Tag Archives: Contests

Writing obituaries


In my younger days, I wrote a few obituaries. Every time I did, I thought about that person’s life. What they must have experienced. How it felt. Who they left behind. How they’d be remembered.

The other night on the news, somebody interviewed two guys in the San Francisco airport who were bound for Green Bay, Wisconsin, to attend the Packer/49er playoff game. They were dressed in tee-shirts and their 49er (lightweight) jackets.

I don’t have to tell you how cold it’s been in the Midwest. The predicted wind chill factor for tomorrow’s game is -40. That’s right, minus 40. The actual air temperature by the end of the game will be below 0. People watching from the stands, if they stick it out to the end, will be sitting outside in those conditions for up to three hours.

The interviewer said, “How are you preparing for the cold?”

One guy said, “We have our Jerry Rice tee-shirts and our team spirit!”

The interviewer said, “Packer management is issuing hand warmers to all 70,000 fans—Packer and 49er. What about that?”

One guy said, “We won’t need hand warmers! We have our team spirit!” He might also have mentioned he’d be clapping too much. I might have over-interpreted his remarks.

I’m worried about those guys. To sit outside and watch that game, they need long underwear, lined pants, snowmobile suits, insulated boots, thermal socks, heavy mittens, fur hats, heat packs, foot warmers, hand warmers, blankets, and something warm to sit on. And probably other things I’m not thinking of. Living in the Bay Area, those guys probably don’t own that stuff. And they looked like they were traveling light.

As much as I admire—if “admire” it is—their courage and team spirit, those guys won’t survive the weather conditions in Green Bay wearing Jerry Rice tee-shirts and their team spirit. They just don’t have a clue about how cold -40 is. I’m worried about them, and I’m worried about their families.

I’m even worried about the obit writers. Just thinking about what it must feel like to freeze to death in -40 conditions is enough to send a chill down my spine.

So stay warm, my friends. Sometimes team spirit just isn’t enough.

Hop on down! Win fabulous prizes! Offer good Dec. 16-23


The Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop is now closed. Congratulations to Wendy, who won Beth Barany’s The Writer’s Adventure Guide. Thanks to everyone for dropping by!  And may your holidays have madness only of the good kind.

If you like contests, and who doesn’t, here’s one that’s easy to enter and the prizes are many. Join the Mistletoe Madness blog hop, sponsored by 50 writers including yours truly, and you have a chance to win 50 prizes, including the grand prize: a color  Nook preloaded with many fine books that you can enjoy during the upcoming joyous holidays while your Uncle Al is yelling at the TV and your Aunt Myrtle is telling you how well her other niece is doing.

I can hear you now: what is a blog hop? I need that color Nook!

Here’s how it works. Each participating blog (that’s me) hosts a giveaway. All the blogs are linked up so blog hoppers can zip from one giveaway to the next, with the chance to win 50 fabulous prizes. (But not all of them. I think they’ve fixed it so you can’t do that.)

Except my blog doesn’t link up. The tech setup here means that you actually have to go to the sponsoring blog (the Mistletoe Madness link) to link in and get into the mix for the grand prize. An entrance form will go live there on Dec 16, and the grand prize winner will be chosen at random after the contest closes on Dec 23. (Because of various restrictions, this contest is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry!)

But if you register on this blog (no purchase necessary), or okay, even leave a comment, you are entered into my portion of the grand giveaway. The lucky winner will receive a paper copy of  Beth Barany’s The Writer’s Adventure Guide: 12 Stages to Writing Your Book. Beth is a creativity coach for writers, and if anybody can help you get that manuscript out the door, it is she. I know; I’ve read the book.

I’ll choose a winner at random after Dec 26 and ship the book out shortly thereafter–right after I get back from that annual visit to Uncle Al and Aunt Myrtle. Happy holidays!