Many years ago, my family and I traveled, via three boats, from Taiwan to the US. On one of the boats we spent a month, and on that boat there was a women who was having some mental problems. During the dinner hour, she would chew wildly and talk with her mouth full, speaking out very loudly, saying bizarre things.
Her behavior was especially bizarre when contrasted with the way the crew acted. The boat was a French vessel with a French purser and French sailors and waiters, who always spoke politely in very proper English.
My dad, being the loving preacher-man that he was, always made a point of talking to the “crazy lady,” as we called her, while most of the passengers gave her a wide berth.
One night she went off big time. She balanced on one foot while she poured water into a cup. She lost her balance and ended up face-first in one of her table mate’s plates.
The purser decided that was enough. He came to ask her to follow him.
She said in a loud, shrieking voice, “Work, work, work. All I do is work. All day, all night, all I do is work.”
The purser said in his very proper voice, “Really, Madame, and what is your work?”
“Eating!” she shrieked out.
She took off running, then, and the men—passengers and staff—chased her and finally trapped her in a stairway. The purser picked her up and carted her to the infirmary.
I was only six years old, but the memory never died, because all my life, a favorite saying in our family has been, “Work, work, work. All I do is work. All day, all night, all I do is work.”
So I remembered that today, when I thought, “Hmm, it’s been almost a month since I last posted on my poor, neglected blog.”
What have I been doing? Work, work, work. All I do is work.
I’ve been working on a MG novel. And I posted over on Novel Rocket. I talked about how to make living, breathing secondary characters. Please go read over there if that’s a topic that interests you.
Mostly, though, the reason I’m not posting often here is that I’m working on my speeches for my Toastmaster’s club. I’m doing one every two weeks and it’s not easy coming up with brilliant speeches on that schedule. Not only do I have to write them, I have to memorize them. I have to add new skills each time, too—this coming week I’m using a Power Point, so that’s a whole new skill I’m learning.
So…work, work, work. All I do is work. All day, all night, all I do is work.
What about you all? What have you been up to? Writing? What will be your work, work, work this summer? And what phrases do you have in your families, that you picked up from a book or a real life situation? For years I called my mom Mamsie and she called me Phronsie. We picked that up from The Five Little Peppers. Another one we always said came from Robin Hood. We had a recorded version—a 78 record—and when Robin, dressed as a beggar, hit the bullseye with his arrow, the Sheriff exclaimed, “Yoiks, what a beggah!” So that’s what we always say in our family, whenever anyone does something well. Wouldn’t it be cool to write a book and have a phrase from it come into wide use in the world?
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