Just to be safe, wear rubber gloves in case of infectious writing

image It’s time for this week’s edition of Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing which, in addition to offering literary insights gained from my 15 years as a newspaper columnist, is also the FIRST blog guaranteed to be 100 percent Ebola-virus free! Why risk going somewhere else when you can rest assured knowing there is absolutely no chance of getting anything from this blog?

My NWOW is a weekly feature the CDC has called, “Writing advice that has almost no chance of spreading…”

And what the Surgeon General described as “A literary nicotine patch for those who want to quit writing…”

But enough accolades!

As I mentioned in last week’s NWOW, I’m muddling through the exciting combination of a lung infection and femoral hernia, which in layman’s terms means I cough a lot while trying to avoid using phrases like “bust a gut.” The good news is that I’m on a new antibiotic for walking pneumonia that, according to my doctor, is so strong “it made Hulk Hogan sterile.” Needless to say, I’m confident things will get cleared up pretty quickly once my testicles come out of hiding.

In the meantime, I’m doing something a little different this week because, let’s face it: writing while standing isn’t different enough. Instead of my normal post, which as you all know focuses on an aspect of writing with the kind of surgical precision generally reserved for a game of “Operation,” I’d like to introduce all of you to a new blog called The Write Stuff. It was established two weeks ago by Marcia Meara with the sole intent of giving writers a place to exchange advice in a grassroots-style forum where you can ask questions or share tips on all aspects of writing. I’ll be contributing there from time to time but, more importantly, so will a lot of other writers — all of whom have been pre-screened for deadly viruses.

Writer, blogger, grandma, alligator wrestler
Writer, blogger, grandma, alligator wrestler
Marcia is a self-published author of three books, including Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel, which was released last May. She also hosts a book review and author interview blog called Bookin’ It, which I was featured on several months ago, but that you should still visit anyway. All joking aside, Marcia is a gifted and giving writer with a heart of gold who is constantly sharing her love for writing with other writers — again, all of whom are virus free.

If you get a moment, I hope you’ll consider becoming part of the conversation over at The Write Stuff and helping some fellow writers with any insights you might have. Look for me while you’re there; I’ll be the one standing in the corner coughing into his fist.

That said, and because I’d like to leave you with at least some personal writing insight, I’m including a link to a post from a while back called “My Writing Process,” which was part of the #MyWritingProcess Blog Tour that included Marcia, as well as some other terrific writers like Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens and Robyn Lawson at Blog Woman!! Each offers a personal look into their writing process and what makes them tick as writers — as opposed to me, who is a writer with a tick…


Coming to a blog near you! (Unless we break down)
Coming to a blog near you! (Unless we break down)
My thanks to Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens, who invited me to be a part of the #mywritingprocesss Blog Tour. There are several reasons I’m both excited and flattered to be a part of this blog tour, which highlights the creative process of different writers each week. I’m excited because sharing my process might be helpful to other writers; I’m flattered because Ross admitted I was “On a short list of writers, after my dog chewed up most of it.”

That kind of affirmation from a writer of his caliber is something you can’t measure, especially since I don’t understand the metric system. However, what I DO know is that, in addition to appreciating him as a writer who never fails to seamlessly weave together humor and enlightenment, Ross is on my short list of people I plan to share coffee (or possibly something stronger) with some day.

In the interest of fairness, I’d like to point out I also have a list of short people I plan to have a drink with some day.

Now… on to yet another list, which consists of the four questions asked on the blog tour:

1) Do you prefer a wooden paddle or riding crop?

Um… Hold on a second.

Sorry! Wrong blog tour! How embarrassing! For Ross, I mean, who must’ve sent the wrong list. I’ll just check with Nic DiDomizio or Bill Pearse, who are bloggers also participating in the #mywritingprocess tour this week, and use a set of their questions. This will just take a second…

Ok, that’s better.

1) Why do I write what I do?
I grew up surrounded by funny people in my family. My parents, grandparents, cousins, my older half-brothers — they always had me laughing. Naturally, that humorous synergy continues to play a big part of my life at home, at work, in bed, etc. At the same time, while growing up, I was also surrounded by alcoholism that eventually led to my parents’ divorce. I learned at an early age how humor can also be a powerful force in getting through tough times and, more importantly, helping see things from a different perspective. I think it’s why I’m drawn to satire in particular; satire is all about lighting a slow fuse leading to an explosion that blows things completely out of proportion. When it’s done right, for that brief moment you’re up in the air, you see things from a different perspective. In today’s world, I think we need perspective on a regular basis — and humor is a universally accepted, non-confrontational way to offer that. Do I always try to enlighten people in my columns and posts? No. Sometimes I’m basically just making fart sounds with my armpits. (Click HERE for the rest of the tour…)

Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

36 thoughts on “Just to be safe, wear rubber gloves in case of infectious writing”

  1. I was totally on board with the armpit farts but… AC/DC???

    In your defense of taste in music… you are older than me 😉

    Serious Time: Reading how you write and the purposeful process you have makes me a bit uncomfortable with the way I write… which… if I had balls… is just … balls to the walls! (I do go back and check for typos… but that’s about it!)

    1. Believe it or not, I didn’t start listening to AC/DC until about two years ago. But yes, I’m still older than you. Heck, maybe I just don’t remember listening to them before two years ago?

      And there’s nothing wrong with your approach if it works for you. We actually have a similar writing style. The difference is that while you go back to check for typos, I check for my balls… 😉

      1. The fact you think my writing style is similar to yours made my evening… I don’t honestly know what type of writing styles there are! I just type like I talk… except in real human world I have a Texas accent!!

        BUT… I really enjoy your writing so… keep it up and keep your balls close!

        1. Haha! I write like a talk as well, although I don’t usually mention my balls in conversation. Not even with a Texas accent (though I lived in Dallas for six years).

          And I will take your suggestion to heart. Or wherever!

  2. I’m not sure I’m old enough to delve into your mind and how it works, but I have had all my shots, so I’ve got that going for me!! If you meet Ross on this side of the border be sure to let me know. Muskoka is ready and waiting for you….and completely virus free. 😉

    1. HA! Not “old” enough to delve into how my mind works?!

      *furiously shakes cane in air*
      *forgets why*

      I have a feeling delving into my mind wouldn’t be much of a stretch for you, depending on how limber you are… 😉

  3. I’m so glad to hear that there is absolutely NO chance of me getting anything from this blog. Every now and then, I feel like I might have accidentally learned something while visiting, and I for dang sure don’t want to have THAT happen. *shiver* Mindless drivel, that’s what I aim for in all I do, and what I look for in all my friends. I think we’re good, here. 😀

    Okay, serious up here! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been sick, and feel bad that I missed that news. Blame it on 4 blogs and 2 novels, all of which I’m trying to write at one time. (I’m old. You can’t be wasting away your hours when you are old. You have to multi-task like a one-armed paper hanger with a bad heat rash. (Huh?) So…get well, Young Ned. And thank you a thousand times over for such a nice blog plug. If The Write Stuff grows the way I’m hoping, it should be a fun place to hang out.

  4. What’s the difference between walking pneumonia and just pneumonia? Is yours walking because you have to stand so as not to well…um..

    1. Regular pneumonia isn’t as severe and the symptoms are easily recognized. Walking pneumonia settles in and slowly build in your lungs over a longer period, leaving you functional until eventually the infection begins to spread and is harder to get rid of. I’m lucky that way. Or stubborn — I’m not sure which…

      1. Having had both, more than once, I can attest to the insidious nature of walking pneumonia. It’s so hard to get rid of, but I have faith in you, Young Ned. Get out that fireman’s axe and beat it to smithereens. Then take photos. I’ve always wanted to see an actual smithereen.

        Feel better!

      2. Oh wow I had no idea that walking pneumonia was the more serious one and how it worked. Sorry you’ve been so sick. It sure hasn’t affected your funny!

  5. How could anyone not love Operation, a game where the worst consequence of plopping a heart in the spot where the lungs are supposed to go was a buzz and a red nose? Thanks for the link to Marcia’s site-sounds great!

    1. When that game came out, I’m sure there was a rise in medical students. At least until they realized peoples’ noses don’t actually turn red when you mess up. I hope you enjoy the site. She literally just started it but I think it has the potential to help a lot of writers!

  6. Bad, Groupie, I am a bad groupie! I’m so sorry I haven’t yet commented on your illness and injury! So many opportunities, so much room, for comment, and I can’t believe nothing has popped out!

    Geez, Ned. What a rotten couple of weeks for your bod. Maybe that’s some kind of signage that you need to linger under the covers a little more, and more often? You know I really wish only the best for you and yours. Now, take good care!!!

  7. Bummer that you are still sick 😦
    Sorry, my friend. Sending you all sorts of healthy, happy vibes…I seem to have some extra laying around here 🙂
    I remember you introducing us to Marcia a few months ago and am happy to see her new site. I’m hoping to take some vacation in November and get caught up on everything writing.
    Please take care of yourself, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest. Sorry! No silly quips today–your illness has put me into full on mom-mode 🙂

    1. Thanks, Michelle 😉 The antibiotics are doing their thing, but next week I’ll have to address the hernia issue. They’re saying “simple surgical procedure” and I’m saying “That’s what they told Joan Rivers!”

No one is watching, I swear...

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