The story of a semi-permanent mark

A movie theatre window with a face print on it, circled in red.
A movie theatre window with a face print on it, circled in red.
Physical evidence of the moment I broke my nose on the movie theater. Photo by author, Sara Zadrima.


I heard.

So I *shockingly* did just that.

In fact, I ran face first, smack into the glass wall between two glass doors — even though one of them was propped open by my now laughing little brother whose voice I had blindly obeyed just seconds earlier.

I was in high school, excited to get into the theatre for a midnight premiere of a screen adaptation of one of my favorite book series.

My brother’s yell lit the firecracker of excitement inside me, but it was misdirected in a way that launched my face into a sheet of glass.


Our second collection of MuddyUm Pet “Tails”

Photo by the Author, Sara Zadrima. Sulley (left) and Margo (right) ready for a boat ride!

Hello, Real Dirt collectors! It’s been a while since we had a fresh scoop of Pet tails, so we figured it was time for another.

What are your pets thinking? What have they been up to lately? MuddyUm writers answer these questions and more, below! Just click the underlined titles to read more.

If you’re interested in writing a story to be considered for the next issue of Pet Palooza but don’t know where your tail begins, consider this writer’s prompt by MuddyUm Co-Editor (and Pet Newsletter curator) Sara Zadrima. …

Political Humor Vol. 1

Humor is a great coping mechanism for tumultuous times by KC Green

When the world around us is on fire, both literally and figuratively, humor provides many of us with a nice outlet for coping. It brings us laughter, which is a beautiful stress reliever. Poking fun at larger than life news gives us a digestible and analytical way to process the serious history we are living through in real time. Political satire works our brains, pushing our analytical abilities one step farther to expose and criticize the powerful systems that run our society.

This newsletter includes a political humor writer’s prompt, as well as a round up of some hot takes…

Political Satire

A USA democracy WIN!

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

In the wake of the recent attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol instigated by the Incumbent President himself amidst a raging pandemic, many platforms on the internet have stepped up and banished the dangerous, artificially orange-tinted white supremacist from using them to amplify his voice.

Facebook and Instagram took the lead, with a blog post from Mark Zuckerberg that condemned Trump’s use of his Facebook page to condone the Capitol riots and announced a ban of his accounts, at least until a peaceful transition of power is complete.

Twitter was close behind, permanently suspending Trump’s account. They were quickly followed…

Holiday Newsletter Vol. Two

Bringing you The Real Dirt this holiday season

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Looking for some laughter this holiday season? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a sampler of MuddyUm’s fresh baked seasonal stories from our swashbuckling crew.

Happy Holidays! Stay safe and warm out there, mateys, and stay tuned for more editions of Holiday Humor. In case you missed it: check out MuddyUm’s Holiday Humor Vol. One!

Do they know it’s Christmas?

A sampling of MuddyUm’s latest Christmas stories

Pet Newsletter Vol. 1

Our first collection of MuddyUm Pet “Tails”

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Hello, pirates and fans of the Good Ship MuddyUm! Today, we raise our cups to the wiggle butts and purring floofs that make our sleeping quarters and our hearts livelier, fuller, and cozier.

Yes, folks! This Newsletter is volume 1 of our Pet Palooza. So, gather round, cozy up with your furrier loved ones, and get to reading this fun roundup of MuddyUm pet tales. Click the underlined titles below to read their corresponding stories, and be sure to check out the included writers’ prompts for some pet-themed inspiration.

If you hope to have a Pet story featured in Vol…

Fun And Games

A MuddyUm Writers’ Prompt

Meet Sulley. Photo by author ©Sara Zadrima.

When my dad and I decide Sulley looks more sophisticated when she wears reading glasses, what is she thinking?

Is she rolling her mind’s eye at us, sighing about how silly we humans are? Is she just happy to be here, and enjoying the attention? Is she plotting our demise, or strategizing her plan to get into college and become a successful businesswoman? Does she hope for more out of this provincial life, or is she just hoping someone will put that weird rectangle down and give her a belly rub?

I wish I could get a glimpse of the…


Some St. Nicholas Day’s Eve Advice

Photo by Alessio Zaccaria on Unsplash

Happy Krampusnacht!

Everyone knows Saint Nicholas comes to town to bring gifts to children in December, but did you know about his demonic counterpart, Krampus?

On the Eve of his very own Name Day, Lil ol’ Saint Nick arrives to stuff little gifts in the shoes of the angelic kiddos of the world. His lesser-known, half-goat, half-human, horned companion Krampus trails closely behind bearing birch twigs for whipping and an empty sack containing enough room to snatch the children who are beyond salvation. He famously takes them to his lair in the fiery depths of hell.

So, if your kid is a little shit, but you still want to keep them around after Krampus makes his yearly romp around town, you best heed my advice.

Some defiant kids can…


MuddyUm brings you The Real Dirt this holiday season

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Happy (American) Thanksgiving!

Before we dive in to the funnies, a quick note from the author:

On this holiday where we come together with loved ones, whether it be in small gatherings or Zoom feasts this year, we also want to take the time and space to acknowledge that since 1970, Thanksgiving Day has been known as a National Day of Mourning* to Native Americans and many of their supporters. We hope our readers will take some extra time to educate themselves about this day, and remember that while we celebrate who and what we are grateful for in our lives, the story…

Thanksgiving 2020

This is finally your chance

Photo by Erica Marsland Huynh on Unsplash

Dear Annual American Thanksgiving Festivity Hosts,

If this video resembles you or someone in your household on Thanksgiving every year:

This is a YouTube video of a scene from Chris Fleming’s “Gayle” series. Click the hyperlink on his name to see more of his content!

I have great news for you!

You don’t have to do it this year. Any of it.

You can leave your house a mess. You don’t have to put seashells on the doorknobs, or fluff the pillows, or light candles all over the house to make it smell good.

You don’t have to scrub every…

Sara Zadrima

Writing // Production Coordinating // Art-ing // Probably crying or sweating // she/her // @sarzad on Twitter

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