general information and events

my entry for movita’s carve-off 2012: a home for lottie (the sheep.)

(It’s a chilly October morning. Shannon sits in her kitchen sipping her second cup of coffee, catching up on her reading and determining her plan of action for the day. In walks the Sheep which Movita Beaucoup made for Shannon’s birthday. They’ve been living together for a few weeks now.)

Shannon: Hi, Sheep.

Sheep: Hey, Shannon. How did you sleep?

Shannon: Okay. Say…you look a little glum. Everything good?

Sheep: That’s just my face. It’s ‘pensive.’

Shannon: Sorry; it’s early.

Sheep: But now that you mention it…

Shannon: (rolling eyes) So there is something bothering you, then?

Sheep: I mean…not ‘bothering’ really; I think I’m just a little homesick.

Shannon: But Sheep; this is America. The streets are paved with gold here. Sure, Nova Scotia had harbour seals, a nearby sea, and a profound use of the letter “U” in lots of words; frankly, I’m a little jealous of that myself. What exactly do you miss?

Sheep: Well, Movita was pretty awesome.

Shannon: I know that’s true.

Sheep: And I had friends there.

Shannon: Oh…you did?

Sheep: What the…

Shannon: That’s not what I meant; don’t get your wool all knotty. (silently giggles at her own joke.) I didn’t realize you had a crew, you see.

Sheep: I did. And I miss them, and I’m just dealing with that right now.

Shannon: Would you feel more at home if I named you?

Sheep: (hesitantly, and with hope) …why, yes; I think I would very much like that.

Shannon: As luck would have it, I’ve been trying to think of the best name for you. I think I’ve got it. Do you like the name ‘Charlotte?’ I could call you Lottie for short.

Sheep: I do like the name Charlotte! And Lottie has a nice ring to it; it sounds sophisticated.

Shannon: I agree. Charlotte it is then. We shall call you Lottie from here on out.

Lottie: Thanks.

(Lottie, née Sheep, still looks a little glum, although her spirits have visibly improved. There’s still something she wants to say.)

Shannon: (looking up) Soooo…Lottie; is there anything else bothering you?

Lottie: Welllll…I was thinking I wouldn’t mind a living space of my own.

Shannon: Oh, well of course! I guess I never thought you’d want your own quarters, but I can see how you would want a little privacy at times. I’ll get right on that. In fact, since Movita is having her pumpkin carving contest, and you’re a farm animal, I have the perfect thing. Let’s get to work.

(cue up-tempo montage music, maybe a little Radiohead, perhaps, as the pair:

  • shop for pumpkins at the pumpkin patch,
  • argue a little at Target over pumpkin carving tools, 
  • hug it out, 
  • bring their supplies home and plan their course of action over dinner,
  • and begin carving.

It starts to go horribly, horribly wrong. There’s arguing, and both are emotional and exhausted. Lottie blames Shannon for her utter lack of carving skills, Shannon doesn’t appreciate Lottie’s tone and lofty demands. A ruined pumpkin drops to the floor with a loud thud. They stop. At once, they realize arguing is stupid, and they need to work together. Lottie wipes away Shannon’s tears, and they begin again.)

Shannon: (after a few more pumpkin disasters, but this time with no yelling) Lottie! It looks like we’re finished with your new home! What do you think?

Lottie: I think it’s beautiful. Can you describe it to me, exactly?

Shannon: Don’t play games with me, Lottie; I know that’s the technique mothers use when their children draw them random pictures and they have no idea what it’s supposed to be, but they don’t want to hurt their kid’s feelings.

Lottie: (waiting)

Shannon: I made you a tree-filled meadow. There’s a little house in the corner to the left, and then there’s a giant oak tree in the center, so you can sit under it and take naps in the shade. I thought you’d enjoy it because I feel like Nova Scotia is filled with meadows, and probably trees too. Maybe they even have pumpkins. You’ll be protected, because pumpkins have hard sides.

Lottie: So…it’s very lovely. You really went to quite a bit of trouble to make this for me. And I truly appreciate it. The thought you put into…

Shannon: Get to the point, Lottie.

Lottie: It’s just that…I mean…when I said “living space,” this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

Shannon: Well, awesome. Did you even want to just try it out for a little…

Lottie: It’s a gourd.

Shannon: Yeah. Okay. So what do you say we submit this to Movita’s Pumpkin Carve-Off 2012, since we did spend so much time on it, and we’ll shop around for a more suitable residence for you. Deal?

Lottie: Now we’re talking.

(cue upbeat music once more, as they scour the paper together over coffee and cake for suitable felted animal residences. They make notes, they smile, they are happy.)

Shannon: I found you the perfect home, Lottie. Come look! It’s a mid-century A-frame; do you like it?

Lottie: (gasping) It’s like you just get me.

Shannon: Yeah.

(with this post, I officially enter Movita Beaucoup’s Pumpkin Carve-Off 2012. If you love my pumpkin, or Lottie, or both, then go vote! She’ll be having two days of initial judging, followed by votes for the finalist, then a winner will be crowned. I want to be that winner, but I need your vote. For a recap of the dates/rules, visit here


Deleted Scene

(after Shannon catches on that her pumpkin meadow is indeed not what Lottie had in mind)

Shannon: I know it’s a gourd. You’re technically a farm animal, remember? I thought you liked the outside. Nature and such. “Don’t fence me in,” things like that. Pardon me for thinking a meadow would be right up your alley.

Lottie: You know, maybe we just need some time to work on some things. I could go stay with Katherine for awhile; she knows how to treat a sheep…

Shannon: Are you serious right now?!? Katherine runs after sheep at full clip and hugs them while Scott hides behind signs which don’t hide him at all and watches.

Lottie: I guess I see what you’re saying there…

Shannon: I mean, don’t get me wrong; she loves sheep. And she’d love to have you. I’m sure she has a fabulous home for you to live in. But Lottie; she lives in the American South. It’s warmer down there, and you’re woolen. Besides, did you see her video about the autumn cotton harvest? Do you know what could happen to you if you were mistaken for a cotton?!?

Lottie: Whoa.

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  • Reply Jen @JuanitasCocina October 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I have sheep envy.

    • Reply shannon October 29, 2012 at 8:01 am

      (early morning laughter) 🙂

  • Reply Emma October 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Charlotta the Fourth?!?

    • Reply shannon October 29, 2012 at 8:02 am

      oh. my. heavens.

      ARE YOU AN ANNE OF GREEN GABLES FAN. Because seriously, my early life was FILLED with Anne of Green Gables; the books, the PBS series, all of it. My mom still wants to move there; she got WAY into it too.

  • Reply movita beaucoup October 28, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Yesterday, I spent the day at work. Then I spent the evening carving a pumpkin. I was wrecked.


    I’m so glad Lottie and I have you…


    • Reply shannon October 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

      ditto: i don’t know what Lottie and I would do without you. Indeed, Lottie wouldn’t even exist, so.

      i love your pumpkin. LOVE. and i voted for it. i hope 2.0 gets one vote this year, and only one, but it isn’t going to be from me.
      (even though, i mean….2.0’s pumpkin was a work of art. it’s like the monster is escaping the pumpkin and ripping it apart with his non-descript monster hands. Very professional and old-school.)

  • Reply Katherine @ eggton October 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

    THIS IS THE BEST POST EVER!!! I just got totally lost in the story–you write dialogue and the interstitial language so well! Do you read a lot of plays? Because lines like this were just perfect: (Lottie, née Sheep, still looks a little glum, although her spirits have visibly improved. There’s still something she wants to say.)

    If Lottie came to live with me, she could live in a lovely little gingerbread house that will be on the market, say, December 1. But she’d risk getting licked by Seymour until her wool was all wet and matted…

    • Reply shannon October 29, 2012 at 8:11 am

      yay! you liked it! and thank you very much. I’m a lit major (i guess former lit major?) so i’ve read plenty of plays, and still do from time to time. I think my conversational writing style tends to lend itself well to dialogue, i suppose. Or, i’m just crazy. Either way, i wish i could find excuses to write like this more often, because i had the best time with it; perhaps Lottie and I need a blog of our own. 🙂

      Are we going to be pitted against each other in the upcoming Ginger 2012 Competition? Oy VEY. I can only hope Seymour gets to your submission prior to photos, or you will trounce me. I’m positive. You’ve just given Lottie nightmares and i’ll need to soothe her and explain that it wasn’t a threat.

  • Reply natalie October 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm


    • Reply shannon October 29, 2012 at 8:12 am

      i feel like that’s a big overstatement. unless you meant “amazing” like “it’s AH-MAY-ZING” you spent that much time and that many resources carving that.” 🙂

      but thank you. 🙂

  • Reply Amy @ Elephant Eats October 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE your pumpkin and story. So glad Lottie has a home to call her own even if it’s not the one you spent hours making for her…pretty demanding sheep you have on your hands there.

    • Reply shannon October 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Amy! Obviously i’m in love with Mr. Sam Adams and your owl pumpkin, still, as i have publicly proclaimed. I think now that everyone has said how pretty Lottie’s pumpkin home is, she’s having second thoughts about a) her attitude and b) her housing arrangements. The pumpkin home is looking pretty good to her right about now.

  • Reply Ashley October 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Absolutely and totally marvelous! I mean both the carved pumpkin art and the faithful recording of your interactions with Lottie. She sounds like she might be a handful at times…a lot like my parent’s cat, who, I swear, is going through her angst-ridden adolescence as we speak. Be strong! And good luck with the competition! To borrow words from next week, I voted today!

    • Reply shannon October 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you! Lottie is a wee bit high maintenance at times – quite a bit like an adolescent cat, now that you mention it! very angsty, prone to sudden mood switcharoos, the whole shebang. I hope she grows out if it, as i hope your parents’ cat does (because that’s even more of a pain than a tiny sheep, i would guess). 🙂 thank you for voting! as i said to Jennie, you guys are so awesome that your votes had me in the lead all day…until Lan pulled it out of nowhere at the very end. it was so dramatic. Let’s hope that next week doesn’t end up like that. 😉

  • Reply Jennie @themessybakerblog October 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Lottie is one lucky sheep! She has a home, and most sheep would kill for such a beautifully carved pumpkin home. I know I would. Of course I voted for you and Lottie. Good luck!

    • Reply shannon October 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Jennie! You guys were great to vote for me; you kept me in the lead for most of the day, until Lan’s nerd boyfriend figured out a way to perform internet domination and allow her to win (just kidding!). 🙂 Lan’s pumpkin was pretty awesome; certainly her carving skills are better, and either way, Lottie gets a good home, and i finally have an actual carved pumpkin to stick candles in tomorrow.

  • Reply Jennie @themessybakerblog October 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    P.S.- I’m super jealous of Lottie. She’s having a tea party, and I love tea parties.

    • Reply shannon October 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      she’s a stickler about tea parties. EVERY DAY, it’s a must…excuse me, fancypants.

  • Reply Kim Bee October 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I love that you’re as twisted as Movita. It makes me all tingly inside. Okay NOT like that. Cripes.

    I love the pumpkin, it’s like perfection for sheep habitats. I don’t get why Lottie prefers the plastic hunk. Apparently she’s twisted too.

    I have sheep/bbff envy. I mean I don’t have a cute little sheep. You think she’d make me a unicorn after the vacation of doom with my crappy kids, but hells no. I got squat.

    • Reply shannon October 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      i like to think we have similar twistiness, yes. 🙂

      Lottie’s tastes? they could be better in terms of housing. but she’s in America now, so perhaps she’s blinded by some of the cheap plastic hunks we have to offer. She’ll come around; i have faith in her.

      a felted unicorn! are those real? 🙂

  • Reply Kim Bee October 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Hey Shannon, I am trying to find a contact email to send you something but I think I might be blind. Can you get in touch with me, Wanted to run something by you.

    • Reply shannon October 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      hi Kim! i just sent you an email. i’m all ears/emails.

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