A to Z 2014

A to Z 2014
A to Z 2014

Friday, May 31, 2013


1)Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

This week's photo:

The Words:  Carriage, Gym, Poster, North, Bar

Her carriage was that of a queen, head held high, shoulders thrust back, eyes straight ahead.  Long black hair and blunt cut bangs showed off high cheek bones.  Stephanie St. Clair was a poster child for black royalty.  Known through out Manhattan as Queenie, her Harlem neighbors respectfully called her Madame St. Claire.

Queenie was a rare breed of woman, a female gang leader in 1930's New York who ran her business with an iron fist.  Walking north on 5th Avenue, her heels making a sharp staccato in the night she passed a park that in daylight would be filled with kids playing on the jungle gym, the merry-go-round, and the monkey bars.  Now, devoid of people, it was a menacing dark hole but she gave it no notice.

 She had just left a meeting with a  mobster named Dutch Schultz.  His clumsy attempt to intimidate her was nothing short of insulting.  "Go to hell," was all she said before turning her back on the gangster.  She wasn't paying him, or anyone else for protection.  This was her territory and she'd damn well make sure they all understood who ran the neighborhood.   The walk would do her good, give her time to cool off.    "As ye sow, so shall ye reap," she muttered to herself.

Someone peered out their window but quickly retreated behind a curtain when they saw the lone figure.  Trouble was no stranger to Harlem.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts and Prayers

The clock reads 1:45 a.m. and I can't sleep.  I tried reading, I tried a glass of wine, I tried counting sheep, I tried concentrating on breathing in and out, I even took a Xanax.  I checked for a full moon but that wasn't the culprit.  The harder I tried to fall asleep the more agitated I became.  Finally, after two hours of tossing and turning I was forced to face what had me in a turmoil.  A delayed reaction to the the haunting images of the Oklahoma twister.

When I first saw the footage, the scope of the disaster registered but in a subdued way.  We are constantly bombarded by news coverage of horrific events, and as I watched yesterday's carnage on TV I felt somewhat detached, as though the cumulative viewing of these type of scenes have left me desensitized.  At least that's what I thought until I lay in bed, tossing and turning.  In reality my mind was trying to come to terms with what it had seen.  The images of the elementary school that was destroyed, the first responders sorting through demolished buildings, the total obliteration of houses that once lined city blocks.  Laying in the dark it was all to easy to imagine the panic as the tornado bore down, the desperation of parents searching for their children, the aftermath the survivors saw after the tornado had passed.  The numbness I had felt was an illusion, a protection mechanism to shield me from the horrors that fate can lay at any of our doors.

To the victims and their families please know that hundreds of thousands like me are sending you our thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring, Spring, Wherefore Art Thou?

Inertia has a hold of me and my mojo has deserted me!  Maybe it's because yesterday was sunny and 75 and today it snowed all over my beautiful daffodils.  How is that even possible?   They say to make hay while the sun shines but what is one supposed to do when it doesn't?  Last year's leaves are still waiting to be raked because we skipped fall and went right to winter.  It appears we are also going to skip spring.   You would probably like to ask me if I'd like a little cheese to go with that whine right about now.  Ooh, now there's a good idea ... wine!  Think I'll go pour a glass and hopefully lift my spirits.  Besides, anyone who lives in Michigan knows, if you don't like the weather wait five minutes and it will change.       

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lethal Library

This is the first time I've joined in this bloghop.

The rules are simple: there is a photo prompt and five randomly generated words

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story

2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.

3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.
(Randomly generated) Mandatory Words:






Come on Mickey, quite screwing around," Ben said in a raised whisper. He had searched the entire library for his younger brother and was now making a second round.

"Mom is going to wring my neck," he muttered to himself. Ben's mother was a concert pianist with the Minneapolis Symphony and she had rehearsal this afternoon. Her last words when she dropped them off were, "Be waiting out front at 3:00 p.m. sharp and don't make me have to come inside." It was now 2:45 and Mickey was no where to be seen.

Ben was walking down one of the aisles when a scrap of white paper caught his eye. It was sticking halfway out of a book and he could see writing on it. Curious, he pulled out the book and glanced at the cover; The World's Most Deadly Poisons." The white paper proved to be a McDonald's napkin and hand written in blue ink were the words "Mole Hole, full moon, die sinners." Underneath that someone had written "Kr"in big bold letters. Ben wasn't sure what he was looking at but it seemed vaguely ominous and he wondered if he should show somebody. Conscious that he only had a few minutes before his mom arrived he stuffed the napkin in his pocket and made a bee-line for the front desk arriving there just as his brother came around the corner. "Where have you been jerk, I've been looking all over for you?" Mickey started to protest but Ben gave him a shove and told him to go wait outside while he checked out the book that he'd found the napkin in.

After getting dropped off at home, Ben pulled the paper from his pocket. On a hunch he got out the phone book and looked up Mole Hole. Sure enough listed in the business section was Mole Hole along with a street address and phone number. Going to the internet he googled, Mole Hole - Minneapolis and then clicked on the link. A picture of a large building with no windows and a neon sign that said live dancers, adult entertainment came up. He then did a search for dates of full moons in 2013 and the closest one was Saturday, May 25th. Ben's uneasiness ratcheted up a notch. "Don't be stupid," he told himself, "killers don't go around writing their plans down and then leaving them in library books." Remembering he had brought the book home he started looking through the pages and he realized with a start that that the chemical symbols on each page were similar to the two letters on the napkin he'd found. Holding his breath he leafed through until he saw "Kr - Krypton". "Krypton a colourless, odourless, gas is classified as a simple asphyxiant. Inhalation in excessive amounts can result in dizziness, loss of consciousness and death, which may occur in seconds without warning ." He felt a chill run through him as he grabbed his cell phone to call his mom.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time Travel

Junk shops, or as some more kindly call them antique stores, hold endless fascination for me.  Filled with objects from an earlier day and crammed to the  rafters with every conceivable gadget I'm captivated as soon as I walk in.

Perusing the cluttered aisles, I'm on a treasure hunt with no shovel required.  Castoff items patiently waiting to be rediscovered, their years of service evident in the small chips and missing paint.  They are tangible links to a past generation far removed from laptops, Ipods, and Smartphones.

These shops have their own unique odor, a combination of  disuse and mustiness that seems apropos.  I breath in deeply and wonder if my appliances will last long enough to attract future buyers?  We live in a disposable world so I have my doubts, but it's fun to imagine what items might fill these shelves long after I'm gone.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Now that A to Z is over I needed a new challenge so in a stroke of genius I decided what a perfect time to start a new diet.  For me, dieting and going to the dentist have a lot in common.  They both start with the letter "D" and they are both at the top of my Procrastination List.

Being a modern, computer savy woman, I googled on-line diet plans and hit the mother load.  36,100,000 results!  Talk about over-kill.  Because I'm a huge AI (American Idol) fan I chose to go with Weight-Watchers.  If you are asking what one has to do with the other,  Jennifer Hudson, past AI winner is the current spokesperson for Weight Watchers.   I'm sure you've all heard her singing on their commerical, "It's a new way, It's a new day, and I'm feeling good!"

So yesterday I get all signed up and I'm truly inspired, I can do this!  On my way home I stop at the market to pick up a few diet friendly items.  Two hours later, I walk out $200 poorer and with a huge headache from reading all those nutritional labels.  By now I'm so hungry that when I get home I open a can of tuna and eat it right out of the can (only 6 points!)

It's Day 2 and my hunger button seems to be stuck in the on position.  All I can think about is food.  What can I eat, when can I eat it, how much of it can I eat?   I've read before that the mind wants what it can't have so maybe I'll try a little reverse psychology.  "Oh, don't eat broccoli it's really bad for you and loaded with calories."  Nope, that didn't work.