Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas in my corner

Whew! Christmas is almost here...finally. I'm kind of sick and totally exhausted, but this has been a wonderful Christmas season. I decided that, this year, I was going to give myself an attitude adjustment, since I usually fall into the whole Grinch-y mentality. Our tree is up, and decorated, for the first time in five years. Last Saturday, I baked a metric ton of goodies, while I listened to carols playing and watched snow falling outside. I chose not to let the usual stressors get under my skin, and everything has been so much better for it.

So, from my corner to yours, I wish you a wonderful day! I hope the holiday brings you fun with family, perfect presents, plentiful pies, and many happy memories. (Sorry for the annoying alliteration...I'm a little stoned on cold medicine.) Merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

How I became the butt of a joke

In my last post, I promised an embarrassing school story; it takes place when I was in fourth grade. A couple of things to keep in mind as you read: I had really bad taste in TV shows when I was nine; and, all evidence to the contrary, I am actually a good speller.

At some point during the year, my teacher, Ms. Marshall, gave us a creative writing assignment. I was not short on imagination as a kid, but I usually found creative writing kind of frustrating, often because we were supposed to write poetry. (I don't like to write poetry, and I'm terrible at it.) This assignment, though, was different: we could write about a favorite book or TV character. Since I was a little TV junkie, that was right up my alley. I chose to write about one of my favorite shows, The Dukes of Hazzard. (See? Terrible taste, I told you.)

Since I had imagination to spare, I didn't just write a standard Bo-and-Luke-car-jumpin'-yee-haw-adventure story. Instead, I decided to expand the role of one of the lesser-known characters--Enos, the hapless straight-man deputy to Sherriff Rosco P. Coltrane. (I was clearly ahead of my time! I'm talking about early Duke-boy fanfic, here.) I crafted my story with all of the enthusiasm of Ralphie writing his Red Ryder BB-gun essay. There was just one problem: since I was only nine, and I had never met anyone named "Enos," I didn't know how to spell it. Following years of advice from teachers, I "sounded it out" and decided it should be spelled A-n-u-s. Oh, yeah. You read that right. I turned in a story about a horrible country-bumpkin-stereotype TV show...featuring a main character named "Anus."

So, what does a good fourth-grade teacher do, when faced with a situation like this? When Ms. Marshall handed back my graded story (I think I got a "B"), she included a note for my mom. I was completely freaked out, of course; notes from teachers are never a good thing, and I wasn't the type of kid to get in trouble, anyway. I didn't open the note, but gave it to my mom, with great trepidation. I was expecting my mom to explode, and she did--but it was laughter, not yelling. Ms. Marshall had laughed so hard at my story that she simply had to write a note to tell Mom about it--and to advise that Mom explain to me why "Anus" was not an appropriate name for a literary character.

So, that's my little tale. My mom, grandmother, and teacher all had a good laugh, and I was left feeling indignant that my spelling error overshadowed what I thought was a literary masterpiece. Fortunately, that bad experience did not cause me to lose interest in writing, and I love blogging. Now, though, I make sure that I check my spelling very carefully. Spelling mistakes like that one could lead to some REALLY embarrassing Google searches.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A sort of hiatus

I didn't intend to take a month-long break from blogging, believe me. It was actually another writing project that left me no time to write here. A few months ago, my church choir director and I decided to create our own Christmas play, rather than using a packaged program. I did most of the writing (with a huge amount of input and advice from several others), and it was one of the most terrifying, fun, creative things I've ever been involved in. However--because I was involved on a molecular level--I ate, slept, and breathed the Christmas play for the last month. We had our performance last Sunday evening, everything went very well, and now I can return to my regularly scheduled, boring life...just as I like it. I plan to spend the next few evenings catching up on Facebook; reading and commenting on my favorite blogs (I've been clicking "mark all as read" on the Google reader for a while now); and collecting all the supplies I'll need for a day of Christmas baking on Saturday.

If you're still checking in here, thanks! I missed you guys. Look for a new post later this week--all the writing I've been doing lately brought back an embarrassing memory of an early creative story assignment. Here's a hint about just how mortifying it was: the teacher who graded it wrote my mom a note, because my story made her laugh so hard. And not in a good way, either.