Blog challenge · Blogging · Mi Vida Loca · Stories of my life · writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember


You’ll need an egg timer or at some sort of stopwatch for this challenge. Set a countdown timer for 10 minutes, choose one of the writing prompts below, and just start writing. Whatever you do, don’t stop for ten minutes. Keep your fingers typing. Write what you remember. It need not be accurate — it’s your memory. Do not judge. You got this.

  • Your earliest memory. Capture every detail. Document the quality of the memory — is it as sharp as HDTV or hazy and ethereal, enveloped in fog? Write for 10 minutes. Go.
  • Your happiest memory. Tell us the story of the happiest memory of your life. What happened? Get it all down, no detail left behind. The clock is ticking — get writing.
  • Your worst memory. Record the pain, the anger, the shame, the terror, the hurt. You’ve got ten minutes to relive it. Keep your fingers typing.
  • Freestyle memory. Write I remember at the top of your post, hit start on the timer, and write about the first memory that comes to mind. Ten minutes. Don’t stop.


I remember……

I remember being in a big house that set up on a hill. I was pretty young as I remember my younger brother being almost a baby yet. He could walk, but he was still in diapers. So I must have been around three. I remember seeing my dad only on weekends.

We lived in the country and dad worked in the city.

I remember climbing a flight of stairs to go to bed. My brother and I shared a pallet on the floor. My older sister and brother had rooms down the hall I believe. I don’t really remember that part.

I used to overhear words like, “poor”, “can’t afford it”, and “no money” a lot. I didn’t know back then that it meant my family was poor. Little kids don’t know between ‘poor’ and ‘rich’, we just enjoy our games and fight with our siblings. Our worlds are fairly small.

I remember one winter when two things happened that rocked my little world. Little did I know back then it would be the end of a childhood that could have been wonderful.

First, I remember we had a big orange tabby cat. I found that cat outside on the porch on some crates. I was supposed to get something off the porch for mom. The cat looked like it was sleeping so I went to pet it. It didn’t move, it was frozen. I cried to my mom that something was wrong with the kitty. That was my first brush with death. I remember crying over that cat for days. Even then I was an animal lover.

The second thing was an accident involving us kids. We were sledding down the hill that our house stood on.  Me and my brother were in the middle, my older brother on the back and my older sister was in the front. Now we were all pretty young. My older brother must have only been about seven, my sister five years old.

We went flying down that hill! It was so exciting! Then I remember abruptly stopping and some screams. There were lots of bright red blood on white pristine snow.

We had hit a barbed wire fence that had been slightly buried in the snow. My sister was hurt the worst as she was in front. My mom and dad ran down the hill after us kids. We were herded back to the house so my mom could see how badly my sister was hurt.

The barbed wire had cut her face and hands pretty bad. Good thing she had a big woolen scarf wrapped around her neck, I heard someone say. She never would leave her mittens on. My mom cleaned her up and put lots of iodine and bandages on her.

We didn’t go to doctors back then. We couldn’t afford it. My sister made it ok, she just wouldn’t slide down  hills anymore.

The next memory I have is moving to the city. My dad had found a home for us to live in. It was also the time my childhood stopped. It was the time that my abuse started. Yeah, at 3 or 4 years old. So I won’t go down that road of memories. Some other time, maybe.



Blog challenge · Blogging · Daily Prompt · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday · Stories of my life · Uncategorized

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

by michelle w. on June 30, 2013

Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?


I love being in the country. I love lakes, oceans, parks, flowers, trees. Ah, trees. My first love is the forest. Beautiful, peaceful, serene, comforting, the forest is all this and more to me. And if I can get a small quiet lake in the forest. Perfection in nature!

Like This:

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Or this!


As a kid, me and my brother and sister used to spend our summers ‘up north’. That was in upper Wisconsin. I loved it! It was a time that I didn’t have to worry about anything, wasn’t stressed, wasn’t complained about. It was as near  to perfect as I have ever experienced than or now. I wish a million times I could go back to those summers of peace.

My parents owned a place on the water. We had a small boat and a pier and could go fishing anytime we wanted. I used to like to row out and just watch nature in it’s own habitat. In times of chaos and stress I still like to sit on a pier and let Mother Nature soothe my soul.

Below is a picture of the Flowage we would spend summer on vacations.


I remember hearing the loons at dawn when the early morning fog was still lingering on top of the water. Most people think the loon call is lonesome or scary. I thought it was beautiful and would listen and dream wonderful dreams.


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This video is not from Wisconsin loons but they sound the same. This will give you an idea of what I heard on those early mornings or nights when I would sit on the pier and listen to the loons. Isn’t it awe inspiring?



Blog challenge · Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · postaday · writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: Image vs. Text

The weekly writing challenge this week is…..Image vs. Text

Once upon a time the web was a text-only medium. And to this day, a lot of people seem to harbor the illusion that it still, kinda, is. In today’s writing challenge we pull said illusion from its horse and devour it like a pack of brain-hungry zombies. Yes, it’s time to get visual again.

Detail a three to five step story or process—anything from a how-to, to turning points in your life so far, to a story with a beginning, middle, and end—and break up the parts with eye-catching, attention-grabbing images.

So here is my visual story. It’s a story of the love between me and my dog Sam. In comic strip form.

(I did a comic strip Wednesday for ‘Sam and Me’, this is a different style I am trying. Let me know which you like best, Wednesday’s or today’s) Thanks!

Sam and Meby JLPhillips
Sam and Me
by JLPhillips
Blog challenge · Blogging · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday · stories · Stories of my life · Uncategorized · writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters

This week’s writing challengeTell us about a character in your life.

I have met some truly unique characters in my life. Some were good, some not so much. But if I had to come up with one character that embodies what a quirky person is, then I will have to go with my Aunt. I haven’t seen her in years, but we have always corresponded through letters. She is my Aunt Nene. My dad’s younger sister. If you ever met her you would not forget her.

She has always been my favorite relative. My mom and her do NOT get along. In fact when I was younger and my mom would get angry with me she would often say I was just like my Aunt Nene. To me that was a compliment! To my mother that was a severe flaw.

My Aunt and I always had a special bond. I would often stay over at her house on weekends. She was great fun. We would lay in her bed at night and talk most of the night away. I could talk to her about anything and everything! I was probably about 14 or 15 when my mom put a stop to my visits. She said my Aunt was a bad influence on me and I was no longer permitted to stay over night. I don’t think I will ever forgive my mom for that. Later I learned she and my Aunt had ‘words’ over me coming for visits. My Aunt lost. As for my dad, he did what my mom wanted. Life was just easier that way.

One of the last times I went somewhere with my Aunt was an interesting experience. I thought it was hilarious, my mom didn’t think so. Maybe because I was only 14 and we went to a bar. My aunt told me that she was going to instruct me on how to pick up men. Oh yeah, my Aunt also swore worse than anyone I ever met. Her favorite word was the F-bomb. Yup, she loved that word and used it as much as humanly possible.


But back to the bar. Now my aunt and I were not alone that night, my mom, older sister and younger brother was there also. One of the rare times my aunt and my mom were getting along. My dad was working and my aunt and my mom decided they wanted to go out for a few drinks. In Milwaukee where I grew up most bars were considered ‘family bars’. They were neighborhood bars that whole families went to. It was not unusual to find kids in bars. It was not unusual for us kids to be in bars. We were practically raised in them!

Anyway, my aunt was noticeable  Not only because of her vocabulary but because she had flaming red hair and pale skin with blue eyes. She was short, barely 5 ft. Well endowed, and loud. I mean her voice was the biggest thing on her! For a small woman in stature she was very loud vocally.  Add that with her colorful vocabulary and believe me she stood out.  She was also opinionated and smart. All mixed together it was a lethal combination. At the time she had been divorced for the fifth or sixth time. I forget which. I know it was her last time. She never remarried.

So let me set the scene here. Two adult women, small women, neither one over 5 ft tall. One a flaming red-head, one a black-haired woman. Three kids in tow, two short girls and one young boy. Everyone in that bar stared at us as we came in. They probably thought a bunch of munchkins were invading. I remember the bar was full, it was a Friday night. Most of those sitting at the bar were men. There were a few women scattered around but the men far outnumbered them.


My mom and aunt got themselves a drink and us kids got a soda (or pop). We trooped over to the back of the bar and stood in a group. That was when Aunt Nene leaned toward me and whispered that she was going to teach me how to pick up men. I laughed. Mom told her I was only 14 and didn’t need to learn that. My aunt laughed her loud laugh and said a girl is never to young to learn. That’s when things got interesting.

As much as I can remember this is how it went. **bad language will follow, I apologize if it offends you**

Pay fucking attention kid and you will fucking learn something.

First, don’t fucking be afraid to fucking flirt. Men fucking love it when a woman fucking flirts.

Fucking look them in the fucking eyes. Don’t be fucking coy. Let them fucking know you are fucking interested.

I did tell you my Aunt loves the F word right? I was not kidding! Now by then my face is beet red as I was still pretty shy back then. My mom is telling my Aunt to be quiet, my sister went over where my little brother was at the jukebox to get away. My aunt’s voice is carrying to everyone in the bar and several men are watching with smirks on their faces. Interested smirks. Yeah, my face was red but I thought it was so funny I couldn’t wait to see what came out of my Aunt’s mouth next. I was not disappointed.

If your fucking standing, spread your fucking legs apart like so. (She spreads her feet and legs apart, thank goodness she was wearing pants)

Now fucking thrust your hips out. This fucking stance makes you fucking sexy to men for some fucking reason. (Um, like yeah Aunt Nene, it’s like you are advertising)


If you fucking got tits, lift your chest. Be fucking proud of what you got. You all ready got fucking good tits for a kid, you’ll do okay.

My mom is whispering her to stop, I’m trying hard to decide whether to laugh or sink into the floor. I decide neither as I am fascinated with what is happening.

Now with one hand flip your fucking hair over your shoulder, unless you got short hair like your mother, then fucking forget about it. (She proceeds to flip her long red hair over one shoulder)

Put your fucking hand on your hip and fucking smile! (Which she proceeds to do at a man at the bar)

She finishes her mixed drink and struts over to the bar. About half way there she turns to me and says,

When you fucking walk swing your fucking hips. Show you’re a fucking attractive woman.

I watch her as she squeezes between the man who she was eyeing and another man to order her drink. They exchange a few words, unfortunately I didn’t hear what they said. She picks up 2 mixed drinks and the man at the bar pays for them. Think she partly succeeded in her quest of the night. haha! She saunters back over to us and hands me one of the mixed drinks. My mother starts to protest and my Aunt says,

One fucking mixed drink isn’t going to fucking hurt her. (I take the drink and feel so grown up!)

See what fucking happens when you fucking flirt? You buy your first fucking damn drink and the rest of the fucking night you can fucking drink for free.

Next time I go fucking out I’ll fucking take you with and fucking teach you some fucking more!

Shortly after that night is when my mother stated I was no longer spending time with my Aunt Nene. I suppose looking back she might have been right, but I don’t fucking think so.



Blog challenge · Blogging · nonfiction · postaday · Uncategorized · writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap

This week’s Mind the GapHow do you prefer to read, with an eReader like a Kindle or Nook, or with an old school paperback in hand?

Some of my best memories are tied together with books. I was taught to read at an early age. I could read before I went to kindergarten. I have had a strong and long love affair with words and books.

When real life would prove too much for me to handle at times, I buried myself in books. At my best I could read 5 or 6 books a week. When I was school age I got them from the library. I loved the library! The smell, the quiet, the rows upon rows of books. Ahhhh, my kind of heaven.

My local library had a limit on how many books you could take out. They upped the quota for me, because I was there every week and always read more then my quota. Plus, I think the librarian liked me. 😉

When I got older and had some money of my own I discovered book stores. Fresh, bright book covers beckoned me from every shelf. I became a regular shopper of books. The sales clerks at one particular store knew me by first name.

I have always had shelves full of books in any home I have had. You know the saying “A house is not a home without a pet, plant, etc”. Mine is ” A house is not a home without books!”.


Reading Nook 02



Now I also have an E reader  I got it for Christmas a few years back. It took me a while to warm up to it. But, warm up to it I did. I love to take it on trips, or when I have a doctor’s appointment. It fits in my purse and I can just whip it out and have a few minutes of enjoyable reading while I wait.

It’s very convenient on trips as it takes up a lot less room then a bunch of paperbacks. It weights a lot less too. That being said, it still won’t replace ‘real’ books in my heart. I love the feel of the paper pages, the smell of the paper and ink. I just love me some real live books.

I can appreciate the E reader though. As long as I can read, I just plain love books. Either way they are produced.

Blog challenge · Blogging · Fiction · postaday · Uncategorized · writing

Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details

This weeks writing challenge from WordPress is detail orientated. In their words: No matter what you’re writing, whether it’s long form non-fiction essays, poems, short stories, novels, or memoirs, your powers of observation are critical to creating a scene in the reader’s mind, setting tone, and evoking the mood that helps to tell the story.

Your challenge this week is to practice your powers of observation. Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.

My usual writings don’t have as much descriptions as this will have.  Hope you enjoy.


The woman walked into the room. Her dark brown eyes didn’t miss a detail. She walked slowly, almost floating forward. Her very long black hair swayed back and forth with each soft step. The inky blue highlights sparkled in the candlelight as if she had small diamonds weaved through out her long tresses. Her eyes reflected the candle’s glow. Soft, yet with unyielding hardness in their dark depths.

Her  red lips held a small smile. It was a smile that lacked warmth. The lips themselves seemed carved out of the coldest marble. Not cruel exactly. Just hard and cold, as unfeeling as the marble itself. She was tall, this woman who walked as if she owned the world. Tall and lean. Like a panther, with her black hair and dark eyes. Her body was sheathed in black leather.  It suited her. The body was held tight within the leather, her long legs encased in it. The leather rounded her hips and cupped her breasts. Her neck and chest were bare except for a slim, small silver dagger pendant that hung there from a thin black leather strip.

Her arms  had long black leather studded with dark gems that encircled them from wrist to elbow. Her long fingers clasped a large bow in one hand.  The other hand was free, but never far from the lethal knife tucked in its case on her hip.

Her feet were shod with the skin of some animal, strong but supple.  She would blend in with the night. Like an opaque shadow. No one would hear her or see her till it was too late. She liked that. It is what she wanted. Her name was unknown. She was only called Waneta, which meant Defender.

No one knows where she came from. They just knew when she showed up, someone died. She defended those that could not defend themselves. The poor, the weak, the defenseless. She was feared by the evil ones. For it was those she went after. They never saw her come until it was too late. They certainly never saw her leave. She was darkness, smoke, shadows.

She watched them all, as she walked her panther walk. She stopped in front of an old woman. She knelt in front of her and the others could only hear whispers between them. The one strong and fierce, the other old and feeble. They watched as the old one cupped Waneta’s face with her gnarled hands. She whispered once more then smiled a toothless smile. Kissing the old one’s deeply wrinkled forehead Waneta then stepped back and dropped a small sack into the old woman’s lap.

She turned with unknowing grace and slipped back into the crowd and then the woods. Everyone she passed wondered who would die that night.


Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · stories · writing

DPchallenge ~ Starting Over

Today’s DPChallenge is “Starting Over”. In their words:

Making a new start is never as simple as it seems on paper. It’s easy to talk about losing a few pounds or giving up the job you hate to weave animal-shaped baskets on a tropical island, but less so to make it happen, and keep at it.

In this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to write a short piece of creative writing (fiction/poetry/prose poetry/freeform mindjazz/whatever floats your boat) on the theme of Starting Over.



She couldn’t believe she actually did it! She quit her boring, hum drum, self deprecating job! She walked into her boss’s office, shut the door, and told him he would have to get his own coffee from now on, or until he hires some other poor soul. She was quitting!

She was tired of being the put upon, tired gofer! Sheila do this! Sheila do that! Sheila is that report done yet?! Her boss had her doing her own job and his, while he took all the credit and the pay raises. Well no more! She finally made the decision to open her own shop. In a small town, where the tourists come every summer and buy handmade crafts. She had finally saved up enough money to open her dream.

She would have her little shop open 6 months out of the year and the other 6 months she would be home painting. That was always her dream. To paint for a living. She didn’t need much to live on, just enough to keep her in paints and brushes.

She was 50 years old and starting over! Again! She found this cute little shop in one of those small seaside villages. It was two stories. The bottom would be the store and the top is where she would live. Perfect!

It took her years of saving and scrimping to get to this place in her life. She had no children, and no marriage. Not anymore. Well she never had the children. As far as her ex husband, well he married his ‘child’ bride and was quite happy with his kid. She chuckled at her own joke.

It would have been nice to have just a little bit more money in the nest egg before she quit her job. But, she just couldn’t take it anymore. If she had to make one more pot of coffee she was going to scream! She gave a little wiggle in her car going down the road. She was so happy! She turned the radio on full blast and sang all the way back to her apartment, even though she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

As she kicked off her heels inside the door of her living room, she hesitated for a minute. She just quit her job!! She sank to the couch as the realization sank in. What the hell did she just do?? How was she going to make it?? All the doubts and fears rolled over her till her eyes filled with salty tears.

She gulped and did some quick figures in her head. If she was very careful she might have enough money to last for a couple of months. The shop was already leased out to her for the next year. The owners retired and were willing to work with her. She would lease it out for a year then buy it from them if it all worked out.

She just had to pack and move. Move! Oh god, she just had a small car! She would have to find a truck, pay for that and maybe movers because she couldn’t move this furniture herself! What did she do??? More tears came. She suddenly felt overwhelmed. She felt sure she never will be able to handle it all. She never should have quit her job! She wasn’t ready!

As she sat there in a panic, she suddenly felt this immense peace come over her. Like someone gave her a big warm hug and whispered. You can do this! It’s your time now!

She wiped her tears and smiled. Yes, she could do this! She would manage and she would make her dream come true. Sure she was starting over……AGAIN. But this time it was on her terms, her way, her time! Bring it on!


Daily Prompt · stories · Stories of my life · writing

WordPress Writing Challenge ~ Map it Out

Today’s writing challenge from WordPress is to embed maps in your post. That sounded pretty interesting to me. So I decided to map out my life so far. From where I was born, to where I am now. Pack some snacks, make sure there is some great music and come travel with me!

We start out in Milwaukee, WI. Yup, the city I was born in. The biggest city in Wisconsin. It’s about 90 minutes north of Chicago. I lived in Milwaukee till I left home in my early 20’s. I have never been back there. Not even for a visit. Never wanted to. It held some bad memories and I just never felt the urge to “go home again.”


When I moved from Milwaukee, I made a brief stop in Southaven, Mississippi. Only six months there. It was a strange part of my life. I felt adventurous and bold. Didn’t last long there.


After that I moved to Texas. My younger brother was there and he asked me to come to Texas, so I did. It was the Ft. Worth, Lake Worth, Texas area. In my 18 -20 years in Texas I got married, divorced and lived from all points in Texas. From as far south as Victoria, to Graham in the north, to Lake Worth, to Ft. Worth, Waco, Nacogdoches, Mineral Wells, and  probably a few I’ve forgotten about. My ex and I moved over 40 times in 13 years of marriage! That alone was grounds for divorce!


After I had to leave Texas, (my ex was a stalker) I moved to upper Wisconsin. Townsend to be exact. I think I enjoyed that the most. It’s a small town surrounded by forest and lakes. I loved it there. Right now that is where most of my family live. Including little brother. If I could go back and make a living, I would.


If you look close at the map, behind the hardware store, you’ll see a house on Nicolet Road just past Elm St., before the bend, that’s where my mom lives. It’s beautiful country, peaceful and serene. Unless you get on my mom’s bad side. haha!


After I stayed there for a while I moved to Alberta, Canada! Outside of Calgary. It reminds me so much of Texas (because of the cowboys and cows) and Wisconsin (the weather). I’ve lived here for awhile now. For the most part I don’t find it much different then the States. You have good, great, and bad people. Eh, it’s all the same.


So far that’s it! Never know about the future though. Hope you enjoyed the travel. Have a wonderful day and make sure those snacks are healthy! hahaha!










Blog challenge · Blogging · Daily Prompt · Fiction · postaday · stories · Uncategorized · writing

Daily Prompt: The first sentence of your favorite book

Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

This is the daily prompt for today. So thought I would give it a try. See if you can guess what the book is! I’ll give the answer later ………..

I’m going to take that first sentence of my favorite book and use it to start a short story. Hope you enjoy and please take a guess at the book!



There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. It was freezing cold, sleet coming out of the leaden gray skies. As I looked out the window I saw nothing but isolation, skeleton trees swaying in the wind that accompanied the sleet. No, no walk today.

I turned away from the window and walked over to the fireplace. Stretching my hands toward the warmth, I smiled at Sam, my dog, laying on the rug, four short legs straight up in the air. He was sound asleep. I stood in front of the fireplace and wondered how I was going to spend the day.

I thought of the clutter up in the attic. Maybe today would be a good day to sort through some of it out. The house was old, very old. There were boxes in the attic from my Grandparents’ time. Maybe some even older than that. It would be interesting to go through them and see what my relatives left. The house has been in the family for over 100 years, I’m sure there would be something of interest up there.

I walked upstairs and looked at the ceiling of the hallway. I  remembered the last time I was up in the attic. When I first moved into the house two years ago. I remember that I had pulled the chain that had hung down from the entrance to the attic and it had broken. The chain itself had to have been almost as old as the house. It wasn’t surprising that it finally broke.  I had to find something with a hook to grab the fold up stairs so that I could pull them down. I managed to make one myself from an old mop handle, duct tape and a wire hanger.

The hook was sitting in a corner of the hallway. I grabbed it and pulled the old wood stairs down. Sam must have missed me, there he was wide awake and wagging his tail so I would take him with. Walking up those narrow steep steps with a small black and white dog under one arm was tricky, but I made it. I sat Sam down on the wood floor of the dusty attic and reached to pull the cord to the bare light bulb in front of me. It was dark up there, even though it was mid-day outside.

I inherited the house and five acres surrounding it two years ago. My grandmother left it to me. Which I thought was strange because I didn’t know my grandmother very well. She was my mother’s mother. They didn’t get along  and so my grandmother wasn’t a force in my life. My mother died when I was in college, but I knew I had cousins. Male cousins, I found out later that this house was only inherited by the FEMALE descendents. Which I was the only one. Strange that, but that’s how it was set up.

I only met my grandmother a couple of times. She was of course at my mother’s funeral. I had no father to speak of. He was never in my life. My mother brought me up on her own. She was strict, but I always knew it was because she loved me and I was the only thing she cared about. I never dated much, too busy with school and my mother. I was 28 now. Still single, working at a career that I loved. Writing books. Fiction. Novels of strong women, who found love in strange places from strange occurrences.

Not that I ever thought it would happen to me. It only happened to my book characters. I wasn’t lonely. I had Sam, friends, and my books. I was happy. I made a decent living writing, not only from my books, but from other writing jobs. I could work from my home office. The perfect job.

I stood there with my hands on my hips and looked at all the many boxes and bags piled up. The attic was huge. Two small dusty windows let in very little light. One on each side of the attic. I heard Sam snuffling around behind some boxes. He thought himself a blood hound of some sort. Yeah, dream on Sam. I just hope he didn’t get himself buried in all this stuff. I spotted another light bulb about mid-way down the room, walked over and pulled the dirty string. Light sprang to life.

I glanced around some more and thought I saw a dim sparkle in a corner. In the deepest part of the attic. I hesitated for a second, wondering if my eyes were deceiving me. Nope, there it was again! I walked over to the dim corner, with Sam close behind me. I heard him give a small whine. I glanced down and he was looking in the corner with his ears and tail down, acting like he does when something scares him. That made me stop for a second. I squinted my eyes and looked in the corner again. I hope it wasn’t a rat or something. Not that I really thought it was, but the house was old. Rats don’t sparkle……not any I’ve ever seen anyway.

I slowly walked forward again. Sam close to my heels. I didn’t see anything move. But the sparkle became more pronounced. Ah, a box. With what looked like jewels covering it! Those couldn’t be real jewels?! Nah, I doubt it. I looked around for something to dust the box off with. Saw an old towel or piece of sheet, grabbed it, shook it out and made Sam sneeze. I wiped down the box and picked it up.

It was heavy. Wasn’t really big. More like a small chest now that I got a good look at it. It perked my curiosity. I walked across the floor and stopped at the small window. I still had that piece of cloth and rubbed at the window to try and shed more light on what I carried. I held it against my chest and tried to open it. Wouldn’t budge. Humph.

Suddenly I heard my phone ringing. Didn’t bring my cell phone with me to the attic. I was expecting a phone call from my editor, so I better try to answer it. I turned off the lights and with Sam under one arm and that jeweled box under the other I carefully and slowly made my way down those stairs. I put Sam down and the box next to him. Folded the stairs to the attic back up to the ceiling and ran to my bedroom to answer the phone that was still ringing.

Of course as soon as I got to it, it stopped ringing. I looked at the number and sure enough it was my editor. I listened to her message and decided to call her back when I got downstairs. Sam had stayed next to the box, almost like he was protecting it. Silly dog. I picked the box up again, man, it was heavy! Mostly from the jewels on the outside of it I figured. My thought was I might as well be comfortable while I figure out a way to open the damn thing.

Trudged downstairs with it and put it on my coffee table. Sat on the couch and stared at it. I tried to open it again, but nope, nothing. Frowning, I moved it around and looked from all angles. Didn’t see why it wouldn’t open. It had no lock on it. Looked like the top should just open up. The box itself was black leather. Old, really old. The jewels were dusty and dirty, but they still managed to glimmer. Now my curiosity was overwhelming. I was determined to get it open!


While I tried to figure a way to open it, short of taking an ax to it, I might as well clean it up. I got a towel from the kitchen and wet it down with hot water. Went back to the living room and started working on cleaning the jewels. If I didn’t know better I would swear those jewels were real! I clean the top ones and sat back and just admired them. Beautiful! Red, yellow, blue, and what looked like diamonds glittered in the firelight. I tried the top again, and couldn’t believe it when it lifted right off! Easy peasy! Huh, maybe because I cleaned it?

I gently set aside the top and looked inside. Whatever was in there was covered by a thick red velvet cloth. I lifted it with two fingers. Never know what is under it!  I set that aside. Looked again and saw a beautiful jar! It was china and had a pattern of a dragon on it. It was breathtaking! I noticed the jar had a lid. I slowly lifted the jar out of the box and set it on the table. I have never seen a more beautiful piece of work in my life. The dragon that was painted on the side looked like it could come alive at any second.

My hand reached for the lid to take it off. Then I hesitated. I don’t know why, but I felt like if I took the lid off that jar, my life would never be the same. Crazy right? I mean things like that only happen in stories, in books. In fiction. Yet, my hand stopped moving forward. I glanced over at Sam, he was watching my every move. He looked tense. I felt tense. Then my hand slowly moved forward again. Almost like I couldn’t help myself. It was as if my hand moved of its own will. I was just a spectator.

My fingertips felt the cool smoothness of the lid. My eyes played tricks on me, because I could have swore the dragon on the jar moved. Like it was urging me on. I grasped the small knob of the lid and tugged gently. It wouldn’t open. The dragon moved again. Closer to the top. I watched as my fingers held the lid firmer and gave it another yank. I heard a slight pop, then a wheeze of air. As I lifted the lid  purple smoke rose out of the jar in a slow, undulating wisp. It grew taller and thicker. Till it reached the ceiling.

Sam crawled into my lap as I sat mesmerized. What did I do?!




Blogging · nonfiction · Photo Challenges · Uncategorized

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Delicate

It’s been a while since I’ve done a weekly photo challenge. When I saw the subject was Delicate, I thought of the perfect picture I had on file.

This was taken one chilly morning when we had some freezing fog. Hope you enjoy!

tree in backyard
tree in backyard
Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · stories · Uncategorized · writing

A New Blog Challenge….Come Join!

Hello dear readers. I’d like to tell you about a new blog Challenge my friend Liam at has started. It’s called……………..

If This is the Title…

Sounds amazing, I know. So here are a few things that need explaining.

The Rules:

1. First of all, a random “title” will be given.
2. It is then your job to write a story based on the title.
3. There is no word limit, but the shorter the better (500 words would probably be the maximum).
4. Then post your story on your blog, linking the post in a comment on Liam’s post.
5. The “deadline” is the Wednesday after. Liam will then, as well as tasking with the next title, will mention his favourite on that post and link to your blog/Twitter/Facebook etc. Everyone’s a winner!

This is designed to test your creativity.

This week’s title is: The Missing Item

Here is my contribution……………………………


Wanda stood in the middle of the room with fists on hips. Her eyes looked in each nook and cranny of the room and didn’t see it anywhere! Where did it go to? My word! It’s not that big of a house, how could it have disappeared so easily?

She blew her breath out impatiently, she really didn’t have time for this! She needed to get to the meeting! Turning around quickly she ran up the steps to her bedroom. Maybe, she thought, she missed it the first time she looked there.

Wanda looked under her bed, in her dresser drawers, in her nightstand, then she tackled the closet. Nothing! Shaking her head she went back downstairs. She couldn’t believe she lost it! Her first real responsibility for the club and she misplaced it!

She plunked down on the couch and replayed every place in the house she had been this morning. Wanda had it when she had breakfast, she remembered. She had it on the table next to her bowl of oatmeal.

Wanda remembered she was just finishing her coffee when the phone rang. She talked to Shirl for a few minutes and then went to finish getting ready for the meeting. She came back downstairs and it was gone! She looked at the empty kitchen table and under it, but nothing!

She heard a …….caw! Caw! CAW!

She glanced over at the bird stand where her best friend was sitting and cawing at her. There stood Blackie, a huge raven, her friend and sidekick. They had been together for years. Smiling at him she suddenly saw something shiny in one claw. There it was!! Blackie had it!

Wanda ran over to the stand and took a closer look at what Blackie held. Yes! She reached over and tickled his tummy, his favorite thing in all the world, tummy tickling. His claw opened and she was able to finally get back the talisman he was holding.

She smiled with relief, she was so afraid she had lost it and they needed it for the ceremony tonight.



Fiction · postaday · stories · writing

A Christmas Short Story, Kinda

I had a dream last night and this story came about from that dream. It was a strange dream, but for me strange dreams are the normal. So I made a short story out of it. I have no idea where this came from. Hope you enjoy my story.




The Christmas Tree


“Is everyone here?” Mika asked. He was the oldest so he tried his best to be a leader. But, when you are only fourteen years old, sometimes it’s a hard thing to do.

“I don’t see Linda”  said little Todd.

“Here I am!” cried Linda as she ran up to the rag tail group.

“What kept you?” Mika asked.

“I was talkin’ to Old Meg in town” Linda told him as she caught her breath. She knew she was late so she ran all the way from town. She loved talking to her friend Old Meg. She always found out what was going on because Meg was a fountain of information.

“We need to get movin’.  We don’t want to be out here when the sun sets” Mika said to the group. He started walking up a slight incline toward the mountains. It was always safer not to be out at night. That’s when the patrols were  the most active.

There were eight of them. Young all of them. Mika being the oldest at fourteen. Todd being the youngest at six years old. Mike was the newest member of the group. He was ten and quiet. He hardly spoke at all. Mika thought if he went through what Mike had gone through he wouldn’t talk either. Then there was John, Rachel, Sara, and Nick.

They were children of the post Big War. They had no family left  and if they didn’t want to be put on work farms they hid in the hills  at night. They had found a cave, well hidden unless you knew where to look. That’s where they camped at night, during the day they snuck into town one by one. They gathered food and medicine or anything they thought might make things easier for their little group.

They avoided most adults, unless they knew for sure that they could be trusted. After the Big War ended hundreds of years ago, there wasn’t much left of the world. All the major countries played their part in destroying the world as it was back then. In the year 2013 every country thought they were the most important. They all built nuclear bombs and bombed each other out. The world pretty much had to start over from scratch for the few survivors that were left. Things became lawless in many parts.



The world never did recover from that final war. Most living things were killed. Two hundred years after the war, life could be hard. The children who had no family to take them in were put to work on farms to work the fields. A lot of them ran away and lived in the mountains in small groups like Mika’s. If they lived to be adults, they moved into one of the towns, where it was finally safe for them or stayed in the mountains.

As they made their  way to the cave Linda asked Mika, “Have you ever heard of Christmas Trees?”

“Christmas Trees? No.”

“Meg was telling me about a thing called Christmas that used to be celebrated years and years ago.”

“Not much to celebrate these days.”

“She said she heard it from her mother, who heard it from her mother, and down through the family.”

“So it’s a story and not real.”

“Used to be real.”

“You can’t believe everything old Meg says.”

“She told me about Christmas trees.”

“Never heard of no trees called Christmas.”

“Meg said people would cut down a tree and put it in their house!”

“Now ain’t that the silliest thing I ever heard! Why would they do a thing like that?”

“They would decorate them.”

“Decorate them?”

“Yup, with balls and lights and shiny silver string.”

“They would cut down a tree and kill it, put it in their house and put balls on them?”

“That’s  what Meg told me.”

“Now why would someone do a stupid thing like that?”

“To celebrate Christmas.”

“Why did people celebrate this Christmas?”

“I asked Meg that too.”

“So what did she say?”

“It was confusing. She said some did it for religious reasons. Some did it because it made them happy.”

“It made people happy to kill a tree?”

“I told you it was confusing.”

“You sure Meg wasn’t drinkin again?”

“She wasn’t.”

Mika shook his head at the crazy idea of Christmas trees. Didn’t make any sense to him. Trees were hard to come by, he couldn’t see someone chopping it down just to put it up again in a house. Old Meg knew a lot of old stories, passed on from her family. This one though was just strange. Not sure he would believe it.