First blog post

Well! I took a deep breath and jumped.

This is my very first blog. I’m kind of nervous and excited to get this started.

I’ve been writing stories on the Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts forum every week for the past two years. It’s been a wonderful learning experience to take their prompts, no matter how weird or specific, and turn them into two or three completely different stories. I’ve written stories on there that I normally wouldn’t have considered writing – science fiction stories, vampire stories, and so on. My fellow forumites, who are awesome writers, have helped me with their suggestions and comments to grow as a writer.

So, after much mental fidgeting and nail biting, I finally decided to create this blog to give my prompt stories a proper home.

Hope you enjoy them!



Splashes of color filled the expanse.

They hit the canvas in an exultant spray
In delirious drops
In indulgent splots and spots and splatches.

Deep violet!

They cover the canvas in an exuberant disarray.
No order.
No pattern.
No defined shapes.
No well-conceived plans.


And the paint trickles down.
And the colors meet and merge.

Deep violet!Gray!Grey!

In an organic, chaotic display
Of colors and chaos
That slowly meld into a dramatic expression of joy.


Off The Edge Of The World

“Grace Amberly, iconic soul that she was, has fallen off the edge of the world. She’d always said that she’d do it one day. But no one really believed her. After all, celebrities have a reputation for saying the most outlandish things to stay in the limelight. Grace Amberly was no exception. She loved the limelight. She lived for it. She lived in it. It was all that she had ever known.”

Petra Harmond gave Eric Saiyin, her fellow newscaster, a look. He was supposed to read the adequately rueful but always professional message off the teleprompter. But he wasn’t even looking at the teleprompter. He was just saying whatever came to his mind.

He had a very bad habit of doing such things.

There was one particularly notorious incident back in ’87 that had put him in trouble with the bosses AND the Clean Air Waves Commission. That was a less than shining moment in either of their lives.

“But lo and behold! She actually abandoned it! She left the limelight and just fwhooop! Fell off the edge of the world. No one knows where she is. If she’s dead. If she’s alive. If she’s living as a grocer in Tahiti. Or serving fresh watermelon at Bob Evans in New Hampshire. No one knows if she will ever return to the spotlight. I’m sure we all can agree on the hope that she will. A woman with her talent will be sorely missed by all of her eager and loving followers on social media and…well really. In all media.”

Petra considered interrupting him, but she knew from past experiences that never worked. At the very most, it made her seem rude. At the very least, he ignored her and he was seen as rude. She resisted the urge to tap her fingers on the desk or to roll her eyes or to show any hint of impatience. She knew it was all a matter of waiting him out.

“Her talent was one of a kind. A shooting star. A diamond’s momentarily glint. And yes. She will be sorely missed by one and by all.”

Petra looked down at her glass of water, which was sitting out of sight of the cameras. After all, newscasters were not supposed to drink anything while the cameras were on. It was the unwritten law of the land. It was all a matter of waiting him out. She knew he had to be close to the end.

Eric looked directly at Camera #2. “Grace Amberly, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, know this: You will be missed. Thank you for everything. Thank you for sharing your God-given gifts with all of us, your ever adoring public. We all wish you well.”

Petra sighed with very subtle relief. It sounded like he was at the end.

Then, he put his hand over his heart and started to sing Amazing Grace.

That was Petra’s breaking point. She picked up her glass of water and took a nice long sip.


Chocolate Rivers And…

Chocolate rivers and licorice trees.
Honey flavored berries and brandied cherry seas.

Almonds fall from the sky in summer.
Pistachios fall from the sky in fall
Peanuts fall in spring.
In winter nothing falls at all.

Lemon haze and honeycomb stew.
Strawberried days and blueberry dew.

Ice cream in the morning.
Chocolate pudding at night.
Starburst candies in the evening.
Peppermint candies to help you sleep tight.



The Pen Ached

The pen ached for her loving touch.
For the feel of her fingers.
For her hand’s guiding movements.

For it had been a long time since it had been touched.
Such a long time since it had been held.
A terribly long time since she had helped it create.


And stories.
So many stories.
Stories only her hand knew to create.

The pen ached for her loving touch.
It ached for her guidance.
It ached for her to give its ink a voice.


Black Heron In A Gilded Cage

Emperor Fall-As-Rain’s palace was beautiful. So much gold leafing. Such exquisite tile work. It loomed high over the city and the rice fields.

It was a gilded cage and Black Heron was trapped in it.

Oh, she was free enough to walk outside on the palace’s many balconies. But she could not leave. She belonged to the Emperor and she would belong to him until her death. That was the deal the Emperor had struck with her father, Cold Rice, long ago — Cold Rice’s first born daughter given to Fall-As-Rain and 3000 years of unfailing rice fields given to Cold Rice in exchange.

Black Heron had tried on many occasions to fly away, but then Emperor Fall-As-Rain had clipped her wings and made them impossible for her to access.

So, she walked the balconies and watched the pigeons fly freely.

Her heart burned with longing. Longing for freedom. Longing for flight. Longing for a better life than the one she had known. If she could only regain her freedom, she knew that she would not return to Cold Rice’s house. For that house was not her home.

It had never been home.

Emperor Fall-As-Rain’s palace was never home either.

Black Heron walked the balconies and dreamed of a better life. A free life.

She dreamed of a place she could own.

A place she could call home.



Kelly needed to run.

Running kept him calm. It kept him breathing. It kept him alive.

It kept him sane.

Then, Covid-19 came and walloped him. He was hospitalized for two and a half months. He couldn’t run. He could do nothing except fight this disease and fight to stay alive.

The thought of being able to run again kept his heart beating, kept his lungs breathing.

There was a lot of rehabilitation and quarantine stuff for him to work through after he was free to leave the hospital. Through it all, he kept his eyes on the prize. He stayed focused and motivated to do better, to get stronger, to walk again. To finally run again.

His first outdoor run was on one of the back trails at the local metropark. That trail was one he’d run at least 10,000 times in his life. He knew every bit of it — every hill, every blade of grass, every tree. He recognized every dandelion and the way the fog persistently hung over certain parts of the path.

It was an easy 15 minute jog, 20 minutes if he wanted to take time to enjoy the view.

It took him 45 minutes, at least.

Kelly needed to run, but his body was having none of that. His lungs protested. His head objected. His legs threatened to pitch him off the hill for pushing them so hard.

So, he had to force himself to walk down the path he wanted to run. But, as he did so, Kelly swore to himself that he would get stronger still. He would one day run again.

He needed to run again.


The Palms

The palm trees had taken over Jan Hill’s world.

She had moved from Florida to Nebraska for a job opportunity. It was a great job — one that fulfilled her emotional and professional needs. Pay was much better than average, with the promise of yearly raises. Great benefit package.

And it was located next to a combined Mrs. Fields/Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robins megashop. That megashop was a lifesaver on stress filled days.

But Jan missed the palm trees. She tried to see the joy and love in deciduous trees and pine trees and scrub bushes. But they failed to compare to the glory of a mature palm tree.

Palm trees were her universal symbol for home and peace and everything good in life that one couldn’t buy at a Mrs. Dunkin Robins megashop. But Nebraska was not Florida. Palm trees were not meant to live in Nebraska. The weather there was incompatible with palm tree life.

Jan Hill, however, wanted her palm trees. She would not be denied her comfort creature. So, she ordered a batch from Florida.

They arrived via UPS.

She planted them as soon as she could. Such beautiful wonderful reminders of home.

They all died. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the soil acidity/alkalinity. Maybe they were just bad sports about being moved from Florida. It was anyone’s guess.

But Jan refused to be thwarted. She would have her palm trees.

She bought palm trees. So many palm trees. She firmly believed that it was a matter of time before at least one of them would have the powerful will to live in Nebraska. Not just live, but flourish.

Then, she bought one from some unnamed place, not even a country or a city, in South America. It arrived via UPS like all of the other Floridian ones.

But right off the delivery truck, Jan could tell that this one was different. It looked identical to the Florida palms. It gave her that same fuzzy nostalgic glow as the others did. But there was something unspeakably, unfathomably, unidentifiably different with this one. It wasn’t something she could see.

It was something she felt deep inside. And she didn’t know if it were good or bad. Or just….different.

She planted it as she had done with the others.

This one did not die.

It grew.

It flourished.

And most worrisome of all, it spread.

Jan had been delighted when she saw the first baby palm growing right next to its parent. It was cute and endearing and a very good sign.

It grew as well and it grew sproutlings of its own. And they had sproutlings and they had sproutlings and on and on.

And each one grew.

And each one grew closer and closer to her home. Until at last they broke into her home.

Through the windows.

Through the doors.

Smashing through the ceiling.

And always growing more. Taller. Thicker.

Always growing more little sproutlings. More and more.

The house smelled of leaf matter and palm bark.

Birds flew into the broken house and set up nests in the palm trees.

And Jan Hill was delighted. At long last, she had her palm trees.

It was just like home.


Lavender Lullabies

Reach up high.
Reach for the sky
And sing a lavender lullaby.

The sky is green.
And the grass is blue.
And the flowers bloom in the trees.
So, sing me a lavender lullaby.

Sing me a lavender lullaby
And I’ll sing you one that is blue and is gray.
Sing me a lavender lullaby
And I will stay.

The sun has set in the sky.
And the moons have risen high.
So, hold me close
And I will sing you a lavender lullaby.

August 2021 Writing Prompts – Putting My Feet in the Dirt