Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Writing Contest: Sharing My Tickle

The eternal question for writers seems to be, "Where do you get your ideas?"

While I've written before about the dream that spawned my completed manuscript, it's usually a bit less involved.  In general, I get my ideas from something I see or hear that strikes me as noteworthy ... I call it "a tickle".

I had quite a tickle today ... and NOT writing about it is actually a force of will.  In fact, I'm only keeping my muse under wraps with the knowledge that I will write a short story based on today's tickle as soon as I get this post up.

Yup, I've decided to have a writing contest :-)

Okay, here are the details ...

1.  Write a short story incorporating my tickle into it.  Genre doesn't matter.

2.  Send me your short story via e-mail before December 30th.

3.  I will choose my three favorites and post them here on January 1st.  At that time, votes will be open for you to vote on your favorite for the next three days.

4.  Winner receives a special prize (and, of course, bragging rights) that will necessitate in your being willing to hook me up with your mailing address.

Any questions?  Leave them in the comments.  Also feel free to let me know in the comments that you're participating.

Okay, onto the tickle ...

Yup, the tickle is ... A GREEN PICKUP TRUCK!

More specifically, here's what happened ...

I was driving home from work on a very rural New Hampshire street that is known to locals as "Mountain Road" (it is well-named).  I saw a green pickup truck coming from the other direction with its hazard lights flashing.  I looked at the license plate and saw that the truck had government plates.  However (and this is the bottom line of the tickle), there was no further identification on the truck.  It didn't have a Department of Transportation decal.  There were no police lights.  It was very generic.  The mystery of that truck fascinated me, and I started making up a story right there ...

And now, so can you.  The green pickup truck is the required presence in your story, although you can feel free to use the other details I shared.

Please feel free to share this writing contest as you see fit ... the more, the merrier!

Happy writing, and I look forward to reading your stories :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011


You all know that, when things come up that make  me think, I share them with you ... to get your take, to open up discussion, even just to get your thoughts roving over that topic.

I also needed a real whangdoodle to re-acclimate myself into the blogging world ;-)

Okay, so here's what happened ...

Addie had a cold, which devolved into a sinus infection.  You can tell when Addie has a sinus infection ... her face gets swollen and she's all pale with dark circles under her eyes and ... well, you can just tell.

I figured I'd found yet another pro to getting Addie a car ... namely, she could drive herself to the doctor and I would not have to miss work.  Score, right?

Maybe not so much ...

So Addie went to the doctor and was told to take Sudafed.

There is no prescription for Sudafed ... and yet you can't buy it unless you're eighteen.

What that meant for poor Addie is that she had to wait ALL DAY for me to get home from work then go to the drug store to buy Sudafed behind the counter at the pharmacy.

I understand that it's a federal law, that meth labs run rampant and that there had to be some sort of crack down.  I get that, I totally do ...

But here are my sticking points:

1.  Addie is seventeen.  She has a license.  Surely the pharmacy peeps could have entered her license as easily as they entered mine so they could make sure that someone with her license number isn't buying up Sudafed all over the northeast.

2.  How many seventeen-year-olds have you heard of operating meth labs?  When you hear about meth operations being busted up (or suspicious fires being caused by cooking meth), the perpetrators are generally in their 30s or 40s.  They are virtually never seventeen.

3.  If Sudafed needs to be regulated to this degree, perhaps it should be a prescription drug.  If Addie had needed Percocet or something, she could have gotten it herself with a prescription backed up by her license.  Yup, she could have run amok with a narcotic, but God forbid she take a nasal decongestant ...

4.  Finally, Addie's birthday is in September.  She's a senior in high school.  Yes, that means that she'll be seventeen when she goes to college.  Does that mean that I'm going to have to take a trip to D.C. if she gets a sinus infection and needs Sudafed?  I suppose I could mail it, but ... if it's illegal for her to buy Sudafed, the idea of mailing it would make me feel decidedly criminal.

I've been doing a lot of thinking on this one, and it seemed a good way to get back to my lovely little blog :-)

Hope everyone is doing well ... I'm off to plan lessons (the two weeks before holiday break necessitate 15 hour workdays for teachers, plus Addie kindly shared her cold ...) after writing a piece for Zelda Lily.

I'll definitely be writing more now that I've broken the seal (or whatever random idiomatic expression you want to use :-)).

Oh, and speaking of Addie, she was quite insistent that I'd committed libel by claiming that her SAT scores were 1750 ... her SAT scores are, in fact, 1850.  My apologies, eldest progeny of mine <3

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