All We Are is Dollars in a Wallet

The husband and I run an online dice store, Game Master Dice. I’ll write about the whole, sordid history of acquisition and the daily running of it one day; for now, I wish to discuss a phenomenon one experiences in sales:

Everyone is a walking wallet.

My husband told me that awhile ago, when I complained about how pressured I feel at stores. These days, I feel it everywhere. Websites, billboards, friends, store aisles -they are all trying to get a bit of my money. No –all of my money. It’s just a matter of who can grab it first with the brightest ad and the most compelling sales pitch.

Most of us learn to resist, mostly. Otherwise we’d not be living with a roof and walls whilst wearing clothes.

But the onslaught is relentless! I know that advertising has been around since before Pompeii. I know that companies have always sought the best way to purchase ad space in our brains. I also know that ads were less insidious, even when the mental takeover involved a catchy jingle.

If businesses could, they would literally brainwash us to buy. I incorporated that idea in my serial science fiction story.

I’ve thought about all these sales tactics lately because we’re trying to ramp up sales in the dice store. We are therefore pulling out the tricks I use(d) when doing paid content writing: keywords, tags, linking, Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook…

We want to make a living, but sales and marketing have always made me uncomfortable.

My consolation is that we’re marketing to people who want to purchase what we sell. They’re going online to find a dice set or a Reaper miniature or a dice cup, and we’re trying to point them down our little aisle of the internet. It’s not like we’ve popped up during their drive with a BUY OUR DICE NOW!!

Right?

I remember a job interview waaaaay back when, during which they asked me if I’d be comfortable selling their product to customers who called in. I had nailed the interview up to that point; I knew it. My answer to that question, I also knew, shot me right in the foot.

So how comfortable do you feel advertising? Do you tell friends and neighbors about a great deal without any qualms at all? Would you rather stay out of the Rat Race entirely and go live on Walden Pond?

If you get 10 of your friends to read and comment …yeah, nevermind.

—————-

If you read what I wrote this week, I guarantee you won’t be pressured to purchase anything:
Wednesday, July 24: “Summer Days Ain’t Lazy at All.” I complained about pregnancy.

Thursday, July 25: “The Top Ten Reasons I Can’t Write Romance.” Also complaining, but in a humorous way.

Friday, July 26: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Rasmus K. Robot and Charles!

Saturday, July 27: Announced the 36th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is your ‘favorite’ relative (who’s really not). PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, July 28: “One More Day,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt. Someone else was complaining.

Monday, July 29: An inspirational quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin. He says to stop complaining.

Tuesday, July 30: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Eight.”

Wednesday, July 31: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Manic Kids? Try Snacks!,” “Why the Heck Would Anyone Get Pregnant?,” and “Pregnancy Limerick.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

The managerial staff for this contest would like to apologize for the severe delay in posting.

So no more suspense. The winner is Bruce Goodman.

In dire need

by Bruce Goodman

Wendy wanted to make some dough
So she could go to the show
If she didn’t make it to the show you know
It would be the second year in a row.

Wendy stood at her front gate
With a notice, written on slate,
“I need to make dough!
I need to make dough!”

Wendy realized that it was a waste of time.
She might as well have gone to war and been on the front line.
Then a kind man came up, rather haughty
And said making dough was his forte.

“I’ll show you how to make dough,” he said.
Wendy though he was light in the head.
She said “I know how to make dough, but at the very least
I can’t make dough without yeast.”

The man said “What the hell!
I realize now you can’t spell.”
You don’t need dough,
You knead dough before taking it to the Bakers’ Show.

When that was sorted
Everyone danced and cavorted
They sang “Dough is what she kneads!
Dough is what she kneads!
Fa la la la la! Dough is what she kneads!”

Wendy’s chances increased
of winning the bread-making feast
once she got some yeast.

Congratulations, Bruce! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Bruce is no stranger to this contest, nor to winning it. It may be that he’s cracked the system on how to terribly poet and might consider writing stories with morbid endings instead…

As to the reasons for my picking: I read through the poems several times. Most made me laugh, almost all hurt to read, and almost all were cleverly penned. I appreciated the puns and subtle references. Bruce’s contribution won by a hair; incorporating confusion, mis-meter, a few too many rhymes, and a blundering sort of story in process.

I nearly chose several of these, and they are more than worth the read:

Take a Bow, Entropy

by Peregrine Arc

Hey here, look at me
The name is Entropy
I’m the flibber-gee-wibbit, the whoosit, the what’s it
That wears, corrodes, splinters, breaks, splits and frays all the things you own, from your patience to your very home.

I’m the thing that makes your pipes leak right before company is due.
I’m the squeaky wheel during a bike ride that echoes in the light of the moon.
I’m the rust that erodes at your swing
I’m the darling who ruins and breaks everything.
Even a no risk home owners insurance policy.

But for a fee? Never I.
But it’s my living just the same.
I collect your bad tempers, harsh words and examine your scowls
And then I make merry while the whole deck of cards comes tumbling down.

I’m havoc, I’m free, I’m powerful, I’m me.
I’m Entropy and I keep the flow of the economy, hee hee.
Free trade, capitalism, the green buck, oh oui
I’m kept in the front pocket of every crook who wants to make money. 💰

—–

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

He wasn’t profiteering,
Nor being a freak,
He’d learnt that those things
Often didn’t come cheap.
Not cheap like a chicken,
Eggs were so blasé,
Nor like green eggs and ham,
He wasn’t hungry today.
Ideas once come,
Have their way,
Of being beneficial to those,
Who seized the day,
And it beat walking the streets,
Being a cop sure didn’t pay today,
Or being a lawyer, politician, teacher, tax collector, prostitute, drug dealer, c’mon you get my drift by now …
Those were all so au feu
No he got the idea,
From one of those reality shows
And it sure had paid,
Today he was a millionaire,
Selling ear wax from corpse was having its day.

—–

Blood Money

by Joanne the Geek

When I yet again start running out of money
To the blood bank I go to sell off my red honey
It’s a rare type so they’re always in need of some
If only I could produce more I wouldn’t have to be a bum

I even offered to sell my mucus dripping out of my nose
Or the copious earwax or what I find between my toes
Or any other of my bodily secretions I would quite happily sell
But they weren’t so interested in those as far as I could tell

—–

Untitled piece

by Nitin

I had fun today
It’s the month of May
I slept on a cot
I ate a lot
I listened to Sir Lancelot
I broke a pot
I’m in love
I have a glove
I like my rat
I play cricket with a bat
I have a ball
I am small
I like you
You like me too
I am good
I like food
I ate sweets
And meats
I drank wine
The sun shine
Oh yeah oh yeah
Oh yeah oh yeah

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Knee deep in the marsh
Still as a stump
Hear the trill of a Warbler
Imagine it is plump
Got the special quill
At the ready
Ready to aim
Hands held steady
Several in the bush
Most likely two
I get one in hand
Sure that it will do
Paint brush held tight
Microscope-like specs
Without a quiver
I write the tiny text
I let the little birdy go
It will fly away soon
And act like nothing’s wrong
Whistling it’s tune
But some birder will see
Written on it’s belly
An ad for the store
Where they sell raspberry jelly
And other delights
You can’t live without
All are guaranteed
To put a smile on your snout
You see I make my living
By writing words
Tiny advertisements
On the bellies of birds

—–

Breech

by Violet Lentz

Hiram slipped his elbow
then his forearm
then his wrist
from the swollen vulva
of the poor heifer
whose calf he’d had to twist
to get it to emerge all aglow-
first the legs, and then the torso.

“Delivering poorly
presented calves
can be some tedious work.”
Hiram stated
as he brought the calf
with one final tug n’ jerk,
“It’s a stress on the calf- and brother-
a right pain in the ars for the mother.”

“T’isn’t exactly painless
for a poor farmer
either, now don’t ya see
I’ll have to sell
off this wee little calf
if I’m ta cover yer fee.”
Farmer Ed countered, and so it began-
the necessary haggle-an…

—–

A Truly Terrible Rhyme 😉

by Tales from the Mind of Kristian

I’m told I often come across orgulous

Like a diamond-encrusted nautilus,

But I can’t bring myself to mix

With the great unwashed in the stix

So, in order to make some money

I do something jolly and funny.

I volunteer to look after cats,

And then keep tabs of everyone’s stats,

What type of shops they like to use,

All their secrets and their news,

Then sell the data for the highest price,

It all makes me feel rather nice.

Then I stride on down the street

In my golden tracksuit, rather neat.

By this simple data extraction

I live a life so full of action,

with a simple process activation

I’ve risen way above my station.

—–

Napkins for the Elderly

by jasonscottbrendel

I like to take napkins
and sell them to the elderly
don’t laugh, it’s not funny
and I think I’m lovely
so don’t tell me otherwise
positive vibes only
have I mentioned my heartbreak
it smells like torn, blackened, rusty, threadbare, shabby, tattered, grey with a hint of dark brown and hue of purple,
steak
so yeah
I deserve better
and that’s why I sell napkins
to the elderly
so they know
no matter how low they go
or how slow they row
at least they’ll know
I took the time
to sell them something fine.

—–

To Sell One’s Soul

by Padre’s Ramblings

Selling a soul is a thing to see,

It’s not done in a lab-rat-ry,

But in online Vlogs and Reality TV,

For few brief moments of cash and “fame,”

You embarrass yourself,

And bring your family shame;

You bathe in slime, or sing out of key,

Do crazy stunts, or publicly pee,

All for endorsements – their granters fickle,

And your dreams of wealth are oft

Just a trickle.

—–

Untitled piece

by Bereaved Single Dad

Rupert likes to make shed loads of money.
Not bad for a lad who comes from a land which is so sunny
A man who set up his own news corporation
Who still had time to build a TV station
Making so much dosh he thinks he owns your nation
So how does our Rupert make his cash
Promoting fake stories with panache
Filling his TV channels with balderdash
Getting you to watch TV shows filled with advert trash
Rupert also likes to control the news
He wants you to sign up to this perverted views
Making sure his political buddies get friendly interviews
His opponents suffer as fake news spews

—–

Acosta=RumputiN=Epstein

by reality

Our king-kong sized terrible two has realized
an even more devious way to line the Trump
organized crime family’s pockets, he’s having
NASA do a trip to Mars in preparation for a
manned landing by some white guy who’ll also
be tasked to play golf on the moons too.
RumputiN will throw in a little histoire to
make the photos more appealing to his multi-
millionaire foreign dictator pals: “They’re
named after the Greek mythological twin
characters Phobos (panic/fear) and Deimos
(terror/dread) (The Donald’s domestic and
foreign policy, respectively), who went with
their father Ares into battle. Ares, god of
war, was known to the Romans as Mars. This
will up the price he can charge them for
renting out the Lincoln bedroom, cafknching,
being the united suck of assassins new motto.

His current fav tool of stealing tax dollas is
still doing genocide, classwar style against
Latinos. He ripped apart 7000 families to
gift overtime, doubletime, more hires, multi-
million dolla private detention center
contracts to republican manned anti-immigrant
Gov’t agencies + his lifelong criminal cronies.
These kids are caged, allowed little soap,
showers, running water, food, etc.. Similar
conditions to 40’s US internment camps. This
should be one of the articles of impeachment
against him. Dinos, like Nancy ‘Chamberlain’
Pelosi, can be scolded if impeachment doesn’t
go only forward, for if it’s not completed
in the House before the 2020 elections,
RumputiN/vlad-the-impaler may be re-installed
into the Blackhouse by the same conspiracy
that did it in 2016. Viva la evolucion.

—–

Money Grows on Trees

by Ruth Scribbles

Money does NOT grow on trees
It comes out of a wall,
Everyone agrees
So why should I work?

I’ll climb a tree
To jump the wall
Until I’m tall
Enough to teach the slot
Where the money comes out
Green, like snot

—–

Thank you for sharing your terrible talents! Thanks for returning to play and for those who visited for the first time this contest. Come on back tomorrow, all y’all, and try next week’s prompt as well.

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Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, #33.

Our contest is about crafting the sort of poems only amateurs love. It’s about the cringe of the professionals. Sometimes it’s even a work of the most deplorably flowery adjectives coupled with way too many rhymes.

Read my brief how-to for more information, then follow the specifics for this week:

  1. Topic: Unusual ways to make money.
    (No, prostitution is not that unusual. Thanks, Certain-Regulars-Who-Know-Who-You-Are, for wondering.)
  2. Keep the Length as short or long as your muse needs, with an upper limit of 250 words.
  3. If you want to Rhyme, go ahead. If not, I won’t stop you either. As always, playing with rhymes is a great way to screw up a potentially lovely poem.
  4. Most of all, make it terrible! Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, and even the POTUS himself need to take a full five seconds of their precious time to stop, look at you, and shake their head in disbelief.
  5. Rating? PG or nicer, as usual.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (July 12) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

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Photo credit:
Sam Truong Dan

Artist’s Statement ….Part Two

Most people write or draw or craft a billion things. Some of those glitter a bit. Some of them are promising enough to catch attention; make a little money or popularity.

And some of what we do is downright amazing enough that it explodes.

Such was my reaction to this work by The Pale Rook, one that I credit with planting the first seeds of confidence I needed to start showing the world my creativity as well.

Enjoy.

The Pale Rook

The Pale Rook

So remember that thing I applied for?

My application was successful.  I was selected to take part in a project at Scotland’s Craft Town,  the wonderful West Kilbride.   I’ve been a massive fan of the Craft Town since I first found out about it a few years ago, so I’m massively chuffed to be a part of it.  The project I’m involved in takes selected craft makers based in Scotland, at various stages of their careers and gives them specialist business mentoring and studio space for six months.   For the first time in over a decade I am being mentored rather than mentoring others, which has been quite a shock to the system.

The first meeting of the participants, organisers and business mentors involved an exercise where we had to think of things that limited our business or things that we were worried about and then we had to…

View original post 1,954 more words

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Happy Saturday, everybody! A day late, but never a dollar short is our winner for this week:

BRUCE GOODMAN

It happens in restaurants

by Bruce Goodman

I suspect there’s a great deal more
going on under that table over there
than meets the eye.
They not simply eating ice cream and blueberry pie.
I bet they’re playing hanky-panky with their knees.
I’ve a good mind to go over and whip the table cloth
off
to expose their chicanery for all to sees
if you please.

I think it only fair to surmise –
and I wouldn’t be at all surprised –
if before long they were both under the table smooching away,
for every dog has its day.
Next thing he’ll be feeding her custard
with his own spoon. Shucks.
What’s going on under that table over there is yuk.

I hate going out to restaurants.
My wife is such a flirt.

Congratulations, Bruce! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

As returning readers know, I hate contests where a winner is picked and the judge says that everybody was a winner; blah, blah, blah. I try my darnedest not to do that to everyone, but you all make it near-impossible with your level of poetic skill. (You do know this is a terrible poetry contest, right?)

I snickered at the made-up words, the near-rhymes, the rambling (terrible) subjects, and the poetic elements. In the end; I believe I admired the overall flow (we’ll call it that) of Bruce’s poem, combined with his zinger at the end. Most poets this week followed the recommended guidelines of terribleness; on top of all that, Bruce, your ‘meter’ and your story ‘flow’ earned you the prize. Well done.

Thank you to everyone who participated this week. You are the reason this takes me hours of preparation and anguish to decide. And, here you all are:

Under-the-Table Deal

by Bladud Fleas

Get up from under the table, dude!
Said the guy whose shoes I was buying
I haven’t got them on, right now, he said
Though I think he was lying. See
I was too quick to agree on the price
he’d selected and once on my knees
he rejected but I, quick as a flash,
produced the cash and removing his
shoes, stuck a rolled up note between his toes
and the deal was completed and he was defeated,
as were his shoes, no pun intended,
for a fair price and money well spended.

—–

Secret Agent Man

by H.R.R. Gorman

Steele steeled his stance,
Fighting for freedom in France,
Really ready to reel Russians
In and insinuate intrigue.

Dreaded documents dredged
Up from underworld undertakings
Show sinister situations,
Blackmail baking in baddies’ brains.

He humps his home-movie
Back to bloody Britain
And advocates for absolution
Of the outstanding ordeal.

Friends faint following the film,
So he sends some signals
At an American agent
That things are taking turns.

But Bob believes his boss.
Pee-pee parties with presidents
Are too astronomically atrocious
For free freedmen to finagle.

So Steele steels his stance,
Takes tea at the typical time,
Cares about the Six Counties, and
Watches the world wither.

—–

Under the Table

by Andrea Frazer

My friends are all camping
But alas I’m not able
Nope, I’m grounded for life
Right here under the table
A butter knife for a friend
Along with a rag
To scrape all my boogers
Into a trash bag
Yup, what once was my haven
For picking my nose
My mom did discover
So now I am hosed
“You won’t move from this spot
Except to go pee
Until all chunks are removed
Do you understand me?”
What could I say?
My answer was “Yes”
Now there’s no more snot digging
What YES I’m depressed
The moral of this tale
From under the table?
Stay away from nose picking
To avoid this sad fable

The end

—–

Either Side of the Aisle

by Jon

Above board? No it’s not!
Appearance sake? Fulfilled!
In actuality, putrid rot
describes a recent bill.

Put forth by those who say
that they
Are there to represent us all.
Try to have (with them) your say
See if they take your call.

Things that make your conscience ache,
(Like this poem, for instance)
Disturb them not in the least;
For long ago they did forsake,
The way of truth and peace.

—–

It’s not what you get it’s where you get it

by Geoff

Said the bribee to the briber
‘I have no moral fibre’
‘And of course I’ll take a bung.’
‘Unless by being bought out
‘You think I might be caught out’
‘And by this sting be stung.’

‘You have no need to worry,’
Said the briber to the bribee,
‘There’s nothing untoward.’
‘I’m just a harmless gopher
‘This deal’s completely kosher’
‘And everything’s above board.’

‘But how can I believe it,’
‘The cash, when I receive it,’
‘To keep it, I am able?’
‘For sure, you are a bandit,’
‘If each time, to me, you hand it,’
‘While seated ‘neath the table?’

—–

A Poem So Terrible It Can’t Be Named

by Peregrine Arc

Oh my, oh me
I dearly have to pee.
But alas, the Labrador fell asleep on me.
So cute, so adorable, her face all wrinkled
She lets out a stinky and my nose truly krinkles.
Twenty minutes later, the air is fresh and new.
My breathing and vitals back to normal, phew!
“Dear,” I coo, wanting to get up.
“Do you want a treat, my little duck?”
Her amber eyes open and I’m up like a flash
I nearly walk on water to the toilet in my dash.
“Sorry, dear,” I call from the throne. “You’ll get a treat on the morrow–no interest on that loan.”

—–

Dinner Table Gambit

by Michael B. Fishman

Sitting at the table I felt bold
so I put my hand on her knee.
The look she gave me was quite cold
sort of like I touched her with poison ivy.

I couldn’t give up so I tried again
and the result was the same.
She said, “What the fudge” are you insane?
I felt like taking on an assumed name.

Third time’s the charm, right?
So under the table I grabbed her knee once more.
She didn’t have to turn or talk for me to feel the frostbite
I said, “Why doest me dost thee ignore?”

The dog watched it all from under the table
smiling in that doggie way while chewing on a bagel.

—–

What’s the Deal

by Ruth Scribbles

What’s the deal
With under the table
Table that thought
The cat without a hat
Demands attention
Under the table
She licks chip crumbs
Crumbs with salt
She licks the floor
Looking for more
Crumbs
Under the table

—–

Leave it to Amelia

by Violet Lentz

If there is trouble to be had
And usually, there is
Amelia’s smack dab in the middle
At that, she is a wiz.

You would think she was a cherub
To see her childhood photos
Who’d a thunk in this one here
She had a pine bough up her nose?

Or wait, you think that’s funny
How about her money-making scheme?
Selling milkshakes on the corner
That she made a shaving cream!

Or the time her Mom got a call from school
“Come quick!” said old Mizz Krantz
“Your Amy’s doing the bicycle,
And she ain’t wearin’ no underpants!”

But I’d say her defining moment
Was when she let her best friend Mabel
Take a lickin’ for stealing chewing gum-
Amelia’d plucked, from under the table.

—–

Deal

by Doug

Under the table
blood drips onto the crackpots there under
making a deal for blood-proof umbrella heirlooms
with a star chart marking the space alien’s location

Blood drips on the undercover policeman’s head.
He says, “The poker deal is dead. I want hence
grenades under an umbrella, and incense for ten cents.”

But you have to bribe the dealer for a deal
and the dealer was dead.

The deal blew up in their faces, and
they couldn’t save face with Adam Smith

—–

Thank you for entering! I love seeing returning torturers and new verse-obliterators, alike. Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. for the announcement of next week’s contest.

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Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Week Seventeen. I went back and counted.

If you’re new, confused, and/or need directions; read the how-to about terrible poetry. Here, at The Terrible Poetry Contest, we strive to make the best of the best shudder and crawl back under a blanket of Shakespeare. We aim to offend, but in a very high-minded way.

Here are the rules for this week’s prompt:

  1. The topic is Under-the-Table Deals.
  2. For length, keep your poem greater than or equal to a haiku but less than Beowulf.
  3. Should you rhyme? Up to you this occasion.
  4. Most importantly, make it terrible. I want the back-alley agents of disreputable deals to turn themselves in, sobbing, just to get away from what you write.
  5. Keep it PG-rating or lower. You can do it.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (March 15, 2019) to submit a poem. Hey; it’s The Ides of March and my wedding anniversary. We just might make it to sixteen years.

If you are shy, use the form and I’ll get an e-mail. Leave me a comment saying that you did, so we cover our bases.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Also, please tell your friends. You can use your mouth, your phone, your blog; whatever. Let’s get the word out! The world needs more terrible poetry!

Have fun!

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Photo credit:
Rosalind Chang

To Potter or Not to Potter?

It’s time to really let the fur fly around here, because I am going to ask the question no one ever should: Is Harry Potter a good book?

If you have been living in a bubble or under the age of twenty for the past 21.5 years, you might not know what I am referring to. In that case, I speak of a book series published by an unknown woman (at the time) that EXPLODED into ultimately selling more than 450 million copies worldwide.

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I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the recommendation of my former sixth-grade teacher. I really liked the book. It had interesting characters, magic, an unseen parallel world, and enough British elements to tickle my anglophiliac bones.

I purchased and devoured each subsequent book as it came out, and cried on opening night of the first film.

A few years after that point, however, my English professor in (my return to) college ran us through an interesting exercise. “What makes a good book?” he asked, and wrote our responses on the white board. After looking over the items listed, he announced, “Harry Potter is not a good book.”

Since I do not live in a bubble and am not under the age of twenty, I was also not completely ignorant to the idea that others didn’t love Harry Potter as much as a large pocket of Potterheads. As a consequence, I was not floored at my teacher’s conclusions.

I instead experienced a wider perspective. His announcement released me from the godlike worship I had for authors everywhere and allowed me to acknowledge the series as one written by a human, with flaws. It was written by the first and only billionaire author human, granted, but still had flaws.

In turn, I was able to grasp the hope that someone like me could write. Someone like me could even write something that another person might read, or purchase.

Which is all very interesting, but doesn’t answer the main question of this post.

Is Harry Potter a good book? Why or why not?

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My own husband dislikes that J.K. Rowling neglects a basic rules structure for her magic system, that Dobby exists, and that most of the stories are just not interesting.

For myself; I notice some literary no-no’s in her writing like adverbs, POV changes, and …say, a rule she introduces about non-verbal magic spells that she seems to abandon in later novels. I also think (and thought) that it’s really not feasible for a young wizard who can shout two spells to consistently beat someone who literally murdered older, gifted wizards.

But maybe I’m being nit-picky with that last one.

Ever the devil’s devil’s advocate, though, I say that J.K. Rowling’s series could be considered perfection. She hit the sweet spot across age, race, gender, nationality, and class. She wrote characters REALLY well. I’m just a medium-level admirer and would gladly jump on a train, attend Hogwarts, marry one of the Weasley twins, and go out to lunch with Tonks.

As a final thought to any still in the haters camp: last year, my son’s doctor complimented my son because he was sitting in the waiting room reading a novel. I believe it was Magician: Apprentice. “When Harry Potter first came out,” the doctor noted, “I used to come out and find kids’ noses stuck in books. I haven’t seen that since.”

Say what you will, but I’d love to bring that sort of book love back. Wouldn’t you? Perhaps there’s a spell for that.

Until then, do you say it is a good book? Do you only say so because you love it?

Do you only disagree because you hate it?

—————

I solemnly swear that you may read below to see what I wrote for the last two weeks:
Wednesday, February 6: We discussed the deep subject of baths vs. showers in “A Serious Question Concerning Hygiene.”
Thursday, February 7: “The Cure for Depression: Get a Paid MEDICAL Friend,” the slightly-third suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
Friday, February 8: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest involving Nursery Rhymes. Congratulations to Violet Lentz!
Saturday, February 9: Announced the twelfth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, with a prompt of love poems.
Sunday
, February 10- Thursday, February 14, plus Sunday, February 17: Various terrible poetry contributions of my own on the subjects of my backup camera, my absent appendix, black clothes, a first date, Costco, and Half-Price Chocolate Day.
Thursday, February 14: Wrote “Freddy and Teddy’s Valentines” for Susanna Leonard Hill‘s Valentiny contest.
Friday, February 15: Posted the WINNER of the love poem Terrible Poetry Contest: Geoff LePard.
Saturday, February 16: Announced this week’s Terrible Poetry Contest prompt. PLEASE ENTER IT!!
Also re-blogged Peregrine Arc‘s creativity contest.
Monday, February 18: Shared a quote from Joseph B. Wirthlin about finding a direction in life.
Tuesday, February 19: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Two.”
Wednesday, February 20: Today

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How Expensive is This Happiness Thing?

They say that money can’t buy happiness, but I only halfway agree.

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True; money doesn’t directly purchase a meaningful relationship with another person, a healthy child who grows up to support and love you, the satisfaction of completing a challenging job, nor creating something with your own hands.

It does pay for the braces, beauty products, restaurant food, cell phones, wedding, new spouse’s parents’ costs, anniversaries, random presents, midlife marriage counseling, throw pillows, curtains, rediscovery vacations, and all the ending of life costs -that facilitate a meaningful relationship with another person.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

think I’m saying money is necessary for happiness. You can’t be happy with no money to speak of or not enough for your needs. Heck, life’s difficult with not enough to cover the cost of a few wants, too.

What about a couple who really wants to have a child, yet can’t afford expensive IVF treatments or adoption? Or that retired guy who just wants a place to live amongst ever-rising house prices? Or the kids who grow up with terrible friends in a bad neighborhood because the parents worked two jobs, put them in the local (awful) daycare, could not pay for sports programs, and felt too depressed themselves to listen to their children’s needs?

Are they happy?

I know, I know. Mr. Optimist says they could be. They could find their happy place even in a sad, little, dark corner of the world in which they sit with rising medical costs for a genetic disease that prevents them from working so they can’t even buy decent housing and food nor meet anyone who wants to be friends.

…That may have been Sadness talking.

To play my own devil’s advocate, the reverse of my argument may also be true. I mean, I have enough money. I live a really cushy life compared to most people in the world. Yet, I’m not happy. A good chunk of that is beating myself up for not being happy despite having such an easy life, but we might want to get into that in another post.

I believe my point is that money is essential for happiness. One needs to spend it in the right way and with the right attitude, but cannot be happy without it.

What do you think?

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Think about it and let me know. For now, here’s my previous week, free of charge:
Wednesday, January 23: Several helpful friends helped solve whodunit in “It’s All a Mystery.”
Thursday, January 24: “The Cure for Depression: Connect with a Human,” the first tip in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
Friday, January 25: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to D. Wallace Peach!
Saturday, January 26: Announced the tenth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Enter it!
And, “Insided Out,” self-reflection at an internal, emotional level.
Sunday
, January 27: “Grandma’s Tears” for Carrot Ranch‘s flash fiction prompt.
Monday, January 28: A great quote from Len about love and marriage.
Tuesday, January 29: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty One.”
Also, “A Head Start on the Day?” at my mothering blog.
Wednesday, January 30: Today!

The Truth About the Holidays

A friend of mine explained that her daughter hadn’t quite figured out where she wanted to be because, “Oh, you know -she’s only twenty-two. You remember what you were doing at twenty-two.”

I paused, then answered, “Well… I was giving birth to my first child.”

I’ve tended to hit life stages a bit early: walking, reading, planning world domination, marrying, birthing, buying a house, and experiencing advanced dental problems.

What does this have to do with the holidays? I’m not really that old, and yet I turn into Ebeneezer Scrooge earlier and earlier each Christmas season.

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Instead of feeling happy and festive when I saw a Christmas tree, I felt violated. Spinning inflatable yard ornaments and automated decorations that sang caused me to fear for the future of humanity. Aisles of bright tinsel or Chinese-made ornaments made me sick.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have felt that way if I wasn’t seeing it all in July.

Now that I have, however, I reached and passed my level of tolerance and goodwill to men by October (when workers were hurriedly clearing out all that noxious Halloween stuff on Halloween to hang the Christmas things front and center).

Why do retailers do it?

To be said in my best old, jaded lady voice: It’s all about the money.

Stores make the most money at Christmas. Even if a person doesn’t strictly celebrate the holiday, he will purchase a gift for the people at his job who do. Each of them will purchase something for everyone else. It’s like a tinseled chain letter with actual results.

And, not content with picking a man’s pocket every December the 25th, the retailers have special sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Not only that, but they have scooted Black Friday up so far that it’s at the same time most families are celebrating the best holiday there is.

Thanksgiving in America is pure and simple, and stores have not been able to commercialize it beyond table centerpieces and all the groceries one needs for feasting.

For companies that don’t primarily sell food, Thanksgiving’s a wash. They can’t wait to get it out of the way so that mass commercialism can stampede through sealed cardboard shelving in order to get whatever the hot electronics item is that year.

Every year I’ve hoped that The People will stop. I’ve held out for sanity. I’ve assumed that humans will finally show stores that holding a Christmas sale on Thanksgiving is too much. And yet, greed keeps winning. People move the time of their feast in order to head out and spend money as soon as possible.

I guess they really don’t care, since they keep putting their money where the sales are.

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Others might think it’s none of my business what people do on Thanksgiving. It’s their day; let them spend it (literally) how they want. Well, what about the workers at the stores everyone’s frequenting? Did they want to spend Thanksgiving keeping shoppers from punching a cashier?

What about standards? What about bonding with family? What about holding some things as special, or even sacred; removed from the clutching grasp of negative vices and habits?

Back to my old lady voice: People used to care. Families would dress in their Sunday best to go downtown. Neighbors would call on neighbors. No one was open past 9 p.m. and only the doctor was working on Sundays.

I’m not endorsing petticoats and carriages, or even a stop to Christmas sales. I just want a whole, untouched, unmolested Thanksgiving day. I want to enjoy my knitting by the fire while the young’uns play with their stick ball or their jacks. I want to enjoy seeing my children, and their children, and their children.

Thanksgiving needs to be removed from the seeping stain of over-buying commercialism, but that’s not going to happen unless we make it so. I don’t know who we can petition or what official measures we can take, but I do know it’s possible. At the very least, don’t shop on the day. Stay home with your family or friends. Eat. Play games. Bond.

Cyber Monday has better deals, anyway.

 

Re-cap for this week:
Wednesday, November 14: The Importance of Trying Times, a surgery announcement and PSA regarding activity after abdominal incisions; plus a weekly review.
Thursday, November 15: Skinwalkers, XLII.
Friday, November 16: Winner of The First Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest announced. Congratulations, Bladud Fleas.
Saturday, November 17: How-To Write Terrible Poetry and beginning of The Second Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest (please enter).
My article, What’s the Make, Model, and Year of Your Mental Health Struggle? was published at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
Sunday, November 18: Patchwork, a flash fiction for Carrot Ranch inspired by a friend of mine.
Monday, November 19: Convalesced, and released Distracted Momming over at my motherhood site.
Tuesday, November 20: Inspirational Quote by Masercot. He’s a funny guy, but I felt this quote held a deep message.
Wednesday, November 21: This post. 🙂

I do not intend to publish any additions to Wilhelmina Winters or Skinwalkers this week. I’m just too busy with Thanksgiving preparations.

Enjoy your time with family. Please.