If You Write It, I’ll Give You a Present

It would appear I’m not so good at following my own advice. If I were a dr. I’m pretty sure I’d smoke at least a pack a day. I’d probably have a martini glass balanced on the end of the exam table while I wrote out prescriptions for one of those cholesterol lowering meds and lectured patients about exercise and diet. I talk a lot about writing every day – in my own book, yet I haven’t been doing it lately. While I’m not planning to write a memoir (I’m not very interesting), I love writing essays, and someday I’d like to try writing a novel. But seriously, what kind of jerk tells people to write every day and then doesn’t even do it herself? Anyway, I was thinking about this while I was shopping for a birthday gift for my dad last weekend. He just turned 60, and my husband and I decided to make him his very own, customized book-of-the-month-club kind of thing. We bought a book we thought he would like for each month of the year, and wrote up a paragraph about each one. We ended up with kind of a crazy mixture. . . Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, Sherlock Holmes, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (my dad used to teach fourth grade) – a reference book about weather, because my dad is OBSESSED with storms. It was quite possibly the only time I had fun shopping for a gift. It got me thinking. . if you’re totally stuck, which happens to EVERYONE, writing about gifts is a super easy way to get unstuck. There are so many instances in life where a gift has made a difference – good or bad. I mean, it’s not really about the present, it’s about the thoughts, what it meant, and the lasting memories they leave right?

What was I thinking? Why was I out smoking and drinking white russians when I should have been home working on my memoir? What a terrible mistake!

So listen. . . since I’m making a conscious effort to write more, I’m hoping you will too. I’ll send a copy of my book (and a special bonus surprise) to whoever writes the most kick-ass gift story. I don’t care how long it is or anything. . . it doesn’t matter.

Ooops. I brilliantly gave you all the wrong email address at the webinar. It’s this:

paula@morningmemoir.com

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3 Comments

Filed under Contests, Work, Writing

3 responses to “If You Write It, I’ll Give You a Present

  1. Kim

    My late father could not have been more strait-laced. He was a former Army captain and later a lawyer with the U.S. Treasury Department — probably the most uptight agency in the federal government, and that’s saying something. He lived his life with decorum and precision. He was a warm and loving man and a doting father, but he just could never lighten up.

    One Christmas years ago, with all our family members gathered around the tree, he handed me a flat gift box that I could tell was probably clothing. “I’m anxious to see what you think of this,” he said. “I took my time picking it out.” Eagerly I tore off the paper and lifted up the box lid to find some sort of outfit folded up in a clear plastic sleeve. It was hard to tell what it was. So I pulled the plastic open to reveal….a lacy see-through bustier with a matching g-string. A shocked hush fell over the room.

    “Um, that doesn’t look like a robe,” my father said.

    “You think?” I said. We all burst out laughing. I looked over at my mortified father, who resembled a hothouse tomato, and eventually he started laughing too. It would be several more Christmases before we stopped making jokes about who was going to mistakenly get a g-string in their stocking.

    My father died last year, and we buried him with full military honors and a bagpiper at his funeral, just as he would have wanted. But I’ll always remember those rare moments, those small moments, when I caught him laughing and letting go, and living life to the fullest.

  2. My father could not have been more strait-laced. He was a former Army captain and later a lawyer with the U.S. Treasury Department — probably the most uptight agency in the federal government, and that’s saying something. He lived his life with decorum and precision. He was a warm and loving man and a doting father, but he just could never lighten up.

    One Christmas years ago, with all our family members gathered around the tree, he handed me a flat gift box that I could tell was probably clothing. “I’m anxious to see what you think of this,” he said. “I took my time picking it out.” Eagerly I tore off the paper and lifted up the box lid to find some sort of outfit folded up in a plastic sleeve. It was hard to tell what it was. So I pulled the plastic open to reveal….a lacy see-through bustier with a matching g-string. A shocked hush fell over the room.

    “Um, that doesn’t look like a robe,” my father said.

    “You think?” I said. We all burst out laughing. I looked over at my mortified father, who resembled a hothouse tomato, and eventually he started laughing too. It would be several more Christmases before we stopped making jokes about who was going to mistakenly get a g-string in their stocking.

    My father died last year, and we buried him with full military honors and a bagpiper at his funeral, just as he would have wanted. But I’ll always remember those rare moments, those small moments, when I caught him laughing and letting go, and living life to the fullest.

  3. What’s the deadline on this contest… did I miss it?

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