Wednesday Night Words

Wednesday Night Words

We’ve started meeting more regularly to help jumpstart our writing. A difficulty in this has been finding a more permanent meeting home in Nashville. We were so used to having the privacy (and quiet!) of an office conference room that it’s difficult for us to deal with public spaces: the intrusion of servers at restaurants, the inconsiderate talking of other people when we’re trying to write, and especially the judgey looks the neighboring tables give us when we’re all laughing and talking at once and probably being too loud.

Either way, we do get a little bit done. I’m currently in the middle of starting yet another novel, exploring some characters and their motivations.

For those of you who are new here, the word prompts work like this: we each put several random words into a hat, and we draw them out 2 or 3 at a time. We then get several minutes to free-write, incorporating those words, and then move on to the next set. This is a great way to jump-start your writing because the sense of urgency is heightened.

Here’s what I was able to drum up in our last set of word prompts.


Oreo/lace/religion/capture/pair/moving van/polka dots/date/fanfare

Get your ass in here, Mari! Denise yelled down the hallway to her friend, who was about to knock on the door. I’m in the kitchen!

Denise was putting together one of her famous dessert trays. Tonight’s featured: crackers with kraft singles folded into a stack, oreo cookies, and a bunch or two of grapes. All of these were set on a plate that she would then set on the big lace doily on the coffee table in the living room.

Making these crazy hor d’oeuvres plates was almost a religion for Denise. She loved pulling together anything crazy she had in the cupboard and fridge and throwing it on a plate to make it look all fancy. She felt like using the fine china and setting food out for guests captured a mood of a party, rather than just eating crackers from a box standing in the kitchen.

Mari had joined her for dinner, and the two were about to crack open a bottle of wine. Denise pulled a pair of wine glasses from the china cabinet, and dusted the off with her polka-dot apron. She knew they weren’t dirty, they were just a bit dusty from storage.

Mari picked up an oreo and walked to the front window, twisting the cookie open and smiling to herself that the crème was perfectly on one side. She noticed that a moving van was parked outside the house next door.

That wasn’t there earlier today, was it?

What wasn’t?

That truck. Moving in or out?

Oh, they’re moving in. I haven’t met them yet, but I guess I should actually put together something other than kraft singles on triscuit if I want to introduce myself.

Meh, Mari grunted as she shrugged. You don’t have to make a big fanfare about it, do you? What’s wrong with just going over there and introducing yourself?

What? Like this? Denise gestured to her ratty jean shorts and cut-off tee, and the pink and yellow 40s style polka dot apron she wore more for fun than to protect herself from any food crumbs.

I think you look hot, Mari said, grabbing a glass of wine and toasting her friend’s sweaty top knot and bare feet. I’d do you.

I know you would, but I’m not looking for that kind of thing. Denise smiled at her friend and winked.

–Thanks for reading! Sorry about any spelling errors and definitely the punctuation. Again, these are time-restricted, so I don’t spend a lot of time on things like quotation marks. I would love any comments!

Faith is the Spirit of the Horse

Faith is the Spirit of the Horse


Born beside a river

Left to wander over the mountains

Homeless without a resting placeWild horse

Always a stranger in a foreign land

Born with the genes of survival

Untouched by the hand of a man

Untamed without the bit or the bridle

Created and birthed in the land of sun and rain

Beating the earth of horizons and sunsets

Surrounded by the wisdom of the four winds

Run as if your life depended on it-because it does

Savage beast they call you.

Rough, your mane is tangled

No name and no connections

Spirited, restless and strong

Your heart knows the way

Unharnessed  and wild

The tamed zoo corrals your fears

Barns can be traps

Fences can be walls

When caged and trapped you are enraged

No decisions to make

No choices

Only direction and correction

Love pounding through your heart

Standing at the peak, on the mountaintops

It is what is is.

The spirit is free from judgement, action or resistance

It perceives, believes, receives and it’s own energy it conceives

There is nothing to fear

Nothing to run from

Nothing to run to

It is all here

Inside the soul

Beside the wind

Within the spirit

Three choices

Fight to live

Flee to run

Breath  to be

The movement is the dance not the race

Allow the dreams and opinions

The flowers will grow around they feet and shed the mud

The fragrance is of life . It is in the blood.

Faith is the spirit of the horse.

Grandparents Rights

Grandparents Rights

Really?  Do we have to have this discussion.  When my children were small there was no such term, ” grandparents’ rights.”  Today it is very common either by divorce, attitudes and religious or political opposing opinions.  There are grandparents in every state that experience the most heartbreaking agony.

Families develop strained relationships.  Without mediation and empathetic intervention it continues. Children punish their parents by snap decisions to withhold connections.  Grandparents are saddened and confused. One young mother asked me, ” If my daughter’s grandmother doesn’t agree with my decisions as a parent should she be allowed to see her grandchild?”

Back in the day divorced parents were asked not to use the ex has a whipping post. ” The child has another parent besides you and that child will want the love of that parent, also.”   These same children now decide which grandparent ” deserves” to see their children.  Those who don’t are left without explanation as to why.

I even ask my own children, ” What do you tell them when you ask where YOUR mother is?”

Most states do not have ” Grandparents’ Rights” laws.  Some grandparents have even raised their grandchildren until their parents decide to take them away.  There is nothing the grandparent can do.  States legal message is ” What is best for the child?”  Some states make grandparents have to prove ” harm” if they are not allowed to see the children.  These makes for an attack on their own children when in reality grandparents  would like to be treated with love and respect.

There are many websites who address this issue. The AARP has a community online support group. ” Visitation with Grandchildren (

grandparents rights

Sad ,but some grandparents, ( like myself) have become ” Facebook Stalkers.”  We learn how to observe the growing up and the activities of the children and grandchildren that have been locked out of our lives.

Churches and community groups are deaf to the issue.  Courts and lawmakers don’t want to ” upset” any voter.

Grandchildren need love from their families.  When there is no history of neglect, violence or abuse then the grandchildren should at least be able to visit with their grandparents on holidays and birthdays.

I have four grandchildren.  They do not know my name or that I am alive.  I have two children who have chosen to withhold all communication.  I have been told it’s my fault but to this day I don’t know what ” my fault is.”

Cars, Planes and a Big Boat

Cars, Planes and a Big Boat

It is early, dark thirty, and I am.showered and dripping wet in anticipation on my latest cruise to the Caribbean. My bag is overweight as my bathing suits are larger and heavier than the thongs and bikinis of my younger years. I check and double check: passport, phone charger and of course a little cash for tips.

The fog on the soaked windshield is opague like a thick grayed cream. Through the blinking red lights and empty lanes I go.
At the airport it is confirmed- my bag is way too heavy. Ugh!. ” Empty ten pounds,”” the smiling Southwest lady says. Her co-worker confirms by trying to lift the bag from the scales. ” Seventy  five.dollars or you buy a wonderful brand new Southwest bag.  She looks at the other lady to confirm. ” Overweight.”
I take the heavy purple bag and unzip it right there in the floor. I remove rolled clothes, several.pairs of sandals  and my deck of cards.  Men behind me grunt. I pretend not to be frustrated. It is evident by my strewn contents of my purse in another pile I am.

I stand erect and like throwing a bale of hay the bags land on the cold metal scale.
” Perfect,” they agree. The men standing in line

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Got to See a Woman About a Horse

Got to See a Woman About a Horse

I know this isn’t professional writing. I know that there will be no plot to this particular entry, but I must tell you, that I am excited.I am excited because, after an extended period of time trying to look for a horse, and reaching out to people trying to sell them, I am a few simple steps away from maybe, possibly, having a horse again. His name is Michael. I have not seen him. I have to wait two days to see him. All I know is that he is a thoroughbred, 16 hands tall, and 14 years old. The last couple days I have been playing phone tag with the current owner, and a few short hours ago, I had given up the idea, and washed it to the back of my mind. I do that a lot with things. I am belligerently excited right now, and I am trying to stay realistic.

I have always had horses around. I grew up riding my big sister’s childhood horse, and when my big brother moved out, I got Baby May as a grumpy fat hand me down horse. Her demeanor of indifference was endearing, and her ability to get stuck in the most horrifying of places (I once got a 6am call from my dad after he had surgery. Baby May had laid down behind the barn, and on trying to get up she had kicked through the back wall, and two windows that were leaned up against it. She got out of it fine, aside from a couple superficial scrapes on her leg, but it scared the hell out of my sister and I.) was actually comical after the fact.Last winter I lost her, unexpectedly, after all the times I thought she was a goner. Who would have thought that old age would get her in the end?

When I was a kid,I would ride my sister’s horse Windy around in circles in the corral. When my parents would fight, I would crouch down on her back, my face inches away from her mane, and tell her that we would run away together,that she shouldn’t be sad.I’d tell her I was sorry about the yelling.I was a lonely kid.Emo thoughts…moving on….So, in conclusion, really stoked, scared that I may fall off while test riding him and break my leg, excited and hope he likes me, and hope he doesn’t run away or get stuck in a fence, or beat up my dad’s horse, or run away and get hit by a semi if I get him. Super stoked in the most realistically unrealistic way ever.Yay.

Closed Doors

Closed Doors

Closing a chapter on your life sometimes means accepting your own mistakes.  Perhaps this is what makes it so damn hard to push the door closed and leave something in the past where it belongs.  In some situations it’s just easier keep the door partly ajar, holding onto a small hope that one day something magic will happen that will allow you to walk back through that door and erase your mistakes.  In reality, all it’s doing is keeping the wounds from healing, exposing a rawness of emotion every time you glance back at the door and realize that it is not yet closed.  It serves as a constant reminder of something that you have not resolved, causing turmoil as your memories wrestle with your conscience.

My husband and I married much too quickly.  We were high on the newness of love, and thought that would be enough to carry us through any struggle we may encounter.  We went into it with our hearts wide open, and our eyes tightly shut.  Soon after we were married our house of cards began to crumble.  We tried digging in our heels and fighting for our marriage countless times.  But no matter how hard we tried, we just didn’t have the glue to keep it together.  We did not build a solid foundation within our relationship before getting married, and therefore had nothing to stand on when the whirlwind of life in a blended family started tearing through our home.  We moved into separate homes almost a year ago, tried counseling and spending time together, but the damage had already been done.

I met with him today for the first time in months.  I had been avoiding his attempts to reach out to me until I felt that I was strong enough to handle it.  Today was the day he finally had enough. His patience had grown thin, so he showed up on my doorstep and it was time to face the music.  He looked ragged, tired and sad.  His appearance brought back the old feelings of guilt that had so plagued me during our marriage, but I took a deep breath and offered him a seat at my dining room table.  We attempted to make small talk, but it felt out of place in the air between us so I dove right in.  I asked him why he wanted to save our marriage so badly.  For a brief moment, I felt a surge of hope that he would somehow say just the right words to break through to my heart and lead me back to him.  But rather quickly I realized that he didn’t know why he wanted to save us.  He said what came to mind, but there was nothing behind it.  He has only spent time on the surface, lingering only on the need to save our marriage but no time in figuring out why.  I have spent time trying to figure out why, and painfully realize that there is no reason to hold on any longer.  He wanted to know why I always have to make sense out of everything, and I wanted to know why he just leaps in based on what he is feeling at the moment with no thought to what will happen tomorrow.

He promised me that he has changed, that this time would be different.  I wanted so bad to just give in, tell him I would give it another chance. But even in the midst of the pain and sadness of seeing him I knew in my heart that we are just not compatible.  Neither one of us are bad people, neither one of us has truly failed.  He needs a wife, a confidant, a lover.  He needs someone who is completely dedicated to his needs and wants, and flourishes on flowers and compliments.  I need to be on my own, focusing on nourishing a healthy self-love and figuring out what paths I need to take that will give meaning to my life.

In sitting across the table from him on this rainy Sunday morning, I realized that I need to finally close the door on our marriage.  As hard as it was to see him cry, to hear him say he doesn’t want to give up, I had to walk away.  I came back home, and pulled out our wedding photo.  I laid in bed and stared at the picture of us on the day we promised to love each other forever.  I guess I was hoping that I would have some gut wrenching reaction, something to convince me that shutting the door was the wrong decision.  But the tears never came.  I stared at our faces, so happy and filled with hope.  I concentrated on reaching down to the depths of my heart hoping to feel the love I had for him that day.  But it never resurfaced.  Perhaps that was because underneath it all, it was never there.  Even as I sit here writing this, I am not sad about saying goodbye.  I am only sad to know he is hurting, hurting because he only stayed on the surface and hasn’t accepted the fact that I am not the wife he wants and needs. I wish him peace and rest, but I cannot keep the door open any longer.  I must accept my own mistakes, promise to forgive myself, and move on.