Tag Archives: writing

The Literary Bum

Long term groupies of the Realm (all two of you), will know that I quit my longtime job about two years ago to make time for unemployment, starvation and the pursuit of other ambitions.  One of my ambitions was to live the life of a beach bum.

I am happy to report that I am halfway there …………. I am now definitely a bum.  Unfortunately, apart from a short week in Bali, this bum is beachless.  Hmmm, have to work on getting that beach!

Another of my “other ambitions” was to take up writing and to become a rich and famous novelist.  Now I admit that I was motivated to do so after seeing how some rather poor quality story telling and writing had become best sellers, been made into movies and was raking in the big bucks. ( I don’t want to mention any names but one of them involves pale guys that sparkle in the sun and often topless but buff Native Americans who smell like wet dog after running in the rain – you know who I mean).

I thought to myself, ” I can write as bad as that too ……..let the fame and fortune start rolling in!”  But lo, fame and fortune has not rolled in.  Instead, I find myself doing countless re-writes because I am having trouble getting the first line right.

I think my problem is that perhaps the literary geniuses that have been a big influence to my art may not have been the best choices.  Although I can say that I am greatly influenced by the works of Maxim Gorky, most of my writing lean more heavily on the works of Snoopy and his “it was a dark and stormy night…..” approach.


Here are some more opening lines which I may have wrongly used as my inspirations (most of them are winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest)  What do you think?

  • Adventure:-When the dead moose floated into view the famished crew cheered – this had to mean land! – but Captain Walgrove, flinty-eyed and clear headed thanks to the starvation cleanse in progress, gave fateful orders to remain on the original course and await the appearance of a second and confirming moose. — Elizabeth (Betsy) Dorfman, Bainbridge Island, WA

As the sun dropped below the horizon, the safari guide confirmed the approaching cape buffaloes were herbivores, which calmed everyone in the group, except for Herb, of course. — Ron D Smith, Louisville, KY

“Die, commie pigs!” grunted Sergeant “Rocky” Steele through his cigar stub as he machine-gunned the North korean farm animals. – Dave Ranson, Calgary, Alberta

  • Romance:-

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss — a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil. – Molly Ringle

As an ornithologist, George was fascinated by the fact that urine and feces mix in birds’ rectums to form a unified, homogeneous slurry that is expelled through defecation, although eying Greta’s face, and sensing the reaction of the congregation, he immediately realized he should have used a different analogy to describe their relationship in his wedding vows. – David Pepper

Sex with Rachel after she turned fifty was like driving the last-place team on the last day of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, the point no longer the ride but the finish, the difficulty not the speed but keeping all the parts moving in the right direction, not to mention all that irritating barking. – Dan Winters

The Cunard “Carinthia” glided through the starry waters of the Bering Sea, 843 passengers aboard, including Harriet Dobbs, resignedly single for over a decade, while a nautical mile due west slunk the K-18 submarine, under the command of lonely Ukrainian Captain First Rank Nikolai Shevchenko: ships that passed in the night (although the second technically a boat). — Dr. Sarah Cockram, Edinburgh, U.K.

  • Crime:-

As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this … and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words. — Rodney Reed, Ooltewah, TN

Chief Inspector Blancharde knew that this murder would be easy to solve – despite the fact that the clever killer had apparently dismembered his victim, run the corpse through a chipper-shredder with some Columbian beans to throw off the police dogs, and had run the mix through the industrial-sized coffee maker in the diner owned by Joseph Tilby (the apparent murder victim) – if only he could figure out who would want a hot cup of Joe. — Matthew Chambers, Hambleton, WV


Inspired by the great Spike Milligan, I offer two more possible first lines;

  • Our hero was sitting on the park bench feeding the pigeons when suddenly………..nothing happened.  But it happened quite suddenly.
  • When I interrogated the murder suspect, Joe Smith, the suspect told me that no one had called him “Joe” in years but instead they all used his nickname ……”Nick”.

Horror in the Afternoon

As usual, the beginning of this post has little to do with the end except that by writing in this way, I may have contributed to the outcome at the end. Confused? Mwahahaha! That means I have succeeded (wiping tears of evil joy from eyes).

Sorry, if this seems to you to be just mad ramblings of a lunatic. I spent most of the day talking to several different individuals from Technical Assistance unit of my internet provider which should be sufficient to explain my current state of mind. The problem was that my internet provider was not providing. My computer (an Apple iMac) was very helpfully telling me on the screen that there was nothing wrong with its beautifully designed circuits and that the blame lay entirely with the internet provider. Just to be sure, I tested out my office’s laptop and it too could not access the internet.

So I dutifully called the number that was neatly printed on all my internet bills. It is a three digit number that only works with landlines. So I called them up and waited for the appropriate moments in the long drawn recorded message to select my options. Finally, I reached a living person at the other end. I told her that I wanted to report that my service was not working. She asked for my telephone number, my contact details, my account number and the date that I paid my last bill. I answered all her questions patiently.

Then she asked me to go into my computer setup and look for certain information. I told her that is would be a problem as the house phone and the computer is in two different parts of the house. “Oh, she says. In that case, I can’t help you.”

So I told her that I could talk to her and access the computer if I called her on the hand phone but I pointed out that the three digit number does not work when dailing from a handphone. She gives me a different number to call. I ask why this number isn’t printed on the company’s stationery or found on their website. No answer. just a cheery, “Goodbye. Thank you for calling. Glad to have been of service.”

Okay, called the new number, went through all the lengthy preliminary foreplay and got a different operator.  This time I got as far as telling her that I was not getting any service when we were cut off.  I swore into the dialing tone.

On the third attempt, I got a guy at the other end.  He was very polite but he tended to swallow his words and the line was crackly.  Also his English was not fluent and was heavily accented.  This lead to a conversation liberally interspersed with “What?”,  “Pardon”, “Please repeat” and “Huh?”  He tried to suggest that the problem was with my router.  I humoured  him by disconnecting the router and connecting the modem directly to the computer.  Still no service.  Ah, he concludes, it must be your computer setup.  I  am dubious since I tried three separate computers and laptops and none can access the internet.

He says, “Open the system preferences and you should see a file called terminal.app ”

I say, “I have opened the system preference but there is no file called terminal.app.”

He then says look for any file called “terminal”.  I do and find one.  He instructs me to type some code in.  The file does not allow any editing of contents. “Oh, can’t be the right file then.”

Great.  “Any other ideas.”  He suggests trying a number of other files and dialogue boxes.  I try, but what I see is not what he says should appear.

This goes on for what seems like hours.  Finally, we both knew that we could not make it work and agreed to end the relationship  and  see other people.  I will have to wait till next week to get  a technician friend to come see what is wrong and the technical assistance executive will move on to the next victim customer.

And that is the long frightening story of why I am going to have limited internet access till next week and why I am writing this at Starbucks.  And so, finally we reach the end.  Not being able to access my photos for the post I had in mind, I wondered what I could do instead.

Fortunately, Evalinn came to the rescue cause she found this site that analyses your writing and suggests who you write like.  So I put in some text from my blog into the analyser and perhaps not surprisingly considering the afternoon described above, it says I write like H.P. Lovecraft – master of horror.

Actually, I would love to write a good scary story so I wouldn’t mind if my writing really was like H.P. Lovecraft’s  but that’s just wishful thinking.  Who might your writing style be like?

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!