May 21, 2019 – Prompt – Hello

A Christmas letter

Hello and Merry Christmas,
This will be my last Christmas letter. I’ve finally run out of adjectives and adverbs apparently. But just to keep you up to date, my dog developed diabetes, and I must give him an insulin shot every day. I planted two trees in my yard (very expensive ones I might add), and a blight took them within a month. I got appendicitis that went septic, but the medicine isn’t too expensive. I fell and broke my leg, and after months of therapy, I can get around on a walker now. The snowfall this winter was wicked, and I couldn’t get out to go for groceries, but my car was not working either. I needed to lose weight anyway.
I hauled out my ancient Christmas tree from the attic. None of the lights worked anymore, so I strung it with popped corn. My myna bird learned a new curse word this week. TV is getting ugly.
So Merry Christmas and how is your Holiday?

Pinkie Paranya

December 11, 2018 – Prompt – What do you think Santa’s Elves do on there day off? Write a story about an elf that gets into trouble on his day off.

Pinkey was an elf, different in every way from all the other elves. To begin with, Pinkey was aptly named for the fact that his nose would turn a bright neon pink whenever he did something that would put him on Santa’s naughty list if he was an ordinary human. But he wasn’t. He was an elf, not just an ordinary elf. Pinkey was the son of Santa’s brother and an elfin witch. Perhaps that’s why Pinkey was always in trouble and Santa didn’t fire him.

It was days before the Christmas rush, and Pinkey was bored of all the work. So he went to the reindeer stable and “borrowed” Rudolph for a joy ride. Pinkey misjudged the distance when he rode Rudolf too close to the North Pole. Rudolph hit the pole and hurt his nose and wouldn’t be able to lead the reindeer through the dark polar night.

Santa was furious with Pinkey whose nose glowed an exceptionally bright neon pink. Santa thought that if Rudolph couldn’t guide the sleigh perhaps Pinkey’s nose could.

And so it was that Pinkey with his own the pink nose led all the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh to make the rounds on Christmas eve. However, true to his mischievous nature, Pinkey ate all the cookies and drank all the milk that was left out for Santa.

Linda Scott


December 5, 2017 – Prompt – Pretend you are one of Santa’s elves. Write a journal entry about your day.

Everything was going wrong today. The toy manufacturing parts supplier was behind. The delivery vehicle was in for repairs, and they ran into difficulties that would take three more weeks to fix, and it is two days before Christmas. Several of the elves on Santa’s management team have called in sick. It was probably a result of the cold front that came in from the South Pole.

Who knows if there would be a traditional Christmas this year. All the Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s events have satisfied most of the Christmas wish lists for children in the US and probably around the world. Amazon is now offering free delivery anywhere in the entire world. How can Santa compete with that. I overheard Mrs. Claus urging Santa to retire since there was too much competition from online retailers. On top it, the ASPC has sent a cease and desist warning letter to Santa about mistreating reindeer. And NASA is concerned about the unauthorized use of airspace.

I guess that means that elves like me will be out of work. What business would hire a nine-hundred-year-old 3 foot 2 elf with no experience in the retail marketplace? Oh well … Ho Ho HO!

Linda Scott


December, 26, 2016

So Christmas is over for another year. We overtime to build all those hover-boards, now we hear they are malfunctioning—catching on fire.

The big guy in the red suit is unhappy and searching for the culprit who assembled them improperly. That’s my area and I could lose my job before the day is over.

The bearded wonder was already in a bad mood because there was fog and snow on most of this trip and Rudolph had a cold and his nose wasn’t performing well. They had a few collisions with trees, chimneys and streetlights. Santa hit his head on a flashing yellow light and is dizzy this morning. He stumbled in to his bedroom and woke Mrs. Claus so she is in a foul mood too.

I think after I finish this I’ll write my letter of resignation. Maybe I can get a job with Jeff Bezos. I would think he can use help with all the orders he has to fill.

Mortimer Elf aka Chris Howard

November 22,2016- Prompt – What Activities from Your Youth do you Miss?

y family lived on the Crow Wing River, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Our home was on a rise above the river. My father built my childhood home there and my youngest brother now owns it.

The things we did on the river or near the river are the ones I miss the most.

In the summer it was plunging into the cool water after spending time in the garden under a hot sun weeding, picking potato bugs or gathering vegetables. Also in the summer we enjoyed watching canoes float by and later with the advent of tubing any manner of floating device is seen. Now in the summer my brother throws a 4th of July party and tubing is always part of the activities. He has a theme each year and I managed to get there one year.gary-bunny-gary-chris

In the fall it was enjoying the reflection of fall’s colorful array, raking up the leaves and making a bonfire from a huge pile of leaves and roasting marshmallows.

In the winter it sledding down the hill, over the river bank, and onto the ice. Once when sledding I ran into a tree and was thrown off my sled and landed hard on the cold ground and had the wind knocked out of me. When the flying saucer made its appearance we flew down the hill at an even greater rate of speed, especially after multiple trips had produced an icy path.

In the spring it was watching the ice break up. Sometimes big chunks of ice were thrown over the bank up the hill fifty feet or more. Sometimes there were trees along with the ice. Sometimes the noise of the ice growling and grinding and then bursting apart got all of our attention.

It seems what I really miss from my youth is the river with all its beauty.

Christine Howard


Hot, close, mid-summer night.  Must be close to one a.m. Mosquitoes by the thousands swarm the big six volt spot-light as it glances over the muddy, reed lined banks of the Sangamon river.

As a ten year-old I never stay up this late.  The rules change when I stay with Uncle Bob and Bruce, mom’s two ex-Marine Corp bachelor brothers.  Intriguing, dark, scary stories abound when I am in their beloved midst.  They are the experts in my world of outdoor lore.  Paddling a small tippy canoe in the middle of the night subtly builds confidence and competence.

Close by:  “burump-burump-burump.”

My spine tingles as the powerful light beam dances off the glowing eyes of our quarry, bull frogs, with their promise of fresh, crispy fried legs for an early breakfast once dawn brightens the eastern sky.

Pat Stone


Once you are not a child, Christmas loses its luster. When you are a little kid, the time before Christmas is so long. You count down each month-long day until the magic day arrives.

If you live in most countries in Europe, the holiest of all holy days is Christmas Eve, at least for a child. The daylight hours drag by until supper time. You enjoy the meal because not only do you eat something traditional, but you know the time is close.

Finally, the meal is done and you are allowed to march to the parlor. The door is opened and the first thing you see is the floor to ceiling spruce tree all decorated and burning wax candles. At that time in your life, you can not imagine a more beautiful sight in the whole world.

You are expected to recite a poem for the family, then everyone sings Christmas carols.

While singing, you look under the tree and wonder, which package might be for you.

Ellynore Seybold



December 18, 2012 – Prompt—In the Shed

It wasn’t really in the shed. Although there were enough outbuildings on my home’s property that one could have qualified as a shed.

There was our house, it wasn’t a shed. But there was a barn which had at one time held a cow but now only a few cats hung out there. There was a chicken coop it once served as a shelter for chickens, which I despised. They always got out and left there nasty crap and I went barefoot from May 1st until school started. There’s nothing more repulsive then chicken shit oozing between your toes. The hen house not stood empty and only the horseradish growing next to it offered anything of use.

Then there was my father’s garage. He built it and the rest of the buildings mentioned. He had used the boards from the boxcar that served as our dwelling for nearly two years. On cold mornings I saw my breath while lying huddled next to my little brother in that Great Northern railcar.

However, it was in the garage no in a shed or in the shed, that I looked one day early in December. What made me peer in through its window I can’t explain. I usually avoided contact with the garage not wanting to disturb something and invite my father’s wrath.

Maybe because I was only ten and Christmas was coming that caused me to peek in the window. When I did I saw it a beautiful, bright blue bike. I knew it was for me. Two other items waited as well a red peddle tractor and a blue and white car. The tractor had to be for my brother, Frank and the car for Gloria. What would my baby brother Mike get? I didn’t see the highchair hiding in the shadows.

Now even though I saw our presents I never mentioned them to anybody especially my little brother Frank and my little sister Gloria.

Christine Joy Howard