Thursday, November 12, 2020

Carrot Confessions by Patti Jo Moore

“Hello, my name is Patti Jo, and at one time in my life, I was addicted to carrots.” Yes, you read that right - - carrots. Not the Bugs Bunny variety of carrots, but the tiny baby carrots—juicy, sweet, and crunchy. Easy to carry with me when I taught school years ago, or wanted a snack while driving my car in the afternoons as a busy soccer mom. I figured they were a healthy snack, right? But the more I ate, the more I wanted. It’s as though my body craved baby carrots.

That winter when I went for my usual thyroid check-up, the doctor gave me a good report, but then added his only concern was the yellowish-orange tint of my skin. I simply laughed and replied that it must be the pound bag of baby carrots I consumed daily. He appeared stunned and wouldn’t let me leave his office until the nutritionist on duty had a talk with me, strongly urging me to limit the carrots and add celery and broccoli to my snack choices. What I learned that day was concerning. The excess Vitamin A I was getting in the little orange nuggets was not only coloring my skin, but giving me headaches (which I’d thought were from teaching lively first-graders!). She informed me that taking in that much Vitamin A was toxic to my body. I was horrified.

Needless to say, I cut way back on the carrots. But to this day, when I walk past the bags of baby carrots in the grocery store, my mouth waters. Seriously. Recently I was reminded of that time in my life, and that old phrase “too much of a good thing” echoed in my thoughts. I’d honestly thought I was doing something good when I began snacking regularly on the carrots, but little did I know I gradually did harm to my body. Another phrase comes to mind: All things in moderation.

As so often happens, my carrot-related thoughts led to writing (of course). 😊 Just as too much of a certain food isn’t healthy for us, putting too much of anything in stories doesn’t help and often turns away readers. I’ve posted before about my tendency to include many eating scenes in my stories. After all, my stories are set in the South, and food is an important part of our lives, right? But I’m trying to limit the eating scenes, although it’s a challenge.

When writers attend workshops, we’re often reminded not to give too much backstory at the beginning of our story, even though we’re eager for readers to know what’s happened in our character’s past. We’re told it’s better to sprinkle in the information gradually, rather than in excess at the beginning. Some years ago, I read a story that had so much description of the setting in the very first paragraph, I had to re-read (several times!) to let it sink in. Moderation is key - - in eating, and yes, in our writing too!

If you ever read a story and learn that a character has an unusual habit of eating too many carrots, don’t assume something so strange could never happen. Hopefully the writer will use moderation, and not include too many unique habits for the characters. 😉

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading to my refrigerator to find some broccoli---not my first choice, but it’ll do.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
 Psalm 139:14 


Holly Sims loves Christmas and children, so when she’s asked to help plan a Christmas festival for foster children, she’s thrilled. As a newcomer to Pine Valley, North Carolina, Holly is eager to become involved in church activities and meet people. When she continues seeing a handsome but sullen man in town, she’s curious about him. Why does he appear so unhappy?

Rick Bates is fine with being an introvert. After being shifted from family to family throughout his childhood, he knows he cannot depend or trust anyone and must guard his heart. Running his small business and taking photographs of nature scenes are all he needs in his life. So why does he continue thinking about the auburn-haired woman he keeps seeing?

When Holly asks Rick to take photos at the Christmas festival, he’s ready to decline—until he learns it’s a festival for foster children. When he arrives at the event, Rick is in awe of the decorations, including countless twinkle lights. But the joy on the children’s faces stirs his heart even more. With help from a Christmas-loving lady, a friendly town, and a kitten named Taco, Rick knows the ice around his heart is melting. 

Patti Jo Moore
is a retired kindergarten teacher and lifelong Georgia girl. She loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee, and is blessed to be published with Forget-Me-Not Romances. When she’s not spending time with her family (including her two sweet grandbabies) or writing her “Sweet, Southern Stories” Patti Jo can be found feeding cats—her own six and local strays.

She loves connecting with readers and other writers, and can be found on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore or her personal blog at