Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Writing Prompt #5--Give advice for the coming year in 150 words or less.

This was even harder than the 350 word prompts. But I did it in 136, and it is good advice too. No, really.

Everyone is wishing people a happy and prosperous 2014. Fourteen is seven—twice—and I don’t know about you, but this is not the come-out roll for me. A seven is bad. A seven will wipe out all the money you have on the table. If, by chance, you begin to recover, you’re going to get slammed with another seven before the end of the year.

I’m pretty sure the number twenty isn’t good either. That is ten—twice. It means once your prosperity is swept from the felt, it may be two decades before you recover. Twenty years! Are you feeling lucky?

My advice for 2014? Stay in bed with the blankets over your head…unless you’re lodging in a casino’s complimentary room. Run. Then call me and I’ll take that room card off your hands.

Good luck!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Writing Prompt #4--Describe your favorite breakfast cereal in a timed one-minute post

Today's writing prompt is timed. I have one minute to describe my favorite breakfast cereal.

If you would like to leave your (family friendly) entry in the comments section, you may do so, or include a link to your blog.

Here is mine:

I like oatmeal. The real oatmeal, not the instant kind, with just a little brown sugar and dried cranberries. But if I were truthful, what I’d really like is a cereal made of left-over pizza. A nice bowl of crunchy bites of pepperoni and artichoke heart pizza, with or without almond milk. Maybe with some grapes on it to make it healthy. And a slice of banana (which I just said in case my doctor is reading this.)

(I found this picture interesting because it includes sloe schnapps, which I hadn't thought of as a breakfast food until this minute. Photo is by "cyclonebill" from Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011.

Writing Prompt #3---Five random words

Today's writing prompt is five random words I got from a random word website. I have to admit, I was pretty happy to see "anchor" on there, since my first book takes place on the a Royal Navy vessel, the Reckoning, in 1805.

Here are the five words.


I'm trying to stay as close to 350 words as possible. Without further ado, below is my story. If you'd like to do a 350 word story, using these same words, please put a link to your blog in the comments.

* * * * * *

“Take this tonic,” the Spanish physician said in French, waving a spoon in my face. “You’ll feel better.”

I doubted it. If I’d been a boy, like everyone thought when Napoleon’s soldiers captured me, I’d simply be a prisoner of war. When they carried me to hospital and dug the musket ball out of my shoulder, they discovered I was not a boy. That was when they decided I was a spy.

That meant the guillotine. I knew enough French to know they intended to let my wound heal before the trial, but what was the point if they intended to kill me? My only hope was they’d spare my life because I was a woman.

The sweet smell of medicinal herbs wafted under my nose. The physician pressed the spoon to my lips. I took the laudanum and tried to clear my mind. Sleep, I needed sleep.

When I opened my eyes, it was dark. Footsteps in the hall held an unmistakable note of stealth. They stopped. The faint sound of breathing drifted through the doorway. I could hear it over the heartbeats slamming into my bruised ribs. I couldn’t decide if I should hide under the sheet, or sit up and face the enemy like a…like a…like my shipmates would expect. I struggled to focus.

The footsteps started again, coming closer. Panic filtered through the euphoria of the drugs, and I couldn’t stop the whimper from escaping. Were they here to take me to trial, or were they here for something far worse? I dragged myself to a sitting position and squinted into the dark.


A thrill sparked through me. I knew that whisper. “Yes.” He was the commander of my ship. “Lieutenant Kearney?”

He huffed out a sigh of relief. “Glad we found you, boy. We’ve just taken one of the Spanish ships at anchor. Get up and let’s get back to the Reckoning.”

He scooped me up. We sneaked past a sleeping orderly and out into the moist night air.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Writing Prompt #2

Today the writing prompt is: Create an emotionally charged three word story.

In an effort to break the mire of writer's block, I'm launching my first set of writing prompts. This is the second, below.

Quick! Abandon ship!

Give me your own emotionally charged three word story in the comments section.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Writing Prompt #1

Writing Prompt: Fall out of love, without using the word "love"

His kisses, his smile, his soft, husky voice made my insides quiver. Late at night we’d languish in each other’s arms and whisper we’d always be there for each other. He changed a washer on our dripping faucet, and grinned when I told him he was my rain and my sun. I’d throw vegetables and a roast into the crockpot before work, and he’d say he could hardly wait until we’d be together to eat it. He drained the gas from our mower when the bags of fall leaves were tossed onto the garbage truck in the misty dawn, saying I was brighter than autumn. When I’d duck into the cleaners to pick up his suits during the evening commute, he'd laugh and say I was his angel.

One day a note under the plastic covering the freshly pressed clothes indicated a stain could not be removed. Bright pink lipstick. Not mine.

At first I thought nothing of it, but he started to come home late, go to bed late. He complained he didn’t like pot roast. Long into the winter, the lawn-mower gas remained.

A dusting of snow slicked the roads. On my way home, my car slid into a ditch. I punched his number with shaky, cold fingers, listening to the ring until it went to voicemail. I tried again. Voicemail. The cold seeped through my jacket and my teeth chattered. I pressed redial.

“What do you want?” I heard the impatience in his growl. “I’m busy.”

“I slid into a d-ditch. It is going to be at least an hour for the t-tow truck.”


Okay? That was it? My eyes filled. “Will you c-come get me?”

“Wait for the tow,” he said. “I’m busy.”

In the headlights, the white snowflakes fell in silence, like my tears. Trucks rumbled past, making me balance against the wind of their wake. Adrift, I huddled into my jacket and shivered on the edge of the dark, icy street until the snow quieted the world.

He wasn't mine anymore. I was alone.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We must have harmony

In keeping with the Christmas season, I don't mind telling you while I snapped this photo, I was harmonizing with Michael Bublé as he sang "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." He could really have a hit if he re-recorded the song with me. (Michael, I love your voice, but I totally rocked the harmony which I made up myself.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Can fog disable GPS

Just had a harrowing experience. Everyone on FB bragged about fog, and how Christmas lights look especially beautiful in it. I drove eight miles until I hit fog, and hung a right into a little neighborhood where all the streets loop around willy-nilly. The lights were lovely, but after twenty minutes of loop-the-loop, I realized I was lost. About the time the neighbors started to call my car in as suspicious, I hauled out my GPS. Did you know it can’t find the satellites through the fog? Through good fortune, I eventually found my way back to the main streets. Then the GPS kicked in.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Candy Crush Traffic Alert

This week I downloaded the free app, Candy Crush, on my Kindle to see what all the hoopla was about. It took quite a lot of time for me to figure it out. You have to get three pieces of the same candy in a row. They disappear and more candy fills their spots. I'm still not good at it, but it takes over your mind, so you see things in threes. It is additive, like a narcotic.

 This evening I was driving home from my mother's choral group's Christmas Concert. Traffic was heavy and there were two dark cars in front of me. Another dark car wanted to get in my lane. It flashed through my mind that it would be good to have three dark cars in a row. I slowed and let him in. Seriously, I think I expected them to disappear, which would open up the lane for me.

 I should read that book I purchased a week ago.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Classical Christmas music, a fireplace, and a good book

I’ve got Pandora on a classical Christmas music station I created. There is a three hour video of a crackling, sizzling fire. I’m reading a book on the Kindle and a cat is vibrating across my leg. After about an hour, I reached down to feel if the cat was real. He bit my thumb.