And He answered and said unto them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Three Word Wednesday 082609

Training Wheels

I made him wear a helmet. I don't care; there will be no skull fracture if I can help it.

We bought him one of those push bicycles but he wouldn't pedal. We tried everything. He liked tricycles at other people's homes but outgrew them before we could purchase one.

We bought him a bike with training wheels. He outgrew it.

We bought him a larger bike with training wheels, but when we took the training wheels off, he still couldn't do it.

It all has to do with upper body weakness and low muscle tone. I read that's part of my son's diagnosis. What that has to do with autism or asperger's syndrome, I'll never know.

We gave up on it or rather, we let it go. My husband and I had tried our best and if he couldn't ride a bike, so be it. There are so many more worse things in life than that.

But that sunny afternoon, my husband called me from our side door and let the screen slam shut. I hate that noise and so does he, so I ran out; my husband does not let a screen door slam for nothing.

I walked to our front sidewalk and there he was. In fifth grade, yes, but riding without training wheels and beaming.

How many prayers had gone up for that small childhood milestone. My husband and I watched him pedal past us and felt a couple of fears lift off our shoulders and vanish.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Carry on Tuesday # 15

Your prompt for Tuesday August 25th
Instead of an opening passage, the prompt this week is a line from verse two of Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe.
Please feel free to change the first word to, for example, he, she or they.
(We) loved with a love that was more than love
Use all or part of it at the start or somewhere within your poem or prose.

Mothers Truth

a Haiku

Tiny hands touch soft

a love that was more than love

Slipping away soon

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunday Scribblings # 177

What are your thoughts on adulthood? What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you scared of being an adult? Have you been forced to be the adult in a relationship? Do you have an adult child who won't grow up? Are you glad to finally be an adult? What do you think?

Seasons of Adult

My birthday is in September and I am officially what I consider to be old. I have 3 school aged kids and as I've mentioned I'm going back to school starting Monday the 24th.

I'll be attending night school so I am going to assume that there will be a lot of older adults there compared to younger ones. We are all adults but we are in such different seasons.

When I was young, everything was new and I could afford to be slightly reckless. At least that is what I thought. I made some foolish choices. I dated and married the first person who I was ever serious with, knowing that this man was troubled. I alienated my friends and my parents; I chose this and was encouraged to do so too. True, I was on my own and working, but I had no sense at the start. I had plenty of sense by the time I divorced.

I was alone for a time and then met my current husband. We enjoyed being double income no kids, we had children and life swirled around us as our babies became toddlers became preschoolers became grade schoolers.

My season of adult was not what I had imagined it would be when I was a child. But again, it's better than I thought it would be too. True, there are many who would judge my life right now as boring and meaningless, as we wrap our lives around our church and our children.

But what I have found in this season is the ability to look at small things and be amazed. When my children were small they would see things new, like the grass, bugs, flowers, colors. I would get to see things new through them and I enjoyed them more than when I was young. They are older now, my youngest is in third grade, but I was given that gift of wonder. I still get excited about the first butterfly in the garden and the coccoon that's attached to our hillybilly golf set. I watch for the meteors and saw nothing but the beautiful moon between the trees of our yard.

And I have found myself sitting outside in the early morning with a cup of coffee, listening to the birds and thinking, "This is amazing." I shoved aside thoughts of my father doing the same thing, but then, he also had that gift of wonder.

I hope that I'll be able to pass that on too.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Pumping Your Muse 081509

Pumping Your Muse Prompt
Write a story based on a man or woman obsessed and carrying a flyswatter.

The Day of Small Things

"10-4, Karen. I'm at the door now. Over." Pete heard the dispatcher reply and the comforting buzz of other officers in the two way strapped to his shoulder. He knocked on wooden part of the screen door. It looked weathered and original to the woodframe house. In spite of the overgrown bushes, the porch was immaculate. He looked through the gray sheers of the bay window and saw a shadow moving toward the door.

The front door opened and the woman stood with a flyswatter in her hand. It had a white, metal handle with a blue plastic screen that was torn and frayed in the middle.

"Hi, Deb. What seems to be the matter?" Pete looked with concern at the woman staring back at him through the screen. "May I come in?"

The woman pushed the door open and as if on cue, began to cry. The front room was immaculate and inviting; not a lamp or coffee table book was out of place. She sat down on her couch, held her head with one and sobbed. The other hand clutched the swatter white-knuckled.

Pete left her and walked into the kitchen. The cabinets were dangling loose on their hinges, the window was cracked like a windshield. Floors, the counters, the stove and refrigerator were as spotless as the rest of house. As he grabbed a paper towel, he heard a buzz. He noticed a black fly and watched it land, black on the white stove top.

"Deb, that's quite a fly you got in your kitchen. Do you know it circled around me twice? Here." Pete handed her the papertowel and sat on the matching chair opposite the sofa. Deb looked up in horror, wiped her face and stood up.

"Pete, you have to get out of here. Now. Leave. They know you now." Deb ran to the door as she looked toward her kitchen.

"Deb, come on, hon. You can talk to me. We've known each other since high school. You're friends with my wife. It's ok. I'm your friend." He walked to go outside but kept his eyes focused on her.

"Pete, please. Come outside. Please. Outside." Deb whispered hoarsely and wiped her nose. She kept her gaze at the kitchen and opened the door. She walked out but kept never looked at Pete. He walked past her and immediately she shut the door behind them.

"They're here, Pete. It's not a fly. It's--" Deb grabbed his upper arms, the flyswatter near her face. He gently freed himself from her grip.

"Put that thing down, Deb; it's right by my face. Come on. I'll take you over to Dunkin Donut and get you a cup of coffee."

"It doesn't kill them. No. A machine can't be killed, Pete. It disables the ship for a minute so you can get a hammer and crush them. It's the only way. What are we going to do, Pete? We have to call the National Guard. They're here. There are so many."

"Deb. I'm going to call Jim and see if he can get off work a little early. Geez, you're not even dressed. Why don't you throw something on and we'll go. Come on, Deb."

She opened the screen door and stood between the doors as she looked through the window in her door. "Pete, I know it's gonna sound crazy, but you have to listen to me. It's not a fly at all. It's a ship. I've gotten 20 of them. I stun the ships with this flyswatter. I thought they were flies, Pete. I thought I'd hit 'em and that would be the end. They'd just fly circles around you over and over. When you sleep, you can hear them." Her voice deepened. Her eyes looked old and tired. "If you stun them, you can smash them, Pete. But there's always two to take their place."

He took her by the arm and led her to the adirondack chair on her tidy porch.

"Deb. Honey, Caroline has been going through moods like this. It comes with the age. I'll get you the name of her doctor. Since she's been on that bio-identical pill, she's back to her old self, ok? In the meantime, how about I go in and get that little fly for you."

For a moment, he thought that Deb would come at him, but she just stared. She rose up, wiped her nose one more time and straightened her back.

"I'll do it, Pete. Just come in with me and watch."

"Officer Brennan, do you copy?" The operator sounded loud and sane.

"10-4, Karen."

"Pete, Joe's requesting you over on Clifton Park Ave. "

"10-2, Karen. I'll be done here in a sec."

"10-2, Pete." The only other person in the room with any sense clicked off with a button. Pete was moved with pity and sorrow at his friend's delusions. He followed her back in the house and straight to the kitchen.

Deb's flyswatter was up in the air as she ran in her kitchen screaming.

The black fly sat on the white stove top. Deb approached it and smashed the blue net hard on top.

"No more problems, Deb, see--"

"Wait for it."

They stood for a couple of minutes. When Pete would object, Deb would raise her hand to silence him. Out of pity and respect, he waited but nothing more happened.

"Deb, come on. I'm going to call Jim right now. This isn't good. Does he know what's going on?"

Deb began to cry. "Look, Pete. Look at it. I hit it square on. It should be dead. And look. No wings." The black fly quivered and fly directly at Deb. She screamed and swung, but missed. It landed high on the ceiling and then flew at her again, this time land on her hand. She flung it away from herself and it flew out of their sight for a moment. Her hand had begun to swell.

"Deb, let me get you some ice."

"No. No. We have to get them first. Pete, grab the hammer. By the dishwasher, in the drawer."

Pete sighed and got the hammer as the fly circled around his head. He brushed it away with his hand but it came back.

"It is pretty agressive." Pete watched her run around the room and chase the little black speck. She smashed the swatter on the cabinets, then the counter, then back to the cabinets. She was getting more frustrated and hysterical when she finally got nailed it near her phone. Deb grabbed the hammer out of his hand and smashed the fly violently and repeatedly.

Pete took the hammer from her as she stared at it and panted.

"Flies don't bleed, Pete. Flies aren't oily when you kill them. Look, Pete. It's metal. You have to go now. They know you." Pete examined it and tried not to laugh at her face. It was flat as a nailhead with a little bit of liquid that oozed near. Surely a fly has body fluid.

"Deb, come on. Get dressed and you come over. Call Jim and he can pick you up from our house. Ok?"


"Deb, please do not argue with me or I'm going to have to call the paramedics. Do you understand? Take a shower. I have another call and I'll come back. You can have a nice visit with Caroline. Get the doctor's business card. You'll see. I'll give you some time to get ready. Ok?" He looked at her and saw she was ready to cry. "Deb, do you understand?"

"I do, Pete. Please. You have to go. They know you now."

"Ok. I'll be back shortly. Get cleaned up. Caroline will be glad to see you. Karen," Pete said as he walked out the door. "10-2, do you copy?"

"10-2, Pete. Proceed to Clifton Park. I'll patch in Joe." The dispatcher signed off with a couple of staticky clicks and he descended the porch stairs. For the sake of their friendship, he would not say too much about Deb on the report.

"Pete, 10-2, do you copy?"

Pete got into his car and closed the door. There was a fly that buzzed around his head. He didn't
remember them being in there when he got out of the car.

"10-2, Joe. What's up?"

"Can you give me a hand? I have a resident who's pretty disruptive. Says the black flies are alien spaceships. It must be a full moon." The officer on the radio paused for a moment and said, "Now they're bothering me."

"I know what you--" Pete swatted his fly and got it with his newpaper. He opened his window and shook it off. When he looked at the paper, it was clean. "I know what you mean. 10-2, I'll be there shortly." He pulled the car away and noticed ablack fly perched on his paper.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

It's pretty sad when I've been thinking about what to write using this particular prompt.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Three Word Wednesday 081909

photography Pictures, Images and Photos

Graceful Riot of Decay

The gray sky cheers me
as I walk through fallen leaves.

Transition to dormancy
amid the season of wait.

Even my breath mists
like small clouds rushing past me.

I look to the gray above
and find the graceful riot suspended above.

Colors true
and fragile as they fall.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

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Wednesday Write

Antique Typewriter Pictures, Images and Photos

There is so much to learn.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

100 Sentence Challenge

From Dragon Writing Prompts.

A lot of fun and a lot to think about. I'm using a female character in a story that I've stopped working on. Still, it's fun to stretch my writing, um, skills.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dragon Writing Prompt 081309

For each word or phrase write a sentence about one of your characters, old or new.

1. Introduction - She stared at him with round eyes, like a deer caught by lantern at night.
2. Love - Tirzah trembled as his fingers touched the delicate necklace at her throat.

3. Light - The morning sun glistened on her brown hair but glared on her pale skin.
4. Dark - The ground was hard and dry, but it was the sounds of twenty different things that kept her awake.
5. Seeking Solace - When she thought he wasn't looking, she knelt on her knees, clasped her hands and prayed in a silent scream.
6. Break Away - Tirah looked at the man in horror and as she ran into the field, she called for Owain and looked for clues in the tall grasses.
7. Heaven - Owain stood before her, not in fine garments, but in his field clothes, cleaned and surprising.
8. Innocence - Tirzah blushed and took a deep breath; she could contain herself no longer and had to relieve herself, no matter how humiliating.
9. Drive - She stopped calling out and measured her steps; her brows furrowed as she looked for something not quite right.
10. Breathe Again - Tirzah collapsed in a heap on top of Owain, her legs splayed on the ground; she would have fallen to her death.
11. Memory - Her memories played out in fitful sleep and sweats; he was no better.
12. Insanity - Grief came from the earth under her feet and rose to her throat to choke her.
13. Misfortune - Tirzah wept for her child, for the milk that would not come, and for her pathethic dream for a family.
14. Smile - Owain walked into the fairy ring and she could almost hear him scream; she smiled.
15. Silence - Tirzah stood on the parapet and watched the moon rise over the tributary; she stood alone and felt it in her soul.
16. Questioning - She wanted a family and a quiet life, but Tirzah had never outrun her choice of freedom or service.
17. Blood - Blood coursed out of his arm; he nodded and with a deep breath, she plunged her finger into the wound.
18. Rainbow - The rains passed beyond the shallow caves; Tirzah looked for a rainbow but the sun was just beyond them.
19. Gray - The second day she was tired beyond experience and in spite of the sun, all looked gray.
20. Fortitude - "He's fine and safe," she said and stood just outside the ring; she was so clumsy to step in accidentally. "Let him have a couple of go arounds and we'll see clumsy."
21. Vacation - Rest had freshened them both and Tirzah felt as good as she had ever felt in her life.
22. Mother Nature - Mosquitos bit them without respite and it rained till her skirts never dried.
23. Cat - A cat rubbed her legs under the table and when she reached down to pet it, the cat butted her hand with its head.
24. No Time - She ran until the air scorched her aching lungs and still the giant came.
25. Trouble Lurking - She stopped arguing and watched the moonflower tremble in rhythm to the noise.
26. Tears - Tears poured out so naturally and finally that she could not remember a time when she was not torn in two.
27. Foreign - "Don't thank me," said Fiar Dearg and licked his lips. "Than-" "No, Owain. No. We will take our leave, Fiar Dearg. Come, your Highness." Tirzah fairly pushed Owain away.
28. Sorrow - She handed the baby to the elf and stood with her legs rooted like willows by a stream.
29. Happiness - The dance came to a crescendo, partners changed and she felt a warm hand around her waist.
30. Under the Rain - "Just close your mouth until the morning. I'm tired and I've had my full of your voice for a hundred lifetimes." Tirzah looked at him like an animal ready to pounce.
31. Flowers -Forget-me-nots, Celandine and red campion snuggled up against the castle wall; she smiled and walked to them without a thought.
32. Night - The comforting sounds of muffled voices and music brought her joy of the night.
33. Expectations - She had walked with him through Arawn's Woods and expected a measure of comfort in Owain's presence.
34. Stars - The stars were full and a hazy semi-circle forced a path in the sky.
35. Hold My Hand - He took her hand and it felt warm and familiar and frightening.
36. Precious Treasure - All faded but his face; she placed her hand on his cheek, leaned over and kissed him.
37. Eyes - She hated her eyes, so round and plain.
38. Abandoned - She could feel him in her arms and the warmth of his kiss, after he and the guard were out of plain sight.
39. Dreams - She would marry who she wanted and she would live where the only responsibility would be to raise her children in peace.
40. Rated - Her dress was the most beautiful as fitting, but she could feel the stares of the court watching every move of her head and hand.
41. Teamwork - Ulrich held her waist as she planted on foot inside the fairy ring and caught site of Owain, who looked like a fish trying to swim upstream.
42. Standing Still - She threw the branch and time stopped. A rumble came through the rocks. Her legs once again failed her and she stood as a spectator who watched the goring of a bull.
43. Dying - The contractions had subsided but the bleeding didn't stop. She leaned her head back and said, "At least that you will know how to bury me, Owain."
44. Two Roads - Inescapable. To remain a queen with a large, rested and well appointed army against the forces of Balor or to obscurity and peace.
45. Illusion - She stayed on the end of the bench and did not move. She thought it strange that the cold wind whipped around her, while they sat in the stone cabin, out of the elements.
46. Family - Her mother tried make her well spoken but the red would start from her chest and work its way up to her face.
47. Creation - "And I am sick. No. No. I will not tolerate any more remarks about my faith. I don't lay you bare about your lack of it, Owain."
48. Childhood - She curtseyed when she was supposed to but she was never comfortable with the shallow conversation of the courtiers.
49. Stripes - "Because I'm from the court, I've never born stripes? And being told who to marry isn't a stripe? Never loving someone isn't a stripe? Never receiving the love of a husband isn't ten stripes? Being a doormat of a pawn in some royal political game isn't a stripe? I've been whipped so many times I don't know what a stripe isn't."
50. Breaking the Rules - "I want my own life of my own choosing. I've already married through my parents. If I marry again, I will marry for love or for my own reasons. Or I won't marry at all. Me. I get to choose this time."
51. Sport - Tirzah tried her luck at targets but like everything else, she took some of the skin off part of her arm and that ended that.
52. Deep in Thought - The tributary sparkled with tiny lights, like fireflies in the distance. She leaned against the sandy stones of the tower and took in the night.
53. Keeping a Secret - Her balance was never proper but it was even worse. She tried to find a long stick to keep herself from tripping. Owain finally stopped and made one for her, his eyes mumbled what his voice wouldn't.
54. Tower - Tirzah picked up his gauntlet. He had dropped it on the way out. She stood in the empty room and looked it over, smoothing it with her hand.
55. Waiting - The fairies had brought her round several times and she knew where she needed to go. Once, she had almost grabbed a root that was close to the opening but whirl of the dance was too strong. She would have to wait for the next go around.
56. Danger Ahead - The Seven were hooting and howling ahead of them, while Jack in Irons wept and swung is club behind them. Death she accepted for herself but what about her child?
57. Sacrifice - She said a soft farewell and handed the tiny baby to the Elvish couple. He would live and he would grow and be safe. And her heart would mend but changed and misshapen, like a shattered clay pot.
58. Kick in the Head - "Has anyone not kissed this man?" Tirzah gaped and stumbled back. The entire Dwarf Village and the steady stream of Elves and fairies had stood in line day after day, but she had not tried.
59. No Way Out - Tirzah scrambled under the bridge and picked up large river rocks. She threw them at the seven but the rocks did not go far.
60. Rejection - He let go of her hand and approached two willowy elf maids. She stood still for a moment, then straightened her chin, adjusted her dress and walked into the crowd.
61. Fairy Tale - "I saw a little man. He was standing by that log, with another little man. He smoked a pipe. I saw him."
62. Magic - The old woman tied a red thread in her hair and slowly the village appeared on the shores of the creek.
63. Do Not Disturb - They walked in silence for the rest of the day. She relieved herself and lost him for about an hour before dusk, but saw him lumbering ahead. She said nothing.
64. Multitasking - She was not sure what kind of wood to pick off the muddy forest floor. If it looked a drab gray brown she took it and prayed so hard that she did not hear him call.
65. Horror - The heads around Jack's belt rotted and the stench was overwhelming. The giant ran a greasy hand through his hair and looked through them, not directly at them. Her eyes were large, like a doe ready for flight, but she stood her ground and tried to keep him calm.
66. Traps - Druegar laughed. "Get up and hand me that fire iron." But Tirzah sat and gripped her stone seat. And so they sat until daybreak.
67. Playing the Melody - Tirzah cleared her throat and sang one verse of "The Bonnie month of June, my love" before Owain asked her to stop.
68. Hero - "I can't wield a sword like my lord, but I find that I can fly," called Tirzah from the air. Aurelia laughed and landed, swinging her long, scaly tail.
69. Annoyance - At last he stopped chastising her carelessness. Tears had filled her eyes at first but now her silence was her strength.
70. 67% - "I have kept silent all this time. You belittled me when I went in the fairy ring. You belittled me when I almost plunged to my death our first night in this forest. I will be silent no more, Owain."
71. Obsession - "I am going to anonymity. If I live a life of a spinster, so be it. I will live alone. I chose a life out of the royal court. I chose a life of simplicity and quiet."
72. Mischief Managed - The Seelie Court whirled in circle. It seemed so small when her foot stepped in but now it was large and chaotic. An elf with backwards feet, large ears and a wizened smile gently twirled her to cadence. She nodded, smiled and looked for that large root.
73. I Can't - "I'm not a warrior like you. I can barely walk across the ground without tripping or maybe you didn't notice."
74. Are You Challenging Me? - Aech Urisk stood straight, his dappled chest rippled and glistened in the candle light. His hoof kicked the door shut. She knew that the inn was empty, but she was not in her room. She ran to Owain's belt and unsheathed his dagger.
75. Mirror - It was the first mirror she had seen since she had left the manor. Her face looked flushed and healthy. She touched her own face, the face of a pretty stranger.
76. Broken Pieces - The village was charming and warm but all was gray. All was lost. Her baby was well cared for and would live here. But how could she go back? She would have to go back.
77. Test - "I will restore all, as you ask. But you must find your companion." "Where? Have you turned him to stone? Have you put him in bonds?" "You have until sundown."
78. Drink - She bent to drink from the clear water when a long branch came towards her. But it was not a branch at all.
79. Starvation - "I would eat duck. I would. But how can I? Look at them. Look at him and his mate." Tirzah wept. "There must be something. I'll look." She waded into the marsh but he held her back.
80. Words - "I've never been good. With words. I--" Tirzah handed him the gauntlet. "I was going to bring it to you presently. You dropped this."
81. Pen and Paper - Her Steward brough her pen, ink and paper and she sat what she perceived as the better part of the morning. Wiping her eyes, she wrote, "How much time we have wasted." She folded it, sealed it with her signet and asked it be rushed to the prince.
82. Can You Hear Me? - "I am tired of the sound of your voice. I am tired of your demands. I am tired of your bullying and your unending lectures." Tirzah walked closer and lowered her voice: a voice she had never heard. "Shut. Up."
83. Heal - The bath was as good as she would ever have again. She put on a clean garment and braided her hair. She viewed the world outside her body as she walked to the bed.
84. Out Cold - Tirzah laid down and sniffed the pillow; it smelled of fresh air and sunshine and lavender in the spring. She closed her eyes and sniffed again. She fell asleep with a smile on her face.
85. Spiral - She was on her second pass around the ring when she noticed something by the root. It was brown and familiar. As she danced closer, she could see it was a long boot and there were arms by it. Tirzah looked up with an open mouth and saw Owain reaching for her.
86. Seeing Red - "No more, Owain. Right there you have said too much. I will perish in this God forsaken wood before I hear you speak again."
87. Food - Tirzah sat at the head table with Owain beside her. The Stewart brought her the main dish in a covered platter. Rabbit. Tirzah nodded politely and sent it away while Owain roared with laughter.
88. Pain - The contractions grew stronger and she began to cry. "Stay with me, Owain. I know at least you will know how to bury me properly."
89. Through the Fire - The baby was small but alive. His little fingers curled around her finger like gossamer thread. She was bleeding. So she would live to see him but both of them would die in the night apart from her parents.
90. Triangle - Tirzah saw him glimpse at her as she danced with Aech. Aech was a fine figure of a man, except for his unusual hair. Shaved on both side with a narrow strip of long hair that flowed down his back.
91. Drowning - She stripped and didn't care who saw her naked, dying body. The bogey with long slimy green hair and skin stretched tight over a skull swam noiselessly to her and pulled her beneath the clear waters of the pond.
92. All That I Have - "My mother gave me this necklace. It remains the only thing that is completely mine."
93. Give Up - The bogey pulled her to the rocky bottom and Tirzah looked at her without emotion. She closed her eyes and let her breath rush out of her.
94. Last Hope - "If you do not stay. If you choose not to remain queen, they will find another to rule. It will be Balor, for this kingdom belongs to his family. If you stay, you will have a rested, trained army who knows Balor's tactics. You choose."
95. Advertisement - Tirzah stepped off Auralia. "I am Queen of the Dyffed Cliffs. Now, Auralia." The Dragon threw her head back and laughed, fire shooting high in the air.
96. In the Storm - She panted, each step painful and slow as the cold rain soaked her skirts to her skin.
97. Safety First - Aech whinnied and galloped out of the room and down the hall. She held the dagger, blood dripping and stared and trembled. Her mouth moved but no sound came out. She walked to Owain's belt and sheathed the blade.
98. Puzzle - "You're thick around the middle, yet you don't eat. You're not a large girl but you're thick. There. It's too bad. You're not a bad looking woman."
99. Solitude - She rose early and walked the quiet streets of the village. The sky was a faint gray and the dwarf mothers swept their steps and nodded. Her strides were long as sure as she walked up the path that followed the creek.
100. Relaxation - The path went up until the little last house bordered the woods. She was free from being chased by the Seven. She was free from the relentless prodding of Owain. She was free from the royal courts. She hiked up her skirts and plunged her feet into the cold, rushing water.

This has been floating around Deviantart for a while, now residing as Variation 1 at 100 Themes Challenge and credited to AngieChild who says she got it elsewhere.

Most people use the themes as art challenges and they're very cool to see!

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

United Friend Challenge # 170

Sumax's Challenge

There's an empty room with a smashed plate on the floor and food dripping down the wall near the door.
In a short story, tell us what might have happened ... and don't make it the obvious wife/husband or sibling argument..

First Home

Pamela Merczyk jiggled the key and opened the front door. Her two inch heels were pinching her baby toes but she gritted her teeth and smiled.

"This is a new listing. Um, three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, dining room, unfinished basement. Attached two and a half car garage. And it's empty. Move right in." Pamela moved into the middle of the frontroom and let the young couple roam.

The young woman walked to the bay window and ran her fingers of a few of the 16 panes. The young man looked up at the ceiling and then around the baseboards. "Only two outlets. That's the problem with these older homes." He sighed and strolled into the kitchen.

Pamela winced and took a deep breath; this was the last showing of the day. Those shoes would come off in the car. She waiting for the young woman who was looking at the gentle arches by the front door and the stairs. She understood this young woman after years of experience in real estate. Those little features like the arches, the four paned double hung windows, red oak flooring, fired her prospective sale's imagination. Pamela smiled and joined the young man in the kitchen.

"The former owners put in new cabinets and Stainless Steel appliances." Pamela opened the freezer door and looked inside. "Only two years old."

"It's a short sale, isn't it?" The man's blue eyes accused her, but she was not sure why.

"Yes. Newer floors, in good condition. The place is immaculate and it's priced to sell."

From the other room, they heard, "Hon, let's look up here." The man ignored her and went upstairs. Good sized rooms, a bathroom, more oak floors that were in pristine condition. She spent a lot of time up there looking out at the large backyard and the pool. Pamela went downstairs into the kitchen and took off her shoes to wiggle her toes.

In the empty home she could hear them talk or rather argue in muffled tones. He sounded angry and Pamela heard the words "bloodsuckers" and "forget it." The wife was shushing him and whispering. The wife had fallen in love with the place. Good school district, big yard, pool and large bedrooms: all the things that she had wanted. It was not a surprise when they walked down the wooden stairs. She pushed her sore feet into those dreaded Nine Wests and leaned against the countertop.

They trudged down into the basement and stood by the stairs in shock. In the middle of the floor was a broken plate. Food, spaghetti probably, dripped down the wall to the floor. Some of the sauce has splattered on the door to the half bath that was not in the listing. The man shook his head.

"I don't feel right about this, Annie. We're buying off the misery of others. I'm sorry, Ms. Merczyk. I'm not ready to buy today. Sorry to bother you." The young man stormed up the stairs and out the side door. The wife gave her an apologetic look and ran up the stairs.

Pamela sighed, kicked off her heels and dialed the office. Someone would have to come and clean up the mess.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I write because I must. It's a like a little itchy something in my brain. A compulsion, perhaps.

I've been writing since a child. Poems that no one will ever see. Journaling, something that I hope my kids will look at when they have grandkids someday.

And fiction. I knew when I was in junior high that I could write well or at least had the potential.

I never pursued it because drama and theatre took hold of me. But I still wrote in the quiet watches of my teen angst.

I gave it up when I married a writer who was abusive. I was abusive too in my own way; at least, I didn't help matters by my loyalty to him. I had to give up everything, friends and writing to be with him.

But after the divorce I went back to it. Here and there, on bits of paper or notebooks. Little scribble scrabbles of my imagination and pain translated into words.

Years went by and here I am.

I went to a conference and learned a lot from the last session that I attended. The woman talked about writing and how not everyone there was meant to be a writer. And that's ok. That some are meant to write for themselves and that it is enough just to do that. That God is satisfied with "only" that.

It hurt me, this conference, because I was not ready or prepared or ready. I have so much to learn.

And I don't know that this is my calling because I'm guessing that I would not be so alone in all this. Perhaps I'm wrong because in the end, the act of writing is to be alone, physically at least.

Where does God figure into all this? That's the thing. I don't know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dragon Writing Prompts 080609 - Twisted Description

Describe someone in positive terms but then add a negative twist.

Also describe someone in negative terms but add a positive twist.

From Dragon Writing Prompts


His confidence made him handsome but the scar tore across his face from his brow to his chin.

Lady Adelle nodded in agreement and held her hand; the glint in her blue eyes chilled the queen's heart.

He had the kind words of a saint and the cold detachment of a bird of prey.


His hand, cold and gray from the grave, reached down and picked the blade of grass, as in rememberance of warmth and sunshine.

She rocked back and forth in pain and made her decision to continue.

Her silver white hair was yellowing, but her mind was sharp and strong.

This was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Carry on Tuesday # 13

Welcome to Carry on Tuesday
Your prompt for Tuesday August 11th.
The prompt this week is the opening sentence from The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer

We think we know
the ones we love.

Use all or part of it at the start or somewhere within your poem or prose.

We think We Know
We think we know the ones we love
Like a book upon a shelf,
Until the day your child declares,
"I can do it by myself."

If you've come by, please leave your link--I'd love to come visit!

United Friends Challenge # 169

Potashtam's Challenge

An animal that you know, or your pet, learns to talk.
Describe how they learnt and a conversation you then have with them.

I got out of bed after I had a hot flash and heard my husband getting ready for work. The sun was peeking through the houses behind us and seemed to beckon me to come outside. I grabbed a hot cup of coffee, my bible and went outside to read and meditate.

I got a nice chair on the deck and revelled in the quiet until I felt something fall on my head.

It was a half bitten green tomato, from my garden. I looked up and saw a squirrel. It swished its tail back and forth and stared at me.

"A bite? Just a bite? Why couldn't you just eat the whole thing? Now no one wants it."

"It was delicious but I'm full now. I had other things to do. I have to see what else is around. Do you tomatoes? I do, especially when they're nice a crunchy. That watermelon was delicious too, but the problem is, there's so much. I can't finish it. Do you like watermelon? I do."

My mouth fell open as this squirrel talked to me.

"How--I can understand you."

"Lycopene. Do you know lycopene is very healthy for humans? It helps with blood pressure and helps with brain function. That's why you hear me. Because of lycopene."

"I didn't have any tomatoes this morning."

"No, But I did. In squirrels it helps us to talk."

"Well, since we're talking, leave my garden alone."


"Why?! You're eating all my vegetables. One bite and that's it. The whole vegetable is ruined."

"I only needed one bite and then I was full."

"It's a waste."

"Not to me. It's delicious!"

"I'm growing it for my family."

"I have a family too and you have so much."

"Can't you eat the whole thing instead of wasting it?"

"I don't need the whole thing and I'm not wasting it. I'm a squirrel, it's too much food. I take what I need and leave it. You would do well to heed this advice. This conversation is boring. Good bye!"

With that, the squirrel climbed up the tree and into its nest. I looked at my lawn and saw another large half green, half red, half eaten tomato.

"Leave my tomatoes alone," I called.

So much for peace and meditative quiet.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Carry On Tuesday # 12

Welcome to Carry On Tuesday
Your prompt for Tuesday August 4th
Our prompt this week is the opening sentence from The Open Door by Elizabeth Maguire
The story is in the journey,
not the destination
Use all or part of it at the start or somewhere within your poem or prose.

Kersen's Journey

He finally was used to the smell. A yellow smoke poured out of the living mountain and clouded his view of the stone. Only for a moment. He bent over and heaved the long rock into his basket.

The wind blew the smoke long enough for him to see Doni just down the hill. Kersen took a long drag off his cigarette and lifted his pick. It felt small and light, but in his hands, it did the job of chipping away just the right size of rock. Maybe it was the tool. Maybe it was the man.

After an hour of more of the same, Kersen lifted the pole on his back. Both baskets were full. Doni looked like he was finishing up so he put the pole down. No reason to carry it a second longer than he had to. Three hours journey up the slippery stones to the nearest kitchen. Then a couple of rests on the way. A quick meal and back down to the yellow vents.

Then one more trip to the kitchen and to cash. Double what the factory workers make.

One day he would be free of the mountain and pursue his dream, if his wife was true to him. And frugal. A typewriter, a table and chair, paper and stories of the men on the mountain.

It is said that the story is in the journey, not in the destination. Kersen's journey begins up and down the living mountain, one painful step at a time.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

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I am new to Carry On Tuesday. Welcome to my little blog. Please leave a message and a link to your story, because I would love to come visit.

And for the record, this is a fictional man and worker but the job and the moutain are real in Indonesia.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

United Friends Challenge # 168

Qwith's Challenge

From Barbara DeMarco Barrett's book "Pen on Fire" - Chapter 101 Compassion p. 160

1) Pick someone to write about who really bothers you, - perhaps someone who makes a nuisance of themselves--a brash teenager who speeds down your block playing (loud) music...,your next-door neighbor whose cigar smoke wafts through your open window, a woman in your condo...who lavishes attention on her cats, but just about runs you down if you happen to cross in front of her car.

**Keep in mind these are examples only.**

Write a description of this person and

2) Do it without turning them into a caricature. Look beyond the surface. You could try writing from their point of view, if you like.

Privacy Sheers

She wiped the dust off her cherry dining room table, the one they only used at holidays. The children were not allowed to come into that room at all with special exception for homework and then only one child at a time.

Joan then ran a dust mop over the white oak hardwood floors. White oak was not as desirable as red oak, but it stood out from the other homes on her block. The windows in the formal dining room faced west and the afternoon sun poured through the sixteen paned window. Her 60 year old house needed lots of work when they moved in, but these windows was one thing that stayed, inefficient as they were.

She checked her watch as she put the mop in her tiny hall closet. She had a few minutes before she had to pick up her kids from Sacred Shepherd. The girls would stay after for Girl Scouts and her son would come home.

Before she got in the car to get Jared, she went through the house one more time to make sure everything was perfect. The dishwasher was running, the dryer was running, bathrooms spotless and she would start dinner when she got home.

She walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. She touched her blonde hair and pushed it back behind her ear. The bags under her eyes looked bluish in the florescent lights. She looked tired. She was tired. She closed her eyes and sighed, gripping the counter.

Tonight was Cub Scouts. She had forgotten.

She would have to see that woman, the mother of one of the boys. There was something about that woman that got under her skin. Maybe it was the fact that she was overweight. Maybe it was the fact that her house needed work and that they lived on her block.

Joan drew a deep breath and stood straight. She checked her teeth and brushed her hair. She lifted her chin and as she did the bags under her eyes were not quite so bad.

As she walked to her kitchen, she grabbed her Kate Spade bag and grabbed her sunglasses. They would hide her eyes. As she put them on, the door bell rang.

She ran to the dining room and hid behind the privacy sheers. It was that woman and her daughter. The public school got out earlier than private. And the daughter was selling cookies. The girl must have seen her shadow through the sheers because she rang the bell again.

She should open the door. She should be nice to the girl--it wasn't her fault her mother was low class and lived in a middle class neighborhood. Her son was getting out of school and she had to pick him up. Of course, it was only three blocks away, but she was home. Why should he walk?

Joan watched the little girl walk down the step and then quickly drew away. If she hurried she could get in the car and they would never know the difference.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Creative Challenge # 64


a Memoriam Stanza

The road goes ever on ahead

You said you'd love me while you were there.

I heard you say you would always care.

It wasn't quite all that you said.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

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Monday, August 3, 2009

A quiet Monday

It poured today on my side of the city and we didn't have any plans, which is good for Monday.

I had my first nightmare about school last night. It's a variation of the same. I was in class with one of my instructors from my writing conference. It was my turn to do my presentation and I couldn't find my book or the instructor's guidelines. I was looking through papers and my work couldn't find it anywhere.

I think it was a combination dream. Part about going back to school and part about how I feel about writing/my lack of ability.

Ronn and Hermionie had to go to the orthodontist this week. Ronn will be getting his braces off shortly.

We've been lollygagging all morning. Time to get some work done.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

For Tita Aquino - Haiku

Tita Aquino - Haiku

A dress in yellow

Widow Mother then Leader

Fresh Air to a torn nation

copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

Rest in Peace, Corazon Aquino

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