Blue Roan Morning

Icicles cling to her dark muzzle, a frozen water trail left behind from the heated water bucket hanging inside her stall. Black lashes are frosty white, wintery mascara on my blue roan mare. The wind is fierce, burning my cheeks in the spaces not covered by pulled down hat and muffler; but, the sun is bright and the sky is a brilliant cornflower blue, dotted by fat white clouds high overhead. This is what draws my mare outside, away from the protected comfort of stall and shavings.

I shove the wheelbarrow out into the deep snow covered pasture, and she walks calmly behind me. As I dump the contents, kicking the frozen layer clinging to the yellow bottom of the deep container, she watches me for a moment before leaping over an invisible barricade into winter. Her blue-black starkness draws my eye, and I allow myself the simple pleasure of watching my horse as she gallivants in the snow. It amazes me, the ground she covers in a single long gaited leap; how her thousand pounds becomes a …

2019: Let the New Year Begin

A new year.

A fresh start.

The first day of 365 in 2019.

Many are making, or have already broken, resolutions. Get fit. Stop smoking. Be kind. These are not, in my mind, great resolutions, as they are things people should be doing no matter the year.

New Year resolutions remind me of the old adage: 'I'll start my diet/new goal/thing I know I don't really want to do MONDAY.' Think about the definition behind resolutions, or, the base of the word, Resolute.

Resolute: Admirably purposeful, determined and unwavering. 

If resolutions were truly unwavering, there would be no need for repeating them.

Two years ago, my Word of the Year was Purposeful. Last year, I chose Abandon. Purposeful Abandon was my focus, the beacon that guided me through 2018. Some days I was better than others. Some of my choices went completely against my ideal of Purposeful Abandon, as I took on too many new roles, wanting to do so many things for myself and for others in my life.

It backfired. Whole …

A Christmas Kludge

velutinous-soft & smooth like velvet
eldritch-weird; supernatural; eerie
kludge-an inelegant improvised solution to a problem
transpicuous-easily seen through
*The four words were to be used in a piece for this week's Mid-Michigan Word Gatherers meeting. I was/am sick, but thought you might enjoy this short story. I've included the definitions for those of you not willing to head to the vocabulary site yourselves. :) You're welcome!

A Christmas Kludge, by Kristine E. Brickey
It was Christmas Eve. She’d made it. She’d sworn this year that she would find joy in the holidays or die trying. She’d shopped and wrapped. Played holiday tunes as she baked and frosted Santa shaped cookies and strung popcorn on string. Now, her living room glowed as bright, multicolored lights illumined the perfect tree, so big that the angel’s halo brushed the ceiling. 
Now, nestled on the couch, covered in a dove gray velutinous blanket, she could finally relax. It was almost over, the whole Christmas…

An Offering

Note: The holidays are not happy and filled with anticipation for many people, particularly for the members of the awful 'Parents who have buried a Child' club. I am not looking for pity or sympathy, but I am hoping this piece, written from the prompt 'an offering' at MMWG last week, will add understanding. I want to love this time of year as I once did, and there are still moments that I feel that feeling. However, then there is this reality. Please share and know there are too many of in this club hosted by Grief.

An offering
Don’t cry.  He’s in a better place.  God must have needed him. 
Stupid words from well-meaning people after my son died. Like he was an offering to Heaven. Why anyone thought those phrases would bring me comfort, I will never understand. 
Eight years and six months now my Robbie has been gone, and I still find my heart boarding itself off from feeling too much on an almost daily basis. 
Christmas is coming.  Thanksgiving next week. 
I have been self-prov…

Beautiful Souls

She told me I had a beautiful soul.       She told me it was kismet, fate, that I came to be sitting beside her.       A stranger who sat at the same table in the dessert reception hall following George Takei's sharing of his family story of internment during WWII, has become a part of my story. 

     Last evening, I was blessed to be surrounded by many powerful, beautiful souls. Words escape my grasp as I search for a way to describe how my time at the 34th Anniversary Dinner at Congregation Shaarey Zedek is affecting me. Over 1,800 tickets were sold for this celebration. It was not what I'd expected.       "Why are you here?" I was asked at Table 72. Not accusatory. The woman asking knew who I was, said she'd 'Googled' me when she did the seating chart, said she'd intentionally set my group with the other artists, the people who'd created the video being shown later that night. "You're an author," she identified me. She was c…

What is required...

Lately, I feel that each day something new is 'announced' that breaks my heart, infuriates me, increases the sense of powerlessness. A recent MMWG prompt brought this piece to life.

I would love your feedback.

What is required…to meet their criteria? White. Male. “American” only. Self-sufficient-no relying on their handouts. Nobody brown or black or any other color than white. Only male. Not a male claiming his true gender over how he was born. True. American. Male. 
What is required to be counted, to matter, to meet their criteria of worthiness in our country is too much. Makes me weep as each day’s restrictions are announced. Makes me angry as my empathy for so many beautiful people are deemed unworthy because of color, race, gender, partner, economics. 
What is required to make them see how far from humanity their requirements have moved?


On this rainy morning, a new word in my vocabulary bank. How did I not know this word, a word that describes me so perfectly? I will add it to my author bios: pluviophile-a lover of rain, a finder of peace in rainy days. 
When I was young, my mother would call me in from the branches of my secret apple tree nook when the drops began their descent. Her call was easy to ignore, and I would nestle a bit deeper and watch the sky change hues and try to count the droplets.
As an adult, in charge of my own self, I no longer climb into trees, leaving that to my younger mini-me. However, when I wake to soothing drops on shingled roof overhead, a smile begins even before my eyes open wide. 
Rainy days promise hot mugs of coffee, snuggled in chocolate brown softness of my couch nest, pen in hand, words flowing across the pages. 
Rainy days make for sleepy dogs, peaceful hours of watching the latest novel unfold in my mind as I read hundreds of pages in a sitting. 
Hi, my name is Kristine, …