Sky King and One Lovely Blog

Published July 17, 2012 by Ms. Nine

I was just nominated for the One Lovely Blog award.  I never know what to think when this happens.  This time, I’ll play by the rules.  The rules are to:

1) thank the blogger who nominated you with a link to the site.

2) write seven things about yourself that other bloggers don’t know

3) nominate fifteen other deserving blogs

Thanks to i.arxiv for the nomination!  Check it out for insightful and eclectic writing.

Seven trivial, random, and undisclosed things about me:

  1. Four years ago the US Army Corp of Engineers searched my property for Unexploded Ordinances (UXO) from WWII.  But they missed one.  I found it in my garden this spring.  So, tell me, what were they really after?
  2. I’m a conspiracy theorist.
  3. My husband and I make salsa with our own tomatoes.  We name each batch because it takes more time to make salsa than it does to make children (and we gave them names).  It’s only fair.
  4. I think Vesuvius is a lovely name for anything hot.
  5. I’m writing a novel about an evil rabbit and MK-ULTRA.
  6. I drink scotch.
  7. I wonder if Sky King became a victim of his own crop dusting.  What do you think?

And the nominees are: (Could somebody please tell me how to link better)

http://cahusted.wordpress.com

http://alwaysthewritetime.wordpress.com

http://ldalford.wordpress.com

http://helpfromcyranette.wordpress.com

http://grumpytyke.com/

http://perlesink.wordpress.com

http://theboywithahat.wordpress.com

http://susanwritesprecise.com/

http://veganchopnchat.com/

http://ashleyjillian.com

http://robincoyle.wordpress.com/

http://presentsofmind.wordpress.com

http://loiselsden.wordpress.com

http://jannatwrites.wordpress.com

Thank-you all for your lovely contributions to the clouds.

Prompt: Everything Went Black

Published July 12, 2012 by Ms. Nine

From http://wordsformwindows.com/

There were twelve of us at the dinner table when my sister and I washed dishes.  I was never in a hurry to finish the chore because of the evening entertainment just outside the kitchen window.  The main character, a blazing ball of hot orange, bowed for the final curtain call.   Exiting stage right, it hung back a little sharing the limelight with its supporting cast, the streaks of brilliant colors.  These streaks would blend and bend like ribbon candy.    I held my applause, gripping the last plate, entranced.  Next, I’d drain and refill the sink to wash the pots and pans.  Like an automaton, I’d scrub them, my attention fixed on those colors.  They were different every night.  One night the reds would dominate with a stage presence so profound that cold stones wept and glimmered with tears.   On other nights, the yellows and pinks prevailed.  Their dainty and wispy wings would flutter a final good-bye.  Sometimes all the bands would orchestrate together in a medley so compelling that it I would genuflect.   Nothing compared to those sunsets until everything went black.

Writing for Revelation

Published July 10, 2012 by Ms. Nine

When my daughter talks to me, which isn’t very often, our conversations are one-sided.  She does most of the talking, which is usually a rant, and I do the listening. She’s toxic, and it’s better when I don’t take the bait.  When she leaves or hangs up the phone,  I fill my journal with what I wanted to tell her.  I thought I’d share with you a recurring theme.

#

      “Why did you adopt me?”

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” I replied.

She scrunched up her face.  The answer, after all, implied that if I had hindsight, my decision would have been different.  Well, what did she want to hear?  Because I loved her?  Because she needed a family?  Because it was the right thing to do?  All this she already knew.  The truth is, even when I try to remember the reason, I really don’t have a better answer.

     Honey, you’re thirty-seven, an adult.  So your life sucked for the first eight years, then you got a new family.  It’s been twenty-nine years and you’ve yet to call me Mom.  Your therapist said you couldn’t say it because the word dredged up feelings of horror, pain, and dread.  Maybe if I had pushed the issue, made you talk the talk, eventually you’d see me as your “real” Mom.  Just so you know, being the “adopted one” never made you any less of a sister or daughter.

      We accepted you for yourself, the crooked sapling that we loved regardless.  Could anything have straightened out that sapling so its trunk wouldn’t grow up gnarly?  Does it matter?     

     Is that why you stuck the needle in your arm?  You blame your heroin addiction on being adopted?  Well, Honey, that’s what addicts do – they blame.  All the therapy in the world won’t change that.  True, you could have been someone else’s daughter.   But you’re mine, and nothing will change that, either. 

     So, why did I adopt you?  I can’t promise you’ll like this answer any better.  It’s a divine poker game and God’s dealing.  When He gives you a chance to love, even if the stakes are high, you don’t fold. 

    And if God ever gives me the chance to tell you this, I will.

 

Writing this has helped.  It’s her birthday and I’ve no way to contact her.

Thanks for stopping by.

The Last of the Summer Shorts

Published July 6, 2012 by Ms. Nine

Writing shorts has been a learning experience.  I recommend it highly.  As a writer, I’ve learned to wipe away words that don’t perform, clean up clutter, and bend the rules.

Here’s to Friday of summer shorts week–

Do You Hear What I Hear? 

Lily, a curtain maker, listened to streamed music and sang along to Brighter than the Sun.

“Melodious voice, Lil,” she heard.  The DJ?

A joke, surely.  “Thanks,” she replied to her humming serger.

“You don’t need to audition for Idol.”  Who was that announcer talking to? Not her.

Weird how the words fit.

Next, Lily sang along with We Found Love as she created the curtain toppers for Mrs. Bobbitt.  (Mrs. Boob-it for reasons unmentionable).

“Your voice has a timber, an unusual quality,” words again, emerging from the satellite radio.   (The speaker must be interviewing Adele…) “a ring, a pleasant sound.” (Streaming music – that’s what I’m paying for.  Skip the commentaries, thank-you-very-much)

“Yeah, right.  Whatever. Play music,” she muttered.

Energetic, yet lyrical.”

“Enough.  The music now!”She asserted.

“It’s streaming in. Listen.”

Too much talk!  She punched the serger’s foot as if she was Danica Sue Patrick racing in the Daytona.  She braked for the intro to A Thousand Years, then sang.

To millions listening, the voice was not Christina Perri’s, but Lily’s.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love Shorts

Published July 5, 2012 by Ms. Nine

 

English: Exmoor : Dry Stream & River Barle

English: Exmoor : Dry Stream & River Barle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Yesterday, the brutality of the summer heat ticked me off and sent me over to the dark side.   But, not today. Today, I’m staying away from the heat.  I’m thinking about the sweet side of summer – convertibles, watermelon, and time off. And who doesn’t love a swimming hole?

The First Time

Behind the Baptist Church in Whynot, Jesse waded in the river of his baptism.  His skin chill bumped from the cool water and tingled at the promise of summer delights – like sweet Lula Mae, home from her first year in college, whose head bobbed ahead of him.

“Come all the way in, Jesse.  The water feels so good,” she coaxed.

He removed his tee shirt and flung it on the shore where it caught on a branch and waved like a white flag.   He plunged in before he could say, “I’m coming.”  His dive splashed her, and she giggled.

When his head resurfaced, her cheeks apple blushed.  He dove again, this time he held her ankles and dragged her, flailing and laughing, to the lee side.  There he would experience a baptism of another sort.

Lula Mae christened him under the birch trees.  With this single act, she enlightened him to the beauty and godliness of his body.   In the grass where he lay, he heard his soul sing

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Fragmented Shorts

Published July 4, 2012 by Ms. Nine

Flash fiction and sentence fragments.

Only for a Minute

Driving home from work.  Picking up kids from day care.  Watching the temperature soar to 106 degrees.  Forty minutes from home.  The intense urge to urinate.  Can’t think.   A gas station ahead.  Stopping.

Only for a minute.  Urgent business.  Locking the doors.  Leaving the kids inside.  Only for a minute.  Molten pavement.  Racing to the bathroom.   Occupied.  Waiting only for a minute.  Hot urine.  Liberation.  Relief.  Washing hands.  Thinking clearly.

Grabbing two popsicles.  Waiting in line.  Only for a minute.  Running back to the car.

Not sleeping.  Not nodding off.  One semi-conscious.  One dead.

Be safe.  Stay cool.  Thanks for stopping by.

Summer Shorts, Part II

Published July 3, 2012 by Ms. Nine

Flash fiction, a genre I’m experimenting with this week, is challenging but worth the exercise.  The fun part comes in editing.  Cut.  Cut.  Cut.

Readers, I challenge you to write a short (500 words or less) and post it in a comment (or link me).  Here’s a link with ideas and prompts: http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/10-ideas-for-flash-fiction-writing-prompts/

If you’re new to this genre, here’s another site with a clear definition: http://365tomorrows.com/03/23/what-is-flash-fiction/

Oh, and there are lots more.  Google it and see for yourself.

Here’s my short for today.

Waiting

     Marlene twirled her fork in the linguine alle vongole.   She saw Pedro, the head cook, watching her from the kitchen’s swinging doors.  She smiled. If only her father accepted him, she wouldn’t need to sneak.  Tonight she would wait for him by her mother’s head stone, a place her father would never look.  She left her plate untouched.  “My father works late tonight.  I’ll go home and get ready for Pedro.”

“I’m clocking out.”

“Nice job tonight, Pedro.  And remember what I told you about my daughter.  She’s too young for you.”

“Yes.” Pedro averted the old man’s eyes. “I will wait for her then.”

“That’s best.”  The old man sighed, appreciating Pedro’s honesty.

She wore the modest black dress, the one Pedro liked.  Pedro.  His name alone delighted every part of her.  She waited for love with the pain of anticipation.   To distract her, she read the words on the gravestone.

“Loving wife and mother taken by her own hands

Merciful God, forgive her.”

She wished for a word, a mother’s advice, a discourse, an approval, a sign.

An owl hooted.

She waited.  And waited.

If you have some flash, please post and share.  I’ll be waiting!

Thanks for stopping by!

Summer Shorts

Published July 2, 2012 by Ms. Nine

Like these summer shorts, less is more.

Here’s the first of my summer shorts.

That Woman

She put her salad fork down.  “I want a dog for my birthday,” she announced to her old man, her husband of thirty years.

“A dog? But you don’t even like dogs,” he grumbled, mouth full, steak juice dripping from his chin.

“Not a big one, a toy, a house dog to keep me company and sit in my lap at night.”

So he bought her a dog, a designer mixed breed, small and cute.  He snapped a photo of her holding the peppered fur ball as he sang the birthday song.

Later when she viewed the photo, a shadow from a clouded memory crossed her brow.   “I’m that woman,” she said, “the one I said I would never be.”  Her tone did not betray the lament that boomeranged back to her from the past.

She was pushing a stroller in the park, her attention fixed on an old lady sitting alone on a bench.  No, not quite alone, she was tethered to a Yorkshire Terrier which was sharing her ice cream cone.  Gross!  When I’m old, I won’t need a dog for that.  I’ll be feeding ice cream to my grandbabies instead.  I’ll never be that woman.

What Does This Say?

Published June 8, 2012 by Ms. Nine

You’re not new to writing.  You’ve been writing most of your life.  Everybody writes, even if it’s only a to-do list.  My granddaughter is only four and she writes her name followed by all the letters she’s learned so far.  She hands me her completed page and asks, “Grandma, what does this say?” What does this say?  Indeed, when the writer wants the reader to find meaning in her written word, a loop is formed.  The reader and the writer are one and the same.

Finding meaning is a scary prospect.   What does your writing mean to you?  Is writing a requirement for your day job?  What do you need to write?  A report?  A progress note? An invoice?  A manifest?  If you don’t want to ask the reader what does this say, then your writing becomes an artifact, a crumb in the continuum of man’s time on Earth.

When I was a full time teacher of 152 children, I wrote curriculum content, lesson plans, grants, progress notes, emails, and countless other written works necessary for the job.  In my spare time, I started writing a novel.   For the first time, I wanted to know what does this say.   Then the idea struck me.   I’m happiest when I write for myself.  In March, I left my teaching position to write full time.

For me, the transition from full time teacher to full time writer is a strange and astonishing journey.  What’s most astonishing is the freedom to write and to create my own schedule for doing it.     

Do you have a writing schedule? What does it say?

On a good day, here’s mine:

5:30AM – 10:00AM

     Turn on computer, check email, write blog, read other blogs for inspiration.  Think about what does it say.

10:00AM – Noon

     Take a coffee break.  Do household chores.  Write more.  What will this say?

Noon –lunch break.

12:30PM – 3:00PM

     Think and write more.  What does this say?

3:00PM – 5:00PM

     Write more. Read what I’ve written while preparing dinner and finishing household chores. Try to answer the question what does this say.

After 5:00PM

     Stop writing.  Stop asking what does this say.  Spend time with family. 

At bedtime

     Ask what does this mean.

 Image

Thanks for stopping by! 

%d bloggers like this: