Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Mushy Apple Awards

I have a backyard apple tree that has decided this is the year that it is going to gift me with harvest tenfold - no, twentyfold - its usual volume. So, while my kitchen is (almost literally) awash with apple sauce, apple pie, apple crisp, apple cake and apple square, here are ten people that I nominate for the Mushy Apple Award. 

10. The person who bursts into your office 10 minutes after you’ve shut the door announcing you’re going to write to ask if you’re done yet.

9. The person who hovers behind your chair, peering at your computer screen or pad of paper. NOTE: If they make judgmental noises, they get 2 mushy apples.

8. The person who asks “Are your books published?” and when you answer “Yes,” tilts his/her head and replies in a tone of astonishment, “Really?”

7. The person who shares that they’ve always wanted to write a book because it seems like such an easy thing to do. They just haven’t found the time. Maybe next weekend.

6. The person (it could be the same person as #7) who offers to tell you their idea for a book and then wants you to write it for them. For free.

5. The person who is shocked and somewhat dismayed at your lack of work ethic because the project that you began last month isn’t finished. Don’t try explaining the writing process of first drafts and self-editing passes or developmental editing, etc. Just bow your head and let their scorn flow over you.

4. The person who spots a copy of your book on a bookshelf (yes, it’s probably in your home, but let’s not dwell on that,) takes the book out and weighs it with their hand. Because, yes, it’s how much your book weighs that counts.

3. The person who asks “Are you famous?” The best reply I know comes from Jan Morrison who says she answers “Yes; but in Japan.” Taking this as my inspiration, I have replied that I’ve had a play translated into Norwegian and I have a quarterly column in a Finnish magazine, so I’m big in Scandinavia.

2. The person who asks, “What do you do?” and after hearing you answer “I’m a writer,” further questions, “But what do you really do?”

1. The person who forgot to buy chocolate. (Yes, it was you. But still.)

Happy September. Apple sauce, anyone?

Elspeth Futcher is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games A Fatal Fairy Tale, Deadly Ever After and Curiouser and Curiouser are among the top-selling mystery games on the Internet. All thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by Her newest game, Once Upon a Murder, is now available and published by Red Herring Games. Her 'writing sheep' are a continuing feature in the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.


  1. I've seen lots of apple trees this week, limbs sagging with the weight of a bumper crop; we should have plenty of applesauce to go around. Having said that, I should add that my office is off limits to most folks almost all the time. That way, I keep the applesauce in the kitchen and serve it to friends only when we're sitting around the table--unless, of course, if they've brought chocolate.

  2. Had a friend tell me about a dream that would make a great story and she wanted me to write it for her. Sure, no problem. I wrote a little poem about it. Love this list.

  3. My apple tree is going crazy bountiful this year too. Thanks for the laughs and I know some of those people.

  4. Thanks for the chuckles. I think most of us can relate to too many of your points. The year I had a bumper crop of apples was the year my apple tree died. It was old, but still.... Hope the same is not true for you.

    1. My tree is about 20 years old - is that old for an apple tree? Ah well, it has served as well if it is.

  5. Oh, I'm so glad somebody's giving out these awards!!! Is there one for the person who drinks all the coffee and doesn't leave any for you? ;-)

    1. Yes. They get a mushy apple with half a worm.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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