The other two percent


I was fortunate to grow up in a loving home. Both my parents were supportive of my brother and I and they were proud of the people we had become before they passed away. I’m sure they are looking down on us now and are extremely proud of the way we continue to live our lives and take care of the people around us.

My dad, in particular, always wanted us to be the absolute best we could be. I remember coming home from high school, at the age of fourteen, proud to show the results of my math test. I had scored ninety-eight percent on that test and was over the moon. I showed him the test, and the first thing he said was, “what happened to the other two percent?” It was like an invisible hand balled into a fist and punched me in the gut. I went to my room and cried. He wasn’t being mean; he was simply pointing out that there was a slight margin for improvement. But the teenager I was at time could not see the forest for the trees.

Sadly, that comment has stayed with me. Thirty-eight years later, I still doubt the success of my endeavors and always feel there is room for improvement. Nothing, in my mind, is good enough.

Today, one of my dear friends reminded me to stand tall and accept the pride I am allowed to feel. She didn’t ask why my fourth book wasn’t two percent better than it could have been, she simply told me to embrace my writing talent and be proud of the fact I have written four entertaining novels that have received great feedback. In the back of my mind, I know my dad is beaming with pride, and so is my mom. If he knew how much that flip remark had affected me, and that I carried it with me throughout my life, he would be devastated.

It is now time to turn the page, to move on to the next chapter and leave that comment buried in the story of my life. It no longer has the power it once had, and I am filled with a sense of pride that threatens to burst out from the ends of my fingertips. I am an author, and I have a talent for writing. I have completed four novels and am currently working on the fifth in a series of six. Perhaps that two percent was hovering in the background, waiting to be applied to the thing I am most passionate about, my writing.

One Day – Weekly Challenge


This story was written for the Weekly Challenge based on the photo below.


Photo courtesy of Cheri Lucas.

One day someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.  The small plaque etched with those words seemed to burn the phrase into her hand.  She read the words repeatedly as if creating the mantra in her head.  Her thumb continually grazed over the profoundly meaningful sentence.

With her culinary degree in one hand and a collection of personal items she had kept at the school in her other hand, Audrey stepped into the street car for the last ride back to her flat.  She marveled at the warmth of the day as she watched the now familiar buildings pass by her window. Studying in a foreign country had been a daunting task, but one she threw herself into with great passion.

The street car wove its way along the tracks, stopping precisely on time at each stop.  He entered the car, lost in a sea of tourists, so she didn’t notice him immediately.  The group’s constant chatter seemed to rise and fall like a wave throughout the car, drowning all other sounds as they excitedly took in the sights.

Moments after the car had continued its journey, his voice rose above the tumult of the excited tour group and she caught brief strains of the song he was absent-mindedly singing aloud.  He was completely absorbed in his newspaper, his head phones drowning out the cacophony of the outside world, but she could decipher lines from the song Foolish Heart by Steve Perry. Although his song choice came as a surprise to her, the words fell gently on her ears and she leaned into his melody, closing her eyes to focus only on the sound of his voice.

The street car stopped and her eyes fluttered open.  Any noise in the street car had been extinguished and she felt his gaze on her before she looked up to meet his stare.  No words were spoken.  She smiled demurely and lowered her head slightly, embarrassed to be so caught up in his gaze.  The words of the song found her ears again and he continued to serenade her on the street car. She met his eyes once more and they remained locked on each other until he finished the song.

The feeling of floating was interrupted as the ride seemed to come to an abrupt stop and the tour group exited the car.  He looked longingly at her, smiled and left the street car, paper in hand and humming another tune.  The street car lurched forward, but she knew she couldn’t remain on the car and just let him walk away.

“Wait”, her voice penetrated the air and the street car stopped.  She gathered her bag and her diploma and jumped onto the street.  He had a head start, but she caught up to him and tapped his shoulder.  He turned with a startled expression that warmed without hesitation when he realized it was her.  Not a word was spoken as she fell into him.  His arms circled around her and they stood motionless.

As the street car finally gained momentum up the hill, the plaque remained on the seat where she had been only moments ago.  Someday, someone else would need to read those words, but her one day was today.

Spending the Night


A poem written for Romantic Monday ~ thank you again, EH, for the inspiration.

As dusk envelops the clear blue sky, and stars begin to shine,

The pale moon glow and the black of night, give heed to the ebb of time.

A sense of urgency, a passionate kiss, lead inhibitions to take flight,

Our eyes are locked, I’m in your arms and I’m eager to spend the night.

 The lights grow dim, the air is electric, you take me by the hand,

Without a word I follow, mind and body understand.

My heart beats rapidly as I begin to feel your hot breath close to my ear,

My legs weaken, I fall to the bed, I draw you to be near.

Bodies intertwine under a blanket of heat and the dusk gives way to dark,

Passion churns and hunger flames, causing energies to spark.

The sense of desire, the animal need, the cries of pleasure and pain,

The intensity ends, we lay spent, I’m cloaked in your arms once again.

As I fall into sleep full of dreams and desire, I feel you close to my skin,

Your breathing is heavy, your mind is at rest, and a contented feeling is within.

The night quickly passes to the breaking of dawn and together we welcome the day,

I awake in your arms, to the warmth of your kiss, and it’s there I want to stay.


All is “write” with the world again


When I was eleven years old the writing Gods opened the heavens, the sky rained idioms and I was saturated with words.  I stood in the downpour with my arms in the air, letting myself become soaked in their beauty and I was drenched in a freshly watered passion. The seeds of creativity took root and steadily began to grow.  The garden of ideas was a portrait of spectral beauty and has continued to blossom in my imagination.

Perhaps I didn’t realize the depth of that passion until I was old enough to understand the true gift of being able to express myself from somewhere deep within my mind.  At that tender age of eleven I began writing silly poems, at least I thought they were silly, but the words just wouldn’t stop.  I began carrying a notebook everywhere and would jot down each idea as it came to me.  During slumber parties with the girls, they would all sit in a circle on the floor giggling about the boys, and I would be in a comfy chair writing poems about them.  Eventually I just stopped going to the parties because their incessant giggling was too distracting.  We were twelve, I don’t think I missed much.

Teenage angst and unrequited love only fueled the creative fires when I reached high school.  What teenage girl doesn’t write reams of hopeless thoughts about boys, loves lost to the mean girls and the ones that got away?  My pubescent phase was a match made in heaven for the endless stream of sorrow filled words that tripped over themselves to be freed.  I still read some of those old scribblings and am transported back to those ugly braces and bad 80’s haircuts, but I still can remember exactly how I felt when I wrote those words.

quill and inkwell

I lost that passion for a while.  Perhaps it was losing myself in a bad relationship, or perhaps it was just life in general that drained my will to create, but during that period I felt empty.  The voices that used to tell me their stories had fallen silent and I was alone with nothing more than my reality.  When the fog eventually lifted, I began writing my novel a few years ago, but it didn’t access all of voices that had been quelled.  It felt constrictive in a way because it followed one idea, and so it sat and the characters became idle once again.

This blog has helped to lift those voices into song and I am able to hear those choirs and the beautiful harmony they have been waiting to share.  I even feel compelled to write poetry again which I have not done in a long time.  The book now has new life being breathed into it and characters that were once cryogenically frozen in the tundra of my muted brain are now becoming reanimated.  Perhaps they too feel the freedom to speak their mind because they are no longer in the spotlight.  They have the will to move in and out of my consciousness and speak when they feel compelled to say something.  We are dating again, getting to know each other which is sometimes awkward because there are currently three of them and one of me, but the conversation is never boring.  We will continue our ritual dance of the double entendres and I will wait for the day that they are able to pick up the tab.

What word defines you?


Tenacious is a word that I have come to love.  It sums up so much of my personality and my desire to succeed.   It gives me an excuse to fall back on when I seem like that proverbial bull in a china shop.  But when you know what you want, why should you not use everything in your arsenal to get it?

Words continue to fuel my fire and the roaring blaze is only intensified by my yearning.  I want to write.  I want more than anything to support my lifestyle by putting my thoughts and images into words, and I want people to get lost in the spectral portraits that I create with language. That tenacity is what keeps me going.  My stubborn refusal to accept my current station in life is evident by the passion I seek to create in the many fables I wish to share.


There are many adjectives to choose from when someone asks you to define yourself.   Honest, trustworthy and loyal are among the top words that people will use to exemplify the traits they find most honorable in themselves.  I embody all of those things, but my tenacity is what sets me apart from those benign words.  My ferrous belief that my writing will allow me to have a career by incessantly tapping at this keyboard is the light that beckons me through these dark nights.  It dangles that rabbit that I continue to chase in circles around that unending track.  It gives me hope that my dreams may come to fruition.

Some say words are only words. But words are unique.  Each word that is chosen in a story is selected because of the way it truly reflects the emotion and meaning of the sentence in which it is written.  And just perhaps, those words will lead me through the current reality of my days and into a world I had only once dreamed of – a world in which I was not just a fairy tale character, but the writer of that story.

Tenacious = determined, obstinate, persistent.  Tenacious is the word that defines me.

If you had to choose only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

The revenge of the rhymes


This was written several years ago, but I have been thinking about it lately for some strange reason.

Rhymes of Passion

When inspiration urges my thoughts and feelings hidden within,

I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of words and ideas that begin

to flow forth from the keyboard caressed gently by my hand.

Such a spontaneous collection of flowing phrase and rhymes that I command.

I understand a passion that’s not easily defined.

Only when my keys are idle, imagination is confined

to whimsical thoughts of whirling words trapped in such small space.

Only when I script my rhymes, my thoughts have found their place.

For passion seeks to free itself, the means are not rehearsed,

The many ways it manifests, the many different verse.

I accept the visions I have not seen, I am blind from word to word.

But when I read my thoughts aloud, what imagery I have heard.

The splendor that is created, the feelings that I may share,

when poems, dreams and promises, magically fill the air.

I open my soul for all to see when my prose is read,

and allow the rhymes to define the words that could never before have been said.

I am a prisoner of my passion, a victim of its grace and style.

Spoken words will never fulfill, they last but only a while.

The rhyme flows on and with its touch, embraces a gentle whim,

and embarks on a journey of bringing forth, creative thoughts from within.

On the eve of my 100th birthday


Written for the Daily Post Challenge: You have the chance to write one last post on your blog before you stop blogging forever.

Last blog entry – March 27th,  2069 – the eve of my 100th birthday

I am a smoldering pot of emotion.  This blogging journey, and all of you, my fellow writers, have taught me a great deal about myself.  I was apprehensive beginning what I thought would be a whim, but what truly turned into a collection of moments that, once they were added together, defined me.  From the rare glimpses into my humor to the things that truly touched my heart, I have bared my soul through pontificating on these random polysyllabic profundities.

Many suns have set as I assumed the position at my keyboard, unaware that the day had passed and the night had now enveloped the walls of my widow’s peak to which I have become accustomed to writing behind.  The wind has frolicked through the leaves and tickled them on its way.  Those same leaves have fallen to allow for the snow to blanket the branches, season after season, and I was none the wiser.  Months, even years passed as my mind was lost in thoughts of future tales to tell.

And now, in what may be my eleventh hour, I am overcome with grief as I say goodbye to what has possibly been one of few true friends that genuinely understood me.  This blog has been the one confidant that I was able to tell my deepest secrets.  It let me rant when I needed to release my anger, it laughed at my humor and embraced me when I wrote about things that absolutely broke my heart.  It has nursed me through the passing of loved ones and helped me welcome the next generations into our family.  And now, as I sit alone on my last night on this earth, it is this blog that is my only companion, for it sees me as I truly am.  I want my family to remember me full of life and not a feeble, bed-ridden old woman, barely able to type.

There is a slight chill in the air and I feel the darkness seeping into the corners of my eyes.  I shall hit ‘publish’ one last time so my last words will enter the blogosphere as I enter the light.  My words will be there to greet you one last time as those who have passed before me await my arrival to join them in that place beyond our world.  Thank you for joining me on what was a very long, but extremely fulfilling journey.

Like sands through the hourglass – these are the thoughts in my head


At the risk of seeming overly loquacious, I have challenged myself to post every day for the month of November.  What began as a drip of creativity has turned into a steady stream and threatens to flood my thoughts, and my keyboard.  The words that I envisioned having to struggle to find are lending themselves with no contest and ideas present themselves in unending fashion.  The sands in the hourglass that represent my ideas seem to refill themselves as quickly as they dissipate through the pinhole in that blown glass.

No longer is my imagination confined in such a small space.  No longer are my thoughts trapped in a glass bulb, buried in a myriad of cognitive ideas.  With one gentle turn, the essence of my words now flows as freely as those infinitesimal grains.  Ideas churn in the vortex of sand as they fight to free themselves from the bottleneck and into their new-found freedom.

Those thoughts, each small granule of sand that escapes into the path of indulgence,  remind me why I began this journey.  I am compelled to follow this yearning to put letters and words on a page.  I find myself creating characters and dialogue while I shop for groceries.  I compose outlines while driving home from work and I dream in paragraphs.

I write because I am inspired to write.   I write to indulge the little voices in my head that lead me into creativity, and I write because, through my writing, I have finally discovered who I was meant to be.

There’s no place like home


If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know I awoke out of a comfortable sleep and repeated the phrase “white rabbit” three times.  It’s an old family tradition meant to bring luck for the remaining days of that month.  I do believe we create our own luck to some extent, but there are definitely external forces, with perhaps a bit of Karma thrown in for good measure, that help propel us into those moments of good fortune.

I haven’t checked my astral projections to know if my stars were aligned yesterday (I don’t really do that), but the day was full of positive energy and the God’s seem to smile favorably upon me in many ways.  Probably the most exciting news was the possibility of writing a page for a local magazine that has a feature written by selected guest writers about the area that I am proud to call my home.  The decision will be made after the editor has decided that my writing prowess cuts the mustard, but I’m hopeful that I will pass the test.

Writing, to me, is about combining things I truly believe in with an honesty that the reader can not only relate to, but can find charm and warmth in the words that I feel strongly about putting on a page.  Writing is about bringing life and imagery to the forefront of the reader’s mind and helping them experience the same passion I feel for the subject about which I so diligently write and rewrite.

I know another blogger (and successful author) who is making the pilgrimage back to a place she truly calls home.  It is her muse and her refuge from a world that she blended into, but never could truly call her home.  I know that she will find solace in enveloping herself in the place she can genuinely feel like she is herself and that natural landscape will welcome her back with open arms.  There is no place like home.

My desire is that the panorama of my daily life and the poetry of my words will collide to create a spectral portrait and do justice to the beauty in which I am fortunate enough to spend my days and nights.  It is the song of my soul.  It is my true home.

With my writing cap on and my fingers poised above the keyboard, I will click my ruby slippers three times and forge into a tale of love for a landscape that has embedded itself into the cells of my being.  Home is where the heart is, and my heart only beats here.