Hello my lovely readers! I took a small break after the A-Z Challenge. Okay, I took off a whole week! I worked on my work-in-progress, which is slow going, but it’s finally going. And I finished up the editing for “The Devil Within,” then sent it off for proofread. Yay!  I also went to have my head shots done by my friend Amanda.  “The Devil Within” is coming together and will be out in a little bit more than a month.

Today, I wrote for Micro Bookends. And it’s funny, yesterday on a field trip with my son I was talking to one of the parents about my study abroad in Argentina (Buenos Aires to be exact). So this Micro Bookends was appropriate. I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since I went to Argentina! What a wonderful trip that was. I met some influential people, learned a language, and I really fell in love with Buenos Aires.  I still think about my friend’s host parent’s doberman named Otto.  I’m sure he’s long gone by now, but that dog was something else!

Here’s Micro Bookends today. The challenge was to use the words “First” and “Lady,” and the photo prompt was of a building in Buenos Aires with Eva Peron’s face painted on the facade.

109 words

“First, we’re going to visit the Pink House.”

Chewing gum, sitting on the street corner, Dad plotted the trip as I looked up at the portrait of Evita painted on a building. Henry sat down next to me.

“No, maybe we’ll go to Recoleta first.”

“Evita Peron,” Henry said.

“I know that,” I said.

“Don’t cry for me Argentina, the truth is we’ll never see you. Because Dad’s indecisive. And a staller. We’ll be sitting on this corner, for the rest of our lives,” Henry said.

Dad put away the tour book and said, “Hey guys, don’t just sit there. Look at that. Eva Peron. She was some lady!”

Z is for Zoe

All good things must come to an end. Today is the last day of the A to Z Challenge. Crazy! This month flew by. Today I wrote about a little girl Zoe for a flash fiction challenge over on Micro Bookends. Enjoy. I have a pounding headache this morning, so I’m off to catch a few more Zs and see if I can sleep it away.

107 words

Wild feelings flitted through Zoe’s mind as she walked through the ancient and abandoned sewer system. She stopped and stared up through one of the openings, the glare from the sun blinding her for just a minute. When she looked down black spots speckled her vision, and she thought she might faint.

She’d show them. She’d never come back. She’d live in the woods for the rest of her life. She knew how to survive. A ladder at the end of the tunnel reached almost up to the sky. She would climb out from the darkness of the underground transformed into an adult, no longer a child.

H is for Hughie

Being a parent is hard. I should know. I have three little kids. Kids don’t live up to their parents’ expectations. They’re not born to fulfill their parents’ lost dreams or to make their parents’ lives better.  They’re born to live their OWN lives. They need to be guided and loved and accepted for who they are. For a long time, after I realized my oldest son functioned differently, I felt lost. I didn’t want life to be harder for him. And sometimes–a lot of times–HE makes his life harder.  All I can do is show him love, support, and get him the help he needs when he needs it.  Kids need to feel like they’re loved for who they are, unconditionally. Parents need to be able to set aside any misgivings they have to achieve that properly. And I bet you’re wondering how this relates to “Hughie.”

Well today, I wrote for Microbookends about Hughie, whose father can’t or won’t accept her for what she is.  It’s a sad tale, but someone in Hughie’s family (probably his mother) obviously accepts her for who she is, as witnessed by the objects in her room. The bookends were “play” and “boy.”

Born a Boy
109 words

“Play ball, Hughie,” Dad said.

The metal bat crashed against the innocent heads of the dolls. Porcelain shards littered the room like a murder scene: one eye, half a smile, and a broken nose.

Hughie, in her princess bed, grasped her bunny lovey as she pulled the covers up to her chin.

The acrid smell of alcohol stung her nostrils as Dad stumbled toward her.

He yanked the bunny out of her arms and threw the window open. Hughie and Dad watched as the bunny fluttered like a feather then landed on a rock below.

He spat the words. “I’ll never call you Lily. You were born a boy.”

I know my kids will go through that period where they hate me, and they blame me for every mistake in their life. I’m okay with that, as long as they know I love them and that I’ll accept them.

Here’s a picture of my three little monsters. You can so get a hint of their personalities from this. Oldest is in the stage where he won’t smile. Middle is silly. Little is sweet (and she has a sweet in her mouth too!)


A Trip To the Archives

Today, I wrote flash fiction for one of my favorites: Micro Bookends. I swear, the writers over there are inspiring. I always make it a point to go through and read every story, because there are some amazingly talented people writing shorts on Micro Bookends. I had to research the photo Dave put up to figure out what the heck it was. When I first looked at it, I thought it was carpet. Ha!

This one is short. I usually have a hard time sticking to my 110 words, but not today. It fit in easily.

A Trip to the Archives
100 words

“…beat the crap out of me,” the kid in front of us said.

My dad shook his head. I was in the process of dying from boredom as we walked through rows and rows of scrolls.

“How can they find anything. Haven’t they heard of computers?”

“They’re tagged,” Dad said, giddy with excitement.

“Why can’t we go see something normal, like Big Ben? Who comes to the Archives anyway, and why is this even considered interesting?”

Dad’s mouth ran like a river of words never ceasing when he found it fit to lecture me.

“Pip, I’ll never understand your generation.”

A Tale of Two Elvises

I haven’t participated in much flash fiction over the last week. Edits came back, and I’ve been forcing myself to work through them. Edits are to writing as cleaning is to my house. I just hate doing it. I know they’re a necessary evil, and they have the ability to make “The Devil Within” such a good book, it’s just, “ughh..I don’t want to do them.” I’d rather be writing.

Anyway, today I wrote for Micro Bookends. I wasn’t enthused by the prompt, and again writing a whole story in 110 words still is almost impossible for me. I can’t get the jab in, the beginning, middle, and end. I think a lot of mine fall flat, but at least they’re letting me practice my craft while I procrastinate editing.

I hope you like Elvis:

A Tale of Two Elvises
110 words

Old Father Benedict stepped into the sunshine of the day and inhaled a deep breath, before looking down. He had seen everything in his 96 years. So, he wasn’t surprised at the naked man snoozing at his feet, wearing only sunglasses. A star studded collar peeked out of the paper at his feet.

Father Shaw came up behind him.

“Another bum?”

Benedict nodded, “Heartbreak Hotel was my favorite. You think he’ll sing for us?”

“The real Elvis has left the building,” Father Shaw said.

“Huh?” Old Benedict scratched his head.

“Overdosed on drugs. I doubt the bum can croon the way Elvis did, not in this day and age.”

No Children Allowed

Having several children of my own, I don’t really sympathize with Mr. Garcia of this story; I’m more in Chelsea’s camp. I wrote this piece of very short fiction for Micro Bookends. Enjoy!

No Children Allowed
110 words

Blueberry stains smeared Chelsea’s face as she sat at the top of the marble stairs. The dominoes led a path down to the lobby where Mr. Garcia, the doorman, was standing.

She’d imagined his face at the noise the dominoes would make. He hated children. Children, worse than rats. He mumbled those words under his breath whenever Chelsea came through the lobby gripping her grandmother’s hand. His teeth were yellowed and his face sagged, and he reminded her of a monster.

She knocked the top domino, and a smile spread across her face as she heard Mr. Garcia yell and shout from downstairs. Jack and Jill fell down the hill.