Creative Writers

Creative Writers

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The TAPHS Framework – A dialectic short story

Source: pixabay.com · Although TAPHS is a framework for creativity and has little to do with literary writing, I figured that the optimal way to convey it and its value-add is through a short story, a real-world use case that many people can relate to. Although I’m sure Lada and ...

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The Basic Ground Rules For Walking The Talk In My World. And Maybe Yours Too.

It’s a little after 8:00 AM on a cool October morning. I’m sitting here with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and doing what I do every single morning, rain or shine. · I’m creating something out of my head. · This creation can be any of a number of things. · It can be a story idea ...

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When one is Bereft Of Ideas 

Another day, another lockdown! 

 Bali, having dodged a bullet during the whole of 2020, has finally been inundated with a severe outbreak of the Delta COVID strain, and this pesky bugger is rampaging through most of the island's districts. 

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We are now confined to home with the only outings permitted are to the supermarket, doctor or the pharmacy. I am becoming accustomed to confinement as we have only recently returned from a three month trip to Vancouver that included two periods of hotel quarantine and another two weeks isolation in an Air B&B the size of a small cupboard. 

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Confinement has meant that exploring the island or any travel further afield is becoming a distant memory, and I find myself bereft of ideas. But, of course, I am not alone in all of this, as with the new fast-spreading variant, millions upon millions of souls around the world are in a similar position to me.

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Lately, to pass the time, I have taken to plunging down the rabbit hole, which is the internet, where my interest in searching for the origins of words and phrases that make up the English language. It has been a fascinating journey, and I thought I would devote this piece to sharing some of my findings. 

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William Shakespeare was a genius at inventing new words, phrases and plot tropes that have become so ingrained into modern vernacular that we no longer recognize them as lines from his plays at all. 

Here are a few that piqued my interest: 

 

 "WILD GOOSE CHASE"// ROMEO AND JULIET, ACT II, SCENE IV

"Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose?" — Mercutio

This term didn't originally refer to actual geese but rather to a horse race.

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"GREEN-EYED MONSTER"// OTHELLO, ACT III, SCENE III

"O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on." — Iago

Before Shakespeare, the colour green was most commonly associated with illness. Shakespeare turned the notion of being sick with jealousy into a metaphor that we still use today.

 

"PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW"// HAMLET, ACT III, SCENE I AND THE WINTER'S TALE, ACT IV, SCENE IV

 

"Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow; thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go." — Hamlet

"Lawn as white as driven snow." — Autolycus

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Though Shakespeare never actually used the whole phrase "pure as the driven snow," both parts of it appear in his work. For the record, this simile works best right after the snow falls and not a few hours later when tires and footprints turn it into brown slush.

 

"SEEN BETTER DAYS"// AS YOU LIKE IT, ACT II, SCENE VII

"True is it that we have seen better days and have with holy bell been knolled to church, and sat at good men's feasts and wiped our eyes of drops that sacred pity hath engendered." — Duke Senior.

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The first recorded use of "seen better days" actually appeared in Sir Thomas More in 1590, but the play was written anonymously and is often partially attributed to Shakespeare. However, we know Shakespeare was a fan of the phrase; he uses "seen better days" in As You Like It and then again in Timon of Athens.

 

"IT'S GREEK TO ME"// JULIUS CAESAR, ACT I, SCENE II

 

"Nay and I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me." — Casca.

"It's all Greek to me" might be the most intelligent way of telling someone that you have no idea what's going on.

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"YOU'VE GOT TO BE CRUEL TO BE KIND"// HAMLET, ACT III, SCENE IV

"So, again, good night. I must be cruel only to be kind. Thus bad begins and worse remains behind." — Hamlet.

Here's an idiom that proves just because a character in a Shakespeare play said it doesn't necessarily mean it's always true. Hamlet probably isn't the best role model, especially given the whole accidentally-stabbing-someone-behind-a-curtain thing.

 

"BE-ALL, END-ALL"// MACBETH, ACT I, SCENE VII

 

"If the assassination could trammel up the consequence and catch with his surcease success; that but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all here, but here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we'd jump the life to come." — Macbeth.

Macbeth uses the phrase just as he's thinking about assassinating King Duncan, and, ironically, as anyone familiar with the play knows, the assassination doesn't turn out to be the "end all" after all.

 

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"YOU CAN HAVE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING"// AS YOU LIKE IT, ACT IV, SCENE I

 

Why, then, can one desire too much of a good thing?— Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.—Give me your hand, Orlando.—What do you say, sister?" — Rosalind

 

"KNOCK, KNOCK! WHO'S THERE?"// MACBETH, ACT II, SCENE III

 

"Knock, knock! Who's there, in the other devil's name?" — Porter

Though high school students suffering through English class may disagree, Shakespeare was a master of humour in his works, writing slapstick comedy and sophisticated wordplay. And, as the Porter scene in Macbeth illustrates, he's also the father of the knock-knock joke.

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Modern readers often call Shakespeare a visionary, far ahead of his time. For example, he wrote about desiring too much of a good thing 400 years before Coca Cola existed. 

I did mention at the start that I went down a rabbit hole!!

 

Bali Indonesia July 2021

 

Paul v Walters is the best-selling author of several novels and anthologies of short stories. In addition, he scribbles for numerous travel and vox pop journals when he is not consumed by sloth or procrastination (or confined to quarters due to COVID). 

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The Link

She felt his ultra sensitive skin. Warm, soft pattern. Like cosy Merino winter socks. The special connection was obvious. Their eyes worked together to shape the world around them. Better than an artist. Soul much better. Unique in time. Timeless truth. Hearts beating in synchron ...

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Let’s Agree to Disagree

The guy on the left is me, disagreeing with a fellow beBee member :-) · Source: pixabay.com “If we were to talk only to people with whom we agree 100%, we’d end up talking to ourselves, be it in real life, or on Twitter.” - Anonymous · Lately, I discovered a new member here on be ...

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Jean’s Version

I recently posted a short story called My Friend Jimmy that was well received in the beBee community. This is the second part of the story.  Here is the link to the first, in case you missed it. ·   · You’re asking me about the accident? I’m caught in a whirl of emotion just thin ...

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Child of Light

They say that the story below happened in real, but there is no proof of it in the physical world. It seems that only a connected heart owner can understand the language of the words used in the story. The ones who own such a heart will smile now, the others wished that they had ...

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Lovin' a cold climate. Iceland 2000 part one.

  · Iceland 2000. · The snow started to fall, the wind blew sharply across the campsite and the fabric of the tent was flapping.  I though, was flapping more as I tried to thread a second needle to fix the tear in the flysheet of the tent that was to be our home for the next mont ...

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Has Your Novel Fallen Into The “Biblio Black Hole”?

This very morning I received an email from my publisher, who kindly sends me quarterly updates regarding sales of my novels as well as a detailed report of the royalties associated with those sales. To say it made depressing reading is rather an understatement, as now I seriously ...

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Don't Call Me A Masseuse.

A short story about massage therapy. · Courtesy of Unsplash“Dear “big” girls. Don’t be afraid to get on top. If he dies, he dies.” Anonymous · I’ve got strong thumbs. Nobody realizes how strong they are until they get on my table. Some of my clients are big girls. For whatever re ...

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