Archive for the ‘beginnings’ Category

I know. Silly title. But at the moment, that’s all my brain can do, come up with quick and silly titles!

As most of you know, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo once again. I have been reading a lot of the posts in the various Facebook NaNoWriMo groups to which I belong. A lot of people need a push or a shove in the direction of finding some words. So this is for them and this is for YOU. Yes, you.

Below are some words, phrases, etc., that are meant to introduce a situation, character, sub plot, etc., into your writing. They may also be good ideas for blogging topics. My advice is to copy/paste them into a new document then add some spacing (maybe triple?) then print them out, cut them into strips and put them in envelopes, or into a jar where you can grab one at random. Sometimes it may take two or three together to get you going in another direction that can help your writing ideas. I hope you find something you can use!

right before my eyes

he/she was the stranger he/she would never forget

nothing but a broken umbrella

the loneliest meal

different kind of dream

being young

love moods

lonely in that way

down the flight of stairs

the hospital chapel

the bread had turned purple

the little things

he didn’t remember

if I had known

it wasn’t until

no one would understand

stop me, please

heavy hitter

not exactly best friends


first blush

photo finish

the last bus


personal power

just sitting around

light up the room

If only she hadn’t missed the bus


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Today’s blogging and writing exercise prompts didn’t ring a bell for me.  I ended up fixing myself a cup of coffee and sat in my corner of the couch to mull things over and see if I could come up with a room or a view to describe (today’s exercise).  I put the tablet aside and reached for the coffee cup that sat on the magazine table to my right.   Wrapping both hands around the chunky cup, my hands were warmed by the aromatic liquid and, instantly, I felt the soothing feeling flow through the cup to my hands and from my hands through my body.  That’s when the ritual took hold of me.  Slowly, one sip after another, my mind began to work as I relaxed and let it wander where it willed.

This is the important part of the day for me.  With luck, it happens in the morning but it could happen later in the day.  In fact, if it hasn’t happened by the evening, even thought I know I’ll have trouble sleeping, I go ahead and have that cup of coffee anyway.  It’s my “alone cup of coffee”.  It It’s thinking time.  It’s feeling time.  It’s my time.  When that first cup is gone, I can read or talk or get going.  I can begin the day and any of busy activity.  Or I can just sit and have more coffee but it’s that first cup that’s the ritual; the cup I allow myself to share with only myself.  And if it doesn’t happen, the grounding doesn’t happen and things just don’t flow on that day.

I guess you could say that it’s the grounds that ground me…at least the ones in that first cup, the ritual cup.

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[This is from a prompt.  It’s memoir.  Enjoy.]

When I was a little girl, my mother would take us to all the parades in town.  My mom didn’t drive so we’d all walk together, all seven of us kids and our mom.  Downtown was about two miles away but we didn’t mind because we all loved parades.  Sometimes there were programs at the civic auditorium after the parade.  Those programs were always even more fun than the parades plus we’d get to sit down instead of having to stand up out in the cold.

One of my favorites was the Christmas parade.  It was the longest and the most fun and Santa Claus always gave out candy at the end of the parade.  After the parade, my family would go to the civic auditorium for the show they always put on after the parade.  There was music and little skits and at the end we got presents.  My mom would get tickets for the show and the presents ahead of time.  My dad didn’t make a lot of money working at the cannery and there were nine of us so we got to be one of the families that got to go to the special program and get the presents.

What was it about parades that made me eager to go?  I think it was mostly because it seemed to me that everyone was happy at the parades and I liked to be around happy people.  There were clowns, too.  I loved clowns and balloons and crowds.  Sometimes, if my mom had extra money, we might get a treat to share.  Usually, if we did get a treat, it was popcorn or caramel corn.  She’d get two of whatever she could afford and we’d all share.

Another thing I liked about parades was the music.  I loved to hear the bands coming down the street and leaving, going away from us.  But the one thing I didn’t like about parades was also the music.  When the bands were right in front of us, the big round drums that the boys carried in front of them, hanging from their backs, those drums made loud booming sounds and when they boomed, the boom was in my stomach.  It made me feel like my stomach was the drum and someone was beating on my stomach.  It made me want to cry.  I remember I’d try to hide behind my mother when the drums got close enough for my stomach to boom.  My sisters would cover their ears but that wouldn’t help me.  It wasn’t my ears that were booming.  I couldn’t explain to my mother why I didn’t like it when the bands got right in front of us.  She couldn’t understand why covering my ears didn’t make me feel better.

I wish there were still parades in towns where everyone could go and see each other and eat popcorn and caramel corn and watch the bands go by and the clowns and balloons.  If there were, I could just walk toward the back of the crowds when those great big booms came to my stomach.  That just might help enough.

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Another Kiss?

(This was written from an image prompt.  The image was a pair of chocolate kisses.) 

They had become friends at an art event they had both participated in.  Later in the week he had called her and they spoke for a little bit but she had to get her kids to bed so she asked if she could call him back after ten.  That night they talked on the phone for over two hours.  The next night they talked for another two hours.  He was nice and she looked upon him as a friend.  He was ten years younger than she was and hadn’t ever been married and had no kids.  He had a lot to talk about and after he told her about his bad childhood and about abuse he’d suffered and about the death of both his parents, he wanted to hear about her life.  She talked mostly about her divorce and her kids.  The following week, he asked if he could come over and use her computer to do some research online for an anthropology class he was taking.  She agreed and he came over when her kids were at their dad’s apartment.

She showed him how to get online and a few search engines then she moved out of the way so he could do his research.  She was nearby, reading a couple of poems he had written and brought to share with her.  After a while, he stretched out and said he needed a break.  He handed her a chocolate kiss and popped one in his mouth.  She thought it sweet and ate the candy.  A couple of minutes later he asked her if she wanted another kiss.  She really didn’t but didn’t want to hurt his feelings so she said yes and he leaned over and kissed her mouth…a long slow, soft kiss.  He had caught her by surprise.  That was the last thing she had expected, but she didn’t complain.

After that she saw him at the house he lived at, as a caretaker.  From time to time, she would go out and see him when the kids were gone.  They continued to see each other at readings and he joined her writing group.  Eventually her kids met him as a friend at one of their mom’s readings.  Once, he brought the kids little toys and once he came and watched a movie with the kids.  And soon  it was over.  She didn’t like the ten year age difference between them but she had needed him when he’d come by and he had needed something from her, too.

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Or give up.

This morning, I was rudely awakened by the phone ringing loudly.  I jumped up, found my glasses (I’m totally blind without them) and ran to the desk, two rooms away.  By the time I got there, it had stopped. Now, that wouldn’t be too bad except that I have the phone set for ringing 4 times then it goes to my cell phone.  The cell phone was in my bed, next to my pillow, two rooms away.  I ran back to get it and by the time I got to it, it had gone to voicemail.  Great!  I waited for the cell to do its thing and let me know there was a voicemail and then called.  It was a hang up.  Wonderful!

By this time, I had looked at the clock and realized it was 9:15 so I decided to stay up.  I had gone to bed late, about 4:30 AM.  I was working on a translation (from English to Spanish) for the organization for which I do volunteer work.  I figured I would do some more work on it and I have to clean up the house because a friend is coming at the end of the week and it is a total mess! 

Staying up meant making coffee. I wasn’t feeling too great so I figured I should take my blood sugar reading (I’m a diabetic).  I knew my sugar was either too low or too high and, depending on which, I would either have oatmeal for breakfast or my scrambled egg whites.  I set the coffee maker to make me a pot of coffee and pricked my finger for the blood reading.  I got the drop of blood on the strip and realized the meter’s battery was dead.  Great!  Next to the meter was a brand new meter I got in the mail about two weeks ago but hadn’t tried because it only comes with 5 test strips and they’re very expensive so I wanted to wait til I was out of test strips for the old meter.  I figured I really needed to take a reading so I proceeded to take a reading with the new meter.  Now I didn’t read the directions.  You know, one meter is the same as another.  Not!  I put the blood on the strip (yeah, I had to prick it again) and it just sat there.  The meter didn’t do anything.  No countdown.  No beep.  Nothing.  Just a pitiful – – – in the window.  Crap!  Now what?  I really wanted to get a reading this morning.  I got out the instructions…the fast start version because I was not going to read a 70 page instruction booklet.  It seemed that I forgot that you had to code the meter first.  That means you have to tell the meter the number on the vial of test strips before taking a reading.  Okay.  Fine.  I could do that.  I thought I could do that.  I began to code the meter but it wouldn’t do anything.  It would turn on but I couldn’t get it to display the coding routine or the date routing.  I realized I needed to reset it by taking the battery out and reinserting it.  I opened it up and took the battery out (I had to use a butter knife because it wouldn’t come out) and put it back in.  I turned it on. Nothing.  It would not turn on.  Wonderful.  Coffee.  I needed coffee.  I figured I would pour a cup and try the battery thing again.

No coffee.  All I had was a carafe of very hot water.  I had forgotten to put the coffee in the basket!  Great.  I guess I really did need coffee!  I reached into the fridge and got out the coffee and put it in the coffee maker.  Just as I finished putting it in, I realized that I had put it in where the water goes, not where the coffee goes!  Now what?  I can’t reach to see in the top of the coffee maker so what do I do now?  I figured, unwisely, that I would just run it through and let it wash out all the coffee.  Well, three washing later, there is still coffee in my water reservoir.  I think I ruined the coffee maker.  It is now 11 AM, I have been up for almost two hours, trying to take a blood sugar reading and make coffee.  Still no luck in either category.   

I came to the computer to write my frustrations away and the darn thing was SOOOOO SLOOOOWWWWW.  I think I should have put the coffee into the computer to get IT going this morning!

Yeah, I should go back to bed!

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