Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Succinctly Yours Week 201: Marooned

Thank you to Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours, a delightful little meme in which we are encouraged to pack a story into 140 words or 140 characters or fewer. The bonus word this week was “faint.”

The first morning of his island vacation, naïve Ed went outside and thought he might faint. No wonder his ticket to Grand Island, Nebraska had been such a good deal.  136

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist. . . .
~Last words of General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, killed in battle during the U.S. Civil War

Monday, January 19, 2015

Succinctly Yours Week 200: Beware of Bigfête

Thank you to Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours! The purpose of this delightful challenge is to whip up a lean little story of 140 words or 140 characters or fewer. I got carried away this week—especially with the idiotic idioms. My entire story has about 115 words total. The bonus word was “waddle.”

Sally Sasquatch served, at her sylvan soirée, an authentic ice sculpture designed by Stefan Stag. Thanks to crashing Claude, it proved to be a real icebreaker.   134

“The beavers are a fabulous touch!” exclaimed Sergei Skunk Ape. “I love to watch them waddle. Too bad I gave up finger food.”   103

“Sorry, Sally,” said Claude, once they fished him out. “I’ve attended a few too many forest fêtes over the holidays and now I waddle. Guess I’m a splash-squatch.”   135

When clumsy Claude tried to dance, he waddled on two left bigfeet. “Care to cut a river? Trip the lake fantastic?” He asked Sally.
“Um…not yeti,” she replied.  131

Yeah, I'm a legend. You know, they call me the cautionary whale. ~from Juno, 2007, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Bad Breakup

In the beginning, he couldn’t do enough for me. But things changed quickly enough. When I finally decided to end things, I was nice about it. “You’re just too much for me,” I said. The truth was I was fed up and tapped out. I was ready to move on. The DISH Satellite rep didn’t take it so well.

He begged me to take them back. Things would be different this time! He would change my plan! When I said no, he offered to leave my plan the way it was but lower the cost even more. That would have been fine if he’d done that when I called and asked for a better deal several times. But, like an abusive spouse, he was only interested in doing what I needed when it was a last-ditch effort to keep me from leaving. He didn’t care about my satisfaction. He only wanted to reel me back in.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “but it’s too late.” He argued so much, it took up all my allotted time. I had to hang up and call the next day. “Really,” I said. “I’ve found someone else and I want out.”

That was truly when DISH Network became the bad breaker-uppers of the television world. If that was the case, they wanted their stuff back, then. Not the dish, because they’re so nice, but everything else. And they didn’t want me dropping it off at their office, either. I could just mail it all back. At my expense.

“Why can’t I just drop it off?” I asked.

“It’s for your protection,” the rep said, huffily. “We might lose it.” I laughed so hard, he got mad. They also prorated the days. I had tried to cancel before my new billing cycle had started, but the delay they caused added another day to it.

Then, like television mafioso, they began calling me periodically and leaving electronic semi-threats proactively warning me I’d better send ALL of it back when I got the packing material they sent, and I’d better do it right, because they have my credit card on file! So there!

I've been free for a while, and I couldn’t be happier. I recently heard from a friend who was trying to get out of her relationship with DISH, too. She was having a similar experience.

Cads. They never change.
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. ~ Buddha

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Succinctly Yours Week 199: Brain Freeze

Thank you to Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours! The purpose of this delightful challenge is to study the picture in order to post a story of 140 words or 140 characters or fewer. The bonus word this week was “quarter.”

Ben knelt there for at least a quarter of an hour. He felt he needed to honor the fallen snow. 75

Tom said he’d give Ben a quarter to eat yellow snow. After online research, skyping and posting forum pictures, Ben declined...proving technology makes you smart. 136

 The simplest things are often the truest. ~Richard Bach

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Succinctly Yours Week 198: Driven to Dis-traction

Thank you to Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours! The purpose of this delightful challenge is to exercise our brain cells and churn out a story of 140 words or 140 characters or fewer. The bonus word this week was “taboo.”

After Ty’s accident, he declared it taboo to mention his once-great invention of a new sport: Downstairs Snow-Biking.  100

It is now taboo to mention REO Speedwagon to Ty. Once their biggest fan, he misunderstood the lyrics of “Ridin’ the Storm Out” and tried to recreate the song. 130

Sometimes we feel that we are barely pulling ourselves forward through a tight tunnel on badly scraped-up elbows. But we do come out the other side, exhausted and changed. ~Anne Lamott, Stitches