life isn't a cupcake

A random little piece of writing partly inspired by Katie's vignette from a while back and partly from a thought that popped into my head a couple months ago and was never pulled into blog shape.

Sometimes it feels good to just sit and write...


I threw my bag onto the counter. Reaching over, I grabbed an oreo from the half-opened package and stuffed it in my mouth.


It was Jonathon.

I grimaced. "No," I replied.  "Full."

He cocked an eyebrow, folding his newspaper deliberately.

"I meant full of life.  I need something... dead."  I almost choked and trotted to the refrigerator to grab the milk carton.

"Sounds tasty," he replied with a smirk and stood up, strolling to the cracked window.  He squinted as he gazed into the golden sunlight, and I slammed the door of the fridge unintentionally.

probably via pinterest
I drank straight from the carton.  Today was a day of laziness and the nonsensical.  I wiped the mustache off my face and slumped onto a stool, haphazardly draping my arm over the ledge and letting the milk nearly tumble out of the carton and onto the floor.  "Why can't life be a cupcake?" I asked.  I sounded grumpy, which didn't surprise me.

Jonathon was silent.

"Why aren't 'the icing on the cake' and 'the sprinkles on top' a part of everyday life?" I complained.  "Why do they rarely exist at all?  Jonathon, why can't life be a cupcake?"  I sounded whiny, which didn't surprise me again.

"Because life's a muffin."  Jonathon turned suddenly.

This surprised me; I was impressed.  "What does that mean?"  (Jonathon rarely spoke intellectually.)

Jonathon pushed back his baseball cap, and his deep dark eyes looked searchingly into my face.  "It means life is not light, flippant, and sickly sweet like a cupcake.  It is hardy.  Mildly sweet.  Wholesome.  Real."

I slowly rubbed a strand of hair across my chapped lips.  "Like a muffin?" I asked, a half-smile teasing my expression.

"Like a muffin," Jonathon replied.  He cracked open the cracked window and let a gust of winter air drawl inside.  It sent a tingle up my spine, and I took a deep breath.

"A muffin?" I asked again, uncertainly.

"A muffin."

I wasn't sure I liked that.

"A blueberry muffin?" I grinned, widening my eyes innocently in the true little sisterly fashion.

Jonathon stuffed his hands into his pockets and rolled his eyes.  "Now you're pushing it," he said, but the teasing in his voice sounded like music to my ears.  My spirits lifted just the slightest.  I heard a jangle of keys outside the door and knew Dad was home.

"It's a blueberry muffin," I declared, bouncing from my seat and spilling milk on the floor.


  1. Love this, Emily. Ideas for a new book? You are so talented girl and blessed. Love you,.......nana

  2. Aww. That is so sweet, Emily. Beautifully written! I am going to remember this - 'life is not a cupcake, but a muffin' :). And this piece, it is cute and nonesensical but also deep and thoughtful all at once. I love that about your writing - you have such a simple happy beauty about what and how you write. It is isn't affected or pompous, but elegantly understated and sweet.

    Love it and you, dearest Em! As to blueberry muffins, sometimes it is... uhm
    .. 'too early for blueberries'. Other times the sun shines though and the gentle healthy sweetness slips through ;)

  3. oooh I love this, Emily!! You have such a gift for writing!

  4. I think life's a stack of french toast. And by the time you get to my age it's a pretty tall stack...Papa

  5. Ooo, I love this, Emily! Sweet, concise, and full of simple beauty. Kudos, dear. :) ^_^

    "Life is a blueberry muffin".... wonderful thought that. *nod* =)

  6. How did I miss this? Emily, I love you, you talented young lady. You have such a charming, heartfelt voice. This vignette shows off its continual improvement and cultivation. This story is full of shining, well-crafted details. It's these concise, unexpected particulars that mark good writing and give it potency. It's found in the way the girl slumps on the stool, spilling milk onto the floor. It's found when the girl rubs her hair across her chapped lips. It's the way the oreo package is /half/-opened. These are not run-of-the-mill details. These details stand out: they shine.

    "Why can't life be a cupcake?"

    My love for this goes beyond words. <3

  7. So, I know you posted this forever but I just wanted to say, I love it!