Monday, January 29, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Chronicles

The Chronicles of Linda Dawson

Linda worked everyday in the bank, standing behind her teller window. She wore gray wool skirts with white sweaters and black low-heeled shoes. She had worked at the bank for over twenty-five years. She had a habit of chronicling her life in a journal. She’d been doing this since she received a diary for her tenth birthday, rarely missing a day of writing. Moon phases, flowers that had bloomed in her yard, customers who had come to her teller window that day, what she’d had for lunch, lists of the mysteries and criminal thrillers she read - these are the things that Linda’s journal contained.

In February, Linda’s journal told of the seventeen days South Bend, Indiana had gone without sunshine. The weather had been as gray as Linda’s skirt, as gray as her house cat. Her pale blue eyes had taken on a grayness behind the metal frames of her glasses. Linda ate lunch in the break room of the bank, flipping through a Travel & Leisure magazine someone had left. In the magazine was a four page article about tropical getaways. Linda stared at pictures of azure skies and seas, waves crested with white foam, sand, palm trees and sunshine. The people in the pictures were soaking in the sun, their tan bodies looked warm and relaxed. Linda folded the magazine and threw the remains of her lunch in the trash can. She smoothed her gray skirt and adjusted her glasses on her slim nose, then took her place again behind her teller window.

On the twenty-second day with no sunshine in South Bend, Indiana Linda Dawson was still thinking about those pictures of the tropical places. That evening she balanced her drawer as she always did, carefully and quickly. But this time it didn’t balance. She was off by $5362. She knew why she was off. A new customer had come in to deposit this amount in his account. The money was in cash. She had done the deposit but for some reason it hadn’t registered in the computer and the customer left without the receipt.

Linda counted out the $5362 in cash. The drawer balanced without this money. Normally she would go back in to fix the error. She would call her boss over to help her with this. Linda looked up at the other tellers. They were all busy counting and recounting. Her face felt flush and she dabbed at her forehead with her fingertips. She slipped the cash into the pocket of her white, cardigan sweater, pushed her glasses up on her slim nose and smoothed her dull brown hair, making sure it was all tucked under the thin metal headband that held it back from her face. Linda closed her teller drawer and finished her paperwork.

Three days later Linda Dawson was laying on a beach in the Bahamas, her hair in tight cornrow braids done by a local girl. Sand clung to her feet and legs. A trickle of sweat ran down her back. Soon she would walk into the ocean water, letting the waves wash over her, cooling off her bronzed skin. For now she held a hollowed out pineapple and sipped the sweet drink. Her eyes had taken on the deep blue of the ocean and sky. Although she had packed her diary, it remained in the bottom of her suitcase. The last entry read, “Took the money and ran. Now I will live.”

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Felicitations

I’m still doing these for me, just so that I can remember the good things that happen each week and focus on those.

1. We’re having friends over tonight and I’ve got dinner made and ready to go.

2. I edited the prologue and first 3 chapter of my novel for my writing class. It’s been uploaded for critique and so far I’ve gotten good comments and some helpful suggestions for improving it.

3. Last week I wrote a tiny story for Sunday Scribblings prompt, fantasy. That tiny story has been taking shape in my mind all week for a much longer story. Now I just need to start writing it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Poetry Thursday - Why I love poetry

The prompt this week at Poetry Thursday is "Why I Love Poetry". Here's my poem on loving poetry.

Poetry captures a moment
Illuminating it
Revealing the hidden things
I am pulled in
To savor its essence

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One Deep Breath - Process/Craft

Inklings drench paper
Imagination flowing
From the tip of the pen


Instantly captured
An idea snatches my mind
Other thoughts vanish

Find more at One Deep Breath

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Fantasy

Unless you count Ella Enchanted and a few of the Chronicles of Narnia series, I've never read any fantasy literature. But I decided to try my hand at writing a bit for this prompt. Here's my attempt. Hope you enjoy.

Risa huddled with her knees drawn up under her chin. The velvet hood of her cloak covered her hair and she held the treasure in her arms. She knelt in the open place, not far from the silver forest, just as she had been told. Stars of turquoise, amber, emerald and sapphire pierced the ebony sky. Her small body shook as she knelt, not from cold but fear. Chimes rang, random notes sounding haunting in the night. The trees of the silver forest knew she was near and tapped their branches together to alert the ogres who served the usurper.

As she waited she let her hand run over the treasure, a bronze key about the length of one of the leather slippers she wore on her feet. The key was encrusted with three amethyst jewels. Risa was only a courier in the service of the One and Only King and didn’t know what the key opened.

The chimes were getting louder and she was afraid that the ogres would discover her soon, but still she knelt on the mossy ground. The air stirred around her face, blowing the tendrils of black hair that escaped her hood. As she brushed the curls from her eyes she heard the rush of wings in the air behind her. Risa was lifted from the ground, cradled in the dragon’s talons more gently than she thought possible. Quickly the dragon flew, lifting her high over the silver forest, away from the danger. Everything was just as she was told. The treasure would be safe. The Kingdom assured.

More fantasy here

Friday Felicitations

Friday again and time for more felicitations.
1. Several people told me this week that I’m handling a difficult situation well. This was good to hear because the situation is challenging, in not a good way.

2. Despite not making it out of the house to do any writing this week, I still managed to work at home on it.

3. I had coffee and dessert with a friend this week and another friend stopped by to visit for a while.

4. I went for a walk this afternoon with the kids and youngest daughter rode her new two wheel bike. The sunshine was wonderful and it was fun to see her bundled up on her bike.

Passing it on:
1. Karen from my writing group finished the first draft of her novel! Yeah!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

One Deep Breath - Reflection

Cratered sphere of rock
Suspended in galaxy
Reflects sun’s glory


Mirrored gazing ball
Curved mercury images
Of gardener’s vision.


Grace bends down
Drinking deeply
Of its own reflection

I know the last one isn't a traditional haiku. I wrote it after remembering a picture of a giraffe's reflection in the water as it bent to drink. I've looked for the picture but can't find it again.

For more Reflections visit One Deep Breath

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Idea


An idea materializes in my mind and I’m intrigued with it and enamored by it. I turn it over, examining and admiring it. But once I commit to the idea and begin to work with it, I find its flaws. Maybe it’s not as complex as I first thought, or maybe it’s too complex. Maybe it’s too dark, ugly, sickly sweet, plastic, one dimensional. I become frustrated and want to destroy the idea rather than continue to work with it. It is a bad idea anyway.

Or is it? I’m beginning to believe that there aren’t any bad ideas when it comes to writing. Ideas only become truly good when they are worked with by writers who are committed to refining them, sculpting and carving until their beauty shines through.

Look here for more Ideas.

Friday Felicitations

I know it's Saturday but better late than never, so they say.

It's hard to come up with felicitations for myself, to list those good things that have happened to me over the week, compliments I've gotten or accomplishments. Maybe with practice it will get easier.

1. I found an old poem I'd written called "Satisfy" and I sent it to my pastor, who told me he liked it.

2. I kept my three writing dates for the week. Two are while waiting for my daughter to get out of dance class and the other during the week with no other excuse to have to go out, only writing. All three were productive, relaxing and worth the effort.

Passing it on:

1. To my sister-in-law for bravely traveling with her two children from Germany to Ohio and back again. A true adventure on military flights, especially the return which took many days more than she expected.

2. To Lara in my writing group for perservering through a tough place in her novel. She's an example for all of us!

For more felicitaions and to find out what Friday Felicitations is all about click the link in the side bar at the right.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

One Deep Breath - Subtle Changes

Sun warms their faces
Healthy glow of rosy cheeks
Sprinkle of freckles


New stylish hair-do
Condfident, looking pretty
He doesn't notice


Ivory bishop
Diagonal move to check
Long-standing bet lost

For more Subtle Changes

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Kissing

“Kiss her again! Kiss her again!” These were the cries of my two youngest children a few weeks ago when they caught my husband kissing me in the living room. Our kisses mingled with laughter as we kept kissing, egged on by the encouragement of our kids.

I’m not sure why they decided to enjoy our moment with us, but it was funny to hear them. A snapshot memory to treasure.

For more Kissing click here.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Friday Felicitations

Megan, from my writing group explains Friday Felicitations on her blog, Flaming Renaissance. Here's an excerpt from what she wrote:

Why is it we are so ready to remember those negative things we hear about ourselves and so quick to dismiss the compliments and offers of a step up in this world? Who, may I ask, taught us that being proud of something we’ve done well or accomplished is the same as being arrogant?
Let’s give up that thinking once and for all! Stop hiding the gifts of positive words behind your back and start thrusting them out in the open - join our Friday Felicitations Movement!

This goes well with the more positive outlook I'm striving for in myself, so here are my felicitations.

1) Two people recently have told me that I look good and wondered if I've had my hair done or something (I haven't, but I did realize that I was wearing the same outfit both times. It must be the color.)

2) I got several compliments on my cooking and baking over the holidays, especially for my peppermint patties.

3) A friend saw my kichen for the first time and complimented me on the color. I painted it red this summer.

Now for passing on felicitations. We talked about this at dinner and my husband and oldest daughter also tried to think of some for themselves. We all agreed that it's hard!

1) My daughter got complimented on the jewelry that she was wearing, which she made herself. She also was told that she is pretty.

2) My husband was told he is humble. (We laughed about this, because can you give yourself felicitations over being humble?) He has also recently been nominated to serve on the Federal Home Loan Bank board. What this means is over my head, but it is an honor.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Poetry Thursday

Here's an old poem that I wrote several years ago.

Library computer systems can’t
Satisfy sentimental longings for
Old card catalogues.
Heavy, wooden cabinets
Laden with small drawers,
Filled with paper and ink symbols
Of each book

Printed receipts are no substitute for
Due-date cards slid into
Envelopes inside front covers of books.

Plastic cards like so many other plastic cards
In my purse make me long for
My old heavy paper library card
Worn soft with use,
Embedded with a small metal plate to
Stamp the card of each book checked out.
Slipped into the stamping machine with a satisfying

Click here for more Poetry Thursday

Monday, January 1, 2007

One Deep Breath - New Year

In our family we make fun predictions for the New Year. We read what we wrote down from the year before and then make up new ideas of what the next year will bring. We always keep it fun - things like a child losing their first tooth, the number of soccer goals kicked in the season, what the new cousin will be named etc. It's a fun way to think about the year the is past and the year that is coming.

New Year’s predictions
Pondering past and future
Of our family life

For more New Year haiku click here

Sunday Scribblings - Destination

The prompt this week for Sunday Scribblings makes me think of the writing plan I've been working on. I've been pondering it for a few weeks, since it was brought up in a writing group that I'm part of.

The plan will be my map to get me to two destinations: 1) establishing a regular writing habit 2) concentrate on my novel.

I spent Nov. doing National Novel Writing Month and won for the third consecutive year. December was dedicated to poetry. I started this blog and have participated in Sunday Scribblings, Poetry Thursday, and One Deep Breath. I also renewed my quiet time/morning pages habit each day.

With that ground work laid, here's how the plan is shaping up for the first three months of 2007

January - March
1) Continue with quiet time/morning pages
2) Start the Gotham Writers' Workshop class that was a Christmas gift from my generous and loving husband. I chose Novel Writing and I'm excited and nervous. Over a year ago I took Fiction Writing and it was wonderful.
3) Continue with this blog. I may blog about the class and what I'm learning.
4) By the end of March I'll come up with a new plan that will help me reach the two destinations I'm working toward. The Novel Writing class will be over and I'll have a better idea of the work that will need done on my story.

Last year when I finished nanowrimo, I nearly stopped writing. This year will be different. I have destinations in mind and a map to get me there.