Archive for October, 2009

And the winner is …

October 28, 2009

colourful prize ribbonIt’s October 28, the day we announce the winner in our MillarLITE limerick contest. This was not an easy decision! Entries came in from across town – and across the world! That’s what happens with blogs; the internet is a global community, so readers (and limerick writers) can be anywhere.

Since I knew some of the entrants – and I loved all of the entries – I called in backup judges to help me choose among my favourites. Using blind judging (not blind judges! – they could all see, they just weren’t shown entrants’ names) along with a complex rating system (which I would explain, if I were not mathematically challenged), our judges definitively decided we had a tie. Yikes. Additional judges were enlisted, their votes were tallied, and we STILL had a tie. Doug Smiling winnerThen I thought to check names, and realized that Doug Harris had tied with himself! So Doug Harris of Stockton-on-Tees, England, UK  is indisputably the winner of our MillarLITE Limerick Contest. Congratulations, Doug!

Because Doug graciously agreed that any of his limericks that made the finalist shortlist could be posted here, readers get to enjoy both limericks. You can decide for yourself which one is your first choice!  Here’s one:

Tombstone_textThe limerick’s known for its wit
And being straightforward – that’s it!
It cuts to the chase
(Well, there isn’t much space)
One might, on my headstone, just fit.
             – Doug Harris

Well said, Doug! … Now you’ve got me thinking about my own epitaph … “A writer who hailed from Nanaimo,  Spent all of her time trying to rhyme-o … Nah … I hope I’ve got a few years left to figure that one out).

Here’s another one by Doug:

IrelandA fellow who hailed from Dún Laoghaire
Put forward a wonderful thaoghaire:
Towing Ireland by boat
To the Azure de Côte
Might make weather in summer less draoghaire.
             – Doug Harris

Some of our judges weren’t sure how to pronounce the Anglicized name of this Irish town on Dublin’s “Riviera,” but if you think  “theory” and “dreary” for lines two and five, you’ll get it right.  Very clever, Doug! 

And lucky us!  Our other two finalists also agreed to have their entries posted:

tree“Now Paddy,” said Seamus McGrew
“Just look at this advert, would you?”
dese blokes in ‘ere tell us
dey’re wantin’ tree fellers –
The pity is, we’re only two.”
       Charles (Chompy) Brody

Great fun!   Chompy says he’s “somewhere in the Middle East” right now, although he hails from the UK. He’s clearly got the limerick-writing knack, wherever on earth he is. 🙂

Another finalist from right here in Nanaimo also had fun playing with spellings in our English language:

SpellingThe foreigner shouted, “Enough!
I’m finding the going too rough
When it comes to spelling
I find it quite quelling
I can’t understand half this stough.”
       – Deirdre Godwin

Well done, Doug, Chompy and Deirdre! … and thanks to everyone who had fun writing and sharing their witty entries. Doug’s prize – a copy of One Sweet Ride – will soon be winging its way across the Atlantic, and our other finalists will receive an electronic copy of one of my short stories, as thanks for allowing their limericks to be posted. (If you didn’t win, but you’d like to purchase a copy of One Sweet Ride online or via e-mail, just visit the One Sweet Ride website. Shipping starts next week.)

 I can’t help it, I just love limericks. Thanks again to all who entered – and a special thanks to Doug, Chompy and Deirdre for making ME smile!

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.
Limericks are the property of their writers.

Join me in the Winner’s Circle

October 21, 2009

J K Galbraith medallionI usually keep the focus on “funny” in MillarLITE, but I can’t resist sharing some exciting news. I was delighted to learn, this past week, that I’ve been awarded the 2009 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award for a serious short story I wrote called “The Insomniac.”

Yes, I do write serious material (although I often manage to sneak some humour into my serious writing too). John Kenneth Galbraith was one of the brilliant minds of our time. An internationally acclaimed economist and ambassador, he authored four dozen books and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1997. He also received the American Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice!

To have my name in any way linked with Galbraith’s is, for me, a huge honour; to be the first woman to earn the award since its inception is the icing on my cake! Woman at computerIf your computer screen is flickering, it’s because I am jumping up and down in excitement – do not call your internet service provider!

If you want to read “The Insomniac,” you’ll find it posted on the John Kenneth Galbraith site. If you’d rather flip the dial back to funny, I’m fine with that too, because today is the last day for you to submit funny limericks to the MillarLITE limerick contest. You have until midnight Pacific Time today (October 21, 2009) to e-mail your entry (or two, or three) to

Just a reminder: while limericks are sometimes bawdy, keep your submissions light, and clean! When it comes to S-E-X, this is as risqué as we get:

Robin Red BreastA robin complained in her nest:
“I wish he would give it a rest!
I married a leg-man
But now, since the eggs, man,
He’s crazy about my red breast!”

OSR_book coverIf your limerick wins, you’ll receive an autographed copy of One Sweet Ride, an anthology being released in November, 2009, which contains three of my short stories, along with the poetry and prose of other Vancouver Island writers. And your winning limerick will be posted here, on October 28th! Full contest details here.

winning cupI can’t wait to read your limericks. Perhaps you’ll be the one to join me in the winner’s circle!

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry – before midnight, Pacific Time, tonight (Oct. 21, 2009)!

Ideas: The Good, The Bad and The Boneheaded

October 14, 2009

Bright Idea lightbulbLast week’s post about bad ideas got me thinking about ideas in general – the Bright, the Not-So-Bright, and the Boldly Boneheaded. While Blisterpack (for me) leads the Bonehead pack, it’s had lots of “dim whim” contenders over the years. Remember the K-tel Clever Cutter? It was a pair of scissors  – well, actually not a pair … just one blade, and a mini cutting board where the opposing blade ought to be! One of many brilliant inventions I’ve packaged up for garage sales after cleaning the kitchen and stemming the arterial bleeding.

Thighmaster 001One I haven’t been able to bring myself to part with yet is my ThighMaster™. I haven’t actually gotten around to using my ThighMaster™, but I can’t quite stop believing in its potential. I mean, have you seen Suzanne Somers’ thighs lately? They still look good! Plus my ThighMaster™ has no sharp edges, so it has yet to hurt me. It seems like a great idea!

How do they come up with these ideas? I could get rich if I could come up with some myself! I think it was Linus Pauling who said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” Easy for him to say. He was a genius in the fields of quantum chemistry, molecular biology and orthomolecular medicine. When I think of “orthomolecular medicine,” I picture teensy little molecules wearing itty bitty little orthopedic sneakers. Clearly Linus and I are not in the same idea league.

Still, I’ve had the odd good idea over the years. A few have even shown up in my limericks.

Bright Idea in BedHere’s a practical one you can put to use tonight!

The secret of farting in bed
Is to pull the sheets snug ’round your head.
Now, discreetly, you moan
And deplete the ozone —
But lie still, or the damage will spread.

I hope that will help prime your idea pump, because time’s running out on the MillarLITE Limerick Contest. Your entry (or two, or three) must be e-mailed by next Wednesday, October 21st to be considered! Details here. I can’t wait to read your best ideas!

What boneheaded ideas have you spent your hard-earned dollars on?

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.

Bad Hair and Worse Ideas

October 7, 2009

Bad Hair DayMy curling iron went kaput. I plugged it in, and the red little button that says “Relax, honey, I’m here to help – refused to light up. Betrayed by my best buddy. I’d been abandoned to confront, alone, that most feared of all potential female catastrophes: The Bad Hair Day.

I’ve had too many to count. In fact, I’ve been having a bad hair decade. As a child, I used to think it was funny that my mother and some of her sisters had thinning hair. (Tee hee, I can see auntie’s scalp!) Little did I know that when Fate shuffled the DNA deck, it had dealt me the same card! With the Ace of Straight thrown in for good measure. So to say I rely on electrical allies like my curling iron is an understatement.

Curling ironEvery woman knows that a day that begins as a Bad Hair Day will shortly go from bad to worse. I headed out to buy a replacement curling iron. Drivers who appeared ignorant of the fact that I was facing a hair emergency (or were just plain ignorant) cut me off at every turn. Customers with trifling ailments had already snatched up all the parking spots near the pharmacy, forcing me to slouch my way in from the back lot, hoping no one I knew would spot me wearing that ridiculous hat. And then I saw it: every curling iron on the display was packaged in BLISTER PACK!

Blister pack leads the pack when it comes to my pet peeves. Not only are blister packs environmentally awful, they are virtually impossible to break into. Perhaps the athletically-inclined can actually wrestle these clamshells into submission, but – as previously mentioned – I am a klutz. I have many and varied scars to show for my klutziness – a good number of them obtained by approaching blister packs with sharp objects in an effort to make them give up their goodies. Putting a blister pack in my hands is a very bad idea. The blister pack itself is a bad idea – and the genius who came up with it should be plastic-wrapped permanently!

Still, a bad hair emergency trumps a bad idea – so I bought the blasted thing (after swinging by the band-aid aisle for the soon-to-be-needed reinforcements).

So much for bad hair, and bad ideas.  Have you had any GOOD ideas for limericks?

Sometimes good ideas can be hard to come by for writers.  Perhaps even Shakespeare had problems:

ShakespeareSaid Shakespeare,  “I’m tired.  It’s too hard.
I write. Then I edit, and discard.
I’ve worn out these tights
Writing daytime, and nights!”
She looked, and replied: “There’s no holes, Bard.”

Be sure to submit your best limerick  – or two, or three – to the MillarLITE limerick contest by October 21!  Details here.

What are YOUR pet peeves? Have you had run-ins with blister packs? Bad hair days that led to disasters?  Misery loves company!

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.