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Taken right after Thanksgiving while on the way to Yellowstone.


An Arch Look

Marge politely put a scarf over her head before entering the mosque. She was learning to carry one in her bag for just such occasions. It was that, or borrow one that had been on who knew how many heads.

This mosque featured more arches that any of the others she’d seen. The tour group had gone so many places, she wasn’t even sure what country they were in.

A set of arches beckoned. Maybe there would be something new. But when she tried to sneak off through them, a man blocked her way with a look. She scuttled back to her group.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Dale Rogerson



You know it’s going to be a rough winter when:

1. The cats get cabin fever in January.
2. The snow piles up enough on the car roof to make it dent.
3. Your family has a total of four vehicles, and not a single one will turn over.
4. The furnace repairman snaps at you when you call just because he’s tired.
5. Two layers of pants is normal.
6. People brag about how many layers they are wearing on top.
7. The clutch crunches when you try to start the car.
8. The cats voluntarily crawl into your lap to warm their feet.
9. A bucket of water carelessly placed by the back door freezes over in a couple of hours.
10. You can’t read books depicting Winter because they make you shiver.
11. A heated restaurant makes you break out in a sweat.
12. You go to a movie theater to warm up.
13. Sunshine makes you shiver.


Suzie’s House 490 : Van Family Neophyte

Suzie's House

“He’s a misogynist!” The dork with fake glasses pointed at Big Jim Zempel and laughed. Laughed! As if he had any right to say anything, the wannabe.

“What are you talking about?” Jim tried to laugh it off, though he really wanted to punch the guy. Lately it seemed like lately Rick had been picking up more and more of those people. Always the ones who didn’t really need to be there. College kids killing the last few minutes before they went back to school.

“You, man. I’m talking about you.” The idiot college boy grinned dopily.

Continue reading Suzie’s House 490 : Van Family Neophyte


Mini Vacations

I have actually been on two more trips since my Indonesia vacation. One took place last Spring when I was still preoccupied with the posts about Indonesia. The other took place right after Thanksgiving when I was preoccupied with holidays.

I only just found all the photos I took on those trips. The chips had gotten misplaced. Frankly, in comparison, they weren’t much. Still, it will probably take a few weeks for me got get all my pictures ready and info together to start posting about them.

Until then, I’ll just have to say one thing. It sure is cold here! I already have cabin fever.


Making Tracks

Toby needed to make tracks. Fast. He should have left town right after the killing, even if it meant hitchhiking through a snowstorm at midnight. Instead, he’d slept in the old wino’s cardboard palace. The smell weren’t too bad, so he stayed a couple of nights. Then they found the body.

Too late to hitch out now. He’d have to hop a train. He waited until the bull went by on an ATV, then tried to slip into an empty box car. It was locked! Climb up to the roof? Or cling to the underside? The bull caught him half way under.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr


Cabo San Lucas Pix

I’m trying to organize my travel posts for easier access. Right now I’m working on my two trips to Cabo San Lucas. When I did the posts, I was participating in a blog challenge called 365. You were supposed to post a photo every day. A lot of my Cabo posts were nothing more than a photo. Here I’m bringing some of them together so people interested in the trip don’t have to click on a dozen posts just to see them.

13/365 Find the Boat

Continue reading Cabo San Lucas Pix


Suzie’s House 489 : The First Day of School for Emma

Suzie's House

Emma paused in the front entrance of East High on the morning of the first day of school. She swallowed hard and tried to not think about barfing. This year, she was not going to run to the bathroom every few seconds. Not like all through middle school.

In middle school, up until she’d found the three Kates, she’d been a nervous wreck. Come to think of it, she’d been nearly as much of a nervous wreck afterwards too. When was it exactly that she’d gotten a grip?

Continue reading Suzie’s House 489 : The First Day of School for Emma


Taxonomy of a Resolution

The first resolution I listed last Thursday – Write for at least one hour every day – is one I actually started in December. You’d think I’d make that kind of resolution DURING National Novel Writing Month in November. But no. I didn’t think of it until afterward.

At first I was too vague. I thought as long as I spent an hour each day in front of my computer with a file open, that should count. Good old BiCHoK in action. (Butt in chair, hand on keyboard). I actually did get a lot done through the course of the month. I’m not sure how much of it will actually bear fruit, though. I ended up working on the rough drafts for four different novels.

In my experience, it’s rarely a good idea to write the rough draft of more than one book at a time. I tend to lose focus, and stuff drifts in from one book to another when I don’t mean for it. Even when I’m working on radically different projects, it can combine.

Continue reading Taxonomy of a Resolution


The Fruit of Hard Work

Ruth liked to work in the elections office. Most of the other people there were also retirees. They all greeted her with a smile each election. Opening the envelopes and taking out the absentee ballots was easy work but felt important. During a major election they could work well into the night to be sure all the votes were counted and accounted for.

“You’re so fast!” One of her co-workers said. “How many did you process today?”

“I counted six boxes, so that’s around three thousand,” Ruth said proudly.

“Wow. That’s almost as good as the machine they will be bringing in to replace us.”

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Sandra Crook


New Years Resolutions

I actually started my New Years resolutions a month ago. Sometimes resolve takes more than a year to bear fruit.

1. Write for at least an hour every day
2. Get more exercise
3. Do more sewing
4. Eat more fruit
5. Eat less fat
6. Deal with my left hip
7. Get a new car
8. Stay on top of my finances
9. Not procrastinate
10. Be more affectionate
11. Fix up this blog
12. Lose thirty pounds
13. Get my kids to be more self reliant


Suzie’s House 488 : School Supplies

Suzie's House

“So. School starts tomorrow. Are you ready?” Lisa sat in Ben’s bedroom, on his bed, and kicked her heels back and forth while he sat at his desk in front of his computer and read through her latest opus.

“Uh-huh. Yeah.” He answered so absently that she almost asked again. But then he pointed to a backpack leaning up against the wall. It was stuffed so full the zipper wouldn’t close. It was like a gaping reminder of the hateful responsibility foisted on incorrigible students at summer’s end.

Continue reading Suzie’s House 488 : School Supplies


Slasher Girls and Monster Boys p.8

The power of the mind was something we experimented with on Friday night sleepovers. Also light-as-a-feather-stiff-as-a-board, and the Ouija, before kate-Marie’s dad burned it in her backyard. We also tried texting boys alluring emoticons and, on one brave night, posted photos of our faceless boobs to a message board, but hen took them down fast when the comments got scary.

This is an anthology. The teaser is from The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma.

Ambrosia of The Purple Booker
hosts Teaser Tuesday. Grab your current read, open to a random page, share a couple of “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. Go see Ambrosia for more detail.


Happy New Year


Ties of Compassion by Jae Hwal-Yong c104 p5

 photo Ties of Compassion c102p5_zpsbr0pmt33.png

Ran across some timely cynicism in my manga reading.

The Purple Booker hosts Teaser Tuesday. Grab your current read, open to a random page, share a couple of “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. Go see The Purple Booker for more detail.