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I Should Have Stayed in Bed

  I Should Have Stayed in Bed

by Joan Y. Edwards

On June 14, 1971 I should have stayed in bed.  In hindsight, it might have been the best thing to do.  It was my daughter, Lorrie’s third birthday.  I woke up…looked in the mirror, and said to myself. Just look at your hair.  It’s so straight you could draw a straight line with it.  With your hair looking like that, people coming to your daughter’s birthday party will take up a collection for you.  I thought if Dolly Parton can wear a wig, I can, too.  So I put on a wig of long, chestnut curls.  Now, I was ready to face the day. I was glamorous.

First, I baked yeast bread. It turned out hard. I dropped it in the trash quickly so my husband, Alvin, wouldn’t see my failure as a bread baker.  The brick bread made a big loud BUMP THUD.

My husband hollered from the other room, “What in the world was that?”

What could I say? Possible choices:
1. “Just the bread I made, dear.  Fresh from the oven.”
2.  “Oh, I just dropped my cook book.”
3. “The upstairs neighbor fell through the ceiling.”

I swallowed my pride and told him what really happened. Lucky for me, there was a loaf of French bread in the freezer.  I sliced it and spread garlic butter over it. I toasted it under the broiler after the spaghetti was ready.

I boiled noodles to compliment my famous delicious spaghetti sauce that simmered on the stove.  I took the pot of noodles to the sink to drain the water off.  As I was pouring off the water, my hand slipped.  Instead of only the water draining off, all 100 strands of pasta fell out of the pot and slithered down into the garbage disposal.
Luckily, a neighbor loaned me two boxes of angel pasta.  I started over again. I put a big clean pot in the sink to drain the pasta over next time.

My mother, my husband’s sisters, and other guests arrived for the party. We ate supper. Then I carried the Holly Hobbie cake that Lorrie’s Aunt Betty baked and decorated just for her. I lit the candles. I leaned way over to get all the candles lit.

I heard my mother say, “Oh, dear. The child’s hair is on fire!”

I leaned in closer to look at Lorrie’s hair. However,  Lorrie’s hair wasn’t on fire. She was sitting patiently waiting to blow out her candles.  She was just fine. I was relieved.

All of a sudden I realized that my Mother’s child was me. My hair was on fire. I ran to the sink, pulled my wig off, and ran water over it. All my glamour sizzled and melted in two seconds.  It was definitely a bad hair day.

The rest of the day went well. Lorrie loved her cake and the gifts.

Everyone laughed. I had to admit that it was funny.  Being able to laugh at myself, helped me enjoy the rest of the day.  I had funny stories to share for many years to come. I learned to bake bread. I learned to strain the water from pasta without dropping the noodles in the garbage disposal. I kept my wigs away from flaming candles.
I’m glad I didn’t miss Lorrie’s third birthday. It was fortunate that I got out of bed that morning, after all.


Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed my story, “I Should Have Stayed in Bed.” All of these things happened, they didn’t all happen on the same day. They happened years apart, but my wig actually caught fire on Lorrie’s third birthday. Her Aunt Betty really baked and decorated a Holly Hobbie cake for her. My wig was really short hair. I fictionalized parts of the story to make it seem like things were stacked against me, to make it funnier.

Stack things against your main character in your story. Your main character is strong. He or she will work his way out of the trouble, into more trouble, and you’ll have a prize-winning story.

*For a chance to win a FREE CRITIQUE: Submit your work to a critique group (individual), publisher, agent, or contest during May and leave a comment on the May PubSub blogpost: http://wp.me/pFnvK-uo before midnight on May 31.  I’ll add your name and your personal blog/website (if you have one) on the Pub Subbers page on my blog. I will choose a random winner and announce it by 12:00 noon EST on June 1, 2011. In your comment, give me the following information:

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Do something to celebrate being you!
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards


10 Responses

  1. good job, my friend! I like the way you wove all the pieces together. NICELY DONE!


    • Dear Donna, I’m glad you liked the way I wove my story together. How are you, your hubby, and your daughters doing? I hope you are all fine. Thanks for reading my blog and being my friend.

      Do something fun to celebrate the wonderful family you have. Joan Y. Edwards, Author/Illustrator Website http://www.joanyedwards.com


  2. Hi Joan,

    Your story is a great example of fictionalizing stories so they are stronger than the actual events. Stacking the day didn’t actually sound like it was fictionalized, but I know it was. Thanks for giving your readers a different way to look at their own stories. What fun!

    LInda A.


    • Dear Linda, I’m glad the story was fun to you. I meant it to be fun. At the time I experienced the three things, I was devastated. But I learned to laugh and let it go. Thanks for telling me thought it was a great example of fictionalizing a story to make it stronger. Do something fun to celebrate being you today. I’m glad your parents had you on this day, a few years back. You are a joy.

      Joan Y. Edwards, Author/Illustrator Never Give Up Blog http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com


  3. That must have been a funny sight, your wig on fire. Thanks for sharing your collage of days.


    • Dear Karen,
      Thanks for stopping by. You’re right, it must have been a funny sight. Too bad it wasn’t captured on film. However, I don’t believe the picture could have been funnier than the memories..the cartoons in my mind.
      Do something fun today to celebrate being you. Good luck with your writing.
      Joan Y. Edwards
      Never Give Up http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com


  4. Great job on that story, Joan! You kept me riveted all the way to the end. Thanks for helping readers see how to make an anecdote turn into a whole string of things that compel the reader to hang in with you. I loved this post and how you continually help other writers polish their thoughts to turn them into irresistible stories. Thanks for all the encouragement your site brings.


    • Dear Lara,
      I’m glad I kept you riveted all the way to the end of my “I Should Have Stayed in Bed” story. Cool. You’re welcome. I do hope it shows those reading how to make an anecdote turn into a whole string of things that compel the reader to hang in there with me. Thanks for reading. Good luck with your writing. Like the song of Kool and The Gang “Celebrate Good Times, Come on.” Do something good for you. Go ahead write those thoughts down. Come on.
      Joan Y. Edwards


  5. “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” ~ Audrey Hepburn


    • Dear Morton,
      I love that quote. Thanks for sharing it with me. Do you have other quotes that you especially like?
      Celebrate you today!

      Joan Y. Edwards


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