While searching for something else entirely, I stumbled upon an email I wrote to the Bulwer-Lytton "worst first sentence" contest back in 1999. I don't know if any of the three sentences I submitted ever appeared, but for the record, here's the original email...
Dear Professor Rice,
Having enjoyed (?) the various and sundry Dark and Stormy collections, I was delighted to discover that bad writing has found a home on the World Wide Web. While a mere piker in the field myself, I cannot hold back any longer - the clarion call of putrid prose beckons. Here, then, is my first humble offering, from the novel The Shambling Wrath Bean, a story of suspense and intruigue set in the mythical kingdom of Shinbarkia, in the year 20--. It begins:
Barney battled Bob, both boobs boxed betwixt barriers, butts bruised, balls busted, bodies battered, brandishing bottles.
And the second entry, from Rock Savage and the Pinwheel of Doom:
"A turd in the hand is worse than two in the bush," giggled Sabrina Virtue, the wide-eyed but pulchitrudinous sidekick of Rock Savage, sworn enemy of Dr. Cerebellum - Evil Brain in a Jar - and Rock, said turd in hand, sat down heavily, reminding himself never to fall for that particular college prank again.
The third, from Pair of Dice, Lost:
Thrice-whipped, the pale hula hoops of Hades roll on.
There you are, Professor. Enjoy - or grimace. And thank you for years of gut-churningly bad writing. Your compilations have been an inspiration!
Earl J. Woods
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Just as I was pulling into my parking spot last night, returning home from a visit with Sylvia, my brother called my cell.
"I have some exciting news," he said.
"Jeff and I just got rear-ended."
Jeff being Jeff Pitts, professional catastrophe magnet. Both Jeff and Sean are bruised but unbroken - in fact, Jeff laughed it off with a "I can't believe Earl missed this!"
Where's that other shoe? Zounds.
On July 3, Sylvia and I arrived home from work simultaneously, a reasonably rare occurence. We took the elevator up to our condo together, started down the hall, and as I was unlocking the door Sylvia fell down in just the wrong way and broke her tibia in three places.
I called 911. The ambulance took at least a half hour to arrive - emergency services in Aberta's major cities often experience such delays thanks to growth pressures. We were taken to the Royal Alex, then waited in the hallway with the paramedics for a couple of hours, Sylvia trying to manage the incredible pain as best she could. A doctor - or was it a nurse? - my memory probably isn't to be trusted - put on a splint. Then they called orthopedics. X-rays were taken, we moved from room to room, and by three in the morning, Sylvia had a proper bed in section 32. I arrived home at four, got a couple of hours sleep, then headed back to the hospital.
Sylvia was still on the waiting list for emergency surgery; they had to put a rod in her tibia to properly fix the break. More than a day later, the operation was done, and done well; the doctors expect a full recovery, though it's going to take a couple of months. Now Sylvia is recuperating at Grandview, undergoing physiotherapy. She'll probably be there at least a couple of weeks, though she's determined to get out sooner.
Fortunately, the health care professionals at the Alex and at Grandview have been superb. Sylvia's received excellent care, and I'm very grateful to everyone who has helped her recover thus far.
As might be expected, Sylvia's emotions are bouncing up and down a little at this point. But she's exceptionally brave and tough, two qualities that attracted me to her in the first place. The wedding is going ahead as planned, though we might have to make some different arrangements for Sylvia's walk down the aisle...she was thinking of getting one of those man-portable things that Cleopatra rode around in (at least in popular fiction). At least it'll fit into the movie theme...
(Sylvia gave me her blessing to blog about this bit of news; it just didn't feel right to blithely write about comic books or Star Trek after a serious accident like this.)