Blog Challenge 2017

Blog Challenge 2017

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Advice to Novice Writers


Here is Kobie, the Laptop Cat. 
He likes to inspire me with my writing 
though he does make it hard to type sometimes!

For Wednesday's Write Tribe prompt, I have written a poem chock full of advice for novice writers. Then again, what do I know? Only Kobie knows and he's not telling!

Write Tribe



Are you a planner or a pantser like me?
Do you know ahead of time or do you wait and see?
I like to wing it and see where it goes
I just love it when the writing flows,

Neither way is right or wrong
Like singing off key to your favourite song,
What matters is you enjoy what you do
You must always stay true to you,

Have you got writing books galore? (I sure do!)
You sure don’t need to buy any more,
All you need to do is write
From early morning til late at night,

Practice, practice is the key
You must let those words go free,
Dig deep and connect with your inner self
Put those books back on the shelf,

Remember you need to edit, too
Your writing will sparkle if you do,
Grammar and spelling must be sublime
Don’t make readers waste their time,

Writing style cannot be taught
Writing style cannot be bought
Writing style is unique like your voice
Find it and your muse will rejoice

Writers break rules all the time
Some even write in corny rhyme!
Write from the heart and write for you
Hopefully others will like it, too!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Don't just survive, but thrive says Maya Angelou

I find Maya Angelou's quotes so inspiring that I had to make another poster featuring her wisdom.

Facing each day with passion, compassion, humour and style is definitely the way to go. It sure beats the heck out of viewing life as an endurance test.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Success according to Maya Angelou



In remembrance of Maya Angelou, I had to create this inspirational poster with one of her wonderful quotes. 

I love this definition of success. 

How many of us have fallen into the trap of thinking success equals making lots of money, having a high powered career and having lots of fancy possessions? I know I have and have often felt inadequate at times because of it. 

Maya Angelou's quote reminds me that my success is defined by me and no one else. If I like myself, what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, that's enough. 

Who else do I need to please anyhow? People pleasing is overrated and discouraging, often devastating. We can never measure up in some peoples' eyes and why do we want to anyhow? 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Take me away! 100 words on a Saturday

This 100 word story is written in response to the picture prompt below for Write Tribe's 100 words on a Saturday.

http://writetribe.com/in-on-at/



Emily wrapped the flowered comforter around her like cocoon.  She sank against the pillows, closed her eyes and sighed. The straw parasol shielded her from the blinding sunlight and she breathed in the heavy fragrance of the plumeria flowers. Waves lapped on the shore and the sea breeze gently tousled her hair. 

Any minute now Akoni would arrive to apply sunscreen to her back. He wasn’t that swift and could barely speak English, but with a bod like that, who cared?

“Madam! You have to stop doing this!”

Emily opened her eyes to see the Ikea manager glaring at her.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Discover your own special light!



We all have special gifts to share with the world if we are adventurous enough to discover them!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dare to stand out in the crowd!


I know people view dandelions as annoying weeds, but I like them. I especially like the defiance of this dandelion how it is growing right up through the patch of these blue flowers. It's not afraid to stand out in the crowd.

Please come like my Facebook page Positive Thoughts and Gratitude where I share inspirational posters of my photos combined with favourite quotes. Hope you enjoy them!

Positive Thoughts and Gratitude


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

She wished she knew then what she knew now

I love these 100 words on a Saturday challenges over at Write Tribe. It's always fun to write one and to read what other writers come up with.

Write Tribe

They are such a great exercise in making every single word count. I'm certainly much more aware of using filler words after Corinne Rodrigue's great article accompanying last Saturday's prompt about filler words to avoid. I never realized how much I overuse all those words so now when I use one, I quickly delete it. 

The prompt this week is: She wished she knew then what she knew now.


Jenna adjusted the itchy blonde wig over her brown hair and put on oversized sunglasses. Luckily the heavy makeup covered most of the bruises.

Carrying her battered suitcase, she limped towards the bus queue, clutching her ticket in her trembling hand. She wasn’t sure where this bus was headed but she didn’t care.  As long as it was far away from Max, that was good enough. He would never find her. She would change her name and start a new life elsewhere.

She wished she knew then what she knew now.

No man would ever hurt her like that again.

Acceptance

The trilliums are so beautiful this time of year that I can't resist taking loads of photos of them. They are so perfect for inspirational posters that I had to make one. I love this wonderful quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Have a great week, everyone!




Friday, May 16, 2014

Ode to Filler Words

For this little poem I was inspired by the latest Write Tribe prompt  and couldn't resist writing a spoof on the article that Corinne posted about avoiding the filler words: perhaps, stuff, very, quite, literally, just, actually, in order, really and rather.

Sorry, Corinne! I'm a brat, I know! All in good fun!


Write Tribe

Perhaps it’s time for another rhyme
Some stuff that’s very silly and light,
Time for a ditty so sublime
Something quite fun and bright,

Don’t take it literally, I mean no harm
I’m just a kid deep down,
Don’t ship me off to the funny farm
I’m actually quite the clown,

In order for you to enjoy this rhyme
You need to be silly like me,
I’ve really gone and done it this time
Is there somewhere you’d rather be?

Monday, May 12, 2014

100 Words on a Saturday - May 10

Write Tribe


Here is my take on the prompt "She realized that she could no longer hide the truth" for the 100 words on a Saturday challenge. 

“I’m Brianna, your daughter.”


Noreen stared at the young woman standing in the doorway, her cornflower blue eyes and curly brown hair almost identical to her own. For twenty years she had longed to know about the baby she had been forced to give up for adoption when she got pregnant at sixteen. How heartbroken she had been at having to make the decision. If only things had been different.


Her husband Luke appeared beside her, a questioning look on his face.


Noreen swallowed and cleared her throat several times. She realized that she could no longer hide the truth.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hospital Story - May 9

http://storyaday.org/setting-the-scene/#more-6073

I didn't get a story done yesterday so I was determined to get one done today.

Today's story a day is to write a story with a hospital setting showing some tension.


831 words 

“So have you chosen a name yet, Laurie?” my mother-in-law, Maxine said as she arranged all the congratulatory flowers and cards on the dresser next to my hospital bed.

“Not yet. We thought we’d wait and see what his personality suggested first,” I caressed my son’s soft downy head as he suckled against my breast.  He swallowed and let out a big smack of contentment.

“Don’t leave it too long. The lad needs a name,” Maxine said, her lips pinched together in that way she always did when she was restraining herself from saying too much. It didn’t help.

The door opened and the hallway echoed with the sounds of talking and loud footsteps, punctuated by the occasional page for a doctor to come right away. The smell of strong disinfectant stung my nose and made me light headed. Or maybe it was the fact I’d had over 26 hours of labour.

 “I think he looks like our side of the family,” my mother piped up as she came into the room clutching onto a huge Teddy bear with a big blue bow that was almost as big as she was. She set it down on a chair and came over to the side of the bed to gaze at the baby with that “Adoring grandmother” look. She smoothed out my hospital sheets and adjusted the pillows behind me. “How are you, Dear?” she brushed my bangs across my forehead the way she did when I was small. “You look so pale and tired. I hope you aren’t anemic.” She took the baby and put him against her shoulder to burp him, patting his back.

“I’m fine, Mom. I’m just a bit tired. It was a long labour.”

“I know all about it, Dear. I gave birth to five of you and back then we didn’t have the luxury of pain relief. I did it all natural.” Mom said. She rocked back and forth on her feet, the baby snoozing against her shoulder. She looked over at Maxine for approval.

“Me, too,” Maxine chimed in. “I gave birth to twins and two boys all in the space of three years. Bob just couldn’t stay away from me, right Bob?” My father in law was asleep in the chair by the window. He gave a loud snore in response.

Where was Dave? He said he’d only be a minute getting some coffee. A minute had turned into half an hour.
All I wanted to do was sleep for a week. I let out a big yawn but no one seemed to take the hint.

 “I think he looks like Uncle George, don’t you, Bob?”  Maxine nudged my father in law. He jumped with surprise and woke up.
\
 “Yes, dear,” he said in a robotic fashion. He had learned long ago not to disagree with his wife.

“Oh, no. He looks just like your departed father,” my mother said. “Look at his strong forehead. Daddy had a strong forehead, too.”

“He’s his own unique self and will have a special name picked just for him,” I said, hoping to avoid WW3 breaking out.

“But of course, Laurie,” Maxine said. “We wouldn’t dream of interfering, would we, Kay?” She looked at my mother.

“Oh, no. His name is yours and Dave’s decision,” Mom said, shocked that Maxine would even suggest such a thing.

“What’s our decision?” Dave said coming in the room sipping on a large coffee.

“The name for the baby,” I said drooling at the sight of the big steaming cup he was holding. I sniffed the air enjoying the caffeine fumes. How I would have loved to guzzle the whole thing.

“None for you. You’re nursing,” Mom wagged her finger at me.

“Yes, Mom,” I said with a weary sigh.

“We should go,” Maxine finally said, getting to her feet. “We’ll be back tomorrow.” She nudged Bob to get up.

“I should go, too,” Mom said. “You must be tired.”

“Thanks for coming,” I said, trying not to look too relieved they were leaving.

After a few more baby cuddles, they finally left.

“I never thought they’d go,” I said with an exhausted sigh.

“Yeh, your mom is trying at the best of times,” Dave said, taking the last few sips of coffee.

“My mom. What about yours? She’s not exactly easy either.” I glared at him and he gave me one of his confused little boy looks wondering why I was being so mean to him.

“Well, look at that,” Dave said, getting up quickly. “I’m all out of coffee. Guess I’ll go get some more. I’ll be back in a minute.”

Finally there was peace and quiet with just the baby to worry about. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

“Wake up now, little mama!” a loud voice sang out. Time to take your temperature and blood pressure.” I opened my eyes to see a big bosomed nurse hovering over me.

So much for getting any rest today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Using an ending line prompt in a story

Today's prompt was to take this ending line and use it as the last line of the story. I reworded it a little to fit my story better as I didn't understand the part, "I locked the safety." Artistic liberty and all that!

http://storyaday.org/writing-prompt-becca-puglisi/#more-6292

Finally I locked the safety, swearing that if she showed her face here today, my room would be the last one she ever entered.


354 words

My little sister Katie was so nosy about everything I did.  Since she and I shared a room, I had absolutely no privacy whatsoever. She even read my diary once and told Billy Marshall that I liked him. I wanted to kill her for that.

Now that I’m thirteen, I begged Mom and Dad to let me have my own room in the basement den that Dad used to use for an office. They said okay and I quickly moved my stuff down there.

“Why do you have to move out, Megan? Don’t you like sharing a room with me?”

“No, I don’t, you twerp,” I growled at her as I pushed past her with a bookcase.

“But why? I thought we were best buds.” She followed behind me, almost in tears.

Just because she was two years younger, she thought she and I should be bosom buddies.

“I’m a teen now. I need my space,” I said but I could tell she didn’t get it.

“Are you having your period?” she asked. “Is that why you’re so crabby?”

“I’m crabby because you’re driving me insane!”

Several hours later, I got everything moved around the way I liked it. I made my bed and settled on the bed with my laptop, enjoying the peace and quiet. That is until Katie started pounding on the door.

“Go away, Katie,” I said.

“I miss you,” she said. “The room is too big without you.”

“You’ll get used to it.”

“I won’t ever get used to it,” she whined and I heard her start with the fake tears. She was good at those and could turn them on like a switch to get Mom and Dad’s sympathy.

“Go away, Katie. I’m warning you!” I cried in frustration.

 “You must be having your period. Can’t I come in?”

“No, you can’t,” I said, glad that Dad had installed a lock down here. “Now go away if you value your life.”

Finally I locked the door, swearing that if she showed her face here today, my room would be the last one she ever entered.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Beginnings

Your protagonist opens the door and finds an unexpected guest–a friend from high school who hasn’t been heard from in many years.
This friend has fallen on hard times and wants to stay with your protagonist a few days. As your protagonist and friend sit in the kitchen, the friend reminisces about the old days…and stirs up trouble by recalling some unhappy teen moments, too.
How does your protagonist react and what are those good and bad times in the past? 


New Beginnings
819 words

A loud knocking roused Deidre from a great erotic dream. Darn! Usually she had one of one of those worrisome dreams where she arrived late somewhere in her pajamas.  

She’d had a late night shift in her manager position at the restaurant and was sleeping in on this Saturday morning. What a night! Their head chef Henri had announced his resignation and had walked out on them without a backward glance. He had always been a temperamental type but she didn’t know it had been that bad.

“Okay, I’m coming,” she muttered and yawned as she stumbled to the door.

Opening the door, she came face to face with a familiar but somewhat older looking face. All she could do was stare as if she was seeing a ghost.

 “Hi Dede,” the man said, using her nickname from high school days.

“Martin, is that really you? I thought you moved up North,” she said, incredulous. She took a good look at him. He’d filled out a lot in fifteen years from when he was seventeen. His hairline had receded and there were dark circles under his eyes as if he hadn’t slept well, but he still retained that boyish look she remembered as much as she’d tried to forget.
She must look a sight in her baggy pajamas with her ratty bed hair, puffy eyes and no makeup.

“You look great, Dede,” he said. “Can I come in?”

“What? Oh, sure,” she said opening the door wider to let him in. She noticed he had a big knapsack with him.

He sat down at the kitchen table with a weary sigh and dumped his pack on the floor.

“Would you like coffee?” she asked as she put a K-cup into the coffee maker and waited for it to heat up.

“Love some,” he answered looking around her apartment.

“So what brings you here after all this time?” Deidre asked handing him a coffee. “I put in cream and sugar. That’s how you used to take it, right?”

“Yes. Good memory,” he said. He took a sip and swallowed. “I need a place to crash for a few days. I just got laid off my chef job when the lodge up in Timmins where I was working went out of business. Also Elise told me she’d found someone else and kicked me out of the house. Not the best week I’ve ever had.” He pulled the saddest face he could manage and shrugged. “But what can you do? That’s life, eh?”

“How did you know where to find me?” Deidre asked.

“I got in touch with your parents,” he said. “They were reluctant to tell me anything at first.”

“Not surprising,” Deidre said. “You broke my heart that summer.”

“I’m so sorry about that. I was immature and stupid. Still am, according to Elise.”

“I heard you and Elise got married and that you had a girl.”

“Sarah’s great,” he said smiling. He’d always had a wonderful smile, Deidre thought. That was one of the things she’d first liked about him.

“Why did you come here? Surely you have other friends you’re closer to who would have taken you in?”

“I wanted to see you again. I never stopped thinking about you all these years,” Martin said. 
“Sorry I made such a mess of things. Getting Elise pregnant was not something I’m proud of. I do love my daughter though, even if Elise and I never had much of a relationship.”

“I have an idea,” Deidre said, jumping to her feet in excitement. “I manage the Northern Lights Restaurant. Our chef just quit. Are you available?”

“I don’t believe my luck. That would be perfect,” Martin said, his face brightening. “For once my timing is good.”

“I’ll let you stay here a few days until you find your own place. You can sleep on the couch,” she continued. Take things slow she thought. Even if she was interested, she didn’t want him to know just yet. She’d been burnt once already.

“I’m so grateful to you, Dede. I’ll never forget this.” His face lit up with that smile that used to mesmerize her and turn her legs to jelly. It still had an effect on her but she would take it slow and be cautious this time. She wasn’t that foolish teen any longer.


“Here’s to new beginnings, Martin,” Deidre said, clinking her coffee cup with his.

My Reflections on the A-Z Blogging Challenge



I must admit I was nervous at the start of the blogging challenge. How daunting to think up 26 posts starting with each letter of the alphabet. Still, I did it last year so thought I’d try it again.

When running short on time, I would whip up a silly rhyme. Worked every time! Hey, that rhymes! I’m a poet and didn’t know it. GROAN!

I’m not one of those types who plans ahead much so decided to just wing it and write my post on the day of each letter. Sometimes it was a scramble to get it done but I managed. I can see the advantage of writing the posts ahead of time but I doubt I’ll ever do that. It’s just not in my nature to plan ahead all that much. It drives people crazy around me but that’s how I operate. I need that pressure of a deadline to get it done.
Over the month, I was treated to so many wonderful blogs to read daily. I learned about wonderful places to visit, great recipes to try, movies to watch.  I shed a tear, had a laugh or got a lump in my throat over many of the posts, but all in a good way. It was so inspiring and uplifting.

I enjoyed reading the posts from India as they were very exotic and different from my Canadian experience. And yet, there were many similarities, too.

My only regret is that I couldn’t read and comment more as there are so many great bloggers out there that I’m sure I missed. It was a joy to connect with the ones I did. I will try to get caught up with replying to those who were kind enough to comment on my posts.

Many thanks to Corinne for organizing everything. I found the spreadsheets with the groups very helpful in making sure to comment on blogs in my group. Made it easier to keep track and it was less overwhelming, too.

Thanks also to Vidya and Shailaja for all the support and all the great tips about blogging.  I loved Shailaja’s humour as she gently scolded us to get moving and write something. *Rubs sore butt from where Shailaja’s boot kicked me to get the writing done” OUCH!

I enjoyed the daily challenge so much that I had to have another fix and now I’m doing the Story a Day challenge over at another site. Just can’t get enough!

I hope to keep in touch with everyone though I know it’s hard. We get busy and involved in other things.

Thanks for the great experience and for all the support I got on my posts. I hope to take part again and see you all next year.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Quentin and Steve

Today's Story a Day prompt is about a character having shame and then redeeming themselves. I managed to whip up a story on the fly. Fun to have these prompts to get the creative juices flowing. (Or maybe I'm just drooling thinking about dinner!)

http://storyaday.org/guest-prompt-angela-ackerman/#more-6259


“Hey, you big Retard, this is our turf! Get lost!”

I turned to see Shaun and a gang of boys yelling and pushing Quentin, my mentally challenged neighbour who was playing basketball in the schoolyard. Quentin’s normally cheerful face paled and he dropped his ball.

He looked over at me as I was passing by, a hopeful look in his eyes that said “Help me.” I shrugged and looked away.

Quentin turned and ran off, his gangly legs almost making him fall a few times. I could hear him sniffling and hoped he was okay. I wanted to go to help Quentin and hoped the gang wouldn’t notice me. I didn’t want to get drawn into anything.

“Steve, want to join us for a game?” Shaun called.

“Uh, no thanks. I have lots of homework.”  

“Aw, come on, just one game,” Shaun coaxed. “Now that retard is gone, we have the whole court to ourselves.”

“Okay, just one,” I said putting down my knapsack.

We threw a few hoops and I got it in a few times.

“Nice,” Shaun said with admiration. “Say, you’re a math whiz, aren’t you? You sit next to me in grade 9 advanced math, right?”

“I like math. It’s my best subject.”

“I need some help with my homework. What do you say?”

“I’m kind of busy,” I said, my face growing hot.

“Oh, you can help me. Tell you what. If you do, you can be in my new group that I’m starting. Only the coolest guys are allowed in. I’ll even buy us some special jackets to wear.”

“Really?” I said, impressed that he would ask me. I’d never seen myself as one of the cool guys.

“Sure,” he said giving that award winning smile of his that all the girls liked. “Can you come over now and help me get ready for the test?”

“Okay,” I said, a feeling of excitement and dread going through me.

Shaun let me in the house and I followed him to the basement where he turned on his X box.

“If you want to do well on your test, you should turn that off,” I suggested.

“You’re not my dad,” Shaun said rolling his eyes. “Say, I wanted to make a deal with you. Since we sit close in class, can I look off your paper during the test?”

I looked at him in surprise that he would ask such a thing.

“But that’s cheating.”

“Not really, if you know and the teacher doesn’t find out.”

“It’s wrong,” I said.

“Do you want into my group or not?” Shaun said. “Melissa will think you’re hot. I see the way you look at her.”

I hesitated, sweat beading on my forehead.

“Yeh, sure but..”

“I need to know.”

“Okay,” I said, exhaling quickly. “I’ll do it.”

I returned home and saw Quentin out raking in his yard.

“Hi Quentin,” I said and Quentin turned away, pretending not to hear me. I could tell he was hurt that I ignored him at the park.

That night I tossed and turned worrying about Quentin and worrying about what I’d agreed to do for Shaun. Did I want to be in Shaun’s group that much? Did Melissa’s approval matter?

The next morning on my walk to school, I passed Shaun and the boys taunting Quentin again. Why couldn’t they leave the poor guy alone? Melissa was also there watching, a worried look on her face. Quentin was clutching his CD player to his chest as it blared “Jack and Jill went up the hill.”

“Turn that crap off!” Shaun yelled. “That’s not music.” He pushed Quentin to the ground and the CD player fell and smashed into pieces.

“It’s broke!” Quentin cried. His face crumpled as he looked at what was left of his CD player and he burst into tears.

“Leave him alone. He didn’t do anything to you,” I said.

“Go away. This isn’t your business,” Shaun said, a hostile look on his face.

“Of course it is,” I said. “Stop bullying Quentin.

“Do you want to fight with me?” Shaun said, putting out his fists.

“I want you to leave Quentin alone.”

“He’s just a stupid retard. He’s not important,” Shaun said. Quentin flinched at the words.

“Of course he’s important. He’s a person who deserves respect like anyone else. You think you’re so incredibly cool, Shaun, but you’re not. You’re a bully, plain and simple.”

“Just for that, I’m not letting you join my group.”

“That’s okay. I didn’t want to join your lame group anyhow. And by the way, our deal is off, too.”

Shaun looked at me in disgust.
“You are a loser, Steve. I’ve always thought you were.”

“You’re the loser, Shaun. You lie, cheat and bully people,” I said, hoping he wouldn’t retaliate and hit me. Instead, he spat on the ground and walked away without a word, his entourage following.

I stood there wondering what I should do now. If I took Quentin home, I’d be late for school.

“I have a CD player you can have, Quentin,” I said as I helped him up. “I’ll take you home and get it for you.” So I’d be a bit late. At least it was only gym class first period.

“Thanks, Steve,” Quentin said.

I led Quentin away and hoped Shaun wouldn’t do anything. Behind me, I could hear him laughing with his buddies.

“Wait up, Steve,” Melissa called out to me. She ran to catch up with us. 

"You should go back. The bell is going to ring any minute," I said to her.

"I don't care if I'm late. I'll explain what happened to Mr. Saunders and what you did to help Quentin.“I wanted to tell you that you’re not a loser. Shaun is. You did the right thing.”

“Thanks, Melissa,” I said, smiling, a warm feeling replacing the cold dread I had felt only moments ago.

“Steve is my good friend,” Quentin said proudly to Melissa.

“And he’s my friend, too,” Melissa said to Quentin. “Aren’t we lucky?”






Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Evil Muskie



I had trouble thinking of anything for Saturday's prompt from Story a Day. http://storyaday.org/guest-prompt-mary-robinette-kowal/ but this morning the hubs shared a childhood memory about a muskie fish and I was able to write a short piece based on that. Thanks to the hubby for the inspiration.

The challenge was to take the words vermilion and musky and combine them in a story. At first I was focused on musky as a scent but I like using muskie as a fish. More interesting. Thanks, Brian!



Brian stared at the bulging vacant eyes of the severed muskie head hanging from the nail on the tree, its pointy teeth in a sinister grin. Its shiny spotted scales glowed silvery pink against the vermilion sunset.

He’d never seen a fish so enormous. How had his dad even pulled such a huge fish from the water? The body had been as long as he was tall. They had devoured the fish fillets for dinner and there was still lots left.

Brian looked at the muskie head again. It looked ready to devour him.

All these years, Brian had gone swimming in the St. Lawrence River, blissfully unaware of the likes of the Musky Monster lurking beneath the depths. 

The light was dwindling as the sun slipped behind the American side of the river but Brian could still see that evil grin as if the fish was laughing at him.

He knew he wouldn’t sleep well tonight.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Healing words

http://bit.ly/1jo4f2y

Today's story a day prompt is based on a magnetic poetry kit. I remember my son's teacher gave him one of these years ago. They are definitely a fun challenge to make something out of the random words. Try the online version. It's fun!

I decided to write a story based on my own experience of losing a baby tragically twenty-two years ago, due to forceps injuries from a difficult birth. She lived six days and then died in her sleep without any warning.



Candace put the magnetic poetry pieces on the fridge. Her friend Marilyn had given her a magnetic poetry game to get her mind off the loss of the baby.

“You’ll have another,” someone said. But she wanted that baby. It wasn't like you could replace one baby with another.

 “It was meant to be,” another said. How could the death of a tiny baby so tragically and senselessly be meant to be?  

She knew people were trying to be comforting but sometimes she wished they would just be quiet and let her talk about her feelings.

Her husband Kevin came into the kitchen and saw her toying with the pieces.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“Marilyn gave it to me. It’s a magnetic poetry kit. She thought it might distract me from my grief.”

He nodded and said nothing.

The truth was that nothing could distract her from her grief. Absolutely nothing. It had to be faced and dealt with. She would never forget this baby even if she had only been on the Earth for six short days.

She stared at the jumbled words, blurry through tears.


Then she reached out and assembled some of the words.


Kevin read the words and started to cry. Candace reached for him and they hugged each other.

The healing had begun.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Unlikely Pair

This is the first day of the Story a Day challenge and here is the prompt from Neil Gaiman about trying to get home.

http://storyaday.org/guest-prompt-from-neil-gaiman/

I stuck out my thumb and walked backwards along the early morning highway as the rain streamed down soaking me. Occasionally a car went by and splashed me but no one offered me a ride. My hair was wild like a scarecrow and I’d been wearing the same dirty jeans and jean jacket for over a week now.  I imagine I smelled pretty bad, too. 

When my parents divorced, I didn't want to move and stayed in Vancouver with my dad while my mom moved to Ottawa. Big mistake.

Why did Canada have to be so huge? I was only in Saskatchewan and I wanted to get to Ontario to my mom’s place.

A pathetic meow took my mind off my own predicament for a moment. I looked down at an orange tabby cat rubbing against my leg. He looked in worse shape than me, all dirty with a ripped ear and he was limping.

“Go away. You’ll get run over.” I gently nudged the cat away with my boot. The cat wasn’t easily put off and kept following me. I picked him up and put him into some nearby bushes. “Trust me, kitty. You don’t want to hang out with the likes of me. Shawn Gibson is going nowhere.” That’s what my dad always said. Finally I’d had enough of my dad’s constant verbal abuse. I packed a knapsack and walked out shouting. “Look Dad, Shawn Gibson is going somewhere. See ya!”  Of course my dad never even followed me or anything. He was probably happy to be rid of me.

I trudged along, a weariness making me feel much older than eighteen. Another pathetic meow came from behind me and I turned to see that dumb cat there again.

“You don’t give up, do you?” I said, looking at the soggy looking excuse of a feline. I couldn’t leave him there but he was going to hurt my chances of getting a ride even more.

I picked him up and he purred and snuggled against me. Well, now he’d done it. I couldn’t just leave him here, could I?

“You need a name. I’ll call you Max.”

Continuing to walk, I tucked Max into my coat and he seemed content to peek out at the world going by. It was nice to have some company.

A truck driver stopped but when he saw the cat, he shook his head. “No way.”  He drove away, splashing me with mud.

We’d been walking for two hours steady and I’d pretty well given up hope.

A PT Cruiser with a middle-aged woman driving pulled up beside us.

“Where are you going?”

“To Ottawa to see my mom,” I said, not getting my hopes up too much.

“Is that your cat?” she asked.

“He started following me and I didn’t want him to get run over,” I said.

The woman looked me up and down as she pondered the situation. 

 “So do you have a name for him?”

“I call him Max.”

“Come on. I'm going to Winnipeg. I’ll give you and Max a lift,” she said finally.

 “Thanks, Ma’am,” I said with a half smile. As I got into the car with Max, I realized that maybe having that cat was a good thing after all.