Category Archives: Contests

Notoriety

Notoriety

Remember Morrie Amsterdam, and Dick Van Dyke and Sally?
So clever and so erudite, and humorous and pally?
They had such fun as writers for a fictional TV show
(I can’t recall the name of it, but one of you will know.)

If that is what inspired the thought, I guess I’ll never know,
but I’ve always wished that I could be staff-writer for a show.
Such fun it would be, trading thoughts and quips and puns and jokes
and putting them into a show for entertaining folks.

Week after week to do this, would be a joy, I thought—
turning out those funny shows with plots so finely wrought.
But I had not a clue of how such jobs as this were got.
The route to such careers was something I was never taught.

I college I took every class in writing I could find.
I loved this pressure to use words to show what’s on my mind.
Sometimes the words came easy and sometimes they came hard.
I had a few successes, although no one called me bard.

In those days before the Internet, I don’t know how I came
to hear about these contests where we were asked to name
new products such as cereal and milk and a new shoe
and several other things as well, I just recall a few.

All-in-all, I think I entered six or more for fun.
Months later came the envelopes that said that I had won
first prize to name two products—and earned $25 for each.
Never had I expected such heights of fame to reach!

I took my best friends out to dine to celebrate my win
and we drank Golden Cadillacs (and probably sloe gin)
and wined and dined until we’d spent the sum of all the cash
I won by writing ad copy—a celebratory bash.

I know if I dug deep enough that surely I could find
the names of all those products in the corners of my mind.
“Vita-Man the Space Age Cowboy,” was one winning entry’s name.
His purpose to sell milk, although he never reached much fame.

This was the late sixties with skirts short or to the floor
and I recall one shoe line that I wrote a ditty for:
Mini-mums and Maxi-mums were names I thought were nice.
“A maximum of comfort for a minimum in price.”

This one was not a winner, but the reason I can quote it
is because they used it anyway–exactly as I wrote it.
The other one I won was for a cereal you’d know well;
I know you won’t believe me, so I’m not going to tell.

It became so famous that it’s still there on the shelf,
though I’m the only one who knows I named it all myself.
Still, this is where my fame resides—in stores from shore-to-shore
and that is how my name came to be writ in grocery lore!

So now my deepest secret’s out. The world will know my plight—
that advertising or TV is what I wished to write.
You’d think that watching “Mad Men” would cure me, wouldn’t you?
and it might, but for the glory of that cereal and that shoe!!!!

The Prompt: Back of the Queue—Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to starting (an activity, a hobby, or anything else, really)? Tell us about it — and tell us about what’s keeping you from doing it.

NaPoWriMo Withdrawal

Searching for a topic!!!!

Searching for a Topic (picture taken at La Manzanilla beach this March)

(picture taken at La Manzanilla beach this March)

Well, April (National Poetry Writing Month) is over and so there goes the start to my day. Must say I became addicted to waking up each morning with a fresh topic for poetry presented to me, as weird as some of them may have been. If anyone is still reading this blog, perhaps you would like to suggest a topic for me and I’ll continue to do the poems. I’ll choose from topics submitted each day and continue to do the “act.” If no one suggests a topic, I will slowly fade into the horizon until next April.

Addendum to NaPoWriMo Day 9 Post: I’ll Leave the Light On

For our day 9 post, we were to post a poem that incorporated at least 5 song titles.  I incorporated more and offered a prize for the person who could find the most and promised to publish the solution later.  Well, I failed to do that but I am remedying it today.  Below is the poem with song titles in boldface.  If you count them, you will see there are 50!!! 

The winner was “forgottenman,” who didn’t find all of them but found more than most.  He says no fair to use one-word titles, but I wrote the poem and I make the rules.  You won anyway, Forgottenman!  (See his blog at okcforgottenman.wordpress.com.)

I’ll Leave the Light On

This is a world for the knowing,
and everybody knows
that if we would try just a little bit harder
that we wouldn’t feel so trapped.
yet still we cry baby, cry.

You think he’s gonna carry you home
to China?
It’s not like that, darlin’.
It’s more likely
that you’re walkin’ blind.
You will be two marionettes
on the Twickeham Ferry.

Where can I go?
you ask,
trapped,
a woman left lonely
in winter.

What you gonna do––
let your wedding dress
carry you home
to the cold mountains?

Run, baby, run.
Let the black ladder
be your museum of flight.
At heart you were always
a circus girl,
anyway––
that woman on the tier
far above desolation row.

When were you happy?
I know you keep me in your heart,
the one who loves you the most.
I am in your mind,
in the wind.
The memory of me
is better than love.

This is a call
a broken man’s lament.
I hope it will
carry you home.
Walk away, Renée.
Walk away

You’ll accompany me.
We can take the long way home

 

(There are 50 song titles.  If you came up one short,  Cry Baby and Cry are two separate titles)

NaPoWriMo Day 9: “I’ll Leave the Light On”

I’ll Leave the Light On

This is a world for the knowing,
and everybody knows
that if we would try just a little bit harder
that we wouldn’t feel so trapped.
yet still we cry baby, cry.

You think he’s gonna carry you home to China?
It’s not like that, darlin’.
It’s more likely that you’re walkin’ blind.
You will be two marionettes
on the Twickenham Ferry.

Where can I go? you ask, trapped,
a woman left lonely in winter.
What you gonna do––let your wedding dress
carry you home to the cold mountains?

Run, baby, run.
Let the black ladder be your museum of flight.
At heart you were always a circus girl, anyway––
that woman on the tier far above desolation row.

When were you happy?
I know you keep me in your heart,
the one who loves you the most.
I am in your mind, In the wind.
The memory of me is better than love.
This is a call–a broken man’s lament.
I hope it will carry you home.

Walk away, Renée. Walk away.
You’ll accompany me.
We can take the long way home.

Today’s prompt was to incorporate 5 song titles into a poem. As usual, I elected to be excessive. How many can song titles can you find in this poem? $10 prize or a free copy of my book to the winner. Woweeeee! You won’t be rich, but just think of the honor.