Team YA and #ROW80

Team Angel

Much of our lives involves a this-or-that decision. With each yes to one thing, we say no to another. I was thinking about this as I recently tweeted with What-to-Watch TV Master Tiffany A. White about where am in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series (season 5 of Buffy, season 2 of Angel. Please do not tell me what happens!) I’m sure the ending I would like to see isn’t going to happen, but I am still holding out for Team Angel.

That’s how we talk about it these days, right? The Twilight fights of Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, this American Idol contestant or that one, this presidential candidate or that one (Bayard/Lamb 2012, by the way), and so on. However, my decision for the coming week is which of two novel ideas I should leap into and write. I have two plots and sets of characters that have been tugging at me like a protective vampire and a bullish werewolf. Which one to choose?

As a matter of fact, I had already written a chapter for each novel idea. Having let them air out for a while, I sat down on Friday to take a fresh look. The young adult novel is much further along in story structure. I know where this novel needs to go — what the protagonist’s goal and obstacles are, how to incorporate the characters’ quirks, what the conflict of the scenes should entail, and how the climax will unfold. The other plot idea is mushier — more promising in some ways, but less solid. As much as I like it and want to get crackin’, that plot needs more time to simmer. So I’m going for Team YA. With that decision made, here’s a look at my ROW80 progress for the week.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Individual writers set their own goals for an 80-day round. Here are my ROW80 goals for Round 1 of 2012:

  • Finish editing Grace & Fire mystery novel and send to reader. Edits done and in reader’s hands.
  • Write 2,500 words per week on work in progress. Most importantly, I MUST decide which work in progress to tackle. I have two novels plotted and can’t choose which one to focus on. Both stories are tugging at my hem and begging for attention. I have decided to write the young adult novel; its working title is Sharing Hunter.
  • Blog twice a week on Amaze-ing Words Wednesday and Deep-Fried Friday, and check-in with ROW80 updates twice a week. Finito.
  • Comment on at least 10 blogs per week. Done. Commented on 14 blog posts. This does not include any ROW80 updates or replies to commenters on my own blog.
  • Read one writing craft book. Still reading another nonfiction book before I jump into On Writing by Stephen King.
  • Read five fiction books. 3 down, 2 to go.
  • Exercise three times per week. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad?

Be sure to check out my fellow ROW80ers and wish them well HERE.

How are you doing with your goals? Have you had to make any this-or-that decisions lately?


Bayard-Lamb 2012: Foxie with Moxie

As promised on Wednesday, I welcome Presidential Candidate Piper Bayard and her capable Vice-Presidential Pal Kristen Lamb to Deep-Fried Friday. Believe me when I say that their ideas have been beer-battered, fried for just the right length of time, and are juicy to the last bite. I’m sure you’ll find their campaign platform to be the political feast you’ve been waiting for.

Piper Bayard

Thanks, Piper and Kristen, for coming by on your worldwide blog tour. I’m so excited to interview you today. Let’s start with a question that’s particularly pertinent since the “Super Committee” should have those S’s ripped off their blue unitards about now.

In recent years, many special committees have been formed to tackle specific issues – such as military base closure and deficit reduction. What do you think about forming departments, committees, commissions, and other special groups to handle executive or legislative duties?

Kristen Lamb

Committees are nothing but a game of political Hide the Pickle. It’s a way of delegating things so that the “leader” never has to take responsibility for decisions. It’s the mark of incompetence.

Committees are grossly ineffective and are used to mask the fact that the leader is doing nothing. The saying “put together by a committee” is derogatory for a reason. Congressional committees do not come up with solutions, they come up with the legislative equivalent of Frankenstein. We’ll call it Frankenslation.

If we have to have a committee for any reason, we will lock them in a room and feed them nothing but MRE’s until they have finished their work. That way, they have to trade their M&M’s for Chicken A La King like the rest of us until they can show that they’ve earned something better.

What criteria would you use to nominate judges to the courts?

We’ll start with an EEG to make sure that the candidates actually have brain function. Then, we will check to see if they know the law and understand that it is the judge’s job to interpret laws that are passed by the legislature, and not to create law from the bench. Whenever judges create law from the bench, we will call in the Dog Whisperer to train them in pack behavior. We won’t reward them by letting them back in the courtroom until they are in a calm, submissive state and accept their relationship to the law and to the legislature.

How can we best develop and use our military around the world? What tasks should our armed forces take on?

As Piper stated in her original announcement, America is Simba the Lion. It is not Pumbaa the warthog’s cousin. In our administration, America will not pretend to be less than she is to bolster the self-esteem of countries that have not earned self-esteem on their own.

Our armed forces are for the protection of America and American interests. Under our administration, we will not deploy our troops and then tie their hands. We will allow our military leaders to fight any necessary wars as efficiently as possible with the approach that a fast knife to the jugular is far less destructive in the long run than bleeding out the enemy and the American coffers with a gut shots.

Do you have plans to curb the influence of special interests on governmental decision-making?

We have only one special interest, and that is the well being of the American people. If a special interest group would like to lobby us, it needs a transparent agenda simple enough to be understood on Facebook. No shady doublespeak between pages of legalese, and no monetary transfers. If they can get enough “likes” and prove enough people care about their agenda, we’ll pay attention to them. We’re here to serve the American people, and not the special interests.

Will communication and transparency be important to your administration? If so, how will you ensure them?

An administration is like a family. Some things are public, and some things are private, and it is appropriate that they be so.

There’s a difference between transparency, authenticity, and stupidity. We’re all about being authentic and transparent, but if the end result is to put American freedoms and safety in jeopardy, then it’s up to us, as leaders, to determine that and act accordingly.

Illegal immigration has been discussed at length in recent years. What comprehensive changes would you make to our immigration system and how would you deal with illegal aliens?

Unlike other administrations, we plan to enforce the immigration laws of this country, and we will start by cracking down on the employers of illegal aliens. Some big agricultural employers actively recruit illegal immigrants with promises of easy work, good pay, and beautiful living conditions, only to have them discover they are as much as enslaved and living in trash once they get here. That isn’t fair to them or to the honest Americans who need jobs.

It is illegal to enter this country without permission, just as it is illegal to enter anyone else’s country without permission, too. In so many countries around the world, illegal immigrants are shot on sight or jailed until Al Gore can come rescue them. We would not be that cruel. We would simply see that the laws that exist are enforced. It’s just common sense. You break the law; you get in trouble. You don’t win the location lottery.

If the laws need to be changed or interpreted differently, we will lock the appropriate Congressional committee in with their MRE’s, or, if necessary, we will send the matter to the judiciary as soon as the Dog Whisperer has them in a calm, submissive state.

Who is your favorite foreign leader and why?

Winston Churchill. He had serious cajones, and he was a brilliant speaker.

(Julie’s note: Winston Churchill also appeared twice in my post on The Perfect Comeback. Clearly, Piper and Kristen are able to deliver choice comebacks as well.)

How does your spouse or significant other feel about being First Gentleman? Or is it First Man? First Guy? First Dude?

They would like to be called First Mates. It has more military appeal, and it’s more comforting to them than being introduced as our First Husbands.

What will you wear to the inaugural ball?

Since it’s going to be a live, online tailgate barbecue party with America, we’re thinking flannel-lined jeans with some Patriot Panties underneath to maintain our shape after the pulled pork and pecan pie.

I toured the White House in 1993 when President Clinton was in office, and that place was glitzy and gaudy when I saw it. Any plans to redecorate?

We don’t believe any redecorating will be necessary as it’s rumored that Hillary Clinton took all that stuff with her when she left. We heard in that same rumor that we will be needing some new plates and silver, though, and that the rugs will need a good scrubbing.

Our deepest thanks to Julie Glover for inviting us to her blog for a campaign rally interview. We are honored to be here, and we’ve had a great time.

If you would like to host the Foxie with Moxie Duo (thank you, Julie, for that motto), please email piper at and set up a date. We would love to visit your blog. Help bring back some sanity to our nation.

Bayard/Lamb 2012 – Finally. A Pair in the White House.

Julie: Thanks so much to Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb. What a thrill to have you stop your million-dollar tour bus candy van at my blog!

Readers, I’m sure you agree that we need this pair in the house – the sooner, the better. for more information about their campaign, click HERE. Also be sure to check out Piper and Kristen’s campaign slogans HERE.

What other questions do you have for Piper and Kristen? Are you ready to cast your ballot for Bayard-Lamb 2012?

Slogans: Do They Get You Elected?

This week we are focusing on Election 2012! Today’s Amaze-ing Words Wednesday topic is campaign slogans, and for Deep-Fried Friday I will be interviewing Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb, presidential and vice-presidential candidates with a marvelous slogan and governing ideas you’ll want to hear.

So how about it? Do campaign slogans really matter? How powerful are words in getting a candidate noticed, taken seriously, and catapulted into the spotlight? Do we care what the bumper stickers say? Does it make a difference when we cast our ballot?

Some past campaign slogans do stand out in history as being particularly memorable. Let’s take a look at a few:

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too! – William Henry Harrison led the first modern-day campaign with slogans, songs, and a populist feel. Harrison was formerly a commanding general who led American forces in the defeat of Native American enemies at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. His running mate was John Tyler. The slogan conveyed confidence in a commander and had rhyme and rhythm.

Ol’ “Tippecanoe” indeed won the office as the first Whig president in his campaign of 1840. However, President Harrison served only 32 days of his term. He died of a respiratory infection contracted while delivering his 1841 inaugural address in chilly weather without a hat or a coat.

Give ‘Em Hell, Harry! – This popular slogan was never the official one for Harry S Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign. He was elected Vice-President alongside President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 but assumed the presidency when Roosevelt died in April 1945. The end of World War II only weeks later did not bring immediate peace and prosperity, but rather the difficult task of rebuilding after the war.

The slogan came during a 1948 speech which President Truman gave in Harrisburg, Illinois. As Truman decried his Republican opponents, a staunch supporter yelled out, “Give ’em hell, Harry!” Surprisingly, it stuck. Truman was not a particularly popular president, though, and it was predicted that he would lose the 1948 election. His victory was so unexpected that the Chicago Tribune had already printed the front page saying “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

I Like Ike – Irvin Berlin wrote the song “They Like Ike” for the 1950 musical Call Me Madam, starring Ethel Merman. The musical tells of the appointment of a Washington woman to be American ambassador to a small fictitious country. Dwight D. Eisenhower adapted the song for his 1952 campaign for the presidency. It was also a popular slogan on many campaign buttons. Here’s the commercial which was featured in Eisenhower’s successful campaign:

It’s Morning Again in America – Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980 was not due as much to effective slogans as Americans’ sense that incumbent Jimmy Carter had been an ineffective president. In 1984, however, the reelection campaign focused on reminding people that things had gotten better in the few years since President Reagan had taken office. Thus, the tag lines “It’s morning again in America” and “Leadership That’s Working.” Voters agreed with these encouraging sentiments and re-elected Reagan in a landslide with 49 of the 50 states.

Putting People First – That was the official campaign slogan of Bill Clinton in 1992. However, the internal slogan which campaign manager James Carville posted in the headquarters was the one which caught on: “It’s the economy, stupid.” After a while of George Bush (Sr.) saying things weren’t so horrible, Clinton’s focus on the sluggish economy was refreshing for many Americans to hear. Along with Clinton’s assurance that “I feel your pain,” this slogan captured the attention of voters, and he defeated Bush to gain the presidential office.

Change We Can Believe In – Perhaps you don’t remember that full slogan, but Barack Obama successfully used the word “change” again and again in the campaign. For a nation that had lost confidence in the current state of things, change was what they were looking for. Obama also had campaign ads featuring his photo with either the word “Hope” or “Change” underneath. But these slogans don’t begin to compare to the more memorable chant that cropped up in the campaign and throughout candidate Obama’s appearances: “Yes, we can!” Barack Obama became our 44th president with a theme of change and a can-do attitude.

For more campaign slogans, there is a good list at Tag Line Guru.

What campaign slogans do you recall? Which ones have you liked? Do you believe these soundbites impact election results? What do you think would be an effective slogan for Election 2012?

Be sure you come back here on Friday to see the terrific campaign slogan for Bayard-Lamb 2012. I will be interviewing them as part of their Election 2012 blog tour.

Sources:, Miller Center – University of VirginiaInternet Broadway Database, Tag Line Guru, Wikipedia, The Living Room Candidate