Healthy snack

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John’s arms dangled over the edge of the shopping cart. He dropped the box in.

“What are you doing?” John’s father loomed.

“Looking for oranges.” John waved a plastic bag. Well, he had been looking for oranges when the chocolate covered strawberries called to him. It was the kind of treat his parents never let him get, even though it was basically a healthy snack. They would just say “No, John” and “Put it back, John.”

He felt sneaky, and a little naughty. He hoped wouldn’t be in too much trouble when they found out. Mostly, though, he hoped for a chocolate covered strawberry.

They unloaded the cart at the checkout, and John started to sweat. His dad lifted the chilled plastic box onto the belt. His mom put it in a canvas bag to take home. How could they not notice? John thought. At home, John put away the bananas and kiwifruit, dreaming of chocolately berries.

Suddenly his dad swooped towards his mom and gave her a kiss.

“The strawberries are a nice surprise! Thank you!”

His mom’s eyes opened wide.

“Oh, I thought you… you’re welcome…”

John’s dad handed John a plate with a luscious strawberry, and John dug in with a grin. It was cool and juicy and very, very sweet.

Contests

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I love writing contests.

I know some people find them to be a distraction from their *real work* but this exactly describes why I love them.

They are a distraction, disguised as real work, with the prospect of someone telling me I have done well! Sometimes the prizes are tangible things, too, not just praise!

Contests are writing prompts done in communities. Sometimes they are really different from what I usually write, and that makes them challenging. This is good for me. I love my comfort zones (as, er, the name would suggest), and I need a nudge to make those creative neurons fire in new ways.

Contests are pure fun. They are for playing, trying new things without risk but with a small audience.

Besides, who doesn’t need a few more deadlines in life?