Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gone Fishin'

(Photo by Simply Heather of Simply Joyful Photos)

Suggested prompt...Write about going fishing.


"... Gone fishin', there's a sign up on my door - gone fishin', I won't worry anymore ..."

This photo reminds me of my friend Tammy's catfish pond. Trying to get her agribusiness up and running, stocking her large pond with catfish was one of the first steps. Now that the fish are large enough to capture and eat, her "Pay Lake" is up and running.

I'm not much of a fisherman [woman], but I do enjoy eating fish. I just need to find someone to catch, clean and fillet a few choice fish so I can throw them on the grill.

Catfish ... it's a good thing ...

Saturday, May 30, 2009


(Photo by Brett Trafford)


My mind is a cavern of thoughts and musings
I have trouble turning it off.
I know the way I’m supposed to be acting,
so why can't I muster the follow-through?
Most days I have a heavy heart
and it drags me into despair.
I’ll occasionally see a spark of life
trying to break through the darkness;
but it’s gone in a wink
and I’m left with the misery of day to day life.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night .......

.... this is a little piece of silly fluff ....

It was a dark and stormy night and I was home alone. My parents had gone to my little brother’s basketball game at the middle school. Of course, I threw a fit and then pouted until Mom and Dad agreed I could stay home alone. After all I may have only been 11, but I was very responsible.

As soon as they left the house, I turned on the stereo as loud as it would go and did the Tome Cruise dance across the bare wood floor in the great room. My fat cat Sassy looked at me like I was crazy.

Coming down from my excitement of being home alone on a Friday night, I microwaved a bag of buttery popcorn and settled into watch my DVD collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Turning the lights down I curled up on the couch with Sassy in my lap and the bowl of popcorn at my side.

Suddenly, I heard a loud clatter outside. Muting the TV I strained my ears but didn’t hear anything else.

“Probably the wind,” I said to Sassy and I turned the TV back up. Just as Buffy was getting ready to stake another vampire, I heard the noise again, only this time it was closer.

I paused the TV and pushed Sassy off my lap. I went to the front door and peeped out the side glass. The wind was really whipping the trees and I could see lightning flashes in the distance.

“Must have been thunder,” I said to myself.


I nearly jumped out of my skin. This time the noise came from the back porch. Flipping on all the house lights as I went, I flew into the kitchen and looked out the back window.

OMG – there was a man standing in the backyard. It looked like he had on dark clothes and he was standing perfectly still.

Making sure the back door was locked, I grabbed the phone and called my parents.

“Mom, there’s a man in the backyard!” I was crying so loud my words were all jumbled.

Mom said lock the doors and hide – they were six to seven minutes away from the house but they were calling 911. I raced through the house to my room and jumped into my cluttered closet.

This is where my parents found me, crying and scared on the floor of my closet. The police were doing a search, but they found no one around or near the house

When things calmed down and my parents had comforted me – my jangled nerves started to relax. I went to the sink to wash my hands, when a scream escaped my lips. There he was – the man was back!

Daddy grabbed his shotgun and dashed out into the backyard. I was so scared and Mom was hugging me tightly as I cried. Daddy returned two minutes later, laughing and shaking his head.

The man in the backyard turned out to be a tarp that had blown from the neighbor’s yard and got tangled on my Mom’s clothesline pole.

So much for the brave girl staying home alone.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jade's Epiphany

One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Epiphany

Write a brief, fictional piece about a character experiencing an epiphany (sudden, often life-changing, realization.)


"How could I have been so stupid?" Jade sat down on concrete barrier near the interchange of Hwy 99 and Interstate 4, her mouth gaping open as she watched the spacecrafts entering the Earth's atmosphere.

"The Elders told me they only wanted to study the habits of Earthlings, learn what makes them function with haste and violence. They lied to me!" If Jade were a human with tear ducts in her large, almond-shaped black eyes, she would probably be crying right now. But she was from the planet Jadocan, and therefore had no tear ducts.

Turning suddenly to see an 18-wheeled semi tractor-trailer existed the Interstate, Jade jumped back into the grass growing just off the shoulder of the road. Traffic had been unusually slow on the major thoroughfares today and she hadn't realized why until she saw the first spacecraft coming into view.

She was on a 10 year mission to study Earth, but her time was not even half-way over. What were the Elders thinking?

She reached into the pocket of her Earth jeans and pulled out a large crystal. Holding the crystal in her hands, she concentrated on her home planet, trying to get an image of what was happening. But the crystal remained dark and cold in her thin hands.

"Come on - just give me something. Is this an invasion? What is going on?" The crystal still remained dark.

Slinging her backpack over one shoulder, Jade replaced the crystal to her pocket and started walking along the side of the road. Since coming to Earth, she had taken up many habits of the Earthlings she was studying. She had a great love for wearing blue jeans and button-down shirts, especially when she discovered they made her glamour easier when she was disguising her unusual green features and tall frame.

After a brisk 20 minute walk, Jade arrived back in the tiny neighbor of Seal Bay, near the coast of San Francisco. Repeated looks over her shoulder reminded her the spacecrafts were still hovering in the air. There were only four ships and they had not made any threatening moves, even when the US Airforce had sent fighter planes in to intercept.

Unlocking the door to her studio apartment, Jade flip on the television.
"... and no contact has been made from the alien spaceships hovering over San Francisco. Homeland Security has placed the country on Red Alert, its highest form of the alert system but into place after 9-11. Citizens are urged to remain indoors until further notice."
"Great, just great. One mistake by the Airforce could end up destroying this entire planet. What can the Elders be thinking?"

Jade plopped down in the bent back rocking chair waiting for more news from the television. As she flipped to another news channel, she felt the crystal in her pocket getting hot.

Reaching back into her pocket, she pulled out the crystal, only to discover it was a pale sky blue. Breathing a sigh of relief, Jade one again concentrated on the communications crystal. The crystal became foggy and Jade could see the face of her friend and mentor, Elder Gill.

"Do not be afraid Jade. The spacecraft are only there to gather samples from the air, the water, the plant life and the animal life. This is not an interruption of your mission. As soon as the ships leave the Earth's atmosphere, there will be a sonic boom which will erase the memories of all the Earthlings in regards to our presence. You will be the only being on Earth to remember we were here. Carry on with your mission." The crystal began to fade in color until it returned to its natural clear state.

Slipping the crystal back into her pocket, Jade had the nagging feeling she was being lied to. Of course, she knew Jadocans had developed a device to erase minds, but she understood this was not to be used to control other races.

Standing up, she walked over to the front door and looked out. Only one ship was still visible in the atmosphere.

"Why do the Elders want samples from Earth? They had never taken samples before. Jadocan had always sent explorers on missions to quietly observe the planets - just like I'm doing." Jade's thoughts were coming fast and hard.

"They're up to something, but what? And why haven't they told me the truth?" Jade sat down on the porch swing and watched the last ship until it finally accelerated upwards and out of sight.

Then she heard the sonic boom. Life on Earth would never be the same.


Once Upon a Time ....

(Photo by Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixels)

.... There Was a Little Girl

Once upon a time, there was a little girl living in the forest with her elderly grandparents. Cassandra was only 2 years old when she was orphaned and taken in by her mother’s parents. Try as she might, Cassi had no memories of her parents, only a few photos her Grand’Mere kept in a small metal box.

She had been told her parents were killed in a car wreck, but after living 10 years in the forest, Cassi had no idea what a car was. Grand’Mere and Grand'Pere never went more than a few miles from their cozy cabin and the only transportation Cassi knew about was Clyde, the old horse her grandfather sometimes rode.

As a matter of fact, Cassi had only met a handful of people other than her grandparents. Mr. Bowler, the traveling salesman who visited a few times of year; Mrs. Tatum who brought sewing and mending for Grand’Mere to do; and the men who hiked or rode horses in to buy ‘shine from Grand’Pere. She also had daily contact with Hank, who lived in the little shack behind the cabin.

Hank was the “hired hand” and he helped Grand’Pere with the farm work. He also played games with Cassi many evenings after the work was done. Although Hank was a grown man, he was what Grand’Mere called “simple.” Apparently, Hank’s breath had been taken away too long when he was born, so his brain didn’t grow up normal. Hank’s father was the traveling salesman before Mr. Bowler and he used to bring his son with him on sales trips.

When Hank’s father died after a bad fall from a horse, Grand’Mere and Grand’Pere decided to finish raising the boy as their own. Hank used to play games with Cassi’s mother when she still lived in the forest. Sometimes Hank would get confused and call Cassi by her mother’s name, Gloria.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fluff in the Wind

(Photo by Simply Heather of Simply Joyful Photos)

... All we are is fluff in the wind ...


The Cat Ate My Homework ......

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Excuse

Forget "The dog ate my homework." Come up with a new excuse for today's schoolchildren to use when they don't get their homework done.

Something crashed on my computer .......

The cats deleted my computer program ......

The cat was hogging the computer ......

The cat stole my mouse .......

Misty Entities

(Photo by Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixels)


The ghosts all float to energy waves
Of all the scared and lonely
The negativity electrifies this space
Where warm thoughts should be sparking

So why do they come to us
As fuzzy as a fog
To whisper in our ears
And tug us right along

Is it a ghost of someone long past
Or maybe a recently departed
Do they feel the way we feel
Or are they empty shadows still

These misty entities do not frighten
Nor do they make me quake
I see them coming close to me
Taking back what has been lost

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Aging

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Aging

Reflect on the best thing about aging, and the worst

The best thing about aging is the wisdom I've gained about life. I still don't know everything, but I have a better understanding of how the world is. I've raised 3 healthy, beautiful daughers and now I'm looking forward to adding grandchildren to my life. I was so busy when the girls were young, but with age I have more patience and will have more time to spend with the next generation.

The worst thing about aging is the fact I'm aging. I'm getting closer and closer to the twilight of my life. Although I may finally be over the rainbow, it doesn't come without a price. All these aches and pains I feel each and every day are a reminder I'm not as young as I used to be.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Musing Monday

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about gift certificates ...

Do you give gift certificates to book stores as presents? If so, do you give for actual stores or online stores? Do you like to receive them yourself?

With the exception of my youngest daughter, I don't usually give gift certificates to book stores, because most of my family and friends aren't very big readers. I really don't even give my daughter many gift certificates, because she enjoys shopping in discount or used book stores.

But I do love to receive gift certificates for myself - especially from Amazon and Barnes & Nobel so I can order over the Internet. I'm looking forward to having grandchildren and I hope I can pass on the love of books to them. Maybe my grandchildren will love getting book gift certificates.

Sleestacks, Pylons and Dinos ... Oh My

...okay, don't laugh - or judge me - but my inner child is doing the Happy Dance this morning...Sci-fi is running the original LAND OF THE LOST series all day in preparation for next week's release of the movie. So, on this fine Memorial Day and my only day off until the 4th of July, I'll be keeping the DVR hot today recording all the shows! I know it's silly and I know it's campy, but it takes me back 34+ years.

"... Marshall, Will and Holly on a routine expedition, met the greatest earthquake ever known ..."

How could any child be afraid of a rubber suited monster who mouths didn't open? But when I was 11, I thought Sleestacks were so scary!

Say goodnight, Grumpy!

I even had a LAND OF THE LOST lunch box!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rosewood Manor

(Photo by Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixels Narratives. Check him out because he has some beautiful photographs.)

The portion of the house showing in this photo reminds me of a house I have been writing about in a new young adult book I am working on. Based on the house from the Dark Shadows soap opera from the 1960s, the house I'm writing about has more Victorian styles than the original Collinwood.

Here is a small excerpt from the first chapter of ROSEWOOD MANOR - THE HARRODSPORT CHRONICLES #1 as the main character gets her first glimpse of the house she will be living in.

Chapter One (excerpt)

Charlene “Charlie” Coffman looked out the window of the train, barely seeing the countryside fly by. She was lost to a world of grief and unknowing. At 12 years of age, she had just lost both her parents to a fatal car crash and now she was being sent off to relatives she had never met.

Mrs. Sutter, the social worker traveling with Charlie, reached over and squeezed the petite girl’s hand.

“Don’t worry, Charlie. I’m sure you will enjoy living with her Aunt Elizabeth. She has a nephew about your age and I’m sure you’ll become good friends.”

Charlie did not answer the woman. As a matter of fact, she had not spoken to anyone since the day her parents died. She had been hospitalized briefly, but the physicians and psychiatrists all said the same thing; the little girl was in shock. They felt sure she would eventually come around.

Elizabeth Harrod lived in the small coastal town of Harrodsport, Virginia in a large mansion on a hillside overlooking the ocean. She and her brother, Roger, were the descendants of Jeremiah Harrod who had founded the town of Harrodsport. They owned much of the land surrounding Harrodsport and operated several large cotton plantations as well as a small fishing fleet and cannery...


...Because of all the trees and vegetation, the house was not visible until to the end of the driveway. When the view finally opened up, both Charlie and the social worker gasped at the enormity of the manor house. Charlie felt her insides start to quiver, like a thousand butterflies had suddenly taken flight in her stomach. The house was huge, several stories tall with large turrets – like a castle – on several corners of the house.

“My, my,” said the social worker, “what a beautiful house.”

“Yes, ma’am; this house has been in the Harrod family for many generations. It’s almost 160 years old.” The driver pulled under a davenport near the front door.

“How many people live here?” the social worker asked. “I was under the impression only one family lived here...


... “And this, my dear, will be your room. And of course, Mr. Tibbles [Charlie's cat].” She opened the door and Charlie let out another gasp. She had never seen such a beautiful room.

The room was decorated in several shades of green, Charlie’s favorite color. Another large four poster bed with a lace canopy occupied one wall of the room. On the opposite wall was a large bay window with a built-in bench. There was a wardrobe and two antique dressers, as well as a coat rack. The last wall of the room had a fireplace with another cheery fire burning. And there on the fireplace hearth was a cozy cat bed!

Some Friends Just Fall in Your Lap

Most of the time our closest friends are the ones who have been with us for a very long time, through thick and through thin. They know us inside and out. They know our strengths and our weaknesses. They know what we love and they know what we hate. They know if we’re in a good mood or a bad mood. Best friends forever – BFFs, to use a coined phrase.

But sometimes we come across a true gem of a friend, not someone we have known for years, but someone we’ve just met, someone who has entered our lives and we know from the first meeting that we will probably end up as good friends.

My new friend Tammy is just such a friend.

The first time I had any contact with Tammy, was a phone conversation, and although I’m not much of a phone talker, I soon learned the two of us had many things in common. She was a writer and so was I. She loved country life and so did I. She was an old hippie from way back and so was I. Tammy had recently started writing articles for the Mercer’s Magazine and I really enjoyed her stories. I had been following her writing, mainly because her style is a lot like mine.

She originally called me to talk about blogs, and because blogs were my newest obsession, I was happy to tell her everything I knew. Not that I’m a blog expert by any means, but I had been blogging for just over a year and I found myself making more and more posts, so I loved to spread the joy of blogging. We had a wonderful conversation and I told her all about the writing class I was taking from Tony Sexton.

A couple of months went by, and although I was reading Tammy’s columns, we had not actually met. But during a January meeting of The Community of Mercer County Writers, lo and behold, there was Tammy. Meeting her in person only reinforced my initial thoughts about her – I think we were separated at birth.

Since that first meeting, Tammy has joined me in the Speaking Out II workshop and in Tony’s Advanced Writers Workshop. We have both done public readings at the Penn Store Writer’s Celebration – even when we thought we’d puke our brains out. We both continue to write, mainly personal narratives about events in our lives, and I’m proud to say, Tammy now gets paid for some of her writing. She has a bi-monthly column entitled “Hillbilly Zen” in a local paper. Okay, so I’m a little jealous, but I am so proud of her.

When talking about our lives, we may not have the same type of background, but we have similar situations, and I continue to tell her I think we were separated at birth. I enjoy reading her writing and she enjoys reading mine.

So, if you ever roll through Rose Hill on a hot summer night and see two middle aged women, naked on top of the water tower, just drive on by. Hot, hormonal women of a certain age are not to be trifled with.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Unknown - Hallowed and Hushed

(This is the beginning of a creative non-fiction piece I'm working on based on a true story. In the late 1800s, an unknown young woman came to the Graham Springs Hotel in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. During the evenings grand ball, she danced all night with one man after another. Immediately after the last dance, the lady died in her partners arms. Her identity remains a mystery to this day.)

Unknown - Hallowed and Hushed be the place of the dead. Step Softly. Bow Head.

As she entered the Graham Springs Hotel, she self-consciously touched her dark hair. Mid-back length, she had it artfully piled on top of her head with several ringlets of curls dangling like tendrils around her graceful neck.

Her alabaster complexion was deathly white, not a sickly pallor of ill-health, just the markings of a gentle lady brought up to protect her skin from the sun. The apples of each cheek held the faint hue of a pink rosebud at dawn with only a tiny dimple marring the line of her left cheek.

Her eyes were hazel with tiny flecks of gold that glistened and reflected with sunlight or candlelight. Thick curly eyelashes gave her eyes a dreamy look of someone older than her years. Her sweet cupid mouth lit up her face when she smiled, and in rare instances, laughed.

She had checked into the hotel for just one night, arriving unescorted on a coach from Lexington. She had only a small trunk of clothing with her and she was reluctant to let it out of her sight. She paid her bill with Confederate money and signed her name daintily in the thick ledger - Mrs. E. W. Maclaine. They would later learn this was a false name.

She appeared in the grand ballroom at precisely the stroke of nine o'clock, her pale green dress draping behind her like a foaming waterfall. She was instantly the center of attention, turning every young man's head.

She danced with each man in turn and when she was finished, she would start all over again, rarely stopping to catch her breath. She refused offers for glasses of punch or quiet walks in the moonlit garden, preferring instead to continue twirling on the dance floor.

Just a few strokes after midnight, guest began making their way out of the ballroom and up to their rooms. As the mystery girl's last dance partner gave her one last twirl and dipped her for a stolen kiss, he was horrified to find the young woman dead.

All attempts to learn the true identity of Mrs. E. W. Maclaine were unsuccessful. After a week of searching, the unknown lady was laid to rest on the grounds of the Graham Springs Hotel.

The Graham Springs Hotel burned down over a century ago, and this area is now known as Young’s Park. And the unknown tombstone still marks the grave, whispering secrets to those who are brave enough and sensitive enough to listen or care.

Laurell's Heartbreak

(Photograph by Lynda Lehmann)

Suggested prompt...Tell the story of this photo.


"I don't care, Papa - I'll never eat another piece of beef as long as I live!" thundered Laurell as she stood before her grandfather with her fists on her slim hips.

"Now Laurell, it's the nature of things; the cycle of life." Beau Markey was reaching the golden years of his life and his dark brown hair was now a thick mixture of white.

"Not with Betsy it isn't. You knew I didn't want her to be slaughtered!" Tears flowed freely down her reddened cheeks. "She was going to be our new mild cow, Papa."

"You know we can't afford to get her to a bull and without a bull, Betsy was not going to be a milk cow."

"But I raised her from a calf; you told me she was mine!"

"I'll not apologize for trying to feed my family. You need to pull yourself together young lady."

Laurell turned and fled to the barn. Climbing the ladder to the hay loft, she collapsed on the hay and let the tears come. Having lived on the farm all of her 14 years, Laurell knew no animal was safe from slaughter. But she thought Papa knew how special Betsy was. Old Claira Belle - their current milk cow - was getting too old to produce milk, no matter how many times a day she was milked.

But now Betsy was gone and in a week, she would fill the shelves in the old deep freeze. Such was the farm life in the late 1970s.


After almost an hour of tears and curses, Laurell sat up and wiped her face with the tail of her shirt. Climbing down the ladder, she went into the horse corral and splashed water from the well onto her face.

Taking several deep breaths, she slowly walked back to the three-room log cabin were she lived with her elderly grandfather. Papa was sitting on the porch breaking beans.

Seeing Laurell walking toward the house, Beau sat his pan of beans on the porch floor. Laurell walked up the steps and looked at her grandfather. Inching toward his chair, she slowly sat down on his lap and hugged his neck.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you Papa - it was silly and childish of me." She lay her head on his shoulder.

"It's okay girl - I know life is hard for you here with me. You need a woman's guidance but all you have is a grizzly old man." His eyes started to moisten.

"You're not grizzly Papa - you're all the guidance I need. I love you."

"I love you and I only want the best for you."

Sitting in the silence of the darkening twilight, Beau listened to the steady heartbeat of his only grandchild - his only living relation. It had been a hard life for Laurell since her mother had died, but Sue Ellen had been gone for 10 years now. Laurell was growing up and Beau knew in that instant he would have to provide her with a woman's touch, one way or another.


Mr. and Mrs. Keith (Bobbi) Rightmyer and Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Huffman announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Amber Dawn Huffman to Jason Matthew Wilham, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robby (Tammy) Wilham.

The wedding will take place at 5:30 pm Saturday, June 20, 2009 at Pioneer Baptist Church in Harrodsburg. A reception will follow in the Black Box at Old Fort Harrod. Family and friends are welcome to attend.

This is my oldest daughter, Amber - isn't she beautiful? I am truly blessed. And what about my future son-in-law? He's a great guy from a great family and he makes my daughter happy - I couldn't ask for more. God bless them both!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Mist of Time

(Photo by Lisa of Wearin' My Heart on My Sleeve

Suggested prompt...Offer a bit of creative writing for this image.


Hugging the bark like a fine silk glove
The mist encircled the trees
Coating each branch with the careless moisture
Left over at the breaking of dawn

What beauty beholds the thirsty eyes
At this causal offering of nature's finest moment
Blurred and fuzzy like an old photograph
Whispering the essence of a time gone by

Why can't life be as simple as this
A beautiful second in a neverending world
Awash with memories and bathed in remembrances
Like the trees standing in the mist


One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Steal

Write a brief bit of fiction, including in it the word "steal" (or some version of that word.)


"You mean to tell me you have never even stolen a piece of fruit of an orchard tree?" Michael was shaking his head and he watched his unusual new friend pay for the apple. He had only taken the apple because he was hungry and he had no money to buy food with.

Jade handed the street vendor two paper dollars and thanked him for his time. "No, Michael. Where I come from everyone is equal. We share everything, so there is no need to steal."

Although Jade had been living on Earth for almost one year, Michael was the only human she had shared her secret with. Although she trusted him, she had never felt safe enough to drop her glamour in front of him so he could see her true identity. No, Jade did not feel comfortable enough for anyone to know all her secrets.

"So what do you mean everyone is equal?" Michael bit into the red apple and juices ran freely down his cheek.

"Just what I said, everyone on Jadocan is equal. I mean we do have a council of elders who govern the planet, but all the citizens are equals. Everyone has a particular job, but we all get to choose what we want to do. We don't have a monetary system, so whenever we need something, we just pick it up in the markets."

"Without paying for it - so technically, that's stealing." They turned down another street corner and headed for a small park in the next block.

"No, Michael," she looked at him like he was a simple child that didn't understand what he was talking about. "Everyone works toward a common goal - no one is trying to best anyone else. Unlike this planet - I just don't understand the greed you live with every day. And money, who in the world to you all ever get anything done?"

Jade had studied all about life on Earth for two solid years before beginning her ten year mission. Learning to handle money had been one of the harder lessons to learn. The elders tried to explain that Earthlings used paper and metal disc as currency for items of purchase. She had brought with her several precious gems from the ore mines on Jadocan and the first week on Earth, she had sold a ruby to someone called a pawnbroker. She wasn't sure what a pawn was, but the man had given her many pieces of paper money. She had been using them sparingly, but she realized that very soon, she would have to sell another gem because even though she had many metal discs left, she was down to only three or four paper bills.

They entered the small park and sat on a small bench under an oak tree, directly in front of a fountain with water spurting from a stone elephants trunk.

"You have to have money to get anywhere in this world, Jade. Without money, you are nothing." Finishing the apple, Michael tossed the core into a nearby trashcan.

"That's my point. On Jadocan everyone is someone, there is no need for money. I've seen how greed changes the people on your planet, and believe me Michael, the change is not a good thing."

They sat under the oak tree for many long minutes before standing up and heading back onto the streets of San Francisco.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eternity's Shadow


We stand together
Just we two
As twilight lengthens the horizon
We look so strange
Our elongated limbs
Shadowing the close cut lawn

But is it symbolic
Of our lives spent together
Our love does lengthen and grow
With each passing minute
Each passing day
Till eternity passes away

Window Shadows

(Photo by Paul Politis)


Window shadows grace the walls
Like memories grace the soul
Dark and lingering
Deep and wild
They spark creativity in all
As the shadows slide into the depths
My memories crawl in sync
Begging for attention
Or maybe just notice
We are here, we are here
Don't let us be forgotten


The Windmill

(Photo by Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixels Narratives


Wind moves the windmill
Like a choreographed dance
The natural force
And the man made contraption
At one on the lonely prairie
Sending me images of the land before Oz
Capturing my emotions and memories
Holding them captive
Awaiting the creative outlet
That is bound to flow from my pen

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One-Minute Writer - Proud

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Proud

What has been the proudest moment of your life thus far? Describe the moment in vivid detail.

Because my children are my greatest source of pride and I have had so many proud moments, I decided to detail my most recent proud moment.

My youngest daughter, Christine, is 16 years old and a junior in high school - she is also an honor student. During late fall of 2008, she applied to attend the Kentucky Governor's School of the Arts for the summer creative writing program. This program is extremely difficult to get into because they only take 200 students each year - and this year there were over 1800 KY students applying.

In December, Christine finished up the long application process and put the finishing touches on the 8 page manuscript she had to submit. The entire packet was in the mail just before Christmas and we started the long wait. First notifications were to be sent out on February 15th.

Then along came the ice storm of 2009 and all mail delivery was a tad slow. It was excruciating waiting to see if she would be chosen to go on to the next level in the application process. Finally, the letter came - she had passed the first hurdle! Now she was scheduled for the group interview and reading process of the application.

We traveled to Transylvania University in Lexington the 2nd weekend in March. Christine was in a group of 6 other students being interviewed - all in one big group - by 2 of the GSA teachers. Parents weren't allowed in, but Christine felt like she did fairly well. Another hurdle leaped.

Then we began the wait - again. We had been told by past participants in the GSA program to watch for a large envelope in the mail - large meant she was accepted, small meant she wasn't. We were supposed to hear on tax day, April 15th. We didn't hear until 2 days later.

When I went to the mailbox on April 17th, I nearly collapsed right on the road - there was a LARGE envelope addressed to Christine. Tears in my eyes and shaking from relief, I rushed into the house and debated only 2 seconds before ripping into the envelope.

YES - my baby had been accepted into one of the most prestigious creative writing programs in the country!! Knowing I couldn't wait until she got home from school, I called the school and asked to speak to my daughter - thank goodness I know the school receptionist. When Christine got on the phone I told her congratulations and the next thing I knew, she was crying. My big, brave girl who never cries was absolutely sobbing!

So, I got in the car and drove to school to check her out. By the time I got there, she had a huge smile on her face and had already told most of her teachers and friends. I have never seen her so happy!!

Out of over 1800 applicants, my daughter is one of only 200 Kentucky students to be attending the 3 week creative writing school this summer. She leaves the day after my oldest daughter's wedding, so the week of June 20th is going to be busy.

Tomorrow, Christine will be honored in front of the Mercer County School Board and next week there will be a write-up in our local paper, The Harrodsburg Herald. My hubby and I are beyond proud of our youngest daughter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Lazy River

(Photo by Brett Trafford)

Suggested Prompt...Offer a poem for this... put yourself sitting on the bank... on a quiet summer afternoon.


Slowly, silently, the current carries on
Down the lazy river of yesteryear
Depositing memories from long ago
And withdrawing emotions of the past

When did life get so complicated
That an afternoon on the shore is exhausting
And why did our reminiscences disappear
In the blink of the great urban sprawl

Turning back the tides of time
Reliving what we lost
The lazy river protects our hope
And gently wishes us on

One-Minute Writer - Touch Up

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Touch up

What in your life needs a touch up?

Actually, I'm the one in need of a touch up. I honestly don't know how my hubby has put up with me the past 4 years. Since the death of my sister, I've been living in a bubble of grief - and I've let myself go.

I need to get back into the exercise habit - my body is sorely out of shape. I need to do something with my hair - I haven't colored it in almost 4 years and the gray is taking over. I need to get out in the world more - I've totally isolated myself from friends and family.

Simply, I need to start living my life again. Grief has been in control too long and it's time for a change - time for a touch up of life.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Musing Monday

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about early reading:

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child? (question courtesy of Diane)

My parents have never been big readers like me - in fact, I'm probably the only one in my immediate family who did read. I can remember Mom reading to us from the Bible when I was 6 or 7, but I don't remember her reading us any other books.

Two people were instrumental in cultivating my love of reading: my babysitter and my grade school librarian. When I was 8, my babysitter let me read one of her own daughter's favorite books and I became hooked. That book was Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion. At the same time, my school librarian showed me her favorite book - "B" is for Betsy - and this is the first book I can remember checking out of the library.

From that time on, I have always had a book close at hand. I eventually read all of the Trixie Belden books before persuading my Mom to buy me my own copies. By 4th grade, I was a librarian assistant and it was a thrill to handle all those wonderful books.

When I was pregnant with all 3 of my girls, I read to them while they were still in the womb, and I continued reading to them until they were almost teenagers. Even with this much exposure to reading, my oldest 2 daughters don't like to read. But my youngest is just like me and she has a veracious appetite for reading.

One-Minute Writer - Playground

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Playground

Most kids love to to play on playgrounds. If you could design a playground for adults, what would it look like?

For me, an adult playground would be very similar to a child's playground - only with oversized swings (with cushions on the seat for aching backs) and a sliding board that doesn't drop you too low to the ground. I would also like to see a life-size chess set or checker board and maybe a croquet course. Naturally, some comfortable tables to be able to sit and write or read while others are playing. I would have the playground situated under lots of trees instead of out in the blazing sunshine (due to skin cancer issues). There would also be classic rock music playing and a refreshment area for cold drinks and snacks. And a shallow, pool-size fountain for wading and splashing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This picture prompt is from The Quill:


Storm clouds gather overhead
As early darkness descends
Bathing the world in an eerie glow
My paranoid emotions explode

Rustling branches seem to call my name
Causing shivers to run down my spine
Too scared to make a tiny move
My legs are frozen with fright

With every noise my imagination grows
Threatening to overtake me
No where to run, no where to go
Drowning in a sea of night

Crouching down beside the tree
My body bathed in sweat
I pray to God to make it through
Until the break of day


Friday, May 15, 2009

The Country Church

(Photo by Dan Felstead OF Wood and Pixels Narratives)


I stood looking across the field at the church and I knew I had to go and inspect it more closely. Since my childhood I have been entranced by small country churches and this one was no exception.

Nestled in a field of lush green grass, surrounded by tall, majestic trees, I am swept back to my youth. Running with friends through the grass outdoors, listening as the church bell chimes the holy hour. Settled into worn oak pews, the restlessness of youth was soon replaced by the studiousness of my teenage years.

Reaching into adulthood, our tiny country church became the place of sacred vows between man and woman, sealing our futures in God's lovely home. Parenthood arrived with several small children, each baptised in the church's font, loving cared for by the parson-keeper.

Now in the twilight of my life, my soul is called back to the church of my past. Although long gone with the strength of Mother Nature, this similar church still holds the charm of the one from my youth.

So, yes, I knew I had to go and inspect it more closely - because if I don't do it now, I may never get the chance again.


One-Minute Writer Friday Fiction: Water

Write a brief bit of fiction that involves water in some way.


Jade looked at the babbling brook before her and a shiver went down her lithe body. Unable to override the fear growing inside her, she had left all pretense of glamour slide away with her concentration. "I cannot do this," she whispered under her breath.

Of course, from her studies about Earth, she know the planet was made up of mostly water, but the elders had told her it would be possible to stay away from water. Her home planet, Jadocan, was a dry, desert-like planet with very little natural water. It rarely rained on Jadocan, so water was pumped up through the planet's core and store in cavernous pond-like structures for later use.

When Jade was a small child, she had accidentally fallen into one of the storage ponds on an expedition with her guardians. Thrashing about in the cold liquid prison, Jade almost lost her life, only being rescued in just the nick of time. Since that experience, Jade had come to fear water, even the tiny trickles from waterspouts during a rare rain shower.

Years of talking with the elders and trying to fight her fears, Jade really thought she had at least overcome what she called "a flaw" in her character. Actually, she had pushed her fear of water deep down inside of herself and she refused to think about it.

But now, standing before the modest creek, her fears came slamming back into place and Jade was frozen to the spot. She closed her eyes and tried to calm the phobia before it devoured her whole.

After many minutes of slow deep breathing, Jade opened her eyes and looked beyond the rushing water. Making her decision, she straightened her spine and with determination started walking north along the creek bank.

"There's more than one way to deal with this fear," she thought to herself. "I'll just follow the water until I find a logical place to cross over. Who knows? Maybe I'll come to the town without ever having to cross the water."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Today's Pictures, Poetry and Prose prompt:

(Photo by Colleen of Fingers and Paws)

Suggested prompt...Use this inspiring image to create a poem today.


Hope springs eternal, or so the old saying goes
But where does hope really come from
Is it a thought bubbling forth from the mind
Or an instinct inbred in our hearts

Does hope keep us going, or does life depend on hope
Many people have wasted away trying to find the answer
Some say hope is a feeling or other internal clue
While others claim hope is a living, breathing entity

Where do you find hope to get through your day
Do you look to outside forces, leaving life to fate
Or do you delve deep inside for a closer look at yourself
To realize hope is what makes the world go 'round


One-Minute Writer - Earth

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Earth

The environment suffers due to humanity's actions. Would Earth be better off had humans never appeared?

The Earth has sustained life for billions of years, even before Humans sprang into existence. Nature has a way of taking care of itself and life evolves to support changes in the environment.

Humans have been excessively greedy with increased man-made pollution, destruction of forests and water ways and the continually wasteful ways we choose to live life. I think the Native Americans had it right - we should only take from the Earth what we need to survive and replenish supplies where we can.

As for the question of the Earth being better off, I don't necessarily think this is true, but if Humanity doesn't quit wasting the Earth's resources, the Earth may make another evolutionary change and decrease Human population back down to a manageable size.

It is inconceivable to think that the only reason Earth exists is to support Human life. It is the conceit, vanity and greed of Humans that makes us feel we are better than any other life on Earth, past or present. We are low man (pun intended) on the totem pole of life.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One-Minute Writer

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Belief

Write about something you believed as a child, that you no longer believe.

I believed if I could go over the rainbow, all my problems would be solved. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in the real world, so I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with life.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Musing Monday

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS prompt:

Have you ever finished a book, then turned around and immediately re-read it? Why? What book(s)? (question courtesy of MizB)

Please don't laugh, but this happened to me with the Harry Potter books - I told you not to laugh!

I discovered the Harry Potter (by J.K. Rowling) books before they were truly famous in the United States. I had already bought and read numerous times, the first 3 books before the 1st book became such a HUGE success. Of course, by the time the 4th book was released, there were Harry Potter parties all over the country on the night the books were released.

As a child, I re-read each Trixie Belden(by Julie Campbell Tatham) book over and over again until the next new book was released. A Wrinkle in Time (by Madeleine L'Engle) was also another book I continued to go back to again and again, as was Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret (by Judy Blume). I also continually re-read The Betsy Books (by Carolyn Haywood) and The Three Investigators (by Robert Arthur).

As a young woman, A Pirate' Love (by Johanna Lindsey) became my favorite book and I read it so many times, the front cover finally came off. Also, Ashes in the Wind (by Kathleen E. Woodiwis). I also moved on to Stephen King - Salem's Lot and The Stand are still 2 of my favorite books and I occasionally re-read them, kind of like "comfort reads."

In my 30s, I moved on to The Bean Trees (by Barbara Kingsolver) and Feather Crowns (by Bobbie Ann Mason). I truly wanted to write like both of these wonderful authors. These are 2 books still in my collection and I still occasionally go back and re-read them.

Now in my 40s, I think I'm reliving my childhood because I've returned to young adult fantasy books. Most recently I have re-read all the new Fablehaven books (by Brandon Mull) at least 2 times before returning them to the library. Because I'm on a limited budget, I haven't been able to add them to my home collection, but they are on the top of my "Want to Add" list. I've also recently read The Graveyard Book (by Neil Gaiman) twice in a row - I was afraid I missed something and I wanted to absorb every detail.

I also enjoy the supernatural writings of Laurell K. Hamilton and I catch myself re-reading each one of the books in her two bestselling series just before a new book is released. I'm currently re-reading the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series in anticipation of the June release of Skin Trade. I'll re-read the Merry Gentry series this fall, just before the release of Divine Misdemeanor.

Dracula (by Bram Stoker) is the one book I have carried with me from my childhood to adulthood and it remains a favorite book in my home collection. I have re-read this book so many time, I can recite passages from it and it occasionally drives my family crazy.

So, yes I am a re-reader - maybe not immediately after reading the first time, like with the Harry Potter books - but I do have books I return to over and over again.

LaZy SundaZes

A Picture, Poetry and Prose prompt:

(Photo by Cyndy of Cyndy's Photography)

Suggested prompt...Pick any Z word and title your writing with it today.


LaZy SundaZes
Spent soaking up the sun's raZ
Never ZaZZy or Zappy
Just a Zingaro in the wind

Guarding the entranZes
To the Zinnober pastures
Worn and graying
My own little Zonelet

One-Minute Writer - Apprentice

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Apprentice

You are given the opportunity to be an apprentice for one year. Under whom will you apprentice?

I would apprentice with a great writer or novelist. Several great Kentucky writers come to mind: Bobbie Ann Mason, George Ella Lyons, and Silas House. Although Silas is a fairly new author, I love his way of writing and the voice he uses for his works.

I know I should probably add William Shakespeare to this list, but I truly don't enjoy his work, although he is a classic. I do enjoy Edgar Allan Poe and Ray Bradbury, but their works are really not the things I enjoy reading on a day to day basis.

Basically, I enjoy fiction stories - especially fantasy and science fiction - so to many people, these works aren't considered literature. So be it, I never claimed to want to be a scholarly writer. I really want to write for young adults because I have a deep love of fantasy - left over from the many daydreams of my childhood.


First Memories


Sometimes I wonder if my first memory is an actual memory or an implanted memory from a photo or story told by a family member. I have specific memories of the first home I remember living in and I know I lived in this home from the time I was two until just before my sixth birthday.

As the oldest of three children, my brother is 18 months younger than me and my baby sister was 18 months younger than my brother. We were stair steps, or so everyone said, although I’ve seen the early pictures for myself and mom seemed to always line us up like steps.

I think I can remember my brother as a baby, lying beside him on my parent’s double bed. But is really a memory, or just the picture I have hanging in my hallway, the one of us laying on the bed. Granny said I was like a little mother hen, but I think this is her memory, not mine. I do have a vivid memory of pushing Brent in a toy car in the backyard and try as I might, I can’t find a picture like this, so I feel this is a true memory.

I have another vivid memory of my brother, and he was walking, so I must have been at least three, if not a little older. We were playing in the backyard with our See ‘n Say – I was trying to teach him the sounds of all the animals – when a thunderstorm blew up. Mom rushed us inside before it started raining, but in our hurry to get inside, we left the See ‘n Say in the yard. Mom tried her best to get me to run across the yard to get the toy before the rain ruined it, but I was too afraid of the rain. She ended up racing into the yard while my brother and I both cried at the back door. I don’t remember anything else about the See ‘n Say, but this is one toy I bought when I had children of my own.

I also have a memory of swinging on our swing set and singing at the top of my lungs for my next door neighbor to come out and play with me. Diane was probably five or six years older than me, but I loved to follow her around. I would get on the see saw glider and sing; “Diane, Diane, come out and play with me.” My mother likes to tell this story, and a few years ago I met Diane again for the first time in probably 35 years, and she remembered me singing for her to come out and play. I know this is not an implanted memory, because I can actually remember the tune I used to sing to.

One other memory is of a baby chicken my brother and I owned. I’m not sure if it was an Easter present or not, but I think it must have been. The chicken eventually got too big to keep in the house, and we were going to have to take it to Granny and Granddaddy’s farm in Bohon. I cried so hard because I didn’t want the chick to leave. On the day we were to take the chick to the farm, I was in charge of carrying the chicken which we had placed in a closed box. On the way to the car, my parents were too busy talking, so I lagged behind so I could hide the chicken.

Passing by the tobacco barn to get to the car, I opened one of the vents on the side of the barn and threw my chicken in, closing the vent as quickly as I could. Unfortunately for me, we only got a few miles out of town before Mom and Dad missed the chicken and I was forced to tell them what I did. I’m sure I probably got into trouble, but I don’t remember that.

Real or implanted, pictorial or video, I have many memories of my childhood, but try as I might, I’m really not sure what my very first memory is. All I know for sure is that I love to share my memories with my children, and I love to listen to the memories they remember from their lives.