What item in your house are you most grateful for? (And why I picked Cheese Can.)

This was a writing prompt I came across while procrastinating on my latest WIP (work in progress). My book/WIP needs a warehouse filled with whiteboards and a medicated staff to untangle the discombobulated thought streams my brain shot out on the active storylines.

So I thought this writing prompt might clear away the clutter in my brain.

But the prompt says “item”. What’s an item? Do I have to take that literally?

Item could be used as a verb. As in we “made note of” in a grocery list. So of the items on the current grocery list stuck to the fridge – I would choose “Cheese in a Can”. My son’s entry – but he would be grateful for that item. Which would then turn into a noun. So cheese can is now an “article” or a “particular”.

But is that really the item I’m most grateful for? It is not. The first thing that came to my mind was the air conditioning. But I was experiencing a hot flash when I saw the prompt – so yeah. And is air conditioning an item? It’s kind of a system, right?

I presume appliances could be items, but would I be cheating the prompt if said appliances – plural? Like if a genie granted you three wishes and the first one you asked for was unlimited wishes. A genie might kick you in the ass for that answer. It’s a delicate game.

If I had to pick one appliance what would that be? The coffee maker is pretty awesome – but I could always drive out and get a cup somewhere. The washing machine comes to mind. I’ve used public laundry mats – but if memory serves – it wasn’t a great experience and the only thing that got me through the ookiness perseveration dwelling on stranger debris from previous use were handfuls of cheese popcorn and Dr. Pepper. So my own personal washing machine is a contender.

Golly, I could write this blog all day! What a terrific excuse to avoid staring down the 40,000-word outline of the WIP.

Another contender category for item might be something sentimental. My daughter’s teddy bear – Scooper is practically a person. Scooper is not replaceable. What about my glasses? I’m blind – I can’t see without them or contacts. So yeah. Eyeglasses should be at the top of my list. My son wouldn’t care about that though – he’d pick his laptop.

And my laptop contains everything I’ve ever written. All the files on my books – those both complete and in progress. If I lost my laptop – the WIP would be gone!


Sorry – felt a bit faint there for a moment. An emotional reaction to losing my laptop? Too much caffeine? Nope – just another effing hot flash. What about my hormone patch? That’s an extremely useful item – where the hell would I be without those suckers? When my hot flashes began, they came at me like a tsunami. They hit hard, fast, and would not stop. I had one every 45 minutes of the 24 day and didn’t sleep for a year. I eventually sat weeping at the gynecologist’s office and she rightly offered up the estrogen patch to stop the murderous thoughts that were a tad too close to the surface for her comfort. And yes, the patches helped. A lot. I still get flashes, but nothing like the whooshing tidal waves that endlessly hit me over and over and over.

Should I pick my box of patches? Is that my item? But ITEM is singular. And I need two patches a week. That’s plural.

I’m not doing that. I’m feeling agitated just thinking about it.

I’m done with this game. I guess I’ll just pick cheese can. At least my son will be happy.

And now back to the WIP. Do readers understand the angst and devotion we writers endure? Turn left, turn right, cheese can, hormones, glasses, and teddy bears. My God! There are murderous villains roaming the streets and they must be stopped! It’s my job to finish the WIP. No one else can do it. Fill the dining room walls with multi-colored Post-its and string if you have to, but get the job done!

This madness must end. The cheese can should wait.

One thought on “What item in your house are you most grateful for? (And why I picked Cheese Can.)

  1. I enjoy your newsletters as much as your books, but now you have me thinking you might be a wussy. A little hot flash; why in my day we didn’t have those patches. We went from estogen tablets to progesterone tablets and when they decided I’d had too many years of that stopped me cold turkey. They are lucky they lived cause I was going to kill them. And I’m quite sure no jury of my peers (women) wouldn’t find for justifiable homicide.

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