Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Write at the Merge Week 5

This week, I give you a French phrase (you are not required to use the phrase verbatim, but you can) and a photograph:
La Douleur Exquise (French): The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can’t have.

Trifecta week Sixty-two

1a : the natural opening through which food passes into the body of an animal and which in vertebrates is typically bounded externally by the lips and internally by the pharynx and encloses the tongue, gums, and teeth
  b : grimace <made a mouth>
  c : an individual requiring food <had too many mouths to feed>
2a : voice, speech <finally gave mouth to her feelings>
  b : mouthpiece
3: something that resembles a mouth especially in affording entrance or exit: as

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.

(I've attempted two prompts in one this week)

He wasn’t immediately aware of the music. It started low, worming its way into his conciousness slowly, until he found himself humming along with the melody. Swaying to the soft beat.

He smiled, an involuntary twitch of lip. He stopped his work and leaned back in his wheeled desk chair to listen more closely. The harder he listened, the farther away the music became.

A frown crossed his brow. He rose and went to the small window of his office. The window wasn’t made to open. The door, however, was.

Soon he found himself on the sidewalk in front of the building. He cocked his head, honing in on the direction of the haunting notes and in a semi-daze, he followed.

The journey through the city went unremarked. He almost noticed the rural land he passed as day became evening, then night. By morning, he’d entered a wooded tract and was following a small, forgotten river.

It was afternoon when he reached the mouth of the river, where it emptied into the sea. The trees still clinging close to the banks, roots reaching out to the water. He didn’t feel the cuts on his arms from pushing through brush. He didn’t care that his shirt was in shreds, or his shoes waterlogged and muddy.

All he knew was the song. Sad and sweet and full of unfulfilled promises.

He found its source. A monstrous gatehouse of stone. Empty windows in its upper reaches, watching his approach.

Without hesitation he climbed ancient, lichen covered steps. Higher, the melody quickening the closer he came. At the top of the stairway, a room. From the fading light of the window he saw the singer. A woman, of sorts. At his gasping entrance, she silenced.

His heart broke at the quiet, his arms reached out, pleading. She turned swiftly to the window and leapt to the sea below, her jeweled scales flashing in the last rays of sunset.

With a cry of pain, he followed.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Master Class #3
Roxanne’s choice of opening sentence for this week’s class promises to generate some more creative and off-the-wall writing. She chose Kelle Groom’s book I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl whose opening line is:
Morphine makes me weightless, airborne.

Morphine makes me weightless, airborne.  That wouldn't be useful just now.

So, I embrace the pain. Ripping my body, searing my brain with fire tipped knives.

Oddly, it keeps me focused.

When my thoughts stray from the job, the pain invades and shreds the edges of my sanity.

Morphine makes me fuzzy around the edges. I forget the face of my target. When it wears off, I'm reminded of my duty with punishment harsher than before.  

Acid tipped knives.

I embrace the pain, focus on the face.


Relief that outclasses morphine floods my exhausted flesh. 

I'll be airborne, until the next face floats into the margins of my vision.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Careless Love...

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

The red dress brought out the highlights in her hair.  She brushed a stray brown strand back into place, as she  chewed on her lightly glossed lower lip.  

She sighed, as she gazed across the room. Covertly watching him, curly blond hair and discreet musculature. His arm possessively wrapped around a honeyed blond...

The honey blond glanced longingly, at every chance, toward the painfully shy young man. Thick black hair crowning his face, that unbeknown to him, was made for Hollywood...

Hollywood sighed, and gazed across the room at the petite brunette in the red dress, chewing on her lip.

100 words inspired by David Bowie’s Soul Love.


Trifextra:  Week Fifty-two

The weekend challenge:  This weekend, we're sending you back to English 101 to revisit the concept of literary devices.  We want you to give us a 33-word example of personification.  Wait.  What?  You forget what that is?  It's the practice of attaching human traits and characteristics with inanimate objects, phenomena and animals ( 

No one sits at the desk

Yet, the tiny amber eye blinks in thought
Processing private processes in ones and zeroes.

Until someone interrupts its humming reverie with a click of its mouse.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Joy Ride

Write at the Merge: Week 4
This week we were given two images, I chose this one;
Groucho Marx Quotes

        They'd been riding since dawn,the shaggy ponies kept a steady but leisurely pace. Liam  dismounted  at the top of the highest point in the area. The small specks in the distance encouraged him to remount and coax the quickest pace the animals were capable of maintaining without over taxing them.

       After a few hours he said, "We're about to be overtaken, lassie. We'll need to be findin' some cover quick."

       Anne Marie cast an exasperated glance at her traveling companion. "Who wants to kill you this time, Liam?  Some angry husband, perhaps?"

       "Are ye sure it's not yerself they're a trackin' girlie? It seems I've pulled ye outta a scrape or two."  Liam had alit and given his pony a slap on the rump.  The stocky animal lumbered a few paces away and began munching on grass. "Stupid creature. They'll eat ye if they kill us."

       Anne Marie sniffed the air, "I'm fairly certain I don't know this pack."  She chuckled at Liam's discomfiture over her gift.  "It's you they want.  I just want to know why."

       He sighed in resignation. "They think I've disrespected them in some way, I imagine."  Liam looked back at her, "Sweetling, if ye want t' live, I suggest ya get off that lump and draw that slice o' iron ye're a carryin'".  The distant sound of hoof beats was closing on them.

      "I don't use my blade to kill honest men." She turned her pony toward a stand of trees as if to leave.

      "Though I admire yer high principles, I never said they was honest, m'dear.  And ye'll find that out if they kill me."  Liam's eyes roamed her form, "they'll see ye as the spoils.  Even dressed as a man, ye're very comely."

      Anne Marie snorted, then smiled sweetly, "In that case, perhaps my best option is to kill you.  Leave your pretty body where they can find it, and escape while they grieve your loss.  Or rather, the fact that they didn't get to kill you themselves."

"If'n ye kill me, darlin', ye'll not find yer treasure.  So ye have need of me, and ye'd miss me.  Besides, ye just said ye didn't kill men."

      "I said honest men, Liam.  That doesn't apply to you."  She grinned as she dismounted, drawing the iron great sword. "Though, I might miss you.  A little."  She could hear the laboured breathing of horses.  The party was almost upon them.

      "That's me girl!"  Liam chuckled and together they turned to face the eight riders that entered the clearing.

For those that recognize these characters, this event is before Liam undergoes the change that makes him immortal.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

All That Glitters...

Trifecta: Week Sixty-one
This week's word is:

BITCH (noun)
1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals
2 a : a lewd or immoral woman
   b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse
3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant
Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 

    "What in the name of God have you done?"

    My sister, Abby, and I jumped at Aunt Lyds' screech, sending a cloud of pink and purple sparkles shimmering into the air.

    "Shit," I muttered as I tried to contain the iridescent dust settling over the table.

    "What just came out of your mouth, Christine Diane!"  Great Aunt Lyds screeched again. 

    "Nothing, Aunt Lyds."  I rolled my eyes, hoping she didn't catch that.  "I'm just helping Abby decorate some Valentine's card with glitter."

    "Glitter?"  She sneered.  "Demon spawn!  That's what it is!"

    "Wha..." Thankfully, Mom came to see what the ruckus was.

    "Lydia, what are you doing our of your room?  Stop scaring the girls with your nonsense."  Mom took her Aunt's arm and gently led her back to her room.  "Christine, you girls clean up now.  It's almost dinner time."  She called over her shoulder.

    Abby and I got busy brushing the stray glitter into the trash can.  I knew what Aunt Lyds meant, getting all that stuff cleaned up was a bitch.

    At least I thought I knew.  

    Aunt Lyds stopped coming out of her room a few days later.

    "I warned you!" She hollered almost hourly in her usual screech, "Demon spawn!"

    That's when I started to notice.  First, a small winking pink line began to creep out of the seam where the halves of the dining table met.

    Then, a pink sparkle oozed from between the couch cushions.

    One morning, Abby started screaming hysterically at breakfast.  Her oaten O's were dotted in glitter.  At that moment, the cat raced by yowling in panic.  A stream of glowing purple dust trailing behind her.

    "Mom? Mom!  I think we have a problem!"

    "What problem, honey?" she called from the kitchen.

    "The glitter, Mom, it's everywhere!"

    "Don't be silly, honey," She came up behind me as I turned and watched her pink glittered nails fussing with her purple glittered hair. "It's only glitter."  She smiled through shiny, glittery teeth.

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    Some Days

    Our opening sentence this week is from "Emma Donoghue’s “Room 
    The first sentence is:   Today I’m five.

    Today I am five.

    I am five today because I want to sleep beyond four am.

    I want to get up late and play with my toys.

    I want to play with my toys and my friends and their toys.

    I want to watch cartoons and laugh hysterically for no reason.

    I want to stomp my foot when I don’t get my way.

    I want to stomp both feet when no one listens to me.

    I want to say what I want without a filter.

    I want…I want to throw a tantrum.

    So, today, I will be five!

    Friday, January 18, 2013


     Trifextra Week Fifty One:   choose one of the pictures below and give us a 33-word response to it.

    far above the roil and boil
    hue and cry
    in quiet repose
    imagine the world an ordered place
    of sootless air
    and whispered breeze
    and uncluttered horizons
    with room to spread one's wings

    this is the picture I chose

    Photo credit: ZeroOne / / CC BY-SA

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Job Security

    The word this week is:

    1: lacking worth or basis : vain <idle chatter> <idle pleasure>
    2: not occupied or employed: as
        a : having no employment : inactive <idle workers>
        b : not turned to normal or appropriate use <idle farmland>
        c : not scheduled to compete <the team will be idle tomorrow>
    3: a : shiftless, lazy

    Please remember:
    • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
    • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
    • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
    • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 

    Sweat beading their brows, Murray and Thompson worked the hoes in the hard packed field.  It seemed the weeds grew faster and taller in the poor soil than the crop they were tending.

    "Exactly what's the point of this anyway?"  Murray asked.

    Thompson shook his head, "don't know, don't care.  I just do what I'm told."

    Murray glanced at his companion, "I just don't get it. Nothin' has ever growed here.  But every year we're out here breakin' our backs.  For what?"

    Murray stood and stretched before he answered, "I suppose, it's to give the guards somethin' to do, that's our job, keep 'em from being idle."

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Under Gifted

    writing prompt
    Week Three: For this week, your inspiration comes from two words (you are not required to use these words, though you may):
    Gossamer: noun; a fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders, which is seen esp. in autumn.
    Affinity: noun; ( pl. affinities ) (often affinity between/for/with) a spontaneous or natural liking or sympathy for someone or something: he has an affinity for the music of Berlioz.

    Willa stood on the sidewalk gazing at the old duplex. The yard needed mowing, and the flower beds wanted weeding. Still, she saw dignity and grace in the abandoned building. The wide porch beckoned a welcome to either entry door. She’d always been drawn to the old homes. That was why she finally went into real estate, to listen to the voices of the homes, and find the proper residents for them.

    It was her gift.

    She planted her “For Sale” sign in the yard, then stepped onto the porch while fishing the keys from her pocket. For no particular reason, she opened the right hand door first.

    As she stepped over the threshold, the house sighed with the pleasure. Memories drifted from the walls, reaching for her. Caressing her with silken threads of full lives and loves everlasting. Warm hearts and laughing family times.

    She welcomed the peaceful embrace. Heard yearning in the whispers of empty spaces longing to filled again.

    She knew the perfect family for this home. People of life and love and laughter.

    Willa smiled contentedly to herself as she finished her walk-through and began to search for the other key.

    As she reached the door, the voices of the home became more insistent, “Don't go. Don't go.” They pleaded.

    “I’ll be back, and with a family for you.” She whispered. “I promise.”

    Willa left the gentle memories behind. She crossed the shared porch and stepped over the threshold of the left hand door.

    Her gift hadn’t prepared her for the mirror twin of the other side.

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    No. Regrets.

    My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

    The water is bearably hot, to offset the inevitable chill.  Fingers swirl the water.  Making pretty pink designs upon the surface.

    Disjointed thoughts drift upward on the rising steam as a contented smile plays on slackening lips.  Chances missed, opportunities ignored, mistakes made, apologies unspoken.

    No regrets.

    Leaning into the warmed porcelain embrace.  Snuggling deeper into the warmth.  Twin rivers of red flowing not so slowly into the relaxing bath.

    A random thought skitters by.  Which will win the cosmic coin toss?  The emptying of the shell?  Or the waters waiting for a slip beneath the surface?


    No regrets.

    My 100 words for Debonair.   (And just for the record, I'm not suicidal, I just go where the muse takes me.) 

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Shall We

    Trifextra: Week  Fifty    This weekend we're asking for 33 words about a new beginning.

    worn path to the sink

    tired arms carry dirty dishes

    divergent from

    worn path to the armchair

    to watch tired shows

    rustle of light fabric

    scent of unfamiliar perfume

    "Let's start something new."

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Every Other Year

    writing promptWeek 2, hot air balloons and Nirvana...

    Keb eyed his wife warily as they stood on the ridge watching the balloons begin their journey across the canyon. 

    Keb and Fen had shared a heartfelt hug, but Jaya had just nervously patted the six year old boy's head as she loaded him and his belongings into the basket.

    "You be good for your next mamma and pappa, Fen.  Just as you were for us."  Polite words.  

    The boy smiled and waved, too excited about the balloon ride to notice Jaya's apathy. Fen turned to face his destination.  This third trek across the rift was just the next step of his growing up.

    "Maybe, this time, Golda will come back to us."  Jaya strained to see the balloons that were floating their direction, children waving as they passed each other mid way.

    "Jaya, you know it's unlikely, the..."

    "But it could happen! It has before."  Jaya looked at him with desperate hope.

    Keb kept his thoughts within. Their self-born daughter had left after her second birthday, just as she was meant to.  Jaya had grieved herself into depression, barely attending to the toddler boy they'd received later that day.

    He'd prayed for a girl child two years later, in hopes that Jaya would come around. Four year old Fen had turned out to be a perfect fit for him. Jaya played her role, barely.

    "Look! The balloons have landed, Keb!"  Jaya shook with anxiety. "Go see, Keb, see if it's her."

    Keb followed the chart at the landing area.  With a smile and hug he collected his next cycle child. A six year old girl.

    They returned together to Jaya's post. Keb's joy turned to despair at Jaya's crestfallen face.  She recovered enough to run one caramel colored hand through the girls curls.

    "What pretty blond hair you have."


     Trifecta Challenge-Week 59
    This week's word is:
    INTENTION (noun)
    • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
    • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
    • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
    • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 

    1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
    2: import, significance
    3a : what one intends to do or bring about
      b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered

    I chose definition 3b

    Marta carried her offerings to the freshly dug hole. She assured herself once more that the dimensions were correct. When she was satisfied, she set the objects on either side of the potted berry shrub that had been entrusted to her. A pail of clear spring water to the left. To the right, a basket of soil judiciously mixed with manure. She took a small spade from the ceremonial belt she wore and laid it in front of the pot.

    When all was perfectly arranged, she knelt breathlessly before her intention. Her voice barely audible to herself as she began the words of prayer.

    “Mother, Earth, embrace and nourish these roots that they spread and multiply.
    Father, Sun, warm these limbs that the sap of life runs strong.
    Sister, Rain, give drink to these buds that they become fruits.
    Brother, Wind, be kind to this being that it stand straight and not break.”

    With gentle hands, she removed the shrub from its pot, spreading the compacted roots so they could better reach into their Mother’s care. She lowered the plant into the hole, holding it steady with one hand, she used the spade to carefully fill the spaces around the roots with the fertilized soil. After the hole had been filled, and the earth firmly pressed around the base of the shrub, she poured the water from the pail around it.  She mouthed one last prayer for the health and survival of the plant.

    She returned the spade to her belt, gathered the empty vessels, her task complete.  With one backward glance at the newly planted shrub, and the hundred others just like it.  She  faced forward again and joined the other sisters to began the long trek back to the temple.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Out of the Woods

    this was more fun! The assignment: you will be presented with the opening sentence of a famous (or not so famous) book. You are to write a story using the same first sentence; 

    Dodie Smith’s “I Capture the Castle” whose opening sentence is:
    I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

    I write this sitting in the kitchen sink because it’s the only place that’s safe. I don’t know what the little bastards are, but they're mean and there’s a lot of them.

    They came from the woods. I suppose it’s my own fault, sort of. Something was getting into the trash cans, so I put out live traps. Figured I’d catch ‘coons or 'possums raiding the garbage. Boy, was I wrong!

    I went out the next morning and there was one of those little buggers in the trap. Snarling and glaring with pure hate. It was only about eight or nine inches tall, slick gray hide mottled with ugly purple. And teeth, it had nasty, yellow, pointy teeth. Lots of ‘em. Along with nasty, black claws. I may have screamed.

    So I got a shovel out of the shed, prepared to beat the shit out of it. Of course, I couldn’t do that with the cage closed, and I wasn't about to open it. So I got the garden hose, prepared to drown the critter.

    It didn’t drown. I hit it with the water and it screeched an awful snarly screech. Then it shriveled up like a raisin and fell into pieces. I may have screamed again.

    But at least it was gone and my garbage was safe.


    I was fixing my supper when I heard the trash can lid hit the ground. “Damn,” I thought, “ there can’t be another one.”

    But oh yeah, there was another one, or twelve or twenty. And they were pissed. It wasn’t just the trash they were after this time.

    I went out yelling, intending to grab the hose and “raisin” the whole bunch of ‘em. It’s my belief that’s what they were waiting for. I wasn’t two steps out the door before they were after me. I know I screamed then.

    I hightailed it back inside, but them sonuvabitches is quick. They got inside with me.

    I couldn’t get to the bathroom, so I ended up here in the sink. I’ve got the dish sprayer, and I “raisined” a couple. I managed to reach a grill fork and stabbed another two or three, they bleed foul smelling, yellow yuck, but that doesn’t seem to kill ‘em. Just slows ‘em down a bit.

    The water is what gets ‘em. They’ve backed off for a while. I’m not sure where they went, but I’ll be damned if I’m getting out of the sink.

    Shit, I think I hear ‘em coming back. They sound kinda gleeful…

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    New Beginning

    Mary politely refused invitations to parties.  Opting for a quiet night and light reading on the couch.

    It was dark when the wet nose of John's dog nuzzled her awake, tail thumping expectantly.

    "Really, Duke?" The tail thumped faster.

    With a sigh Mary slipped into shoes and coat. 

    Snow had fallen while she'd napped. Duke shuffled through the new fall, finally coming up with a frisbee, idle since John's death. 

    Duke offered the old toy to her.

    In the distance, a church bell tolled twelve.

    She accepted the disk and threw it for the excited dog.

    "Happy New Year, boy."

    My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

    My take on the song.  The song is Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg:

    Beneath the Surface

     Jumping feet first into my first Trifextra Weekend Challenge

    Upon digging through the shuffle of excuses for why not

    Delving under the sludge of more important things to do

    At the center lay the truth of inaction by procrastination

    Fear of imperfection

    The weekend challenge.  As you'll recall from your elementary science class days, the structure of the earth can be divided most simply into three sections: core, mantle, crust.  Here's a diagram.
    Give us 33 words from it.  Interpret the prompt however you wish--literal, metaphorical, or somewhere in between

    Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /


    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    If Wishes...

    For the first week of  Write at the Merge, I play around with only dialogue.

    "Why do you keep coming around?  You know you annoy me." 

    "I'm here to keep ye company, sweetling, ye spend too much time alone."

    "I like being alone. I particularly prefer being alone to being followed about by a fool who chose become a monster, so afraid of death he'd risk his soul."  

    "T'wasn't a fear of death, girl.  And which path to immortality would ye have rather I'd chosen?  This seemed the least malicious, and was convenient at the time."

    "None.  Immortality is an unnatural condition, I had it thrust upon me.   You could have died. It would have saved me the trouble of killing you eventually."

    "Aye, true that. But ye've not killed me in the last four hundred years, no matter how often ye threaten."

    "It's only a matter of time."

    "Well, darlin', until that time I'll be droppin' in on ye.  Because ye  oughtn't be alone all the time.  Because sometimes ye need one that has known ye longer than anyone else.  One that can tell when the years have weighed too heavy for too long."

    "You give yourself a lot of credit in the subject of my feelings.  What makes you believe you're an expert?"

    "My continued existence.  And this continuing conversation.  I only wish ye'd look upon me as ye began to long ago."

    "Long ago you were a man.  A man I had begun to trust, and yes, to have feelings for.  Your choice destroyed that man."

    "I am still that man!  Look at me, girl!  I cheated death to stay for ye, I paid an ugly price, to stay with ye.  For the love of ye. I chose."

    "You chose.  You chose to become something I cannot abide.  When I thought I might care about someone again, you stole him from me.  Had you died, I could have mourned you.  I could have had a funeral, an ending.  Every time you come around, you reopen that wound, it can never heal!  I wish you had died."

    "Then, kill me.  Kill me and free yourself, lass."

    "I wish I could.  But then I'd be alone.  All the time."

    The Prompts:  the song below and the word: Wish