60 Second Story…..Bald Mary & the 5th graders

Dear 5th grade students,

It was an absolute pleasure spending time with you this week discussing what it is like to be a writer.  Your enthusiasm and creativity blew me away.  As I mentioned, I have a running feature here at Jotter Girl called 30 Second Stories where I take an old photograph that I find at the black flea market and write a humorous story that can be read in about 30 seconds.  It was so much fun to have all of  you take turns coming up with the next line in the story for my latest photo.  In your case, my 30 Second Story, turned into a 60 Second Story. To the best of my recollection here is the story we put together.

 Mary stood on the boat, holding tight to her purse.  There was a bread stick that had come alive in the dining hall and was coming after her.   She was a bit frightened and she jumped off the ship….wait, no she didn’t.  It was all very creepy when the  Zombies came after her but thankfully she was wearing her heat resistant coat.  There was also a grave yard on the top of the boat where ghosts were hanging out.  Then someone yelled out “Dance Party!” and they all went to dance.  A meatball fits into the story somewhere, but Mary cannot remember because there were too many 5th children circling her and shouting out ideas.  She was lucky enough to have a video recorder tucked inside her hat so she could look at the movie later when she was safe in her cabin.  Actually, she couldn’t wait to take off her hat because her bald head was very itchy.  What the children didn’t realize was that Mary had her writers notebook underneath her arm and she would write this whole big episode into a science fiction, horror, fantasy, action story for her next cook book titled,

Meatballs and Bread sticks.


I was quite surprised after school today when one of you young writers appeared at my door with an envelope full of thank you notes, each one neatly written.

I am so glad that you all enjoyed our meeting and I truly hope I have helped inspire you to write.  Don’t forget, be free with your ideas and use your writer’s eye to tell a more interesting tale.  I am certain that your heads are filled with many stories just waiting to jump out onto paper.  Happy writing!

The Jotter Pages…..what’s his name?

The Jotter Pages are a glimpse into one of my many notebooks.  The italics are the actual writings from my jotter and the roman type are my comments today.  This entry takes place in Florence, Italy 1984


Saturday Afternoon

After my visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David, I stopped at a souvenir stand on the street.  The guy at the stand was really funny and wound up taking me to a cappuccino bar for a drink, leaving his stand with no one to watch over it.  While we were sipping our frothy cappuccinos, he asked me to dinner.  I told him no, so he went out into the street and began telling strangers that I wouldn’t go out with him.  He begged for their sympathy while I giggled with embarrassment.  Returning to our table, he asked me again and I said okay.  We headed back to his stand where he sent me off to my hotel with a great book on Michelangelo, writing paper, pens and a bunch of post cards all free of charge.  He’s pretty cute with the exception that he has a mustache.  My biggest problem at the moment is that I don’t know his name.  I think it begins with a G.

Saturday Night

Have just returned from my date with ???? .  I still don’t know his name and it seemed a little too late to ask while we were on our date. We went to dinner at a small family restaurant which was very good and we had a lot of great conversation.  After, we took his motorcycle up to the Michelangelo Square which over looks the city.  It felt so cool riding on the back of  his bike and I wasn’t scared at all.  The view was the prettiest I’ve ever seen, with the city and Duomo lit up along the river.  We kissed at the overlook and the mustache wasn’t as awful as I expected.

I really like ???? a lot and have decided to stay an extra day to be with him but how will I ever figure out what his name is?


In reading this entry 27 years later, I have a whole different perspective things.  I truly love the sense of fearlessness that I had while traveling alone throughout Italy, especially knowing that I could never be that way today.  When I get around to posting part two of this little romance with ???? you’ll see that I learned a big lesson about trust and my own arrogance.

30 Second Story….Where’s the Chocolate Factory?

The boys weren’t sure they liked the outfits Aunt Gemma had brought along for the outing, but she assured little Clarence and Clifford that this was the latest style in play wear.  What the boys didn’t know was that Auntie was really taking them to an audition where she hoped that the boys would kick off their movie careers by getting parts playing Oompa Loompas.


Open letter to Barnes and Noble

Dear B&N,

I must confess that as far as bookstores go, I’ve realized, I’m a fair weather friend.  The Borders across town was my favorite place to shop up until about a month ago.  Honestly, prior to that, I tried to like B&N but always seemed to leave your store annoyed for one reason or another.

Yes, you were the prettier store and had more to offer, but Borders seemed more genuine, easier.    When they closed their doors, it was like my best friend was moving away.  And there I was…. left with you, the other friend, that I didn’t really like that much.

I stayed away for as long as I could but this morning I needed a bookstore fix, so I ventured over to your place.

As of today, Barnes and Noble is my new best friend favorite book store.  You’ve changed and I love what you’ve done with the place.

Adding a larger game/toy section is genius.  When I am there with my boys and they are tired of looking at the books, they now have a second stop at the games before hunting me down and begging me to leave.

Removing all those comfy seating areas where inconsiderate people would sit for hours reading your books and magazines without purchasing them.  That drove me insane….I wasn’t there to buy used reading material and hated seeing all those books and magazines left on the floor.

Now, the only thing left for you to do to cement our friendship, is to tell the lady at register 5 to be a little less snooty when it comes to asking me if I am “a member“.   She need not look down on me just because I am not ready to plunk down $25.oo a year to be in your club.  My old friend Borders got me for $20 and then a couple months later…well, you know.