Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lights On???

I've decided to change your prompt to lights on, because it makes more sense. President Obama was in town today and everywhere I went, I saw flashing red-blue-and whites atop the police vehicles. He visits frequently, I believe this is his third since being voted into office, and every time it causes political excitement in conversation and traffic delays on whatever route they've determined the best option. The first time I saw his motorcade, I sat for 15 minutes waiting for his car (and the cars of secret service agents and the large police escort) to pass while the milk warmed in the backseat. Yesterday, however, I've never seen the likes of. In the 12 miles I drove, I saw at least 60 police cars, nearly all of which had their lights on. Every turn around (meant for emergency vehicles only) were blocked with the biggest bright orange construction trucks I have ever seen. Men and women in bright safety vests milled around on the shoulder while cars sped by at a controlled 5 miles an hour over the speed limit. That was the show 4 hours before his arrival! But, I guess I wouldn't expect much less when shutting down an interstate and expressway.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


"What a funny prompt!" she thought when the word appeared on her monitor. Her schedule this week would be crazy, hectic really. In addition to all of the regular running around, she had a hair appointment, tutoring session, school meeting, birthday party, and of course, she couldn't forget the traffic slow down caused by the presidential motorcade.

*** One Word ***

Monday, September 27, 2010


The screen door banged against her calf as she tapped her foot impatiently. I looked at the small girl in her plaid skirt and fall jacket over the clipboard I had been using for the past several minutes. She pulled on her braid and tried to smile sweetly, but I could see the fatigue. I returned her smile, feeling fatigued myself, before returning to the long list of publications for sale. Releasing the girl with my selection to her waiting mother on the sidewalk, I sighed at the loss of school ice cream and cookie fundraisers.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Sunday, September 26, 2010


My son looks nothing like me except in the most unimportant ways. His second toe is longer than his big toe and the left side of the back of his hair has a colicky curl that refuses to be smoothed down. But as he walked into kindergarten that first day, I saw myself in him. His mannerisms, shyness, speech patterns, and ability to smile even though he was afraid left no doubt that he is my son.

*** One Minute Writer ***

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I slid the knife deep into the thick flesh of the gourd, leaving jagged scars that will never heal to the delight of the young man sitting across from me. He's nearing the end of his training and will soon be sent out as an in-field apprentice to learn the finer steps of harvesting. Picking up the stop watch, I tell him to begin. He reaches in and blindly looking for the prize as I explain that a pumpkin is an excellent substitute for the feel of human flesh.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Wall

My tired brain screams for rest, but I push on, knowing that the daylight will soon arrive and with its arrival my friend, the dark, will be forced to leave. I move through the thick brush as a mouse scurries to safe corners in large rooms; quickly and quietly, praying it can pass unnoticed. Finally, I see the wall standing in the distance. The solid outline and soft stone colors give it away in this urban jungle of grape vines, flowers, trimmed hedges, and children's bicycles. A few more yards and my safe escape will be recognized.

*** Daily Writing Practice/ One Word ***
I actually started writing this for one word, but then it veered so far off path I opted to use it for Daily Writing Practice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Second of 7 Words

Making his way forward, he lifted each foot and placed it down to a steady rhythm that moved him inch by slow inch through the thick green underbrush of the forest floor. He stopped for lunch under a tender leaf, enjoying the light breeze and hot sunshine. Legend called the unexpected warm weather “Indian Summer.” He didn’t care what it was called or why it existed, only that he was living during this time. It would undoubtedly be the highlight of his short life. This was his thought as he sat munching on the crispy veiny portion of a leaf.

Lost in his desolate thoughts of a life practically unlived, he didn’t see the moth flit to a branch near him. She stared at him intently, her blue eyes searching his profile, hoping to see the same blue reflected back in his eyes. “Excuse me?” she finally spoke, her voice a whisper carried on the wind. He looked up for the source of the soft vibrations that tickled his smallest hairs. The vibration was new, yet somehow familiar.

“Who’s there?” he called cautiously, pulling his leaf in front of him as if it could protect him from a dangerous predator.

A small ripple of joy went through the moth at his reaction to her voice. He caught the slight shaking of one of her grey and black wings out of the corner of his fifth and sixth eyes on his right side. He kept those two eyes on the wing and stood still waiting for a response.

“You can see me, can’t you?” she asked gently.

Slowly, he turned, sensing that whoever was speaking to him meant him no harm. “Yes, I can see you. Who are you mistress of the night?” he asked, showing respect for the beautiful creature that had hailed him.

She looked down, more fully in his face and saw the piercing blue eyes of her husband staring back. “What is your name young one?”

“We caterpillars have such a short life that it is usually more effort than it is worth to name us. I can only tell you that I am a Geometridea.”

“No name? That seems cruel and unusual. What kind of parent would not name their child?” Her voice came harsher. The disappointment was palatable and it tasted strange to the caterpillar. He had been disappointed with the length of his life, but this disappointment was personal to the moth and yet, strangely not aimed at him.

Carefully, he constructed his answer so as not to distress her further. “Mistress, it is not thought a personal assault to the children. We grow up only knowing the concept of a parent, not the reality. We are grateful to be born at all! So short a time we have on this earth, it would be piffle to entertain naming any larval. There is much to be done in merely choosing to bore us here that everything else must come secondary to that lofty goal.”

She sat silently, considering his words, feeling her heart beat lighter than it had since she left her chrysalis. She desperately wanted this amiable caterpillar to be who she believed him to be. “Let me ask you another question, a very personal question. Where did you hatch?”

Proudly, the caterpillar raised himself. “Mistress, I was laid in a most beautiful place. I woke beneath large green leaves that tasted sweeter than anything I’ve found since. In the middle of the leaves was a purple bulb of leaves. It was dense and filling. I could not imagine a more beautiful place or one that would provide a sweeter start to life. If my parents were alive, I would owe them a great debt of thanks for thinking of me so well.”

At this, the moth shuddered violently. The caterpillar was concerned and began to move himself toward the low lying branch. He twisted his body gracefully over a root and around a few fallen twigs before beginning his climb up the slender trunk. It was a rough climb, something suited for an experienced contortionist; something that all caterpillars can claim is one of their primary strengths. The sun set and the moon rose before he reached the branch she sat on.

“Mistress,” he called softly. Thinking he had left, she turned, surprised he was so near and her body rocked once more with a shudder. “Mistress, what is it that shakes you so?”

“Oh sweet boy,” she cried, a smile buried under her tears. “You, my child….” Her hesitation seemed to last forever. The caterpillar stood frozen to the spot, looking deep in her eyes and into a future he couldn’t yet comprehend. She began again, more assured of herself. “You are my true child. And I am what you will become.” She beamed at the surprise and wonder in his eyes. “Of all of my larval, you are the only one whom I am delighted to call my own, and as my own, you deserve a name. Your name shall be Zabbai. I cannot give you any greater gift than this my dear.” Spreading her wings, she welcomed his strong embrace and melted in the warmth of his fluffy hair. Together, they dined on the branches moist leaves and talked about life’s opportunities, even the short ones.

*** A challenge on swap-bot. My words were: caterpillar, desolate, weather, piffle, amiable, contortionist, and fluffy. ***

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Long Wait

I felt like a tea pot, tipped this way and that, emptying my hot emotions into any available cup, and then set back down to simmer some more. How could this have happened? How could they have lost my son? Combing through the details made the little hope I had of seeing him before the next day evaporate into little steam clouds. My anger and frustration continued to rise like mercury in a thermometer. I was ready to blow the whistle and bring the inept airline into the limelight. I'd serve them up brewed, but without sugar or cream.

Then he called, my sweet little boy. "Mommy?" he said. "The lady told me to tell you we are on the right plane now and will see you in an hour." With those few words, my anger dissipated and I knew the long wait was almost over.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Monday, September 20, 2010

Four Words

The police and the reporters got it all wrong. I wasn't an intruder and I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt. That was just all bad luck. I shouldn't be held responsible for misfortune's dirty hand. But here I am, sitting on a narrow plank disguised as a bed and waiting for the judge to summon me. A fair trial? Yeah, right. No one in that room is going to believe a thing I say after the muckety-muck the media and police have made of the investigation.

But you think you are different. You're an impartial observer who wants to see justice done. I've heard that line before by, say, 20 different reporters. You've read the papers? You've seen how they've turned my story topsy-turvy! So, why should I trust that you will handle it any differently?

I guess that's true. I'll never know if I don't tell you the truth of what happened. You're right. How could another spin possibly do me anymore harm. Okay. I'll tell you, but you only get the short version got it? No prying for details to use out of context and you print it exactly as I say it. I want quotes around the whole damn thing.

Yeah. We have a deal.

So here it is, the nitty-gritty undeniable truth. Big Porker and I met on the internet. It wasn't a dating thing, just a generic chat room for those against Animal Hate Crimes. We hit it off, often chatting about some of the dirty things we've seen or done as youth. One day, he tells me has a Halloween prank he wants to play on his two brothers. He tells me he just wants to scare them and asks if I would be willing to help out. I ask why he wants me and he tells me that I have the best personna, and well, that my species showing up on their doorstep would be enough to send them into a serious tizzy.

I think about it for a while and send him a message. Sure, I say, I'll do it as long as it is a prank and I don't have to do much more than show up at their door. I'm not growling or baring my teeth. That would cross the line, you know. He agrees that my presence will be enough and we set up a time to meet at the Corner Field Cafe. We show up, talk a little while before ordering some slop. The pig sure could eat!

Anyway, we make a plan. I'm to show up on Halloween Eve, really late and ring the doorbell. When his brothers answer, I'm suppose to ask them to let me in. When they deny me, as any smart animal should if some stranger shows up at that time of night, I'm suppose to tell them I am going to I'll blow down their house. Meanwhile, Porker was going to be shoving stories of this mysterious wolf that would blow down houses and eat anyone inside.

That's what all the journalists and police reports claim I did. Blew down a house and tried to eat the pig inside. But that is not what happened! I got to the brothers' house and no one was home. I waited until three in the morning before giving up. By then, it had started to storm. The rain was coming down heavy and I could hear thunder in the distance.

I went to Big Porker's house and knocked on his door hoping he would let me crash. He lived a lot closer than where my den was and I was so tired already. So, I knocked on his door and he calls out, "Who's there?" Thinking it would be funny, I start acting out our little script. He responds "Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin," and I bust out laughing. He opens the door and lets me in, but I am kind of big for his house so in trying to get in, I broke a couple of the hinges.

I'm inside the house and he puts on some apple cider and cinnamon to help me warm up. Only, I am allergic to cinnamon so I start sneezing like mad. It was chaos! I would step back after a sneeze and trip over a chair, knock over the table, my tail punched out one of the windows. The house was becoming a wreck and I couldn't stop sneezing. It made quite a ruckus and I am guessing it woke the neighbors up because someone called the police.

When they got there, I was just backing out of the house, trying to get some fresh air. They thought I had intruded and went inside to make sure everything was all right. What they saw, I'm sure looked pretty bad. Like I said, things were knocked over, the door and window were broken, and who knows what else. What I didn't know is that one of my sneezes knocked some heavy books off the bookshelf and they had fallen on Big Porker's head, killing him instantly. At least, that's what they told me I did based on their investigation. They said I knocked him on the head with a copy of the Piglet Society Encyclopedia. Yeah right!

Of course, the books falling on his head meant the cinnamon spilled everywhere making my allergies worse. In my haste to leave for some fresh air, my tail must have knocked the bag of apples off the counter. One fell into Big Porker's mouth. And that is how they found him. Spread on the floor, an apple in his mouth and sprinkled in cinnamon. It would have been heaven in Porker's mind. A proper sending off so to speak. He had an odd sense of humor that way.

But, like I said, it was all an accident and I shouldn't be held responsible. The problem stands that the only one who can clear my name and vouch for me is dead. May he rest in peace.

***Daily Writing Practice ***

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I looked at the paper. "Number 13" it said. Glancing at the door just before me, I saw that I was standing just two doors down. Quietly, I set my bag down and withdrew my.22, screwing the silencer I had handcrafted specially for the job onto the end. I loved motel jobs. The approach and the escape were easy.

*** One Word ***

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Michelle sat at the dining room table cutting chicken into bite-sized pieces for her children who were being none too patient. "Mark, could you...... What are you doing?" she asked as he sat oblivious to the demands of the kids while shaking his new phone in sharp circles.

"I'm doing what my phone told me to," he stated with a big goofy smile as he showed her the compass face on the screen and began to explain how it was calibrating to True North.

"Yeah, well your phone is about to text you this message: Help your wife or you'll find yourself buried 6' due South."

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Friday, September 17, 2010


Thanksgiving is always hectic. This year it was made more hectic by the fact that my husband and I were moving into our first home. It was only 2 miles from our apartment, but the distance felt immeasurable as I basted the turkey and wondered how much longer before my glass baking dishes would arrive. I picked up the phone, which I found buried in a pile of clothing, and called. "Hi sweetheart. Have you found the baking dishes yet? No. Okay. Keep looking or our feast will be lacking. Oh, and I can't find my teaspoons. Can you look for those too? Great! Hope to see you soon."

I hung up and went back to what use to look like a kitchen. The counters were covered instill packed boxes. Old newspapers littered the floors, once having served as coverings to keep glass items from breaking. The sink was full of discarded potato peels, onion chunks, dried bread, etc. I'd set up a card table in the dining room for food preparation, but the actual cooking and clean-up had to occur in what had become a tiny space barely large enough for one person and an oven door.

I breathed out. It was useless to put the casseroles and desserts together without the proper dishware or measuring devices. I walked over to the sink and glanced down at the impressive mound of food. After turning th water on, I flipped the switch for the garbage disposal and listened to the mechanism below grind up the food. Suddenly, it began to choke. I turned the machine off and sent more water down the drain.

Only it wouldn't go down. It simply continued to rise in the sink. With it came small pieces of food. I grabbed a spoon and unpacked the food from the drain, assuming it was just too full. I turned the machine back on. Water bubbled up at me and I heard the machine grind to a nasty halt. In my shock, I didn't notice that even though the machine had stopped, the water continued to flow up and then over the sink and onto my brand new floor. I slipped and fell on mushy bread, my new pants ruined.

As I used the edge of the sink to pull myself up, water flowed over my arm, carrying bits of onions, lettuce, and carrot. I slapped the water off and ran to the closet for towels, forgetting that they hadn't been brought over yet. Dripping with frustration, I dialed my husband again. "The garbage disposal just threw up. I need someone to bring over towels."

There was a mute moment on the phone. In the background I could hear the grunts and groans of men moving heavy items. Tink, tink, tinkle. "They must be moving the piano," I thought.

"What do you mean the garbage disposal threw up?" he finally said.

"I mean I turned it on and it kind of worked in reverse. The floor and me are covered in turkey stuffing and mashed potatoes. Could you please bring over several towels?"

He sighed heavily. "Call a plumber."

"Seriously? On Thanksgiving?"

As I finished asking, I heard him yelling to whom I presumed was his father. "Why don't women know you can't put potato peels in a garbage disposal?"

*** Daily Writing Practice ***


Only Squirrel noticed that she had arrived with less joy than previous years. He sat silently among the cheerful woodland creatures, listening to their incessant chatter while observing her. Spring wandered slowly, examining the brown sticks and hard clumps of Earth that sat humiliated in their nudity where every one could see. She would touch them gently, whispering consoling words, and promise deep robes of green with jeweled flowers as decoration. Her prophets helped spread her promise from the tops of the trees in little chirps and tweets and whistles. But she didn't twirl. Her hair was limp, it's bright golden color hidden behind a veil of sadness.

Quietly, he left and scampered up an old arthritic tree. "Dearest Spring!" he called. Nerves caused him to dart between branches and the old tree shook them, annoyed to have the extra weight of Squirrel for fear his branches would snap. "Miss Spring!" Squirrel called again.

She turned and came over, stroking the old tree, relaxing his tired joints. He relaxed and the Squirrel stood still. "My dear Spring," Squirrel began and then hesitated at the stormy grey of her eyes. He was accustomed to eyes of brilliant blue with flecks of white in this young maiden. "I beg your pardon, miss, but what keeps you from your twirling dance and babbling laughter?"

Her eyes darkened. A dangerous light flashed across them for such a brief time that Squirrel thought perhaps he was dreaming this encounter. She looked at him intently. "A woman aught to be entitled to a mood swing now and then!" she stormed and her tear drops soaked Squirrel and the Earth as she turned away and left with a great wind at her heels.

*** One Minute Writer ***

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Collector

Alex sat quietly outside the door of his home breathing in the crisp air of a Wisconsin autumn. The chill of the day bore into his arthritic knuckles bringing his advancing age sharply to mind. It was his 75th birthday and he would likely spend it alone. He smiled at the thought. He'd finally achieved what he had wanted most of his youth. Peace and quiet. He'd never imagined that the phrase was a fancy way to say loneliness. Taking a deep breath, he felt an ache in his lungs. It wouldn't be much longer, he knew, before that life affirming pain was no longer felt. Cancer had ravaged most of his family and he believed from an early age that it wouldn't be any different for him.

Looking at his watch told him that his only possible visitor would not be coming. His mailbox would remain empty. Not even a coupon would bring him a little company. Slowly he shuffled through his door, up the staircase, and to his balcony. "At least," he thought as he looked over the numerous collections that had overrun his home and extended into the adjacent buildings, "I'll have hundreds of visitors after my death."

*** Daily Writing Practice ***


I sat quietly in a group of strangers trying to stay still and silent so as not to attract attention. The person to my right kept rocking back and forth, whimpering as if his emotional pain were expressing itself physically. To my left sat a 'popper', or at least that is what I came to call those like her. She sat still, attentive, but then would suddenly 'pop'. A muscle would noticeably jump or she would make a noise, fidget, adjust. It was always something and always sudden. Before and behind me sat others. Some were fidgety, some were quiet, some seem dazed. As far as I could tell, the only thing we all held in common was that gravity held us in place. So far, kindergarten was not all that socially impressive.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***


Sometimes I wonder about my role in life. I want to be involved in my children's upbringing, but when is it too much? At the same time, I can't help but question the lack of involvement I see from others, including my husband. I think the real problem is the varying definitions of being involved.

*** One Word ***

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


We lifted out plastic champagne flutes high in the air, clinking them over the sparkly felt table top. "To being a Princess!" we shouted before lowering our glasses and drinking in the sweet punch. Playing poker without alcohol was new -- and even more fun with my Alcoholics Anonymous gals.

***One Word ***

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cramped Quarters

I'd known her for most of my life. In many ways, I respected her. Joanne was a strong women, lived life with humor and understanding, stretched out a hand to those in need, and always worried she would die a burden. As we sat together on the beach, her nose buried deeply in a book mostly because of poor eyesight, I thought of our relationship.

She had never been very tolerant of people who didn't take care of their bodies. She had been an aerobics instructor for years. When she stopped teaching, she became obsessed with training dogs in agility, something that kept her on her feet and active most of the day. She'd always been thin. Even now, in the bright sunlight, her tanned skin hung limply around her slender body. Kindness toward over weight people was not in her abilities. It was a small thing that had always bothered me.

She also didn't value people with disabilities much. Sure, she preached that they should have rights and should be an important part of the community, but that sentiment only lasted until they got in her way. Move over or be set aside seemed to be the underlining feel of her philosophy. It was another hard pill to swallow when I was around her, especially when she was younger.

I looked at Joanne, lying comfortably on the chair, and smiled at her. "I'm going to order a drink. Do you want anything?" she asked as the cabana boy approached.

"No thank you," I said.

Joanne summoned the young man over with a flip of her wrist. "What do you have to drink?" she asked him with a coolness to her voice.

"Drink? What kind?" He stood, smiling at the old woman first and then myself.

"That's what I am asking you. What kind of drinks do you have?" She looked impressed at the youth's lack of understanding as he stood happily mute at her feet.

"Yes." he responded, still smiling at her scornful face. "We have drinks. What kind do you like?"

Joanne stiffened and I shrunk at the thought of where this conversation would go. I didn't make myself small enough because she turned to me, incredulity coloring her eyes. "Well, you know how I feel! The kid should speak English well enough to work here and he doesn't! I can't stand this kind of disrespect. Would you please order me a drink and be reproachful, none of this nicety stuff for the lazy bum?!?"

I smiled at the young man kindly. "Lo siento muchismo. Podemos tener dos Margaritas doble, por favor?"

"Si Senora," he said and was off. Joanne rolled her eyes at me and went back to her book. I could hear her mumbling about my foolhardy tolerance for those who refused to speak English. She didn't care that we were sitting on the pristine white sands of Mexico. Suddenly the long white beaches felt to cramped of a space to share with this burden of a woman.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Sunday, September 12, 2010


My head hurt more than it ever had. I stumbled out of the den and down the hallway, trying to navigate the narrow space without knocking the cutesy pictures of Mrs. Benning's children off the walls. I didn't realize she had also managed to stagger to her feet and was a mere two feet behind me with the crystal cigar tray I had picked out for her husband only a few weeks ago clenched tightly in her hand.

*** One Word ***

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bargain Hunt

I see them lining up around the corner and twisting down the long paved streets of America. The flyers and carnies wearing pressed Armani suits are all promising security for a signature; what a bargain! No one seems to be reading the fine print though. They just scribble their name and trade their freedoms for a false sense of security.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***
Sorry. I can't escape the date and my resentment seems to be coming less palatable each year.

In Rememberance

It's impossible to avoid this day, to let it slide by without some sort of recognition. The date sits quietly aside the others on the calendar, e-mail boxes fill up with requests that you remember, donate, or sign a petition. News reporters write and rewrite their stories, interviewing everyone who walks by to find the deepest gut reactions and sweetest sentiments. September 11th: The Day That Changed America Forever.

To be honest, I'm sick of it. It's mostly propaganda pushed by politicians and religious fanatics. I'm not saying millions of Americans don't hungrily eat it up and then spew it out. It's a tragedy. Truly the loss of that many lives due to any single event is horrific. But for all those who have posted or stated or e-mailed me, let me ask you this: How has America changed?

I actually asked several people this. The answers all started the same. Silence. Astonishment. A weighing of which story to tell. I should say most. A brave few didn't question and happily shared their fatigue. The truth is, it doesn't matter. I live here and I get to play a part in it to. I won't share their answers, but I will tell you mine.

America has changed for the worse.

We distrust our neighbors because they look different than us, especially if we think they may be Muslim.

We legalize racial profiling and claim it is for our national security.

We ask people to give up their freedoms to make others feel better without questioning what we will ask of the next group of people or even who that next group will be.

We've stopped having conversations about our differences and have started to scream at, point fingers, and assume everyone is guilty, or worse, just plain wrong.

Of course, we've made travel inconvenient as well.

But the most disturbing piece is that we seem to have forgotten what being an American is suppose to be about. I miss those mythical days of America. The ones we read about in American studies. The ones that talked about coming to America to escape religious persecution, to make a better life for your family, the ones that referred to the nation as a melting pot. Mostly, I miss being bonded to people I don't know just because we are all fighting for the same thing.

The heat that kept us warm as a nation has been turned off and we have begun to separate. I wonder what tragedy will need to befall us before we get it right.

Friday, September 10, 2010


She'd been standing outside the restaurant for ten minutes. Her nerves kept her from walking opening the door and walking in. Smoke swirled up from her cigarette as she watched others moving in and out of the building, all smiling and laughing. "Why am I standing here when I could be in there with all the others smiling and enjoying a drink or two?" she thought to herself moments before her own reproach. "Because I am an idiot who is wasting her life!"

Quickly she stubbed out her cigarette, the little that remained, and took a deep breath. Before she could change her mind, she walked to the doors and pulled on the handle. Warmth and laughter met her. She stepped inside and headed straight to the bar. "Margarita on the rocks, salt the rim please." She smiled at her first step of moving on.

*** One Minute Writer ***

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Interview 2

So like, I went to thise interview, and um, the guy was a total creep. He kept asking me all of these really dumb questions, ya now, but I am sure he just did it to get a look down my shirt. Not that I like let him or anything like that. Maybe if it had been for like a register position instead of dunkin fries I mighta considered it. But yeah, not for dunkin the fries or flippin burgers. No way! How gross would that have been. Ugh. Men are so disgusting! Anyway, I didn't get that job.

*** Daily Writing Practice: This was done more as an antic than not. I had promised Marc, the owner of the blog, that one day I would write crap just to see how he would put a positive light on it; hence the poor language, spelling errors, and grammar issues. You see it as he will. If he clicks on the link, it will bring him to what I intend to be the real entry. You can click the link or just read the post following this. ***

The Interview

Five men sat across the table from me. Dressed in suits and ties, their hair carefully combed and slicked back, shoes freshly shined, and pleasant smiles pasted on their smug faces, they stared at me expectantly. I smiled back. My leg bounced up and down, the sound and vibration dampened by the expensive carpet under my heels. The second hand ticked by slowly, finally pushing the minute hand to the 12 and the hour hand fully onto the three. Three o'clock sharp. The show would begin soon.

Sunlight pounded on the windows of an otherwise dusky room. A silhouette crossed it once, twice, three times before the scuffling of expensive loafers could be heard in the entryway. "Gentleman, it sounds as if he is here. If you could just wait one moment, I'll let him know you are here." I rose from my chair, my red nails pushing the wrinkles from sitting down the length of my skirt. They began to rise, but I put my hand up to let them know it would not be necessary.

Entering the hall, I left the door open a decent crack and walked to Mr. Stevenson. Quietly, I slipped my arm around his waist and placed my lips on his cheek. "It seems the FBI and IRS have come to call," I whispered. "They have some questions about last week's operation to Bolivia. I've told them the Madeline story." Smiling I pulled away and turned to lead him into the sitting room confident that their interview notes would tell the same story.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***


Uncharted. I suppose that is what you could call the place I find myself in more and more frequently. I never know how I end up there. I just seem to be there without warning.

My intentions are good and I have the route memorized. Still, I find myself sitting in front of the computer surfing facebook, a friends blog, wiki, whatever and grasping at straws, hoping I'll stop picking the short one and come up with a great idea.

And when things don't work out and the date on my last posting doesn't change, I start blaming other things. School started back-up. I'm busier, gone three nights a week instead of one. I have to be up early to get my kid out the door and to school on time. The house needs attention. I spend too much time surfing the web.

Regardless, it's still new. I don't like it. I miss my old land of easy inspiration and truly dislike this lonely uncharted place of lack of ideas and motivation.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Akumal, my beloved little southern city. I loved the countryside and the relaxed ways of the people. Sea turtles climbed ashore in the hazy night lights while hermit crabs slowly crawled from their hiding spots to explore the spoils of Americans who invaded their territory in the warm summer months. The contrast between my secure ocean facing condo and the dirty little shacks one street over haunted me. I felt guilty laying on my crisp white sheets after a day playing in the salt encrusted sea.

The gaunt eyes, thin bodies, and rolling voices of the residents floated through my dreams, haunting me throughout the night and then with their actual presence during the day. Their swaying little shacks stood in deep contrast to the lush green and blue scenery. Bright blankets hung from the doorways as a celebration of their tradition and a mark of their worsening poverty. Still, I could not pull myself away from a quiet desire to be one of them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Before and After

Guests wouldn't be arriving for another three hours. There was plenty of time to do the necessary things: clean the bathroom of little boy's lacking aim, pick up the toys scattered throughout the house like a giant jigsaw puzzle, make the side dishes and desserts, light a few candles to freshen the stale air. At least, that is what she planned before she was stung by a bee.

After the pain registered, the list disappeared in the rushed thoughts of her panic. Now she needed to find her epi-pen, call 911, tell her kids to run to the neighbors house, and hope the paramedics wouldn't mind the mess. She also had the two minute time frame to consider.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Saturday, September 4, 2010


The small pink mouth surrounded by round cheeks. The almost black hair and eyes of deepest blue. They tell me you are tender, fragile, and infant filled with dreams and infinite possibilities. But it is your smile that brightens my world and tells me we are okay day after day.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I sighed. It was nice to be on the surface again, remembering what atmosphere felt like. Craning my neck and bending my back while shielding my eyes allowed me a glimpse of the sun. The white-yellow orb still held a beauty about it on these long cold days, but what I missed the most was the sound of life coming from the trees.

*** One Word ***

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Start

He was anxious for days, always questioning what would happen and how it would feel. At times, the anxiety appeared to overwhelm him. It even came pouring out of him and into the toilet three times the day before in th form of chewed up foods partially digested. "I'm so scared mom. What will happen to me?" He wanted to know the impossible.

On the other hand, he was full of smiles and expectation at becoming a' kid'. He couldn't wait to put on his special clothes and carry his backpack or eat in the gym. He was well practiced for the morning rush and energetic about the crisp morning walks. Nothing could stop him from rushing into the experience and succeeding. Readiness was a stage he had passed long ago and now only moments brimming with possibility sat before him.

The morning came, his alarm blaring for his attention to no avail. Quietly I reached out and tapped him gently at first, then mussed his hair, and finally shook him until he was bothered enough to be minimally alert. Slowly, he crawled from his bed and down the ladder, walking directly to the dresser to silence the harsh beeps. He turned off the alarm clock.

His attention fell upon a brightly wrapped package just behind the alarm clock. "Is this for me?" he asked to no one in particular. He pulled it down and began to unwrap it. First a shoulder seem showed and then the gray under material of the neck hole. The wrapping fell tot he floor, replaced by a smile that lit the room up more than the sun. "It's a Star Wars shirt!" he shrieked, waking his sister.

Hugs were passed around and then he dove into the script. Dressed and bathroomed, we all sat down to breakfast. Warm Cinnamon Rolls were pulled out of the oven and iced generously. Glasses of juice clunked noisily on the table. Breakfast cleared away and setting heavily in our stomachs, we brushed our hair and teeth before putting on shoes and the already filled backpack.

Proudly he led the procession down the driveway and up the hill. Soon his steps slowed as he realized this was no longer a dress rehearsal, but his first stage performance. His father caught up to him and extended his hand. They walked together, father slightly ahead for a few blocks. Johnny lagged behind, being pulled along like a reluctant water skier. The building came into sight and his confidence slipped further.

I took his hand and lead him further on. Through the single door and down the hall we stumbled with all the other families. Finally, we found his classroom and he entered with great regret. His teacher greeted him warmly and he sunk. "No. I don't want to do this."

I lifted him up and made him an unbreakable promise without rainbows but with just as much certainty. "I promise you can." He went through the paces with little commitment. Sullenly he hugged me, his face still clouded with doubt. Again we walked hand-in-hand to a table and sat down to tackle the first task.

I whispered that it was time for me to leave and tears sprung to his eyes instantly. "I promise you can do this. I know it is scary and hard, but you are bigger than this." The tears began to fall, his head hung low. I gave him a soft kiss. "I will see you a little while after lunch. Look for a special thing in your lunch box," I said and then left the room. I glanced back to see him slumped over and a tear shining at the end of his chin.

"How did it go?" his father asked.

"He's crying, but he'll be okay." He nodded, sharing an understanding of the child we both had. He would survive. He'd even excel. The beginning was always the hardest part of the journey for him. But from there grew all the rainbows of his future.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***