Tuesday July 18th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the traffic jam.

While today didn't go exactly to plan at work, it still ended up being a reasonably good day. And now... four days off.

Trying really hard to catch up on comments enough to get to the yearlong prompt before I have to go back to work on Sunday. Fingers crossed I'll get there.

Mine:

Bumper to bumper
as far as the eye can see...
time to start drinking.

*     *     *

Honk the horn. Honk the
horn. Honk the horn. It has to
work eventually...

Monday July 17th, 2017

The exercise:

Let us do some more continuations today. I think you know the drill by now.

Smoke from the nearest forest fire was bad again today. At least it helped keep things cooler. But I would have appreciated better air quality to go along with a lack of wilting heat.

Beggars, choosers, blah blah blah.

One more day and then my weekend arrives.

Mine:

The smoke burns my eyes but I am too captivated to blink the pain away. I do not want to miss even a moment.

All the books and audio interviews I have consumed in recent years as I prepared for this night were an utter waste of time. I am wholly unprepared for this.

My nerve endings are tingling. The intermingling aromas are overwhelming my ability to process them. The rhythm of the drums have become my heartbeat. Colors whirl and blur and separate until everything before me becomes one.

I can hardly breathe.

The ritual has begun.

Sunday July 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the pinata.

Kat and I met for the first time 12 years ago today. Apparently.

Because I totally forgot about it until she reminded me at lunch today. Oops.

Work was generally uneventful again today. I think temperatures peaked in the high twenties today, which was a nice followup to yesterday's high thirties. More of the same tomorrow it looks like.

Mine:

"I don't know about this."

"What's your problem now?"

"The pinata."

"Oh come on. I filled it up with healthy snacks, not just cheap candy and dollar store toys."

"It's not that."

"What then? Are you worried one of the kids will take somebody's eye out? I can find a stick that isn't quite so sharp."

"It's not that either."

"Right, spit it out then. I haven't got all day, you know. The party is starting in less than an hour."

"I just don't think the kids should be trying to crack open a stuffed figure of your ex-wife..."

Saturday July 15th, 2017

The exercise:

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

Pretty smooth first day back at work. Hot again, but it's supposed to be much cooler tomorrow (relatively speaking). There's a strong wind blowing tonight to make sure that'll be the case.

Funniest (to me) thing that happened today: I was restocking the women's washroom at the main beach this afternoon in preparation for going home and as I was finishing up a lady stuck her head in to tell me that there was 'a huge lineup out here - can we use the washrooms yet?'.

Because, you know, the size of the lineup is a major factor in how long it takes me to take care of the facilities.

But! That wasn't even the best part.

No, that was when I said to go ahead, since I'd finished with the toilets and was working on the sink/counter/garbage bags by the door, and... five ladies came in.

Five.

I think there were like fifty ladies waiting for me on Canada Day long weekend...

Mine:

Sure, fight me if you will -
It entertains me still.
I'll still take your last breath -
For no one escapes Death.

Friday July 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: ripples.

Had a nice time at Kettle River this morning. Only about a 40 minute drive away but it somehow seems to be a big effort to get out there. Planning on getting out into the woods a few more times this summer, as the boys love it and Kat and I need it too.

Sat with Miles by the river's edge for quite a while, just watching him throw rocks into the water. Started out with little pebbles then gradually got bigger. By the end I was quite certain he was going to crush his toes with one of those big rocks he was picking up but he managed not to.

The water was cold and refreshing but still moving fast after this spring's flooding extravaganza, so we stuck close to shore.

Back to work tomorrow. Really want to say already as I'm not at all sure where the last four days went.

Mine:

Spinning slowly as it arches through the air, it peaks and then begins its descent. There is no stopping it now, no taking it back. It will land with great force, enough to shake the foundations of all that we believe in.

And we will feel the ripple effects for decades to come.

Thursday July 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: suckers.

Delivered apricots with the boys this morning to the bakery and to our hairstylist, then spent some time at a park. Tried to stay in the shade as much as possible but those boys love their swings, so had to do that for a bit in the heat before coming home for lunch.

Planning a morning trip to Kettle River tomorrow to escape the heat by getting into the mountains and enjoying some nature exploration with the family. Max is so excited I almost needed a tranquilizer to get him to sleep tonight.

Almost.

Mine:

They say there's one born every minute.

That's crazy though, right? I mean, how is that possible? Where are they all coming from?

Well, I mean, of course I know where they're coming from. What I mean is, who are these people that keep pumping out the suckers who are threatening to overpopulate our planet?

More suckers, I reckon. Put two of them together and they're bound to produce another sucker or five. Just makes sense to me. Wouldn't you agree?

I mean, if I put some time in I'm sure I could find out for certain. You know, do some research, have some focus groups or whatever, poll some scientists and junk like that. Come up with a definite answer in, what, two years or so?

Yeah, I could do that.

Don't believe me?

Well then... care to place a wager on it?

Wednesday July 12th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: trepidation.

We limited customers to one pint of raspberries each when our email went out this week in order to make sure everybody who wanted them could get at least one, since the berries are not doing very well in this recent heat. So of course of the nine people who ordered, seven said they'd take a second if there was one available.

We managed to get fourteen pints between last night and this morning, so only a couple customers had to settle for one. Better than we expected.

Miles fell asleep super early this evening, which was nice because it gave Kat and I some extra time for just the two of us.

It will be less nice when he wakes up super early tomorrow morning.

Mine:

He approaches warily. We can see that he has been hurt before. Badly, perhaps. So we let him take his time, trying to appear as harmless and friendly as possible.

He's not buying it. I'm not sure I can blame him. We must look huge to him.

I offer him a treat and, to my great dismay, he becomes even more nervous. Has someone tried this trick before, but with less honorable intentions? Disgusting. Heartbreaking.

We retreat a ways, leaving the treat behind. He hesitates for a few moments, unsure of his next move. But I can see that he really wants that treat. It is difficult not to hold my breath. I can feel my sister beside me fighting that same battle.

Finally, with many a backward glance, he comes forward a few steps. We coo encouraging words. A few more steps. Big smiles, tiny welcoming waves. Here he comes. Almost there. Almost.

And at long last the pool boy takes the bait.

I mean treat.