Saturday, March 18, 2017

100 Words: Sorry Not Sorry

Sometimes even when you leave hurt behind you, it follows close behind, waiting for the opportunity to pop back out. This week's 100 Words Prompt from Thin Spiral Notebook is RISK.


I saw her obituary by chance while scrolling through the alumni facebook page. She would be greatly missed by her loving husband, two children, and a host of friends.

She had always been cute and very popular.  So sweet, everyone said. I never would have described her that way. She degraded me daily, making fun of my knockoff clothes and my awkwardness - my bad skin and good grades. She made going to school feel like a daily risk, as if navigating a minefield.

I hated her.

Part of me felt obligatory sadness at the news. 

A bigger part did not.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

100 Words: ADVENTURE

Be it for a person, a destination, or an activity, all great endeavors sprout from attraction. The prompt for this round of Thin Spiral Notebook's 100 Word Challenge is ADVENTURE. 



You showed up like you had always belonged, the missing element laid bare. I had been riding the current, an oblivious fool waiting for life to start, and suddenly found myself perched on the edge of intoxicating calamity.

I saw it right away. A barely there jolt in your casual stance, irises flashing for just a nanosecond. A tiny pucker of a dimple in your cheek as you try to play it down. That's when I knew it wasn't my imagination.

My off-guard mind scrambles to assemble a dazzling opener.

I stand up, and take a step toward epiphany.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

100 Words: Hungry

This week's 100 Words challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook is HUNGRY.



According to the cycles of daylight through the glass block windows, it has been five days since the storm. Five days we'd been trapped.

The case of water was lasting, but the meager food supply was almost gone. The bucket I'd used for waste was beginning to reek. So was I.


I opened the last tin of potted meat with a skrrrrik of the lid. Daisy looked up at me with bright expectant eyes.


My stomach rumbled furiously as I gave her the tin. She devoured it, tail wagging gratefully.


"Enjoy it ... That's it."


Help will come soon.  I hope.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Topic Prompt 1: Rain


The rain was laughing.

I shot out of there like a scalded dog. Not out of shame or defeat, but because I didn't think I could contain myself any longer. And I didn't want to go to prison.

I had been running for I don't know how long. I'd run until I couldn't see the lights. Until I couldn't feel the brutal impact of the ground through my legs anymore. Until broken glass shredded my lungs. I'd run and run and still could not escape myself. Could not escape my fury.

I stopped. Cold blades shaved down my back and bled beneath the waistband of my pants. The ache in my feet caught up with me, sending flames up my legs. I raked the glass through my lungs some more.

I looked up at the bruised sky. Fat, pea-sized drops hurled down, striking and banking around me. I had a flash of a memory, a spaceship's viewpoint of traveling at warp speed. For a second I felt my feet elevate, and then it was gone.

I wondered if I waited, if I stood in this spot and stretched my energy as high up into the sky as I could, if I could draw a lightning strike to me. If I could will the unforgiving lance straight through me, through my heart and down into the aloof earth, taking my anger and sadness and spirit with it.

Lightning sizzled my retinas, leaving only static in my vision as the thunder squeezed me in its giant fists.

The rain was laughing, and I was still here.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

100 Words: You Can't Go Home Again

I am delighted that 100 Words is still being carried on, now over at Thin Spiral Notebook.  The 100 Words format was always fun to me - working with a topic I did not pick, in a strict minimalist flash fiction format. I felt it pushed my tendency to prattle on into an a la Hemingway strip-down. It is always fun, always invigorating.  

This round's prompt is HISTORY.



I moved away thirty years ago. Had the house number not been the same I'd have thought I was in the wrong place. Nothing looked familiar. The aqua paint was replaced with taupe. The sled-hill front yard barely an incline. The pine tree was gone. Was my parakeet still buried under where it stood? Even the cement porch where I'd carved my initials as it set had been demolished at some point. I considered knocking on the door, asking if I could look around - but drove on. Sometimes history doesn't stay with a place - it stays with a person.

  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fish Tales

Several years back, while I was away on a girls’ weekend, Incrediboy came home from a local festival with a goldfish he had won in one of those ping pong toss games.  I was less than pleased. I have nothing against fish, but I had fish in college and really didn’t care to go through the ordeal again.

I glared at the Hub, who just shrugged and said he had no idea the boy would actually make one of the ping pong balls into its target. I was pretty annoyed that he couldn’t have steered him to a game with stuffed animals or pop guns instead.

I had to admit though, the little drop of sunset orange with big moon eyes was pretty cute.

I took Incrediboy to the local department store and we picked out a nice tank and filter set, some cheery gravel and an assortment of aquarium plants, along with a ceramic Spongebob Pineapple house with lots of windows for the little babe to explore and swim through. I had no idea how long “Flounder” would survive. Who knows how healthy those poor fair fish are to begin with. But if we were to bring an animal into the house, we were going to take care of it as best as we could.

A few years ago Flounder changed from orange to shimmery white, in gradient blotches.  Incrediboy was in a panic and I didn’t know what to make of it.  With a little internet research I learned that goldfish often change color several times in their lives. I had no idea, did you?

Flounder is now 5 years old.  He has most recently turned a soothing blush tone - his body has quadrupled in size and his tail streams out behind him like a gossamer veil.  The pineapple has long since been replaced with a rock cave, which Flounder enjoys hanging out in. Incrediboy adores him.

Over the past few weeks, Flounder has not been himself.  He hasn’t been moving much, and his fins and tail are beginning to deteriorate.  He is losing scales near the base of his tail and is barely eating.  We have been giving him some antibiotics in his tank water as suggested by the pet store, and change his water frequently to give him the most optimal environment.  Most recently he seems to have perked up, but he struggles to swim and has difficulty staying straight up, listing to the side or flipping nose-up like a rocket on a launchpad.  I don’t know if it’s due to his fins and tail being injured or if he is reaching the final mile of his road on earth.

Incrediboy includes Flounder’s health in his prayers every night.

Many people file fish in the category of disposable pets.  They come and go, no big deal. But this particular fish means a lot to this boy.  It will break his heart when Flounder moves on - and while I hate for anything to bring him pain, I appreciate that it will. Such a compassionate heart he has.

Fart and Relax

I think I know what my problem is.

The thing about artists is we want things to come out as perfect and utterly life changing as we envision them in our minds and hearts.  It rarely does, and that makes us brood and struggle with infuriating frustration.

As I shared the other day, I have finally been inspired to start writing again, and will use this dear old format as my starting point.  I toss ideas around in my noggin all day as I work, commute, and go about the chores of the everyday. I barely know where to start once I get the time.

Tonight I sat down to write.

Nothing.

Instead I spent about four hours reading through old posts.  I now feel rather melancholy.  I feel like I will never write like that again.

But why wouldn't I?  I just need a little bit of practice. Loosen up the writing muscles.  Maybe the next stuff will be the best yet.

I just need to "fart and relax", as my BFF says.

I turned 48 earlier this month. Can you believe that?  And remember Incrediboy, the precious toddler from my earlier posts?  He's 13 now.

Time's a-wasting.

Be back tomorrow (or as it were, later today), with some kind of post. Even if it sucks, I will be writing.  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hello, it's me ...

It has been nearly six years since my last post. Wow.

Is anyone still out there? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't.

That's okay ... nobody was here when I started this blog either.

So what have I been up to? All kinds of crap that hasn't been much fun. But some of it has. For one, a good friend of mine asked me to help him with a book project. We had a lot of fun with it - the story line was his concept and he had written it all out and I handled editing, rewrites and embellishments. There are now two novels out there and a third in progress. Pretty cool huh? All three of our fans are very excited.

 But I digress.

My friend brought his project to me, asking for my help. But in the end he helped me.

I started thinking about writing again. I started thinking about how much I enjoyed keeping this blog and participating in the challenges and writing groups I found. I have decided to pursue a solo project. I have some ideas of what I want to do, and even have a few items to use for it.

The problem is, my writing joints are stiff, my muscles atrophied. I need to start experimenting again. What better place to start than back at the beginning?

Let's see what happens.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ashes and Dust

I initially started this blog to help me work through my emotions surrounding the death of J, my dearest friend. Six years later, I am returning to its roots by writing about losing my father. It feels good to get thoughts and feelings down, even if it doesn't help me solve anything.

The following is my contribution for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Words this week. This round's word is FORGOTTEN. VV is choosing very helpful words for my process. :). Thank you, my sweet readers, for your patience and compassion while indulging me.



Appraising someone else's treasures is more difficult than you'd think. I struggle with evaluating and thinning Dad's beloved book collection, and glance at his sacred "ham shack" in the corner. The old amateur radios that used to whisper through the registers after my bedtime are now quiet until sold to other operators. The powdery ash that was once my Daddy will soon be one with the Rockies, assimilated and quickly forgotten by the elements. I've never been one to linger by caskets or gravestones ... but maybe that's what I'm doing now. Letting go so very reluctantly.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Erasure

After a short respite, I'm returning to Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. This week's prompt is FAMILY - I didn't use the word within my piece, but felt I need not.


After spending the past week disbursing death certificates and helping Mom update their accounts, I had a squinchy feeling of remorse deep within. As if we were erasing him from the world.

His ashes have now reached Colorado, where my brother will scatter them in the mountains. We'll have no grave to visit. Not that I would anyway. Still, it somehow bothers me no one will ever be standing somewhere and know he was here - even strangers.

Such a ridiculous fret. We know. Dad reaches beyond monuments, beyond his own mortality. Blossoming through us.