IVP - Strangely Dim - Ode to Odes! Archives

December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Birthday Boy

Reposted by David A. Zimmerman

Today is the birthday of longtime friend and icon of Likewise Books, Don Everts (his friends call him Donaldo). Two years ago we were in the throes of a fit of creativity here at Strangely Dim, and Don's birthday (which is today--occasioned the following, one of my all-time favorite posts. I re-present it here for your amusement. Celebrate Don's birthday by buying one or several of his books--they make great stocking stuffers. (Some of them actually do fit in socks; some of them are even about feet!)

***

Today is the first of the month, which means that once again we're participating in our friendly <a href="Rabbit'>http://strangelydim.ivpress.com/rabbit/">Rabbit competition.</a> Today also, however, falls within our Fortnight of Odes, so that ups the ante a bit. And to top it off, today is the birthday of <a href="Don'>http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/author.pl/author_id=1029">Don Everts,</a> author of four-soon-to-be-nine books. So I hope you'll forgive my infelicities as I try to marry these three phenomena together in today's post.

Ode to a Rabbit Named Don Everts

He hops in beauty as the knight
Hops to duty and sits down to write
All the ideas living in his head
This knight writes nightly; he'll sleep when he's dead.

He's heard everything in his short little life--
From "I did . . ." from his students to "I do" from his wife.
His feet may be dirty, but they're covered in luck--
For example, book contracts seem to fall off the truck

Into his laptop, where he mines all his senses
For a way to convey best our cosmic offenses.
And just when you think he's said all that needs saying,
He twitches his nose and continues conveying.

So here's to Don Everts, our favorite bunny;
He's cute, warm and friendly, decidedly funny.
A preacher, a writer, who's highly regarded;
Here's hoping he's still only just getting started.

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Don . . .
Happy birthday to you!

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 5:22 AM

July 11, 2008

Another Candle on the Cake

All right, everybody. All together now:

Ahem.

Happy birthday to youuuuuuuu . . .

Happy birthday to youuuuuuuu . . .

Happy birthday, dear Lisaaaaaaa . . .

Happy birthday to you!

 

And now for a limerick:

There once was a woman named Lisa
whose bank card was branded with Visa.
She enjoys when she thinks just as much as hot drinks
Her Secretary of State's name is Condaleeza.

You think you can do better? Give it a shot. 

 

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 8:19 AM | Comments (1) are closed

December 3, 2007

Ode to Editing

While in Cambodia I was teaching an editing workshop (through a translator, I might add; it's much more difficult than it sounds), and I'm feeling inspired by Dave's Ode to Homonym Substitutions and Ode to an Artfully Written Run-On Sentence (which I feel obligated to give you another example of here), and I was discussing with a friend last week a book that needs a much closer edit than it received (all I can say is: chop, chop), so as our Fortnight of Odes draws to a close (much more gracefully than this sentence), I offer you an Ode to Editing. (Just a little warning: it may move you to grateful tears. I might have shed a tear or two myself while writing it . . .)

Sum folks may claim (I wont name names)
that editing need, we don't
I; ofer you hear
ode an that makes clear
why survyving without it--we won't

Things are A miss (I promise u this)!
without a good editor's eyes
we labour for. You
to make errorrs few
so all of your books are good buys.

Idaes shine threw and words becomme new
when editing! work is done well
And what the is test
of an editors best ?
Reader, you are the one who can tell!

If we have at all inspired you during our Fortnight of Odes--or even if we haven't--why not post one of your own?

Posted by Lisa Rieck at 9:18 AM | Comments (3) are closed

December 1, 2007

Ode to a Rabbit

Today is the first of the month, which means that once again we're participating in our friendly Rabbit competition. Today also, however, falls within our Fortnight of Odes, so that ups the ante a bit. And to top it off, today is the birthday of Don Everts, author of four-soon-to-be-nine books. So I hope you'll forgive my infelicities as I try to marry these three phenomena together in today's post.

Ode to a Rabbit Named Don Everts

He hops in beauty as the knight
Hops to duty and sits down to write
All the ideas living in his head
This knight writes nightly; he'll sleep when he's dead.

He's heard everything in his short little life--
From "I did . . ." from his students to "I do" from his wife.
His feet may be dirty, but they're covered in luck--
For example, book contracts seem to fall off the truck

Into his laptop, where he mines all his senses
For a way to convey best our cosmic offenses.
And just when you think he's said all that needs saying,
He twitches his nose and continues conveying.

So here's to Don Everts, our favorite bunny;
He's cute, warm and friendly, decidedly funny.
A preacher, a writer, who's highly regarded;
Here's hoping he's still only just getting started.

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Don . . .
Happy birthday to you!

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 6:44 AM | Comments (2) are closed

November 30, 2007

Ode to an Artfully Written Run-On Sentence

Today's entry in our Fortnight of Odes is inspired by Cory Doctorow, specifically his article "How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook." The whole article is great, but I'm particularly impressed with the following run-on sentence: "Maybe it's evolutionary, some quirk of the neocortex dating from our evolution into social animals who gained advantage by dividing up the work of survival but acquired the tricky job of watching all the other monkeys so as to be sure that everyone was pulling their weight and not napping in the treetops instead of watching for predators, emerging only to eat the fruit the rest of us have foraged." For another angle on the challenge of being chief monkey, check out my boss's recent blog post "Getting on the Bus."

And now for the ode.

Ahem.

He keeps going and going and going.
In the beginning, he wrote as if midsentence--
Articulating an afterthought,
Commencing adverbially.
One searches in vain for the verb that justifies
The capital at the beginning
And the period at the end.
And yet . . .
And yet I keep reading and reading and reading,
As though I've stumbled upon the treasure map of the Internet
Or of creation
Or of evolution,
As though my own genesis and apocalypse
Can be found and celebrated in this one sentence
With no beginning and no end.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 8:43 AM

November 29, 2007

Ode to Homonym Substitutions

We're nearing the end of our Fortnight of Odes, during which we've indulged ourselves in the creative process of crafting odes, defined according to Wikipedia as "a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse." Today's ode recalls an early embarrassment in my career as an editor, in which a colleague used the phrase "homonym substitution" and I had no idea what she was talking about. I've since learned that its the replacement of the word you mean with a word that sounds just like it but carries a completely different meaning, as in the case of the word its (which should have been it's) at the beginning of this sentence.

Without further uh due, today's ode. Please snap where appropriate.

I ode my fodder sum money,
Sew off too work I went.
Be four I urned a Nick'll
My money awl was spent.
 
Butt don't dee spare four my sake;
Aisle make the money back.
I took ought an udder more gauge,
And I'm head Ed four the track!

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 8:30 AM

November 27, 2007

Kudos to Motos

The odes are really starting to flow now that I'm not waking up at 2 a.m., so here, for your gasping pleasure, is yet another piece of my trip: Phnom Penh traffic. I can hear you asking, what is a moto? A definition, a photo, my ode, may help--but they can't give you the full picture. You really have to experience Phnom Penh traffic to imagine it. Even seeing it, I can't see how it works . . . But join me now, imaginative readers, in celebrating a perhaps heretofore overlooked mode of transportation.

Ode to Motos

Oh moto, you charm me:

threading through Phnom Penh streets
with grace and ease, your rubber meets
both cement and dirt, sidewalk and road
with ease and grace, whate'er the load
(you carry mattresses, balloons,
five men at once 'neath suns and moons,
or babies in their parent's arms,
papaya, ladders, rice from farms--
there's almost nothing you don't hold,
this, more than once, our team was told.)
Your riders drive with confidence
(and generally with less expense.)
You hardly ever have to stop
unless you see a watching cop;
at red lights you can simply slow
and weave amidst the coming flow
of traffic, people, ox-pulled carts.
Your feats did stop our sheltered hearts
more times than I can here recount.
For you, moto, respect did mount;
you're moving up among the ranks--

but I'll still drive my car with thanks.

Posted by Lisa Rieck at 4:58 PM | Comments (1) are closed

November 26, 2007

Back from Camb-ode-ia!

Hi friends! I'm back from Cambodia and full of strangely dim thoughts to share from my trip. Thanks for your prayers; it was a wonderful, hard, eye-opening trip (as short-term trips are bound to be), and I am so thankful for the opportunity to go. God answered very specific prayers and both revealed himself and didn't reveal himself (which, of course, forces us to trust him more) in really cool and mysterious ways. You will no doubt hear (or read, as the case may be) more of my musings in the days and weeks to come. But for now, a week out from the twenty-four-hour trip home and still trying to catch up on sleep, I offer you my first ode . . .

Ode to Sleeping Through the Night

Oh peaceful slumber--this is bliss!
To rest one's eyes and thoughts and limbs
till sun's soft rays wake, like a kiss.

To not awake at two or three
but still be dreaming, deep, at five--
for nights this was my body's plea.

But now, join with me friends of mine
in giving thanks for night, for beds,
for eyes that stay shut tight till nine!

And for you fretful waking ones
who view the clock six times each night,
who've watched too many rising suns

May strangely dim thoughts clarify
as you keep tossing in the dark
and heave your angstful sleepy sighs

for jealousy of those who rest--
Know that you have my sympathy,
my kind regard, my sleepy best.

Posted by Lisa Rieck at 9:05 AM

November 21, 2007

What's Updike?

Our friend Jeff Reimer got wind of our little experiment this fortnight and turned us on to John Updike's series of "Seven Odes to Seven Natural Processes," which according to the New York Times "seem late Audenesque."

Ode to Rot
To Evaporation
Ode to Growth
To Fragmentation
Ode to Entropy
To Crystallization
Ode to Healing

The Odes begin and end with God--

Der gute Herr Gott . . .
Faith is health's requisite:
we have this fact in lieu
of better proof of
le bon Dieu.

--which is a nice place to leave you, our gentle readers, on this Thanksgiving Eve. We'll be back to our adventure in odes next week.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 8:22 AM

November 20, 2007

Ode to Brevity

Welcome to the second entry in the fortnight of odes! For fourteen days we're indulging ourselves in the creative process of crafting odes, defined according to Wikipedia as "a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse." Remember--without an ode, we wouldn't have yodeling. Just something to think about.

And now, on to today's ode. Ahem.

I give thanks for the soul of wit.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 3:03 PM

November 19, 2007

Ode to Blogging

Welcome to the fortnight of odes! For fourteen days we'll indulge ourselves in the creative process of crafting odes, defined according to Wikipedia as "a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse." It seems appropriate to begin such a fortnight with an ode to our own literary genre, the blog. Please snap where appropriate.

Ahem.

To all who share in great detail
Their mother's favorite recipes--
I pray thee, Howl!

To all who share their travels and travails,
Their politics and religion,
Their insights into the human condition,
The intimate details of their illicit romances--
I bid thee, Ever Onward!

Blog without limit!
Indulge your self-referential impulse
And I shall join with thee--
Align with thee--
Not once, not twice, but thrice weekly.

Looking for love in the stats counter,
Craving comments the way junkies crave junk--
I take my stand among my fellow bloggers
And declare that I am

Relevant!
Articulate!
Profound even in my prosaic ordinariness!

I blog, therefore I will not be forgotten.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 9:48 AM | Comments (2) are closed

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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