JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers


Monday Sparks

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s Your Personal Theme Song?

sunsetw-1012477_1280I borrowed this idea from the site Inspired PromptVisiting authors are asked to select a theme song for their life. That inspired me to think of one song or tune that seems to sum up my life so far. My choice takes a bit of explanation, so if you don’t mind following me into the mists of time, come along.

Seventh grade was a very dark year for me. I hated school because I had no friends. Each school day was a trial. But I lived for Saturdays. Because at 1 p.m., I could settle down to watch reruns of The Greatest American HeroI lost myself in that show, forgetting seventh grade for an hour. I loved the camaraderie of the characters. And I loved the theme song “Believe It or Not.”

I can’t think of a better song for me. Believe it or not, I became a mom after 35. Believe it or not, an introvert like me is allowing people to critique her writing and is telling professionals in the industry, “I know what I’m doing. I can write.” Believe it or not, God can use someone who cowers at the thought of talking to strangers or any kind of confrontation to venture into the world of publishing.

So what’s your personal theme song?



Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s Your Favorite Christmas Song?

snowmanw-2978416_1280My theme this month is music, not just Christmas music, but I thought I might as well tie it in with the holiday.

I’ve always like songs in minor keys, so some of my favorite Christmas songs are “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, “What Child is This?”, and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” I also like songs that are so bright and exuberant that your mood can’t help but rise with the tune. “Good King Wenceslas”, “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing”, “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In”, and of course, “Joy to the World” fit this category.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What Made Thanksgiving 2018 Memorable?

thanksgiving-background2-2872853_1280Did you have a memorable Thanksgiving? Even if you didn’t, give yourself the first gift of the Christmas season and write down what happened. Keeping a journal of what happens on holidays is a wonderful gift for yourself or anyone among your family or friends with whom you regularly celebrate.

This is year will go down in my family’s history as unique. Forty-five minutes before the food was ready to set out, my teenage niece called and said her family — my oldest sister, her husband and son — would be late. My niece gave no explanation. Puzzled, I hurried about, getting my church ready for our family Thanksgiving.

I ran home, got a load of food from my husband, and drove back to the church. After I carried the food into the church, Middle Sis told me Oldest Sis called her. They were running late because they discovered, as they walked out of the house to drive to the church, that their van had been stolen, and they were waiting for the police to arrive.

My jaw dropped, but fortunately, my hands were empty, or a bowl of potatoes might have joined it.

Also, fortunately, my husband was a little behind schedule, so when Oldest Sis and her family finally arrived in another vehicle, they were only ten minutes late.

Even better, this story has a happy ending. A cop stopped by Oldest Sis’s house on Friday and drove her to where they had recovered her van. The thief was driving it just a block away from her home. When he saw the police were after him, he leaped out of the car, and it ran into another vehicle parked in a drive. Still, Oldest Sis has her van back, along with her prescription sunglasses, and the insurance will pay for the damage to the front of the van.

What made Thanksgiving 2018 memorable for you?


Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s Your Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish?

thanksgivingw-2911503_1280At Thanksgiving dinner, is the turkey the most important part of the meal for you, or is it the sides? Although my husband has roast the juiciest turkey I’ve ever eaten, I have to admit the side dishes are what I crave at Thanksgiving, which, by the way, my husband also does a fabulous job with. Being a bread-a–vore, as my oldest says, I love stuffing. I have to watch my intake of it so I don’t beach myself. My sister bakes a drool-worthy broccoli casserole. I never liked cranberry sauce until my husband made it from scratch, and it’s so good, I eat the leftovers for breakfast.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?


Monday Sparks — What Food Do You Hate?

jumbo-marshmallowss-788773_1280I know this sounds crazy, but the food I hate the most is marshmallows. I got choked on a large one when I was a preschooler, and I can’t bring myself to try one even for- thir- I mean, many years after that traumatic incident. Texture is critically important to me when it comes to food, so if the texture makes me gag, I cannot eat it, no matter what it tastes like. Any food with a texture like marshmallows is off limits to me. I can’t even eat meringue.

Now it’s your turn. What food do you hate?

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