Does this guy deserve a medal?


Last week I asked five friends to supply me with a random word. I took those five words and used them in a story. The five words my friends gave me are in italics, enjoy…

In the darkest days of The Great Pie War, Dylan Smith became a legend.

When The Great Pie War began very few saw the danger of a delicious pie to the face, but Dylan did. The first few days were catastrophic, casualties reached the millions and ovens struggled to keep up. Dylan survived the chaotic first few days, seeing destruction and death firsthand. Overcome with compassion for those suffering he put together some supplies and bravely entered the battlefield to provide much needed aid…

Armed with chewing gum, toothbrushes and mouthwash, Dylan provided urgent oral care to all in need. It’s estimated that more than half of the combatants received assistance from Dylan’s dental supplies throughout The Great Pie War.

As The Great Pie War entered its second month Meat Pies and Apple Pies emerged as the major players. Hopes of a peaceful end to the fighting were quashed when the Meat Pie leader assassinated the ostentatious Apple Pie leader at a peace summit. Apple Pies retaliated, and casualties rose dramatically during the attack. The Great Pie War would linger on after the attack for another two months.

The end of The Great Pie War was a simple budget issue in the Meat Pie camp. They could no longer afford sauce for their pies, leading to a mass defection to the Apple Pie side, they could afford ice-cream and cream for their pies. The defectors turned the tide of The Great Pie War and Apple Pies soon emerged victorious.

The Great Pie War was over. Bodies and pies marred every patch of earth, only the fortunate survived. Unfortunately Dylan Smith wasn’t one of them. In the third week of The Great Pie War he copped a stray Pineapple Pie to the face while distributing supplies on the Fruit Pie Front. But his dental supplies survived and continued to spread throughout the camps.

Who’s the new boss?


“Hello everyone and thank you for coming in today,” Sally said solemnly. “I know the death of our CEO, Mr Fingleton, affects us all and this company. The funeral is tomorrow, but there are a few matters of business that we need to deal with now. I hope this meeting will be short so we can continue preparations for tomorrow.”

The funeral was going to test them all. Mr Fingleton was a friend to all his employees, he knew everyone’s name and their lives. His motto was a happy worker ensured a quality job. And he lead by example, transitioning into a morale building boss as company growth allowed him to work less on the business side of things.

“The first order of business today—” Sally jumped as Dwayne sneezed.

“Excuse me,” Dwayne said as he reached for a tissue.

“Is to introduce,” Sally continued, “our new CEO. He is personally chosen by Mr Fingleton and will also take on Mr Fingleton’s ownership of the company. Please welcome Mr Steven Steven,” Sally gestured to the head of the table where Mr Steven Steven had made himself comfortable. Quite whispers shot around the room as Mr Steven Steven sat and surveyed the room. Seeing and hearing nothing of concern he focused on the papers in front of him.

Mr Steven Steven was well known to the board. He lived with Mr Fingleton and would often come to the office to help with team morale. However, no one ever suspected that Mr Fingleton would leave him as the CEO and owner. During the months of Mr Fingleton’s illness everyone had assumed his daughter, Sally, would inherit the company.

“I know this might come as a shock, but I assure you that my father knew what he was doing,” Sally could only wish her last statement was true and didn’t reveal her true feelings. Her respect for her father was the only thing postponing her anger. She once loved Mr Steven Steven, but now she only held resentment toward him. But now was not the time to show it to the board.

“The other items of business are fairly straightforward,” Sally said. “The stock in Warehouse Three is critically low and we need to fix it.”


The meeting dragged on for thirty minutes as Sally’s resentment continued to build. It was clear that Mr Steven Steven was inadequate, he would often stare out the window at the hustle and bustle of the street below and Dwayne’s constant sneezes didn’t help the situation. As her true feelings started to show Mr Randershake, Mr Fingleton’s right-hand man, took charge of the meeting, working through the agenda and ensuring the meeting ran smoothly.

As the meeting ended Dwayne sneezed again. This time Sally smashed her hands on the table and stood up glaring at Mr Steven Steven. “How could dad leave everything to you,” she yelled. “Your just dad’s stupid dog!”

Is this edited?


Today I wanted to give you a glimpse into my editing process. From first draft, to final copy, the task of editing is thorough. A good edit can take a mumble-jumble of words and edit them into a clear, refined message.

My example today is a short email I wrote to my boss recently. You might think my first draft is fine, but a skilled editor is able to recognise unnecessary words, but still get the message across.

Here’s the final edited email that I sent:

Dear Mr Kensington,

Sorry for nothing.


Short, sweet, it gets the message across. Very different from my long and drawn out first draft:

Dear Mr Kensington,

This is Bradley. On Friday you put me in charge off checking the blending machines in the kitchen and place them on the table for party guest to make there own drink with.

I must inform you that I did not complete my task. I did not check each blender on Staturday afternoon before placing them on the table. This was unnaceptable of me. Because I failed to complete my simple task no one knew that all the blender would start blending guests hand in there search for blood.

I’m very sorry for this and hope that both your hands recover before your Hall of Fame induction tomorrow.



This needed editing, not just the spelling and grammar errors, but it was also way too long. So I got rid of some of the fluff in my first edit:

Dear Mr Kensington,

I was in charge of checking the blending machines and setting them out.

I did not complete my task, I did not check each blender. Because I failed to complete my task guests suffered.

I’m sorry and hope that both your hands recover quickly.



That edit was very good, it cut down the length and mistakes. But I still felt more could be done:

Dear Mr Kensington,

I’m sorry.

I was in charge of checking the blending machines, I did not. Because I failed to complete my task guests suffered.



At this stage I was prepared to hit send, but I knew Mr Kensington was in intensive care and wouldn’t be up to much reading, so I shortened it further for his benefit:

Dear Mr Kensington,

Sorry for nothing.


Now you have a very basic idea of editing out unnecessary words and still maintaining a comprehendible message.

Would you like a doughnut?


Excuse me everyone, I have an announcement. With great sorrow I must inform you that overnight… The Doughnut Man… died.

The Doughnut Man worked here for over ten years and I know his death will affect everyone in the office. His work in the department that he worked in, was good. His ideas, reports, audits and other things were also good.

His work in the company was good, but The Doughnut Man will always be remembered for his morale boosting doughnuts. The Doughnut Man always bought doughnuts and always had plenty to share. Glazed, iced, cinnamon, choc coated, jam filled, strawberry, blueberry, all the fruity flavours and ones with sprinkles on top. Whatever type or flavour you wanted, The Doughnut Man had it. They will be missed.

My favourite was the Blueberry Chocolate Iced Doughnut. It had the most amazing texture and blend of flavours. I remember one day when I had a report due, and The Doughnut Man knocked on my door with a doughnut in hand. I think he stayed to help me finish the report. That’s the kind of guy that… The Doughnut Man was.

Look, I honestly can’t remember his real name or what he did here. I just know he had doughnuts.