Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Best Place on Earth: 100-Word Challenge

Bora Bora
This particular game goes, “If money were no object, where would you go?” It’s pipe dreams, that’s all.

A stilted hut on Bora Bora. An apartment in Florence. Diving the Great Barrier Reef. Sensation overload in Marrakesh. Sailing the Greek Islands. Patagonia!

On our well worn couch with a fire freshly stoked, I feel his breath on my neck as he whispers. Desiring.

I wear him like his softest tee shirt. Safe, cozy, loved. It can’t be bottled. No amount of money in the world can buy it. 

This home. This peace. This feeling.


We’re the best place on earth.

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Squeezing in a 100-word challenge right under the wire! Check out the writers at Thin Spiral Notebook where this week's word is "Money". I firmly believe I have to practice often for writing to come naturally again. I'm trying!

My Email Has Been Hacked!

My personal one, not the blog's. At least it appears that way because weird things are happening. Old emails, from years ago, were sent out unbeknownst to me. Then I got over one hundred Mailer-Daemon mail failure messages:

Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address.

<email address here>:
Error code 475: Suspicious activity was detected on your account


If you have received any looking like spam or old and unexpected content from my personal email address (you know if you have it), I didn't send it. I am so frustrated trying to figure it out. Boy, I hate this.

Monday, January 30, 2017

It's Monday, January 30th (Can You Believe It?)! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by The Book Date

Sometimes life gets in the way and severely impacts your discretionary reading time like this past weekend. You, too? No, it’s fine and all good. Important to choose people over books, yes?

What did I finish?

Not a heck of a lot!

Not sure why it took me so long to read its 132 pages. It’s really a one sitting book. Mothering Sunday is the day servants are “allowed” off to visit their families. In this book, Jane, who is a servant for a neighboring estate, has a long-term affair with Paul, the upper-class dude next door who is getting married in two week’s time to a lady in his socio-economic circle and moving to London. It’s about love, lust, loss, class structure, finding oneself, moving on and letting go. I liked it very much and would definitely like to read more from Swift.

What am I currently reading?

This deserves a post of its own, but I have successfully convinced both of my book clubs to read the same book, or one to read a book I’ve already read, four out of the last five times. They usually meet within a week or two of each other. If I had to read separate books, one for each, it would leave me with precious little time to devour something of my very own choosing. Don’t tell them.

I’ve had a copy of this book for months. Both clubs were looking for an “it” pick (a new release everyone is reading, talking about and loving) that contains humor and some crazy. I thought this one would serve multiple (read selfish) purposes.

Within the last year, I’ve been trying to discover a few books from small press publishers. I can’t even remember where or how I came across this book. It’s pretty insane. It is extremely raw, not for the easily offended or faint of heart. The language and subject matter are pretty rough. It’s about addiction and relationships. I am liking it the more time I devote. I’m about halfway and finding myself mentally planning when I can squeeze in a few pages into a busy day. That’s a good sign. I should finish today or tomorrow, so I’ll give my complete assessment next week!

Kan is also the author of The Vegetarian. I chose to take on Human Acts first and I am listening to the audio version. I am about one third of the way through and on the second of what I assume will be many more narrators. It is already so, so dark. It’s going to break my heart, I just know it. Is cruelty part of being human? I think this book with drive us to ask this and many other things.

What am I going to read next?

On February 14th, I am going to be first in line somewhere to buy: 

the long awaited work of fiction by George Saunders!!! You see, I have a date with him on March 2nd, and I would like to discuss it from an intelligent and intimate perspective.

I can’t wait to find out what his favorite word is! (I ask every author if they would include it with their signature. Haven’t yet met one who wouldn’t.)


What are you all reading???

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Suspended Coffee


Over the course of my adult life, I have lived in the city of Chicago for many years and currently do. It is cold here and, sadly, with the cold brings the issue of our homeless increasingly to the forefront of my mind. It is not that I am seeing them more; actually I am seeing them far less than in warmer months. I pass by people every single day cold and hungry with cups in their oftentimes gloveless hands. Most politely ask for any spare change. Usually I don't have any, but they thank me for checking anyway.

Yesterday, I saw him before he saw me. He was perched in a poplar spot on a sidewalk curb in front of the corner Chase Bank.

With both my hands clutching two heavy grocery bags with not a penny in my coat pocket, I explained that I had no change and offered him a banana instead. He asked if I could come back later with change; he really needed money. I said I didn’t think so, but I had these bananas. He replied, “Okay, I’ll take the banana. How about two?” I gave him the bunch and he thanked me.

Last winter, there was a string of nights colder than a witches’s XXX. The moisture of my breath almost froze instantly as I exhaled.

An old woman, extremely small in stature even though wrapped in a full length, puffy coat, pulled a heaping cart down the same crowded theater district I was also passing though with what I assumed were her every belonging. 

I had gloves. She did not. I asked if she wanted mine. 

She didn't say yes or no.

As soon as she let go of her cart to reach for my gloves, the cart tipped over dumping half of what she owned onto the bustling sidewalk. She started screaming at me. I didn’t understand what she was saying. I knew I had agitated her. Asking if I could help only made her scream louder. I didn’t know what do and didn’t want to upset her further. I don’t know if she was embarrassed. I thought maybe she was mentally unstable. In any case, I did the only thing a lame person (that’s me) could think of, and that was to lay the gloves in front of her.

There are so many instances like this in a large metropolitan area. 

The first I told you because it happened yesterday. The second because I am still haunted by the woman who I have actually seen around here and there since.

Sometimes I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I feel stupid continuing to try. Sometimes I am at a loss. My efforts seem lame. Like all the time. But my feelings or discomfort are not what matters or going to make me stop. I am old enough to know that most things in this world, in life, even in my own, are not about me. 


I do what I can. I smile a lot. I suspend coffee.

Somehow, it is just not good enough.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Eye for an Eye

Mine

My mind’s or the law’s?
The storm and the beholder.
Feast for or on them?

Keep yours open. 
As far as they can see. 
More than meets.

In the sky, a flash or pie.
Bird’s. bull’s. apple’s.
Bigger than your stomach.

Keep peeling. Open. No, closed.
Roving. Candy. Goo-goo.
Easy on. Life passes. Up to them. 
Popper. Twinkle. Starry.

Black. Bloodshot. Sore. Four.
Crying them out. 
Stink. Batting. Shut. Blink.

Dust in them,
Their wounding glint.
Wasn't a dry one.

The ball, 
prize, 
the wool. 

Look me in them. 
Can’t take them off. 
I only have them.

For you.

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You know how you get an idea stuck in your head and you can not, for the life of you, shake it out? Ever since I saw this prompt over at Thin Spiral Notebook, my mind started whirling with all the clich├ęs I could think of including this word. It could not be helped or stopped.

Using “eyes” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back here, and add your story to the Mister Linky list. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.

It's Monday, January 23rd! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by The Book Date

It was a great week in my reading life helped by the fact that I was on vacation.

What have I recently finished?


Man, I just love her and made quick work of this collection. Read almost the entire thing on a four hour flight. It is that good. This book is some sassy, sexy, troubling stuff. Exactly what I love! Described by Goodreads as “(a) collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.” A-mazing!!!


This book club pick that proved worthy of lively and meaningful discussion even though I only gave it 3-stars. Waters writes beautifully, but this 570 page novel could easily have been 370, in my humble opinion. She writes same gender sensuality extremely well. I wish she might have dove into one character’s thoughts about her first experience in any kind of depth. Maybe she did not for a reason.


If you can get past the base premise of a Lolita-esque love affair, this book was very satisfying, well written and narrated (audiobook)). I give it two thumbs up. Try it!

What am I currently reading?




This is my next book club pick which was so convenient because I already had it on my shelf just begging to be read.


This book is best sipped story-by-story and is somewhat thought provoking so far.

What will I read next:


As usual, who knows?

What do you have going on these days?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

About Writing and Knitting

I have three posts in the works. All three are different kinds. My mind begins grasping then formulating their ideas, and as soon as I begin to write, I am left with a dead space. In my head and on the page.

My thoughts stream out in boring strings of words and meaningless turns of phases. It feels like every ounce of creativity has been siphoned out my lips leaving nothing in it's wake. A force stronger than I preventing me. Hollow is how it feels. A blankness.

I'm thinking about taking up knitting. My grandmother, long gone, taught me to crochet when I was a young girl, eighth grade, I think. And I could make a mean afghan and some seriously cool scarves back in the day.

I remember finding peace there, in the process. I remember it soothing my increasingly hormonal soul. I remember feeling rooted ,connected, to her, too.

I want to rediscover that inner peace. I long for a soothed soul. I need to feel grounded and connected to my creativity.

Yes, I will take up knitting.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

It Had Absolutely Nothing to Do With Revenge

The Good Wife
While making dinner the other night, I sliced up some New Year’s Eve steak for our plates. Thinking it was my post-party tastebuds, I served the seemingly sour steak anyway avoiding my plate in the process.

“Not feeling it today. I’ll stick with veggies and salad.”

Next morning at 5:00, the dog was gagging, which I conveniently ignored.

That night he asked if I’d heard her and how my stomach was because he’d felt nauseous all damn day.

“Nope and fine.”


I’ve never been thought of as cold or heartless. Lackadaisical is another story. Today, though I’m queazy.

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Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook at gave us the word COLD to formulate our 100 word response. Come over and do it with us. It's colder than a witch's you-know-what here!