Showing posts from 2019

Selections from FALL IN LOVE WITH WRITING 2019

As promised, here are pieces that a few writers from my October 19th, 2019 writing event were brave enough to share with me to share on my blog. A huge thanks for sharing!

Please, let the authors know what you think by leaving even a brief comment for them to read. Keep in mind, these are drafts, rough and unfinished, yet shared bravely!

Writers are insecure. We doubt our words. We worry. We mumble and disclaim before sharing, even with other writers.

Show them some love, dear readers!

Story #1 written by Connie Geissel Prompted from: Nightclub, Action/Adventure, a unicycle Unfinished story 10/19/19 Bestsellers He was good at standing on a rock, solid and strong and had been known to be a fairly good gymnast. His family would laugh as he climbed down the stairs on two hands. But the phone call he received this morning truly rattled him. Sitting down after slowly putting the phone back in its cradle a smile finally came to the surface. He knew exactly what he’d do. Putting his hat on he…

A Dog Sized Space

This morning, my path was clear when I left the bathroom.
No blocky brown head resting in the doorway, no lumpy beast underfoot and in the way.

Today, I scrubbed the walls of 'happy tail' slashes, knowing I won't need to clean them again.
No more exuberant waggy tail to leave marks, evidence of his ferocious love for us.

Now, the laundry room is roomier, more space for vacuum storage, litter box, and folding of clothes.
His large crate broken down and put away in the garage.

I could be outside 'horsing around', or tackling the list of 'to dos' awaiting to be completed.
I could be working on any number of responsible things.

Today, my path was clear and my walls are clean; but, there is a dog sized emptiness taking up more room than his crate, and I cannot stop crying.

The Love of a Good Dog

On the evening of the worst day of my life, the day I found my son's no longer breathing body, my wonderful, terrified for me, supportive man brought me to his then home. The shaking had started as soon as we left my brother's house, where my parents were waiting for me, where two advocates from the sheriff's department were waiting to check in with me, where I had to do something almost equally as awful as the events of that May 16, 2010 day. I had to call my daughter, where she was stationed in England with the USAF. I had to tell my girl that her baby brother was gone. I had to speak the words out loud. I had to clutch the phone, willing my arms and heart to her across an ocean of pain and helplessness, as I heard her screams. 

So, after all of that, on the evening of the day my son died, my partner drove me to his home. I remember sitting low in the passenger seat. I remember at some point, how the chattering of my teeth reached my brain, and my brain recognized that it…

Too Sad to Write Today

I'm too sad to write today. My characters will need to wait. It wasn't a bad day. The sun was shining hot and bright, warming my face on this beautiful fall afternoon. The dogs were well behaved. My horse's training moved in a positive forward direction, and I even rode for a bit in the back pasture. Yesterday's workout was challenging, but today my body wasn't overly sore or hurting. Nothing was wrong. Nothing was bad.

Yet, coming in from the pasture, my cheeks burnished with autumn sunshine, I felt the wave washing over me. I tried to avoid it. I did. I distracted myself with Facebook. I ate a healthy dinner. I drank my icy cold water. I walked outside. The cloud followed along, shadowing my attempts. There is no way to escape, because...

I miss my son. I miss his smile. I miss raking leaves with him on days just like today. I miss his dirty socks on the couch and his constant cleansing of the pantry. I miss his silly faces and his beautiful smile and his little …

A Simple Gift of Thanks

Thank you, for writing this book. It needs to be written.
Simple words. Spoken by a stranger as I sat behind my table last weekend.
A beautiful woman strolled by, picked up the story of Mara and Zane.  Reading the back, her eyes filled with tears as she set it carefully on the simple stand.
Thank you, she said, for writing this book. 
She took a step to leave, adding, It needs to be written. My sad smile of agreement, as she stood watching me, wondering, I'm sure.
My eyes stayed forward, to the front of the tent, to the beer table ahead and to my left, smiling as others entered, and my day continued.
Her thank you has stayed with me since they floated into the air, since I breathed in her appreciation. 
I wish it didn't need writing,  that there was no need to give voice to the tough subject of 
Until there is no need for my words, I will  fight. I will speak up. I will be a sounding board for others.
Such simple words, but I cannot forget them.

Blended Beauty

Well, Round One of the most recent NYC Flash Fiction Challenge has found my piece with no points. First time for me, but Round Two begins this Friday, the 13th, at midnight, while I'm camping without wifi. Whoo! Ah, the challenges added to the challenge continue. Sci-Fi-fi, beauty pageant, and goggles were the requirements for the first 1,000 word max story. Can't wait to see what I'm told to write for the next round. Only the top 15/35 stories were given any points. Everyone still writes for Round 2, new groups, new genre, setting, and object. We shall see. No matter the outcome, I write in the NYC Challenges because it challenges me to write what I normally wouldn't otherwise.  Let the game continue, but until then, here's what I wrote for the first round, way outta my C-zone!
Blended Beauty

Synopsis: Through years of evolution, human and animal have merged into one species as Earth     fought against extinction, creating a new and sometimes terrifying, blend of bea…

Suicidal Rage & Grief

Since I lost my son, Robbie, on May 16, 2010, each day has been a new learning experience. I am no expert on suicide. I don't even know what that would mean. I do know that the people who love and support me have made all the difference. I do know that hearing from others who are members in this awful club helps me understand that the roller coaster of grief I feel isn't crazy, that I'm not alone, and that there is a way through to the other side of the waves of emotion. 

Sadly, I also know that many people have been cruel and said and done horrible, awful, terrible things. Some were unintentional, but many others, done with intention. Everyone handles grief differently, but some need to lash out and inflict pain. 

After originally posting this piece, some people decided to use it as a tool to shame and lay blame. Those people clearly had not read the post, but in an effort to ease the pain of a young woman, I temporarily removed it. 

*Before reading this post, please underst…


Two weeks of vacation sit in my periphery. Two much needed weeks of time to simply let down after a hectic, wonderful, ultra-busy July (and June, and really a full year of 'retirement'). Yesterday, I began my drive home one day earlier than originally planned from 'up north'. A full week of riding and camping at one of my favorite vacation spots, followed by nearly a week with beautiful friends on Burt Lake, riding Northern Michigan trails (and non-trails), kayaking the Sturgeon, eating and laughing and snuggling with oversized lapdogs.

But, I was ready to be home. I missed my donkeys and my usually standoffish kitty, Sassy. I missed my house, the wind chimes on my front porch, and the feels of 'home'. I'd been away from my husband, and wanted to wake up on my birthday beside him, so after an easy pack and load, I started down 75 South for what should have been an easy three hour trip.

Thirty miles down the steep and winding road, something blew in my truck…

Splintered Thoughts

A tiny sliver of something dark lies embedded in the tip of my left middle finger, unnoticed until this morning, though it must have been waiting there for at least a few days. Now, it takes up most of my attention, as I worry at it, poking my fingernails beneath in, attempting to dislodge the painful bit from my body.
     It occurs to me, as I prod and poke away, that this time of year brings me splintered thoughts. My dreams are scattered with images of Robbie. I used to dream of him as a child: infectious smile, chubby cheeks, soft hair falling over dark eyes and black brows, chasing his sister around on his short, sturdy legs. This year, as the fateful day in May approaches, he is nearly grown when I dream. I  catch only glimpses of him as I sleep, from the side or as he moves down a hallway. There are brief peripheral sightings: his infectious smile, broad shoulders, strong jawline, short dark hair framing those beautiful dark eyes and brows.
     My days and nights this ti…

A Broken Clock in Pieces on the Table

From out of the sky, fell a mighty hawk. No nose dive, hunting for prey; but spinning and flapping, out of control, fighting against wind and air to stop its fall. It seemed the outcome was inevitable. Hopeless. 
From the wheat field below, a woman watched, her heart in her throat. She’d needed to breathe, left the news behind, headed into the field, ran her hands over the tops of golden waves of grain. The sun had been warm on her face, when she heard the shot. Looked up. Watched in horror as the proud bird began its death dive. 
Helpless. Sick to her stomach. Her hands covered her mouth, tears filled her eyes. She needed peace. She needed one day without cruelty and broken ideals. She needed one day without broken families, babies in cages, children weeping for their parents, stolen away as they went to work. She needed…to do something.
Her feet were running before she realized she was moving toward the spot where the hawk would land. She needed to do something. The rude intrusion …

Sharing the Creative Genius

I haven't posted anything in awhile. Leaning into my favorite post-Robbie mantra, "Don't should on yourself," I am simply stating a fact, not beating myself up over that fact.

Life is busy.

Retirement...HA! Those gray dots on the Google calendar? Good thing there is only one per day and not per event. I would need a full room sized screen to hold all of my upcoming dots. All good, by the way, even the (stupid) doctor appointments and the like. Get checked people! Take care of yourself or you cannot take care of others and/or the other fabulous things you want to do with your days. *stepping off soapbox for the moment

Last week, I was lucky/blessed to lead the 2019 RCWP Writing Retreat.
It was the second summer of this retreat, as I became the RCWP Writing Events Coordinator after retiring from teaching June 8, 2018. 😁 Leading events similar to this is one of my main goals now that I am officially no longer teaching. This year...indescribably powerful interactions a…

The Evolving Monster of Grief

The Evolving Monster of Grief
From Second Glance, Jodi Picoult, page 303
“He imagined that no matter how it came about, losing a child was something that you kept coming back to, like the hole in your gum when you lost a tooth or a scar you’d worry with your fingertips-a disfigurement that you felt over and over.”   

Losing a child, something that so many people have written about, and some have been able to give me a moment or two of comfort, empathy. Losing a child is the event that a parent is forced to come back to, over and over and over again. Not because we want to remember the loss, but because we have no desire to forget the love that causes that “hole in your gum”. If only it were in the gum. The loss, instead, is deep inside our hearts.
Losing a child isn’t anything that can be described to another person, not even someone who is, unfortunately, in the same club. Every person’s loss is his or her own monster. Every day is its own mountain of pain and memories to climb …