Goody Beagle says: What’s in a Name?

My name isn’t really Goody, you know. My real name is Jane Goodall Beagle. I’m named after one of my human’s heroes. But since I’m not a hero, everybody just calls me Goody.

My human says names are important. She’s kind of funny about them. I don’t think about them that much. I think smells say a lot more about a dog – or a person, for that matter. But my human is a word-person, so we must forgive her.

For instance, one day at the dog park we met a dog named Hrothgar. My human was enchanted with Hrothgar’s name. She went over to talk to Hrothgar’s human just because his name was so cool. Evidently it’s the name of some king long ago, who had a monster named Grendel living in his house.

Hrothgar was a pretty laid?back dog. He just sat at his human’s feet the whole time and let my human pat him on the head. I guess his name fits him, since only a laid?back king would let a monster live with him. If I was a king, I wouldn’t let a monster live in my house. Would you?

Another time at the dog park we met a Great Dane whose name was Waldo Emerson, although he just goes by Emerson. His name too pleased my human no end.

Although only 6 months old, Emerson is a very big dog. His paws are nearly the size of my whole head. (well, maybe I exaggerate, but you get the idea.) Because Emerson is so young, he has a lot of goofy energy and he likes to be right in the thick of things. Also because of his youth, he doesn’t know all the rules of etiquette. He makes other dogs feel anxious, angry, or hyped up. What Emerson makes me feel is tired.

My human says there was a famous human named Emerson, who liked to go off by himself and be quiet so he could appreciate nature. All I can say is that Emerson G. Dane is not living up to his name.

Technorati Tags:Good Beagle human name Beagle Kim Pearson StoryKim ghostwriting

Haiku Friday: Gray

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Gray:

Gray November days
wear your cherry red sweater
eat Mexican food

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Technorati Tags: Haiku writing syllable topic gray November days cherry red sweater Mexican food Kim Pearson StoryKim

Storytelling Round Robin

Once a month I invite you to play a game called Round Robin Storytelling on this blog. In case you missed it, here’s how this works: I start a story by giving you a couple of paragraphs, then stop at a critical juncture. If you want to play, go ahead and pick up the story and write (in the comments) what happens next – just a paragraph or two, no more. Then stop. Then either I or another reader of this blog will add their piece of the story, and stop. Then another person, or I, will continue. Hopefully. If no one comments, then I guess I’ll have to finish the story myself.

Now, this story is actually one already written all the way through, but that doesn’t mean this story must be this way. Other ways are possible, maybe even desirable. Want to play? Here is the beginning of a story called “How the Stupid Ostrich Discovered Fire,” a folktale from Africa.

Once long ago, or maybe only yesterday, Ostrich lived among the Bushmen of Africa. The Bushmen were small people, the size of the children of today, but they had long, long arms and strong, strong legs. And they were very smart, which is the most important thing about them.

Ostrich towered over the Bushmen, because she was the tallest of all the creatures in Africa. She had long, long legs and a long, strong neck. But she was also quite stupid, which is the most important thing about her.

At this time, oh so long ago — or maybe only yesterday — people did not know how to make fire. They did not even know there was such a thing. The only creature who knew about fire was Ostrich.

Now you may ask, how did Ostrich know about fire, if she was so stupid?


I’m eager to see what you do with the Ostrich and Fire. Look for the next Storytelling Round Robin in late December.

Technorati Tags: Storytelling book folk tales genre round robin game paragraph comment Kim Pearson StoryKim

Compost — Discover another e-book!

Check out another short story collection available as an e-book – Childish Discoveries.(http://tinyurl.com/2523adm) Look through innocent childish eyes in these 7 short stories, and discover that those eyes may not be so innocent after all. A sandwich turns deadly, a trampoline becomes an avenger, and the hallway coat closet harbors a secret occupant. These stories and others may make you remember your own childish discoveries in the mysterious grown-up world.

Here’s the start of one of the stories, “The Trampoline.” Just the first few paragraphs – if you want to read the whole story, you have to get the collection. http://tinyurl.com/2523adm

Saturdays used to be Big Eddie’s day alone. She always spent them working out at the gym. But since the divorce Saturday was her day with Little Eddie. She had tried for Sunday, but Little Eddie’s father was stubborn. He said he wanted Sundays so he could take Little Eddie to church. The judge loved that one. Big Eddie got stuck with Saturday or nothing.

Big Eddie was afraid that if she said, “Okay, nothing,” everyone would say she was a bad mother. Little Eddie might hate her when he grew up. And even though Little Eddie was kind of a wimpy kid, he might not be so bad when he got older.

“Want to see where momma works out?” she asked Little Eddie, on their first Saturday alone together.

Little Eddie nodded. He never said much, especially to his mother. He was afraid of her. Big Eddie was really big. She was a body builder. As long as Little Eddie could remember, Big Eddie had been in training for the Women’s Body Building Championship. One year she came in third in her division, but that was not good enough for her. “Number One!” said Big Eddie, pounding her fist on the table. “I want to be Number One!”

Big Eddie’s real name was Edwina. But Little Eddie’s father had called her Big Eddie since the night she put Little Eddie’s father in a headlock and would not let him up until he said uncle. That was before Little Eddie was born, but he had heard the story many times. Now everybody called her Big Eddie. It fitted her.

Little Eddie’s father’s name was Ed too. Big Eddie called him Just Plain Ed. He was a furniture salesman. He was not much of an athlete, but Little Eddie loved him anyway. Even though he missed his mother, Little Eddie was glad he got to live most of the time with Just Plain Ed.

Except on Saturdays. From now on Saturdays were Big Eddie’s day. Little Eddie guessed he might be spending every Saturday at the gym.


Technorati Tags: writing short stories Kim Pearson StoryKim Smashwords Amazon Childish Discoveries

Haiku Friday: Wisdom

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Wisdom:

The wise woman’s way:
let your long gray hair go wild
make your wrinkles dance

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Technorati Tags: Haiku writing syllable topic wisdom wise woman gray hair wild wrinkles dance Kim Pearson StoryKim

Sharing History: 1940s Slang

One thing that defines a generation is their way of speaking, especially the slang developed in their teens and twenties. These words often reflect the political changes and social preoccupations of the time. A good example of this is the slang of the 1940s, a time of huge turmoil because of the bloody Second World War, when many young people were literally being blown to bits. A large percentage of forties’ slang has to do with body parts, perhaps because giving silly names one’s legs, arms, eyes, and so on, shielded you from the realities of what was really happening to those parts. Somehow “He lost both his drumsticks” sounds less horrifying than “he lost both his legs.” To get an idea of how prevalent this slang was, here is an alphabetical list of slang terms coined in the 1940s, some of which are still in use today.

biscuit – your head
blinkers – your eyes
bone box – your mouth
bread basket – your stomach
brush – your mustache
chewers – your teeth
choppers – your teeth
chops – your jaws
clocker – your heart
dome – your head
drumsticks – your legs
dukes – your fists
face lace – your whiskers
feelers – your fingers
flippers – your ears
floppers – your arms
frame – a girl’s overall figure
gams – your legs
grabbers – your hands
hinges – your elbows
idea pot – your head
lamps – your eyes
lugs – your ears, especially if they were large
meat hooks – your hands
moss – your whiskers
noggin – your head
paws – your hands
phiz – your face
pickers – your fingers
prayer dukes – your knees
pump – your heart
puss – your face
sails – your ears
schnozz– your nose
shutters – your eyelids
sneezer – your nose
stems – your legs
stretcher – your neck
think box – your head
ticker – your heart
wigglers – your fingers

Technorati Tags: writing sharing history 1940s generation slang Second World War Kim Pearson StoryKim

Goody Beagle on Ears

I met a Corgi dog with mismatched ears. One stuck up like those of a mutilated Doberman, the other flopped down like a naturally beautiful Beagle. It looked strange. I bet the Corgi gets lots of funny looks. I don’t know if it was a birth defect or an accident, but I hope it didn’t hurt. And I especially hope it wasn’t done on purpose by one of those humans who thinks he is God and alters the shapes of dogs to suit his own ideas.

Sometimes I think humans have a lot to answer for. Who are they to tell me what my ears should look like?

Technorati Tags: Goody Beagle ghostwriting dog dogs ears Doberman Beagle accident hurt human Kim Pearson StoryKim

Haiku Friday: Asleep

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Asleep:

Go deeper asleep
dream from your center until
wild weeds grow again

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Technorati Tags: Haiku writing syllable topic asleep central dream weeds grow Kim Pearson StoryKim

Word History – Plumbing and Crazy Romans

I have a weakness for science blogs, although not being a scientist, I prefer the blogs that go easy on laymen. I also have a fascination with the history of words, so when I came upon a science blog, Speakeasy Science, (http://blogs.plos.org/speakeasyscience) which is written in language I can understand, AND sported a recent article on the history of a word, I was hooked.

Here’s what I learned from Speakeasy Science about our word “plumb”, “plumbing”, and “plumber.” These words come from the Latin word “plumbum” which originally meant “malleable metal” or a metal that could easily be shaped. In common usage in ancient Rome, plumbum eventually came to mean “lead”, a malleable metal that the Romans became very fond of. You’ve heard about the much-touted plumbing systems of Rome, right? They had running water and toilets and baths when much of the rest of the world went dirty and smelly. They had these wonders because they had plumbing, and their plumbing system was made of lead pipes.

Actually this turned out to be not such a great deal for the Roman aristocracy (the commoners didn’t have as much access to the baths and plumbing system), because as we now know, lead is a poisonous substance. Lead leached into the water flowing through those pipes, and over time symptoms of lead poisoning, including madness, began to show up in the aristocracy. Some historians believe that lead poisoning may even have led to the downfall of the Roman Empire. After all, crazy emperors tend to make bad decisions.

Speakeasy Science is a wonderful blog. Science and ancient history and etymology, all at once.

Technorati Tags: writing word words history Kim Pearson blogs science layman Speakeasy Science Latin etymology ancient history

Compost: E-books

I just published three short-story collections as e-books. Because some of these stories were over ten years old and stuck in a file while I “got around to” submitting them to magazines that publish short stories – and you know how that goes – I took them out and re-read them, and discovered they were pretty darn good. So I updated them, put them into collections, and issued them instead as e-books via Smashwords. They are available on Smashwords on http://tinyurl.com/2amrxwo and soon through Amazon – they are reborn with a new life! Exciting.

Here’s a taste of one of the short stories, from the collection “Creature Discomforts.” http://tinyurl.com/2fq6e73 Here’s what you’ll find in this collection:

Enter the strange cracked world of these enchanting short stories; a world where it is common to find a platoon of cats executing an elaborate revenge, baby alligators returning from the dead, and other discomforting glimpses into the lives of so-called ordinary creatures. These stories might stay with you a long time, like a persistent dream – or a recurring nightmare.


And here’s a taste of one of the short stories in this collection, “Miss Maud and the Three Bears.” Just the first few paragraphs to whet your curiosity . . .

Maud McKay often said that she was as tough as cougar manure and twice as nasty. Miss Maud spoke the truth in colorful, pithy phrases guaranteed to stick in the mind.

Miss Maud was born nasty, but she had learned her toughness the hard way. She was born in the early years of the last century, and had lived since then in a small logging town nestled high in the Cascade mountains of Washington State. Miss Maud was a logger, and owned her own logging company for exactly fifty years. Even after she sold the business, in 1990, she kept in shape by cutting down a tree now and then, just to prove that she could still do it.

Miss Maud McKay was a legend in Bonnington, Washington. Bonnington had been settled in the days of Teddy Roosevelt, peopled with imports from the Ozark Mountains of West Virginia, which in their day had been settled by Scotch-Irish immigrants. The people of Bonnington were genuine hillbillies: taciturn, secretive, and rude to outsiders. They kept to the old ways, an anachronistic pocket in the Northwest. Miss Maud’s birth coincided with that of the town’s. She had been a legend since her birth, and ninety years later her legend was such a pervasive part of the town’s mythology that some people (newcomers) thought she really was a myth and did not realize that there really was, or had ever been, an actual Miss Maud McKay.

When Bonnington people spoke of Miss Maud they always gave her full name and title: Miss Maud McKay. When they spoke to her, which was increasingly seldom, they were especially careful to address her as Miss Maud McKay. There were two exceptions. The first was her nephew, George. He called her Aunt Miss Maud McKay. The second was Miss Maud herself. She referred to herself as Miss Maud. There was actually a third exception, forming an interesting link in the chain of Miss Maud’s legend. It was spoken of in whispers.


I’m sorry, if you want to read the rest of Miss Maud’s adventures, you have to get the book.

Technorati Tags: writing short stories Kim Pearson StoryKim Smashwords Amazon Creature Discomforts