5 Great Passages

From CMOG, Corning, NY. Layers upon layers - that's life....
From CMOG, Corning, NY. Layers upon layers – that’s life….

Well, 2015 is almost over and it is time to take a look back. I decided to dig through and collect some quotes. The best of the best. From this blog, of course. Didn’t you know? I’m modest to a fault. It’s probably my greatest virtue, modesty is. uh… one other thing… I may not restrict myself to 5. After all, this is such a great blog, full of the wittiest writing ever written in my basement. (See “modesty”, above.). So here we are. First the quote, then some plug.. uh background information.


Our hero, tempted by the prospects of bagging bushels of bullion, has bribed and begged his way into Nepal. He stands now inside the arrivals terminal at Tribhuvan International Airport with wuthering wit and seething senses.

This is from Part 4 of the horrifying Nepal trip. This is an 8-part story of a trip I would not like to make again. It taught me some very valuable lessons. Like, check, check and double check and check again that you have a passport and documentation in place before and during a voyage. Also, trust no one and be pushy about getting all the data you need.

I had inadvertently forgotten to bring my red nose with me, so was unable to jump into the river shouting ‘I’m in Seine!”.

This, from the Punjabi in Paris series entitled Walking Woes, is a nod to Woody Allen. Yeah, yeah, I know. Whatever! He is funny and a great story teller. Have you seen “Blue Jasmine”?

First, vegetarian food has no bones, these kebabs ( or any kebabs ) have no bones. The biggest test has been cleared. Next, we consider that chicken kebabs come from chickens and what are chickens full of? Yes, Timmy? Grain, that’s right! Both tests have passed and we can safely say now that chicken kebabs are vegetarian.

This recipe / story is a personal favourite (favorite, if American). I like the way it flows. I think it’s funny. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t agree. It’s also, wait for it, one helluva great recipe. It’s everything you didn’t know you wanted to know, but had no idea I was going to explain in such great detail. You’re welcome!

 … probiotics are good for you. They make you slim to the point where your belly dances on it’s own and readily accepts diamonds and other precious stones in it’s navel. The benefits are many, your body’s natural digestive juices are spruced up, the peptins get more pep and the enzymes generally perk up and take notes. The chyme rings with bell-like clarity. All this, of course, results in the amino acids linking hands and skipping along through the alimentary canal spreading joy everywhere. Not least the next morning.

This is where I explain the value of Mishti Doi,  a secret thus far known only to the few millions who are either Bengali or have connections to Bengal, like me. Those are real medical terms and I have a business degree. I’m so proud of me and my ability to use Google.

Now that I’m back from my holiday and therefore unemployed, I intend to psychoanalyze myself to find out. This will entail, naturally, much lying around on couches and talking to oneself, but I can handle that quite easily.

Fictional Romance, from whence, the quote above is taken, is an attempt at unravelling the weirdness that stops me from writing stories.

Q: My novel is only 3500 words long.
A. What you have is a short story. Add more detail ( aka words )

Q: I wrote some more and it is triple the number of words.
A. What you have is possibly a novella. To make it a novel, add more detail. If, however, you want to keep it as a short story, then go back to the first version.

Q: But I didn’t save my first version!!
A: Hmm – has your grandfather never taught you the value of version control and backups? Cut some of the detail out. All the fluff you added when you were trying to follow the instructions above ( to add more detail ) can be cut out. Good luck!

Q: My story is a play!
A: Maybe you were meant to write a play?

Q: But I don’t want to write a play!
A: Stick with it and complete the play.

Q: But then I’ll have a play, not a novel, the one thing that’s dearest to my heart!
A: Be patient. Put the story down from end to end. It will help to get it out of your head and to the hard drive.

Q: It’s a pain in the butt to constantly switch from italics for the directions and back to normal for the dialogue. Also constantly adding the names of the speakers is a reall PITA.
A: Well, it’s too late now. Keep moving ahead and finish that play.

Q: But I still won’t have a novel.
A: Once the play is written, send it out to a few close friends. Take the feedback / criticism and apply what makes sense. Look at it this way. If it turned from a short story into a 3-act play, then it may very well decide to turn itself back into a novel.

Q: Can I trust you to give me solid advice?
A: Yes, you can. It is happening to me. I have never written a novel. I have 2 pieces of fiction written in my entire life. I think you can totally, utterly trust me.

Q: Oh really? What are you doing about it?
A: I’m plugging away at completing the play.

Q: And then what will you do?
A: I’ll develop an app for novelists to use to keep tabs on their Idea, Setting, Chapters, Characters and their relationships. Here is a preliminary data model based on 20 minutes of not very hard work.

These are the FAQs at the bottom of that seminal article “How to Write a Novel”. This has been read by thousands. Yes, it’s true, thousands and thousands of people have actually read this and this is currently the most widely read post on my blog. So it can’t be that bad.

Why is it that +4c in spring is so much warmer than +4c in late September? Riddle me ree that one. The correct answer obviously has to do with sensory anticipation. (There isn’t any such thing, as far as I know, I’m just typing stream of consciousness stuff. I don’t really have a plan for this post…)

Now that was a crazy post, written in one continuous stream without pause for thinking about what I was writing. It sort of turned out all right, didn’t it?

…. I am a complex person, open to ideas, sounds and words. I cannot be defined by a single quadrant on a four-point scale, or a colour or any other of the personality test categorizations. I’m regaining my sense of smell but losing my eyesight. I could have been a drug-laced hippie but I link addictions to failure. I think HR departments in North America are useless but I think human beings are the single most important thing a company could have. I think disco sucks, but I know The Grateful Dead were a ‘dance band’. I’m smart and intelligent yet unreasonably stupid in matters of love and family. I’m highly conflicted and terribly afflicted with modesty.

In other words, I’m absolutely normal. It’s all you lot who aren’t.

That was a thought provoking post which provoked more than thought. I am? I do? was inspired by a very silly comment from a very silly person and it gave rise to a post that may seem silly to some, but actually is not that silly at all.

Wouldn’t scarlet begonias lining a yellow brick road be a wonderful sight?

This one comes from the post that no one has read, but which is my own personal favourite. It’s a lament that uses lashings of lyrics and I love it. It’s the first of the “interactive” posts that no one interacted with. Actually, none of the “interactive” posts have seen any interaction at all. So much for engaging the reader…..

Within the litter of Sharma children, I was probably supposed to be a full stop, but turned out to be just a semicolon.

This quote comes from the first of my memoirs. A funny story about a bad date, where I was driven to despair. There’s gold in them thar words …. I may have to mine these in future.

Mr Deka’s hopes now well and truly dashed, he decided to go home for antacid and dinner.

From Part 2 of Mr Deka’s Nightmare, I love that line. I reminds me of a sentence I once read in a grammar book “She arrived in a temper and a taxi.”

I could have gone on, but I’m exhausted and have just discovered that some of the links on the pages are messed up and refuse to fix themselves. So enjoy your New Year’s Eve party.

Have a great 2016, 2017 and on and on…

May you have plain sailing and only the occasional blue sky....
May you have plain sailing and only the occasional blue sky….

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  1. honoria plum

    Modesty is overrated. Well done on a successful year of blogging — and Happy New Year!

    1. TheLastWord

      Thanks Honoria! Yes, it’s what I tell everyone, too…. In fact, I have, on my list, an article called “How I became a fan of me” 🙂 Happy New Year to you too!

  2. NancyTex

    Well, I guess I know what I’ll be doing New Year’s Eve.

    1. TheLastWord

      Ha ha ha!

      That’s funny… Though when I look at the options these days, a good blog or a book aren’t such bad options. I must be getting old.

      Happy New Year.

  3. roughwighting

    Excellent idea to share your favorite quotes from your own blog. I LIKE IT!! And may steal the idea, one of these days. Bravo. And good writing!

    1. TheLastWord

      heh! Thanks… Feel free to steal the idea. Tag me when you do, so I don’t miss it.