Sunday December 31st, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: a new year's wish.

Happy New Year's Eve, everybody. I hope 2018 is a good one for us all.

Saturday December 30th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about a warning. Specifically: keep out.

Friday December 29th, 2017

The exercise:

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

Thursday December 28th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a: tale from school.

Wednesday December 27th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the tooth fairy.

In honour of Max losing his first tooth last week.

Tuesday December 26th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: naughty or nice.

Monday December 25th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: unwrapping presents.

Merry Christmas! I hope Santa and your family were good to you all :)

Sunday December 24th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the sleigh ride.

Saturday December 23rd, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: Santa's workshop.

Friday December 22nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose which take place at: the North Pole.

Going to have some Christmas prompts from here through to the 25th. Happy holidays!

Thursday December 21st, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: valour.

Wednesday December 20th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: discretion.

Tuesday December 19th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the motivational speaker.

Monday December 18th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the good old days.

Sunday December 17th, 2017

The exercise:

It is time to finish off our journey through The Dream Kingdom.

Saturday December 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: missing a step.

Friday December 15th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the tutor.

Thursday December 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the housekeeper.

Wednesday December 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Let's return to the Continuations Prompt.

This time I'll get us started in the comments. Next time I'll wait for one of you to go first.

Tuesday December 12th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: a victory for common sense.

Not sure what else to call it.

Monday December 11th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: The Peace Corps.

Sunday December 10th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is in: turmoil.

Saturday December 9th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the morning after the office Christmas party.

After yesterday's prompt, it seemed like the thing to do...

Friday December 8th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the office Christmas party.

Thursday December 7th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the book.

Wednesday December 6th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something about: the man child.

... and so concludes Trump Week. 

Feel free to have another look at the last seven days of prompts, now that you know they were all inspired by the man child currently residing in the White House.

Tuesday December 5th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: riches.

Monday December 4th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: fake.

Sunday December 3rd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: ill-suited.

Saturday December 2nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about something that has been: swamped.

Friday December 1st, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about something that has been: drained.

Thursday November 30th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: orange.

Wednesday November 29th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: one against many.

Tuesday November 28th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the circus.

Monday November 27th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the ranch.

Sunday November 26th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something which takes place: on the porch.

Saturday November 25th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about something that is: radioactive.

Friday November 24th, 2017

The exercise:

In the interest of providing a counterpoint to yesterday's prompt, today write four lines of prose about: the deficit.

Thursday November 23rd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the surplus.

Wednesday November 22nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: helping hands.

Tuesday November 21st, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the dojo.

Monday November 20th, 2017

The exercise:

Continuing on from yesterday, if you like, write about: the pick up.

Sunday November 19th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the drop.

Saturday November 18th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the placebo.

Friday November 17th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the dinner for three.

Thursday November 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something which takes place on: a rainy day.

Yes, it's been raining quite a bit here lately.

Wednesday November 15th, 2017

The exercise:

Let us return to The Dream Kingdom, as it is time to put the pieces in place in preparation for next month's conclusion.

I won't be able to get to this for a couple days. Feel free to wait for me or to go ahead and I'll follow. I don't mind either way.

Tuesday November 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the real estate agent.

I haven't forgotten about the yearlong prompt. Okay, I totally did. But then I remembered!

So we'll get back to that tomorrow.

Monday November 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that has been: displaced.

Sunday November 12th, 2017

The exercise:

Pick a James Bond movie and use its title as the inspiration for your writing today.

I did use this prompt before, but that was almost exactly nine(!) years ago, so I think I'm doing all right. Plus it was before any of you who are reading this now were around, so there's that.

Saturday November 11th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: remembrance.

Friday November 10th, 2017

The exercise:

Let us bring things to an end with: the seeker.

Feel free to ignore the usual Friday restriction of four lines of prose if you're finishing off a tale you've been writing the last couple of days. 

I know that if I find time to join in (and I'm hoping to) that I certainly will.

Thursday November 9th, 2017

The exercise:

Continuing on from yesterday's prompt, today write about: the hiding spot.

This Tale in Three Parts shall conclude tomorrow.

Wednesday November 8th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something to do with: hide and seek.

Fair warning: you might want to be prepared to continue your tale tomorrow. And maybe the day after that.

Tuesday November 7th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about the number: five.

Because today we celebrate this young sir's fifth birthday:

Happy birthday Max, you unstoppable ball of energy.

Monday November 6th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that takes place on or near: an isolated coast.

Sunday November 5th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the bonfire.

Saturday November 4th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the captain of the guard.

Friday November 3rd, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: hanging on.

Thursday November 2nd, 2017

The exercise:

It has been too long. Let us do some more unfavorable comparisons.

... yeah, you know I'll be joining in on this one in the comments as soon as I'm able to.

Wednesday November 1st, 2017

The exercise:

Welcome to November, the 2017 edition.

Trying something new today which I hope shall become a reoccurring feature: the scenario prompt. Essentially I will be giving you a starting scenario to work with and then each of you can take it where your inspiration leads you to go.

So here's today's scenario:

On the evening of October 31st, 2017, Arthur Dylan Diaz fell asleep in his bed, tucked snugly beneath warm, familiar blankets. On the morning of November 1st, 2017, he woke up somewhere else entirely.

Tuesday October 31st, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: Halloween candy.


Monday October 30th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the teacher's pet.

Sunday October 29th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: locked away.

Saturday October 28th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about something that is: heart-stopping.

Friday Ocotber 27th, 2017

The exercise:

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

Thursday October 26th, 2017

The exercise:

It's the return of the Random Book Prompt!

Go grab a book off your shelf or coffee table or wherever and use its first line as your own. Then, after giving credit where it's due as always, take it from there!

Side note: today is my birthday. That probably explains why, when I was typing in the post title, I very nearly typed Thursday October 26th, 1978.

Thankfully I did not, as that would have caused some confusion...

Wednesday October 25th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: spicy.

Tuesday October 24th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: a fresh start.

Wondering what's going on? Check out Monday's post.

Please :)

Monday October 23rd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: long overdue.

Yeah, here comes that other bit of news that I've been trying to get to for a very long time.


I'm sure that it has not gone unnoticed that I've been having difficulty in recent months (I think I'm being generous... it's probably more like years) with keeping on top of things with this blog - both in posting on time and the miserably large backlog of comments that saw no replies for so much of the time.

Thankfully I've been better about the comments recently.

Posting on time has been hit and miss. For example, I was going to post this last night. Sleep won again, so it's going up tonight instead, while I figure out what yesterday's prompt shall be.

Before I go any further, I should probably point out that this is not the end of Daily Writing Practice. It is, however, the end of this blog as it has existed for the last... nine years? Really, nine? Jeez.

Anyway. Since the beginning the format has been share the prompt, blab about whatever is on my mind for a bit, and then share my take on the prompt. Then, in theory, after I've posted I reply to the comments on the previous day's prompt. In theory.

With the arrival of first Max and then Miles into my life, this has become problematic on a couple fronts. The biggest is clearly that I have less free time to write. Most days, the only time I have to sit down and focus on writing is after the boys are asleep and, usually, after Kat is asleep as well. By this point in the day I am tired. Very tired. Staying awake long enough to figure out a prompt, write about my (*zzzz*) day, write my take on (*zzzzzz*) the prompt, and then reply to comments (forget it, I'm going to bed, I'll get to them next time) is a challenge I have not been able to meet on far more nights than I care to admit.

So. What does this mean? It means I need to do things differently. It means I need to shift what little time I have to write away from this (essentially unpaid) blog and toward writing projects that will hopefully become sources of income.

This, then, is the plan going forward. Each night I shall post the writing prompt. Then I will reply to the previous day's comments. Then I will get to work on my projects, even if only for a few minutes before it is time to sleep. If I'm feeling inspired, I will also post my take on the prompt in the comments.

There are, of course, exceptions. I will always post on the yearlong prompts. I will still do continuation and weeklong prompts on occasion and I will write on those as well. Characters and tales that I've used and returned to regularly (or not) will still make appearances - so no need to say farewell to Henri or Bobby, or The Gang or The Wastelands.

I'll be switching to the new format as of tomorrow's prompt. And because it will still be Two Haiku Tuesday I imagine my take will be making an appearance in the comments. Also: because change is hard and I know I'm going to have trouble letting go. 

I'll also be mucking about with the blog's appearance, as it seems as good a time as any to change the layout. So if you're here on Tuesday and things look a little weird... I'm probably in the process of changing things up.

It is my hope that this change will allow me to be more attentive to your comments and to provide better, more thoughtful feedback (I will admit that when I'm slogging through the backlog my replies are often more brief than I'd like) on your writing. I cherish your contributions to my prompts and always will. It is an honor every single time that you choose to share your writing with me and those that read this blog.

It is also my hope that this will lead to me finally publishing my work. I've got a couple things on the go right now and I will be sure to provide updates as they become... um, worthy of being updated. Updateable? I think I might be going for newsworthy here...

All right, I'm getting tired. Thanks for sticking with this to the end. It got a little long. And thank you for sticking with Daily Writing Practice, and I hope that you continue to do so in its new form.

It means a lot.

Sunday October 22nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: fitting.

Had a really nice autumn walk this morning with my family at Haynes Point. Wind picked up a little bit at times but we generally stayed comfortable and happy. First time we made it all the way to the end of the point and we're hoping to make that a regular thing.

Sorry, once more, for the late posting. You'll see why it's especially fitting once I get Monday's post published.

And why hopefully this will be the last time it happens.


This dressing isn't working
I just
Gym sweats and ice cream.

Saturday October 21st, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about something that is: intransigent.

It had to end eventually. This v-less prompt inspired by its use in Cabinet Battle #1.

Cold, wet, and windy day here. Not much fun, but the forecast seems to think it was just for today and that the next week should see sunshine and reasonable temperatures.

Fingers crossed they're right.


Arguing with you
Is like fighting a wall;
There is no winning -
You're so thick you can't fall.

Friday October 20th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about something: visceral.

Yeah, might as well keep it going.

Had both the boys with me in town this morning. Miles put on another show at the coffee shop while I tried (and eventually succeeded) to buy Max a hot chocolate. Had to drag him out of the kitchen three times.

Kat's parents had the boys for the afternoon, so I got some (awkward) laundry done and rested a bit. Why awkward? Our basement stairs are finally, finally being redone, but our basement is currently inaccessible. That's also where our washer and dryer are.

So I had to bring a basket of laundry up to Kat's parents house and use their machines. Hoping to be able to get back into our basement early next week.


I'd apologize, but I don't think it's my fault - not really. There's no thought involved. Certainly no conscious choice being made.

Whenever I see his face I just start punching it.

Thursday October 19th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the viscount.


Had a pretty fun day with Miles. Did some shopping and hung out at the bakery this morning, had a Skype chat with my parents, walked around the farm, and hung out on Main Street for a little bit this afternoon.

He put on quite a show in my favorite coffee shop. The intention was to go in, grab a coffee to go, and then go for a walk in town. But he started off with showing a tiny piece of leaf that he'd found on the sidewalk to about seven different people. Then he decided the best thing ever would be to take off his toque and have an older gentleman put it back on for him.

Over and over and over again.

Eventually convinced him to leave. He kept wanting to go back in though. That was around the time I decided it was time to head home.



"What is it now?"

"The Viscount of Rusted Bridge has come to see you."

"Again? Can that man not take a bloody hint?"

"Apparently not, sire, no."

"Did he say what he wants?"

"No, but I believe it is safe to assume that he's found another way to stake his claim as a duke, sire."

"Yes, it does seem like he's given up on earl and marquess, doesn't it? Fine, show him to the Grey Room."

"Shall I have tea prepared?"

"Only if it has been sufficiently poisoned."

"Of course, sire."

Wednesday October 18th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: viscous.

What? Just making sure you guys are paying attention...

Windy, chilly day here. Had the boys in town with me for a bit this morning before deciding to head indoors to catch the end of StrongStart. It was pretty busy but with only about half an hour to be there it was manageable.

Hung out with them at Kat's parents house after lunch so that she could have a session with one of her clients. Kat is driving Max to Learning Centre tomorrow and spending the day helping out there, so I'll be with Miles.

We shall see what sort of shenanigans we can get up to here in town.


"That looks... oh man. I just ate, okay? Please don't stick your fingers in... oh man."

"You going to be okay?"

"That looks nasty. How are you not wearing gloves right now?"

"I think you're overreacting."


"Jeez, look how thick this stuff is. Gonna need the special soap tonight to get this off."

"I'm going to be sick."

"Oh, pull yourself together man! We're professionals and we have a job to do."

"I didn't sign up for... this."

"Oh, relax. At least this stuff didn't come out of your nose."

Tuesday October 17th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about something that is: vicious.

Inspired by the wind in (and on the way home from) Penticton today. Those gusts whipping shreds of leaves and street dirt into my face can go screw themselves, thank you very much. The ones pushing the car around on the drive home can do the same.

Otherwise? It was a productive trip. Got some groceries. Did some clothes shopping for myself and the boys. Picked up something for Kat. And... applied for EI.

I've never even tried to get EI before, but I think now is the right time. It's been a long six months and the relief pool is not going to get me enough work to pay the bills. It is, however and hopefully, going to get me hours that will get me closer to having enough seniority to apply for internal job postings, so there's good reason to stick with it.

Ideally? I'll get a little break to recover and spend time with the kids (and write!) and then a full time position will come up with the town.

But if this helps us get through the next half a year and then I return to the caretaker contract that would be good too.


Rumours swirled and curled
around her in the hallways,
so vile and untrue

*     *     *

The sign says Beware
of Dog but he looks so cute!
I'm sure he's just - ahhhhh!

Monday October 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: unreliable.

Kat was at her Penticton office today so I took the boys with me to drop off my work keys at Public Works this morning. I'd wanted to relabel them as the ones I'd originally put on were pretty well worn off and I only knew which was which out of habit.

I took them around the yard to show them all the trucks and equipment (Miles' fav was the 'dumper truck', though he seemed to think all the trucks were dump trucks by the end) before coming back home.

And now I'm fully finished with the job, for reals.

Heading up to Penticton tomorrow to get a few things done. On my own, even. Should be good.


"Will you be there?"

"Of course."

Why did I even ask? Worse, why did I bother believing?

"Okay, see you at nine. We'll be counting on you."

"Wouldn't miss it for the world."

No one is ever going to offer you the world in return for missing anything. And yet you're never there when we need you. For what, then? What are you exchanging for your presence by your family's side? What is the price?

Tell me, I beg of you. I will pay it gladly.

"All right. We'll save you a seat. Love you."

"I love you too."

Sure, throw that lie on top of the heap as well. It acts as a fine blanket.

Sunday October 15th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: catching up.

All caught up on comments again.

But there is more catching up to be done...


When I started my contract with the town back in April it quickly became apparent that we would need a second vehicle sooner than later. I was starting my shifts too early for Kat to drop me off and ending them too late for her to pick me up. That meant for the four days I worked in a row, she was basically stuck at home with the boys.

That... didn't seem sustainable for the next six months.

So we started looking pretty much right away. And found what we were looking for before I'd even received my first paycheque. We wanted a larger vehicle to hold all four of us and all the stuff we'd be hauling around, especially on road trips that involve overnight stays.

We bought this Pontiac Montana during the first week of May (I honestly don't remember the exact date):

It's looking rather dusty there but I swear it's clean on the inside.

Why didn't I mention this purchase at the time? A couple reasons. The big one being that life was very, very busy. I didn't even have a decent picture of it to share (I actually took the above today in preparation for this post).

The other major factor in the delayed reveal? I was not super thrilled with purchasing a minivan. It fits our needs and whatever blah blah blah, but it's not exactly a vehicle I'd aspired to owning. In fact, I still insist on calling it our van, not our minivan.

As though the distinction makes any sort of difference.

Anyway. I think that gets me almost completely caught up. Just one more thing coming and I should be getting to that this week sometime.

Oooh, mysterious.

Saturday October 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the last day.

And another chapter comes to an end. I didn't exactly cruise over the finish line, as I hustled around town giving all the washrooms a final clean. I haven't even tried to do all the washrooms in one day since my first four day shift back in April (when I didn't know any better).

Got 'em done though, with enough time left at the end of the day to clean out the truck and organize supplies a little bit.

With it being a bit of a special day, I'm ignoring my own four line limitation. I hope you'll forgive me.


My final day began beneath the stars.
There were no bikes on the road,
No vans, no trucks, no cars.

The cold was bitter and fierce
And continually pierced
My shirt, my sweater, my jacket -
I was shivering so hard
My teeth were making a racket.

My hands are blocks of ice,
My fingers can take
No more, so here I am
Texting silly poems to my love
On my coffee break.

The sun never shined,
Clouds permanently lined
The sky from north to south
And east to west.
But at the end of it all
I completed my quest:
The bathrooms, all clean.

Now the job has ended
So it is time
To end scene.

Friday October 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the after party.

Hard to believe tomorrow will be my last day on the job. Six months went by pretty dang quickly.

With all of my office cleanings behind me, I'll be spending the day giving the washrooms one last clean before all but three of them are locked up for the winter tomorrow night. It's past time, really, as all but a couple of them have hardly seen any use in the last couple of weeks.

Anyway. One final early morning wake up to go.

Good night!


"Where are you off to?"

"Uh, the after party?"

"Our daughter just had her second birthday celebration - there is no after party."

"... I guess you didn't get the invite then."

Thursday October 12th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the trophy.

Fairly quiet day at work. Ending with a little something different for the office clean once again: they've started renovating the Public Works building, beginning with the break room. So they've shifted the crew to another room (a reasonably spacious storage room that at least has room for the tables, chairs, fridge, microwaves, and coffee maker).

So I cleaned the office and washroom as usual, skipped the under construction area, and did what I could with the temporary break room.

All the while wondering why everything is happening during my final four days...

Oh well, just two to go now!


"Here, darling, I've bought you a new dress."

"Oh, thank you Charles! It's very... bright. And sparkly."

"And gold!"

"Yes, Charles, that too."

"Don't you like it darling? It matches the shoes I bought for you yesterday!"

"Of course I do, Charles. You know I like everything you buy me."

"Oh, good."

"It's just..."

"Yes, darling?"

"It's just that I'm beginning to worry that you might be taking this whole trophy wife thing a little too literally."

"Oh, come now darling! I treat you with the utmost respect and dignity. I listen when you're yammering on about whatever it is you're always yammering on about. We even do things together that you like to do, on occasion."

"Yes, I suppose that's true, Charles. And it's not like you're asking me to carry around a bowling ball now, is it?"

"Oh! That reminds me! The rest of your gift..."

Wednesday October 11th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the devil's noose.

This afternoon I was asked to clean a room at Destination Osoyoos that I'd not previously had access to. After I was done they wanted me to close the blinds, which didn't seem like much of a request.

By the time I'd finished fighting with the cord I thought otherwise.

I usually have a shower after I get home from work, which gives me some quiet time to process my day. Tonight while I was in there I started thinking about those blinds and how much I hated the person who tied up the cord, whose tie job I casually referred to as 'the devil's noose'. I liked it so much that I had to make a prompt out of it.

So here we are.

Three days to go!


The rope around my neck is impossibly hot. It should be on fire, the way it's burning me. I can almost hear the skin crackling like a steak on a frying pan doused with too much oil. The smell is... I don't want to think about the smell.

I twist this way and that, use my fingers to try to force a gap that can be used to loosen its grip on me. But there is no relief. There is no escape.

The devil's noose has a hold on me and it isn't letting go.

"Are you... comfortable?" a deep, rumbling voice asks. I can feel the echoes reverberating in my chest.

"No!" My voice is hoarse, rasping. My mouth is drier than grains of sand on a midday beach. The pain is... exquisite.

"Exquisite?" His laughter is a monstrous thing. "You flatter me."

"Get out of my head."

"Make me."

The challenge forces my eyes open for the first time. My regret is immediate and immense. Everything is on fire. I try not to look at anything too closely but I still see tormented faces and blackened bones.

I am surrounded by misery.

"Surrounded," he says. "And very much a part of it as well."

The noose tightens and I fall to my knees, clutching at the burning rope with both hands. I can feel the skin on my palms blistering and peeling away. Escape is hopeless but I will not stop fighting. I cannot stop. I must not.

"Oh, you will," he says with that terrible laugh. "You will."

Tuesday October 10th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the beginning of the end.

Parents managed to leave this morning without too many tears being shed. Took the boys to StrongStart shortly afterward to keep them distracted. Seemed to work out okay.

Beginning my final four day stretch with Public Works tomorrow. It's going to be a chilly week, but at least the end is very much in sight.


This may not be the
end, but I can certainly
see it from here... *yay*

*     *     *

I said I love you
and you just sort of smiled and
didn't say it back

Monday October 9th, 2017

The exercise:

Well, it has certainly been a long time since I've made use of the Last Line Prompt. So, of course, now that I'm bringing it back around I'm changing the rules a little bit.

This time I want you to take any line from a song and use it as your last. Still the same idea, knowing your ending before you begin writing, just tweaking things slightly.

Oh, and just to be a pain, the song you pluck your line from has to be one on the Hamilton soundtrack.

You're welcome.

Had a good day with the boys and my parents. Lunch out in town with everybody, harvesting fruit and veggies with Max and my parents while Miles napped. A yummy borscht dinner together.

Will be sad to see them go tomorrow.


Wait For It - Hamilton Soundtrack

I am deeply misunderstood by the likes of you. You have made so many incorrect assumptions. You hold even more misconceptions.

Allow me to shed some light and clarity for you. It is probably best if you save your thanks until later.

Trust me.

So. Where to begin? Perhaps it would be wise to commence with my response to those responsible for my downfall. You think I've gone into hiding? You consider my silence a sign of weakness or, even worse, cowardice?

These men took everything from me. My wealth, my power, my loved ones. Do you really think that I would do nothing in the face of their hateful actions? Do you really think I would turn the other cheek? Do you really think that I will show these men mercy?

And, to be clear, know that I count you among them. You have not escaped my attention.

All of you have mistaken the cause of my inaction. Like the fools you are. So allow me, if you will, to spell this out for you simpletons.

I'm not standing still.

I am lying in wait.

Sunday October 8th, 2017

The exercise:

The first week of October kinda slipped by before I realized it, so let us return to The Dream Kingdom before any more days sneak past me.

Had a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my parents this evening. We roasted a whole chicken, did up some potatoes and yams and peas, and had some wine to go with it. It was good to have them here for the holiday.

We've got one more full day with them before they head for home Tuesday morning. Not looking forward to how the boys will take their departure.


"I don't know how these people can wear this everyday," Dylan muttered as he tried to scratch an unreachable itch on his back. "I'm going to lose my mind and I've only been wearing this for ten minutes."

"They must only wear clothes outdoors and just walk around their homes naked," Olivia said, completely unaware of the effect her words had on her friends. "They can't possibly wear these outfits all day."

"At least your clothes fit properly," Josh pointed out from where he was lying on the cart. "Did you have to steal the clothes from a walking blimp?"

"These are an isolated, impoverished people," Nystor reminded them. "Magic is dangerously unreliable here. They have little to work with and do the best they can. Their lot is not their fault."

"Whatever." Dylan paused to try to reach the itch with his other hand. "All right. So remind me again what the plan is? I can't concentrate with all this itchiness going on all over the place."

"Does that mean you're going to get naked before this is all over?" Olivia asked with an arched eyebrow.

"Try to focus, children," Nystor cut in. "Our... informant, once he was fully recovered from his near suffocation, was quite useful. We now know that there was an unusual burst of activity at The Lighthouse shortly after King Brekstan was taken and that was followed by a steep increase in security. If the king is not being held here, The Islanders are doing a fine job of misdirection."

"Right," Dylan grunted.

"We already knew that the only approach to The Lighthouse has to be through the village of Sandsekt, which makes our current disguises highly necessary - especially with the tower's meteorite foundations. We cannot expect to be able to maintain any sort of magical disguise once we get within a few hundred feet of its gates."

"So we're just going to hope these will be okay?" Josh asked, patting the blanket between himself and Nystor that covered Olivia and Dylan's swords.

"Can't exactly go in there unarmed," Olivia countered.

"I think that's enough bickering for now," Nystor said with a poorly concealed sigh. "We are approaching the outskirts of the village."

Saturday October 7th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: opening night.

The Vancouver Canucks opened their 2017-18 season this evening with a 3-2 victory over Edmonton. They're not expected to be significantly better than the team that finished second-last in the league last season, but the first game of the year is always good for some baseless optimism.

Kat and I joined Becky and Adam in helping their parents finish off the apple pick this afternoon. The two of them have been going hard for much too long and are hitting a wall, so we're pitching in to get them over the finish line. The pick should get finished tomorrow morning.

Then all we have to do is convince them to get some well deserved rest.


We're making our debut -
We're all brand new!
So, if it's okay with you,
I think I'll fake the flu...

Friday October 6th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the hearing test.

Another (cold) day in the books. Next four days off, and then the final run of four commences. Very much looking forward to doing something else for a while.

They were doing hearing tests this morning (the crew has to do one annually because so many of them work with loud machinery) and I (eventually) opted to join in. It's been a long time since my last one, so I was feeling a bit nervous.

Turns out my hearing is pretty much perfect and that I did the best on the test of everybody who did it this morning.

Must remember to rub that in their faces next week...


"Did you hear that?"

"Knock it off, Derek."

"Come on, I'm just trying to make sure your hearing is okay after the accident!"

"Your accident... and if you set off one more firework in my office I'm going to fire you."

Thursday October 5th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that has been: disguised.

I think my boys are born entertainers. Certainly in my parents eyes they are.

The silence in the house, now that they're asleep, is rather deafening.

Going to miss all that happy noise tomorrow while I'm at work. Thankfully I'll have the next four days off to make up for it.


"The exhibit is magnificent - you've done an amazing job!"

"That's very kind of you. I'm particularly proud of this display."

"I can see wh... wait. Isn't that the artifact that was chewed up by our resident rat family?"

"It certainly is! You've got a keen eye."

"There was hardly anything left of it!"

"Yes, well, that's why I've got it almost entirely buried underneath artificial snow. Luckily for me the arctic discovery show was put into storage last week, so there was plenty of the stuff to go around."

"That's great and everything, but... wasn't that artifact dug out of an archaeological site in Egypt?"

Wednesday October 4th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the anomaly.

Another day of work down, only five to go. Chilly again in the morning, reasonably warm in the afternoon, got chilly again when I was heading home.

My parents arrived this afternoon for a visit. Looking forward to spending tomorrow hanging out with them and the boys. They were already having a blast by the time I got home and that was only for about an hour.

I suspect we'll all be quite worn out by tomorrow night.


"There's an anomaly in one of your reports."


"You didn't think I'd notice?"

"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."

"Page fifty, Derek."

"Which one is that again?"

"Oh, you don't recall? Here, I'll show you. It's certainly easy enough to find."

"Why's that?"

"Because it was filled out entirely in crayon."

"It's what?"

"Pink crayon."

"... okay, my daughter may have done that one for me."

Tuesday October 3rd, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about something: delicate.

Very cold start to the day, but it got quite reasonable once the sun was up. The lack of wind definitely helped.

Six days left!


She's like a flower
clinging to her petals while
the summer winds scream

*     *     *

The box was labelled
Fragile. I wish you'd just told
me it was your heart

Monday October 2nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the artifact.

Spent the day with the boys while Kat went up to Penticton to work out of her new office there. She's going to be there every other Monday, with the hope of having a few face to face clients. It's a shared space with a masseuse who doesn't work Mondays so it's looking pretty ideal at this point.

Took the boys grocery shopping and then to the park this morning. Miles immediately spotted a seagull and went chasing after it. Not long after that he found a duck to chase. Had to get them home before he chased something into the lake.

Back to work for a couple days before I get Thursday off. Looking like it will be a chilly start to the day.


"What are we looking for down here?"

"I'll know it when I see it."

"That's... not helpful."

"Just keep the flashlight steady, okay?"

"What... did you hear that?"

"Hey! Shiny shiny over here, remember?"

"But I heard something move over there. Hello? Who's there?"

"It's probably just a rat. I'm pretty sure there's a family or two or three of them down here."

"Probably? Two or three? I'm not enjoying the uncertainty of this little adventure."

"Relax... hey, shine that thing over here. I think this is what we need."

"If I hear any more doubt coming out of your mouth I'm handing in my resignation as soon as -"

"This is it! The exhibit is going to be so much better because of... oh, damn it."

"Do I want to know?"

"I think one of the rats might have eaten part... well, most of the artifact."

Sunday October 1st, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: order.

Working just one day feels weird. But other than a couple minor annoyances (the wind this afternoon being one of them), things went pretty smoothly. So now my final Sunday joins Monday in the rear view. My last Tuesday will be coming up next.

Not that I'm counting days or anything.


Outside the lines
Remains colourless -
Don't you dare
Erase them, lest
Randomness take over.

Saturday September 30th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: a poor response.

Ah, Trump.

Hard to believe we've come to the end of September already. Hoping things might slow down a little bit once my contract finishes up, but I suppose that's unlikely.

Back to work tomorrow, just for the day. Weather is supposed to be pretty chilly, so I imagine things will be fairly quiet.

Max helped me make apple sauce this afternoon while Kat and Miles napped. Looking forward to having more time and energy to do things like that this fall and winter.


Thinking of a trip to San Juan?
You shouldn't.
What would I do if I lived there?
I wouldn't.

Friday September 29th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the fruit pickers.

Look at me, all caught up on comments. Pretty sure it's been at least six months since I could say that.

Planning on making some changes so that I can keep it this way. I'm quite done with getting so far behind on replying to comments. Thank you for your patience while I've been such a poor host.

Had the morning to myself (thus the comment catch up). Spent the afternoon with the boys. Sunshine. Good first day off.


"Well, I'm done for the day."

"It's not even noon!"

"Yeah, but look at all the apples I've picked!"

"What, barely half a bin... and there are bite marks in all of these."

Thursday September 28th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: illuminated.

Another day down. Eight remain.

I've got the next two days off, then I'm working Sunday for Tammy (it's her anniversary and her husband is taking her to a concert in Kelowna), I'm off Monday, then back Tuesday and Wednesday. Tammy's taking Thursday for me, then I've got Friday.

After all that convoluted nonsense, I'll have my final four days off in a row, then work my final four days in a row.

Max had another good day at learning centre today. Looking forward to being able to take him once work finishes up, as I'd really like to meet his teacher and classmates.


The light bulb
Above your head
Is burned out.
You're all out
Of ideas but
Chock-full of doubt.

There's no doubt
You'll burn bright
Again one day,
But it's hard today
To see you with
Nothing to say.

Wednesday September 27th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something which takes place at: the birthday party.

We had a StrongStart field trip at our farm this morning. Obviously I missed out on it, but it sounds like it went well. Max loves being the farm tour guide so I'm sure he was fully in his element.

With the sun shining all day there were more people out and about once again but it has yet to result in much additional work for me.

Sounds pretty ideal, actually. More of the same tomorrow?

Yes, please.


The birthday boy is bawling
And throwing a fit since
His cake is splattered all over the
Guess he wasn't quick enough
To blow out the flames
Before the dynamite candles went