A Picture, a Girl, and a Reminder—Worth a Thousand Words

From the moment my daughter was born, she was most content when not inside. As a baby, the best way to calm her colicky crying was to snuggle her in a bouncy seat under the maple tree or, when it got cold, take her for a ride in a sled.

During her early years, I spent hours in the woods trailing a toddler looking for critters under overturned logs, disguised behind leaves, and lurking in the water. We amazed at how they were created to adapt to their environment and needs.

I started photographing the animals we found and put them into a book for my girl…and those little books became board books published a few years back. (Check out the All About God’s Animal series over here. They’d make a great Christmas gift.)

My girl is a tween now and doesn’t need me by her side as she builds tree forts and digs for fishing worms. And so it’s been a long, long time since I hunted the woods, beaches, and waterways for critters and nature to capture on film.

my-girlUntil now. Continue reading “A Picture, a Girl, and a Reminder—Worth a Thousand Words”

Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective

Excuse (ik-koos) Defined

Something my girl uses to explain away—
Abandoned dirty dishes dripping in goo,
Forgotten homework completed but not turned in,
Shoes cast off in haste where everyone walks.

Excuse (ik-kooz) Defined

Grace given to cover— Continue reading “Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective”

Why You Should Save, Celebrate, & Share Your Art

I met Pearl Allard through another writer friend. Pearl had driven a fair distance to be at my friend’s release party. And I knew right away I had met someone special—loyal, creative, and a kindred spirit in finding the beautiful in the not always pretty.

It’s a privilege for me to introduce you to her, and I hope you’ll love Pearl as much as I do. And, for the record, I didn’t know how much my little comments meant to her and I certainly didn’t she was going to write about it here. I’m still blushing 🙂


They were a lifeline from heaven; number twos drew me to Number One. How I don’t know, but those pencils were the only light during the darkest time of my life. I was desperate to see something, anything good, groping through blackness. Sketching brought meager solace.

I drew to learn to see. To cling to beauty. To escape. Though my soul anguished under the weight of oppressive darkness, I held a flicker of light. Something living, and good, still lurked when I looked at my imperfect rendering. It sparked hope—and guilt came galloping on its heels. Continue reading “Why You Should Save, Celebrate, & Share Your Art”

An Argument for Early Mornings—From a Committed Night Owl

It’s 5:30 am, and it’s still dark when I click on the lamp. The children are still all nestled in bed. No one needs snack or a drink or another kiss on the head. Not even the birds are awake—just me and my thoughts and the steady click of the clock.

Oh, I’d forgotten how much I need this time all alone. There’s just something about silence.

You see, silence breathes peace to my soul.

Continue reading “An Argument for Early Mornings—From a Committed Night Owl”

There’s Something About Shadows

Shadows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes what my characters say take me by surprise with how appropriate for where I am in my life. It’s almost like they’re talking to me. A while back I caught my character, Ryan James, talking about shadows and I realized how right he was.

See there is something about shadows—that absence of light—that kids instinctively fear. Adults have a more educated view that thinks the dark patches really can’t hurt us. That there isn’t anything hiding inside trying to get out.

But if I’m honest with myself, there’s still something about the dark.

Perhaps the kids have it right.

But if there are shadows, Continue reading “There’s Something About Shadows”

The Face of the Homeless — Overwhelmed for Leo


His name is Leo, or at least that’s what he told me. He leans over the table across from me, and in mere minutes draws out a perfect manga character.

“What color should I make the shirt?” He asks me.

I hesitate, not quite knowing how to answer him. I’m careful in this world. I’m a visitor to this haven for the homeless and don’t know the rules yet. But his smooth ebony cheeks tell me he’s young, and barely a legal adult…if he’s even that old. Continue reading “The Face of the Homeless — Overwhelmed for Leo”

Discover: The Key to Life

 

 

 

 

I want to feel myself part of things, of the great drift and swirl: not cut off, missing things, like being sent to bed early as a child, the blinds being drawn while the sun and cheerful voices came through the chink from the garden. ~Sylvia Plath

This weekend my daughter and I went exploring. Not in the woods as we normally would, but dumpster diving in a car repair shop, my mom’s wood shop, and my clock repair man’s trash bin.

We were on a mission, looking for things that are one thing, but look like another—funky car parts that look like elkhorn coral, cogs that look like eyes, injector pieces that look like the mouth of a butterfly fish. She’s working on an art piece for a competition where “weird wins.”

And going out to play and discover felt oh so good.

Since April, my family’s been a little closed-in, trying to survive. Continue reading “Discover: The Key to Life”

Diagnosis: When it Isn’t What You Hoped

I’d gone into the doctor’s office for a persistent irritating rash under my eyes and on my neck. I expected to hear eczema or some other small, albeit annoying, diagnosis.

The doctor walked in, took one look at me and sank to a seat. She paraded through all the diagnosis I’d hoped to hear, but she knocked down each one.

She was so calm it was unnerving. Just like the eye of the hurricane. Continue reading “Diagnosis: When it Isn’t What You Hoped”

Not so Inviting Invititation: A Short Story

This short story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Invite. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all.). I’ll see you on the other side. Hope you enjoy it.


 

Charlotte Anne knew the exact right thing to do…she always did. But just because a body knew what to do didn’t mean she could make herself do it. Continue reading “Not so Inviting Invititation: A Short Story”

A Short Story About Story

This short story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Story. There’s some irony in this, but I won’t go there…at least not today. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all…and this one actually took me longer than 5 minutes. There are bossy characters involved. You’ll see.). I’ll see you on the other side. Hope you enjoy it.


Last night Mama cried out again in her sleep. The moans grinding deep into the floorboards until rising into a holler so sharp, it nearly raised the dead.

In the past, I might’ve gone to comfort her. Asking about her dream, smoothing back her damp hair. But she never did answer, the glass-eyed look never wavering until the rhythm of my hand on her head soothed her back to sleep.

I was eight the one and only time I asked her about the dream in the morning. The slap following convinced me to never ask again. Continue reading “A Short Story About Story”