Kathleen Kaska's collection of handy and humorous advice for writers is taken from her monthly blog posts and shared in her Cave Art Press newsletters. Her sweet-and-sassy Texan wit shines throughout the book, making it as much fun to read as it is useful. You'll find helpful tips and insights on everything from grammar questions to actually getting published.
Listen to what Kathleen says: The book title is taken from what we in the office of Cave Art Press call a "Don-ism." The co-owner, Don Douglass, is known around here for his own vernacular (he freely substitutes words at will). When he asked if we had a catharsis handy, he was actually asking for a thesaurus.
Fortunately for her readers, Kathleen is more scrupulous than Don about adhering to the regulations and rules of proper grammar and word use. Here’s an example from her Inspiration, Style, and Nonsense chapter: Police Blotter Fodder: “To Save Herself, She Bit the Cop on the Leg:” Where to Go for Ideas When You Are Stuck.
Need an idea for a short story, blog post, or a novel? Check out the newspapers. I don’t necessarily mean the front page. In our town, the most entertaining reading comes from police blotters. The reports are a wellspring of ideas for writers. Some are written tongue-in-cheek, and I can imagine the fun police officers must have in crafting them. Recently,
the police in a nearby city uncovered a murder-for-hire plot by an inmate in the county jail who was enlisting the help of a fellow inmate to murder the man responsible for the first guy’s incarceration. These were the instructions he gave to the would-be killer: “Wet him with gasoline; dry him with a match.” That’s a pretty good line, right out of a Mickey Spillane novel. If this guy ever went straight, he might make it as a pulp fiction writer.
And another: Several people complained about a homeless man who was causing a ruckus in a downtown square. The police arrived and realized the man was arguing and shouting profanities at someone only he could see. The cops told him to apologize to his imaginary friend. He did. End of story.
As Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
Published by Cave Art Press