This week’s writing advice would’ve gotten me punched by Eddie Rabbitt

image 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 β€” just a way to have a shared writing experience without the risk of contracting Ebola.

Thank you in advance for your participation, even if it’s only Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens

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 β€” 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!)

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, 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...

25 thoughts on “This week’s writing advice would’ve gotten me punched by Eddie Rabbitt”

  1. Ooooohhh…………….I can’t wait to see what Ross Murray has to say ‘aboot’ this one!! I may even give it a go myself and you’ll have the double Canadian Whammy!! Top that with maple syrup and it’s heaven. πŸ™‚

  2. Wait- Eddie Rabbit is dead?

    This is really funny, Ned. I’m sorta glad the blog hop didn’t go live because my installation was pitiful. Remind me never to work on anything with you unless you’re on medication that seriously impairs your abilities.

    1. “Eddie Rabbitt is dead?”
      That’s exactly what I said to myself AFTER I wrote the piece in the present tense then found out he’d gone into the Rabbitt Hole in the sky while looking for an image to use. So I had to do some quick re-writing. Yeah. Yikes.

      Anyway, you’re entirely too kind.

      Wait, are YOU on medication right now?

  3. OMG…I can’t reply to your blog hop thingie, because I’m too busy looking at Eddie Rabbit. I’ve never been a huge country music fan, but for some reason…way back in the day…I really loved Eddie Rabbit. Sadly, when he went to that great Golden Corral in the sky, I promptly switched my allegiance to everyone from Gerard Butler to Thor, and many in between. (I’m nothing, if not fickle where my fantasy men are concerned.) Eddie Rabbit. Huh. Who’d-a thunk I’d be cavorting down Memory Lane with him once again, via my favorite jurnalist?

    Thanks for the memories. Going off singing to myself,

    “Well I love a rainy night,
    I love a rainy night,
    I love to hear the thunder
    Watch the lightning
    When it lights up the sky…
    You know it makes me feel good”

      1. The country music that I do like, I LOVE. Now I’ve got “Oh play me, some mountain music, like grandmaw and grandpaw used to play” running through my head. It’ll be there for hours. Curse you, Ned Hickson! Can a Rocky Mountain High be far behind?

  4. Thank you for installing that song into my head for the next 25.4 hours.

    That said, it was the song playing in the background when the hottest boy in my class asked me to go walking around the building during a German wedding dance. The walk lasted just the duration of song and we went steady for the next six years! I hadn’t thought about this memory until I read the title of your post.
    I can’t wait to read the blog hop results…I’ll participate in the NEXT one you do. I promise on Fr. Robert’s dentures.

    1. Fr. Robert’s dentures arrived in the mail yesterday and I was really confused until I read your comment. The weird thing is that it was postmarked from Germany …?

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