Gabby Writes Writing 5/3/17

The Basics of Writing — by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

Just what everyone wants: an egotistical teen telling you how to write. Surprise! I got you an early Christmas present!
Now, typing is easy. You tap on keys, letters and symbols appear on the screen. Actually writing, where you create a coherent storyline, is much harder, but not too bad if you really set your mind to it. But writing well is damn near impossible. Writing the kind of story that someone will intentionally bring up to say how good it was, that people will keep in their minds and homes and hearts, that is very difficult. I can’t teach you how to do that. I’m still learning to do that. I’m still in the stage where I look at my fingers, and say, ‘what are these?’ then I type on the keyboard of my computer, and read it, and hate it, and then read it later and kinda like it. I can’t teach you how to write really well, there are full length books about that and they still don’t work very well. The only thing that can teach you to write well is by writing a lot, and writing a lot of garbage. Write it, read it, edit it, give it to someone close, have them read it and rip it apart, then you read it and edit it again and then maybe you made something good. Well done. This isn’t to teach you everything you need to know to become a writer, this is just to get you pumped.
And, be warned. You will hate yourself, and everything you’ve written. You may still read it and think it’s better than half the stuff out there, but you will still hate it. You may say you like it, and know you like it, but you’ll still think it’s garbage, even if everyone else likes it. If you wanted to do something and be egotistical and sure about it, you shouldn’t be writing. Try sociology or engineering.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can begin.
First, what exactly do you do? Well, write what you know. What you know isn’t interesting? Make some stuff up. Tah-dah! You are the writer, the master of your little universe. Even if it isn’t very good, you are still the boss. You make the rules of this story. You can totally work in what you know, even if it isn’t very broad or doesn’t seem interesting, it will seem new and exciting to someone else, because it isn’t what they know. You can still find some way to wriggle your own experiences into your stories, even if they don’t play a big part.

Second: guidelines. How long should it be? I dunno, about as long as the story. Again, you make the rules. It can be a short story, just a few pages long, or a novella of about eighty pages, or even a full length novel or hell, if you can manage it, write an epic. Length doesn’t mean it’ll be good. There are good short stories and bad ones. Good novels and bad ones. The size doesn’t matter. What else? Oh, try to make it consistent. Just a little, please? For me? If you do dabble in universe building, where you create a whole new set of rules and everything, make the rules consistent. Or at least provide a reason.

Third: Gabby, should it be character based or plot based? Either, but a mix of the two is good. I love a good strong bunch of characters with rich back stories and personalities and mixes of traits, but I like a punchy plot line, too. But, it’s still up to you.

Four: how do I stay motivated? Why should I even write if I’m going to hate it? Well, you write because you want to. You don’t have to write. It can be addictive. Plus, even if you never publish and show your work to only a few people, if you write, you can claim to be a writer. Of course, the main qualification of being an actual writer is writing. You write because it’s what you want, or at least are driven, to do. Occasionally ‘want’ is a strong word. Even if it isn’t very good, even if people don’t like it, even if you don’t like it, keep going. You will eventually get better. Or you might die first. Who knows? Nobody, if you don’t try. Go get ’em, sport!

Editors note: and never forget there will always be an editor.

Gabby Came Home 4/26/17

Gabby Fringette

A Newbie’s Guide to the Net  – by Gabby Fringette
Greetings, readers, I am back. In the interim I have leaned many interesting things about the interweb. First, what is it? There are several hypothesis to the web, the most popular one goes as follows: the internet is a magical invisible line that connects all of our phones L, or worse, lol, your post/meme/argument did not actually bring humor to their lives, certainly not enough to actually laugh out loud.
LMAO/LMFAO: It started out as a LOL of steroids, but can actually mean the person soliciting the LMAO actually amused. If you have, congrats. Unless it’s being used sarcastically. It is an acronym for ‘Laughing My Ass Off’ or in the case of LMFAO, ‘Laughing My Fuck1ng Ass Off.’ Remember: the internet is sarcastic.
TTYL: Talk To You Later. This means you’ve been blown off because they want to talk to someone else uninterrupted.
GTG: Got To Go. Translates into: shit, real life showed up, have to human.
WTF: The most obvious interpretation of this acronym is it means, ‘Well That’s Fun.’ No, it mean ‘What The Fook’.
OMG: Everyone knows that teenaged girls in movies written for eight year old girls use this to mean, ‘Oh My God’.
OMFG: This actually is based off of an ancient Babylonian- no of course not. It means, ‘Oh My Fook1ng God.’ You will encounter lots of cursing on the internet.

Now, how to interact. Here are five tips for surviving:
1) Most arguments are fought with emotion. Though if you must use fact, memes (pronounced mee-me, not mem, and most definitely not ‘may-may’) are considered sound providers of facts. Because, this is the internet, it holds all knowledge, god forbid you look something up and verify it.
2) Trolls are people who purposefully agitate others.
3) Grammar Nazi. An anal-retentive, and like most people on the internet, bored, citizen who points out mistakes, rather than appreciating your facebook comment for the emotional content.
4) Remember, anonymity, as is provided by the internet, lets some people be total douches. They are usually either bullies in real life, or they are weak, pathetic creatures. See number 2, trolls.
5) While the internet can be a fountain of knowledge, most crap you find is a lie. There is so much opinionated B.S out there, it’s easy to put up, easy to get people to read.

Of course, if you’re reading this, you know how to use the internet, at least a little. After all, you are reading my opinionated spew on an online newspaper.
Ahh, it’s good to be back.

Gabby Fringette Returns 7/20/16

gabby-in-social-space-150x150I’m Back!
By Gabby Fringette

Did you miss me? I bet so. Well, I missed you guys, too. While I was adulting over at Resilience Farm, I didn’t have much of an outlet to say the ribald things I do so love. I didn’t have any way to say
‘they all have their heads so far up their butts they’re looking our their own mouths.’ My naturally flamboyant (Gabby, darling) and blunt personality just doesn’t compute with such extreme censorship. So obviously I dyed my hair bright red and wore lots of jewelry. I’m afraid it had an adverse effect on my chickens. I just realized why they are so fowlmouthed.
Why didn’t I just take the summer off from everything? Because when I get bored, things get very strange. The level of paranormal activity in my neighborhood increased 37% when I get out of school. You were expecting a larger number? Well, this place is quite haunted. We may be living over a cemetery. Like most teenaged girls, I eventually resort to the use of poetry. It’s a filthy habit, I know, but I promise to quit when I’m an adult. That’s how this stuff usually works?

The neuroses of finals
have passed. I am
free, and reminded that I’m                      I’m

The air outside is
hot and dry. It’s so                                    so

clear, though, that
I cannot fathom
being anywhere else.
Anywhere else I’d be bored.                     bored

So anyway, yes. It’s good to be back.

Gabby Dear- Boring people get bored, hence you can’t be bored. Your Editor

Gabbys Chickenette 3/2/16

images-8Spring: the time of Chickening
By Gabby Fringette

Spring: many things to mind it brings,
flower, festivities, rain are all the trappings of spring.
Yet to those of us, as you’ve heard,
who are obsessed with the domestic bird,

To us, spring is the time of chickening.

Each feed store, from Pet and Country to Tractor Supply
have baby birds from goslings to ducklings to turkeys to chicks.
‘enough, enough’ my non-bird inclined family members cry.
And says I: ‘you seem to think we have enough. Tell my why!’

My friends of this same fowl persuasion say:
‘goslings yes! Chickies hooray!’
I don’t know how wrong I can be,
if so many agree with me.

For these birds while young are fuzz and fluff,
and even when grown, I cannot get enough!

From silly spitzhaubens to lengthy leghorns,
from big Buff Orpingtons to bitty bantams,
stylish Sultans with fine feathers bouffants,
there are chickens to satisfy all your wants!

For meat, the Cornish with their thick legs,
The Eastereggers lay lots of eggs!
To show in graceful style,
a yokohama shall bring a smile!

If a brooder is what you would need,
some silkies shall do indeed,
Think cold-hearty birds are fine and fair?
You should get some chanteclers!

Want something bigger, to honk and get wet?
Get a dewlap goose, they’re a good bet!
Want a meat duck to go with rice?
A pekin duck should do quite nice.

Come friend, for its spring and the weather is fowl.
And spring is the time of chickening.

Gabby Valentinette 2/10/16

Unknown-5Valentine’s Day
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150We all know what Valentine’s day means today. Chocolate hearts. Teddy bears. Flowers (say, how the heck do you get red roses in February? Truck em in? That certainly can’t be good for the environment).
Watching RomComs. Or lamenting singledom.

The history of Valentine’s day is an interesting one. There were about a dozen Saint Valentines, including a pope, and a girl name Valentina. They died on different days, for different reasons. The Valentine we celebrate was convicted and martyred under the reign of Emperor Gauias the 1st at a time when Rome was falling apart. There were people fighting it inside and out, the golden days had gone, and Rome needed good soldiers. This Emperor, who was one of many insane, desperate Emperors, and definitely not the worst, believed that single men made better soldiers, because they were totally invested in the army, and dedicated to Rome. So he forbade soldiers to marry.

Now, Valentine sees the plight and pain of these young couples, and conducts secret marriages. It isn’t too long until the Friend of the Lovers is discovered, and tossed in jail. While there, he befriends the jailor, who asks him to do a favor. Heal his blind daughter, Julia. Valentine does manage to restore Julia sight, and the two of them become close. There is some argument as to if they were lovers of friends, personally, I think all of this is a dramatization to make the story more interesting, as though illicit weddings, a collapsing society, and an execution need spicing up.

Anyway, the girl’s family, and all their servants convert to Christianity. (Oh! That’s why the healing bit is in there! It’s a campaign!). He attempts to convert the Emperor, who is impressed by the miracle, but he messes up he says the Emperor’s pagan gods have failed him, and that they are basically fake. Then he gets executed, but not without leaving a letter for his beloved (?) Julia, signed, ‘your Valentine’.

Now, Valentine’s day wasn’t actually associated with romance until the 1400s. Chaucer managed this. Kudos, Chaucer! In a single poem, he associated romance with Valentine’s day, and it stuck.
Valentines, especially anonymous, suggestive valentines, were popular amongst the prudish Victorians.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s that Valentine’s day cards were mass produced.

Now people spend hundreds on Valentine’s day. Well, men spend usually $100, and women spend $70. Unless you’re single, then you spend twelve bucks on three boxes of discount chocolate two days after Valentine’s day. Haha, take that, all you schmucks in relationships! Single people save money!
Valentine’s day traditions vary the world over. My favorite is South Korea, where on February 14th, women give men candy, then on March 14th, men give women candy, then by April 14th, if you haven’t been given anything, you go to a noodle shop, buy black noodles, and eat them whilst lamenting your single life style.

Japan is a little less melodramatic. Though they do have obligation chocolate, where women are obligated to give their male co-workers chocolate. If their co-worker is someone they actually like, and get along with, their give ‘from-the-heart-chocolate’, which is more expensive, and a much better quality. Then there is ‘tomo-choko,’ or friend-chocolate, where they (usually two women) will exchange chocolate.
In Welsh traditions, they have Jack Valentine, a spirit who leaves candy and treats on the back doorstep for children. Children are said to fear him, even though he brings gifts. I’m going to look into this, but it probably has some strange pedophile root.

Happy Valentine’s day! Good luck on your search for happiness or black noodles.

Gabby Newsette 2/3/16

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Gabby does real news

You may have already heard about Farm to Schools, the planning grant to bring farming and local food to the schools of Plumas county, including the Christian School, the Charter School, and the Kindergarten.

Plumas county was one of 26 counties throughout the country to get this grant. This is probably due to the fact we had an experienced grant writer, Paul Mrowczynski, who is currently working on the five-year plan to present to the Plumas Unified School District board. Then he can begin writing the grant to get the money to enact the plan.
The five year plan also includes inviting other counties into the plan, which might increase the chances of getting the grant.

Here’s what the plan is designed to achieve:
Set up and manage a garden at the elementary and kindergarten to teach kids how to grow food, and the importance of good food. This plan will also include setting up production gardens at the high-school. Loyalton High already has an Ag Program, and Greenville High has a production garden that has produced hundreds of pounds of food, which went into the cafeteria and the CSA.

There are still a few issues to work out, especially with the elementary school gardens. Who will take care of them during the summer? Should there be volunteers to educate the children on gardening, or should there be a gardening coach? Master gardeners will volunteer their time, obviously, and some would like to see parents get involved. Some schools are close enough that the efforts can be shared.

The second part is introducing locally grown food to the cafeterias, especially since there’s no nutritional standards until 9th grade. There are a few limiting factors with bringing local food into the schools. The seasons in which food ripen, most produce is ready for harvest in late summer, and early fall. There’s little or no produce in winter and early spring, so the school would still have to purchase nonregional food.

The sheer amount of food that goes into the cafeteria, in combination with the budget restrictions. Our local schools, like every business, organization, or entity, is governed by budget. Another challenge is the regulations. Only produce would be viable, because meat has to be ‘harvested’, butchered, and packaged at a USDA approved facility. There are none within three hours, with the exception of Wolf Pack Meats in Nevada, and it would be exceptionally costly to build one here.
The system will continue even after the grant runs out because, as Mwroczynski said at the Plumas Farmers Guild meeting, ‘sustainability is not about grants’. We can’t rely on grants to get things done, because it’s too risky. We can’t guarantee getting all the grants we need, and if we do, what happens when the money runs out? Once its up and in place, Farm to Schools needs to function with only the help of the community.

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