Episode 42- Queens, Late Night Morons and On With The Show!

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Episode 42

Queens, Late Night Morons and On With the Show!


Parody and Satire

Why is it important? Parody and Satire are the court jesters of society. They are the editorial cartoons, stories in the Onion, parody and satire is both entertaining and instructive.

But, if down badly, all you have is a pile of snorting, self congratulatory high school sophomore jocks – annoying rather than humorous.


So how can we be funny and instructive and inventive?

Study who has down it well before you:


Modest Proposal Swift

For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland
From Being A burden to Their Parents or Country, and
For Making Them Beneficial to The Public
By Jonathan Swift (1729)


The question therefore is, how this number (of illegitimate Irish children) shall be reared and provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither build houses (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land: they can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing, till they arrive at six years old, except where they are of towardly parts, although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier, during which time, they can however be properly looked upon only as probationers, as I have been informed by a principal gentleman in the county of Cavan, who protested to me that he never knew above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that art.


Lemony Snickett

From a NaNoWriMo missive to encourage writers:

Dear Cohort,

Struggling with your novel? Paralyzed by the fear that it’s nowhere near good enough? Feeling caught in a trap of your own devising? You should probably give up.

For one thing, writing is a dying form. One reads of this every day. Every magazine and newspaper, every hardcover and paperback, every website and most walls near the freeway trumpet the news that nobody reads anymore, and everyone has read these statements and felt their powerful effects. The authors of all those articles and editorials, all those manifestos and essays, all those exclamations and eulogies – what would they say if they knew you were writing something? They would urge you, in bold-faced print, to stop.

Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well. We are in the process of disentangling ourselves from that kind of peace of mind, so it is rude for you to hinder the world by insisting on adhering to the beloved paradigms of the past. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.


Another parody is from Catharine’s Miss Behaved series. I took the twelve steps from AA and applied it to writers. Part Parody and part truth. That is the essence of excellent parody there must be truth, a writer must skate close to the real to make the fantastic sound reasonable:


What is a writer to do? You’ve attended the seminars; you know that only the truly downtrodden or spectacularly lucky make the best seller list. How can you wrest yourself away from this damaging sideline you’ve nurtured all of your life? Many have tried, but Miss Behaved attempts to convince writers that it’s okay to stop attending creative writing seminars and perhaps learn how to cook or shape topiaries instead, have failed miserably.

True writers are Miss Behaved; they will never change no matter how much evidence is presented by loved ones that they are pursing a futile dream. Sometimes the best Miss Behaved way to cope with such a damaging compulsion to simply accept this and in some cases, move on to a state of healing understanding and compassionate conservatism. Which is why we have a 12- step program just for you.

But first, a Miss Behaved disclaimer. We are not talking to or about authors. Authors (see famous Miss Behaved Authors for a description) already have advances and interviews with Good Morning America. We can only assume that authors are already happy and now lead lives of rich satisfaction. They do not need our Miss Behaved help.

Real writers write because it comes from something so deeply ingrained that no superficial hobby projects can suppress the impulse.

That is why you need the Miss Behaved Twelve Step Program for Unrepentant Writers


  1. We admit we are powerless over the compulsion to write. We know that without writing our lives would not only be unmanageable, but unimaginative as well. That without some kind of writing we would bore family members to death with our musings that are often better confined in the hard drive. We admit that even if it means waking at 5:00 AM in the morning because that’s the only time we have, perfecting the English language is worth every minute.


  1. We believe that a Muse greater than ourselves can restore our creativity and our sanity if we listen.


  1. We made a decision long ago to turn our will and our lives over the to care of the Muse as we understand them. Following their guidance, we will accept our true inner genre and strengths.


  1. We will make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We will admit that our novel is boring, our How-To, inadequate, or Web site a tangle of broken links. We know that the only way to fix any of this is evaluate the strengths of our work, get an outside opinion then promise to revise.


  1. Admit to our Muses, to ourselves and to another human being, preferable another writer since we know no one else wants to hear about this, the exact nature of wrongly used plot points and metaphors.


  1. We are entirely ready to have the Editor remove all the defects of our syntax without blame or self-aggravation. We will accept the changes from on high with grace and maturity. We will promise ourselves that this graciousness will lead to eventual publication, otherwise the pain is not worth it.


  1. Humbly ask the Muse to remove our shortcomings and our overly long Faulknerian sentences.


  1. Make a list of all people we have misrepresented in the name of creative license, and be willing to make amends to them all as soon as we become a best selling author. Forgive our parents for not leading a more adventurous life or indulging in more dysfunctional relationships. Realize that we will have to write from our own inner strengths and yes, imagination.


  1. Make direct amends to such people whenever possible except when to do so would injure them or others. We will not write apology notes to former editors because they had to read and reject our early attempts at humor. And we do not send out our successful how-to book to those same stick-in- the- mud’s who didn’t see genius when it floated across their desks. We do not send nasty e-mails to agents who asked us, at the last writer’s conference “I’m only looking for Tom Clancy, are you Tom Clancy?”


  1. Continue to take character inventory, are they two-dimensional? Do the names of four minor characters all begin with the letter D? When the development is wrong, promptly admit it and correct it.


  1. Seek through prayer and medication to improve our conscious contact with the Muse as we understand them. Pray only for the knowledge of the Muse’s meaning. Pray for the strength to get up every morning before the rest of the family to carry it out.


  1. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we will try to carry this message to other writers and to practice these principles in all our workshops and seminars. Because deep in our hearts we know we won’t stop attending the workshops and seminars, we know we can’t resist purchasing the next Natalie Goldberg book, we know we won’t stop compulsively writing on scraps of paper while waiting in line at the bank. There is too much joy in discovering the right word, the perfect turn of phrase. We know we can’t stop. Forgive us.




 Bring out your dead:


From David Taylor.

Here is a sample:
Lord Dynof dismounted and turned to his fellow knight. “My Lord Chroq, thou old, outlandish, beady-eyed clotdolt.”“My Lord Dynof, thou foul-smelling, plague-ridden snarkcheese. How was the waste?”

“Vast and desolate. The bleakest of places ever created on the Land. A barren and fruitless wilderness. It’s an unforgiving and unprejudiced desert.”

“Thought so.”

“It is good to be back on familiar ground,” he said stamping the ground in a familiar sort of way.

“It is good to see you Lord Dynof, but I fear times are grave here in Uhthoff.”


“It may be to our advantage to keep your return on the QT.” Chroq said, tapping the side of his hooked nose and giving one of his best beady winks. “Quickly,” he said, suddenly becoming unnecessarily shifty. “Park your mount in stable six. Then come up to the third floor bar. It’s closed for renovation. If those blasted bar renovators don’t finish up soon I’ll gut them with a torque wrench. Use the back way and I’ll see you there in ten.”

Dynof was wondering why they were renovating the third floor bar when there was nothing wrong with the way it looked in the first place. A point that Chroq would utterly agree on, he thought, when Chroq himself, and a third Knight of Hog, entered the room.

“My Lord Korg, thou flat-nosed, overweight, doofnumb puffskull.”

“My Lord Dynof, thou diseased, putrescent clotbone. How was the waste?”

“Vast and desolate. The bleakest of places ever created on the Land. A barren and fruitless wilderness. It’s an unforgiving and unprejudiced desert.”

“Thought so.”

“Lord Chroq tells me of grave times.”

“Indeed,” Korg said gravely. “Shortly after you were temporary exiled, the Sovereign passed into the Light.”

“This is indeed sad news. So, then the Lady Evorubeth sits on the Royal Cushion?” Dynof asked with gaining excitement. “Has she a champion? I must see her, first thing!”

“You can’t,” said Chroq flatly. “We know how much you admire Evorubeth, we all do, but I fear she has been taken ill.”

“Ill? Ill? What type of ill? Are there no healers in this blasted rat-hole of a city?”

“No one is allowed to see her. She is apparently in a pure catatonic state and…”

“Who governs then?” Dynof interrupted with surprising coolness.

“Duke Dar-gha’ser of Llakel has placed his fat behind on the Royal Cushion,” said Korg.


“And if we don’t find a cure for the Lady Evorubeth soon, his corpulent rump will be staying there.”

“So what’s wrong with her?”

“Nobody’s quite sure,” shrugged Korg. “The duke has forbidden anyone to see her. She’s held in the high tower and only a special team of herbalists…”





Make up a word and make up the definition for the word.

Julian’s word:

Ceniture– Music you can listen to.


Word of the Week.



“The tinsel of Lexiphanic language in many places involves his argument in almost inextricable mystery, and pains whom it was intended to please, by making them toil for instruction, when an easy, natural communication was practicable.” Modern writers might take this as a motto or an awful warning to be posted above their desks. It was written by the US statesman William Pinkney in the early 1800s.

Lexiphanic means somebody who uses bombastic or pretentious language. It comes from the title of a dialogue that was composed by the Greek writer Lucian of Samosata in the first century AD. It is also the name of the character who was the subject of the satire in the dialogue, coined from lexis, word, and phainein, to show. So Lexiphanes was a phrase-monger, of whom another character, Lycinus (supposed to be Lucian himself) says in the dialogue, “There is not a doubt I shall go raving mad under the intoxication of your exuberant verbosity”. This may remind you of Benjamin Disraeli’s quip about William Gladstone: “A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity”.

Few people read Lucian today and even fewer would recognise the name of one of his characters. Two centuries ago, men and women of education were more familiar with the classics. In Dr Johnson and Fanny Burney, the latter wrote in surprise about the former: “How little did I expect from this Lexiphanes, this great and dreaded lord of English literature, a turn for burlesque humour!”



Dionne Lister: http://www.dionnelisterwriter.wordpress.com

Ciara Ballintyne: www.ciaraballintyne.com Hope you feel better. Here’s a song for you: http://youtu.be/6N0TcwrG86o

Scott Fletcher for voice over work: http://www.mrscottfletcher.com/

Kevin MacLeod for music: http://www.incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/



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