“I Got a Rock”

For those of you poor children unfamiliar with the phrase, it comes from the classic Peanuts Halloween special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

After each trick or treat session, each member of the party announces the treat they received. Each time, with great dejection, Charlie Brown says, “I got a rock.” Every year the show airs, concerned children flood any fan club for Charlie Brown they can find with candy. We’re a sympathetic lot.

I waited at the house with great anticipation for my daughters to return from their grandparents’ house this Christmas Eve. Emily jumped out of the car, tote bag in hand, immediately pulling out favorite new toys, a shirt, candy, and coloring books. “Look what I got for Christmas!” she said, spreading her loot all over the stairs.

Elizabeth insisted on walking around from the garage to the front door to ring the doorbell, as is her habit lately. I opened the door for her, blonde hair lit in the sun and asked her, “Elizabeth, what did you get for Christmas?”

She held out her hand and opened her fist. “I got a rock!” she announced.

Children are always the unexpected joy at Christmas. You can spend entire paychecks on toys, games, puzzles or treats, but you can never anticipate the thing that matters most to them–an empty box the perfect size to sit inside, a colorful bow that fascinates them for hours, or, as in the case of little ‘Liza, a rock she found in the dirt at her grandparent’s lake house.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday filled with simple joys discovered in unexpected places. Merry Christmas.

Christmas Bliss

Two red shirts, size 3T and 6, bought in a frantic 5-minute blitz at JC Penney: $19.95

Two sets of pictures, printed instantly on a dye-sub printer Deanna now covets: $37.85

Cost of items requested during the ensuing discussion–2 Glow-in-the-dark Doodle Bears: $49.90


Eliza, age 3 and Emily, age 6


A tear-free Santa visit! (Kid-wise. Mama gets the waterworks going at just about anything.)

I Did It!

50,242 / 50,000 words

It took four days to recover the rest of my life sufficiently to even think of NaNoWriMo again, but I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging!

I reached 50,000 words at about 8 p.m. on Nov. 30. To cross the big mark, I wrote a live “interactive” scene where a bunch of patients at St. Martins Hospital play Truth or Dare. To get ideas for the scene we actually played Truth or Dare at the coffee shop, and I took down everything that we did and said. All my NaNo pals now have cameos.

I’ll put that scene up here once I clean it up. This will hopefully be today, as I would like to read the scene as part of the party tonight. Several will be reading excerpts. I am also going dressed as Helena, in polka dot pajamas.

I will keep this blog active. A group of NaNos have decided to form a writing group of our own, so I will be working on Helena the Muse via it. I am entering contests in January and March with it, so I will be finalizing the first chapter and hopefully getting through a complete rough draft to make sure my synopsis is accurate. I am not totally certain how it will end, even though I have mapped out how I think it will go. I am not completely sure how Helena will change/grow as a result of her experiences. She has to just keep experiencing!

Thank for coming along for the ride!