Resort, I’ve drawn pictures of some of the extraterrestrial visitors.

© David Davis

© David Davis

At first, I was reluctant to do the portraits. I used to produce marginally acceptable work using oils and acrylics, but give me a pencil and I’ll make a mess. MS Paint, however, is a miracle worker. My husband asked for two or three aliens, and I’ve already emailed him thirty-one.

The key to my success, I believe, is that I don’t care what the finished product looks like. I don’t have to care. Those puppies look like what I say they look like. 

Anyway, I’m posting some of the portraits. My husband gave me permission to use them. The aliens didn’t, but I doubt that will be an issue. As I understand it, they consider blogging passé and so will probably never see their likenesses here.

The first alien pictured–its name is Coy–and the second, Lmao, have already made their debuts at Alien Resort. The others might be introduced later, depending on which ones the CEO chooses to put before the public.

Now. Wasn’t this better than literary criticism?

 

 

© David Davis

© David Davis

See what the denizens of Alien Resort say to one another when they think we’re not listening at https://alienresort.net/cartoon-gallery/.

*

I’m home from my travels, so everything above set in present or future tense has now shifted to past.

*

Author’s Notes:

1. The resemblance of any of the aliens pictured here to spiders, bugs, dinosaurs, penguins, snakes, a coil of ribbon, a certain mouse, or anything else un-extraterrestrial is purely in the eye of the beholder.

2. I didn’t really scrap-scrap the pieces about Shel Silverstein and cows. I scrapped the plans to post them. I’m not about to scrap more than 2000 words of anything.

3. Speaking of cows, here are a blog and a Facebook page you might like to check out: Every Day I See a Cow (blog) and Every Day I See a Cow (Facebook).

*

© David Davis

© David Davis

Kathy Waller writes crime fiction and whatever else she has a mind to. She has published stories in Austin Mystery Writers’ anthology MURDER ON WHEELS and at Mysterical-E. She blogs at Telling the Truth, Mainly, and at Austin Mystery Writers, and edits the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter news blog. At present she is as mad as all get-out because the first thousand words of a story she’s working on disappeared from a certain cloud thingie and doesn’t look like it’s coming back.

 

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27 Responses to I Said No to Hemingway

  1. As usual, I enjoyed your writing about cows or whatever as well as seeing
    David’s Aliens. When I write about English major stuff, nobody knows what I am talking about. Watching the PBS thing about comedy, I realized I am too out of fashion to be able to communicate to today.%$$#&&$^$%?>@#!_)(&%$^&$%^”?&%$#%#%$

    Like

    • kathywaller says:

      I can’t communicate with today either. I don’t know what they know, and they don’t know what I know. I’m thankful for the former students who are almost as old as I am and know a bit of what I’m talking about, or are polite enough to pretend they do. Thanks much for commenting.

      Like

  2. Now I’m at a loss for words. What do I say to such a post except hmm, interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neva Bodin says:

    That was a highly amusing post. As far as alien rights or copyrights, I wonder what an alien lawyer would look like! Thanks for a fun read and a smile on my face.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Doris says:

    I’m still grinning widely, and that’s not a good thing when you are at work. *GRIN* Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Staton says:

    Some days I don’t allow myself to laugh. Today wasn’t one of them. Have to admit… I took aliens very seriously in junior high. I even did a speech about them in 8th grade English. Fellow students especially liked the bit about alien flying saucers flying over Dum-Dum Airport (in India, I think). Just north of Vegas is the Area 51 air base… lots of alien sightings around that place. I’ve thought about doing the tour, but I don’t want to take a chance of getting kidnapped by aliens. That’s their favorite past time, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • kathywaller says:

      Thanks for commenting, Mike. I read a book about aliens when I was a freshman in high school and thought about doing my research paper for English on the topic but decided references would be hard to find. If I’d had the Internet, I might have been able bring in an alien for extra credit, or at least a video from Youtube. My husband and I went to Cosmic Con at Roswell, NM, a few years ago for a screening of his short-short-short video about an alien landing (one of our cats walked up and examined the camera, thus providing a new and funnier ending–aliens got scared and decided not to land). We heard a panel there in which a journalist said he believed the men who said they found the alien, because those ranchers out there are pretty matter-of-fact and don’t dream up stories that will make them the objects of ridicule. I wanted to take the tour, but, like you I was concerned about being kidnapped. For thirty years, the international headquarters of MUFON was in a small city about ten miles from where I worked. When I stumbled across that info, I wanted to have the founder speak at my library but the board wasn’t too keen on it. (Have you ever wondered why the alien-kidnappers want us? I would go for something more interesting.)

      Like

  6. Wranglers says:

    You are so funny. Beautiful Aliens and great jokes. Thanks for the smile. I was just thinking, if I could get to the laptop fast enough, before my mood changes from my writing mood, I could write something. Lol Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    • kathywaller says:

      Thanks, Cherley. I know what you mean about the writing mood. They say, “Just show up at the page” and words will eventually pour out. When I’m in the wrong mood, what pours out is terrible, like English major stuff. More scrapping.

      Like

  7. Loved the drawings and the post. Very clever and amusing and yes, anything about aliens is much better than an analysis of literary symbolism. 🙂 But definitely bring back the post on cows one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gayle Irwin says:

    I posted a lot of animal videos on my Facebook page today, and reading your post this afternoon added to my smiles. Sometimes we truly need a break from the drama of life and enjoy some cuteness and laughter. Thanks for providing that for me, Kathy! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe in coincidence and find it interesting that you wrote something on Ernest Hemmingway and symbolism. Last night I finished watching Papa a movie on Netflix based on a true story about a journalist who met the author. I would love to read what you have on symbolism.

    Like

  10. I find it quite interesting that I finished watching Papa: Hemingway in Cuba just last night. I am not a believer in coincidence and symbolism is right where I am at this point. I would love to read what you have wrote on the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kathywaller says:

      That sounds like an interesting program. I haven’t written much on the topic. A professor said that Hemingway said something like, “Symbolism is the plaything of the intellectuals,” or something like that, but I can’t find it with google. The the professor lectured on symbolism in Hemingway’s novels. Hemingway might not have used symbols intentionally, but they show up a lot. (He might have said criticism is the plaything of the intellectuals. Anyway, somebody said something like that. And I think he said it in Spanish.) Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  11. Kaye George says:

    Glad you didn’t scrap the cow post! I look forward to seeing it someday. I think a couple of those aliens have been here, right in our back yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nancy Jardine says:

    So long as your aliens don’t try to move to a new country they might just have a fine time during their vacation. Thank you for the funny post, Kathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. S. J. Brown says:

    Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed your post. I have to admit I cringed when said you scrapped those pieces. Boy was I glad to read you just scrapped your plans for them. I always thought of Aliens as being a bit uglier and kind of slimy, thanks for giving me more precise images of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kathywaller says:

      I feel so lucky to get any words on paper that I think long and hard before scrapping them. I kept the drafts of my master’s thesis, even the initial pencil copy, for twenty years. And now I’m sorry I tossed them, although I don’t know why. I was glad to discover that Aliens are more attractive than they’re portrayed in movies, too. There may be some slimy ones out there, but I don’t intend to draw them. I haven’t figured out how to draw slime anyway. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  14. kathywaller says:

    Reblogged this on M. K. Waller and commented:
    My post @ Writing Wranglers and Warriors is NOT about Hemingway.

    It is about what Aliens @ Alien Resort look like. You will be surprised and delighted.

    Like

  15. Pingback: The Old Man and the Fish | Writing Wranglers and Warriors

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