Welcome to this week’s edition of Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, when I take the collective wisdom gained from 15 years as a newspaper columnist and pass it on to you, much like the porcelain cat you will be receiving from aunt Gertrude’s will; in both cases, try to accept the bequeathing graciously even though everyone else got one of her Ferraris.
My NWOW is a weekly feature Car & Driver magazine has called “Writing tips that hit on all literary cylinders, at least for a lawn mower…” and what Modern Art Monthly touted as “Unequivocally the porcelain cat of writing tips…”
But enough accolades!
This week’s NWOW is an experiment of sorts because it’s interactive. And not just because there’s a good chance I could’ve gotten 1) Sued by Eddie Rabbitt, 2) Hit in the face with a guitar by Eddie Rabbitt, 3) Attacked in the parking lot after work by a disgruntled rabbit named Eddie or 4) All of the above. Even though Eddie Rabbitt died in 1998, I promise all of this will make sense in a moment. At least in the context of this blog and my life in general.
Regular readers of my Nickel’s Worth know I usually take this time each week to share a tip, insight or some encouragement to fellow writers. Generally it’s on a specific topic, such as getting readers to take a flying leap (of faith), how to know if you’ve given your readers a good climax, or how keeping your story focused is like taking an eye exam.
That said, for those of you who might be irregular readers, I’m truly sorry and you clearly have a good excuse for not being here as often.
As I mentioned, this week’s NWOW is a complete departure from anything I’ve done here before, and is actually the result of a blog hop (see how the Eddie Rabbitt reference is coming into focus?) that never materialized after I contributed my portion.
Which in itself probably explains everything.
Regardless, instead of doling out advice this week, I thought it might be fun to go ahead and post my never-before-seen contribution to “The Blog Hop That Never Was” and open it up to anyone who’d like to take a crack at finishing the scene. Like you, I picked up where someone else left off, so aside from storyline continuity you have free reign to take it wherever you’d like. Simply post it to a page on your own blog and send me the link.
The only “rule” is that it needs to be finished by Thursday (Oct. 16) so that I can include the links in next week’s NWOW.
Remember: This isn’t a contest — just a way to have a shared writing experience without the risk of contracting Ebola.
Fried pickles and Eddie Rabbitt is better than fried rabbit and Eddie Pickles
That’s when I noticed the music. Not piped from one of those cheesy Muzak stations playing classics re-made by American Idol contestants no one remembers, but actual LIVE musical cheese being performed by the original artist!
I love a rainy night
Such a beautiful sight
I love to feel the rain on my face
Taste the rain on my lips
Eddie Rabbit? Alive at the Golden Corral? How could this be? And on $10 all-you-can-eat Faux Lobster Night while I’m with the girl of my dreams!
Life could NOT get any better.
“Excuse me sir,” the manager said as he brought a basket of deep-fried pickles. “Complimentary appetizers tonight.”
I stood corrected.
“Thanks very much,” I said, taking the basket and slipping him a pair of crisp one-dollar bills. “Can you give these to Eddie and request Two Dollars In the Jukebox for me? I’m sure he’ll see the humor.”
“I’m sure he will, sir. I don’t think anyone’s done that since lunch,” the manager said, then crunched his way through the peanut shells on the floor toward the stage/souvenir shop.
I turned my attention to the jaw-dropping beauty sitting in front of me — tan, hot and just a little spicy. I gently reached out to touch the object of my desire.
“OWWWW! These deep-fried pickles are HOT!” I whimpered, causing my date to tuck her iPhone into her cleavage out of concern for my well-being. She examined my fingers, then dipped them into her water glass.
Beautiful, caring and classy; I had won the girlfriend-material tri-fecta.
Suddenly, her chest began to tremble. Without letting go of my hand, she squeezed her elbows together in front of her chest, causing the vibrations to stop. “Hello?!” she answered, speaking down into her blouse. “You’ll have to speak up! You’re muffled by my boobs!”
Ok, but she was still beautiful and caring.
“I still can’t hear you! I’ll call you back later! And if this is Rodney, I told you we’re THROUGH!” She squeezed her elbows together and quickly hung up. “Sorry about that. I’m expecting a call from my babysitter. She’s new and sometimes my kids are a lot to handle. I really need to find a better hiding spot for those matches. If I could get just one of their dads to be more involved, you know? But it’s not their fault I guess. There’s only so much you can do from prison, right? Am I talking too much? I always talk too much when I’m nervous.”
Before I could answer, a pair of one-dollar bills was in front of my face. There was the musky scent of Chaps cologne. I looked up to see Eddie Rabbitt standing at our table, guitar slung over his back. He was wearing a black T-shirt with Golden Show Maker in bright yellow on the front, except that his guitar strap covered part of the words, leaving it to read Golden Shower.
He looked, well…
(Take it from here!)