Saturday November 30th, 2013

The exercise:

Welcome to the final day of November, the 2013 version. I hope that those of you who ventured into the Nanowrimo wilderness escaped intact, and perhaps even with a story to your name.

Let us mark the end of the month by writing four line poems about: art.

Work was rather hectic today, as I covered a birthday party in the alley in the afternoon while also covering the gym and dealing with the winery (and their caterer) who are having their Christmas party at the lanes tonight.

Then a group of ten high schoolers came in to bowl just as the party was wrapping up and I got to do that as well. 

Thankfully the gym was very, very quiet today for whatever reason.


Painted dogs, hair suits,
and frozen famous farts;
Isn't it amazing
what some consider art?

Friday November 29th, 2013

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the renegade.

It would appear that the cold I've been pretending not to have for the last few days has finally insisted that it does in fact exist. Trying to get to bed early tonight so that work tomorrow is manageable.


"What is the matter, master?"

"I cannot sleep tonight, Matthew... an ill wind blows against my window, bringing with it dark thoughts of betrayal and blood-soaked sheets."

"You are safe here, master; go back to your bed and dream the dreams of a man unburdened by the cares of the world outside."

"You are right as always, Matt... wait... you are not Matthew!"

Thursday November 28th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: winging it.

As I sit here writing this it's 12:30 am on Friday, and I just got home from work a bit over half an hour ago. Funny what can happen when a group of 12 (that was supposed to be 8) show up at the alley at 8pm (supposed to be 7:30) and head straight to the lounge before they start bowling.

At least they tipped well.


So I've never actually been a bartender before. Sure, I've served drinks to friends at home and I can certainly pour myself a mean rum and coke, but that's about as far as I've gone with it.

Before tonight.

They started off easy enough, with the first three guys ordering beers. I learned pretty quick that the MGD was not a twist off while the Kokanee caps would not, in fact, shred my hands to pieces. Then two ladies came up asking what we had to offer, and there was something muttered about a Long Island Iced Tea.

At which point I began to sweat a little bit.

Thankfully they just followed the trend setters (bless their hearts) and ordered beers as well. Things settled in for a while after that, with my most difficult task involving having to figure out which glasses wine was served in.

Then? Then two of the ladies came up during the first game looking to have a shot. They were standing there looking at the bottles discussing what they'd like and I was like... I am not going to be able to wing this. So I went the honest route.

"Listen, I'm pretty new to this bartending thing. If you know what you want just point out the bottles you want and tell me what to do."

That went smoothly enough, and they seemed to like their drinks. Great.

Then it was decided that the team (they had three teams of four) that had the lowest total in the first game would buy shots for everyone. So I got to do 12 more.

Nothing quite like learning on the job.

Wednesday November 27th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the prize.

Ran some errands around town this morning with Max. He made new friends pretty much everywhere we went.


As they enter the room, each man drops a piece of paper into a waiting box. On every scrap is a name and an address, both provided so that should their name be drawn for a door prize it could be mailed to them.

That is what they have been told, at any rate.

The conference they are attending is three days long and it has only just begun. If any of them had given the instructions they'd received upon arrival any thought they would have realized there was plenty of time to pull names and hand out prizes in person.

But the bartenders were waiting and ready for them, happy to let them know the first five drinks were on the house. Glasses had been filled and emptied many times before any of the attendees had even begun to look for the conference room.

So each man had dutifully completed his entry, placed it in the box, and taken his seat. Prepared to learn, prepared to make new contacts, prepared to enjoy a few days away from the cares of work and home.

However they, apparently, were not the least bit prepared to have those very same homes emptied of all of their valuables while they were at this bogus conference of ours.

Tuesday November 26th, 2013

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the trial.

Had a pretty good night at bowling, compiling my best triple so far this year (other than what I bowled on Sunday). Average is up to a pretty respectable 170, which I'm happy to take. For now.

This morning Kat worked her first substitute teacher job since Max was born. I think we were all grateful that it was only a half day.

Oh, today's prompt? After yesterday's topic, just consider it a test to see who's paying attention.


Their lawyer's crooked,
the judge has been bought; the truth
will still set me free.

*     *     *

I watch the jury
as they watch the witnesses,
hoping to see doubt

Monday November 25th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the trail.

I shaved this morning for the first time in... months. I'm not actually sure when the last time was, to be honest.

Anyway, Max spent most of the rest of the day laughing at me. Hard to tell if it was because he was just so pleased to see me without a beard again, or if he just thinks I look funny.

Maybe I'll be able to give him a chance to get used to it.


From this vantage point the trail of black smoke rising up from the plains splits the horizon right down the middle. The air is so still this morning that the smoke does not wander left or right, it just reaches straight up. As though it is grasping for the stars or the moon, though they are long out of sight.

They were up there when the fire began, watching as the flames forced their way out of windows and onto the yard. There were a few moments there when it looked as though the blaze would spread to the neighbour's property but it clung to its source through calm currents and prayer.

It has been burning ever since, which surprises me I must say. I had expected it to have been brought under control long before I reached this overlook. The walk that brought me here was not a short one, nor had I hurried. But the smoke is as thick as ever and shows no sign of dissipating.

It would appear that I was not the only one who wanted that home to burn to the ground.

Sunday November 24th, 2013

The exercise:

I figure it has been long enough since the last time I used it (plus I'm fresh out of prompt ideas at the moment), so we're making use of the first line prompt today.

We all get the same opening line, but each of us shall take it in a direction of our choosing. If that's as hideous a description as I think it is, feel free to click on the label at the end of the post to see how previous installments have gone.

Our first line this time shall be: Congratulations, you have won a free, one-way trip to Mars!

Bowled in a team pins over average tournament at the alley this afternoon. I'm happy to report that I did my part in the three games, finishing at +104. The other four guys on my team had a little less luck but that's all right - I despise letting my team down, so I was just pleased that our less than ideal result was not my fault.

That sounds rather silly, now that I've typed it out.


Congratulations, you have won a free, one-way trip to Mars!

"What in the...?" Albert glanced up from the letter just long enough to make sure no one in the coffee shop was watching before continuing on.

We have been keeping close tabs on you in recent months and believe that you are a perfect candidate for this voyage. Having been without a job long enough that you are, essentially, unemployable...


... and having no skills or knowledge which might lead to the opening of your own business (not to mention a complete lack of motivation to do so)...

"That's taking it a bit far!"

... you are ideally situated to leave this planet behind with no regrets whatsoever! Toss in the fact that you're fresh off your girlfriend dumping you...

"It was mutual! Sort of."

... on Valentine's Day...

"Unlucky coincidence, that was!"

... via text message and honestly, what could possibly be keeping you here? And, just for the record, we had nothing to do with the termination of that relationship. Just because her new boyfriend works for our company...

"He what?"

... and had been assigned to your case for the preceding six weeks, that doesn't mean it was planned, or that we had a hand in how things concluded between you and the lovely young lady. It's all circumstantial, really.

"You sons of..."

At any rate, please do get back to us with your response as soon as possible! There are a limited number of seats on this flight and we'd hate for you to miss out simply because you were too slow in replying!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

Saturday November 23rd, 2013

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: height.

The gym was incredibly quiet this morning, but thankfully things picked up around lunch and stayed fairly busy until the end of the day. So I got some cleaning done first thing and people kept me busy after that.

Not a bad day, really.


From way down here
They all appear so tall,
But that's because
You let them make you small.

Friday November 22nd, 2013

The exercise:

Using only four lines of prose, give me the layout of a place.

Inspired by Greg's comment on yesterday's post, as I hadn't realized I'd yet to give a proper description of my place of winter work.

We went up to Penticton today to run a few errands, including stocking up on meat and doing a bit of shopping. Kat brought home three new sweaters and I bought my first pair of shoes in... a while.

Back to work tomorrow. And where exactly is that, you ask? Well...


As you enter the two-storey building through the glass doors that separate the indoors from the small parking lot outside, you find yourself confronted by another set of doors directly in front of you. Pass through these and you will be in Kobau Lanes, the 8 lane bowling alley where I spend my Tuesday nights and some of my working hours.

If, instead, you turn to your right after escaping the cold, you will face a long, straight staircase that will take you to Vengeance Fitness and a floor filled with cardio and weight machines, as well as the usual assortment of free weights. I can be found here (at least) every Saturday, either behind the counter or cleaning the equipment... pretending not to think about writing prompts.

Thursday November 21st, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the gazebo.

Work went well today, though I was vaguely annoyed that the gym got busy just as I was about to vacuum the stairs. I didn't really have any other cleaning that I wanted to get done at that point, so I had to stand around pretending to look busy for far longer than I cared for.

Oh well, it all got done in the end.


The tea, resting in delicate cups atop an ornate table, was cold and untouched. In that way it was quite similar to the hearts of the two women seated across from each other, each determined to ignore the other in the most polite manner possible.

Rain clouds were mustering on the northern horizon, preparing their assault on the bright, warm afternoon the park was currently enjoying. Leaves in the trees surrounding the gazebo began to stir, rustling in nervous anticipation.

The two women remained as they were, silent and unyielding.

Friends and acquaintances passed by on their way to the safety of their vehicles, not bothering to stop to chat. They knew, with the parking lot so far away, that time was of the essence if they wished to remain dry.

They also recognized a situation they would be well-advised to avoid.

The women, of course, also wished to leave. They had no interest in getting stormed upon, or ruining their fine dresses. They would have happily returned home to warm blankets and roaring fires while the weather screamed and pounded against their windows.

But then, that would require that they actually say goodbye to each other.

Wednesday November 20th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the attic.

Made my last delivery of leeks of the year this afternoon, as the coffee shop in town we recently began supplying put in a big order for them. Quite pleased, both to have sold so many of them and to be done with them until next year.

We still have a few sugar pumpkins and a whole lot of potatoes to get rid of, but other than that we've done a pretty good job of selling what we grew. I know the restaurant will be wanting more potatoes, and the cafe sounded interested in them as well.

It turns out I'll be working before my Saturday shift after all, as I got a text this evening asking me to cover the 3 to 9 shift tomorrow night. 14 hours of work per week sounds about right to me for the winter, with a few shifts thrown in to help out with parties.

I'd say this job has worked out very well so far.


The trap door leading to the attic of our new home had rusted shut some number of years before our purchase. We had wanted the inspector to go up there to have a look around, make sure there were no fire hazards or mold or rodents or bodies hidden away between the top floor and the roof.

The man, clearly to his great embarrassment, had been unable to force entry. He'd even called out a handyman to have a go at it but all they'd managed to accomplish was a bit of chipped paint and a couple of scratches on the hinges.

We'd been reluctant to sign the final contract without knowing what lurked in that space, but the seller had sworn on a stack of bibles that there was nothing up there, that the door was stuck because it hadn't been used since he'd cleared out his wife's possessions after her death. He promised that he'd left no item behind, not even a pen.

And the view from the back deck was out of this world. That might have had something to do with our decision to put pen to paper.

Now, though? Two weeks after moving in, one week after the noises began? Enough is enough. Me and this crowbar are finding a way in.

Failing that, there's always the stick of dynamite I found in the back corner of the garage...

Tuesday November 19th, 2013

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: fire.

Before tonight my worst three game total came on week two. That is still the case, but only because this evening's triple was one better.

Argh. (I had more to say about it than that, but I've managed to delete all the expletives)

In more positive news, I managed to finally sow our garden cover crops this afternoon, which was good since the weather is about to take a sharp turn toward winter. Well, that wind out there right now is suggesting that turn has already begun...


A crackling dance
across a bone dry meadow,
no flower is spared.

*     *     *

Warming young faces
and tales taller than mountains,
the campfire burns.

Monday November 18th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: insecurity.

Today? Today was pretty uneventful. So we'll just move on to tomorrow.


Doubts, fears, worries?
Cover them up,
Cover them up.

Hide those tears.
Wear the mask,
Wear the mask.

You don't sweat,
You don't blink,
You don't ask.

You're too cool,
You're too calm,
You know what's up.

You're so thin,
Your sly grin,
That perfect skin.

Don't let them in,
Don't let her in,
Don't let love in.

Sunday November 17th, 2013

The exercise:

I would very much like for our writing today to prominently feature two colors. We each choose any two that we wish, and then we get to figure out how to incorporate them into our piece.

It is getting seriously cold overnight around here. Makes me want to linger in bed in the mornings.

Unfortunately Max has other ideas about that.


The yellow sun is with us every day, without fail. It chases away the night as it rises above the eastern horizon, waking the world with its molten glow. We know it watches us closely, for we feel the fiery sting of its gaze upon our skin.

At the close of each day it can be faithfully found sinking into the western horizon, changing color as it loses its heat. Fading and fading until it is lost from view, gone to the unknowable place where it regains its strength, rekindles its fire.

All is dark then.

Until the white sun forces its way between distant stars to cast its pale eye upon us. Some nights that eye is wide open, lighting our way as we move through the woods hunting prey who are enemies of the yellow sun. Other nights the white sun observes our slumber with a squinting eye, as though it is in deep thought.

Or plotting mischief.

Then there are the nights when the white sun keeps its eye closed. These nights confound our elders, worry our women, scare the children. Why won't it look at us? Have we done something wrong? Is something foul set to befall us under the cover of darkness? Has the white moon grown bored of our antics, casting its gaze elsewhere?

It is most unsettling.

But perhaps most disturbing of all are the days on which the white sun, for no reason that we can discern, chooses to challenge the authority of the yellow sun...

Saturday November 16th, 2013

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: making history.

Work went pretty well today, got a lot of cleaning done. Also had a small group come in to bowl, so I had a chance to work in the alley as well. It was quiet enough in the gym at the time that it wasn't much of an issue to bounce back and forth... though I am starting to get a bit tired of those stairs.

Currently not schedule to work again until next Saturday. We'll see if anything comes up before then.


Quote all the books you like,
I don't care what you say.
As far as I'm concerned,
It's all made up anyway.

Friday November 15th, 2013

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the fish.

I worked a 5:30 to 9:30 shift at the bowling alley tonight, helping out with a private party for 50ish people. It was a youth group, and all the kids were super polite and well-behaved, so I had quite a bit of fun.

Tomorrow I'm back in the gym from 9 until 5. I may have some trouble getting out of bed for that one.

Edit: gah, I really need to stop falling asleep on the couch while I'm trying to do these posts.


He always seemed a little uncomfortable in the hallways of our school, especially unsure of what to do with his limbs when the ringing bell flooded the spaces between classes with boys and girls. There were regular collisions, followed by the usual apologies. They never led to fights though, thanks to his sincerity and sense of humour about the situation.

Besides, we all understood, at one level or another, that the swimming pool was his true home.

Thursday November 14th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the electric glow.

Work went smoothly tonight, right up until closing. That was when I realized the remote for the big TVs was missing (there's a second remote that works with the smaller TVs in the gym). I have absolutely no idea where that thing is.

Oh well, at least the gym ghosts get to watch TV all night. I hope they're sports fans.


Pale nocturnal creatures
In hunchback poses;
Thick ugly glasses
Sliding down thin noses.
Drawn to their computers
Like electric magnets,
Dependent on those machines
As though they are pets.

This glow is not flattering,
It is too harsh for that.
If he's repulsive you see it
And if she's fat, she's fat.
But what does it matter,
They mutter in the gloom,
Who cares how we're portrayed
If we never leave this room?

Wednesday November 13th, 2013

The exercise:

Let us return once more to the Random Book prompt. Go choose a book, as randomly as you wish, and use its opening line as your own. Then, after credit has been duly given, take it where you will.

This is a useful site if you're feeling stuck (it's where I found mine).

Max did pretty well with his shots today... all friggin' four of them. There was an understandable bout of crying when they were administered, but he recovered pretty well. We had some extra fussiness to deal with throughout the day, but hopefully a good night's sleep will help to set things right.

Back to work tomorrow, as I'm doing a 3 to 9 shift to cover someone who needed the night off. Hopefully all goes well again.


City of Glass by Paul Auster

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. He was angry initially, having just fallen asleep after hours of tossing and turning. But there was something in her tone, a brittleness that softened him.

"Are you sure Jeremy isn't there?" she had asked. "This is the only number I have for him. I... I don't know how else to get a hold of him."

"I'm sorry, but I don't think there's even a fellow by that name in the whole building."


He could hardly end the conversation there. His heart was not that cold.

"Is... uh, is he a friend of yours? Or, um, something... more?" He hated himself immediately, closing his eyes and shaking his head in disgust. What business was it of his, anyway?

"No, it's not like that. It's... complicated." A long silence, one that lasted long enough for him to begin wondering if she had walked away from her phone without hanging it up. "You see he's a... it's hard to explain, I guess."

"That's okay," he said, smiling in spite of himself. "I know a few people like that as well."

"Oh my gosh, I shouldn't keep you like this. What time is it... oh no! I'm so sorry!"

"Don't worry about it." Maybe it was the quaintness of the word gosh that did it, though it hardly seems fair to blame what followed on a single word. "I'm not getting any sleep tonight anyway." He found a scrap of paper and, eventually, a pencil, made a note to remind himself to call in sick to work before it got too late. "Why don't you tell me about this Jeremy of yours?"

Tuesday November 12th, 2013

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: past lives.

Opened bowling tonight with my best game so far this season. Which was then followed by one of my worst (okay, maybe like fourth or fifth worst, which isn't exactly terrible considering we've only bowled 15 games total thus far). Final game? Third best.

Woo, consistency.

Anyway, average went up another four points (it's 169 now, in case anyone actually cares... hey, remember when every Tuesday I blabbered on about ultimate? Yeah, bowling is the new ultimate).

Tomorrow we're taking Max in for his one year vaccinations. Bleh.


He once ruled the world,
but he scoffed at compassion;
now he scrubs toilets.

*     *     *

Timid, thick glasses,
rail thin... where on earth did the
gladiator go?

Monday November 11th, 2013

The exercise:

Write something about: nothing.

Relatively quiet day around here. That's certainly not a complaint.


I was born into nothing. It was my constant companion throughout my childhood, never far away. Always ready to provide reminders of how little I had.

How little I mattered.

My street, littered with broken-down cars and forgotten trash, was a dead-end. Just to drive the point home, or so I always thought. I don't know if things would have been any different had I lived on a thoroughfare. Probably not.

Maybe with a few more functioning vehicles going by each day I'd have been run over before I got to here and now. Wishful thinking, I know.

I will return to nothing one day. Swallowed up by the earth, forever lost in the dark. It is unlikely that anyone will mourn me. But they will know who I was, what I did. I will be remembered.

Tonight... I will make sure that my name means something.

Sunday November 10th, 2013

The exercise:

Today, slightly later in the month than usual, we return to Mejaran.

At this point if you haven't already contributed to the story we're likely too far gone for you to try now. So I hope you enjoy reading it and feel free to find another prompt in the archives to write on, should you need to get your practice in today.

Work went well again today, now it's time to get things done around the house and farm until I'm back at the gym on Thursday night.


As Azmar pushed his way through crowds of disoriented and injured villagers, with black smoke searing his throat and obscuring his vision, he began to wonder if Father Merrow's tales of hellfire and brimstone had been made real in his humble home of Mejaran. Regardless, it probably would have been a good idea to drag the slender holy man along with him.

If nothing else, he could have been kept busy with the task of ushering the dying to the other side.

Rounding the final corner before Dr. Jaycox's offices, his feet failed him and he fell to his knees in the dirt. His old friend's office had become an inferno but he was still able to see beyond it, to the far end of the street. Villagers were bringing their injured from the pub, blood oozing from their arms, faces. From a missing leg.

They had come for the doctor's aid.

But the doctor was no more.

"You did this!"

The shout roused Azmar from his daze, brought him unsteadily to his feet. He turned to see Yarel stumbling towards him, sword in hand and a pink bandage wrapped around his head. Not far behind him came Liefert, limping but determined and fearsome in his rage.

"What...? No! I had nothing to do with this!"

"Liar!" Yarel spat blood as he continued to close the distance. "We know what you've been up to! We've seen you with the Principals!" Azmar began to retreat, his hands raised before him. Empty, for now. "We know!"

"Traitor!" Liefert drew his weapon even as he fell further behind his companion.

"I don't know what you think you know," Azmar said, "but you must listen to me! This is not my work! We have no time to argue now - there are lives in desperate need of saving. Let us talk afterward, please. I beg of you!"

"The schoolhouse, Azmar?" Yarel hissed, not seeming to have a heard a word his intended target had spoken. "You would go so low as you reached for some selfish, glorious heights? You sicken me!"

"Unplug your ears, child! I would never go this far!" Azmar paused in his retreat, an unfamiliar feeling in his breast. It took him a moment to recognize the peace that speaking the truth brought on. It had been a very long time.

"You will die for this!" Yarel screamed, raising his knife high as he lurched closer.

"Calm yourself, son!" Jocelle's voice froze the three potential combatants in place, their heads swiveling as they attempted to find the speaker. Drifting clouds of smoke and the chaos overtaking the village made the task more difficult. "Azmar is innocent... in this matter at least."

"What are you saying?" Liefert asked the question that her son could not, for he was too preoccupied with battling his urge to strike Azmar down despite his mother's words.

"He does not have a hand in this madness." Jocelle emerged from an alley that billowed smoke, her outline initially confusing the three men who watched her. She was hideously misshapen at first, but then she came closer and the growth on her right shoulder revealed itself to be a Great Silver Owl, regarding them without blinking from his perch. "I, however, know who does. Come, I will take you to him."

Saturday November 9th, 2013

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the cleaning lady.

Today's shift at the gym went quite well, as things never got too busy nor too slow. Time slipped past rather quickly and there were no last minute obstructions to me actually leaving on time.

Even with Kat and Max showing up a few minutes early to pick me up.

He seemed to enjoy crawling around (once the last member went home) and it was fun having them there with me while I cashed out for the evening.


With scissors and a steady hand
She makes cleaning rags
Out of Lady's cocktail dresses
And old Gucci bags.

Friday November 8th, 2013

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose that have something to do with: cake.

I got a call yesterday asking if I could work this afternoon at the bowling alley for a birthday party. The timing worked out, despite me working from 9 to 5 both days this weekend, so I said I'd be there to help and learn.

Things started fairly well, the kids were basically under control. Then they had cake and all hell broke loose.

It was fine in the end and, as my coworker pointed out, they were still way better than some of the drunken adult party goers she's had to deal with. So it could have been worse.


"What do you figure was the main ingredient in that thing, speed?"

"Probably, the damn fools."

"Your expression and tone tell me you'd have gone with something else."

"Yeah, like horse tranquilizers."

Thursday November 7th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: sons.

Or just one son, if that works better for you. I know it does for me. I'm actually just copying something I wrote on Facebook earlier today, which feels a little lazy. But at least you guys get the first look at the picture I'm sharing below - Facebook friends won't be seeing that until tomorrow at the earliest!

I'd say Max's first birthday was a good one. We had Kat's parents down to our place for dinner and he definitely enjoyed that. Kat baked him a gluten and dairy free cake that had sweet potato icing that turned out very nicely. There were also many presents opened, several of which were very obvious hits.

One of his favorites, of course, was not a toy at all:

That's my boy.


Max Ethan Jay,
What could I possibly say
To capture a year
So filled with hope, love, fear?

There was fun and games,
More firsts than I can name;
Scares that brought prayers,
And laughs that drew stares.

Diapers needed changing,
Lives rearranging.
There were drums to bang
While you grew your fangs.

And through it all
We (mostly) had a ball.
But this is a special day,
On which I must say:

Today you are turning one,
So have a happy birthday son.

Wednesday November 6th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: chains.

Okay, Mejaran is going to be a late visitor this month. I have stuff I need to finish tonight ahead of Max's birthday tomorrow, and I certainly won't have the time or energy for it then either. So likely it will come back around on Sunday.

At which point I will hopefully be able to give it the focus it requires. Crazy little village that it is.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go write my son a birthday present.


Thick silver links snake their way from where they are attached to the wall, disappearing here and reappearing there from beneath mounds of dirt. They continue in this manner until they defy gravity, reaching upward to wrap themselves around my neck.

Chained, like some sort of dangerous dog. Guarding a junkyard, fed just enough to keep me alive but never satisfied. Needing the flesh of trespassers to give me strength.

Perhaps if I sink my teeth into enough foolish flesh I will be strong enough to escape this place.

I should know better than to think such thoughts. I've seen what they do to those of us who become a threat to their tyranny. We are monitored closely and they know the warning signs. Just as one of our number nears that distant threshold, just as hope begins to fill your chest, you wake to find a chain restraining nothing but empty air.

Until those that are taken away are replaced by newcomers.

It is a difficult cycle to bear witness to. I have seen it play out far too many times for my own mental health. But at least I am still alive. That must count for something.

Surely, it must.

Tuesday November 5th, 2013

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the jeweller.

Had my most consistent week of bowling so far, finally managing to avoid having one terrible game. Average went up another five points, which is a trend I would be quite thrilled to see continue.

I need to get to sleep, so that's all for today.

Well, looks like I fell asleep while trying to think of my second haiku. Still need to get to bed though, so no bonus yammering for you.


He will examine
your precious heirlooms with long
sleeves and deep pockets

*     *     *

They say diamonds are
a girl's best friend, but she's fond
of gold and pearls too.

Monday November 4th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the walker.

That's not an entirely accurate prompt considering its inspiration, but I'm choosing not to worry about that right now.

I'll try to get us back to Mejaran on Wednesday, but no guarantees are being offered this week.


There have been a whole lot of firsts around here lately for our little man. I've already covered Max's first Halloween and his first full day away from both his parents. There's more though.

On Friday afternoon we took him in for his first haircut. His hair had been getting in his eyes for days, so it was good to get that taken care of. I do have pictures of the big event on my camera, I just haven't managed to transfer them to the laptop yet.

Yesterday, and I'm having to take Kat's word on this as I wasn't around at the time, Max (repeating after Kat) said beep beep while playing with his wooden bus. Twice, no less. I haven't been able to convince him to do it again, but give me some time.

Today he started saying baby, rather out of the blue. I've been saying that to him pretty much every time he says dadadadada to me, but I wasn't expecting to hear it back.

But the big first, and it must be pretty obvious at this point, came this afternoon when Max took his first steps. It was just a couple of quick steps from where he was leaning on the couch to get to Kat, but he did it twice. And then a little later, while standing in the middle of the living room while Kat and I were in the kitchen, he took another one.

No, he's certainly not a walker yet. But we've been saying for quite a while that we'd be surprised if he wasn't walking by his first birthday.

So, Max, you've got two more days to get this figured out.

Sunday November 3rd, 2013

The exercise:

Our writing today shall revolve around the theme of: predator versus prey.

Today featured family time, yard and house work, and schedules being thrown off by the time going back an hour last night.

Someone really should have warned Max about that ahead of time. Then he might have realized that what he thought was 6:40 this morning was actually 5:40.

Also known as: too bloody early to wake up.


"You have to come out eventually."

"I have plenty of food in here, I'm in no hurry to go anywhere."

"Oh, neither am I. After all, I just ate your mother, father, brother, and sister. Or was that your girlfriend? Same thing, perhaps?"

"You're a monster."

"Let's not go there. We need each other, your kind and mine."

"Trapping me in here isn't enough for you, now you're going to lecture me with your nonsensical propaganda?"

"Without the likes of me hunting the likes of you, your entire species would be fat and lazy. No incentive to keep in shape, no need to work as hard as you do. You should show a little gratitude."

"Are you trying to bore me to death?"

"No sir, not at all. Just passing the time until your timely death."

"You'll have to sleep eventually. You'll wake to find me long gone."

"Ah, you have a good point. I am, in fact, feeling quite tired... good night!"



"Honestly? You're actually being serious right now? I'm not fooled by your silly little charade - you're obviously not sleeping."

"Well, I'm not now! How could I, with all your yammering? Terribly rude, really."

"You're a terrible actor."

"Yes, well, it's not exactly my forte, now is it?"

"I suppose not."

"Now if you'd just come out here where I can reach you I'd be happy to show you all the areas in which I excel."

"Ripping, rending, rupturing, that sort of thing?"

"Oh yes, quite!"

"I think I'll just stay where I am, thanks."

Saturday November 2nd, 2013

The exercise:

Write a four line poem that has something to do with: glasses.

Survived my first solo shift at the gym today. It was very quiet this morning, despite the rainy weather, so that gave me time to get to some neglected cleaning tasks. Then it got busy in the afternoon and that was pretty much the end of that.

Kat was also busy today, attending a first aid course that was primarily focused on caring for young children. That left Max to hang out with his grandparents up the hill from basically 8:30 this morning until 5:30 this afternoon.

That's definitely the longest he's been apart from both of us, but he seemed to do pretty well. His grandparents looked pretty tired when we showed up for dinner though...


For so long they were kept hidden,
In beauty's game she was a pawn.
She knew she'd truly found her match
The day he whispered: Leave them on.

Friday November 1st, 2013

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about something or someone that is: absent.

Good luck to those of you embarking on the 2013 NaNoWriMo literary journey. I'm taking a pass again, as I still haven't finished with the novel I wrote in 2009.

Or finished writing the novel I began in 2010, for that matter. Though I feel it would have been for the best if I hadn't reminded certain people of that fact...

Training went fine today, so hopefully I'm ready to run the show on my own tomorrow. We shall see. Either way, I am looking forward to a slight sleep in compared to the last several months of Saturdays.


I knew I should have been concerned once I realized they had gone missing. Phone calls should have gone out, reports filed. The police would have been brought in, sooner or later.

But, to be completely honest, I was just relieved to get any kind of break from my excessively energetic kindergarten class.