(NaBloPoMo) “There Be Dragons,” One Congressman Mutters to the Other (an utterance I imagine one of them making when I watch a span of legislators talking amongst themselves as someone testifies about affordable care for all or the use of alternative energy to combat climate change. How to Help Congress? I Have a Suggestion. (A 420 Character 9-Line Poem by Patty)

Dragons of Varna
Dragons of Varna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(NaBloPoMo) “There Be Dragons,” One Congressman Mutters to the Other (an utterance I imagine one of them making when I watch a span of legislators talking amongst themselves as someone testifies about affordable health care for all or the use of alternative energy to combat climate change. How to Help Congress? I Have a Suggestion. (A 420 Character 9-Line Poem by Patty)

The Unknown.

So scary that ancient maps drew Dragons to symbolize the unknown;

travel there was to go “where there be dragons.”

So, is it just fear of the unknown

that creates Congressional enemies of Affordable Care for All

(like the rest of the developed world has)

or Carbon Sequestration to Combat Climate Change?

Nix the dragons w/: Ted Talks, Sessions with Phil Nye the Science Guy, or NPR.

Make Known the Unknown.


Moses Pitt - 1680
Moses Pitt – 1680 (Photo credit: amphalon)

Let’s learn facts. Or it’s all going to be too close to what the Onion portrays Congress to be in this piece:

Congress Debates Merits Of New Catchphrase

Rep. William Cummings (D-VA) defends his use of the slang word “pronk” as a legitimate catchphrase.

the frameborder=”no” width=”480″ height=”270″ scrolling=”no” src=”http://www.theonion.com/video_embed/?id=100″></iframe><br /><a href=”http://www.theonion.com/video/congress-debates-merits-of-new-catchphrase,14227/&#8221; target=”_blank” title=”Congress Debates Merits Of New Catchphrase”>Congress Debates Merits Of New Catchphrase</a>

But, I think the guys in an early Congress had an excuse for believing in dragons. They didn’t have access to Ted and his Talks.

Another Idea: our fearful, non-productive Congress could  seize the dragon by the horns (oops, mixed metaphor; but, um, I like it; so it stays.) and go on one of the study abroad programs organized by this amazing company, or ones of its ilk. The company’s called Where There Be Dragons:


Who We Are

Dragons Student Travel: Who We AreDragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound student travel adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences.

While Dragons programs vary in their focus—with some trekking and wilderness intensive, others strong on service and development studies, and still others language-oriented—all Dragons journeys are designed above all else to be fun, safe and honest educational experiences.


hippo quiz time

What do Susan Larson (former book editor The Times-Picayune, host of “The Reading Life”), Maureen Corrigan (Georgetown University, book critic, “Fresh Air,” NPR) and Michael Cunningham  (novelist) have in common?

This now notorious trio of gifted and seasoned readers/writers chose not to award a 2012 Pulitzer prize in the fiction category. I was aghast. And befuddled.

(To be fair, though it’s hard to believe, it has happened before.  See the list at end of this post.)

So. The Final Three. Let’s review.

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson is a novella about a day laborer in the old American West, bearing witness to terrors and glories with compassionate heartbreaking calm.
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell is an adventure tale about an eccentric family adrift in its failing alligator-wrestling theme park, told by a 13-year-old heroine wise beyond her years.

The Pale King by the late David Foster Wallace is a posthumously completed novel that explores boredom and bureaucracy in the American workplace.


2012 ~ The Year With No Pulitzer

Phew! 2013 ~ The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.

The next award will be announced on April 14, 2014.

So many miracles happen every year.

Which one will you be rooting for?


Meet you here next Sunday.

Toni 11/24/13

Day 24


Year Author Title
2013 Adam Johnson Orphan Master’s Son, The
2012 No Award No Award
2011 Jennifer Egan Visit From The Goon Squad, A
2010 Paul Harding Tinkers
2009 Elizabeth Strout Olive Kitteridge
2008 Junot Diaz Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao, The
2007 Cormac McCarthy Road, The
2006 Geraldine Brooks March
2005 Marilynne Robinson Gilled
2004 Edward P. Jones Known World, The
2003 Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex
2002 Richard Russo Empire Falls
2001 Michael Chabon Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay, The
2000 Jhumpa Lahiri Interpreter Of Maladies
1999 Michael Cunningham Hours, The
1998 Philip Roth American Pastoral
1997 Steven Millhauser Martin Dressler
1996 Richard Ford Independence Day
1995 Carol Shields Stone Diaries, The
1994 E. Annie Proulx Shipping News, The
1993 Robert Olen Butler Good Scent From A Stange Mountain, A
1992 Jane Smiley Thousand Acres, A
1991 John Updike Rabbit At Rest
1990 Oscar Hijuelos Mambo Kings Play Songs Of Love, The
1989 Anne Tyler Breathing Lessons
1988 Toni Morrison Beloved
1987 Peter Taylor Summons To Memphis, A
1986 Larry McMurtry Lonesome Dove
1985 Alison Lurie Foreign Affairs
1984 William Kennedy Ironweed
1983 Alice Walker Color Purple, The
1982 John Updike Rabbit Is Rich
1981 John Kennedy Toole Confederacy Of Dunces, A
1980 Norman Mailer Executioner’s Song, The
1979 John Cheever Stories Of John Cheever, The
1978 James Alan McPherson Elbow Room
1977 No Award
1976 Saul Bellow Humboldt’s Gift
1975 Michael Shaara Killer Angels, The
1974 No Award
1973 Eudora Welty Optimist’s Daughter, The
1972 Wallace Stegner Angle Of Repose
1971 No Award
1970 Jean Stafford Collected Stories
1969 N. Scott Momaday House Made Of Dawn
1968 William Styron Confessions Of Nat Turner, The
1967 Bernard Malamud Fixer, The
1966 Katharine Anne Porter Collected Stories
1965 Shirley Anne Grau Keepers Of The House, The
1964 No Award
1963 William Faulkner Reivers, The
1962 Edwin O’Connor Edge Of Sadness, The
1961 Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird
1960 Allen Drury Advise And Consent
1959 Robert Lewis Taylor Travels Of Jamie McPheeters, The
1958 James Agee Death In The Family, A
1957 Kenneth Roberts (Honorary Award)
1956 MacKinlay Kantor Andersonville
1955 William Faulkner Fable, A
1954 No Award
1953 Ernest Hemingway Old Man And The Sea, The
1952 Herman B. Wouk Caine Mutiny, The
1951 Conrad Richter Town, The
1950 A. B. Guthrie, Jr. Way West, The
1949 James Gould Cozzens Guard Of Honor
1948 James A. Michener Tales Of The South Pacific
1947 Robert Penn Warren All The King’s Men
1946 No Award
1945 John Hersey Bell For Adano, A
1944 Martin Flavin Journey In The Dark
1943 Upton Sinclair Dragon’s Teeth
1942 Ellen Glasgow In This Our Life
1941 No Award
1940 John Steinbeck Grapes Of Wrath, The
1939 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Yearling, The
1938 John P. Marquand Late George Apley, The
1937 Margaret Mitchell Gone With The Wind
1936 Harold L. Davis Honey In The Horn
1935 Josephine W. Johnson Now In November
1934 Caroline Miller Lamb In His Bosom
1933 T. S. Stribling Store, The
1932 Pearl S. Buck Good Earth, The
1931 Margaret Ayer Barnes Years Of Grace
1930 Oliver LaFarge Laughing Boy
1929 Julia M. Peterkin Scarlet Sister Mary
1928 Thornton Wilder Bridge of San Luis Rey, The
1927 Louis Bromfield Early Autumn
1926 Sinclair Lewis Arrowsmith
1925 Edna Ferber So Big
1924 Margaret Wilson Able McLaughlins, The
1923 Willa Cather One of Ours
1922 Booth Tarkington Alice Adams
1921 Edith Wharton Age of Innocence, The
1920 No Award
1919 Booth Tarkington Magnificent Ambersons, The
1918 Ernest Poole

His Family




There’s some Better-Than-Great Folks I am grateful to and, on the Almost-Three-Year Anniversary of WWWW, it’s time I told them so.


Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.  I think he was incandescently clever.  Just like Matthew Mullenweg ~ One. Very. Enthusiastic. Guy.  Mullenweg is the founding developer of WordPress, the blogging software that runs this site and millions of other sites around the world.  The website says WordPress is “a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform”.  I say WordPress is the rabbit hole that winked me into Wonderland.


genius 1

In his Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin wrote that he “passed the day delightfully wandering through the forest”, spending untold hours observing creatures in the field. Starting this blog involved hours (weeks,months,years) of messy and unpredictable blunders, snafus and goof-ups. But I don’t go it alone. I have my awesome Darwinesque partner Patty who wanders with me. And we’re both lucky enough to have a Genius of unlimited patience at the Apple store. She doesn’t always have the exact solution (since we don’t always know what the exact problem is) but she does have scads of suggestions. Like the Little Engine That Could, she lets us Know-We-Can.



As for a Better-Than-Great Guy, my GymRat is the best of the bunch.

I dance.  He claps.

He gives me the Gift of Time.  Time to break through sludge and sloth as murky as a jungle river and unload my words onto the screen like a flock of finches.

And he helps me “write” as we drive, make bread, pull weeds and troll through possibilities that might pass for dinner.

Now, here I am, looking back on almost three years and 700 posts in, well, amazement. A bunch of musings I let fly like darts about everything from bedbugs to LeBron.




As Click and Clack, the NPR Car Guys, say, with a chortle followed by a loud guffaw ~ Welcome to the shameless commerce division of the show.

Consider this ~ Subscribe and share our blog with friends on Twitter, Tumbler, Stumble, Google, email, Facebook and Pinterest.  WWWW itches for your comments. So loosen your tie, get personal.


Would you guess that we’ve had endless requests for Words We Women Write tote bags and t-shirts, mugs and magnets, evening gowns and monogramed umbrellas? Well, we haven’t ~ yet. So we won’t be opening a store anytime soon. But when we do, we’ll use the proceeds to take exotic trips around the world cover our hosting fees.


 Dear Readers and Subscribers and

Guest Bloggers and Likers and Abettors ~

THX, you are Zazzorific!

Toni 3/21/2013