Thank Your Readers

Dear Reader,

If you find elegance, or anything of value in the following tale, it will be something you brought in with you. No need to be kind, this story is like an overfed Canada goose lumbering along, unable to get enough lift to fly, deciding to lump through winter, taking handouts from nature loving city dwellers. Thank you for reading and bringing something of value to an old, fat goose.

I remember books in which the writer addresses the reader, like a narrator taking them along through the story. I don’t know (or remember) the literary name for this. For whatever reason the above Dear Reader was in my brain as I woke up this morning.

What would you write to your own Reader? What style or tone works for you?

Plan a Hoax

Invent a hoax. Plan to fool the world, or at least your family and friends.

From the Shroud of Turin to the Patagonian giants these are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World. You might just recognize some of them. A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences, or April Fools’ Day events that are passed along in good faith or as jokes. Even if you weren’t aware of its meaning it’s almost certain you’re aware of some of the most famous and “successful” hoaxes. Some have even managed to fool millions of people and last for ages or even decades. Take the Loch Ness monster for example. It may be easy for us to understand how a photograph can be manipulated (after all, photoshop skills are not that uncommon anymore), but for people back then, a photo manipulation was not something easily done.

 However, there have been countless hoaxes throughout history. You might have heard of a few of them. These are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World.

list25.comSource: 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World

What do you Think About Gratuity Free?

gratuityfreeestablishment

The image comes from a restaurant owner in Brooklyn, NY, US.  The idea is older. Tips for service aren’t a new idea but the feeling that a tip is owed for service is still fairly new. I don’t like a tip being expected and I really don’t like (and won’t return to) places which automatically include the tip on the bill. Tips began as appreciation for good service. A way to show gratitude. When tips become expected they lose that meaning. I strongly feel I am not offering to pay anyone’s wages each time I use a service. The business owner is responsible for the wages for their employees, not me as the customer or client.

How do you feel about tipping and a restaurant which bans tipping?

In Canada, a restaurant tried to go gratuity free but customers did not like it. The restaurant went back to the old way of paying staff less due to expected gratuities/ tips from customers.

Would you tip for poor service? I know people will do so. Tipping is so expected that people fear a backlash if they don’t tip and tip well, no matter what kind of service they get. Gratuities has become a very socialist thing – everyone gets paid whether they work or not. Funny how turned around the concept of leaving a gratuity has gotten.

I worked as a cashier for years and did not get tipped. The only difference was in the wages paid to a cashier versus a waitress/ waiter. The job itself is quite similar. If wages were paid – which was the idea of having a minimum wage – the service people would be making the same money. Tips extra. Would you tip all the service people, cashiers included? Or do you tip out of obligation to pay wages to restaurant staff?

If you haven’t guessed… I only leave a small tip. I used to leave none, unless I really wanted to. Peer pressure about tipping got to me though and now I almost always leave a tip. I begrudge leaving a tip for average, standard service. As a customer and someone who has worked in the service industry it feels very unfair for restaurant staff to expect customers to pay them and for businesses to be not pay them the minimum wage due to expected tips.

I do not tip for poor service. I may or may not complain about poor service but I will not thank them for it.

Ordinary Horror

Think of something ordinary and give it a horror story.

I like reading about objects like paintings, furniture and dolls which have stories of death and destruction behind them. I do wonder if there is some truth to it. Of course, people who tend to live with risk, take adventures and such, are likely to have accidents and die in crashes or even pick up diseases. So, you can’t take every story seriously and believe it just because you read it.

However, I do think strong emotion hangs around in places and objects too. There are places which give people a strange, out of sorts, feeling. There are people you meet and dislike right away, without any reason. Almost everyone has walked into a room where people have argued and felt that tension – without anyone saying a word. So it does seem possible something like that could stick around. Possible but I wouldn’t say I believe fully.

It does make a good story. How would you write it? What object or item would you pick? Was it stolen from an ancient site? Did it belong to a murdered woman? What was the tragic event connected to it? What happened to people who owned or used it since then? Pick an outline and give it a good story. Try to spook yourself with it.

Source: 25 Terrifying Objects That Are Genuinely Linked To Freaky Paranormal Events

Message in a Bottle Delayed

messageinabottleSource: 25 Incredible Stories From The World Of Ships, Boats, And Sailors

Pretty unbelievable. One of those things you would guess as false and yet wonder if it’s just odd enough to be true.

Imagine you found (by some long chain of events) a message in a bottle from a long forgotten relative. Just as in this case,  written as he or she was dying then left to be found. You could create a whole story about how the message was left but lost and wandered around for centuries only found by some odd mixture of events. It wouldn’t need to be a message in a bottle. It could be found in a time capsule. It could have been under the floor boards of an old house being demolished. So many options to choose from or invent.

Write the story, from start to finish, all the places and people who became involved in that old message along the way.

The Fear of Darkness

Darkness is one of the more interesting things to fear. You could write mountains out of molehills about darkness and still not really know what it is. Beautiful, mysterious and full of space for your imagination to wander. Why fear something like knives, water or bacon splashing you when there is the dark to be looked into. It’s a magical fear.

I don’t fear the dark myself. It’s more about the other side of the darkness when the lights come back on and the world, people, life floods back in filling all the little niches and cracks and making you be something understandable again. The darkness is kind of nice, simple, blank and limitless. It’s the opposite of a blank, white page waiting to be filled. The darkness is already complete but you can always add whatever comes to mind, if you feel the need. The darkness always has room for more.

How do you feel about darkness? What could you write about it and a fear of the darkness?

Keanu Reeves has been open about his fear of the darkness and sort of assumes that it comes from a philosophical standpoint: perhaps a fear of death.

Source: 9 Celebs and their STRANGE Phobias  DailyForest 

Since 2000… Can you Tell

This is a screen capture from a therapy clinic in Ontario. I’ve never seen anyone put a happy couple photo up like this. I think it’s a great idea for a small business, especially something intimate like a therapist. I’m posting about it for the people who work in web publishing and for the writers…

since2000

What story could you tell about this couple from their photos? Are they a happy couple? What does the body language look like to you? How have the years since 2000 been for them? What hardships and great events have they come through, together still?
Source: Newmarket Massage Therapy Clinic – Newmarket

The Ultimate No-Bake Cupcake Challenge

No baking involved, unless you can’t resist trying. Create the cupcake of your dreams. The chocolate, vanilla, caramel or whatever flavour you like. The cake itself delicious, light and yet perfect. Then decorate it. There is the clash with reality. As much as I like looking at all that icing, the idea of eating it is a bit of a sugar shock. Still, there are no calories in any cupcake of my imagining. I found this one (image below) and it is pretty close to my ultimate cupcake. I can only assume it would taste as good as it looks.

Of course, the best thing about imagining a perfect cupcake is thinking of something else and changing your mind completely. Maybe a perfect chocolate cake instead… (see the other image below). Source: Chocolate Flower Cupcake – Cupcakes Gallery

ChocolateModelingDaisyCake_1 ChocolateModelingDaisyCake_2

 

Photos via thechocolateaddict.com

Role Shaming Dice

Maybe you’ve never tried a role play game like Dungeons and Dragons so you don’t know anything about multi-sided dice (except as a rumour). But, I have played and felt the gamer angst of bad dice. If you can’t blame the dice, what can you blame? They don’t mind – you just get an even lower/ higher roll at the next most inconvenient time.

Examples of role playing dice shaming follow (found on Facebook). What would you write to shame the dice? Any game, if you don’t play roleplay with dice.

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What if you Could go Back in Time…?

What if you could go back in time?

What if, one day, when you were a grown-up, you went back to your old home and climbed the ladder into your parents’ attic?

And, way in back, in a dim corner, barely illuminated by the flashlight in your hand, there was a box, a trunk, a large, dusty wooden trunk, with a lock that used a skeleton key?

So you contemplate whether or not to open it, to turn the key and open the lock, carefully, because you don’t know what might be in there, and the attic was a place that you seldom entered when you were a kid, not only because it was hard to get to, but because it was a cold and dark and drafty and scary place, and only the grown-ups were allowed in there.

Still, you want to know what is in the trunk.

Because you know it contains memories.

It is filled with the kind of memories that generations more than a hundred years ago could never have: photographs.

Not only photographs, but the negatives, too, a treasure-trove of memories.

But whose memories?

And when they join you in the present, are they the ghosts that you once thought haunted the attic?

Source: Ghosts – Darrell Noakes

Have you seen rephotography before? I’ve seen it done several times but have yet to try it myself.