My father, from the age of 60-ish, often joked about how getting old was not for the faint of heart, referring to his own faint and failing one. My mom, widowed by her second husband at 60-something and anything but happy about her reflection in the bathroom mirror, dashed out and got a facelift before his ashes were cold. My friends, most now of a certain age, lightheartedly complain about their creaking knees and aching back, tossing out a wry “ain’t for sissies!” as they lumber out of their overstuffed recliners.
We oldsters laugh, shrug it off, move a little…
To some of us, time has a shape, often twisty and convoluted, with no beginning and no end. The years stretch backwards into a deep, black hole of memories, and forward into an impenetrable dense fog.
In “normal” years, I think of time as mostly linear, but, to my mind’s eye, each current year is like a spiral, with December at the top, representing a steep mountain to climb through the fall months, then sliding down into spring, flattening out into a long, level summer, with all previous years trailing behind like the undulating tail of a kite.
the climate heats up
new virus — can we adapt?
Hello, I’m speaking to you from the year 2169, when your future people –– we call ourselves Fumans, sounds like “few mens” because we’re few and far between –– don’t look quite the same as you do. We all have the exact same skin color, for one thing.
We just want to thank you, our honored ancestors, for finally taking the bold and difficult actions that rescued humanity, in the nick of time, against impossible odds, from certain extinction. …
The following story began its life as a 75-word novel, one of dozens I scribbled for a Facebook group a couple years ago. We were having fun, loving words, telling stories, challenging each other to be funnier, pithier, juicier in our offerings.
Writing these extreme short forms is excellent practice for writing in general. Every word has to count, has to contribute to the storyline and character development, and must generate a level of suspense. And most of all, it has to entertain.
And although these super-short novels were intended to amuse and impress the others, sometimes a story would…
I’m trying out a new poetry form
inspired by poet jenine bsharah baines
with a rhyme scheme to which one must conform.
They’re new to me these ten-line dizains,
starting a war ’tween my left and right brains.
My right brain’s creative, colors and shapes,
like watching movies on videotapes.
My left brain is logic, patterns, and words,
rigidity, rules. There’s just no escape!
So sorry, my friends, dizains are for nerds.
Well, that was fun! Thanks, jenine, for the prompt and the inspiration. It’s fun to try new things!
And for you readers who managed to plod through to…
I am obsessed with my garden. It’s the first thing I think about when I awaken and the last thing before I drift off to sleep, when I’ll dream about all the things I didn’t get done today and wondering if my freezer is going to explode in the night from an overabundance of just about everything.
Damn this coronavirus! When it started in February 2020, I freaked out from fear of food scarcity and planted everything I could think of to keep us from starving. Yet we still haven’t eaten all of last year’s pandemic potatoes.
If you’ve been…
Today I learned that July was designated “National Blueberry Month” by the USDA in 1974. So I am celebrating this by spending back-breaking hours hand-picking these delicious fat juicy pearls from the two bushes in my garden that provide for a year’s supply of drool-inducing blueberry pancakes, waffles, and muffins. And, of course, pies!
Native to America, blueberries have been around for thousands of years, originally collected and enjoyed by the First Peoples. Today, the US is the largest producer of blueberries in the world. Washington State, famous for its blueberries, produces more than 120 million pounds of them annually.
Today, all I wanted to do was write a personal essay and post it here. Sure, no problem! All I have to do first is water the garden, pull a few garlic bulbs, check the turnips (oh no, they’re ready to harvest!), trim the Swiss chard that’s grown into a 10-foot monster, wrestle the hops vines back onto their hopsichords, redirect the pumpkin vines away from the tomatoes, collect and cook artichokes and then dig out their little hearts, put in jars, cover in oil, put in canner…
Well, you can see where this is going. Add to that a…
I’ve lived in Chicago a couple of times, for about four years each stint. The first was for graduate school, coinciding with the three worst winters in the history of the city—the most snow, the coldest year ever, and both the coldest and snowiest—one right after the other. My car was buried for months under drifts plowed and piled to the moon.
The second time I lived there—yes, go ahead and call me crazy—was about 20 years later, when I accepted what I thought was going to be a really cool job with United Airlines.
This time, instead of in…