Saturday July 31st, 2010

The exercise:

A four line poem about: the wedding day.

Note: I'm getting married today, so I hope you'll understand that this post was written a couple of days ago.

If everything goes as planned, I'll have been officially married about two hours before this post is scheduled to go up, not long after Kat came walking towards me while this song played:

I'm totally cheating with mine - I wrote this poem for the wedding invites we mailed out months ago.


Let us gather in the garden,
Let us dance along the rows;
Let us celebrate their union,
Let us help their love to grow.

Friday July 30th, 2010

The exercise:

Four lines of prose about: sunflowers.

Note: this is a scheduled post. I'm a little busy getting ready for my wedding tomorrow.


Sunflowers are going to be playing a pretty major part in our wedding. We've got the driveway lined with about eight different varieties, they will be used for the centerpieces on the tables for the reception, they'll make up Kat's bouquet, and she'll be wearing one in her hair.

It was touch and go as to whether or not enough would be blooming in time for the big day, but thankfully the last week of heat has really brought them out.

I'll leave you with a few pictures (oh man, that is a weak fourth line - I must have other priorities at the moment...):

Thursday July 29th, 2010

The exercise:

Write a bit of poetry or prose that takes place: in the kitchen.

Today I'm working on getting prompts scheduled to post from now until Tuesday, so I'll be going radio silent from now until after the honeymoon. I'll get to the comments that you guys post over the next few days eventually (See? I've learned not to promise a specific time.)

Take care and I'll see you in a few days as a married man.


The muffins are in the oven,
Smelling like heaven's creation,
While my angel browses cookbooks
And I wait for my salvation.

My eager stomach growls loudly,
Jealous of my nose's pleasure,
So I silence it with a sip
Of this bottled liquid treasure.

The timer at last sounds the end,
Of both baking and my torture,
So I grab the biggest muffin
And get burned by the damned scorcher.

Wednesday July 28th, 2010

The exercise:

Your word today is: manicured.

We've got a pretty full house over here now - Kat's brother and his fiancee showed up last night, and a couple of aunts and an uncle arrived tonight. Along with a heck of an impressive thunder and lightning display. 

I gave up trying to get a picture of a bolt and took a video of it instead - I'll have to figure out how to edit it and put it up here. But for now a picture of the sky over the lake will have to do:


As a final treat before the big day, and to get us both out of the house for a little bit, I took Kat for a surprise visit to a nearby spa this afternoon. With all the work we've been doing in the garden, and the upcoming focus on our fingers, I thought it might be an idea to get us both a manicure.

I've never had one done before (neither had Kat, but I only learned this while we were there) and it was pretty nice. My hands are nice and smooth, the lady managed to get almost all of the dirt out from underneath my fingernails, and I successfully escaped the spa without getting polish put on my nails.

Now to just do a bit more garden work tomorrow without ruining the great job they did on both of us and we're all good...

Tuesday July 27th, 2010

The exercise:

Two haiku about: the scarecrow.

Inspired by a suggestion to create a scarecrow for our garden, made mostly in jest. I think.

The car came home today, three weeks after the accident, and looking just fine. It's good to look out the kitchen window and see it again.

Four more sleeps!


Full of yellow straw
and wearing my old shirt, the
scarecrow just scares me.

*     *     *

Sitting on my head,
the crows eat corn. I'm just not
much of a scarecrow.

Monday July 26th, 2010

The exercise:

The word of the day is: repairs.

Finally going to Penticton tomorrow morning to get the car back. It'll be good to have it around again.

Five more sleeps!


I didn't see it coming,
I was totally unprepared;
The words have been spoken,
This damage can't be repaired.

No action can heal this wound,
No apology will do.
For this bitter betrayal,
I say goodbye to you.

There will be no second chances,
One was more than you deserved;
I'm walking away right now,
While my dignity's still preserved.

Sunday July 25th, 2010

The exercise:

Today, on this 777th day in a row of Daily Writing Practice, your job is to pick one of the seven deadly sins and use that as your prompt. Don't worry about using the same one I or a previous commenter chose, just go with the one that inspires something creative in you.

Another day at the beach today. This time I brought back a picture:



He'd been telling his wife for years that he would quit as soon as he'd made enough for them to live out the rest of their lives in complete comfort. She knew it was a lie, that they could have afforded a plush retirement already, but she played her part with smiles and sweet, murmured understandings.

It's a powerful thing, the knowledge that you do something extremely well, perhaps even better than anyone else on the planet. That sort of self-confidence is impossible to replace, which only makes giving it up that much harder.

But his desire to go on had more to do with a thirst for more money and, more specifically, the sort of things that money could buy. He liked to sample life's perks, the more exotic the better. And the truth was that there would never be enough money to retire with if he insisted on spending what he made at such a frenetic pace.

Then came the day that his wife knew would eventually arrive. The job went sour, the cops were tipped off, and suddenly the most prolific bank robber since Dillinger would be spending the rest of his days behind bars.

This, needless to say, was not the sort of retirement he'd been talking about.

Saturday July 24th, 2010

The exercise:

A four line poem about: bunnies.

A slower, but still good, market this morning. We didn't have much fruit to sell but we knew that going in, so it was actually pretty relaxing. And we managed to sell almost all of the veggies we brought, so that was good.

A week from right now I'll be a married man. I should probably get to work on the posts I'll have to schedule, which will probably end up being Friday to Tuesday or Wednesday.

Starting to get very, very excited :)


Candles and moonlight,
The whole neighborhood is flocking;
You know that tonight
The briar patch will be rocking.

Friday July 23rd, 2010

The exercise:

Four lines of prose about: the planner.

Our wedding planner, Kat's best friend, arrived today. She'll be staying with us from now until the wedding, helping to take care of all those little final details that we've totally forgotten about.

Back to the market tomorrow morning!


"Don't worry, I've got this all figured out."

Those were the magic words - whenever Ricky said them I knew we were in serious trouble. That is, if I hadn't already worked it out on my own; you know, like if we were in jail or hiding naked in a rose bush.

A guy couldn't ask for a better best friend.

Thursday July 22nd, 2010

The exercise:

The word of the moment is: spotlight.

So I managed to write something new over on Protagonize. It's probably the longest poem I've ever written, and I busted out a few cuss words, but if neither of those things put you off then feel free to check it out.

Now seems like a good time to finally mention that I finished third in the most recent Protag poetry tournament. I finished behind the amazing Archi and the incredibly talented Gabriel, so I feel no shame placing where I did. It's the highest I've managed to place in the three poetry competitions I've entered, though I think it's mostly thanks to the fact that Greg wasn't signed up to knock me out.

Speaking of Greg... congrats on entering the spotlight :)


Ivan struggled to contain his giggles as he tiptoed across the walkway above the stage. The play was coming to a close and the standing ovation was surely imminent.

He'd had to work quickly, having only had since the last intermission to do the wiring, but everything was in place. The five main spotlights were all hooked up and pointed at various parts of the stage, while the three extras had been aimed at the audience.

Once the final line was spoken, the hilarity would truly begin.

Ivan settled into a comfortable position, took out his video camera, and turned it on. It had cost him most of his salary for the week, but being able to buy a Clapper for each spotlight was going to be totally worth it.

Wednesday July 21st, 2010

The exercise:

The topic today: patterns.

Had our second restaurant delivery this morning, and it was bigger than any we did last summer. Things on the farm side have been going really well so far... now I just have to find time to do some longer writing and I'll be all set.

Damned work/life balance...


There is a method to the madness,
A composition in the chaos,
If one only knows where to look.

It cannot be taught,
It cannot be photographed,
Nor is it written in a book.

It is unique to all of us,
But it takes a journey -
Are you ready to begin?

Find a quiet place,
Close your eyes,
And look within.

Tuesday July 20th, 2010

The exercise:

Two Haiku about: the artist.

Had a cooler day today, relatively speaking. It still got up around 28 degrees but it was cloudy for most of the day so it felt quite nice.

The long range forecast is calling for similar weather for the wedding, which would be perfect. As long as it doesn't start flirting with 40 degrees I (and most of the guests, I imagine) will be happy.

Also: no rain.


His slender fingers
are his only paintbrushes -
his parents are cheap.

*     *     *

Puffing a cigar,
playing a weathered guitar,
one more fallen star.

Monday July 19th, 2010

The exercise:

Include garlic in some way in your writing. Bonus points for lack of vampires.

Kat and I picked up our marriage license today - we're now legally allowed to get married!

But only in the next ninety days.

If we don't, we get to pay for another ninety day license.

I don't understand a lot of things. This is just one of them.


I could smell the garlic roasting as soon as I stepped out of the car in the driveway. Immediately my guard was up, and I had to fight the temptation to get back in and drive off into the sunset. But, foolishly, I entered the house to try to talk her down yet again.

The stench was overwhelming indoors and set my eyes to watering instantly. Blinking rapidly, I forced my way to the kitchen where I found her waiting for me.

"Welcome home, honey," she said, a plastic grin firmly affixed to her face as she offered me a plate of toast slathered in garlic butter. I almost smiled back, impressed with her subtler than usual strategy. Normally she'd just start throwing cloves in the hope that one would manage to go down my throat.

I should never have told her I was allergic to that foul bulb.

Sunday July 18th, 2010

The exercise:

Let us do some writing about: the boat.

Another lovely day off - spent partly at the beach - today. I should bring my camera next time; the views down at the lake are really beautiful here.


Blue. In every direction, nothing but blue.

The sky overhead, the waters below, just variations on the same depressing theme. Not even a cloud or a seagull to break the monochrome monopoly. And certainly no land.

They'd been adrift for three days since the fire had damaged the engine and destroyed the radio equipment, and two days since they'd stopped trying to fix either. 

There were three of them on board, casual business associates who had rented the yacht for the weekend. The food lockers below decks held enough food for them to survive for perhaps another week, if they rationed responsibly.

But it was only a matter of time before one of them decided that the supply would last much, much longer if there was only one mouth to feed...

Saturday July 17th, 2010

The exercise:

A four line poem about: intersections.

Another good market this morning. The driver who hit me two weeks back dropped by our table and didn't remember where she recognized me from at first.

"Where do I know you from?"

"The intersection of..."

That did the trick.


Like old friends
Crossing paths
After too many years
We collided with a smile

Friday July 16th, 2010

The exercise:

Four lines of prose about: one last time.

I was going to write something interesting here but then my brain fell asleep.


Five years ago today, Kat and I met face-to-face for the very first time. Since we're busy preparing for tomorrow morning's market, we don't really have time to mark the occasion today - so we went out to dinner last night at a restaurant that she's been wanting to try for a long time.

It was a nice little dinner on the patio (which we had to ourselves, since the tourists just love the air conditioning here) that marked the final time we'll be celebrating this particular date.

Because in 15 days we'll have a new anniversary to spoil each other on.

Thursday July 15th, 2010

The exercise:

Start your writing with: Like a ____ glass of wine...

I was going to say like a fine glass, but then I thought it'd be more fun to let you use the adjective of your choice.

This prompt was essentially inspired by our first restaurant delivery of the year this morning, to The Sonora Room Restaurant at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. Very excited to have a second source of income each week.

The farm blog is still in the works, I'm hoping to have it up and running by the end of this weekend. I'll be sure to drop a link here once it's ready.


Like a fine glass of wine
Sitting untasted,
You were full of promise -
Most of it wasted.

But I was feeling weak,
Prone to temptation,
And so I took you in,
Sealed my damnation.

The glass sits empty now,
Stained by its contents;
I sit in the dark while
My sorrow ferments.

Wednesday July 14th, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt today: carnage.

Oh man, that totally made me think of Don Karnage for the first time in forever.

Anyway. The actual inspiration for this one came from our new mattress arriving today - the mess we made unwrapping that thing could only be described as carnage.

Okay, I suppose other words would have worked. But that one seemed best!

I should shut up and get to my writing now.


Those who knew him best knew him as Karl 'Carnage' Williams and had learned quickly to steer clear of him when he was in one of his moods. The man practically vibrated with violence at the best of times, but when anger made his blood run wild and hot there was no escaping.

On those regular occasions, the end of the night would find his hands splattered with the red remains of his victims and a sinister, satisfied smile on his lips. None were spared. Not even a single survivor was left to warn the others.

When 'Carnage' started killing, no mosquito was left alive.

Tuesday July 13th, 2010

The exercise:

Two Haiku Tuesday this week brings you: burned.

Starting to settle into a routine here. I could definitely get used to this.


You say it's a tan.
I say I didn't realize
that you're part lobster.

*     *     *

I wander through this
blackened wood skeleton and
try to find our home.

Monday July 12th, 2010

The exercise:

Alright, today's prompt was a lot simpler when it first occurred to me, but then it kind of spiraled out of control. I'll see if I can simplify it a little bit:

Step one: pick a group of people you wouldn't expect to make a rock band.

Step two: name that group's band by messing with an existing rock band's name.

Step three: make a song list for your made up band by messing with existing song titles (by any band).

I'm also going to ask that you put the original band/song title in brackets next to your created ones so that I know where they came from.

A bit more challenging than my usual prompts, I think, but I'm sure you're all more than capable of this :)

Update on last night's howling wind: still going, though it's calmed a bit now. During lunch I saw a bird fly by the house. Sideways.

It looked rather... startled.


Band Members: Gardeners

Band Name: ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Weeds (... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead)


Another Seed In The Soil (Another Brick In The Wall)

Welcome To The Garden (Welcome To The Jungle)

Every Rose Has Been Weeded (Every Rose Has Its Thorn)

I Got Tan Lines (I Got Mine)

My Favorite Chores (My Favorite Chords)

Sunday July 11th, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt today is: a wicked wind.

It's really howling out there right now; it was too much effort to come up with anything else.

We've decided to make Sunday our one complete day off each week and today was the first of those. We had lunch at the beach after a nice, relaxed morning, and I wandered around the orchard taking pictures after dinner. Nothing worth sharing, but it was good practice.

Back to the garden tomorrow morning!


This wind is playing tricks with me,
What it's saying just cannot be.
But it's so powerful up here...
Perhaps I'll just forget my fear.

Let me just spread my arms out wide,
To free the bird that lurks inside.
Now the wind shall lift me up high,
As I remember how to fly.

What is that ghastly, awful sound
I hear as I approach the ground?
Oh, I wish that I am dreaming,
For that racket is me, screaming.

Saturday July 10th, 2010

The exercise:

Four line poem topic this fine, smoking hot Saturday: aliens.

We had our best market ever this morning. In order of nearest to furthest away, here's a picture of the cherries, apricots (biggest seller - we brought about 180 pounds and almost sold out of them), plums, apples, potatoes, kohlrabi (inspiration for the prompt - they look like little alien spaceships... to me, at least), rhubarb, onions, parsley, and dill:

Also: apparently I'm getting married in three weeks. Woo hoo!


There are little green men
Knocking on my front door.
I've turned off all the lights
Since my bum is still sore.

Friday July 9th, 2010

The exercise:

Is it four lines of prose Friday again already? Oh, it is. I see. Well then, here's your topic: stubborn.

All set for another market tomorrow morning. Should have more pictures to share when we get back.


The park was crowded that day, but all eyes were on a single individual. The woman at the picnic table next to us was sitting sipping a fancy drink that held at least three dangerously sharp umbrellas, apparently oblivious to being the center of attention.

Well, I suppose that's not entirely accurate.

The true source of our fascination were the three children passed out at her feet, who'd decided that they were going to hold their breath until she gave them their Frisbee back.

Thursday July 8th, 2010

The exercise:

I'm in the mood for some more unfavorable comparisons. Indulge me, won't you?

It hit 35 degrees Celsius today. Good thing we work in the garden in the mornings and evenings and siesta in the afternoon. Otherwise I'd be all melty like that guy in the Indiana Jones movie when they opened the Ark.



Peter is like a weed in the veggie garden - he'll keep coming back until you find a way to get rid of him permanently.

*   *   *

He looked at me like a man who'd had a lobotomy and then been dropped on his head. Repeatedly.

*   *   *

Having to share a cab with Mary during the heatwave was like being trapped in the elephant enclosure at the zoo for two weeks without access to soap.

*   *   *

The bouquet of flowers he gave me on our first date smelled like a freshly turned landfill pile.

Wednesday July 7th, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt today shall be: stuck.

I don't want this to be my writing today, so here's the quick recap of my accident yesterday:

I was heading into Penticton in a 70 km/h zone and a car heading the opposite direction was waiting to turn left. She started to go, realized there was no time for her to make it and tried to stop. Unfortunately her gas pedal got stuck under her floor mat, so she kept on coming and hit my driver's side door with the front left of her car. I pretty much had nowhere to go and no time to get there.

I'm still not sure how I walked away with just a little scratch on my left elbow from where my door hit me. The car had to be towed away and I'm still waiting to hear if it's fixable or if we'll be car shopping again.

Now, on with the fiction.

Oh. Also: we got our internet hooked up today. Hurray!


It was a beautiful day for a walk along the train tracks. The sun had finally come out of hiding to raise the temperature back up to the normal range for July and only a few puffs of white marred the deep blue sky. Lavender that had escaped a nearby garden years ago now crowded both sides of the metal tracks and drenched the air with their fragrance.

Heidi had been feeling trapped in her office the last few days and had decided to call in sick that morning when the day dawned bright and clear. She was usually a very dedicated worker but lately things had not been going her way and she was in desperate need of a break.

The walk was the perfect remedy for her cubicle blues and her guilty conscience had been washed away by a light breeze moments after she had arrived on the trail. When the train had come racing around a curve in the woods an hour later, she had been pleasantly surprised since she hadn't realized the tracks were still in use.

Her delight lasted only as long as it took her to realize that her foot was stuck.

Tuesday July 6th, 2010

The exercise:

Two Haiku Tuesday topic: accidents.

I was in a car accident this afternoon. It's a long story, but the basics are:

- It was the other driver's fault. Thankfully she admits this.
- I'm fine. I think she was shaken up more than I was. Probably because it was her fault.
- Our car's fineness is yet to be determined.


Everything can change
in the blink of an eye. Be
present. Be grateful.

*     *     *

The milk has been spilled.
Cry all you want but your tears
won't refill my glass.

Monday July 5th, 2010

The exercise:

Here's the prompt for today: the delivery.

And here's the view looking south from our outdoor living room, as promised yesterday:

The idea was born when we unloaded our couch while moving in and put it out there temporarily while we made space for it inside. Then when Kat's parents new couch and armchair arrived, we salvaged the old couch and loveseat and stuck them down there. The picture was taken while sitting on the loveseat; the chairs and table you see used to reside on our balcony in Vancouver.

I think they're much happier here.

I think it's pretty neat that I can see America from out there (the border is just over the nearest hill, around where the shadow starts).


"Have you been waiting long for the delivery?" The question was asked with gentle sympathy. The man had obviously been in his friend's position himself.

"Only a couple of hours," his companion replied, head hanging between sagging shoulders. "But it feels like weeks!"

"I know exactly how you feel - when ours was delayed by a day I thought I wouldn't make it! Worst twenty-four hours of my life. Can I do anything to help?"

"Thanks for the offer, but nothing can console me right now. This is bloody miserable. I'm almost regretting doing it."

"Don't talk crazy!" his friend said, sitting bolt upright in his shock. "Just hang in there buddy, your 60 inch flat screen TV will be here any minute now."

Sunday July 4th, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt today shall be: work it out.

Which also happens to be the title of a song by Jurassic 5 with Dave Matthews.


This morning Kat and I helped her parents get the netting off some of their cherry trees (it's used to keep the birds out, since they have the refined taste to enjoy such fine fruit). For my part, this involved taking a wooden pole, which was taller than me and thicker than my forearm, and lifting the net from one side up and over the trees. For a little over an hour.

The pole was not heavy at the start. The same could not be said at the end.

After lunch we helped them clear out a patch of weeds by our outdoor living room, which involved a lot of digging and pulling and raking. Now seems like it would be an appropriate time to share one of the views from our second living room:

I'll get a picture of the view looking the other way another time.

Anyway, back to the point. Between helping in the orchard and working in the garden, I don't think I'll be seeing the inside of a weight room until late fall. The great outdoors has become my gym and I couldn't be happier about that.

Saturday July 3rd, 2010

The exercise:

Saturday is four line poem day. Here's the topic this week: prana.

We had an excellent market this morning, selling out of almost everything we brought. It was great to be back there, making a living from what we love doing. Here's a picture I managed to take right before the market started:


Breathe deeply,
Take in life.
Breathe slowly,
Take in peace.

Friday July 2nd, 2010

The exercise:

Our four lines of prose this week shall be inspired by: the harvest.

We're spending today getting ready for our first market of 2010, which is tomorrow morning in Penticton. We've already harvested the potatoes, cabbage, and peas; tonight we'll be getting into the kale, chard, lettuce, carrots, beets, strawberries, rhubarb, onions, and herbs. On top of all that, we'll also be selling cherries from the orchard.

Oh yes, there will be pictures.


It had been a good harvest, he thought with a satisfied smile as he eased into his black sedan. The vibrating sacks in the back seat were full to bursting and there were another four in a similar state in the trunk. And they had all been so conveniently close together!

Yes, Death thought with a quiet sigh as he put the car into drive, it's always a good day to collect souls when there's ice on the highway.

Thursday July 1st, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt today: invaders.

I just spent a couple of hours in the garden weeding, pruning, and tying up tomato plants - there must be more dirt under my fingernails than out there in the garden right now.

I bet my mom is reading this and thinking, 'He's weeding an acre of garden these days but I could never get him to weed my ten foot flower garden in front of the house.' Sorry mom, it just took me a while to understand how satisfying weeding can be.


"They've got us surrounded sir!"

"Excellent, they're right where we want them."

"But... with all due respect sir, have you lost your mind? They'll be over the walls and through the gates in a matter of minutes!"

"Exactly. That's when we'll blow the dynamite!"

"But... we'll be inside too... won't we?"

"Do you have a problem with that?"

"Uh, no sir. Not at all. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go... talk to... uh, Gerald. Out back. I'll see you later sir."