Friday November 30th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Thursday November 29th, 2012

The exercise:

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?

Wednesday November 28th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Tuesday November 27th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Monday November 26th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Sunday November 25th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Saturday November 24th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Friday November 23rd, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Thursday November 22nd, 2012

The exercise:

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."

Wednesday November 21st, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Tuesday November 20th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Monday November 19th, 2012

The exercise:

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.

Sunday November 18th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the discount.

Did a little more work on the deck today with Kat's dad before the rain brought things to an early end. We're hoping to get a good chunk of it done next weekend, weather permitting.


A few days after we brought Max home I received my usual monthly notification on my cell phone for my next bill. I was rather shocked to see the amount due, as it was about twice as much as what had previously been my most expensive month.

I went online to view the details and soon saw why: it covered the 6th (day Kat went into labour) and 7th (day Max was born). On those two days a whole lot of phone calls and texts were sent and received, well over what I'd normally use and, not surprisingly, well over what my plan covers.

Not really wanting to start off parenthood with an unexpectedly massive bill, I figured it was worth a shot to contact the phone company and explain the situation. I was hoping for a small discount on the charges incurred over those two days, if I was lucky.

I received a whole lot more than that.

A representative emailed me today to let me know that he'd tweaked the bill here and adjusted charges there, as much as he was able to. Grand savings?

More than sixty percent. Off the entire bill.

I was shocked. Still am. Struggling to put together the proper words to respond. Thanks seems... terribly insufficient.

I guess I'll sleep on it and see what inspiration tomorrow brings. The bottom line though is that I'm very grateful for such kindness that, in all reality, they had absolutely no obligation to show me.

And to think, I almost didn't even send the question in the first place.

Saturday November 17th, 2012

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: rainy days.

Today was a grey, rainy, miserable sort of day.

In other words, the perfect sort of day to have our septic tank pumped out!

Ah well, at least that's done now. Plus they managed to fully clear a partial plug in the pipes that had been causing us some issues recently. Apparently it was right where it went into the tank, so there wasn't much hope of us fixing that on our own.


Grey sky pressing down,
Spilling tears with steady drops;
Soaking those below,
We who fear it never stops.

Friday November 16th, 2012

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: lions.

Went up to Penticton for an appointment late this morning. Max is still putting on weight like a champ and everything else is coming together slowly but surely.

On the way back home we stopped for coffee in OK Falls, where we ran into the manager for our farmers market. She was very excited to meet the new addition to our family. Then we dropped by the bakery here in town, where Max was introduced to our friends there, as well as their four month old son.

The difference in size between the two of them was kind of amazing. Strange to think our son will be that big so soon.


While the blazing afternoon sun attempted to melt the horizon, we dozed in the shade of misshapen trees. A rotating watch was established so that we wouldn't miss our opportunity, with the youngest among us eagerly volunteering for the duty.

Finally, with night closer than any of us would have liked, the safari jeep was spotted approaching from the west.

Dinner was served.

Thursday November 15th, 2012

The exercise:

Today we're writing about: the man in white.

Halfway through November already, though I'm not sure I can fully account for the last eight days. I suspect Max has something to do with this recent blurring together of night and day and night and... what day is it again?

Though I must say I'm starting to feel a little more normal these days. Certainly it is a new normal, but I feel like things are shifting in a positive direction.

Also: there appears to be something powerfully soothing about having a sleeping baby on your chest. Or maybe I'm just really tired this late in the day.

Either way: another night, another backdated post.


Dressed all in white
He's curled up on my chest,
Convinced he's found
The perfect little nest.

His warmth, his breaths,
Are lulling me to sleep.
The door opens
And in the Sandman creeps.

I can't fight it,
Try as hard as I might.
He's pure magic,
This tiny man in white.

Wednesday November 14th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the records.

Went in to see the local Public Health Nurse this afternoon to get Max weighed (among other things). It went well (other than Max deciding to soil his diaper right before she put him on the scale, which was directly after I'd told her it was dry because I'd changed him just before we left home).

Anyway, he's regaining weight at the upper end of the normal scale, so he'll be back to his birth weight in no time.

They grow up so fast.

Also: the slight delay in getting this posted was brought to you by a sleeping baby on my chest, who somehow managed to trick me into falling asleep as well.


"If you wish to access the records vault," Miss Vandenbeeker told the visitor in the tattered trench coat, "you must know the password."

"This is a matter of life and death!" Blood flew from his lips as he spoke, spattering across the elderly curator's glasses.

"I can understand that," Miss Vandenbeeker said, taking a cloth from her breast pocket and using it to clean her glasses. She did this with an efficiency and serenity that indicated this was not the first time she'd been forced to do so. "That does not, however, mean that I can simply cast aside the sacred duties of my position in order to allow any and all fools inside that hallowed room."

"Sacred?" the man shouted, looking around in disbelief. "Hallowed? Are you insane?"

"Provide the password," Miss Vandenbeeker said calmly as she returned to the romance novel she'd been reading before this most recent interruption, "or go away."

"Unlock that door or suffer the consequences!"

"Nice try, dear," Miss Vandenbeeker said without looking up, "but that's not the password."

Tuesday November 13th, 2012

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: diapers.

Hey, I'm not going through this alone.

Though I suspect most of you have had to deal with these things at some point or another. Which means there should be more than enough inspiration to go around, right?

And the gradual conversion from writing blog to baby blog continues apace...


Happy when they're full,
concerned when empty too long.
What's happened to me?

*     *     *

Who designed these things?
I suspect the answer is
a child-hating crone.

Monday November 12th, 2012

The exercise:

Write something to do with: ancient magic.

Woke up to snow this morning. It's mostly gone now, but I did manage to get a few pictures before the melting became too serious. Like this one:

Can't say what Max thought of it all, as he was completely oblivious to anything that didn't involve eating, sleeping, or dirtying his diaper.


There was a change in the air after the words had been spoken, as though something previously slumbering had awoken and had begun breathing deeply. A newly arrived breeze brought with it the scents of damp earth, burned wood, and rotting fish.

A sense of unease crept its way through the gathered men, their hooded heads turning this way and that. Searching for the source of this atmospheric alteration. For that which they had summoned.

They did not have to wait long.

Beneath their feet the earth began to shake, causing the less agile among the men to fall to the ground with muffled curses. Anxiety shifted to excitement as the knowledge that they had succeeded in their attempts dawned on each participant in the ceremony.

But then all returned to stillness, the air back to its normal state. The fallen were lifted back to their feet. Confusion blossomed. Accusations soon followed.

A mistake had been made, some minor detail overlooked. Someone would be held accountable. Perhaps a public flogging would be required.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps, instead, there was a great rushing of water and cracking of stone and the earth opened wide to swallow the men whole. Perhaps their screams were muted by the rejoining of soil, leaving no trace of their ever having been there.

Yes, perhaps.

Sunday November 11th, 2012

The exercise:

Today we write about how someone or something came to be.

This can be personal or about how one of your fictional characters was created or something else entirely. I imagine you can guess which path I have chosen.

Took great joy in not doing much of anything today. Lots of sleep to catch up on. I expect more of the same tomorrow.


Dear Max,

Your mother felt her first contraction shortly after midnight on Tuesday, November 6th. Nothing too painful, but it was enough to wake her up. She was kind enough to let me sleep until around three in the morning before sharing the news, knowing that I would have to drive us to Penticton sometime soon.

I got up and finished packing our supplies for your birth. Once everything was ready, I went back to bed to try to get a few more hours of sleep. I think I managed two or three, but your mother didn't get any at all. We were both pretty excited and nervous.

Shortly after nine we made the decision to head to Penticton in order to avoid doing the one hour drive while your mother was experiencing the stronger contractions we both knew were coming. I called my parents (your grandparents) on Vancouver Island to let them know what was happening and soon everybody was on the road.

At some point during all of this your mother must have let her parents (your other set of grandparents, the ones just up the hill) know as well. Either that or your Grandma Sue figured it out on her own.

We arrived at Sally's (our backup doula, who kindly offered up her home to us) house around eleven. The plan was to bring you into the world in that beautiful, peaceful space, but that didn't quite work out the way we'd hoped.

As it was, your mother was able to labour there, with the support of Sally, Lindley (our doula), and Aly (our midwife) until two in the morning, which brought us to Wednesday, November 7th, your birthday. It was at this point that the decision was made to break your mother's waters, in order to hurry your arrival along.

Unfortunately Aly discovered meconium amongst the waters, which can potentially (but not particularly likely) lead to some serious complications. Following the code of better safe than sorry, the call was made to go to Penticton Hospital so that we could have the support of the expertise to be found there, just in case. Your mother only had two contractions during the five minute drive and the fingers of my right hand are still grateful for that.

After we arrived at Emergency, I called both sets of grandparents to let them know what was happening. My parents had already arrived in Penticton, while your mother's parents were anxiously waiting back here in Osoyoos.

About an hour and a half passed in Birthing Room #3 before we entered the final stage: pushing. I have to tell you Max, your mother was an absolute superstar all the way through. I could not be more proud of the job she did to bring you into our lives.

At 5:34 in the morning you made your grand entrance at last. From start to finish, that adds up to 29 hours. You certainly took your sweet time, young man.

Good thing you were worth the wait.

Your Dad

Saturday November 10th, 2012

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: grandparents.

My parents got the call Tuesday morning that labour had begun and they managed to get to Penticton that evening. They're heading back to Vancouver Island tomorrow but it's been great having them here, even if my new family have been too tired to spend very much time with them.

Looking forward to seeing them again when everything and everybody is a little more settled.

I'm getting terribly behind on the comments. I better get a start on them tonight or I'll probably just give up.


They put up with my nonsense
When I was young and wild;
Now they smile a knowing smile
While they're holding my child.

Friday November 9th, 2012

The exercise:

You know those name tags that just say 'Hello my name is' and then have a blank spot underneath where one is expected to write their name (boring) or something childishly funny (totally the way to go)?

That's our prompt for this week's four lines of prose.

Though you should feel welcome to go over four lines. My guest below certainly did.


Hello my name is Max Ethan Jay Aucoin. My birthday is November 7th, 2012. I have been informed that I weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. I am also told that one day I will know what that means.

I look like this:

I'm a little blurry in that photo, because Daddy was trying to avoid using the flash on that silly camera of his, but I think you get the general idea. The general idea being, obviously, that I am the cutest baby ever.

Anyway, back to the whole 'name' thing. Mommy really likes the name Max and Daddy eventually remembered that for a while when he was a kid he wished that was his name (I don't see what's wrong with being called Daddy, but everybody has their own tastes I guess), so they agreed that should be my name. I have decided that this is acceptable.

The Jay portion of my name is in honour of my grandfathers, who both have J names - James and Joseph. Daddy thinks this was very important. Now that I've had a chance to meet both of these gentlemen, I have to admit that I think it's pretty cool.

One problem with all this though: Mommy and Daddy didn't really like the sound of Max Jay Aucoin. Something about two one syllable names back to back like that. I don't even know what that means, but I guess they cared. So they slipped Ethan in between (apparently Daddy was really pulling for that to be my first name for a while, but I guess he lost that one).

So, bonus for me: once I get a bit older, I get three names to choose from when deciding what I want people to call me!

Daddy is muttering something about me not being able to count to four. I guess that means I should go now. I'll leave you with this - I'd say Mommy is looking pretty good considering what I just put her through:

Thursday November 8th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the transition.

Back home, with a beautiful baby boy.

With all due apologies, introductions will have to wait until tomorrow. Right now, exhaustion is calling me to bed.


We're glad to be back home, about to be sleeping in our own bed again tonight. It's been a long couple of days, but I'll get to the full story later.

Because, you know, super tired right now.

We've begun this strange and wonderful transition, moving from husband and wife to father and mother. And as all-consuming as the present truly is, my mind still finds time every now and again to think of the future.

What will he be like in a year? Two years? When he hits the teenage years?

It's all rather difficult to wrap my head around.

Thankfully, I've got a bit of time.

Again, apologies for no pictures or proper birth tale. I'll get to those in the coming days. For now, this transition requires my full attention and energies.

Wednesday November 7th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the birth.

Didn't manage to get this written until the evening of October 30th, so it's a good thing baby didn't decide to arrive extra early.

For those that missed yesterday's scheduled post: this is the second and final post I've drafted up to cover my expected absence during the birth of my son. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow to share an update, but don't fret if the blog goes quiet for another day or two.

My priorities, they be elsewhere right now.

Oh, and same deal as yesterday: if this happens to be Two Haiku Tuesday, Four Line Prose Friday, or Four Line Poem Saturday, feel free to stick to the usual format.


While I felt somewhat uncomfortable writing on the labour prompt ahead of time, I'd say I'm completely and utterly incapable of doing this one any justice at all.

It comes down to this: either yesterday, or today, or possibly tomorrow, I became/become a father. I met/meet my son, hold him in my arms, hear him cry.

It's unthinkable to discuss this before actually experiencing it.

So I'm not going to try. When I return, I'll give it a shot.

Though there's no guarantee I'll be any more able to do it then.

Tuesday November 6th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: labour.

I am writing this in the evening on Thursday October 25th and it has been sitting in my drafts ever since. If you're reading this, I think it's safe to assume a couple of things:

- Kat went into labour at some point in the previous 24 hours.
- The labour began slowly and gently enough that I had time to schedule this post.

Either that or I was a really, really big jerk and made Kat wait around in extreme distress before driving us up to Penticton. Hard to say.

So, yeah. Not sure exactly when you'll be hearing from me again, but likely it will involve a picture or two of a super cute (in my totally unbiased opinion) baby.

Unless, of course, it was a false alarm. In which case, I shall be back shortly!

Assuming things were mellow enough, you'll get another scheduled post tomorrow. Beyond that, I promise nothing.

Oh, and since I can't know what day it is ahead of time, if this falls on a Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday, feel free to write in the appropriate format. Or not.

Like I'll care. I'll be otherwise preoccupied, I suspect.


After a lengthy wait
(A pregnant pause, if you will)
The final act begins,
Leaving me feeling so thrilled
(And more than a little ill).

This long and winding road
Is about to reach an end.
I don't know how we'll arrive,
I can't predict each bend -
That map I can't comprehend.

A course has been set,
Mother Nature at the wheel.
Before I can stop to think,
Baby will arrive with a squeal
And love will be all I feel.

Monday November 5th, 2012

The exercise:

We begin the week by writing about: the civil war.

Non-capitalized in order to provide more freedom of interpretation. I'm obviously in a kind mood, so feel free to take advantage.

The sun was quite inconsistent today, which didn't encourage me to venture very far from home with my camera. Hopefully I'll get a cloudless morning or afternoon this week that allows for more exploration.

In the meantime: thankfully I didn't need to go very far in order to capture this family photo:

Any day now there will be a rather different family picture to share.


In a room lit by candles,
With lightly scented air,
The elders speak in hushed tones
While pulling out their hair.

The war has turned against them,
Despite their well-laid plans.
They are desperate for a way
To save their well-loved lands.

As culture crumbles to dust
And manners are cast out,
They worry for our future,
Our survival is in doubt.

Their foes have strength in numbers
But their IQs are low.
Yet they seem so appealing
In that bleak cell phone glow.

The elders won't stop fighting
Against these cocky teens.
Though perhaps it would help them
If they knew what LOL means.

Sunday November 4th, 2012

The exercise:

Today we write about something (or someone?) that is: restricted.

Here's another picture from yesterday's outing, before I forget to include it:

They're calling for an honest to goodness sunny day tomorrow, so I'm hoping to take advantage of it with a little photo expedition. I'll let you know how that turns out.


Floyd's first day on the job had been an uneventful one. Brief, awkward introductions to his new coworkers, a coma-inducing orientation session that held most of his morning hostage.

Lunch in the cafeteria was a clear highlight, as he managed to convince himself that the cute girl at the soup station gave him a much more genuine smile than those she bestowed on anyone else in the line. No need to mention that to his nervous wife when he returned home, though.

His afternoon was filled by a rather lengthy tour of the building. Floyd didn't pay much attention to any of it - up until he was shown the double doors on the fifth floor that were marked Restricted Access.

"What's in there?"

"You don't need to know that," his guide replied, her previous warm demeanor vanishing like the sun behind unexpected rain clouds. "You just need to know that you're never to enter that area."

"Oh, okay," Floyd said, immediately deciding to find out what went on behind those doors as soon as possible.

Three weeks passed by before he found an opportunity to slip inside, taking advantage of a senior employee who had not noticed Floyd lurking in the shadows.

Unfortunately for Floyd the security cameras were not so lax. Uniformed guards began their search soon afterward and performed their duties in their usual, brutal fashion.

Poor Floyd has not been the same since.

Saturday November 3rd, 2012

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: misconceptions.

No particular reason, other than the word popped into my head while I was trying to come up with a prompt. And since it was one of those rare times that I was immediately certain I hadn't used an idea already, I began writing.

There are certainly challenges in coming up with new prompts after more than four years of doing this.

We enjoyed our Saturday off today, filling it with sleep, warm drinks, and a spot of house work. Oh! And the sun very briefly made an appearance between the clouds, so I ran out into the fall-coloured orchard and snapped a few pictures.

Here's one:

Will share another tomorrow. Unless I forget. Which I'm prone to doing.


He thinks he's being helpful,
But that's just not the case.
If he keeps interfering,
I'll punch him in the face.

Friday November 2nd, 2012

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the symbol.

Collected and delivered what I expect will be our final order of the year today, unless we manage to find a home for a few more of the apples that were left over at the end of the farmers markets. Managed to sell some of those walnuts I hauled out of our front yard to the local bakery, so that was a nice bonus.

No market tomorrow morning. Looking forward to sleeping in on a Saturday for the first time in a long time.


The significance was not immediately apparent to any of us. Strange, certainly. Disconcerting, absolutely.

But until every news station began reporting the story that night, each one of us could not have known that we were not the only one to wake with that strange symbol carved into our forehead.

Thursday November 1st, 2012

The exercise:

Now that we've reached the first of November, I would like you to tell me how a timid ghost spent Halloween last night.

I guess we're officially having a November baby now. Just a matter of him picking a day that looks good to him.

Speaking of which, I've written up a couple of posts to cover my expected absence during the birth. If I'm able to get to a computer during the initial stages, I will schedule them. If I'm not, the blog shall be quiet for a few days.

Fear not! Whenever it happens, I shall return with baby news.

And, most importantly, baby pictures.


I hear the children cackle
Between shouts of "Trick or treat!"
And watch as they compare loot
In the middle of the street.

My brothers are more involved,
They like to rattle and haunt.
My sisters whisper greetings,
Steal candy, spook dogs, and taunt.

I wish I could join their fun,
Make these brats scamper and flee;
But the sad, sorry truth is:

These children terrify me.