Friday, June 6, 2008



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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Your LDS Neighborhood - Ooo, Far Out!

I’ve discovered that I have a major neurological malfunction—my fingers are not connected to my brain. Every time I sit down at the keyboard they dash about of their own accord, typing out gibberish in Chinese. Sometimes, just to fool me, they’ll even type something that makes sense, but it’s not the sense I’d intended.

One time, I came up with a whiz-bang idea for a newspaper column. OK, maybe it wasn’t really whiz-bang, but it was an idea. Hoping to impress the publisher of the paper, I fired off an e-mail detailing my proposal to write a column. They'd previously printed freelance articles I’d sent, so I brazenly told the editor that work I’d submitted before seldom needed editing.

Why did I do that? Really, shouldn’t someone of my age have known better? What had happened to the little warning bells that normally went off in my brain? Were they on vacation in Cancun, sunning on the beach, drinking little drinks with paper umbrellas in them?

What about the red flags that usually waved before my eyes? Where were they? (Hmmm, knowing them they were out eating donuts—which were forbidden on my self-imposed diet.)

The publisher sent me back a gracious response indicating she’d take the matter under consideration and would get back with me. That’s when I found out my fingers had held my brain hostage.

Upon re-reading my note to her—a mistake in itself, since you’re sure to find errors after you’ve already hit the send button—I was mortified to discover a small blunder. One so small I prayed she wouldn't notice it.

As part of my credits, I’d meant to to tell her that I belonged to a group of writers called the LDS Writers Blogck. Despite the message that my brain sent, my fingers typed out that I belonged to the LSD Writers Blogck.

I’d re-read that e-mail at least ten times before I sent it. I’d spell checked it three times. Why hadn't spell check told me I’d goofed? You’ll be happy to know that spell check was apparently a hippy from the sixties. It thought “Far out, man” was bona fide English and that LSD was a real word.

Then I wondered. Did my fingers know something about the LDS Writers Blogck that I didn't? Maybe that’s why we had so much fun together. Here all along I thought we were in the throes of creative genius, coming up with great ideas from our imaginations. Maybe I should have considered that we were all hallucinating from those cute little gelatin squares someone shared at our last get-together.

Hey, that wouldn't be our fault. We’re a group of Latter-day Saints. We’re used to eating gelatin. It shows up at every get-together as salads, main courses, desserts, and even in its pure, unadulterated form—the jiggly, green stuff. How were we supposed to know the difference?

No, now that I think about it, I’m sure those gelatin squares were not LSD, but merely a creative way to serve Jell-O. Besides, as writers we don’t need drugs to write. Our imaginations are close enough to hallucinations to be brothers.

Well, all I can say is that I’m going to find a way to get into my spell check and delete LSD as a real word, so that I don’t make that mistake again. Then I think I’ll go do something to keep out of trouble. Maybe I’ll bake myself some brownies.

Ooo, brownies. Far out, they’re almost as much fun as green Jell-O.

What's playing on my radio: Nothing
What's playing on my TV: Nothing
What's playing in my head: Midnight Blue by (?) Louise Tucker

(This blog is sponsored by Your LDS Neighborhood. Please show your appreciation of their sponsorship by returning to and browsing through the Neighborhood!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Your LDS Neighborhood -What If It's Boring?

Tomorrow will be my two-week anniversary. Yes, I set my blog up almost two weeks ago, and I’m still in love with it. But, lest you think it was an easy relationship, let me tell you how it started. . .

“The ones that died were the optimists,” I heard my husband, Russ, say to my son on the phone. I found myself hoping he was in reference to someone other than guests who ate my cooking. As it turned out, he was talking about prisoners of war. It seems the ones who did the best in difficult conditions were the realistic optimists.

As a realistic optimist, I felt encouraged by that thought. It meant I was bound to succeed with my latest brilliant scheme—my own author’s blog site, which would eventually be linked to Your LDS, a site for Latter-day Saints with wholesome, intelligent articles, and innovative products and services.

My mind brimmed with realism—millions of people blog! It overflowed with optimism—with millions of people blogging, how hard could it be to set it up?

Russ and I sat down together to work on it. The first thing the site building program wanted to know was a name. “Which name?” I asked Russ. “My full name, last name, pen name or a name for the blog?”

He drummed his fingers lightly on the keyboard. “I don’t know; just give it any name and we’ll change it later, if necessary.”

“No! What if I name it something boring and it’s locked in for eternity?” My voice rose in panic; my blood pressure shot up and my face turned red at the thought. Either that or I had a hot flash. Regardless, I did not want to end up with a site named something really mundane, like “My Space.”

After pondering for a few minutes, I picked “The Write Stuff.” I thought it was unique. Yahoo thought there were 456 million other people already using that name.

My husband liked “Writer’s Cramp”, which according to another search on the venerable Yahoo only had 448, 000 entries. Unfortunately, the word "cramp" made me think of female troubles, so we tossed it out, too. Searching “writer’s cramp” wasn’t time wasted, however. Yahoo said that writer’s cramp could be cured with a shot of Botox. Ooo, how handy, erase my wrinkles and cure a muscle spasm in one swift injection. I filed the information away in my brain.

Russ became bored with the naming process, opened another screen on his laptop and began playing a game where squatty little people shot at each other and screamed as they died. It made matters worse. I started coming up with names like, “Point Your Gun Write at Me” and “Blood Running in the Streets” … which, in case you didn’t notice, doesn’t even have the word “write” in it.

After an hour of trying different monikers, I finally came up with a decent one for the site—Write Up My Alley. At least, it seemed decent. If not, it was just too bad, because after trying out names for an hour, my hand was locked in a writer’s cramp.

It was worth all that searching, though. I’d figured out what worked and what didn’t.

All that was left was to find someone to loan me some Botox.

What's playing on my radio: Nothing
What's playing on my TV: Nothing

What's playing in my head: Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain and Tennille

(Return to Your LDS Neighborhood!)

This blog sponsored by Your LDS Neighborhood, and originally posted at Write Up My Alley 1 on 05-12-08.