What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Extremely Short Stories

I came across "extremely short stories" recently and I must admit that I love them (they work well with my short attention span).

According to wired.com, Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") and is said to have called it his best work. So they decided to have some horror and science-fiction authors give it a try. Here's what they came up with:

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
- Orson Scott Card

We went solar; sun went nova.
- Ken MacLeod

whorl. Help! I'm caught in a time
- Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel

He read his obituary with confusion.
- Steven Meretzky

On NPR, Robert Swartwood calls it "Hint Fiction." These have titles and are a little longer (like Twitter messages). Here's some of what he's collected:

"The Return"
They buried him deep. Again.
- Joe R. Lansdale

"Golden Years"
She: Macular. He: Parkinson's. She pushing, he directing, they get down the ramp, across the grass, through the gate. The wheels roll riverwards.
- Edith Pearlman

"Houston, We Have a Problem"
I'm sorry, but there's not enough air in here for everyone. I'll tell them you were a hero.
- J. Matthew Zoss

I miss her more than the others.
- David Joseph

Ooh, that last one I should send to TLC's "Sister Wives."

How about you? Care to leave me an extremely short story in the comments?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dysfunctional Family Bingo!

Oh, if only I had found this earlier! What could be more fun at your next family gathering than a rousing game of Dysfunctional Family Bingo?

You can order it here.

Sibling rivalry, hormonal imbalance, door slamming, questionable parenting, I just need "unsolicited advice" to win. Oh, there it is, BINGO!

Of course, I would have to get my family to actually agree to be in the same room together to play. Drat.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

No, those aren't lumps of coal from Santa under the tree!

I got my Christmas gift early this year -- a little kitten.

I'm training her to sit by me while I'm reading. She's doing pretty good so far.

When she's not sitting by me, she's shredding up our arms and legs and pooping under the Christmas tree.

We've named her Roger (you'll have to watch "Open Season 2" and then you'll know her personality).

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

This year, we're keeping it close to home for the holidays. I'm ignoring all my far away friends and family (sorry if that's you) and only focusing on those people that influence my family's life on a day-to-day basis.

I just bought some treats (believe me, no one wants me BAKING anything for them) and included a small note detailing how much I appreciate them. As I started making a list, I realized how many people I rely on and take for granted.

Such as:

My mail lady who always comments on how cute and clever my homemade postcards are (the people I mail them to never say a word -- maybe she's keeping them?).

My neighbor who had her children make get well cards for my sick kids and even brought them breakfast in bed (homemade waffles!).

My milk man who comes every Monday (even if it's a holiday) and never gets my order wrong.

The couple down the street who opened up their business for Nigel's cub scouts to tour and they had a GREAT time.

The kids who play with my kids every day (even though my kids have a hard time sharing).

My list soon grew to more than 50 people. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by so many terrific people who serve me and my family throughout the year. Thank you!

Snow Lanterns

We've been making snow lanterns at our place. We read about them in a Tasha Tudor book and had to try it for ourselves. The hard part is waiting for there to be enough snow and then waiting for it to get dark to put the candles in them! You just build little igloos out of snowballs, leaving an opening, and then put a small candle inside. Love it!