MY BLOG

Meloncholy Monday

I’m having a rather melancholy Monday, so I decided to just post a picture that makes me feel happy.  I played this piano for years. So did one of my best friends in the world. So did the master pianist Liberace. What a colorful past it’s had. It has a new home in Georgia now. And I’m happy just thinking about it.

 


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New Writing Challenge: Write a Story Using Nothing But Dialogue

Okey-dokey, folks, it’s time for a fresh writing challenge. I’ve been doing this exercise with some of my creative writing students to help them get a better grip on using dialogue creatively and successfully in their stories. It’s a challenge for sure, but it’s lots of fun.

So here’s the only rule. Write a short story (anywhere between 100 and 500 words) using nothing but dialogue. No introduction, no tag lines to identify speakers, no narration of any kind.

Two Helpful Hints:
1. Since you can’t use tag words to identify speakers, you’ll be restricted to only two characters so that the reader can follow the dialogue easily.
2. You’ll need to make sure your dialogue reveals the identity of the characters because you can’t narrate their identity or description to your readers.

Just post your story on your own site and hop over here and put the link into the “Comments” section for this post.

No time limit: This challenge is open-ended. Anytime you read this post and want to try your hand at a dialogue story, go for it.  Do more than one if you like. And don’t forget to come back here and leave your link.

My own story is below:

GIRL DRAWING HEART ON WALL - cropped -- SFerrario - PX

FAMILY PICTURE

“Mandy, what on earth have you done to the wall?”
“I’m drawing a merle, Mommy.”
“A what?”
“A merle. You know, a picture that covers the whole wall.”
“Oh, you mean a mural.”
“Right, and this is a picture of our whole family.”
Our family?”
“Yes. See this really big person is God, because our Sunday School teacher said that all families come from God.”
“I see. And, yes, Mrs. Osgood is right.”
“And then here’s Daddy and you and me and Francis and Baby Daniel.”
“Well, I understand God and Daddy and me and you and Francis, but who on earth is Baby Daniel?”
“My little brother.”
“But, Mandy, you don’t have a little brother.”
“Not yet, but he’s coming. God told me today.”
“Ooooooh ….”

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Weekend Coffee Share 2/10/19

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If we were having coffee together this evening, I’d tell you that this has been a very, very busy week, but I did get a lot of positive things accomplished, so I feel good about it. I’d also tell you that our roads and walkways were so slick today (like snot) that I didn’t go to church this morning. In fact, the pastor cancelled services because he felt it was way too dangerous for people to be out on the roads trying to get to church.

Not only that, we’ve had horribly heavy rains for most of the past two weeks and have been under flash flood warnings almost all of that time. We got a reprieve for two days, but the flash flood warnings kicked back in at noon today, because our temperatures warmed up enough to melt the ice and give us regular rain again. And it’s supposed to rain heavy again tomorrow. This is just too much. I think we’ve seen the sunshine only two days in the last couple weeks.

I’ve been so fed up with this miserably gray world we’ve been living in — also with a good deal of fog — that I finally just sat down to my watercolors today and, in my art journal, I painted myself a bright yellow umbrella. I’ve posted it below so you can see how hard I’m trying to think positively. I titled it “Sunshine In The Rain.”  I’ll be soooooo glad when the real sun comes out to stay and play for several days in row.

Well, I didn’t mean to complain almost the whole time we shared coffee, but I guess it turned out that way. Next time I’ll try to do better. Hope you all have a good week — with no heavy rain or flooding.

 

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Sunshine in the Rain

 


 

Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting our coffee share every week. If you’d like to take part, just hop over to her site and get the simple rules.

 

 

 


 

Nursery Nonsense Continues

Haven’t posted anything new in a while, and today I decided to make myself write. Unfortunately, when I sat down to the keyboard, the only thing that would stick in my mind were the first-line words of a centuries old nursery rhyme. Well, why not, I thought. And here’s the slightly embarrassing result. But it was sort of fun.

HEY DIDDLE ILLUSTRATION -- GUTENBURG PROJECT

The Gutenberg Project – http://www.gutenberg.org/

 

Nursery Nonsense Continues

“Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle;
The cow jumped over the moon.”
I remember it well
This nursery rhyme swell,
And its sing-songy poetry tune.

But I’ve scratched at my head
Wondering, when all that’s said,
What on earth can it possibly mean?
Doggy barks in dismay;
Dish and spoon run away,
But no value or sense can I glean.

Well, hey, diddle, diddle,
It matters so little
That no reason comes in this rhyme.
For centuries now
It has cheered us somehow,
And will do so through eons of time.

 

 


 

Anthropology 101

{I took a little jaunt through my short story archives today and went waaaaaaaay back. When I got to this one, I stopped and read it again. I have to say I still love it as much as I did when I wrote it —- and that’s a lot.  Hope you get a chuckle out of it.}

 

JUNGLE ISLAND 2

My marriage to an anthropologist was educational – and short. Herman loved his work and was really quite vain about it. He honestly believed that there was no people group that he could not figure out and eventually befriend – even when scores of others in his field had failed.

For years, he had been studying one particular tribe of natives on a tiny island in the Pacific that most ship’s captains refused as a port of call. The tribe was said to be cannibalistic, but my Herman just knew that he could convert them after explaining how much he had studied them in order to become their friend.

On looking back, I suppose that I should have put my foot down and refused when he insisted we honeymoon on the island. But he was so certain that he could convince the natives to help him with his research. So, as usual in our relationship, I acquiesced. My friends and family scolded me for my attitude. They said Herman should be treating me like a goddess rather than just ordering me around and dragging me off to some God-forsaken island to begin our marriage.

When we booked passage on the ship, we had to pay for a skiff as well because the captain told us that he would anchor far offshore, and we would have to go the rest of the way on our own. When we left the ship, he reminded us again what fools he considered us. But Herman insisted that he had everything under control.

We hadn’t been on the island more than an hour before the tribe captured us. They were quite large – both men and women – and exceedingly dark in coloring. They bound Herman immediately and tied him to a large pole at one end of their village. I was shaking like a leaf as they approached me, but they just looked at me with wide eyes and smiles, while making the most excited conversation with each other. I could understand only a very small part of what they said – mainly by their actions.

Then four of them brought a huge carrier – sort of a chair supported between two long poles and carried by the natives. One of the men – seemingly the chief – took my hand and escorted me to the chair.They then carried me ceremonially into the center of the village and escorted me to an elevated area on which sat a throne – all inlaid with gold. I sat, still quaking inside, but almost too overcome by my curiosity to concentrate on being afraid.

Next they placed a crown of the most exquisite jewels on my head and then bowed down to the ground in front of me. Finally, I spoke and asked in my own language for an explanation. One young man came forward and spoke to me in my native tongue to explain.

Evidently my golden blond hair was a sign to them. They had been expecting the goddess of their tribe to come to them in person for many years, and the sign of her true identity was that her head would shine like the sun. So I’m to be worshiped and given every one of my heart’s desires forever. I suppose one might say that, in a way, it’s thanks to Herman that I’m being treated like a goddess.

Of course, they prepared a huge feast in celebration of my arrival, and I guess everyone would have to admit that Herman truly did give his all for the cause of getting to know this tribe of people better. Naturally, I declined any food.

I certainly miss Herman, but I have to admit that what worries me more is what will happen when my roots start to grow out.

 

 

 


 

Feel Like You Could Use a Good Laugh???

Hey, if you’re like I am, you’re probably feeling like you need some time out from all the serious social and political problems that are thronging the media and airways right now. Let me introduce you to this wonderful speaker (if you don’t already know her) with some of the funniest (and true) stories to tell.

I have literally almost rolled in the floor listening to some of these stories. Some are just good wholesome chuckles, but others — well, all I can say is hold onto your belly, and be sure you’re not trying to drink anything while she’s talking. You just might spit it out on whoever’s watching with you.

I’m posting two video links, but there are scores of others in the YouTube list.

Enjoy:

 

 

 

 


 

New York is Our Name: Killing Babies is Our Game

mother & baby -- hollygirl18 - px

Let me get this straight: All of you folks out there who support New York’s newest abortion law — You’re saying you believe that it is perfectly okay for medical personnel to kill a healthy baby just one day prior to its being born by normal delivery on its normal due date. And as you see it, no one should be considered guilty of murder.

Where is your brain??????

Due to a comment by an individual who was troubled by this post, I’ve added the following information by way of showing a bigger picture of the situation:

I realize the terminology in the bill refers to a mother’s life or health being at risk. I also know that the same terminology was used when abortions were first legalized, but we didn’t stick with that criteria. We slipped very easily and quickly into allowing the abortions for any reason at all, and the same human frailty that caused us to do so then is still at work now.

Moreover, for generations, we have had a relatively safe and life-saving way of taking care of late-term pregnancies when they threatened a mother’s health or life. It’s called a Cesarean section surgical procedure. In almost every case, it has been successfully used to save both the mother and the baby. We didn’t deliberately kill the baby. We at least tried to save it. So this bill isn’t about saving a woman’s life; it’s about getting rid of unwanted children.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Must Have List for Snowed-In Days

man at door deep snow

 

We are in the midst of a white-out. What was originally supposed to be a wintry mix for just a little while this evening suddenly became a terrific snowstorm about 1:30 this afternoon. Lots of snow and even more vicious wind. We have not been able to see much of anything at all through the blowing snow for hours. I had to be out in it for the first two hours, but, thankfully, I am now snuggled in at home, and my car is snuggled in as well (translate that ‘wedged like a sardine into my over-full garage’).

I couldn’t get back out to take my own pictures because the snow is blowing so very hard onto my front porch and back porch that I get hit with biting snow and ice if I even open my doors. And, yes, I did say both the front and back because the wind keeps changing directions. It blows from one direction for a couple minutes and then swirls around the other way. But tomorrow I might have a couple pictures for you.

In the meantime I got to thinking about the items I find to be most important to me if I know I’m going to be snowed in. I made a list, and I thought some of you might like to share your own list as well. So if you have a list of the 10 most necessary items (to you personally) when you’re going to be snowed in, share it with us in the “Comments” section below — or share a link to your own site where you’ve posted your list.

Here’s my 10 most vital things when I’m snowed in:

  1. Plenty of good books
  2. My keyboard so I can play music
  3. My computer so I can write
  4. My watercolor paints and paper
  5. Plenty of bottled water
  6. Plenty of coffee
  7. Plenty of peanut butter
  8. Plenty of chocolate
  9. Plenty of bread
  10. Plenty of toilet paper

That should hold me for a few days.  🙂

 

 

 


 

Sardines Swimming Upstream – Tso’i

Reblogged from my poetry site. Thought you might get a kick out of it.

AHYOKA

metro escalator -- tama - px

Going up?
We’re squeezed in pretty tight.
A claustrophobic feeling threatens to erupt.
We’re sardines in a can:
All sealed up.

(If you’re not familiar yet with this new poetic form that I created last year, you’ll find information about it at this link. Maybe you’d like to try writing Tso’i yourself.  If you do, feel free to leave a link to your poem in the “Comments” section below.)


photo courtesy of Tama66 @pixabay.com

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