Prompts

National What? Day . . . Prompt #165

frogPrompt: Take Your Fill-In-The-Blank To Work Day

Take your dog, cat, frog, aunt/ant to work day.

From the June 2015 Costco Connection: Summer is typically a time when many businesses see a drop-off in customers, so they create ways to engage customers.

Here are some specially designated days and, of course, you can write on any of these. Have fun. . .  Let your imagination take over.

June 1: Flip A Coin Day

June 3: Repeat Day

June 4: Hug Your Cat Day

June 8: Best Friends Day

June 10: Iced Tea Day

June 18: National Splurge Day

June 19: Sauntering Day

June 26: Take Your Dog to Work Day

You can search the internet for all kinds of “official” days.

Just Write!

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24 comments

  1. marcyt

    National “Toss away the could haves and should haves day” – Third Saturday in July

    She can’t see them from here, but there they are below her. Looking up at her window like Romeo, he can see the carved stars in the concrete windowsill she is leaning on as she searches the evening fog for real ones.

    He doesn’t know any constellations, wasn’t raised that way. He can skin and dress a deer after killing it without raising his pulse. He is not without skills–just different ones. She leaves in two weeks for a big university. Full scholarship.

    He believes that she loves him, the way he believes that his lungs will refill with air after he lets out a breath. She has no problem with their differences. To her, being smart is an accident of birth, like being blonde. But his parents–and hers, to a lesser extent–have placed doubts in his mind. Not about her love, but about their future. Is it fair, they ask, using different words. His parents are, frankly, more worried about him than her. Girl is smart as a whip and her dad’s got money. She’ll land on her feet. But our boy is going to get his heart broke for him.

    She’s a good girl, they agree uneasily. She’s not playing or anything. But it’ll just happen, it’s just likely. There’ll be someone at that big school of hers, someone more, well, familiar. It’ll start out innocent but she’ll miss that college boy next summer. She’ll get bored with just the drive-in and the local bars.

    He watches her face, trying to imagine her bored. She’s never bored. Everything fascinates her, sometimes to laughter and sometimes to silence, but never to boredom.

    He does not imagine that he will find a way to fascinate her. He doesn’t have to. She’ll fascinate herself all on her own the way she always has.

    None of them can see inside her heart. Despite her smile and sparkle, she’s a private person. The truth is, he’s good for her because he’s good. He’s wide open, eager for every new thing that his life has somehow failed to provide. He’s kind. He listens. When he doesn’t get the joke, he doesn’t laugh. She knows that she will never in this world find another man like him. He was a boy but she sees him becoming a man, embracing manhood in a way none of her cleverer friends can do. He’s not afraid to grow up. She’s a little afraid, but not if he’s there.

    The rest doesn’t matter. Money, education, work–these things are trivial. She knows what matters. Her parents are divorced and his parents bicker. She can see him with her children, delight shining out of him like those pictures of saints in the mustier rooms of the museum. Experiments in light, her teacher called them. That’s what he is. An experiment in light.

    She never fights with her family or friends about him, about them. They’ll come around or they won’t.

    She stops searching the fogged sky and looks down where she knows he will be standing. She gives him a little wave and backs away from the window. He waits for her to appear downstairs.

    1. mcullen Post author

      marcyt, what elegant writing and beautiful phrases: “carved stars in the concrete windowsill” and “delight shining out of him” and “experiment in light.” Exquisite. I like how you created likable . . . scratch that. . . lovable characters with few words. You made each word count, moving the story forward. Lovely writing. Thank you for posting.

  2. Lynn L

    Arthur Boonwright never married, never had kids, didn’t even like dogs. Arthur Boonwright liked Arthur Boonwright, and long columns of numbers, and being left alone.

    But it was Take Your Daughter to Work day, and though she’d been careful to be quiet, the floating apparition of dark curly locks and grey-blue eyes large enough to be in a Pixar cartoon hovering above his low cubicle wall was giving him the willies.

    Beside her, oblivious, Mark Cutter nodded vigorously at his screen, adjusting his headset and periodically enthusing over something he heard.

    Arthur Boonwright could not help glancing into the grey-blue eyes, just to see if they were still staring at him, every few seconds. Every time, they were. Every time, he looked quickly back at his work and pretended it hadn’t happened.

    Her face held a slightly different expression each time he was compelled to glance. It was like watching a slow-moving flipbook.

    The last time he had looked, she’d been smiling. He didn’t know what it meant, but a moment later he scowled, realizing he’d dropped a digit.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Omigosh, Lynn L. . . I am laughing, smiling . . . LOVE THIS. Your vivid writing moves the story along quickly . . . I can see those grey-blue eyes and those curly locks. Delightful. Thanks for posting.

  3. kshatriya

    July 7th (or the First Monday of the month) is Take Your Moment to Work Day

    The first Monday in July is close to the half way part marking the year as being half gone. And since we often say, “Wow! already? Wasn’t it JUST Jan? Where did the year go…” This day is to honor the moment you are in right now.

    It is common practice in our culture to show up somewhere (especially work) and go straight to autopilot. When was the last time we took a moment, a breath, a minute to really look at the space we are in.

    Seriously, just take a minute and look at the literal space-the chair, the desk, the walls, the keyboard, the pen, the paper, the ceiling. Feel the air, is there light, is there noise… Take a moment, just a minute and look. See yourself where you are. Feel what you are doing, or touching, or smelling.

    What would we gain if we took that moment and appreciated it and experienced it? If we felt it?

    I think I would gain a moment of peace and stillness not often found in my life. And I believe I would be a better co-worker, wife, friend, sister, and person because I took that moment.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Kshatriya, this is absolutely excellent . . . good writing and an important message. I love the concept of Take Your Moment to Work Day. Brilliant! I especially like “Feel the air.” I’m doing that right now as a gentle breeze flows in through the window behind me. Really good energy in your writing. Thanks for posting.

      1. kshatriya

        Thank you Marlene. 🙂

        It was fun to write.

        1. mcullen Post author

          I enjoyed your creativity. I hope you can write on some other prompts and post again! You have a unique and caring way of expressing important topics in a meaningful way.

  4. karen53

    Engulfed by motion. Sensory overload. Even the air had a bustling smell … crackling, electric. “C’mon,” she grabbed my arms as the subway car slid into the station. “This is us. Stay close and get off quick, before people getting on mow you down.” She tugged as the doors chimed open and an ocean of New Yorkers spilled out the doors and onto the platform.
    Memories of my first commute into Grand Central station flooded me. The throng of suits, men and women, moving like a single unit, a giant wave squeezing through the doorways and up the the stairs, pouring like maple syrup onto the sidewalk.” You have to keep moving,” she chided me, and I remembered that first morning, my legs had moved in slow motion but the crowd seemed to carry me. I was swept up the stairs with the the tide. My first Manhattan summer. My first New York City job.
    Out on the sidewalk she strode a half step ahead, protectively towing me behind. “I can’t wait for you to see the view from the conference room,” she said brightly, never taking her eyes off the crowded sidewalk. Around us the sky scrapers pulsated, honking horns serenaded, and the two-way pedestrian highway we navigated was clipped and orderly. Filled to capacity.
    She grinned,and I tried to keep up, caught reliving old memories as she taxied me towards new ones. “Just think,” she smiled smartly,”We’re inventing something new : It’s called take your MOM to work day.”

    1. mcullen Post author

      karen53. . . What a fun and delightful story. I love the surprise at the end. You have a way of describing the scene so I can see and feel it. “Even the air had a bustling smell.” And, “doors chimed open.” And, “pouring like maple syrup onto the sidewalk.” My favorite: “Around us the sky scrapers pulsated, honking horns serenaded, and the two-way pedestrian highway we navigated was clipped and orderly.” Exquisite writing. Thanks for posting.

  5. TheGoodQueen

    I think we are loooong overdue for a National ‘Count How Many Times You Blink in a Day’ day, and I propose we start this long-awaited new tradition on the 11th (think snake-eyes…or do snakes blink?).

    I am confident that we will all be doing a valuable service for some eager young statistician or starry-eyed PhD candidate who will be all too glad to gather such important information and create a ground-breaking, top-news-story study on this heretofore neglected yet vital subject.

    I for one will be observing ‘Count the Number of Times You Blink in a Day’ day on the 11th. Don’t talk to me! I don’t want to lose my count! Please inform my boss that I am NOT staring vacantly into space. I am NOT ignoring him. I am NOT napping with my eyes open again. I’M COUNTING!

    1. mcullen Post author

      Dear Good Queen, I hope I am not interrupting your blink study. When you are ready to read this . . .or maybe you could have a minion do your reading for you (You are a Good Queen, right) . . . please know that I thoroughly enjoy your creativity and sense of humor. I mean, I appreciate your contribution to science. From, Your #1A fan.

  6. Granny

    I think the first day of the eighth month of the year should be set aside for a National Eat One Bug Today challenge.

    Scientists tell us bugs are an excellent source of protein. We could all resolve to eat just one bug, one day a year, just to see how it goes. We might find out we actually LIKE the taste of bugs.

    Before you know it, a new tradition will have sprung up. Every August first we will all be high-fiving each other, exclaiming, “EIGHT ONE!” It will be a beautiful thing.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Oh Granny, this is very clever. The last line had me laughing out loud! You go first!

      1. TheGoodQueen

        Ah well, I shall be clever and shout, “Eight one!” Because if I actually said, “Ate one!” I would of course be lying….

        1. mcullen Post author

          I’ll never tell . . . 😉

  7. Kathy Myers

    December 1st/ National Pie Day

    “I wish she’d held out for another month—could’ve had one last Christmas.”
    Margie slapped her brother’s shoulder. “You selfish son of a bitch. How could you say that?” She looked at the pool of tears welling up around Dan’s eyes, grabbed his hand and gave it a hard squeeze. “I’m kidding you big lug.” The weak smile on Dan’s face pinched out the one tear he’d allowed himself during the entire funeral. He wiped it away with the cuff of his white shirt. He thought he had to stay strong and gracious with the guests, and support Margie who’d worked so hard on the funeral and wake.

    The buffet of food was warm and welcoming as was Margie who milled through the crowd of visitors. By dusk the group had thinned out to a few diehard mourners who had to be scooted out by their designated drivers. Dan couldn’t wait to strip out of his suit and into his sweatpants and T-shirt. Margie went straight for the comfort of her flannel nightgown. They put their feet on the coffee table and turned on their mother’s favorite TV show— never to be missed even on her last days.
    “Who is Amelia Earhart?” Dan shouted out the right answer to final Jeopardy, knowing it would make his mother proud.
    “I have something special for dessert.” Margie jumped up and went to the pantry. Dan did not have much appetite earlier and was now a little peckish. “I could eat.”
    Marge walked in carrying two forks and one of mom’s famous peach pies. Dan’s eyes widened with delight. “Is that what I think it is?”
    Marge set it down in front of him. “I found it in the back of her freezer. She made two last 4th of July and froze this one. I thought of putting it out for the guests, but it’s too special. This is for us alone. Our last chance to eat her cooking.” They sat still for a moment and took in the pie’s beauty; the scalloped edge of the golden lattice crust still held the shape of their mother’s fingertips. They leaned down to sniff the summery scent of peaches warmed by the sun on drooping branches, sliced and tossed with care worn hands. Dan cut through the crust and lifted a forkful into his mouth. Any attempt to holdback his pent up tears was futile as he ate his mom’s last pie. Dan and his sister felt connected by their grief; closer than they’d been for some time. They relaxed into their indulgence as they ate and watched Mom’s second favorite show.
    “Ill take a T Pat.” Dan said to the TV. Vanna turned a tile. The brother and sister got closer to the answer one letter and one bite at a time.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Oh, Kathy. This is exquisite. You had my interest from the opening line. Brilliant writing. Good tension, good story development, likable characters.If you’ll excuse me, I have to rummage in my freezer. Who knows what tempting morsel might be hiding there. As for you, my dear: Keep writing!

  8. Kathy Myers

    Thank you Marlene. On the lighter side here’s a piece about one of my favorite “days”; September 19th, International Talk like a Pirate Day…

    “Avast me hearties, lower yer yardarm and trim yer sails you grimy young chum buckets!” Miss Sullivan waited until all the boys were seated for maximum effect before she breezed into the eighth grade classroom at the Raleigh Academy. Her topic today would be 18th century North Carolina naval history so she dressed the part; her long full skirt flounced around the top of her boots, her auburn curls caressed her tan neck, her off the shoulder blouse gathered across her substantial bosom. Her class was unusually attentive today.
    “Blow me down, and shiver yer timbers. Today is talk like a pirate day. Instead of yes you’ll say ‘Aye matey.’ and no more Miss Sullivan, it’s Cap’n Bonnie to you.” She bent down to get a fresh piece of chalk from her desk drawer, and revealed another aspect of her enthusiasm to her rapt audience. She turned to the chalkboard and wrote out the name Edward Teach. Turning back to the class, her arms akimbo at her hips she asked,”Does anyone know the pirate name of this man?” She smiled as every hand shot into the air in a chorus of “Ayes.” All hands on deck to please the lovely wench; slaves to their fearless captain. History never looked so good.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Dee-light-full, Kathy. Arrrrrr. . . .

  9. Seymour

    National SWEET CORN Day

    My most memorable Fourth of July was during my last year of living in Tehran. This was a few years before the revolution and hostage crisis. My Iranian husband and I were invited to join the celebration at the American Embassy. During the afternoon we lined up for the American style barbecue — fried chicken, watermelon, and to my delight, sweet corn. I hadn’t had any in four years.

    In Tehran roasted corn is available from street vendors. There was such a vendor on our street and during my first summer I had watched him tending his garden of corn and watermelon on a small patch of ground next to the tiny mosque across the street from our flat. He, or his daughter gracefully swaying under her chador, carried water from the mosque to tenderly water the growing plants. Later that summer when the crop ripened he lit coals in a brazier and roasted the corn. Smoke filled the air over his glowing fire. He sold his produce to the laborers who nightly attended the mosque.

    I tried his roasted corn once but was disappointed. It was so tough, like cattle corn in the U.S. So when I was offered American sweet corn at the embassy, all steaming and slathered with butter, I was in heaven. As the sky darkened we sat on bleachers and watched the red, white, and blue bursts of color in the sky. It could have been any small town in the U.S. but we were half a world away.

    At the end of that summer my husband, frustrated by being passed over for a promotion, decided that we should return to the U.S. Many Fourths of July have come and gone since that summer, but none of them are as fondly remembered as that one in Tehran, especially the sweet corn.

    1. mcullen Post author

      What a delightful telling tale, Seymour. Poignant, lovely and well-written. I enjoy how you built anticipation with the street vendor, tenderly watering the growing plants . . . . only to be so disappointed by the tough corn. The last sentence has such a sweet poignancy = lovely.

  10. Jennie Butler

    TAKE YOUR BEAR TO WORK DAY
    By Jennie Frost Butler

    Theodore “Bwainey” Bear is my constant companion, whether I’m working on art or writing projects (or watching Netflix or doing household chores), Seated atop the back of my living room couch, he’s silent witness to my chats with visitors or on the phone.

    But his outfit speaks volumes, from the epaulets of its tan “Rough-Riders” jacket to matching slouch hat. And his small, round, gold-rimmed glasses look just like the ones I wore, as a child.

    TBB was given to me by Blaine, my eldest son. As tots, all four of my kids had pet names. His was “Blainey Bear,” which he and younger sibs couldn’t quite pronounce. So, to commemorate that (and Teddy Roosevelt), my now-middle-aged son signed his gift card, “From your very own personal Theodore Bwainey Bear.”

    Occasionally, walking past my couch, I lean over to kiss TBB’s nose. And, always, simply glancing at him warms my heart. For he’s not only filled with cotton, wool or kapok, but stuffed full of tender memories.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Ah, Jennie, and your writing warms my heart!

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