1 Word Prompt Challenge January 2020

Sometimes we need a little challenge to get back into the swing of writing. In December I placed a post-it note on my screen “Butt in Chair – Write.” That didn’t work. January would have been a good time for a writing resolution but I snubbed that idea right out of my radar. Instead, I figured one little 31 day challenge might just do the trick. Only 50 words a day based on a one word prompt. After 31 days we were supposed to have finished one story, chapter by chapter. Being the rebel that I am, I concluded it would be perfectly fine to just post a daily post featuring “Herman” and “Myrtle.” Here you have it, exactly 1,550 words. Ending in a cliff hanger, of course. Gotta have something to keep me going.

Follow me @mzbull on Instagram. And if you want to join the fun, sign up for the February challenge #1wordpromptchallenge

Warning: Sometimes it takes longer to write exactly 50 words than it does an entire story.

#25daysofchristmaswritingchallenge

#25daysofchristmaswritingchallenge 2019

In case you missed this on Instagram, here’s the collection of my 50 words serial story for the 25 days of Christmas writing challenge. It’s been fun, a bit dark at times, and maybe a little outrageous. That’s the way life is for Herman and Myrtle. Perhaps they resemble someone you might know. Who knows what the next challenge might be? Keep in touch @mzbull on Instagram.

Everybody is doing it – Decluttering

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One of my most liked recent posts on social media was the before and after photos of the day I “KonMari’d” my closet. It elicited all sorts of comments like “amazing,” and “I’ve been meaning to do that.” But, the most prevalent comment was “I’m doing that too.” If they didn’t read the book, Netflix got their attention. How could anyone not know about it? Everyone is talking about it, or maybe I should say “wise cracking” about it. Like the this morning at Target. A slightly overweight lady holds up a bikini she might have been able to wear decades ago. Her friend asks, “does it bring you joy?” The wise woman giggles and puts the tiny triangles back on the rack.

Back to my closet. I broke a couple of rules. I didn’t run around the house and gather every article of clothing out of every closet, drawer, hamper, dryer, and floor. Instead I went through my drawers first, tossing the things that don’t bring me joy (mostly workout clothes from 20 years ago when I was still mountain climbing). The keepers were neatly folded the Marie Kondo way, except I folded my T-shirts with the graphics on the outside so I’d be sure not to wear my “I find myself to be exorbitantly superannuated for this feculence” shirt to work again.

The big job was the closet. Well, two closets actually. My full closet and the half of my husband’s closet that stored my off season clothes. And six suitcases of six decades of I-might-need-this-again-someday stuff. You know what I mean, the argyle sweater knitted in high school, running shirts, vacation shirts, Halloween costumes, and the wedding dress (yes, I put it back in the suitcase… you just never know). The three foot mountain covering the entire queen sized bed was daunting to me but a new playground for the felines.

Three hours later I hauled six cardboard boxes down to the curb for the re-use pickup and three garbage bags of unmentionables and threadbare rags for the big dump pickup. For once I’d get my money’s worth out of our garbage service.

My spring-summer wardrobe now hangs in eye-pleasing, color coordinated order, with easy accessibility. My husband is pleased to find he can now claim two thirds of his closet with my fall-winter wardrobe squeezed into the other third. Maybe if those suitcases in his closet stay empty, we can use them for what they’re meant for (just a hint that I’m ready to travel in case he’s reading this).

The stack of hangers left on my bed could support an entirely new wardrobe. What to do with those? Keeping extra hangers in my closet would be a danger I’m not willing to risk. So I get this brilliant idea – if I put them in JJ’s closet, he could hang up all his t-shirts,  jeans and jackets that now carpet his bedroom. I leave a neat row of empty colorful plastic hangers on the rod. I don’t say a word when he comes home from school. I wait. Quietly. In my office. He opens his door. Slams it shut. I hear his backpack land on the floor. “WTF” echoes into his barren closet. He rushes into my office. “Grandma, someone stole all my shirts.”

Purrsistence

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Are you sure you want to delete this file?

 

Update: In response to one of the comments left below, I began to feel guilty (maybe more like petrified) about using this picture of a print. In order to avoid the copyright police I did the best I could to find the artist – not a difficult task and it came with a bonus. Check out Art That Makes You Laugh but be forewarned –  you will laugh, be inspired and want to own one of his pieces. And just so you know, Jeff Leedy responded to my confession and says the picture can stay. 

What the heck happened this year? And the blog? Where did it go? I just realized the titles for my last three posts could tell a story. Three months ago I mentioned I wanted to write. Nine days later marijuana had arrived. Two months after that I looked at the news feed on Facebook and saw it was I Love to Write Day.

So here’s the story. I felt trumped. No amount of word tweaking, plot twisting, or new endings could turn my 90,000 word memoir into the Erma Bombeck kind of masterpiece I had imagined in my head. It was just not going to happen. In an angry moment I placed Trumpette (our neurotic cat) dangerously close to the delete key.

But, a miracle happened. Marijuana had arrived. Trumpette inhaled a hefty dose and the next thing I knew she was attacking fireflies at the patio door in the middle of a sunny day. Wait. I got that wrong. We don’t have fireflies in California. I guess it was night time and they were moths. It seems I was in a kind of fog, maybe a contact high? I found myself back at the keyboard. Magic happened. While Trumpette purred off the pot, I rewrote the entire book. In one night. It was done. I sent it off to the publisher. And then I quit writing until I-Love-To-Write-Day came.

Remember that Bullet Journal I had started a few months back? I began a new list:

  • Blog – maybe consider fiction
  • Send Trumpette to rehab
  • Find out why the publisher hasn’t contacted me
  • Revise – try again