Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Too Many Things to Change!

When there’s something in my book that needs to change, it’s like a bee landed on my shoulder. Have you ever noticed how people freak out over one bee? They squeal and run around waving their hands in the air. “Oh no, I just might get stung!” Or, to make the metaphor work, “Oh no, something’s wrong with my book and I’m a bad writer!”
I just brush the bee off my shoulder. It flies away.

When I get surrounded by five bees, I start to worry about getting stung. Then, as I continue working on my book, it’s like a swarm of bees accumulate around me until all I can hear is the buzz and the fear. I'll want to run for the hills.
When one bee stings you, it releases a chemical that communicates to the other bees that you are a threat. This tells them where to attack. If you get stung by one bee, you’re almost certain to get stung by another, and another.
In case you haven’t already surmised, I’m feeling a little intimidated by all the changes I have to make in my book, especially since I want it to be decent before I go to the conference. When I fix one problem, it reveals ten more. It’s causing a racket in my head and making it difficult to focus. I’m not at the point yet where I want to run for the hills, but I did get close to feeling I might as well stop swatting at the bees because there’s too many of them.
The only thing getting me through this is organization. I have a sheet called “editing notes,” and it’s separated into sections: To Add and to Cut, Rearrange or Rewrite, Plot Consistency, Character, and Technique. When I get a beta’s comments, I organize them accordingly, and I include everything they say. When I fix the problem, I delete the comment.
How do you handle it when you feel overwhelmed by revisions?


Don't forget to sign up for the Favorite Book Challenge Blogfest!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Taking a Blind Date to Prom

 For Sommer Leigh's write-about-high-school blogfest, I decided to share this awkward experience:

When I was a senior in high school, I dated the hottest guy in the city of Portland. He had a 4.0, he played piano in the jazz music club at a prestigious magnet school, and he looked like a movie star. He only liked me as a friend, but no one in my high school knew that, so who cares?

I was super excited to go to prom. I even paid a family friend to sew me a custom-made dress months in advance. I assumed I would go to prom with Mr. Perfect, but when I asked him, he said he had agreed to go with someone else before we started dating.

You have to understand how random this was. There are ten high schools in the Portland district, all with their own proms, and he just happened to get invited to mine.

This put me in a predicament. I had few guy friends, but they already had dates, and I didn’t know any other boys well enough to ask. When my friends and family found out I didn’t have a date to prom, they all banded together to find someone for me. I mean ALL of them.

Thus began one of the most humiliating experiences of my life.

Despite their combined efforts, no one could find a date for me. My grandparents even took a picture of me and showed it around to the boys at their church, to no avail.

This search went on for at least a month. I considered calling off the search many times, but I had an expensive dress I couldn’t waste, and I really wanted to go.

Finally, one of my friends said she found someone in her neighborhood who was willing to go with me. I asked questions about him, but she was hesitant to answer any of them. When I asked if he was cute, she answered, “Well… I don’t know. I grew up with him, so I don’t really see him like that.”

There were two other girls in my school who knew him, and they all answered the question the same way. I asked them to at least show me a picture of him, but they never did.

He showed up at my house with a group of my friends while my mom was doing my hair and my seamstress was putting the finishing touches on the dress. I asked the seamstress to go out and see what he looked like so I would at least prepare myself before I went out there.

When she came back, I said, “Well? How does he look?”

She hesitated, then shrugged. “He’s not really my type.”

I felt nauseous dread as I walked out to finally see the guy who would take me to prom. He was sitting at the table talking with the others. He was….

…cute.

He was really cute.

It turned out to be an incredible night. He was fun and sweet, and after the dance we took a walk out by the river. I did that thing where I pretended like I was cold when I'm not so he’d put his arm around me. We talked for several hours before he finally took me home.

My mom was furious because I broke my curfew (which I never had any intention of keeping in the first place), but I didn’t care. I had just taken a blind date to prom, and it was wonderful.


Don't forget to sign up for the Favorite Book Challenge Blogfest!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stretching the Idea of Art

Don't forget to sign up for the Favorite Book Challenge Blogfest!

Check out this fantastic mix of genres:


This clip made me think of our definitions of art. While I watched this it, I felt like I was looking at ballet. I reminded myself that this dance style is exclusively meant for Rap Crap (as my friends and family call it). Everyone knows it’s not “high art.”

The clip below features the same dance style in a different context. It’s in a parking lot and is performed to music people don’t typically associate with… quality.


When I watched the first clip, I saw high art. When I watched the second clip, I saw a fun hobby that no one would pay money to see. It’s all about context.

Do you consider this dance form art? What makes one kind of dance better than another?


Here's another cool video I found on Jen's Bookshelf: breakdancing to Bach.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Favorite Book Challenge Blogfest!

As already mentioned, I hit the one-hundred followers mark. Hallelujah! Now to celebrate with my very own blogfest. I'm sooooooo excited! This is for everyone; you only have to like reading. So, without further ado….
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to
1.       Pick your top five favorite books
2.      Between Jun 20 and 22, write one line of what each book is about and then write one line of why you liked it. Think of it like a twitter pitch for other people’s work. Semi-colons are cheating, but you can use them anyway.
3.      Go to other blogs and discuss the books.
4.      If you do not keep a blog, put your challenge in the comments on the day of the event.

This will be a great exercise for writers who need to practice pitching, and it will be a great way for readers to find good books.

You don't have to do all five if you don't want, and you can do more too. Just don't do more than ten and don't do less than one.
Here’s an example of one of my favorite books.
Lord of the Rings: In order to save the world from the evil forces of Sauron, the ring that contains his power must be destroyed by the most unlikely of heroes: a three-foot hobbit named Frodo. I loved this book because it was more than an ordinary fantasy novel; it was an epic of stories, magic, beautiful writing, deep characters, and themes that sink into your core and change who you are.

I'm pumped about this and I hope a lot of people decide to join! Spread the word, because the more, the merrier.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letter to Future Self



Krisin Creative has issued a challenge to write a letter to your future writing self. I planned on doing this a while ago and never got around to it, so I'm glad to have this motivation.

It was actually my husband's idea. We were on our way back from the Oxford Conference for the Book and I had just met Tea Obreht. (This was right before we ran over the dog.) I was so excited about the experience, I was barely coherent when I talked.

I told my husband, "I know some writers complain about how they shouldn't have to put themselves out there and advertise their work and they're too introverted to socialize, but I love this. I love meeting other authors, and I'm going to love book signings and readings and interviews and book tours. This was the most fun I've ever had, and I want to do it forever!"

Andrew said, "You might not feel this way forever. You need to write it down so you can always keep focused on why you're doing this."

He's absolutely right. So:

Dear Famous Version of Teralyn,

If everything about my life has gone according to plan, you're a very busy author with four kids and a good marriage. But I know how unpredictable life can be and how things don't always happen the way you want them to. I hope this letter is regardless of where you are in life.

You'll have days when you wish you could get away from being an author and mother. I hope you never forget how excited I am for everything. I'm excited about fan mail and positive reviews, and I'm excited about baby food and driving to soccer games. I hope you always love children and you always love meeting writers and spreading your experience everywhere you can reach.

It's all about the writing. I love literature. I love that feeling when I read over a chapter I wrote and it's dripping with awesomeness. When I have a good writing day, I swell and burn. Don't ever lose that.

Family comes first. Don't have fewer kids or use day care just to get more popular. Keep your standards for motherhood, no matter the cost. When you go to heaven, you can't take your book with you, but you will always have your family.

Remember: it's just a book. It will only take people ten or so hours to read, and then they'll move on. It won't change anyone's life except mine.

Always get better. Improve your craft. I don't care if you're 60 years old and you have awards under your belt; I want each book to be better than the last. I hope you have an agent and editor who push you to the next level, and I hope your readers have high expectations. Never get lazy.

Give back. Support every author you interact with. I want to give people the impression that when they meet me, good things will happen. Be generous with money.

From where I am right now, it's hard to imagine you will ever become disillusioned. It's hard to believe you might not have children or you might not get published or you might publish your books and not be able to sell them. Remember that a failed career does not equal a failed life. You can find something else to define you.

Finally -- and this is probably the most important thing I want you to remember --

Writing is fun!

When it's no longer fun, stop and reevaluate your priorities.

As my drama teacher used to tell me: Go forth! Be brilliant!

Sincerely,

Me

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forbidden Love in Arizona

My aunt and uncle in Arizona had the cutest little lap dog. It was long with a box head and short hair except for its paws, tail, and head, so it looked like a Chinese dragon.

During a family reunion at their house, I answered the door for the mail man and the dog went shooting out like it was running for its life. With no time to put on my shoes, I dashed after it and singed my feet on pavement that could fry eggs.

We ran for blocks and the dog didn’t slow down. She turned corners without pausing, and I could tell she knew exactly where she was going.

Finally she turned into a yard and flew through a bar fence. In the yard was the biggest Rottweiler I’ve ever seen. He could have eaten this little dog in one gulp.

He ran to her at top speed. I pressed my face against the fence, but I couldn’t get through. There was nothing I could do but watch her impending violent death.

To my surprise, they nuzzled passionately against one another. It was like a canine version of Romeo and Juliet.

I had to knock on the front door of the house and explain that my aunt’s dog was in their backyard and I needed it back. I tucked her under my arm, turned to go back, and remembered that in Arizona suburbs, every house looks exactly the same.

My feet sizzled and the dog barked for her lover as I wondered how on earth I would find the right house. I walked back in the general direction I came and luckily found my cousin getting out of a car.

A year or two later, the dog ran away and they never found her. The family was devastated, but I like to think she found her Rottweiler and that this is the end of a beautiful love story.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Power of Tension Blogfest


Does anyone know how to install a countdown calendar on my blog? I want to do one for the HSN Conference, but I can't find anything on the internet.

Every blogfest I join gets more and more fun. Rachel Morgan and Cally Jackson are hosting the Power of Tension Blogfest, which I'm super excited about: 

The goal is to write up to 300 words that just drip with tension and will tie us up in knots wanting to know more. It doesn’t matter what the piece is about, as long as it screams tension.



I chose an excerpt from my WIP, Hunger. It's from Eric's POV. I hope you like it.

               I walked out of my room the next morning feeling deader and more tired than ever. It was a terrible coincidence that a girl walked out of Alex’s room at the same time. She and I briefly made eye contact before she looked away and we were still with awkwardness. She was disheveled. Her hair was a mess, her clothes were askew, and make-up was smeared all over her face. She held her purse to her chest as if she was afraid of losing it. What struck me the most was how her eyes were wet and her lip trembled. She ran down the stairs.
                I knew I’d be furious when I saw Alex, but I had no idea the rage would be so intense until Alex came out wearing a dirty robe and the same satisfied smirk he always wore. I always assumed that one day, I would get used to Alex’s antics and I could at least ignore how much her repulsed me, but each woman feels the same. Their faces accumulate in my memory.
He saw me and grunted. “Don’t give me that look. You’re in no position to judge me.”
                “What did you do to her?” I demanded.
                “You would love to know, wouldn’t you? Then you can jump on your high horse and lecture me when you have no idea what you’re talking about.”
                I had to look away from his smug face because I was twitching with anger and my hands were trembling. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me lose control. I said through clenched teeth, “I don’t know why I keep coming back here. All I ever feel is disgust.”
                “And you love that, too. Whenever I’m around, you can think, ‘Well, at least I’m not as bad as him,’ and then you can feel better about your existence and all the things you hate about yourself.”
                “I don’t have to listen to this.” I stormed down the stairs with my hands still shaking.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Pet-sitter for Armageddon

Jesus is coming today. Everybody look busy.

I heard the craziest thing on the radio today; someone realized that when the believers get whisked away to heaven today, who will take care of their pets?

He started a business offering to take in every abandoned pet after the world ends. Seriously. It costs $139, the fee is non-refundable (of course), and it’s good for ten years. Ergo, you can buy it now and still be covered when the world ends in 2012 like the Aztecs say it will.

This guy has made $35,000 off of this business.

That’s just brilliant.

The reporter asked the obvious question: “What if you go to heaven? Then what will the pets do?” The owner of the company had that covered: he’s an atheist, so he’s not going anywhere.

The next obvious question was, “When these people go to heaven, how can they trust you to keep your side of the bargain?”

He sounded as serious as could be when he answered, “We ask that customers find friends who won’t be saved, like a Jew or a Muslim or a Methodist, to make sure we take care of the pets like we say we will.”

Finally, the reporter asked, “Do you think tomorrow, you’ll have hundreds of animals on your hands?”

“No,” the man answered, “I think we’re going to get phone calls from some pretty disappointed people asking for their money back.”

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Get Blog Followers



I have 100 followers! This is a special occasion! (Wow, this has been a really good week for me.) As is tradition, I will celebrate with a spectacular blogfest, which I will announce soon.

But first I want to share some of my methods for getting blog followers. Most of my readers have more followers than I do, but I hope this will still be helpful, and I hope they share some of their own tricks in the comments (hint hint).

Comment on Other Blogs

This reaches out to other bloggers interested in your topic. Unfortunately, they are more interested in the blog you’re commenting on than you.

When you comment, a reader clicks to your profile page, then to your blog, so it shows in your stats as direct traffic. Ergo, I don’t know how well this works. It depends on where you comment (smaller blogs are best so you aren't drowned out by other commenters), how often you comment, and how interesting your comments are.

Forums

Forums are great because you can focus on people who are not only interested in your topic, but are willing to take the time to sit down and read what you have to say.

All you have to do is include the link to your blog in your signature so it shows up in each post you make.

On the downside, forums are time-consuming. There’s an abundance of information in forums and I highly recommend reading them, but it won’t be worth your time if you’re only doing it to advertise.

Forums I participate in are Absolute Write, Historical Fiction Online, Literature Online, and Nathan Bransford.

Guest Posting

When you guest post, you can build a good connection with the other blogger. If the blogger is really popular, you can get a lot of hits. It’s fun and generates good traffic.

If you want to guest post, find a blog that has hosted guests before and ask to swap. Don't hesitate to ask popular people; the busier they are, the more likely they'll want your help. Look at what kind of things the guests talk about, then submit similar ideas.

Blogfests

This is the ultimate way to generate followers. I’d say 70% of my followers came from blogfests.

Here's how it works: a blogger posts an assignment and people write on that topic on the same day. You put your name and your link on the host’s page, and on the day of the fest, people click on the link and read what you wrote. It’s a lot of fun, and the readers are literally trying to make friends and find interesting blogs. They want you, and they haven’t even met you yet.

If you want to participate in a blogfest, you’re in luck! I’m going to host one very soon. More details to follow.


Have you found any other effective ways of gaining followers? Please share!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm a Guest on Nathan Bransford's Blog!

It’s been a dream of mine to guest post on an enormously popular blog. Imagine my surprise when a post I submitted was accepted by Nathan Bransford.

For those of you who don’t know, he’s basically the most famous writing blogger ever. 5,300 followers!

He was an agent, and he’s recently published his new book, “Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow,” which is the most deliciously quirky book I’ve ever heard of.

My post was called “Why I Don’t Tell People I Write.” I’m overwhelmed by how many people commented on it!

You can get the chance to be his guest by posting an article in the forums. He says he searches them regularly, eager to find someone to host. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm Going to the Writer's Conference

I registered. I bought my plane ticket. I paid for my hotel. It’s official; San Diego, here I come!

How did I accomplish this, you ask? I will tell you. But first, I will tease you with this paragraph so I can bask in the look on your shocked faces.

Okay, here’s how it went down:

A blogging friend of mine donated to my fundraiser and then offered me a personal loan. We were able to negotiate the interest rate and payback period so that, unlike an expensive bank loan, it perfectly met my needs.

I knew the fundraiser was doomed for failure before I started it, but if I hadn’t done it anyway, I wouldn’t be going.

Even after I paid for everything, it didn’t feel real. The only emotion I felt was relief. My goal was met, I didn’t have to think about it anymore, and I could relax.

It really hit home that I was going when I told Kris. She wrote back, “See, you made your miracle. Tuccia would be proud.”

Who knows? Maybe Tuccia really is proud of me.

Now it's flight of the bumblebee to get ready. The conference is only a month away! I'm going to try to edit my book so it's in somewhat decent form, practice my pitch (I get to pitch to an agent of my choice, one-on-one!), read up on the authors and agents, read as many books as I can from the authors, and answer the very important question: what am I going to wear?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine Blogfest


I can't wait to read all the entries for this blogfest! That's Write  and The World is My Oyster are hosting a fest where you:

Post a joke that pokes fun at yourself, or writing, or your job, or anything personal. Or if that's too much work, any joke that you think is funny will do.

I found this clever comic from Calvin and Hobbes:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cool Blogger Award for Yours Truly


Lori M. Lee has kindly bestowed upon me the Cool Blogger Award. Wi-hoo!

Now I have to think of one cool thing to say about myself. She wrote about a travel mishap, which inspired me:

When I was in Rome, I passed out in front of Nero's palace.

I was violently ill on the trip. I had the kind of cough where it sounded like my lungs might get thrusted out. But that didn't stop me from walking 12 hours a day and seeing everything a person could possibly see in a day. I paid good money for that trip.

You have to make schedule a tour through the palace and we arrived twenty minutes early. I told Andrew, "I think I'm going to rest before the tour starts," and I was unconscious before my face hit the grass. Andrew said it looked like I was dead.

Andrew was just as exhausted during the trip as I was. One day we got to the bed-and-breakfast early because there was a gap in my meticulously planned itinerary, and he thought we should take a nap and then explore Rome in the evening. It would look beautiful at night, we thought.

We slept 15 hours.

I woke in the morning and felt a brief moment of regret that I wasted a day in Rome, but that quickly went away because I felt incredible.

Now, to pass the award along. It goes to.....

Jen's Bookshelf

I just discovered Jen yesterday and felt an instant connection with her. She also writes about Ancient Rome, and she has a great sense of humor. I highly recommend paying her a visit.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Power of My Generation


This video reminds me of “The Social Network.” I couldn’t imagine a movie about Facebook would be any good, but it fired me up. I was a freshman when Facebook was invented, back when you had to be a college student to join. I remember when it changed from “The Facebook” to just “Facebook.”

That movie wasn’t just history; it was my history. It was about my generation, about our power and individuality and potential.

My favorite part of the movie was when Mark Zuckerberg printed out a business card that said, “I’m CEO, bitch.” In the extras, the director explained that the card spits in the face of everyone who looks down on people in their 20’s.

Today, we have as much strength as the last generation. Maybe even more so because we’re the ones who have experienced these changes – we’re the ones who made these changes – and they belong to us.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Funniest Typos



Last November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my writing.
In order to reach the daily goal of 2,000 words, many writers had to stay up late and write while they were in the grips of exhaustion. Such people make hilarious typos. You can click here to read them.  I spent many an hour chuckling over these.
Here's a good one: "Aleksandre took his seat at his own seat to the right of his father." Spelling fail: "And she was so comfortabl and warm and relzared." Another: "My stomach flipped into my stomach." Sudden attack of mitosis: "Levi walked out the door, Levi trailing behind."
My best typo was from my WIP, Hunger. A ghost said, “I got sick, and then I got died.”
What are some of your funniest typos?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Satan in Our Apartment

I guess you can’t go to a Christian university without encountering a few religious zealots.

My freshman year, I had a roommate who lived like a nun. She would go to bed at 8:00 pm every night and wake up at 5:00 am every morning (probably to become healthy, wealthy, and wise, I don’t know, it sounds pretty pointless to me).

Everything had to be perfect. Our apartment had three bedrooms and our bathroom had three separate medicine cabinets, and she rearranged all of our things to correspond with the placements of our rooms.

She tried to give us chores to do on Saturdays. She left a note on the kitchen table with our assignments, and at the bottom of the page wrote in big letters, “Remember, cleanliness is next to Godliness!” We were particularly messy that day.

At this point, my roommates had had enough. Grace (the girl with no hands) and Whitney (the toffee-stealer) decided to teach her a lesson. They walked into the kitchen where the Zealot was making sugar-free, fat-free wheat bread for a guy she liked, probably to show off her domestic skills.

“Hey, Whitney,” said Grace, “you wanna play on the Ouiji board?”

The Zealot gasped. “You have a Ouiji board?”

“Yeah. Do you want to play?”

Her face turned stark white. “But Grace, that’s of the devil.”

“No, it’s not. It’s just a fun game.”

“I don’t know about that,” said Whitney. “Remember last time we played and it moved on its own?”

“It did not. You moved it.”

By this time, the Zealot was sweating.

“Well, I’ll go get it out of the closet,” said Whitney.

“It’s in the apartment?” The Zealot shrieked. “You brought the devil into our apartment?!”

Once they had a good laugh, they told her they didn’t really have a Ouiji board. I wish they hadn’t told her. We could have had a lot of power over her if she lived in fear of our satanic abilities.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Swearing in Books

Let’s play a game. I want you to think about milk. Think about its color, its texture, how it feels as it slides down your throat and spreads through your stomach. Think of everything about milk – the cow it comes from, the carton it sits in, warm milk, cold milk, and whatever else you can think of.

Now set a timer for 30 seconds. I want you to say the word “milk” as quickly as you can for the entire 30 seconds.

Did you do it?

Come on, if you don’t do it, it will kind of kill this post.

When you say a word that many times, you start to focus on the sound of the word more than the meaning of the word. Eventually, the word has little meaning at all. Scientists call this process “defusing.”

Therapists use this technique on patients by asking them to pick a word that causes them pain, like “bullying,” or “abuse.” When they say the word over and over, it loses its potency and doesn’t cause them the same degree of pain. (Resource: Get Out Of Your Mind and Into Your Life, by Steven C. Hayes.)

Artistically, the whole point of swearing is to cause a jolt. The jolt can be used to get someone’s attention, express intense emotion, or make a joke stand out. The more you use a jolt, the less “jolting” it becomes.

Before I see movies, I like to go to a website called KidsInMind.com. It rates the movie’s levels of violence, sexuality, profanity, etc. Reading it prevents me from having to walk out on a movie I already paid ten bucks for. I thought "Funny People" would be good and looked it up. I found out it said the F-word a whopping 151 times.

That’s a *tad* excessive. There is no word in the English language that should be said 151 times in the course of two hours (except maybe “the”).

I decided not to see that movie, but if I had, I doubt the swearing would have bothered me.  I would have defused the meaning.

Personally, I think swearing is kind of cheap. It’s a way to add emphasis when your ability to write doesn’t make the language colorful enough on its own.

I feel the same way about italics. I hate italics more than anything because everyone uses them all the time and they always think it makes the words better when it doesn’t do anything but confuse me and everyone else.

But if you do decide to use swearing (or italics), you can use it artistically to your advantage... if you can use it in moderation.


Post of the day: Kristen Lamb on what the first 20 pages tells an agent.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Only 13 Days Left to Help my Fundraiser

HNS Conference
Today I went on the site for the Historical Novel Society Writer’s Conference and I found out there’s a deadline to sign up: May 22

I feel silly. Of course there would be a deadline.

If you’re planning on donating to help me go or spreading the word via blogging and Facebook, there are only 13 days left!

I’ll be honest; I didn’t think this fundraiser was going to work from the start. I’m not disappointed about the new deadline. I started this fundraiser not from a radical sense of optimism, but because if I was going to meet with disappointment, I wanted to know I did everything I could.

As it is, I’m shocked that I received the amount of support that I did so far. It feels rejuvenating to know that people out there want me to succeed – even people I’ve never met!

I also appreciate the non-monetary support from people who visit my blog, spend time reading and commenting, and show me that I can be interesting and I do have something worthwhile to say. This blog is many things for me, including a confidence boost and a supportive network that drives me forward.

No matter what the outcome, I’m glad I tried this.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So Many Descriptions to Choose From

I bought some St. John’s Wart because it’s supposed to lift your mood, and I broke the capsules open to make tea. After the first sip, I came up with different ways to describe my experience.

Statement: St. John’s Wart does not make good tea.
Emphasis: St. John’s Wart does not make good tea.
Adjective: St. John’s Wart makes horrible tea.

Adverb: St. John's Wart makes tea horribly.

Physical reaction: As I sipped my tea, I was overwhelmed with so many horrendous flavors that I saw spots and I gagged into my cup. The tip of my tongue stung.
Physical description: The smell was deceptively mild. The taste was a potpourri of faint earthiness and an explosion of bitterness. It was so potent that the green stained my lips and cup.
Personification: My tea tried to kill me. It was like Mother Nature was using leaves to get revenge on mankind for destroying the planet, one tongue at a time.

Sarcasm: Oh joy, another healthy food I'd rather die than eat.
Simile:  It was like the bitter juice of a hundred unripe lemons and the fumes of a hundred gasoline tanks were injected into a single leaf and strained into my cup.


Which description do you like best?
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