Proverbial Meditation (An A-Z Challenge Extra)

Throughout the month of April for the A-Z Challenge, 1st Writes, my writer’s group blog, has been meditating on Proverbs. Each day a member of our group writes about a Proverb containing a word corresponding to the letter of the alphabet for the day. Even members who don’t blog have written interpretations of the Proverbs. The entries in the series are short, inspiring and refreshing to the spirit – with the possible exception of today’s entry!

Today is the letter ‘V’ in the Challenge and the word of the day at 1st Writes is ‘Vomit’ – found in Proverbs 25:16 (If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit). Surprisingly, nobody in our group volunteered for this word! So I gladly reluctantly signed up. Even more surprising, I actually came up with two (maybe one and a half) different meditations on a word so repulsive, just hearing it triggers my gag reflex.

The first meditation posted on 1st Writes ponders gluttony in blogging. Is it possible to be a ‘blog glutton’?

My second contribution is shorter and quite possibly more of an observation rather than a reflection.

 

At times in our writing, using a word with negative connotations is the best way of attracting an audience and getting our point across.

To me, the best use of the word ‘vomit’ in a title is  – Comment Vomit: How Not To Leave Comments by Melissa who manages two blogs – Adventuroo and Momcomm.

It’s one of her most popular posts ever, in part, I’m sure, due to it’s title, which doesn’t repulse, but shocks and intrigues. The post was so popular it spawned a badge that reads – This is a comment vomit free zone. The graphic on the badge is a cute little cloud opening its mouth and spewing forth a cute, colorful rainbow. The pleasant graphic helps soften the harshness of the word while maintaining its power. It’s so wrong and right at the same time.

While musing about the word ‘vomit’ for only a few seconds, after thinking – ‘pregnancy’ and ‘gross’, I remembered this post, which proves it’s a memorable title!

Words Sweet as Honeycomb

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24 (KJV)

In real life, I’ve been described as negative, even curmudgeonly. I admit that I tend to view the glass as half-empty. I blame my mother. Growing up, she was always there to poo-poo my parade. It seemed her mission in life was to convince me that life sucked. Her favorite expressions were: “Life’s not fair,” and “I never promised you a rose garden.”

Thanks to my mother (and to be fair, my father too; he’s sarcastically known as Mr. Sunshine), it’s easy for me to always look at the downside, with one exception. All my negativity disappears when I’m running because I’m too busy focusing on how good it feels to run and how grateful to God I am for the ability to run. I see everything in a new perspective; nothing is impossible; the sun is always shining even when the sky is dark and thunder roars.

There was no thunder, but there was plenty of rain on my long run Saturday. Half way through I thought, ‘Well, Mom never promised me that every run would be in the sun.’ I smiled because Mom would appreciate the thought. Then I realized I’m glad every run isn’t on a warm sunny day. How completely boring — almost as bad as running on a treadmill. Not to mention that I run faster in cooler weather. And actually, rain is a blessing while running in the sweltering summer heat. I lifted my face to the cooling drops and rejoiced!

I struggle to stay positive when I’m not running, but it’ worth the effort for my daughter’s sake. The words I say to her now are seeds that will one day bear a positive or negative outlook on life. I don’t want to ‘sugar-coat’ life, but I don’t want to soak it in a bowl of lemons either. I want to plant words of affirmation, confidence and conviction. Rather than tear her down, I want the words I speak to my daughter to build her up.

With your help, Lord, may the words I speak to my daughter be as sweet as honeycomb to her soul. Amen


How My Blog is like a Pocketful of Playdough

Curious about Pocketful of Playdough? This post explains where the title originated.

 

I am always curious about how blog names come about. I’m sure to visit a blog with a fun, creative, unique name. For example, the first blog I clicked on out of over four hundred listed at the A-Z challenge was ‘Writercize’. The name practically screamed at me from the screen. Perhaps because it combines two things I enjoy doing: writing and exercising. But I think mostly because it was a completely new and fresh word.

The name of this blog came to me one day when I stuck my hands into the pockets of my sweatshirt and found a soft, moist pile of Play-Doh. I thought the moment captured what life was like with a toddler and decided it would make a good blog title. Because I wasn’t sure of the legalities of including a trade-marked toy in a blog title, I spelled the word ‘dough’ rather than use the iconic logo.

Since that time, I’ve come to realize the title fits in different ways.

I admit Play-Doh was one of my favorite toys as a child. Partly because of its memorable scent, soft texture, and endless possibilities, but mostly because my mom was very stingy with Play-Doh. “I don’t want to clean Play-Doh out of my carpets,” she’d always gripe.

I do give her credit, though, because her complaining made Play-Doh all the more fun. On those special occasions when I was allowed to play with the modeling clay, I’d knead it, roll it, shape it and make lots and lots of noodly worms and snakes. There was just always something new to do and try with Play-Doh.

Today when I open my lap top, I get the same feelings I got when opening a can of Play-Doh: anticipation, excitement, inspiration. There are so many possibilities with this blog! Between building the basic design, adding decorations, playing with plugins and widgets, and creating interesting posts, there always seems to be something new to do or add to my blog.

When I’m writing a post, I roll words around in my mind and string them together, trying to form new expressions, similes, and metaphors to interest and entertain readers. Like playing with Play-Doh, my imagination is engaged as I attempt to shape something special with my words. Often times, the result is a sloppy pile of nothing that I smash with my fist, but on rare occasions, I create something worth saving.

It’s not a perfect blog title. It has its drawbacks, not the least of which is that it does not describe what this blog is about, although at the time I titled this blog, I had no idea what it was going to be about. A lot of people may refrain from clicking on the title because they believe this is a blog about children, raising them, playing with them etc. It is certainly possible that I will talk about these subjects at some point; after all, motherhood is the primary focus of my life, but it isn’t necessarily the primary focus of this blog.

What about you? How did your blog title come about? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? Actually, I think this is the perfect way to find new blogging buddies from the A-Z Challenge!

The assignment: Choose 5 blogs from the list that have fun and interesting titles. Introduce yourself, follow them and invite them to share the story behind their blog title.

New Blogs I Chose: