Update: Six Word Stories

>> 7.28.2009

You know, it doesn't really take much to make a writer happy. Just someone to read and appreciate our work.

So as you might imagine, I'm very happy that one of my submissions to Six Word Stories, http://www.sixwordstories.net, was featured on July 24, 2009. If you're interested, check it out at the link below.



Caine's Sister

>> 7.24.2009


“Mrs. Donovan, you understand that changing time creates consequences that you’ll have to live with? You won’t be able to change it back.” The Time Group lawyer stared at her before continuing, “When you return, you need to bring back these documents signed by both you and your husband.”

“That won’t be a problem,” she said. Although her husband didn’t agree with her decision, she’d do whatever it took to make this happen. Even forge his signature. Every day since her son’s death, she had prayed, implored, and yes, screamed to the heavens. Today was the anniversary of Caine’s death, and finally, someone had listened.

His death had affected all of them, especially her daughter Caitlyn. She lost a twin brother and a mother that day. By changing this one event, both of them would become whole again.

Her arms ached to hold him. She still woke in the night thinking she heard his call, still missed that little boy smell of baby and sweat. Now she would be able to enjoy her life, her husband, and both her children. No more wondering what else she could have done.

“How soon can we begin?”

“We’ll be ready when you return the necessary paperwork. The trip itself will seem like you walked through a door into another room. When you come out, it will have never happened.”

“That quickly? Will I realize what’s happened?”

“Yes, but you’ll be the only one except for the Chronographers here at the Time Group.”


“The Chronographers track the different aspects of time and reality. Someone has to know the variations of history created by the Conversion Chamber. So we have a group of scientists who audit the time trails.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll get these right back to you.”

“Mrs. Donovan, you must wait at least seventy-two hours. We feel that’s the minimum amount of time required to thoroughly discuss and consider the impact this decision will have on your lives.”

“I’ve thought of nothing else since I heard about this contest. When I won, I knew this was the answer to my prayers. I don’t need any more time. I’ll be here three days from now. “


“All right, Mrs. Donovan, everything seems to be in order,” the lawyer said, reviewing the signed releases. “Just step into the Conversion Chamber and we’ll begin.” As she entered he said, “Last chance to change your mind.”

Shaking her head, she replied, “I’ve been waiting years for this chance.”

The lawyer joined the white-coated scientists in front of a control panel. Slowly she became aware of a high-pitched whine that grew steadily louder until she felt the reverberations deep within. Then, nothing. She looked around and saw a technician opening the door.

“Is it done?”

The technician glanced at her then looked down as she replied, “Yes. It’s done. I hope you know . . .” She sighed, shook her head slightly then said, “Good luck, Mrs. Donovan.”

“Thank you so much.” As she departed from the Time Group headquarters, she laughed for the first time in years. She walked briskly toward home, looking around, but not noticing any differences. Entering her house, she stopped and called out, “I’m home.”

She heard the staccato sound of running footsteps heralding Caine’s appearance. Her husband trailed after him. Near tears, she swung him up in her arms, hugging him close. “Hi, sweetie. You two having a good day?”

“Not bad,” her husband replied. “Where have you been?”

“Oh, just out for a walk.” She looked around but didn’t see her daughter anywhere. “Where’s Caitlyn?”

Her husband flinched and looked down for a moment before saying, “Honey, did you remember to take your medicine today?”

She just stared at him. His shoulders rose and fell, then he said, “Don’t you remember the incident?”

Her throat tightened. “Wha-what incident?”

He walked to her and wrapped his arms around her. “Caitlyn’s dead, hon. The kids were playing when Caine grabbed hold of Caitlyn’s swing and . . . She was dead when we found her.”


Her son patted her on her cheek then said, “It’s all right, Mommy. You don’t need her, you have me.”

Staring down at her son, she noticed the electronic anklet for the first time. Her husband gestured, addressing the nurse standing across the room, “I think it’s time for another dose of their medicine, don’t you?”

(This story was originally submitted to Writer's Digest "Your Story #19" earlier this month - see posting on 07/08/2009. Unfortunately, it wasn't selected as one of the finalists. Maybe next time. I hope you enjoy it. )


A Million Dollar Tale

>> 7.22.2009

I was recently asked what I would
do with a million dollars tax-free.
Well, it would have to be tax-free
wouldn’t it, or the IRS would abscond
with, oops, I mean, collect
at least fifty percent.

But, what would I do?
Pay it off and pay it down,
buy it outright, make it work,
build upon it.
Grab a piece
of the American Dream,
my house in the country,
a patchwork of sod, something
to call my own, to hold and keep,
to nurture and be nurtured by,
a haven.

I guess it would depend
on who presented
the check. If it
was Ed McMahon knocking
on my door, I might pause,

After all, a deceased person
with a check would be
somewhat strange.
Then again, perhaps

more fool I, I’d reach out
(with surely trembling hands)
and grab that check, tear it from his
cold, dead hands
then take off like a proverbial

Do you think the bank
would still deposit
a corpse’s check
with a torn corner?
Ah, but what a tale
to spin for the next
family reunion.



>> 7.17.2009

Recently, I read
a magazine column entitled
“Etcetera”. Now I always
wonder, yet never know,
exactly how to interpret

Every time I see
or hear the word,
I visualize Yul Brynner
dancing, intoning,
“Etcetera, etcetera.”

Then I wonder
is it really miscellany?
Or, is it not knowing,
perhaps not caring
how to categorize?
Just lump it all, everything
and everyone, into

Are we part
of that unknown,
uncared about
group plopped into

Faceless, nameless,
just something extra,
no one understands
or attempts to understand.
No knowledge,
no thought;
just plain

Today, tomorrow, always.
Etcetera, etcetera.


Quotes for Today

>> 7.12.2009

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time. ~Friedrich Nietzsche



>> 7.08.2009

Well, I've spent the last week finalizing a flash fiction piece that I just submitted today. I have to admit, I'm more than a little nervous, since this is the first piece I've submitted anywhere other than on my blog.

The story was for the Writer's Digest Your Story competition which occurs every other month. A prompt is posted on the website and published in the magazine. Then you have a relatively short period of time to develop a 750 word or under piece and submit by a deadline. The editors then select the top five stories and post them in the Forum where they will be voted on for the winner. The winning story will be published an upcoming issue of the magazine.

For more details, see the website: http://www.writersdigest.com/yourstory

So everyone think good thoughts and if you're interested, you might stop by the WD site, sign up for the Forum and vote for the best story. I would love for it to be mine, but everyone should vote for the story they feel is the best written. The site is a wonderful resource for any writer or poet, so you might want to take a look anyway.

Wish me luck!


FYI: Writing the Life Poetic

>> 7.05.2009

I love to books - all types of books, whether to read for entertainment, or to learn something new. I am constantly checking out new books on writing. Many times I just review them at the bookstore, or see if the library has a copy. Sometimes I shell out some cash and take a gem home.

My most recent is Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen. It's an interesting book on writing poetry that is written in down-to-earth language - you don't have to possess an English degree to understand it. It does what it says and brings poetry to the people. I am currently working on some of the exercises to create some new poems.

If you're interested, you might check out her site: http://www.writingthelifepoetic.typepad.com/


Independence Day

>> 7.04.2009

July 4th is our Independence Day and a holiday in the United States. We traditionally celebrate with fireworks, food, and friends. When I lived in town, I would go down to the River Parks with some friends, we would watch the fireworks, drink a few beers and generally just hang out. Now that I live out in the country, it's more a matter of hoping no one sets the woods on fire and that the volunteers that make up the fire department haven't imbibed too freely. To everyone in the U.S., Happy Independence Day! To those of you in other countries, well, I hope you have had a wonderful Saturday! (Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org )


Quote for the Day:

>> 7.01.2009

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
~Kurt Vonnegut

Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.
~Corita Kent


About This Blog

The name for this blog was inspired by a quote by Nietzsche, below.

"Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?" ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I plan on this being the start of an incredible journey of discovery and creativity. I invite you to bring your pen, and come dance with me!


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