Friday, December 20, 2013

‘Tis the Season

Yes, it is the time of year when you may experience…

Gingerbread jitters

Sugar cookie comas

Relatives from the nut-bearing side of the tree

Office parties for which the boss has decided that home-cooked favorites would be so much nicer than catering. Um… yeah right.

Parking lot roulette

Music recitals that enlighten you to the striking similarities between Away in a Manger and elephants in heat.

Travel by plane, train, automobile, sleigh, subway, and/or camel to visit the third line item above

Three-hour pageants just to witness your child’s 30-second acting debut as a donkey’s rear end.

Fat cells who invite all of their friends, family, and acquaintances to the party on your rear end.


With all of this holiday merriment, it's no surprise that we get a bit stressed by how little time we have to create our art of choice...

That’s when we need a friendly reminder that we’re really here to create 

PROMPT: Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or Festivus, this is your friendly reminder… And hey, chin up! It’s ALL material, after all.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Horse of a Different Color

And now for the news…

I’m pretty sure that when the first calls started coming in, the local PD figured somebody had mixed up a pretty bad batch of moonshine.

But it turns out that there really is a zebra on the loose in eastern Tennessee!

Apparently “Zeek” went AWOL about a month ago from a farm on the outskirts of Cleveland.

He’s been striped… I mean spotted in all sorts of odd places ever since.

Imagine the possibilities…

“Lookie what I found in the cow pasture, Paw! Dadgum, when you told me those big city jackasses dressed funny, I thought you were just joshin’.”

PROMPT: If Zeek had shown up at my house in my horse-crazy tween years, I would have FLIPPED OUT! How would your nine-year-old self have reacted?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Feel Like a Gazillion!

Did you win?

Me neither.

Yeah, I’m talking about that 636-million-dollar Mega Millions jackpot.

And, yes, it tempted even me.

I actually parted with TWO WHOLE DOLLARS for a chance at it.

Because, what the heck — two bucks is a small price to pay for a day of what ifs.

And what ifs do wonders for creative thinking, you know.

What if you had that kind of dough?

Did you know that you could give away $20,000 every single day for the rest of your life, and yet… you wouldn't even touch all the interest you’d be making off the money?

Can you imagine spreading that kind of giddy good fortune every twenty-four hours?

Alternatively, you could rake all the cash into a big pile and dive in à la Scrooge McDuck.

Ah, the possibilities are such delicious fun to ponder, aren't they?

And yes, deep down inside, we all know that money won’t buy happiness.

But hey, we also want to check it out for ourselves…

just to be sure.

PROMPT: What would you do with that kind of cash? What would your story’s main character do? A windfall can make for an interesting plot twist. Is it a big time blessing or crushing curse? YOU get to decide.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I’m pretty sure that one will be arriving any day now.

They always do this time of year.

And I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I am not a fruitcake fan.

Neither is my husband…

Or my son.

My daughter, however, is a different story.

The girl loves fruitcake.

And I’m pretty sure this scientifically proves that fruitcake-loving is a recessive gene.

But here’s another thing I’ve noticed about fruitcake lovers —

They’re pretty passionate about that cement-textured fruity goodness.

In fact, I've found that most of them become highly offended by fruitcake criticism.

It’s strange isn't’t it?

I mean, if you think chocolate absolutely, totally stinks, you won’t see me getting my knickers in a twist. No way. I’d be too busy thinking — Great! More for me!

Not so with the fruitcake fancier. Even as I type this, I can sense them rearing up — ready to impale me with comment darts below.

I’m thinking it’s a good bet that the recessive fruitcake-loving gene is somehow linked with the gene for culinary defensiveness.

But I do digress.

At any rate, I am thrilled by my daughter’s fervor for fruitcake. I will be delighted by her delight when I lob that weighty little package her way.

Maybe I’ll even dig up some of the others for her.

You know, the ones I used to make book shelves…

Steady the filing cabinet…

Anchor the tarps on the woodpile…

PROMPT: On what side of the fruitcake gene pool does your main character swim? Painters — wouldn't fruitcake be the perfect still life subject? Think of it, you could work on this masterpiece for years without refrigeration. Poets and musicians — how ‘bout a carol? Get some inspiration from Barbara Rittenhouse and Leigh Anna Reichenbach who wrote this lovely ode to an old familiar tune — 

In the bleak midwinter
Sitting all alone
In a breadbox on the shelf
Fruitcake hard as stone.
No one dares to taste it — 
Or remove the bow
For we know that it was made
Oh so long ago…

Find the rest in the book Santa’s Pants are Falling Down and Other Silly Songs of the Season… sure to bring a smile to your face, even if you’re one of those serious fruitcake fans.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sense and… Matrimony

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.
― Jane Austen

Well, chances were clearly in my favor when I married on this date many years ago.

So, as you spend the day feasting and feting Jane Austen’s 238th birthday, I’ll be off celebrating an anniversary.

PROMPT: Set aside your pride and prejudice, pick a romantic situation, and play “What would Jane Austen do?”

Write on!