Tuesday June 30th, 2009

The exercise:

Welcome to the end of June and to the second edition of Two Haiku Tuesday.

This week's topique: the doctor's office.

Kat and I are heading off to the Okanagan tomorrow and I won't be coming back until Sunday. I'm going to try to schedule enough posts to cover while I'm gone but I probably won't be able to include all of my takes on the prompts until I get back.

I'll have more details on the trip later but for now... be safe and see you soon :)


I'm out here waiting
For the doctor to see me -
The clock ticks backwards.

* * *

I'm here due to stress,
But all this waiting around
Sure ain't helping me.

Monday June 29th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter is: eyewitness.

Warning: mine fell out of the random tree and hit every other branch on the way down.


I spy with my little eye,
A criminal walking by.
Oh I know he's dressed real fine,
But trust me - he's stealing time.

With not a boo nor a hoo,
He's stolen mine, and yours too:
I wasted time writing him,
And you lost time reading him.

Sunday June 28th, 2009

The exercise:

Write an epitaph for either one of your own characters or a character in a book you're reading at the moment.

This prompt was inspired, in a roundabout way, by something Archi suggested as a prompt. I'll use her actual suggestion sometime soon :)


Red Five from Tagged

Here lies our dear Red,
I can't believe he's dead.
So quick with a can,
He could tag your left hand
While kindly shaking your right.

He will be most missed
For his strength to resist
The evil powers;
In those dark hours,
He was my daring red knight.

So long and rest well,
My street artist rebel.
Know the war is won;
What we'd begun is done.
I'll tag one for you tonight.

Saturday June 27th, 2009

The exercise:

Kat and I went strawberry picking this morning and brought back a nice haul. Somewhere around the thirteen pound mark. Yum:

The topic for today's four line poem? Strawberries.


So many shades of red,
Each with its own flavor.
I have to try them all,
But each one I'll savor.

Friday June 26th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's Four Line Prose is: an afternoon at the golf course.

Just a quick reminder: Four Line Prose is exactly that - you have four sentences, no more, no less, to convey a scene, a story, a whatever.

Have fun and have a great weekend!


I joined my department at work yesterday for an afternoon of golf. Team building and all that good stuff, you know?

Unfortunately it was a full length, 18 hole course, and not mini-golf.

Fortunately my team won anyway* - and I've got a silly little trophy on my desk at work to prove it.

*I had very little to do with this.

Thursday June 25th, 2009

The exercise:

The starter for today is: in passing.


Wow, it's been quite the week in the world of celebrity deaths. Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson.

I have no real attachment or emotional investment in any of them but those are three iconic figures of my childhood right there. Gone.

I'm not one to get caught up in celebrity news or gossip or whatever. I know that thousands of people die every day, all over the world. But it feels strange, especially in the case of Jackson, knowing that someone that grew up on television in front of the whole world has passed away. At the age of fifty, no less.

I'm feeling old today.

Wednesday June 24th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: leaving home.


After just over two years in our current place, Kat and I are moving into a new apartment next month. This is the longest either of us have been anywhere since we each left home, and it kind of has that same feeling to it.

Our landlords have been wonderful, easily the best I've ever had. We love this neighborhood, we love our place... but we don't love how much we're paying for it.

So we're moving into a smaller place that's going to cost us a whole lot less each month since it's a one bedroom and this is (only) technically a two. We'll both also be a lot closer to work - it's probably going to cut my commute in half and Kat will have a more-than-short but less-than-long walk to school.

Things are going to be getting busy around here - we have the new place as of July 15th and we've got a fair bit to take care of between now and then. But don't worry - I always make time for my Daily Writing. I hope you do too :)

Tuesday June 23rd, 2009

The exercise:

I've decided, just this afternoon in fact, that with my Tuesday nights taken up by ultimate this summer I really need to keep the writing short on this night. So I'm introducing a new theme night, to go along with Four Line Prose Friday and Four Line Poem Saturday, that will last for the rest of the summer.

So, without further ado, I bring you: Two Haiku Tuesdays.

Today's topic: sensationalist journalism.


Don't go calling it
A "Father's Day Massacre"
When only two die

* * * *

He was caught cheating?
Someone else was arrested?
Call me when they're rich.

Monday June 22nd, 2009

The exercise:

Okay, second charity story done. You can now check out The Gallery, my work for Greg. Two down, three to go!

Greg really pushed the limits of my generosity with his 'three' words but... it was a temptation I could not resist. If you haven't been keeping up with Tagged this story won't make a whole heck of a lot of sense, but feel free to try to enjoy it anyway :)

To prevent any further malarkey, and since this prompt would be useless for all you non-Tagged followers, pick any three words of the six provided.

*sighs heavily*

Here you go: Red Five First Date Emma B (sent in as Red5 first-date EmmaB... the cheek!)


Red First Date

Red's first date with Green was a festive occasion,
Jingle Bells topped music charts across the nation.
The night did go alright, things were pretty okay,
Until a fat man came at midnight and stole Green away.

Red's first date with the militant twins White and Blue
Was a bright celebration of dreams coming true.
Fireworks went off, it was an explosive affair,
But things were cut short when one landed in Blue's hair.

Red's first date with Black was but the first of many;
They went together just like nineteen and twenty.
Each day they always complimented each other;
T'was no wonder really - they had the same mother!

Sunday June 21st, 2009

The exercise:

Happy Father's Day all. I know I just wrote about my Dad yesterday but he's a pretty special guy, so he gets two days in a row.

Today's prompt: summer time with Dad.


I don't remember exactly when or why I became totally obsessed with baseball during my childhood. Looking back now it seems like I always had a baseball glove in one hand, a baseball bat in the other, and... jeez, how did I carry the baseball? In the glove, I hope. Anyway.

We had a massive field out behind our house in Ontario and I could not possibly tell you how many times I dragged Dad out there. I'd give him the bat and ball and go racing out into the field. He'd toss it up and hit fly ball after fly ball to me as I raced left and right, backward and forward to catch them.

Always an encouraging word when I missed it. Always heartfelt praise when I snagged a tough one. So many hot summer afternoons were spent out there, and just as many summer evenings. Until the sky grew too dark to spot the ball in the sky as it hurtled down towards me. Then only a couple more and I'd agree to go back in.

Dad was a ridiculously good sport about it. I'm sure he had other things that needed to be done but I honestly can't remember him ever saying no. I'm sure he must have, but if he did the incredible number of times he agreed to come play ball with me make those one or two, "Not today Marc"'s that I have forgotten seem... well, quite forgettable.

So thanks Dad for always being so willing to step up to the plate for me. I bet you would have made a great ball player if you had ever pursued it. But I know you make a great Dad.

Saturday June 20th, 2009

The exercise:

In celebration of his 70th birthday, my Dad decided to go sky diving today. For the first time in his life.

His reaction? "I don't know why I waited seventy years to do that!"

That's my Dad. Couldn't be more proud.

This week's four line poem topic: sky diving. I've gone twice myself and I highly recommend it to anyone that has not given it a go.


Leaping from a perfectly good plane
Is more than just a little insane;
But I must confess with a slight blush
That it gives you one hell of a rush.

Friday June 19th, 2009

The exercise:

Four Line Friday Prose returns with: keeping count.


He told her he loved her twenty-five times today. She said she missed him more than he can ever imagine five times. They each said they would never be apart for this long ever again ten times.

But who's keeping count?

Thursday June 18th, 2009

The exercise:

The starter today is: multitasking.


This is just too bizarre not to share.

There is only one men's washroom on my floor at work, with a single stall and a single urinal. I think this is ridiculous for the number of men on the floor but I'll save that rant for another time. I was in the stall after lunch today, "making use of the facilities" and thinking. That's my multitasking for this story. I don't even remember what I was thinking about. Oh, yes I do. It was this Family Guy clip I watched last night.

Anyway. While I'm there someone else enters the washroom. After a few moments I hear the sound of teeth being brushed and then footsteps. Okay, brushing your teeth and walking, I can deal with that kind of multitasking. Oh, if only this story ended there.

See, those footsteps? They were leading to the urinal. And the brushing? Yeah, it kept going. And was soon accompanied by sounds of a more... tinkling nature.

There are no circumstances that I would ever be under where this kind of multitasking would seem like a reasonable thing to do. I'm trying not to think about the details too much.

I feel like I should apologize for sharing this. But I know there has to be at least one person out there who got a laugh out of it, so apology withheld.

Wednesday June 17th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt was, oddly enough, inspired by something said at one point during the three hours of meetings that started my workday today. So I guess it wasn't all bad then.

Here you go: safety first.


"Cyanide - that will quench my raging thirst!"
No my child, we must think of safety first.
"But if I don't drink then my throat will burst!"
And then back to health you'll have to be nursed.

"To have you for a mom I must be cursed!"
Oh, in witchcraft I am very well versed.
"What must I do to get this jinx reversed?"
Try holding your breath until it's dispersed.

Tuesday June 16th, 2009

The exercise:

We had dinner with my sister and her partner tonight (they're in town for a visit from Boston) and it was quite delicious. Particularly the chocolate dessert Kat and I shared. Yum.

I haven't seen Nicky in quite a while and Kat and Cris hadn't met before and it turned out to be a very pleasant evening - despite Nicky not feeling too well and Cris having his laptop and passport stolen today. I hate people some times.

I wish we could see Nicky and Cris more often though. I will convince them to move out here eventually.

Anyway, the prompt for today shall be: the miles between us.


If I was a fisherman
I'd cast out my shining line,
I'd catch your coast
And reel it much closer to mine.

If I was an architect
I'd build a road so long,
You'd live on my street
Just where you belong.

But I am just a writer
So all that I can do,
Is write a little poem
To share my thoughts with you.

Monday June 15th, 2009

The exercise:

I've begun the task of writing the 1,000 word stories I promised to those who donated $50 or more (and those international donors keen enough to go the extra mile to contribute) to my diabetes fundraising efforts. One down, four to go.

You can find The Gift of Fire, the story I wrote for my parents, over at my dust-covered Creative Outlet. I'll be posting all five of the stories there, as long as I get permission to do so for the person I'm writing the story for.

This one ended up as a children's story and I'm hoping to make each one completely unique. I know the next two will be very different at least. Anyway, each day that I post one of the stories I'll be using the three words I was provided with as the writing prompt over here. So, in essence, they're getting a story and a poem out of the deal.

So, courtesy of Mom and Dad, today's prompt is: love, understanding, thoughtfulness. I'm not sure if the form of poetry I used has a name or not (I'm looking at you Greg) but if it doesn't I'll be happy to claim its invention. It was pretty fun to write.


You can't understand a love like this,
Like this your brain is not meant to twist,
To twist in ways which are not quite right -
Quite right you are to give up this fight.

I rarely comprehend my thinking,
My thinking often feels like sinking,
Like sinking into murky waters -
Murky waters mixed by witches daughters.

But I am content to drown in you,
In you I know I've found a love so true,
So true that it makes all others fade -
Others fade next to your siren serenade.

Sunday June 14th, 2009

The exercise:

We had a car free event in the neighborhood this afternoon - thirteen blocks of one of the busier streets in Vancouver were closed to vehicular traffic and opened up to pedestrians only. More of that please.

So the prompt today is: no cars allowed.


You can come riding a horse,
Or a bicycle of course;
Be launched like a shot put,
Or you can get there by foot;
You can arrive on a cloud...
But there are no cars allowed.

Saturday June 13th, 2009

The exercise:

Write a four line poem with this as your starter: at the beach.


I'll write mine when I get home. Because I'm going to spend the afternoon and evening... at the beach. Genius, I know.

Update: Alright, that was good times. Here we go.

Take our bikes for a slow ride,
Meet at the beach at low tide,
Feel the sand between our toes,
Forget which way the hour goes.

Friday June 12th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's edition of Four Line Friday Prose is: the installation.

Have a happy weekend everybody :)


Hidden deep in the decaying woods of Pucario the plain grey building lurks, patiently awaiting its next visitor. There are thick, greedy vines grasping at its walls, rotting leaves fill its gutters, and twisted weeds choke its walkways. The front door is rusted shut, never to open again to anything less than the hand of God. But that is of no concern to the man who is approaching slowly from the north, for he knows where the real entrance lies.

Thursday June 11th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic du jour: sneaky sneaky.

Don't ask me. It just popped into my head. All sneaky like.


I didn't see it coming.
I thought my eyes were open -
Maybe I was looking the wrong way,
Or was I too busy hoping?

For what I couldn't say,
But it should have been for you.
Because now that you've snuck into my life,
My heart beats much more true.

What a delightful surprise it's been,
Discovering this love of ours.
It's as fresh and welcome
As sudden summer showers.

No I didn't see you coming,
But I think that's for the best.
And now that you're here,
At last my soul can rest.

Wednesday June 10th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt is: handcuffed.

Thanks again to those who dropped by to share some kind words on Daily Writing Practice's first birthday. It was much appreciated :)


Oh how I want, how I want
To get nasty and rough;
But these words cannot flow,
I've been verbally handcuffed.
Oh the things I want to say
While you think yourself better;
Like: the only class you've got
Are the last three letters.

But in the end I'll admit:
This silent path is for the best.
Because while you're puffing up
And ape-beating your chest,
It's out there in the open
For the rest of us to see
That you're worth about as much
As two bottles of pee.

Tuesday June 9th, 2009

The exercise:

Well. One full year of writing every day. It's kind of an odd feeling to have reached this little 'milestone' to be honest. It doesn't really feel like an accomplishment at this point. Writing every day is just what I do.

Regardless of how I might feel about it, I'm still going to mark the occasion. So today's prompt, if you care to indulge, is: a year in review.


Writing every day for a year is bound to produce some right awful crap. And it has. But there are some good creations to be found in that pile, if one is willing to get very, very dirty.

Lucky for you, I am. So here, in date order, are some of my highlights from the year. Both my own and from others.

Surprisingly it only took two days of practice before I wrote something I really liked. Looking back at it now, I can see a story developing from it. Hmm.

Geez, I wrote a lot more prose back then. Obviously before I went and joined Protagonize.

Okay, seriously. I was like Mr. Prose. This is going to take a long time to get through.

I would be remiss not to mention one of my favorite Def Poetry Jam Friday posts.

So much prose. I had totally forgotten about this one. It makes me smile.

Ooh, a poem! This is one that still makes me laugh.

A little bit about me on my 30th birthday, originally written at a writing workshop. Remains one of my favorite pieces of writing.

This one I'm pointing out mostly due to Ana's comment. But I'm also quite fond of the writing itself :)

Oh I quite like this. Did I really write that? Huh.

This legitimately made me laugh out loud. Still does, sadly.

I think these might be my favorite haiku that I've written here :)

I still like the peace that permeates this piece.

It's sad but I still like it. I'm allowed to be sad every now and again. Plus that was the post that sparked g2's poetry craze :)

God, this still cracks me up. How embarrassing.

This too, actually.

Okay, that's enough of that. I won't do any within the last month, that would be silly. And that took so long that I'll have to do a separate post on my favorite comments. Perhaps tomorrow. I hope you all found something you enjoyed in all that.

And thank you, from the bottom of my little heart, for reading and sharing your own writing over the past year. Let's keep it going :)

Monday June 8th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter shall be: the blood test.

Hurray for giant, blood sucking needles! Le sigh.


The doctor stepped back with a gasp,
The patient loosed a wheezing rasp,
The nurse ran screaming from the room,
The cleaner hid behind his broom.
The mother collapsed with a thud -
Merely at the sight of green blood.

Sunday June 7th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter: dirty laundry.

Why yes, it is laundry day. Why do you ask?


They boarded the train at the first station we came to after the Swiss-Italian border. They moved down the aisle, their dogs leading the way on taut leashes with noses darting left and right. I eyed them uneasily and hoped for the best.

The policeman stopped and eyed me over, asking a question in Italian. I apologized for not understanding and asked if he speaks English. Politely, I hoped.

"Where are you from?"

"Canada." God, I love being from Canada. They always go easy on Canadians.

"Do you have any cigarettes?" he demanded, his dog dancing around his boots.

"No, I don't smoke."

"Open your bag please."

I opened up the daypack at my feet and emptied it of its contents, one by one. No cigarettes. Good thing I don't smoke. I had no idea you weren't allowed to bring smokes over the border.

"Is that your bag as well?" he asked, pointing at my big backpack in the overhead storage. Oh no.

"Yes it is."

"No cigarettes in there either?"

"No... would you like me to show you?" Please, please say no.

He contemplated me for a moment then stared up at Big Blue. I did my best impression of a saint. After several tense moments he shook his head no and went on to harass another passenger.

I sighed deeply in relief. Nobody, and I mean nobody, on that train wanted me to air out that dirty laundry.

Note: yeah, an entirely true story. I hadn't done laundry in weeks. I was mortified at the thought this man was about to go digging through that stinking nastiness.

Saturday June 6th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic of the poem, which shall consist of four lines, no more, no less, is: tea for two.

Ah, drawing inspiration from the moment. :)


One cup for me,
One cup for you.
Oh how I love
Our daily tea for two.

Friday June 5th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this edition of Four Line Friday Prose is: they're playing our song.

It appears that this coming Tuesday will mark one year in the life of Daily Writing Practice. I shall have to do something at least a little bit special for it.


A gentle breeze plays with your hair in ways my fingers no longer can. The candlelight caresses your glowing cheeks, traces your angelic outline, as I did many years before. The radio begins to play our song and you can't stop yourself from tapping your foot on the hardwood floor, keeping the beat as perfectly as ever.

I would ask you to dance but I know you have already danced with too many of my ghosts these last few years.

Thursday June 4th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: the report.

Yeah, I was doing too much reporting paperwork today.


"I'll need that report on my desk by noon," said the Man in the Moon.

"Noon is too soon by far!" shrieked the Twinkling Star.

"What? What!? You've known this deadline was coming for at least a year!" bellowed the Man as he leaned quite near.

"A little more time, I beg you! Just one more extension?" pleaded the Star with great apprehension.

"No, I say no more! Have the report done or I'll snuff you out!" the Moon pronounced with an echoing shout.

"Yes, Sir Moon, it shall be done by noon, and not a moment later," mumbled the Star as he made plans to escape to Earth's equator.

Wednesday June 3rd, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: the ice cream truck (van for you damn Brits).


Around and around you circle,
Blasting that infernal jingle.
But I'll admit: at thirty
That tune still makes me tingle.

With the sun melting me down
You are a sore temptation.
And given but half a chance
I would trade you vocations.

So keep those kids a screaming
Every time you pass on by;
And I'll take two steps forward,
Then pat my belly and sigh.

Tuesday June 2nd, 2009

The exercise:

It's late, I'm tired, and I want to go to bed.

That can only mean one thing: haiku!

Since my ultimate team finally won its first two games of the season tonight, the haiku topic shall be: winning.


It's all fun and games;
Winning is not everything...
It's the only thing.

Winners and losers,
Which one you are matters not
When Death comes calling.

It's time to admit:
I'm fighting a lost battle.
I'm going to bed.

Monday June 1st, 2009

The exercise:

Wow, welcome to June already. Zoom zoom goes the year.

Today's starter: dreaming of you.

Inspiration: I had a really vivid dream this morning, which is odd in and of itself seeing as I very rarely remember dreaming at all. But there was a person in this dream that I just... need to write a story about. The story behind this person really snagged my imagination. Hopefully I'll be able to find time to get some of my ideas down on paper before they're gone for good.

Today won't be that day. Tomorrow isn't looking great either. Perhaps I'll just make some quick notes for myself before bed.


Whenever I fall asleep
There's one promise I can't keep:
Not to dream a dream of you.

My eyelids simply can't hide
Me from you - trust me I've tried.
You have yet to miss your cue.

If only our sleeping words
In the day would be as birds
And sing proudly in plain view.