Shape Shifting Bitter Friday Giftures

As you probably know, someday this blog will be made into a book. As such, I should be like all the diligent, disciplined and enthusiastic writers working on NaNoWriMo, but as we all know, writing a novel in November is ridiculous. Whoever decided that November is the month we should all be writing the first draft of a novel was a masochist.

I’ve never met anyone that has time to do fun things like writing novels in November. First of all, it’s my wife’s birthday, and then there is that Veteran’s Day holiday that we all celebrate for an entire week. Then there are those people who drop their Halloween costumes on the floor and they turn into a Christmas tree and other decorations like magic. Yeah, I know the trends. Don’t think your Tik Toks can get by me.

And if those distractions weren’t enough there is Movember, where guys try to grow really weak mustaches for which I have to mock them relentlessly. I call my version Mockvember. Don’t forget those ridiculous commercials for some day people call Election Day, where people elect to finally follow my blog and read some actual words that aren’t filled with hate, lies and dollar signs. Bitterness, yes. But not any of those words. Just a word of advice to politicians. Sprinkle a dose of bitterness into your campaigns and you will do much better and I will vote for you. And many really smart people will as well.

And lastly, who in the heaven’s name has time to write words during Thanksgiving week? I’m so busy prepping Black Friday sales and going cold turkey (not spending time with my family) that I have no time to say words, let alone type them in any sensical way that would resemble a novel. I’m sure there are people in the world that can ignore distractions (Squirrel!) and that have no life, and are really disciplined, and have a plan, and don’t have another job, and have no kids or a spouse, but I’ve never met anyone like that. There must be a mythical creature out there that has all those things, because somehow there are actual people that have completed 50,000 words in one month. I would love to award them 5 golden rings, 4 calling birds, 3 French hens, 2 turtle doves and a Partridge family in an apple tree, but I’ve never seen one in the wild.

I do plan on being less busy enough someday, though never in November, to write my blog book and another novel that has been marinating in first draft spices for 10 years or so now. Recently, I found a book coach that reignited my interest in story structure, and she breaks things down for me in a different way that is making me think that writing those novels are still possible someday. One of the things she talks about in the story structure is shapeshifters, which are characters that try to trick or delay the protagonist in a story.

Which is kind of funny, because in my story, I’m the protagonist, but I’m also the shapeshifter. I don’t know if you know this, but I don’t look anything like the person I was as a baby. In fact, I’ve been told by science that every one of my original cells dies every 7 to 10 years. And if you know me at all, all my original brain cells are gone. Which is good, because Baby Bitter Ben was kiiind of an idiot. He didn’t know how to talk, or write or read or even walk. He was a big crier; he didn’t like to sleep through the night and he whined all the time. Actually that part hasn’t changed much. But he was nowhere near as sophisticated as I am now. Because I think about more than “What’s for dinner?” and “Can you change my diaper?”

More importantly though, I’ve been really working on the shape of my belly. As Red from Shawshank Redemption says about geology and Andy’s escape from prison, “All it takes is pressure and time.” For me it took a lot of pizza (pressure) and a lot of couch time (time), to shapeshift from my skinny, athletic 18-year-old shape, to this 49-year-old dad bod shape. I’m just a geological rock, though I’d love to be more of a WWE Rock.

I know what you are all thinking now, can you just shapeshift this thing to the Bitter Friday Giftures, and I say, yes, I can. But just ask my son. You don’t get the good stuff until I’m done lecturing. And…that time is now.

This is a unicorn…

…which is as real as someone being able to write a novel in November.

With way too many things going on…

…already in November.

And with more people trying to come to town…

…for Veteran’s Day and the day after Black Friday sales.

And me already being easily distractable…


Who has time to write a novel…

…when I’m trying to get over all that turkey tryptophan tiredness.

In my story…

…I’m the protagonist, so I have all the power.

But I’m also the shapeshifter of my story…

…so I’m meant to trick myself.

I’ve done a lot of shapeshifting…

…from skinny 18-year-old kid…

To the much different shape of…

…dad bod.

To paraphrase Red from Shawshank Redemption shapeshifting…

…takes pressure…

And shapeshifting…

…takes time.

And you’ll only shift to your correct shape…

…when you learn how to give up.

The theme of November is giving up. Start that mustache, but I’ll mock you until you shave it. Go ahead and start NaNoWriMo, but distractions, boredom and other business will get in the way. And heaven forbid don’t try to do any positive shapeshifting in November. Go hard in the first few days, but by Veteran’s Day, you’ll be feasting on so much turkey that you’ll mind shift that until January. Just give up!


Bitter Shapeshifting Ben


15 thoughts on “Shape Shifting Bitter Friday Giftures

  1. This writing a book in November concept is crazy. If I have an idea (and that’s a big if), I can write about 700 words an hour. It would take me almost 2 weeks of full-time work to write a 50K word novel. And ideas to write about don’t come that easy for me. Thinking is hard. Not shaving is much easier. My legs need a break from the razor.


  2. I’ve written a novel in two months before, but not one. So my NaNoWriMo goal is half a novel, which is like 30,000 words. I don’t know though – my distraction is a 1yo ball of curly fur with a face that no one (not even you) can say no to, especially when he’s holding a tennis ball. 🥺🥺🥺

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, but this curly distraction is an adorable, lovable dog. Very hard to say no to that face. 🐶 I plan to skip Thanksgiving and spend the day alone with said distraction, so maybe I’ll be able to write a paragraph or two.


        • Dog on the other hand maybe. I guess I should have assumed that cats don’t really chase tennis balls. I intend on spending Thanksgiving alone too, but my wife and kid will probably interrupt that plan. Perhaps I need to pretend I’m participating in NaNoWriMo and they will go to dinner without me.

          Liked by 1 person

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