Skip to content

Free wood

November 19, 2021

THE DETAILS: Friday Fictioneers: 1 picture, 100 words, scores of people from around the world sharing their creativity and vision. Feel free to join in, just visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to find out how.

THE PROMPT:
This week’s photo courtesy of Dale Rogerson.

Free wood (100 words)

I love November. Short days, long nights, cold winds. Humans are abundant in November chopping wood to heat their homes. Always hasty, the humans make mistakes. Like thinking they can get something for free.

My sign worked beautifully. Like moths to a flame, “FREE FIREWOOD!” brought dinner to my doorstep.

My Wendigo family eats well tonight: chilled eyeball crudités, lung tourtiere pot stickers with nasal fluid dipping sauce, ribs with belly fat glaze and liver pudding with warm blood drizzle for dessert.

Care to join us, friend? You’ll eat well, too. It’s BYOB so don’t forget to bring your body.

###

With the band

November 15, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

November 11, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase “carry on.” It can be an expression of perseverance or behaving in a particular way. It can even be luggage you take when traveling. Go where the prompt leads!

With the band

It had been Shawn’s dream since the first day he picked up a guitar to play in a band. So it wasn’t that he was unhappy with where he was at now, a steady gig and getting paid for making music, but the dream was more the Shawn Williams Band rather than guitar in classic rock cover band.

The house lights dimmed.

“Ladies and gentleman, give it up for “Not in Kansas Anymore”!”

The stage lights rose to mild applause. Tony’s eyes dimmed as he stepped to the microphone and started singing the lower harmony:

Carry on, my wayward—”

###

Just in case there’s someone reading who hasn’t heard the song and would like to listen to it.

Cobwebs

November 13, 2021

Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday: COBWEBS

“I want to dust cobwebs with you.” I guess that’s love, huh?

Lucky me

November 13, 2021

This is for the Weekend writing prompt #235

wk 235 mirror

Lucky me

I broke a mirror which means bad luck
I thought, “Well I’m really an unfortunate schmuck.”

I went through the day filled with worry and with dread
and I couldn’t toss those thoughts from my overly anxious head.

I went for a walk, so careful where I stepped
I stayed on sidewalks, only ones that were swept.

Tentative steps so I wouldn’t slip on slime
when I happened to notice a bright, shiny dime.

I bent, picked it up, and reveled in my glory
and that, my dear friends, is the end of this story.

###

Destination unknown

November 12, 2021

THE DETAILS: Friday Fictioneers: 1 picture, 100 words, scores of people from around the world sharing their creativity and vision. Feel free to join in, just visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to find out how.

THE PROMPT:
This week’s photo courtesy of Ted Strutz.

Destination unknown

I watched her sit on the stool next to mine. One long leg slowly crossed over the other, a tight dress pulled tighter leaving nothing to doubt. My eyes worked their way up and eventually focused on two evergreen eyes.

She smiled. “Buy me a drink?”

First night in Seattle, could I be luckier? I signaled the bartender and ordered two very dry martinis.

That’s the last thing I remembered.

I woke foggy-headed and found myself on a strange ship heading out to sea.

Shanghaied? That’s the stuff of fiction. Of history. It doesn’t really happen. Not anymore, right?

Right?

###

Veterans Day

November 11, 2021

Veterans Day is almost over but I don’t think it’s too late to share this section from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.

This is a long poem which is something that usually turns me off, and I admit to not being overly fond of this one. I don’t like to feel like I need a dictionary and a CliffsNotes study guide in order to understand a poem. Having said that, section #8 did make sense to me and it seemed a nice tribute to veterans.

And to you, sharp reader who is wondering how, if I don’t like poems like this, I happened upon section 8 of this unwieldy poem today, it’s because it was highlighted in Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac today.

The full poem has 52 sections and you’re on your own if you want to read the entire thing.

Here’s section 8:

With music strong I come, with my cornets and my drums,
I play not marches for accepted victors only, I play marches for conquer’d and slain persons.

Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.

I beat and pound for the dead,
I blow through my embouchures my loudest and gayest for them.

Vivas to those who have fail’d!
And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea!
And to those themselves who sank in the sea!
And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes!
And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known!

Take me back

November 8, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

November 4, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a film festival. It can be a small-town indie fest or the Festival de Cannes or anything in between. Who is in the story? An audience-goer, filmmaker, actress, or something unexpected? Through in some popcorn for fun. Go where the prompt leads!

Take me back

Tin film canisters. Messy handwriting on faded masking tape offers no clue to origins or contents.

Spliced haphazardly when transferred to video, we’re modern-day time travelers. First watching baby’s first steps. Then a mother’s sweet 16. There’s Ben and Bunny’s 40th anniversary. Back to a baby’s first bath in a kitchen sink.

Someone’s swimming in a motel pool. Thanksgiving dinner. Who’s that playing cards? Children in birthday hats laughing at a clown. They’re getting married. He’s proud in cap and gown.

Lives–
Lived.
Gone.
Missed.

They’re not much, these old films, but I watch and savor their faded memories.

Oh, the horror

October 31, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

October 28, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features a candy kitchen. You can interpret the phrase creatively or stick to the traditional. Is it sweet? Ironic? Any genre will do. Go where the prompt leads!

(This mini 99-word memoir inspired by this 10/21/21 blog post)

Oh, the horror

Despite all the sinister ghoulishness of Halloween, the day isn’t about costumes or trick or treating to me. Even though I have fond memories of my folks turning the garage into a haunted house one year, Halloween for me is horror movies. And not modern horror movies that leave nothing to the imagination, but the good horror movies*.

Ok. Halloween is also about candy and I can’t resist those snack-sized bags of candy. Bags and bags that fill my cabinets and turn my kitchen into a candy kitchen.

Danger!

Stay away!

Sorry trick-or-treaters, the candy’s all mine, Mine, MINE!

###

*Definition of good horror movies: The Horror Incorporated Project.

Peek-a-boo

October 28, 2021

THE DETAILS: Friday Fictioneers: 1 picture, 100 words, scores of people from around the world sharing their creativity and vision. Feel free to join in, just visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to find out how.

THE PROMPT:
This week’s photo courtesy of Douglas MacIlroy.

Peek-a-boo

The assignment was simple: paint the railings and catwalks, sealcoat the floor. A crew of four and we’re in and out in a day. What I didn’t know was we’d be working at Keck Observatory.

Talk about cool?

Looking past the MOSFIRE I was surprised to see a floor to ceiling mirror. Why’s that here? I guess scientists are as interested in how they look as they are in science?

Me being me, I put down my roller, stood, waved and took a selfie. Gotta get this on Instagram, I thought.

“Hey, movie star, get back to work!”

“Yeah, boss.”

###

Guy Clark, one of the best songwriters of our time, wrote this song about a special photograph. If you watch the video I hope you enjoy it. At the beginning of the song he explains how the photo came to be taken and he mentions Townes: “Me and Townes were in that house drunk on our ass“. He’s talking about fellow songwriter (someone who was every bit as poetically brilliant as Guy), Townes Van Zandt.

Angel

October 26, 2021

I really like this cover of John Prine’s Angel from Montgomery by Bonnie Wraith.

Word of the Day Challenge: Wraith

Who’s counting?

October 22, 2021

Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is CONFERENCE.

I don’t have much to say about the word ‘conference‘ other than it made me think of different types of speech and three syllable words that are spoken as only two syllable words. I think technically (or technicly) they’re called ‘silent syllables’, but for something a little snazzier, we could call this phenomenon invisyllables.

So the prompt word, conference, has three syllables: con-fer-ence. I live in the Upper Midwest of the grand old USA and pronounce the word con-frence. So if I were on my way to a conference and someone said, “Hey, man, where are you going?”, I’d say, “Oh, hi there, I’m going to a confrence. You betcha!” I stress the first syllable of the word correctly, but I murder and silently dispose of and bury half of the second syllable.

Know what else? I also pronounce badminton and Wednesday as badmitten and Wensday, but I think a lot of other people do that as well so it’s not just an Upper Midwest of the grand old USA thing. Thinking about it now I don’t think I’ve heard a person say the ‘nes‘ in Wednesday or the ‘min‘ in badminton. Seems a waste of ink, lead and finger strength to write them.

I do pronounce restaurant correctly, but comfortable for me is comfterble.

Family and separate – sometimes family and separate go very well together – come in for me with three syllables each. There are other words that will probly come to mind later.

I pronounced donuts with choklat frosting as “Mmmm, yes!” because they are one of my favrits.

Thanks for letting me bore you.

Halloween and candy and M&Ms

October 21, 2021

This is a great time of year if you like candy and you don’t mind overpaying for the stuff. I’m guilty of both and my justification for buying the overpriced snack-sized candy is that it’s better to eat a couple pieces of snack-sized candy than a candy bar. Or bars.

That’s what I tell myself, but of course it doesn’t work that way because the snack-sized pieces aren’t filling or rewarding so I think I probably wind up eating more than I would if I had just eaten a regular-sized candy bar. Or bars.

But forget all of that because you know what gets me? What gets me is that M&Ms prints the words “FUN SIZE” on their little snack-sized packets. I love M&Ms and who do they think they’re kidding with the word “FUN”? It’s not fun ripping open a packet and popping something like 12 regular M&Ms into your mouth and that’s it, you’re done. Treat over. Twelve M&Ms? I’ve chewed and swallowed those candy-coated dream nuggest down so quickly that my brain hasn’t even had the chance to register that it needs to kick in and think about how delicious they were before I’m ripping open the second “FUN SIZE” packet.

And then the third.

And then the— I guess there’s no reason to go on because that would just be embarrassing.

So, dear M&Ms candy makers, you wild and magical confectioners, now I feel guilty because it’s not your fault that a “FUN SIZE” of M&Ms for me is less 12 pieces and more two pounds so I apologize. Please don’t cut me off, ok?

Hey, did you know that you can create your own M&Ms? It’s expensive but it’s also sort of a cool idea.

And you know what M&Ms go good with? Popcorn. Just rip open a bag and dump it into the bowl. The M&Ms fall to the bottom so you’re just eating regular popcorn at the beginning, but then the balance starts to even up and you get some M&Ms mixed in with popcorn, and because they’ve been warmed by the popcorn they’re softer and you get a great combination of chewy and sweet and salty and delicious and yummy and just plain “Mmmm…” Mmmm, or Mmmm&Mmmms. And what’s best about this is that, as we all know, (we all know this, right?) (right?!) M&Ms (you can say it with me) melt in your mouth, not in your hand! The popcorn never becomes messy to eat, just chocolaty. It’s just out of this world good.

Oh, look who stopped by to say hello!

True story

October 21, 2021

THE DETAILS: Friday Fictioneers: 1 picture, 100 words, scores of people from around the world sharing their creativity and vision. Feel free to join in, just visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to find out how.

THE PROMPT:
This week’s photo, or more precisely, painting, prompt courtesy of Rochelle.

True story

Did I ever tell you about the time I was in a restaurant and there was a family a table away with a child in a booster seat?

The kid, bless his heart, was bored so the mom, bless her heart, unscrewed the top of the ketchup bottle, filled it with ketchup and gave it to her baby.

Maybe not so understandable?

The kid – like a pig in a puddle – licked that bottle cap clean and then the mom, bless her heart, replaced the cap onto the bottle.

That was the last time I used condiments on a restaurant table.

###

Mr. not-nice guy

October 16, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

October 14, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story embraces the mud. What is the mud, real or metaphor? How does it transform a character or place? What happens? Go where the prompt leads!

Mr. not-nice guy

Craig decided years ago he wouldn’t grow old gracefully.

Daily walks, the gym for cardio and weights, a low-fat diet. Pills and powders, and his treasure: testosterone. His skin care routine set him back nearly $100 a month. He had Just for Men on auto-ship.

Craig left his first wife when she gained weight, his second when she let her hair go gray. He advertised for his third to be 5-10 years younger than himself.

He had no relevant thoughts as he stood in front of the mirror and peeled off the charcoal mud mask and washed his face.

###

Windy night

October 11, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

October 7, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes whispers. It can be beautiful or creepy and any genre. Where are the whispers, who are they from, and what do they say if they say anything at all. Go where the prompt leads!

Windy night

Bux raised his head and sniffed. He jumped off the bed, let out a quiet huff and padded out of the bedroom.

Carl grabbed the remote and paused the DVR. He leaned over and whispered into Jean’s ear.

“And you tell me this because?” she said.

“Well, forewarned is forearmed, and I think it’s—”

Jean’s face wrinkled. “Oh, Carl, what is wrong with you?”

“I think it was dinner.”

“My cooking doesn’t do that to anyone!” Jean said as she pulled her pillow over her head.

Carl thought he heard a laugh but he wouldn’t bet on it.

###

Cleaning the drawer

October 10, 2021

From Sammi Cox is the Weekend Writing Prompt #230.

wk 230 brush

If you haven’t thought of it, you might want to clean your bathroom vanity drawers. It’s cathartic. I did mine about a month ago and found some interesting stuff.

I found a soft water test kit, a dried-up sample tube of Kiehl’s moisturizer, and the screw-on top of a toothpaste tube. Your guess is as good as mine as to why I saved that.

I also found a hairbrush. I haven’t used a hairbrush in a score and a quarter years.

Who says I’m not an optimist?

Can they see me?

October 5, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

September 30, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story uses the phrase, “across the water.” It can be any body of water distant or close. Who (or what) is crossing the water and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Can they see me?

Crisp October morning. Steam fog rises and swirls like smoke over the marsh. The wispy veil slowly moves across the water following the sun’s lead while a group of Canada Geese, hidden in the cattails and bulrush, honk and bark.

I see faces in the swirling steam. Faces of loved ones long gone. Can they see me?

The sun rises, the air warms; the steam fog slowly melts.

If I knew it to be true that we see those who have moved on in an afterlife, I’d close my eyes and lie down now.

I miss you that much.

Sex

October 3, 2021

This week Jim prompts us to share a song where someone is having, talking about, insinuating or hinting about sex. There are a lot of songs about sex, and I’m pretty sure that nearly every band or songwriter has one. Even the Beatles are guilty: Please, Please Me and Happiness is a Warm Gun are two examples and you can find more. The Beatles were horny!

While there are a lot of songs dancing around sex, or leaving the interpretation up to us, there are three artists who, in my mind, leave no doubt: Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass and Prince.

Of course I’m going to go with Prince because he’s Prince. Unafraid of ‘controversy‘, Prince was the boldest and most honest of all. He said what was is his mind without fear.

Here’s Sugar Walls. Prince wrote this in 1884 for Sheena Easton. The song ranks #2 on the Parents Music Resource Center’s (PMRC) “Filthy Fifteen” right underneath Prince’s Darling Nikki. The song was banned from radio play in some areas and the video was banned in others. Personally, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a filthy fifteen just for Prince. Had no one at the PMRC listened to Sister?!

My sugar walls
My sugar walls

Where I came from there’s a place called heaven
That’s the place where all the good children go
The houses are of silver, the streets are gold
But there’s more where you come from, my sugar walls

(My sugar walls) ooh (my sugar walls)

Blood races to your private spots
Lets me know there’s a fire
You can’t fight passion when passion is hot
Temperatures rise inside my sugar walls

Let me take you somewhere you’ve never been
I can show you things you’ve never seen
I can make you never want to fall in love again
Come spend the night inside my sugar walls

Take advantage, it’s alright

I feel so alive when I’m with you
Come and feel my presence, it’s raining tonight
Heaven on earth inside my sugar walls

Let me take you somewhere you’ve never been
I can show you things you’ve never seen
I can make you never want to fall in love again
Come spend the night inside my sugar walls

I can tell you want me, (my sugar walls) it’s impossible to hide
Your body’s on fire, admit it, come inside (my sugar walls)
Ah (my sugar walls) oh
Come inside (my sugar walls), my sugar walls (my sugar walls)
Come spend the night inside my sugar walls (my sugar walls)

Author’s chair

September 24, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

September 23, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about an author’s chair. It can belong to any author. Where is it located and why? Does it have special meaning? Go where the prompt leads!

Author’s chair

A lumbar support is strapped over wooden cross rails; a cushion covers an unforgiving seat.

My author’s chair hates me.

I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not too cheap to buy an author’s chair. I just don’t consider myself an author.

The chair mocks me.

I’m lying down reading and from the corner of my eye I see the chair angled toward me. “C’mon,” it taunts. “Sit.”

I blink; it appears closer. “Whatcha gotta say?”

I shake my head.

“Got a story, Mr. Writer? A rhyme?”

When it scrapes across the floor toward me, I lose my mind.

Autumn

September 17, 2021

I’m a big fan of the Winter brothers, Johnny and Edgar, and I listened to them both, Johnny probably more than Edgar, a lot when I was growing up. And then came Edgar’s They Only Come Out at Night album which I thought – and still think – is one of the best rock and roll albums ever put out.

(Sorry Rolling Stones fans)

I spent the better part of a year listening to this album weekly. And when I made mix tapes for my good old 8-track player just about everyone song on that album was included.

I loved everything about They Only Come Out at Night except for one song: Autumn. The first reason is because the first line is dumb. “Autumn, the wind blows colder than summer” Well, duh. The second reason is because it was way, way too slow. Not that slow songs are bad, but when the other nine songs on the album are as good as they are and rock as much as they rock, a person (translation: me) doesn’t have time for a song like Autumn.

But then I got older and paid closer attention to the lyrics and got past that (still) dumb first line and started to like Autum.

Here’s to autumn, a pretty cool season (pun not intended). And here’s to Autumn, a pretty cool song after all.

Thanks to eschudel at Ragtag Daily Prompt for bringing this album back to me today.

And yes, I’m listening to the album right now and I’m on Round & Round which is still one of my favorite songs of all time.

%d bloggers like this: