Win a Doodle!

for YOUI like blog contests. I like doodling. And I like that many of you like my doodles.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Here’s a chance to win your very own custom made doodle!

That’s right! If you win, I will doodle whatever you want.

Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

I do not like cats. I am allergic to cats. I chase feral cats off of my lawn. I regularly keep rodents (aka cat prey) as pets.

Last year, however, I promised Jilanne Hoffmann’s punk kid that I would give him a custom made doodle.

He wanted a cat.

Celebrate cats!

He got his cat.*


The winning name will be randomly drawn from a hat. The fellow drawing the name will be this guy:

Boy in ears

He is fair, impartial, and lovably weird.


To get your name in the hat, all you need to do is leave an Interesting Tidbit about yourself in the comments section below.

I know “interesting” is a relative term, so let me give you an idea of what I’m looking for:

NOT Interesting: “My favorite color is orange.”

TOO Interesting “I once killed a mailman with a hammer.”

Go for something in between those two extremes, okay?


You can get your name in the hat more than once by liking my writerfellow Facebook page.

As you will see, my numbers there are pathetic. I have 1,000 blog followers and not even 75 likes on Facebook? It’s ridiculous!

So if you like the Facebook page (or have liked the page already) I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

Ta Daa!


Well, now you’re just getting greedy. Play fair.


Your Interesting Tidbit is due on or before March 10.

The winner will be announced in a blog post on March 11.

The completed doodle will be posted on my blog. The original drawing will be mailed to the winner.

*That said, because I am a children’s book author, I am going to retain the right to refuse any doodle request that is pervy. So there.

So get commenting (and Facebook liking)!

Good luck!

128 Replies to “Win a Doodle!”

  1. Here are multiple tidbits:
    1) I am quite skilled at getting birds that fly into a house to fly out. Flat mop or broom required for skilled to be performed.
    2) Unlike you, I like cats but I can’t live with cats. Two cats, one dog and a boy have destroyed my Stickley sofa. (It’s amazing that they lived to meow, bark and tell the tale!) I am not a fan of rodents and am petrified of snakes.
    3) I recently learned that it’s one space after a period and not two! Who knew?
    Good luck with the “likes” and traffic!

    1. Your comment is a fine example (or three fine examples) of what I am looking for in an Interesting Tidbit. Well done, my friend!

      And each of your tidbits got a reaction out of me:

      1. Why on earth do birds want to fly into your house? In all my years as a homeowner, the only bird incident I even had was when a disoriented pigeon went into my garage — which is not even close to being the same thing.

      2. Gah! Not a ruined Stickley! I own one piece of Stickley furniture and I think I would take a bullet for it.

      3. As magazine editor, the two-space-after-a-period thing drives me to drink. I am glad that you discovered this editorial sin before it was too late.

      Congrats! You are herby entered in the contest! Good luck!

      1. Re: #1 We leave the front and back door open during the summer for cross-ventilation and that’s when they flew in (3 of them! Not at once). We’ve also had nasty birds making a nest in my drier duct, raccoons in the attic (made a whole in the soffit! probably how the birds got in too!), and one turtle managed to fall down our exterior stairs leading to the basement. Fortunately for him, there’s a turtle crossing by the house and we brought him back. 🙂

  2. I have climbed 6 mountains, and I hope to climb the highest mountain in every country. Easy, in Australia and Wales. It’ll be more challenging when I get to Pakistan and Nepal.

    1. You don’t have to like my page to be entered in the contest, Tess. Just give me an interesting tidbit in this comment section and you’re name goes in the hat!

      You should do it. The contest wouldn’t be the same without ya!

      And I’ll tell you what; if you give this contest a shout out on your blog, I’ll put your name in the hat twice. What a deal!

  3. Hmm, I don’t Facebook–can I trade out for a StumbleUpon or a Shout Out on my Blog? Flexibility is sign of creativity *hopeful grin*
    Weird Facts:
    I have two Santa dollars stashed away in hopes they will be worth something someday. These are real dollar bills with Santa’s face superimposed as president. At least they told me they were real when I bought them.

    1. Your powers of persuasion are excellent. A blog shout out is worth a second vote!

      I have never heard of a Santa dollar. How and where does one get a Santa dollar?

      And would you consider trading a Santa dollar for a Disney dollar?

      1. Santa Dollars are a trademark of Marketing Productions. I haven’t a clue how I came to have not one but two of these bobbers. I think my mom gave them to the kids when they were wee bits and I grabbed them for safekeeping. Ssh–don’t snitch.
        Oh–shout scheduled for March 5th. Do I get another vote for each “CMuse sent me” comes your way?

      2. Well, the Disney/Santa deal still stands, if you ever change your mind. My DD was minted in 1988 if that sweetens the deal.

        To be fair, I can’t give you extra votes for referrals, but you will get two ballots in the drawing (and, of course, my eternal gratitude)! Good luck!

      1. It’s funny, I hadn’t thought about it in years and your post had me thinking about things I could share that would be OK for the young one pulling the name out of the hat. I have a picture here somewhere I will look for to show you.

      2. Here is the picture a found.

        It is the Mayor of Munchkin Land…he was from Buffalo, New York and his wife. The owner of the bar was Sergio Gardenas and that is his head in the middle and his Mom standing behind. The bar was called Le Casa Gardenas in Niagara Falls New York. The things that happened there will have to remain classified.

      3. This is great! I met one of the last remaining Munchkins a few years ago at a giant antique and collectibles show in Atlantic City.

        I have no idea why he was there. He was a living antique, perhaps?

      4. The photo was taken somewhere between 1993 & 1998. He has since passed. The bar has closed down and I lost track of my friend Sergio. Social media was not yet a tool to keep in touch.

      5. In trying to remember more I was doing some digging and guess what?
        This is dated Sat. Feb. 10, 2001.
        ” In this morning’s Niagara Gazette I got a shock when I read the obituary
        page. I read that Thomas J. Cottonaro, 86 years old, of Ashland Avenue,
        Niagara Falls, NY, died Wednesday, February 7, in Niagara Falls Memorial
        Medical Center after a year long illness.

        Who was Tommy Cottonaro? He was our very special Munchkin and was known
        around here as the Mayor of Munchkin Land. Why? Well because he had been a
        film actor and was one of the Munchkins in the original 1939 movie, The
        Wizard of Oz. Actually he was the Bearded Man of the Munchkins. He was the
        last surviving Munchkins of the Wizard of Oz.”

        So all those years I drank with the man no one ever set me straight that he was not actually the “Mayor” but was the “bearded one”. All I remember is that both he and his wife were wonderful people. They were fun, funny and gracious.

  4. Hmm, something interesting about me that isn’t color-related… I worked as an Au Pair girl in Paris for a year straight out of high school. The family gave me a room on the top floor of the apartment building (the servants’ floor), and all of us top-floor dwellers got to share a single Turkish toilet. That was fun. (If you don’t know what a Turkish toilet is, consider yourself lucky.) I mean to do a blog post about it sometime, if I ever get motivated enough.

    I have liked your FB page. I’m not a very good Facebooker. I ignore my personal site and don’t tend to my public page as often as I should. Not enough time in the day…

    Fun contest idea!

  5. When I was a child, I wanted to be a mommy elephant when I grew up.

    I still have an unhealthy fascination with elephants. It is only rivaled by my love for jellyfish.

      1. I did see that photo, it is awesome! Someday I want to ride an elephant. And bottle-feed a baby elephant. Honestly, I just want to romp with a baby elephant.

        And jellyfish are awesome! There’s just something so serene about them. Though I don’t ever want to meet a Man-o-War without very thick glass between us.

  6. I am unable to juggle, ride a unicycle, or enjoy guacamole.

    Consider your page “Liked.”

  7. I worked for a perfume lab for a summer. I sprayed different smells, some good and some intentionally gross, near people and they would tell me what they thought. Once during lunch break, we had a fun fight with the soap scraps 🙂

    I’m not on Facebook unfortunately but will try to send people there via twitter…

  8. I once killed a Sunkist delivery man with a hammer.
    How’s that?

    And just for good measure..
    1) I love Paul McCartney’s work but I’ve never cared for The Beatles.
    2) My daughter has turned me onto various Disney shows – much to my eternal chagrin.

    1. Paul is amazing, Hook. I recently saw him perform on The Colbert Report and that guy has still got it!

      That said, are you telling me you prefer Wings to The Beatles? ‘Cause, well, that is just nutty.

  9. I already like your FB page and have already been the lucky recipient of a free doodle for Phyllis, so don’t count me. But I couldn’t resist this opportunity to tell you that I once slightly maimed a mailman with an orange hammer 🙂

  10. Hmm….interesting fact about me?
    I saw Elvis Presley in concert the year before he passed away and I took my 13 year old daughter to see Davy Jones AND the Monkees on two different occasions (per HER request)! I guess that is two things huh? Does skydiving count? WAIT! I went Skydiving with Elvis and Davy Jones!! (jk) LOL!
    I also do not do Facebook but I will be happy to do a shout out on Twitter and Google?? Does that help?
    Love this contest. Your little dude is the cutest ever 😉

    1. Well done!

      The Monkees are an underrated band, I think. Their movie, Head, however, cannot be underrated enough.

      OK, Courtney, if you plug me on Twitter and Google, you’ll get a second ballot.

  11. I accidentally ate a spider once…it was alive. :-O

    I purposefully ate pickled jellyfish once. It didn’t taste very good. The best way to describe it: rubber bands soaked in vinegar. 😦

    1. I once read somewhere that many people unknowingly eat spiders while they sleep. Apparently the little fellows are always on the lookout for warm humid spaces and our mouths seem to fit the bill.

      Anyway, sweet dreams!

      Oh, and you’re in the contest! Two ballots for you!

  12. I have Letizia above to thank for stumbling upon your blog! I love those doodles!

    Interesting tidbit about me… hmmm…. I’m going to try my luck with more than one and let you be the judge of what qualifies as interesting!

    1) I have absolutely no sense of direction. When I was taking my driving lessons, I had to pretend to hold a pencil in my writing hand every time my instructor told me to take a right/left turn. It’s a miracle I got my license.

    2) I am a chocoholic through and through. I have an extremely high tolerance for sugar and at one point consumed five large Mars bars in under five minutes, followed by two cans of Pepsi, and then poked through the fridge for more sugar. Surprisingly I’m not overweight.

  13. I know every line from the movie Young Frankenstein.

    I made sure that my son also learned every line from the movie Young Frankenstein. It’s important to teach your children the classics.

  14. My blog is named after a dream I had. I got bit by a tick last year and now I’m allergic to anything that comes from a mammal. I read really fast, but I can’t remember anything unless I write it down.

    1. Tick bites can make you allergic to mammals? But all of the world’s cutest animals are mammals, Steph! Cure that ailment right now!

      And that “can’t remember anything” tidbit reminded me of the movie Memento. Have you seen it?

      1. Yes, it’s called Alpha-Gal and it’s the dumbest thing ever.

        And, I don’t know, cause I wouldn’t remember it if I had, lol. 🙂

  15. Interesting Fact: One night, I looked out my college dorm window and saw a UFO. It sort of hovered and then zip! It was gone. The following night, I found out that hundreds of other people had reported seeing a hovering object in the sky. It was never explained.

    Also, I liked your Facebook page. And now you have…wait for it…76 Likes! 🙂

  16. For completely rational, unavoidable reasons, I’ve mooned two senators, a mailwoman, and a puppeteer. Those were all four different scenarios, and none involved a dare.

    Also, I can carve a cucumber into 16 different animals including shark and dinosaur.

    Aaaaand…facebook-page liked! 🙂

    1. Senatorial mooning I can understand. I don’t endorse it, but I can understand it. Late arriving mail can, I suppose, also warrant a mooning.

      But I would be very interested to know the circumstances behind the puppeteer.

  17. How about another story from Southern Africa? We were in the Kalahari and I really needed to take a wiz, so we stopped the truck, looked around, and I hopped out. I walked over to a bush and did my thing. Probably took only a minute. Got back into the truck and drove another 30 feet. There, under a bush, lay a female lion looking at us with mild interest. Well, if the wind had been from a different direction, she may have been more than mildly interested. Good thing it was in the heat of the day, and she was busy cooling her jets under a shrub. She didn’t appear to have any “friends” with her, but we sat in the truck and watched her for a few minutes. She crooned and rolled on her back, but I was not tempted to go scratch her belly.

    My son says to tell you that he has a Lego Ev3 robot. He finds it immensely interesting. In fact, so interesting that he’s using it for his science project to answer the burning question: Which is better at distinguishing colors, the Ev3 color sensor or the human eye? Results are forthcoming, but suffice to say, that color sensor will not be replacing our eyes any time soon.

    And I “liked” you a looooooooong time ago. I think if I “like” you again, it will “unlike” you.

    1. What a tidbit! And what a way to go: getting eaten by a lion while taking a whiz. Glad you came out of there alive.

      Those robotic Lego systems are amazing. The first feature story I wrote for my current employer was about the School’s robotics team. They used Lego Mindstorm systems to navigate a complicated maze designed to look like the layout of a house. The ‘bots had to pick things up and drop things off, all while using AI. Amazing!

      Do give Liam my best, won’t you?

      You’re in for two ballots!

      1. Thanks, Mike! Yes, the Lego robots are very cool! Liam will be enjoying several robotics camps this summer. He’s already thinking about them. The technical details they need to understand to get those things to “jump through hoops” is impressive. We’re regulars at the Robo Games where robots play soccer, compete against each other with karate moves, navigate mazes. I confess it appeals to my inner (and outer) geek. I think Liam wants to participate in the First Lego League this coming year, where groups are given a problem to solve and their solutions are judged on creativity, efficiency, effectiveness. Cheers!

  18. I used to get called canary legs when I ran in cross country meets in my red lycra leggings. Not a flatterring canary more a spangly knobbly knees effort. Will that do? Fun contest Mike!

  19. I’m told I do a frighteningly good impression of Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World.”

    I’m hoping that’s either interesting because it’s true, or interesting because someone wanted me to think it was true,for reasons of their own . . .

    (I think I Facebook liked you a while back—I’ll go check)

  20. I liked your facebook page and tweeted to tell people to like it.
    Hmm interesting tidbit – I can pick a lock and dead bolt in under 30 seconds (I just find it interesting how locks work – not taking up a life of crime). I am pretty badly color blind and have trouble seeing orange so I’m not super fond of it. I like our mailman – his name is Monty. 🙂

  21. I once sang the National Athem before a Detroit Tigers game.
    I feel like winning this doodle would be a good investment in the future….online auction in 2020: “personal doodle by THE Mike Allegra….”

  22. On vacation, the resort I stayed at had bikes for guests to borrow. At 48, I got on a bike for the first time since I was a teenager – and I haven’t stopped riding since! Last summer, I rode RAGBRAI – an annual bike ride across the state of Iowa. This coming spring/summer: hoping to give off-road a try! (Heading to Facebook next!)

  23. Jeez, it’s not like you’re putting pressure on us to be clever or witty or anything. Thank goodness for that. I’m glad your handsome drawing assistant will be with you for this contest as well, as I can attest to his fine drawing skills.

    See, here’s my problem: even if I were to be lucky enough to win yet another of your contests, the doodle you did of the cats already is perfect. I love that one. I actually even saved the image of it from a previous post of yours because I love it so much. It perfectly depicts all that is wicked and wonderful about kitties. In my mind, you can’t possibly top that one. Although in reality I’m sure you will.

    Having said that, I’m throwing in two cat-related tidbits because you know I can’t resist.

    1) Cupcake is the kind of cat who would throw a tea party with little tea cakes and scones and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off. She’d make sure everyone had their favorite type of tea, because she’s very sweet and thoughtful that way. And she’d have little doilies and flowers and she’d want everything to be extra fancy and she’d want everyone to have a very nice time. That’s why one of my nicknames for her is Hostess Cupcake.
    2) Pickles, my beloved dearly departed, was the kind of cat who would have sued the Westminster Dog Show for discrimination against felines. And in anticipation of winning her lawsuit—because you know she’d make sure she won by hiring some pitbull lawyer (and I mean a literal pitbull)—she would have gone ahead and named herself as Best in Show in Perpetuity.

    This might be the most rambly comment I’ve ever left here. Golly.

    1. Considering your past generosity, Weebles, I should give you a doodle regardless of how you fare in this competition.

      And Cupcake sounds like a lovely gal. One day I hope to don a respirator and meet her.

  24. Oh shoot, the pressure is on, because I REALLY want your doodle.
    Okay, here goes: I once smashed the tendons in the ring finger of my left hand by jumping on a horse. The horse, by the way, was the wooden gymnastics kind that they tortured us with and graded us on in high school. I got an F and 3-days in the hospital recovering from surgery. However, my finger remained swollen for years, and helped me reject several marriage proposals, because really, a pretty diamond ring would never fit. Ten years later, my now-husband bought an extra-large wedding ring, so I said yes.

    1. Dang! Three-days in the hospital is awful, but getting an “F,” too, is just cruel!

      I also never heard of anyone using fat fingers as an excuse to reject a potential suitor.

      These are Interesting Tidbits indeed!

      Two ballots for you! Good luck, my friend.

  25. Greetings!

    I didn’t know you had a facebook – liked!

    Interesting things about me… Hmm. I can squeek like a chipmunk, and I’m the only one I know that can do that. Unfortunately, I think I may speak the language poorly, because chipmunks chitter angrily at me then run and hide when I try communicating. I once fooled a blue jay into thinking I was a rival in his territory though! He was a bit surprised when he saw a human making the noise.

    I hope you decide to pick two winners though. If I won, I’d feel bad, because I read your hilarious posts in my email, but never quite make it over to wordpress to hit that like button!

    1. Welcome, Phoenix! Or Cassandra? What is your name anyway? I gotta check the Facebook page to make sure you really, really like me.

      As you may or may not know, I am pro-rodent (aka “prodent”) so your chipmunk tidbit intrigues me. Please do let me know as soon as you and the little critters begin to speak in more civil tones.

      As for winners, there’s only gonna be one — but as a regular (email) reader you have nothing to feel bad about. Also, this contest is proving to be so popular, I suspect that more doodles will be offered in the future.

      1. I am both Phoenix and Cassandra! I also occasionally go by Chipmunk, for reasons you can probably guess. And, just to have everything be completely unrelated, my Facebook profile picture is a dragon, because dragons are awesome. (As you can see, my WordPress picture is a baby red fox, one of three I saw playing in a parking lot at Baxter’s State Park in Maine a few years ago)

        I think I would call myself pro-animal, because I like cats, and rodents, and reptiles, and amphibians, and… Well, most critters. I think the only reason I don’t have a hamster yet is because I’m afraid one of the cats would eat it, which would be sad. I wanted a snake, but my boyfriend was definitely NOT enthusiastic about that idea, so no snake for me! For now.

        I am babbling. Many apologies. I hope you have fun creating the doodle for whoever wins it! 😀

  26. Doodling, to me , has never been about the doodling part of it. Doodling essentially seems to be a kind of ‘right brain’ exhaust system as I think of some deep ‘out-of-the-box’ possibility. So I remain unsure if I could really evaluate doodles per se, knowing that they were but extraneous creations of lateral thinking exercises.


    1. These are intriguing ideas, Shatki, but if you’re entering this contest, you’re thinking too much. I’m looking for stories about using a Turkish toilet, or seeing a UFO, of cycling across Iowa or having alarmingly fat fingers.

      So whatdaya got for me?

  27. Oh goodness, I think most of my interesting bits have been revealed on my blog (I’ve just realised how wrong that sounds, but I’m going to leave it in for comedy value).

    Erm…my children’s paternal grandfather was a third class passenger on the Titanic and survived. Have I mentioned that one before? I really can’t remember. Does that count as something about myself? Not really I guess. Let me think…Oh well I’ll just go with one that I’ve put on my blog before because you didn’t say it had to be brand new information! When I was living in Las Vegas I was in a play, and one evening I broke my finger on stage during an actual performance and had to carry on for the rest of the show – I didn’t yet know it it was broken at the time but I did know that my fingernail was hanging off and dripping blood all over the stage.

    1. You and the lovely Pam Wight should hang out. She has a mangled finger story, too!

      I ripped a tendon in my finger a couple of years back after tucking in bedsheets with too much vim and vigor. It needed to be splinted for six weeks.

      It’s not easy being OCD.

      1. Yes actually it was Pam’s story that made me think of including mine!

        Funnily enough, my other half Neil did that exact same thing as you last year, except that it was in pulling up his jeans rather than tucking bedsheets in! He too had to have the splint, and it took many months for his finger tip to properly straighten back up even after that, in fact I don’t think it’s 100% back to normal. He was told it’s fairly common, and the doctor said that usually it occurs while tucking in bedsheets!

      1. I think I need to blog about this… I had a certain “type” that would manifest itself like every two weeks or something. I think I’ll have to look back in my journal for the specifics but it was like every two weeks I would have the world’s most terrible flu for like 3 or 4 days. Gotta love international travel and all it’s parasites 😉

  28. “I once killed a mailman with a hammer” — hahahaha! Glad you clarified the boundaries there. I am proud to say that I “liked” your page a while ago. I’ll sit this one out, but I’ll be there for the unveiling!

  29. Does having an orange hammer as a murder weapon count?

    Or, my car is titled the Spaceship Spoooooork and has its own soundtrack, complete with voice overs.

    It keeps me entertained while I give other people rides.

      1. Over the course of the last four summers of working at summer camp, I took a digital recorder and recorded a voice over for people riding into my car, complete with directions for putting on a seat belt. This way, it feels like you’re on an amusement park ride while riding in my car. I also called my previous car a spaceship because the engine whined like a Star Tours vehicle, and then my summer camp friends dubbed it the Starship Spork. I have since adapted it to my new car, which is the Spaceship Spork.

      2. I might do a blog post on it, but I have to find my pictures first. Especially the ones with our matching uniforms for the starship.

  30. Hmmm….
    1)I’ve directed one of your plays, quite successfully btw.
    2) We’ve never met in person but I consider you a friend and truly enjoy our banter.
    3) We’ve known each other for over 10 years now…wow!!
    4) I’m an audiobook narrator and have recorded several genres including mystery, horror, children’s, romance, young adult, science fiction, fantasy, history, business, and theology.
    5) I travelled to India to get dental work done cuz it would be cheaper. That was 7 years ago. I still have to finish getting some of the work done.
    6) Not a cat person, though I just played a Shaman who turns into a cat.

  31. I once, accidently, hit Bruce Springsteen in the head with a camera tripod while backstage at a Duran Duran concert.

    1. Also, we’ve spent roughly 16,800 hours together over the past decade. That should earn me a doodle and you a Purple Heart.

  32. I used to obsessively sit my bedroom window when I was 7 and try to uncover squirrel body language. Now I just watch the squirrels out my kitchen window and make up the things they are saying. Which explains why I’ve been heard to yell “more nuts!” repeatedly in the kitchen.
    In other news, I was just looking at search terms which had led people to my blog and “vagrant goats” was pretty high up. It made me think of you.

      1. I do, accidentally… it was one where I used the voice recorder on my phone and ended up with an idea dictated as “Why no goats stay with you.” Which, it goes without saying I hope, was NOT the idea I had tried to record.

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