31 Days

31 Days | Paper Doll Tales

I never thought I’d fall in love with a green pumpkin.  It’s probably technically a gourd, but that word sounds like a contender for Top 10 Vegetable Insults, so I’m calling her a pumpkin.  “Her”, because she’s got a perfection of color, texture, shine, twirl, and verve that can only truly be displayed by the feminine version of any species, vegetables included.

She travelled from a church garden in Williamsport, PA to grace our dining room table on vacation at Edisto Beach, South Carolina.  She had a photo shoot on the beach the other morning.  I have since googled “how to preserve a pumpkin” in hopes that I can find a way to mummify her for at least the next ten autumn seasons.  But I think the best preservation I can hope for is a snapshot.

I spent the month of October rising to meet the challenge of writing a 5-minute blog post every day for 31 days.  It’s a goal that jumpstarts my writing, flushes out the clogs of writer’s block, and gives me 31 chances to preserve some 31 things worthwhile.

Through the process, what struck me over and over again, at least 16 out of 31 times, is the truth that sometimes I just don’t know what’s going to come of writing until I get to the final punctuation.  I paralyze and discourage myself when I try to control the process and picture from afar.  It’s in the nitty-gritty of writing, that middle mess like when I’ve got ground beef under my fingernails from massaging ingredients into a loaf of meatloaf, that it comes together, and I am the conduit, not the creator.

I agonized over Hope and Almost for hours and hours before setting fingers to keyboard.  I stared for many dull minutes before pushing myself over the starting line of Joy.  I had no idea Bacon would capture the hard and beautiful of parenting a picky eater.  I didn’t anticipate Wave being my favorite and maybe most poetic post of the month.  I’m glad I had a chance to share Perhaps with my family and preserve the Honor and Worth of extended family.  I want Fly to be words remembered long after I’ve finished creating fresh posts.  Laugh made me laugh.

Here’s the full list of the month’s challenges and posts:


  1. Martha said:

    I love that green pumpkin too! Does your dad know what he even planted to get it? Thank you once again for your 31 days of writing. I got so I knew there was going to be something from you when I checked my email for the day. Now I will miss it daily, but will anxiously await your posts.

    November 3, 2015
  2. Jo said:

    Oh how I have enjoyed this 31 day journey! I will miss it, yes. But I now have 31 beautiful preserved snippets of life that contain beauty, wisdom, and humor that will continue to feed and inspire me. “Thanks for the memories”!

    November 3, 2015
  3. megantroxell said:

    I am so glad you did it and congrats! I’m calling my favorite post the Bacon one. Because…Bacon. But maybe it’s just because it’s one of the more recent ones I read. All of your writing is so spot-on and genuine.

    November 4, 2015

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