Writing Most Fowl – How Writers Differ From Ordinary Mortals


Two characteristics which distinguish writers from ordinary, pen-wielding mortals are vision and style. A dozen people standing on a street corner may witness the same event: let us say a chicken crossing a road. The eleven non-writers will view the chicken’s crossing as a meaningless, mundane act. However the twelfth, the writer in the crowd, will see it as a rite of passage or as a window to some universal truth. To illustrate how an author’s vision and style characterize his writing, below are some fowl adaptations of a dozen famous literary works, with my sincerest apologies to the original writers.

When Mr. Bilbo Chicken of Fowl End announced that he would shortly celebrate his eleventy-first birthday by crossing the road, there was much talk and excitement in Henton. – J. R. Tolkien

Billy Chicken had become unstuck in time. – Kurt Vonnegurt

Last night I dreamt I crossed the road to Manderlay again. – Daphne DuMaurier

Cluck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every chicken fromPuget Sound to San Diego. – Jack London

The chicken with black feathers fled across the road, and the Gunslinger followed. – Stephen King

Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird! No hungry vehicles tread thee down. – John Keats

You see a chicken who crosses the road and you ask, “Why?” I see a chicken who never crosses the road and I ask, “Why not?” – George Bernard Shaw

‘Twas a far far better road I crossed than I had ever crossed before. – Charles Dickens

And the chicken, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting, on the shoulder of that road. – Edgar Allen Poe

His was not to reason why. His was but to do or die. Across the road raced the chicken. – Lord Alfred Tennyson

The houses are haunted by white chickens. None of them made it across the road. – Wallace Stevens

To cross or not to cross, that was the question. – William Shakespeare

Why DID the chicken cross the road?  So he could blog about it.


Seven Reasons Not to Become a Writer

If you are one of those people who is still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, here are seven reasons not to become a writer.

  1. It’s environmentally unsound. First drafts, revisions, and multiple submissions consume entire old growth forests.
  2. Writing will turn you into a mole, as you gather and convert family and friends’ most intimate secrets into material for your next story.
  3. People at parties will expect you to be as intelligent, witty, and charming as your characters.
  4. Scribbling notes while driving in heavy trafftypewriteric may be hazardous to your health
  5. You may be tempted to engage in a dangerous or illegal activity so that you can write what you know.
  6. Your editor’s opinion will matter more to you than your partner’s.
  7. Your parents, in-laws, and priest will have front row tickets to your wildest fantasies.