Zombies…A Love Story

Check out this new flash fiction story (less than 1,000 words) at C. Dominique Gibson’s blog called The Forgotten Thing.  Here is an excerpt:

…before he could protest, she brushed a gentle kiss on his lips which were surprisingly intact. He returned her kiss with a passionate one of his own but was careful not to be rough. They were both delicate and any body parts they still possessed were precious.

Go read it now!

I Told You Vampires Were Real

Somewhere in Colorado, there’s a police report that lists the cause of a recent car crash as “vampire.”  That’s right, according to Fox 31 News, a woman crashed her car on a dirt road because she saw a vampire.  The sarcastic reporter who did the story writes:

“The vampire, which was not seen by anyone else, apparently let her get away.”

Alls well that ends well, but if you’re driving around the back roads of Colorado after dark, you might want to be extra careful just in case.

Super Short Poems You Will Love, from Twitter Poets

Recently, Tina Nguyen and Claire Everett hosted a twitter poetry party.  People from around the globe joined in to write gogyohka, a Japanese form of short poetry consisting of 5 lines of free verse.  The themes were “summer” and “spirit.”  Here are some of the wonderful and sometimes quirky poems that came out of that virtual get-together…

the neighbor lady / having to remind me / that while it was July 4th / 8 AM was no time / for fireworks (by P.R. Clark Twitter)

dirty, stiff, and tart / refreshing / with a bit of a bite / my conversation / my martini (by Vince L. Wilson Twitter, Website)

nightly at 8 / office goblin spirits arise / chewing stray pens, / unfolding paperclips / xeroxing buttcheeks (by Vince L. Wilson Twitter, Website)

at my shoulder / my grandmother / long dead / still tuts about / bikinis (by Claire Everett Twitter, Website)

a shell of memory / against my ear / I listen / to the sea / of a distant summer (by Claire Everett Twitter, Website)

that moment / I was / his dream girl / but just / for that moment (by Heather Feaga Twitter, Website)

firefly-sized hope / still lit / I’d like to stomp it with my army boot / but won’t / because I haven’t learned a thing (by Heather Feaga Twitter, Website)

hurt and shattered / I swore to be lonely / till my spirit rebelled / yielding / to you (by Nimue Twitter, Website)

her / spirit wild / and free / she roamed / with the wind (by gennepher Twitter, Website)

sleeping / under the stars / cool fresh summer night / the dogs hot breath / on my cheek (by gennepher Twitter, Website)

an era lost / where any child / can run in and out / of homes / unlocked (by amoz1939 Twitter)

working late in the lab / black out / held hands with her / tip toe out / into summer night (by amoz1939 Twitter)

attar roses / no showy blooms for Grandma / when I was little / I knew how her ghost would smell / and this July she haunts me (by Liu Tiemo Twitter)

her words / have painted / a meadow in me / where countless flowers / bloom (by Paul Smith Twitter, Website)

at sunset / summer spills / itself / into the ocean’s / depths (by Paul Smith Twitter, Website)

the spirit of summer / led us to a meadow / at dusk / more than this / I cannot say… (by Paul Smith Twitter, Website)

babbling brook / merging in the sea / loses her identity / yet still she seeks / in its depths her destiny (by Neerja Pande Tiwari Twitter)

it never ends / our story / changing as it flows / like river / to sea (by Aki Gibbons Twitter, Website)

my girls / not so small / but not so big / to make popsicles / and leave the mess for me (by An Mayou Twitter)

do you / really believe / that God could love you / more than any / other (by Kane Fielding Twitter, Website)

summer / how your skin stuck to mine / sliding across hot vinyl / roads drawn fine / around Appalachian mountains (by ten ten ten Twitter, Website)

moonlight / the empty patio table / shadows / of aspen leaves / a lacy cloth (by Christina Nguyen Twitter, Website) 

to risk it all / you forget yourself / and remember / only / your wish (by Christina Nguyen Twitter, Website)

remember / that summer / mom sent us to Florida / so dad / could leave (by Cady Ford Twitter, Website)

spirit of the Muse / bless these poets / with words / as plentiful and rich / as pomegranate seeds (by Stormerne Hunt Twitter)

the earth / measures / her life / by the breaths / of her seasons (by Stormerne Hunt Twitter)

when summer comes / I will wear white / take tea on the lawn / watch cricket / and be ridiculous (by Stormerne Hunt Twitter)

Click on the links following the authors’ names to visit their individual twitter accounts and/or homepages.  Then continue the party:  add a comment and write your own 5-line poem.

Why I Didn’t Follow You Back On Twitter

You followed me on Twitter but I haven’t followed you back.  What gives?  Is there a technical glitch, did I not see your follow, or am I just a stuck-up wench who is snubbing you?  Here are 30 reasons why I didn’t follow you back on Twitter.  Do any of these describe you…

1. You’re a Self-Promoting Machine.  Every tweet asks me to “check out” something that has to do with you making money off of me, whether it’s a speaking engagement, interview, or your own website.  This is especially disappointing when writers do it, as I love to follow writers back.  But not when they annoy me with pages and pages of self-aggrendizing spam.

2. Every Tweet is a Link to Your Blog.  Why don’t I just bookmark your blog then?  What is the point of even being on Twitter?  Linking back to your own site is fine, just not in every single tweet.  About 1 self-link per 20 tweets is a good rule of thumb.

3. You Cuss–A Lot.  Okay, I admit it.  I swear in real life.  And I don’t mind it in literature or movies so long as it fits the story line.  But for some reason, cussing on twitter is just not kosher.  I’m not sure why.  You can do it every once in a while to get it out of your system, but if every other tweet contains profanity, I just don’t want to hear what you have to say because what you have to say is kind of nasty.

4. Dis And Dat.  You say “da” in place of “the” or “dat” in place of “that.”  If I get to a “da” or a “dat,” I don’t read any further.  There is nothing cool about looking like an illiterate moron.  Whoever told you there was, lied.  Stop doing “dat.”

5. You Have a Sticky Shift Key.  You have RaNDom caPiTaLs in your posts.  Why go out of your way to make your tweets difficult to read?  Isn’t the whole point to have other people read them?  OR YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS.  Maybe people did that in the 80’s when they were just getting used to computer keyboards, but there is no excuse to do it now.  Stop shouting at me.  I’m right here.

6. Your Avatar is Ugly And It Freaks Me Out.  I don’t care if you are homely looking.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  And I’m sorry that God gave you bad DNA.  But some people purposely put up ugly or freaky photos.  I’m all for artistic expression, but if your avatar is something I don’t want to stare at all day, then I’m not going to follow you.

7. Your Avatar is Nasty And It Freaks Me Out.  I don’t want to see a picture of your butt, your cleavage, or your butt cleavage.  Euuuwwe.  What about a photo of a nice sunset?

8. You Post A Lot of Hate Tweets.  You target a celebrity or random twitter user and tweet pages of hate messages at them.  If they bug you that much, don’t talk to them.  If they’re talking to you, block them.  If you absolutely must blast them, say it in 140 characters and then shut up.

9. You Never Talk to Anyone.  You’re carrying on a running monologue.  I looked at two pages of your Twitter account and not once did you engage with anyone else, retweet, or have a conversaton.  Newsflash:  it’s not always all about you.

10. I Can’t Read Your Page.  Your font is light gray, light pink, or light yellow.  What are you thinking??  I can’t read that.  You might be super cool in every other way, but if you’re too stupid to use a readable font, then we can never be friends. 

11. You Talk About Sports.  A lot.  Unless it’s the Olympics, I’m not a fan.  A few sporty posts are fine, but what else are you into?

12. You Talk About Politics.  A lot.  You are way smarter than I am, and I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I can’t hang out with you.

13. You’re Gross.

14. You Call People Honey. Or sweety. Or, the worst offence of all, tweetheart.  You might think that’s cute, but trust me, it’s not.  If you’ve been talking to someone for a long time and you feel especially fond of them, then throw in a “honey” every now and then.  But if you do it habitually, then I can’t read your page without gagging, so it’s a no-follow for you.

15. You Have Your Own Special Tag.  You add a little tag to the end of all your tweets.  It might be your name or a cutesy word or a tagline you made up.  You think it makes you memorable and makes your tweets stand out.  And it does, just not in a good way.  I can see your name right by your tweet, I know who you are, you don’t need a tagline.

16. Your Tweets Start with “Is.”  Maybe you’re auto-updating from MySpace.  I don’t know.  All I know is that tweets that start with “is” are awkward to read on Twitter.  So stop it.

17. You Have Nothing Original To Say.  Ninety-nine percent of your posts are news links or retweets  or quotes.  Worse, they are quotes you’re not crediting to the original source.  I want to hear from you.  What are you doing right now?  What are you hopes, dreams, fears?  Talk to me.

18. You’re The Mayor of Whatever.  A large number of your tweets are automatically generated.  Things like:  what you just became the mayor of, what survey you just took and which Twilight character you are, how you’re doing in the mafia, or the GPS coordinates of where you’re currently at.  If that last one fits you, then don’t worry.  I’m not going to follow you from this account, but I’ll follow you from my other one…the one where I track people dumb enough to tell me their exact coordinates all day long so that I can easily burglarize their homes.  Thanks in advance for all the nice stuff.

19. You Have One-Sided Conversations.  You have lots to say, and you talk to many other Twitter users.  Good for you!  But you never reference the original comment, so I have no idea what you’re talking about when you reply to others.  I don’t want my stream filled up with a bunch of tweets that make no sense to me.  Let me in on the conversation.  I might have something to add.

20. Say What’d You Say?  I have no idea what you just said.  You’re either so intelligent that your conversations are way over my head or you have some sort of mental disorder that prevents you from forming a coherent sentence.  Either way, I can’t connect with you.

21. Many of Your Tweets are in Another Language.  I’m lazy.  I’m sorry.  I’m not going to run your tweets through a translator.  You’re probably really interesting–I’ll never know.  My loss.

22. You’re An Idiot.  You have lots of one-word or nonsensical tweets, such as “Duuuuude,” or “Waaaahhhh,” or “Tweety-twit-twit!”  If you’re 14 or under, that’s okay to do.  I’m still not following you back, but it’s fine.  If you’re 15 or older, stop being an idiot.

23. Your #FF Lists are Miles Long.  You list every single person you follow every single Friday.  Do you really think anyone is going to go through and follow all those people??  Give me two names and tell me why I should follow them.  Then talk about something else.

24. You’re A Little Too Thankful.  You thank everyone for everything.  You don’t need to thank each person who followed you.  You especially don’t need to do it with a single tweet per person (at least stack them up).  Or Direct Message them if you absolutely must personally thank each and every one.  Better yet, just read what they have to say and comment.  Most people like that more than a “thanks for the follow” any day, and it doesn’t clutter up the stream for everyone else.

25. You Protected Your Tweets.  I don’t know if I want to follow you because I can’t see anything you have to say, and I’m not going to go to the trouble of requesting a follow, tracking you, then deciding if I want to keep following or unfollow.  Again–I’m lazy, and that’s way too much work.

26. You Have Ads In Your Tweets. Sure, I’d like to Have 10,000 Followers In Less Than 10 Minutes or Make One Million Dollars While Working An Hour A Day From Home, but I seriously doubt if your links are going to lead to anything but more spam.  If you include spam in your tweets, you’re getting unfollowed (by a lot of people, not just me).  If you tweet spam at me personally, you’re getting blocked. 

27. You’re A Sexy Law Student Trying To Work Your Way Through College.  I don’t want to see your porn site.  Thanks anyway.  Good luck with law school.

28. Your Haikus Aren’t 5-7-5.  No, I’m not kidding.  I seriously will not follow you back if you do this.  Yes, I know haikus that are shorter than 5-7-5 are technically closer to the original Japanese poetry form.  But it just bugs me.  Go ahead and write your short poems, but if they’re not 5-7-5, tag them as #micropoetry and not #haiku.  The obsessive compulsive in me thanks you.

29. I Haven’t Checked My Followers Yet.  The time it takes me to look at new followers can be anywhere between three minutes and three months.  Sometimes I search out new people to follow without looking at who is already following me, so just because I added someone after you followed, doesn’t mean I’ve looked at your page yet.  Be patient and don’t get your panties in a bunch.  I’ll get to it.

30. I Overlooked You.  I’m sorry; it happens.  You’re an amazing, awesome person who doesn’t get carried away with self-promotion, who posts interesting original content, and whose haikus are always done in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.  I just skipped you by mistake.  Unfollow me and follow me back.

Why do you not follow people back on Twitter?  Add your own thoughts and comments.

Fourth of July Poem

I found this wonderfully written patriotic poem on a site called poemsource.com.   The site is home to the poetry of the very prolific Joanna Fuchs.  She has written poems on a variety of subjects for holidays and special occasions, including weddings and birthdays.  Here is a prize-winning poem she wrote for a bicentennial poetry contest in 1976.

Free In The USA
By Joanna Fuchs

On the Fourth of July, I raised the flag,
As I spoke with love and pride:
“I’m blessed to be an American,” I said,
To two friends who stood by my side.

One was my neighbor, who lives next door,
He’s a citizen, like me.
The other, a visitor from a hard, oppressed land,
Far across the sea.

“My flag stays in its box this year,”
Said my neighbor, boiling mad.
“The terrible shape this country’s in,
The future looks nothing but bad.

“Taxes, scandal, indifference and crime,
On our land like a giant stain.”
My visitor said, “We have all that, and worse,
But it’s against the law to complain.”

My neighbor looked startled, but not subdued;
Then he started in on the Press:
“There’s nothing but bad news; the headlines are bleak.”
(It gets me down, too, I confess.)

“Our news is all good,” said my visitor.
“It’s just how you’d like to be.
We know what our government wants us to know;
Our press is controlled, you see.”

My neighbor spun ‘round and marched toward his house,
And here is the end to my story:
The next time we saw him, he was out in his yard,
Proudly raising Old Glory.

Poetry Lovers: Do You Gogyohka?

According to The Spider Tribe’s Blog:

Gogyohka is a new form of Japanese short poetry, founded and pioneered by Japanese poet Enta Kusakabe. Gogyohka is pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh (the “g”s are hard as in “good”), and literally translated means “five line poem.” Gogyohka is five lines of free verse on any subject matter. There is no set syllable pattern, however the poem should be short and succinct. The goal is to compellingly capture an idea, observation, feeling, memory, or experience in just a few words.

I love this form because it’s simple and beautiful.  Here are a few gogyohka I’ve written in the past couple of days… 

Hawaiian Summer
by Edie Montgomery-Pool
That summer in Hawaii
Hanging with fast boys
Chasing adventure
Jumping off waterfalls
Clothing optional

Granny’s Songs
by Edie Montgomery-Pool
Granny loved church hymns
Voice high and shrill
Full of joy
Loud enough
For the angels to hear

Heaven’s Jewel
by Edie Montgomery-Pool
Tiny woman
Big spirit
Big heart
My mother
Heaven’s most precious jewel

Add your own gogyohka in the comments section.  (Try it…it’s easy and fun!)