Showing posts from December, 2019

The Snowdrifts' Days Are Numbered (haynaku poetry challenge)

like gods,
reign forever, but

will collapse
when winter ends

ivory slopes
and indigo shadows

thwarted by
the springtime sun.

Poetry style: Haynaku (1-2-3 word stanzas)

Nah Year's Resolutions

At the risk of sounding like a Grinch… I never make New Year’s resolutions.

It just seems so arbitrary to pick January 1 to make major changes in one’s life. If something is worth doing—indeed, if it’s worthy enough to merit a pledge—then surely it’s worth doing on April 25, July 19, or whatever date you make your decision.

Plus, does anyone really keep their New Year’s resolutions? Does anybody heroically turn over a new leaf on 1/1 and make it permanent? Or do we declare resolutions just to make ourselves feel good?

The internet is full of well-intentioned New Year’s resolution templates and tracker apps. However, the meme-generating wizards appear to share my cynicism:

I do enjoy the holiday season. I celebrate Christmas in a secular sort of way, with emphasis on generosity, goodwill, the marking of the solstice with a tree covered in bling, and the eating of delicious fattening treats.

So every year I make about seventeen thousand cookies and then drive around delivering them to …

In Hazel Hollow

Outside the cabin, the wind howled through the trees, while inside, the old woman’s fire was nearly out.

Wrapped in her patchwork quilt, Alma sat still and quiet, watching the ebbing flames become embers. The photograph her fingers held was barely visible in the dimming space, but she didn’t need light to see it. She knew Martin’s face by heart.

Rain pounded the roof, poured down the panes. Alma could hear the stream overspilling its banks, surging down the mountainside.


At the foot of the mountain, in room 24, Nora stood upright. “Baby’s breech,” she said. “Mom’s eight centimeters dilated. I’m going to need long gloves, ampicillin, metronidazole. Start an IV immediately.” The aide scurried off.

“Did Dr. Georges get here?” she asked.

“Haven’t seen him. Must be the storm,” the forlorn nurse replied. “And Dr. Reinhardt’s out with flu.”

A thunderclap boomed outside, producing fluorescent flickers overhead.

“No surgeons,” Nora said, squaring her shoulders. “No backup. We’re doing this.…


Oh, Time. Why must you be so aggravatingly finite? I would have loved to do the entire NaNoDoMore list this year. But the usual things ate up my waking hours (can I move to a shack somewhere, and ditch this mortgage and the day job to boot? then there's that darn eating thing...).

I managed five, though!
Submit to a paying market. In November, I submitted stuff to Ninth Letter and Newfound (Virtual Realities Themed Issue). Neither of them has yet responded, so it remains to be seen whether I’ll ever be able to call myself a “professional” creative writer. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained!Write a complete story in under 100 words. Of course I did, because I can’t quit the YeahWrite microfiction challenges. The prompts are delightful, and the length is an exact match for how much free time I have (very little). Start a conversation in the Coffeehouse about anything writing related. I asked about in-person writing groups vs. online groups. Everyone seemed to agree that both types…

Returning to the Scene (microfiction)

The wildfire had raged remorselessly toward Paradise. He’d barely escaped through the burning pines.

Afterward, people searched for heirlooms in charred debris. Nobody noticed the yard’s freshly turned earth under its light layer of ash.

Snow drifts covered the ruins now. He grinned. San Quentin wouldn’t have him this time.

Writing Prompt: Write a 50-word story containing the words burn, cover, drift, light, and pine