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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

What Prompts You to Write?

I took a mental vacation. You know what I mean. I took the kind of vacation people need to give themselves once in a while. I left my New England winter mindset and plunked myself down on a sandy beach. If my last post was a hint to my internal weather, the mental perch wasn't warm and sunny when I first arrived. Clouds, cold, and rain fogged my thinking. Regardless, I allowed myself to unplug, and eventually, the clouds cleared. My writer friends didn't even know their presence helped to warm my beach.

And it's my Pen Friends writers' group that I bring you to today. May's meeting was joyous. We were all there for the first time in close to a year! We celebrated one another's life events and each other. I consider myself very lucky to be in a group of such compassionate women and talented authors...although our responses don't always showcase our best work! 

We start each meeting with five minutes dedicated to responding to a prompt and laugh at our diverse viewpoints.

I hope you enjoy May's collection!

The girl yelled "Get that thing away from me!"

That's what Grace should have said when Ian decided to share his "boyhood" with her, or when Dave said "condom's were gross" or when Rupe said he had "crabs last year and must still be in his sheets," or when Irma said "no one will know, we are on spring break," or when the coke dealer said "try it if you like, no charge," or when mom said nothing about so many things.

Why is it always in the rearview mirror that mistakes are so clear?  Why doesn't hind site come first?

Maggie van Galen, children's book author
Award-Winning Author of The Adventures of Keeno & Ernest 
Visit Maggie's online store at KeenoandErnest.


The girl yelled get that thing away from me…!" 

It stinks to high heaven…it is the grossest gob of gook I have ever seen in my thirteen years on this planet. What is it? Mildew, mold, snot, throw up? I might just add to it if you don’t remove it completely. MOM! It is slimy, it is scary ~ how can you call this dinner? I refuse to ingest it, if I do, I will gag! Oh no! is it moving? Did you send Tabby after rats in the back alley?" 

My poor mom looked dismayed, and with a hurtful sniff, she announced, “I worked like a slave all day cutting, chopping, cooking, simmering and spicing… you have insulted my cuisine. It is a recipe from your Grandmother’s kitchen, it is called, Moussaka!
Donna Seim, Juvenile fiction, author of Charley
First Prize for Regional Literature
New England Book Festival
The Eloquent Quill Award
Top Honors, Literary Classics Book Awards


The girl yelled "Get that thing away from me!"

If Flora couldn’t eat something, it was worthless to her. And horses do not eat butterflies.

On purpose anyway.

“Miss Flora,” Bonita said, chasing a big orange Monarch. “It’s cute and funny! It sits on your butt if you hold still.”

“How would you know?” Mariana drawled with her usual exasperation over the red filly’s bad horse manners. “You never hold still.”

Bonita giggled as she sprinted, skidded to a stop and tried some of the doma dressage steps she learned from Rialto, the handsome stallion.

“Leave the dancing to your beau, honey,” Flora mumbled, chewing. The mare was always chewing.

Cyd Raschke
Young Adult Author of First Foal


The girl yelled "Get that thing away from me!"
“Why? You’re not afraid of a little spider, are you?”
“Mom! Jason’s hurting me!”
“I am not!”
“Mom! Mom!”
“Well, for the love of God and all that’s holy, Maureen, whatever are you bellowin’ about?”
Grannie wasn’t even supposed to be there. Jason ran to her, the little sneak.
“Grannie? When did you get here?”
“Just now, my dears. What was all the fussing about?”
“Oh, it was nothing,” sighed Maureen.
“Yeah! Maureen was just caught in a lie, that’s all.” Jason held out of sight the spider in its jar. “Do you like spiders, Gran?”

“I love spiders,” she said. “Spiders gave us the very first alphabet. When you see a spider, you are being reminded to write something.” 
Bette, Historical Fiction author
The girl yelled, “Get that thing away from me.”

Why call it a thing? That’s so impersonal, so insulting, Ken thought.

“What’s the matter with you, Kathy?” he said.

“I just can’t be near it. It reminds me of so many harmful memories.”

“Such as?” he said as he brought the thing closer to Kathy.

“ Such as, its hairy and it looks like it might bite. I’ve been bitten before, you know.”

“It doesn’t bite. Come on just a little pat. There now, that’s so much better. Just a little longer rub right there. The thing loves a rub right there. That’s good. Look you’re making friends. He’s very interested in you. He likes your stroke, shall we say,” as he guided her hand expertly back and forth.

“It’s not so bad as I thought,” she said.

Kathy looked more relaxed. Ken was satisfied. His strategy was working.

This should work out just fine.

Suddenly the thing started, gave a little tremor. She recoiled, tense.

Ken sensed this and merely slipped the furriest side close to her thigh and gave a little pressure. After all this was a relatively new experience, so it was to be expected.

I"t’s just my good doggie. Call him Magoo,” Ken said.

The girl yelled "Get that thing away from me!"

And I yelled, "Go squat. You can take a little excitement in your life."

"In MY life? You jerk! I said I hated that thing, so get IT OUT OF HERE!"

At this point, a sane mind would have walked away or done some toher smart move to de-escalate the crisis.

But me? Oh, no. This was just getting started.

"But, look. It seems pulled to you." I dangled it close to her A long red streak appeared on her arm where it touched. 

She screamed, "Damn it!"

Oh. Such fun.

"You deserve this."

"Why? What did I do?" She stepped back. Her feet tangled and she fell against the wall. Blood red covered her back.

"You're a clumsy jerk. Mom and Dad said to paint my room and that's just what we're gonna do."

"But red?"

"Yeah, red," I said, and slapped the dripping brush into her hand.