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: http://mamaseesstars.com/

11 comments:

Julie Compton said...

Too funny, Deb! I can so appreciate your story!

The worst thing that ever happened to me because of my "word" passion was when I borrowed my friend's copy of Angela's Ashes, which had been signed by Frank McCourt, on the promise that I would take exceptionally good care of it. I became so engrossed in the book that I wandered around the house reading it as I tried to accomplish other chores. At some point I stopped momentarily to do something at the kitchen sink and left the book open on the kitchen table. A moment later I heard my 3 year old daughter say "Look, Mommy, I can write!" I turned to see her "writing" in the book with a black sharpie marker. You can imagine the scream that sounded through the house!

Dru said...

One of the reasons I don't walk in the streets with my iPod is because I get caught up in the music and start to dance, out in public. No one wants to see me dance in public.

Deborah Sharp said...

Ha! Dru, I'm with you on the inadvisabilty of dancing in public. Not a pretty sight when you're 50+ and the last time you really danced, disco balls were spinning.
Julie: I can still hear the echoes of that scream. Is your friend still talking to you?

Julie Compton said...

Yes! I bought a new book, sent it to his publisher along with a note explaining what happened, and asked them to forward it to him. I really thought it was a long shot, but only a week or two weeks later, I received the signed book in the mail from Mr. McCourt himself, along with a personal note! Of course, I didn't tell my friend any of this until AFTER I had the new signed book in hand. LOL!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Deb, you're a hoot. No wonder your books are so popular!

And Dru - I don't dance, but I find myself singing along with my iPod. No one wants to hear me sing, either.

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I was reading a book, got so caught up in it I missed my bus. As I looked up from the pages, I saw my bus leave. I had to call my husband and tell him why I would be late coming home.

Books by Heather said...

No one wants to hear me sing or see me dance. LOL. I have a bad habit of staring at street names (a great place to get character names) and kinda-sorta drift out of my lane. So far, no accidents, knock wood. But it's only a matter of time...

Btw, I've tried to fix the font on this post about twenty times. No luck. Blogger, you win.

Deborah Sharp said...

Heather: Ack! Blogger always wins. I like the idea of getting character names from street names, but maybe not while driving ;-)
Mrs. Q: That must have been one good book!
Kathleen: I'm picturing you singing along, and I'm laughing with you (NOT at you!)

Vickie said...

I love love love the Mama series!!


I haven't done this in a very long while, but I have a habit of running into things like low hanging tree branches, signs, tree trunks, people....It might be from being distracted or off-balance or playing my dizzy blonde card.

I know when I tried to wow my now DH, I used to spill things on him. This was not my wooing tactic, I just got distracted and would spill sparkling wine or beer on him while trying to propose a toast or helping with a refill. He still married me, but does his own refills to this day.

Nancy Jo said...

I used to type a lot of reports that talked about shift work. Sometimes I would be typing so fast that I omitted the 'f' from the work shift. Oops.

Deborah Sharp said...

Ooops, indeed, Nancy Jo ...
Vickie: Your hubby is a wise man to handle his own refills. Still, you sound quite endearing (klutzy, but endearing!)