Friday, September 23, 2011

Watch for Falling Logophiles

By guest Deborah Sharp

Like many grand love affairs, my passion for words comes with some pain. I've applied ice. But a throbbing, asymmetrical ache reminds me of the perils of loving too much.

Before I explain, I want to thank Heather Webber and the Cozy Chicks for inviting me to guest on their great blog. They're not only a lively bunch in print, they're some of the nicest women in the writing business. I appreciate the opportunity, y'all!

It was a day like any other when I first saw Duke Kahanamoku. The image of the five-time Olympic medalist and father of surfing graced a bigger-than-life poster outside the Swimming Hall of Fame in my hometown, Ft. Lauderdale. Striding past, I saw that long Hawaiian name -- that string of repeating vowels, that confounding surplus of syllables. Head turned left to study the poster, I sounded out the word in my mind: Ka-ha-na  . . . Kah-a-nam . . .

Oh, the joy of encountering a new word to love!

The next thing I knew, I felt a stab of pain to my knee and a jolting thud to my right forehead and eye. I'd plowed directly into a lamppost. Like a character in a cartoon, I saw stars. When my vision cleared, the first thing I did was peek between the fingers clutching my face to see if there were witnesses. There were. I could tell, because they were pointing at me and giggling.

It wasn't Duke's fault. I've hurt myself before. Carried away by words, and an unfortunate tendency to talk with my hands, I once smacked myself in the head with a microphone during an appearance at the Miami Book Fair. Proceedings ground to a halt as organizers guided me to a seat, insisting paramedics be summoned. But, with my head between my knees, I dissuaded them. Unlike with the lamppost encounter, the only true wound was to my pride.

So, how about you? Any embarrassing episodes to share? They don't have to involve words, though lots of mine do. Does passion make us stupid, or just distracted?

Deborah Sharp is a Florida native and former USA Today reporter. She writes the funny, Southern-fried ''Mace Bauer Mysteries.'' The fourth book in the Midnight Ink series came out Sept. 8. Deborah swears she didn't intentionally incur a concussion in a sorry attempt to link this blog post to the new release's title, MAMA SEES STARS. You can read an excerpt here: