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We have a couple more announcements for you all today. We're proud to announce that signups are open for the Fanfic Challenge - Round 4 on our forum, "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" or, as we like to call it, the "PYOP Challenge" (pick your own pairing challenge) through September 1st. For those interested, simply go to the forum to the PYOP Challenge thread and sign up with your favorite pairing. On September 2nd, we'll assign you a scenario to write provided by some of our lovely fellow authors. This will give everybody an opportunity to write what they love and provide readers with some awesome stories. Please sign up at the forum or shoot us a PM signifying your willingness to participate. So, please come join the fun and let's make this the most successful challenge yet!
We've also added two fun new prompt threads. One is called, "Fortune Cookie Fridays" based on an idea submitted by LoveforPenandDerek. Come by and check it out...perhaps, it will feed the muse. And the other is called, "Getting to Know...YOU! Tell us about yourself" It asks five simple questions that allow readers and authors alike to briefly tell us about who they are.
The Indignity of Childhood
Judging Amy - Can They Do That With Vegetables?
We faced our opponents bravely, Henry and I. It was two to two, and I honestly felt that if Will LaMontagne had been present, we could have overtaken the enemy camp.
Together we stand…divided we fall.
But the battle wasn't lost yet, I thought as I tightened my arms around the bundle in my arms and glared at the computer screen on Garcia's desk.
"It's degrading," I stated indignantly, shaking my head as I blinked, trying to clear that atrocious vision from my memory banks. "That," I said sternly, gesturing at the screen, "is an abomination. Can they do that with vegetables?" I asked, tilting my head as I perused the image on the screen once again.
"It's art, Spence," JJ sighed patiently, propping a hand against her waist as she shifted her gaze from me to her son. "And these are very popular poses for babies to be placed in for pictures," she insisted vehemently, her eyes narrowing as she focused her laser-like glare in my direction.
"Not to mention it's cute as a button," Garcia cooed, shaking a rattle at our godson. Honestly, had the woman not listened to any of my expert directions on not distracting the child with such infantile objects? If we wanted him to be accepted at Cal Tech early, then we needed to be focused on expanding his mental capacities with more than just a juvenile rattle!
"And a lot of very prestigious people consider this to be art," JJ said firmly, gesturing at the screen again.
"It's an innocent child shoved into a hollowed out pumpkin, JJ," I argued, tightening my grip on the wriggling baby as I pursed my lips. "I find nothing artistic about it. And look at that innocent infant," I said, pointing at the screen. "They've got him shoved into what appears to be a pea pod. Which, I might add, is impossible...unless that is a ten week old fetus."
Exchanging a look with Henry's godmother, JJ groaned loudly as she pressed a hand to her cheek. "Reid, they're just pictures. Anne Geddes has made a fortune off of parents that think this kind of thing is very popular."
"Just because some parents want to force the indignity of childhood on their offspring in this capacity doesn't mean that YOU should," I argued vehemently, shaking my head. "I thought better of you, JJ! Henry has an impressionable mind that needs to be molded, not stuffed into some mutant gourd for entertainment purposes!"
"Reid, it's a picture. It's not going to psychologically damage him," Garcia retorted. "If anything, the bright colors the photographer uses will stimulate his visual cortex."
"I can do that with a slide show in about three seconds," I retorted, holding firm to my principles just as I kept my grip tightly on the little boy.
"Yes, but can you make him grin around a sunflower face?" Garcia asked, tapping the computer screen affectionately.
"Why would I want to?" I asked, confused suddenly as I tried to follow her obvious convoluted line of thinking.
"Because...oh, forget it!" Garcia groaned, exasperated. "JJ, I'll get my stun gun. You grab the kid," she threatened, looking at me with narrowed eyes as she reached for her purse, her intentions clear.
Stilling Penelope's hand, JJ shook her head. "I don't think violence will be necessary, Pen," JJ sighed. "Spence, hand him over," JJ ordered, holding out her arms as she wriggled her fingers at her son.
Grudgingly relinquishing the baby to his mother's obviously unstable presence, I asked, grudgingly, "Doesn't being Henry's godfather afford me any rights?"
"Absolutely," Garcia chirped, patting my cheek as they bundled the baby tighter and moved toward the door. "We'll generously let you pay for all his future therapy sessions, my little genius."
And watching them leave, I silently cursed the indignity of childhood. And the hefty bill that was surely headed my direction.
Author's Note 2 - As always, thank you Kavi Leighanna and Sienna27 for your incredible Television Prompts Forum. It's an invaluable resource for stoking the muse.