Tag Archives: writing prompt

Just Call Me Janet Jackson

Who? Me.

What? My dress.

Where? Senior Prom.

When? Seriously, stop asking me so many stupid questions.


(obnoxious harp music indicating a flashback)


I still remember finding that dress in the store. I think it was at a likely-defunct little cheesehole called 5-7-9. It was white. It was lacy. And it had the biggest sleeves I had ever seen.

I just had to have it.

So I grabbed two different sizes and went into the dressing room. They both worked, but one was a little tight and the other a little loose. Hmmm. Do I get the big one and risking making mySELF look bigger? Or do I vow to drop a few pounds and buy the smaller one?

Enter teenage dysfunction.

Duh. Crash diet. Plus whenever you can get a smaller size, you should get a smaller size. Right? Of course, right. I just knew I’d made the right choice as I gazed at my profile in the mirror, stomach sucked in tightly.

Flash forward to prom night.

I don’t recall what drastic measures I took to lose weight … or if I even remembered to do so. All I remember is my prom night itself. I put on my beloved white dress and inexplicably pink shoes then styled my hair. Thanks to my trusty hot rollers, it was almost as big as my sleeves. I looked good. (If we were speaking in person right now, you’d be able to hear the sarcasm in my voice.)

My date arrived and we took the obligatory pictures by the fireplace. I told my parents goodbye and headed out the door. On the way to the car, the heel on one of my (still inexplicably) pink shoes caught on something. I started to look down but my date stopped me … in an urgent kind of way. “Whatever you do, don’t … look … down.” He was looking directly at me and he seemed very serious so I obediently maintained my forward gaze.

“What is it?” I asked, curiosity getting the better of me.

“Do you really want to know?” he asked, fiddling with my shoe and tossing something into the bushes.

“I … think so,” I said, not really sure I was making the right choice.

“It was a frog,” he said. “A frog kebab.”

My heel had impaled the little amphibian.

I have no idea what I said here. I’m guessing it was something like “Gross!” Then, he wiped his hands on his pants (or the grass, I don’t remember) and we got into the car to meet everyone else for dinner.

The restaurant was packed with my friends and their dates. I think it was a Chinese place. We had a huge room and were all gathered around a big table. The food and the company were great. We were a page out of the Big Book of Group Prom Dates. Everything was going just as I expected.

Then something catastrophic happened.

Especially to a 17-year-old.

Maybe it was because it was the first time I’d allowed myself solid food in a while. Maybe it was because I (like every other girl there) was a social butterfly getting up and down to talk to everyone. Or maybe it was because I’d actually made the wrong choice a few weeks earlier at 5-7-9.

I could feel it starting to tear, ripping right along the seams in the bodice. The dress was two layers. Lace on top and thin silk-like fabric on the bottom. Silk-like fabric that now had two gaping holes in it that literally exposed my bare midriff. (I was so ahead of my time.)

I panicked. What in the hell was I going to do? After leaning over (very carefully) to confer with a few friends, we decided that the best course of action was for me to borrow another dress from the girl who lived closest to the restaurant. Her house was literally 5 minutes away. Mine was more like 25.

I fought the urge to cry (remember: teenager) and agreed to the plan. I don’t know what excuse we gave to everyone for needing to run to her house or if everyone just secretly knew behind my back. But, in any event, I was outfitted with a new prom dress, still white but minus the gigantic sleeves, within minutes.

But I was not happy.

THIS wasn’t the dress I had carefully selected … and purchased  inexplicably pink shoes for … and planned to wear all evening. And thus (confession) I spent some time crying in the bathroom once we arrived at the dance. (It’s a good thing my date and I had been going out a while. He was actually pretty understanding about everything.)

My friends finally convinced me to come out and take the stupid picture. They all took a really fun picture together as a big group. But I refused to participate in that one. Just in case I hated it, I didn’t want everyone else to have their own copy. So I just took one with my date.

And you know what? Looking back, I realize that the second dress I wore that evening was actually WAY cuter than the first one. Go figure.


Please pardon the Kelly Kapowski-wideness of my face.

Oh, and I still have that stupid ripped dress in a box in my attic. It never really got to meet its potential. Maybe one day I’ll use it as a Halloween costume.

Today’s post was brought to you by MamaKat’s writing prompt asking for a story about a wardrobe malfunction.

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Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 41

It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Hosted by Mel and me on the 1st & 15th each month, the link-up gives you TWO ways to play: (A) Write for ten straight minutes about whatever pops into your head OR (B) Link up an old post. I’m an overachieving pain in the ass so I chose to do both!

I’m doing a weird thing today. I’m hosting my own writing prompt by answering the prompt of another. You guys remember MamaKat, right? Well, she’s asking us to “list 10 things you love about your favorite show.”

TV. (happy sigh) That seems easy enough.

Of course, first I need to pick a show. And with so many favorites over the years ranging from Arrested Development to The X-Files, this decision might prove harder than I thought. Nah. I’m going with Modern Family. Because it airs currently and is likely the show with which most of you will identify. Or, if you haven’t seen it, you’ll take my recommendation and watch it at your very next opportunity. So, without futher ado, here are …

Ten Things I Love About Modern Family:

  1. Cam
  2. Mitch
  3. Jay
  4. Gloria
  5. Manny
  6. Phil
  7. Claire
  8. Hayley
  9. Alex
  10. Luke

(Sorry, Lily. The prompt only asked for 10. Plus, at only six, you haven’t fully grown into your funny yet. But, with these talented thespians surrounding you, I expect big things in your future.)

The show makes me laugh. Consistently. To the extent that I often quote it in mixed company. When people get it, we form an immediate bond. When they don’t, I’m branded a lunatic.

So, don’t go anywhere, Modern Family. I’m not done with you yet.

Haven’t seen it yet? Or just want to reminisce with me? Here’s a great clip to get you started. (My apologies for the poor quality.)

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Toronto Teacher


Click here to read how this foolishness all began.






WE give you a (non sequitor) picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

YOU just need to do is link something up.

And, for the love of Clamato, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

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The Post about Honda, bugs in food & feeling gassy. (Plus some other stuff.)

Each week, my friend MamaKat (I’ve never met her before but she seems like a nice lady) posts five writing prompts to inspire her readers to create something. As a change of pace, I decided that rather than choosing only one of the prompts I would instead try responding to all five (in a manner that hopefully makes sense) in the same post.

For your reference, here are the five prompts:

1.) What were you writing about last year at this time? What has changed?
2.) Things that make you happy.
3.) Something you bought this month that you love.
4.) 8 accounts you love following on Instagram.
5.) A blog post inspired by the word: Easter

(Taking deep breaths and stretching a bit) Okay. Here goes. … Expect nothing.

 * * * * * * * * * *

On this day in 2013, I wrote about a horrible experience I had at my local Honda dealership (#1) and the complaint letter I sent them about it. In short, the service department was manned by a bunch of boobs who grossly mishandled me that day, but at least my letter scored me a free oil change.

I love free stuff. “We’re so sorry you found a roach in your soup, ma’am. Which was actually supposed to be a BBQ Chicken flatbread. Please allow us to purchase a round of drinks for your table.” Restitution makes me happy. (#2)

Of course, my children’s joy makes me the happiest of all. Which explains why, when I suggested that they each pick out a treat from the grocery today, I wound up purchasing these heart-healthy delicacies. (#3) I’m getting gassy just thinking about them.


Oh, and speaking of pictures of stupid things, let’s talk Instagram. I’ll admit … I’m a suckish Instagrammer. Where Facebook is for sharing pics of your delectable Beef Bourguignon  and Twitter for throwing out the perfect one-liner, Instagram seems to be for people trying to combine the two. And, seriously … I CAN’T BE EXPECTED TO COME UP WITH ZINGY ONE-LINERS ABOUT FANCY FRENCH BEEF! Thus, I am a passive user. Although (truth) I did hurry to find MamaKat and follow her before I went live with this post. It seemed not only sensible and polite but also PC given the circumstances. So there’s one loved account. But I still need seven more. (#4) Leave your recommendations in the comments so I can catch up with them, too.

Did someone say “Ketchup?” (Well, no. I know it was “catch up.” Plus no one actually said it. It was typed. Duh, it was me who typed it so I’m totally aware of what happened. Just go with it.) Like Mrs. LosinIt (I’m not actually sure what part of MamaKatsLosinIt is her last name so I just broke it in half), I also run a blog hop. I co-host it with my friend Mel on the 1st and 15th of every month. It’s called KetchupWithUs (oh, now you get it) because it always features a picture of one of us in a full-body ketchup costume. I know. We’re a couple of geniuses. But it’s supposed to inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and not take yourself too seriously. The current link-up is live right now and my chosen subject matter is Easter. (#5) Here’s hoping you’ll come check us out, too.

Until then, Viva la MamaKat. Thanks for the prompts, my friend.

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Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 40

It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you TWO ways to play: (A) Set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever enters your head OR (B) Link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way. For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method.

Easter is just around the corner. As in this week. As in six days. As in who knows how many hours? I’m losing time just trying to calculate it right now.

And, speaking of time, where the heck has it all gone?!!? How did my kids get to be 14 and 11? I can still remember the Easter Bunny bringing Big Boy and Big Girl underwear back in the day. I’m pretty sure they were Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer. My kids would DIE if they knew I just wrote that. But they’re my babies. They’ll always be my babies. And I’ve already warned them both that I’ll still be calling them that when they’re fifty… and sixty … and even seventy.

“No, you won’t, Mom,” corrected my son.

“Oh, yes, I will, Dean,” I promised.

“No, you won’t,” he smiled. “Because when I’m seventy, you’ll be dead.”

My sentimental boy.

Maybe he’ll get it when he’s a dad. He’s going to be a great one. Sweet, kindhearted, calm. I don’t know where he gets that “calm” from. And my daughter is a natural. She’s clearly got a special place in her heart for tiny people. A special way even. And they seem to love her even more in return. She’s like the Pied Piper.

I love those kids more than anything in the world. Happy Easter, guys. Have I not embarrassed you enough yet? Then how about I include two of my favorite pictures from Easters past?

Yeah. That should do it.


Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Lady Goo Goo Gaga


Click here to read how this foolishness all began.






WE give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

All YOU need to do is link something up.

And, for the love of Henry, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

Why post of a picture of the Gorton’s Fisherman? Well, I have been eating a lot of fish lately. It being Lent and all. And, seriously, what’s goes better with fish sticks than Ketchup? Am I right?

Oh, and please excuse my butt cut. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to manage a decent hairstyle when dressed as a Ketchup bottle.

Wait. Why are you still reading this? Shouldn’t you be writing … or finding the perfect post to link up? And, gosh, look at me just blathering on when you have work to do. Go. Go now and do your thing!

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This post is ridiculous … and gross … and probably was never published for a reason

I’m posting an old fragment of a children’s story that I wrote but but never published a few years ago. I have another children’s story that I might (one undetermined day in the future) publish. It’s the one of which I’m proud. It’s the one by which I’d like to be remembered. And it’s the one based on subject matter that isn’t, well, disgusting.

But I have a friend in the biz who once told me, “Kids love gross. Seriously, that’s their frame of reference for humor. Farts, burps, oozy, dripping monsters … the yuckier, the better.” Which is why one day, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I wrote this little story on my phone. The protagonist is a big blob of …. you know what? Just read it.

Oh, and sorry. Blame MamaKat. She issued a writing prompt requesting for “a blog post you didn’t publish.” You asked for it, MK.

Carl the Booger

There I was … clinging desperately to the wall … when I saw the fluffy fabric coming to cover the hole. It was my only window to the outside world. Then, everything went black. I readied myself for what I knew was coming. The force was amazing. It was like a giant vacuum sucking everything to the surface.

But not me.

“Maybe next time, suckers!” I screamed defiantly. But when I looked around me, I realized I was alone. I was the only man to survive. “I must head north … and go deeper, ” I thought. “To the sinuses!”


Well, I never claimed it would be Shakespeare.

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Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 39

It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you two ways to play. You can either (A) set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever pops into your head OR (B) link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way.

For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method. Here goes nothing …

I read a book! I read a book! I READ A BOOOOOOOOOOK!!!

Okay. How pathetic is it that THAT’S news? I used to read all the time. Seriously, I read thick, lengthy books, classics, mysteries, adventure, anthologies. Now I can barely get through a magazine. Or someone else’s blog posts. And yet I expect you to read mine. Selfish? Well, yes. Maybe. But who has the time?!!?

Fine. I promise I’ll try to do better. And do you know why? Because there has never been a time that I’ve actually bothered to read a book and then thought,

“Crap! What a HUGE waste of time! I can’t BELIEVE I ruined myself by reading that drivel!!”

Well, except for when I read 50 Shades of Words-That-People-Only-Read-Because-They’re-Smut-And-I-Should-Have-Spent-My-Time-Writing-A-Book-Or-Even-Just-Staring-At-The-Damned-Wall.

What’s the matter? Do you not agree? You don’t have to agree. It’s my opinion. And, if you want to oppose me in the comments, bring it. I HATED it. But read it because everyone else said I just had to. (My apologies for the prepositional ending.)

So what did I read?


A murder mystery published in 1939. And, holy crap, did it hold my attention! (I think they should use my quote on the back of the book jacket, too.)

“One of the most ingenious thrillers in many a day.” – Time

“The whole thing is utterly impossible and utterly fascinating. It is the most baffling mystery Agatha Christie has ever written.” – New York Times

“There is no cheating; the reader is just bamboozled in a straightforward way from first to last….The most colossal achievement of a colossal career. The book must rank with Mrs. Christie’s previous best—on the top notch of detection.” – New Statesman, UK

“Holy crap, did it hold my attention! The book was so good that I read it in under 24 hours, shirking all of my other responsibilities, like showering and basic bladder maintenance. Seriously, I nearly peed my pants at the end.” – Michele, olddognewtits.com

I think it fits among the others nicely, don’t you think?

Anyway, my son read ATTWN (my modern day abbreviation for the classic novel) last school year and has been begging me to read it ever since. Why it took me a year to get to it can only be explained in two ways: Laziness and Horrendous Role Modeling.

Next time, I will take his recommendations much more seriously. And more immediately. After all, he is, like me, not a frequent reader. And thus, when he enjoys a book, it must, in fact, be stupendous. I will not again take his suggestions lightly.

Until then, I encourage YOU to read the pick. And, to entice you, I will leave you with the nursery rhyme that inspired the plot line. (P.S. I’m giving nothing away as Ms. Christie herself includes it in the book before chapter one even begins.)

Enjoy. (sound of my wicked laughter trailing off)

Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;

One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;

One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;

One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;

One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;

A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law,

One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea;

A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo;

A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun;

On got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Indian boy left all alone;

He went and hanged himself and then there were none.

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Got Meghan


Click here to read how this foolishness all began.


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We give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

All you need to do is link something up … and tell your friends.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 38

It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you two ways to play. You can either (A) set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever pops into your head OR (B) link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way.

For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method.

What can I write about? What … can … I … write … about? (dramatic pause) Oooh! I know. I’ll tell you about when the picture below was taken last summer. It involves my dad again. Didn’t I write about him last time? Well, he’s awesome, so there’s why.

Anyway, my family was on vacation last summer. My kids and I actually flew to New York City with my parents (Dave was working at the time) and spent a few days there.  Then, we took a train from there to Philadelphia. And when I say we almost missed that train, I mean I actually hopped over the entrance threshold as the wheels started turning. I really should have done it in slow motion. In black-and-white. I felt like an old-time movie character. But I’m losing focus here.

So, we arrived in Philadelphia, a city I hadn’t seen since I was a very young child, and took in all the usual sights. Even met up briefly with my friend, Mel, and her family who were traveling to visit other family members just north of Philly. Our nine-headed monster of a group did a lot together including the Liberty Bell, the home of Betsy Ross and so much more. When Mel and company had to move on, we finished up in Philadelphia on a bus tour that took us to several more must-see locations.

And remember, I am an idiot. So when *I* say “must-see,” I usually mean something like the diner in Seinfeld, the coffee shop in Friends or the Rocky steps. All of which I have, of course, seen. (Click here for video of that last one. Seriously, it’s like 15 seconds.) Thus, when the opportunity to see the bar behind the offbeat FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia presented itself, I totally hopped off that bus. But my kids certainly weren’t coming with me to a neighborhood bar so my mom stayed back with them and rode on to the next stop but my dad hopped off with me.

He’s actually the one who encouraged me to throw on the red suit and take a picture behind the bar (see below). I guess I DO get it from somewhere. (Love you, too, Mom.)  …. and beep! 10 minutes done.

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Coach Daddy


Click here to read how this foolishness all began.




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We give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll share this one. It was taken last summer at Paddy’s Pub, the bar that serves as the inspiration for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

All you need to do is link something up … and tell your friends. Before Ketchup makes the endangered species list!