Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kill Off Your Character With A Cow

Writers are always looking for ways to kill off a character in their books by accident or by foul play.
Pick up your favorite suspense or mystery novel, or tune in to the latest episode of CSI or Criminal Minds and you’ll find the most common life-ending causes are GSW’s (gunshot wounds), blunt force trauma,
exsanguination (blood loss), or asphyxiation (loss of air). These conditions usually occur at the hands of a jealous lover, serial killer, or someone under the influence of mind-altering drugs. In most cases, the perps are human and occasionally your typical predatory animal.

A cow is not a predator, nor is the backyard Bambi.

But did you know these sweet-faced animals kill more people than the great white shark gone rogue?

I’ve seen documentaries showing the dangers of hippos, I know a jellyfish’s sting can be fatal, and I’ve seen videos about fatal attractions with deer. Still, I’m surprised cows and horses commit murder so often. Certainly, we humans have more contact with our favorite farm animals than we would have with, say, a shark. I’m sure there are more farmers than surfers in the world, so this would make sense. Still, it’s a hard pill to swallow.

Now, if golden retrievers and cats were included in this image, I would really have to get on my soap box.

Let’s give Jaws and jealous lovers a break and change things up a bit. Wouldn’t it be kinda cool to write a story where the character gets clobbered by a crazed cow as opposed to a creature from the Cretaceous period?

Or a flock of formidable ducks set Fargo on fire? 

Or better yet, a bunch of bunnies blow up a building full of brigadier generals? 

Horses take hostages in a high rise in Houston? 

Deer damage the infrastructure of Detroit and take over the auto industry?

The possibilities are endless!

I’d love to hear your ideas, so do what the chimp says.




Monday, January 19, 2015

1949 Advice from Singer and Writers of Old

I saw this image on Facebook and just had to laugh. People had such a different mindset, not to mention expectations, back then. Remember those 1950’s TV shows such as Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy? It seems no matter what the women were doing— vacuuming, dusting, or preparing dinner—they were wearing nylon stockings, high heels, and their hair was perfectly coiffed. Crazy.

I prefer vacuuming in my pajamas or sweats, thank you.

After reading those words from the 1949 Singer Sewing Manual, I got to thinking about authors from the old days. Things were way different back then. They typed entire manuscripts on typewriters using actual sheets of paper. Can you imagine what it would take to produce a full-length novel? Did they type out a first draft, go back and revise it, and then re-type the whole thing all over again? They must have gone through reams of paper and typewriter ribbons in those days. I’m sure they pulled their hair out before “The End” ever made it to paper. Maybe that’s why most of them wore hats.

And what did writers do before the advent of typewriters? Parchment and feathers dipped in ink?

If you think long and hard about how rough those authors of old had it before computers became main stream, with their delete keys and back space buttons, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens.

We have so easy, don’t you think?