Sunday, April 27, 2008


There on Jame's kitchen table sat a knitted cap, all warm and colorful and very tiny. I'm sure there is some fancy name for the hat, something along the lines of Warm, Colorful Knitted Cap with Rolled Edges and No Seams: the WCKCRENS. I couldn't stop fiddling with the WCKCRENS, imagining it sitting on my head.

I said as much aloud.

Flash forward a few weeks. Back at Jame's kitchen table. Tiny WCKCRENS gone, surely stuffed in a coat pocket after an outdoor romp on a sweet little girl's head. And then--surprise! Jame says Pat knitted me my very own WCKCRENS. I put it on.

I still have it on. In fact, I wear the WCKCRENS a lot--and not just because New England has decided to throw us a bit of winter during springtime, although I do take it out for outdoor romps as well.

Here's when the WCKCRENS comes in handy--and why we all need our very own WCKCRENS:

  • Getting a cold/flu sends the body into wacky thermonuclear/arctic jet streams, as we all know. When snuggling time comes a-callin', the WCKCRENS completes the blanket/bed covers wrap up--now everything's covered and cozy.
  • Threatening to throw the printer (desktop accessory, not man with stained fingers in newspaper office basement) out the window because it THINKS it has a paper jam and it SAYS it has a paper jam, even though there is NO PAPER TO JAM. The anger approaches rolling boil, the first bubbles just beginning to pop. The WCKCRENS settles it all down, diffusing the rage like a calm hand turning down the temperature.
  • Brewing a migraine because students don't care about honesty in their work (AKA plagiarism), don't care about deadlines, don't take pride in their class performance causes Professor Meltdown. The professor can't let go of student apathy (even though it's really nothing new--a sweeping generalization, but all-too-often true one). Questioning the decision to shape the minds of America's youth could make a person start a job hunt. The WCKCRENS truly does make calmer heads prevail (and the rolled brim whispers--you can only do so much).
  • Writing a novel is as easy as dealing with students while the printer gives the finger and the flu threatens to topple the otherwise sane individual. How to focus when there's so much else to do? How to manage all the ideas? How to create a new (or old) world where readers want to visit? How to remain ever-reminded that this writing is not only a viable, enviable task but a necessary one? How to stay alert to the (very true) fact that you are wonderful and talented, and the world wants to hear what you have to say, and is, in fact, waiting for you to finish draft one (or two or three) and start sharing? The WCKCRENS. Pull it down low over your brow for the world's best brain hug. You can do it. Now go write something. Forget the rest of the stuff.

--Penny Piva

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