Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Inspiration

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Inspiration

How have you inspired or motivated someone else?

Although I find inspiration and motivation in my hubby and my children, until recently I didn't realize I had the ability to actually inspire someone else.

My youngest daughter has always been talented in my eyes - she's intelligent, beautiful inside and out, has a thirst for knowledge, and enjoys helping others. My hubby and I could not be prouder. But last year, my daughter's talent for creative writing started to peek through.

After forcing this child to endure several years of dance class - both ballet and tap - soccer practice and cheerleading, I quit pushing activities on her and allowed her to be her own person. I always thought a parent was supposed to push a child in order to get them to like things - I realize now I was going about it all wrong.

During junior high, she was not involved in any extracurricular activities and it really bothered me. As a typical mother, I wanted her to be popular with tons of friends; all my daughter wanted was to be herself. I reined myself in and did not criticize her decisions, but it was hard for me, because I thought she was unhappy.

Little did I know, my daughter was happy and she refused to be placed in a mold someone else had already cast. During the summer before her freshman year of high school, she started going to work on the weekends with my hubby at the drive-in. Many nights, she just watched the movies, but there were plenty of nights when she helped out in the concession stand. I started to see my beautiful swan emerging.

When she started high school, she wanted to be on the school newspaper and she became the youngest person in the class. By the middle of her freshman year, she was named Editor of the paper and continued to be Editor through her sophomore year. She also worked every week this past summer at the drive-in, religiously saving half her paycheck in a savings account.

When school started this year, I signed up for a creative writing workshop taught by a local author. Although I have been writing for years, I knew I needed to get out of the house more, so I thought this would be a good thing. To my surprise, my daughter wanted to take the class with me. Since that time, we have completed 3 different writing workshops and are both now a member of our local writing group.

My daughter's creative writing has improved so much and she is in the final countdown for the summer creative writing classes at the Governor's School for the Arts! Again, hubby and I could not be prouder.

I think my daughter and I inspire each other. She has seen me write faithfully, every day, all of her life. And although she is new to creative writing, her thoughts and her pencil see action almost every day now, thanks to some wonderful classes. She wanted to attend these classes as an activity to be with me, but what she found was a new talent we are all nurturing to fruition.

Monday, March 30, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Entrepreneur

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Entrepreneur

Write about a business you would like to start.

I've had a live-long dream of owning my own business - either a book store or garden nursery. Living in a small rural town, a book store is out of the question unless I want to do something on-line.

However, a garden nursery is a more likely candidate. I own a one-acre lot and I am currently trying to turn it into a "stroll" garden for people to take lesiurely walks. I hope to eventually have the lot full of native plants and be able to sell transplants and seeds.

Although I am at least 20 years from retirement, I continue to plug away at my dream, working in the garden year by year to turn it into a reality.

(Photo of model garden at Max Landscape)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Math and Science

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Math and Science

Why do you think American students lag behind students from many other countries, in math and science proficiency?

I don't know why we lag behind, I only know I am not interested in math and science. My 16 year old daughter is an honor student taking Honors Algebra and Honors Science, and although she makes excellent grades, she does not enjoy math. She prefers reading, writing, history and the arts over math and science.

I think too much emphasis is put on kids to enjoy math and science. Why can't children (like my daughter) be allowed to enjoy other areas of study without feeling guilty? Our country needs to be a mix of literature, history, and arts in addition to math and science.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Inner Me

Today's Pictures, Poetry & Prose prompt:

(Art by Tammy Vitale)

Suggested prompt...The inner woman...


My inner woman has done got up and gone
She tripped and ran fast as she could
Not a word, a poem, or even a little song
She only did what she thought she should

My inner me is buried deep
Afraid to come out or even to see
She has so many ideas she would love to keep
But she's afraid of life and the collective we

My inner self is bruised and torn
Grief stricken and fragile, threatening to break
But it's time to move on and no more to mourn
Even if my actions feel like a fake

My inner drive must suck it up
Stop wallowing in pain, start enjoying my life
Quit dragging my ass through the layers of muck
Cut this pain away with the blade of my knife

My inner id is a beautiful thing
When I allow her a chance to breathe
She is filled with life, almost bursting to sing
I think she'll stick around if I only believe

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Puzzle

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Puzzle

What puzzles you?

Greed puzzles me. I have never been monetarily wealthy, nor have I ever had the desire to have tons of money. All I've ever wanted from life is for my family to be healthy and happy and have enough money to pay our bills and keep a roof over our heads.

The greed of Wall Street and Corporate America has long baffled me - and with all the current greed coming to light, there are no answers in sight. Although the AIG bonuses are hard for me to wrap my head around, the case that really makes me furious is Marie Douglas-David, wife of investment banker George David. Married less than 7 years, she is getting a divorce settlement of $43 million dollars - but she claims she can't possibly live off only $43 million.

Do you know how many homeless people we could feed with $43 million? This greedy woman claims she must have at least $53,000 a week in order to continue living her lavish lifestyle. $53,000 is more than my family makes in one year. Poor, spoiled little rich girl - how will she ever survive?

Greedy people like this puzzle me ...


Monday, March 23, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Imitation

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Imitation

It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Who would you like to imitate, and in what way?

Although I consider myself an original, there are several authors with which I identify. I wish I could imitate the writing success of Neil Gaiman, Laurell K. Hamilton, Brandon Mull or Patricia Cornwell - just to name a few.

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about bookstores…

How many bookstores do you frequent? Do you have a favourite? If so, which one and what makes it so?

Because I live in a small rural town, the only bookstore we have (with the exception of Wal-Mart books - yuck!) is an antique bookstore - great for finding older or first edition books; not so much the place to find current books.

Therefore, I do most of my book shopping online: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Google books, eBay, etc. With the exception of my very favorite authors, I try books out from the library first before buying copies for my home library. My exceptions include: Laurell K. Hamilton, Brandon Mull, Stephanie King, and Neil Gaiman, just to name a few.

Of course, there is a Joseph-Beth Books about 45 miles away in Lexington, Kentucky, and whenever I go into Lexington, I usually try to visit. But, because I HATE going into Lexington, I'm lucky if I visit Jo-Beth's once or twice a year.

Friday, March 20, 2009


One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Winner, Loser

Write a brief, fictional piece about someone winning, someone losing, or both.


Jade stared at the crystal in her small hands. "This can't be happening. People of Jadocon don't die - so how can my Guardian be dead?"

When she accepted the ten-year assignment on Earth, Jade had packed up her few belongings and left her home planet without a care in the world. Jadocon's live for millions of eons, so she had no doubt she would see her friends and her Guardian again. In practically the blink of an eye, she would be home again and she had so many plans for the future.

The Interplanetary Council had given Jade a communication crystal before she left on her assignment. The crystal would only be used in cases of extreme emergencies. In the six years she had been living on Earth, the crystal had never once flared to life.

But today, today was different. Right in the middle of an outing with her new Earth friends - at a place called an "amusement park" - Jade felt the crystal in her pocket getting hot. Excusing herself and heading to the restrooms, Jade pulled the golf-ball size crystal from her pocket.

Concentrating all her engergy into the hard stone, Jade received the message that her Guardian was dead. No other information was currently available.

Jade felt a heaviness in her heart she couldn't explain. Wiping the wetness from her dark, almond-shaped eyes, she slipped the crystal back into her pocket and went back to join her friends.

This was the only communication from Jadocon Jade received while on Earth. It was after her return to Jadocon at the end of her mission that she finally learned exactly what happened to her Guardian.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Which, Bobbi is Afraid of Clowns

Today's Pictures, Poetry & Prose prompt:
(Photo by Jim Pankey "WildSpirit" from Picasa and Fotothing)

I HATE clowns, so I don't know how long I will be able to leave this photo on this post! Suggested prompt..Include a clown in your writng today.

I have suffered from coulrophobia - fear of clowns - most of my life. I have a problem with these creepy, white-faced, red lipped mutants who pretend to be cheerful, but are actually the devil incarnate. As an adult, you would think this phobia would lessen, after all, I am a grown up - aren't I? But noooooooo, my fear of clowns increases with each exposure until I'm sure one day I'm going to be so frozen with fear that a clown will be the end of me.

I have been known to run down Main Street if a clown approaches me, leaving my children to fend for themselves. I have been known to climb over my children when a clown would approach me in Rupp Arena during the Ringling Brothers’ Circus (this has happened twice!). I have been known to run screaming out of a local Wal-Mart from just the sight of a Ronald McDonald statue. Okay, I never claimed to be a rational person.

People who know of my fear have asked me, "Were you scared by a clown when you were a child?" But my answer is always, "No." I don't have any vivid memories of a specific time in my childhood when a clown scared me. I have vivid memories of clown "attacks", but one doesn't stand out any more than any other.

Recently I may have found out where this strange phobia originated into my nightmares. I am addicted to the old television soap opera from 60s, Dark Shadows. I can remember running home from the bus every afternoon to catch each episode. I thought Barnabas Collins was the most wonderful thing since sliced bread. I wanted to be a vampire just like him! This television show was the beginning of my obsessions with all things vampiric, but that's for another story or blog.

During an early episode of Dark Shadows, David Collins is in a Fun House and there are clown faces in the funky, fun house mirrors. Watching that episode, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. My heart rate was racing, I broke out in a cold sweat, and my hands were shaking so bad, it took me three attempts to hit the STOP button on the remote.

When my hubby ran into the living room to see what was upsetting me, I had to leave the room while he watched the icky clowns on the television screen. Later that night, I told him I thought that might have been the moment in my childhood everyone is always trying to get me to remember. Not a physical encounter with an alien clown, but a dream sequence on a television show. Like I said, I never claimed to be rational.

Of course, clowns in movies occur on a frequently increasing basis. I guess the first on my list would have to be Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the clown in Stephen King’s 1990 movie, IT. Tim Curry has been a favorite actor of mine since The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but playing Pennywise leads him down a much creepier pathway. Other scary “clowns” include Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman, the evil clown doll in Poltergeist, and even Kevin Smith, my husband’s favorite writer/director, has Vulgar the Clown as mascot for his View Askew Productions.

There are also scary clowns on television and it is these intrusions into my life that I sometimes don’t have any control over. You never know when a clown will show up on a commercial while watching a television program. A new commercial from E-Trade depicts a baby using the internet and he has a clown standing behind him (he apparently earned enough money on E-Trade, he was able to buy a clown). The funniest line of the commercial is when the baby says, “I underestimated the creepiness factor.” In Living Color’s Homey D. Clown was just plain mean and evil; “Homey don’t play that.” Krusty the clown from the Simpson’s is a crude caricature of a demonic clown and I love the quote from Bart Simpson, “… can’t sleep, clown will eat me.” You also have repeats of Bozo the clown, not to mention, Ronald McDonald; what kind of an icon has a white painted face with big red mouth and nose?

The television is also a place to find other people who are scared of clowns. One of my current favorite programs is Bones on the FOX network. David Boreanez – also from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame – plays FBI Special Agent Booth, and he is afraid of clowns. One episode from season two had Booth pulling out his gun and shooting the clown-shaped speaker on top of an ice cream truck. He spent several episodes in therapy over this incident, but I was secretly cheering his decision to kill a clown.

There are movies that I won’t ever watch, based purely on the titles. For example: A Thousand Clowns (1965), Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1987), Shakes the Clown (1992), Dead Clown (2003), Fear of Clowns (2004), and Fear of Clowns 2 (2007). There are many others, but need I say more?

On a scarier note, John Wayne Gacy used to dress up like a clown for neighborhood birthday parties, typically for children age 8 to 12. He is the serial killer who murdered more than 30 young men and hid them in the floorboards of his house. Makes you wonder exactly what goes on during “Clown College?” Just one more reason to stay away from clowns.

I’m going to leave you with two clown quotes. The first one is courtesy of Saturday Night Live:

“To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kinda scary. I’ve wondered where this started, and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus and a clown killed my dad.”
--Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

The second quote is from Rob Zombie’s House of a 1000 Corpses:

“When escaping someone named Dr. Satan, never accept a ride from an evil clown who says, ‘I’ll take you to a doctor.’”
--Captain Spaulding

So, if you invite me to a party, don't invite any clowns or other creatures dressed in funny costumes or wearing full face paint. Of course, I probably wouldn't attend the party any way, what with my agoraphobia and all. What ... I didn't tell you about my fear of public places ...


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Missing

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Missing

What is missing in your life? Are you trying to find it?

Currently, the thing missing in my life is my baby sister. Amy was taken from us too early and I have been missing her so much over the past 4 years. I know we will eventually be reunited in heaven, but it seems like such a long wait for me. She is living on in my heart and I can feel the weight of grief easing a little bit every day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Green

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Green

What makes you green with envy?

I know envy is a sin, but I can't help being envious of homeowners who can afford to keep their homes maintained.

Currently, we are just barely keeping our heads above water and paying the mortage - there is no money left over to make roof repairs, siding repairs, gable repairs, painting, etc., etc., etc........

I know my home is my castle, but my castle is falling down around me and I'm penniless to stop it.

If only I could get paid for more of the writing I do ... that's something else I'm envious of - regularly paid authors. I will be one of those, I just don't know when. So, I'll keep writing - and keep pinching pennies ...


Monday, March 16, 2009



March is a time of drips and puddles as shimmering ponds appear in the low-lying areas where grass lay dormant in winter and grew thick in the summer. The spring rains cause creeks to swell and triple their size and chunks of ice imitate melting cubes in a glass of lemonade. But the month which straddles winter and spring, begins with bitter winds and bursts of snow that continue to grip the northern regions. Yet March can also be blessed with days when warm winds blow and we have faith the spring thaw will arrive and the winter winds will lose their punch.

March winds continue to blow, even when the temperature edges above 40 and jackets were unzipped but left on for fear of a parental scolding about “catching your death of pneumonia.” It is impossible not to feel one’s blood running swiftly like sap in the trees as the biting wind harkens back to youthful springs.

The older we get the stronger the wind gets, and it’s always in our face, but forget not the earthly delights of feeling your bare feet in the cool spring grass as the March winds play with your hair, blowing puffs and strands in a wild disarray around your head. When a great wind is blowing, it gives you either vivid imagination or a nagging headache.

Botanists say trees need the powerful March winds to flex their trunks and branches, so the sap is drawn up to nourish the budding leaves. Who was it that said, “When the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by?” Perhaps we need the gales of life in the same way, though we dislike enduring them. It is an all too human frailty to suppose a favorable wind will blow forever.

When the March winds blow in like a lion, I always worry for the daffodils as they begin poking their green tips through the cold crust of soil and start opening their yellow heads. Will they survive the force of the wind, or will they bend in compliance to the greater blowing power? I have found, no matter the strength of the blowing March winds, the daffodils survive the onslaught of gale and hale, and live to hold their heads up high.

Children love the March winds, all the better to fly a kite. The same winds which blow the birds about the sky are also the ones which toss the kites so high. Flipping and swirling with no care of its own, the winds cruise on with a mind of their own as if trying to make a last curtain call from the bitter to sweet.

So if the March winds come in like a lion, the old wives will tell you, it should go out like a lamb. Winter has past and spring sunshine begins to glow, sending a welcome as birds begin to chatter and flowers begin to bloom. Gone is the pearly snow and icy crystals, the Earth has started to warm and a new song is on the breeze. A time for rebirth and renewal, fresh starts and clean slates, a new picture of what the March winds mean to me.



(Photo by Chercheur de bonheur)

Suggested prompt...Really take a look at this dark window looking out to the light. Use this image creatively in your writing today. Something about a distorted view, about frost, about light and dark, or any other way it inspires. It is all yours to open your imagination with today.


I'm so distorted and wavey, not at all serene
My thoughts are captured like the curves in tempered glass
Frosted over, trapped in dark, trapped in light
Always my own, and trapped inside my head

Why can't others see as I do, the rapidly changing world
The dangerouse times in which we live
Hazy waves of violent hostilities, destroying the fabric of life
Leaving us in staggered amazement and full-gale trepidation

When will peace prevail, or at least a steady calm
A breath of tranquil kisses in the face of all alarms
I send a prayer onto the wind to blow a gentle wish
Then I'll remain like tempered glass as hazy as my fears


Musing Monday

Today's Musing Monday prompt:

We were all warned as children to 'never talk to strangers', but how do you feel about book-talk with random people? When you see people reading, do you ask what it is? Do you talk to people in the book store or the library? Why or why not? What do you do if people talk to you? (question courtesy of Dena)

I'm not much for social situations and I typically don't spend a lot of time shopping, so I rarely talk to anyone when I'm out. It's not because I'm stuck-up or anything like that, I just have a tendency to be introverted, so I don't bond well with others.

That being said, I do prattle on about books to my on-line friends. It is much easier for me to cypertalk with people than to be face-to-face. My very close friends know about my problem, so they don't give me a hard time. It is usually the "new" acquaintances I have a problem with.

So if you see me in the library or bookstore, don't be offended if I turn and run in the other direction - it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.


One-Minute Writer - Advice

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Advice

Write a brief "Dear Abby" letter asking for advice. Or, write a letter giving advice, in response to one of the previous commenters.

Dear Abby,

Is it normal to feel like my brain is going to explode? Will my brain explode from all the worries and junk clogging my "intake" valve? What will happen to my family when my brain finally does explode? Do you think taking on different personalities - like Tara in United States of Tara - will help alleviate my problems?

Yours truly,

Waiting to Spontaneously Combust


Friday, March 13, 2009


One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Child

Write a short, fictional piece about a pivotal moment in a child's life. Write in first person, from the point of view of the child.


"But I don't want to be a Traveller!" Jade whined. "Why can't I live on my own planet like all my friends?"

The Interplanetary Council consisted of seven members, each one over two million eons old - two million years in Earth time. On the planet Jadocon, two million eons was like the blink of an eye. Every few hundred eons, new Travellers are chosen from the newly young and trained to explore alien universes.

Unfortunately for Jade, she had been chosen from birth - mainly because her parents were also Travellers, but mostly because her unique DNA consisted of the exact match to help her blend in with the humans of Earth. She may have been born with translucent green and large, dark, almond shaped eyes, but her DNA contained the invisibility gene which helped her true form remain unnoticed by humans. This DNA combination was a rare gene for offspring born on Jadocon.

But Jade wanted nothing to do with the Interplanetary Council - she did not want to be a Traveller.

"Jadocon is my home. I don't want to travel to Earth - I could care less about humans!"

"Silence!" thundered Agnowyn, leader of the Council. "You were chosen before your birth. You will do as the Council desires. You will travel to Earth and learn everything there is to know about the humanoids. No arguments. The Council has spoken." Agnowyn slammed down her clenched fist on the wooden table in front of her.

"Now, go with the Sentries. They will take you to the training center. In 15 eons, you will be sent to Earth."

Stunned, Jade dropped her head and was led out of the Council Chamber.

"Now what do I do?" Jade barely moved her long, lean legs as the Sentries guided her to the training center - away from life as she knew it - toward a life she didn't want.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Pendulum

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Pendulum

In what area do you tend to swing from one extreme to the other, and back again?

Probably my mental health!! Sometimes my emotions run from one extreme to the next. One day I'll be "happy, go lucky" the next day I'm "down in a hole." You would think with the weather starting to get prettier and turning all warm and cozy, I'd be happier, but I'm not. I'm one of these people who loves cloudy, overcast days. I love rainy days - sitting on the back porch and hearing the rain fall on the roof.

I know, I'm not right, but I've been this way my entire life!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Vent

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Vent

Vent about what's annoying you today.

Lemonade, Lemonade, Lemonade

I'm afraid to vent about my job, because I know I'm lucky to still have a job.

I'm afraid to vent about lack of $$money$$, because I know I'm lucky to be able to pay my bills.

I'm afraid to vent about my kids, because I have 3 beautiful, healthy girls.

I'm afraid to vent about my hubby, because he loves me unconditionally.

I'm afraid to vent about the economy, because I know things could be worse.

I'm afraid to vent about the country, because I'll be viewed as anti-American.

I'm afraid to vent about my parents, because I still have both parents.

Lemons into lemonade, lemons into lemonade, lemons into lemonade ...


Monday, March 9, 2009


Today's Pictures, Poetry & Prose prompt:

(Photo by Melissa at Tweeded)

Suggested prompt...You are driving away from something or towards something.
Tell me about it creatively.


Well she's just 16, my little baby
So letting her behind the wheel has nearly pushed me over the edge
Although she is careful and slow
She is my baby, after all

I don't want to let her go
But I know the day is coming
I just want to keep her home as long as I can
Holding on to precious memories

The day is coming
It's closer than I care to think
I'll have to let her drive alone, while I sit at home
Praying each time the siren wails from the road


Musing Mondays

Today's Musing Monday prompt:

What is your policy when it comes to new authors? Do you feel comfortable purchasing a book or do you prefer to borrow new authors from the library? How often do you 'try out' a new author?

I enjoy reading new authors, but I typically don't buy books by new authors unless I have read them first. I normally borrow books by new authors from the library first; then if I enjoy them, I'll consider buying.

Example: Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight series - I had heard a lot about these books, but I read the first book after checking it out of the library. When I realized I was enjoying the book, I had to buy my own copy. I then bought the next three books hot off the presses!

In my opinion, you have to read new authors in order to find the great books. I enjoy reviewing new authors and it makes me happy to see new authors get the publicity they deserve, especially if they have written a great book.


One-Minute Writer - Learning

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Learning

Fill in the blank: "I think the world would be a better place if students learned more ______ in school."

Personally, I don't think the problem is with the schools. Teachers have their hands full every day with rude, violent and uncivilized children. I think the world would be a better place if students learned from their parents how to respect their elders and not argue with authority.

Teachers are there to teach our kids the necessary knowledge in order to survive in today's world. Kids today take school for granted and parents expect teachers to teach the kids EVERYTHING. Many parents today don't want to be bothered with teaching their children manners or the difference between right and wrong. Teachers should not be the main disciplinarian in a child's life.

Three cheers for teachers!! They have the hardest job in the world and in my opinion, the greatest job in the world - they are teaching our next generation.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Linda Loo

Linda Loo and I have been friends for almost 20 years. We used to work together when we were both nurses at the Danville Hospital. Although we haven’t worked together for 10 years, we have remained close friends.

She is the one person I can depend on to be there when I’m in a bad mood. We may not talk every week, or even every other week, but we somehow instinctively know when the other is in trouble emotionally.

It’s funny, sometimes I can tell just by the ring of the phone if it is Linda calling me and what kind of mood she may be in. It drives my husband crazy when I know who’s on the phone before I answer it, but that’s a whole other story.

When Linda is having a bad emotional time, I can usually talk her down and by the end of the phone conversation, we are both laughing and probably as happy as we’re going to be for the night. The same goes for me; if I’m down or depressed, she is the one who can understand what I’m going through.

We try to go out together a few times a year, and believe me, it is always a hoot. Our last outing was in January when we both decided we were going to a weight loss hypnosis class. Let’s just say that at least neither of us ended up clucking like a chicken. It was just fun to be out together.

Recently I’ve been stressing over the wedding of my oldest daughter. Linda’s children are older than mine, so she’s already been through two weddings. She is trying to help me over my fear of social situations, but it hasn’t been easy and I am in no way anywhere near being cured. But I know she understands.

Although Linda is 15 years older than me, she is more like a sister than a mother. And since the death of my sister, this has really been a help to me. It’s nice to know there is someone else in the world who is as much a crazy, emotional mess as I am.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Doggone It

Today's Pictures, Poetry & Prose prompt:

(Photo by Colleen at Fingers and Paws)

Suggested prompt...Think of a word that goes with dog... loyal, playful, friend... any word you like. Now create an acrostic poem using your doggy word.


Don't worry - I'll always be your friend

One day you'll appreciate the fact I bark at strangers

Goody, goody - it's time to play tag

Gosh - I'm hungry again

Only you can make my leg shake that special way

Next time, I'll try not to slobber on the ball

Excellent - it's kibble time

I really am woman's best friend

Till next time


Jade's Delivery

One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Delivery

Write a brief, fictional piece about a delivery.


"Jade, help me!" Cheryle had collapsed and was laying on the bare ground.

Jade stopped and looked back at her new "friend." "If we don't keep moving, those men will catch up with you." She spoke matter-of-factly in a cool, crisp voice.

Jade had only been on Earth a few weeks, but what she had seen so far was not to her liking. She had been prepped for living in a large "concrete" village, but this barren wasteland was almost intolerable.

When she first arrived, she had been in a tree-filled mountain range, but after moving into civilization, she realized the village was surrounded more by a dirt-filled barrenness than mountains. No, so far, she did not like this planet.

Cheryle had come into her life on the third day, pregnant, hungry and on the run from coyotes. She described these coyotes as tall, dark and shaggy, but from her preparations for this mission, Jade had only learned about coyotes that walked on four legs. Cheryle said these coyotes were men - how strange.

Apparently, Cheryle was desperate to get away from the coyotes, so Jade agreed to help her find a safe place. After all, she was here to learn.

But now it looked like Cheryle would not be able to go on much longer.

"Help me, Jade! I think the baby's coming!" Even though she was inexperienced with human behavior, Jade recognized the urgency in the woman's voice. Drawing from her two years of study, Jade knew what she had to do.

Walking over to the crying woman, Jade bent down and picked her up, then she started running for the clump of trees that was visible on the horizon.

"What are you doing?" cried the woman.

"I must get you out of the sun. I must find a safe place for your baby to be born."

Fifteen minutes later, Jade lay the woman on the sparse grass under the clump of trees. She opened her backpack and withdrew a water bottle. She wet a scrap of cloth and washed the woman's face.

"Ahhhhhh - oh, god, Jade! It's coming ... it's coming!" Cheryle drew her legs up to her chest and screamed.

The next thing Jade knew, she was holding a bloody lump. Fascinated, she washed off the baby's face and it started to cry. She wrapped the baby in a jacket she pulled from her backpack and handed it to Cheryle.

Then Jade sat down beside the mother and child, pulled her worn journal out and began to write.

"I have just assisted with the arrival of a new human ..."


Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Hare Who Lost His Spectacls

Today's Picture, Poetry & Prose prompt is:

(Photo by C. John Edwards his blogs are - Rambles from My Chair, CJE in Exeter, Pensby Et Al and his website, The Photo Galleries of E. John Edwards.)

Suggested prompt...One of my favorite books as a young reader was Watership Down. Write a story of rabbits today... keep them wild or tame... but get creative.

"Let me tell you about the rabbit..."

My work today is not mine, because the prompt reminded me of a Jethro Tull song, "The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles."

This is the story of the hare who lost his spectacles.
Owl loved to rest quietly whilst no one was watching.
Sitting on a fence one day, he was surprised when suddenly a kangaroo ran close by.
Now this may not seem strange, but when owl overheard kangaroo whisper to no one in particular,
"The hare has lost his spectacles," well, he began to wonder.
Presently, the moon appeared from behind a cloud and there, lying on the grass was hare.
In the stream that flowed by the grass -- a Newt.
And sitting astride a twig of a bush -- a bee.
Ostensibly motionless, the hare was trembling with excitement, for without his spectacles he was completely helpless.
Where were his spectacles?
Could someone have stolen them? Had he mislaid them? What was he to do?
Bee wanted to help, and thinking he had the answer began:
"You probably ate them thinking they were a carrot."
"No!" interrupted owl, who was wise. "I have good eye-sight, insight, and foresight. How could an intelligent hare make such a silly mistake?"
But all this time, owl had been sitting on the fence, scowling!
Kangaroo were hopping mad at this sort of talk.
She thought herself far superior in intelligence to the others.
he was their leader; their guru.
She had the answer: "Hare, you must go in search of the optician."
But then she realized that hare was completely helpless without his spectacles.
And so, kangaroo loudly proclaimed, "I cant send hare in search of anything!"
"You can guru, you can!" shouted newt. "You can send him with owl."
But owl had gone to sleep. Newt knew too much to be stopped by so small a problem --"You can take him in your pouch."
But alas, hare was much too big to fit into kangaroos pouch.
All this time, it had been quite plain to hare that the others knew nothing about spectacles.
As for all their tempting ideas, well hare didnt care.
The lost spectacles were his own affair.
And after all, hare did have a spare a-pair.

One-Minute Writer - 5 Years

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Five years

Reflect on how your life has changed since March 5, 2004.

Oh, no - fair warning, this is not going to be pretty!

Five years ago I was a happy, energetic married mother of 3 beautiful daughters, and although I am still happily married with 3 beautiful daughters, I am no longer happy or energetic.

After my baby sister died in January 2005, my life went downhill fast, into a swirling, liquid, non-stop flight into depression and grief. I eventually quit my job as a RN because I was so unhappy with my work (my sister had been in nursing school and we had plans of her joining me at the hospital I worked for). Although I don't regret leaving my job for a single minute, I have isolated myself away from the world. I have a part time job that takes me away from home for 4 hours a day, but other than that, I rarely go anywhere else.

I used to love working in my gardens, but the past 4 years, my gardens have been a miss because I haven't had the energy or desire to take care of them. My home is also not as clean as it once was - for the same reasons.

My wonderful hubby accepts me for who I am and loves me unconditionally, but I know he is worried about me. The same goes for my 3 daughters.

This past January I made a promise to myself to try harder, and little by little I'm noticing a few changes in myself. I now go for a daily walk, even if it's only 10 minutes. I have joined a writing group in my community, so I'm away from home at least one night a month and I interact with other people. I joined the Board of Directors for my local Habitat for Humanity, so this is another night each month I'm away from home.

The biggest changes I've noticed is the increase in my writing - not only on my blogs but in everything else I do. I'm writing stories and columns and book reviews - I'm even working on 3 separate books I've been trying to write for the past 5 years.

Things are looking up, but I'm still a long way from where I was 5 years ago.

Baby steps, baby steps ...


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cemetery Voices

Clarity of Night writing prompt:

(Photo from Clarity of Night website)

Inscription: LOUISA E. - Wife of JAMES BURHAMS - Died July 22, 1854 - A. 25 yrs 11 ms & 25 ds. (Featured on this stone: A beautiful rendition of weeping willow symbolism, signifying loss, sadness, and grief.)

CEMETERY REFLECTIONS: What would the sleeping generations tell us about living? What would we go back and tell ourselves?

~Pain is the friction of life moving forward. But I don't know yet how to embrace it. Or whether we're supposed to embrace it at all.


They call to us from the depth of past
Breathless family, friends and foes
Gone away from earthly days
Existing in barren calm

What would they say, if they could speak to us
Would they approve of this harsh new world
Or would they happily blend with us
To capture the times gone by

I wonder if they understand
All the changes going on
Or are they fixed in time and space
Lifelessness n'er to age or grow

Familiar whispers on bated breath
Try to reach my ears
Cemetery voices from my distant past
Call to calm my fears


One-Minute Writer - That

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: That

In the words of the singer Meatloaf, "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that." What is "that" to you?

I love Meatloaf and I love his recording of this song - written and composed by Jim Steinman.

I think "that" is purposely vague because I think the answer can change depending where you are in life. As a young adult, I probably would have done anything for my first love. As it is, I found myself conforming to his ideas of what I should be like. Ick - can we all say step-ford wife?

As I grew to middle age, I discovered a deeper, more meaningful love - not only for my husband, but for myself. I've learned I will not change my inner core to satisfy anyone but myself.

However, if my hubby were in a life-or-death situation, I'm sure nothing would be off the table. I'm furiously loyal and the love I feel for my hubby of 20 years only continues to grow through time.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Yesterday's Pictures, Poetry & Prose prompt:

Photograph by François Dubeau

Suggested prompt...Use this image or clouds creatively in your writing today.


The clouds remind us there is life in the atmosphere
As they gently float across the sky
It's hard to imagine them made of water
When they look like fluff blowing on the wind

The clouds remind us there is protection
From the harsh and glaring sun
Saving us from heat exposure
And cooling our souls in mass

The clouds remind us we are all still children
As we watch for faces or characters or symbols
Gazing up at the un-uniformed perfection
Sending daydreams up to heaven


One-Minute Writer - Crisis

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Crisis

Write about your reaction to a crisis you experienced or encountered.

Up until about 4 years ago, I used to be the "take charge" person in every crisis, methodically working through the problems. Only after the crisis was over and everything was going back to normal did I allow myself to fall to pieces.

But since the death of my sister, the "take chargedness" has left me. Now I have a tendency to fall apart at the first little hint of trouble. And when things really get bad, I'll melt down and have to go to sleep. For some reason, sleep protects me from having to deal with situations or problems that cause me great stress.

I'm trying to work through this inner "crisis," but relief still feels like it is so far away.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Musing Monday

Today's Musing Monday prompt:

When reading do you read every word? Do you ever skip chapters or skim over parts? (question curtesy of Wendy)

When I'm reading, unless it's a non-fiction book or a short story book, I rarely ever skip chapters. If it is not a book I am enjoying, I may skim over some parts to see if the book is getting better, or I might just abandon it all together.

I do occasionally get hung up on certain words, especially if it is a word I can't pronounce or a word I don't know. For that matter, I also have trouble with unusual names - for some reason my brain "trips" over these words like a speed bump.

One-Minute Writer - Toast

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Toast

You're at a dinner event, and it's your job to give a toast. You pick up your glass and say....

To my wonderful daughter, Amber, I wish you all the joy and happiness as you begin this new phase in your life. You have grown into a beautiful and generous young woman and now the world is open to you. And here's to Jason, the exceptional young man you have chosen to spend your years with. As a couple, may you both have your heart's desire and work together as a team to accomplish your joint goals. I love you both.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Scribbling - Lost

Sunday Scribbling #152 -- Lost

Gotten lost in the woods? Driving? Lost a child in a store? Lost something else of value -- found it again? Lost souls, lost innocence . . . write about the word "lost."


When my youngest Daughter was born, one of the stuffed toys she got from her grandparents was a small pony made by Fisher-Price. By the time she was 6 months old, this was the only toy she took with her everywhere she went.

Of course, because Pony was such a well-loved toy, he started to become worn from too many washings. It was torture waiting for Pony to go through, first the washing machine and then the dryer.

One afternoon, when my Daughter was almost two years old, we had gone on our weekly shopping trip - Wal-Mart, Kroger, and the Dollar General. Daughter always enjoyed riding in the "buggies," and Pony always had a place of honor, strapped into the shopping cart with her.

As children are won't to do, Daughter wanted everything she could reach from her cart. In Wal-Mart, it was usually crackers or suckers that kept her occupied. In the Kroger store, it was usually grapes or juice boxes that kept her under control.

On this particular day, we were home and had all the shopping bags unpacked, because we learned we had a problem. It was Daughter's naptime, and Pony was no where to be found!

I remember fastening the safety strap around the two of them in Wal-Mart, but I had no recollection of doing the same thing in Kroger. I ran back out to the car and searched everywhere, but no Pony.

Because this was a Saturday, my Hubby got back in car and drove to town. He searched the parking lots of both stores and check with the services desks. He left his name and phone number with each store, praying someone would find Pony and turn him in.

Back at home, I was trying without much success to calm my upset child. After what seemed like hours of crying, she finally cried herself to sleep. But a two hour nap didn't solve our problems.

The rest of that fateful Saturday was miserable for all of us. Daughter would not be consoled and she asked for Pony almost every minute. In a moment of deparation, Hubby went back to Wal-Mart with thoughts of buying a replacement for Pony. Unfortunately, no replacement could be found.

Bedtime that night was pure hell, and Daughter finally cried herself to sleep again, refusing to be comforted by me or her daddy.

Then, lo and behold, when we woke up on Sunday morning, there was a message from Kroger's. Someone had found a stuffed animal in a shopping cart in the parking lot and had turned it into the service desk. Praying this was Pony, Hubby made another trip into town. By this time, Daughter was awake and asking for her beloved Pony.

Hubby got back home less than 20 minutes later, proudly holding Pony in his hands. Dirty and battered, but looking little worse for the wear, Daughter was so happy to see Pony. I didn't have the heart to take him away from her, even for a thorough washing.

Needless to say, we put everyone in the family on the lookout for a replacement Pony. Luckily, my mom was able to find an identical Pony at a local yard sale. From that moment on, I knew I had a back-up Pony, and I would interchange these two so that Daughter never had to be without Pony again.

Daughter was probably 5 years old before she quite sleeping with Pony and taking him everywhere she went. He has been lovingly stored away, awaiting the time when he will be loved again. I have plans to have Pony placed in a shadow box to give to my Daughter when her first child is born.