Slipping a Little Bit of Big Words In

Some people hide behind big words and some people are afraid of them. I can understand both.

If you have ever read something like a scientific journal, a government publication about taxes, a university paper, or a political speech, you will have seen something cluttered with extra words and littered with big words. People use big words to sound important, educated and sometimes to confuse their readers so no one will know what they really did say. Often people just give in and agree cause they want to be nice (or don’t want to seem stupid/ ignorant)  but don’t really want to figure out the big words.

Being suckered by big words in this way does make people have a fear of them, if not a respect for them as a danger, something to beware of. So in this way big words do become intimidating. It’s a shame, cause they are just words. But words can be used in all sorts of ways, not all of them friendly. The pen is mightier than the sword. I think this really came into practice during the times when most people were illiterate. Language really was used against them.

Where do you stand on using big words? I don’t think it’s is a bad thing to use them. But, it’s all in how they are used. Do you use them to dominate, intimidate or trick your reader? Or do you just enjoy the language and desire to see it used?

Trapped by the Cold, Deep Ocean

You’re shipwrecked on a chilly island in the Pacific Ocean. It’s not one of those places they make movies about where the sun shines down on the sandy beach. Not for you. Your beach is covered in snow, ice and no doubt there will be some sand down there too when the Spring thaw comes along. For now, it’s really cold.

You have food, water (tons of that with the snow to melt) and shelter (you found an abandoned cabin someone must have built and forgotten). So basic things are covered, other than the hope of being found any time soon. You have pen and paper and not much to do but spend your time writing and keeping warm.

Think about where you are, your surroundings, the sights, smells and sounds around you. Write a description starting from where you are sitting and gradually heading outwards to end at the deep ocean. Or, begin somewhere far from where you are and describe inwards to where you sit under blankets scritching over the paper with your pen.

Your Ship in a Baby Bottle

You’re making a ship in a bottle. It’s something you’ve always thought would be interesting to do one day. Like making paper doll chains into infinity, or bungee jumping… well, maybe not so much, it seemed creative, intricate and something you could boast about making later and then give away to relatives when you got tired of it. Plus, you heard once that your Great Grandfather used to make them.

Only, when the glass bottle company delivers youg glass bottle, it’s a baby bottle. What kind of ship would you design to fit inside a baby bottle? Or would you go with something completely different?

Be Nasty on Paper

Recreate yourself as a Gothic villain. If you can, draw your caricature even. But, write your description, a profile of who you would be, what you look like, how you act, if you were an evil, wicked goth type.

It’s a lot of fun. I’ve written myself a whole scenario where I am mean, evil, vicious and cruel. Talk about a way to relieve your stress! Being nasty, on paper, is great fun.

The Passion to Publish Your Own Words

Do you have the passion to publish your own words? I really like this quote, below, from the site of David J. Richardson and his guide to creating, publishing your own fanzine (zine for short).

First off, be very very sure you want to produce your ‘zine. It can be a very thankless arduous task, especially when you’ve got set publication dates. The need for passion was probably best stated in the 1996 British Doctor Who fanzine November Spawned a Monster, where they said:

If you feel keenly interested enough in any subject to bother spending your precious hours compiling a magazine only a very small number of people will read, then you must care passionately about your subject. You should, surely to God, actually have something of your own to say about it. There’s no merit in being dispassionate. That’s what all the professional magazine and books are required to do. You don’t have to do anything. It’s yours. It’s blank paper until you scribble on it. If all you’re writing is ‘William Hartnell, ‘1963-1966’ then why the dayglo purple fuck are you wasting everyone’s time?

What If… Paper Were Priceless?

The bank machines and computers have been hacked. No one can use credit or debit cards. Everyone has had to go to the bank and use cash again. Oh horrors! To have to make change again. To have to carry a change purse along. To have to actually think about what you are spending versus cash on hand.

Will they ever catch the fiends who did this? But… worst of all… the trees! Now that there are only cash sales money has to be printed, far more than has been printed in many years. Trees are being cut down in their prime. The squirrels are protesting. They start by disabling cars, buses and trucks. Without the population check of squirrel road kill there are huge swarms of squirrels in every big city, medium town and tiny hamlet (and all in between). Squirrels are rampant!

Someone builds a better squirrel trap. No live captures, none of that. Squirrels are caught by the thousands and disposed of in landfill where they fertilize the new tree crops planted on the new tree farms.

Everyone has a new respect for trees. Paper becomes scarce as it takes a long time for trees to grow into new paper. Paper becomes worth more than the money value printed on it. People begin collecting paper plates as if they were bone china. Suddenly no one is printing anything on paper any more.

Of course, this is about the time they finally catch the culprit who hacked the bank machines and computers. Computers can be used again for banking which is great cause now everyone is ready for online banking, online shopping and no one has to hand out cash at all.

In generations to come, far far down the time line, people still wonder whatever happened to the squirrels and why it couldn’t have happened to the pigeons too. In the future pigeons are flying rats, worse than the land rats because they have used their homing instinct to dive bomb people. In the future, no one goes outside without a hat, if not an umbrella for real pigeon protection.

Just think, none of this would have happened if… ???

Get Artsy Crafty

This is the blog I am writing with the Twolia network. The blog is about creative arts and crafts. There are all kinds of interesting ideas from paper doll chains to crocheted flowers, Inukshuks and digital scrapbooking. I’m mainly looking for small craft ideas which have been forgotten as we grow up and get too busy. I like simple things that can make you feel you used some skill, learned something new and interesting and have something uniquely you at the end to show for it all.

What are some simple crafts or unusual art forms which you have encountered, found interesting or tried yourself? If it is something you could stick with and do as a hobby would you or did you? It’s great to have something you create yourself. DIY! Even if you are all thumbs or can’t draw or can’t this or can’t that, try something.

Let me know what you try. Post about it to your own blog, with a photo if possible.

Dust Bunnies on the High Bath Water

You make a paper ship and leave it on the kitchen table overnight. In the morning the dust bunnies have taken it, dragged it to the kitchen sink and are sailing around the world, they claim. You explain the world is much bigger than the kitchen sink and the oceans are dangerous. All your explanations just get the bunnies curious and thirsting for adventure.

So, you take them and the boat out to the nearest large body of water. Let them get started. Of course, the boat sinks almost right away. It was already pretty water logged from the sink water. The bunnies screech as the water touches them and they dissolve into dirt piles. It’s a shipping disaster of epic proportions, if you are the size of a paper boat and a dust bunny.

You rescue the last dust bunny and pull out the soggy remains of the paper boat. When you get home again the dust bunnies accuse you of sinking their fellow dust bunnies on purpose, just to get rid of them. There’s a whole trial in dust bunny court. It makes the Dusty Bunny Times, front page even.

In the end, you insist they throw out the charges or start paying rent to live in your home. Since they only have a few stray pennies, nickles, dimes and one quarter, the dust bunnies have to let you go. But they make you promise to vacuum less.

A few days later, one dust bunny leaves you a note in secret. The dust bunny asks you to build a new paper ship and leave it in the bathroom by the tub. He or she wants to try the sailing adventure again.

Do you build it or do you decide to let sleeping dust bunnies lie?

Shrinking Woman and the Pirate King

You shrink yourself accidentally, sort of. You did invent a great shrinking ray which will make so much change for the moving industry for one. Just think how much easier it will be to move all your stuff if you can shrink it to fit into your purse.

Anyway, you were tinkering around with the shrinking ray machine when it went off. Sure you should have put on the safety off switch but, you didn’t. Now you’re shrunk. About the height of a dust bunny, a small one.

Not much you can do but wait for it to wear off. If it does. Your laboratory assistant is away for the weekend so you really only have to last until she comes back.

It’s really interesting wandering around your laboratory and then the rest of the house. It sounds silly to say everything looks so much different now it really does! Amazingly so. Stuff you took for granted stands out like skyscrapers. Plus, you really should do a lot more dusting, floor sweeping and such. To get away from the thick dust in one area under a chest of drawers you wander into a paper airplane you had long forgotten, dropped down behind the drawers.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could fly now? See the world from the wings of a paper airplane, blowing along in the wind, dodging birds and eventually falling into the sea to be waterlogged and saved by a Pirate King the size of a flea. Oh the adventures you can dream up living as a woman the size of a breadcrumb…

Altered Pages

Something else to do when you finish reading a book, Altered Pages. Look for more about altered art and making collages. I think it’s something fun you can do with a book too old or tattered to be accepted at the second hand bookstore. Or you could just recycle them with the other paper, that just never seems right to me. A book should have a burial at sea or under a rosebush, something with a little more respect than being turned into a pile of mush for recycling.

Altered Book FAQ.

The Altered Book Group on Yahoo gives a definition of what an altered book is: An altered book is an existing book that has been changed or altered…. “glued, painted, collaged, rubber stamped, cut, torn, or added to. It is an expression of one’s self, a piece of art, an experiment or a conversation piece.”