Writing an article can be one of the simplest things you ever created.  All you need is a subject and enough interest in that subject to be able to write about it.  Of course, with every writing form, there are different ways to write one!  By picking the right way to structure and present your article, you’ll be able to pull in more readers with less effort. 101 Ways to Beef-up Your Bank Account We’re all familiar with titles like this.  Everyone wants something, and everyone, whether you’re willing to admit it or not, loves numbers!  They’re quick, easy, and to the point.  With a number comes a promise.  That promise can be anything from a Top 10 list to a massive list of 101 ways to help you get richer.  Best of all, the reader knows what they’re getting into before they start reading.  The benefit of using a title like this is you can structure your entire article like a list and deal with one item at aContinue reading »

In recent days, it has come to the Tabloid’s attention that our beloved Ruben and Lenny have become an item.  The only problem is that they’re separated by a massive body of water, an equator, and a time warp that keeps them in separate days about eighty-five percent of the time. The Tabloid can’t have this. We sat down with Lenny to see if we could help bring these two would-be lovers together permanently.  Our first attempt failed miserably.  We attempted to use Bort’s transport method and stuffed Lenny inside a wooden crate with a generous amount of bubble wrap.  Unfortunately, while being loaded onto the plane, Lenny was discovered by the loader, due to the constant popping of the bubble wrap.  Apparently, those air-filled bubbles were too much for Lenny to resist. After bailing Lenny out of the Lost-and-Found, we brought him back to the drawing board.  Three stick men and twelve arrows later the whiteboard was covered with the most ingenious plan ever devised. Throughout the next 24Continue reading »

Do we have your full attention?!  Because this image has nothing to do with the article! Mike.  UKGuy.  We’ve all heard the rumours, the accusations, and the constant bickering of opinions: Are they one and the same? The Shack Tabloid investigates: First packaging ourselves up, the Tabloid Team was sent to the United Kingdom.  Upon arrival, and after being delivered to Marks & Spencer in London, England, we set out to find UKGuy.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to look for very long, as we found him shopping in the men’s underwear department a mere fifty feet from where we de-crated ourselves. In no time flat, and after chasing UKGuy through the mall and pinning him to the ground, and tying him up with leftover Christmas garland, we sat him down outside of a McDonald’s and asked him who he really was: “Who are you?” we asked. “I’m Robert, a Marks & Spencer employee.  Who the hell are you?” “We’re the Shack Tabloid Team.  We’ve come to find out who youContinue reading »

Bort’s Inappropriate Christmas Gift   This holiday season, Comsie Cality confessed to giving his son, Bort Ick-Ality, a sock puppet by the name of Mr. Suck-N-Swallow.  The Mr. Suck-N-Swallow line is a bedroom toy designed for men who are having problems conceiving a child and used during masturbation to collect and preserve semen for clinical impregnation at a later date. On the open board, Comicality wrote: “And Bort? I am getting him a special sock puppet named Mr. Suck-N-Swallow, who will take all of Bort’s magic seed and have it cryogenically frozen as he goes through his adolescent years. And then we will find a harem of suitable mates who will take the seed and produce us a fine lot of offspring.” When the Tabloid Team asked Comicality why he would do such a thing, he merely shrugged and said “You can’t have too much of a good thing.”  However, he would not elaborate on his answer or reasoning.  Furthermore, when we spoke with Bort, he denied the very existenceContinue reading »

Shortbread Pastry: 1 cup unsalted butter ½ cup caster sugar (This is hard to find.  Mix 3 parts white, granulated sugar with 1 part powdered to replace—ish) 1 large egg 2 cups of all-purpose white flour.   For the Tart: 1 ½ cups evaporated milk 1 ½ cups muscovado sugar (This is also hard to find.  You can replace with Demerara Sugar or another kind of dark brown sugar)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).  Cream together sugar and butter until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is nice and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix until combined.  Mix the flour in slowly until the dough just barely holds together.  On a floured surface, knead the dough lightly and roll out into a flat disc.  Place the dough into a 21cm (about 8 ½ inches) tart tin.  Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be thick.  Use baking beans over the pastry to prevent it from bubbling up in the oven.  Put the tart tin into theContinue reading »

Do you remember back in school, thinking “when am I ever going to use this?” every single time your teacher made you read a book and write a report about it?  Well guess what?  Now that you’re all grown up and writing your own stories, maybe it’s time you revisited these nightmarish assignments and looked a little deeper. Book reports and summaries are probably the best thing you can do to advance your writing and the success of your stories.  By taking a few simple notes after reading each chapter of a book, you’ll be able to improve your plot, conflict, characters, and the all-around flow of your story, and best of all, it’s nowhere near as hard and tedious as it sounds. Start with the three sentence approach.  Almost every chapter is built like a mini-plot of the story: beginning, middle, end, and fueled by some sort of conflict.  It needs to have a reason for being included in the story.  Your job is to find that reason.  TheContinue reading »

On Friday, November 4, 2011, Comicality ran into an old high school pal.  Of course, this ‘pal’, as we all already know, was not just that!  He was Comsie’s high school lover!  Needless to say, Erick is absolutely furious.  However, what happened next came as a surprise to us all. Comicality is the father of an illegitimate child. His Once-Lover is now the proud parent of an eight year old child, by the name of Micca Yolti.  Apparently, it’s not so impossible for the male-side of our species to become pregnant, as we were once led to believe.  The only difference is that each trimester is three years in duration, and the child is, obviously, not delivered through the dreaded vagina.  In males, children are delivered through the belly button.  Fortunately, this is far less painful than what you were just thinking a moment ago. Sadly, despite blood tests and interviews that say otherwise, Comicality denies poor Micca as his child.  The only possible explanation that our Shack Tabloid investigatorsContinue reading »

Over the past few months, the Shack Tabloid has been tracking Orvus: a sleeper agent of an unknown organization that has set out to destroy all things false and fabricated.  On the night of Wednesday, November 16, 2011, at 2300 hours, Orvus was seen leaving his apartment for the first time in two weeks. The Tabloid’s undercover reporters, who have been tailing Orvus, followed him to a rundown warehouse, on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois, where he met with a small but very familiar face: none other than Bort Ick-Ality. After last month’s plan to collect a ransom for Bort’s ‘safe return’ had failed, it seemed that Orvus and Bort had found their way back to the drawing board.  Although the Tabloid’s reporters, whose identities have been withheld for security concerns, could not hear exactly what they were planning, what they had managed to overhear sent chills down their spines. On Friday, November 25, when Bort was scheduled to be shipped back to his father Erick, in Los Angeles, heContinue reading »

Every year it happens.  The stores fill with decorations and lights, the streets become tangled in brilliant colours and dancing elves, as thousands upon thousands of people scurry through the streets in a frenzy to find that perfect gift for that special someone.  But have you ever stopped to wonder what all of this really means?  What it’s for and why it’s there? It’s easy to get pulled into tradition.  It’s fueled by religion and honoured by every retail shop in the world.  When the two united is a complete mystery that has puzzled philosophers for years, it’s as unpredictable as the sky and stars above.  We don’t know what’s out there, but we do have a thousand theories to test. Am I making any sense?  I desperately hope not.  It’s Christmas or Hanukah, or maybe just a week off from school or work.  It’s not supposed to make sense, but if that’s what you’re looking for, don’t go away.  You might just find something valuable that you didn’t knowContinue reading »

10)  Don’t take your writing too seriously:  It’s easy to get wrapped up in detail or trying to impress your fans, or worrying if your story is going to be liked or not, especially if it’s something you’re considering trying to get published.  Don’t think of it like that.  You’ll apply too much stress on yourself.  Instead, let your creativity take over and have fun with your story.  Leave whatever technical stuff you’d like to do for when you’ve actually written the story from cover to cover.  If you don’t there’s a good chance that you’ll give up, or your story might suffer, or writing your story will feel like pulling teeth.  Remember that this is something you’re doing for your own enjoyment, and not for a school project or a report that’s due at the office.   9) Read each chapter out loud: If you read something in your head, you’re going to end up reading it exactly how you wrote it and miss a lot of awkward orContinue reading »

For a little more than a week, Shack Out Back Leader, Comicality was absent from all online life.  Consequently, the Shack Forums suffered immensely.  But what exactly was the reason for this disappearance?  The Shack Tabloid did some digging and discovered something so dark and obscure that we almost decided not to share.  Fortunately, we’re a lot dumber than we look. In the early evening of Saturday, October 15, 2011, Comicality was spotted entering an old, abandoned scrapyard.  He was alone, dressed completely in black, and holding a large newspaper out in front of his face as he walked.  If it wasn’t for Comsie’s large, purple cape, we would not have recognized him. Hiding inside an old, broken down school bus, we cautiously watched and waited for nearly an hour before something completely unexpected happened.  Bort appeared from behind a pile of squashed cars, and he was not alone.   His wrists were tied behind his back, and he was being guided by a dark, shadowy figure who was pushing himContinue reading »

This isn’t just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill pies.  It’s a deep-dish, creamy treat that everyone, including pumpkin-haters, will enjoy!  Use your favourite pastry recipe.  To me, the less pastry the better, so I just use a basic recipe and roll it paper-thin. You will need: 29 ounces/822 grams of pumpkin (canned or fresh) 2 ½ cups milk 2 cups light cream 11/4 cups brown sugar 1 cup white sugar 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 ½  teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 4 eggs, lightly beaten 1 pouch of powdered whip cream ½ teaspoon of vanilla 2 large mixing bowls 9 inch, deep dish pie pan.  Personally, I use a round casserole dish.   First things first, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius) In a large bowl, preferably a chilled, metal or glass one, add a ½ cup of milk, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, and your pouch of powdered whip cream.  Beat on highContinue reading »

For a lot of people, plotting a story is an incredibly tedious task.  But did you know that with a little creativity and imagination, plotting out a story can be virtually painless?  In fact, if you give it a chance, you may even start to enjoy it. Let’s face it.  We’re living in a virtual world.  For everything we do, well, ‘there’s an app for that!’  So why should planning a story be any different?  We’ve looked at mind-mapping software called Freeplane, which was great for connecting all of your ideas, but sometimes sequencing each and every event of a story in text format just doesn’t cut it.  This is where Google earth comes in! Google Earth is a free program that anyone can download and install on their computer.  It includes all sorts of tools to plan a trip, check out foreign cities, and all sorts of nifty other features that would easily give your grandparents the willies.  But how does this relate to plotting a story?  Check this out:Continue reading »

On Saturday, September 24, the Shack Tabloid crew took a weekend vacation to Chile, for some relaxation and fun in the sun.  Unfortunately, moments after exiting the plane, Erick was seen walking hand-in-hand with Hattie, otherwise known as TheMadHatter.  Needless to say, the vacation was cut short, and the Shack Tabloid went into action, and we followed the two for three whole days! On the first day, Erick and Hattie merely roamed up and down the beaches.  Erick was constant giggling and talking about Moochi and their plans for global domination, while Kate randomly chased squirrels up trees.  After ten straight hours of this, the tabloid crew gave up and went home for the night.  Luckily, the next few days proved to be much more interesting. On day two, Erick and Hattie split up.  Tabloid Crew One went with Hattie, and Two went with Erick.  Sadly, Hattie was lost within the hour.  As it turns out, her squirrel-chasing was a ploy to disguise her astoundingly effective training.  Erick, on theContinue reading »

The latest Random Party Thursday at the Shack Out Back has forced all future Thursday parties to be held underground.  After a fleet of cyborgs was taken down by FBI super-ninjas, Dom went back to the future and brought back a small army of transforming robots, which inevitably led to an uncontrollable cesspool of sexing robots. After the failure of our intended protectors, the Shack Out Back RVs were left behind and all party-goers were forced to seek refuge in the New Orleans sewer system.  Unfortunately, our blind travels soon led us to Mexico, in a small, unnamed town that we’ve decided to call Chicken Thursday. With the fuzz hot on our tail, we soon voted to hold our parties in deeper, darker, awesomer strongholds across the land.  Each Thursday Party’s location will be referred to by super-secret names and impossibly complicated code that could never be cracked by even the most knowledgeable of cryptographers. Also, if anyone sees UK Guy, please ask him for my Scooby Doos back. [email protected]

This Halloween, Comicality plans to release his Savage Moon series on Kindle.  Little did he know that this is exactly what Orvus was hoping he would do. News swept the Shack Out Back quite quickly when Comsie announced the arrival of his brand new Comsie-box for the TV.  However, there was one person who has been waiting all month for this opportunity to arise.  The Shack Tabloid’s latest sources reveal that Orvus-Undercover is planning a new mind-blowing scheme in his campaign to end Comsie TV. Although the entire Shack Out Back community is on high alert, there’s no telling when Orvus will strike next.  If you have any clues, tips, or information regarding Orvus’s plans, what he’s been doing all month, or what we can expect in the following month, you are encouraged to help prevent any wrong-doings and contact the Shack Tabloid at:  [email protected] immediately.

In the late hours of Tuesday, September 27, Erick’s plain-as-day kitty was seen on the outskirts of L.A. sitting on top of a large, wooden box.  In what was originally thought to be a routine catch-and-grab, animal control employees discovered that Moochi had kidnapped two boys. Moments after opening the box, Bort Ick-Ality was found buried beneath several sheets of flattened bubble wrap, sleeping next to Dima Borodin.  How dear old Moochi managed to drag the box so far has left officials stumped.  There were no track marks, skid marks, burn marks, or even paw prints to indicate any obvious means of travel. Moochi is currently being detained at the L.A. City Pound until this case is solved.  Any information leading to the closing of this matter will be rewarded with bubble wrap and a wooden box, with quarter-inch slats.

(Makes 24 to 30 cookies, depending on size) What you will need: 2 ½ cups of flour ¾ cup of cooking softened (not melted) margarine (or butter, unsalted) 2 large, whole eggs 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract ½ teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of baking soda 1 cup of brown or Demerara sugar  (Demerara is better!) ½ cup of white, granulated sugar 1 tablespoon of instant coffee 3 tablespoons of powdered cocoa 2 squares of baker’s chocolate for melting (or ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips) Chocolate chips (to taste) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (280 degrees Celsius) 1) If you prefer your cookies not to be double-chocolate, omit baker’s chocolate, instant coffee, and cocoa powder. 2) Grab yourself two mixing bowls, a medium-sized serving bowl, and something to melt the baker’s chocolate without burning it; a pot of boiling water with a small metal bowl over the water works best.  In one bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside for later.  Slowly melt chocolateContinue reading »