I’ve blogged writing tips with a touch of humor for several years. I’m only halfway through 2013 and my humor generator has shut down. I didn’t realize the lull until I started this post. I’ve reached the idiom, “You never miss the water until the well runs dry.” Is the well dry, or does “My bucket’s got a hole in it” fit here?
These old sayings prompted memories of my father’s repertoire—a well full of axioms for every occasion. He scolded my whistling attempts with one of his favorites, “A whistling girl and a crowing hen always come to some bad end.” I couldn’t find a use for that in my mystery manuscript so I dropped in “Cold as a cucumber” from the first law enforcement responder to a homicide. My critique group axed it as a cliché. I insisted it was a character trait—a coping mechanism for the sheriff’s deputy who had witnessed too much crime.
It should be “Cool as a cucumber,” but don’t tell my character that. He would disagree. “It’s the thought that counts,” he would say. Then add, “Famous remarks are very seldom quoted right.”
He got that correct. Well, almost.