Saturday, September 26, 2015

Memories from ACFW 2015

Sigh. Everyone had such fun. Wish I could've been there. Next year in Nashville!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

How to Insult with Style

Most of us were brought up with the maxim “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything all.” But if you absolutely must insult someone, learn a thing or two about panache from the masters of wordcraft:

“A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults.”—Louis Nizer

“I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.”—Stephen Bishop

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”—Winston Churchill

“A modest little person, with much to be modest about."—Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”—Clarence Darrow

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”—William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”—Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”—Moses Hadas

“His ears made him look like a taxicab with both doors open.”—Howard Hughes (about Clark Gable)

“He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.”—Samuel Johnson

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”—Paul Keating

“He had delusions of adequacy.”—Walter Kerr

“There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.”—Jack E. Leonard

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”—Abraham Lincoln

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it ”—Groucho Marx

“He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.”—Robert Redford

“They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.”—Thomas Brackett Reed

“He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them.”—James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”—Mark Twain

“A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity.”—Mark Twain

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”—Mark Twain

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”—Mae West

“She is a peacock in everything but beauty.”—Oscar Wilde

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”—Oscar Wilde

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”—Oscar Wilde

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.”—Billy Wilder

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."”—Andrew Lang

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pre-Conference Memories

The ACFW Conference is coming up soon, and I know everyone's scurrying to get ready. Billy and I won't be going this year, but just knowing about it made me reminiscent of the first time I went. It was September, 2010, and I was a nervous wreck . . .

Time is getting closer for our flight to the conference, and eclectic thoughts are the best I can do. If we're in luck this may turn out to be a cohesive post, but don't get your hopes up.
As the hours count down, I'm steadily checking things off my list--make that lists. I have list upon list--what to pack for me, what to pack for him, what to pack for the plane; what to tell our house sitters. To do lists: get hair cut and primp some, refill meds, stop the paper, pre-check the baggage and print the tickets, water the plants. Conference lists: what I'm doing when and with whom. The "with whom" is part of a-whole-nother list. I have breakfast, lunch, and supper engagements with folks I've only seen in pictures, so I've made a list of all their names along with where I met them and put their pics beside their names. (Chris said he felt a bit like a stalker doing this . . . yep. But it'll be fun to recognize him and everyone else on sight.)
I have a list of promises I've made to folks who won't be able to come as well as a list of reminders of things to do for folks who weren't going in the first place.
Good thing I live in a forest and grow my own paper.
To say that I'm a bit nervous is to say an elephant is a bit big. While I'm looking forward to the conference and realize  the connections I'll make this weekend certainly won't hurt my career, I'm uncomfortable in crowds. Yes, it's true. I do have a shy streak--not much of one, I admit, but it's there. And it's in covering that streak that I often wind up with my foot in my mouth. When folks say, "Put your best foot forward," that's usually the one hanging from my jaws. My toes will be sporting a pretty shade on the nails, but no one will ever know because they'll be planted between my teeth.
Of course, on occasion, the confident me appears--the one who gave a successful speech to the Longview writers group a few weeks back, the one slightly reminiscent of Jessica Fletcher. I like that side of me, that lady, though I can no more summon her up at will than a leopard can change his spots on a whim. But I can ball my fists behind my back to make my hands stop shaking and fake it until she shows up.
And that's usually when the other foot finds its way to my lips. I get overly confident, or go overboard faking it, and the next thing you know I don't have a leg to stand on and land on my ample bottom because, after all, how can anyone stand with both feet in her mouth?
Okay, breathe.
I'll be fine. It'll be great. And if I do end up with a foot sandwich, big deal! That'll be one less meal I have to pay for, right?