Poetic License

2 Nov

NaNoWriNO Day 2

Topic: Poetry


Do you have that one friend who loves to torture challenge you because they love laughing at you think they’re helping you become a better person? Bill Friday is that friend for me. I’ve known him for about a hundred years now, and I’m not really sure how our friendship has lasted this long. Let’s review:

  • He likes breaded meat. I prefer not to eat things that feel the need to go into the Witness Protection Program.
  • He watches horror films, and I get scared looking at my face without makeup on
  • He has children, and my uterus cries at the idea of me ever getting pregnant
  • He’s a fantastic poet, and I think a sonnet is something Quaker women wear on their heads

This is probably Bill’s handiwork

Knowing all of the above, it should come as no surprise that my good (and I use that word loosely) friend suggested poetry as one of the topics for NaNoWriNO. I love flexing my writing muscles, but I wasn’t prepared to pick this on the second day of the challenge.

There are three things I’m good at: arm wrestling the elderly, staining a brand new shirt, and never backing down from a dare. I’m especially good at that last one. Why else would I have a tattoo of Wilford Brimley saying “YOLO” emblazoned across my chest?

Instead of crying over pages of Pablo Neruda and Lord Byron, I decided to get creative. Poetry isn’t just mushy words over love lost; poetry is carefully placed wording with the intent to evoke a certain emotion. I used the skills I acquired during my time with Hallmark, and conjured up a line of Jen and Tonic greeting cards.

Feel free to recreate any of these for yourself, and pass them out to friends, family members, or your boss. You can thank me later for the looks your loved ones give you upon opening these little slices of heaven.


Thanks to Bill from Bill Friday for suggesting this topic, and for not allowing me to use the word Nantucket which I most definitely would have abused.

NaNoWriNO Day 1 post

NaNoWriNO Day 3 post

79 Responses to “Poetic License”

  1. Cathy Ulrich 11/02/2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Good job, Jen!
    You’ve covered most of the major occasions with aplomb. And I’d love to see you use that word in a poem…Maybe a few more cards in future posts? Such as, Graduation, Congratulations on Your Wedding, Bon Voyage, Happy Anniversary, Retirement. Id love to see you expound on your new found talents.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/03/2012 at 11:18 am #

      I will definitely add another round of cards into the topic suggestions pile. I will also make sure to use the word aplomb. It’s such a good word! I’m going to go around saying it to everyone today.

  2. Bill Friday 11/02/2012 at 7:15 pm #

    There once was a girl from Nantucket,
    Who never once saw Kirby Puckett,
    Play center field,
    No runs did he yield,
    Though his head was shaped like a bucket.

    See? Bloody awful poetry… and the deft inclusion of Nantucket… all in the same handy comment thread. And thank you my Tonic-y bestie for outing me as the cruelest of broody poet friends. Coming from you, that is the highest compliment a friend could give. You are my favorite writerly storyteller. Always were… always will be.

    Read you tomorrow,


    • Jen and Tonic 11/03/2012 at 11:20 am #

      You’re showing me up on my own post?! WHAT THE HELL, FRIDAY?

      I told you this yesterday, but thanks for pushing me to my limits. I may not have been broody poetry guy like you, but I was able to put my own spin on it and make it something worth reading.

      I only wish I could have worked “donkey punch” into one of them. Maybe in my next round of cards.

      • Bill Friday 11/03/2012 at 1:50 pm #

        I would buy every single one of your “Urban Dictionary” line of greeting cards. You better get after this before somebody jacks this brilliant idea…

        “Urban Dictionary Cards” Copyright © 2012 Bill Friday

        Oops! Too late.

  3. artsifrtsy 11/02/2012 at 5:50 pm #

    I hate greeting cards and wrapping paper – I give Christmas gifts in a fed-ex envelope with a post-it note. Your cards could change all that.

    Funny coincidence – my first NaNoWriMo post contained a photo of a man with his crotch on fire – small world:)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 7:59 pm #

      I love the idea of wrapping everything in a FedEx envelope. You’re a genius.

  4. speaker7 11/02/2012 at 5:37 pm #

    This cards enflamed my heart like a scorching case of herpes enflames the nether regions. When I choose greeting cards, it’s with grudging disgust. I would gleefully choose your cards for any occasion.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Just saw this. I think WordPress is trying to keep us apart.

  5. writerwendyreid 11/02/2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Freakin’ hilarious Jen. You’re a natural poet! 🙂

  6. Erin McNaughton 11/02/2012 at 3:05 pm #

    OMG brilliant! I would buy these…all of them.
    I love this line–you might have to consider submitting. I seriously read through them when I’m bored at work and laugh out loud, every damn time.

  7. The Bumble Files 11/02/2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Jen, hahahah. You got the baby one spot on! I think you have a new calling here.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Thank god because I pretty much suck at everything else.

      • The Bumble Files 11/02/2012 at 3:43 pm #

        Oh, no way! You can now add creative card writer to your list of many talents.

  8. El Guapo 11/02/2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Why, you’re just a big old softie, Jen!

  9. Lyssapants 11/02/2012 at 1:32 pm #

    You fill a greeting card niche that Hallmark will never fill.

    • The Waiting 11/02/2012 at 1:38 pm #

      That’s what she said.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 3:05 pm #

      Emily took the words out of my mouth. Or the words from my computer. Or the thoughts from my brain. Basically, she’s a thief.

  10. Ashley Austrew 11/02/2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Hahahaha! These are HILARIOUS. That last one killed me. I am dead now.

  11. TJLubrano 11/02/2012 at 10:51 am #

    Hahahah Jen, you are too awesome! Loved them all and I’m glad Bill mentioned this as your brilliance needs to be seen and read!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Everyone should have a friend like Bill. One who gives you a topic so difficult you stay up until 2 AM writing even though you have an early meeting for work the next day.

  12. MissFourEyes 11/02/2012 at 10:14 am #

    Love them all! I need to start sending people baby cards like that 🙂

  13. La La 11/02/2012 at 9:36 am #

    You’re awesome and I’m pretty sure I will be using that Valentine.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 3:04 pm #

      Please tell me how it goes for you. Better, blog about it.

  14. iRuniBreathe 11/02/2012 at 9:34 am #

    Nice work. The Valentines one was esp good. Happy Singles day!

  15. Katie 11/02/2012 at 9:09 am #

    Ha!! Great post. These should be in Hallmark.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 3:02 pm #

      I’m using this testimonial when I approach them.

  16. Maylin Gonzalez 11/02/2012 at 9:05 am #

    Not only is this fucking hilarious… it’s also magical! Kudos my Jenny-Wenny… you have outdone yourself once again! Oh Bill, Bill, Billy Idol Bill… such a prankster you!

  17. Dani Heart 11/02/2012 at 8:51 am #

    Wow…I am still laughing. Good one Jen. Love the baby one…. I got fixed when my son was 8 months old.. cause I knew I didn’t want anymore…and somehow…I inherited a bunch anyways. LOL

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 3:01 pm #

      It’s like those moms who get rid of all of their baby clothes and bottles, and then get pregnant.

  18. The Waiting 11/02/2012 at 8:20 am #

    The Valentine’s Day card completely kills me. As does the baby one, obvs.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 3:01 pm #

      I’m sure Miss C is a perfect angel, and never poops or cries or keeps you up at night!

  19. SocietyRed 11/02/2012 at 7:48 am #

    Hilarious! You’d better pace yourself, 28 more days of greatness to go!

  20. Stacie Chadwick 11/02/2012 at 7:33 am #

    OK, you should NaNoWriMORE because you’re killing it.

    I especially love the Sympathy card. I could have sent that to every chic I knew in college (well, maybe just the Christian Coalition). Love it J&T!

    PS: I too, love volunteering at retirement homes to build my self esteem.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 2:59 pm #

      Look at your play on words! I think you might be a poet in disguise too.

      Speaking of the elderly and herpes, did you know that STD contraction is on the rise in their age group? PERVERTS!

  21. Storkhunter 11/02/2012 at 7:20 am #

    Ha ha ha ha ha. Really needed a laugh today and that just did the trick. I need that Birthday Card and the neighbour card.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 2:57 pm #

      As the Storkhunter, I would have guessed you needed the baby card…

      • Storkhunter 11/03/2012 at 6:40 pm #

        I figured I would wait until I actually find that damned stork before getting a baby card.

  22. Fern DeVilliers 11/02/2012 at 7:04 am #

    I’m thinking new greeting card line? Agree with aliceatwonderland. I’d buy them. My fav is the neighbour one. And the new baby one.

    • Fern DeVilliers 11/02/2012 at 7:12 am #

      Yeah, new greeting card line. You said that already. I’m so tired. Bit of a dullard today. Still love them. 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 2:56 pm #

      I may have to team up with TJ Lubrano or Viciously Sweet to make this greeting card thing happen. I have customers already!!

  23. Brother Jon 11/02/2012 at 7:04 am #

    There’s a few things I want to go over, concerning this wonderful post.
    1. That eCard is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. If I drank coffee it would have been all over my screen.
    2. Naturally, I get excited when someone mentions a “Member” (person who is also Mormon) Wilford Brimley…epic mustache, dia-beat-iz, ranch hand turned actor.
    3. I need you to get me that “Neighbor” card as soon as possible. The bad thing, my neighbor is my ex-step-brother. Something about an apple and a tree would be pertinent right here.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 2:56 pm #

      Wildford Brimley is Mormon? I know so little about the man with diabeetus.

      Here is a card you can give your ex-step-brother:

      Get out you menacing fool
      You do nothing but act like a tool
      Pack up and get to another county
      Move to Canada and become a mountie
      I don’t care if you go to where the beaches are white
      As long as you’re all the way out of my sight

      You’re welcome.

  24. aliceatwonderland 11/02/2012 at 6:23 am #

    LMFAO. I would buy these cards if they were real, because that’s the kind of loving friend / family member I am. I’m not sure which one I love the most, but I especially need the neighbor one. They have a freakin’ Great Dane.

    • Katy Kern 11/02/2012 at 6:49 am #

      Jen, you ARE a poet! YAY!

      Lovely shout-out to one of our favorite poets, friend, writer, good-looking dude….
      Great post! 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Great Danes are cool until they’re taking Great dumps on your lawn

    • GiggsMcGill Jill 11/02/2012 at 11:27 pm #

      Oh, I will DEFINITELY be using the birthday one. Soon. (Seriously Jen, you might want to think about marketing these… ^.^)

      • Jen and Tonic 11/03/2012 at 11:15 am #

        I’ve had so many people tell me to market these cards I just may have to!

  25. twindaddy 11/02/2012 at 6:15 am #


    • Jen and Tonic 11/02/2012 at 2:39 pm #

      I have the exact same reaction when I read my writing!

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