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The Perfect Writer’s Retreat December 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Writing & Writers.
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56 comments

While cruising around Terra Ceia Island, we stumbled across the perfect writer’s retreat.

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Situated on a corner lot, the house overlooks the banks of Terra Ceia Bay.

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Imagine writing at a desk in that turret, underneath the weathered vane.

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Gazing out at blue skies, serenaded by sea breezes and wandering muse.

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Of course, if we moved, we’d miss our neighbors . . . like Ichabod Ibis.

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As well as Ida, Iago, Irene, Igor, Igraine, Ike, Ignatius, Ian, and Icarus.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

An Unlimited Limerick November 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Poetry, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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36 comments

Something about the cadence and rhyme of limericks always teases a smile out of me.

I don’t mind a few made up words that stretch language to its limits.

There’s something fun about limericks
Especially those that boast gimmericks
They make us smile
And ponder awhile
On the sleight of tongue trickericks

Here’s to the liberal literary license of limericks!

After all, where would Dr. Seuss be
If he had limited his vocabulary
To words already written
Would we be as smitten
If it hadn’t called it a Truffula tree?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you enjoy limericks?  With sleight of tongue trickericks?  Are you a fan of the bawdier the better rhymes . . . featuring folks from Nantucket?

 

For NaNoWriMo ~ Two Top 7 Lists November 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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36 comments

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Top 7 Reasons Writers Don’t Read More:

7. They are too busy writing, writing, madly writing.

6. Their reading skills are rusty.

5. They are feeding Tweets to Twitter every 5 minutes (WWPD => 2456).

4. They are bleeding from self-inflicted wounds.

3. They’re worn out from inviting Facebook friends to “check it out.”

2. They are lost in a maze of amazing words.

1. They are daydreaming about writing fame and fortune.

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Top 7 Reasons Writers Should Read More:

7. To take a break from writing, writing, madly writing.

6. To improve reading (and editing) skills.

5. To expand vocabulary and explore the amazing world of words.

4. To shift perspective and look through life via another lens.

3. To strengthen writing muscles by hearing other writers’ voices.

2. To imagine giving (and receiving) constructive criticism with panache.

1. Sheer enjoyment and escapism.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you read more than you write?  Or write more than you read?

A Spooktacular Contest October 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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26 comments

Snoopy-PumpkinSharpen your pencils, rev up your keyboards, check your typewriter ribbons!

It’s time for Susanna’s 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest.

In a pumpkin shell:

* 100 words (or less, no more)
* 3 required words ~> pumpkin, broomstick, creak
* prizes, prizes, prizes!!!

Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Monday October 27th and Friday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany Susanna’s October 27th post.

snoopy-&-linus-pumpkin-pathFor complete rules:  The 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest (Susanna Leonard Hill)

Tell her the Great Pumpkin sent ya!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source: Mixon Fruit Farms

 

A Slytherin’ Successsssss September 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Writing & Writers.
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42 comments

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Despite his eventual fame, Harry Potter did not find a publisher straight out of the gate.

Imagine if J.K. Rowling had given up on the idea when she received rejection after rejection:

* The world would never have met Dumbledore or Dobby the House Elf.

* Or wandered the corridors of Hogwarts or Diagon Alley.

* And none of us would know how to play Quidditch.

Rowling kept pitching her story until she found a publisher who saw in her stories what readers did ~ a spellbinding read.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. ~ Jules Renard

Page Turner ~ A Mystery Thriller Contest September 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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33 comments

Stephen King, who winters in Sarasota, agreed to speak in Manatee County on January 29, 2015, at a fundraiser for the Manatee Country Library System.

As one might expect, sponsorship tickets for the event zoomed out the door.

All but one.

The Library Foundation holds a ticket for the lucky winner of Page Turner ~ A Mystery Thriller Writing Contest.  Entrants are not restricted by age, but must possess a valid Manatee County Public Library card that is in good standing.

Since I do . . . I tossed my 250 words into the pool.

* * *

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Violet’s threat hung in the air.  She pointed a gun at me, placing more pressure on the trigger than I deemed prudent.

I scanned Hal’s living room, noting the crimson stain pooling around Hal’s body.  Violet meant business.  Some other scandal hound would get the scoop on Hal’s death, and mine, unless I helped her.

I gave Violet center stage.  Like a true diva, she dove in.

“Hal called this morning. He said he had some dirt on me and invited me over. When I arrived, he suggested we discuss the situation over a glass of wine . . . in the Jacuzzi. I refused. He got ugly. When I started to leave, he called you. After hanging up, he said, Sugar, when Ketchem publishes the photos I dug up on you, your career will be on permanent standstill. I knew I had no choice.”

Violet paused.  I glanced at Hal.

Seeing the trajectory of my eyes, she gasped.  “No! No! I know what you’re thinking, Sammy. I didn’t KILL him. I agreed to meet him in the Jacuzzi and went to get a towel. I heard a gunshot, raced back here, and found him like, like . . . that. I heard a noise behind me, grabbed the gun, and turned around. There was no one there. I panicked and started tearing the place apart to find the photos. Before I found them, I heard the doorbell and you walked in.”

I exhaled.

If Violet didn’t kill Hal, she didn’t need to kill me.

Aah . . . that’s better!

General tickets will go on sale Nov. 1 and can be purchased later this year through the Manatee Performing Arts Center box office and the Manatee Library Foundation website.

 

The Fluid Nature of Communication September 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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34 comments

What makes a word “real”?

Who decides whether “YOLO” is, in fact, a word?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like A Box of Chocolates September 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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48 comments

IMGP1105bThe titles of blog posts can be misleading.

Titillating titles and teasers may grab our attention without holding it.

Great curb appeal may mask an empty shell:

Inside the vestibule, we encounter a veritable dumping ground of mish mash and pish posh with little rhyme or reason, almost as if the author tossed a bunch of unrelated thoughts into the air and allowed the hodge podge and hoi polloi to descend and settle willy nilly into disordered and discordant chaos and disarray.

Like so much falderal and fiddle dee dee.

If a post leaves me befuddled (because “the point” of the post is M.I.A.), I leave the pointless post, post haste.

Of course, the opposite also occurs.

On occasion, we stumble across a blog title so dumpy or frumpy that we lower our expectations before stepping across the threshold.

Why step inside at all?

Curiosity, perhaps.  Or maybe the slim reed of hope that the dowdy exterior, like an oyster shell, houses a pearl of wisdom.

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Sometimes, despite the gloomy interior heralded on the marquee, intrepid visitors are rewarded.

Instead of finding a warren of empty rooms, we encounter a brilliant flash of light as a veritable palace of jewels and gems opens before us.

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What a delight when valuable insight awaits those who venture past a dingy signpost outside.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” ~ Forest Gump

Winner . . . Winner . . . Lobster Dinner! September 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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24 comments

As mentioned in Short Short Stories, the winner of the Longboat Key News Short Short Story Contest receives a complimentary dinner at The Lazy Lobster.

Winner . . . Winner . . . Lobster Dinner!

If you would like to vote:

1.  Follow this link ~ You Choose:  Which Story Is Your Favorite?

2.  Scroll through the entries and pick your favorite.

3.  E-mail the TITLE of your favorite story to:  story@lbknews.com

Aah . . . that’s better!

You can stuff a lobster, but NOT the ballot box ~>  only one choice per e-mail will be counted.

If you have a favorite . . . feel free to share its TITLE in the comments below.

 

Short Short Stories August 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , ,
40 comments

A local newspaper solicited short short stories (25 words or less) to run in the paper during the month of August.

At the end of the summer, one story will be chosen as “the winner” and its author will receive a culinary prize from . . . The Lazy Lobster.

I like lobster.  Even lazy lobsters, which are easier to catch.  I also enjoy playing with words, so I submitted a few short shorts:

The Best Thing About Getting Older

Audrey watched her 97-year-old neighbor sail by on a bike: “You’re such an inspiration, Vivian. What’s the best thing about getting older?”

“No peer pressure.”

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[We have a 96-year-old neighbor who still rides his bike and NEVER worries about peer pressure.]

Killing Time

Sophia hated waiting.
Killing time.

A woman in purple scrubs passed by, “Sorry, Sophia. Your chemo will start soon.”

Great. More time to kill . . .

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[Fiction.  Through and through.  The only Sophia I know is NOT undergoing chemo.  Which is good since she’s only 9.]

Busted

Busted light. Sparks flew. Son professed innocence. Mom’s cross-examination shed light. Son came clean.

“I might have hit the hot bulb with a wet towel.”

Zombies

[Fiction.  Sort of.  Borrowed from an anecdote Janna shared with me.]

Where’s the ESC Key?

Memories erased, a hard drive malfunction. A lifetime abased, software keeps crumbling. Circuits and synapses fried, no longer firing. Fumbling thoughts stumble, a graceless nosedive.

Little-Miss-Scatterbrain

[Prompted by watching “creeping senility.”  No, not mine!  My parents.]

Following Our Gut Instincts

Ralph leaned over his bike’s handlebars, revealing serious belly bulge.  John pointed, “That’s not a 6-pack . . . it’s a keg!

Ralph laughed, “I’m following my gut!”

Not Ralph

Not Ralph

[Prompted by seeing a guy in tight biker shorts with no shirt.]

Pretty Swift, eh?

Category: 19th Century Authors.

“Jonathan Swift.”
“What?”
“Final Jeopardy answer.”
“Alex hasn’t revealed the clue.”
“I know.”

Cue clue. Contestants stumped.

Answer announced: Jonathan Swift!

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[True story.  Just one of the amazing Winks, Whispers, and Nudges I’ve experienced from the Universal Matrix/Web.]

A Secret Made For Sharing

Mom hid dad’s birthday cake. “It’s a secret.” Jamie nodded. Seeing dad, the cork popped and 2-year-old Jamie squealed, “Cake in ‘ere! Cake in ‘ere!”

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[True story.  For 2-year-old, birthday cake is too exciting to keep secret.]

How Do You Do That?

My husband waved an opaque bag, “Guess what I bought!”
The answer drifted in . . . “PEZ dispensers.”

“How do you do that?!”
“Sometimes I just know.”

Tree-Frog-Percheda

[True story.  Sometimes I just know.  And it always freaks BFF out.]

He’s Five. I’m Three. Do the Math!

Terrified by my older brother’s taunts, I screamed for back-up.  “M~O~M!!! Jamie’s gonna hit me!”

Mom (a clueless only child) replied, “Well, hit him back.”

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[I am NOT a tattle tale!  Or a cry baby.  Stop saying that . . . or I’m gonna hit you!  And don’t go running to mom.  She won’t do anything anyway.]

Stay

“Stop rocking the boat!”
“Learn to sway.”
“No. I’m leaving. Today.”
“Where to?”
“Can’t say.”
“Then stay.”
“No way.”
“Come back.”
“I may . . . one day.”

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[Fiction.  Just playing with rhyme time.]

Falling on Deaf Ears

As the Merry-Go-Round slowed to a stop, my 3-year-old niece kicked her wooden carousel horse to urge it forward. “Don’t Stop, Horsie! Don’t Stop!”

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[True story.  The niece in question is now 21 and knows that kicking wooden horses will not make them speed up.]

Aah . . . that’s better!

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