books with Athena

books with Athena

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Solstice, Everyone!

I'm going off to do the family thing visiting relatives with limited computer access, so there will be no Sunday post on December 26th.  I'll be back January 2. I hope you're all having fun holidays. 

Just for grins, here’s a little verse I wrote a few years ago—updated for current trends. (Sorry about the seriously clunky rhyme. Anybody have a better rhyme for “zombies?”)

Yes, we all need to learn the rules. Then we need to learn how not to follow them.

…with apologies to Dorothy Parker

Writer, writer, never pen
Background story till page ten.
Use no flashbacks—no, nor prologue.
Never start your book with di’logue.
Set the hero’s hair on fire.
Keep the situation dire.
Write in genres tried and true
From a single point of view.
Tell your tale in linear time.
Avoid a plot that strains the mind.
No dead kids, bad priests, abuse
Or politics in your debuts.
Stick to sleuths with cutsie hobbies,
Teenage dating, clockwork zombies.
Make it light but never funny.
(Humor’s too subjective, honey.)

And if that gets you published kid,
You’ll be the first it ever did.


  1. Fantastic! This put a smile on my face. Happy Holidays to you too!

  2. I think the zombies should have the cutesie hobbies...

  3. LOVE that poem! :-)

    A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

  4. Cute poem! Hey, I thought of other things that could rhyme with zombies:

    Stick to sleuths with:
    nosey mommies
    magic wand keys
    bags of toffees
    clever clues, please
    graveyard ghosts, please
    wand'ring bodies
    wond'rous clues, please
    shaking knees, please
    big clues to seize
    bad guys to tease

  5. Well, I break too many of these rules in my debut novel (lol).

    Cool poem. Have a great holiday season Anne.


  6. Happy Holidays, Anne, and a fantastic 2011...


  7. Happy Solstice! Wasn't the moon spectacular?

    2011 has to be our year, don't you think?

  8. Awesome poem! Will print this out and post it in front of my writing desk!

  9. Happy Solstice to you. Was great to "meet" you this year.

  10. Happy Belated Solstice to you. Now, I'll be spending the rest of the night thinking of rhymes for zombies. THANKS!

  11. Thanks everybody! I'm so happy to have met all of you this year. Thanks for making my blog such a fun part of my life.

    Carol, those rhymes are awesome.

    Holly, thanks for the follow and don't let the rhyming zombies get to you...

  12. I love the poem, and I love how densely packed it is--you could literally write a whole chapter on each of those lines. It's aesthetically fun, but also loaded with information.

    Your whole advice on blogging series was superhelpful. There were two bits I'm seriously considering as well, i.e. using the blog to share one's research for one's book, which I hadn't really thought about doing; also, reviewing other writing in the same genre. I pretty much agree with everything you said--I think all bloggers should read it, cut and paste it, and most definitely learn from it!

  13. bwahaha. Loved the poem, it's perfect! Hope you had a great holiday and a happy new year to you too!

  14. Samuel, what a day brightener! Coming from you, that's high praise. Thanks a bunch.

    Anybody not yet following Samuel Park's "Daily Pep for Writers" blog, I recommend it. He's got a literary novel coming out with Simon and Schuster next June. Pretty impressive guy. Full of inspiration for us all.

    C Q Girl, thanks to you too!

    Anne G--I sure hope you're right!

    Have a happy 2011 everbody!

  15. ps I do love Dorothy Parker more every day. . .


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