“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
Mark Twain

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Presenting A Picky Prompt Thing
Wed 2008-02-06 22:28:36 (in context)

So I used "Planning a picky prompt thing" as my search phrase. That got me rather a grab-bag of topics, including two pages about planning weddings and one about smallmouth bass fishing.

And the words are...

  1. movie
  2. Florida
  3. school
  4. book
  5. problem
  6. success
  7. New York
  8. wedding
  9. detail
  10. chair
Let me tell you, counting nouns sounds easy. But do you count adjectival nouns? (Is "electronics junky" one noun or two, in otherwords?) Or verbified nouns? ("I enjoy flying"--contains a noun or not?) What about personal and/or demonstrative pronouns? How about people's names? And does "main text of page" mean the first bit with complete sentences, or do we skip titles and pull quotes? What about fill-in forms? Meh. You make your call; I've made mine.
The Florida panhandle raced by like a movie, the kind of movie that maybe stars Geena Davis and, oh, I dunno, Linda Hamilton maybe, in a cute green convertible with money flying out of the back seat, hundreds of twenties hitting the breeze, 'cause they just robbed a bank and now they're trying to escape the state. That's how we went through Northwest Florida. Not like gorgeous actresses portraying bank robbers, though that would have been nice. Like the scenery whizzing by unnoticed while the camera focuses on the driver's impertinent bare feet kicking the side-view mirror. Foreground: fire-engine red on seashell toenails. Background: indefinite blur of green and concrete gray.

School was out, and we were headed to New York. By car. From Mississippi. I-10 to whatever went north when we were sick of I- 10 or ran into the Atlantic, I dunno, don't ask me, we never got there. We got about three small towns East of Tallahassee. That was the problem.

By now my sister's probably had her wedding. It was perfect in every detail: a fine fall of snow for the flower girls to make angels in, sparkling icicles catching the camera eye but not quite outshining the diamond on her left ring finger, jazz music at the wedding reception, our father standing on a chair to make a speech. He'd be wearing the tie with the penguins on it. So will all the groomsmen; my sister is infatuated with penguins. She's probably got the album on the mantlepiece. She hopes that visitors will shyly ask to page through it. She hopes they'll notice something missing. They'll close the book (she hopes) and then they'll say, "But didn't you say you had a younger brother? Which one was he?" Knowing her, she'll have the speech ready to go.

And nowhere in the speech will she say, "He was supposed to get here in time to stop me marrying this bastard." She probably won't even admit he's a bastard--not that she won't have noticed it herself, that is. I mean, that was the one detail she neglected when she planned her wedding. Getting the husband right.

It should have been Ronnie. But Ronnie and I never had much success getting out of the south. This trip was no different. I had thought maybe we'd turn north at Jacksonville. We still might, one day, if we manage to get out of jail.

We're working on that.

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