Saturday, February 28, 2009


Weekend Wordsmith #89: Ripped

(Photo by Rick at Weekend Wordsmith)


"Honey, do you have to wear those ripped pants?" I looked at my youngest daughter, shaking my head.

"But I like these pants, Mom. They're comfortable." She proceeded to pack her backpack for school, ignorning my exasperated sighs and rolling eyes.

"The teachers are going to think you don't have any good pants." I tried turning on my pleading voice.

"But I do have good pants, Mom, they're just not as comfortable." She walked into the bathroom to pull her long hair up into a ponytai.

"What will your friends say? They are going to make fun of you because you have a big hole in your pants."

"But I don't care what my friends say. If they make fun of me, then they weren't friends to begin with." She turned on the water to start brushing her teeth.

"What about the dress code? I don't want to be called to school to bring you a decent pair of pants." I was running out of objections, but I didn't want her wearing those pants to school.

"But the dress code says you can't have holes on the butt of your pants. They don't want us showing our underwear. It doesn't say anything about holes in the knees." She rinsed her mouth and headed for the front door.

"But honey, I just don't want you wearing those pants!" I knew my voice had gotten forceful, but I couldn't help it.

"Why Mom? Are you worried about me, or are you embarrassed for yourself?"

I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at my daughter with different eyes.

"Mom, these pants are comfortable. I'm not wearing them to make a statement. I'm not wearing them to upset my teachers. I'm not wearing them because of my friends. I'm not wearing them to go against the dress code. And I'm certainly not wearing them to make you mad. You're a great mother! You shouldn't worry so much about what other people think of you." With her speech complete, she kissed me on the cheek, threw her backpack over one shoulder and headed out the door to the busstop.

I was dumbfounded. I suddenly realized I was more worried about what people thought of me. I was afraid her ripped pants would be a bad reflection on me.

Out of the mouths of babes.


The Women in Red

Today's Pictures, Poetry & Prose prompt:

Art by Tammy Vitale

Suggested prompt...Be inspired by this art and use it to create a poem or a story.


Women in red used to get a bad rap
Ladies of the night, street-walkers, hos
But something funny happened on the road of life
And women in red have improved their goal

No longer just standing on every street corner
These women in red have a cause
Heart healthy a-dresses is the name of the game
Doing good for females young and old

(This was inspired by the Campbell's Healty Heart Campaign)


One-Minute Writer - Slogan

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Slogan

Write a slogan promoting a real or imaginary product, person, or idea.


Limited time only:

Experienced television watcher - a bargain at $100 per hour.
Areas of expertise and interest include: the crime fighting team of BONES, the lovable castaways of LOST, the every-day psychic mom of MEDIUM or the widower pot dealer of WEEDS. Call now before her time is all booked up! First come, first serve!


My Life-Saver

Cafe Writing - Option Two - Poetry

If I did have an honest — or dishonest — desire to kiss just one or two people, I might — but I couldn’t want to — my mouth is yours.
~Zelda Fitzgerald (in a love letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Using the quotation above as your inspiration, write a poem (any form is fine) about honest or dishonest desires.


Silky golden-red hair
Sparkling sky-blue eyes
Luscious cherry-red lips
Supple flesh-tone neck

You are my one and only
I wish I knew it when
My eyes were turned to someone else
And you were only memory

I wasted over ten years
On the one I thought was it
But when he damaged my self-esteem
You carefully scooped up the pieces

We are now one and I've never been happier
Sharing our ups, sharing our downs
Our support is unsurpassed
My desire it's running over

So as we plan for our golden years
I'm glad that we're a pair
We brought each other through thick and thin
Living on happiness, respect and love

(I wrote this for my wonderful hubby)


Friday, February 27, 2009

February Cafe Writing

Cafe Writing - Option One - Can You Picture That?
Use the following photo to inspire a piece of writing in any form (poetry, prose, whatever).

Photo Credit: Xaviarnau via iStockPhoto


Bang, bang, I shot him dead
Bang, bang, right in the head
Bang, bang, it served him right
Bang, bang, he knew I might

Why did he treat me the way that he did
All I ever did was love him with all my heart
I tried to do everything his way
But he never appreciated one little thing

I had put him on a pedestal
Groveling at his feet
He wasn't a god, I know that now
But love blinded my common sense

I put up with all his crap
I really tried to make it work
But he mock and scolded and sometime beat
I had no choice, he left me none

Bang, bang, I shot him dead
Bang, bang, right in the head
Bang, bang, it served him right
Bang, bang, he knew I might

Sorry, this got dark, but then again, the prompt was dark.


Jade's Uncertainty

One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Note

A character discovers a note in an antique book. What does the note say?
Friday Fiction is your chance to practice your fiction-writing skills.... Make something up!


Jade followed the young man into the bookstore, eagerly watching his every move. She had plenty of experience with the male species from her own planet, but the males on Earth were different - plain without the exotic look of the familiar pale green skin.

The man walked to the back of the store and stopped before a row of leather bound books. He ran his finger slowly across the weathered spines of each book on the 4th shelf, his lips moving, but Jade could not hear what he was saying.

"Hi, Derrek," said the store clerk, "you looking for anything in particular this week?"

"Yeah, I heard you had a first edition of The Red Pony. I want to finish my John Steinbeck collection and it's the only one I don't have." The man continued scanning the books on the shelves.

"Hum, word sure does travel fast; I don't even have that book on the shelf yet. Come over to the desk and I'll show you." The store clerk turned and started back to the desk.

"I'll be right there, Frank," the man said. Then he slipped a book carefully off the shelf and started turning the pages. Jade pretended to be looking for a book several shelves away. The man glanced up with her, and Jade couldn't read the expression on his face.

Was he mad, interested, angry? Jade had only been on Earth a few weeks, and learning to read the facial expressions of humans was proving to be a difficult task. The man's lips were slightly turned up, but it didn't resemble a smile from the photographs she had studied.

The man turned back to the book and slowly placed it back on the shelf, leaving it sticking out from the rest of the books. He then walked over to the desk to look at the book he had asked about.

"This is not only a first edition, Derrek, it is also signed by Steinbeck. I have the authenticity certificate to go with it. Printed in New York at Covici-Friede in 1937. This book is number 44 of 699 printed. It's not mint condition, but it's a pretty good copy." The clerk removed the book from a plastic sleeve and handed it to the man.

While the men conducted business, Jade walked over to the shelves of book the man had been looking at. She pulled out the book the man left sticking out.

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne; first edition, 1928. As Jade opened the book, a piece of paper fluttered out of the book and landed on the floor. She bent over and picked it. Looking up at the desk to see if the men were watching her, she opened the letter and began to read:

"I don't know who you are, but I know you don't belong here. Meet me outside, under the overpass to the bridge over Canal Street."

Jade looked up at the man again, but he was already walking out the front door, a first edition Red Pony, wrapped and carefully carried under his arm.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Pictures, Poetry and Prose prompt for the day:

(Photo by Tracy at Converstion and Tea )

Suggested prompt...Include a poppy or poppies in your writing today.

And now, my beauties, something with poison in it. Poppies...Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleep. Now they'll sleep!

--Wicked Witch of the West in MGM's adaptation of The Wizard of Oz

Poppies are one of the flowers my Granny Sallee always had growing in her garden. I loved those round orange blossoms and would pick handfuls of bouquets to bring into her house. Granny has been gone for 15 years now, but I still think about her whenever I see poppies.

My backyard is a 3/4 acre wildflower meadow and I have poppies growing in several different areas. It makes me happy to look out my kitchen window in the late spring and early summer and see those orange heads bobbing in the breeze.

One-Minute Writer - State

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: State

Last night was President Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress. How would you sum up the status of America today?

Personally, I think the United States is in a horrible state. For the past 8 years, all President Bush thought about was going to war with Iraq - well, he did that and we are still in Iraq, and Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9-11. Bush came into office with the biggest government surplus in history and he left office 8 years later leaving us with a trillion dollar debt.

President Obama inheritated a country that is in a huge mess. Two wars (3 counting the "war on terror"), a collapsing housing market, declining credit and bank status, soaring unemployment, inadequate health care and substandard public education. Folks, he can't fix this mess over night. It took us 8 years to get into this mess; Obama has only been in office 5 weeks.

I think our country will survive, but it is going to take time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Thoughts

This week's Write on Wednesday prompt:

How do you find positive things to write about in these troubled times? Do you think the written word has the power to effect positive change?

Although times are truly depressing, I try really hard not to let this effect my writing. Truthfully, even though I love for people to read my works, I write for myself. It is the passionate part of my creative side and it has to come out one way or another.

I try to stay positive by writing about my children or my family. I'm working on journals for my oldest 2 daughters - both are getting married this year - so this is an upbeat project with lots of happy memories. As far as blog posts are concerned, I try hard to stay away from negative topics, but if I'm going to be negative, it is usually on my Rants blog - after all, what are rants for?

I do think the written word has the power to effect positive change. I have personally been effected by some of the words I've read. In the new age of Obama, his written words are translated in the speeches he gives, and I have been inspired by his optimism and passion.

One of my favorite quotes of Abraham Lincoln is:

"All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind."

This is what I try to do in my life, plant flowers instead of thistles, but sometimes it is not as easy as it sounds.

After suffering debilitating depression for much of my adult life and unstoppable grief for the past few years, trying to remain upbeat has been a struggle for me. But I know I'm the one setting the example in my family, so if I don't pull myself together the family might come unraveled. So I try to start each day with a positive thought and I end each day with a positive thought - this is not easy, but it is something I try to do. Believe it or not, writing these positive thoughts in a journal makes the thought more real, more concrete.

Looking back over these old journals, I am constantly surprised at the positive energy I was able to convey with just my written words.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Heart

Cafe Writing - Option Four - Timed Writing

…should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it,leaves not the smallest space unoccupied..
~Abigail Adams (in a letter to John Adams)

Take nine minutes (use all nine, but don’t go over), and write on the subject of a picture of your heart. This is a timed exercise and it’s expected that it won’t be perfect. Any format - fiction, essay, verse - is welcome.


My heart it only beats for you
Fluttering with just your precious smile
Or gentle ribbing given in jest
My love is overwhelming

My heart sees only you
No matter what we're doing
Out in public at social events
Or cuddling at home on the couch

My heart feels love like no one elses
You were and are my knight in shining armor
As you carry me over my present obstacles
Like you carried me over the past

My heart it hears your special voice
Even when we are both upset
It is able to pick out the loving tones
That keep us on the right path

My heart can taste the hunger
The thought of you always brings
I lust for you as I did from youth
As our twilight fast approaches


Ahhh - Isn't She Cute??!!

I was tagged for this meme by Caite

“Find your 5th photo file folder, then the 5th photo in that file folder. Then pass the meme to 5 people.”

My 5th photo file folder has family photos; the 5th photo is a picture of ME!! This is one I don't mind sharing - mainly because I was only 2-years-old when it was taken. Everyone is cute at 2-years-old! This is the same profile photo I use on my FaceBook page.

I'll be passing this meme on to 5 people in a few days.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Favorite Quote

Photo by Louise Bostock - A View from Carmine Superiore

Suggested prompt...Pull that book from the window sill, open it; there is that quote that always moves you - share it here and then use it in a creative way

"For life be, after all, only a waitin' for somethin' else than what we're doin', and death be all that we can rightly depend on."

Dracula by Bram Stoker

When I was younger, I would catch myself wishing my time away. "I can't wait until it is Christmas time." "I can't wait until my birthday." "I can't wait until I'm grown up."

As I've gotten older, I have learned to take days one at a time. It is more important to enjoy what is right in front of me instead of waiting for a future event.

As my granny used to say, "Nothing is sure but death and taxes." This is very similar to my favorite quote by Bram Stoker.


Mercer County Public Library

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the library…

How often do you visit the library? Do you have a scheduled library day/time, or do you go whenever? Do you go alone, or take people with you?

I love visiting the Mercer County Public Library - it's one of my favorite places in the world. I typically go once or twice a week. Monday's is usually my "regular" day. I go at lunch time, right after work, and I'm always armed with a list of books I'm looking for.

I also return to the library on Wednesday afternoons because it is an early-out school day for my daughter. We make an afternoon of it by going to the library and then visiting the grandmothers.

Because I'm a book reviewer for the library, I'm always placing books on request. There are many times during the week I'll make extra stops to pick up books the librarians call me about. The librarians are also great about getting interlibrary loan books quickly.


One-Minute Writer - Award

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Award

You've just won an Academy Award. What will you say in your acceptance speech?

"You like me, you really, really like me!" No, too cliche`.

"I'd like to thank God and my family." No, too predictable.

"This would not be possible without blah-blah-blah." No, too corny.

"Thank you." No, too short.

CRASH - me falling to the floor. Ah, this would be me because I would faint with disbelief.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - Trust

Sunday Scribblings #151 - Trust

The prompt this week is: Trust. Today for some reason I think of it in terms of money left, and the games that we used to play to team build at summer camp. I'm not sure what that says about today! Who do you trust? Who do you not trust? What does it take to earn yours? What would you do if you discovered you had money in one? What do you think about trust?


Coming from a past where my trust was betrayed more times than I care to count, I can say trust is not an easy thing for me. "Once bitten, twice shy" as the saying goes.

As a young child, I trusted my parents and my grandparents with all my heart. This trust still holds today - no matter what I was doing, or not doing, I always trusted these people.

When I was a young teenager, I fell head over heels for my first real boyfriend. To my eyes he was perfection and I gave him my trust without the blink of an eye. As I grew to know his family, I was overwhelmed and thought they were the most wonderful people in the world. It was not hard to give them my trust.

It wasn't until a few days after the birth of my first daughter that I realized the husband I idolized had betrayed me. He had been carrying on an affair with an older woman at work the entire time I was pregnant. He broke my heart and my trust and I still carry the scars to this day.

Coming from a Christian background, I had to look deep inside myself to figure out what to do. After weeks of praying, I forgave my husband for his misdeeds - after all, we had a small child, what else could we do?

Life was not perfect after this crisis, but we were both trying. However, I was finding it hard to trust him, and I don't think I ever truly trusted him again. But I was trying.

We went on to have another child and I finally thought my life was back on track. I still loved my husband and slowly the trust was growing back. We had moved from a mobile home into a home we had built on the family farm.

I should have known fate wasn't done with me. Just a few months after our youngest daughter turned 2, my husband of 6 years announced he was leaving. Apparently when I thought we were both on the right track, I find it was only me on the right track. He had started another affair with a different woman - deciding he would rather be with her than his family.

I thought his family would be on my side, after all I was the faithful wife, I was the victim. When I found out his mother knew about the affair almost from the beginning, I was crushed. Instead of her telling her son he needed to support his children and wife, she was behind him all the way.

Fast forward 4 years from my divorce, and I was getting remarried to a wonderful man. My current husband is the total opposite of my ex. But my poor husband had to go through several years of me not totally trusting him. I lived in fear that I would be betrayed again.

Fast forward 19 more years and I remain happily married to my second husband. My trust, faith and love have grown to encompass our entire life. I trust my husband to love me and not betray me. I finally have a stable live full of love and happiness.

So, yes, it is hard to earn my trust, but when I finally do trust someone, I trust them with my entire heart, soul and being.



Weekend Wordsmith #88 - Time

(Photo is "Time Goes By" by echtzeit08)


Time is elusive
It never ceases
No matter how hard we try
Time keeps marching by

What time is it now
Where did time go
I don't have enough time
When will there be time

Time slows for no man
It ravages every day
Until our time is up and gone
From every dusk and dawn


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Books of Life

Pictures, Poetry & Prose

(Photo by Kane Hsieh - Visit his blog - Crimson-G-B)

Suggested prompt...Consider her inner dialog. Use it creatively.


A good book is like an old friend,
Always there when you need her,
Giving advice and opinions
Helping you see a new day

Books are my sustainance
Feeding and nurturing my soul
Showing my options
In crystal clear display

So many books, so little time
So many words, so little leisure
Chronicles, narratives, bulletins, scores
Seasons, spaces, intervals, joys


One-Minute Writer - Turning Point

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Turning point

Write about how you noticably changed after a particular turning point in your life.

After the death of my baby sister 4 years ago, I had a crisis of faith and my life made a 180 degree turn. I no longer take life for granted, I no longer take my family for granted.

Three and a half years ago, I left an unfullfilling job as a Registered Nurse, and now I am writing full-time. I may not be making the money I once was, but I am much happier with the direction my life is taking. I am now nan active participant in life instead of just hitching a ride on the merry-go-round.

(Photo by Robot Walrus)


Friday, February 20, 2009

Jade's Mystery

One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Mystery

Friday Fiction is your chance to write a brief bit of fiction each week. Get creative making stuff up--and have fun!

Describe the moment a character solves a mystery.


Slowly, Jade sat up and looked around. All she could see were green things above her head. She had landed flat on her back, but found she could easily move, so no bones were broken.

She had accepted the assignment to come to the humanoid planet, but looking at the desolation around her, she was beginning to have second thoughts.

Jade stood up and surveyed the landscape. Although she had study for two years to learn the behaviors of the inhabitants on Earth, she was not prepared to be dropped off into this barren wilderness.

"Where are the towns?" Jade took a worn leather journal out of her knapsack and began thumbing through the pages.

"Metropolitan cities, large cities, small cities - but where are the cities?" She walked a few paces down a small slope into a clearing. Looking out over the abyss, all she could see for miles and miles was more greenery, just like the area she landed in.

Jade was prepared for cities with their fossil fuel cars and pollution. She was prepared for hundreds of thousands of people crammed into these cities. She was even prepared to make friends and infiltrate the people of the cities. But she was not prepared for all this greenery, even if her skin was also a lovely shade of green.

Flipping through the journal, she finally found what she was looking for.

"Mountains, forests, woods - places were trees, plants and other vegetation grow. These green things supply Earth with clean oxygen they require in order to breath and live. Ah," thought Jade, "my teletransportation must have missed the mark. Instead of landing near a city, I've landed in the mountains."

Swinging her knapsack over her narrow shoulders, Jade started walking down the mountain, heading for civilization. Heading for the people she would live with and observe for the next 10 years.

(This is another snippet of the Adventures of Jade)


Thursday, February 19, 2009

7 Unromantic Places We've Kissed

Cafe Writing - Option Five - Seven Things

I don’t like it at all. All the Chairs are staring at me in the most frightful way — And there is a Lady on the Mantel piece who has taken a Great objection to me — and I’m awfully scared —

This is no place for a person with a nice cheerful disposition like me — it looks like those parlors in the Novels where they plot things -
~Isadora Duncan (in a letter to Gordon Craig)

In improvisation, one of our exercises is a game called “Seven Things,” in which we go around in a circle giving each other the challenge, “Give me seven things that [whatever].” We are not going to go around in a circle here, but if you’re drawn to lists, this prompt is for you.

Give me the seven most un-romantic places you’ve kissed your love. Interpret “places” any way you please. You’re not required to explain the items in your list, but it’s more fun for readers if you do. (And yes, I mean “most un-romantic,” and not merely “least romantic.”)

7 Unromantic Places We've Kissed

1.) In the bathroom at a company Christmas party.

2.) In the car, waiting to pick up my girls from their weekend visit with my ex.

3.) In the courthouse at my sister's divorce hearing.

4.) At the mental hospital where I was voluntarily committed for several days.

5.) In the waiting room waiting for our daughter to get out of surgery.

6.) In the hospital after my surgery.

7.) At the rest area when the church van broke down.


Tiny Toes

I would like to thank Laura Janye for leading me to Pictures, Poetry and Prose. This is a wonderful site for writing prompts.

Photo by Colleen of Fingers and Paws

Suggested prompt...the joy of childhood - use this in any creative way you are inspired.


Tiny toes hesitant and slow
Eagerly gripping the ground
Wanting to walk, wanting to run
Testing the limit of skills

Tiny feet supporting the child
Chubby, cute and pink
Will they hold the growing weight
Supporting the child with care

Tiny legs sturdy and squat
The major force of mobility
Two strong supports fit for life
Teaching the child how to go


One-Minute Writer - Impression

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Impression

Write about a first impression you had that ended up being wrong.

I was 14 when I first met my ex-mother-in-law. I thought she was the grandest person ever! During the 3 years I dated her youngest son, she seemed like the "perfect" mother - taking us places, buying us "stuff", and just being involved in what we were doing.

Unfortunately, this person turned into the Wicked Witch of the West! As I grew older, I realized she was vain and selfish and her only goal in life was to be better than everyone around her.

Needless to say, during the 6th year of our marriage, when she learned my ex-husband was having an affair, and she was totally okay with that! Can you imagine??!! During the 1 1/2 years it took for our divorce, she and her son managed to take everything away from me and my two daughters - our home, our livelihood, EVERYTHING!

I should have listened to my ex-sister-in-law (married to my ex's brother) when she told me this woman was crazy - but I was blinded by love. I learned the hard way that first impressions can be very deceptive!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Reading

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Reading

Write about a childhood memory related to reading.

I first learned to love reading when I was 8 years old and my babysitter's daughter gave me one of her Trixie Belden books to read. I was hooked from the first chapter. From that day forward, I read every Trixie book by Julie Campbell available, and then I moved on to others. The Betsy Books by Carolyn Haywood, The Three Investigators by Robert Arthur Jr., The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, The Land of Oz series by L. Frank Baum, Encyclopedia Brown, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - these are just a few of my childhood favorites.

I am still an avid reader and this habit has been transferred to my youngest daughter - age 16 - who loves reading as much as I do.


Write on Wednesday

Write on Wednesday is alive and well! Here is this week's prompt:

Is your writing life healthy these days? How do you keep your writing life alive? What are some of the remedies you use to revive it?

Fortunately, my writing life seems to be in overdrive since the beginning of the year. Not only do I continue to have a weekly book review column in The Harrodsburg Herald, a monthly column in Mercer's Magazine, a blog on Bluegrass Moms, and several personal blogs - I've also picked up a new writing gig as a community blogger (Mercer County) for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

In addition, I remain active in 2 writing groups in my hometown: The Mercer Community of Writers (Nomadic Ink) and Speaking Out II. For Nomadic Ink, I'm working on a personal essay about "March Winds". We will be having a community reading on March 15th, so everyone is writing on the same topic. For Speaking Out, we are analzying a poem and writing our thoughts and feelings.

I continue to plug away at 3 books I'm working on. One will be a personal essay collection with my Mercer's Magazine stories, so I am basically working on the editing process - my least favorite thing about writing. At the moment, I'm stuck half-way through an adult fiction book - The Baby Bones. I'm 65,000 words in, but now I have no idea where the story is leading. The other book I'm working on - The Harrodsport Chronicles - is a young adult fiction and it is moving along much smoother - I have 37,000 words on this one.

As if this weren't enough to keep me busy, I am working on a personal journal for each of my 2 oldest daughters. They are both getting married in 2009 - OMG, panic!! - and I am making keepsake journals from their lives. The first wedding is in June, so I hope to have her journal ready.

In order to maintain this "high demand" schedule I have imposed upon myself, I typically break my day down in several ways. Early morning before work I typically journal or work on personal essays. In early afternoon, after work, I work on one of the books. After supper is usually when I do my blogging, although sometimes I'll blog a post in the morning. Late at night is when I allow myself to creative write and use my imagination. Because I have chronic insomnia, I'm usually up until 2 every morning - sometimes later.

I have so many ideas that float through my head on a daily basis, so I keep a journal just for my ideas and thoughts. Whenever I'm stuck for an idea, then I can open this journal and find some good inspiration. Also, like Becca, I re-read some of my favorite authors if I'm in desparate need of inspiration.

As you can see, at this point in my life I'm having no problem with keeping my writing alive. In fact, sometimes I'm afraid writing is taking over my life. I still have time to read (obviously, since I do book reviews) and knit, plus have quality time with my family.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Walls

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Walls

What walls do you want to knock down?

I want to break down the walls I've built up since the death of my baby sister. It has been over 4 years now, but I am still hiding behind these strongly enforced walls.

Fear of the world - I have cushioned myself into a tiny bubble of existence and now I can't find my way out.

(Artwork by The Ocentric)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Musing Monday

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book reviews…

Do you read any non-blogging book reviews? If so, where (newspaper, library etc)? Do you have any favourites sources you'd like to share?

Although I read several book review blogs (in addition to having my own book review blog, Bobbi's Book Nook), this is not my only source of book reviews.

The first place I look for book reviews (every Friday) is Entertainment Weekly. I receive my EW magazine every Friday, and the first thing I read are the book reviews. I also read the book reviews in the two Sunday papers I frequent - Lexington Herald-Leader and Advocate Messenger.

Because I am also the book reviewer for my local newspaper - The Harrodsburg Herald - and my local library - Mercer County Public Library - I have access to several book review publications. A few of these are: Kirkus Review, Library Journal, The New York Book Review, Publisher's Weekly, and Children's Literature.

As you can see, reading is a huge passion for me, so I like to keep up to date with the latest books. Even though I'm an adult, I LOVE to read young adult fiction series - I think it's a hold-over from my childhood. There is just something special about reading a series of book with the same characters - they turn into your friends and you want to learn everything about them.

One-Minute Writer - Better Place

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Better place

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place when you leave than when you got here, what would that one thing be?

I have already made the world a better place by the birth of my 3 beautiful, intelligent daughters. God has given hubby and I the most precious gift in the world, and this loving gift has the potential to change the world. The world is forever a better place because these 3 young women are in it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Probability

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Probability

Write about something highly unlikely that has happened in your life.

When I was married at the tender age of 17, I never dreamed I would eventually go to college and earn my degree as a Registered Nurse.

My first marriage ended after 6 years and I had two young daughters - ages 2 and 3. Having only a high school degree and no job, I convinced myself I could manage going to college, finding a job and raising my two children.

It took me 3 years, but after long hours of working full time and struggling to keep up with my college class load and clincials - I earned my degree and began work as a RN. I then married the man who helped me through this difficult time.

We have been happily married for almost 20 years.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Didn’t See the Ice

This was written for my writing group - Nomadic Ink - for our January meeting.

This was written for the January meeting of Nomadic Ink.

“I didn’t see the ice until it was too late …”

I didn’t see the ice until it was too late and the next think I knew, I was laying flat on my back in the middle of the road. Crap! That hurt. As I lay and waited for the throbbing in my backside to ease, I made the decision not to tell my mother. After all, I was hurting bad enough – I didn’t need her telling me I told you so.

I had begged for my own roller skates for over three months. I hated renting skates at the local roller rink. For one thing, they were an ugly brown and everyone knew you were a renter, not an owner. But the main reason was they weren’t comfortable and the laces were always breaking.

With Christmas fast approaching, I was on my best behavior. I helped mom wash and dry the dishes after supper, I ran the vacuum cleaner in the living room, and I even scrubbed the toilets. I had been leaving pictures all over the house of the pretty white skates I wanted and I complained about renting skates ever Friday night when mom dropped me off at the rink.

Finally, Christmas morning arrived and I was rewarded for my good behavior and pleading with a gorgeous pair of crisp white roller skates. The wheels were even bright red, not the dull brown of rentals. And look, I even had a pair of blue pompoms to attach to my laces. I had never been so happy!

As soon as Christmas breakfast was over, I convinced my parents to let me start skating up and down the sidewalk. Of course, mom threw a fit.

“It’s too cold outside. You’ll fall and break an ankle. Can’t you wait until Friday night?”

Friday night – but that was two days away! I’d die before then. But lo and behold, my dad was on my side and he convinced mom it would be okay to skate up and down the sidewalk. “Just stay out of the street – and watch for cracks in the sidewalk. That’s all you need – breaking a bone.”

I was so happy. I slowly laced up my lovely skates and carefully attached the fluffy blue pompoms. I tip toed over to the coat rack for my coat, scarf and mittens and out the door I went.

Up and down the sidewalk I went, first forwards, then backwards. The new skates felt stiff on my feet, but I knew the more I skated the quicker I’d break them in. Several of my friends rode by on shiny new bicycles and admired my skates. I was so proud.

And then I got cocky. Thinking the road would be a better place to skate, I eased off the curb onto the side of the road. I hadn’t noticed that the birdbath in mom’s front flowerbed was frozen over, or that icicles hung from our garage roof. It had rained over night, so the road only looked wet.

It wasn’t until I hit the black ice three houses down from my own, I realized I’d made a mistake. I thought I was so graceful, lifting one leg after the other, just like professional skaters, then – wham! The wind was knocked out of me.

So there I was, afraid to move, flat on my back in the middle of the road. I probably would have lain there forever, but nosy Mrs. Gulch from next door saw me fall and called my parents. Next thing I knew daddy was carrying me up the street. As I wiped the sniffles from my nose, I pleaded with daddy, “Please don’t tell mommy – she’ll never let me go skating again.”


One-Minute Writer - Tick Tock

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Tick Tock

The clock says the same thing over and over, so it must be important. Interpret what "tick tock" really means.

The crocodile has caught up with Captain Hook! He is chasing Hook to the ends of the earth, looking for another tasty morsel - preferably the other hand or a leg.

Tick tock, tick tock - watch out boy he'll chew you up ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Vampire

I am a vampire. Don’t believe me? By the end of this story you will. I am going to give you a vivid, blow-by-blow of how my life as a vampire has evolved over the centuries. How many centuries? I’m around 1,200 years old, give or take a decade or two. After all those centuries, the long-term memory can get a little fuzzy.

How does a living creature of the night survive in the world of the 21st century? For starters, vampires aren’t the only creatures of the night in the universe today. Were-animals abound and zombies have been known to roam around the graveyards. I like to think the vampires are at the top of the food chain, not only to the undead and unnatural, but to the human species as well.

Over the centuries, man has proved one thing—violence is inevitable through all the realms of time. With the ever-increasing violence of the world, wars dominate the higher order of thinking and the weak must suffer for the downfall of mankind because of wars.

Today I live on a large horse farm in the bluegrass state of Kentucky. The entire farm is just over 5,500 acres of rolling countryside and vast woods for hunting. The manor house—Mystical Rose— is a historical monument to life before the Civil War. Situated at the heart of Shawnee Farm, this magnificent house is secluded as well as protected by the wonderful woods. The rolling pastures of Shawnee surround the perimeter of the woods making the house like a bull’s-eye in the center of all that land.

Right now, I would really not like to discuss the circumstance behind me coming to live on Shawnee Farm. I realize this is a story I must share in the future, but right now I just don’t feel like getting bogged down in the past. What I really want to do is tell you about my exciting new career choice. A vampire just can’t go around killing all the people around her, I mean, that wouldn’t be practical. I must have fresh blood to drink, but the idea of killing an innocent person always seems to turn my stomach. So, my creator taught me the finer points of seeking out the dredges of society and alleviating my guilt on them. This advice has kept me alive all these years, and I like to feel I am doing my part to keep my territory safe. To me it is a win-win situation.

I have just returned from my latest feeding. I’m sated and happy and ready to enjoy the night. The two young men who were fortunate to be my late night snack were in the prime of their lives—probably 29 or 30. The problem was they had no conscience when it came to selling drugs to children. The most recent incident had involved meth and a 10 year old. The 10-year-old boy is dead. Now his two killers are dead. Tit for tat, as my maker used to say.

Fortunate for me these two killers enjoyed looking at my forever-young body. For some reason, the excitement the men felt when they looked at me seemed to make the blood more satisfying, causing the feed to last me much longer. Again, two birds with one stone. As one guy wrapped his arms around my waist, I quickly sank my teeth into his thick carotid artery and drank deeply. As the life drained out of his body, he fell to the floor. The other guy was too busy trying to remove my clothes to realize his friend was dead until I turned to him with a smile. When he saw the bright red blood on my lips, he started to scream, but not before I raised his left arm to my mouth. Nuzzling his inner elbow, my teeth found the brachial artery and I was soon moving on to my second course.

“Don’t you look like the cat that swallowed the canary?” My partner, Michael walked into the sweltering crack house just as I was cleaning my face and straighten my hair.

“I feel much better now, thank you. Right now, I’m ready to go to the movies, so if you will clean up here, I’ll run to the house and finish getting ready.” One of my sneakers had disappeared under a filthy looking chair in the corner; I had to get back down on my hands and knees to retrieve it.

“Blonde guy, right neck. Cowboy, left brachial,” I pointed out each man.

“Gosh, Rachel, I guess you won’t be wanting popcorn at the movie.” Michael laughed as he walked over to the first guy now lying in a heap on the floor. He reached into his holster and pulled out his pistol.

“Hey, wait a minute! Can’t you wait until after I’m gone? You know I can’t stand any kind of gun power. Give me five minutes and I’ll be far enough away.” I walked over and kissed him on the lips and then I walked out the front door. Once I was on the cool grass, I started to run, shifting into a grey wolf as I leaped the fence and headed out of the neighborhood.

The crack house was about 20 miles from Mystic Rose. It will take me about 15 minutes to run home—vampirism magic. As I ran around the outskirts of town, my thoughts were flying in and out of my mind just like the wind blowing through my fur.

Two more bad guys gone. At the rate I’m going, Harrodsburg will be a totally safe town soon. For some reason, all the bad guys in town have been mysteriously killed several days before the police were ready to bust them. Gunshot wounds in odd places on the bodies, causing extensive blood loss. The only funny thing about the way these bad guys died is the fact that there were not pools of blood around the bodies. Bullets enter the neck area or the femoral artery or the brachial, but there never seems to be any blood. The EMTs couldn’t explain it, neither could the coroner.

Of course, the blood loss was due to me—a vampire has got to eat doesn’t she? The gunshot wounds are to cover up the two neat puncture wounds caused by my fangs. The police are at a loss, but they are happy to have the bad guys off the street.

(This is a piece I have been working on for my writing group - Nomadic Ink. Our next meeting is Friday 13th and we were to write a scary-horror story or a funny-horror story - I think this one fits more into the funny-horror category.)

(Artwork by Fairies Vampires) (Photo by Pro.Corbis)


One-Minute Writer - War

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: War (The Sequel)

What is war?

War is the Republican ideology of how to make money and conquer the world. Torture, wrongful imprisonment, civilian murders by the thousands - why is it every time a Republican is Commander in Chief, America ends up in another war?

To paraphrase John Lennon:
All I am saying, is give peace a chance.

Artwork by GreatDreams )

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Economy

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Economy

If you could personally do one thing to improve the economy, what would it be?

I wish I could wave my magic wand (or crinkle my nose or click my heels together) and have everyone in America make the exact same salary! Everyone would be allowed to obtain higher education if they want and be able to work at a job they enjoy. Everyone would be contribuing to the greater good of the country. If all jobs had the same pay scale, maybe there wouldn't be such a wide distribution of wealth in our country. We could eliminate poverty, increase production and everyone would be happy.

Greed is the biggest downfall in America and until the politicians in Washington realize this - nothing is ever going to change in our country.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Today's Musing Monday prompt:

What do you use to mark your place while reading? Do you have a definite preference? Do you use bookmarks, paper, or (gasp) turn down the pages? If you use bookmarks, do you have a favourite one?

I never, ever, ever dog-ear the pages of a book!!! Not just my own books, but books I have borrowed from the library, family or friends. That being said, I don't really have a system or a favorite bookmark - I typically use whatever is on hand.

Those little card stock inserts from magazines - the ones I hate because they are always falling out when you pick a mag up - make perfect books marks. Hey, you've got to use them for something and it keeps them out of the landfield.

I have also been know to use grocery or Wal-Mart receipts, empty chewing gum wrappers, yarn scraps, junk mail and anything else within easy reach. This is the reason I don't have special bookmarks - I have trouble keeping up with them and I usually have several books going at one time.

One-Minute Writer - Wonder

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Wonder

What fills you with wonder?

The all-consuming power of Mother Nature. I never cease to be amazed at the natural beauty around me. From flowers, trees and grasses to ice storms, tornadoes and hurricanes, Mother Nature will find you no matter where you hide!

(Photo from

What's On the Old Mind This Week

Mama Kat's Losin' It - the prompt I choose this week is:

Write a list of ten things on your mind this week.

1.) Ice storm recovery and cleanup. I have so many trees and shrubs to saw up and move, it will take me forever!

2.) Trying to get caught up at work this week - I missed 7 days due to the ice storm. Seven days is a lot to make up for.

3.) Finishing up the invitation list for my oldest daughter's wedding in June. I'm dreading having to put up with my ex-husband and his family on this special occassion, but it is something I cannot avoid!

4.) Completing my writing assignments for my writing workshop and my writing group this week (the first meets on Thursday, the latter on Friday). I love writing, but the prompts for this month's assignments are giving me trouble - hence the reason I'm working on this prompt today.

5.) I'm thinking of making a proposal to my editor at Mercer' Magazine about another monthly column. There is already an author doing a "Fabulous Fifties" column - I'd like to do one on the "Super Seventies." I have several draft columns already completed.

6.) Wishing, hoping and praying that my youngest daughter makes it past the next section of the interview process for the Governor's School for the Arts program. If she gets in, she will be gone for 3 weeks this summer. She is so excited - I just hope this turns out in her favor.

7.) I've been trying to figure out the reason I haven't been in a reading mood for the past few weeks. You would think during the ice storm I would have caught up on some reading, but no. I spent all my time during the ice storm knitting. I completed one shawl and started on another, but this is not getting my book reviews done. I just feel so behind.

8.) Worrying about my niece - she's 20 years old going on 40. Since the death of her mother (my sister) 4 years ago, my niece has been out of control. She has now moved out of my parent's house. I'm afraid she's going to end up sending my parents to an early grave, but what are we supposed to do? She's a legal adult.

9.) Wondering when Kendall Hart Slater will be back up to her old tricks (Okay - I admit it, I'm an All My Children junkie). Being in a coma for 3 months is not going to stop her - she is a Kane woman after all.

10.) Yippee - Medium is back on Monday nights after a long hiatus! I've missed seeing dead people.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings #149 - Art

The prompt for this week is: Art. For such a little word, it holds a lot of energy and even some controversy! What do you make of art?

To me, art is a magical and creative outlet to let my personality shine through. Although I don't consider myself artistic, I do appreciate art.

Art can be a painting, a drawing or a doodle. I know boo-coos about doodles because I'm an expert doodler - I doodle during meetings, I doodle when I'm on the phone, I doodle when I'm talking to friends. Most people don't consider doodling an art form, but I think art is in the eye of the beholder.

Art can also be an emotion-inspiring quote or story or letter. Words are extremely powerful and artistic in composition. I love to write and I try to create pictures, feelings or emotions every time I put pen to paper. Again, this may not be art to some people, but it feels like art to me.

Art is also present in crafts, knittings or articles sewn. It can be quilts or clothing or furniture coverings. Needlework has long held a place of honor in the artistic communities.

Of course, my favorite form of art is often created by Mother Nature - a perfectly blooming rose, a fragrant sprig of lavender, the rough peeling bark of a tree. Last week, the devastating ice storm that left Kentucky a disaster zone, also brought beautiful ice coated landscapes and scenery.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vainly Seeking Validity

Fiction Friday Challenge for February 6, 2009:

Write about a Valentine’s Day without mentioning these words: Valentine’s Day, Cupid, love, roses, hearts, flowers, February.

Vainly Seeking Validity

It's here again, the most romantic day of the year.
Many a woman has wished their lives away, hoping for that one fleeting glimpse, one sure sign of lasting affection.
But what is this day, after all, but just another day of the year, a day with only vague impressions of a truer desire.
Why do we think we are unlucky if we don't have that certain someone in our lives?
Why do some woman base their entire lives on that one chance meeting and the promise of eternal bliss?
Maybe if women would learn to treasure their own strengths instead of waiting on a man, waiting on posies or candy or a glittering piece of insignificant self-worth - then maybe they could understand.
So it comes again, another day for adoration, another day to try and feel a kindred spirit with another being.



One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Encounter

Friday Fiction is a new series on The One-Minute Writer. Every Friday you'll be prompted to create a brief piece of fiction. Have fun!

Write about a character's first encounter with the person he or she will later fall in love with.

Jade's Arrival

"Please don't touch me," the strange lady yelled at my best buddy, Brent.

She was the oddest person I had ever seen, and coming from New York city, I've seen some odd people. For one thing, she was almost 6 foot tall, but this is not what made her odd. I think it was the fact her skin had a bright green tint to it - or maybe because her large eyes were dark and almond shaped. She did have long beautiful blond hair that fell in ripples down her lean back.

"Hey, I'm sorry," said Brent. "I didn't mean to bump into you. Ah, my name's Brent - you new in town?"

The strange, beautiful creature look at him for a full minute before answering.

"My name is Jade - and yes, you could say I'm new in town."

(Jade is a character I've been expanding on with several recent prompts. I hope to one day develop her into a full length novel.)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Pride

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Pride

What is your greatest source of pride?

My greatest source of pride is my 3 beautiful daughters. They bring me pleasure and joy every day and it never ceases to amaze me how smart and intelligent they are.

Thank you Amber, Marie and Christine, for making me the proudest Mommy in the world!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Next

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Next

What do you hope is around the next bend in the road?

I hope the next bend for me leads to grandchildren. With the oldest 2 daughters getting married this year, I will be 2 steps closer to refilling my empty house.

Of course, the next bend will also bring the next set of problems and challenges, but hopefully with lessons learned from the last bends I'll be able to chart a smoother path.