Monday, November 14, 2011

The New Yorker Finally Called...There's A Restraining Order On You!


Pamela August Russell, author of B is for Bad Poetry
interviews Pamela August Russell, author of B is for Bad Poetry
I was lucky enough to get an interview with myself while I was nude sunbathing by the pool at a very swanky hotel off Sunset Blvd. Other than the hotel guests, security guards and Department of Mental Health staring at me until I finished the interview, I’d say it went pretty well…
Me: What inspired you to write a book of bad poetry?
Me too: I don’t know if ‘inspired’ is the right word. Let’s just say my friends Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan were very helpful.
Me: Do you have a specific writing style?
Me too: Yes, I like to replace all of my vowels with smiley faces and hearts.
Me: How did you come up with the title?
Me too: I read my own writing.
Me: What books have most influenced your life most?
Me too: ‘Plagiarism, A Handbook For Writers’, ‘A Beginners Guide To Mediocrity’ and Maynard Frumps “The Immoral And Unethical Uses Of Language’ were all very helpful.
Me: If you had to choose, which writer(s) would you consider a mentor?
Me too: Dr. Seuss and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Me: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Me too: There’s a young writer named Dorothy Parker who’s apparently very good. I haven’t read her yet.
Me: What are your current projects?
Me too: I just put a new flush handle on my toilet.
Me: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Me too: The part with my name on the cover.
Me: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Me too: Who said I was interested?
Me: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Me too: I’m writing a poem about how pancakes can ruin a relationship.
Me: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Me too: I used to think writing was very difficult. I see now that it’s all in the wrist.
Me: Do you have to travel much concerning your book?
Me too: To and from court hearings.
Me: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Me too: I’m sorry about that last poem but I couldn’t find a word that rhymes with ‘badunkadunk’.
Me: How long did it take you to write it?
Me too: Twelve minutes with a lunch break.
Me: Who is your favorite dead author?
Me tooDan Brown.
Me: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Me too: If someone offers you a free pole-dancing class, take it. You never know where it will lead.
My new book B is for Bad Poetry out now from Sterling Publishing. The Los Angeles Times says “It may not be Walt Whitman, but Miss Russell’s verses are a whole lot funnier.” I’ll take that as compliment knowing how funny Mr. Whitman was. Especially after a few glasses of Sangria.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Writer's Block: A delightful romp down your own private hell hole!


"And there was that poor sucker Flaubert rolling around on his floor for three days looking for the right word."Dorothy Parker


I was sitting on the toilet the other day sobbing uncontrollably when it hit me, I’ve got a terrible case of constipation and an even worse case of writer’s block. Not that they go hand in hand but I’m pretty sure a three year old could put the two together. 

Welcome to every writer’s worst nightmare...Writer's block! I’ll be your hostess.

A Reticulo-Frontal Disconnection Syndrome, better known as writer’s block, has been the bane of every writer’s existence (with the exception of Stephen ‘that prolific bastard' King, and William ‘try to keep up’ Shakespeare) since the dawn of the literary landscape.

When the literary landscape packed up and moved to Paris, Gertrude Stein held a few salons and told everyone, "To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write." This was right after she also said, "Alice, these brownies you baked are making me feel all goobly-doobly inside and you're starting to look like a roast chicken." 

Let's not forget her almost obsessive use of repetition that made forming a paragraph look like eating cotton candy. Let's not forget her almost obsessive use of repetition that made forming a paragraph look like eating cotton candy.  Let's not forget her almost obsessive use of repetition that made forming a paragraph look like eating cotton candy. Let's not forget her almost obsessive use of repetition that made forming a paragraph look like eating cotton candy. See? Now doesn't that look like I've got something to say?

Easy for Gertrude, she had the surrealists on her side (or on her head, they were surrealists after all) For the rest of us, writing can be a vortex of fear and self loathing that sucks the soul into a carnivorous black hole and devours it like a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Unfortunately, it’s never going to be finger lickin’ good. It's more than likely going to taste like regret and shame covered in whipped cream.

Unlike herpes or syphilis, there isn't a lab test to confirm these wayward symptoms. So as blocked writers it’s hard to know if a) maybe you’re just gassy b) you’ve lost your narrative, whatever that is c) you’re hungover again or d) you’re having a complete and utter existential breakdown from which you’ll mostly likely never recover and will live out your sad, pathetic days with electrodes strapped to your head.

There are many theories about writer’s block. But they all boil down to one crazy crockpot of truth: To have writer’s block one must believe that what they’ve written or are going to write in the future will be and mostly likely is a steaming pile of shit.

After all, who gave us the right to play God? Creating worlds that don't exist, creating people that don't exist. It's a cryin' shame we didn't end up in the  math or science department. Those lucky bastards know there’s only one right answer for everything. Theoretically, they deal in absolutes. How quaint. With writing, the only absolute is the blank page in front of you. Taunting you. Mocking you. Daring you. Holding a misshapen gun to your head and asking...
Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?

If you were terrible at algebra you certainly wouldn't go major in it at college then cross your fingers and hope to heck you get better at it. They'd toss you out faster than you can say Integer? I don't even know her! Yet that's exactly what writer's do. The science of writing tells us this: Every writer has to write badly at some point. That means you, Mr. Faulkner. You too, Mr. Steinbeck and Mr. Hemingway. Don’t think for a moment there’s not a treasure trove of unpublished and embarrassing works written by these beloved  scribes,  hidden away in locked boxes in dusty attics that only some poor editor knows about. They've gone to bed every night terrorized by the same overwhelming thought; “Sweet Jesus, if there is a god, please don’t let anyone find this crap until I’m dead and buried.”

Usually after a weekend bender with a gaggle of sorority girls and a series of hideously demeaning jobs, there's a Susan Hayward moment of ambition, hope and bravado where you scream out yes! Yes! YES! I want to write goddammit!

I couldn’t be more proud of you. Now eat your pills.

So here’s  how this the delightful catch-22 works. Let’s say you’ve decided that what you have to say might actually be of some minor importance, so you start writing. But the stuff you write in the beginning may not be very good and you may not want to show it to anyone. It may even be downright embarrassing. This in turn, can cause you to think you’re not a very good writer. 

But you can only get better as a writer by writing. So you write more. Not bad, your friends say. You have a way with language. You understand it, words have learned to dance for you. Your creative writing teachers all say you show 'great promise'. And you do! But that last short story was…(insert terror and insecurity here) the next thing you know, you’ve got a nasty case of writer’s block from which there's no known cure except booze and pills and sex with strangers. 

Take heart if you still have one, even the best writer’s come face to face with this demonic literary fiend. Fran Lebowitz has had a  20 year case of writer’s block she now lovingly refers to as ‘writer’s blockade.’ She’s more than made up for it by being one of the most quotable women in the last few decades so don’t go breathing normally just yet. The rest of us are just going to have to deal with it by drinking ourselves silly like every other writer worth their weight in black ink.
 
Here’s a little pop quiz to see if you've got your average run-of-the-mill anxiety that plagues most people on the planet including your accountant and hairdresser or full blown writer's block...

1. You find yourself looking up 'female escorts’ as soon as you sit down to write.
2. You find yourself using the term ‘circling the drain’ a lot.
3. You hang at your local coffeeshop to write and have nothing to show for it except an extra 43 pounds from all the cinnamon buns you felt obligated to eat.
4. You used to think ‘staring off into space’ was part of the creative process. Now you’re sure it’s the first sign of insanity.
5. You thought getting back to basics would help get the creative juices flowing. You’ve spent the last 7 years on a Haiku about bunions.
6. Every time you sit down to write your novel, you come up with several amazing ideas for a new reality TV show.
7. You can’t sit down to write knowing the cat box hasn’t been changed all day.
8. You don’t own a cat.
9. You suddenly find your roommate, a dour legal assistant who’s still a virgin, endlessly fascinating.
10. You find it difficult to write unless you’ve been backlit.

If you answered yes to more than four, congratulations! You've not only wasted oodles of precious writing time reading this blog, there's a  good chance you've never be in a relationship with another human being or you're being restrained by a nurse.

I wish you well as you stare down the abyss of an empty page.  As my favorite short story writer once said, "At times like these, it's probably a good idea to carry a small hand puppet." 
I'm sewing button eyes on an old pair of tube socks as we speak. 


"I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done." Steven Wright

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
W. Somerset Maugham

"I am at this moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip."
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
 


Monday, September 13, 2010

You're No Elizabeth Gilbert But We Still Like You (Just Not As Much)


If you're ever lucky enough to get a publishing deal, it may seem like a dream come true. All those years of toiling away in obscurity, the existential self doubt, the excessive drinking, the loans from your sister, your father, your mother, your Aunt Ruth, the anti-depressants, the friends who thought you'd end up homeless and the nagging feeling that perhaps you should have taken more math classes in college, are all magically washed away by three little words...

We

love

it.

But once all of the excitement and delusions of grandeur subside, you quickly realize not only do you actually have to write the darn book, you have to promote it too!

Is that a dingo on my hood?
Unless your book has more of a buzz than Mel Gibson at 2:00am on a Saturday night,  chances are it's all up to you. Sure, most publishing houses have a publicity department. But they're usually understaffed and overwhelmed and too busy promoting their high profile authors who actually stand a chance of bringing in some real $$$. 

I'm rich. You're not!
 If you're a first time writer, you'll probably never see a copper penny for all your golden efforts. That lovely advance they gave you won't even begin to cover what it cost to print your soon to be National Book Award recipient. There's a one in a million chance you'll get lucky. Did we learn nothing from Elizabeth Gilbert? (See smug side pic) I'm not saying you can't write, I'm just saying the only way people know you've been published is with a book tour. A book tour says, hey, you! I spent a lot of time writing this when I could have been ballroom dancing so sit down and listen! But sadly, it takes an awful lot of money, time and effort to set up a book tour. And money is always the operative word. If you're like me, your 'tour' extends to bookstores within a fifty mile radius of where you live. This includes barns, livingrooms, bars and birthday parties. Hey, don't knock it.  Anywhere there's a group of people gathered is a chance for a rapt audience. Or a hostage situation. It depends on how interesting you are.

I wanted a Pulitzer not a stupid cake!
I learned the hard way that it's always best to let the birthday girl blow out her candles first before launching into a poem about Hitler's favorite mistress. The point is, there are flyers to be made, phone calls to cranky bookstore managers, books to be mailed out to bloggers & critics, books you have to buy from your publisher to mail out to bloggers & critics, more phone calls, getting your reading listed in the local paper and countless emails to friends begging them to show up at your reading or you're no longer friends. Try it, it works.

It's a very simple equation really. So let's summarize:

To sell your book, people first have to hear about it. Unless you walk around with a bullhorn and a wheelbarrow full of your wares, readings and good reviews are still the most civilized way to boost sales. You could hand them out for free but that would defeat the purpose. And the purpose is to get people to read your book.
Oh. wait.
Anywhoodles, your publisher wouldn't like that. At the end of the day it's all about sales.
So slap on a smile, zip up your pants and spray on the glitter and charm. It's showtime people!

As for me, I'll be pole dancing--er, reading at:                               

 




STORIES BOOKSTORE presents:
An Evening Of Bad Poetry on Thursday, September 23rd, 7:30pm 
1716 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Next to the Echo Park Time Travel Mart
This is open to all so bring your own silly scribbles and ridiculous sonnets to read!


http://guerrillareads.com/ presents B Is For Bad Poetry Guerrilla Reading at
The West Hollywood Book Fair - Sunday, September 26th at 2:20pm
647 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 
Since this is a guerrilla reading, I'm not sure quite where I'll be.
Who knows?  I could pop out of a cake.
I'll be at booth #E40 prior signing books

The Cobalt Cafe 
22047 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA  on Tuesday, December 14th at 9:00pm

"There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money either." - Robert Graves

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Emily Dickinson Does Children’s Birthday Parties (and more outrageous gossip about your favorite poets)


We live in a TMZ’d tabloid world. Not only do I know everyone Jennifer Aniston’s slept with, but I know on a scale of one to ten if she actually enjoyed it. I know that Mel Gibson had no idea his wife had breast implants, that Lindsey Lohan can’t figure out when a relationship has ended and I’ve seen Britney Spears' naughty bits up close and so many other things that have scorched my retina for life.  

Other than a few suicides here and there, some minor drinking problems and a few trips to the nuthouse, poets so far have flown under the radar when it comes to their personal lives. I have yet to see W.S. Merwin on the cover of US Weekly for wrecking his car on the PCH or Margaret Atwood’s panty lines being mocked on the pages of Star Magazine. Well, it’s my duty and honor to change all that.

For better or worse, poets deserve the same spotlight as everyone else. Like paparazzi in search of Brad and Angie on a rickety boat off the South of France, I’ve dug up a few tidbits you might not have known about some of your favorite poets. For instance, did you know...

In 1969 during a conversation with her publisher, Maya Angelou admitted she couldn’t be absolutely sure why the caged bird sings, but thought it might be the new organic birdseed she had recently purchased.

In 1922 Robert Frost took the road less traveled and got lost.

Literally.

The Shaftsbury Vermont fire department spent twelve grueling hours searching for him. They eventually found him at Mrs. Hannah Whimmersby’s place about two miles away. She had plied him with warm whisky and a ham bone. The fire chief also noted her hair was unkempt and her skirt was unzipped.

Dorothy Parker may have been the wit of The Algonquin Roundtable but she rarely laughed. Except once when Robert Benchley asked her if she wanted to go make-out in the mens room. She laughed for several hours to which Mr. Benchley quipped “Seriously Dot, it wasn’t that funny.”

Frank O’Hara was said to have written ‘Lunch Poems’ during his lunch break while working at The Museum Of Modern Art. But according to Vlad Kippling, a hot dog vendor he frequented daily, they were much closer to dinner time poems.

Along with ‘Leaves Of Grass’, Walt Whitman also wrote several Motown hits for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Robert Lowell had three legs, one of which was wooden. His daughter Amy said the third one was mostly for show.


ee cummings and A.A. Milne once refused to do a reading together.

T.S. Elliot’s original title for ‘The Waste Land’ was ‘People Aren’t Very Nice And We’re All Going To Die Soon So Don’t Bother Going To Church And Drink Up!”

Charles Bukowski toured the Midwest as an alto-soprano in a barber shop quartet called The Sing-a-lings.

Edgar Allan Poe slept with a night-light on. For obvious reasons.

Emily Dickinson enjoyed entertaining at children’s birthday parties. She was known for her realistic duck impersonations and a ventriloquist act with her dog Carlo whom she made appear to be reading her poems.

Sylvia Plath was voted both class clown and most flexible in her high school yearbook.

William Wadsworth Longfellow was actually only about five feet two inches.

In 1908 Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote a series of poems about jello while in prison. Most of them went unpublished except for “Jiggly, Jiggly, Jiggly, I’m In Hell” which was published in 1923.

Allen Ginsberg had a huge crush on Jack Kerouac. Jack Kerouac had a massive crush on Neal Cassady. William Burroughs had a huge crush on Ginsberg…wait, that’s all true.

Personally, I’ve always stuck to the old adage, ‘don’t do anything you can’t explain to the paramedics when they arrive.’ So far it’s served me well.

So far.

They’ll be here any minute.




Friday, June 18, 2010

How to write BAD POETRY in 19 easy steps!

You’re probably wondering why bad poetry?
More likely, you’re wondering why the words bad and poetry have seeped into your life like the stench from a broken septic tank.
I’m not one for divulging anything personal but I thought you should know…
 
I’m just in it for the money.





It’s a little known and closely guarded secret in the literary community that writing poetry can be wildly lucrative. Forget all those visions of Rimbaud and Verlaine living in abject poverty while strung out on absinthe and hashish. The truth is, most poets live more like Joan and Jackie Collins. Complete with man-servants ready to shave off their bunions and whip up a dry martini at 7:00am. Not to mention the liposuction and tantrums.




As a matter of fact, I’ve got my very own Swedish masseuse named Ingadolde sitting on me right now.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The sad truth is bad poetry doesn’t just write itself.
Although in the case of Jewel, I may be at a loss here. Seriously.

http://www.smoe.org/lists/jewel/angels/poetry.html#SaveTheLinoleum

Anyway, much like sculpting your first hideously deformed clay ashtray for father’s day in the third grade, bad poetry requires something that looks similar to talent, focus and attention--but isn’t. In fact you don’t actually have to be creative at all or even remotely interesting. Being gassy or drunk can give you the same feeling as well as the same results. And for less than half what you’d pay at a regular poetry store! So if you’re ready to become rich and famous and impossible to be around, then here are a few guidelines that have helped me on my way to fame and fortune in the world of incredibly suspect verse.

1. Iambic Pentameter can go f%#@ itself
2. Always use clunky words you don’t really know (e.g. incorrigible & verisimilitude)
3. Try to fit a knock-knock joke in whenever possible
4. If you must Haiku, please clean up after yourself
5. Irony isn’t dead but it has been hit on the head with a frying pan
6. Inappropriate rhyming will always save you (e.g. moose and Jews)
7. The good news is no one else knows what e.g. stands for either
8. If you run into writer's block, try writing in a foreign language you don’t speak. It's de rigueur
9. If you write a ‘concrete’ poem, try to use actual concrete or cement
10. If you accidentally use ‘alliteration’ simply type the letter A for the           duration of the poem. This gives it much more meaning.
11. Contrary to popular belief, people really do want to know what you had for breakfast as long as it’s in verse form
12. If you’re worried about meaning in your poem, don’t. We’ll all be dead soon enough
13. When making a ‘list’ poem, be sure add toilet paper to it. No one likes to drip dry or use your clean hand towels next to the sink
14. Poems to imaginary childhood friends will most likely win you a Pulitzer
15. Don’t worry about your ‘audience’. They don’t give a crap about you either
16. The best poems are the ones you plagiarize (see previous blog entry)
17. It helps if you were dropped on your head as a child
18. Things you should know as a poet: Along with Leaves Of Grass, Walt Whitman also wrote several Motown hits for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
19. If you've been looking for your ‘voice’ as a poet and can't find it, there’s a good chance someone stole it on purpose

I do hope this helps.

And always remember, when the writing gets tough…
the tough fall apart and go crying to their therapist.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Plagiarism! The Fast And Easy Way To Write Poetry.

 
Things to do today:
 
-Pick up cat litter/toothpaste
-Return library books/More Jackie Collins!
- Try encapsulating beauty and passion in measure and elevate it to some kind of truth recognized by the subconscious as emotional sentiment distilled into words.
- Shoot myself out of a cannon in the backyard.

Seriously. It’s much easier than trying to write poetry.

Anything’s easier than writing poetry. Go ahead, put crowns on ALL of my teeth! What’s that, a giant bee hive? What are you waiting for? Let’em out! I’ll just stand here in my bikini. Up until now, writing poetry has been a lonely, angst –ridden affair full of self-loathing, doubt, terrible hangovers and an odd smell coming from one of the sofa cushions. Not anymore!
Now there’s a fast, fun and easy way to find your voice and empty your subconscious onto a blank piece of paper and it's called...

                             Plagiarism!

Poets have toiled away for centuries trying to find the perfect way to express the mysteries of the mind, the complexity of emotions, oh heck! a reason for the whole darn universe. Some of them have even died trying while everyone else was out playing volleyball. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and let your forebearers do all the work for you. No need to ruin relationships, drink yourself silly or hide from the IRS for the sake of art anymore. Plagiarism is the simplest way to write poetry, novels, short stories and even letters to the editor. 
 




No need to get stuck in the agony of creativity anymore!
No more insurmountable moments of distorted self-consciousness. No more elements of wonder and engagement with time. No more sifting through memory for lost moments that need to be expressed. No more dictionaries and thesauruses to make a fool of you. Most of all, no more critics! This is foolproof writing at its best. Every line, every word has already been perfectly chosen courtesy of someone else’s blood, sweat and tears! It’s so easy, even a very bad poet can do it. Here’s a little something I whipped up in less than 30 seconds!

 The Lonely Bliss Of Falling In Love With A Poem

 It's all I have to bring today
This, and my heart beside

This, and my heart, and all the fields 
so I went to the worst of bars hoping

to get killed but all I could do
was to get drunk again.

It is always a matter, my darling, 
Of life or death, as I had forgotten      
  
I wish what I wished you before, 
but harder. I have been to lots of parties
 
and acted perfectly disgraceful 
but I never actually collapsed
 
oh Lana Turner we love you get up
because the birthday of my life is come
 
my love is come to me. You look up 
at the world & go: oh and it set you going
 
like a fat gold watch. 
the midwife slapped your footsoles
 
and your bald cry took its place 
among the elements of the scenes
 
our dreams have painted and when you're advised 
what they symbolized we'll begin to feel 
 
acquainted. Each night now I tie 
ten dollars and your car key to my thigh.
 
See? 
Easy breazy. 


Emily Dickinson, Charles Bukowski, Robert Lowell, Frank O’Hara, Richard Wilbur, Sylvia Plath, Christina Rossetti, Eileen Myles and Dorothy Parker will NEVER know the difference. So have fun! And may all your literary dreams come true in less than an hour.

 
 I'd stay away from Rod McKuen though. 
Apparently he ‘s on to us.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Could You Help Me Out? I'm Just A Few Clowns Short Of A Circus


 
Writing is a lonely business. Lonelier than a port-o-potty cleaner at a truckstop in Nome, Alaska. It can suck you into a vortex of self-loathing that has you asking friends, "should I go on anti-depressants?"

The answer is yes, Susan. I suggest starting with 125 milligrams.

The days will seem lighter, the sun warmer, friends kinder, the world gentler. Your writing will flow like a Caribbean waterfall. Then, just like a bad acid trip, you'll begin to realize it still requires something akin to a plot, talent, hard work and sadly, structure. Goddamned-sonofabitch structure. And before you can say Brett Easton-Ellis, you'll be back to square one. That's why it might be best to give up those inane literary pursuits and consider going to...
Clown College!

 What better way to express the overwhelming creativity and joie de vivre that most writers have smoldering within us? Instead of clever, thinly veiled stories about your friends drinking problems and unexpected miscarriages, you can say what's on your mind with brightly colored balloon animals and ridiculously vague and inappropriate hand gestures. Not to mention a perfectly painted on smile that says, "I don't know where the hell I am, but I sure am having fun!"

Instead of inept reviews from random bloggers who thought the 'Twilight' series gave literature the boost it sorely needed, you'll get rave reviews from small children who, although frightened at first by the bad make-up and the smell of gin on your breath, will come to adore you, clinging to your leg like they're in the cereal isle at the Piggly-Wiggly, while begging their parents if  'Scott The Clown' can please! please! come and live with them.

And for a thin, brief moment, this actually sounds like a good idea.

What the heck? It's not like you have a relationship weighing you down. Turns out you're too 'moody' and no one really gets you. You haven't paid your rent in three months anyway. I'm sure your landlord will gladly help you pack up your meager belongings (which consist of a  ping-pong table and a copy of Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying' you never actually read) and give you cab fare just to be sure you're on your merry way.

All I'm saying is, writing is hard. Clowning is fun. From now on, I'm choosing fun. Why should I spend my precious time agonizing over character development or a more mellifluous way to describe what's in my protagonists closet when I can learn how to juggle cantaloupe and the fine art of pulling string out of my nose. Not to mention the shoes!

Oh, what I wouldn't give to show up at my publishers office in those shoes to say fine, maybe Sophie's Choice as science fiction won't work, but who cares! I have a new life now. Sure, I'll still be tripping, falling and bumping into walls just like you said, but this time it's on my terms.
 And I'll be getting paid.

For once.

http://www.ohiocollegeclowningarts.com/curriculum.html

"Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals." -John Steinbeck

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slang-Whangers In A Sonofabitch Stew

One of the fun things about writing is research or more precisely "research".  Thinly disguised as the things I simply MUST know about my characters that can keep me 'barkin' at a knot' for hours. More importantly, wasting time is a joy when you're on a deadline.  For instance, a character, although she lives in the present time and grew up in New York, enjoys speaking in old west slang. And who doesn't? Oh, the hours of fun finding ridiculous slang for her to spew into dialogue for no apparent reason. Here are a few gems you might enjoy:


A Hog-Killin' Time - A real good time. "We went to the Rodeo Dance and had us a hog-killin' time."

Airin' the Paunch - Vomit, throw-up, regurgitate. He's "airing the paunch" after a heavy bout of drinking.

Barkin' at a knot - Doing something useless; wasting your time, trying something impossible.

Blacksmithing - Pimping for a prostitute.

Buckle Bunnies - Female groupies who follow and befriend rodeo riders.

Excuse-me-ma'am - A bump in the road.

Family Disturbance - Whiskey

Lunger - Slang for someone with tuberculosis.
Hot as a Whorehouse on Nickel Night - Damned hot.

Shoot the Crow - Obtain a drink in a saloon and leave without paying.

Shove the queer - To pass counterfeit money.

Sossle Or Sozzle - A lazy or sluttish woman.  

Sugar – Kiss or loving. "Honey, come over here and give your grandma some sugar." 
I've been using them in a sentence ever since and having more fun than a soft horse in a teapot! (A horse with lots of energy at a train station) Sure, I may be 'all down but nine' but atleast I can 'acknowledge the corn'.

Word to your mother.