Monday, February 15, 2010

In Today's News

Today's installment of inspiring news has been postponed until next Monday's installment.

I was hijacked in the nicest way possible tonight. Because of the wedding this weekend, and the Sunday packed with multiple church events raising money for my son's mission trip to Brazil, my husband and I really didn't even think about Valentine's Day per say. So my son and his girlfriend surprised us tonight with a candlelight dinner and a movie in our living room. It was so sweet!

Needless to say, I felt it was an event worth treasuring.

And nobody wants to hear about snowboarders complaining about their teammates pants being too tight.... lol

Well, just in case you do, here it is: Snowboarder Say What??

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Random Blarg

(because it's coming out, one way or another)

We shot a wedding today... 13 hours on my feet! It was beautiful, we got great shots, and we made some new connections, but YIKES!! My dogs are barkin'.

I'm going to bed, and hoping when I wake, my legs won't feel like somebody ran swords up through my heels all the way to my lower back..... aarrrgghhh.

We shall see what we shall see.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Come, Let Us Write Together

I missed our installment of "Let's Go To The Map" yesterday, I apologize. We'll get back on track and have one next Thursday.

Today we are writing randomly.
Here are the rules:

I provide three random words. You write anything, incorporating those three words. Then post a link to your work (wherever you post your story) in the comments section.

The three words are: marshmallow, houseboat, valentine

I remember when we were ten. Our families were poor, but we didn't really care. We had everything we needed, even if we couldn't have everything we wanted. It was a simpler time. At Christmas you put some rose quartz in a paper lunch sack, and it was the best present I ever got. You made me a marshmallow valentine in February, and we talked about how we would get married some day and live in a houseboat. I'm glad that only half of that came true. I don't think I could live in a houseboat. And just so you know, if you gave me rose quartz in a paper lunch sack every Christmas till death do us part, it would be the best present I ever got.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Share The Wealth

The link of the week belongs to Random Thoughts. One of my favorite daily reads, this blog is fun, informative, and chock full of inspiration. C R Ward is an incredible writer and I look forward to her installments of Space Opera, as well as her take on a different Poetry style each week. I have also used her blog structure as a model for my own organizational efforts.

A personal note to Ms. Ward: Love the new dragonfly, but I secretly miss the frog! lol

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

infinitesimal fiction

(it's like fiction, only smaller)


Sarah woke with a start. She shifted to look at her alarm clock. Seventeen minutes until it was due to go off. God bless it, had she finally reached the age where she started getting up earlier and earlier? The next thing you know she'd be eating dinner at four thirty and going to bed after the six o'clock news. She was only 49 for Pete's sake. Her husband was sleeping soundly beside her, his soft snore comforting. It was then Sarah realized that was the only sound she heard. The morning was eerily still. Dawn was creeping in slowly, pale light was visible between the slats of her blinds, but the atmosphere was uncommonly devoid of sound. No early birds chirping, no tires on the road carrying commuters to the office, no barking dogs. Weird, she thought. Suddenly, the alarm sounded, and she grabbed her chest with one hand while slapping at the clock with the other.

"Good night, Irene!" Sarah let out a long breath and chuckled to herself.

"What's so funny?" Abe wanted to know, looking bewildered and not quite awake.

"Nothing, hon. Just time to get up. Put the coffee on?"

"Yep, let me get it together here" Abe slipped his house shoes on and stood to retrieve his robe. Sarah loved the routine of it all. Like everything in the world was as it should be.

"Babe, they didn't throw my paper this morning." Her husband was also a creature of habit.

"Just go steal Dave's paper, he puts his straight into the recycle bin, I don't know why he even takes it in the first place."

"I'm way ahead of you, but the funny thing is, there aren't any papers on block, as far as I can tell. And another thing, I couldn't hear any cars in the neighborhood. I mean, not a sound. You know?"

"Is it a holiday and we forgot?" Sarah wondered aloud, but she knew in her heart that wasn't it.

In the following weeks they began to piece together some semblance of the truth. That same morning Sarah and Abe discovered that their neighborhood was empty. When a trip to the gas station and grocery store produced no signs of life they searched each store in the tiny shopping center, no closer to the answers they were beginning to be desperate for. It was as if everyone had stayed home. Then came the knocking on doors and windows, they left no house on their block untouched. When no one answered, they began checking for unlocked doors. They found several, and why shouldn't they? Nothing bad ever happened in this neighborhood.

At first they were uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy. Sarah even left notes of apology in the first few houses. She stopped when the overwhelming evidence of uneaten breakfasts, clothes laid out for a day of school or work, cars left in garages, told her they were really gone. And they were not coming back.

Eventually, Abe discovered there was no cell service, the television channels were all snow, and the internet was down. He wondered how long the electricity would last.

The fearfully cried together for a day or two, and then began pulling themselves together. They would drive to their daughter's colleges and hopefully learn of their fate. Surely, not everyone in the whole entire world was missing? Since there was no way to contact the girls, they would get into Abe's Dodge Ram 4X4 and travel from gas station to gas station. As near as they could tell, whatever had happened occurred just before six a.m., two weeks ago, and most gas stations were already up and running by then. The pumps were still working, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to go inside and flip the switch. Abe couldn't get his GPS to work either, so they would get a map from each place they stopped. The trip would be a grueling sixteen hundred miles, which equated to three days if they didn't stop too many times.

As they headed out of town, Sarah speculated. "What if they're gone, Abe?"

"Honey, I know this is hard but they're going to be there. They just have no way of getting hold of us."

"But what if?"

"Sweetie, I don't know," Abe shook his head. "I don't even know how to wrap my brain around being the only two people left on earth. Everything we know has changed, and our options have just become infinite."

"I'm just saying, we did a great job as parents and they turned out fabulous. I don't think I would want to press my luck, that's all."

"Good Lord, Sarah! I can't even think about what you're trying to say. You are saying that, for all intents and purposes, if we are actually the last people on earth, that the species dies with us? You wouldn't want to 'press your luck' ,so to speak, by having more children?"

"Yes, I guess that's what I'm getting at. I'm forty nine years old. You're fifty three. And besides, look what a horrible mess we humans have made of this world as it is. Maybe it could use some rest. Maybe that's why everyone is gone."

Abe sat silent, looking out at the empty highway as they traveled. He seemed content for the moment to just drive.

Finally, he nodded, a grim smile breaking the plane of his face. "Okay, then. Whatever the case may be, you and I will just enjoy whatever time we may have left. No sense in bringing in reinforcements, this earth can take better care of itself than we ever did."

"Good. If we get where we're going and there's no one to get to," Sarah felt a lump in her chest with that statement, "let's detour and see some of the vacation spots."

Then, like a light bulb had gone on, she said, "How funny. I guess, technically, this makes me pro-choice."

Word count: 996 (oooohhh, definitely Flash Fiction)

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Today's News


There's only one news item today......

N'awlins Saints win the Super Bowl!!!

Okay, there's lots more news today, but that one is upbeat, and happy, and a cinderella story, so we're going to focus on the good news today.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Snippet

Just Think...

you're here not by chance,
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you the person you are.

He compares you to no one else -
you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that
His grace can't give you.

He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.

~Roy Lessin~

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Random Blarg

(because it's coming out, one way or another)

What a crazy week! I started out skipping my Sunday Snippet and opted for a more loose schedule between services. No problem, we have established how I feel about Sundays. I am proud of the way I stuck to my guns this week (or pencils comparatively speaking), in the face of my work schedule. Monday I worked 12 hours, Tuesday was 10, Wednesday and Thursday were 9 each. So if we do the math, I knocked out my 40 in 4 days. So, what to do with Friday? Normally, I would have had the option to take the day off, but there is so much to do, I dove into Over Time.

I did, however, take a long lunch to go to my daughters' school and enjoy elementary cuisine... and I use the term cuisine loosely. I forgot what it was like to appreciate a giant chicken nugget on a bun as the best thing I've had all week. Discerning palates develope later in life, in conjunction with the frontal lobe, I assume. It was still a good time, and I don't know if this is something to be proud of or ashamed of, but one of the girl's friends refered to me as awesome.

An additional bonus to getting time and a half on Friday is that I was at my desk to get the call from corporate, offering me the permanent position I have so eagerly been awaiting. That's right, I have been doing the happy dance every 5 minutes since. "Show me the benefits!!" It was a glorious day.

Then this morning my son did a presentation at our church association district meeting and we were able to raise enough money to meet the halfway mark deadline for his mission trip to Brazil. He is a sophomore who was chosen by our International Missions board to be a part of an annual teen group that is sent out to assist our missionaries in the field for two weeks. It is exciting and I am proud of the man he is becoming.

My husband and I have also answered the call to go on the 2011 trip to Cote de Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and do photojournalistic coverage of the mission. Hubby with the camera, and me as the journalist. I have never been more proud of the man, as he has always adhered to an old military stance of "never volunteer for anything". But here he is, ready to volunteer to fly halfway around the world and provide his services, free of charge. He deserves a big 'ol smoochy for that one!

For every God moment we have, it seems, the devil gives us a pinch. He is doing everything he can to discourage us and keep us from fullfilling our calling. When we got home from the meeting there was a letter in the mail stating that my husband's unemployment benefit has run out.


We are going to lose our minivan and be left with the Dodge Dakota 4x4 pick-em-up truck. Thankfully it has a slightly extended cab, so there's a back seat. We can fit all 5 of us semi-comfortably. My oldest son, 19, is living a bohemian lifestyle and has his own car, so we don't have to try to accommodate him. While I hate the idea of forfeiting a vehicle, it will save us a payment every month and licensing fees, and insurance. What the devil meant for evil, God will use for good. There are a lot of people with way bigger inconveniences than mine... I for one am going to count my blessings.

Tomorrow there will be church where I'm facilitating a new study for Sunday School class, then we're going to a Girlscouts self-defense class, and then Super Bowl party with friends. And somewhere in there we will squeeze in a winter storm with 6 inches of snow accumulation. I just hope it's pretty like the storm on Friday. I may or may not get to the Snippet again.

We shall see what we shall see.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Come, Let Us Write Together

Here are the rules:

I provide three random words. You write anything, incorporating those three words. Then post a link to your work (wherever you post your story) in the comments section.

The three words are: penthouse, minnow, bridge


Paul sat on the arch of of the bridge, his feet dangling. He thought of his past life, how he had taken for granted the ease, the abundance, the people. He had been a wealthy man. A man of means, respected and envied. Paul once owned a penthouse, cars, a yacht. Yet now, as he stared out at the murky waters, he wondered where he might lay his head tonight. This river called to him, its current beckoned him. He knew what he must do. Paul rose to his feet, uttered a quick prayer, and cast his line. The little minnow on the other end disappeared beneath the surface. "Come on, baby, you can do this," Paul called to the universe. It would take a miracle, but he was going to eat tonight.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let's Go To The Map

('cause you can never know too much)

Apologue - (from the Greek "απολογος," a "statement" or "account") A moral fable, usually featuring personified animals or inanimate objects which act like people to allow the author to comment on the human condition. Often, the apologue highlights the irrationality of mankind. The beast fable, and the fables of Aesop are examples. Some critics have called Samuel Johnson's Rasselas an apologue rather than a novel because it is more concerned with moral philosophy than with character or plot.

George Orwell, Animal Farm
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

An apologue differs from a parable in several respects. A parable is equally an ingenious tale intended to correct manners, but it can be true in the sense that "when this kind of actual event happens among men, this is what it means and this is how we should think about it", while an apologue, with its introduction of animals and plants, to which it lends ideas, language and emotions, contains only metaphoric truth: "when this kind of situation exists anywhere in the world, here is an interesting truth about it." The parable reaches heights to which the apologue cannot aspire, for the points in which animals and nature present analogies to man are principally those of his lower nature (hunger, desire, pain, fear, etc.), and the lessons taught by the apologue seldom therefore reach beyond prudential morality (keep yourself safe, find ease where you can, plan for the future, don't misbehave or you'll eventually be caught and punished), whereas the parable aims at representing the relations between man and God (know your role in the universe, behave well towards all you encounter, kindness and respect are of higher value than cruelty and slander). It finds its framework in the world of nature as it actually is, and not in any parody of it, and it exhibits real and not fanciful analogies. The apologue seizes on that which man has in common with creatures below him, and the parable on that which he has in common with God or with God-like virtues and thoughts.

Now, I thoroughly enjoyed learning the difference between apologue and parable. However, I have already worked 40 hours for the week, and am currently attempting to bake cookies for a child's school event tomorrow, dealing with the finances from hell, and deflecting the laser beams of a grumpy spouse.

And I'm a dissdent writer. The idea of attempting my own apologue at this point is laughable. However, I would love to see someone else's attempt. Be sure to post a link to your work in the comments section.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Share The Wealth

Today's link of the day goes to The Dissident Writer's blog, created by Emilie Cross. This blog is dedicated to those of us who sit staring at the blank page, compelled by some masochistic force to write... something, anything..... and yet allows us to delete it when we determine it is utter crap. If you think you may be a dissident writer, but are not sure, take the assessment here.

If you are a writer who eats, sleeps, and breathes writing, and from whom the words flow like milk and honey wrapped in love, you should visit the blog for entertainment value. But if you feel you may belong to the group of dissidents, join us and embrace your anti-calling.

Emilie has graciously invited me to contribute to the blog, and as soon as I write something coherent, I will certainly post it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

infinitesimal fiction

(it's like fiction, only smaller)


If you had told Charles even three hours ago that he would be experiencing this moment, he would never have believed you. His mind drifted to this morning when he and his beautiful Belinda had been looking for trinkets at a quaint little shop in China Town. She had wanted a Hanfu, and whatever his buxom blonde wanted, she got. He had also picked up a jade and sandstone chess set, a teak back scratcher with a jeweled handle , and an assortment of incense cones. Funny, that he now recalled the shop keeper trying to give him a bundle of bamboo sticks. She had instructed Charles to burn them to keep away evil spirits. As his eyes began to glaze, his brain fogging, he envisioned the unlit bamboo on the kitchen island next to the empty wine bottle. He sensed the lifeless body of his fiance beside him, and he reached up to grab at the hardened fingers around his throat. Charles felt the splinters embedded in his hand, and wondered where he had put that damn lighter, just as the darkness claimed him.

(word count: 185)

Monday, February 1, 2010

In Today's News

50 Years Ago Today -- The Greensboro Four

On February 1st, 1960, four black college students attending North Carolina A&T staged a sit-in at Woolworth's whites-only lunch counter.

It was to be the first of many such sit-ins that culminated in the July 1960 desegregation of that lunch counter, but also spurred young African-Americans to more than 70 sit-ins in 15 cities and 5 states across the south. Greensboro, North Carolina became one of the major catalysts of the Civil Rights Movement.

It was the second darkest era in our nation's history. (The era of war on Native Americans is a topic for another time.) To this day, the United States has not again seen any people group as down-trodden as the African-Americans of the Pre-Civil War era through the 1960's. There are still instances of persecution, racism, and prejudice; there is ignorance in every culture that breeds hatred against other perceived inferior groups. But it seems that we have grown enough, matured enough as a nation that we can honestly say that all people truly are created equal, and that the ignorant are the minority. They may still have a voice, as protected by the First Amendment, but the voices of the majority are louder. The voices that say to everyone, "You are my brothers and sisters, we are equal in all, and we will work together to make this a place of freedom and peace."

So we celebrate the "pioneers" who took a stand against the tyranny, and who empowered others to do the same. The heroes who used non-violent protest as a vehicle to show us that the human spirit is stronger than any hate, any ignorance, and it can rise above, lifting us out of the shadows.

Inspirational barely describes it.