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Thursday, April 26, 2012

You Have Questions? EBWW 2012 Has Answers

By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for magic eight ball

If you went to the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop 2012 looking for answers, you weren't disappointed. Whatever question you had, it was answered. And if you didn't like the answer you got in the first session, you could just go to the next one and keep going until you got the answer you liked. For example:

Question #1: How do I get something published?

Session A: Build your platform. Show that you have ten million followers on Facebook and ninety-nine trillion stalkers on Twitter. Then add Pine-trees for graphics and spend the next four years of your life marketing the book.
Session B: Start writing when you are 68, print 7 copies of your first book at Staples, give 5 to your children and 2 to your two best friends. Then a publisher will call you and publish your next four books, and two playwrights will find you and turn your book into an off Broadway play all before you are 74. It helps if you live in New York.
Session C: If you have money, I will print.
Session D: You take two pieces of wood, nail them together, get a plastic baby and some electrical tape, make it a patch, call it a pirate and write a parody on parenting.

Question #2: Should I write for free?

Session D: Absolutely!
Session E: Absolutely not!
Session F: Absolutely not, unless you are getting something in return!
Session G: Absolutely up to you!

Question #3: How important is social media?

Session H: If you can speak Geek, totally important.
Session I: If you have live human, breathing friends, not so important.
Session J: If you have a ten year old living next door who will tutor for free, it can be helpful.

I hope you are making plans for EBWW 2014 where these same questions will be asked and answered in sessions in various formats and languages once again.

You Have Questions? EBWW Has Answers

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Follow the Yellow Brick Road

By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for red slippers.

Confused once said “All paths lead to the Rome..if you start from there and travel in a cirlce.” I also remember advice from Glenda the Good Witch to just follow the Yellow Brick Road. I was neither in Rome nor did I have a Yellow Brick Road. What I did have was a temporary job that required me to travel to a nearby city.

It had been fifteen years since I had been to this particular city. I thought I remembered the way but to be sure I consulted “Never-Need-a-Map Hubby. I also got the Tom Tom out of the glove compartment, and just for added insurance, I drove the car that had On Star installed in it. I also left an extra hour early in case, just in case I got lost. Heck, I left an extra hour early because I knew I was going to get lost.

I began by following Hubby’s directions since I had asked him twice just to be sure I had the right turn off and I even wrote it down. “Yes, turn at the Y”. Ok. Somehow that did not match the highway signs I saw so I decided to plug in the Tom Tom. Tom sent me down a back road I had never traveled before. I decided I had better consult On Star.

At one point the Tom Tom was telling me to make a u-turn at the same time On Star was telling me to bare left while the notes from No-Map-Needed-Hubby said keep going straight, and I am telling no one in particular "I don't remember ever seeing that red barn before." I decided to consult the next human I saw face to face. The highway worker confirmed the directions from On Star. I unplugged Tom and threw the notes from No-Map out the window.

The first 81 mile trip took me 2 1/2 hours. On the way home that first day, I passed the same McDonalds three times on the loop before the guy at On Star could stop laughing long enough to get me on the right highway and headed home.

The second day of traveling to this city, I chunked the Tom Tom in the backseat, reminded myself that hubby got his PhD from Texas A&M, and called On Star for directions. That time it only took me two hours because I stopped for gas. On the way home that evening, I thought I knew the way well enough to go it alone. When I got lost in the parking lot, I called On Star. They had put the GPS locator on me my second trip around the parking lot and were taking bets as to how soon I would call.

On the third day I waited until I got to the city limits of my destination before calling On Star. I thought I was close, but I wasn’t sure. “Oh, you’re Jody. Just let me look that…oh,..well… it looks like you are just two miles…now one mile, ok, look out the window on your left. You are there. Is there anything else I can help you with?” “Yes, I need coffee now!” “If you look to your right you will recognize the McDonald’s you passed three…” Click.

That was the day of the Texas tornados. When the storm let up enough for me to head home that evening, I wasn’t sure I could get On Star with all the lightening and the pouring down rain, so I followed one of the directors out of Longview as far as Kilgore. From there, I knew the way home...head south, don’t turn till you see your mailbox. The car was on auto pilot.

When I arrived home, Hubby was waiting at the door. “I was worried. I was afraid you might have gotten lost” he said. “Not me.” Technically I hadn’t this time. “Just tapped my ruby red slippers together and said “There’s nothing like On Star! There’s nothing like On star! There’s nothing….”

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Twister Crime

By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for bail.

I am, by all accounts, an honest law abiding person; but last night during the Festival of Tornadoes, I knowingly and willing committed a crime.

I was at Longview High School at the one-act play competition, which really isn’t a one-act play competition because nobody does one-acts, just 40 minutes from a longer play. The last play had finished and the winners were announced. The judge had just finished critiquing the first play when the Longview host came in and said we all had to get to an interior room because the tornado sirens were going off. Well, that auditorium emptied faster than a Sunday service when the Cowboys kicked-off at noon.

The interior choir room was too full, so the company I was following was sent to the back of the auditorium to huddle behind a half brick wall where the spotlight sits. The cast members were crammed together so tightly that I think everybody now has a date for the prom.

If you are from Texas, you know nothing stops a Texas UIL contest except a direct hit. As the tornado spotted was a good 13 miles away, we continued. The judge who was judging the not-really –one-act play contest went right on telling the kids what they did that was good and what they needed to work on. The kids were peering over that half brick wall at the judge listening to every word. They looked like those little hermit crabs peeping out of a shell. All you could see where their eye-balls. After about ten minutes, the contest manager took the judge in search of the other play companies.

We didn’t know what to do next. We knew a tornado was close by cause our ears were popping; plus a boy that didn’t have an Afro haircut a few minutes ago, had one now. We hadn’t heard the all clear sound so it was possible the tornado warning system had already been taken out.

And that’s when I knowingly and willingly committed a passionate crime.

On tax payer funded public school property, I lead the group in prayer. I don’t mean one of those moments of silence type things; I mean an all-out call to the Lord at the top of my voice. I know. I know. What was I thinking? I'll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking a Texas tornado can suck you up in East Texas and spit you out in Arkansas; where, if you wake up, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to Hell. Jail time was preferable over landing in Arkansas.

The tornado tuckered out before it got to us. By 10:00 the wind had died down enough for me to head for home. I guess jail time will be in store for me next. I’ll just sit on the front porch with the light on and wait for Dog the Bounty Hunter to show up. Don’t want him breaking down any doors unnecessarily.