Bridge #writephoto

beneath-the-bridge

I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, which is why I never told my mum about the man below the bridge. She wouldn’t have tolerated him with his frayed coat and dirty fingers. His eyes had a little shine in them, even in the shadows, as if he’d left a light on inside his head.

After my chores, I’d ask mum for jam sandwiches, biscuits, and a sliced apple for a tea party with my friend under the bridge. She thought the old fellow was a fairy child, flitting in my imagination like a moth, and she liked me out from under her feet.

My doll, Miss Penny, and I would tote our basket down the hill and tiptoe across the stepping-stones. My friend waited in our castle’s cool darkness while I propped Miss Penny up against the wall and brewed pretend tea. We’d share our feast and sip from invisible cups as proper as the queen. Miss Penny always smiled, enjoying the party as much as we. Then he’d tell us stories of his travels to India and Africa, of riding elephants, and diving for pearls, and climbing mountains in the snow. One day, Miss Penny decided to stay in the castle under the bridge to keep my friend company.

Then, my mum packed us up, and we moved to America.

That was forty years ago.

My husband is golfing with colleagues, and I have a precious morning to wander through the old haunts of my tender years. I rent a car for a drive into the country. The old home is still there, smaller and empty. The roof sags and ivy consumes the sunny walls. But it isn’t the home I’ve come to visit. I tote my basket, my jam sandwich, biscuits, and apple down the hillside and tiptoe across the stones through the stream.

I know my friend isn’t there, but the eight-year-old child inside me hopes anyway. I hear his stories whisper from the castle beneath the bridge, in the brook and trees, in summer’s heated air, and I find his bones, Miss Penny still smiling in his arms.

**

Thanks once again to Sue Vincent for her wonderful Thursday photo prompt. Visit her at The Daily Echo and join the fun.

Aunt Agnes and the Accidental Invasion

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Aunt Agnes and the Accidental Invasion

By L.T. Garvin

It all started when Ilene Wilson showed up at Dominoes Club saying that her husband, Ralph, had been taken away by an Accidental Invasion.

“I have never heard tell of such!” exclaimed Aunt Agnes, giving me a sharp look over her dominos. Aunt Agnes had been worried about our neighbor, Ilene, ever since she found out she had been taking Nervous Pills, you know, for her nerves and all.

“I think those things have got her,” Aunt Agnes whispered to me as I put a domino on the table.

Ilene and Ralph had been our neighbors now for goin’ on four years. Truthfully, I was pretty sure I had seen Ralph slip out of the building a few times getting on the casino bus going over to Oklahoma to gamble. Ilene would have skinned him alive if she knew he was over there wasting money…

(Continue Reading: Aunt Agnes and the Accidental Invasion)

Teen Angst Poem Challenge

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Ali Isaac and Sarah Brentyn challenged each other (and then everyone else) to post a teenage angst poem. I have a bunch of those!

I was about 17 when I wrote this. It’s the most cringe-worthy I could find. Feel free to groan.

Surrender

Surrender I would
and let the waves of you
wash over me
gaping wounds filled
with pools of serenity
I dream your hands on my face
in tenderness unbearable
despair
I weep for all the lost
and left behind
I have not finished
with the anguish
with you a tormentor for a lover
my struggle is not won
would you be my new battleground
The answer lies through the loneliness
I can not surrender
the suffering

Note: Oh boy, I was a miserable kid. Just goes to show, there’s hope.

If you take up the challenge, tag your poem #teenangstpoem

 

The Rose Shield Series – Covers Revealed

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Having a cover show up in your email is one of the highlights of getting a book ready to go. There’s that eager anticipation as you click on the image. Will you like it? Will it be anything like you imagined? Will it adequately identify the genre and theme of your book? What if you hate it??? That moment arrived with delight.

Catling’s Bane

In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world. A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. Most of the guild wish her slain. One woman protects and trains her, plotting to use her shield to further imperial goals. No longer a helpless child, Catling has other plans. As chaos shakes the foundations of order and rule, will she become the realm’s savior? Or its executioner?

Coming in March

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The cover for The Rose Shield Series was created by
Deranged Doctor Design

Boys

A powerful snippet of writing from a master of prose.

(Please click through to comment ❤ )

 

Ordinary Handsome

Our pale naked chests caught the moonlight. We were primitive mammals, drinking from her pool. Unsentimental, there were no aftermaths to consider, no consequences to chasten our arousals. Freely belligerent, we scraped the raw off mountains and ran roughshod over untidy hearts. We did not care. We were boys.

We cured ourselves with thought and shame, and retreated from Pan’s doom. But not all; some joined his legion and drink still from the pool, naked boys in aged skin.

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Sunday Blog Share: Consumed

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Consumed

by Aakriti Kuntal

When I was naive, I took words out of books
Carved them on my hands and blinked
( ink wandering between palm lines
notions settling in my vertebrae )
‘ All Indians are my brothers and sisters ‘
It said in those patchy hardcover books
that smelled of promise and goodness

As I started to grow, my limbs defying gravity,
my voice gathering like splinters,
Fingers tingling
As I started to grow, I also began to shed
HEAVILY
My bosom somehow began to offend, by mere existence,
the existence of some fellow brothers
My voice split like cracks in white ceilings
where the spider crawled and chose to mock…

Continue Reading: Consumed

I love THAT

that

For the past few months, I’ve been engaged in the writerly task of editing four books. I do this full-time for about 14 hours a day, divvying the tasks up into four categories: 1) borderline boring, 2) terribly tedious, 3) downright dreary, and 4) mega mind-numbing. That way I can mix them up for a little variety.

One of the editing passes that I undertake is the arduous process of “enlivening my words.” I use the search function on Word to look up dull words and one by one swap them out for more interesting ones. At the tippity-top of the humdrum list is “was.” An exceedingly handy verb but not a writer’s best friend. I allow myself an average of one “wuz” per page. This means looking up about 600 wuzzes and switching 300 of them out. For 4 books, I’ll comb through approximately 2,400 wuzzes.  Ack!

I have 33 wimpy, weak, crutch words that I put through this process, none as dreadful as “was” though “had” ranks right up there in second place. It takes forever.

I’ve completed all my swaps except for the last – Word #33: THAT.

For some reason that I can’t explain, I just love that word. I could write that word in every sentence that I write. And that’s a problem. Plus that’s a word that’s hard to replace without completely changing the way that a sentence is written. I know that other writers can figure that out without that much trouble, but that’s easier said than done. For me, that’s an editing step that takes tons of time that I could use to make other changes that would improve my work.

Good Grief. Ha ha.

Okay, I gotta cut this out so I can cut that out. Wish me luck – only about 3,000 to go.