Take It Back

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The FedEx truck pulled into my driveway, and two men struggled to carry an obviously heavy box. I opened the door, and they dropped it on the living room floor with a thud.

“What is it?” I asked, the sound still reverberating.

“Writer’s block, ma’am.” The men wiped their sweating foreheads.

“Wha—a writer’s block? I didn’t order that! Take it back!”

“Sorry, lady. We just deliver ‘em.” With that, the men left.

I stared at the box. A writer’s block—how ridiculous. Kneeling to remove the packaging, I found that I couldn’t budge the thing at all.

Still can’t.

Memoir

I was born.

I grew inside a safe shelter.

I took a long walk with a good man.

Two little girls appeared. They laughed, they cried, they flew away.

Then there were two more.

I played some songs and I wrote some words.

Once, a butterfly landed on my chin.

I ate tiramisu drowning in cream.

A small brown cat threatened me every day with the Little Paw of Death.

I let go of more things than I kept.

I kept more things than I should have.

I got lost. I am still lost. I am finding my way back.

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[For more 100-word stories, buy Stolen Postcards here. For a great deal bundling Stolen Postcards with On The Edge, go here.]

Ready to Pounce

The meds keep Cam’s anxiety at bay, but it never entirely disappears. It perches inside his skull and watches him, shifting on its haunches, ready to pounce.

But this new job is helping. He works by himself, and he doesn’t have to think much. They call it Large Animal Habitat Maintenance—he cleans the elephant cages.

Cam likes the hot animal smell of the straw and the steaming elephant droppings. It creeps into his throat, but it keeps the little imp in his brain still. And sometimes Millicent reaches through her nighttime enclosure and touches his neck with her trunk.

[For more 100-word stories, buy Stolen Postcards, available here.]

Postcard from Salzburg

[I’m cross-posting again today with another fellow writer, Joy Bach. Her blog is Life Moments, and I bet you can figure out what she writes about. Pop over to her blog for another 100-word story from me, and have a look around while you’re there. And don’t forget–bloggers love comments! Here’s Joy’s little story:]

Hello from Salyburg. On this kezboard the y and z are switched. Zesterdaz we visited the castle of mad King Ludwig. Then we went from crayz to sober…visting the camp at Dachau. When we got to our room (which is barelz big enough to turn around in) we left almost immediatelz to attend a concert in the Fortress, a castle on top of the hill. Todaz we went underground 650 feet to the salt mines, then to Eagles Nest…Hitler’s Retreat. To the funnz ones who wrote with the y and z switched, verz cute. This is a lot of fun.

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If you have a blog or a website and you’d like to do something like this, please let me know! 

Also–pop over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to get Stolen Postcards–it would make a great Christmas present!

 

Harold’s Decision

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Poor Harold was the only man at the Senior Center with all his teeth, thus the target of every member of the local pack of rabid widows. Having spent a few decades of silent evenings eating franks and beans, he finally decided to cull one from the herd.

Maybe Velma—she was as skinny as an ugly stick, but man oh man, her fried chicken and lemon cake. Lord have mercy.

Maybe Dorothy—plump and pretty, she stirred long-forgotten sensations in his southerly regions. But the woman lived on blue boxes of macaroni and cheese. Lord, have mercy.

Poor Harold.

[I’m running a giveaway for Stolen Postcards on Goodreads. You can enter here. And my friend, Theresa Santy, is also running a Goodreads giveaway for On the Edge–hers is here. Please share to spread the word!]

 

Not a Frog Yet

I’m cross-posting today with Yvonne Blake, whose blog is My Back Door. Yvonne’s passion is for nurturing writing in children, as you’ll see below. In the spirit of Stolen Postcards,  I asked Yvonne to send me a 100-word post. I hope you’ll follow the  link to see what I sent her to post there. If you have a blog–of any type–that you’d like to cross-promote here, let me know!

***

Hannah: How much do I have to write?

Polliwog Pages: A long story isn’t better than a short one. It’s the words that you use.

Do your maple leaves crunch and your chipmunks scurry?

Does the quiet veteran limp and the toddler princess twirl?

Do your geese squawk and your crickets harmonize with the whippoorwills?

Does the clam chowder simmer and the butter ooze over oven-fresh biscuits?

Your story will sparkle when you use the right words.

Hannah: Oh, I know what I want to write about!

Another Polliwog Kid splashes into her imagination and paints a story with words.

***

polliwog-logo-300pxPolliwog Pages is a place where kids play with words. Young authors can share their writing with family and friends, both younger kids and teens. They can find games to play and books to read. If youngsters want to improve their skills, reasonably priced lessons are available– personally tutored via email.

Come, splash into writing at www.polliwogpage.com

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/polliwogpages/

Signs

There was a little rock ‘n’ roll diner near Chelsea’s college, and her parents often stopped there after taking Chelsea back. Each booth had an individual jukebox, filled with songs from the 60s and 70s.

They were eating their burgers there one Labor Day weekend when a song from their youth started to play. The angry lyrics went “…and the sign said, you got to have a membership card to get inside…” and several aging baby boomers from all around the diner made that Huh! sound in unison. A nice moment of community, then they all resumed eating their lunches.

[Sorry I forgot to post a story yesterday–I was in airports or airplanes most of the day. If you like stories like this, check out Stolen Postcards, available here.

Deep Thoughts

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Soft, buttery leather. Rachel couldn’t stop touching the journal, and even though it was far too expensive, she bought it anyway. She’d been inspired recently by the Instagrammed journal entries of her creative friends; maybe this would be a way of adding meaning to her life. She started to compose deep thoughts in the car on the way home with the journal, a fountain pen, and a pretty little bottle of black ink.

But she’s never written in it, never come up with a thought she considered worthy of the velvety leather and the smooth sweep of the gold nib.

The Story that Started It All

Dwayne loves being a mailman. Twenty-nine years of walking the village in a day have given him fine, muscular calves, but his shoulders are lopsided from the mailbag.

He misses real mail: creamy envelopes with slanted, ink-splotched handwriting, penciled letters addressed to Grandma Willis.

            Most of all, he misses postcards—their glossy pictures of places he’s never been, their jaunty greetings.

When Dwayne gets home, he tosses his bag aside and reaches for an old shoebox. He closes his eyes and shuffles through hundreds of cards, pulling out a picture of a seaside sunset. Hi, June! We’re having a blast!

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[This story and 365 like it can be found in Stolen Postcards, available today at Amazon Stolen Postcards and at Barnes and Noble Stolen Postcards (again)]

In the Fourth Drawer

Bronwyn has postponed the cleaning of the desk in her home office for far too long. She’d have let it go for another several months—it’s a joyless chore—but after searching for the box of extra staples for ten minutes and eventually emptying out three of the five drawers, she concedes that the time has come.

She’s pitching rubbish from the fourth drawer when she finds the Post-it note. It’s still attached to the pad, and it’s definitely her own handwriting. But Bronwyn doesn’t remember writing it, and she has no idea what it means:

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[You’ll find stories like this–also non-creepy stories–in Stolen Postcards, available for presale here: Stolen Postcards on Amazon]