Compost: The Sounds of Words

Back in 1999, I wrote a book called Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura. It contains a short piece that expresses how I feel about words, which I believe says it all. Here it is:

I am obsessed by the sounds of words. I like Old English comical words like mugwort, or marshmallow. I like hushed words spoken in whispers, like neath and ghoul. I like common ordinary words like horn and jump and dog.

I feel words nestled in my mouth, tucked into my cheeks. I smell them and taste them and lick every last drop from the corners of my lips. Then I let them roll and drip like sweet spiced oil off my tongue.

Words like nut have a short sharp crunchy feel as I say them; and when I say honey I can feel the goldenbrown goo thick at the back of my throat. Or consider the word crazy: the bee-tickled Z sound juxtaposed with the terrified EE sound of the y, the harsh C next to the soft liquid R; these are contradictions and make you doubt the location of your mind.

I am enveloped in the sweet glut of words. I jump into them as if they are piles of autumn leaves. I roll around and listen to them crinkle and crisp under my broad soft hips. Or I dive into them as if they were the gooiest darkest mud in the Congo Basin; I let them stop up my ears and my nose and I snort and sneeze and squelch and rub them in my armpits. I hang them on my body like jewels, and I spray them on my skin like perfume. I ornament an decorate and design myself with words.

And I feed myself with words. I suck them in while hot and feel them burn all the way down, and I even crave cold leftover words because they too can hit that blank lonely spot and make the soothing Aahh begin.


Excerpt from Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura, ©2000, Kim Pearson

Technorati Tags: compost writing Kim Pearson StoryKim words Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura Old English feel taste smell hear see

Haiku Friday: Winds

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

Cold winter winds whip
through the wide open window
tangles your hair wild

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 Kim Pearson StoryKim winds cold winter whip open windows tangles hair

Blog Writing Tip: Be Yourself

Just be yourself in your blog. Remember you’re not a corporation or a king. You are a unique individual human being, writing for other unique individual human beings, no better and probably no worse than you. It’s your job to connect with them on a personal level so they feel they know you. (And hopefully like you.) Whenever possible, use “I” and “you”. Share your opinions, what you like and dislike. Share bits of your story. Relate the important points of your post to your own life if possible. If your blog is for a company, you can use “we” but make sure your readers know who the “we” represents, and which We is writing the post. And even if you do use the royal We, don’t pontificate and don’t preach. Don’t be a know-it-all. Do you really know it all? Of course you don’t, no one does. And no one likes one, either.

Technorati Tags: writing tips Kim Pearson StoryKim ghostwriter blog posts rules

Goody Beagle Says: My Yard

My yard is full of smells that tell me who has been trespassing on my property. You can’t fool a Beagle. We can smell anything and everything. I would make a good bomb-and-drug sniffing dog, but who wants to smell that? I like the smells of rabbits and squirrels much better. In fact, I found a place near the fence in my back yard that smelled so much like rabbits I dug a hole trying to find them. I would have found them, too, but my human told me to stop digging holes. So I had to let the rabbits get away. But next time maybe my human won’t notice and then I’ll catch those rabbits and when I do . . .

heh heh heh

Technorati Tags: Goody Beagle Kim Pearson StoryKim writing write story yard property smell holes trespassing

Haiku Friday: Letting Go

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

Seek your old stories
tell them in shouts and whispers
then let them go free

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 Kim Pearson StoryKim letting go old stories tell shouts whispers free

Word History: PU!

A spirited conversation occurred on Thanksgiving this year, between me, my daughter, son-in-law, and step-granddaughter, when my grandson, age 2 ½, came running into the room, sporting a diaper full of poop. “PU!” exclaimed everyone. (Except my grandson, who is too young to care.)

And that started us off on the question of where did the exclamation PU come from? It’s an interesting question, but it turns out that no one really knows. (Linguists actually spend their professional time arguing about this question.)

First off, no one knows how it’s even spelled. Is it pew? or P.U.? And if it’s P.U., what do the P and U stand for? Or is it an abbreviation of a longer word?

Oh, how useful is the magic box! What did we do before the Internet and we had to simply wonder about these fascinating questions?

Still the internet wasn’t that helpful on this one. We found out that some linguists think PU is a shortened term for puteo, Latin for “to stink or smell bad.” Other linguists think its root is the Indo-European word “pu” meaning to rot or decay.

And that’s as much as I could find out. So far. Now I will go spend more of my professional time trying to discover the answer to this earth-shaking question.

In a later post I might explore OK . . .

Technorati Tags:word history writing Kim Pearson StoryKim words PU Thanksgiving spell spelling spelled abbreviation questions Latin Indo-European linguists word

Compost: My Little Brother

Last Friday was my little brother’s birthday. Neither he nor I are little any longer. But in my memory he still is.

During the summer nights when he was 6 and I was 13, my brother Mike and I often camped outside in our backyard. With the hulk of our house nearby, warm in our sleeping bags, we lay on our backs with our eyes on the zillions of stars above. Soothed by the songs of frogs and the warm drowsy chuckles of the hens that were our father’s current project, we contemplated the vast summer sky and wondered about things.

We talked about ordinary stuff like what kind of bike was the best, and going fishing with Dad, and how to get out of eating the disgusting vegetables that Mom put on the dinner table. But our best conversations centered on the stars glittering above us. Who was up there, really? Did they look like us, or like the goggle-eyed monsters on TV? If they came to earth, could we talk to them? Could we travel that far and meet them?

Mike loved me to tell stories about these faraway planets. He admired my storytelling abilities, and his appreciation inspired me to flights of imagination that wandered from the sublime to the ridiculous. One of his favorite sagas was the series of stories I told him the year our grand¬father died. The story had a startling beginning. “Grandpa’s not really dead,” I said. “Nobody really dies. They just go live on a different planet.”

Grandpa’s planet was right at the far tip of the Big Dipper. Grandpa chose that planet, I said, because it was in trouble and needed help. It was over¬run by creatures from the planet Wayne. (Wayne was the name of the neighborhood bully, a boy Mike hated.) The Waynians were blue-skinned and had only one eye, which they could hold in their hands like a marble. They used this eye as a spy device to see into people’s minds, and as a weapon that shot a gluey substance that clogged up your nose and ears and mouth.

Grandpa had many adventures fighting against the Waynians, until he finally sent the Waynians packing by pouring warm fish guts into their eyes. The fish guts dissolved the glue and rendered the Waynians helpless.

The native inhabitants of the planet were so grateful that they named the planet after Grandpa, whose name was Myron. So now this planet at the far tip of the Big Dipper is known as the planet Myron.

I can still feel my little brother shaking with chuckles as Grandpa saved the planet Myron from the Waynians. By the light of the remembered moon I see Mike’s eyes shining with mischief and grace, a combination uniquely his own which even today peeks from his middle-aged eyes.


excerpt from Making History: how to remember, record, interpret and share the events of your life. ©2007, Kim Pearson

Technorati Tags: compost writing Kim Pearson StoryKim brother little birthday memory story stories Making History

Haiku Friday: The Muse

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

The muse is away
Perhaps she’s on vacation
basking in the sun

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 Kim Pearson StoryKim muse vacation sun basking

Tip: Blog Writing

As a ghostwriter and ghost-blogger, people pay me to write for them. Being paid for my writing takes away all those writerly excuses. It means I cannot write sloppily, no matter how I feel on any given day. I cannot wait for the Muse to strike, because I have deadlines. My blog posts need to be compelling, powerful, sometimes funny, and most of all moving – they must move readers to some kind of action or change. Every single time.

This isn’t always easy. But to make it easier, I have come up with some rules for writing blog posts, which I try to follow. (I’m not perfick, so I don’t always follow all of them.) If you are struggling to keep up with writing your blog, you might be interested in my rules. Here is one of them:

Not too long! Blog posts are usually from 200 to 500 words per post. Rarely if ever more than 800 words. Any longer, and people tend to skim or skip them. They look like too much work. If you have more to say, write an article or short e-book, and if you have a lot more to say, write a full-length book. When writing a blog post, be succinct, be clear, and get your point across as fast as you can. The web is not made for leisurely reading. Think of your prospective readers hopping like fleas from one blog to another; a sip of blood here, another sip there. If the blood is very tasty, they might stay longer, but you know the old saying – the blood is always redder on the other blog. (Actually I made that up.)

Technorati Tags: writing tips Kim Pearson StoryKim ghostwriter ghost-blogger blog posts rules

Goody Beagle says: Playing Ball

Ball is the favorite game at the dog park. Almost everybody plays, although some are better at it than others. One dog, Lucy C. Terrier, plays ball by staring at the ball by her feet and wiggling her back end. She thinks the ball is going to move on its own. She plans to pounce on it when it does. Of course the pounce never happens because balls don’t move on their own, no matter what Lucy thinks.

I am unusual at the dog park because I do not play ball. I just don’t get what’s so cool about them. Their smell is nothing to write home about, so why chase them? It’s not like they smell like rabbits (even though the greyhounds seem to think they do.) Balls are boring. So that’s all I have to say about them.

Technorati Tags: Goody Beagle Kim Pearson StoryKim playing ball wiggling pounce dog park write writing