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E.C. Henry

The Martain Popping Thing sounds like a winner! And since Steven's got one too, it's practically gospel.

I have two stress relieving toys. 1) my buddy Chimpy (a monkey doll with an attitude) 2) my mom.

Chimpy likes to dance, punch and kick me. Still, most days he sits quiety atop my peg board and watches me type. When he gets bored, or I'm writing like a putz, Chimpy likes to dance on my keyboard or kick me in the gut. But this is all done in good taste -- at least according to him.

Given Chimpy's disposition, my mom is my preferred stress relief. She laughs at my unfunny jokes in the morning, and encouages me when things aren't going well.

Moral of the story: make sure your stress relief toy doesn't have altererior motives, and don't be afraid to have a real HUMAN BEING be your stress relief.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


I knew you were the man when I noticed you had Mr. Winkle linked on your site. Just looking at him makes me smile. However, now you are just perfection. Marry me.


I prefer flowers.


I need one of those! I just got The Writers Store catalogue in the mail and am thinking of picking up that set of Horrified B-Movie Victims, and the Literary Action Figures of Jane Austen and Edgar Allen Poe, so I can arrange them in mini 3-D storyboards around my desk. That's all well and good for the actual creating, but Jane and Edgar aren't very squeezable.


I too strive to keep it light. Loved your post. thanks so much. If you want to check out a lighthearted site please come visit at my new spot I'd love to link to your site too. Cool?


Human stress-relief toys are the best! I agree with E.C. Everybody should have at least one!

But I am taking a fancy to MPT.

And Brooke...Billy can't marry you...he's sharing my bed after all.

Writer hugs to all of the wonderful writers here. May you always find relief for your stress!

Miriam Paschal

I have a worry spider. She's fairly new, so she's the latest in a long line of toys.

I know she's a female because she has egg sacs. When I squeeze her, various parts of her body bulge out. Nothing on her was made to specifically bulge; it's just where I happen to be holding her.

She's filled with teeny tiny white styrofoam balls, or pellets, that give her a nice texture. They also look like little eggs when her body bulges out and becomes transparent.

Beth Ciotta

Love the duck. Want that duck. ;) Your post made me smile, Billy. Nice way to start the morning. The stress-reliever toy sitting on my desk is Muttley. At a mere touch his body wobbles and you can almost hear that famous snicker. Sometimes he's laughing with me--"I can't believe you just wrote that." And sometimes--when I'm wrestling with a scene-- he's got that taunting smirk going on, the one that inspires me to kick butt. "I'll show you, Muttley." Yes, I sometimes talk to a wobbly-headed plastic toy. Maybe I'm losing it. Maybe I need that MPT. ;)


EC: Glad to hear Chimpy is the one that punches you and kicks you, as opposed to Mom.

Brooke: I believe we ARE married, in an alternate universe...

Binnie the Droll!

Kristen: Not squeezable, true, but amusing -- I got Jane as a gift for my Story Editor, and I had soon the pleasure of seeing its happy effect.

SillyPants: I look forward to perusing your site and in the meantime feel free to link away.

DebbieB, see Brooke note above.

Miriam, good to hear of a benignly squeezable spider, as the real ones do in fact worry me.

Beth, talking to a wobble-headed plastic toy just seems par for the course re: your average writer's lunacy...


What about sex as the best stress relief!

I was just watching Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in an NBC interview and they said sex was their stress relief.

This reinforces my belief that a human stress relief toy is a very wonderful thing to have.

Thanks Billy for yet another thought-provoking post. This is my favorite place to come when I need inspiration to write the perfect rom com!

Annie D

I'd prefer the wind-up piece of shrimp sushi. And I don't even eat sushi.

Inspired move, Billy.

When I'm stressed, I squeeze my kitties -- gently, of course, until they purr.

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