Thursday April 30th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the kingpin.

Been watching episodes of Daredevil recently and I'm absolutely hooked. It is dark, dark, tense stuff, but incredibly well done. I want to say especially for a superhero TV show but I'm not certain the qualifier is needed.

This afternoon I mulched almost all of the strawberries that I've weeded so far, which feels good. Except in my back, where it feels bad. And also when I think about how much is left to weed and then mulch.

But it was encouraging to remember just how much faster mulching is than weeding.


"Have you seen him recently?"

"Seen who?"

"Come on, man. You know who I'm talking about here."

"Oh, him. Naw, man. But it ain't like he keeps me up to date on his whereabouts or nothing like that."

"He probably doesn't even know you exist."

"You watch your mouth, pal. You show me some respect, you got it?"

"Fine, man. Fine."

"And if you think so little of me, why the hell you asking if I've seen the man about town?"

"I dunno. Just seems like nobody has seen him lately."

"What are you trying to say?"

"I'm saying maybe he's skedaddled. Left us little guys behind."

"No way. Nuh uh. Never, man. He wouldn't... wait a minute. If he's really gone..."

"Exactly. And who's to say this organization of ours can't be run by a two man team, if you see what I mean..."

Wednesday April 29th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the exodus.

Did a brief stint in the strawberries this morning before Kat had to be in class from 10 to 2. I had Max during that time, the latter portion spent at the park. He was having fun playing with another little boy, who was just a little older than him (maybe four or five months?). Assuming 'fun' can be defined as rolling his ball down the slide, watching the other boy slide down after it, pick it up, bring it back up to the top of the play structure, give it back to Max, and then start it all over again.

Many, many times in a row.

Pretty sure Max got the better end of that deal. The other boy did seem to be enjoying himself though.

After we got back we went out to the garden with Kat and transplanted our onions and leeks. Max did help out a little bit, but he was mostly interested in digging in the dirt with his shovel and fingers and toy front end loader.


The regime did not expect the exodus to happen as quickly as it did. They thought that their initial gesture would be enough to keep their subjects under control. A warning shot across their bow, in a manner of speaking.

They believed that it would buy them some much needed time. To get themselves organized, prepared, secured. Armed.

They were wrong, of course. But that is easy to point out after the fact.

Instead of cowering in fear, their subjects fled en masse. In a matter of minutes none remained in sight. Hours later none could be found. Overnight they were all gone.

Save for poor Tommy Bishop.

For he was still in detention, under the watchful eyes of the principal and all his teachers. An example meant to freeze his companions in place, gone horribly wrong.

Not a single one of his fellow students ever came back to make an attempt to set him free.

Tuesday April 28th, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the new kid.

I managed to get the first row of strawberries fully weeded this morning and began work on the next one. The plan is to mulch the first row before getting too far into the next one, as I don't want all that work undone before I have a chance to get the mulch on there.

Hung out with Max this afternoon, mostly at Kat's parents house. I did finally convince him to go into town with me to get groceries, which was a relief.

It got pretty hot out there today. Seems a bit early in the year for the thermometer to hit 30.


He sits at the back
of the classroom, hoping that
no one sees him there

*     *     *

He knows how it works
behind these bars: hurt someone
before they hurt you

Monday April 27th, 2015

The exercise:
Write about: the jungle.

Finished off the last of the blackberry pruning this morning, which means I can now focus most of my attention on weeding and mulching the strawberries. With school stuff slowing down, Kat's going to be able to help out in the garden and greenhouse more so I won't have to worry about that stuff for the next little while.

Max and I went to the park after lunch and he insisted on bringing one of his balls along with us. When we got there he proceeded to kick it away from the play area and all the way to the other end of the park... which was where he discovered the "jungle".

It was just a small area by the water filled with trees and bushes, but there was enough of a path (or two) through it for us to explore a bit deeper.

I have a feeling that will not be our last visit to that end of the park.


In the black heart of the jungle, a beast awakens. It lifts its head slowly, blinks away the fog of sleep, and considers its surroundings with apparent disinterest. Nothing has been disturbed since it lay down to sleep - no blade of grass has been bent or flattened, no branch or bush has been pushed aside.

All this is as the beast expects it to be.

The air is stale and heavy here, as though no breeze has ever penetrated this far into the lush foliage that encircles the beast. With an unhurried stretch, the beast rises to its feet and sniffs first to the north, then the east, then south, and finally to the west.

It smells nothing but the clearing it calls home - which smells mostly like the beast itself - and it is satisfied.

A distant bird cry reaches its ears every so faintly. The beast knows that this, at nearly a mile away, is the nearest living creature. Nothing else dare encroach further on the uncrowned king of the jungle's lair. None have been foolish enough to try in a very, very long time.

Which just means the beast, who has begun its slow walk into the neighbouring jungle, has to roam for hours in order to find its prey. Far longer than it would choose to, had it been given the choice.

And when the beast does finally find its first meal of the day... it tends to take out its displeasure with vicious enthusiasm.

Sunday April 26th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the search.

Had a nice Sunday with the family, capped off by transplanting our cabbage and broccoli plants into the garden in the late afternoon. Max was periodically helpful - when he wasn't trampling the seedlings or refusing to let me use the trowel because he needed it - and actually pretty good at separating the plants when there were two or three per cell.

I can just imagine what it'll be like out there with him in a couple of years.


Keep looking, keep looking, keep looking. It's too soon to give up. Don't give up. Keep looking.

What about over there? No? Okay. That's okay. Just keep looking, all right? This is important. You understand that, don't you? Good. Good. Keep looking, will you? For me? Good.

It has to be around here somewhere. I mean, where else could it possibly be? Right? There's no way it escaped the house, just no way. So it's gotta be in here. Thinking it's been lost or forgotten. That would be worse, I think. Believing you've been forgotten?

But that's not what happened here. Okay? I know that it's missing. I haven't forgotten it ever existed. I'm not stupid. Okay? Good. Now help me find it already. Just keep looking!

My sanity has to be around here somewhere...

Saturday April 25th, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the comedown.

The Canucks raced out to an early 3-0 lead this evening, which had me feeling pretty good. The final score, 7-4 in Calgary's favor, left me in a much different mood.

Two positive takeaways that I'm trying to focus on? First: I'm pretty sure that if they had managed to win the series against the Flames, Vancouver was going to get crushed by Anaheim. Now that's Calgary's fate.

The other: I didn't watch a single minute of the game, I was just keeping tabs on the score on and off all night. During the third period, when things nosedived off a cliff for the Canucks, I was actually out in town checking out a friend's photography exhibit and chatting with friends.

So there's that, I guess.


The lofty peaks
Were almost mine...
Now I'm tangled
In thorny vines

Friday April 24th, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose which take place in a: taxi.

The bathroom renovations are finally complete. Kat's dad and I got the second shelf installed this afternoon, put the hand towel rack thing-a-whatever-the-hell-it's-called back up next to the sink, and finished off by installing the window shower curtain. I will have to take some pictures to share with you guys.

This morning I did some more blackberry pruning (just one more section to go) while I waited for the strawberry patch to dry off after last night's rain. Then I got some more weeding done as I trudge along toward getting that monstrous job finished.


"What... what's going on?"

"You fell asleep back there, lady."

"Oh... well... where are we?"

"The only question you should be worrying about is, How much is it going to cost me to get back?"

Thursday April 23rd, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: hanging around.

Because after a tight 2-1 victory tonight, that's what the Canucks are doing in their first round series - hanging around. Now the next job on the list is to return to Calgary for game six and find a way to bring the series back to home ice for the deciding game.

Spent some time with Max at the park this morning before returning to the garden with Kat this afternoon. We finished pruning the raspberries, got a big start on pruning the blackberries, and even did a bit of weeding of the strawberries.

Berries, berries, berries.


In the city night came quickly, swallowing entire city blocks the second you dropped your guard. A moment's distraction was all it seemed to take for the light of day to be snatched away by the black of night.

Electric lights replaced the sun, casting shadows this way and that. Alleyways that were intimidating during the day became menacing, impenetrable places. The good, honest folk fled to the apparent safety of their homes, while men and women with less... impeccable morals emerged from their hiding places to rule the streets.

That was how the system was supposed to work, anyway. But like I said, night's arrival was always a stealthy one. Sometimes those good people got caught hanging around after sundown in places they'd have been better off never knowing about. And they weren't hard to spot, let me tell you. Stuck out like a sore thumb, no doubt about that.

And those sore thumbs were never, ever shown mercy.

Wednesday April 22nd, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that has been: usurped.

After spending the morning with Max and Kat, Sam and Sarah headed back to Vancouver around lunch time. It was a quick visit but a good one, I thought.

Max seemed to agree.


Yesterday morning we took Sam's rental car to town, so I had to grab Max's car seat out of our car before Kat left for work. When it was time to get going I installed it and asked him if he wanted me in the backseat beside him. He said yes, as I figured he would.

Sam drove us to the coffee shop and we hung out there for a while. Then it was time to get back in the car to make the short drive to the park. We got him buckled in, with Sarah helping from the backseat. I asked him if he wanted her back there with him... and he said yes.

And told me to sit up front.

Okay. I was glad he was getting comfortable with her but was a touch surprised. We got to the park without even a whiff of trouble from the backseat and had a good time playing there.

When it was time to get going for lunch Max was not especially happy. I had him buckled in when things started getting worse, so I brought him out and the two of us sat in the shade of a tree and talked things over.

I eventually figured out a way to get him back in there and he calmed down, which was a relief. I brought him back over, got him buckled in... and then he got upset at the idea of me sitting beside him.

"Do you want Sarah back there with you?"


That was when I officially felt like my position had been usurped.

Tuesday April 21st, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: atmosphere.

The score this evening: Calgary 3 Vancouver 1. Coincidentally, the series now stands at: Calgary 3 Vancouver 1. So unless the Canucks manage to win the next three games their return to the playoffs will be a very short one.

Hung out with Max, Sam, and Sarah this morning while Kat was off at work. We went for coffee and snack time, then had a nice visit to the park. This afternoon the girls went to check out some wineries while Max was with Kat's parents, so I did some more raspberry cane pruning.

Scratched the crap out of my arms, but I did get that section finished. Hurray?


They say it's made of
nitrogen and oxygen,
but here it's just rage

*     *     *

On the front porch, she
feels the silence within and
knows to turn away

Monday April 20th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something that is: delayed.

Remember when I mentioned this? Yeah, that finally happened today.


This afternoon Sam, one of Kat's oldest and dearest friends, arrived for a visit. She'll be staying with us for a couple of nights, along with her friend Sarah, before returning to Vancouver for a little while. Then she flies back to London, where she's been living for the last several years.

All of this came as a complete surprise to Kat.

The original plan was for them to come Easter weekend, directly after Kat's birthday. But they were going to catch a ride with another friend... who's car window got smashed in the night before their departure. It took until mid-afternoon on the Saturday to get fixed, so we decided to postpone the visit until they were able to come for a longer time, as they would have needed to return to Vancouver on Sunday afternoon.

All this, by the way, was complicated by the fact that Kat listened to the start of Sam's message on my phone while we were driving back from our visit with my parents on the island. All she heard before she took the phone away from her ear was, "Hi Marc, it's Sam from London. Don't tell Kat I called..."

It did not take Kat long to figure out that Sam was planning on surprising her for her birthday. So Sam and I decided to tell Kat that she had to fly back to London at the last minute and would no longer be able to come for a visit. And then, you know, show up anyway.

The visit was delayed until today. That, my friends, is a long time for me to keep a secret from my wife. There were several times when it almost came out, many more times when I was tempted to drop hints of what was coming, but I kept my mouth shut.

And now that I've seen her reaction to Sam's unexpected arrival, there's no doubt in my mind that it was more than worth the effort on my part.

Sunday April 19th, 2015

The exercise:

It's only been... just over two years since I used this prompt. For the only time. So here we go, with the Bad Day Prompt: write about a sports fan having a bad day.

On a *completely* unrelated note, the Canucks lost 4-2 this evening. So they're down 2-1 in their best of 7 series, with game 4 going Tuesday night. I'd say it would be a good idea to win that one.

Had a nice day with the family, going to the park this morning to meet up with some friends before spending the afternoon in the yard. We got a few things transplanted and seeded in our veggie box, Kat power washed the deck, and I did some weeding in the flower garden.

It's looking a lot better out there now, but we still have a ways to go.


The game is over,
The good guys have lost.
He gets off the couch,
Finds his dinner tossed
In the trash by a
Wife who is long gone -
She's having a drink
With their pool boy, Juan.

He picks up the phone
To order some food,
But the pizza girl
Is terribly rude.
(It just so happens
That her favorite team
Is the one that just
Crushed all of his dreams)

But there is hope yet,
He thinks with a tear
Forming in his eye:
There's always next year...

Saturday April 18th, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: dirt.

We went up to Penticton this morning, as Kat was attending a family fair for the first time as a counselor. Max and I helped her get her table setup and then had a visit to the play cafe.

It was weird being the only ones there for almost the whole morning, but I guess that's what happens when the weather gets this nice this early. Hopefully things pick up for them when more tourists are around and the temperatures enter Stupid Hot range.

We returned to the fair to have lunch with Kat and hang out until the end of the event. From the sounds of it things went well for her. Fingers crossed she manages to get a few clients out of it in order to make it really worth her while.

No matter what happens though, I'm proud of her for getting herself out there like that.


He walks in the door
Covered from head to toe;
No need to ask where he's been
Because you already know.

Friday April 17th, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: scope.

The Canucks got on the board this evening with a big 4-1 victory over the Flames. That was a big one, as they really didn't want to head to Calgary for the next two games down 2-0 in the series.

Aside from some minor touch-ups, the painting of the bathroom is done. Once I get the shelves up on the wall I'll have to share some pictures of the finished product.


"I'm going to fix something," Max announces as he walks past with an armful of tools.

"What are you going to fix?" I ask during a brief break from washing dishes.

"I'm going to fix outside," he says as he goes out the side door to the deck.

I know that what he meant was that he was going outside to fix something, but my initial reaction was only to say, "Way to keep that project scope realistic, Bubs."

Thursday April 16th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the roll.

I think Max might be starting to turn the corner on his recent behaviour - I actually spent the morning with him in town and at the park and there was very, very minimal fussing involved. It's probably helping that we've settled into more of a routine here since we got back from our road trip. I hope he's getting used to it, anyway.

This afternoon Kat joined me in the garden to continue weeding the strawberry patch and to get a start on pruning the raspberry canes. The second part of that was a whole lot more satisfying, what with the results of our work being much more immediate and noticeable.

Also: it was a hot one out there.


As far as middle of the night experiences go, I can't say that I recommend waking up to a muscle cramp in your calf. Especially when that cramp feels like a muscle has come detached at one end and is rolling up into a howling ball of pain.

I get muscle cramps somewhat regularly, and usually they are caused by dehydration because I'm not always aware of how much water I'm drinking throughout the day. Often they'll come and go fairly quickly, though I've had a few foot cramps that overstayed their welcome by a significant margin.

On occasion I get ones like the one that got me last night. The pain is extra severe for a brief period, then it relents long enough for me to go back to sleep. I get out of bed in the morning and am reminded of the events of the night by a lingering soreness that can stay with me for days.

Pretty sure that's what I'm in the middle of right now. If I stepped wrong today I walked with a limp. If I sat down on the couch for too long I had to work through a limp when I got moving again. It is sensitive as *bleep* when I try to massage my left calf. Stretching it is a bit of a horror show.

With the temperatures getting back into the 20s as of today and continuing on for most of the next week, I'm going to need to be more careful about my water intake. Because I do not need to go through this again.

Or, even worse, have my right calf join in on the fun before my left is fully back to normal.

Wednesday April 15th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the papers.

The Canucks got off to a disappointing start this evening, dropping a 2-1 decision via a Calgary goal with 30 seconds left in the game. It was a pretty even game though, so hopefully the bounces go their way next game and they're able to even things up.

I put the second coat of paint on the bathroom this morning and it looks much better now. Still going to need one more, but then it'll be done.

And I shall celebrate with much merriment.


The farm house was covered with dust and littered with remnants of a life I'd long left behind. Spiders watched my every move. Every inch of the place smelled stale, uninhabited. And everything creaked: the front door, the floorboards, cupboards, dressers, chairs. Everything.

I didn't want to be there then. Hell, I probably never did. Not in a hundred years would I ever have expected to be back under that roof. When I left there was no looking behind me - I just dropped a match on every bridge I crossed and kept moving.

But this was important. Unexpected and important. Dad's last words had sent me back there as surely as if he'd thrown a potato sack over my head, tossed me in the trunk of his rusting Corolla, and driven me there himself.

A secret was hidden behind that crumbling facade, kept beyond prying eyes for the entirety of my life, and my brother's life as well. It was time for it to see the light. Past time, really.

One way or another, I had to find the adoption papers.

Tuesday April 14th, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku about something that is: clandestine.

Man, that's a fun word. I have no idea how I've managed to never use it even once on this blog before today. I'd like to think I thought about using it before, but I'm pretty sure I haven't.

Finally got a first coat of paint on the bathroom this morning. Aiming for a second coat in the morning before I have to take over Max duties. I do not enjoy painting, for the record.

NHL playoffs, the 2015 version, commence tomorrow night. I can't wait.


They meet in dark bars
unfrequented by those who
might tell their partners

*     *     *

Between spreadsheets and
meetings, he works frantically
on his debut book

Monday April 13th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the summons.

2,500 days in a row. That's quite something.

Did more weeding in the strawberry patch this morning. It's the worst stretch, so it's slow going, but I'm trying to remember that it won't all be like this.

Hung out with Max this afternoon at Kat's parents house, because that's the only place he wants to go these days. I hope to one day be able to get him into town again.


He ran through the crowded streets, heedless of who he slammed into or knocked over. Angry shouts followed in his wake but if he heard them he showed no sign of it. He was too focused on reaching his destination to be bothered by such things anyway.

Hell, he wouldn't have even noticed that it had begun to pour rain if his long hair hadn't gotten stuck hanging in front of his eyes every ten or twenty strides. As it was, he acknowledged it enough to brush the black strands away with an annoyed grunt but little more than that.

He certainly didn't seem to notice that the rain was washing the crowds away, clearing his path and allowing his speed to steadily increase. But then, he'd hardly noticed the people who had been in his way when he first began his journey.

The sodden guards watched his approach through the pounding rain, brandishing their weapons when they realized he had no intention of slowing. Instead of being intimidated by the swords and spears pointed in his direction, he used the rain slicked road to his advantage and slid between them before bouncing back to his feet and continuing on.

"Should we give chase?" one of the guards asked into the stunned silence that followed.

"Nah," another replied with a slow shake of his head. "That one's clearly been summoned by the king."

Sunday April 12th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the agreement.

Feeling extra sleepy. Me write now.


A gentlemen's agreement, that's what he called it.

No need for a written contract, barely worth shaking hands over really. We were men of honor, after all. Why bother with all the fuss and muss of a legal, binding contract, right? We would both benefit from the bargain!

That bastard.

I should have seen it coming. The way he left some things unsaid, while others were stated so vaguely as to allow a mile's worth of wiggle room. He knew exactly what he was doing, I'll give him that much. He figured he'd found an easy mark and took advantage of me.

Except that's not how this story ends. For this tale is not over yet. And he is about to discover that he was not the only party who failed to fully disclose every single detail of their side of the deal.

He must suspect something is coming. He's been down roads like this before, I imagine. He must be used to furious forsaken partners seeking revenge. I hope he's ready for me.

Actually... I hope he's not ready at all.

Saturday April 11th, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the blanket.

A couple of things were made official today. One: Vancouver hosts Calgary this Wednesday for the opening game of their first round series. Two: Ottawa, with an incredible run down the stretch, have also made the playoffs.

That makes 5 out of 7 Canadian teams getting to play some extra hockey this year. I don't know if that's a record, but it's definitely the most that I can remember.

So of course Winnipeg is the only one playing an American team in the opening round. Oh well, I guess that means at least two Canadian teams will make it to the second round.


Worn and faded,
Holes here and there;
Still it somehow
Smells like her hair...

Friday April 10th, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose which take place on: the catwalk.

Not sure what inspired that. Maybe it had something to do with being around Oliver (Kat's brother's cat) while hanging out with Max at Kat's parents place this afternoon.

Feel free to imagine me shrugging my shoulders while muttering "I dunno" at this point.

Tomorrow is the final day of the regular season for the NHL this year. Playoffs, I believe, are scheduled to begin on Wednesday. And, unlike last year, there are four Canadian teams (Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal) guaranteed a spot in the postseason - with a pretty decent chance of a fifth (Ottawa) joining in on the fun.

But I'm pretty sure you already know which team I'll be following with the most interest.


"They are working very hard," Evan said, his words surprisingly clear given that he was chewing on a cigar at the time.

"So it appears," I replied without taking my eyes off the men and women arranged at benches below us.

"Do you think our vantage point is... less than advantageous?" Evan asked as he leaned further over the railing to get a better look at what our employees were doing.

I put a hand at the small of his back and, after a moment's thought, decided not to push - there would be time enough for that at a later date, with fewer witnesses about.

Thursday April 9th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the opposition.

The Canucks are officially playing the Flames in the first round of this year's playoffs. The final game of the season for each team this Saturday will determine who has home ice advantage - if Vancouver wins, it's theirs. If they lose and the Flames win, the series begins in Calgary.

Either way, though... woo hoo, playoff hockey!

Spent most of my morning with Max at gym time at the community center. It was even relatively easy to get him there. This afternoon, while he hung out with Kat's parents, I seeded carrots and spinach in the garden before beginning this year's edition of the Weeding and Mulching the Strawberries show.

Blargh. I really hope to get some more help with that than I did last year.


They are out there. They are watching our every move, studying patterns and seeking out weaknesses. When the time comes, they will be ready.

They are whetting their blades, coiling their rope, collecting their poisons. If it can be used to kill a man, they are gathering it. When the time comes, their stockpile will overflow with the tools of death.

They are out there. They are waiting. They are prepared.

We will defeat them anyway.

Wednesday April 8th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the U-turn.

I had planned on spending most of my morning with Max in town, running a couple errands and going to the park. We ended up at and around Kat's parents place instead because I need to learn to stop making plans while he's in this phase.

A lot of my afternoon was spent doing things I'd hoped to get done in the morning, so it was a generally unproductive day for me.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better in that regard.


One moment we were going full steam ahead, the view out the passenger window a green blur of trees. The next you were heavy on the breaks, bringing everything gradually back into focus. And now we're going back the way we came.

"I forgot something."

Those are your words. Innocent enough on their own, I suppose. But I don't like the way you said them. And I especially don't like the way you started chewing on the inside of your right cheek after you said it.

"What is it?"

I don't really want to know the answer, but I ask anyway. I feel obligated to inquire. As though if I only offered silence in reply I wouldn't be holding up my end of our unspoken agreement.

"It's a... it's sort of... hard to explain."

God, it's that bad? Maybe I should just undo my seat belt, open my door, and take my chances. The immediate physical damage would surely be less than the long term psychological punishment of staying.

"Oh." A short pause that feels much longer. "I guess... I'll just have to wait and see, huh?"

You smile and nod, obviously relieved. About what... who knows. I go back to studying the green ocean of trees you're driving us through and... what? Find something to distract myself with, get my thoughts elsewhere. I do what I need to do.

It's going to be a long two hours until we get back home.

Tuesday April 7th, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: dreams.

They're in. All it took was the second worst team in the NHL beating the defending Stanley Cup Champions and the Canucks are back in the playoffs. Only two things remain to be determined before the regular season concludes: whether or nor they'll have home-ice advantage in their first round best of seven series, and who their opponent will be.

It'll either be Calgary or Los Angeles (the previously mentioned defending champs, who Vancouver narrowly defeated last night). They play each other Thursday night, and a Calgary win would get them a date with Vancouver and eliminate LA.

So glad it didn't go down to the final game of the season. The playoffs will be stressful enough on their own, thanks very much.


Chasing after your
dreams is hard, like trying to
catch smoke with your hands

*     *     *

Much is sacrificed
pursuing dreams, but more is
lost if you don't try

Monday April 6th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the homestretch.

I know I haven't mentioned the Vancouver Canucks recently, but that's probably because they've had me holding my breath a whole lot. They played their third to last game of the regular season tonight and came away with a win, meaning they've got a very good chance of making the playoffs. A loss would not have been disastrous but... it would have been in that neighborhood.

Anyway. Going into tonight there were 11 teams fighting for 8 playoff spots in the Western Conference - now there are 9. Any of the bottom 5 teams could wind up on the outside looking in at this point. If the Canucks win either of their remaining games, they're in. If they lose both... they're going to need a little help.

They missed out on the playoffs last year, so it would be great if they force their way in this go around. All 4 of the other teams play tomorrow night so the situation might be a little clearer by the time Tuesday's post goes up.

Or just even more tense.


Almost there,
The end is in sight!
Can't you see?
You can trust that I'm right.

One more push
To reach the finish line;
Just that and
Then you will be mine...

Sunday April 5th, 2015

The exercise:

It's time for April's visit to The Colony.

Went up to Kat's parents place for dinner tonight, a combination Easter and belated birthday for Kat get together. Kat's dad did up a delicious turkey, and for dessert he baked a tasty birthday cake. Max didn't have too much to eat, as he seemed to still be recovering from throwing up twice this morning.

Poor little guy has a lot going on these days.

He seemed back to normal afterward though, and rediscovered his appetite just before bedtime. So hopefully that was just a blip on the radar and there are no major issues to deal with tomorrow.


Okay. I just left a very tense all-hands meeting and I want to write down what was said before I forget any details.

I don't know, maybe this will be important later on. Even if it's not, I think it'll do me some good. Help me sort my thoughts out.

*     *     *

Commander Vassily (CV): By now you are all aware of our... situation. All six of the supply drops that preceded our arrival are empty. There will not be another drop until two and one half weeks from now. What we have with us, right now, is all we have to survive on until then. It will be enough.

Demi: Will the missing supplies be replaced?

CV: Not for a month, at least. It is no matter. Merely a delay in our expected schedule, and we have more than enough time here to do all that we have been assigned to do.

Robbie: Yeah, just the rest of our lives, right?

CV: For now our focus must be on determining what went wrong... and how to prevent it from happening again.

(I've always admired Vassily's ability to carry on as though Robbie wasn't in the room)

Aditya: Drops Epsilon and Zeta were nearly destroyed by the storm before we could reach them. It is impossible to say what condition they were in prior to that. We do know that nothing of this magnitude had swept through this area since the drops landed. Until now, of course.

CV: Indeed. Only Alpha and Beta were examined before further damage was done and those observations were... lacking.

Patrick: Hey, we just spent two and a half days out there in the middle of that miserable storm while you lot were comfy and cozy in here! So maybe you can cut us a little slack?

CV: We are on Mars, Patrick. There is no slack here.

Me: As we outlined in our report, Alpha looked as though it may have hit a rock on landing. Perhaps the parachute failed shortly before impact, allowing the crate to impact with enough force to make the crack we saw.

CV: May have. Perhaps. Did you see a rock? Did you find the snapped parachute cords? No. You did not. So this is all speculation.

Patrick: Great, you got us there. Okay? But that doesn't brush aside what I saw at Beta.

CV: An all too brief look before you had to run for cover.

Demi: Wait, what did he see? What did you see Patrick?

CV: Without a proper examination there is no need to discuss it. Likely, he was mistaken.

Patrick: Mistaken? That lock was opened by force, pal. And not by some passing asteroid or gust of wind or nothing, okay?

Demi: How can you be so sure?

Patrick: I spent some time on the force back ho... back there. Saw plenty of break and entries. So trust me when I say this, okay? Somebody took a crowbar to that thing.

*     *     *

The meeting dissolved into chaos at that point. Vassily sent us to our rooms, as though we are children under his fatherly rule. We're not supposed to reassemble until everyone calms down.

I'm not sure how long that's going to take.

Saturday April 4th, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the skeptic.

Apparently Kat and I were the only ones keen on having Easter fun in town this morning. You'd think a two to one vote would be the winner.

But then you'd be forgetting Max's power of veto via tantrum.

So we spent some time in the garden instead, finishing off the weeding and mulching of the garlic and then seeding peas, radishes, and greens. Max mostly played in the dirt but did attempt to help with sowing seeds a couple times - and he definitely helped me shovel mulch into the wheelbarrow as well.

 One day he's going to be such a big help out there. Until then, he's pretty entertaining.


He believes in nothing,
At least that's what they say.
I heard he even claims
He's happier that way...

Friday April 3rd, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about something that is: shattered.

Because life can be strange and uncooperative at times, the thing I mentioned that I was anticipating didn't happen today. It might still happen, just no longer sure when.

Don't worry, it has nothing to do with the blog or my writing or anything like that. It'll all be much clearer once I can talk about it in detail. Until then... as you were.

Did some more work in the garlic this morning, with a little bit of help from Kat and Max (mostly Kat) when they came out to the garden for a visit. Hopefully one more session will get that finished off.

Looking forward to doing Easter-y things with Max this weekend.


She gathers the wreckage in her hands, counting the pieces as she goes. There's really no reason to number them, but she does it anyway. It is soothing, somehow.

And anything that helps to ease the pain of losing her grandmother's snow globe is more than welcome.

Thursday April 2nd, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: the squeeze.

After spending the morning with Max in town, I got our peppers (and eggplants) started in the greenhouse this afternoon. Then I finally got out to the garden and managed to weed and mulch the first two rows of garlic. There's only seven rows this year, so that's a reasonable chunk of work done.

Just a heads up for those interested in the yearlong prompt: I'm planning this month's visit to The Colony for Sunday. So if you haven't had a chance to write something for last month's entry, please do so in the next couple of days so I can incorporate your writing into my next addition.

Looking forward to tomorrow for reasons I shall explain tomorrow night.


"Maurice has to go."

"I'm sorry, what now?"

"Maurice. Go. Now. Got it?"

"He just moved in with us two days ago!"

"Right. So he's been living here for approximately two days too long then."

"But we finally managed to replace Edith - without even getting rid of the smell of wet cats in her bedroom!"

"Well, that should have been a warning sign for Maurice, shouldn't it? That he'd agree to sleeping in that... place?"

"Well... how about you tell me why you want him out. Maybe then we can have a reasonable conv-"

"I don't like the way he handles the squeezable honey."

Wednesday April 1st, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the mole.

As I've mentioned in previous years, I don't care for April Fools jokes in the least, so you won't be finding any of that nonsense here.

Greenhouse work took longer than expected (because of course it did), but I did manage to get all of our tomatoes started. Which says a lot about how much we've scaled back veggie production this year, considering it would have been a multiple day effort in previous seasons.

Anyway, I should be able to get the peppers going fairly quickly tomorrow afternoon and then I shall have a look at the garlic patch.


Within our ranks
An enemy lurks,
Hidden behind
False smiles
And empty words.

He must be found -
Or she, I suppose.
Let us not narrow
Our search so soon,
For we are all suspect.

Keep your eyes open,
Your ears to the walls,
Your guns close to hand,
And let us put an end to this
Before even more damage is done.