Get Ready, Get Set … 6 More Days Until the Christmas Story Writing Challenge


Sandra Conner:

Just one more week to the Christmas writing challenge!

Originally posted on Merry Christmas, World!:

BLUEBIRDThe fun is about to start. Next Saturday, we begin the Christmas story writing challenge here on “Merry Christmas, World!”  I’ll be hosting a three-week challenge, in which everyone who wants to participate can write a Christmas story — or poem for each of the first three weeks in December.

Stories can be any length — up to 800 words. And once published on your own site, you can post the link to your stories here on “Merry Christmas,World!” I’ll put a story up each Saturday, and then other participants can post their stories any time throughout the week up to the next Saturday — when I will post another story, and we’ll keep going until December 20.

Don’t post anything yet. I just want you to have a heads up. Get your thinking caps on. Sharpen up your imagination. You’re free to take your story in any direction, as…

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A Message from Christmas Bird – Upcoming Writing Challenge

Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Uncategorized

BLUEBIRDThis little Christmas bird is here to let you all know that my Christmas Blog, “Merry Christmas, World!” will be hosting a writing challenge the first three weeks in December.The title of the challenge will be “A Stocking Full of Stories.”

I’ll re-blog the challenge on this site, but all the links to stories will have to be posted onto the Christmas site. I just wanted to give everyone a little advanced notice, and next Saturday, I will post the actual challenge. Stories can be any length — up to 800 words, but they do not have to be long at all. If you can write one in 25 words, go for it.

The first week’s story can be written anywhere between November 29 and December 6. The second week’s story can be written and posted any time up through December 13, and the last week’s story can be posted up through December 20. That will bring us to Christmas week, and I figured most people would be too busy to write a new story that week.

Visit the Christmas blog anytime, but please do not post links to stories before I put the challenge up on the 29th of November. I wouldn’t want any of them to get lost in the preliminaries and not get read. Just put on your thinking caps and get ready.

Watch for this picture, and you’ll know the challenge has begun:RED STOCKING WITH STORIES # 2 WITH ORNAMENTS

Share Your World, 2014 – Week 46


Share Your World this week has us traveling. Visit Cee’s photography blog to learn how to participate in the fun.

Question # 1: On vacation, what would you require in any place that you sleep?

Scrupulously clean bed linens and scrupulously clean bathroom. (And they are extremely hard to find anywhere.)

Question # 2: Music or silence while working?

Ear 2
When I’m cleaning house, washing dishes, or fixing things, I like to listen to music. But when I’m writing or preparing a lesson, I have to have ABSOLUTE quiet.

Question # 3: If you were to move, and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house that you wish to retain.

Well, I’m going to assume that we would all take things like our personal photos, books, cooking utensils, computers, etc. So I’ll refer mainly to furniture items. I wouldn’t move without taking the maple secretariat that was my mothers, the book case my father made me, the fold-down oak table that was my great-aunts, a chair that has been in my family since I was six years old, and the child’s padded rocking chair that my parents bought for me when I was 2 years old.  None of those things are worth any significant amount monetarily, but they are priceless to me.
Question # 4:  What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?

Flying. I don’t have any particular fear concerning plane crashes, but I do hate to go through all the lengthy, aggravating processes of security, and, most of all, I hate the idea that I am imprisoned with a crowd of strangers in a rather cramped, artificial environment, and I have absolutely no say in when I can get off.

I realize that on a train or a bus, I have no real say either, but there’s some subconscious sense that, as long as I’m on the ground, I could manage to get someone to stop if I really had to. Ships don’t bother me as much, because on a ship, I can get outside and walk around on deck and feel I have more control.

Whenever I tell people how I feel about plane travel, they assume I must have claustrophobia, but I don’t have any particular problem with being in small enclosed places in general. Elevators don’t bother me. Neither do telephone booths. When all is said and done, I think it’s primarily a control thing. I don’t really like traveling in any vehicle where I cannot control when we start, stop, get in, or get out.
Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m very grateful that I finally sat down and studied the tutorials for YouTube and Vimeo and learned how to make the videos and post them to those two networks. I’m even more grateful that I was able to learn how in a relatively short time.

This week I am looking forward to all the delightful anticipation of celebrating Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas — including getting my lights up on my house and putting up my little tree.



Daily Post 10-Minute Free Write – 11/13/14 — ‘The Nose Knows’

Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Uncategorized

The Daily Post issued another 10-minute free-write challenge this morning. So I decided, since I didn’t have anything else to do — except edit a novel for a budding author, grade 7 stories for Saturday’s writing class, and wash a cabinet full of dishes that had been sitting and waiting for my kitchen drain to get unplugged — I’d sit here and write. (I’m also a procrastinator.)  I glanced over at a ceramic nose on a pedestal — a friend’s gift that is to be used as a repository for my glasses. All at once I heard the first line of this story running through my head. I let my imagination take flight, and 10 minutes later here’s what I ended up with:


Holy Cow! I’ve never seen a nose that big on anybody!”

Exactly. Nobody wants a nose this big. And nobody wants their nose to feel this big either. But that’s what happens when sinus pressure builds up, congests the head and all the breathing passages, and virtually closes off the nose. Then it starts to feel big and bulbous and like some kind of foreign appendage that’s been stuck on where it doesn’t belong.”

I don’t remember feeling like my nose was some ‘foreign appendage’ when I had a cold.”

Well, you wouldn’t. You live on a plane above everyone else.”

Now, what’s that supposed to mean?”

Just what I said. You think you live on a higher level than everyone else, so, naturally, you wouldn’t relate to the description. But most people will relate, and this bulbous nose, with its accompanying voice is going to sell ‘D-GEST’ decongestant to millions of people.”

What kind of voice?”

“It sounds exactly like a stuffed up little kid. Just enough to get attention and garner sympathy from every adult who’s watching the commercial.”

I still don’t think it’s a winner, and Mr. Sanders is not going to like it either when you present it at the meeting today.”

Wanna bet?”

How much?”

Let’s say if Sanders likes it, you have to buy me dinner Saturday night. And if he doesn’t like it, I’ll buy you dinner.”

Okay, it’s a deal.”

(Three days later.)

Hi, I just called to say I’ll be by to pick you up for dinner about 6:00 if that’s okay. Since Sanders loved my idea and I’m choosing the restaurant, I thought we’d do Longshore Seafood.”

(Cough, cough) “I’m sorry, Ben.” (Cough) “I can’t go tonight.” (Cough, cough).

Oh, wow! You sound all stuffed up. In fact you sound terrible. What’s going on?”

I have this horrible cold, and my nose feels like it weighs a ton! I wish I could cut it off.”

Hmmmm. See … I told you that’s how it feels. Tell you what. I’ll be right over with a box of D-GEST. It’s just become the hottest thing on the market, you know.”



My First Venture Into YouTube Posts

Living By Faith, Uncategorized, Videos

Well, this week, I finally took the plunge to learn how to set up a YouTube account and channel — and then start posting videos. I began with the audio of healing scriptures read by my father. Of course, I had to add still pictures and convert them into what YouTube calls a “movie.” It took a while, but I finally jumped through all the hoops successfully.

Unfortunately, on my old operating system and browser, some of the YouTube videos sound scratchy, and this one does as well. However, on my laptop, with a newer operating system and browser, it sounds great. So if any of you do hop over and listen to it, let me know what you found as far as sound quality.

Thanks a lot. I’m believing the Lord to use it to minister to many people.




Dreaming Of A White Christmas? Let Bing Help You


Sandra Conner:

Can’t resist this little tidbit of Christmas cheer from my Christmas blog. Thanksgiving, will all its delights, is just around the corner in the U. S., and then it’s full speed ahead into the joy of Christmas. Hope you enjoy this little appetizer with video from 1950.

Originally posted on Merry Christmas, World!:

“White Christmas,” by Irving Berlin has been one of America’s favorite Christmas songs since the day in 1950 when Bing Crosby introduced it in a movie entitled “Holiday Inn.”  The song became such an instant success that a short time afterward, Hollywood made an entire movie with the title “White Christmas,” and the song became the finale of the show.

Personally, this song holds special value for me, because it was one of my mother’s favorite Christmas songs, and she sang it frequently. In fact, not very long after it became a sensation, she sat with me on our living room couch and sang it over and over for me, to teach me the words and the tune. I’ve loved it ever since that year when I was six.  I adored my mother, and everything that was important to her was important to me. This song will always be a…

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Friday Fictioneers – 11/7/14 – Revvin’ Up The Love


I just want to say at the outset that my writing this particular story is Doug Macilroy’s fault. If you read his contribution to this week’s Friday Fictioneers, you will find a charming, romantic piece that melts your heart. How he got romance out of this picture I could not begin to fathom, but by the time I had tried to figure it out, I was caught in the web of romance and could not get lose. However, not being possessed of the imaginative insight that Doug has, I could not seem to get free of the subject of cars, so my love story is of a slightly different caliber than his. Nevertheless, love — as they say — is where you find it — and an old, abandoned car lot is as good a place as any.

Our picture this week is courtesy of Jean L. Hayes. (Sorry, no link available). My story is below the photo.


Revvin’ Up The Love

“Hey, Babe, wanna take a spin?”

“You talkin’ to me?” Ethel Edsel looked across the lot at the ugly yellow Edsel with the bulldozer nose.  What was that contraption anyway?

“Yeah. You wanna go for a run?”

“You wouldn’t want to run with someone nicknamed Rusty Ethel.”

“They call me Bull, and it’s what’s inside that counts. Take me: sort of ugly outside, but inside I got a heart a’ gold.  And I bet your little engine still purrs like a kitten.”

Ethel giggled.  Bull grinned.

“Come on.  Rev ‘er up and let’s make it a date.”