Unless you are Agatha Christie. In that case go for it.
There are very few stories indeed that can't benefit from a dose of cute. However depending on what the genre of your story is, there is very much such a thing as too much cute. If your are telling the romance of a golden retriever breeder the acceptable dose of cute will be extremely high.You can lay the cute on with a pain roller and no one will really care or even notice it in the context of your story. If you are telling the story of a drug dealer who is framed for murder for an incontinent British butler the level of cute will be far, far lower, A single pig-tailed girl skipping down a sunny street will be jarring against that background.
Unless you are Agatha Christie. In that case go for it.
When writing group dynamics remember that even highly intelligent and agreeable people can be unreasonable and will need convincing and even sometimes coddling. They will need their complaints listened to, even if they are complaining about the state of the universe. Someone will have to be the bigger person, someone will have to keep a calm head, and someone will be petty. This is a good time to add some shadow, some depth to otherwise bland characters.
7:00AM: Arrive at work, find no boss, check e-mail, nothing interesting
7:03AM: Boss arrives, squints at me through one eye and asks why I'm so perky, advises me against excessive caffeine (I had one cup of tea)
7:10AM: Boss informs me that there is no plan for the day yet, go do something until Boss can think
7:15AM: I inform boss that I need too go kill something and get an odd look but permission to go pull the dandelions down-slope of the water tank, I determine to speak more accurately
7:20AM: I am geared up and ready to go, hand on the door Boss intercepts me with a grim smile
7:25AM: Boss informs us that we have a plan for the day. The southern end of the park is on fire and we need to go move a greenhouse, two several-cubic-yard seed beds, and a connex full of greenhouse equipment NOW
8:00AM: Thirty Dandelions breath a sigh of relief.
Jerome Yates fought back the urge to spit out the fancy coffee he had served himself off of the refreshments trolley. He wasn’t entirely successful and several drops fell to stain the white lacey cloth that the various cups, packets, and dispensers sat on he snatched up a napkin and attempted to keep the dark liquid from staining the intricately patterned cloth without spilling the coffee still in the paper cup. When he decided that he had smeared the stains around sufficiently he glared at the cup in his hand, the dispenser on the trolley, and the crumpled paper in his hand. He used one broad thumb to smooth out the white scrap against his dark palm and blinked in surprise.
“Who puts salt packets next to the coffee?” Jerome demanded of the empty waiting room.
The soft beige walls offered no reply and Jerome glanced at the clock on the wall with a sigh. Another ten minutes till his meeting. His eyes caught on an odd, ornamental he presumed, glass jar next to the clock. In it… Jerome frowned and looked more closely, in the jar hanging next to the clock was one of those old wind-up travel alarm clocks Ma’maw used to use when she traveled for IBM. Sitting on top of it was some taffy looking piece of candy in a paper wrapper and a slack rubber band hung around the neck of the jar. Shaking his head Jerome shuffled back to the seat he had claimed in the empty room and sat stiffly down.
The sound of flowing water came from the window and he frowned thoughtfully. The ornamental stream that surrounded the place bothered the Master Sergeant for some reason. The implication of whimsy was out of touch with the businesslike feel of the building as a whole. On the other hand it did seem to match the horseshoe nailed over the door. Jerome took a sip of coffee and he grimaced at the taste of salt. He reached down into his pocket and ran his fingers over the odd business card that the last social worker had surreptitiously pressed into his hand, three weeks and thousands of miles ago in a San Diego office.
“And where is the little woman now?”
Jerome jerked to his feet at the voice and whipped around. How had he missed her coming in? She wasn’t standing by the door. She being perhaps the most common place, middle aged Irish woman he had ever seen. She might have been thirty-five or seventy-five and her wide green eyes were made even larger by large black rimmed glasses.
“Excuse me Ma’am?” Jerome asked cautiously.
“You found us dearie,” She said with a patient smile. “That means you know enough to know our deal breakers.”
“She’s,” Jerome weighed how much to say and moved closer carefully aware of how his own six foot nine frame towered over her at the same time as he weighed how much to tell her. “Visiting relatives in Dublin.”
“I see,” the woman said with a nod. “She doesn’t know you’re here then.”
“No,” Jerome said softly. “I didn’t want to get her hopes up. We-“ He broke off and gritted his teeth as the desperation welled up again and choked him. His eyes fixed on the odd jar for a moment and he blinked. The empty wrapper lay crumpled under the clock. “I-“
“You wanted to know if there was any chance before risking breaking her heart again,” the woman nodded in understanding. “To find out if we’d see any red flags in your household. Understandable. Do you have it?”
Jerome wasn’t sure how he knew what she was asking for but he reached into his pocket for his wallet and pulled out a much worn photo. He was standing tall and proud in his dress uniform, sporting fewer bars and his Katie was curled up against him laughing. Her long red hair glowed against her white dress and her green eyes sparkled.
The woman took the wedding photo respectfully and stared at it in satisfaction. She nodded and handed it back to him.
“Well I see no red flags,” she said simply.
Jerome narrowed his eyes. “That’s it?” he demanded. “All the other agencies ran through everything in our lives back to the lemonade stand my brothers and I ran in the third grade.”
“We are not,” the woman said primly as she led him to the entry door, “a normal agency. Now you go get the little woman and bring her back here. We will give you the full informational packages together, until then read this.” She pressed what looked like a bookmark into his hand as she ushered him out the door. He stepped over the stream and frowned down at the list of instructions.
Ethereal Adoption Agency
When entering into formal negotiations for adopting one of our wee folk:
“Hey Katie. Yeah I’ll get a cab and be back soon. Love, Sweetie, I found another agency. They say they have something for us.”
Silence came over the phone for far too many heartbeats. Then a soft voice spoke.
“One more time.”
With the 2017 eclipse looming tomorrow the traffic wasn't bad but those NASA certified eclipse viewing glasses were neigh impossible to find. Almost, this author found enough pairs for her family but only after three days of searching the local vendors. Don't delay getting those glasses folks and don't try to directly view the eclipse without them.
If you can't get the glasses in time you can always build your own viewer.
Enjoy the fun safely folks!
Is everybody ready for the full solar eclipse happening across the USA this Monday? The moon will be passing between Earth and the sun casting its shadow from Oregon to South Carolina. It is fairly rare for a full solar eclipse to cross an entire continent so far more people will be able to see the event than usual.
Now if this were a fantasy novel something would happen to the protagonist. just as the sun is covered by the moon.
So what shall it be? Dragons rising from the depths? Giants waking in the hills? Storms rolling in from the (insert cardinal direction here)? An eldritch horror slowly beginning to seep out of the cracks in the stones of a powerful monument?
So get your (NASA approved) solar glasses and get ready for something horrible to happen!
To the many thousands of people converging on the Pacific Northwest to view the upcoming eclipse.
First welcome to our beautiful land.
Second I completly understand that you come out of a love of science and natural wonder.
Thirdly I am well aware that ALL of the inns, hotels, motels, campsites, bed and breakfasts, and air B&B are full and that RVs are wonderful options.
Fourthly I am grateful that those several dozen RVs on the looooooooooooooong road I drove today chose to drive at safe speeds up the mountain passes.
But please understand that today you were all minions of the traffic gremlins who for the past five years have prevented me from making a very specific scientific delivery on time.
Previous years culprits have included Google maps fails, nails in tires, changes in housing inspection regulations, and keys left in pants.
The gremlins are clever, very clever.
Oh, and Fifth, remember to get properly certified eclipse glasses.
Seriously? We are endurance predators and dogs make sense. They can keep up with us no matter where we go. Cats either sit on us or sit where we live. The are ambush predators. So why are cats the favorite pet of humans?
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.