Date Nightly Fun at Target

This is a fun thing to say. Try it aloud. Woats.    
A clip. On a board. For $16.99.   
Half a shark.    

You know those memes that say choices were made here? I’d choose hippie clothes over frames any day. Not saying it was the wrong choice for whoever, just saying it’d be the wrong choice for me. 

I like to think someone was trying to communicate here. Starupand. I have no idea what that may mean. 

Don’t be fooled. This tray is not entertaining.    

I hope the formatting comes out okay. I’ve been having problems formatting images on the WordPress app. Have a lovely day!

Top Nine Most Enjoyable Items to Engrave

  Today it just came together what to post–I was reading Stephanie’s list while engraving a wheat beer glass, and I realized that I’ve only whined about red wine glasses. I haven’t told you about all the fun things I get to engrave. It’s a challenge to prioritize them, so this list isn’t in any special order. 

  1. Tall glass vase. It’s a nice flat piece of glass, and glass just looks so pretty engraved. I like being able to fit a lot on there, with plenty of room to individualize the message. 
  2. Round keepsake box. The same premise applies, but with smaller real estate. It’s plain, with no filigree or crystals to distract from a nicely placed message. 
  3. Glass water bottle. These have a tall, narrow strip of engraving space on each side, in gaps in the silicone sleeve. I’ve only done a handful, but they look amazing. 
  4. Pocket watches. They’re fun. And require attention to detail. Stem up or stem right? Front or back? Anything on the box? 
  5. Ceramic mugs. These require color be added to the engraving, since it’s broken the integrity of the glaze. Also look super good when done right. 
  6. Where I’m not supposed to. I do understand that this makes it harder on employees who aren’t brave enough to figure out how to hold an oddly shaped item or adventurous enough to take a risk, but it’s pretty cool to make something one-of-a-kind. 
  7. Rectangular filigree keepsake box. This goes along with #6, but come on! It has four flat sides that are simply begging for engraving. Just on the top is for squares. 
  8. Wedding sets. Flutes or server sets or both, I’m tickled to engrave something a happy couple will treasure until one of them smashes it to bits in a fit of pique. 
  9. Zippos. They’re easy, they’re small, but they have so much room for personalization. I’ve never done two exactly the same. 

This was a fun list to write! I wandered around and weighed the merits of different items to decide on my favorites. I could probably add a few more items to the list, but nine was the number Ian chose from my arbitrarily selected range of 5-12. Perhaps I’ll do another. 


Ian surprised me with a Shark Mini Dig Kit for Christmas, so I’ve been working on that sporadically.  

And today I found my genuine shark tooth buried inside! 

The edge of it, at least. I’ll keep working.   

Wrapping It All Up, Neat and Tidy

I gave myself a week off from my novel, but now it’s time to go back and start to finish it up. I’m determined to completely complete this one, and throw it up on Amazon with my other.

Of course, then I’ll have to listen again to my friends and family moan and groan that I haven’t produced a sequel to Minotaur yet. They’ll be alright.

But the problem is that I don’t really have a story; I have a fantastical journey, but nothing that screams it’s over. I guess that’s not absolutely essential, since this was supposed to be fun entertainment.

Or is it not entertaining without closure? I know I get frustrated when I immerse myself in a book and then–it stops, and I’m left with so many questions, not least of which is what happens next.

But I realize I haven’t told you hardly anything about this year’s novel. I’ve only posted one excerpt, and that one was completely off the cuff. It’s certainly not in its final form. And I haven’t even told you my protagonist’s name: Sinew.

I don’t even know how to summarize this mess I’ve made. I think it’s going to take a lot of work to put a bow on it and send it out into the world. But I can do it.

I hope everyone else has enjoyed their November, whether NaNoWriMo’ing it up or not. Because we’re all winners, aren’t we? We’re alive, and we have internet access. So cheesy, I know.

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: Something I miss

Um, I miss the rains
Down in Africa; and the
Michigan summers

When I was, say, 8-15, my sister and I would spend our summers in Michigan with our dad and stepmom.

We spent a lot of time at Dow Gardens, and we went to farmers markets and square dances and fishing and swimming and day camps.

I miss that.

The Mayo Event

Patty looked out the window to check if Herb had gotten home yet. Her lips pursed as she let the blinds snap back into place. He wasn’t home. She turned to flop on the chair, disappointed. He had to make it home on time, today of all days.

Her coupon for free admission to the mayonnaise wrestling contest expired in just a few short hours.

Patty had never been to a mayonnaise wrestling contest. She was reasonably certain that Herb hadn’t, either, although the possibility remained viable, however slight. She vaguely remembered some kind of pajama party back in college, where they had taken turns jumping into a kiddie pool of maple syrup, but that definitely wasn’t the same thing.

The crunch of tires on concrete: Patty jumped up and ran back to the window, nearly breaking the slat she was pulling down in her urgency to verify that Herb had finally made it home. It was him!

She whipped around the corner to jerk open the front door, but Herb hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet.

“Have you forgotten our plans?” Patty asked, incredulously. “Get changed and let’s go, Herb!”

Herb was mildly perturbed at her anxiety. “I can’t go, babe. Duty calls. I just came home for the files I brought last week.”

Patty was livid. “How could you do this to me? You know what I went through to get these mayo coupons! I–I just–” She broke down crying.

Herb rushed to his wife’s side and wrapped and arm around her shoulders to comfort her. He pushed the lock of hair away from her eyes where it had fallen, then tipped her chin up so he could look into her eyes.

“Screw the work. We have an event to attend,” he whispered softly.

The smile immediately emerged on Patty’s face. “Oh, Herbie! Thank you!”

He kissed her passionately, leaving her breathless as he released her to rush into the house to change clothes and throw his briefcase on the living room floor. Patty was still smiling vacantly when he returned to the front door, her purse in his left hand.

Herb escorted her to the Volvo with his arm around her waist and opened the passenger door for her. When she was settled in, he closed it and raced around to the driver’s side, hopped in, and took off.

When they arrived at the Convention Center, the parking lot was nearly full. Fortunately, someone was inexplicably leaving a prime spot on the first row that wasn’t handicap accessible. Herb whipped in, glancing over at Patty. She was ecstatic, coupons clenched in her fist.

Herb reversed the process he’d performed when they’d left the house, and the happy couple jogged to the ticket window hand in hand. The ticket taker, in a red polyester vest with false pockets, took their coupons and stamped their hands, then waved them both through the double doors to the right.

The smell that slapped them in the face when they stepped inside was horrendous. Patty cupped her hand to her face in an attempt to filter some of the stench, but it was in vain. Herb looked around for the restroom, thinking that he could grab some paper towels for them to breathe through. He left Patty outside the men’s room, but to his dismay, both dispensers were empty. He shook his head to poor Patty as he came back out.

But the longer they lingered, the more adjusted they became, so by this time, the odor didn’t seem nearly as bad as it had when they had first smelled it. After a quick, whispered conference, they agreed to grin and bear it.

Herb led the way through the throngs of people to the large above ground pool that seemed to be center stage for tonight’s entertainment. He and Patty climbed to the fourth tier of the hastily assembled stadium seating and got their first glimpse of mayonnaise wrestling; although, perhaps, it should be said that they got their first taste.

They turned to sit just as the larger wrestler bodily threw the smaller to the floor, splashing a great tidal wave of week-old, stinking mayonnaise over the spectators. Herb and Patty were taken aback, but the remainder of the audience cheered with great gusto.

Patty turned to look at Herb, but couldn’t contain her laughter when she saw the volume of mayo dripping from his face and body. Herb opened his mouth to protest, but couldn’t hold back his own laughing fit at the sight of Patty. He threw an arm around her, and they joined their fellow fans in an exuberant display of joy.

Patty would later describe it as the best night of her life.

Fabulous Cheryl unwittingly inspired this story, with her Accent Tag video! Thanks, Cheryl–I wrote down the words and looked down to see the last five, and well, this is what came of it.