Thursday, May 31, 2007

Body Parts

One of the wrting jobs I had to do the other week was a series of articles on tattoos. I do not have a tattoo, but would never want to take anyone's right to turn themselves into a human pincushion. I had to write about wolf tattoos, phoenix tattoos, Japanese tattoos, Irish Tattoos and celebrity tattoos.

Celebrity tattoos? I assume that meant tattoos of a celebrity you put on your bod, as opposed to the tatoos celebrities get for themselves. So, for this article, I decided that one day I might want a Peter Gabriel tattoo and wrote the article about how I would (theoretically) go about getting one. (Not while the man is still alive though, and probably not when I still have feeling in all of my limbs). As a joke, I typed that I would get the Peter Gabriel tattoo "on my ding-hooey." For those of you familiar with spell check programs, you will know that that set the spell check alarm off. Just to be crancky, I typed in "hoo-ha".

And it WORKED. "Hoo-ha" was already programed into Microsoft Word Spell Check! Why that and not "ding-hooey", I have no idea.

On a more sobering note, my real first name, Rena, sets off the spell checker alert. However, Arnold Schwartzennegger's name doesn't. Go on and try it if you have Mircosoft Word.

I will know I have truly made a name for myself in the world when my name does not set off the spell checker red squiggle alert on Microsoft Word. And the day that happens will be most likely when the real Peter Gabriel asks me, "What the bloody hell is a ding-hooey when it's at home?"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Is Blasphemy Scary?

I'm getting quite an interesting collection of rejection letters. In less than a year, I now have well over a hundred and I will never, ever again think , "Well, now I've seen 'em all!"

I occassionally pick publications at random to constantly submit to. As soon as they reject one piece, I fire off another. The theory is that they will even tually publish something of mine just to get rid of me. I wish I could say that I came up with this theory. I actually nicked it from a parable told by Jesus. I'm not going to name this esteemed publication, as that is unprofessional. Let us just say that it is a low-paying annual horror magazine.

Horror. As in, scary. Stuff that frightens. Keep that in mind.

I'd tried three (or four?) poems that people have told me "gave them the creeps". Each one was returned as "not being scary enough." SO, I sent of a fun little poem called "God" (which I can't reproduce here or it will be considered "published") where God appears as The Eternal Rapist. It was also rejected.

But not with the usual "not scary enough". This time, it was "I'm not into blasphemy."

That was the entire reason. Wait a minute, I thought this was supposed to be a horror publication? Horror takes what is normal and safe and secure and completely splits it open. Blasphemy fits right into the definition. God is NOT in His heaven and all is NOT right with the world. Isn't that thought the least bit troubling?

So, in other words, "Sorry, rraven -- your poem is OVERQUALIFIED."

Go figure. I think I'll go light a candle to Edgar Allen Poe and ask for some clarification on this matter of no blasphemey in horror.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pay Attention To The Speaker

Since I work now about eight hours a day on the computer, I need music in order to tolerate some of the keyword writing assignments I get. On one day, I had to write about Roofing and Rape Recovery. (That's two separate subjects, folks). My Dad is now really impressed that I know what the rise and run of a roof (or a step) is. (I didn't tell him about the rape recovery article). Music is a vital component of my work environment. Since my writing is also my spirituality (which now incorporates tips on how to obtain roofer's licence to roof in Illinois, in case I need to know that in the afterlife) music is also an important part of my spirituality. That and now uses PC-friendly video, so I can see monthly updates on how distracted Peter Gabriel is from finishing his "new" album (which is now five years in the making and counting).

So, after a visit from the cat who insisted on lying down on the computer keyboard as I tried to write, the computer speakers suddenly went dead. I was just a wee bit perturbed. I had recently dusted around the compute, and so both my Mom and I thought I may have broken something.

I took out the flashlight, waded through the wire jungle and checked and re-checked connections. Everything was in place. Still no sound. This means I could see Peter Gabriel's lips move but not hear whatever he was saying. Oh, the humanity! This took about an hour of shoving heavy equipment around. Mom sighed, "I guess I'll have to call the computer repairman." Since it is her computer.

The next day, I discovered the computer keyboard has a "Mute" button, which the cat must've stepped on. Suddenly, instant sound. All I had to do was press one dumb button.

"Oh well," Mom laughed. "At least you got a good work out."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Football Apolcalypse

Here's some true news that, if you wrote it as a story, would be rejected for being too unrealistic:

A friendship-building football match between Muslim and Christian clergy in Norway was called off after a row over the participation of women players.

Now, what do you think really happened at that interfaith conference in Oslo? Both Christians and Moslems were probably hyper-sensitive and told to be friendly. At the beginning of the day, when everyone was full of energy and coffee, someone suggested a football game (soccer matich, for those American readers). The other side said "Okay," just to be friendly.

Then the day wears on while you have to listen to upteem speakers prattle on with a stupid grin on your face. While you may have been able to play all night after school, you're just not as young as you used to be. Now, after a day of "school", you just want to put your feet up and vegatate. But, you've made a commitment for a long, intensive bout of running up and down a field after a ball. How do you gracefully get out of this commitment while not leaving the other side insulted.

Simple! You do what organized religions have done for thousands of years -- blame the women! Problem solved.

In other news, another short story of mine has hot the web. It only took about 15 years to write. It's called "A Little Ways Up."