Need a Little Snappy Happy-Ever After, Too?


My hands-down favorite stick-in-my head musical number goes, "We need a little music/need a little laughter/need a little snappy happy-ever-after...

That's what I need right now, and I'm thinking with the news swirl and holidays upon us you do too. In truth, I didn't post last week because I couldn't think of anything Pollyanna-ish to say that didn't sound phoney-baloney

(For those of you unfamiliar with the term "Pollyanna", according to my old-standard go-to, Merriam-Webster (since 1828), A "Pollyanna" is someone "irrepressibly optimistic who tends to find the good in everything.") 

I first learned the term "Pollyanna" as the title of the Disney movie starring the embodiment of Pollyanna, Haley Mills (yes, I wanted to be her when I was little. And no, I was not her age when the movie came out--I saw it in reruns, too.) Longing for a feel good afternoon, treat yourself!  Here's the Pollyanna trailer.

(Note: "Phoney-Baloney" is nonsense, foolishness, deceptive talk; a phoney-baloney is one who spouts such bull! The terms usage dates back to 1936. Pollyanna is no phoney-baloney!)

But wait, there's more! Feeling a bit like Kathryn Hepburn in Desk Set, I did some digging beyond the movie and whooppeee! Music to my writer's ears, turns out the term, Pollyanna, like Hayley Mill's character, came from a book! 

Origin and Etymology of pollyanna
Pollyanna, heroine of the novel Pollyanna (1913) by Eleanor Porter †1920 American fiction writer

First Known Use: 1921

BTW: Pollyanna, was published in 1913, when Eleanor H. Porter was 44. 

Pollyanna ranked eighth among best-selling novels in the United States during 1913, second during 1914, and fourth during 1915 (with 47 printings between 1915 and 1920).

Why would a "sappy" book about an orphan who always looking on the bright side have gained such popularity? Consider the times: World War One began July 28th, 1914...


Another Pollyanna-ish Orphan bounced onto the scene in 1924. Harold Gray's comic strip heroine, Little Orphan Annie.  What else was happening in 1924 U.S.? 

  • Johnny Weissmuller--Tarzan!--won three gold medals at the Paris Summer Olympics
  • First Round The World Flight completed in 175 days by a Chicago based US Army Air Service team
  • J. Edgar Hoover appointed Director of the Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Prohibition (1920-1933)


This is the cover of my "Annie" book.

This is the cover of my "Annie" book.

Gray's Little Orphan Annie comic strip ran continuously through prohibition, the Depression, World War Two, the Korean Conflict, most of the Vietnam War and Cold War...even past Gray's death in 1968. (To be revived after Annie's Broadway debut in 1976.) 


FYI: Gray's Orphan Annie was an original. He didn't conjure her, he kidnapped the little orphan from an 1885 poem.  Here are the first few lines:

LITTLE Orphant Annie ’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups and saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other children, when the supper things is done, 5
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ’at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ’at gits you
Ef you
Don’t 10

What to read more? Little Orphant Annie by James Witcomb Riley

What with all these Pollyannas, you might be asking? Historically speaking, what these Pollyanna's show me can be summed up in one paraphrase. When the going gets tough, Writers get writing. What do readers want? What does every Pollyanna ooze? 

HEART! Miles and miles and miles of heart...

Or, to quote another Pollyanna, "Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down...." 

Cause if we need a little snappy, everyone else might me craving one, too.  

Need A Little Snappy Playlist:

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On Being the Filling and Refilling that Well!

When I used to grouse about how life interfered with my writing schedule,  my friend, Richard Harnett,  always brushed it away saying "You're refilling your writer's well, Kel." Every moment of living adds another drop to your writer's well


It always made me feel good to hear that. To think those times I was so busy with living I couldn't write would one day, serve my writing.

My well is filling, brimming, overflowing . . .  It's been keeping me from posting here--sorry for that. But this is life: rich, messy, exciting, unpredictable, scary--definitely a piled high, deli sandwich.

To paraphrase  Auntie Mame, "If life is a banquet I'm stuffing myself." (Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman.)

Mom's  the bottom layer.  Hers is a stodgy, crusty, nutty and grainy end of the loaf slice, anchoring our open-faced sandwich.

Mom, Mary Ellen, Grandma at M&M's wedding last September.

Mom has been in and out of rehab and hospital the past few years. Heavy as it may be, it's a spicy, interesting layer as it has brought me closer to my brother Joe and his family as we band together to support mom.

Grace Goofing


Devin Rocking Out

Curtis and my move from Indonesia to Trinidad and New York last year, brought with it a whole new bag of flavors we're sampling. It's predictable and surprising as dried seaweed sprinkes.

Son Max's wedding to Michelle in Long Island last summer, added a flavorful, thick ham and sweet, spicy saucy layer.

M&M Riding into the Sunset

Daughter, Lexi's wedding to Ryan, scheduled for this November in Turks and Caicos, is proving pesto--fresh & complex with zing!

Lexi & Ryan's Engagement Party


Cake Tasting . . . before


and after--I helped!

My new, long awaited picture book, Vampire Baby--the gumbo, sambal, curry layer adds fuel.

Crawling your way July 9th!


And soon to come--and feeling real courtesy of these 3D photos--our newest layer: a grandbaby! Max and Michelle's baby--a festive topper--arrives this August!

I wonder, could those toes . . .


Sneak Preview

Yep, that well is brimming! And that's some kinda ink! In the meantime, our Dagwood-style sandwich is growing taller and more interesting. A banquet indeed!

When life gets in the way of your creating, loosen your belt buckle so you, too, can enjoy the banquet. And think ink! INK!

Please stay tuned for more!

Selamat makan! Happy filling and refilling!

Every person, experiences, encounter is another ingredients added to the Dagwood