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Dec
12
Frank Ball
Six Weeks Till the Deadline
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What Santa Had to Say About Writing His Book
By Frank Ball

Twas six weeks till the deadline, when all through the house,
My computer was working with help from my mouse.
The due date was taped to the screen’s top with care,
In hopes a bestseller would rise below there.

The elves were all settled down snugly in bed,
While thoughts of acceptance still danced in my head.
My words in a turmoil, my hands in my lap,
I rested my eyes for a nice little nap.

When out on the snow there arose such a clatter,
I looked from my desk to see what was the matter.
I took to the keyboard, both hands in a flash,
My fingers were wanting a super good smash.

The moon on the slopes of the new-fallen snow
Gave light to great scenes but the plot wouldn’t go.
Then what to my wondering mind should appear:
A wonderful plan for my story made clear.

Just a little suspense, oh, so lively and quick,
And I knew the right twist that would make a neat trick.
More lofty than eagles, great phrases they came,
I whistled and shouted and dreamed of my fame!

No blunders. Go writer! Now throw in the colon.
On, comma! On, period! On, em-dash and question!
To the best of the books! To the top of the wall!
Time to dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

As the leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
So the characters’ obstacles clashed and they cried.
Going on with my story, the chapters they flew,
All the kids would be pleased and the dads would be too.

But then, in a twinkling, I thought about SCOOP.
In plotting and writing I had to regroup.
Situation and Character had to be right,
The Objective and Obstacle followed by Plight.

Needing title and plot that would captivate well,
I sought expert advice that would help me excel.
The elves had no skill to say what would work best,
But help from my writer’s group calmed my unrest.

Their eyes how they twinkled. Their thoughts were so merry!
Improving my story, they made me feel cheery.
For each little book would be wrapped with a bow,
And parents and children would shout “ho-ho-ho.”

As I looked for a way to print millions of books
All the agents and editors gave me sad looks.
No printer could do the amount I was needing.
I ran out of breath while relentlessly pleading.

With his presses so fast, a right jolly old elf
Quickly claimed he could print them but not by himself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

With hardly a word, he went straight to design,
Creating a cover that looked really fine.
And laying the wording across every page,
The copy was good, every chapter a rage.

I sprang to my sleigh with my bag of bestsellers
And knew what to say as a help for all writers
“Your success won’t be easy,” I cried through the night,
“But your Christmas is best when you make time to write.”

To Read Santa’s Bestseller, Click Here.

Dec
5
Frank Ball
Joy to the World
Weekend Fun
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In 2012, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board spread a wonderful message about why there’s joy in the world. It’s not a flight on Santa’s sleigh, but it is all about a special gift.

The message bears repeating.

Nov
28
Frank Ball
Ringing of the Bells
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Since the early 1900s, the Carol of the Bells has been a popular song during the Christmas season.

Given its popularity, we shouldn’t be surprised to see our Muppet friends singing the joyful tune. There’s an important distinction between ringing holiday bells and having your bell rung.

Nov
21
Frank Ball
Daffynitions
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Each morning Frank Ball reads a few comic strips to stir his creative thinking. In just a few frames, many of them tell an interesting story with beginning, middle, and end.
  One of his regular reads is Frank & Ernest by Thaves. Here are a few daffynitions from there that he recently added to his collection:

  • Conjunctivitis — An irrational fear of words like “and,” “or,” and “but”
  • Counter Intelligence — What is gained by going to the Information Desk
  • Paranoid Optimist — People who think everybody is out to get them something nice
  • Pillage — Plunder of aspirin and vitamins
  • Solar Panel — A group of stars that judge the talents of other stars
  •  
    To read more of Frank’s collection, Click Here.

    Nov
    14
    Frank Ball
    Making Someone Proud
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    Whether butler, baker, or biscuit maker, we have talent. If we can talk, we can write. And if we’re working for the Lord, we can please someone who is even more important than Mom and Dad.

    Nov
    7
    Frank Ball
    Word Crimes
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    When we use a word incorrectly, have we committed a crime against humanity? That probable depends on whose reeding our stuff.

    Oct
    31
    Frank Ball
    Pumpkin Face
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    Carving vegetables is common in many countries, but none is more popular in America than the pumpkin at Halloween.

    But if you want pumpkin pie, you might need special tools.

    Oct
    24
    Frank Ball
    Bedtime Story
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    Great stories are helpful in many ways.
      They keep people from nodding off in church.
      They help children go to sleep at night.
      They keep adults awake, turning the pages, wanting to find out what happens.
      They’re useful in selling a product.

    Oct
    17
    Frank Ball
    Daffynitions
    Weekend Fun
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    When kids learn English, they aren’t always clear on the meaning of words. Does a sign lettered Off-ice refer to a room near the ice house? As adults, we can appreciate the connection of familiar words to unexpected meanings.
      Frank has a large collection of such words, and he’s constantly adding more. Here are a few of his own making, which he posted recently to the website:

    • Frankincense —What Frankenstein had after he was given a brain
    • Hot Dog Stand — What wieners do when they can’t find a seat
    • Monkey — Means to enter the monastery when it’s locked
    • Pork Chop — A pig’s karate movement
    • Spoiled Milk — What you get from pampered cows
    • Spyware — Appropriate attire for an agent during a covert operation
    • Stick — A boomerang that doesn’t work

    To read more of the collection, Click Here.

    Oct
    10
    Frank Ball
    Fooled You
    Weekend Fun
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    A really good quarterback must fake in one direction and then go where no one expects.

    This middle school quarterback pulls off the greatest acting job imaginable as he takes the ball and walks through the defense.