Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Word Castles

castle Pictures, Images and Photos

Once upon a time there was a woman who drove from her seaside home, over a mountain and into a valley where she sat in a field and began to build a castle out of words.

Every day she returned, leaving her family behind, her children crying, her husband gruff.

Soon, (sooner than most castles are built) she was finished and proud! She decided to sell the castle and make her family a FORTUNE! Forgetting for a moment that fortune finding was never the intent...

The Word Castle Builder put her masterpiece on the market. Many people came to look at the castle, which was miraculous in and of itself because the market for castles, at that time, was not hot. But, everyone who came to look, turned away. All agreed it was beautiful, all agreed it was interesting, but no one wanted to live there. UNTIL one day another woman, a Buyer of Castles, came again to take one, more, look.

This Buyer of Castles said "I want to buy this castle, I really do! But there is much work to be done. It is obvious this is your first castle, there are some cracks in the foundation, and the kitchen opens up to the living area (which would never happen in a TRUE castle) and the windows are askew. Fix those things and I will buy your castle. Oh, and here is a book on how to build them if you feel you need a manual. OH! and don't sell it to anyone else, okay?"

The Word Castle Builder was so happy! She spent weeks patching foundation, tearing down (and putting up) walls, replacing windows. And in the end, she had to admit it, the structure was more solid, more fantastic, even more wonderful that it was before. She sent word right away to the Castle Buyer that the work was complete.

When the Castle Buyer returned she was not impressed. "I am sorry, you did not address my concerns," she said. "I can not, therefore, IE, ergo, purchase your castle. But I LOVE how you build! How I love it! Can you please tell me when you next castle is ready to show?"

"That would be lovely," said the Word Castle Builder woman person. But in her heart, she felt like setting fire to everything around her, including the Castle Buyer and herself.

When the buyer left, the Word Castle Builder walked through the building trying to figure out what to do next. Trying to figure out why she came over the hill to this place to build it to begin with. And something funny happened.

She ran out into adjacent fields and began to build all sorts of castles, big ones, small ones, short ones, fat ones. She used the knowledge that Castle Buyer gave her and it was a much easier process this time. AND, who knew? There were Word Castle Builders living all around her, and they stopped by and helped out, giving great and important advice like "Too many turrets." Or "One stained glass window RIGHT there."

And then, two more buyers wanted to come and view castle number one. Should she show it? Should she keep it? She decided to leave it on the market, who knows? Word Castles might get hot again one day.


  1. I love this! And I love that the castle market is not hot. That's awesome! I totally understand the desire to set fire to your castle, though my reasons are probably different than yours. Just a little stress relief. ;D

  2. Building castles is a bitch. It's all very subjective, I for one really like it when the kitchen opens up to the living area. So you really do need to let any interested buyers check it out because you just never know, they may like the way the turrets set off the stained glass windows, you know?

    Good luck with the construction.

  3. Jewels (i mean castles) are often overlooked before they are discovered.

  4. Such a wonderful metaphor, Suzanne. I also have felt pyro inclinations at times of castle rejection. Thanks for this beautiful post!

  5. But the Castle Builder had distinguished herself from the housing-developers and her castle stood mysterious and unique until one day--when the birds were singing and breezes made her hair dance--the Prince discovered the castle and said for all the world to hear, "I have found my home!"

  6. Love it! What a wonderful way to describe the querying trenches :) Castles are much prettier. And I'm glad Castle Number One is still on the market...what one person dislikes, another person will love. You've just got to find the right person at the right time :)

    Awesome post! What a great start to my morning :)

  7. You made me cry! I'm so glad you're my friend.

  8. Abby: Thanks! I totally get it ;)
    L&L: Laughing is a good thing. Thanks!
    glnroz: and then I read your comment and the weeping ensued again. I think I might be in love with you.
    Andrea: Fire is a good thing!
    Tricia: More crying. sniff! I really enjoyed your ending and would like to see MORE!
    Michelle: Thanks, I am glad I am keeping it out there too. I have to remind myself that this book has seen a lot more action than some books. Lucky unlucky girl that I am.

  9. Mandy: We were typing at the same time. FUN. You SHOULD cry! You were my sub contractor! ;)

  10. Fantastic way to start the day. And I think we all have pyro tendencies when things get rough.

    Beautiful post, thank you!

  11. Dear Fairy Princess/Castle Builder:

    I'm sending you a can of lighter fluid that will only soak your inner Doubter troll. Keep the castle on the market and one day, the most perfect buyer with magical eyeballs will come take a look then grab it up! (Not that I've seen your castle, but if it looks anything like your blog, it's a winner!)

    Hey, did you do the #1 realtor's trick? Simmer cinnamon oil OR saute onions and garlic to entice buyers. Maybe an open house in the future?! :) Write on.

  12. Amanda J: You are most welcome.

    Dear Fairy Godmother: Will do. And when you aint so busy tell me if you want to see my castle.

  13. this was awesome. i loved it! and yes, word castle builder should show castle buyers castle number 1. :)

  14. This gave me a big smile. And it made me feel better about my own castle building, which is always a nice plus. :)

  15. You are fantastic, Suzanne. And if your sandcastle* is anything to go by, your Word Castle is equally/even more amazing.
    Word Castle Builder should definitely keep all her castles on the market and not burn any of them or herself, because soon the right Buyer will come.

    *awesome blog

  16. Jeanne: Thanks!

    AW:Press on, right?

    Sarah:Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personality disorder when I read your comments or your blog. BECAUSE, we write alike, you and me. Your sandcastle aint baid either!

  17. Yes, she should show it!!!! :)

  18. Keep that castle on the market and someday, the perfect buyer will come along and see more than a castle. They'll see a country of castles.

  19. As your sub-contractor ;) I can safely say that yours is one of the best castles on the market! And yes, the sub-contractor takes it personally too!

  20. Beautiful parable, Suzanne. It applies to everyone who has dreamed or still dreams of being a published writer.

    I was just lucky - no false modesty. I was in the right place at the right time, with the right manuscript.

    But don't EVER give up.

    Literary agents are a great starting point ......

  21. This is beautiful, Suzanne!

    *joins in on setting the Troll of Doubt on fire* O:)

  22. No! Don't set fire to any castles! I love castles. I live in castles. And it sounds like you do too. Castle Buyers are a fickle lot. They think they know what they are after, but one person's castle is another's hobble. They even fight among themselves about what makes a good real estate purchase. Although they all agree when the money rolls in! I have wondered if some of them may in fact be dragons n disguise?

    Great post :) Keep castle building. If for no other reason than to be the princess in the tower, right?

  23. Can I live in the castle?

    I can't buy it, because I would have no idea how to decorate it, and host guests in it, and plant a beautiful garden in front and back, and those are important things that a castle buyer must do.

    But living in it would mean you came to visit me every day, wouldn't it?

  24. Another fantastic post, Suzanne. Damn those Castle Buyers! But at least Word Castle Builder always has the option of forming her own construction company and selling her word castles herself, to buyers who are sure to appreciate them. Love it! XOXO

  25. excellent post Suzanne. Really enjoyed that. I'm afeard I put a moat around my castle without any drawbridge. And I'm on the outside! I think my muse's ghost is in there someplace laughing at me.

    Love how Tricia is so positive too. What a positive writer, looking for the best in things.

  26. Just come over from David's Post of the Day. He was right, it is a great post.

    When you can write like you do, I'm sure you'll be published soon. x

  27. EXcelent story, I loved it, it seems like a story for kids, and it is, but it is also much more complex, it can be read by adults, and it can be very dificult to understand for them, it could have several meanings for them also, and they spent many day and even weeks trying to discover which one is the real meaning of the story. What does the story want to tell, what is the thing to learn from it.
    I like the fact that the castle is made of words, since I work on nlp, here are some interesting facts about it:

    -Text is the largest repository of human knowledge and is growing quickly, there are emails, news articles, web pages, chat archives, scientific articles, insurance claims, customer complaints letters, transcripts of phone calls, technical documents, government documents, patent portfolios, court decisions, contracts, and so on.

    -Nowadays we have access to huge amounts of information, much more than in the past decades, one of the problems with this is that we are not reading any faster than before, therefore we can not take full advantage of this new situation. NlP tries to optimize the human usage of information.

    -Dealing with natural language is a difficult task. We need to understanding multiple disciplines including multivariate statistics, learning algorithms, clustering, hidden Markov models and part of speech tagging. We need to have knowledge about language, grammar, ontology and folksonomy.

    -The applications of NLP include answering queries, identifying spam, recognizing what is the main theme of a document, grouping similar texts, obtaining the main keywords of a document, detecting syntactic errors and identifying the secondary themes of a document.

    If you want to understand more about the meaning of words check this:

    Hope you are interested in these stuff, I am really in your story, any doubt you have do not hesitate to ask

  28. Wonderful word building right here! Congrats on POTD!

  29. It's reassuring news for people like me who are in the process of becoming a word slum landlord.

    Nice post.

  30. Nice story. Really enjoy reading it. BTW congrats on the POD. Anna :)

  31. I adored your story and how the woman run away from the grumpiness of her husband to build a castle!

    I bled with her when people wanted to modify it and gone to build then others and others - market or not, when we are ready to build 'world castles' we have to go with what our guts tell us even if here or there we can think of some advices or the 'potential buyer' but finally we are all unique and that uniqueness that gives us what is most special;

    Your tale remained and will remain in my mind for long time - thanks a lot for it! It is wonderful!

  32. Hi Suzanne,
    I am a newcomer to your blog. Found you from Tabitha Bird. I absolutely love this metaphor for writing, querying agents and how that all feels. Please don't give up. Please don't burn your words. You are a gifted writer and you will get published, even if you end up doing it yourself, like I did. It feels wonderful,no matter how it happens. Wishing you best of luck.
    Karen Walker