Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Great Day to Be Ginger

According to my zany calendar, today is National Gingerbread House Day.

I’m not sure if we’re supposed to celebrate by making one, eating one, or both.

But my bet is on both.

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but as a writer I can’t think of gingerbread without that sassy little Gingerbread Man coming to mind.

To refresh your memory, I’m referring to the fairy tale that first made its “You can’t catch me!” debut in St Nicolas magazine way back in 1875.

The plot is as follows:

A poor childless woman decides to create a kid out of gingerbread.

Alas, she did not have access to, so she failed to note that a synonym for “ginger” is dash.

And dash he did — in one ginger snap, he was out of the oven and all over hill and dale.

A huge chase ensues, and then…

SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know what happens to the Gingerbread Man, go back to your life already in progress and read no further!

You have been warned.

Well, the spicy little runaway meets his maker (not his baker) in the toothy maw of a sly old fox.

The moral of the story?

If you’re hell-bent on baking up an offspring, for goodness sake, use something sensible, solid, and steadfast like potato bread.

PROMPT: Yes, there have been many modern retellings of this runaway-food classic, but clearly it never gets stale. Create your own snappy twist today!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

O Little Town of… Bacon?

A quick Google or Bing search and you’re bound to find some interesting ways to celebrate the season.

My favorites are those creative crèches.

I've seen photos of Nativity scenes featuring moose, monkeys, meerkats, and…


Some are chipped out of ice, others are carved out of soap, and some are even fashioned from shotgun shells.

But my favorites are the edibles —

Your butter, s’more, Spam, and…

yes, bacon varieties.

Of course, perusing those pictures made me wonder…

What if Great Aunt Mabel ambled into a church function with one of these doozies?

PROMPT: Write Mabel’s story from her point of view, or perhaps the perspective of one of her “victims.” But hey, if you’re inspired to create one of those crazy crèches today instead, I’m certainly not going to stop you.

Silent Night in Vegemite, anyone?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


“Yeah, I heard you.”

Now scientists have proven something that cat owners have known since… 

Well, since we walked like Egyptians.

Japanese investigators tested 20 housecats to see whether they recognized and responded to their owner’s voices vs. the voices of strangers.

Their results?

Yes, cats do indeed recognize those who wield the mighty can opener in their homes, however…

They choose to ignore them.

Yeah. Some of us have discovered this without a big research grant.

And yet, for some strange reason, authors always fall for felines.

Somehow, they manage to thrive around all that unrequited love…

“I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one.”
—Mark Twain

But clearly, Mark, your cat can resist you. Big time.

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
—Ernest Hemingway

Yeah, Ernie, and science says your cat honestly thinks you’re not worth a hill of beans.

“If you want to be a psychological novelist and write about human beings, the best thing you can do is to keep a pair of cats.”
—Aldous Huxley

What Aldous means, I’m sure, is that cats will provide significant psychological trauma so you can skip all the other “compost” most writers rely upon for inspiration.

“My cat does not talk as respectfully to me as I do to her.”

Finally, a little honesty.

And then there’s W.H. Auden, who was apparently too far gone to be helped…

“Cats can be very funny, and have the oddest ways of showing they’re glad to see you. Rudimace always peed in our shoes.”
W.H. Auden

Um, Wystan… I don’t think “glad” is the word you’re looking for.

Well, I couldn't let Auden have the last word, so I did my own investigation regarding this apparently dysfunctional author/cat relationship by interviewing a local resident.

My results?

 “Talk to the paw.”

PROMPT: It’s a great day to tackle the internal dialogue that accompanies the cat cold-shoulder. What are they thinking? Well, not about you, that’s for sure.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Onward and Upward!

Well, we have survived a YESvember to remember chock-full of NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo.

We've also blissed out in a fabulous week of recovery.

Now it’s time to look ahead, set new goals, and make new challenges  

essentially, get to work creating lives worth relishing…

and perhaps a story or two that our decedents will have a hoot retelling well into the next century.

And while I do indeed have a delightful time talking about my great-great grandfather’s penchant for making hooch in his bathtub…

I’m looking for something, well, a little more to pass down myself.

I’m guessing you are, too.

So, here’s a timely tip from the man who knew how to walk his talk…

There is no passion to be found playing small — 
in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
— Nelson Mandela

PROMPT: Now is NOT the time for thinking small or settling. Now IS the time for thinking of the super-sized, bad-A goals you intend to pursue in 2014.

What are your BIGGEST dreams?

Do you think they’re impossible?


The MANdela had an answer for that as well…

It always seems impossible until it’s done.
—Nelson Mandela