Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Succinctly Yours Week 240: Tricked

Thank you to Grandma of Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours. Participants are invited to carve a story to a mere 140 words or 140 characters or fewer based on the photo. The word of the week is “border.”

His friends told him if he smiled nicely, the people would let him cross the border of the pumpkin patch to live in a place called “Pumpkin Paradise.” Those punks.   134

His “cute face,” which bordered on adorable, at last got him picked. He found out they weren’t adopting him when the carving knife came out. The horror. The horror.  136

Every year, people crossed the borders of the quiet pumpkin patch and changed their sweet faces into grimaces of death. Those ghouls.  112
Squidward, I used your clarinet to unclog my toilet. ~Spongebob Sqarepants

Friday, October 23, 2015

Succinctly Yours Week 239: Too Pretty to be Silly

Thank you to Grandma of Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours. Participants are invited to write a story of 140 words or 140 characters or fewer based on the photo. This week’s bonus word is “evaporate.”

Beneath the amber autumn canopy, the elixir of leaf-spiced dew evaporated all tenseness, all toil…all time.   92

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. ~Iain Thomas, often mistakenly attributed to Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Succinctly Yours Weeks 237 and 238: Little (Occasionally Green) People

Many thanks to Grandma of Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours! Participants are invited to come up with a teeny weeny story of 140 words or 140 characters or fewer based on the photo. I am combining weeks because I’ve been around, but just haven’t had much time. So last week’s bonus word was “crank," while this week’s is “odor.”

Believe me, you don’t want to babysit Yob when he’s cranky.   49

Back at NASA headquarters, the photos cranked out from the Opportunity Mars rover indicated there might indeed be small signs of life.  113

Tuffy’s odor necessitated his kidnapping for a secret, midnight rendezvous with the wash cycle. In the morning, Meg took one whiff and pronounced him dead.  131

Eighth Grade Boy (referring to his hair): How’s my ‘swoop?’ Is in en pointe?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Love

So sorry about my recent and unexpected blogcation. Every now and then I just get completely overwhelmed.

One thing that helped me get through the chaos, it turns out, was sitting down with LisaRicard Claro’s first book in the Fireflies Series, Love Built to Last. When the going gets tough, I often reward myself in ways that would make Pavlov himself proud, and this book felt like therapy (along with a little mall-medicating). In this case I did in fact salivate…over the story’s main character, Caleb Walker. Ooh, Caleb! How I wish he had a real-life, gracefully aging uncle!

Every now and then I read a book that draws me in like a hug from an old friend. I think about it when I’m not reading and plan how soon I’ll be able to relax and sink into the story. That was exactly how I felt about Love Built to Last.

Part of the magic of this story was that it explored not just the relationship between Maddie Kincaid and Caleb Walker, but a number of other relationships as well. Because this book was much more than a romance for me. It had quirky characters who were all connected. It had warmth, light, and nostalgia. It had a touch of Southern charm that brought back my two years living in Savannah, Georgia—yet it never felt regionally distinctive. It even had a story line about something else that's near and dear to my heart: rescue animals. It had a sense of humor, relatable scenes, authentic dialogue, and just enough heat to make the relationship between the main characters sizzle.

And it was just a whole lot of fun.

I’ve always admired Lisa’s clever and thought-provoking writing, but turns out she is also a master at crafting characters and their relationships. She captured small gestures and nuance so well that I was right there in the scene…and with no intention of leaving.

So how long before the next book in the Fireflies Series is out again?

Also, I am excited to report that my piece, “Powwow at CampSmooshabosom” is over at Sasee along with Linda O’Connell’s “Halloween Cats on the Prowl.” Be sure and stop by for a real Halloween treat!  
Writing is seduction.  ~Stephen King, On Writing