One Good Turn

One Good Turn

He paced the porch before coming back inside and bolting the door. He tensed at the window when a truck went by.

“You’re nervous as a cat tonight.”

“I never made the meeting.”

“Good! I wish you never went to those hateful gatherings. If your business here depends on the Klan I’d rather move away! But you’ve missed meetings before. What’s wrong?”

“I took Angela and that girl Celia to the vet’s. Celia’s cat got hit… Her parents met us there. Buzz drove by and saw us together.”

Pulling the curtain aside, he peered anxiously into the dark night.


Chelsea’s right.  

He leaned on the doorjamb looking in on his sleeping daughter. His wife slipped under his arm. “She is so beautiful,” she whispered.

“She’s my light.” They walked back to the living room.

“You’re nervous as a cat tonight. What’s wrong? You’ve missed those awful ‘meetings’ before.” She twisted her blonde bangs, showing her own anxiety. “I wish you never went. No job is worth it.”

“I took Angela and that girl Celia to the vet’s. Celia’s cat got hit… Her parents met us there. Buzz saw us.”

Pulling the curtain aside again, he peered into the dark night.


working-template-for-ff-challenges82.png   At Carrot Ranch the November 29, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “into the dark.” What must a character face? Write about an encounter, journey, relationship, or quest. Follow the ship’s lights on gloomy seas. Go where the prompt leads you.” Respond by December 4, 2018.

This story follows a  response for a Carrot Ranch prompt back in August 2017, The Meeting .

Here is my interview with D. Avery

All you were afraid to ask…


Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.


Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

I seem to have many names depending on where I am and whom I am surrounded by. Two of my favourites are Auntie, for obvious reasons, and D. Avery, because that is the one I have been using as a writer.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was mostly raised in a wonderful little nation called Vermont, though I lived in Alaska for three years. I have spent adulthood in southeastern Massachusetts. Now that I am becoming childish again at the age of 53 (see, I didn’t skip the age question) I am becoming repatriated to my birthplace.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

The youngest of three children, I am the first in…

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Infernal Verse


It wasn’t much of a plan         3645-1507775842.jpg

I just wanted out of the pan

So unbearable the heat

Dancing on blistering feet

Desperate for a cool place to stand.


The situation becoming quite dire

Escape my dearest desire

When the going gets hot

You’ll give all you’ve got

So I leapt from the pan to the fire.


When, oh, when will I learn?

I could have simmered, not burned

My actions so rash

I’m now just an ash

So this limerick’s adjourned.




Victoria at d’Verse Pub ignited this evening’s Poetics with the prompt of “fire”. 





It is Haibun Monday at d’Verse Poet’s Pub. Imelda is the publican that waits on us this evening and her prompt is…. waiting.


In another place it might be impassive but here its round face is cruel, returning its captives’ furtive glances with a cold unblinking stare. The constant television, flickering noise and light, cannot compete with the steady heartbeat of this clock on the wall. It is this  metronomic ticking that gives it authority even over their phones, clutched tight like talismans in each worried pair of fidgeting hands while its steady hands mark time. They wait, uncertain, alone in a waiting room full of people. They each await their prognosis, wishing to turn the clock ahead, wishing to turn it back.

Autumned grass tufts sweep

Circular tracks in the snow

Roots remember spring

Hog Blop?

Open House at ShiftnShake

I plan very little. It usually works out for me. For example, I never planned on getting married; I’ve been married for 34 years and it only gets better with age. I never planned on having children- and didn’t. I never planned on a career in education either and it has overall been a gratifying and satisfying 21 years of teaching. It may or may not be apparent that I am not much of a planner when it comes to writing either, though I will admit to giving an idea or character some free range in my headspace. Because I don’t plan on jeopardizing that headspace I wear a helmet when it makes sense to do so.

Though it wasn’t plotted or planned, I realize I may have just been through an unplanned blog tour. If you unwittingly were a part of that, no harm, no foul. If you were wittingly a part of that- well, I’ll just say thank you very much. You’re very kind.

Sometimes the best unmade plans turn out better than hoped for. Here’s where I have trod if not toured: on November 24th I was a guest blogger at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo; then the next day Sally Cronin featured After Ever as a new book on the shelves of her Café and Bookstore; and the ever generous Marcia Meara allowed a reblog of that at The Write Stuff. Presently I am featured at Fiona Mcvie’s fun site, authorsinterviews, where you can find out more about me than I myself care to know. Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, they’re likely gathering up a posse to enforce a restraining order against all my unrestrained comments and responses.

Unplanned as it may be, let’s call my good fortune at having been allowed at these generous bloggers’ sites a Blog Tour. Let’s pretend this is another planned stop on the tour, an open house with plenty of tabs and links and archives. Welcome, and please, look around.

And be sure to see the interview at Fiona’s authors interviews .

This is my latest book!


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Maybe it is good to move away from chickens? I have learned that any character can pester you. At least this one stays ashore when I take to the water in my kayak.









Had I seen this cartoon before writing Chicken Shift I would have realized I didn’t need to write Chicken Shift. But you should still buy it and read it for less definitive theories..


After Ever is a collection of little stories for grown children. Does this child realize that Chicken Shift is serious philosophical poetry?






After six weeks of traveling for radiation, the girls came over to celebrate. Here I am in my book cover with my prima primary care giver, former school nurse and now full time artist, Bonnie of crescentsandcoils.


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This second volume of poetry is personal. I wish I never had the inspiration for some of the poems in it. And I learned so much.












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This is the book launch, my debut reading of After Ever at a local establishment. The good news is there are two librarians in the mix. This event was planned though I did not check to see if it was dart night or not. It wasn’t. The sharpest thing was the prose.


Okay, I know it says Little Stories for Grown Children, but I’ll take any readers, even pre-readers. And I’ll tell you what, if you start a story with “Once upon a time..”, you have an audience. These two did enjoy “The Quill’s Magic”.


Did I mention I have a book of flash and short fiction out?













Some people are writers and don’t even know it

Say shucks I’m just a sometimes some sorta poet

Deny writing like hiding addiction

Despite airing weekly flash fiction

With a third book, maybe someone’s finally ready to show it.

Guest Author: D. Avery ~ Story Stitching

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Fiction or non-fiction, we write into the truth. We feel the story and layer the details onto the page. We rework the scraps until they bloom — the quilter, the painter, the metal worker, the writer — we all work in scraps until we have captured the story that speaks our truth.  – Charli Mills

Mountain Cove. Art Quilt by Barbara Williamson

When I was a kid most homes had a sewing machine with a pile of old clothes nearby. Any buttons were removed and saved as a precaution against future losses, the cloth cut and used as patches on our torn jeans. The rags might also be turned into braided rugs or become pieces of a quilt. My quilt was a memory keeper, with prints and material still recognizable and recalled from their former incarnations. Surely the quilter was an artist.

Where I come from most people have in…

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Hidden #writephoto

Hidden                     p1300846.jpg

Endless flow

A brook in its course

Flowing down

From its higher source


You could follow it down

See where it runs

Or follow it up

To where it’s begun


Or just be Here

With the cool ancient stone

All by yourself

But not all alone


Just be Here

As the brook sparkles and sings

Not all alone

Accept the blessings it brings


Be like the rock

Or be like the water

The one worn smooth

By the one that is softer


Here consider the brook

That seems always the same

Drink deep of the flow

Here be the change.



Thank you Sue Vincent for the photo prompt.writephoto.jpg


six sentence story copy.jpgIt’s time once again, (okay, a day early this week), for the Six Sentence Story link up. This week the prompt word is “television“. Thanks once again to Denise at GirlieOntheEdge  for hosting.

The first line of the first story was my first initial take, though initially I had the second story sort of in mind. Then I wrote the first story and posted it. Done. Then I thought, why not pursue the first idea with a second story. That’s my story. Take two.


Full View

“It was the first war that was viewed at home on television,” she explained, her hand on her husband’s knee, looking at him while addressing the grandchildren. “It was just awful seeing the footage, seeing the appalling happenings over there and the horrible events here in the states.”

“Granma, what was so horrible about people here protesting for peace, speaking out against the killing?”

“Men like your grandfather deserved a better homecoming than the one they got, they deserved a country more grateful and thankful for their service.”

“Ha, listen to her go on, like she’s forgetting how she met your ol’ Granpa.”

They both grew silent as they remembered how their friends and families had protested the relationship that blossomed between the returned soldier and the outspoken young woman who had demonstrated so passionately against the war he’d been called to serve in.



“The first Iraq War, with the first Bush president… your grandfather was over there and I was here, watching those scuds and night raids and fires on the television.”

Her granddaughter listened, rapt, but her grandson was wrapped up in his phone, playing a scaled down version of his favorite video game, still sulking that he was trapped in a house that didn’t have gaming devices.

“I’ve seen some of that old footage, it’s not very realistic,” the boy offered, obviously listening after all.

“How can you say that, you idiot, it was actual television footage, filmed live for goodness sake. Granma, I don’t understand how the world could see a war on their televisions, right in their own homes, and continue to have wars after seeing that.”

Unblinking, her grandson snorted derisively at his sister’s naïve comment, not once looking up from his phone, his thumbs clicking wildly.





They approached warily. The car had been gutted, no longer habitable. She spied a scrap of paper stuck to the floor. The glove box yielded another and a stub of pencil.

“That’ll make good tinder.”

“No. It’s mine.”

He shrugged. They trudged on until dusk.

He coaxed a fire from his bow drill while she sharpened the pencil against a rock. The scrap of paper was a fragile promise in her shaking hands.

“Write already.”

She wanted to. It’d been so long. She’d start with the date.

It felt like fall. Was it November? The year she knew- 2023.



The Carrot Ranch November 15, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses scraps. It can be scraps of dried flowers, paper, metal, fabric, food — any kind of scraps you can think of. Then write a story about those scraps and why they matter or what they make. Go where the prompt leads you. Respond by November 20, 2018.





Taste it

just sip

resonant smoke slips

pungent portal

ancient past

charcoal drawings smudged ash

peat smoke

evokes bogs


petrified logs



leathered fingers grasp



chimney glows

smooth ember

sweet fire

slow burn





It’s Open Link Night #232 at d’Verse Pub for poets. Just a poem, that’s all they ask. Go to the pub to savor fine verse.