Wednesday August 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Almost back in the first half of the month, we're returning to The Dream Kingdom today.

Work went fairly well today. Blue skies returned for another visit, which helped a lot. Kind of forgot how hot the sun is when it's not being filtered through a nice, dense layer of smoke though.

Better get this done before sleep wins yet again.


Dylan woke to the sound of his heartbeat pounding in his ears. He opened his eyes slowly, feeling dirt and tree debris falling away from his eyelashes, and found himself flat on his back looking up at misshapen trees.

No, not misshapen, he realized. Broken. By me. By my fall.

He sat up carefully, groaning as pain shot up his arms when he pushed himself away from the ground. He looked down at his hands and saw that his fingers were still bleeding from where the flying carpet had punctured them.

Stop it, he thought firmly. Stop bleeding.

To his surprise, they did just that.

"Huh," he said. Or tried to. Mostly he just mumbled out bits of the terrain he had landed on. He spent a few moments spitting and wiping his mouth clean. "Bleh. What's that noise?"

The hammering of his heart was still loud in his head but he had finally noticed that there were other sounds nearby. A grinding cacophony was coming from his right, along with what sounded like a waterfall. As he got up to investigate a surge went through his body and he wondered if he was going to faint.

He remained conscious, though he swayed unsteadily for several seconds. Once he felt mostly confident that he could walk, he began to do so. The pounding in his head was unrelenting, and now it felt as though wild electricity was shooting through his veins.

When he reached the crest of the hill he looked down to see an escalator, of sorts. He shook his head to clear his vision but the severely out of place contraption remained. Shortly after that he realized that Olivia, Josh, and Nystor were riding up toward him. He raised his arm to wave to them but then one of the armed statues behind them came to life and began climbing after them. And then another. And another.

"Watch out behind you!"

The three turned and he could hear his friends scream. Maybe Nystor did too. Dylan knew he had to do something to help them, and fast. He looked down at his empty hands.

"Sword." He said it with a confidence that felt out of place in that strange landscape and he felt a tingling like electric shock in his fingertips. Nearly instantaneously a long, heavy sword flickered into existence in his right hand. "Lighter," he grunted and it became easier to hold. He looked toward his friends again to see there were now six armed statues pursuing them. "Another sword."

Armed with blades in both hands he took a deep breath. Just before he began to descend he remembered to imagine one more item into place.


Tuesday August 15th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: sleep.

As hinted at in Monday's post, the smoke returned to the valley this morning. It's not as bad as it was before it left for a couple days, but it was still rather depressing to look out the window this morning and see the gray again.

Hopefully this visit will be short lived and the next departure will be lengthier. Much, much lengthier.

Back to work tomorrow. Those four days went quick.

As usual.


She says I'll sleep when
I'm dead. Well, good news my dear:
that shouldn't take long...

*     *     *

Just need to keep my
eyes open... a little long..
I wake to neck pain.

Monday August 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the babysitter.

Took the boys to the park for the first time in a long time this morning. So nice to have fresh air to breathe again.

It was quite busy, which wasn't at all surprising, but not overly so. Miles had fun walking around and going on the swing and Max was climbing here, there, and everywhere.

I wish I wasn't writing this Tuesday night so that I could be more enthusiastic about the lack of smoke. You'll understand when I get Tuesday's post published.

Oh, before I forget - aiming for Wednesday for the yearlong prompt. Might be a bit ambitious for my first day back at work, but I'm going to try.


"Um... is your brother allowed to play with that?"

"With what? Oh, yeah, that's fine."


"Yeah, Mommy says he can have it as long as it keeps him out of the kitchen when she's trying to make dinner."

"Oh. I see."

"You can call her if you don't believe me."

"No! It's not that. I trust you."

"What's the problem then?"

"I'm just... I don't know... I'm not super comfortable with the way he's swinging that mace around the house..."

Sunday August 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the meteor shower.

Happy to say everybody came to pick up their local orders this afternoon - even if two customers arrived late. But late will always be better than not at all in this case - I was especially relieved when the lady who had ordered forty pounds of fruit (twenty pounds of peaches and twenty pounds of nectarines) showed up, as I was not keen on putting them away and then having to get them back out again for whenever we would arrange for her to come by.

Had a bit of wind last night and some rain early this morning and... suddenly we can see clouds and blue sky again. It's honestly pretty amazing.

Hopefully the smoke stays away for good.


Max wanted to stay up late tonight to watch the Perseid meteor shower - he was even willing to have a nap this afternoon in order to do so. He napped for almost two hours and was ready to go.

We had clear skies, which was nice. Lots of stars and satellites... but not a whole lot of meteors, unfortunately. But that was okay, because Max was just excited to be up late and watching the night sky.

Plus we had many entertaining exchanges. I can't remember all of them, but by far my favorite was this one:

Max: Where are all the meteors?

Me: I'm not sure. We just have to keep watching for them.

Max: Let's make music and sing for them so that the meteors will come down and dance on our table.

I'm not entirely convinced he fully understands what a meteor is.. but I'm good with that for now.

Saturday August 12th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: what happens next.

Inspired by Greg's comment last Saturday, mine is a continuation of my previous four line poem. Feel free to do something similar or take this prompt as its own thing.

Picked blackberries this evening with the family for tomorrow's local order pickup. Got all 19 pints we needed, so all that's left to do is weigh out fruit orders and get everything together in time for people to come get their produce.

Managed to get a new phone this morning. Still working on getting it setup, but so far I'm generally pleased with my iPhone 6.


The highway is cracked and littered
With broke down cars and shattered glass,
But the driver is undeterred -
He's got the school bus moving fast...

Friday August 11th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the bat.

Sigh. I do not like bats.

Or, as I like to call them whenever Kat insists on tyring to tell me they're flying around, night birds. Because there are no bats around here. Nope, nope, nope.

I am not certain I'm going to be able to do this in just four lines, but I shall do my best.

Happy to have gotten through this week intact. Hoping for a more restful, less interesting weekend than the last one.


Earlier this year there was a bat hanging around the washrooms on Pioneer Walkway but it disappeared over the summer. It has, as you may have already guessed, reappeared.

Wednesday morning it was hanging off the wall in the upper corner of the men's stall, and that's where it still was Thursday morning. We agreed to ignore each other but when I unlocked the men's side this morning it was on the wall directly in front of the door... so it had to go... through the urging of a broom (held very much at arm's length) and a whole lot of swearing.

Thursday August 10th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the globetrotter.

Definitely starting to feel the lack of sleep lately today. My third day on tends to be the hardest day to get through in general though.

Back to cleaning the fire hall tomorrow. I think I will appreciate the air conditioning and being out of the smoke.

And! Looks like we might finally be getting some rain and cooler temperatures this weekend. Not something I would have expected to be happy about in August, but here we are.


My alarm drags me kicking and screaming away from a dreamless sleep. It's a ringtone I don't recognize, which means it's my first morning in a new city. Anything to bring a touch of order to my chaotic life.

So, where am I? Madrid? Montreal? Milan? It's one of the M cities, I'm fairly certain. Looking around my hotel room doesn't help jog any memories so I stumble to the window and throw back the curtain.

Ah, Mexico City. Right. Well, at least it's not Moscow again. Not that I'm convinced they would let me back there after that last mix up.

Okay, I know where I am now. So... what am I doing here? Meeting someone, obviously. That's what I do everywhere I go. Who is it? Man or woman? Age? Business they're representing? Come on, brain. Give me something to work with.

I close my eyes and an endless stream of faces appears. Friends, colleagues, taxi drivers, strangers. They all intermingle and jumble together and...

I open my eyes before they merge into one, hideous monstrosity of a human being that never has and never will exist. I've seen that horror too many times in my sleep recently. I don't need it to haunt my waking hours as well.

Right. Who is waiting for me in Mexico City? Better check my phone. Where did I put it before I collapsed into bed last night? It's not on the bedside table. Not in my jacket. Not in my duffel bag. Not... anywhere.

And my wallet seems to be equally absent.

Great. I've been robbed.