Monday Short & Sweet – Winter Is (Not) Coming :)

Happy Monday, Everyone!

badge created by Loni Edwards

I’m not going to beat around the bush.

I’m just going to come right out and say it.



Here it is:

I saw a completely black woolly bear.

I am not kidding.

Now, I know all about woolly bear folklore… the whole 13 segments, one for each week of winter (OK, well, that’s just hogwash – around here we definitely have more than 13 weeks of winter!), and how a lot of black at the front means early winter will be harsh, and a lot of black toward the hindquarters means the end of winter will be harsh (and if you don’t know which end is which, well, you’re just going to have to figure that one out on your own :)), and generally you want a nice wide band of brown because the brown means mild.
Pyrrharctia isabella 001So I’m thinking an all black woolly bear is either a true pessimist, or is having a Halloween trick on us a bit late (or just hasn’t changed out of his Dementor costume yet), or really likes dark chocolate and is campaigning for world wide recognition of a National Dark Chocolate Rules Day.

I think I’d like to vote for number 3 🙂

But I do not think it is a harbinger of a serious, cold, snow-filled winter, because unlike our friend the black woolly bear, I am not a pessimist 🙂

(I also really like the word harbinger… it’s fun to say!  But I digress…)

Now that I’ve come up with a very clever way to sneak in a picture of a woolly bear because I think they’re really cute AND we’re all on the same page about how we will most certainly not be having a Little House In The Big Woods type of winter, let’s warm up with something Short & Sweet, shall we?

Remember (because it’s been a couple weeks and you might have forgotten) – Short & Sweets are meant to be fun and quick.  No agonizing!  Just write!

Okay, ready?


Pick a holiday, any holiday.

Of course Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, National Deviled Eggs Day (no I did NOT make that up – it’s November 2 – you can check!), Kwanzaa, Make Your Own Head Day (November 28th if you’ve never celebrated before) etc. are clearly foremost in our minds right now, but I hope some of you free spirits will dance to your own tune and pick National Gum Drop Day (February 15) or Easter or Look Up At The Sky Day (April 14), or maybe Sidewalk Egg Frying Day (the lesser know July 4th holiday) or Ear Muff Day (March 13) 🙂


Got your holiday?

Write down the name of your holiday.

Now, write down
 – something you see on that holiday
 – something you smell on that holiday
 – something you hear on that holiday
 – something you taste on that holiday
 – something you touch on that holiday

Then write down the name of the holiday one last time.

Guess what?

You just wrote a holiday poem!

And maybe it will be even more than that and give you a great idea for a story!  (Or at least your PiBoIdMo idea for the day if you’re participating in that festival of inspiration and frivolity as I most certainly am!)

I’ll give you an example.  Remember… short… sweet… off the top of our heads here (because let’s be honest – I used up most of my available time rambling on about woolly bears :))

Delicate ribbons of tinsel shimmering silver and gold
Spicy pine breathing the outside in
Joy To The World singing clear to a starry sky
Bright peppermint, cool and sweet, and
Peace On Earth warming every heart

So, are you ready?  Get set…  WRITE!!!

Please share your holiday poem in the comments so we can all admire them and become inspired for a whole week of great writing!

Also, if you have a word you love to say (like harbinger, or maybe Terpsichore or multitudinous, please share that as well! :))

I can’t wait to read your Holiday poems!  I hope someone picks Race Your Mouse Day (May 28th)!

(P.S. I will announce the winner of the October Pitch Pick on Wednesday during Would You Read It!)

61 thoughts on “Monday Short & Sweet – Winter Is (Not) Coming :)

  1. Alayne Kay Christian says:

    Okay, Susanna, I'm stretching myself right out of my comfort zone. Thanks for pushing me. I have chosen “Look up at the Sky Day” April 14. And I am actually sharing two! Thank you for this short and sweet. It inspired some poems that touched me deeply and brought me to tears. Those are more “adult” poems – dealing with death and love, so I will not share. Here are my more mild ones.

    Look Up at the Sky Day

    A paisley hot air balloon and swift sweeping clouds play a game of tag

    Pungent river mud and sweet clover compete for my nostrils’ attention

    Honking geese argue, whooshing balloon burners hiss, the river rushes

    I nibble a blade of grass, earthy and sweet like watermelon rind

    Grass dew springs as I roam, splashing my shins, soaking my sneakers, chilling my toes

    Look up at the Sky Day

    Look Up at the Sky Day

    The moon and stars play peek-a-boo with slow sweeping clouds

    Nearby pines and a trace of campfire smoke sooth my nostrils

    Water slaps against boat hulls. Loose halyards ring and ding on masts reaching for the stars

    Steaming cocoa and soft marshmallows mingle in my mouth and slide down my throat

    Droplets of dew moisten my face, dampen my clothes, and chill my bones.

    Look Up at the Sky Day

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    These are both just beautiful, Alayne! I'm so glad you shared! As a bonus, you have sparked a possible PiBoIdMo idea for me 🙂 (although it's very unformed as yet… :)) I love that you did a day version and a night version! And how nice that you picked Look Up At The Sky Day… which just happens to be my birthday 🙂

  3. Damon Dean says:

    (Appropriate to prepare for the holiday eating season…)

    November 15th

    Green with purple iridescence floats on top of old sour cream,
    Sour milk, date only noted after I taste and spit a stream,
    Wafting wrench of week-old chicken, casts upon my gut a curse,
    Fumbling fingers find the soft spots on old veggies quite diverse.
    Ice-maker grinds to warn me that the freezer side just might be worse.
    Clean your refrigerator day.
    –Damon Dean (this was fun Susanna!)

  4. Patricia Tilton says:

    A Day of Silence
    Butterflies drifting on a breeze
    Lilacs overwhelming me with their sweet fragrance

    Fish leaping in the river at dawn
    Sweet melons, fresh and juicy

    An oak tree, mighty and strong
    A Day of Silence

  5. Alayne Kay Christian says:

    Thanks, Susanna. I look forward to someday seeing the picture book my poem inspired. Look Up At The Sky Day – what a nice holiday to share your birthday with.

  6. Lauri Meyers says:

    Maybe the black woolly bear just means an early snow (check) and a very late snow. Or the woolly bear has been cross breeding and it is going to turn into MOTHMAN! Anywho…

    Groundhog Day
    The air tastes of almost spring as
    My walking stick steadies each muddy step.
    Shadows abound in the woods, and
    Groundhog feet patter back to their den.
    I smell Grandma adding more logs to the fire.
    Groundhog Day

  7. Jarmila V. Del Boccio says:

    Better late than never…my creativity is waning this month!


    Sparkling Italian lights on the Avenue

    Scent of Wassail wafting

    Sweet Silver Bells chiming

    Spritz cookies in my mouth melting

    Snowflakes dancing on my nose in the thin crisp air of night


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