Wednesday August 31st, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: your first set of wheels.

Bakery had a lineup out the door at opening, as per usual on Wednesdays (people get a little antsy after the bakery's been closed for three days). But we got through everybody and still had a fair bit of stuff left, which is not at all usual. Well, for the summer at least.

Definitely entering the slow down now. And after the summer rushes, I do not mind at all.


Hello again guys, Max here. I know it's been a long time since I took over the keyboard so I figured I was due.

Plus, you know, this is super important and super exciting.

So, you guys remember how we all went to see Nana and Pop? We got to ride the big ferry over to their island after having a visit with Aunt Geri and checking out the aquarium.

Oh man, you guys. The aquarium.

No, not now. I'll tell you all about the big fish and the really big fish and the super huge fish later. Gotta focus.

Okay. So we had a super fun visit with Nana and Pop. And I guess just as we were about to head back home, they gave Mommy and Dada some money to buy stuff for me and Miles.

Oh man, you guys. Miles.

No, no, no, no. Focus.

Anyway. When we got back home Mommy and me looked at some things on the computer to buy for me. And one of those things? It was a bike! My very first one! I've wanted one for so long, too.

I picked out a red one. Because red is the best color ever. Except when blue is the best. Or brown. Or when I like all the colors.

Anyway. Mommy ordered it for me and then Dada picked it up and brought it home and then we built it together and now I get to ride it!

Mommy and Dada told me it's called a run bike. So that's what I call it. Wanna see a picture of me on it? Here you go:

That's me riding my bike and picking Gradma and Poppa's grapes. The purple ones are the best. Except when I like the green ones best.

Anyway. I just wanted to share the big news with you guys. And to thank Nana and Pop for the super awesome gift. I can't wait to play balloon with you guys again.

Okay, time for me to go. Hopefully talk to you guys again soon!


Tuesday August 30th, 2016

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: running away.

Actually managed to get the 72 ears of corn that were ordered for today. A few extra, even, as the birds have been getting into them so I wanted to make sure the big order had a few extra to make up for it. It would seem that Max has been slacking on his scarecrow duties.

Took a trip across the border this afternoon to pick up several packages, including a highchair for Miles and some groceries for the family. Also a couple things for Max, but I'll wait until I can share a picture before talking about that bit.

Back to the bakery tomorrow morning.


My bags are packed, I'm
ready to go; now to make
sure nobody knows...

*     *     *

Enough was enough
a long time ago, but now
she gets it at last

Monday August 29th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the doodle.

I can't believe we've almost reached September already. Doesn't seem right to me. At all.

Got back to the job search this morning. Nothing promising yet, but trying to remain positive and hopeful.

Harvesting corn tomorrow morning for local orders. Like, all of whatever is ready. We had someone order five dozen ears, which I don't think I'm going to be able to manage. But I do plan on giving it my best shot.


The drawing was found crumpled up into a jagged ball in the garbage can at the back of the garage. Just a messy doodle done in red and black crayon. Officer Westbrook discovered it, I think. Maybe Officer Whittaker. I'm always mixing those two up.

Anyway. Whoever it was that found it didn't think much of it at first. Probably figured it was a neighbour's kid who'd done it. The deceased found it blowing across his yard, maybe, and just tossed it in the trash.

But then somebody must have pointed out that the neighbour's don't have any kids. In fact, nobody on the whole block has kids.

That's when they called me in.

Who did it? they asked. And, more importantly, What the hell is it supposed to be?

The implications were easy enough to determine, even though nobody dared to speak them aloud: had the Crayon Kid come out of retirement to strike once again? And if so, would he dare to continue his dreadful work or was this simply one, sick, twisted finale?

Except we all knew that it was him. And, worse, we all knew the answer to that second question was that people like the Crayon Kid never stopped until somebody stopped them.

Somebody like me.

Sunday August 28th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: chaos effect.

Max and I cleared off the deck this morning before giving it a good wash with the hose and scrubber. We took turns with each tool, both to give him a break from squeezing the nozzle on the hose and to make sure the whole thing generally got done properly.

This evening we met up with the farm family at the beach for a picnic dinner. Lots of fun but, oddly enough, the drive home was the highlight of the night for me...


We left the beach around seven o'clock, as Miles needed to go to sleep. Which meant that he was pretty fussy and not interested in having to drive before being put to bed.

Kat started singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to try to calm him down shortly after we started driving. I joined in and we went through it several times with some success.

Then, out of nowhere, Max decides to start singing his ABCs. Kat and I laughed, but she managed to continue with the song that she'd started with. Max laughed and kept going with his song. It took me a little longer to recover.

And then I decided to start singing Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.

Max thought that was hilarious.

Kat hit me.

I choose to be encouraged by the first reaction and quite entirely ignore the second. So we drove the rest of the way home with each of us trying (with varying degrees of success) to sing our own songs.

The end result was Miles getting home without too much fussing. Not the least bit sleepy, but I was happy to take what I could get.

Max, to my great surprise, was very sleepy. To the point that he insisted I carry him from the car to the house. I even got him to sleep before Kat got Miles to sleep.

And, as I sit here typing this, the whole thing still brings a smile to my face.

Saturday August 27th, 2016

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: mold.

Market got off to a slow start this morning but did pick up to a pretty steady pace. In the end I came back home with 4 of the 16 crates of Galas I'd brought, 1 of the 4 crates of McIntosh, .5 of the 4 crates of Honey Crisp, a couple pounds of plums, and a handful of peaches. Didn't bring any corn to the market, as the first planting is done and the second one isn't quite ready yet.

It was manageable on my own, though change was getting a little dicey at several points. My float starts out with $26 in coins and at the end of the market I had about $5 in coins in the cash box. If I'd had someone with me I'd have definitely gone for a run to the bank to get more, but it ended up being okay.

Looking forward to a day off with family tomorrow.


These apples look moldy,
She said with a frown.
I struggled to smile
And resist throwing down...

Final customer of the day, as I was packing up the truck about 15 minutes after closing. She was looking at the Honey Crisp, which honestly don't look all that great (they're difficult to grow in this heat). I informed her it was just the remnants of a calcium spray.

The implication that I would sell moldy apples, however, was absolutely infuriating.

Friday August 26th, 2016

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: Lackadaisical Larry.

Who's that, you ask? You tell me. Well, I have a few ideas about this guy, but I'm interested in seeing your interpretations as well.

Going to the market tomorrow with three different varieties of apples (McIntosh, Gala, and Honey Crisp), along with a couple crates of plums, a few crates of leftover peaches, and hopefully some corn (Kat's dad will check what's ready tomorrow morning before I hit the road).

Doing it by myself again, so hopefully things go smoothly. And successfully, ideally.


"The brakes are seeming pretty... unresponsive."

"Which mechanic did the tune-up on this rig for you?"

"Uh, some old guy named Larry."

"Oh no, not Lackadaisical Larreeeeeeeeeeeeeee..."

Thursday August 25th, 2016

The exercise:

On this, the 3,000th day in a row of Daily Writing Practice, we write about: the guardians.

Inspired by my finally getting around to watching Guardians of the Galaxy on Netflix over the course of a couple nights this last week. Good fun.

Bakery was significantly quieter than it has been this morning. The opening lineup actually fit inside the shop, and we had lots of cinnamon buns left for most of the morning. And they were still open when I left at quarter after twelve!

I guess we're starting to get into the quieter time of year, as tourists head home and students prepare to return to school.

Although not all that quiet - all that was on the shelves when I headed for home was about ten loaves of bread and one macaroon.


I have been feeling... conflicted, these past few weeks. The work that I do has not changed... yet, somehow, it feels different now. Or, at least, I feel differently about it.

Do the others feel this way? Have they felt it too? We've worked together so long now, we know each other so well. If they are not experiencing this... shift... then surely they have noticed the shift within me.

Hesitation has crept into actions that required none before. I carry so much guilt around with me that it must alter the way I speak, walk, sleep... the way I shoot.

My aim is not what it used to be. I could blame it on age finally catching up with me. But that would just be another lie. I have already collected enough of those to last two life times. I am done with them.

So what is the truth? I am a member of this team of guardians. We still guard this place. We keep the people here safe.

But who are they, really? Do they deserve to be kept safe? What have they done that makes others wish them so much ill that they require our presence and protection? Am I a good guy, a hero? I had always thought so.

Recently, however, I have begun to feel much more like a villain...

Wednesday August 24th, 2016

The exercise:

Write something which involves: the lighthouse.

Had a short shift (8 to 11) at the bakery this morning, as a new person was being trained to take over the full-time position starting in September (when Mary goes back to school). As a first shift back after vacation, it worked out pretty well for me.

This afternoon I picked corn from the garden and collected some McIntosh apples from the cooler for the lone local customer who put in an order this week. Who then proceeded to arrive late to pick her stuff up.

I'm about done with local orders. You know, in case I haven't mentioned that yet.


I watch the storms come.

Black clouds roll in from the horizon, an unstoppable avalanche of Atlantic fury. The waves reach higher, frothing at the mouth as they crash towards my shore. Screaming winds urge them onward. The air is electric and heavy with the promise of that which shall arrive all too soon.

I watch the storms rage.

Rain lashes against my walls and windows, seeking an opening into my sanctuary. Winds wish to topple me to the rocks which surround me. Lightning flashes. Again. And again. And again. Thunder rattles my bones.

I watch the storms go.

My waters, now filled with debris, return to soft rolling sighs, their tantrums quickly forgotten. The air is made new once more. Sunshine parts the clouds and brings with it warmth and the tentative calls of the birds who, like me, call this place home.

I am the keeper.

I keep the light on, burning bright in the deepest darkness. I keep ships and sailors safe, warning them away from my deadly, treacherous rocks. I keep this tower strong, forever reaching for the sky. Forever standing against the storms.

I am eternal.

I must be. For there is no one waiting to take my place.

Tuesday August 23rd, 2016

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the homecoming.

Long day on the road. Nothing went wrong, really, it just took a long time to get here with extra stops (and an extra long break for lunch and playtime in a park).

Grateful to be home though.

Looking forward to getting settled in again.

Not looking forward to working at the bakery tomorrow morning.

I'm exhausted. Good night.


Been a long time gone;
familiar faces now lined.
I'm ready to leave.

*     *     *

Sweet scents of fruit trees,
the soft nightsong of crickets -
it's good to be home.

Monday August 22nd, 2016

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: all aboard.

We left Comox this morning, after a difficult parting, hoping to catch the 12:15 ferry out of Nanaimo for Vancouver. Barring that, we figured we'd be there in plenty of time to catch the 12:50.

On the highway just outside Nanaimo is an electronic sign with current ferry information on it. When we reached it the 12:15 was already full and the 12:50 was at 66% capacity. The next sailing was at 3:10.

We got into the huge lineup, had to wait for the first ferry to be loaded before we could even get to the booth to purchase our ticket, and hoped for the best. It was a long wait to do with two little boys in the car, but the final result was a relief.

We were the third to last vehicle onto the ship. There may have been a mini celebration in the car the moment we realized we wouldn't have to wait at the terminal for another two hours.

It was a smooth sailing, much less windy than the one that brought us over to the island. We did hit some pretty terrible traffic coming through Vancouver, but we made it back to Kat's aunt's place eventually.

After dinner I went to visit one of my closest high school friends, who did not attend the reunion, and it was really great to catch up with him.

Now all that's left is the final leg of the journey. I'm about ready to be home.


"Is everyone aboard now?"

"Yes, Captain. Though there is trouble brewing on the third deck."

"If it is only brewing then I expect it to be brought under proper control before any damage is done."

"Yes, Captain. It's just that it might be out of our hands already."

"What? How exactly did it go from trouble brewing to we can't do anything about it? I was clear in my instructions to the crew, was I not?"

"Yes, Captain. Unfortunately the lions refused to remain in their cages on the fourth deck and were undeterred by our attempts to prevent them from entering the third deck."

"Remind me: what's on the third deck?"

"The last last known remaining humans in the galaxy, Captain."

"Oh for... what was that noise?"

"It would appear that we've lost another species to extinction, Captain."

Sunday August 21st, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the beachcomber.

I guess people had a little too much to drink last night, as only one of my friends showed up at the beach this afternoon. There may have been other graduates from my year but I certainly didn't recognize them.

It was disappointing, but it gave me plenty of time to explore the beach with Max. We collected lots of seashells, turned over plenty of rocks in search of crabs (and found lots and lots of them), and even built a fort with driftwood.

Heading back to Vancouver tomorrow morning. I expect that it will be difficult to leave.


He walks the beach
Hunched over,
Head swinging slowly
From side to side
As he searches
For treasure
Or whatever
Folks will buy.

The bulging bag,
Thrown over his shoulder
As he steps over
And goes from sand
To boulder
And back again,
Holds today's finds.

The years have
Not been kind
Yet somehow,
He still seems content
With the contents
Of his sack
And his life.

I suppose
He's found
In simplicity,
But his
Is not
The life
For me.

Saturday August 20th, 2016

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: misty memory lane.

Had a fun, busy couple of hours this afternoon with 6 adults and 5 kids over to hang out in my parents backyard. It was nice catching up with high school friends I hadn't seen in a while, and I'm hoping to see most of them, and a few others, tomorrow afternoon for the family picnic at the beach.

Fingers crossed the weather chooses to cooperate with us.


I see the pictures and know
I should know all of these faces,
But names have become lost
In the misty in-between places...

Friday August 19th, 2016

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the path in the woods.

Had a fairly quiet day here. Definite highlight was a walk in the woods with Kat, Max, and Miles just before dinner.

Having a fairly big get together at my parents place tomorrow afternoon. Hoping to get four friends and their children over here after lunch. Should be some delightful chaos.


I follow the path as darkness gathers around me. I follow the path as the creatures of the night begin to emerge and trace my footsteps. I follow the path onward, deeper; there can be no turning back now.

I follow the path.

Thursday August 18th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the fairy.

Made it to Comox, despite some early morning traffic fun on the way to catch the ferry. Max loved the boat ride and Miles enjoyed looking around at all the people.

We're all ready for a good night's sleep. Kat and the boys are already snoozing, so I guess it's my turn next.


I've made a lot of mistakes when it comes to Reggie.

For instance, when they told me to Follow the smoke I thought I'd find her helping to extinguish a forest fire. Instead I discovered her working her way through her second (of four) package of cigarettes for the day.

And like when I saw her chugging her canteen I assumed it was filled with water. Not whiskey.

Worst of all (maybe... I think) is that I thought she would be helpful.

Reggie hasn't helped a soul beside herself since the day she was hatched.

What? What do you mean she wasn't hat...


Oh, Reggie.

Wednesday August 17th, 2016

The exercise:

Write something that takes place at: the aquarium.

Max, as we expected, just about lost his danged mind at the aquarium this morning. He never lacks for enthusiasm, but he was off the charts excited.

I've got lots of pictures on my phone, along with several videos. Will share some once I get them onto the laptop.

For now, know that his favorite things were the jellyfish, the shark, the turtles, the monkeys, and the sea otter. Oh, and the penguins and the little fish and the big fish and the really big fish and the gigantic fish.

So, you know, basically everything.

Catching the ferry to the island tomorrow morning. Looking forward to being back home for a few days.



Man, this place is incredible. I wonder how long it took them to collect all this stuff. Years, at least. Decades maybe?

"Excuse me, sir?"

And the colors! So many colors. I'd never have dreamed such things could be found in nature. Well, without humans dumping toxic chemicals on them first. Obviously.

"Hello, sir?"

I hardly know which way to turn, what to see next. They should have just made this one big hallway. Go up one side, come back down the other. That way nobody would miss any of this. What's with all these doors and different floors and this... what? Amorphous blob of a layout? What the heck's wrong with rectangles and squares and tr-


"Oh, I'm sorry, were you speaking to me?"

"Sir! Your child has somehow found his way into the monkey exhibit!"

"He has?"

"We don't know how he did it - there aren't even any access points from this side of the glass! But he needs to get out of there before something terrible happens!"

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that. I've always said he's more monkey than boy anyway..."

Tuesday August 16th, 2016

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the extrovert.

Because I actually remembered to follow up last Tuesday's post.

We've arrived safe and sound in Vancouver. Had a pretty smooth trip, all things considered. Left Osoyoos around 10 this morning, got here around 4. So it took a while - thanks in large part to a 1.5 hour lunch break at Manning Park - but there were no major issues en route.

Really looking forward to the aquarium tomorrow morning. I think Max is going to love it.

Oh, also: no scheduled posts. I have enough trouble just getting one post done per day. Thankfully I've got internet access here, so there should be no trouble getting something posted tomorrow as well.


Dance like everyone
is watching me? They damned well
better be watching.

*     *     *

A crowded party
with a mic in his hand? He's
in his element.

Monday August 15th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something: tightening.

Busy day of getting ready for our trip. Mowed the lawn this morning, ran several errands in town this afternoon, picked some produce to bring with us this evening, and packed up most of my things tonight.

Now for a good night's sleep and a smooth voyage to our first destination tomorrow.


I've grown used to the pain, it would seem. Or perhaps I've just gone numb? Either way. It is a pleasant change. I would not say I'm comfortable, of course. But this is a definite improvement.

I should put on more of a show, lest someone notice and feel the urge to do something about my newfound relief. Bring back that pained expression. Maybe grunt and groan.

Okay, easy now. Don't overdo it. They know what they're doing, how much pain they should be causing me.

What if I'm supposed to be dead now?

Okay, that moan of despair was legit.

So why is he looking at me like that? Oh no, he's coming this way. Quick, think of something. Anything. Make him stop. Don't let him d-

Oh no, the leash is tightening again...

Sunday August 14th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: travel plans.

All right, time to lay out the next week for me.


With me not getting the job at town hall, time has opened up to allow for a trip back home. My twenty year high school reunion is this coming Saturday so I'm using it as an excuse to visit old friends who will be in town and to bring Max and Miles to see my parents.

We'll be heading out Tuesday morning for Vancouver, where we'll be spending two nights with Kat's aunt. The hope is to take the boys to the Vancouver Aquarium Wednesday morning before we catch the ferry on Thursday to Vancouver Island.

Still making plans, but I'm sure there will end up being lots of get togethers with friends over the weekend, along with official high school reunion stuff. We'll leave Comox on Monday, spend the night in Vancouver, and then be back in Osoyoos on Tuesday.

I'm going to try to schedule a couple posts to get us through to Thursday, but if things go quiet for a couple days just know that things will be all caught up again by Thursday night.

Going to spend Monday packing and getting ready, so one more post tomorrow night before (hopefully) the scheduled posts start.

Looking forward to getting away for a week.

Saturday August 13th, 2016

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: keeping it together.

Brought 45 crates of fruit to the market. Take away two crates worth of culled nectarines and I had 43 for sale. Brought home 1 crate of plums and 1 crate of nectarines. Sold out of apples and peaches (and raspberries and corn).

That was a busy market. It might have been a good idea to have had Kat (and therefore Miles) with me.

Ah well, I survived.


Hurry, rush, hustle,
No time for stopping!
Gotta keep the table stocked
For all of this endless shopping...

Friday August 12th, 2016

The exercise:

You've got four lines of prose, as always on Friday. But this week, a little something different. Your assignment: what is it?

Use your first three lines to describe something. Anything. Have fun with it. Your final line is for telling us what that something is.

We'll see how it goes this time. Maybe I'll bring it back every now and again. Let me know what you think.

Taking care of the market on my own tomorrow. Because I make poor life decisions.

I'm bringing 16 crates of Gala apples, 15 crates of nectarines, 12 crates of peaches, 2 crates of plums, a few raspberries, 3 mint plants, and whatever corn Kat's dad manages to pick before I hit the road in the morning.

Bright and early.

So maybe I should get to bed.


It's a bevy of bungalows for a bunch of bonkers buddies! It's a smattering of shacks for silly sisters! Come check it out, it's the craziest place in town!

It's Habitat for Insanity!

Thursday August 11th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the slice.

The rush only lasted 45 minutes at the bakery this morning, after which we still had a (yes, just one) cinnamon bun, half a dozen bagels, a dozen loaves of bread, and quite a few macaroons left. Of course all of that was sold (other than the last of the cookies) long before noon, but after yesterday's madness it felt almost... calm.

Spending tomorrow morning picking raspberries for Saturday's farmers market. Not sure how much is out there, but I'm mostly going there to sell peaches and apples, so I'm not too concerned.


Every effort had been made in an attempt at equality. Tape measures had been brought forth, even scales had been put into use.

It was all, quite unsurprisingly, for naught.

"Carl's piece of birthday cake is bigger than mine!"

"No way! Peter's piece is even more huger than mine is!"

Truly, there was only one thing to be done.


"Dad, no!"

"You can't eat them both!"

Clearly, I could do exactly that.

Wednesday August 10th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the lifeguard.

The bakery was pretty much sold out of everything by 10:45 this morning, at which point I moved away from the till for the first time since we opened at 9.

That's ridiculous, just for the record.

Hopefully the people who got there early enough to get things got enough to last until at least Friday. Otherwise they'll all be back for more tomorrow...

Oh, the lineup started before 8:30. I thought I should mention that as well.



From atop my tower
I can see
All there is to see
In this sea
Of mostly naked bodies
Who have
Come here to be seen.

I watch for danger
In all its forms:
Choking, drowning,
Sharks -
Both in the waves
And on the sand.

For in a crowd
Like this,
Full of folks intent
On fun and sun,
The greatest danger
Is, always
And forever, Man.

Tuesday August 9th, 2016

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the introvert.

Had a fairly quick pick for local orders this morning (only two customers put in orders this week... getting pretty close to the point of shutting Tuesdays down now), snuck in a quick rest this afternoon, and then had a pretty smooth evening shift at the community center.

Now to get some sleep before I'm up and heading for the bakery tomorrow morning.


All of these people
make me want to hide away...
but I'm surrounded.

*     *     *

Quiet, please. Quiet.
Can't you see that I need it
like you need clean air?

Monday August 8th, 2016

The exercise:

As promised yesterday, we're having our monthly visit to the House of Mercy this evening.

Had a pretty quiet night shift at the community center. I've got another one scheduled for tomorrow, so I'm going to need to bring the produce down to our place for local orders before I go and then Kat and Miles will deal with our customers (Max will be with Kat's parents until dinner time).

Then two mornings at the bakery, back to farm work on Friday as I pick for the market, the market itself on Saturday, and then on Sunday... I guess I get a day off? That'll be nice.


Sitting on her bed in the early dawn light, flipping through her chart, Julie's head was crowded with questions.

Was it real? Was it just another test, like the keys? Had the keys been a test at all? If it was real, were the notes she was reading a confirmation of her insanity... or theirs?

The sound of the chart sliding across the floor had woken her with a jolt. It had taken a few seconds to discover the source of the noise and much longer to consider whether or not she should get out of bed to pick it up.

The three quick knocks on her door and then the sound of rapidly retreating footsteps had shoved her into action.

And that, perhaps, was the biggest question of all: who had slipped it under her door to begin with?

Julie rubbed the ache in her head with her fingers, closing her eyes for a few breaths. Breakfast would be arriving in half an hour and she knew she couldn't be found reading her chart.

And it was her chart, wasn't it? Or at least it was a copy. The entries were grouped together in different colored pens, which was odd. Babs always used the same pen when she was with Julie. It was like someone had taken several attempts to get it all down, using whatever writing instrument was at hand each time. The handwriting certainly looked rushed.

It also looked vaguely familiar. Like Julie had seen it somewhere before. She couldn't seem to place it though. It was like trying to grab a wriggling fish with her bare hands.

At least, it was until she reached the final page... and the final note, hastily scrawled at the bottom. It was not an entry from Babs. Julie knew that even before her eyes reached the name.

Julie, I hope you've found these notes informative. And I hope your old pills have been "disagreeing" with you. But they're starting you on a new routine tomorrow and I don't know if I can keep 'adjusting' your medications - there are some liquids, and maybe even a few needles. We need to get out of here before they get more of their poison into you.

We need to leave tonight. Be ready.


Sunday August 7th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the student.

Twas an uneventful Sunday around these parts, that somehow managed to fly by. Culminated with cooking a whole chicken on the BBQ and then having blackberry pie (Kat made it this morning) for dessert.

I should probably be bringing us back to the House of Mercy this evening, but inspiration is noticeably absent in that area. So I'll aim for tomorrow night.


He clenched his fists in his lap, battling the urge to push his reading glasses higher up on his nose. Ah, such righteous nerd rage. How could I not push more of his buttons?

"It's unfortunate that you did not care to invest your time in studying for this exam," I told him, tapping the thick stack of paper on the desk between us. "I suppose you were too busy playing video games or watching some television show I've never heard of."

"I prepped for your test for hours!"

"Really?" I couldn't contain my laugh. I was just having too much fun. "All that time, wasted on getting 35%? What a pity! You could have put that energy into a more useful area. Like... getting a date, perhaps?"

"I already have a girlfriend!"

"Where? At another university? In some distant, frozen corner of Canada?"

"I will not stand for this sort of treatment!"

"Oh, well, it's a good thing you're sitting down then, isn't it?" He really was making it too easy for me.

"Professor!" He stood up then, at long last. I felt saddened that my fun was about to end. "I am going straight to the Dean to report your... your... utterly inappropriate behaviour!"

"If you must," I said, waving him away with a slight frown and a shrug. "While you're at Mr. Lockwood's office, could you tell Marty I'll be a touch late for our 2:45 tee time this afternoon? Bella Harris is coming in after lunch to see me about... well, about this very same test! And I do like to give her some... extra time and attention, if you know what I mean."


Saturday August 6th, 2016

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: shifting gears.

Big accomplishment of the day was rearranging Max's room once again. He helped me do it and I asked for his thoughts on where things should go (I only had to veto one thing). I think the end result is a definite improvement.

We'll see how long it lasts this time.


A month long build up
Has left behind frustration.
Let's forget all that
And plan our next vacation...

Friday August 5th, 2016

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose which have something to do with the idea of: down but not out.

I figured it was probably time to let you guys in on what's been going on behind the scenes (there have been clues in the prompts recently, especially this week, but I thought I should probably clear up any suspicions that may have begun to grow). I had hoped it would be a happy announcement, but it wasn't meant to be this time around.

Work this evening at the community center was very slow. Not that I minded, but I was surprised.



A full-time permanent position opened up at town hall, so I applied before the late June deadline. I found out the afternoon of the day the posting closed that they wanted to interview me - but not until a month later (due to interviewers being away and/or unavailable).

I had my interview on Tuesday and felt like it went pretty well... then heard yesterday afternoon that they'd chosen another applicant.

Obviously I've been feeling pretty bummed since then, but I know I'll bounce back soon enough, and that I won't let this setback keep me down.

Thursday August 4th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: Cleopatra.

Because I was listening to this while failing to come up with a prompt. And then, clearly, I gave up.

The bakery was quieter than usual this morning. I mean, it was still busy. But the lineup was closer to ten than thirty at opening and we had cinnamon buns left after the rush. And a few chocolate croissants as well.

By the time I left there were only macaroons, a slice of focaccia, and maybe six loaves on the shelves. So obviously things were steady enough to sell out... just a little later than I've grown used to.

We're skipping the farmers market this weekend, so I was available to pick up the closing shift at the community center tomorrow night. Hopefully that goes smoothly.


She looked upon the asp
And said with a smile
That never failed to beguile,
I know quite exactly
What I wish from thee.
It is, quite simply,
Bite me.

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that is: hanging in the balance.

It was the usual mayhem at the bakery this morning. I had a little more trouble with it than I typically do, as I seemed to have difficulty getting into the flow of things. I got there eventually though.

I sold the last loaf of bread around 12:30, cinnamon buns and croissants were gone by 9:30'ish, and everything else sold out somewhere in between. Hectic, to say the least.

This afternoon I stayed home with Miles while Kat and Max went to the beach for some much needed Mommy and Max time. He's been having a bit of a rough time lately, and I think it's mostly due to adjusting to no longer being the only child.

From the sounds of it I think this afternoon helped, and we're hoping to make this a regular thing going forward.


You'll find the answer hanging in the balance.

It had taken me a long time to figure the clue out. Longer than it should have.

If I was being honest with myself, I realized as I stepped off the number twelve train and into the rain at Szabo Station, I would have found the answer much sooner if I hadn't fought against it so hard. Sometimes getting out of your own way is the hardest part of being a private investigator.

Hunching my shoulders against the steady drizzle, I walked slowly through an umbrella forest sprouting from the sullen faces of reluctant pedestrians. Hah. If only they knew the real meaning of reluctance. I could feel my shoes scraping across the pavement, as though they were the failing brakes of a soon to be demolished Studebaker. The damp made my right knee ache, but I was used to that by then and paid it little attention.

The old gymnasium at Twenty-fifth and Landry was exactly as I remembered it. Dull, imposing, a square building built with the imagination of an old Soviet Bloc architect. Its surroundings had changed drastically since I'd last seen it though. Where before it was just one of many, now it was the rotting, loose tooth dangling between the towering perfection of shiny new skyscrapers. It looked like they had been playing with it and wiggling it, hoping to knock it out, but so far the old gym was refusing to fall.

Before I could think about things too much I slipped inside. Immediately the memories of another life came flooding back - the endless hours on the mats, the routines on repeat until they were flawless, the falls, the falls, the falls... until the fall that ended it all. My right knee torn apart, my Olympic dreams left behind on the operating room table.

By that time those were another man's hopes. I had left them far behind. Or so I had thought.

But standing there once more in that gym, staring at the new stitches on the balance beam, I knew that 'Flexy' Lexy Morgan was back in my life. And that there would be no end to the troubles coming my way.

Tuesday August 2nd, 2016

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: ducks.

Local orders are definitely slowing down, as I only needed to pick 6 pints of blackberries this morning. At least there were lots of nectarines and peaches ordered, despite only four customers putting in orders, so it was still a decent total.

I suspect the end is nigh, though, on this year's Tuesday pickups.


Swimming in circles,
quacking with their friends; they have
a good life, I think

*     *     *

I am not happy
with how closely they watch me
eat my sandwiches...

Monday August 1st, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that is: looming.

Ran a few errands today before going out to dinner with Kat. We had a lovely time and the boys enjoyed their evening with Grandma and Papa.

Now I am tired and ready for sleep.


It's been a long time coming
And now it's finally near;
Just one more sleep and then
I can set aside this fear.

Tomorrow I will wake
To greet this fateful day;
I will speak all these words
I've been practicing to say.

In less than a day it will
All be said and all be done.
And then it will be time
For the next fear to come...