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How to be Featured on the Daily Post August 4, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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The Daily Post is running a contest.
It is called Whodunnit: An Exercise in Passive Voice
Darryl L.L. Houston is going to pick the winner. 
He is going to be arbitrary about it.

So what!
Stop ‘yer bellyaching!
The lottery is arbitrary too.

Yesterday’s lottery was won by someone I don’t know.
It is usually won by people I’ve never met.
It is going to be hard to get my grubby paws on the winnings.
Unless . . .

{{nrhatch is hatching a plan}}

If the winner is someone you know and I am someone you know, is it possible  you would be willing to introduce us?

Wait! That is just a hypothetical.
I should be a bit more concrete.

I will come right out and ask:  Do you know WhoWonIt?
Well do ya, punk???

Do tell!
I would tell you!

Oh, never mind.
The lottery is held every day.

Commonalities have been noticed:

(1) The winner is always someone who is unknown by me.
(2) The winner is always someone who bought a ticket.

Note to self ~ (1) Develop amnesia. (2) Buy a ticket.

Back up.
Reverse that ~ (1) Buy a ticket.  (2) Leave it where it will be noticed by me after I no longer know who I am.  (3) Develop amnesia.

This is silly. 
I am rambling. 

Here is the information for which you have been waiting.
If you want to be Featured on The Daily Post . . . it is simple.
There are just five easy steps to be followed.

The winner, arbitrarily chosen by Daryl L. L. Houston, is going to be . . . someone who enters the contest.

Here are the rules that the Daily Post is planning to use in order to arbitrarily choose a winner (who is probably going to be someone whom I do not know) ~  if I am right about that last bit, reading this post is going to turn out to be a waste of your time:

1. On your blog, write a short post (a few sentences, preferably not more than a couple of hundred words) that really abuses the passive voice.  Put words in the mouth of a seedy politician.  Write ambiguous sentences in which the whodunnit is so atrociously obscured that I split my side laughing while trying to work it out. Compose a fake interoffice memorandum complaining about the dirty coffee pot.  Or come up with an idea all your own.

2. Then write a revision of it underneath in which you edit out the passive voice except where it serves an important purpose within the piece (hint: the fewer of these the better).

3. Keep it pretty clean.

4. Post a link to your post here in the comments.

5. Bonus points for humor.

I’ll read through the submitted pieces and more or less arbitrarily pick one I liked. The winning entry gets featured front and center here at DailyPost in a few days. Have fun, make me laugh, and assure that I’m dazzled by your editing skills.

No rules.  Just write . . . but be passive!

Revised post with passive verbs excised:

The Daily Post announced an exciting contest today ~ Whodunnit: An Exercise in Passive Voice.  

Darryl L.L. Houston, a card-carrying member of the WP Grammar Police, plans to painstakingly select the winner in an arbitrary, random, and capricious manner . . . just because he can.

I know that because he said so.  I don’t make this stuff up, people.

Oh, quit yer bellyaching! 
His contest.  His rules.

To be the one WhoWonIt . . . make Daryl laugh at your WhoDunnit.

Tell ’em nrhatch sent ya.

Back up.
Scratch that.
Better tell ’em that we’ve never met.

Complete rules:  Whodunnit: An Exercise in Passive Voice

No rules.  Just write!

Aah . . . That’s Better! August 4, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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Transforming our outlook, our way of thinking, is not easy.  Changing the habits of a lifetime takes time. 

But we can change. 

With practice, our minds become calmer and clearer, and our lives follow suit:

* We notice self-defeating thoughts as they arise and nip them in the bud.

* We observe what’s going on without getting swept up in the melodrama. 

* We mindfully choose how to respond if someone “presses our buttons.”

We still face disappointments, but the negative emotions which surface tend to be superficial and short-lived.  As soon as we notice we are angry, jealous, worried, or fearful of a future that has not yet arrived, we remember to ask that simple question:

Will this thought bring me happiness? 

Doing so shifts the focus from what we are denying ourselves (i.e., the “luxury” of being upset over some minor incident or infraction) to what we are giving ourselves (peace of mind and serenity).

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same. ~ Carlos Castaneda

As we develop greater awareness, focus, and control, our thoughts become calmer and we gain clarity, regardless of the daily dramas (and drama queens) around us.

Aah . . . that’s better.

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Changing Your Bracelet (Reflections from a Cloudy Mirror) * The Art of Happiness * The Serenity PrincipleAttack of the Killer ANTs * Watch Your Thoughts * When Ego Wins . . . You Lose * Changing Habits (WP)