The Picture Game #1

See prompt, picture, and rules here:

Join me?

Here we go. Wheee….

He’s painting birds to life again, his glass trained to the star of Emros.  He wearing his stupid guitar necklace and the awful owl suit he says is a tribute to the power on-loan to him by God.  On-loan my aching egg-shaped behind.  Stolen, more like it.  And God?  Well, he knows full well the Emrosians aren’t God.  He stole the glass, the device he fashioned into the necklace, all of it.  And me.

But what am I to do? He keeps me tethered, attached to a bulb filled with silver and nitrogen-enriched air, and without that, I am nothing.  I am dead. I am gone.  I don’t want to be gone. So I dutifully refill his paint and bind my time, watching new, oddly unreal sparrows fly out the window as he paints and aims, paints and aims.

One day, the ship will return.  One day.  Or one day he’ll forget to put me in the case where he keeps me when I am not of use, or forget to keep the lid cranked tight.  If anyone found out about me, he’d claim he thought I was an automaton, a robot, unable to know fear and pain. But that too, would be a lie.

He knows.  He has to know.  Otherwise, why would he bother with the opening in the lid of the case?  Why would he bother to slip in the silver, the nitrogen, to keep me, his captive, going?

One of his birds eats its own shit behind me.  He claims creating them to do this means the balance is not upset.  And he looks so serene, painting and aiming.  But it’s a lie.  It’s all a lie.  He loves this power.  Loves it.

One day my family will come back. My Mom and Dad. I miss them so much.  They must be sick with grief.  They were travelling with the Emrosians as a lark.  A lark – ha ha – get it?  So friggin’ funny.  But I know they’ll come back.  They have to.  Or one day, he’ll forget to crank down the lid of the case when he releases the tether to put me inside.  It may be the last thing I do as my silver and nitrogen run out, but I will show him exactly what an Envarian is.  I will show him what I can do.  And I will wipe that serene smirk right off his face.


Ode to a Bean

Ode to a Bean

for Dan and Dan of Fojo Beans


I found a poem in a cup.

It was hot, I drank it up.

When the poem was smooth and brown,

it was good.

I drank it down.

When the poem was hot and black,

it called to me.

I threw it back.

When the poem was sweet and mild,

I held it gently, like a child.

The poem flowed – gentle, quiet –

moving moments, day from night.

It warmed me and it woke me up.

I found a poem in a cup.




Hi There!

If you are about my age, a Peter Gabriel song may now be playing in your head too!

Summer is a busy place around here, with little time to write here or anywhere else. I hope to be through the second draft of my early reader book by summer’s end, and that is eating a lot of my time. For now, while I am in the bat-cave, if you haven’t checked out my novella, maybe you’d like to do that.
Here it is:

I had it up on Nook for awhile too, and am thinking about re-publishing it there, since they work with public libraries.
Do you have thoughts or ideas on self-publishing? Do you have favorite places for self-publishing or reading self-published fiction?

And in case you are curious, I bought Montepuliciano with the $7.50 I made on this book so far. As far as cheap wines goes, it was quite good. Cheers!

Uphill Both Ways

I am working through the second draft of my early reader book at a snail’s pace.  I am the middle-aged (read: old) working Mom of 3 young kids, and by the end of the day, I’m spent.  I may have to tackle this thing in a way I had not previously envisioned (Take time off?  Hide?).  It deserves to be finished, if only for the sake of my three young muses (my sons).

For now, I redirect you to one of my published short stories “And the Moon Waits” in this issue of Ranfurly Review:

This is a favorite of mine.  I welcome your comments.

The Pied Piper of St. May – Paperback

My novella The Pied Piper of St. May is now available at Create Space in paperback here.  If you are curious about why I self-published this book, you’ll find a bit about that here.

I put a lot of time into making the book look reasonably nice. The people who format books deserve more attention and praise, especially since, as far as I can tell, they don’t get any.  They are artists.  The Kindle edition (with reviews) is here.  If you want paperback copies (of any book), buying from Create Space is of more benefit to the artist.

This book is no longer available for Nook.



So, my editor-friend will likely have my early reader book back to me soon.  It’s almost summer and her primary gig as a stay-at-home Mom is going to be ramping up soon.  I know I will likely have nothing to do with illustrations if I am successful in finding an agent – and publisher – for this book.  But because I am me, I am illustrating the home copy.  I am planning for black and white drawings for “in chapter” illustrations and colorful paintings as “end tags” to each chapter.  Here’s the first one I’ve finished.



Today is my birthday.

My mother’s voice sings,

“Happy Birthday” from my voice-mail.

When I was a child, she said

“You don’t get older until someone

sings the song,” and I

fight the absurd urge to shout,

“Stop!  You’re making me older!”


Such is the weight of a mother’s words.

My sons sing, “Happy Birthday” to me,

their three wee voices

intertwined in disharmonic joy, and I

clap, joyful…thankful, with

the weight of my power coiled peacefully,

for now, in my gut.


Progress of a Writer?

I recently finished a chapter book for early readers, inspired by my sons.  I’ll be looking for an agent for this one, but only after my editor is finished.  In the meantime, I am enjoying “saving” my old poems, sketches, and song lyrics.  I am scanning yellowed papers with crumbling edges and posting the contents here.  I hope you enjoy them.

This year, I plan to work on my YA novel and maybe a(n already in progress) book of short stories.  If I manage to complete the book of short stories, I may self-publish it.  I am considering self-publishing a book of my poetry too but I worry.  That seems self-indulgent to me.  But I can’t work out why self-publishing poetry feels self-indulgent when self-publishing short stories does not.  What do you think?

So far, I have self-published my novella The Pied Piper of St. May on Amazon and NookI’ve made about $4 and Amazon’s made about $6.  Reviews suggest the handful of people who’ve read it have been pleased with how they spent their 99 cents.  That’s pretty cool.

What are you up to? If you write, do you self-publish?  Why?  Or why not?