Category Archives: holiday

Writing tip Wednesday: “Fiction open”

Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open

Deadline: January 2, 2016

Glimmer Train

Glimmer Train


  • 1st place wins $2,500 and is presented in Glimmer Train Stories.
  • 2nd place wins $1,000 and possible publication.
  • 3rd place wins $600, or, if chosen for publication, $700.

Other considerations:

  • Open to all subjects, all themes, and every writer. (Over the last two years, 50% of the winning stories were their authors’ 1st publications!)
  • Word count: Most submissions to the Fiction Open run 2,000 to 8,000 words, but from 2,000 to 20,000-word stories are fine.
    (Writing Guidelines, link below.)
  • Reading fee is $21 per story. Winners and finalists will be officially announced in the March 1 bulletin, and contacted directly the previous week.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay. Please notify immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.

Writing Guidelines:

Submit here:

Leave a comment

Filed under 2015, holiday

Halloween: “Say what?!”

Jesus Harvest Seeds

Jesus Harvest Seeds

Holiday madness is upon us.

Somebody must have thought this was a good idea. I don’t think so. Candy corn is now Jesus Harvest Seeds, at least if you buy them in this package. “Scripture on every individual packet!” I wonder if one of them is “Jesus wept.”

Maybe the second shortest verse in the modern Bible should be “Jesus has sold.” Or, “Jesus has been sold.”

Jesus and "Harvest Seeds."

Jesus and “Harvest Seeds.”

1 Comment

Filed under 2015, holiday, Say what?!

Writers and love

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Novelists and writers:
Zora Neale Hurston: “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”

James Baldwin: “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”

Novelist Iris Murdoch: “Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.”

Also: “People often start by falling in love, and they go on for years without realizing that love must change into some other love which is unlike the original.”

W. Somerset Maugham: “We are not the same person this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.”

Ursula K. Le Guin: “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” [Editor’s note: Is this what is meant by love being “kneady”?]

Andre Maurois: “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”

Norman Mailer: “Love asks us that we be a little braver than is comfortable, a little more generous, a little more flexible. It means living on the edge more than we care to.”

Psychological and religious thinkers
Some love advice, courtesy of psychologist James Hillman: “For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.”

Words from a Buddhist about love: “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, but that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anyone, deserve your love and affection.”

A statement attributed to French poet Paul Valery. “Love is being stupid together,” he said. [Editor’s note: does that mean it is better than being stupid apart?]

Poet Pablo Neruda: “I hunger for your sleek laugh and your hands the color of a furious harvest. I want to eat the sunbeams flaring in your beauty.”

Also: “Our love is like a well in the wilderness where time watches over the wandering lightning. Our sleep is a secret tunnel that leads to the scent of apples carried on the wind. When I hold you, I hold everything that is–swans, volcanoes, river rocks, maple trees drinking the fragrance of the moon, bread that the fire adores. In your life I see everything that lives.”

The words of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”

Two final thoughts:
Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote this in Women Who Run With the Wolves. “The desire to force love to live only in its most positive form is what causes love ultimately to fall over dead.”

And from The Simpsons‘ creator Matt Groening: “Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.”

Leave a comment

Filed under holiday, love, quotes

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Homemade holidays are the best.

Homemade holidays are the best.

Leave a comment

December 25, 2014 · 12:06 am

Saturday: “Halloween Round-up”

Santa and a "demented" little Red Riding Hood.

Santa and a “demented” little Red Riding Hood.

This post is not writing related. For the small number of loyal reader who stop by, I hope you will indulge me. Halloween in my historic neighborhood in Knoxville, TN, has evolved into an event where literally hundreds of children (and would-be children) show up for trick or treat on Halloween in night. For example, in 2013, between 6:15 and 8:15 PM, 283 tricksters showed up. This year, 2014, between approximately 5:45 PM and 8:45 PM, 300 tricksters (young and not-so-young). Roughly the same, though this year there was some rain, gusty wind at times, and a stronger dip in temperatures than last year, all of which may have discouraged some.

As a side note, a fellow in an adjoining historic neighborhood complained that as the weather turned colder and rain and wind picked up, he had parents come to collect for their kids who stayed in the cars. I saw one or two examples of that, but mostly I saw kids and adults with umbrellas making the best of it.

Regardless, as you can see, that is quite a few tricksters who came to Old North Knoxville. I dressed as Santa Claus and handed out candy, while my wife and daughter went trick-or-treating with some friends. I surprised a few young tricksters when I would open the sidelight window next to our front door and stick my head out. Some were rendered speechless. A few asked if I was real, to which I replied, “I’m as real as you.” Two or three wanted to touch my white-gloved hand or my beard. A few older, more “seasoned” kids started into their Christmas wish list, including one young lady who wanted both an iPad and an iPhone among the items on her list. I just don’t know if she has been good enough to receive both or even one. She looked a little naughty to me. Then, again, I guess Halloween was the night for a little naughtiness.

Santa Claus and the Pink Unicorn Lady. Nothing says Halloween quite like a woman in pink with a horn on her head.

Santa Claus and the Pink Unicorn Lady. Nothing says Halloween quite like a woman in pink with a horn on her head.

Leave a comment

Filed under holiday

National Punctuation Day

Happy National Punctuation Day!

Why not take a period (.) to dinner? Maybe even two: (.) (.) You know, take them out for some period food.

Leave a comment

Filed under holiday

Zombies and Valentine’s Day

Undying love

by David E. Booker

Stolen flowers; stolen moments
Of these things I am a proponent.
Human heart upon a chair,
Fitting complement to your candy ’wear.
Office supplies, engraved utensils;
Box of dead chocolate, bundle of thistles.
Your preserved nipple tattooed o’er my heart.
It’s not a good one, but it’s a start.
So now I sit and wait, a zombie for your love
As I pluck the feathers of a very disgruntled dove.

A feather for your thoughts.

A feather for your thoughts.

Leave a comment

Filed under cartoon by author, holiday, poetry by author, zombies