Unusual or Obsolete Occupations

What a great list. How many of these did you already know? I can pick out a few. Then there are several I can remember hearing or reading but might not have remembered without seeing the explanation from the list.

Something like this gets me wondering how many of these skills could we learn again should technology fail or we some how end up in a backwards/ old fashioned dystopia?

1. ackerman: a plowman or oxherder
2. alewife: a proprietor of a tavern
3. alnager: a wool inspector
4. arkwright: a carpenter specializing in wooden chests
5. bowyer: a bowmaker
6. brazier: a brass worker
7. catchpole: an official who pursues those with delinquent debts
8. caulker: someone who packs seams in ships or around windows
9. chandler: a candlemaker, or a retail supplier of specific equipment
10. chiffonier: a wigmaker
11. cobbler: a shoemaker
12. collier: a coal miner or a maker of charcoal (also, a ship that transports coal)
13. cooper: a maker or repairer of barrels, casks, and tubs
14. cordwainer: a shoemaker
15. costermonger: a fruit seller
16. crocker: a potter
17. currier: a leather tanner, or a horse groom
18. draper: a cloth dealer
19. drayman: a driver of a heavy freight cart
20. drummer: a traveling salesman
21. duffer: a peddler
22. eggler: an egg seller
23. factor: an agent or steward
24. farrier: someone who trims horse hooves and puts on horseshoes
25. fishmonger: a fish seller
26. fletcher: a maker of arrows
27. fuller: someone who shrinks and thickens wool cloth
28. glazier: a glassmaker or window maker
29. haberdasher: an owner of or worker in a store for men’s clothing or small items used for making clothes
30. hawker: a peddler
31. hayward: an official responsible for fences and hedges
32. higgler: a peddler of dairy products and small game (also, a haggler, or someone who negotiates for lower prices)
33. hobbler: a person who tows boats on a canal or river
34. hooper: a maker of hoops for barrels, casks, and tubs
35. hostler or ostler: one who cares for horses or mules, or moves or services locomotives (originally, an innkeeper, who also maintained stables)
36. huckster: a peddler (now refers to a con artist)
37. ice cutter: someone who saws blocks of ice for refrigeration
38. ironmonger: a seller of items made of iron
39. joiner: a carpenter who specializes in furniture and fittings
40. keeler: a crew member on a barge or a keelboat
41. knacker: one who buys animals or animal carcasses to use as animal food or as fertilizer (originally, a harness maker or saddle maker)
42. knocker-up: a professional waker, who literally knocks on doors or windows to rouse people from sleep
43. lamplighter: someone who lights, extinguishes, and refuels gas street lamps
44. lapidary: a jeweler
45. lector: someone who reads to factory workers for entertainment
46. log driver: someone who floats and guides logs downriver for transportation
47. milliner: a designer, maker, or seller of women’s hats
48. muleskinner: a wagon driver
49. peruker: a wigmaker
50. pinsetter: someone who sets bowling pins back up after each bowl
51. plowright: a maker of plows and other farm implements
52. plumber: originally, one who installed lead roofing or set lead frames for windows
53. porter: a doorkeeper or gatekeeper
54. puddler: a worker in wrought iron
55. quarryman: a stonecutter
56. raker: a street cleaner
57. resurrectionist: someone who digs up recently buried corpses for use as cadavers
58. ripper: a fish seller
59. roper: a maker of nets and ropes
60. sawyer: a carpenter
61. slater: a roofer
62. slopseller: a seller of ready-made clothing, as opposed to a tailor
63. stevedore: a dockworker
64. tanner: someone who cures animal hides to make leather
65. teamster: a wagon driver
66. thatcher: someone who makes thatched roofs
67. tinker: a repairer or seller of small metal goods such as pots and pans
68. turner: someone who uses a lathe to turn wood for balustrades and spindles
69. victualer: an innkeeper, or a merchant who provides food for ships or for the military
70. wainwright: a wagon maker
71. webster: a weaver
72. weirkeeper: a fish trapper
73. wharfinger: an owner or operator of a wharf
74. wheelwright: a maker of wheels for carriages and wagons
75. whitesmith: a worker of tin

Source: 75 Names of Unusual or Obsolete Occupations

Cats Only Meow at Humans?

No wonder some people have a fear or suspicion of cats. Doesn’t this just make you want to ask cats what they really are up to?

What does meow really mean…?

Cats only meow at humans. While they do make noises and use body language to other cats and animals, the only animals that they actually meow at are humans.

Source: 15 Weird Communication Methods Of Animals And Humans – neekly – neekly

Write About an Earring

earringI like those long, dangly chandelier earrings. My brain has a small obsession with the way they move, sparkle and hang from the ear lobe. It’s a bit weird, but that’s how it is.

I can picture in my mind an earring and how it flips as she moves her head. How it brushes over the fabric of her jacket. I can see the sparkle of the gems and gold. Once in awhile it catches on the fabric and pulls at her ear, just a tiny bit.

Can you write about an earring? Don’t give it a storyline where finding the earring leads to solving the crime, etc. Make the earring the star, the focus and the entire story. Describe the earring and the scene, the action of the story. How much can you get from just one earring?

Source for the earrings: Aliexpress.

earrings

Perfunctory Moments

According to Miriam-Webster, the word perfunctory is-

Just kidding. I would never subject you to the moist handshake of essay openers. But while we’re on the subject, now is a good time to talk about your throw-away moments. The moments you have to get through the show the big plot point you can’t wait to write.

Take a woman about to discover a body. Or a killer. Whatever. How do you make the start of the scene stand out? To you, she may just be PERSON ABOUT TO DISCOVER BODY (housewife, 40s). To a good writer, she’s a woman in the middle of a day. Good day? Bad? Maybe she’s soaked from the rain. Maybe the paper bag of groceries is so wet it breaks. Perhaps a PEAR rolls to the front door of her apartment where the shadow of TWO FEET are visible under the door…

In some scripts the writer is so excited to drop a body (or discover one) the scene leading up to that moment could’ve been written by a computer program. I’m not even talking about a good computer program. A $4.99 in Fry’s discount bin, cutting edge of 1997 kind of program.

When your script is finished, go back to your big reveals – especially those after throw-away moments – and ask yourself if you really need to throw those moments away.

Every scene we read is time we give to your script. Throw-away moments let us know if you value our time as much as you value your own.

Source: Reader’s Lament: Perfunctory Moments

This post comes from an abandoned blog from 2013. I like this post. The idea of all the little moments in our day and how even the big events have little moments before, during and after.

How would you write the scene with the woman who discovers a dead body? What was her day like up to then, what mood was she in and how is it she (in particular) was in that right place and right time to find the body? She may not be the lead character in a story, just some woman written about and then not heard from again.

There is an Ice Hockey Photographers Association Niche

Everything has a niche if you just keep looking for it on the Internet. I love finding little groups, even if I don’t have an interest in them personally. It’s just so great to find them existing.

Today I found: Flickr: Ice Hockey Photographers Association

What niche could you be working on? Something interesting to yourself and a group of 2 or 3 people at most? The odd thing about these micro niche topics is how they grow. You start with one person, other than yourself and think that’s nice. But, once people begin to find your niche it just grows and grows.

I began my own niche group on Flickr (years ago). I didn’t do a lot to promote it and there was no SEO involved as far as anything I did. But, my group has over 600 members. Sure some will be forgotten accounts and so on. But, even half that many members is quite amazing for a little niche.

Pick a niche of your own and try it. Put up a free site to start with, post about it on social media and begin making posts to the site. Add photos, add ideas, etc. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Terms of Death

We’ve all heard them – in fact, we’ve probably used them – those sometimes obscure references to death. The terms may be considered euphemistic, polite, even rather humorous slang, but they all indicate one thing – you’re “pushing up daisies.”

Source: A Grave Interest: Twelve Terms of Death

Can you come up with something new? “Pushing up daisies” is my favourite from the list by Joy Neighbors. She didn’t add “dust in the wind”, which may not be used often but is still descriptive and has a touch of the natural. Of course, so does “worm food” but not everyone wants to think about that one.

How about…

  • Gone to the greener grass
  • Meeting the ancestors
  • Arguing with god
  • Fatally absent
  • Only in pictures
  • Haunting, less haunted
  • Permanently offline

I know some of those in my list aren’t my own original idea but one or two are (as far as I know).

Sword Names – What’s Yours?

I’ve heard all kinds of sword names. I like to play RPG online and character names could just as easily be good sword names too. To pick a name for my own sword… that will take some time and consideration. Not too much of the fantasy or dramatic, I’d like a name with some sense of history. Danger too.

Maybe something with a Canadian flavour.

Source for the Idea: English Historical Fiction Authors: Sword Names – What’s in a Name? What’s Yours?

Cold Snap

Of course, ask me tomorrow and it could be something else.

A Small Change to What Did or Did Not Happen

Small things happen all the time. Even if you stay home all day, talk to no one and do nothing but listen to the radio and wash the dishes while getting the laundry caught up… small things happen.

Pick some small happening. An event so trivial you wouldn’t even call it an event in your day to day life. Something like dropping a quarter when you put change in the machine (for what ever machine it happens to be).

Now, how does that one small thing change your whole life? What did or did not happen due to one small thing that did happen?  One small change can cause bigger changes, or none at all (as far as we know). But, what if it did?

You don’t need to believe in fate for this. You know how something small can throw off your day, make you late, make you angry, make you have to go home and change your clothes…

What’s your story?