I love April for several reasons. My mom's, Caitriona's, and Lukas's birthdays, the wildflowers, Easter, and, of course, April Fool's Day. A long-running joke when Nicole and I were kids was to put all of my dad's underwear in the freezer. I still remember the TV show that prompted it. (Evil genius: "Let's execute evil plan *gives off string of numbers that ends in 9-4-8*!" Evil henchman: "We don't have enough rubber chickens for that." Evil genius: "No, not that plan!" Henchman: "Oh, well in that case, I don't think our freezer's big enough for that." Genius: "Big enough for what?" Henchman: "Oh, you know, to freeze the underpants of everyone on the island. I mean, that's a lot of underpants, and our freezer is tiny!")
Anyway, that joke got old after about five years, especially considering that underpants tend not to freeze. But I've picked up quite a few jokes for your upcoming April Fool's Day, the first of which being purely evil: switch all the bags around in the boxes of cereal.
One April Fool's Day, we had the pleasure of being in the car, driving from Texas to Illinois. We had to drive through Missouri, which is a simply beautiful state and chock-full of middles of nowhere. So I waited until we were in the absolute middle of the Middle of Nowhere and said, "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom!"
It would have worked better if I could have kept a straight face.
A lot of good pranks focus on technology. For example, if you screenshot someone's home page, turn it into their background, then move all their apps to another page, they'll find themselves pressing on empty screen, wondering why their apps won't open! Another is a prank app called "Cage Me." Once downloaded, Nicolas Cage's face randomly pops up on the victim's screen.
What's your favorite April Fool's Day prank? What are you planning on pulling this year? I'd love to hear in the comments below! Maybe next week, I'll tell you how my prank went! God bless you, dear readers, and have a wonderful April!
A long long long long time ago in a galaxy far far far far away tables come alive and seek revenge on the carpenters that made them and the master carpenter m.j. pizza what will she do probably disappear like every other character that is threatened like obi kentable, and master lumoda....
And that was written by a friend of mine, who is obsessed with Star Wars and didn't bother using the shift key. And also gave me the attractive last name of Pizza. Well done, friend, well done.
At any rate, the furniture really has been striking back. So far this week, I've been attacked by a Mexican table and stabbed by a piano bench, and I'm just waiting to trip over the dishwasher. (Okay, so there's a hinge hanging out of the front of our piano bench. Don't ask about the table. I'm not sure how it happened, either.)
I can't help but look at my furniture now and think, "The hate is strong with this one." Why? Is G-Force based in reality or something? I mean, my hand took forever to stop bleeding after the Mexican table incident. Was it trying to poison me? Or kill me via exsanguination?
And the piano bench--it wasn't trying to cut off my leg, was it? Because that's the leg I use for the sustain pedal, and maybe it's tired of being stepped on. I wonder if all the furniture is plotting its own Order 66, trying to exterminate everyone who's ever used it....
In which case, the Vikings, who only had tables and the occasional low stool, would be pretty safe from attack. But not us. We're Americans, hallelujah, and whether that means nightstands or pointless sofa tables, we're going to fill our houses with furniture.
So be on your guard. You have been warned. Flee to the Outer Rim. Get a hacksaw while you're at it. Furniture is out to kill us, and we must outwit it. So be safe, dear readers, and tell me of any suspicious activity in the comments. God bless, and may the force be with you.
--A note for the reader by Leif Idirson.
There are a few days in life that you remember, even as the years pass and you're tempted to forget more than your share of things. Some of those days are from childhood, like the day my mother passed away. Others are fairly recent, like the day I met my sister.
Drostan was ten, and he hadn't had a decent woman in his life since Konar's second wife Berhilda passed away four years prior. Konar's sanity had been slowly declining since--well, since I can remember--and I was hardly surprised to hear that he was going on a suicidal raid in February. Drostan volunteered to catch the flu so I wouldn't have to go along, but he perked right back up as soon as Konar's ship left harbor. We all expected him to come home with gold, or slaves, perhaps, but I walked through my front door one day to find a woman.
She was a sight--she hadn't brushed her hair in a week, it seemed, and she was holding a kitchen knife as if it were a sword. She looked like a caged animal. Her back was pressed against the doors of the bed closet, her eyes wild. I hardly knew what to do, but I suppose I could have done better than ask, "Who are ye...?"
"Who are ye? And what are ye doing here?" she demanded. I'll never forget her voice.
"Well--my name is Leif, an' this is my house--it's half-mine, rather." I had to keep talking to sound at least half competent. "Konar's the chief, so I suppose most of it belongs to him. And yer name?"
"Caitriona," she said, before launching into a tirade of names of the people she'd left behind. She tied them to relations, but I couldn't catch them all. She started crying, clutching a ring on her left hand. I wanted to kill Konar when I realized it was a wedding band. All of a sudden, she wiped her eyes and asked, "And who's this, now?"
I hadn't even realized Drostan was in the doorway--he was too busy trying to make an escape. "Tell her yer name, son," I said. And so he did, quietly.
Caitriona held out her arms. "Come here, Drostan," she said, and I all but pushed my son across the room. Caitriona about crushed him, but she stopped crying. The next thing I knew, she was making him something to eat.
Since then, she's never ceased to amaze me. Her housekeeping skills rival those of Drostan's mother, and I don't know that I've met a better cook. She bounces back like heather. She still has nights when she cries herself to sleep. But she's learned how to ask me for help, and I'm more than willing to give it to her. After all, I've always wanted a little sister.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who wear short sleeves in 50-degree weather and those who mutter at them through their scarves and parkas. I belong to the first group, unless I've been sitting down all day. In that case, I'll cuddle up with my fuzzy bathrobe and curl into a ball, even though it's 70 degrees, and keep writing.
Case in point, Her Virtue. I had a wonderful time at my church's youth retreat, but the last morning, we had to stand outside in weather so cold we could see our breaths. (If this is what we put up with for breakfast burritos, we probably would have swum across the lake for iHop.) I was wearing a short-sleeved sweater-dress and one of those cardigans that's as thin as a spider's web and about as warm. Besides the fact that I couldn't feel my hands, I was perfectly warm. Everyone else was huddling together like penguins.
Okay, maybe I was a little chilly. But you were just entertained by a description of standing in line, so I think we're even.
I've run into my share of adventures, like being run over by a shopping cart and jogging into a mailbox. (If this post gets seven comments, I'll explain how I managed to do that.) But the un-romanticized version of my life is as plain as a burlap bag, and I know the same goes for most people. That's why God invented writers--to season the everyday and serve it on a platter of prose. The reader doesn't even know they're consuming the same things they eat every day.
Take The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I've been reading Narnia since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and it transports me to a different world every time I open the pages. But what is it, really? Walking through woods and hostage negotiations. Telling stories and sharing food. We've all done that--well, not the hostage negotiations bit, unless playing Capture the Flag counts.
Can you spice up a little bit of the everyday? Impress me in the comments below--and don't forget, I will tell the story of running into a mailbox if you ask. God bless you, dear reader, and have a wonderful day!
I can still hear the lady on The Lighthouse radio station, saying "Enjoy the journey!" This was all the way back when we had two burgundy walls in our living room, and I slept with so many stuffed animals they'd fall off the edges of my bed. (You know you're an early-2000's kid when you remember burgundy walls.)
Anyway, I got to thinking that writing's a pretty adventurous journey. I embarked way back when with the creation of my first character--my imaginary friend named Hunter. She was an Indian girl who'd been left alone in the Wisconsin woods after her tribe changed camps without her. Most girls look up to their favorite Disney princesses? My role model killed panthers.
Life was bliss when I was five, but it didn't stay that way. I contracted anxiety and panic attacks at the age of eight, and my sister's temper tantrums didn't help anything. (She used to have SID, or Sensory Integration Dysfunction, which means that pretty much all pull-ups and shoes felt like torture to her.) Right around my tenth birthday, I started writing a book that was basically a darker version of The Lion King with deer. And Hunter was in it, but I changed her name. Lots of times.
Right after I finished the rough draft (and about 75,000 words of a sequel), we moved.
I was kind of shook up after we moved, and my writing became even more of an obsession. My characters dominated my thought life and most of my speech. Finally, when I turned 13, things started looking up. God healed me of my anxiety at a Wednesday night church service, and I found a new best friend. God also used our church to direct me to the inspiration for Where the Clouds Catch Fire.
I have a long way to go on my journey. After two years of work, I finally have a finished, final draft. I'm still too attached to my writing for comfort--it dominates my thoughts more often than it really should--but God's healing me of my dependence on it. And I know that He's going to continue to, and help me on the next leg of my journey. And as soon as I'm finished? I'll get right back up and work on the sequel. And the other three books I have planned in the series.
What kind of journey are you on? What's the last leg you've completed? I'd love to hear it in the comments! God bless, and have a wonderful day!
On Monday, I accidentally created a Quora account.
While researching the effectiveness of chainmail, I stumbled across something on Quora. So, naturally, I clicked it, and it said "Continue with Facebook." And so I did. Next thing I know, I get an email saying, "Congratulations! Tell us three topics you're interested in to start building your feed!"
I made the same mistake with Pinterest, which was far more fatal.
The cool thing about Quora, though, is that I now know how medieval peasants cooked pancakes. Which got me thinking: what is it about food that we've been eating the same stuff for thousands of years? My grandma makes the most delicious pancakes--and the most filling. I don't think I've ever eaten more than two and a half of them.
Okay, my grandmother's food in general is wonderful. From pork chops to vegetable soup to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, everything tastes better at her house. (Even if I make the sandwiches.) My mom, however, makes two things better: black raspberry bars and pasta. We get pasta once in a blue moon because of the mess it makes, but it's worth it.
Pizza, however, we get once every week or two. When I was little, some of my fondest memories are of making pizza with my family, then watching America's Funniest Home Videos afterwards. I'd make the sauce, and Mom would help me put the cheese on. And just cheese, because anything else was disgusting and would be picked off.
I've changed since then, but I'm still not a fan of pepperoni.
What's your fondest food memory? I'd love to hear it in the comments below! God bless you, dear reader, and have a wonderful day!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.