If given the choice I always say summer is the best way to experience North Bay, but that may be my jealousy talking. Summer around here is great, sure, but that’s just because I don’t have an ice shack. In the winter I stand at the shores of lake Nipissing and watch the Skidoos wiz by in the distance, their metallic worker bee engines sending that telltale whine into the golden afternoon as they speed to their secret “sure strike” fishing spot.
I see the Mad Max-esque rigs of cobbled-together ice shakes battle for position (some eager to secure said spot succumbing to the not yet frozen lake) I imagine the cheers of victory as pickerel or lake trout squeezes its way out of the frozen hole into the wood smoke-tinged air in one of these huts of plenty.
The growing mantra that I hear pounding in my head like the lub dub of my heart continues to drown out my thoughts until I have to turn and head for home, abashed that I can’t join that frozen waterworld of wonder. “Next year, next year, next year.” My thoughts keep time with my heart.
Next year comes, and next year goes, and I continue to be the solitary watcher on the shore, marvelling at the shanty town that seems to spring up when the new years clock strikes midnight.
So what happens in the world of the ice huts scattered around our generous array of water bodies in North Bay and Area? You tell me.
This writing prompt from Second Saturday Stories focuses on ice huts. Stories can be fiction (what is happening in those little communities, a mystery? A treasure hunt? A cover up?) or they can be non-fiction (tell me a great story of when you caught the big one, or it got away, or just a great memory you have of anything ice hut. Don’t worry, you can leave out that “sure strike” fishing hole.
Entries can be any medium (poems most definitely welcome) word count can be 100-1000 words.
I want to give the potential writers out there plenty of time to get inspired and send in an entry, so features on this writing prompt will be featured in the April 8 edition of Second Saturday Stories.
As always entries and questions can be directed to Mark at [email protected]
It’s not too late to connect if you are a business that wants to be featured in a made to measure mystery, see details here.
This columnist is taking a few weeks off to gather more writing tips and collect works to feature. Keep your eyes peeled for new material.
As Always, Happy Writing.