Stepping Stone Island – Fiction

Here’s a submission for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – 100-175 words to do with photo below.

I’ve been a bit sparse this month – NaNoWriMo 50,000 words this month.  Working hard on sketches :P  but working daily.  So that’s positive!  Couple more weeks and I’ll be back weekly.

islandsStepping Stone Island

We don’t know, for sure, but one day Claire just wasn’t there anymore. And people question when someone, you know, does an about-face on life and all is forever changed. So, the depositions were important strands in an otherwise ordinarily eccentric life.

“Can you elaborate for us what you mean when you say ‘she seemed to withdraw more and more until one day she was just gone’?” asked Claire’s family attorney. He was questioning Claire’s lover, Max.

“Oh come on, Hank,” Max replied. “Claire is your cousin. Everyone in town watched her drift away.”

“Will you just answer the question, Max?” Hank asked.

“Sure. I’ll elaborate. One day Claire packed up her bags, loaded them into her Bentley, and drove out of town.”

“And?” Hank asked.

“She hated Stepping Stone Island,  Hank, and so she left.”

“Did she hate you?”

“No more than she loved me, I guess.” Max smiled just then. That wishful smile that had driven Claire crazy. “But next time I see her, I’ll ask.”


*this week’s photo prompt is provided by TJ Paris

King Him – Fiction

This is in response to this week’s Literary Lion word challenge.  This week’s word is ‘king’ and to write something 400 words or less…I’m chuckling but I really did try this time:

King Him

“What do you think about when you hear the word king?” I asked.

“I think of Martin Luther King,” Buck replied.

That seemed rather odd to me; odd that someone wouldn’t automatically associate the word king with Elvis Presley. “I think of Elvis Presley,” I said.

“Ah, Sissy.” Buck reached for me. We were on the veranda at his folks’ house, sitting in the old rattan rocking love seat. Summer was heavier than sex in a hay stack.

I’ve loved Buck at least as long as the bougainvillea vine has clung to his mother’s wooden trellises. He’s plain, but not ordinary. Always some heart hanging on his sleeve.

“Ah Sissy what?” I asked, shaking and grinding against the air and humming “I’m All Shook Up”.


Things Classical

classic carsNot only am I reading a lot, but I’ve also decided to spend a week streaming  one classical movie a day.  Not classical earth shattering movies.  I mean those sorts of movies you watched, after school, on Dialing for Dollars.  There was something innocent about that time and I want to capture that again.  There was also something corny about that time.  And sometimes something daring.  Romance movies from the 40’s through mid-60’s.  The stuff dreams were made of.

Tonight I watched Three Coins in the Fountain (intro song sung by Frank Sinatra!) starring  Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Rossano Brazzi, and Maggie McNamara.  I am still totally in love with Rossano Brazzi.  This movie has a fairly simple flow:  three young women working in Rome hoping/wishing to get married.  Lovely fountain scenes and dramatic music and even a runaway ancient pick-up truck.  As if 1954 (the year the movie was made) isn’t ancient enough.  Heck!  I was already three.

Maybe, since I’m still so in love with Rossano Brazzi, tomorrow I’ll watch South Pacific.  Oh!  A classic musical!

Something’s bubbling inside me and it asked for some classical movies.  That’s the only explanation I have.


Back and Up Ramblings

We’re back and settling in after our escape to the Pescadero/Half Moon Bay area – about an hour from home, but a totally different world.  Everything was even more beautiful than we’d imagined…and more peaceful and quiet save the birds and crickets making beautiful  music.  When we were at the cottage, we remained fairly silent and had lovely quiet time – no music – no sounds other than nature’s.  I’m so glad to know that there is this place so nearby.  I would like to escape there alone – for at least two weeks – to see what I can come away with.

Words won’t describe the trip.  Here are a few photographs David took.ellespeth in half moon bayAn afternoon in Half Moon Bay.

lavender fields in pescadero gardenLavender fields seen from the guest cottage in Pescadero.  That redwood tree looked ancient with it’s sooo wide canopy.

side garden pescaderoSide garden off the guest cottage porch.

bunch roses in pescaderoDavid loved those bunch roses way in the back of the garden – just before the overgrazed hill.

We met the gardener!  He must work other jobs in the area, and would arrive late afternoons to do a bit of taking care.  What a beautiful act of love this is!


Alas, sooner or later, one must (usually) return from a vacation.  And so, here I am.  Here’s what I’m currently reading:

The Constitution of the United States

The Declaration of Independence

The Articles of Confederation

The first chapter to Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.  (I finished this pre-publication chapter release this afternoon…I can’t wait to read the entire novel.  I hope she’ll write an autobiography.  Maybe she already has it written.  Did you know she grew up living next door to Truman Capote?  Those small Southern towns have given us some great writers!

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – by Stephen King (I’m really liking this book and will finish it this weekend.)

Savage Beauty – a biography about Edna St. Vincent Millay – by Nancy Milford.  I’ve been reading this one for months now.  It’s a great book but difficult emotionally.   Edna St. Vincent Millay is in my blood.  My mother introduced me to her work when I was in junior high school, and that set me upon the road of Poet.


I’d like to write a novel.

I’m going to attempt a 400 word story about the word “merry”.  I may finish that tonight as well.  The actual challenge, itself, can be found here.

So, I’m pretty much all over the place in my life right now.


On The Guilt of Freedom – Some Prose and A Poem

I love these words, and today especially:

My country,’ tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring! 

(Samuel Francis Smith)

So beautifully poetic and wonderfully patriotic.  The lines are so nicely broken up and the  meaning  – really – brings tears to my eyes.

I’m feeling grateful and sentimental this 4th of July.  So many anti-freedom acts are being committed in our world today.  Violent and emotional acts of coercion.

I am also feeling guilty today.  My family’s own freedoms – in the 16-1700’s came at the price of the lives of Native Americans and slaves and all that I’ve rallied against in my  life.  I realize the difficulties in forgiving.  Our country (the world, actually) depends on forgiving and moving forward more knowledgeable than our parents or their parents or their parents.  It’s called evolution.  I call it the Evolution of A Feeling Global Society.

And here is my poem offering for today.

On The Guilt of Freedom

We came
to escape and
as is human nature
– vile though it may be –
we survived.
So many innocent
helpless lives
on behalf of freedom
– depending on which side
of which line you stood.
We came
to escape.
So much
is lost to fear.
So much is gained
reflecting then
and now.


Garden Concert – A Love Poem

garden-602035_640Garden Concert

At twilight
when the sky
burst pink and purple
when birds nested for the night
as the sun
was setting
we turned around
to face the garden gate
and the full moon
was shining
crickets were singing.
In the loft bedroom
we cuddled against the chill
as sounds of evening frogs
gently rocking
softly rocking us to sleep.


 image thanks to

You’re Forcing Me…

cottageto take a trip tomorrow – about an hour away – to a garden cottage on the Pacific Ocean.  How dare you!

I know, right?  Some people, reading this, may think I’m joking.  But I’m not.  If you are one of those types who thinks I’m joking, let me put it this way:

you are forcing me to take a trip – about an hour away – to a garden cottage on the Pacific Ocean.  How dare you!  To add to the fear factor, you shall drive us on winding roads through redwood forests – all ending somewhere near the Pacific Ocean.  How can you do this to me?!

Really, okay?  These are the times in my life that I’d just like to kick myself in the bootie :( It’s not that I don’t like to travel.  It’s just that I don’t like to get there and back.

Has anyone reading this ever read A Confederacy of Dunces?  If you haven’t,  you certainly must do so as soon as possible.  There is a character, in the novel, Ignatius J. Reilly,  who – at the end of the novel finally risks making a huge stretch and – travels 90 miles from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.

So that’s pretty much how I feel when I take a vacation trip.  I try to make vacation trips as seldom as possible.  I don’t like leaving my little mapped out parameters.  I haven’t always been this way but I’ve been working on being this way since I was three years old.  I wrote a poem about that day here.  I got better about traveling for a few years, but now – as I’m getting older – the fear to travel is coming back.  So a huge step going on here.

We’re packed and I’m going.  It’s all just a part of not letting depression take hold of my life.  So, I keep going and you keep by my side :)

I may be a bit sparse during the month of July – or not.  I’m signed up for NaNoWriMo – write 50,000 words in a month.  I’ll be doing some of that on this vacation. 1700 words a day.

Its not a long vacation.  Two days.  But it means traveling on and in unknowns.  I like to know my life.  That’s why I can imagine and write about other lives and other worlds.

This may not make sense but I’ll post in anyway.


Prom Night – 1969 (Fiction)

My submission for a piece of writing no more than 400 words about the word ‘escape’  I didn’t write as many words this week, but I’m satisfied with the piece.   More pieces can be found here at Literary Lion.  Thanks for offering this challenge!

I am so joyful about the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage decision that I couldn’t help but write this piece. gay_pride

Prom Night, 1969

We didn’t talk about it much in those days. So, when Tony didn’t want to kiss me good-night after our prom date, I thought it was something about me. Maybe I had bad breath. Maybe my false eye lashes were drooping off in the New Orleans humidity.  He was so damned perfectly cute, and so was I.

It wasn’t until today, when the Supreme Court voted for gay marriage and I saw Tony’s picture plastered on the front page of the Times Picayune – holding a gay pride flag and kissing some guy smack on the lips – that I realized it never had been me.