Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Future-See-er

Step right up for the moment of your young life, ladies and gentleman!

Before your very eyes you will get a chance to see to see the future. Our fortune-teller has the mind-blowing talent of not seeing your future Рno, no, nothing that pass̩ Рbut the ability to *show* you what is to come.

Hold her hand, yes, that’s right, with your fingers interlacing, and watch your life flash forward. Just don’t close your eyes – the moment you do, you will see your future death. From what I’ve seen, every time I close mine, life after life is not pleasant.

This short story is a part of the illustrious WonHundred Word Wednesday. Read the other stories, spun off the prompt:  "No matter what you hear, no matter how badly you want to, do NOT open your eyes." at the links below! (Obviously I remembered the prompt wrong and wrote about closing your eyes. But I like what I've got and I don't have time to rewrite it, so it will have to do for now!)

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters  *  Laura D. Bastian  *  R.K. Grow  *  Wendy Knight  *  Kat!e Larson  *  Kelly Martin  *  Canda Mortensen  *  Miranda D. Nelson  *  Leah Sanders  *  Angela Schroeder  *  Amryn Scott  *  Jaclyn Weist  *  K.R. Wilburn  *  Jessica Winn  *  Alison Woods  *  Stephanie Worlton

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

For the Love of a Blanket

When my grandparents insinuated that I, their oldest grandchild, was perhaps a bit too old for my blanket, my young mother caved under their pressure. After all, Kindergarten *would* start soon and they had raised eight children – they were experts.

“You can keep the new toy,” she gestured to the bargaining chip from the Disney store, “but you have to trade Mousey.”

I eyed Gus-Gus, Jaq and the girl mouse I was excited to name. I put them inside the plastic pin cushion and then on top, so they could sleep.

I handed over my beloved blanket without a hesitation.

The love of a child is a fleeting thing.

This short story is a part of the illustrious WonHundred Word Wednesday. Read the other stories, spun off the prompt: “The thing about love is . . .” at the links below!

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters

Laura D. Bastian

R.K. Grow

Wendy Knight

Kat!e Larson

Kelly Martin

Canda Mortensen

Miranda D. Nelson

Leah Sanders

Angela Schroeder

Amryn Scott

Jaclyn Weist

K.R. Wilburn

Jessica Winn

Alison Woods

Stephanie Worlton

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

STOP! Story Time!

My cousin Kat?e (the spelling is an long story from a long time ago) of Kate's Novel Idea introduced me to this fun group called WonHundred Word Wednesday. Every week, you get a prompt and write one hundred words off of it, then publish it on Wednesday. I've been meaning to write more, so I thought I'd give it a go. (I found out about this last Wednesday and had an idea for that prompt so there's two. Think of one as a bonus.)

Box of Wonders

After the funeral, Ellen was left with the task of settling the estate. She was, after all, Aunt Ellen's namesake and lived the closest, reasoned her brothers, eager to shirk responsibility.

The attic was a solid two steps below a Hoarders episode: she only found *one* dead squirrel.

What was more surprising was at the bottom of a box of pastel pantsuits -- a shoebox tied with twine. Ellen lifted out letter wrapped in a black lace negligee, the spicy smell of old paper and faded perfume wafting into the dust-chocked air.

Gingerly she put them back, burying her maiden aunt.



My grandma used to tell me, "No good comes from listening on the other side of closed doors, Sally." I guess I've always been a little too curious for my own good.

When I moved in, my roommate and I laughed at the newlyweds next door -- but the amusement quickly faded once their amour turned to passion of another kind, prompting us to keep the TV on to drown them out.

My roommate moved; it got too much for her. Now I sit here on the other side of the apartment, waiting for the gunshots I know will come.

That's all for now! Curious to read what others have imagined? Check out the blogs below!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

Every once in a while, I feel like being creative and decide to cook something delicious. Recently I made cheesecake for the first time and it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself:

I mostly used the recipe from Taste of Home but, because I'm a cheapskate, I didn't want to buy that much cream cheese. This is my inexact recipe.

box (gluten free) graham crackers, pulverized (I'm sure regular graham crackers would be just fine)
1 stick of butter, melted
1 c. sugar

Combine ingredients. Press into lined (or unlined, PAMed) muffin tin. Bake for five minutes at 350 degrees and let cool.

3 (8 oz.) boxes cream cheese
2 Tb. vanilla
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used the last of my world's-worst peanut butter and all I had was half a cup. I'm sure that if you're a big peanut butter fan, more would be great.)

Combine ingredients, adding chocolate chips after everything has been mixed together. Fill muffin tin with mixture almost to top. Bake until golden brown (about 30 minutes) and remove from tin.

Peanut Butter Buttercream:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. peanut butter
5 Tb. butter
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Back in April, I made peanut butter buttercream frosting for some cupcakes. I had leftovers, which is partly what inspired these cupcakes. Since the cheesecake wasn't too peanut buttery, the frosting made a delicious glaze! I swirled it on the top right after they came out of the oven!

Refrigerate over night and then chow down! (The recipe made 12 mini cheesecakes and then, instead of dirtying another muffin tin, I made the rest in two medium sized ramekins. I obviously am really good at this precise cooking thing, huh?)

I'm more of a flavored-cheesecake person, so I really liked how they turned out! I also liked the small size; they're easier to share (and store)!

So, there you go! Cheesecake tips and ideas are appreciated for my next attempts!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dear Girl (or Guy) Getting Engaged . . .

Wedding announcements are a big deal. Engagement photos may be an even bigger one.

As a girl who spent four years in college and lived with scores of other girls, I've gotten my fair share of announcements:
After a while, you start collecting them like Pokemon cards . . . .
Some of my very favorite people made it on my house's shrine to the engaged.

It should come as no surprise that I've formed a few opinions. So, you, person reading (congrats by the way) may want to keep a few things in mind before you send out that piece of photo paper that will be immortalized on someone's fridge.

1. Faces please! I know it's tempting to get all sorts of artistic, but Great Aunt Betty might not have met your fiance yet. She'll want to have an idea so she doesn't congratulate the wrong person at the wedding.

2. Capture your couple essence! Have a little fun! You're getting married after all. On the flip side, remember this is marriage: a (at least) lifetime commitment. You're not taking Prom pictures.

3. Keep kissing to a minimum! Remember Great Aunt Betty? Let her be able to show-off your announcement. I know kissing is fun, but you don't want her (or her friends) to be scandalized.

4. Keep it varied! Should you choose to make a collage, go with different kinds of pictures. In photojournalism, we talked about how different photos make for a good photo spread. The same goes for announcements: have a close up, a long shot, an action shot and a portrait. (That is probably too many pictures for one announcement, but you get the idea.)

5. Smile! Look in love! This isn't a funeral, guys. Unless that's your thing. But maybe you should be rethinking marriage if it is.

And the bonus, not picture-related tip:
6. Proofread! Have someone else proofread! Copy editors are so important. Don't believe me? Google it. But, if you don't have money to hire one (also, if you have a hard time finding them because it's one of those regrettably extinct jobs), have a friend look it over. Twice. Make sure ALL of the date and address are correct. This seems obvious, but I've seen it.

Disclaimer (before any of my friends disown me): I've seen plenty of beautiful announcements that have broken these rules. But in the (hopefully) eventual day that I get married, I would like to remember my critical preferences before my brains get too love-addled! 

So, if you're just a one photo or a collage person, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words and your engagement pictures are that time to share your love story!