Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It’s been hard to live up to Susan’s standards. She’s been married to her high school sweetheart for forever. She has two children; tall, blonde – impressive. A son who studied to fly airplanes so he could take rich men up and down the coast. A daughter (a high school cheerleader, of course) in college on the fast track to being a doctor. A husband who sent flowers to her work every Valentine’s Day, each wedding anniversary and birthday. They all smiled with big white grins; teeth that dazzled.

When I first met Susan, she epitomized perfection; polite, neat, sure of the rules for living a good life and being a good person; smug in her righteousness.

She ironed her work shirts every morning. I was lucky to pull my clothes out of the dryer right after the cycle stopped and if I made it through the day without spilling coffee on myself, I was doing great.

My exclamations that once contained “Jesus” now had an abruptly aborted wussie sort of jerking “Jeez.” I adjusted my uncouth, uncivilized, barbaric behavior to accommodate the finer sensibilities.

I used to glimpsed a slight sneer over my single-mother, never-go-to-church-on-Sunday, messy life. It’s possible she thought I might have a contagious disease.

“People who use curse words have poor vocabularies.” I heard Susan’s admonishment as a personal criticism. My daughter learned to curse sitting in the passenger seat of my car while I was driving.

I went to pick up my daughter early once from school. While waiting in the hall by the office, the bell rang for class changes and I saw Susan’s daughter running down the hall and I heard her yell, “Fuck you, John.”

In her last year of high school, Susan’s daughter developed a mysterious condition that required many doctor visits. The suggestion that her ailment might be stress related was vehemently poo-pooed. She required so much medication she was not allowed to drive. Even though she lived away at college, when she came home on breaks and vacations, Susan had to sleep with her just in case she had an attack during the night.

Susan’s son, now 27, still lives at home. He has been unemployed for seven months, sleeps until two in the afternoon and won’t take out the garbage. They had an argument a few weeks ago and she called the police because she’s afraid of him. He’s wrecked three cars she bought him.

Susan’s husband lost every job he’s had in his field at every company within a 200 mile radius of home because he always knows more than his supervisors. He had to take a sales job in another state. He accidently took eight pills of a friend’s pain medication when he felt a headache coming on at a party. The EMT’s were a couple of mutual friends.

The longer Susan and I know each other, the less she likes me.

Tales on Tuesday - Charmed

I am putting up the Mr. Linky for this week's Tales on Tuesday - Charmed, so if you wrote a story, you can link (and i will eventually be around to read and visit.)

I have a story, but it's not quite done yet ('cus it's sucky right now.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It’s Good to Have Options

My husband will be fifty years old in July. He is a little freaked out about his coming birthday. He never thought he would live this long. He had plans of going out young in a blaze of glory. Instead, he has a house in the suburbs and he is following a middle class dream he never even knew he had. Along with a life style he scoffed at when he was in his twenties, he has lawn mower wrists, a sore back from taking the garbage to the curb and tender elbows from sorting the recycles. His knees creak when bending down to get the newspaper and I have to repeat everything because his hearing is going (really, it’s his loss of hearing and not because he ignores me.)

He thinks our new neighbor across the street is a cute young blonde girl. The new neighbor is really a sixty year old ex-hippie man, a little on the pudgy side (years of munchies eating will do that to you) with slightly sagging pectoral muscles. Obviously, his eye sight is wearing out like every other part of his body.

I suggested it might be time to get some eyeglasses from Zenni Optical, the folks who have high-quality, affordable glasses available online. It’s good to have options.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flash 55 – stream of consciousness

could I be any further behind
the eight ball
in the side pocket
full of posies
ashes, ashes,
dust to dust
bunnies under the bed
what are you so afraid of
your own shadow
dancing , baby you do it right
the first time ever
i saw your face
the music of the heart
0 - green butterfly

Write a story in exactly 55 words.
0 - v

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday 13 – Tweet Like a Bird

My last thirteen tweets. I will dazzle you with my terse wit.
  1. Have you mastered the art of napping with your eyes open? about 16 hours ago
  2. ...all of you have just entered the Twilight Zone 7:46 PM Jun 16th
  3. Live a little - wear mismatched socks 11:28 AM Jun 16th
  4. completely pithed out 4:52 PM Jun 15th
  5. the world has more cell phones than people and still I can't get a polite "I won't be there" business call - wtf? 10:34 AM Jun 14th
  6. It's the reading hour. 4:39 PM Jun 13th
  7. It's that time in the moon's cycle for revisiting our wishes and desires to clarify them. 9:11 AM Jun 13th
  8. People are brave because they act despite their fear. 4:17 PM Jun 11th
  9. I'm wearing my bouncy flip-flops. 9:02 AM Jun 11th
  10. This day is a neverending story with the nothing consuming all of my energy. 4:14 PM Jun 10th
  11. Do you know the name of your guardian angel? 7:45 PM Jun 9th
  12. Answers - easy; follow through - not so much. 6:51 AM Jun 9th
  13. Words break bones when they incite violence. 6:48 PM Jun 7th
Aren’t I just too clever?



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tales on Tuesday – The Late Addition of Hawaii Five-O

Unexpected loverliness from the grandson caused a detour.

In honor of Thom and (in absentia) Quilly and Amoeba.
The Legend of the Rainbow Maiden

(* Update [yes, already]: Finding Pam asked, "Is any of it true?" And I answer, “This is a real Hawaiian Legend. As I don't know much about Hawaii - other than reading James A. Michener's book, Hawaii, ages ago – I decided I would strain my brain because no pain, no gain.”)

Kahala, the Rainbow Maiden, born of wind and rain, took two chiefs as lovers. Kauhi was from Waikiki; Mahana was from Kamoilili. Each man wanted Kahala to live in his house.

Kauhi was a jealous man. Since he could not have Kahala for himself, he killed her and buried her.

The owl, Kahala's guardian spirit, searched the earth until he found her body and joined it back with her spirit.

Kauhi killed Kahala again and buried her.

The owl brought her back to life.

Kauhi killed Kahala again but this time buried her under the roots of a great koa tree.

The owl could not save Kahala because the roots of the tree were too strong and could not be moved.

The owl thought Kahala's spirit went to Po, the Underworld, so he gave up searching.

Kahala’s spirit looked for someone who could join her to her body. She had nearly lost hope when Mahana came near her spirit.

Mahana felt the distressed spirit around him. The ghost guided him to the great koa tree. There Mahana dug up the body of his beloved Kahala.

Mahana took Kahala to his older brother who was a kahuna. The powerful kahuna chanted and prayed, but couldn’t revive Kahala. He called two spirit sisters and they guided Kahana's spirit back into her body through her feet while the kahuna performed the chants to restore her life.

Mahana, with the two spirit sisters, nursed Kahala back to beauty and health. But Kahala would never be safe while Kauhi still lived. 

Mahana went to places where Kauhi played sports and gambled. He taunted Kauhi until Kauhi admitted that he had killed Kahala.

Mahana announced that Kahala was alive and in his home. Kauhi insisted she must be an imposter, so he challenged Mahana to present her to all of the chiefs including Kahala's grandfather, Akaaka, the mountain god. If Kauhi was proven wrong, he would be baked alive in an imu. If he was proven right, Mahana would be the one to be baked alive.

Mahana agreed.

Kauhi wanted a test to detect ghosts. His kahunas would invoke spirits from the Underworld to come and take away any ghosts and deliver them to Milu, the god of the Underworld.

Kauhi spread leaves of the ape plant over the ground where Kahala would walk. Any human walking over the leaves would bruise and tear them, while a spirit would leave them unmarked.

The imu was prepared. The king and chiefs were all gathered. Kauhi watched Kahala arrive. Kahala approached the ape leaf path with the spirit sisters, who recognized the test. They whispered to Kahala to bruise the leaves so that the spirits would not be discovered.

Kahala left a wide trail of broken leaves, but Kauhi's chief kahuna said he could still feel ghosts and called for a second test. The kahuna demanded that a bowl of water be brought. It was believed that a reflection of a face in water was the face of a spirit. In his eagerness to catch a spirit face in the water, he leaned over the bowl, showing his own spirit face. Akaaka, the mountain god, grabbed the reflected face in his hands and destroyed the kahuna’s the spirit.

Kauhi was taken. He was baked alive in the imu and his lands and possessions were given to Mahana and Kahala who lived long with a rainbow over their roof.

The prompt for next Tuesday, June 29, 2010 “Charmed” suggested by Karen_RN.

If you have a TV show based theme you’d like to suggest as a prompt, mention it in the comments.

If you wrote a short story for today, sign into Mr. Linky.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our Regularly Scheduled Program...

Tales on Tuesday will be held on Wednesday, by 8am my time. 

You may scoff if you want. 

You can make googly faces, too, if it makes you feel better.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Microfiction Monday - Dogfish

Susan’s Picture:
My Story:

When the Bates bought their new motel, they complied with truth in advertising laws - sharks in the pool; very, very hot (burning) showers.

Write a story in 140 characters using the picture she provides as inspiration.

Tomorrow’s theme: Hawaii Five O

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Comic Con Costumes

Costumed visitors to the Wizard World Comic Con 2010 in Philadelphia, PA June 12, 2010 (includes sound.)


One Single Impression - Oubliette

Strips of paper with memories written in bold strokes of indelible ink fill a glass jar wrapped in soft pinks and greens and tied with a big, purple bow. As she took one end of the ribbon and pulled, the fun, forgotten moments of the past revealed themselves in bright squeals of laughter and warm, happy tears on soft wrinkled cheeks. Happiness sat upon the minutes of the now while dangling toes dipped into the pools of a fondly remembered past.
0 - green butterfly
 An oubliette is a dungeon; the word comes from the French for "forgotten place." This made me think of the good memories consciously brought back to the surface after rooting past the bad memories I like to hold on to with a death-like grip.
0 - green butterfly
One Single Impression is a weekly post prompt hosted by Sandy Carlson and Andrée.
0 - v


Friday, June 18, 2010

Flash 55 – How Do I Tell You?

Johnny leaned over his desk, reached his arm out and grabbed Sally’s pony tail in his nine year old fist.

Sally yelped, put her head down on her arms, hiding her tears from her classmates.

Puzzled, Johnny left his seat to stand by Sally's desk.

“I just wanted to give you my favorite red pencil.”  

0 - green butterfly[2] 


Write a story in exactly 55 words.

0 - v[2]


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday 13 – A Love Story Gone Wrong

Johnny showed up at my house on Thursday,

With a message from his boss in the form of medical traction.

My arms in desperate pain, I protested any infraction.

“The love potion you sold him failed.”

“Impossible,” I wailed.

“Did he drink it at midnight on the dot?”

“Right on the witching hour’s spot.”

“Did he stand naked under the full moon?”

“Just like a love hungry loon.”

“Did he gaze upon his lady love?”

“Yes, the woman as sweet as a turtle dove.”

“Sounds as if the potion passes.”

“No, she wore mirrored sunglasses.”


For More Thursday 13’s Click Here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Me and My Kindle

I have mentioned before that I love my Kindle. I didn’t think I would but it increases the pleasure of reading.

I get new books at the snap of a finger. The machine is lighter than most books. I can read with one hand (excellent when lying in bed.) The text size is adjustable for my old, tired eyes. The screen’s lighting and contrast is also eye friendly. And I love trees.

I still buy books. There are certain books that I have to have in paper. My husband thought I’d give up paper books once I had a Kindle. He gets a tad flustered when a new book sneaks past the front door and into my hands (yes, they force themselves upon me.)

To see my Kindle reading list so far, go to Nessa’s Reading Room.

* This has not been a paid post but Amazon should give me some free books. I think I'll ask.


Sensational Haiku Wednesday - Fathers

fathers’ influence
deeply, strongly, bad or good
building the future
My father, 78 and his 2nd great-grandson (my grandson) 4 days old.
0 - green butterflyhaikuwednesday32


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tales on Tuesday – Mayberry R.F.D.

May Berry had lips as red as cherries. Her maid brushed her long black hair until it shown like ravens’ wings. Her skin, soft and alabaster white, helped create the image of a delicate damsel in need of constant care and protection. Her mother kept a close eye on her. 

Mother had big plans for May. Mother kept her ears open for the most eligible bachelors available in their social circles and even above. Mother was sure May would marry into the peerage as long as Mother could keep May pure and unblemished.

Mother made sure May never went anywhere alone so that her chastity could never be questioned. May did not walk the streets of London Town even with an escort. May only spoke of the weather or the current fashions. May stayed quiet because Mother said no man wanted a wife with her own opinions. At parties and balls, May smiled and nodded and planned. May had to find a way to get away.

May watched for her chance to get out of the house and away from her keepers. Her opportunity came one night in the Spring when a flu brought down almost all of their staff and everyone in the family except her. She waited until dark, dressed in a set of her brother’s old discarded clothes, snuck by Sally, her feverish and sleeping maid, and climbed out of her bedroom window. When she reached the ground, she looked up, amazed at her audacity. She starred in horror as her maid climbed down the trellis after her. The sick girl lost her footing, dangled for a moment then let go, falling to the ground.

Sally whimpered and moaned as she lay atop her twisted leg. May ran for help. It took six weeks before Sally was up and walking with a stick. During all of that time, May’s doors and windows were locked and big, burly guards stood by them. May felt bad about Sally’s accident so she gave up trying to escape. She went along with Mother’s plans but no one offered her marriage.

Mother decided May needed a new wardrobe for the biggest ball of the year. They went to town to visit the dress maker. It seemed like everyone that was anyone was at the shop on that day. Mother haggled with the shop owner over a special bolt of fabric. As the minutes went by, May got pushed towards the door. She realized no one was watching her. She slipped out and walked.

May found her self on Tower Bridge gazing out at the Thames.

“Beautiful, is it not?”

May did not look at the man who spoke to her.

“The river stinks,” said May.

“You do have an opinion.” The man laughed. “You never expressed one when we danced.”

May turned to see the Duke of Grafton smiling at her.

“I wanted to ask for your hand but I could not see myself married to someone with so little interest in the world. It appears I misjudged you.” The Duke took May’s hand and bowed, placing a kiss upon her gloved knuckles. “I am glad to see I was wrong in my initial view of you.”

The prompt for next Tuesday, June 22, 2010 isHawaii Five-O.”

If you have a TV show based theme you’d like to suggest as a prompt, mention it in the comments.

If you wrote a short story for today, sign into Mr. Linky.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Miscellany Monday 20100614

I signed up for Twitterfeed. It tweets my blog posts for me automatically.

Some of you asked about the color of this piece called "Icarus Unbound." It is in black and white. I considered using color and even trying to somehow back light it through glass (as if the sun were shining behind it) then I decided I liked the irony of the contrast and simplicity of black and white in comparison to the blaze of inspiration. 

While trying to figure out how to tweet for Quilly’s contest to win a copy of the Chosen Ones, I found a site that will Shorten Your Links. It takes the 40 or so characters from a blog post address and shrinks them to less than ten characters.

I receive a copy of The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor each day in my email. It features a poem a day and bits of history. 

I went to the Wizard World Comic Con 2010 in Philadelphia on Saturday with my daughter, my son-in-law, his brother and his girl friend , their brother-in-law and my grandson (did you get all of that?) I took many photos. I’ll be posting some over the next couple of weeks. I always wanted to see a Comic Convention and I am glad I did but I don’t need to go again. The autograph and photograph racket for the “stars” is amazing.
Nicholas multi-tasking at the Comic Con – trying to grab mommy’s earrings while learning how to stick his tongue out at daddy.

I saw the BP coffee spill YouTube video at Short Attention Span Theatre. Very funny.

Still doing three handwritten journal pages each morning. Up to page 50 in the Happenstance edit. And writing 500 words (before doing any blogging) each day.
 0 - v


microfiction Monday – Oh, Pardon Me!

beautyandthebeast My Story:

 Lorna Doone came to realize pulling a monkey from a barrel for her Spring time tea party guest would not be a pleasant olfactory experience. 

Write a story in 140 characters using the picture she provides as inspiration.

Tomorrow’s theme: Mayberry, R.F.D.