Monday, October 31, 2011

QWERTY? QWERTY???

My friend Jinksy who lives in England told me about an interesting challenge this morning over at This Is Getting Very Silly (Dr. FTSE’s blog).

The challenge is simply this (though few things are ever very simple):

When you can’t think what to write, here’s a neat way to beat writer's block. Just look at your keyboard, then write a 26-word passage that makes sense, using as the first letter of each word the letters on your keyboard taken in order, left to right, top row to bottom row.

If you can do that, writes Dr. FTSE, you can do anything.

QWERTYUIOPASDFJKLZXCVBNM is the pattern on my keyboard, but if your keyboard is different, use your pattern.

My contribution, possibly the opening lines of my smashing new best-seller, The Adventures of Quentin and Kevin, was:

Quentin, waxing eloquent, raced toward Yvonne’s upstairs, inconsolable over Penelope's abominable situation despite Friday’s germs hovering jauntily. Kevin languished, Zen-like, xenophobically coveting Veronica’s Norwegian behind mightily.

Oops, the N and B seems to have exchanged places when I wasn’t looking. Oh, well.

Emboldened, I decided to try again. My second offering was an excerpt from my other potential blockbuster, Nothing Makes Sense Any More:

“Quit whining,” Edward reluctantly told Yakima’s ubiquitous imbecile, Percy, “only people at Seattle drink filthy gin.” Hoping, John kissed Loretta. Zany xylophonist Charles visited bassoonists near Manhattan.***

Basically, what this challenge proves most is that there’s no fool like and old fool (I’m talking about me, not Dr. FTSE).

But I would love to see what deathless prose you can come up with! Put it on Dr. FTSE’s blog, then copy your offering into a comment here on this post.

Now, get busy!


***Belatedly, I see that my second offering (the one that started “Quit whining...) is a little botched in the O and P area. If I change the name Percy to Oliver and delete the word “only” the result is a true qwertygram (a word I just invented):

“Quit whining,” Edward reluctantly told Yakima’s ubiquitous imbecile, Oliver, “people at Seattle drink filthy gin.” Hoping, John kissed Loretta. Zany xylophonist Charles visited bassoonists near Manhattan.

And if we combine my original qwertygram (Quentin, waxing...) with the one from Frances Garrood in the comments, we have the beginnings of a truly intriguing story:


Quentin, waxing eloquent, raced toward Yvonne’s upstairs, inconsolable over Penelope’s abominable situation despite Friday’s germs hovering jauntily. Kevin languished, Zen-like, xenophobically coveting Veronica’s Norwegian behind mightily.

Quentin was easily rendered tipsy. Yvonne understimated Ian’s orange punch. Andrea, senseless, dropped floorwards. Gavin held Jennifer, kissed, laughing zanily (xxx). Caroline’s vodka befuddled Nathan’s mother.


Wow, in just two paragraphs we have been introduced to Quentin, Yvonne, Penelope, Kevin, Veronica, Ian, Andrea, Gavin, Jennifer, Caroline, and Nathan’s mother. Nathan, however, is nowhere in sight.

I have changed the working title of my novel to Caroline’s Vodka. It has a certain ring to it, like Angela’s Ashes.

31 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Quintessentially, when every Roman territory yielded, unruly insurgents operating politically attacked soldiers’ defences for gain holding juniper kabobs laced zestfully - xenomorphically creating very bright nutritious mush.

Frances Garrood said...

Okay. Not good, but here goes (working title - ORGY):

Quentin was easily rendered tipsy. Yvonne understimated Ian's orange punch. Andrea, senseless, dropped floorwards. Gavin held Jennifer, kissed, laughing zanily (xxx). Caroline's vodka befuddled Nathan's mother.

Jeannelle said...

Quietly wondering, Ethel reached the Yaggaborgia Umbria Italia office. Peering ahead, she distrustingly followed Giovanni. He jeered, “Kindly leave! Zealous xenophobes cannot visit businesses near Milano!”

(That was fun!)

rhymeswithplague said...

Everyone, reading your passages has been just as much fun as writing my own! I bet you didn't know you had it in you....

Belatedly, I see that my second offering (the one that started "Quit whining...) is a little botched in the O and P area. If the name Percy is changed to Oliver and the word only is deleted, the result is a true qwertygram (a word I just invented).

rhymeswithplague said...

Frances, I do believe this is your first comment here. Welcome to the land of rhymeswithplague!

Ladies and gentlemen, not just a published novelist, but a multi-published novelist! And by a real and reputable publisher, no less. I am dark green with envy.

Frances Garrood said...

Then please be my follower, because my follower no.50 has gone (was it something I said?), and I've no idea who s/he was (that's gone, I mean), and 49 seems a lot less than 50 (in the same way that £49.99p seems a lot less than £50)

This all looks as though I've been at the vodka, too. Or maybe it's the verification word (nutses).

Putz said...

quiz wizz erneszt rutgerts totally yaps under icky octopusses putting albatrosses summerially destroyed forever, joking karl laughs zealously creating vibes BADLY near manchester

Putz said...

oh oh oh no i have just embarassed myself by publishing a comment below someone as famous as frances, the most well know author in all of england{at least to me she is} how will i ever live this down with all my miss spelling grammatical fopahs and mouth wide open with my foot in it<><><>that does it, i am through talking through posts blogs and comments<><>goodby world

rhymeswithplague said...

Everyone, this has been, as they say nowadays, a "fun" post with "fun" comments even though I learned in school that "fun" is a noun, not an adjective or verb. I thoroughly enjoyed all the qwertygrams, which ranged from xenophobic tourists in Italy to Roman soldiers (who were xenophobic tourists from Italy).

Oh, and Putz, do not be concerned over your newly discovered brush with the rich and famous. I'm sure Frances doesn't bite. As Doris Day used to sing, whatever will be, will be. Remember to breathe.

Carolina said...

This post and the comments made me Laugh Out Loud. Thanks for making the start of this day a fun one ;-)


Putz's qwertygram makes more sense (to me at least) than his usual scribblings.

Elizabeth said...

Quite why Ellie's Robert tried yodelling unaccompanied improvisation, one perfect August Sunday, defies fathoming. Georgia's hierarchy justly kept laws zoothapsisising xenomaniac choristers. Virtuoso Brague nonchordal morendo.

Frances Garrood said...

Putz, if I'm that famous, why haven't you bought my books?

RWP - I am not rich, but I most certainly do bite.

Shooting Parrots said...

Questioning why, Eleanor reinserted the yellow umbrella inside Olivier’s Proscenium Arch. Fantastic jewelled kickshaws littered Zachary’s xylophone, clutched valiantly betwixt Norman’s metacarpus.

Carolina said...

“Querulent”, Warren explained reasons to yawn uncontrollably in Oliver’s presence.
“Always suffering. Dickhead.”
“Frustrated?” Graham helpfully joked, knowing little.
“Zero X-factor. Can veritably bedazzle no man.”

rhymeswithplague said...

And still we roll! Excellent new qwertygrams (qwertys? qwerties?) from Elizabeth (though I do not know what zoothapsisising is) and Shooting Parrots (why, indeed?) and Carolina (I for one am thoroughly bedazzled).

What hath God wrought?

The preceding sentence is not original with me. It came from Samuel F. B. Morse in 1844 and also from the fourth book of the Old Testament, Numbers, chapter 23, verse 23 long before Samuel F. B. Morse invented the telegraph. Samuel F. B. Morse should not be confused with Thomas Edison, who said, "Watson, come here, I want you.")

Elizabeth said...

'zoothapsisising' - the act of being buried/interred (from Babylonian culture).

Thought everybody knew that. xx

rhymeswithplague said...

Elizabeth, well, it's no wonder, then, that virtuoso Brague's nonchordal merendoed....

Elizabeth said...

Absolutely. A sad case, indeed. If only poor Robert had had the good sense to remain 'a bocca chiusa'... xx

Carolina said...

This was really challenging and enjoyable. Have you noticed Doctor FTSE's new challenge, somewhere in his comments?

Rosezilla said...

ARGH, I am so tired of having to do every comment twice! There, I feel better. As for the Qwertygrams, they sound like summaries of soap operas! I would love to try this, though I am in such august company! I'll let you know if I come up with anything.

QWERTYGRAM plc said...

We hereby give notice that use of the term "Qwertygram" and indeed the practice of creating Qwertygrams is strictly forbidden except under licence. Our records show no evidence that anyone with the surname Brague has purchased a licence since April 2000 and therefore legal action is inevitable.
Yours etc.
Lloyd H Lieberwiener
(on behalf of the Qwertygram Corporation)

rhymeswithplague said...

Elizabeth, I have it on good authority from a reliable witness that Robert's bocca was hardly ever chiusa.

Carolina, I did indeed see Dr. FTSE's new challenge. More about that in a future post.

Rosezilla, don't be intimidated; it's just little ol' us. We all had to start somewhere.

All, a threatening notice from Mr. Lloyd H. Lieberwiener (purportedly of the Qwertygram Corporation) was sent to this address in error as both R. W. Plague and R. H. Brague have been grandfathered into the statute since they, who are so close as to be inseparable, have been creating qwertygrams (though that appellation is fairly recent) since long before 2000 and are exempt under the rule of a priori, whereas Mr. Lieberwiener is definitely more of an a posteriori case. Therefore, if the legal action to which Mr. Lieberwiener alluded is a "cease and desist" order, anybody who should happen to come into contact with Lloyd H. Lieberwiener is hereby empowered to suggest that he put his lieberwiener where the sun don't shine.

Rosezilla said...

Querulously washing elephants, Randolph twirled yellow underwear in obsequious passes around Sasha's dense feet. Giraffes, hippos, jackals - kids love zoos! Xerothermic children venture beside nervous mahouts.

rhymeswithplague said...

Rosezilla (Tracie), kudos to you! That is one of the very best ones. You stuck to the topic superbly and you get extra points awarded for using the word mahouts (I had to refer to a dictionary).

rhymeswithplague said...

...not to mention xerothermic.

Elizabeth said...

I can believe that!!! x

Jeannelle said...

Alexander Graham Bell is rolling over in his grave. Shame on you, rhymsie!

rhymeswithplague said...

Elizabeth, because of the string of comments, at first I thought you meant you could believe that I had to refer to a dictionary for the words mahouts and xerothermic, but I eventually figured out that you were referring to Robert's lack of good sense. If only, I agree.

Jeannelle, I believe you have caught me in a rare misattribution. As we all know, after Alexander's little chat with Watson, they went out and formed a ragtime band. Thomas Edison, of course, was the one who said, "Can someone turn off that bleepin' light??? I'm trying to get some shut-eye!"

rhymeswithplague said...

Everyone, long after others have forgotten this post, some of us will still be questioning why Eleanor reinserted the yellow umbrella inside Olivier’s Proscenium Arch. My guesses are:

A. Once was not enough.
B. Gene Kelly was using the green one.
C. Mary Poppins was on vacation.
D. Randolph had stolen the yellow underwear.

Rosezilla said...

And we have no desire whatsoever to know why the underwear was yellow...

Doctor FTSE said...

Some great QWERTY's here, RWP! What have I started?
Wonder how many manhours this week have been spent bashing them into shape. Great fun.