Monday, July 2, 2012

Acrostic Writing Exercise

Ever tried an acrostic as a writing exercise? Here's an example: 

Any Child Knows by Norma Shephard

Any Child Knows (the title of my third book and first best seller), became an instant catch phrase; in fact, t-shirts proclaiming the slogan in latex lettering were offered for sale on the internet almost overnight.

Burdened parents, overcome with fears of not providing their children with the ultimate in every sphere of human endeavor settled into my book as if it were a familiar recliner at the end of a long and tiring day. Collywobbles and headaches disappeared as pregnant women found solace in the pages I had so carefully written. Drug stores, supermarkets, and book shops kept distributors busy with unprecedented orders. Everyone was reading Any Child Knows.

Fiberboard notices and newspaper ads announced a series of book signings and author appearances; my suitcase was always at the ready. Greater London went so far as to plaster my picture on five area billboards as television news shows scheduled me for interviews. Harry Norton, my publicist, quadrupled his fee.
I must admit, the attention and financial success was intoxicating. Just when I had planned to give up on writing, my ship had come in. Kismet—that's what Harry called it! Label it whatever you like, I was in my glory. Money was no object. Negotiations with the major television talk shows were the order of the day. Oprah had me on her program first. Perhaps that is when the trouble started.

Questions like "Why did you select the words ‘any child’ and not ‘every child’?" began to haunt me. Ridiculous speculations spun like dryer contents in my mind. Suppose I am asked to answer another question that makes no sense? Tablets, capsules, and powders began to appear with my restaurant meals, courtesy of Harry. Useless potions designed to quell my nerves were later prescribed by a doctor who recommended I "reside" at his institution between public appearances. Vanbrugh was his name. Whispering behind my back, shock treatments, and endless Jell-o was his game. Xenophobia was Vanbrugh’s final diagnosis; I was free to go.
Yesterday, I aired out my study, dusted the book-lined shelves and placed a foil-wrapped pot of yellow tulips on the desk next to the picture of myself and Dr. Phil. Zip—I opened the black canvas case that contains my too-long-idle lap top and began to write; after all, lightening sometimes strikes twice—as any child knows!

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