New Maury C. Moose Book

Do you have a child that loves to write? Then the brand new Maury C. Moose book is for you! Titled, Maury C. Moose and 101 Writing Prompts for Kids, this writing guide features 101 story starters to help spark your child’s imagination. It is a workbook full of silly story ideas featuring your favorite characters from Forest Noel.

Start your kids down the path of becoming an author as they write a story with Maury!

With The Greatest Of Sneeze

A few weeks ago I referenced the writing prompts that I receive every week.  Here’s another writing prompt that I recently completed.  Enjoy!

You’ve signed up to go tandem skydiving for the first time.  On the plane, your instructor says he isn’t feeling well, but jumps with you anyway.  When you jump, he passes out.  Write this scene and the stream of conscious thoughts as you fall toward the earth.

I have the worst friends.  For my 30th birthday they bought me a pass to go tandem skydiving.  Sounds nice enough, right? Wrong!

What they didn’t tell me is that I would be the only one going on this skydiving adventure.  Apparently, they don’t want to jump out of a plane attached to a complete stranger.  But I didn’t know any of that until it was too late.

So here I am, sitting in a place, listening to my instructor teach about how best not to die.  Jealous yet?

Oh it gets better.  My instructor, the one who will literally have my life in his hands as we soar through the air, looks awful.  He said he had a touch of the flu, but he looks and sounds much worse than that.  He keeps sniffling and coughing and seems to have a hard time keeping his eyes open.

He says he is okay to jump, so soon we will be soaring through the air with the greatest of sneeze.

As we walk to the open plane door and prepare to jump, I keep thinking to myself about Michael Jordan.  His Airness had the flu before one of his greatest NBA Finals games of all time, right?  Maybe this will be my instructor’s Michael Jordan moment.  Maybe we are about to have the greatest skydive ever.

This fires me up! “Let’s do it MJ,” I yell as my instructor straps himself to my back.

“MJ?” he asks in between mucousy coughs.

“Don’t worry about it,” I say.

“1. 2. 3. Jump!”

And just like that we are out of the plane and into the air.

As we sail toward the ground, my instructor appears to be feeling better.  I haven’t heard a cough, sniffle, or sneeze for seconds.

I turn to look at him, expecting to see Michael Jordan fighting off adversity and having the dive of his career. Instead, I find him asleep.


“Wake up MJ!” I screem at the top of my lungs.  But it does no good.  He must have passed out.  He is no longer Michael Jordan, rather, he is Dennis Rodman after a late night of partying.

‘We are going to die.’ I think to myself.  ‘We are going to die and I am never doing to have a chance to have a family.  I’ll never own a house. And worse yet, I’ll never finish my leftovers from that great Thai place.’

I’m no skydiving expert, but I suspect that we are getting close to smashing into the ground.  What originally looked like tiny dots is now starting to look like Lego pieces beneath us.

If I could only remember what the instructor said to do in case of emergency.  I should have paid closer attention to his tutorial and spent less time daydreaming about the 1990’s Chicago Bulls.

I think I remember him saying something about a red lever that will release the parachute.  I see something red near his left pants pocket.  I reach for it and pull with all my might.

Turns out that was his wallet.  At least I think that is what it was.  I only got a brief glance as it went flying away.

But then I spot something else red by his right pants pocket.  How many red wallets does this dude have? What the heck, I’m going for it anyway.

Expecting to make it rain with the remains of my passed out instructor’s second wallet, I pull the red item.

Only this time it works.  We immediately stop falling to out death and begin to drift softly to the earth.

What a relief. Now I just hope I don’t’ catch the flu.

Who Wants To Be A Ninja Millionaire?

A couple of weeks ago I referenced the writing prompts that I receive every week.  Here’s another writing prompt that I recently completed.  Enjoy!

Playing in the hallway one day, your kids accidently bump into your grandfather clock, which has been in the family for years.  As it smashes to the ground, you find a note hidden inside from your great grandfather, who died two months after you were born.  Strangely enough, the note is addressed to you.

I had just sat down to watch some television when my 4 year old Ben tugged on my shirt sleeve.

“Dad, can we play scale?” Ben asked.

“Sure kiddo, why don’t you start the first round and I will be in there to join you at the next commercial break.”

Scale was a game I made up to distract Ben so I could watch TV.  It consisted of him standing on a bathroom scale.  That’s it.  I tricked him into thinking the digital number that showed up on the screen was the point total he received for that round.  He was cubby for his age, so he constantly scored in the 50s, but he was no match for his pops who could score a 285 without putting down his beer.

“Dad!” Ben yelled. “I got a 57! New high score! It’s your turn.”

“Good job Benny Boy.  Hold on a second, Who Wants to be a Ninja Millionaire is almost over.”

As I watched ninja warriors try to karate chop their way through trivia questions, I heard a thump in the hallway where Ben had set up the scale.

“What going on in there, bud?” I asked, scratching my mutton chops.

“Dad, I figured out how to score more points!  You just have to stand on the score keeper and push up against the big clock on the wall!”

Before I could eat another handful of cheese balls, I heard Ben say “uh oh” followed by a loud crash.  I quickly took the bowl of cheese balls off my chest and lumbered into the hallway.  Luckily Ben was safe, but the same couldn’t be said for my grandfather clock.

The giant wooden time piece was broken into a dozen pieces, any of which could have taken off a limb or about 15 scale points off of Ben.  Unfazed by the incident, Ben noticed the free bowl of cheese balls and wobbled into the living room.

As I bent down to pick up the pieces, I remembered two things.  First, that my lack of exercise caused lower back pain when I did something as active as bending down.  And second, this dusty old clock once belonged to my great grandfather.

I knew very little about him since he died when I was very young.  I think he got the clock during a war or something.  At least that is what my mom used to say, which is why I agreed to keep the old clock.  That and I thought the dumb thing might be worth something.  I thought maybe the TV pawn shop guys would someday want to pay me millions for it.

I was sure it was worth a lot of money too, but I could never find the time to take it to an actual pawn shop.  I am a busy man, given how much reality TV is on these days.

I had just picked up the broken pendulum when I noticed a piece of paper wedged in the clock’s top left corner.  Deathly afraid of splinters, I considered calling Ben in here to grab the paper.

No, I thought, he will probably just wipe his nose on it.  Darn kid wipes his nose on everything.

As I carefully reached up into the corner to get the note, I dreamed that maybe it was a note from a king or something that lead to a treasure somewhere.  I was going to find this king’s treasure and be rich.  I was going to show Ben’s mother and all those other doubters that said I would never amount to anything.  You don’t have to be a ninja to be a millionaire.

I gently unfolded the note and gasped when I saw my name written on the top.  Well, it wasn’t so much of a gasp as it was me choking on some unfinished cheese ball stuck in my throat.

Great grand pappy Buck left this for me?  Of all the people he could have told about the treasure he picked me?  I always knew I liked that guy.

Already spending my millions, I read the note.

“Hey Bobby! You are probably wondering why I am leaving you this note.  Well you see, this was weighing pretty heavy on my conscience and I felt the need to tell someone.  I picked you because you are just a few weeks old and can’t read.  And I’m sure by the time you can read I will probably be dead.  That makes you the perfect person to tell.  I didn’t really get this clock in the war.  I just told people that to try and pick up chicks.  Wow, I feel better already.  Thanks Bobbo!  – Love Grandpa Buck”

Is Everyone In Here Crazy, Or Is It Just Me?

The old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”  I know this blog will never be perfect, but I hope to continue to make it better and better as I become a better writer (a great writer probably wouldn’t have used the word better 3 times in that last sentence).  And the best way to improve my writing is to just sit down and write.  But what do you do when you can’t think of what to write about?

I often have a difficult time figuring out what to write. In order to find content, I subscribe to an email newsletter from  Along with helpful writing tips, Writer’s Digest sends out a weekly writing prompt.  This provides me a subject to write about when I can’t think of one.

Here is one of their writing prompts from a few weeks ago:

One morning you awake to find yourself in a straight jacket, being taken off to an asylum.  How do you prove your sanity? What do the guards and psychiatrists say you did?

Nothing beats waking up in a warm bed, snuggly tucked underneath the covers.  However, this morning the covers were just a little too snuggly.  So snuggly in fact, that I couldn’t move my arms!  What kind of body builder mom tucked me in last night??

Wait a second.  I am not in a bed. And my arms aren’t wrapped in covers, they are wrapped in a straight jacket.  What’s going on here!?!

Just then two oversized, bearded men stomped into the room.

Great, I’ll just talk to these nice lumberjacks and figure out what is going on.

“Hello gentlemen.  I think there has been some kind of mistake,” I said.  “You see, I am a sleepwalker and it seems as if I sleepwalked right into this darn straight jacket.”

“Zip it creep!” said the bigger lumberjack.  “We don’t want to hear anymore of your ramblings.”

“Anymore of my ramblings?” I asked. “But I just got here. At least I think I just got here. Wherever here is.  Where is here? Since we are on the subject.”

“You’re at the Maximum Security Prison, sponsored by State Farm,” said the big fella.  “But you aren’t here for long, come with us.”

“Good.  Finally things are starting to make sense.  Let’s get me out of here and back home.”

“Home? You won’t be going home for a long time,” said my new friend Paul Bunyon. Apparently the smaller lumberjack wasn’t much of a talker.  “We are taking you to the Applebee’s Insane Asylum.”

At that news, an overflow of questions bubbled into my head. ‘Why am I being taken to an insane asylum? Why would Applebee’s sponsor an insane asylum? Do they actually serve Applebee’s there? Is that the place with the bloomin’ onion?’

The talkative guard must have seen the confusion on my face because before I could ask, he answered my first question of ‘why was I there?’

“Anyone who threatens to steal the Declaration of Independence, cut off someone’s face and then ride a flaming motorcycle needs to be locked up immediately!”

Although those three things sounded familiar, they didn’t sound like me.  I’m usually the kind of guy who doesn’t get out much.  I tend to stay at home and watch movies.  Heck, I don’t even know which restaurant serves the bloomin’ onion.  I’m not the criminal mastermind type.  I have a hard enough time working my VHS/DVD player.  I really doubt that I could find the Declaration of Independence, let alone steal it.

Wait that’s it!

“I know how to explain this!” I said.  “Last night there was a Nic Cage movie marathon on TV.  National Treasure, Face Off, the flaming motorcycle one.  They were all on!  I must have fallen asleep with the TV on then sleepwalked and acted out some of those movies.”

The guard stopped walking me toward the door and looked at me.  “While I believe everything you just said, anyone who purposely watches more than one Nic Cage movie in a night deserves to be locked up in an insane asylum.”

I guess I couldn’t argue with him there.  Well, I hope this place has bottomless fries!