I’ve decided to have my first GIVEAWAY. It being first, in the hope of others down the line.

The prize:

Embrace Hope heart pin, designed and sold by Penzeys Spices.

I have posted a few times over the course of this past year with links and offers from Penzeys Spices. They have used their platform and their motto, Cooking is Kindness to highlight some of the injustice, racism, and the ongoing threat to our democracy that have been happening since the 2016 election.

Their offers are usually directly related to something happening in the news, both negative and positive. For example, they offered a free 1/2 cup jar of any spice in one of the rainbow colors for the anniversary of marriage equality. They offered Tsardust Memories when convictions started pouring in from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. They offered a free eight jar Penzeys American Heart and Soul Box with regional seasonings from around the country to illustrate our unity. When John McCain died, they honored his patriotism and public service with two free jars of their Arizona Dreaming seasoning. I find owner, Bill Penzey’s customer letters to be inspiring.

Embrace Hope was one of those things that began as a sticker on their bags and shipping boxes. From the moment I saw it, I loved it. I was surprised and very much excited when they made it into a pin. I thought it was the perfect message that everyone, on all sides of the political spectrum need to hear and to carry in their hearts.

I have received a few of these pins free of charge, and I’ve shared them with friends and family. After these midterm elections, while outcomes were not exactly what I wanted and what I think this country needed, and of course, we still have a long way to go for universal voter franchisement, returning oversight to the House is a great thing; for everyone. A more diverse House is a great thing; for everyone.

I wanted to share this sentiment with you, my dear readers by sharing one of the Embrace Hope pins with you through this giveaway.

The fine print:

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Prompt 10/12 – Micro-Memoir and a Contest


​I have been taking a memoir workshop since the spring of 2012. It, and a few other tools saved my life, and led me to writing again. I had never thought of myself as a memoirist or being particularly interested in sharing my life stories, but one of the things I’ve learned over the years is there is no such thing as a wasted prompt.

Any of the prompts I’ve used in creative writing and fiction can be used in non-fiction, and the reverse is the same with memoir prompts. Write your memoir or use the prompt for fiction. Write someone else’s story, with permission of course.

As this season’s memoir workshop was ending, I was hit with a bad case of writer’s block. I’ve shared a bit about that here. I also received on my Kindle the current copy of The Writer magazine, and it is almost entirely devoted to memoir writing.

There is also a contest in that issue that anyone can enter. I’ve pasted it below, but check out their website and the August issue of The Writer for more details on submitting your micro-memoir. I’d equate it to flash fiction, the fictional equivalent that I’m more familiar with.

One definition that you will need from the article itself is wunderkammer. It is a cabinet of curiosities where treasured items are curated, inspiring or reminding you of significant life experiences or dreams. 

Give [Leslie] Jamison’s assignment a try. Consider objects from your personal history as potential entries in your wunderkammer. Stock your cabinet with items from your past that inspire curiosity, awe, titillation, and fear. Review the items on your shelves and then choose one to realize more fully. Don’t go for the obvious –evoking danger through a knife, for example. Select an object with an unexpected powerful emotional charge and tell its story in one paragraph. Are you ready to let someone peek into your wunderkammer? If so, submit your previously unpublished one-paragraph (no longer than 200 words) micro-memoir to The Writer by emailing it as an attachment to with the subject line “Micro-Memoir Contest”by Aug. 8th. (One entry per writer, please.) I’ll judge the finalists, and the winner will be published in our December 2017 issue! 
– the August 2017 issue of The Writer