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Showing posts from April, 2010

Scent of Spring

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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
Margaret Atwood

For more pics, hop on over to Wordless Wednesday.

My Favorite Martian

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Strangeness was in the air that night. Although the full moon lit the sky, I thought I saw mysterious shadows dance across it's face. Moments later, alien beings invaded the street. These were not the beings of daytime. These could not be creatures of this world. Their shapes and features were so varied that I could not guess their origin. A small green one with tentacles emerged from the crowd. "Not so scary", I thought. Then it came at me with startling speed. "Trick or Treat, Grandma" yelled my favorite Martian.



Nessa at the Chrysalis Stage is hosting a new meme called Tales on Tuesday. This week's theme is My Favorite Martian. Hope you'll head on over and check out the other submissions. Or enter your own.

You Can't Win

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“Think outside the box.” That's what the boss said. He still hadn't seen a raise. What did Bill Gates have that Bill Goat didn't?




Microfiction Monday offers a new image each week and a challenge to write a story of 140 characters or less. Click on the image to see other entries. Why not try your own?

Convictions - Installment #14

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New to Convictions?
Full story:  Index.
Quick Story: In a Nutshell
Cal looked at Beth and smiled.

“I've figured out a way for you to work at Pinnacle.”

“I thought you said ...“

“I said that Pinnacle doesn't hire those convicted of certain crimes. Not everyone who works at the store is a Pinnacle employee. Sample distributors, for example, are staffed through temporary agencies. And those agencies have different hiring criteria than Pinnacle.”

“I've noticed distribution stations throughout the store. I'm sure I could cook and hand out samples.”

“I think you'd do well. It requires more than cooking skill, but that is an important part of the job. No amount of persuasion will convince shoppers to buy something that doesn't taste good. Customer service skills are important too. Your familiarity with the store will be a real asset. You'll need to watch for unsanitary conditions as well.”

“I've had a lot of practice keeping things clean."

“It's mor…

Friday Skies #7

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Cravings

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Here's what I'm craving right now. Want a bite?

The Force

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What capricious god controls her mind
and denies access to the vital location?

I can do this. I CAN do this.

She concentrates and tries again.
She fails once more.
Bystanders watch hope ebb from her face.

Wait! Use The Force.

She closes her eyes and clears her mind.
Her hand reaches out.
It hovers, then moves in a random pattern.

She opens her eyes. It has failed her.

"Hey, lady. People are waiting.
You can't negotiate with those things."

She backs away, avoiding the eyes of the crowd.
Easier to look down at the evidence of her rejection.
Invalid PIN. Invalid PIN. Invalid PIN.


Three Word Wednesday. is a meme that challenges writers to create something using three selected words. This week's words are ebb, negotiate and random. Click on the link to view other entries or submit your own.

All In The Family

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Kelti loved all their celebrations. Still, she had known that this one would be special.

For days the women had searched woods and fields to gather nuts, grains, and berries. Kelti and her sister had helped make flour, pounding the grain for hours until it became soft and fine. They had watched closely as it was transformed into loaves of bread, some enhanced with the delicious berries and nuts. The tantalizing smell had wafted through the air as the loaves baked over the fire. Her brothers had joined the other young men, hauling water from the river to fill the huge pots. Her mother had carefully tended the fire underneath. Finally, the men brought the meat and added it to the steaming pots. For hours her mouth had watered with anticipation. Finally it was ready.

As was their custom, the tribe formed a circle around the cooking area. Their leader offered thanks to the gods. They raised their voices in song and danced around the fires. At last they sank to the ground. Har…

The Break

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Music refreshes spirits as water soothes tired feet. Soon the barmaids must return to the jarring noise and fetid air of the smoky tavern.





Microfiction Monday offers a new image each week and a challenge to write a story of 140 characters or less. Click on the image to see other entries. Why not try your own?

Convictions - Installment #13

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New to Convictions?
Full story:  Index.
Quick Story: In a Nutshell

“Do you have a minute?”

Beth waited at the door until Pastor Bob looked up and motioned her in. She had brought him a cup of coffee and a plate with two donuts.

“I thought you might like to try these. They're fresh from the kitchen.”

“Thank you, Bethany. That's very thoughtful of you.”

Good cooking had gone a long way towards softening Pastor Bob. Perhaps this would work. She waited as he tasted one of the donuts.

“These are excellent, Bethany. Our Lord has blessed you with many culinary skills.”

“Thank you. But the compliment should be for Judith. She made them.”

“Even more impressive, you have teaching talents as well.”

“Hopefully, I've taught her enough to takeover, when it's time for me to leave.”

Hardness returned to his face.

“There will be no talk of leaving, Bethany. You're not going anywhere.”

“I've enjoyed cooking and learning to manage the kitchen, Pastor Bob. But parole has differ…

Friday Skies #6

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Can't Take It With You

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You have to leave your home and everything in it. There will be basic furnishings, linens and food at your new place. Your family and pets can come too. After six months, you can purchase other items. But you can never go back and retrieve the things left at your home.

What could you live without for six months? How about forever?

Here's what I'm taking.
Medications. Wouldn't last 6 months without them.Clothes. I'm not sure what the weather's like at the new location, but I don't want to freeze. Even if it's warm, Grandma's not into scaring people.Cosmetic Case. No need for lipstick and mascara, but I'd prefer not to spend 6 months without soap, toothpaste and deodorant. Bet my family would prefer it too.Computers. Even without an internet connection, although that seems like a basic from my perspective. I'm not sharing with Calico and Miss Muffin either, so their's are coming as well. No that doesn't count as multiple items. Afterall, I…

'Tis The Season

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For more pics, hop on over to Wordless Wednesday.

The Invisible Man

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The couples looked up when Sylvie walked in.

“Jeff's not coming?”

Cindy nudged Kay under the table. It had been years since he'd accompanied Sylvie. Kay, still single, always had a date. She could be so thoughtless.

“No, Kay. I'd hoped so, but he's still out of town.”

Cindy, Jen and Sylvie had met at Calcine, Inc. nearly twenty years before. Soon they went everywhere together. Happy hours, ski weekends, exotic vacations. Cindy married first. Jen followed a few months later. Sylvie, already in middle management, had little time for the dating game. They conspired to find the right guy. In the end, Sylvie picked her own. Jeff , a freelance writer, traveled frequently. When he couldn't be home, Sylvie flew to meet him on the weekends. With five preschoolers between them, Cindy and Jen viewed her trips with undisguised envy.

The girls still met frequently for lunch. One day Cindy invited Kay. Although several years younger, she'd fit in well and soon became part …

While Hope Remains

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Ducks fell from the sky. Sound touched the water. Her mate's graceful body sank below the surface. Each day she waits for his return.





Microfiction Monday offers a new image each week and a challenge to write a story of 140 characters or less. Click on the image to see other entries. Why not try your own?

Convictions - Installment #12

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New to Convictions?
Full story:  Index.
Quick Story: In a Nutshell
Beth looked around the kitchen with pride. The storeroom was clean, organized and fully stocked. The kitchen sparkled and sported a new freezer. A work table, converted to a desk, contained grocery specials, menu plans and expense reports. Hard to believe that only three weeks had passed since she had become the Redemption House Cook.

A trip to the food warehouse had helped expand her limited budget. Many baking and canned goods were regularly available. Cheese and other surplus items were not as reliable, but all could be used to ease the tight budget. Staff were courteous, but surprised. It had been almost two years since Redemption House had used their services for more than a few items. But they were encouraging when they learned her intentions. She was delighted to learn that delivery was available for non-profit groups.

The canned meats available through the warehouse were useful for casseroles or sandwiches, b…

Convictions - In A Nutshell

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Writing a novel in weekly installments on my blog has some inherent problems. One is that the time gap between installments can make it more difficult for readers to follow the story line. Another is that new readers arrive part way through the story and may not have time to read all the previous installments. To help, I've created a summarized version of previous installments and will update it after new installments. The summary follows. I hope that you will find it helpful. Please check back tomorrow evening for a new installment to Convictions At the age of 33 years, Bethany Holister is released from fifteen years in prison. She walks to the bus terminal carrying all her possessions in an over-sized handbag.

On the bus, Beth recalls her youth. Her parents, Amanda and Greg Hollister, are frequently away on business trips and seem uninterested in her. In their absence, Beth is cared for by “Gran” who loves her and calls her Angel. Her best friend, Rick, lives next door.…

Friday Skies #5

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The Best Beans

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On Easter morning, we awoke to overflowing baskets. The Bunny knows us well, so our loot included plenty of jelly beans. Not ordinary jelly beans, but Jelly Belly beans.

The Jelly Belly history dates back to 1869 when the Goelitz brothers came to the US and started a candy factory. But it was almost one hundred years before they began to produce jelly beans. Ronald Reagan became a fan while he was Governor of California and they traveled with him to the White House. The blueberry Jelly Belly was created so that Reagan could serve red, white and blue jelly beans at his inaugural parties. Jelly Belly also holds the honor of being the first jelly bean in outer space.

These quality jelly beans come in a wide variety of flavors. One category, the Harry Potter inspired BeanBoozled, includes Toothpaste, Dog Food, Rotten Egg and Skunk Spray flavored beans. I'm not that adventurous, but there are plenty of other flavors to choose from. If you haven't guessed by now, Grandma'…

Negativity

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For more pics, hop on over to Wordless Wednesday.

The Golden Girls

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Mary Smith hurried past her mother and headed to her bedroom. It was the easiest way to avoid questions about her day. Not to mention the freshly baked cookies. Bad enough that she was plain, she didn't need to be fat too. Her day had not been good. Like her life, it had been average. Average grades, average looks, average friends.

What would you expect when a clerk named Jane Brown married Bob Smith, auto parts associate? Just what they had. A small rented bungalow in a tired neighborhood. Homemade clothes. Vacation trips to the local beach. And an average child named Mary.

Why not Tiffany or Crystal or Jewel? Girls with those names lived differently. Homes resembling small mansions. Designer clothes. European vacations. Looks, brains, popularity. As if some leprechaun had sprinkled them with enchanted gold dust. Why couldn't she be a golden girl? .

Suddenly inspired, she grabbed a blank pad of paper and stretched out on her bed.

I, Mary Smith, hereby change my name to Tiffany…

Grandma Tidbits #5

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What are you grateful for today?
Life. Here's a small rhyme I wrote a couple months ago that says it well:

When I was young, I'd wonder why
bad times would come to make me cry.
What had I done? What was the cause?
Were these the fruits of divine laws?

Now that I'm old, each day's a gift:
the good, the bad, the subtle rift.
My life flows swift towards end of time
and I am glad that they are mine.

What's missing in your life?
A fully functioning heart. My damaged one doesn't pump blood effectively. That creates other health problems and restricts what I can do physically. But even so, my life is good. If I'm missing anything else, I guess it's too insignificant to remember.

Has the conflict and harm religion has caused outweighed the good it has produced?
Conflict is a constant in our world. Religion is one of the excuses used for conflict. I think the same holds true of good. The world is filled with good people and loving actions. Some are the product o…

Happy Easter

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Convictions

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New to Convictions?
Full story:  Index
Quick Story: In a Nutshell

I'm taking a break from writing to enjoy the weekend with my family. Convictions will return next Saturday with a new installment. I hope you'll be back as well.