I grew up with “neat”

My blog was nominated for an award!
It’s the Really Neat Blog Award.
blog-award
So either I’m really good at keep this place in order or the blog is an old-fashioned kind of cool.

I recall “neat” being a big part of my vocabulary when I was young — and believe me it had nothing to do with tidy. These days, when neat pops out of my mouth in exclamation I get odd looks as though I’m being insincere or just climbed back to the surface from a bomb shelter. (Even Grammarly has it underlined right now and is insisting I mean meat. But no! This is a vegetarian post.)

But I digress.

I think it’s neat that I was nominated. Thank you skyllairae! Your blog is far neater than mine and everyone should go look at it now: EAT ME! It may just make you taller.

How to be Neat too:

  1. Put the award logo on your blog.
    2. Thank the person who nominated you, linking to their blog.
    3. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
    4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
    5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)

  2. What word best describes you?
    Sorceress!
    O wait, no. Dreamer.

  3. What is your greatest fear?
    Dangling from a helicopter in flight by one hand that is slowly losing its grip. I actually have a recurring nightmare about similar situations and every time I see it in a movie my stomach clenches. I also have a fear of being swarmed by cockroaches and Palmetto bugs, but luckily I don’t dream about that. [shudder]

  4. Why do you have a blog?
    I have a blog because I love to hear myself type. The clacking is quite soothing. I do no understand people who want whisper touch keyboards.
    Oh, and because I’m a writer and I want people to read my stuff and then pet me afterward.

  5. What is your favorite quote?
    O! I just found this recently. It is perfect.
    “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” Jack Kerouac
    He uses spider in metaphor, abuses a plethora of commas, and I am always drawn to intense people. This quote is me all over.

  6. Compose a quote about writing or the power of words:
    I cannot. But I can talk about the power of singing words on the memory.
    I learned these when I was seven or so (Googled for spelling): Treguna, Mekoides, Trecorum, Satis, Dee
    Even now they are marching through my brain. That’s pretty powerful.

  7. What is your favorite thing to write? Short story, poem, novel, do you like to break boundaries with experimental writing? Tell me about it.
    My brain has trouble with keeping a story to a few basic, entertaining facts. I’m a novel person, but I do not have the discipline to finish writing them. I keep trying though.

  8. How and when did you realize that writing was important to you?
    I’ve been making up stories to entertain myself since I was six-years-old and my mom used to put me to bed really early with explicit instructions not to move or get out of bed. I’d lay around bored for a really long time and get yelled at from down the hall for tossing & turning. Then one day I started imagining something out of sheer boredom – kind of like brain doodling with events – and within the week an internal world was born. I didn’t start writing stories down until school assignments required it. And it would be decades before it occurred to me that being a writer was a thing, even though I was an avid reader of books. Writing solidified as something grown up and meaningful in 2005 and I have been seeking ways to improve it and exercise it ever since.

I nominate:
Margo Roby: Wordgathering
Because she makes me think.

Vampire Maman
Because she’s hilarious.

Only 100 Words
Because writing a story in 100 words is hard.

One Lazy Robot
Because I love robots, lazy or not (and he shares excellent information).

Those were skyllairae’s questions of me. The following are the questions my nominees should answer:

  1. Are you a cat person or a dog person?

  2. What is your greatest fear?

  3. Would you rather be buried or cremated?

  4. What is your favorite literary work?

  5. You are a character in a book you have read. Describe yourself, but don’t tell us who you are specifically:

  6. What is your favorite thing to write? Short story, poem, novel, do you like to break boundaries with experimental writing? Tell me about it.

  7. Is there a book or movie concept that you related to so much you felt like you should have thought of it first?

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Timed sprint – writing prompt “A most unusual tool”

A most unusual tool!”

Corwin glanced over Maisey as she read it aloud and laughed. Those old billboards always made him chuckle. The dark green paint was chipped and peeling – sometimes the words were cut in half due to a missing board – but her father kept repairing them year after year. He claimed it added to the ambiance for his hotel guests. Giving them that first sense that they have stepped back in time.

Corwin wondered, not for the first time, what it had been like for Maisey growing up on the estate of a grand hotel from the Forties.

The closest shave…” she read as they passed the next one.

For the softest kiss.” Corwin recited even though the billboard was too far to read. He leaned toward Maisey for the ritual kiss. She squeaked and complained that he had not shaved with the proper tool. He kissed her again for good measure.

Gravel crunched under the truck’s tires as Corwin tucked into one of the guest spots. He made a gesture to warn Maisey not to open the door herself. Corwin had a very old-fashioned father-in-law to impress. He slipped around the front of the truck and opened the passenger door, then helped Maisey step down from the old Ford. Her belly was beautifully round under her yellow cotton dress. Corwin kissed her again and slipped his hand over her belly – imagining the shape of his son’s head just beneath the surface. Sometimes at night when he stroked Maisey’s swollen tummy, the baby beneath seemed to press back against his hand to prolong the touch. It was odd, but so incredibly awesome. He could not wait to meet the little cuddler.

Career Change – Flash Fiction

Brigit’s Flame Fall Mini-Contest competing entry
Challenge – Flash fiction of 100 words or less – creeepy/spoooky/scaaary tale
Title – Career Change
WC: 97
Warnings – duh-nuh

I’ve always wanted to be a marine biologist.
Even as the boat plunged and soared violently through the storm, I clung tightly to the ropes. Thumbs up to my colleagues. Jacques Cousteau dreams secure in my breast.

Alone. Floating among wavelets rhythmically slapping rubber. I struggled to flip the raft upright, but not to recall why I love the ocean.

The distant whumping helicopter brought tears and laughter. Relief and validation surged like the tide.

Something large bumped my thigh. I’m praying whale. Porpoise. Big fish? Wrong fin!

I should have been a teacher.

Gossamer – Flash Fiction

Brigit’s Flame Fall Mini-Contest JFF entry
Challenge – Flash fiction of 100 words or less – creeepy/spoooky / scaaary tale
Title – Gossamer
WC: 100 exactly
Warnings – quite possibly only scary in my head.

Gossamer

Observing an errant thread arch and stretch on a breeze I do not feel -wafting between forehead and cheek. Slivers of light trace the quavering curve up and down its wispy line. I recall a trinket from childhood. A pen with a window on a quaint city street behind a bubble of water. A trolley slipped up and down that street as the pen tipped back and forth.

Mesmerizing strand, longing to be tucked behind the ear, undulating to my pulse.

Cocooned so tightly in her gossamer web I cannot scream – the freedom of this errant filament taunts me.

When I become one with the sun

Prompt from Word Light Show on Saturday, Nov 1

dance_therapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Siiiiiing The Body E-lec-tric! I celebrate the mee yet to coooooome.”

How often I sang those lines when I was a kid without even knowing what they meant. Dressed in legwarmers and cut up t-shirt, I spent many the afternoon throwing myself around my best friend’s front room with broad arabesques and high kicks as her little dogs pawed our calves. We believed we could be stars too as we belted our hearts out into brushes and tossed our hair wildly, yet meaningfully.

For a few summers, Rena’s older sister Liza was our babysitter in the period between day camp and the parents coming home. She was only about four years older but she was trusted, for those few hours, to keep us in line. It wasn’t really that hard either. Just throw some vinyl on the hi-fi and turn the volume way up. Back then there were so many musicals to choose from and we knew them all by heart. From Fiddler on the Roof to Annie, and Grease to Xanadu – we were the young divas hoping someone would hear us from the sidewalk and rush to the door to get our names for some Hollywood or Broadway producer.

In roller skates we were muses, spreading magic to believe in with our open arms. We believed in it even if you don’t. Puffing on candy cigarettes we were innocents, faking a wild side the male lead had yet to notice.

Even without a cohesive theme, we were singing at the top of our lungs (and always from the diaphragm). Billy Joel’s Glass Houses told us it was okay to be crazy. Chrissi Hynde confused us with references to the contents of her pockets, but we sang along anyway because she sounded cool and we loved to sing – loved to perform. We were daydream believers who wanted to go sailing, be lost in love, and have someone shout, “here comes my girl,” as we strutted down the block. (Watch her walk.)

The friendship with Rena ended long ago, but my love affair with music never will. My inner nightingale still sings like a chanteuse every chance she gets.