Mom and I like to feature new talent and fresh voices from time to time. Today it’s author Gib Check. Okay. So it’s not exactly “today.” This post is actually from 2011. (Yeah. One of us is older than dirt. I won’t tell you who.) Gib was one of our very first guest authors. So we’re honoring him today with a revisit of one of his submissions from yesteryear.
So grab a chair and sit down for some chuckles and “oh yeah!” moments with Gib’s humorous ode to modern day technology, Tech-Save Us. Does this sound familiar?
If you’ve been following Pages and Paws for any length of time – say, 20 minutes or so – you know that Her Momness sometimes says weird stuff about books. (Don’t tell her I said that, okay?)
Sometimes Mom’ll read a “best-seller” that’s topping the charts and go, “Aaaarg! Barf-o-rama and gag me with Meow Mix! Bleeeech and double bleech!!” And sometimes she’ll read an obscure-ish book by an unknown indie author and chirp, “Why isn’t this magnum opus in every library, on every shelf, and in every bookstore in America and the whole world included?! Cuz it’s Seriously Awesome!”
The Children’s Section
Well. You know Mom. (Insert eye roll here.)
She also thinks some of the best writing and coolest stories around can be found in the Children’s Section of the local library. (Not sure what that says about Mom. Can I get back to you on that?)
Anywho, Mom was lumbering back from The Book Place the other day with her usual truckload of To Be Reads. All from the Children’s Section. I’m not making this up. Then she decides it’s time for a Pop Quiz. Like this:
“Okay, Kimmi. What children’s classic opens with these lines”:
You know we’re all about books here. Good stuff. Lousy stuff you don’t need to waste your valuable time on.
But binge-watching just about anything on Netflix or whatever seems to have become a favorite indoor sport since the never-ending pandemic took root. So we’ve been getting requests for feedback on some of them thar Netflix-y type drama series of the TV kind.
So. What’s binge-worthy and what’s not? Here goes:
The other day Mom re-read Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers. Just a few days after watching the Disney movie with Julie Andres and Dick Van Dyke. Having read and watched both versions within a few days of each other, Her Momness was somewhat astonished. At how far apart they are.
Granted, there are things you can and can’t do on the silver screen that you can do in a book. Some book scenes just don’t translate well onto film. But in the case of Mary Poppins The Book vs. Mary Poppins the Movie, the two are almost oceans apart. (We loved Saving Mr. Banks, thank you very much.)
Are you an author with a story to share? An excerpt from your next great American novel? Tips for fledgling (or even seasoned) writers? How do you overcome writer’s block? What have you learned about editors, query letters, traditional vs. alternative publishing venues? How did you land your first book contract, or are you still looking? What titles have you recently read that are shout-out worthy per our Rating System and Submission Guidelines?
We’re currently accepting guest posts on these and other writing-related topics.
You don’t have to have the publishing “big boys” banging down your door to post at Pages and Paws. In fact, we’ve been known to pan Pulitzer Prize winner and hear praise on unknown indie authors who’ve earned it.
To be considered for a guest post here, all you really need is something to say that’s well said, a passion for writing and reading, and the desire to learn and share. If accepted, your post will include a byline and a link to your blog or website as applicable.
That said, here are a few ground rules and guide lines.
We prefer content that’s fresh and original. That is, content that hasn’t been previously published elsewhere.
We don’t do “auto publish.” All guest posts are reviewed prior to publication. Publication is neither promised nor guaranteed. But if your submission is a good fit for us, you’re way ahead of the game.
We’re partial to “short and sweet.” Submissions should be between 300 – 500 words. (Tip: humorous and/or true-life “slice of life” vignettes always catch our eye!) A longer post (up to 850 words, max) may be accepted if we really, really like it.
If your post is accompanied by an original photo or two, so much the better!
This blog is G-rated. We reserve the right to reject any submission, for any reason, without explanation. Likewise, posts that include links or references to sites that are not G-rated or include spam and viruses will not be accepted
There is no compensation for any posts. As in, zip. Your “compensation” is boosted traffic and exposure for your work.
You are encouraged to promote your submission and share links via your own social network. More exposure for Pages and Paws means more exposure for you.
How To Submit a Guest Post
To submit a guest post, just leave a comment or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “My Writing Story!” in the subject line so we don’t miss it.
Kimber here. Advising you that Her Crankiness is at it again. Regarding book review requests. As in, how NOT to request a book review from us. And HOW TO GREATLY REDUCE the chances of getting your review request accepted. Also a word about guest posts.
If you’re a serious author, you’re gonna want to know this stuff. So here’s the 4-1-1:
Just four short words. Followed by a few more. And we recognize them instantly.
Today is the 50th anniversary of one of the most notable achievements in human history: landing a man on the moon.
It’s remarkable. Transcendent. Historic.
I remember the day. I was nine years old.
Mom herded us kids into the living room to the old black and white stereo/console. “This is an historic event!” she exclaimed. “No one has ever done this before!”
“Done what?” I asked, not quite sure what all the hubbub was about.
“Neil Armstrong is about to walk on the moon!” Mom crowed, brown eyes flashing.
I had no idea who “Neil Armstrong” was.
But everything came to a standstill. I’ll never forget those grainy images from the moon. Armstrong’s iconic comments. Walter Cronkite whipping off his glasses and kind of shaking his head in awe, astonishment, and pride. My siblings and I watched, mouths agape, not fully comprehending the enormity of the moment. That took a few years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNE7Il3fs9M
What American astronauts and their team achieved on July 20, 1969, was, to put it mildly, an epic achievement. It set the gold standard of what good ‘ole American ingenuity, stick-to-it-iveness and know-how can accomplish.
It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that the Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were part of a bigger team. Like the entire crew at Mission Control in Houston. Thousands of additional employees and support personnel. Naval personnel who retrieved the space capsule after splashdown, etc.
All eyes were on the same ‘brass ring’: successfully landing a man on the moon. And bringing him home.
We did it. Beginning with a single small step.
You may not be headed to Tranquility Base. Or Fra Mauro. But what “small step” can you take today toward your ‘brass ring’? Maybe it’s:
Finding a new trail
Exploring a new park, beach, mountain, canyon, or desert
Getting more exercise
Spending more time with family
Learning a new skill or hobby
Reaching out to a lonely neighbor
Start writing a book
Finish writing a book
Saying “I’m sorry”
Trying a new recipe, author, composer, or hair style
Planning for retirement
Offering or receiving forgiveness
Taking the first step to mend a broken relationship
A big goal for me this summer is exceeding last year’s high water mark related to our library’s annual Summer Reading Program. I read 156 books last summer. I just finished book #113.
I’m on target to meet my goal. But I may need to hit the after-burners. One book – one page – one paragraph, sentence and small step – at a time.
Reposting from 2018 in honor of Derby Day and the 145th Run for the Roses!
“Inevitable.” Isn’t that a great word? Learned it from Mom the other day. As in, the 144st annual Run for the Roses is coming up on May 5. So debates about who was the Greatest Thoroughbred of All Time are… inevitable.
Or so I’m told.
A few other things I learned:
The “Run for the Roses” is also known as The Kentucky Derby. The Derby is always run on the first Saturday in May. It’s the first jewel in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred horse racing.
Why do I care about Thoroughbred racing? Well, I don’t. Not really. But Mom does!
She’s been reading a Walter Farley book about one of the greatest champions to ever set hooves on a race track: Man O’War. Along with legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Man O’War is a top contender for Greatest Thoroughbred of All Time honors.
Man O’War’s remarkable life unfolds through the eyes of fictional stable boy Danny Ryan. Mom says the story is nearly as powerful and compelling as the great Thoroughbred himself. I’m not sure what the means. But it sounds good.
So when Kentucky Derby time rolls around each May, the comparisons between Man O’ War and another great champion, Triple Crown Winner (1973) Secretariat, are inevitable. At least according to Mom. Which horse gets the nod for Horse of the Century? Depends on who you ask. And what day it is.
Both possessed blinding speed. Both ran challengers off their feet. Both broke records. Both have great stories.
So whether your vote for The Greatest goes to Secretariat or Man O-War, a few things are for sure:
1) May is the perfect month for awesome horse stories!