Paint and Bells

working-template-for-ff-challenges31.pngMarge leaned down to speak with Ilene through the rolled down window of the El Camino.

“I’m heading out to get some paint.”

“Hop in Marge, I’ll drive.”

Marge’s maneuver was more of a plop than a hop but she did fit herself into the El Camino.

“I was headed to the hardware store myself, Marge. Wedding supplies.”

“Won’t be any wedding until I’ve finished painting the boys’ handiwork.”

Painting. Just a letter switch away from waiting.”

“That’d be wainting, wordsmith.”

Wainting– when one wants and waits and wants to wait at the same time; wainting. A dreadful condition.”


“What’s going on Marge? You taking your Paxil?”

“This is a big change, Ilene.”

“Marrying the man you’ve been living with? Marge, nothing’s going to change except that you’ll make Ernest so happy.”

“Will Mr. Biggs be happy if I don’t take his last name? That’s a change. Ilene, I’ve been Small my whole life.”

Ilene looked sidelong at her friend. Marge was contorted on the bench seat that was pulled forward so that Ilene could reach the controls.

“Hyphenate, both of you. Small-Biggs, Biggs-Small…Marge, it’s all good. And if you want, I’ll help paint.”

“Waint that be nice.”


“Jeez, Ilene, put the seat back so I can get out.”

Ilene was already out taking measurements of the El Camino bed. “Oops, sorry Ms. Small, I forgot you’re too Biggs for this vehicle.”

“Only when you have the seat crammed into the dashboard, Ms. Higginbottom. Let me drive on the way back. What’s with the measuring?”

“You put me in charge of decorating. You’ll have to wait and see.”

While Marge got her paint Ilene picked up a rectangular blow-up kiddie pool. She would transform the El Camino into the largest beer cooler the gang had ever seen.


Get it, Bells and Paint? They both peel/peal. The Carrot Ranch June 27, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves paint. It can be fresh, peeling or in need of a coat. What is being painted and why? Go where the prompt leads! I present a triple from the ongoing saga of Ernest Biggs and Marge Small


Game, Set, Match

working-template-for-ff-challenges29.png“Marge, your she-shed is finished. The waiting is over. Go to your prince.”

Nard smirked. “Ernest’s just waiting for Marge to get back in charge.”

“Ilene, the wedding’ll be in the garage, get started on decorating. Lloyd, you get ordained, get some words together. Nick, invitations. Remember, I can barely stand you most days, so take care who you invite from the dealership. Kristof, since you still claim this peckerhead as your boyfriend, you’ll be involved too. You and Nard’ll take care of food. Ernest, we’ll need a lot of beer.”

“Ernest, you poor thing. The waiting is over.”


The June 20, 2019, prompt from Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about having to wait. Who is waiting and what for? Think about how the wait impacts the character or the story. Go where the prompt leads!

These 99 words continue the situation of Ernest and Marge. The whole thing, including a longer version of this scene is on their page HERE.  



six sentence story copySomehow this prompt word, release, prompted me to think of my Ag School Economics instructor’s mantra, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”, a cautionary truism of hidden costs and effects, of the eventual accounting of any give and take.

Release, as a noun, is synonymous with relief, about which is sung, “Any day now, any day now, I shall be released” and of which Rumi wrote, “You have been released from ten successive prisons, each larger and containing the last”.

If there’s no such thing as a free lunch, then maybe release is also impossible, for in both the Dylan and Rumi quotes ‘release’ in the passive voice suggests, as well as a lack of power, a condition or cost.

Action and intent are necessary for the relief that is sought; to be released, one has to release, to actively let go.

A lunch can be freely given, and if it is also freely received, without doubt and suspicion, both parties are released from any debts or obligations; this quality of give and take might be rare, but is not impossible.

The Relief people seek comes from seeking nothing else, of seeking without attachments or conditions; release comes not from being let go, but from letting go without expecting anything in return.


These are the six sentences that came to me and I’ve let them go, freely.

And I have just recently become aware that it is Juneteenth. I don’t know if Denise did that on purpose or if it is a coincidence, but Juneteenth is “an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America.” (Wikipedia)

Talk about release. But are we free from our history?

The prompt word is release. Write and read Six Sentence Stories at GirlieOntheEdge.

Raw Literature: Tell Your Story

How can we write when everything’s wrong? A book festival celebrates writing, reading, and the human tribe.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

By D. Avery

This past weekend I took time away from my regular work to peddle my written wares under the local author’s tent at the Nantucket Book Fest. This was my first time attending, and I was glad for the opportunity and exposure. If you’re wondering, I didn’t get rich, but I was enriched by the words of some of the visiting authors.

At the opening celebration of the Book Fest, three authors took to the pulpit (literally, it was at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House) to speak of their motivations. The question posed was, “How can we write when everything’s wrong?”

Ben Fountain asked, “How can we not?” The author of Beautiful Country Burn Again, also said, “I try to understand everything I can,” and spoke of language and writing being a tool for that understanding. Regardless of genre, writers are “the scouts and spies of the…

View original post 699 more words

Handing Down

working-template-for-ff-challenges27Kevlar vested cops have guns in their hands. We come out, single file, hands over our heads, newscasters already there, microphones in hand, reporting this latest shooting. Videos capture relieved parents’ hands stroking their children’s cheeks. Some parents’ hands flutter to their own wet cheeks. Some of us sit on the ground, heads in our hands, disbelief displaced by our knowing. Some put their hands together in prayer. Some of us stand together clasping hands, grief becoming anger. 

You let assault weapons end up in the hands of our classmates then tell us the world is in our hands?!


The Carrot Ranch  13, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about the work of many hands. Is it a cooperative effort or something else? Go where the prompt leads!

Continuing Education

six sentence story copy

The word from Denise this week is “extension”, the mission, to write six sentences, a story perhaps, that incorporates that word. I have had spotty attendance with the Six Sentence Story gang but endeavored to have a contribution this week. Go over to Girlieonthe Edge to read and write.

 Continuing Education

“It is fair, because I don’t grant anyone an extension, especially students that have missed classes as much as you have and who don’t seem to realize the importance of a final paper that is due tomorrow. Looks as if you have a long night ahead of you.”

“But, Sir, I do the work, I just need more time, you don’t understand…”

“What I understand is that everyone in my classes is expected to turn their work in on time, and that everyone in my classes learns the importance of punctuality and responsibility; that’s how one gets ahead in this world, not through enabling and extensions.”

The young woman stared silent and expressionless at the teacher before turning and slamming the door hard, racing down the steps and to the bus stop, anxious to get to her job before the night shift, her second shift that day, knowing that her brothers and sisters and incapacitated mother relied on her.

The teacher shrugged and wondered at the audacity of some of these students these days, always expecting the world to hand them a living.

#Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 131


Colleen is back with her Tuesday challenges. Her synonyms this week are “beginning & consume”. I hope my haibun meets the criteria.  





I witnessed a bold emergence, a radicle reaching for earth; the primary root. It took hold, the hypocotyl extending, the cotyledons sloughing off the protective seed coat, their energy expended as the embryonic leaves turned towards the sun. The sun was then devoured; absorbed and transmuted, until, miraculously, it took the form of a tree, in the very spot where once I saw this bold emergence from a winged seed.




miracles unfold



Something new from d’Verse! Prosery, 144 words of prose but with a lifted line from a poem within, in this case, from Robert Frost’s Aquainted With the Night: “when far away an interrupted cry” .



It seems decades ago, when being a provider still meant commuting, late nights at the office, cut throat competition at the conference table.

The bottom fell out and the waters rose. Now I stay always close to my family, their failed provider, but still their protector, on constant vigil, for the want and despair of this tarp and cardboard settlement has made everyone dangerous, capable of acts they never imagined before losing everything.

My wife and child weep from fear and hunger. I know what I have to do. There are still those with plenty, in the barricaded neighborhoods. I will have to go there and beg. Failing that, I will steal.

Determined provider, I’m almost there, the settlement behind me, when far away an interrupted cry turns me around. I run back in terror of what I might find. What stopped her cry?


Dad looked surprised when I said I’d be bringing a friend home after school, but didn’t ask any questions, just grunted and nodded. Permission granted. Same as when I’d tell him I was going to Jimmy’s, or Jimmy’d be sleeping over. Or me and Jimmy’d be up at the quarries.

Dad looked even more surprised when he met Jamie, this sparkling green-eyed girl in bright mismatched clothes. Jimmy had always been a light in our gray lives, a flash of lightning, a comet, but Jamie was a splash of colors rich and deep, colors new to both of us.



The Carrot Ranch June 6, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that makes a big splash. It can be fluid, or you can play with the idiom (to make a big splash is to do or say something that becomes unforgettable). Go where the prompt leads!

Perhaps you recognize Augie who has been around for a few Ranch and Six Sentence Story prompts, most recently the April 19 challenge.

There is more to this story, but that’s the 99 word installment for now.

Kat Myrman, How D’Ya Do?


It is my pleasure to introduce Kat Myrman,  a very prolific and talented poet and, as I found out from this interview, an all around creative person. Kat is the host of  the Twittering Tales prompt at Like Mercury Colliding , a fun weekly photo prompt for poetry or micro-prose. 


Kat Myrman,  “How D’Ya Do?”

What part of the world do you live in and what should the rest of the world know about your place?

Who am I? Well, that’s a loaded question! I suppose I could say that I am a daughter/sister/mother/grandmother/executive assistant/Marine Corps veteran who likes to write, paint and adopt rescue critters (as many as the city will allow me to have) on the side. My city is nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, USA, and I live in a century old house in the historic district. I’m a transplant here though, having been born and raised in Chicago and its suburbs. I’m happiest in the woods or near water, preferably moving water. And I collect heart shaped rocks and have a fairie garden in my front yard.

Tell your blog(s) and other other social media. 

I have one blog: that feeds into a Facebook page and a twitter account.

Describe your prompt. What prompted you to undertake this? When did you start Twittering Tales?

Soon after I started my blog, I discovered flash fiction! I loved the idea and enjoyed writing short stories of 100 words, or 52 words or even 6 words or less. A few years ago when tweets started to take off, I thought of trying to write a tweet sized story (at that time tweets could only be 140 characters long) and Twittering Tales was born! It’s a weekly challenge and we are in week 139. In other words it’s been going on for over two years now. New people are joining every week, so as long as people are joining in, I’ll keep hosting the challenge!

Do you tweet your twittering tales? 

I do have a link to a dedicated twitter account, so yes I guess you could say I do. That said, I’m not what you would call a tweeter. I don’t generally tweet new comments, but rather use my twitter account as a forum where people can find my Twittering Tales and other posts.

There was that switch from 140 characters to 280 characters. Was that a good thing, a bad thing, or does it even matter much?

I remember when that happened. There are some Twittering Tales tweeters who are still participating in the challenge. At that time we had all gotten used to tweaking our stories down to only 140 characters, so when twitter changed the rules, it almost felt a bit intimidating. I’m happy to say we all got through those growing pains pretty quickly. I see it as a good thing. It allows us to develop our stories even more than before. If you’ve read the roundups, you know how fabulously creative these tiny tweet-sized tales are!

You also participate as a writer every week. What other writing do you do? Do you have a favorite poetic form to write? To read?

I try to write something everyday. I have found that challenges help with writer’s block, and I’m always challenging myself. A year or so ago, I started choosing a micropoetry form to feature each month. I also participate in NaPoWriMo each year, and when I have time and work is not too crazy I like to participate in other flash fiction challenges. Each week on Sundays I do a ReVerse (it’s a poetry form I came up with years ago). I take a line from each post I’ve written over the past week and create a new poem with them listed in chronological order. A few other forms I really like exploring are Blackout poems and magnetic poetry using an online app. If you visit my blog you will notice that I like to create artwork to go with each post. That is my other passion. These days I “paint” digitally. And all my writing and art is done on my iPhone. I work full time-plus so I don’t have near enough time to read, but when I do I love the classics. I have a small collection of century old books and yes, I do love reading them! I also try to read other bloggers on the weekends.

What have you enjoyed the most hosting and participating in Twittering Tales?

I love when Tuesday comes, after I’ve posted the roundup and a new challenge, seeing new tales link to my blog. Every tale is so creative and interesting! I make an effort to comment on each person’s blog. For me it is also about relationship and supporting other writers.

Do you have a dream for Twittering Tales

I don’t really have a dream or goal for Twittering Tales. As long as there is an interest in the challenge, I’ll keep hosting, though as the number of participants has grown, I’ve had to adjust my schedule to put together the roundup. It’s important to me that everyone is featured in the roundup with a link to their blog. Networking is how we build readership and get exposure to our blogs, and challenges are a great way to do that.

How do you define its success?

Success for me is knowing that people are having fun doing the challenge and enjoy reading each other’s tales.

Was there life before your blog? How have things changed since then?

Blogging is currently my hobby, so I guess you could say I’m still living my before life! I wrote before blogging, of course. I have journals and notebooks and even scraps of paper filled with words collecting dust in my attic. Blogging has given me a place to put my writing…and for the first time allowed me a forum to share my writing with others (not just a few close friends or my cats!)

 When or how did you first become a writer?

I’ve been writing since…I could write. I remember when I was 6 or 7 my uncle took all my poetry with the intent of publishing them. It didn’t happen, and I no longer have those poems but I do still remember one … I’ve never seen a purple cow, I never hope to see one, but I can tell you anyhow, I’d rather see, than be one. Haha!

One thing that I enjoy about your blog is learning new forms of poetry. You mention ReVerse and a couple other favorite forms. Have you created other original forms besides ReVerse? 

I have. I created a short version of a Horatio-styled Ode that I call the Horatiodet (My micro-version is 5 lines in all with a syllable count of 5-7-7-5-9 and a rhyme scheme of ababb) that I featured as my daily poem for the month of February 2019. Another form I crafted was an Inverted Limerick:

Line 1 – 5-7 syllables

Line 2 – 5-7 syllables

Line 3 – 7-10 syllables

Line 4 – 7-10 syllables

Line 5 – 5-7 syllables

Rhyme pattern: A-a-bb-A (line one is repeated on the last line)

What have been some favorite new forms that you have discovered and tried? 

I have tried dozens of forms. I really like the villanelle and the cinquain. I find myself really letting loose though, in free verse. I suppose that is the nature of the form.

 A favorite poem:

the muse

 she is like a penny, face up, begging

to be lifted from the asphalt, treasure

promised if I dare give her a moment’s

thought, a hint of blush dusts her cheeks, 

eyes, dark, translucent blue, cerulean really, 

that pierce my soul, first glance, drawing 

me deeper… she likes shadowy places,

nooks, crannies, pre-dawn and gloaming, 

alcoves and hollows, her scent is musk, with 

undertones of moss, earth and ink waiting for the

quill’s long, lingering dip, pale skin like velvet,

cool to the touch, covered in baby fine hair that 

glistens in the light, her hair, fiery red, long, 

wavy, cascading softly past her shoulders…

she is not the life of the party, but her words, 

softly spoken, draw select clusters of seekers, like 

me, who have grown to appreciate her wisdom 

and honesty…fools vex  her…she has been known

to slay them with a single line, but mostly

she ignores them, pearls and swine, you know,

for those of us who are privileged to call

her friend, to see the world through her 

eyes is like peeking through a forbidden

keyhole, Valhalla waiting on the other side

A favorite twittering tale: 

Rain or shine Granny cooked her kettles of soup. The hungry came. She fed them all. 
It was against the law to feed the poor where Granny lived. It wasn’t long before the city shut her down. 
“Don’t you worry,” she shouted as they led her away. “I’ll be back. People gots to eat.”

278 Characters

And the very first one that started it all October 17, 2016:

It was a grim sight. The first victims of the plague had turned to stone, ghosts who held too tightly to the past, now doomed to repeat it. 

139 Characters 

Some art…here’s a link to a post featuring some of my actual paintings. Mediums: Watercolor and Acrylic:

You are a Marine veteran! Did you write when you were actively serving? How has that part of your life, being a Marine, impacted your creative life? 

I didn’t do a lot of writing while I was in the service. I don’t remember a lot of it actually. I think I’ve blotted out memories from that time. I’m sure it has affected me though. More than anything being a Marine taught me discipline and focus. As an artist and a free spirit, that was a very foreign concept to me.

Describe or list any publications of yours.

I have been featured in several online publications and digests, a few anthologies in print and a self-published cd of original songs:

Poets For Peace 2016 – Praxis Magazine Online

Women’s Spiritual Poetry Blogspot:

“The Circle Continues”

“Dreams for our Daughters”

Album: “Coming Home” (correct title), “Daddy’s Arms” is a favorite song) Words and Music by Kathy (Myrman) Hurt, produced in 1998 at Broken Records Studio.

It’s on SoundCloud: Coming Home

I enjoyed this interview, Kat. What a creative person you are! Thank you for sharing.


“Moonlight”    Kat Myrman