Saturday, November 30, 2013
hangs at his side like a tuber.
He pushes his cart
and stands in line.
The stump is hairy, like an old man's ear.
I watch my mother
struggle from walker to bed,
the laborious lifting of a leg,
the settling in.
The collective exhale
when she opens her eyes
Written belatedly for the host of Friday Flash 55. Here's to hearth and home and lingering at the table. Have a good weekend.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
If you feel the snickering or chuckling is necessary to move your story forward, fine. Just put it in a sentence of its own.
“No, you don’t,” he chuckled.
“No, you don’t.” He chuckled at the notion.
Turn your inappropriate tags into enhancing sentences to improve your writing.
Finally: Don't let your characters sound the same.
I know I shouldn't stick my nose in a character's line of dialogue, but like any mere mortal writer, I often buckle to the temptation. How about you? Are you guilty?
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
On the Make A Green Gestures site (the sister campaign to Make It Green) there are links to easy steps we can all take to help out, like ways to opt out of junk mail (phone books) and all that paper, and ideas for avoiding petroleum based products.
If you want to participate, all you have to do is write a short post about the campaign and link to the Green Gestures site. Email them with the url of your post and they will plant a tree for your blog.
Friday, November 8, 2013
built atop a dune
was supposed to inspire
Now it is empty of the writer.
that doesn’t belong
to a writer
The wind reshapes the dune.
The dune grass bows to the wind.
Its roots hold the dune in place
but the writer was not to stay.
If it's Friday, it's Flash 55, (a short in exactly 55 words). If you want to read more, or if you've written one yourself, go here.
Don't worry, be happy. It's Friday.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Heads lift to danger, nostrils flare.
Breath plumes in the morning air.
Crow feeds in the middle of the road,
red hawk circles the coop and dives for a kill.
Two whitetails dash over the misty field,
like schooners escaping under full sail.
The scarecrow has no face.
This is a Friday Flash 55, the weekly writing exercise sponsored by the G-Man, aka Mr. Knowitall. If you have a story to tell in 55 words, let the Maestro-of-Flash know.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Writers are notorious for using any reason to keep from writing: over-researching, retyping, going to meetings, waxing the floors-anything. -Gloria Steinem
If you’re feeling stymied as a writer, don't wax the floor. Pick up your pen and describe what you see. Eavesdrop and write it down. Straight up. Feed the fire, shelter the flame, and count your matches. Don’t let yourself run out of words. Store unusual words up your sleeve, like fanciful and ornery. I like ornery. I like my ornery protagonist and his ornery adversary. I'll like them to the end.
I'm off to the north country to stand on the shore of Lake Superior. No waxing floors.
Monday, October 28, 2013
If you want to clock your speed, here's the link. It's easy and fun and I figure good practice.
My writing didn't take off until we bought our first computer and I discovered Word. I LOVED it. My words could finally keep pace with the thoughts in my head. That's the kind of writer I am. What about you? Do you, can you, write stories in long-hand, the old-fashioned way?
Thursday, October 24, 2013
but the sun breaks through the frosted glass
of the shower and hot water sluices
off my shoulders and breasts.
I twirl strands into tufts on the tile,
like locks in a baby book.
Baby’s first haircut.
It doesn't even hurt, and I towel myself dry.
A Friday Flash 55. Fifty-Five words for the G-Man
Saturday, October 19, 2013
But when the wound started to heal,
he knew he’d be left with a scar.
He’d never been cut,
and he wondered why
his uncle, a veteran of undeclared war,
hadn’t warned him about the aftermath of that.
The crushing humiliation of having one’s mortality
laid open for all to see.
It's Friday. It's the mean season (the writing season), and time for a Flash 55. If you have written a short story in a sparse 55 words, post it and let the world know. Or at least let the G-Man know.
Hello fifty-fivers!! TGIF!
After I posted this, I realized I was a day late, lost in time . . . but not a word shy. So, TGIS!
Thursday, September 12, 2013
The kindergarteners have to pee all the time and want their mothers.
She plays her piano for them and buys crayons and gold stars with her own money.
The first graders have learned to lie
and she takes away their stars.
The second graders build alliances and rat on each other.
She buys maps of the world and teaches outside the test.
The third graders are clothes whores.
She works up their lesson plans to the sweep of the janitor.
The fourth graders invent new allergies and disorders
and she pleads for more recess time to make them fit and strong.
The fifth graders forge their parent’s signatures
and she steels herself for the conference.
The middle school students pierce their bodies and experiment.
She pleads for music in the classroom and a place for art.
But they took away her piano and told her to teach to the test.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The corn grows at night, you can hear it if you sit by a field when the wind is still. The tomatoes are trellised and we had our first BLT last night. The cucumbers sprawl across the ground and tangle with the summer squash: the patty pans and crooknecks. The pie pumpkins are rambling into the sweet corn which is growing as I write, now that it's warmer and now that it's raining. No, it's pouring. God bless this piece of Earth, this good ground and clean soil.
One of our CSA members has a food blog ,which I just discovered, and she's been posting pictures of our boxes along with recipes. This is one of them from about 5 weeks ago when the French Breakfast radishes were at their peak and the lavender was perfect.
I thought you might like to know what I've been doing this summer. You can check out Nicole Dula's blog here, with more pictures of our vegetables and some ridiculously delicious recipes.
So, what's your weather been like this summer? Obscenely hot? Desert dry? Flooding with unusual amounts of rainfall like they've had in Calgary and the Dakotas? The jet stream is jacked out of shape, or so I've heard the expert experters say. Here in the Great Lakes basin we are bordering on boring normal. And that's good.
Today is my dad's 93rd birthday! I'm going to make him a jam cake, an old recipe from my grandmother who was a cake hound. She always made our birthday cakes when we were growing up. She would buy the big colored marshmallows and cut them into the shape of flower petals and decorate our cakes with them. I miss her.
Have a fruitful August. Believe me when I say I've missed writing for my blog and reading yours and posting what I hope are welcome, helpful comments. Summer is so busy, so full, bulging at the seams like the garden, sprawling into the driveway and crowding the flowerbeds. Summer.
Friday, June 21, 2013
The strawberry plant is the perfect camouflage, the perfect fruit. It needs no fungicides or chemicals. It needs no genetic tinkering. She regrets her father's position.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
I fall into bed at night, earlier and earlier, like the most boring person on earth. In the wee hours of morning I look at my manuscript, portions stacked here and there (cause I'm a hands-on-paper kind of writer), and wonder how long I can persevere in my search for the perfect agent who will love its strengths more than they dislike its problems.
Spring and summer are always like this, no time to write, guilt-ridden at nightfall, but too tired to do anything about it. Achy legs find surcease between the sheets and achy heart burrows into the soft cocoon of blankets and dreams of water, an orderly garden, and a writing life.
But wait....have you ever had Canada geese fly overhead so low you could hear the whoosh whoosh of their wings? I was standing on my front porch admiring the idyllic scene of cattle on grass, when I heard the familiar honking of a resident pair. They flew in just over the power lines with their necks outstretched. I was surprised at the intensity of sound, much like the flapping of a dozen sheets on a clothesline. Geese fly slow and methodical, and the air displaced by their wing span left a tremor in the air. I watched as they disappeared over the tree line, wondering at their destination, wondering what they see from up there.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Pictures only scratch the surface. The sad truth is in the letter.
Where is the outcry? The shame? The sanctimonious are content as our prisons become storage units for the mentally ill and the addicted and the veteran.
We have our own gulag. Lets own up to it. This is how we treat the least of our citizens. We reap what we sow and the granary is full. Prison construction is robust while schools are dilapidated and underfunded.
Yeah, I'm a bleeding heart.