100 Word Challenge | Pink Nails, She Cried

“Hey Jane,”said Monica, “package for ya. From Richland.”

Richland Construction was Jane’s former employer. After years of getting passed over for promotions, Jane finally quit and started her own company, Athena Construction.

Jane approached the package warily. She flicked the packaging tape and popped the top. Sifting through some crumpled papers, she held a smaller box aloft.

“Pink nails!” she cried.

“”Who has time to paint framing nails?” asked Monica,

“Huh,” said Jane, eyeing a crumpled paper. “I doubt they meant to give me this.”

“What?”

“A list of bids on upcoming projects. Would you call Richland for me? Thank them for the nails.”

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The Allure of the Ghost Writer

I was thinking the other day on my way to work about some of my unfinished novels. You see, I’ve got these great novels inside me, but I struggle to get them out. I just want to read the finished copy, because I really like the stories and the characters. I want good things for them. And I want other people to love them like me.

uploads_2013-05-09_4_2973_e-1iMQSOPjIcVaO_JVFrxhpEa9o_s3ul194_ghost-writerBut I’m such a bad finisher of novels. I sometimes think of how nice it would be to have a ghost writer. I’m not talking about dead writers who haunt the living, putting words in their mouths, although it is something like that. A ghost writer is the person who actually writes the book, but gives the credit to another person. A lot of famous people who “write” books use ghost writers (pretty much every sports celebrity uses them). You can tell because these books are always co-written with the famous person’s name in large letters on the dust jacket with the real writer’s name in a tiny font directly below.

I just don’t know if I could accept a ghost writer. I mean, I really want to read the stories that are rolling around in my head, but I would feel downright lazy if someone else were doing the work of writing them down. That and, if I didn’t actually write the words, is it my book? Sure, they are the characters that I imagined, living in a setting that I created, and dealing with the plot points that I came up with, but if someone else puts the flesh on those bones, whose book is it really?

Also, first time authors, unless they are famous, should not have ghost writers. Perhaps needing a ghost writer as a first time author is a sign that you should not be a writer at all.

And so, I have no choice but to plod on, putting one word in front of another until one of my novels are finished. And then another. And then another. But that also means that I have to stop myself from starting new novels and new projects.

And I love starting new things.

Maybe I’ll get myself a co-writer. That’s different from a ghost writer, right?

An Open Letter to the Person Who Left Me a Wrong Number Butt-Dial Voicemail Last Sunday

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Let’s start with “Hello”, because when last we had contact, we were robbed of our chance to use this common pleasantry.

Hello.

My name is Josh. I don’t know if we’ve met before, but thank you for reaching out to me this past Sunday. The message that you inadvertantly left on my voicemail was 2:59 minutes of wonder.

I say wonder because your message made me wonder a great many things.

  • Do we know each other?
  • How did you get my phone number?
  • Your message was very clear. Were you holding your phone when you left the message in question?
  • If you weren’t and it was in your pocket or purse, what model phone is it? Because it was incredibly clear for having been in your pocket or purse.
  • The message was left just after 4:00pm, but it sounded like you were eating. Was it lunch, supper, or some kind of family get-together that knows no such time-restricted meal-labels?
  • I heard you offering a child some food. What did the tyke end up eating?
  • Are there leftovers and can I have some?

I know so little about you. Just the few things that I could piece together from the context of our just-less-than-three-minute interaction. Even still, I can tell that I would like you in real life.

First, you seem like a good parent/caretaker/aunt/whatever. Not only did you offer food to the child as mentioned above.  At the beginning of the message, it sounded like you were concerned over that child using foul language. It is good to know that you are concerned about such things. Swearing only serves to give people an excuse to dismiss us.

Second, I think you said something about 25 computers. I don’t know what that was about, because you were speaking a little fast, but you clearly have an interest in technology. Technology is so important to succeeding in today’s fast-paced culture.

And last, you mentioned some kind of grand opening next month. And though I completely missed what store you were talking about, you are obviously a person who plans ahead. Not only that, but you are money-conscious as well. Those traits alone give you the edge up on the rest of society.

Now, I am faced with a quandary. I know so little about you. I have questions, as well as your phone number (though not your name, since that number was not saved in my address book). But I also think that I know you as a person and that you as a person are good-hearted, kind, and forward-thinking. Should I satisfy my curiosity and dial your number? Or should I simply let the voice-mail be what it is, satisfied with your image in my head?

Random butt-dialing, voice-mail-leaving, stranger, I think I’ll leave the next call up to you. So if you know who you are (and if you don’t, your number ends in 5346), feel free to give me a call. I think you’ll find that you already have my number in your phone.

The shift in my blog

Writers write.I started this blog to establish myself as a writer. That’s why the blog title is “Josh Mosey | Writer”. And early on, I wrote a lot about writing, about things that would help writers, about my writing ideas and projects. And then, somewhere along the line, I started writing about myself, my experiences as a person, and so on. And though I feel more like a writer than I’ve ever felt before, I talk less about writing than I’ve talked before.

Is that how being a writer is? Do you assume it into your identity in such a way that it no longer needs to be said? Is it like being cool?

To explain, cool people don’t tell you that they are cool. If a person tells you they are cool, they aren’t. Perhaps, if a person tells you that they are a writer, if they volunteer this knowledge without being asked, perhaps they aren’t ready to be one yet. Or anyway, they are just as unsure about their status as you are.

Maybe me writing this post negates my writerhood, because I am talking about my status as a writer. Or maybe not.

Maybe my status as a writer is dictated by the fact that I am writing. Maybe being a writer really is as simple as the saying, “Writers write.”

In any case, I don’t think that it is a bad thing necessarily that the focus of my blog has changed. Sure, it is a bit narcissistic to focus more on my own thoughts and stories. But those are the things that I know best. And so, I think I will keep writing about whatever pops into my head. I don’t need to have a theme, because I am the theme. And as long as I keep writing, I am a writer.

Also, early on, I think I knew more about writing than I do now that I’ve actually done it for a while.

Ah, experience. It’s funny how you teach us how little we know.

Anyway, thanks for reading, to those of you who read this blog of mine. Thanks for being part of my journey into writing. I hope I can write things that will keep you coming back, things that we both find interesting.

I am the King of Strawberry Jam (Plus a Slide Show).

I was going to title this post, “I am in a jam,” but my wife thought that would be too corny. You are welcome.

So this past weekend, my wife and I made strawberry jam. We’ve made it every year since 2004, before we were even married. My wife has been making jam for even longer, but I can’t talk about that, because I wasn’t there. Anyway, here’s how jam making works.

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First, you pick the berries. We like to go down the road from my in-laws house to DeLange’s Redberry Farm, where the berries are big and plentiful.

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If I were to eat all of these berries, I would be big and plentiful too.

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Maybe just one.

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We almost always pick too much.

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Here’s a mutant one we found. I assume this one will make its batch of jam extra delicious. Or possibly turn the eaters of said jam into superheros. We’ll see.

To prep the berries, they need to be washed and hulled (have the leafy parts taken off the top). Here is me and my sis-in-law and my oldest daughter. The OD actually volunteered to help and then didn't want to take any breaks. She has her mother's work ethic.

To prep the berries, they need to be washed and hulled (have the leafy parts taken off the top). Here is me and my sis-in-law and my oldest daughter. The OD actually volunteered to help and then didn’t want to take any breaks. She has her mother’s work ethic.

Once prepped, the berries must be chopped. The best way to it is with a food processor. Plus, it is fun to push a button and turn whole berries into slurry. Unfortunately, you also make the processor look like a serial killer by then end of the day.

Once prepped, the berries must be chopped. The best way to it is with a food processor. Plus, it is fun to push a button and turn whole berries into slurry. Unfortunately, you also make the processor look like a serial killer by then end of the day.

Double check that you have all relevant supplies: lots of sugar, cans, lids, rings (for the cans), pectin, a canning funnel, some just-boiled water in a bowl, pots, a ladle, a washcloth (one that's okay to get jam all over it), a stick of butter (or margarine), bowls to hold sugar and strawberry slurry, and a magnet. Also, some potholders, unless you like burning yourself, in which case, stop reading this and go get some professional help.

Double check that you have all relevant supplies: lots of sugar, cans, lids, rings (for the cans), pectin, a canning funnel, some just-boiled water in a bowl, pots, a ladle, a washcloth (one that’s okay to get jam all over it), a stick of butter (or margarine), bowls to hold sugar and strawberry slurry, and a magnet. Also, some potholders, unless you like burning yourself, in which case, stop reading this and go get some professional help.

Seriously, you need a ton of sugar. Good jam is 5 cups of crushed berries with 7 cups of sugar per batch. Mmmm, sugar.

Seriously, you need a ton of sugar. Good jam is 5 cups of crushed berries with 7 cups of sugar per batch. Mmmm, sugar.

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Here, we see my wife stirring two batches of jam. Two at once? Oh yeah, she’s pretty amazing. The nearest pot has not had sugar added to it yet.

Here's the pot that has sugar. 7 cups of it. Dark as sin (and twice as tasty).

Here’s the pot that has sugar. 7 cups of it. Dark as sin (and twice as tasty).

After it does a rolling boil for a full minute, you pour it into jars, seal them up, and relax.

A good way to relax is by swimming with the kids. Here's my OD with an uninflated swimmy on her head. Someday, a potential boyfriend will find this image and not be as interested. Maybe. Anyway, I can hope.

A good way to relax is by swimming with the kids. Here’s my OD with an uninflated swimmy on her head. Someday, a potential boyfriend will find this image and not be as interested. Maybe. Anyway, I can hope.

Here's a gratuitous photo of my youngest daughter. Isn't she cute?

Here’s a gratuitous photo of my youngest daughter. Isn’t she cute?

So can you make jam from these instructions? Probably not. But there are directions in the box of pectin. Oh yeah, you’ll need a box of pectin. I don’t know if I mentioned that or not. Anyway, sorry. Maybe you should just buy some of the jam we made instead of trying to do it yourself.

More Innermost Secrets

As the Dog Whisperer is to dogs, I am the same with sofas. I am the Sofa Whisperer.

It is a gift… and a curse. How can I help it if sofas, couches, and (as my grandmother called them) davenports just respond to me? I can’t. Let’s move on (unless you are me and you are currently stuck on a sofa).

tick%20and%20arthurI like to think of Arthur from “The Tick” as my arch-nemesis.

I love “The Tick”. Both the animated version and the one-season wonder that was the live-action version.

I just found out that Arthur from “The Tick” is a fictional character.

Of course, I knew that the cartoon wasn’t real, but they had a live-action version! Come on! That’s like false advertising or something! Next thing you know, they’ll be telling me that Batman isn’t real either (I’m referring to the live-action one, obviously).

I am now accepting applications for a new arch-nemesis.

Preferred status will be given to anyone that I think I can beat in a fight. What is the point of choosing someone who would obviously beat me?

800px-A_maglev_train_coming_out,_Pudong_International_Airport,_ShanghaiModern Maglev technology is based on my work with refridgerator magnets as a child.

True story. Well, kinda. As a kid, I was obsessed with magnets. There is something magical about the way they attract and repel each other. I even drew up plans for using magnets as a form of transportation, where the polarity could be alternated quickly along a path, propelling the object suspended in air forward or backward in accordance with the orientation of the magnetic fields. And then I found out that something like what I was drawing already existed in the form of Maglev trains. Eh, I’m just going to go ahead and take credit anyway.

Alone Yet Not Alone | Dove Review

9780310730538I recently did another book review for the Dove Foundation. If you aren’t familiar with Dove, they rate movies and books for family friendliness. If you aren’t sure whether something you want to watch or read is appropriate for you or your youngsters, just pop over to dove.org and look it up!

The latest review was for Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger Craven. You can read it here!