Word Up: Fans of life's seamy underbelly have two months to become hard-boiled enough to match words with the late Raymond Chandler, America's guru of gumshoes. A library in La Jolla, where Chandler lived for 13 years, is holding an International Raymond Chandler Writing Contest named for the author of novels including "The Big Sleep" and "Farewell, My Lovely." There is one catch: The tongue-in-cheek, 500-word entries must mention La Jolla.
* Crash Land: Farmers, land speculators and the just plain curious crowded into a tent Monday in Rome, Ga., for the auction of 1,200 acres owned by Saudi Prince Faisal. The prince has a $21-million debt and a U.S. Bankruptcy Court headache. Before he fell behind in his payments, Faisal Mohamed Al-Saud Al Kabir hoped to build an English-style manor on the land, complete with castle. But the idea went the way of his mansion in Atlanta, which has already been sold for $7.5 million.
* Fourth Fizzle: The Fourth of July in New Jersey will be a little less festive without H. Norman Schwarzkopf. The general turned down an invitation to be guest of honor at a four-day "Welcome Home" celebration in his home state because of a scheduling conflict. Gov. Jim Florio had planned to give Schwarzkopf the state's distinguished service medal at a joint session of the Legislature--an honor once accorded Schwarzkopf's father, founder and longtime head of the New Jersey state police.