Wednesday, December 4, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

Prompt #17...Write about your ideal place in 400 words.

A quiet stillness settles over the trees as a gentle breeze barely rustles the newly turning leaves. From the back porch, you can look out over the groves of trees and the rolling fields of grass as the sun begins its dip below the horizon. The sky paints itself with a multitude of colors that blend seamlessly. A warm cup of coffee sits on a wicker table beside the gliding rocker bench.

You drink in this solitude where the noise and bustle of daily life quiets and slows. This is your home where you take refuge and yet you feel connected to the vast infiniteness of God in this tranquil moment. You are alone, but far from lonely as you watch the setting sun. Quicker than you realize, the sun sinks completely beneath the horizon and the sky fills with twinkling lights.

Your spirit and soul find renewal to face the evening craziness of cooking, cleaning, homework, and bedtimes. Tomorrow’s worries seem so far away as you drink in the beauty that surrounds you. A smile touches your lips as you hear the creak of the old screen door and the thumps of feet on the wooden porch.


“Yes, baby?”

“When are we going to eat? I’m hungry.”

You laugh lightly and pat the cushion of the bench beside you. “Come sit with me for a moment.”

A long-suffering sigh reaches your ear, but the bench shakes as she climbs beside you and snuggles against your arm.

“Why do you always sit out here?”

You don’t answer at first as you wrap your arm around her shoulders.

“Because it’s a chance for me to be quiet and still, to listen and to see all that God has made. Sometimes, baby, Momma needs to be alone so she can remember that her blessings are many.”

“You get all that from sitting out here.”


She’s quiet for a moment, and you finish the last sip of your coffee as the last bit of pink completely fades from the sky.

“Could I sit out here with you if I promise to be really quiet?”

You smile down at her face.

“I would like that. Now, go on in and wash your hands. You can help me fix supper.”

Her smile nearly breaks her face and your heart warms with a familiar glow. Here in this place you know, you are home.

Word Count: 400

Friday, November 22, 2013

Trying Something New

Prompt 8- Write down 40 things that happened to you this month (embarrassing, funny, sad, happy, infuriating) and pick one to write about...

40 Things that Happened to Me this Month:

So I'm going to hide full list I made, but feel free to check it out if you want.

Trying Something New

If you're introvert, you'll understand what I say when I tell you that I can think of nothing more wonderful that a quiet night at home with my hubby, a book or movie, and nothing else going on. That being said, I also like to try new things like when I got free tickets to the symphony or discounted tickets to a hockey game. Growing up in a small rural town-ok, that's a lie. Growing up on a farm 20 minutes from the nearest Walmart, aka the social hub of everything in rural Tennessee, left me with a rather repetitive experience. Great for my introversion, not so great for my love of trying and learning new things. So when a friend in our church small group said, "Hey, anyone interested in free tickets to the CMA Country Christmas?" my thoughts went something like this:

Free tickets?
I like free.
Country music?
My hubby likes country music and I do as well.
It's the day after your big benefit dinner?
So what, it's free and we've never done this before!
Let's do it!

Out loud, I probably just said, "We are interested." Since the hubs was out of town for work I made an executive couple decision and then told him about it when he came home. Fortunately, after eight years of marriage, I still know this man pretty well. He was game.

Over the week details were worked out with the couple and some others to carpool. We met up and headed to downtown Nashville. We were all dressed up, because this was a taping for a TV special.

We arrived grab some concession that doubled as dinner. It was certainly amusing to be in my cute sweater dress, tights, and boots while eating a concession stand hot dog. Needless to say, the hot dog delighted my taste buds in the way only something from a concession stand can.

Once the group finished eating, one of the members realized she had misplaced her ticket! Oh, no. However, not to worry, we had a couple extras because two people backed out of our outing at the last minute. We made our way into the arena to find that our seats were on the main floor right next to this:
The center stage from which the introductions of the acts would be made was directly behind our seats. This allowed me to grab a couple of amazing shots of the beautiful Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

Because it was a taping for a TV. Some of the acts would perform twice in order to get a better take. We got to hear the amazing vocals of Mary J Blige alongside Ms. Nettles singing Do you hear what I hear? twice, because Ms. Blige's first wardrobe choice of a strapless gown would not stay in a position which she was comfortable with. She came back with a different dress and rocked it out for a second time.

Lucy Hale, one of the lead actress of Pretty Little Liars and a Memphis, TN native, sang a song and was super cute as she walked off the stage. She shared, "This is the biggest crowd, I've ever sang in front of!" If you can't tell from the pictures, the Bridgestone Arena was packed to the gills that night. She did a wonderful job and looked beautiful as well.

It was an amazing experience! And since we were on the main floor so close to the stage, we even had a moment where the cameras were filming us from about two feet away! If I'm on TV, I might freak out a little. But to be honest, it was incredibly difficult not to focus on the camera and keep my eyes on the stage.

The night was long and after four hours of no bathroom breaks, we had to make a pit stop before heading home. Of course,  the women's line was outrageous as it always is at events. However, it was worth risking the explosion of my bladder to not miss a moment of the show.

All I can say after all that is that it was an experience that I would love to repeat even if it means giving up my quiet night at home with the hubby.

And here are a few other shots from the night...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Just a bit of science-fiction I wrote based on these thoughts:What is evil? How do you forgive when you have a wound that just won't heal? Would you save the life of the person or lives of the people who were responsible for the death of your child?

Although we think we remember those epic moments of shared history when everything we thought we knew came tumbling down, research into memory taught us that we create a narrative about those moments, a story we tell ourselves and others that doesn't always coincide with the truth. Regardless of whether it happened like this, this is how I remember the moment that we learned we weren't alone in the universe. They came from the stars in ships, a people who'd destroyed their own world in much the way we feared we would destroy our own. These Travelers consumed until their was nothing left to consume and then with little other choice some took to the stars to find a new home, a new world to consume.

In a universe as large as ours, with the number of stars and astral bodies revolving around them, it came as no surprise to some that we were not alone. They came from the stars and it gave them the advantage. With no locations to fortify, no unmovable fortress they had us at the advantage. Their technology surpassed us. I wonder now if they thought we'd be an easy target. We proved tenacious, our long history of fighting amongst ourselves prepared us for to fight others. Lives were lost and even as we lost ground to the invaders we developed new ways to fight them. Mankind would not go silently into that good night.

I lost my reason for existence in the first attack. Their smiles and laughter haunt my dreams both waking and sleeping. A husband who loved me with all his heart, more than just a lover and partner, but my best friend. And, my sun & stars, my gift from God. I'd been unable to have children biologically and the journey to adopt my precious little girl had resulted in own share of tears and laughter. What more could I ask for? Did I not have all that a woman could want and more?

And then in a blink of eye, every breath, every memory became a painful gasping of air. Where once I was filled, now I was emptied? Why had God allowed this? Why had he given me them only to steal them back? How did I not hate these invaders that had come to take all that I had? I joined the fight like many others trying to salvage something out of my fractured existence. Desperate to find some meaning, some purpose in the loss I endured.

It would not be some great technology that would save us, but their own arrogance. Our biologies were so similar, the same number of chromosomes…our invaders could be our biological cousins. And their great enemy turned out to be what H.G. Wells in the War of the Worlds so aptly predicted. Germs, viruses, bacterias. The very smallest things of our world became the weapons they could not fight. The Europeans nearly wiped out the Native Americans when they came to North America, but we nearly wiped out the Travelers with the flu. Our enemies sued for peace with us as they lacked the resources to care for a species wide epidemic. The armistice began a week ago and the military leader of the Travelers is making his way to the neutral territory to negotiate a lasting peace treaty.

I had made a name for myself among the resistance, because I treated the prisoners we captured during the war with respect. I did not tolerate cruelty or acts of revenge. For those who knew my story of loss, it garnered strange looks. Even broken without my human anchors, I tried to rest in the one who never failed. My faith sustained me even when I yelled in anger and sorrow at God. I was one of the first to notice that the prisoners were becoming ill. It was the quick response that I and the medical staff attached to my unit had that saved the lives of hundreds of Travelers. I had saved my enemy. Was that not enough?

Today, I knew God was testing me as the leaders of the Earth called on me to join the negotiations to sit across the table from the man who'd ordered that first attack that had stolen my every peace and joy. He would only negotiate this truce with me, because I had set aside differences in the midst of war to save my enemies. It was unlikely that he knew my story in entirety, but there were few if any people on Earth who had not lost some loved one in the war. Could I forgive this man for murdering my child and help forge a future of peace? Or would the rage I fought against, the anger, pain that threatened to become bitterness and hate, consume me and use this opportunity to take my revenge? A test. Would I chose forgiveness? Would I choose obedience to the God who I claimed to serve? Or would I choose my own way?

…Her laughter echoed in my ears. Tiny arms wrapped around my neck. Whispered I love you's and a heart that overflowed…Could I forgive? Would I forgive?

In the end, it was my choice. I could drink from the cup of bitterness. Or not.

The ship opened and he emerged. A striking man even if he was an alien. My hand squeezed around the knife I'd tucked in my jacket pocket. I would get close enough to use it when we greeted each other. As he approached, I struggled in a battle for my soul.

God, I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to forgive this man. How did you forgive us for the murder of your son? 

And …I knew that forgiveness was also a choice. A choice I'd have to make again and again until it stuck. Only I could release this man from the debt I felt he owed me for what had been taken. My fingers unwrapped from the knife as the translators introduced us. I choose to stick my hand out and take his. I choose to no longer dwell on the moments I would never have with my husband, with my daughter, and be grateful for all the moments that I had been given.

And I would have to choose that many times again and again over the days and weeks, months, years to come. Choose to forgive until one day I no longer had to choose forgiveness, because somewhere along the way I had learned to love my enemy, to call them friend.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Power's Out To Do List

12 things to do when the power's out.

1. Play hide and go seek.
2. Pretend to be a ninja.
3. Paint yourself with glow in the dark paint. Then knock on your neighbors door to see if they will say anything about it.
4. Build a fire and roast marshmellows.
5. hehe...For Married couples only :D
6. Use a flashlight and put on a shadow show.
7. Sleep.
8. Dance like no one is watching (because they aren't if they can't see you.) could hit unseen objects.
9. Make up scary overdramatic stories and tell them to whoever is with you.
10. Light a bazillion candles, have a picnic of sandwiches.
11. Eat ice cream (you know, so it doesn't melt and all that.)
12. Run around naked...because whose going to know. Just don't get caught when the light's come back on.

Cliche (Cat's out of the bag-Wes H.)

Another poetry prompt...but this time the first line is a cliche. The title is an ode to Wes my former boss who at improv night during our church camp as cliche man could only remember "Cat's out of the bag." He then used this every time he was buzzed in.

My cliche is "zigged when she should have zagged."

Zigged when she should have zagged
was my unspoken thought.
The story of her life
She walked away her shoulders sagged

A tightrope walk on the sharp edge of a knife
truth hidden in night
The broken in spirit
Bitter, wounded, filled with inner strife

If I spoke would she hear it?
What to say to
The one in need
pain's past begin to disinherit?

But by word and deed,
By love given, and
The hand of helping
From all sorrow she was freed

(That was a real stretch there.)


The prompt was to take the last line of a poem that you like and make it the first of yours. I chose "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas after doing some poetry research since the only poem I could even remember was "The Road not taken"

Rage, rage against the dying of the light
But why fear you the Lord your soul to take
death should no longer give you such fright

For if you are his salt and light
and all your life is lived for his sake
Rejoice for even in death your future is bright

And be awed by the hoped for sight
that pierced hands will someday make
as your heart in your chest grows tight

The enemy no more you will need fight
as his outstretched hand you choose to take
His word alone will cast back the night

Rage, rage against the dying of the light
but not the dying that death will make
Rage, rage against the lost soul's plight

(And I'm pretty sure that's awful poetry, but I'm not a poet and don't I know

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Prompt 4- the shoe fits another foot

Cinderella gasped in astonishment as the shoe slid perfectly on her stepsister’s foot. How? She thought as she leaned against the wall and slid slowly to the floor. Her dreams, her hopes for the future were dashed to the ground. Tears ran down her cheeks as her stepsister squealed with delight and nearly tackled the prince.

“Why so sad, Cindy?” a voice said from next to her followed by a pop and a smack. “You ain’t missing much. Prince Charming, he ain’t so charming. He’s a bit of a player, ya know what I mean, Ellie?”

Cinderella turned to see a young woman with long black hair with streaks of bright pink in a black dress with slits up to her hip, legs covered in fish nets, and black leather boots with long thin heels. “Who are you?” she whispered.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. Dolores is so going to give me demerits for that one. I’m Jemma. You’re old fairy godmother decided to take an early retirement. The fairy godmothers are reorganizing and all that other stuff. Anyway, I’m your new fairy godmother.”

“Oh…” Cindrella said. She didn’t quite know what to think of this new fairy godmother. In fact, Jemma didn’t look much like a fairy godmother at all.

“Look, Cinds, I know the story is that you are suppose to be the one the shoe fits and all that, but I just couldn’t put you through all that. Ol’ Charm has a bit of a problem with being faithful. In fact, you would be out to pasture within days of the wedding. He likes the chase, but not so much the catching. So happily ever after isn’t really happy. So anyway I did a little hocus pocus on your stepsister to make the shoe fit. Those two totally deserve each other.”

“But I thought I was going to get out of this house, away from them,” Cinderella said. “He was my way out.”

“Oh girl, don’t you be doubting your fairy godmother. I’ve got a plan for you. No time to pack and all. Adventure awaits! Bippety boppety boom pow!” Her fairy godmother grinned as she waved her wand and sent Cinderella flying far far away on the greatest adventure of her life. And even though Cinderella didn’t get her happily ever after, she found out that real happiness is something you make for yourself. Besides Charming really did turn out to be a dirtbag and her stepsister lived to be old and miserable. But Cinderella never even gloated.