I don’t always dream. But when I do, it gets weird.
On Monday at 1:36 am, a microburst slammed my town like a hammer hitting a nail. Trees and powerlines cascaded like dominos along the streets, bricks tumbled off the side of the fire station so methodically it actually looked like it was being rebuilt, and a metal pizza shop sign crashed to the ground so hard it broke.
I lost power and heat for the next 13 hours.
It’s the longest I’ve ever been without electricity. And is physically, mentally & emotionally draining.
So naturally, I slept soundly last night. Instead of my usual 6-7 hours, I slept 8. And it was g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s.
Except that when I sleep well, I dream. And those dreams… well, let’s just say they’re strange. Because I pretzel-twist reality and dip it in a Twilight Zone mustard sauce.
Last night, I dreamed my dad stopped by after work and brought me dinner.
He delivers produce to restaurants. And a perk is that the restaurant owner’s offer food & drinks to their delivery drivers.
He knows I don’t like Chinese food — but when it comes from Wild Ginger, I can’t resist. (The humor of my dog’s name + bad Chinese food joke isn’t lost on me.)
He was setting the table and dishing up food while I was doing a breathing treatment in my room. Just as I was finishing, one of my picture frames fell off the wall.
I couldn’t put it back, so I yelled for my dad to rehang it.
When he walked into my room, I noticed something green wiggling in one of his hands. It was covered in a sticky orange sauce and partially wrapped in a napkin.
I asked him what it was. As he licked his fingers to clean the orange sauce off before he touched my picture frame, he told me he found a frog in the food. It was still alive, and he was going to save it.
Just then, Ginger snorted in her sleep and woke me up.
Stay rested, my friends.
Know what wakes your readers up?
Putting your own spin on a pop culture reference.
I have a few examples from previous copy edit tips:
Like when I said, “Reckless has always been my favorite shade of fun.” — 50 Shades of Grey.
Like when I said, “Maybe that’s because Clorox created and launched the shelf-stable version of Hidden Valley during my birth year. So technically, I was born in the year of the ranch (my version of the Chinese Zodiac).” — Chinese Zodiac.
Like when I said, “Because I pretzel-twist reality and dip it in a Twilight Zone mustard sauce.” — Shout out to Jordan Peele. Even though Rod Serling’s original was awesome.
Putting your own spin on a pop culture reference isn’t easy. It takes a lot of brain power and heavy copy edit lifting to create these.
But when you finally manage to write one of these magical one-liners, you connect with your readers on an unforgettable level.
Because these references stick in their minds. Every time they see the reference, they’ll remember you.
So use this copy edit tip to stick in your readers’ minds like live frogs covered in orange sauce.