Winning Story

Originally publish in November, 2008.

I got a phone call from Ann Schroeder inviting me to read my Center Coast Writer’s Conference winning story, A Full Circle, at the next SLONightWriters’ meeting. Then I got an email from NightWriters’ president, Susan Tuttle, with the same invitation.

I was thrilled, not as thrilled as winning first place, but very proud just the same. 

There is just one problem—I have speech anxiety. I’m terrified and the meeting is in nineteen minutes. Why did I agree to do this? Are all writers this nervous? I feel sick!

Gotta go and do a great job or embarrass myself.

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Debra’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Published previously on this site.

 Bowl One

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 ½ Cup Sugar

1 Stick Butter

½ Cup Crisco or 1 more stick of Butter

2 teaspoons Vanilla

3 Eggs

Bowl Two

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Cup Oatmeal (1 minute)

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Allspice, Cinnamon, Cloves

½ Teaspoon Ginger, Nutmeg

 1-12oz bag of Semi-Sweet chocolate chips or whatever kind you prefer.

 Preheat oven to 325 o – 375 o 

Mix bowl 2 and set aside.

Mix bowl 1, except eggs by hand or with blender until creamy.  Add eggs, mix.  Add contends of bowl 2 a little at a time, until gone.  Add chips.

Bake at 325-375 degrees for 10-14 minutes.  I like crunchy cookies so I bake mine for 14 minutes at 350o

 I have tweaked this recipe off and on for too long and I finally think it’s just about perfect. It started years when I accidentally doubled the sugars in a batch and it tasted wonderful. The next push was when my friend, Carol Poling, made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies about 25 years ago and I never forgot the taste.  I had to be able to make Carol’s cookies or something just as good so I’ve been experimenting on the oatmeal and spices for only five-ten years and finally we have the recipe.

Don’t tell my husband, but I’ve had this recipe for a while. He thinks I’ve been experimenting all these years. But, I just love to bake cookies. It’s our little secret.

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The Gift of Giving

Originally published November 1, 2010.

I had the best day I’ve had in a very long time.  I thought I was doing something for children and it turned out to be something for me.

When I was a little girl my mother had trouble affording the necessities, let alone Christmas presents.  One Christmas I remember the neighbors helping to buy my three sisters and I a couple presents each.  All of those neighbors worked hard to support their own families so I’m sure it wasn’t easy to help another family, but they did it and I will never forget what they did that Christmas. 

For twenty years my family have been buying toys for needy families, sometimes placing the toys in the “big box” at the store and sometimes we delivered the toys directly to the families.  I have always felt great joy in doing this simple thing, but this year I felt elated—not because I was giving, but because I was receiving—what exactly, I’m not sure. 

My mother used to tell me that when you let someone help you, you are giving him or her a gift—”the gift of giving.”

Thank you Betty Remy, Margaret Day, Nita Pruitt and Lois Loveless for making that Christmas, so many years ago, a lasting and wonderful memory.

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What Santa Thinks after Eight Hours In The Mall

I re-post this every year.

What Santa Thinks after Eight Hours In The Mall

Wipe you snotty nose.

You stink; get your mommy to change your diaper.

If you pull my beard, I’m going to pull your hair.

You’ve been such a naughty kid don’t expect anything for Christmas.

Do you really believe there’s a Santa Claus?

Yeah, I want to hold another screaming or crying kid.

What do I have a sign on me?—Barf on me today!

Keep that sucker in your mouth and don’t touch Santa with sticky hands.

Santa doesn’t want cookies and milk; he wants a ham sandwich and a beer. 

Kid you’ve been eating too many sweets.

Take you finger out of your nose. 

No, I don’t want some of your slobbery sucker.

I hope that’s pumpkin on your outfit.

Don’t sneeze!  Don’t sneeze!  Oh, crap!

Why couldn’t I be Mrs. Claus instead of Santa.

Scrooge is beginning to make sense.

When is Christmas over?

Now I know what my wife had to put up with.

Kid, I feel like crying, too.

Quite complaining, at least you have diapers; I just have to hold it.




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Work in progress

The summer 2016 someone hacked this website and destroyed almost 10 years of work, 4 sub-sites, 100 pages and 500 blog posts. To say “I was sick over this” is an understatement.

Thanks to my brilliant tech guy, Joshua Baker, part or all of it may be restored. He has already restored my personal website, Debra Davis Hinkle. Josh and I have prior commitments so we are unable to finish restoring this site before the Fall of 2017.

We will be changing and adding things for better safeguards in the future.  My husband has done some safeguarding at home, too.



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