Between the Lines

pansy, blogging, getting to know youWhat’s a fun way to learn about individuals? Perhaps by asking them to list the books they’ve read. Or, even better, to read the books they’ve written. Even though we authors may revel in our fiction (allowing our characters to act in ways we’d never dare), still, there are ways to delve into the likes and dislikes of someone by reading between the lines.

Here’s an example through my innocuous flash fiction, below, based on a set of questions I was asked when nominated last week for the Real Neat Blog Award by Darlene (a real neat blogger). The questions are included at the bottom of this post.

Spring is blooming toward summer, and I am zooming off to meet my girlfriends in San Francisco for a long weekend. Rose will be there, as well as Daisy, Iris, and Lily. Continue reading

Come Come My Dears

curtains, spring breezeFrom my window I observe the woman watching the birdfeeder, and I wonder if she is as strange as she seems.

Come come, my dears, come come,” she croons, like a female Frank Sinatra. The birdfeeder is less than half-full or more than half empty, depending on your perspective, and has been for a week now, much to my dismay.

Oreo, the next-door neighbors’ black and white cat, caught one of the lustrous red cardinals in her mouth, mid-air, a week ago Monday, and the feeder has not been visited since. Continue reading

The Weight of Thoughts

weighty thoughts, angelSome times I can feel my bones straining under the weight of my thoughts. And that’s wrong, all wrong, so I strain more in the down dog position, where my arms and wrists and shoulders take on the weight of my trunk.

My trunk. What a word for my body, which is pack full of multi-grain toast this morning, as well as three cups of hot green tea that have not found a way to warm my too-cold fingers as I type about my bones.

My bones. I imagine my bones are light as a skeleton, while the rest of me – my muscles, my blood, my skin – is too heavy for what lies within.yoga, down dog

But the heaviest weight is definitely my thoughts. Continue reading

Ice Cube Writing

Write a 5-minute story while sucking on an ice cube.

Write a 5-minute story while sucking on an ice cube.

Early on this chilly March morning, I’m sitting in front of my computer with an ice cube in my mouth.

It’s 25 degrees, windy and bleak outside, and the heat hasn’t kicked in, but I’m moving the large cube, more like a rectangle now, from one side of my mouth to the other.

Yesterday I thought, “okay, time to do the ice exercise – this will be easy.” But yesterday it was a balmy 39 degrees and sunny. The buds on the trees looked hopeful, as if they truly believed they would have a chance to warm up, pop out, and live once again. Continue reading

Life’s Great Lessons on a Rocky Wall

rock wall, life's lessons, father-sonWe sit out on the deck on a perfect late spring Saturday, drinking gallons of lemonade and munching on turkey subs. The three of us – my man, mydaffodils on rock son and I – have been working for hours in the garden planting, snipping, weeding, watering, and for the men, moving rocks.

The father and the adult son have little to say to each other most times – it’s that time in their lives when the father can no longer tell the son what to do, and the son is no longer willing to listen to anything the father suggests anyway. But when they take their shirts off in the hot sun and push and pull 200-pound rocks to remake a 100-year-old rock wall, then, then they love each other. No talk, just grunts, a curse now and then, and suddenly a spurt of laughter.

father and son, rock wall, spring

Father and Son on the Rocks.

When the food is gone, my man goes back to rebuilding the stone wall, and my son and I sit quietly, companionably, not wanting to move from the warmth and relaxation.

“What are you up to, mom?” he asks suddenly. I never talk with him about what I’m doing. I’m too busy asking him about his life, his plans, his philosophy on life. I’m the questioner and the listener. But now he insists that I talk about me.

“Just the usual,” I reply. “Working, teaching, writing, not much, I guess.”

He looks at me with blue eyes as clear as the sky above and says, “You must be kidding.”

“What?” I ask.

Tuesdays with Morrie“You could write anything. You could write something like, what’s his name, the guy who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie.

I laugh. “This from the son who doesn’t read my stories.”

“Yes I do,” he retorts. “I read your stuff. Some of it.”

“Well, what should I write about?” I ask kiddingly. But he ponders the question seriously, thinking.

“Well, a book like Tuesdays with Morrie but about being a mother. You could write a great book about being a mother.”

I examine his face, one-day growth on it, intense eyes, no smirk.

He means it.

I want to cry. Instead, I hug my son, and he returns to the rocks.

And me? I return to my writing…

writing, books, Tuesday with Morrie, mother and son