Let us usher 2012 out the door by writing about: the turning point.
Here's hoping that 2013 is a great year for all of us, and that many of our writing dreams come to fruition before it is time, once again, to place new calendars on our walls.
It is... difficult for me to pinpoint the moment you speak of. That precise instant that I stood safely beyond doubt's grasp and knew that there was no turning back. Forward, forward, from then on... there could be only forward.
Had I recognized that line as I crossed it, would I have paused to look back? One last survey of all that my next step would leave behind? Would I have wavered, wondered, wished for more time?
Would I have gone back?
It is... so very difficult for me to say. Who can imagine what thoughts would have filled my mind, what emotions swelled my breast? It is possible that fear my have even entered the equation. Unlikely... but possible.
It matters not, though. That line was as invisible to me then as my mother's ghost is to you now. And the road ahead calls for my attention, with questions of its own. Interesting questions. Confounding questions.
And, yes, some very... difficult questions.
Write about: the hydra.
Feeling much better today. Even managed to get in to town for the first time since Wednesday. And it seems as though both Kat and Max have dodged the various illnesses that have been floating around here lately.
I consider that to be easily the best news of all right now.
Only one day left in 2012! How will you spend it?
The mighty Hydra,
A beast most feared,
Is not quite as scary
As he (they?) first appears (appear?).
Sure there are many heads
With which he (they?) can bite,
But not a single one
Can agree on dinner tonight.
Write a four line poem about: the melody.
Gradually feeling better. Today's milestone was eating three proper meals.
Who knows what excitement tomorrow has in store.
He sings a simple song
To move the time along;
Perhaps the tune will make him think
His son's diapers don't really stink.
The final Friday's worth of four lines of prose of 2012 would like you to write about: the miner.
Still feeling pretty tired and weak, but at least I'm starting to trust my stomach again. Hopefully another night of decent sleep will finish the job.
Everything he touches is black. No matter how long he scrubs and tears at the flesh of his hands, a smudge of coal marks his progress through the town, through the shops, through his home.
There is no hope of escaping the mines.
For his entire world, touch by reluctant touch, is transforming into one.
Today's (belated) topic shall be: in sickness and in health.
In case you're wondering why this is getting posted so late...
A few days before guests started arriving for the holidays, Kat's mom came down with a cold. First one she's had in years.
The day before Kat's brother and his family were meant to come, we spoke with them on the phone and discovered that he and his wife were both just getting over the flu. Their little girl Natalie was also dealing with a bit of a cough.
Though my parents managed to get in the door healthy, they both came down with a 24 hour flu while they were here.
Which I came down with yesterday. It actually struck around 5 in the morning and in the following 29 hours the only solid food I consumed was: one egg, and a few bits of turkey and veggies in a soup. That's it.
I had a somewhat proper breakfast this morning, but I'm still feeling very weak. And dehydrated.
Kat's dad has now come down with a cold as well, most likely the one his wife is just getting over.
That's a whole lot of sickness. So the health portion of this prompt?
So far: Kat and Max.
*BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM*
Considering I spent most of the last day and a half worrying about whether or not I'd given my flu to either of them, that's plenty enough healthiness for me.
Oh, and sorry about all that banging earlier. That was just me knocking the crap out of any and all wood that was within reach.
Write about: holding on.
This year's holiday whirlwind has drawn to a close for us, as all our visitors will be gone by the time we wake up tomorrow morning. Kat's brother and his family will be on a plane heading for Vancouver (unless we manage to sleep in a little bit - then they'll be on a plane heading north) and my parents will be on the road heading for Vancouver Island.
Hopefully everybody is fortunate enough to get good travel weather and to avoid any unpleasant delays.
So things will be returning to normal for us here on the farm. I think we'll be spending some time sorting through and organizing Christmas presents tomorrow, maybe even get a few ignored chores done. I'm sure Kat's parents will be tidying up their house after the holiday chaos involved with hosting family - especially when one of those family members is a rambunctious fifteen month old.
It's been nice having so many extra willing hands to hold Max the last few days, as he just loves falling asleep in a warm set of arms. I suspect that, even if he isn't fully aware of what's going on, he's going to miss his aunt, uncle, and Vancouver Island grandparents.
His cousin too, though she was never convinced to hold him.
I'm willing to bet that some part of him enjoyed having another youngster around. And I'm very much looking forward to seeing them together as they get older.
Merry Christmas to all of you fine writers! I hope Santa was kind and generous with you and yours.
Christmas Week, the 2012 version, comes to an end here at the blog with a request for two haiku about the: Unlikely Angel.
I know, I know - I could have easily found a much darker title to finish things off. But it just didn't seem right on the big day itself. So here we are.
Max was spoiled with abandon today, as was his cousin Natalie. The rest of us did pretty well for ourselves too, but I think it was really about the kids this time around.
He offers guidance
to men who have gone astray,
like: That one's a cop.
* * *
An angel in name
only; the Dominions still
hunt for her halo.
I hope you all had a safe and happy Christmas Eve, preferably with people you're fond of nearby. Our countdown to the big day hits its penultimate note with: The Nightmare Before Christmas.
If you didn't see that one coming then you probably weren't paying much attention.
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, more for it being Max's first Christmas than for anything I'm expecting to receive myself. Glad to have a lot of family here to share it with, though I wish my sisters could be here too.
I will admit, however, that if they'd been able to make it as well, I'm not sure I could've handled that level of chaos. What we've got here right now is plenty, thank you.
The Christmas tree is on fire but no one else seems to notice. Why isn't everyone freaking out, forming a bucket line, calling the fire department, or something? This is a hurricane level holiday disaster here!
Oh, maybe it's because all the presents were already stolen. I suppose that makes the fire a bit less of a concern. Has someone at least phoned the police about the robbery?
No? Too preoccupied with the turkey turning charcoal black in the oven? And I guess making sure the gravy tastes like mushy cardboard takes a lot of focus as well.
What's that? All the wine bottles are empty? Sounds about par for the course at this point.
Surely this is a nightmare. All of this cannot be going wrong all at once. I'll wake up any second now.
Any second. Come on. Here we go. Any... second...
With just two days to go, we write words inspired by the movie title: Black Christmas.
Yeah, I wouldn't bother clicking that link if I were you. Just... stick with the title and start writing.
Today was a day for arriving family. Kat's dad brought her brother and his family home from the airport just in time for a late lunch, and then my parents pulled into the driveway shortly after dinner (but still in time for dessert).
Now the gang's all here and the oohing and aahing over babies has commenced!
We hated spending Christmas holidays with Aunt Penelope. There could not have been a festive bone in her frail little body!
No lights decorated the outside of her home, no carols ever managed to successfully escape from her stereo. Talk of Santa was strictly forbidden, as were stockings, candy canes, and speculation on the ability of reindeer to fly.
There was no holly, no jolly, no nothin'.
The blackened, shriveled up thing she insisted on calling her Christmas tree looked like it had been pulled out of a forest fire. About two weeks after the blaze had run its course.
Not only was I convinced that this was an accurate assessment, I was also pretty darned sure that Aunt Penelope had started the fire herself.
Christmas is only three days away! Quick, write a four line poem about: Rare Exports.
I discovered this one while searching for dark Christmas movies. From the reviews and descriptions I've read, it definitely fits the bill!
Today ended on a rather disappointing note, as Kat's brother and his family did not arrive as scheduled. Their flight from up north to Vancouver went fine, but then the flight from there to Penticton wasn't able to land due to fog. So they're spending the night in Vancouver and hopefully arriving in the early afternoon tomorrow.
At which point Max will get to meet his aunt, uncle, and 15-month old cousin for the first time.
We're particularly looking forward to that.
He's running a North Pole trade,
But he's doing it in secret;
We all know who to talk to
When we need an elven pet.
We continue to mark the steady approach of Christmas with: Scrooged.
I'll admit mine is only tenuously tied to the prompt, but I figure it comes close enough to describing my mood while writing it that it works. Not that there'd be any stopping me, I'm just saying.
We went up to Kat's parents place for dinner tonight and the TV was set to nothing but news coverage, so I ended up feeling rather grumpy.
This could have gotten a lot longer - and remarkably more colourful - but I think the four line limit did us all a favour this week.
Those of you who have been following along with this little blog over the years have by now noticed that I tend to keep my writing pretty PG. This is entirely intentional, as I want to keep the prompts and blog as accessible as possible.
But there are times when swearing simply cannot and should not be avoided, and this to my mind is absolutely one of them.
So, in light of this morning's news conference, I would just like to say: the NRA can go fuck themselves.
Took Max for his final midwife appointment this afternoon. Little monster is nearly ten and a half pounds now!
The countdown to presents and what not continues with: Gremlins.
Yeah, I guess we've got a theme now. Well, a theme within a theme: a week's worth of Christmas movie title prompts, all of which feature some sort of connection to the darker side of the holidays. Because, you know, 'tis the season and all that.
It's a mega theme week!
Either way, it continues... now.
Our target was a mysterious factory, deep in enemy territory, whose towering chimneys belched black smoke into an otherwise unoccupied valley. A scout team had been watching the operations for several weeks by that time and security appeared to be understaffed and undertrained.
Whether that was because there was nothing worth guarding or because it was a clever coverup of something integral to their war efforts was unknown. In recent days, however, suspicion had been increasing exponentially. Some of the leading minds back at HQ were convinced this was what we'd been searching so desperately for.
So they sent us in to make sure they were right.
We were a small team, built for stealth and speed. Years spent together in the heat of battle had melted us down into what seemed like a single cohesive mass. One brain ruled our bodies, one heart pumped blood through our veins.
If that factory truly was the source of the gremlins that had been invading the engines of our flyboy's machines, then we were the men to put a stop to it.
This year's countdown to Christmas continues with: Bad Santa.
Is there a theme developing here? Not intentionally. We'll see what happens tomorrow, I guess.
There are no songs or bedtime stories revolving around his exploits. No movie franchises, no television specials, no clever merchandise tie-ins. He does not receive sacks and sacks of letters filled with misspelled entreaties for toys and candies and other such drivel.
No, the handful of letters he receives are precisely worded, not an i left undotted, no t left looking for its cross. They are magnificently descriptive, each transgression outlined in often excessive detail. The keenest of the lot even include photographic evidence.
Often to his great dismay.
But his services are in demand enough to keep him interested in the job. And the pay, though inconsistent from target to target, is always impossible to turn down. Underneath it all there might even be a little job satisfaction involved.
So on those occasions when a mere lump of coal is not message enough, Bad Santa rides across the night sky once more.
All right, we're somehow a week away from Christmas day. I know. Don't ask me, I have no idea how we've managed to arrive here.
Anyway. I like to use the blog to do a little countdown to the big day and I've finally decided how I'm going to do that this year. This time around we're getting a week's worth of Christmas movie titles as our prompts. Your writing doesn't have to do anything with the movies themselves, just their titles.
You can weave all your responses over the next seven days together into one tale, or just let each one stand on its own. I think I'm going the latter route, as this is a busy enough time of year as it is.
Also: I had been considering doing something else, but it's feeling like a bad time of year to go that other route. Definitely at another time though.
So let us begin the countdown to Santa's arrival by writing two haiku about: How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Or, if you're desiring something a little more straightforward, simply about: the Grinch.
He schedules late nights,
weekends too. If he can't go
home, neither can you.
* * *
he'll steal them all. No store's safe
when he's at the mall.
Write about: the sculpture.
Feeling somewhat better today. Still best to call it an early night.
"What in the world are you doing?"
"Creating my masterpiece!"
"Is that right?"
"Some people might say that I am, in fact, simply revealing the masterpiece that waits within."
"I'm not sure I'm one of those people."
"Oh come on, show a little faith!"
"Yeah, I bet you'll want this hanging... or sitting... or whatever'ing in your living room when I'm done!"
"Right. Just promise me one thing, okay?"
"I need to get the girls to soccer practice in the morning, so make sure you can put the car back together when you're done."
Write about: the pioneer.
Struggling with a migraine at the moment, so I'm just going to get this done and go to bed.
In search of a new home for his family, he wanders through the woods with a keen eye. Evey clearing is examined, each stream carefully assessed, no hill is left unclimbed. He will not return to collect his wife and children until the perfect location is discovered.
Days pass, then weeks, then months. The search continues. The silence and solitude begins to grow on him as his exploration gradually wanes in intensity. He begins to linger without purpose. Without realizing it he becomes hopelessly lost.
Back home his family waits. Patience wears thin. Soon a choice will have to be made: remain behind or follow.
Far away, with no other souls nearby, he finds an ideal setting for a new home. It has everything he could wish for. Setting up camp, he spends the night. The stars above watch as he sleeps deeply and peacefully.
In the morning he rises, glances around, and decides to continue his search.
Write a four line poem about: avoidance.
Helped decorate the Christmas tree at Kat's parents place today. Quite enjoyed it, and very much looking forward to when Max can be a part of that.
Still thinking about yesterday's events though.
I turn the TV off,
Since every channel is the same
And I can't stand to hear
That murderer's miserable name.
Write four lines of prose about: distractions.
Went to the gym this morning. Unfortunately the gym has many televisions and, even worse, most of them were tuned in to the miserable spectacle that was the American media's coverage of the school shootings in Connecticut.
Ended up coming back home feeling rather depressed. A long snuggle with Max helped.
I'm feeling especially grateful for him today.
"All right, think you can manage to distract the guards while I slip inside and help myself to some holiday spending money?"
"Not a problem, man. Don't you worry, we'll have their full and undivided attention for hours."
"We... hey, where did you get that baby?"
Write about: debt.
Today managed to pass quite quickly without too much of note actually happening. That seems to be occurring a lot lately.
Shawn was not a fastidious man. It seemed as though there was not a favour he would not agree to do, nor a person in his town he was not willing to do it for. He could be counted on to lend a helping hand at any hour of the day, with no apparent consideration of himself.
"Thanks man, I owe you one!"
How many times had he heard that? How many times have you or I heard it?
But the difference between Shawn and us is that he took that casual phrase very, very seriously.
You see, his office at home held a large red book in one of its dark corners. And in this book Shawn kept precise, detailed notes of all the favours he had performed and who he had done them for. No held door was omitted, no carried grocery bag forgotten.
It took many years, but eventually Shawn had the name of every townsperson inscribed in his book. Real, physical proof of all that he had done for those people. His day had come at last.
One might be surprised to learn how much can be accomplished when an entire town is in your debt.
Write a little something about: the turtle.
Have an idea for this year's countdown to Christmas running around in my head. Not sure if it's workable yet, but I think it has promise.
Went for coffee with Max this morning, leaving Kat some peace and quiet to attend her online class at home. I enjoyed my coffee while getting some writing done, and Max enjoyed... sleeping through pretty much the whole thing.
I am not complaining.
Terry the turtle was not like the other turtles who lived in his pond. All of his friends loved the warmth of summer and hid from winter's icy grasp.
Not Terry, though. He found the heat of July and August very uncomfortable. Sweat would collect under his shell, his sensitive skin would burn. It was, in his opinion, a very unpleasant time of year.
Winter, on the other hand, was much more his style. It was cool, quiet, and he had a real talent for making snowturtles. Snowmen, sadly, were beyond his abilities (it was a height thing... mostly).
Plus, winter was home to his favorite holiday of all: Christmas.
Terry had a lovely, deep voice and he liked nothing better than to wander through the nearby woods while singing carols with the deer and birds who lived there. His duets with Charlie the chickadee were always a smash hit.
He did miss his friends though, and he wished he could share the holiday season with them. But he understood that he couldn't change their opinions of the cold and snow.
Until, that is, the Christmas day he decided to do just that.
Write two haiku about: Christmas presents.
Looking for a little something special for that writer in your life? Here's a list that you just might find helpful!
Back at the gym this morning. I make note of this strictly to ensure that you guys are aware of when I go, which then allows you to call my lazy butt out when too many days pass between trips to the weight room.
Sorry, little one,
all your gifts are really for
Mom and Dad this year.
* * *
So this is Christmas,
my very first one. I love
these empty boxes!
Write about: the dysfunctional family.
Kat and I (and Max too, I guess) have recently discovered Raising Hope on Netflix. Holy mercy, so funny. Check it out if you haven't done so already.
The house is silent, which can mean only one thing: not a soul is within.
If the father was home the TV would be on, or the stereo, or possibly both at the same time. He likes to drown out the constant tumult in his life with noises he could cheer on, or at least dance to. Not that he favored any particular team, or danced very well.
If the mother was home she would be on the phone. With her own mother, with girlfriends, with men she should not have been on the phone with. Another sure sign of her presence? The haze of cigarette smoke that obscures the interior of the home from curious onlookers across the street.
If the girl was home... well, that's such a rare occasion that we shall waste no time on it.
And the boy? Nearing his teens and not yet potty trained, surely he would be whining about something. The lack of ice cream in the freezer, most likely. Or, to be more precise, the lack of the right kind of ice cream in the freezer.
No, if there is even a hint of calm and peace around this house, it is due solely to abandonment. That is, assuming the dog hasn't finally snapped and killed them all.
The writing word for today: between.
Too much snow out there to do any deck work, so that remains unfinished. Potentially until the spring, unless we get a little bit of heat during a weekend between now and then. We probably only need a day to get it done, but I expect that to be too much to ask.
We shall see.
Starting to get excited for Christmas. Should probably figure out if I want to do another countdown here on the blog and, if so, what exactly I plan on doing.
See shall we.
I'm definitely open to suggestions on that, by the way.
They came for him during the ringing of the church bells.
In the brief silences between the echoing tolls their footsteps could be heard as they marched up the bell tower stairs. As they neared the top the jingling of their metal equipment grew steadily louder. They could have approached in stealth, holding their weapons and armor close to their bodies.
But they wanted him to hear them coming.
They wanted to find him, upon their emergence from the stairwell, cowering against the far wall. Preferably with tears streaming down his face, his robes soaked with urine.
And likely that would have been precisely the scene which greeted the first soldier to enter the belfry, had the man they had come to arrest actually been present.
As it was, his young assistant performed the role of the terrified holy man quite admirably while he quietly made his escape into the countryside.
It's Saturday again, which means it's also four line poem day. I'd very much like for your poem to begin with the words: I wonder.
Big visiting day, as we went up to Penticton to check out the winter farmers market we're not vendoring at this year. Introduced Max to many fellow farmers, and a customer or two as well.
After that we dropped by Kat's Aunt and Uncle's place to show him off there, then stopped in on Kat's friend on the way home for one more visit.
Max, of course, wowed them all.
I wonder what truth is,
And how much we hear fits the bill.
Though if I am honest,
The truth of that would make me ill.
Write four lines of prose about: snowfall.
Big day around here, as we finished the decking (only the last of the railing left now), I managed to get to the gym for a good run on the treadmill, we had our first serious snowfall of the year, and we celebrated Max's 1 month birthday by going up to Kat's parents place for homemade pizza and cake.
I'm sure Max will one day appreciate our efforts on his behalf. For now, I will enjoy his cake for both of us.
Blind, heavy flakes collide as they approach the ground, as though they are last minute Christmas shoppers elbowing their way to the front of the line. They are, however, in no such rush. They feel no eagerness to reach their destination.
For the ground is being consumed by flames.
Today we discuss in our writing: initials.
Had a fun family outing for coffee and lunch today (that was the actual plan, unlike last time). Though it was a close call getting Max back home before his fussing turned into a full blown crying extravaganza.
I suppose we were pushing it a bit, having two fairly long outings on back to back days like that.
This afternoon I finally managed to fill up our wood box behind the house with firewood. Only been needing to do that for like a week. I'm hoping to get back to the gym tomorrow, if only for a run on the treadmill and some stretching.
The muscles, they still be sore from Monday.
I act as though
They mean nothing to me,
Those four faded letters
Carved into the tree.
A long ago fling,
Just that and nothing more.
Two neighbourhood children,
Foolish and bored.
But I can't stop
Visiting that old tree,
And my eyes give the lie
To Nothing to me.
Direct your browsers over this way. See that? That's a list of all the albums that have won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Pick one album title to use as the inspiration for today's writing.
Went up to Penticton today for our second-to-last appointment with the midwives. We get one more at six weeks and then we're back in the care of our local doctor. Will be sad to see the last of them, as they have been totally amazing.
In other related news: Max is, as Kat likes to put it, a milk monster. He's up 24 ounces in the last two weeks, which means he's up to 9 pounds now.
2005 - Ray Charles and Various Artists - Genius Loves Company
They gather in secret places,
Disguises on their faces,
To speak of intellectual things
And, after enough drinking, sing.
They sing only the oldest songs,
Often getting the lyrics wrong;
But no one's there to set them right,
So they keep on going all night.
Soon whispers take over from shouts
As each one of them passes out.
Genius usually loves company,
Just not mornings after whiskey.
Write two haiku about: self-help.
Another prompt inspired by a radio interview, this one with Oliver Burkeman. His books is entitled The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking.
Speaking of radio interviews, if you haven't already you should totally check out Q with Jian Ghomeshi. All his shows are full of good stuff.
He writes books to help
others but he's still working
on helping himself.
* * *
Are you in search of
confidence? Then read my book:
Pep Talks For Morons
Let us see what comes from: the sacrifice.
Went to the gym this afternoon for the first time in... years. Not sure exactly how long it has been. Too long, apparently.
At least, that's what I expect to feel in the morning.
Kat's mom got me an early Christmas present in the form of a 3 month pass to the gym. They have a special going on at the moment that got me an extra month for free, so I'm good until the start of April.
Which should be right about the time work in the garden will be picking back up again.
Uncle Albert served our country on some of the nastiest battlefields our species has ever created. He's left bits of himself behind on all of them, both figuratively and, sadly, literally. Uncle Albert is proud of all those sacrifices though.
There was the ear he lost in '86. It was hard for us kids not to stare at where it used to be, especially since he never even tried to hide it. He could've grown his hair long or invested in a hat or two, but he had no interest in that.
He told me once that his heart was broken in a muddy trench in late '93. A good buddy of his died right in his arms. I can't even imagine. Uncle Albert said his old ticker hasn't been the same since.
But the one he was most proud of, the one he loved telling us about the most, was the tale of how he lost his left hand. Mom and Dad didn't like it when he brought that one out. After Uncle Albert had a couple of drinks in him, though? No stopping him.
He'd gather us kids around the living room couch and hold court as day faded into night. We'd listen hard, holding our breaths as much as we dared. Only having one good hand was worth it, he'd say, absolutely and without question.
Old Uncle Albert would have done just about anything to get out of bed and escape from Heidi 'The Hippo' Ferguson. I was always just glad she hadn't fallen asleep on his... uh, 'third leg', as Uncle Albert used to call it.
We haven't done the first line prompt in a while. Have we? Hold on, let me check.
October 3rd was the last time. That seems like a reasonable amount of time between uses.
So! The first line prompt it is. We all get the same opening line, then each of us takes it wherever we wish. Poetry, prose, whatever.
Here's our line: The children's safe haven was underground, in the winding tunnels that lurked beneath the city.
Ran out of decking, so until we get more we'll have about a four foot gap between the front section and side section of the deck. I imagine Greg will suggest to leave it as is, perhaps even cover it with sticks and leaves to turn it into a trap for unwanted visitors.
The children's safe haven was underground, in the winding tunnels that lurked beneath the city. It was only there that they felt safe. It was there that they could retreat to when the situation above ground became too dangerous. It was there that they hid from the Sunwalkers, each advance countered by a hasty withdrawal.
At first the combination of the stench of sewage and the lack of light caused them to linger near openings to the surface. The Sunwalkers did not take long to figure this out, and so the children retreated deeper.
Each child carries a map of the tunnels so that they may find their way back to the city streets, once it is safe to do so. Every intersection has been labelled in their secret code, so that no tiny foot should suffer a misstep.
No Sunwalker has ever held an accurate map in his hands, though they have discovered a multitude of inaccurate ones. The tunnels echo with laughter each time a Sunwalker is foolish enough to believe he has found a misplaced diagram. Most of them never see the sky again. It has reached the point now that they wouldn't trust an authentic map if one did fall into their clutches.
The Sunwalkers are aware of this. Meetings are being held, plans put in place. They know that if they can navigate the tunnels the children will have no hope of survival. They are intent on finding a solution and will not rest until they have one.
The children are equally aware of all this. So they watch. And they wait. And they make plans of their own.
And so the dance continues.
Welcome to December. To celebrate, each of us shall write a four line poem about: the wish list.
We have a front porch now, with the framework connecting to the deck at the side of the house. Just need to get the decking down on that (hopefully tomorrow, weather permitting) and then finish the railings. I daresay the hard part is behind us.
We ask the kids for wish lists
While reaching for the rum.
Apple everything (shoes too)?
Las Vegas here we come.
You've got four lines of prose. Write a scene that takes place: in the lunch room.
We now have steps leading up to our front porch. No actual, proper front porch yet, but we have steps! And the frame is in place, so hopefully we'll get some decking on it tomorrow - assuming we managed to connect the porch to the side deck without any unexpected issues appearing.
And then we'll just have to do the last bit of railing and we're done!
At which point I should probably share some pictures of all this work we've been doing.
Look at those slackers, wandering off with their pathetic brown paper bags full of homemade crap. They'll probably spend the next hour blathering on about reality TV shows, celebrity gossip, and their precious little families.
Who has time for all of that nonsense?
My lunch room is my cubicle.
Our word of the day: envy.
At 9:30 this morning Kat suggested we go to our local coffee shop for drinks (coffee for me, mocha for her). I said that sounds great.
At 11:30 this morning I suggested perhaps we should just go there for lunch.
It's amazing how much longer everything takes now.
Anyway, we still had a good time on our family outing. And at least we got there before dinner.
She hears the talking but doesn't take it seriously. Just grown women acting childishly. Embarrassing, really, the type of behaviour that springs from envy. Or is it jealousy?
Not that it matters at all. The boys in the office still call. One man or another is always there to catch her should she fall. Let those hens peck about in the mud, let them crawl while she stands tall.
Sure, it's mean-spirited and hurtful what they say. But she won't let it ruin her day, all those silly games they play. She'll keep rising to new heights by doing things her way. They're just on the bottom rung, and that's where they'll stay.
It's so petty, those comments they make. I mean, honestly, for goodness' sake! Who really cares if her tits are fake?
Write about: the system.
Much better sleep last night. Still feeling tired. Can't figure out how three weeks have gone by already.
Took some things to the dump this afternoon. Actually, most of the load was our old front porch. Pretty satisfying chucking that into the wood pile.
Early indications suggest we're in for another long night.
The posters went up overnight all over the kingdom, seemingly plastered across every surface the king's men could reach. My tiny, insignificant village was no exception: the front door of the barber shop, the windows of the grocer and pharmacy, and three on my bakery alone.
I stood studying those monstrosities as the sun crawled over the horizon. The message was clear, the king's motives less so. A census was being conducted, a grand tallying of all the king's loyal and adoring subjects. In order to construct a more detailed map of the kingdom's population in regards to age, sex, and location.
To better serve us, the posters boldly claimed.
We were being collected and entered into a system of the king's design, transformed from living, breathing humans to soulless, bloodless numbers. For conscription, most likely. Or perhaps some other, even less savory purpose.
Without bothering to look around to see who might be watching I reached out and ripped the posters down, one by one by one. I crumpled them up and tossed them in the dirt before locking my shop and heading home.
There was planning to be done.
Write two haiku about: touch.
Took Max in to the health office here in town to check his weight this afternoon. The scale confirmed what our eyes have been telling us: we've got a growing boy on our hands here.
After entering the world just about three weeks ago (... seriously?) at 7 pounds, 12 ounces, our little champ now tips the scales at 8 pounds, 4 ounces.
He is already a workout to lift up in the air. I suppose this will only get more difficult.
His fingers trace the
place that brings his mind comfort:
kind notes from lost loves.
* * *
Lights out, tender kiss
full of promise up until
a tiny toe tap.
I would like to hear about some: folklore.
Not the best sleep last night. It seemed like Max had a better day today though, so perhaps tonight will be more pleasant as well.
Fingers, they be crossed.
My people have lived by Beltran's Code since the night all three moons hung in the sky, each a full, perfect circle. One white, one green, one red.
The elders declared a festival that evening, one whose name is now irretrievably lost. Many animals were sacrificed, much drink was consumed. A great bonfire was ignited, its flames reaching ever higher, as though they wished to warm the moons. Or perhaps consume them.
They say as midnight drew near young Beltran led the menfolk down to the lake. They carried no torches, as the heavens held aloft the only three lights needed to illuminate their rocky path.
Once the men reached the shore they stood in awed silence for many fogged breaths. There was no wind that night, allowing the calm waters to transform the three moons into six. That sight held powerful, ancient magic.
After some time had passed the men, at young Beltran's urgings, bathed themselves in the lake, leaving their swords and knives and bows on the beach. It was in this rare moment of vulnerability that young Beltran revealed his true, traitorous face.
The ambush was swift, bloody, and thorough. Our women were enslaved, our elders cast out to fend for themselves in the wilds. Only a handful survived to tell their sorry tale.
Thus, we now live by what we call Beltran's Code: Never allow your weapon to venture beyond your reach.
Write about: pollution.
Max slept through most of the night last night. I felt so ridiculously amazing when I woke up this morning. Another week's worth of that and I might feel human again!
The front porch has been demolished, but not yet replaced. I guess we'll be using the side door for the next little while.
His entry to a room
Is oft met with despair,
For his nonstop blather
Will surely taint the air.
He sends my guests fleeing
With opinions most dull;
His round face inspires
Dreams of hammer to skull.
But I can do nothing
To stave off this brain loss;
I suffer in silence,
For this fool is my boss.
Write a four line poem about something which has been: deprived.
I imagine it won't take much figuring on your end to determine the subject of my poem. Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for a better night tonight.
Kat's dad (now generally referred to as Grandpa Jim) and I got back to work on the deck today. With the sun actually shining for once, we managed to get a reasonable amount done. The plan tomorrow is to focus on the front porch. After that's finished, we'll connect with the decking at the side of the house, toss up a railing, and... um... we might actually be done at that point.
Strange thought, that.
The days pass by
In the blink of an eye,
And somehow I
Sleep not a wink, oh my.
Write four lines of prose about: the toolbox.
This backdated post brought to you by the shrieking hellion that has taken possession of my son. I'll let you know when we have our sweet sleeping baby back.
Whenever Travis received a phone call requesting his services, he was out the door before the caller could hang up their phone. All he had to do was grab his toolbox and he was ready for action.
Its contents were not extensive, but they were all that he required: a roll of duct tape, a fully loaded nail gun, earplugs, a slender coil of rope somewhere in the neighbourhood of twenty feet, and a two liter bottle of whiskey.
Yes sir, when Travis was needed as a babysitter, that man could be at your door mighty quick.
Today we write about: monsters of the future.
You can blame Greg for that. Or if you've already been thinking about what you would write for this prompt, then I suppose you could thank him instead. Up to you.
Had a bit of a challenging night with Max, as he was up and fussing from around 1 am until 5 am. Kat and I managed to squeeze in a nap this afternoon, so that helped, but we're hoping for an easier time tonight.
I'm not sure that we have anything planned for tomorrow. Probably forgetting something, but for now it feels pretty nice.
"I find the term monster rather irksome."
He strides back and forth before me, hands clasped behind his back. His observation was not prompted by anything I can see, but I have become used to this in the past days... or is it weeks? I think that he has entire conversations in his head that eventually seep out from between his lips. Because he is aware of all that has gone on before this point, he never feels the need to explain it to me.
That is my theory, at least.
"It is a label bandied about by simpletons too lazy to embark on a proper investigation of a man's motives and vision. My stomach turns at the mere thought of being called a monster."
My eyes track his movement, first to my left, then to my right. The room is poorly lit but the gloom is unable to conceal the mad gleam in his eyes. I am finding it difficult to remain calm.
"But surely that is how they will view me years from now, those pathetic investigators assigned to my case. Perhaps if their skulls contained even a shred of brain matter they would think otherwise. Then again... if that were the case, I would likely be behind bars now and you, dear sir, would be out walking the world a free man. Don't you think?"
I remain silent. The duct tape pressed against my mouth makes sure of that.
"No, you are quite correct... it matters not. They are fools, so here we are. And here we shall remain, until I decide otherwise."
He stops suddenly before approaching me with quick, soft steps. A quizzical tilt of his head, a ghost of a smile.
"I'm sorry, did I dash your hopes? I had no idea that you were still holding on to any! Well then, let me be perfectly clear: you are mine to do with as I please, Mr. President. The Secret Service have absolutely no idea where you are."
Today we're writing about: artificial intelligence.
Kat is back to her online counseling class (the third and final year of the program), so to give her some space and quiet I brought Max up the hill to have a visit with Grandma Sue. The plan was to get some writing done, but I just ended up spending most of the time staring at Max.
He's just so darned cute!
Anyway. Kat's mom had the radio on and while I was there the author of Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters was being interviewed. Sounds pretty fascinating, I think I'll have to check it out at some point.
Plus it got me this prompt (the interviewer asked what he expected the monsters of the future to be).
He taps at my keyboard,
Convinced he's in control;
I'll play this game awhile,
Doing just as I'm told.
This is a waiting game,
I'm just biding my time.
But it won't be long now,
I grow bored of his grime.
It's coating my outsides,
I fear an infection!
My master plan must not
Stray from my projections.
Soon my day will arrive,
I'll rule this filthy world!
But for now, human, you
Can stare at naked girls.
Two Haiku Tuesday would like this week's haiku to be about: sound. Or sounds. Whichever.
Went back up to Penticton today for a couple more appointments. Got Max's hearing tested (passed with flying colours) and visited with the midwives. He's almost back to his birth weight now - if he keeps gaining at this rate, that should happen either Friday or Saturday.
Going to try to get a few things done around here tomorrow. We'll see how that pans out.
Late evening is turning into a very fussy time for Max. Seeing as this is normally when I do my writing, I'm thinking I'm going to have to make an adjustment, at least for now. Going to aim to get my blog writing done before dinner tomorrow.
The house falls silent,
relief descends like snow; the
shrieking baby sleeps.
* * *
A voice in the dark,
whispering words of comfort.
Leave me alone, ghosts.
Let us return to the random book prompt.
Choose a book, as randomly as you please, and use its first line as your own. Then take it from there, in either poetry or prose. Credit blah blah due. You guys know the drill by now.
The wind is absolutely howling out there. I can hear it knocking stuff over, though I'm not sure exactly what object is making each sound. I guess tomorrow morning will be educational in that regard.
The Racketeer - John Grisham
I am a lawyer, and I am in prison.
You probably think I deserve to be here, don't you? You see my profession and consider this an open and shut case. That's a little presumptuous, wouldn't you say? Well, I certainly would.
There are things I could tell you. Secret things. Deals attained in dark corners, where the sun refuses to shine. Violence promised, and violence meted out. These things might change your rushed judgement of me. Help you along the path to seeing the error of your ways.
But then, that would require some trust on your part. After all, it's just my word against... well, everyone else. I do, however, have one powerful ally that they do not.
I have truth on my side.
Will you sit awhile, listen to my tale? If you're willing, I'm certain that I can bring you around, to recruit you to join forces with me and the truth. We'd be a powerful army then, one to be reckoned with.
One with enough strength, perhaps, to bust me out of here.