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Update: Most Intriguing Opening Paragraphs of Real News Stories Involving People Stuffing Things in Their Pants

 

DETROIT (The Guardian)  A Canadian man taped 51 live turtles to his legs and groin and tried to hide them under sweatpants in an attempt to smuggle the reptiles over the Detroit border crossing, according to federal prosecutors in Michigan…On 5 August, two fish and wildlife agents say they watched Xu disappear behind two semi-trailers in a Detroit parking lot for about 10 minutes before reappearing with, “irregularly shaped bulges under [his] sweatpants on both legs”. (9/25/14)

ORLANDO, FL (Orlando Sentinel)  Woman stuffed Publix lobster tails down her pants, police say…A store security guard told police he spotted a woman stuffing the tails into the front area of her pants. Then she left the store without paying. A DeLand police officer got a description of the woman and was told she was heading to McGregor Road. The officer spotted a woman matching the description, and later identified as Reed, in the 400 block of Holly Oak Boulevard. The store security officer was taken to the scene and said Reed was the lobster shoplifter. She waived her right to stay silent and agreed to talk to police, a report said.

“Reed stated she entered the store with the intent to steal food,” according to a police report. “Reed told me she was going to trade the lobster tails to a friend and possibly buy Chinese buffet” or painkillers. (6/12/2014)

STATEN ISLAND, NY (silive.com)  Two Staten Island women have admitted to smuggling cocaine inside their girdles into the country earlier this year, federal prosecutors said…Each was selected for pat-down searches after acting nervously, and in Ms. Blassingale’s case, walking “with an awkward gait,” said court records. (12/11/2013)

SKYSCANNER (www.skyscanner.net)  An American Airlines flight attendant is suing her employees after being accused of smuggling rats on board a plane.

Louann Giambattista, who has worked for the US airline giant for almost 35 years, took legal action after colleagues accused her of smuggling her pet rats onto flights in her underwear and was subjected to embarrassing ‘interrogations’ to find them.

American Airlines  employees became suspicious when they saw the 55 year-old eating a bread roll out of a cup during a flight, believing that she was in fact feeding her pet rats, which she had smuggled onto the flight in her underwear and tights. However, Giambattista claims that she was merely trying to appear professional in front of passengers, and was not in fact feeding ‘Roland’ and ‘Ratatouille’ (names have been changed for legal purposes!). In a further incident, a pilot claims to have seen a ‘bulge’ in her pocket that resembled ‘a live pet’.

Self-confessed rodent fan Giambattista claims that the accusations have led to her being blacklisted by customs and is seeking damages from American Airlines for ‘debilitating anxiety’ and post-traumatic stress. Her attorney said that despite Giambattista’s ownership of a rat, this doesn’t mean ‘she’s some loony tune who brings it on a plane with her’.

In subsequent searches, no rats have been found. The case continues. (7/16/2013)

BEIJING (gawker.com)  On Monday, a man traveling from southern China to Beijing with his pet hamburger was stopped by airport security because, whoops, his hamburger was actually a live turtle that he was praying everyone would mistake for a hamburger.

The  South China Morning Post  (which picked up the story after it was first reported in  Guangzhou Daily) wrote that the man–identified only by the surname Li–tried to smuggle the turtle through with his luggage by wrapping it in KFC paraphernalia.  His plan worked perfectly until airport security officials looked at the hamburger with their eyes, at which point it quickly became obvious it was a turtle.

LONG ISLAND, NY (Mail Online)  An American Airlines flight attendant is suing the airline after allegations were made by her colleagues that she had smuggled her pet rats inside her underwear and pantyhose onto an international flight. (7/12/2013).

MIAMI (Miami New Times) Columbian “nuns” caught smuggling four pounds of cocaine in their habits. (5/7/2013).

SARASOTA, FL (South Florida Sun Sentinel)  When a security guard at a supermarket in Sarasota, Fla., confronted Christopher Frazier Seiler, 45, after store employees spotted him putting 10 cans of deodorant in his pants, Seiler tried to escape on a bicycle. The bicycle chain broke, however, and Seiler fell to the ground, losing most of the deodorant. (5/8/2013).

PORT MACQUARIE, Australia (Port Macquarie News)  Smuggling stolen seafood down the front of his pants and assaulting a local shopkeeper has put Terrence John Rowles behind bars for four months. The 36-year-old of Douglas Street, Port Macquarie was found with almost a complete seafood basket hidden in his pants on February 26, 2013.

Once confronted, Rowles emptied his pants of kilograms of prawns and some oysters he had stolen just hours earlier.

He appeared via audio-video link at the Port Macquarie Local Court on Monday, pleading guilty to two shoplifting offences and common assault.

A statement of facts tendered to the court said an off-duty police officer first spotted Rowles shoving $50 of frozen seafood down his pants from the deli of a local supermarket. (4/17/2013)

PALM BEACH, FL (Palm Beach Post) A customer at a store in the 100 block of North Dixie Highway stuffed two bottles of Head &Shoulders shampoo into his pants, then left the store without paying for them. He was arrested for the $15.58 theft and taken to the county jail. (10/4/2012)

ROCHESTER, MN   (PostBulletin, 6/12/2012)  A 25-year-old Rochester man has been charged with theft in Olmsted County District Court after allegedly stuffing $650 worth of golf clubs down his pants at a sporting goods store, then trying to flee.

The sound of several clubs clanking together initially alerted an employee at Sports Authority as Beruk Meskelu Zeru walked out of the store on April 25, according to the complaint. Zeru, 101 E. Center St., No. 211, allegedly pulled the clubs out of his pants upon leaving the store, then took off running.

A Sports Authority employee drove north, in the direction that Zeru had headed on South Broadway. The employee found Zeru standing in a grassy median about 1 1/2 miles away, the golf clubs still in hand, according to the complaint. (6/20/2012)

FT. LAUDERDALE. A rogue TSA Agent who stole more than $50,000 worth of property has been fired and arrested after he was caught trying to shove an iPad down his pants. The thief was named  Nelson Santiago, and he had been working for the TSA since 2009. During that time, he racked up fifty grand worth of stolen electronics from passengers traveling through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s Terminal 1. If you’ve traveled through there and had something go missing, chances are he stole it. (cultofmac.com, 7/8/2011)

LONGMONT, CO – Police in Longmont arrested an intoxicated woman after they say she stuffed a dog down her pants during a domestic dispute.

Officers found Johna Turner arguing with a man at a home. She agreed to leave that location but wanted to take her dogs.

A witness told officers to check her pants. Police say Turner shook her leg and a Chihuahua fell out. The puppy wasn’t hurt, however Turner was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty. (9/6/2012)

NEW DELHI (CNN) — He had a slender loris in his underpants.

That’s the explanation airport guards at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport gave Sunday for detaining a man from the United Arab Emirates who allegedly had the tiny, big-eyed critter hidden in his underwear.

The guards were conducting a routine pat-down of the Dubai-bound passenger when they discovered the rare, slender loris, according to Hemendra Singh, a spokesman for the Central Industrial Security Force.

The loris is a nocturnal primate that grows to no more than 10 inches (25 centimeters) long, according to the conservation group Edge of Existence. The species, native to Sri Lanka, is listed as endangered under the Wildlife Protection Act of India.

Authorities found a second loris abandoned in a trash can. They sent both to wildlife authorities, Singh said.

Guards turned over the man and two fellow travelers to customs officials. No charges have been filed. (9/12/2012)

WINTER HAVEN, FL – Authorities in Polk County are trying to stop a new trend of thieves stealing underwear from store shelves.

Winter Haven Police are working multiple cases where thieves walk into stores like Dollar General and stuff packs of undergarments in their shirt or pants.[This is rather meta, no?–jw]

“Their pants or shirts are baggy enough where they can conceal these items and just walk right out of the store,” said Jamie Brown, Spokeswoman for the Winter Haven Police Department.

Last Friday, surveillance video recorded one thief cramming an estimated nine packages of socks, underwear, and shirts down his pants.

“It may not seem like much to some people, but ultimately the merchants are having to pay for this, which is passed down to us.   So we want to make sure these people are held accountable,” Brown said.

Police aren’t sure why the thieves are focused on undergarments, other than the fact that they’re easy to conceal and walk out with.

Tough economic times may also play a role.

“People are doing desperate things,” she said.

TEMPE, AZ–A man was caught at a pet shop near University Drive and Dorsey Lane stuffing tarantulas into his pants. (myfoxpheonix.com, 2/1/12)

CHICKASHA, OK–A suspected thief was taken into custody after allegedly trying to conceal a stolen chainsaw in his pants.   The limping thief was eventually chased from the store, ditching the chainsaw in the process. A short pursuit ensued, with the suspected thief diving headfirst into a creek, police say. (msnbc, 2/23/2011)

ROME, GA–A Kingston Man was charged with shoplifting from a Walmart store by stuffing a chicken down his pants. (AP, 3/2/2011)

JACKSONVILLE, FL–A homeless man was spotted Tuesday afternoon stuffing the ferret into the front of his pants at the Pet Supermarkert at 609 Beach Blvd., according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

A 17-year-old witness alerted store employees and followed him to a nearby parking lot on First Avenue North, the arrest report said. After a confrontation and tussle, the man shoved the ferret in the teen’s face squeezing it. The ferret bit him, leaving two puncture holes in his ear. (jacksonville.com, 10/28/09)

Note: A pattern is beginning to emerge concerning Germans, lizards, and New Zealand.

MEXICO CITY–A Mexican man was arrested upon arrival in Mexico City after flying from Lima, Peru with 18 titi monkeys strapped around his waist. While the monkeys traveled in his luggage, Roberto Sol Cabrera placed the endangered monkeys into socks that fit into a waist girdle “to protect them from X-rays,” though two of the monkeys did not survive the journey, sadly.  Police said Mr. Sol Cabrera behaved “nervously” when questioned at customs. (7/20/2010, BBC News)

NEW ZEALAND–A German man, Hans Kurt Kubus, 58, was caught attempting to smuggle 44 lizards out of New Zealand, and will now face roughly three months in jail and pay a $5,000 fine, according to the BBC. Apparently, the man sewed pouches into his underwear for the express purpose of smuggling the reptiles…

[T]he reptiles, a mix of geckos and skinks, are endangered species and protected by New Zealand law. The BBC reports that the lizards are profitable as well, selling for as much as $2,000. For his part, Kubus pleaded guilty and said the lizards were for his personal collection, not for sale. (1/27/2010, Today in Travel blog)

LOS ANGELES–A man was charged Tuesday with smuggling songbirds into the United States by hiding more than a dozen of them in an elaborate, custom-tailored pair of leggings during a flight from Vietnam to Los Angeles. Sony Dong, 46, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in March after an inspector spotted bird feathers and droppings on his socks and tail feathers peeking out from under his pants, prosecutors said. “He had fashioned these special cloth devices to hold the birds,” said U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek. “They were secured by cloth wrappings and attached to his calves with buttons.” (5/7/2009, Times Wires)

SYDNEY– An Australian man was caught with two pigeons hidden in his pants on an international flight from Dubai to Melbourne, Australia. The 23-year-old man was searched after authorities discovered two eggs in a vitamin container in his luggage, said Richard Janeczko, national investigations manager for the Customs Service.

They found the pigeons wrapped in padded envelopes and held to each of the man’s legs with a pair of tights, according to a statement released by the agency. Officials also seized seeds in his money belt and an undeclared eggplant. (2/3/2009, AP)

SWEETWATER, TN – A woman has been charged with possession of burglary tools after police said a crowbar slipped out of her pants as she was lurking around a church. (AP, 1/28/08)

LOS ANGELES – When the rare birds of paradise escaped from his suitcase and flew over the heads of U.S. Customs Agents at Los Angeles International Airport, Robert Cusack decided it was best to confess that, yes, he did have more to declare.

“I have monkeys in my pants,” Cusack told the agents. (Court TV, 9/19/06)

SYDNEY, Australia–A Sydney man has been charged under the country’s biodiversity conservation law after allegedly trying to smuggle parrot eggs out of Australia in his underpants. (ENS, 11/15/2004)

LOS ANGELES–The two men couldn’t wiggle out of this one—not when customs agents found snakes writhing in their pantyhose. (L.A. Times, 9/16/97)

BAYONNE, NJ–Ace Hardware Store employees at 915 Broadway saw John Pasuco, 41, of Broadway, stuffing about $130 worth of paint brushes into the front of his pants, police said. (nj.com, 11/19/03)

LANSING, MI – A woman stole a boa constrictor from a pet store by slipping the snake down her pants, the owner said. The animal was stolen Thursday afternoon from Preuss Animal House in Lansing.

“I am far less concerned for the person than for the snake,” owner Rick Preuss said. The 20-inch snake was worth $174.

Jayzun Boget, assistant manager of Preuss’ reptile department, called the heist “audacious.” (AP, 4/7/08)

ST. PETERSBURG, FL–William Napoli was almost in the clear with his purloined strip loins but the bulge in his pants did him in, authorities say. (St. Petersburg Times, 6/17/08)

SAN DIEGO – A San Diego man accused of poaching lobsters allegedly was caught with six of the creatures stuffed down his pants.

Thirty-three-year-old Binh Quang Chau, who has been cited four times for poaching, allegedly took the lobsters from the La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area.

Department of Fish and Game warden Daryl Simmons says wardens arrested Chau when they noticed “odd bulges” in his pants. All six of the newspaper-wrapped lobsters were still alive and were returned to the ocean. (AP, 10/11/08)

SAN LEANDRO, CA–The younger of two brothers who survived a Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo has pleaded no contest to grand theft for allegedly shoplifting video game equipment from Target stores in the East Bay, authorities said today…

Dhaliwal was arrested March 27 by San Leandro police after a security guard at the Target at the Bayfair Center mall on East 14th Street saw him hiding two Nintendo Wii controllers in his pants, police Lt. Tom Overton said. (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/14/2008)

NEW ZEALAND–A German reptile collector has been fined US$5,300 for attempting to smuggle lizards out of New Zealand in his pants.     Customs intercepted Jorg Kreutz, 38, trying to leave the country with two green geckos in his underwear, according to Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle. (BBC News, 2/2/2001)

LAFAYETTE, IN (WLFI) – A Lafayette man, Joshua Parrish, received his sentence for possessing pain killers and trying to leave a grocery store with a frozen pizza in his pants.

Parrish pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of theft. A judge sentenced Parrish to time served at the Tippecanoe County jail and community corrections.

Prosecutor Pat Harrington said officers found 24 pills in Parrish’s pocket that he did not have prescriptions for. He said Parrish was arrested when security at Pay Less Grocery Store witnessed Parrish stuffing a frozen pizza down his pants.

 

Won’t Nobody Help a Naked Man?

Clairemont woman finds naked intruder in her bed

SAN DIEGO – A 25-year-old man was arrested early Thursday in Clairemont after police said he went into a neighbor’s home, took off his clothes and got into her bed.

The woman returned about 12:30 a.m. to her home on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard near Limerick Avenue where she found the naked intruder and called authorities, San Diego police said.

Officers arrived and took the tattooed man into custody.

He told officers that he heard a noise at the woman’s residence, went inside to investigate and then got naked and into bed to wait for her because “he did not want to startle her, “ police said.

He was arrested on prowling charges, authorities said.   (San Diego Union Tribune, 8/9/2012)

 

Okay, from now on, Headlines Only. The first 11 are the most recent. The Higbee mayor naked broom attack story is well worth a look.  Also, Arab is in Alabama.

 

Husband and wife shocked to find naked man running around their house filling their kitchen drawers with water and smearing excrement on their walls

Wilbraham police: Naked man running through center of town was on ecstasy, suffering from psychiatric problems

 

Police seek to id waving naked man

Naked man fleeing at 30 km/h arrested after 1973 farm tractor inexplicably stalls

 

Drunk Man in Only Shoes and Socks Arrested for Candy Theft

 

Naked man dancing in traffic arrested along I-44 in St. Louis

 

Crazed naked man dives through woman’s sunroof

 

Naked man leads police on downtown chase, jumps in Elliott Bay

Half Naked Man Dressed as a Bumblebee Twerks on the NYC Subway

 

Police hunt naked ‘mop head man’ with pot belly

Palo Alto police arrest naked man in crime spree

 

Naked man in cowboy hat enters Georgia home

 

Naked man spotted on roof of BMV arrested in Portage

 

Police: Naked Temperance man threatened grandma with ax, sword

 

Naked man hit Higbee mayor with a broom

 

Naked man removed from tree with bucket truck in Arab

 

Police Charge Naked Man In Park Forest Attack

 

‘Very Shy’ Dude Posts Nude Selfie With Giant Gun in Craigslist Ad

 

Caught on Cam: Man Strips Naked on Top of SUV, Taunts Officers in Wilmington

Naked man tased twice by Clarksville police

 

British tourist appears in Dubai court accused of ‘running naked through corridors of holiday apartment block after getting drunk on rum in posh hotel’

 

Polite Nude Man Startles Woman

 

Naked man spotted roaming the streets of Taiwan, looks a lot like a  titan

 

Caught on Dash Cam: Naked man on motorcycle arrested in  Chickasha

 

Birmingham Sausage Man Crowd-Surfs Naked, Gets Invited Backstage By Kings of Leon

Woman: Naked man helping her with diabetes treatment

 

Naked man, UFOs and bears seen in Saugeen Shores

 

Yeiner Perez: Naked Man Attacks BART Passengers, Performs Gymnastics

 

Naked man arrested after refusing to get dressed, report says

 

Naked Man Covered in Crisco Just Wanted ‘To Party’

 

Naked man injured in fight on Elgin street

 

Naked man wielding gardening shears Tasered in Stafford County, police say

 

St. Paul: Naked man throws naked girlfriend off second-floor balcony, charges say

 

Naked man seen walking in Weymouth

 

Florida Man Smokes Synthetic Pot, Shoots Glock, Runs Around Neighborhood Naked

 

Naked man who crashed into pole: More details released

 

Tulsa Firefighters Pull Naked Man From Storm Drain

 

Naked man apprehended by deputies after foot chase

 

Naked fisherman rescued from shark infested waters in Australia

 

Naked Man on Dalton Road Heading to Court

 

Naked couple charged with domestic battery

 

Brockton police: Naked man pushed out third-floor window

 

Naked man emerges from bushes during planning meeting

 

Cops: Naked man danced in front of woman’s home

 

Naked man arrested following romp in Jimboomba

 

Drunk man found naked with monkeys

 

Inquiries continue after half-naked man shot in the foot in South Norwood

 

Naked rambler who has spent years in jail for refusing to cover up is ordered to see psychiatrist after appearing in
court in just boots and socks

 

Naked man allegedly tries to break into Boise business

 

Vernon Man Charged After Allegedly Swearing at Women – While Naked

 

Man strips-naked in Bulawayo nightclub

 

Naked man with rifle shot by police at Lansdowne motel

 

Naked Man Arrested After Destroying Bryan Hotel Room

 

Knox County man pleads guilty to doing yard work in the nude

 

Green Lake naked man charged, still not identified

 

Naked Man Walks Out of Woods During Unrelated News Report

 

Police: Naked Man Wielded Knife Inside 7-Eleven

 

Naked man drives car into 2 fences, porch

 

Naked man arrested at Sonic eatery

 

PA troopers: Half-naked man on bath salts throws cinder block at cop

Blotter: Nude Man Spotted Driving on I-476, Slashed Tires, Thefts

 

Naked man exposed himself to elderly dog walker in Hemel woods

 

Naked Drunk North Korean Man Washes Ashore In South Korea

 

Naked man with laptop found on bench at beach

 

Naked Man Causes Scare at Local Wendy’s

 

Naked man in women’s showers, falls one storey

 

Lacey man arrested because clothes kept “falling off”

 

Naked man jumps out second floor window, chews on woman’s head

 

Uncooperative naked man arrested in Boulder Creek

 

Man Found Naked In Swimming Pool Charged With Arson

 

Tempe’s Naked Burglary Couple Couldn’t Get Their Stories Straight, According to Records

 

Deputies: Naked man claimed friends set him up

 

2 naked men, alligator key players in bizarre burglary

 

Alleged naked man arrested on Route 540 in South Jersey

 

James Albert Kimrey, Naked Man, Falls Through North Carolina Church Roof: Police

 

Man accused of running around naked again

(This last headline merits the whole story.)

SOUTH CAROLINA (The Times Democrat) A mental evaluation has been ordered for a Rowesville man charged in a second incident involving nudity.

Circuit Court Judge Ed Dickson ordered the evaluation Monday after a second charge of indecent exposure in just over a year was levied against 34-year-old Paul Ott.

“After having been evaluated … we will schedule a bond hearing,” Dickson said.

The Bay Street man was arrested Saturday on a probation violation and later charged by county authorities with indecent exposure after a Rowesville family notified deputies of a naked man in their yard.

State probation agent Lisa Boltin told the court Saturday’s incident placed Ott in violation of a plea agreement in a prior indecent exposure charge.

In September 2011, Ott was charged with indecent exposure after being accused of trying to break into a Cope residence naked while demanding in crude form to have sex with the homeowner’s wife.

Ott pleaded guilty to that charge in January and was placed on probation.

Boltin requested a mental evaluation, saying a toxicology test showed no drugs in his system.

“We don’t have any indication this is the result of drugs,” she said. “It’s a safety issue for the community, but we are also concerned about Mr. Ott’s safety as well.”

Defense attorney Charlie Williams III agreed a mental evaluation is in order, citing the possibility of a bipolar condition.

Williams declined comment until after an evaluation, but did say his priority is the “well-being of my client.” Any health issues would be addressed first, he said, and legal matters at a later date.

Prosecutor Sarah Ford recommended a bond hearing be held only after the court can consider the results of the mental evaluation.

Ott was taken into custody Saturday after a Rowesville woman noticed a man “standing in her goat pin (sic) completely nude,” according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report.

The naked man ran at her, but stopped after she yelled at him, she said. When she asked him what he was doing, he said he “was running with the birds.”

The woman’s husband tried talking to the man, but the man refused.

Deputies found some clothing in a nearby wooded area and a hunter who said he saw an individual running past around daylight.

Ott was arrested last year after a Sept. 1 incident in which a Cope man reported a naked man trying to break into his residence.

When deputies arrived, the resident said the naked subject was at his back door using a stick in an effort to get inside.

According to the report, the naked visitor allegedly pointed at the homeowner’s wife inside the house and “started moving in a hunching motion.” The naked man crudely yelled he wanted to have sex with her, the homeowner claimed.

A public disorderly conduct charge was later dropped due to the incident taking place on private property.

And in a bench trial in November 2011, Ott was found not guilty of trespassing after Williams argued the Rowesville man had “good cause” for being on the property. Williams said Ott was seeking medical treatment after a car wreck that had happened immediately prior to the Cope incident.

Ott then pleaded guilty in January to indecent exposure related to the Cope incident. He was sentenced to 15 months of probation. (10/16/2012)

 

 

 

Leaving San Diego (eventually)

From Monday’s Union-Tribune, May 26, 2014:

San Diego: Loving and (Eventually) Leaving It

 

My Claim to Fame

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=2722

My Day Job

All writers should have at least one.  I’m an online writing tutor.  Often I feel like Thurber’s Miss Groby, but I do try not to lose sight of the forest when hacking through the thickets of comma splice, sentence fragment, and dangling participle.  (Block that metaphor!)  Sometimes I contribute to the WriteCheck blog:

Making a Scene

Sentence Fragments

Contextualizing Quotes

Pronoun Cases

Writing Critically

Defining Words

Showing and Telling

Spellcheckers and How to Use Them

Parallelism

Essential vs. non-essential (Restrictive vs. nonrestrictive)

Commas

Capitalization

O, Apostrophe, Where Art Thou?

Transitions

Arguments

 

I actually love this stuff, and I’m always learning.  If you understand the reason behind a grammar or punctuation rule, you’ll be able to write more effectively.  When we write fiction, we’re of course free to break the rules, but we need to know what they are and, in each case, why they should be broken.   Respect your tools.  That’s the ticket.  And since you already do, I’m not going to insult you with the answers to this quiz*:

1. In the sentence “Hortense was furious when the judges overlooked her rhubarb omelet,”   the underlined word is an example of which of the following parts of speech?

 

  1. participle
  2. verb
  3. noun
  4. adjective
  5. adverb
  6. none of the above

 

2. In the sentence, “Hortense vowed, ‘There will be repercussions,” the underlined phrase is an example which of the following verb forms?

 

  1. the simple future tense
  2. the present tense, passive voice
  3. the future tense, passive voice
  4. the future perfect tense
  5. the future perfect tense, passive voice

 

3. In the sentence, “As she spoke, Hortense’s face turned an alarming shade of crimson,” the underlined word is what part of speech?

 

  1. a past participle
  2. a past tense verb
  3. a linking verb
  4. a causative verb
  5. (2) and (3)
  6. (1) and (2)

 

4. Which accurately describes the following sentence: “German shepherds are great problem solvers, and basset hounds never let go of a grudge”?

 

  1. run-on
  2. fragment
  3. compound sentence
  4. comma splice
  5. (3) and (4)
  6. (1) and (4)
  7. none of the above

 

5. In the sentence, “Infuriated bassets often exact revenge days after the perceived offence,” the underlined word is what part of speech?

 

  1. past tense verb
  2. gerund
  3. present participle
  4. past participle
  5. none of the above

 

6. Fill in the blanks: “A basset hound’s ideal afternoon consists of __________ on his back in the sun with _______ tongue hanging out.”

 

  1. laying, its
  2. lying, it’s
  3. laying, it’s
  4. lying, its
  5. lying, their

 

7. What punctuation does this sentence need? “Because of the city-wide truffle shortage Chef Monsoun will be unable to prepare Coquilles St. Jacques and patrons will have to make do with Coquilles San Souci.”

 

  1. a semicolon after “Jacques”
  2. a comma after “shortage”
  3. a colon after “shortage”
  4. a comma after “Jacques
  5. both (2) and (4)
  6. none of the above

 

8. In the sentence “Coquilles San Souci” is  prepared from bizarre, literally nauseating ingredients,” what are the two underlined parts of speech?

 

  1. past tense verb, past participle
  2. past participle, present participle
  3. past tense verb, present tense verb
  4. none of the above

 

9. Which accurately describes the sentence “Basset hounds will eat almost anything, however even a basset will turn up its enormous nose at Coquilles San Souci”?

 

  1. a run-on
  2. a fused sentence
  3. a comma splice
  4. none of the above

 

10. In the sentence “On the other hand, to a discerning basset with refined taste buds, Hortense’s rhubarb omelet is the bomb,” the underlined words are what parts of speech?

 

  1. preposition, adjective
  2. adverb, indefinite article
  3. preposition, definite article
  4. none of the above

 

Criminally Underrated

According to Entertainment Weekly, I’m the author of a criminally underrated book.

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20796510_20796506,00.html#30119691

I’m happy to see that the title of another c.i. book in the list is the name of my old African Grey.  Catherwood lives!

 

 

Literary Death March (to July 9, 2013 and beyond)

This is not self-promotion (since these secluded pages hardly function as publicity), but rather a real-time, step-by-step account of the typical run-up to a new book’s pub date (and for a while thereafter).  When it’s your first book, this process is almost nauseatingly exciting.  By your fourth, it’s not.  Some dread remains; almost zero excitement.  The book will come and go.  Anyway…

First usually come reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal.  Kirkus doesn’t publish theirs until a couple of weeks ahead of the pub date, and they don’t generally like me all that much anyway.  [Called it!  See below.]

Here’s PW, starred, on May 6:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-250-02827-3

Willett’s hilarious follow-up to The Writing Class pulls no punches when it comes to current literary trends. Amy Gallup was once heralded as a fresh voice in fiction, but with her novels now long out of print, she’s content with a quiet, anonymous life of leading workshops, keeping lists of great-sounding titles for stories she’ll never write, and maintaining her sporadically updated blog. One afternoon, however, while working in her garden, Amy trips and cold-cocks herself on a birdbath. Still reeling from the head injury hours later, she gives a loopy interview to a reporter working on a series of local author profiles. The result goes viral, and suddenly Amy is a hot commodity on the literary pundit trail. She couldn’t care less about being relevant or famous, which lends a refreshingly brutal honesty to her commentary on the radio, television, and lecture circuit. But her newfound notoriety also pushes Amy out of her comfort zone, forcing her to confront years of neuroses and an unexamined postwriting life. Willett uses her charmingly filterless heroine as a mouthpiece to slam a parade of thinly veiled literati and media personalities with riotous accuracy, but she balances the snark with moments of poignancy. (July)

May 7:

Here’s the Kirkus:
Amy Gallup, 60, hasn’t published a book in 20 years, and she’s settled into a
quiet life with her beloved basset hound, Alphonse. None too excited about a
newspaper interview she’s agreed to give, she trips, knocking herself out on the
birdbath just hours before she’s scheduled to play the role of has-been local
writer.

Oddly, she regains consciousness to see the reporter’s car pulling out of her
driveway. In the emergency room later, she has the distinct pleasure of reading
her own interview–an interview she evidently gave without the assistance of a
conscious, rational mind. Amy’s cryptic, concussion-addled interview rejuvenates
her career. Suddenly, her agent–chain-smoking, aggressive but kindly Maxine–is
calling again, arranging appearances and pushing for new material. Her former
writing students are back, too. After all, their crazed, knife-wielding former
classmate (from Willett’s The Writing Class, 2008) is now safely behind bars.
The collection of friends and opponents surrounding Amy are flat characters
bedazzled with quirks, but that doesn’t quite make them quirky. Grudgingly, Amy
goes on tour, battling wits with shrill, book-phobic radio hosts,
twitter-bewitched moderators, new authors drunk on blogs and old authors drunk
on scotch. Along the way, she confronts the demons of her past, including her
buried grief for her late, gay husband, as well as her ambivalence about
success. The skewering of the business of selling books–despite some hilarious
scenes and Amy’s dry humor–gets repetitive as Amy tirelessly defends real
writing and debunks virtual book launches. Amy is endearing, yet it is difficult
to remain curious about a heroine whose only interest is writing.

Willett’s skill in crafting zany scenes and Amy’s acerbic wit are not enough to
keep this novel afloat.
May 9

Apparently AFD is on the July 2013 Indie Next List, which is a good thing, although I don’t know what it means. The whole Bookseller concept is opaque to me. It’s nice news, though.

 

June 18

Booklist Review, Issue: July 1, 2013

Amy Falls Down.

Willett, Jincy (Author)

Jul 2013. 336 p. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, hardcover, $24.99. (9781250028273). St. Martin’s/Thomas

Dunne, e-book, $11.99. (9781250028280).

In this sequel to the events that ended Willett’s The Writing Class (2008), erstwhile novelist turned online writing instructor Amy Gallup stumbles in her backyard just minutes before being interviewed for a where-are-the-has-beens-of-yesteryear article. It can only be assumed that her skull’s brief contact with a concrete birdbath is what >transformed Amy from an irascible wag to an insouciant wit. Whatever the cause, suddenly Amy is hot again. After the article goes viral, her former agent resurfaces, booking her on NPR and scoring profiles in mainstream media, and she’s the A-list guest for literary panels discussing such egregious topics as “Whither Publishing?” Best yet, Amy’s creative muse also reappears, and short stories spew forth as if out of the ether. It’s a heady ride for the one-time recluse, showing her that, hey, maybe success isn’t so bad after all. For anyone who has ever wondered what it’s like to be an author, Willett’s thinly veiled heroine provides a saucily irreverent look at the writing life.

– Carol Haggas

Library Journal

Since Willett’s fey, popular novels include a winner of the National Book Award, it is perhaps no surprise that the protagonist of her latest book is a writer. Withdrawn, cranky Amy Gallup hasn’t written much lately, but when she clonks her head on a birdbath after tripping in her own backyard, then follows through with a scheduled interview that ends up portraying her wandering thoughts as sheer genius, Amy is suddenly a media hit. And she starts to write. With a reading group guide and lots of publicity.

June 25

I am a Top Ten Beach Read.  Or at least “Jincy Willet” is.

http://www.myfashionlife.com/archives/2013/06/25/top-10-beach-reads-of-2013/

July 5

The NYT.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/books/review/amy-falls-down-a-novel-by-jincy-willett.html

July 9

Pub date. Amy is an “Apple best book of the month.” I don’t know what that means.

July 11

Reading at Warwick’s in La Jolla.

July 11

Megan Labrise’s Kirkus Interview

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/natures-little-jokes/

July 12

Slate.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/07/jincy_willett_and_the_editor_she_s_known_since_college_thomas_dunne_on_her.single.html

July 21

Review in the Dallas News.  They hate it, although apparently one chapter pleases them.  I think I know which one.

http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/books/20130720-book-review-amy-falls-down-by-jincy-willett.ece

Also brief review in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram:

http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/07/14/4993500/three-new-books-in-bookstores.html

July 23

Translation rights inquiry from Norway.  (I love translations.)

Also, AFD featured in This Week’s Top Picks on BookBrowse (http://www.bookbrowse.com/).  Not sure  whether this helps sales.

July 24

At about 16:10, Nancy Pearl on AFD (on NPR).  This is actually kind of thrilling.  A librarian likes my stuff!  (The highest praise imaginable. In another life, I’d be a librarian.)

http://www.kuow.org/post/americas-economy-seattles-rents-and-nancy-pearls-picks

July 26

Kind word from David Sedaris on FB.

July 30

Who would I like to play my characters in a movie? Never going to happen.

http://mybookthemovie.blogspot.com/2013/07/jincy-willetts-winner-of-national-book.html

October 20

Review in the ProJo.

http://www.providencejournal.com/features/entertainment/books/20131020-book-review-a-dead-on-satire-of-the-literary-life.ece

We could say that Jincy Willett’s new novel is “hilarious,” that her wit is “wicked, savage, ferocious,” that her theme is “compelling,” had she not beaten us to the punch by skewering book reviewers using those very words.

The fact is that Jincy Willett is hilarious, witty and compelling, and whether you are a writing biz insider or just an average reader who believes that authors should entertain us once in a while, “Amy Falls Down” succeeds on every level. Her characters and her story ring all-too true, her satire of the literary life is dead on, and she artfully follows all the writing advice her novelist-heroine churns out.

Amy Gallup hasn’t written a word in years. Instead she makes a modest living as an online writing teacher; her previous face-to-face class disintegrated after a student shot up the place. An admitted misanthrope (her blog is titled “GO AWAY”), she has a working knowledge of the Twitter-Facebook universe but not much faith in its usefulness.

Amy would continue on her grumpy path, were it not for a literal misstep one New Year’s Day. She takes a flying half-gainer in the backyard while chasing her Basset hound, Alphonse, and strikes her head on a birdbath. The resulting concussion leads to a blackout, during which she gives a cryptic interview to a local newspaper reporter that soon goes viral.

Soon her long-lost agent, Maxine, is calling, and Amy is being booked on talk shows, conferences, even NPR. And lo and behold, Amy is writing again, and she has no hope of keeping the world at arm’s length much longer.

Amy doles out writing advice with plenty of vinegar. She tells a writing conference audience: “this is the last place you should be. Nothing’s going to rub off on you.” During an NPR interview, she declares, “most writers just aren’t that interesting.” Bemoaning the book glut, she proposes a moratorium on publishing for a decade or so, just to let everyone catch up.

“For the first time in a hundred years, readers would have time to read all the books they’d been meaning to get to, and the tens of thousands more that they never even heard of,” Amy tells a radio interviewer.

Moratorium or no, put “Amy Falls Down” on the top of your list.

November 4, 2013

Interview with NPR Radio Pet Lady

November 20, 2013

At an ALA webinar, the fabulous Nancy Pearl recommends my book for holiday gift-buying.

November/December 2013

The Brown Alumni Monthly gets around to mentioning AFD (http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/content/view/3542/28/):

Amy Falls Down by Jincy Willett ’78, ’81 AM (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s).
Fame, it seems, can arrive when you least expect it. Amy Gallup (The Writing Class) is an unlikely heroine, a weary writing instructor who hasn’t written a book in three decades. But Amy slips in the yard and bangs her head on the birdbath. A concussion ensues, followed by a loopy, unremembered interview with a reporter, which leads to a burst of Internet notoriety and a fresh chance at literary glory. A hilarious and hopeful novel.

November 23, 2013

Nifty aside from the redoubtable M.J. Andersen in the Providence Journal

http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/commentary/20131122-m.j.-andersen-newer-writers-not-following-mailers-lead.ece

November 24, 2013

Metazen review.

http://www.metazen.ca/?p=14712

December 4, 2013

Made NPR’s Best Books of 2013

http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2013/

Furious Fiction web interview posted

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfedM4a-PaE

February 19, 2014

AFD is a finalist in the Audie (audiobooks and spoken word) competition held by the Audio Publishers Association:

http://bookpage.com/the-book-case/16270-2014-audie-awards-finalists#.UyiPTahdV8E

…also:

http://www.audible.com/mt/Best_Book_I_Ever_Narrated_2014/?source_code=AUDOR98R0EM022614&serial

 

 

Furious Fiction video interview

(Interview in December 2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfedM4a-PaE

NPR Radio Pet Lady interview

November 20, 2013

http://www.radiopetlady.com/blog/dog-talk-345-tracie-hotchner-11-02-2013/

 

Runx Tales Interview

A graphic interview with me, by Matt Runkle, now available for purchase.

 

http://www.quimbys.com/store/6696