Friday July 31st, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's Four Line Friday Prose: pen and paper.

The laptop isn't coming with me this weekend, so I have to go old school :)


The convenience of technology has come between paper and me recently. Why write it out and then type it out when you can skip the middle step, no matter where you might be?

Because the connection between your soul and the words is not as firm - the keyboard gets in the way, makes the experience less authentic. This weekend the hollow clack of keys is being replaced by the soothing sound of pen waltzing across notebook pages... and I think my writing will benefit from it.

Thursday July 30th, 2009

The exercise:

The prompt today: a recipe for joy.

I'm heading out tomorrow afternoon to spend the long weekend camping with Kat's family and I'll be back on Monday sometime. I'm not going to bother scheduling any posts (since Blogger can't be bothered to fix that little bug) but I'll hopefully have a post for Friday up before I take off.

I'll post Saturday, Sunday, and Monday when I get back. Rest assured that I'll be writing while I'm camping. I hope you all have a great weekend, long or otherwise.


A recipe for joy

1. Take one young man.
2. Give this young man a bicycle.
3. Place the young man, along with the bicycle, about a twenty-five minute ride from home.
4. Turn the temperature up to 32 degrees Celsius.
5. Add some humidity, so that it feels more like 40.
6. Allow the young man to bike home.
7. Give said young man a glass of ice-cold water.
8. Repeat step seven until the young man's eyes glaze over and an aura of joy begins to emanate from his entire body (usually two glasses will be sufficient).
9. Enjoy his joy.

Wednesday July 29th, 2009

The exercise:

The prompt tonight is: the fan.

Inspired by the thing that's keeping me sane at the moment. Precious little things, fans, in times of ridiculous heat.

If the urge strikes you, please feel free to continue where mine ends.

Also, while I'm on the subject of fans, I should mention I'm a big fan of this woman. Pick any of her videos, they're all good.


"I'm a big fan of your work,"
The short little man mumbled.
"Oh! By your words I'm humbled!"
Replied the author LeJerk.

"Indeed, it's quite inspiring.
Reminds me of another's....
To be exact: my brother's."
"Oh?" said he, now perspiring.

"That's quite the coincidence!"
"Oh yes - quite funny, it is,
That your writing matches his.
But shall we drop the pretense?"

"We both know that you're a thief."
"Won't you please keep your voice down?
Now... how can I fix your frown?"
"With monetary relief."

Tuesday July 28th, 2009

The exercise:

Well this was a bad idea. I didn't do my writing before playing ultimate in 40 degree weather, so now I'm stuck doing it afterward. You've been warned.

Um, right. Topic. Let's... go... with... oh, got one. The topic for this week's Two Haiku Tuesday is: bad idea.

It's okay. You don't have to tell me how clever I am. I already know.


Playing with matches
In this building made from straw?
Bad idea my friend.

* * *

Playing in this heat
With absolutely no subs...
Forfeit, anyone?

Monday July 27th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: how hot is it?

Not to ruin the whole thing or anything, but if you're in Vancouver the answer is: too hot.


"Do you know how hot it is?" Richard asked his best friend Erik as they struggled along the uncomfortably crowded sidewalk.

"I think I have a pretty good idea," Erik replied.

"My lips are sweating. That's how hot it is."

"That... is both gross and impossible," came the weary response.

"Oh yeah? Come here and I'll give you a kiss," Richard said with an all-too-serious expression for Erik's liking. "Then we'll see what's possible and what's not."

"I take it back," Erik said with a sigh. "It is you that is both gross and impossible. And stay the hell away from me."

Sunday July 26th, 2009

The exercise:

T'was a busy Sunday and it's getting late. But the day cannot end without some writing, so here's the prompt: nightfall.

Actually, that reminds me. If you folk like the funny, and I reckon you do or you wouldn't put up with my nonsense, you owe it to yourself to check out The Legend of Nightfall by Mickey Zucker Reichert. It's one of the few books I've reread multiple times.

Anywho - on with the show! Or something.


The shadows lengthen and deepen,
The night sky's starry eyes open;
Fire casts light and dark equally -
Come join our midnight jubilee.

We will dance until morning comes,
We won't stop when our feet go numb;
We draw strength from the moon's soft call -
We come alive when true night falls.

Saturday July 25th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's four line poem is: the painter.

Inspired by our balcony finally getting a new paint job. It'll be nice to get all these plants out of the living room - unfortunately I have to wait a few days before the floor is ready to have stuff on it.


His fingers move like paintbrushes,
His lips sing a song of colors.
When the painting is done at last,
His soul mourns 'til the next's begun.

Friday July 24th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's Four Line Friday Prose is: scratching that itch.

I really need to shave.

Also: I like to think the longness of yesterday's post makes up for the shortness of this one.

Update: comments don't seem to be working on this post at the moment. I'm working on fixing it. And by working on fixing it I mean swearing. A lot.

Update 2: it seems to be maybe working now?


I know I shouldn't. I said I wouldn't. But what's the harm in one little scratch?


Thursday July 23rd, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter is: insect invasion.

Thankfully not inspired by anything in particular.


It was too late for Karen Carter to reconsider coming in to work that day, seeing as she was already at her desk and the clock at the bottom right corner of her monitor was displaying 9:45 am. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes with the heels of her hands and weakly tapped her feet together while mumbling, "There's no place like home."

"Karen! I needed that report on my desk ten minutes ago!" Aaron, her constantly angry supervisor, bellowed from down the hall. Karen groaned and flopped back into her chair, her head lolling to the side to stare bleakly out of her twenty-third floor window.

That was when she saw the insect for the first time. It was no more than a few inches long, perhaps an inch wide, with milky white eyes and a midnight black body. Karen thought it was odd to see a bug this high up, clinging to her window no less. And it seemed to be staring right at her.

Karen allowed herself a small shudder before dragging herself to her feet. She made her way to the coffee station down the hall (blessedly in the opposite direction of Aaron's office) and filled her Rolling Hills High, Class of '92 mug with the blackest coffee known to man. She took a long sip, shuddered again as the caffeine began to work its magic, and shuffled back to her desk.

It took her a few minutes to notice the cool draft that had appeared in her absence. It took her only slightly longer to find the inch wide, inch high hole in the glass window where the creature had been perched only minutes before.

But by then it was too late.

Wednesday July 22nd, 2009

The exercise:

Your startere du jour: I don't need this.


My eyelids already weigh ten pounds,
I don't need your dull and droning sounds.
I can fall asleep all on my own -
There is no need for your monotone.

Please don't think that my raucous snoring
Means that I consider you boring;
But... okay, go ahead and think that,
Because it truly is a proven fact.

But what concerns me right here and now
Is that if I carelessly allow
Sleep to win this battle most dire...
I will get my sleepy ass fired.

Tuesday July 21st, 2009

The exercise:

After a successful night of ultimate, this week's edition of Two Haiku Tuesday is brought to you by the topic: summer frost.

My first one was inspired, once again, by work. It might be a slight exaggeration.


Outside it's thirty
But there is frost on my desk;
Turn off the AC!

* * *

The sun is dying.
Warm summers have now become
Distant memories.

Monday July 20th, 2009

The exercise:

Courtesy of g2, today's exercise is to go over to xkcd and click the Random button until you find a comic to inspire your writing.

Just be careful not to get too caught up reading the comics to do some writing. Not that that was an issue for me. But, in a totally unrelated note, mine is going to be short because it's late and I need sleep.




The lights go off and my mind flickers on,
Guess I'll still be thinking when it is dawn.
But that's okay, since sleep is for the weak;
Who needs rest when your mind is at its peak?
Put the coffee on for an all-nighter;
Am I smiling? I must be a writer.

Sunday July 19th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter: basil versus basil. If you had been eating dinner with Kat and I tonight, you'd know how hilarious this prompt is.

As is... you're out of luck.


It all started so simply, that dull day in May with no way to spend our pay.

"I bet my butler could beat up your butler," I told my friend Gregory.

"Two quid on mine," he replied haughtily.

Basil squared off against Basil as we watched eagerly. Who knew that the deciding blow, don't you know, was a candlestick to the temple, it's true, after a distracting, "There's a spilled bit of tea behind you"?

Saturday July 18th, 2009

The exercise:

All our stuff is in the new place and we've managed to setup the couch, the table and chairs on the balcony, and most of the kitchen so far. Oh, and the bed too. That's pretty important I suppose.

I think we're going to like it here once we get things arranged properly. I'm looking forward to getting rid of all these damn boxes, that's for sure.

Anyway, in a rather unrelated note, today's prompt for your four line poem is: forest fire.

Because of this.


The maple tree watched the fire's approach,
With interest more than mild;
"This could be trouble," he thought sadly,
"For this one's surely wild."

Friday July 17th, 2009

The exercise:

Doing the final packing tonight, so the Four Line Friday Prose topic this week is: the final push.

See y'all in the new place!


Her bare toes curl under to grip the edge of the granite cliff as the wind pushes her tattered sweater snug against her body and sends her long brown hair cascading horizontally behind her. She knows this is cowardice; that real bravery would be to turn back and confront the truth of what she has done. She hesitates, wondering if she can find the strength to face that battle one more time.

But then that choice is taken from her as I give her one final push...

Thursday July 16th, 2009

The exercise:

Kat and I celebrated our four year anniversary today by going out for dinner. Afterward we spent a romantic evening packing boxes and throwing out junk we don't want to keep around (or find space for in the new place).

Oh, I also wrote her this poem. I'll give you guys this as a starter to work with: a special journey.


Four years ago this very day
A special journey was underway.
We sure didn't know it way back then -
How could we know how well we'd blend?

But as the days went speeding by,
And as this We formed from You and I,
It became very hard to miss
That ours is a rare kind of bliss.

We have shared every high and low,
What tomorrow holds we cannot know,
But I think it's a real safe bet
That we haven't seen the best yet.

So take my hand and breathe real deep,
Together we will make this leap;
With love and laughter in our hearts,
Nothing would dare tear us apart.

Wednesday July 15th, 2009

The exercise:

Kat and I were supposed to pick up the key to our new place tonight. Hasn't worked out so well thus far.

Regardless, the prompt for today is: the key.


The key is heavy in my hand -
I smile as though this was my plan.
But inside my thoughts spin madly
While my stomach behaves badly.

I did not ask for this duty,
To guide people so unruly;
But it has been decreed by birth,
So I must lead them back to Earth.

Tuesday July 14th, 2009

The exercise:

Kat came home tonight, so I am happy. And one of my two ultimate games tonight was a lot of fun, so that's good too.

Oh, and I've even had a story featured over on Protagonize. Not to mention a couple of One Minute Writing of the Day selections (thanks Beth!). Life is pretty good right now.

Let's write some haiku with this topic in mind: reading comprehension. I wrote the first one at work today, I'm sure you couldn't tell though.


You ask the questions,
Already having the answers -
Read the damn email.

* * *

How do I do this?
Why are there no instructions?
This is ridic... oh.

Monday July 13th, 2009

The exercise:

400 seems like an awful lot of days in a row to write, doesn't it? I'm not sure how I've managed to get here already, to be honest. Doesn't seem nearly that long.

But it is what it is and I am what I am and who knows what the hell I'm going on about anyway?

I think I should get to the starter before too much of my insanity shows. So here it is: Eskimos and rainbows.

Hmm. It appears to be too late. I must be really tired or something.


The Eskimo
After too long in the snow
Decided one day, don't you know,
To paint his little igloo like a rainbow.

His Aunt Flo
Decided to sew
(Rather than start a row)
A nice big psychedelic polar bear throw.

Joe's home did glow
As seen from the furthest plateau
And it still shines today, even though
The last coat of paint was many years ago.

Sunday July 12th, 2009

The exercise:

Fun night of fights last night. I suppose it helped that all four fights I was interested in were won by the guy I was cheering for :)

Also: I can't believe St. Pierre pulled his groin in the third round and still beat Alves up for another two rounds. That man is all kinds of scary.

Today's starter is: packing up. Can you guess how my day is going to be spent?


This box is for all the books
At which I no longer look;
They just follow me around
When I move from town to town.

I'll put the dishes in here,
I think we used these last year?
Maybe I will dust them off
And give a rest to the trough.

I'll save the heavier stuff
For those big movers, so tough.
What does this thing even do?
Never mind, we'll bring it too.

Alright, the truck is full up,
So forget your lucky cup;
It is time to leave this place,
All our junk has a new space.

Saturday July 11th, 2009

The exercise:

I'm going out with some friends tonight to watch UFC 100 at a pub and I'm pretty pumped for it. This will be my first live viewing of a UFC pay-per-view; I usually just watch the one or two matches I'm interested in online after the fact.

But this one is special. There are four fights I want to see, and two I can't wait to see: Mir vs Lesnar and St. Pierre (Go Canada Go!) vs Alves. Plus it's number 100 and the UFC is going all out for this milestone.

So for a four line poem topic this week, you get: fight night.


The cage door locks,
The round clock tocks;
Go show your might -
This is fight night.

Friday July 10th, 2009

The exercise:

So I've been given a bit of a reprieve from my charity project as my sister Sue is heading away for ten days. She's promised to get me her three words when she gets back and I'm hoping to use the little break to get some other writing done.

Of course I also have to move so... we'll see how that goes.

Anyway. Today! The Four Line Friday Prose topic is: leaving early.


Dear Supervisor,

I have decided, with my usual keen eye for detail, that the clocks on the walls of our office are in need of repair. Yes, all of them. You see, they are moving far too slowly - and, strange as this may seem, I believe they move even slower on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.

So, as far as the clocks are concerned, I'll be leaving early today; but I can assure you that, in all reality, I am actually leaving right on time.

Thursday July 9th, 2009

The exercise:

And the train keeps a chugging along, with only one stop to go. A Promise Kept, my 1,000 Words for Charity story for the Red Headed One, is now up for your viewing pleasures.

While you're at it, might I suggest you also check out The Captain if you haven't yet had a chance? It went up in the rush of scheduled posts that didn't work out and I would hate for anyone to miss out on that one.

And now for your shot at glory with the three words provided by Rose: library, laughter, lingering.


On a sunny, crisp day in the Fall
The Library said to City Hall:
"Why are you always laughing at me?
What is the big problem that you see?"

City Hall looked over with disdain
And said whilst twirling its ivory cane:
"Your visitors are covered in ink!
They just linger and dawdle and think!"

"Not like my distinguished attendees -
They're busier than a hive of bees!
They don't walk - they're always on the run;
And, best of all, they get real work done!"

The Library smiled gently and shrugged -
By this blather he was hardly bugged.
"Your clients are impressive, it's clear...
But they'd do well to spend more time here."

Wednesday July 8th, 2009

The exercise:

I'm in the mood for some silliness at the moment. So let it all go and write a silly poem.


Come on wave your hands in the air,
Act like you're a big hairy bear
That is swaying to his own beat
In the sweltering summer heat.

Go ahead and stomp your big feet
While you dream of sweet honey treats.
But don't get carried away dear,
Winnie the Pooh doesn't live here.

The fun's not over, don't you fear!
Here's something that might bring you cheer:
Close your sleepy eyes if you dare
And dance around like you don't care!

Tuesday July 7th, 2009

The exercise:

Even though I'm playing hookie from ultimate tonight (I'm tired and it's pouring rain - I need no more reasons than those) I'm still sticking with Two Haiku Tuesday.

Today's topic, appropriately enough I think, is: fairweather friend.


You're always around
When I am in need of you -
Except when it counts.

* * *

When the dark clouds part
You smile at me, my sunshine,
My only sunshine...

Monday July 6th, 2009

The exercise:

It's been far too long since the last random CD exercise. So long, in fact, that I think it best if I go over how it's done:

Step one: grab a random collection of CDs, your iPod, hit up YouTube, whatever.
Step two: pick a CD with your eyes closed, shuffle through some songs on your iPod, click a few related videos at random on YouTube.
Step three: pick a track at random, pick a song at random, pick a random video.
Step four: use the very first line of your random song as the first line of your poetry or prose and go wherever you want to go with it.

Sound good? Alright, let's have a go then.


The Weepies - Hideaway

"Take the sky, for example: a canvas of a billion suns," Lucien told me in that enchanting French accent of his that I could never get enough of. "Can we truly think us alone in the universe with a heaven so full of possibilities watching over us?"

"Mmm," I murmured as I ran two fingers through his hair and down around the outside of his right ear. Looking around the empty grass hilltop I whispered in his ear, "I'm pretty sure we're alone right now though."

"Sandra," he said as he stood up suddenly, "you have not a spiritual or philosophical bone in your body. I am tired of it. Goodbye."

No words came as I watched him stride away. No words came as he disappeared from view. No words came as the tears began to fall.

No words ever came again.

Sunday July 5th, 2009

The exercise:

Well, I'm back. Only to find Blogger's scheduled posting system utterly failed me. Oh well, the last four days are all up now and I had a lovely time away.

Your exercise for today (I see Greg is one step ahead of me here but I'm going on with it anyway) is to go have a look at the last few days and do a writing exercise from any (or all, if you're a keener like Greg) of them. I'd like to point you at Wednesday and Thursday in particular.

Me? I'm going to throw up some pictures from the weekend. If I'm feeling ambitious I might caption one or two of them.

Edit: yeah alright, captions for all then.


The veggie garden - a good part of it at least. That's a vineyard in the distance, not more of our veggies. We're not that crazy.

A close-up of one of strawberries - there should be a great crop next summer.

Kat when we were out weeding the corn.

Yours truly, out in the corn, as taken by Kat.

One of the two marmots that have made a home under the downstairs deck.

Kat at our table on market day.

A close-up view of the rhubarb, cabbage, herbs (sage, dill, and cilantro) and the big sellers of the day - apricots from Kat's parents' orchard.

I would say it was a successful day. You might need to click to enlarge to get the full effect on this one.

Saturday July 4th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's four line poem: according to plan.

Well, look at that. I did manage to post my takes before I took off. Go me!

Edit: sweet, Blogger fails at scheduled posts. Whatever, they're all up now. Sunday's prompt will be up later tonight. Need to unpack right now.


I thought you delicious,
You thought me ambitious,
But now we're holding hands,
Exactly as I planned.

Friday July 3rd, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's Four Line Prose Friday is: going into business together.


Kat and I will be spending tomorrow morning at a farmer's market, as we spend most Saturday mornings. This time will be a little different though - and not just because it will be the Osoyoos market instead of the Vancouver one.

This time we'll be behind the table, selling the vegetables that have been growing at her parent's place (we planted a lot of them when we went there May long weekend). If all goes well this summer, this will just be the beginning of a (hopefully) long and (please, please) profitable venture.

Thursday July 2nd, 2009

The exercise:

A wee bit of something different today. I took this picture at a plant/veggie/berry store when we went out strawberry picking on Saturday:

It's my current desktop wallpaper and I smile every time I open up my laptop. Your job today: give me a caption (or two or three or...) for this picture.


"Hey! Buddy! Put down that camera and get me the f*%^ outta here!"

Wednesday July 1st, 2009

The exercise:

Happy Canada Day all. Today marks the third installment of my 1,000 Words for Charity project - so go have a read of The Captain, won't you? I think my sister Nicky provided my three favorite words to work with so far. No offense to anyone else, but come on - these are hard to beat.

I've never written a zombie story before and I've never attempted this style of writing before, so this was a very fun exercise for me. I hope you all enjoy it.

With three down and two to go, only one question remains: will all my story titles start with 'The'? Sigh. So creative.

Anyway, have a go with the words big sis provided: zombie, martini, dirigible. I still smile when I read those.


Waiter, waiter - I have a complaint!
While I'll admit this airship is quaint,
This soup is making me feel quite faint!

This cream of mushroom reeks of decay
And it has a nightmarish bouquet
That no martini can wash away!

I appreciate that you're new here,
And that your condition is severe...
But I want my soup sans zombie ear!