Writing Weekend #9


We haven’t don’t this for a while! So let’s try a writing prompt for a change. Get those creative juices going again.

Your prompt is simple.

Scenario: your character is waiting in line at a grocery store and it has been a long one. He or she is the next person in line. The cashier has finished scanning the other person’s items when….she pulls out a stack of coupons. Yep, she’s an extreme couponer.

So what does your character do in the face of a longer than expected wait? Roll her eyes and sigh? Pull out his phone and text? Does she say something? What is your character thinking? Is he understanding? After all, everyone wants to save some money in these hard times.

You might be surprised at what you discover. If you want, link your writing back to my blog and leave a comment. Happy writing!


My New Television Hit

Anybody watch Naked and Afraid? Kirk and I are hooked on that show. I’m not sure what it is about watching naked people survive in the wilderness that is addicting. Not the nakedness, that’s for sure.

I couldn’t last on the show–not like I would even try. My idea of surviving in the wilderness is camping in the backyard. Things get wild out there. Owls hoot at crazy hours of the night, my dog decides he wants a midnight snack of his extremely dry and crunchy food, and the cats suddenly decide they hate each other.

Of course I’ve been camping in areas outside my own backyard. Like a friend’s backyard. Things are just as crazy.

You might think that, since I live in such a rural area, I might know a thing or two about…well, anything. Not true. I knew nothing of survival techniques except don’t drink unfiltered water (which might save my life if I end up somewhere like Mexico where water is dangerous unless bottled).

But now, thanks to Naked and Afraid, I know the very basic techniques for starting a fire. Have I tried? Nope. Would I fail? Absolutely. But I’ve seen them do it on the show with a bow drill a few times. The daunting thing is that they’re pros and still can’t do it sometimes. There’s no hope for a newbie like me.

And don’t even get me started on hunting. I would end up being one of those vegetarians that are on the show, except that I don’t know which plants are safe to eat and which aren’t. I guess I wouldn’t eat for 21 days. That’s rough.

So besides lacking the basic skills for survival, there is something else. I hate walking barefoot outside. I got stung by a bee on the bottom of my foot once when I was little and it scarred me for life. Those people go in all sorts of crazy areas with thorns and other sharp objects so you know they get stuff poking all up in their feet. Nope, not me. Not happening.

And of course I wouldn’t be walking around naked. Let’s not even get started on that.

But if I was to be on the show and–pretend, shall we?–I knew a thing or two about surviving in the wild,  it would be called Clothed and Afraid. Because I’m just that cool. Or lame.

Life of a New Hair Stylist

Granted, I’ve only been doing this a few days, but I’ve actually had a few clients! It thrills me every time I get someone in my chair. The fact that I’m starting totally from scratch means I have no real clientele yet, but I’m working on it. But, from my three days in the salon, I made a list of things newbie hair stylists like me should remember.

1. Love the Laundry

Not literally. You don’t have to come to work excited to told some towels. I don’t. But during your wait for people to come in, it gives you something to do. Plus it’s helpful to your co-workers.

By the time you build up your clientele, you will be a Master Towel Folder. I already achieved that title in school on a day where literally all I did was fold towels. Not fun, but warm towels feel really nice on a cold day.

2. Check Your Stuff

Your phone, book, computer, whatever entertainment you bring to keep you busy–keep an eye on it. I’m grateful to work in a place where everyone is trustworthy. My school, however…

I had set out some tools at my station and went to the back for lunch. When I came back, my vent brush was gone. My vent brush, people. It was standard in our kits. Everyone had one. I hope they enjoyed it because they apparently needed an extra worse than I needed my one.

3. Keep the Phone Close

Some places have receptionists. Mine just has phones for every station, which is kind of nice. If it’s a potential walk-in, you can get that person in your chair if you answer the phone. So guess what? I’ve practically attached that phone to my hip. And it works! One of my haircuts last week was a walk-in that I got by answering the phone.

Got a receptionist? Pass out your cell phone number on business cards. Similar effect, except now people are calling you directly.

4. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!

There’s the key. I work booth rent, so I’m my own boss, my own marketer, my own everything. I love it. It’s fun coming up with ways to advertise my services and see what works. Maybe I should have gone for marketing? Either way, I’m getting experience by doing hair and also being a writer.

5. Attitude

So much of the time, people at school had crappy attitudes. It’s just so easy to complain instead of trying to see the bright side. But you know what? That won’t win you friends or clients. Keep a positive attitude, be patient, and keep a smile on your face. That will turn the whole day around. Trust me.

Ah, Life

So life has taken yet another somewhat hectic turn! I’ve started a new job. I’m now a hairstylist. Or the waiting hairstylist. Just starting out involves a lot of waiting and I’m discovering that even on my first day. It’s not too bad, though. The people are nice here, which makes waiting a thousand times better.

Remember that post about things you experience as a hairstylist? If not, check it out for a refresher of what I’ll be experiencing. I’ve already been thinking about it.

Also, my fiance’s birthday is Saturday! Yay! He’s old. Almost 30. Yes, I’m aware that 30 isn’t old, but I have to bug him about it. And my birthday is next Saturday. I’ll actually be closing in on 30 in a few years myself. Ah, life.

Anyway, to change the subject, Kirk and I took Bandit on a hike the other day. We were pretty much the only ones there until we hiked back and saw a few other people. Bandit absolutely loved the water, much to my surprise. He hates bath time, but on the hike, he was bouncing all over the place in the water. It was so cute. I told Kirk it gave me the warm-fuzzies.

But anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. Not such a fun update, but I’m hoping to get back into writing on here more regularly. More fun stories to come soon!

V-Day: An Update

So, Bandit’s vet appointment came and went. The news, you ask? Let’s just say I’m glad he doesn’t have to go back for another year. Without going into details, it was rough.

My boy is a good dog, but he hates the vet. I can understand that. When I go to the doctor (which is rare, as you will soon discover), I panic. Literally. Needles are my biggest fear and I’m always afraid I’ll get stuck by one. So when I think of it like that it makes Bandit’s reaction a little more understandable, even though I doubt he’s scared of needles too. He just gets it from his momma.

Since V-Day, however, I’ve taken him to the park for walks and he does great like always. He doesn’t bother anybody. He minds his own business. It’s just something about the vet…

As I type, he’s curled up on his doggy bed fast asleep. We went on a long walk (small hike?) this morning and he’s tuckered out. Poor thing.

Dapple (our other dog) is due for an appointment soon. I don’t have to worry about her, though. She and Bandit are night and day. Where Bandit is constantly wired like he drank an espresso, Dapple is chill and loves everyone. Except Jehovah’s Witnesses when she’s alone with them, but that’s another story.  Read it here.

I imagine when Dapple goes, everyone will be wondering how we have such different dogs and how they get along. That will forever remain a mystery, even to us.


I stared at them. They stared back, indifferent. I reached out, stopped–they saw my hesitation. Sweat trickled down my spine. My eyes darted back and forth. I was breathing too fast. They would know how nerve-wracking it was.

My chest felt tight. Indecision clouded my mind. The sound of the clock ticking on the wall seemed five times louder than normal. I looked for help, but I was alone. Just me and them. They remained still. I swallowed, but my mouth was dry.

I reached out slowly, carefully. This time I didn’t stop. I touched one of them, trailed my fingers down the spine and picked it up, flipping it over to see if the book was anything I would be interested in.

Just when I thought I had a good one, the sound I had been dreading came across the room.

“The library closes in five minutes!”

And all of the sudden, the race was on. Panic set in. Was it the right book? Why did I pick it up? What if it wasn’t good? I needed another.

Frantically, I grabbed another one and scanned the back. Good enough. I rushed to the front desk and checked them out, completely unsure of my choices as I walked out to my car.

It was the most intense experience of my week.


Thursday is the dreaded day. V-Day. Nope, that wasn’t a typo. It also doesn’t stand for Valentine’s Day. It’s much worse than that. Something sinister. So before I reveal what the dreaded day is, shut your windows and lock all your doors. Bring your kids inside and secure your animals.

It’s Vet Day.

For one Mr. Bandit Wildman Wooten, it is the day he has dreaded (presumably) all year. His annual exam.

This day is not to be taken lightly. Last year, after getting his exam and booster shots, he was terrified of getting in my car for at least a month. No joke. He hates going to the vet. I can’t blame him, really, because I hate going to the doctor’s office.

It was such a shame that he was so scared of my car. It’s like he thought it would kill him if he even got near it, because we all know my car is a dog-killer. He’s good with my car now (maybe because it hasn’t tried to kill him lately). Now I have a battle plan. I’m taking him in the backseat of the family truck. And then soon after I’m taking him for a fun romp in the park.

So cross your fingers and hope for the best. Bandit is going to have a rough morning Thursday, even though he doesn’t know it yet.