Prompt Nights # 37: Winter and Warm Memories




When I was a child, I thought as a child,
And snow was a thing so delightful.
From school we were free; we got wet to the knees,
And our mom’s day was thrown all off schedule.

But now that I’m grown, I must do on my own
All the chores Mom and Dad used to dread:
Stock up food by the loads, drive on slippery roads,
Shovel snow, and repair that old sled.

Now I look with dismay at the skies leaden gray
As I trudge to the store for supplies.
De-icer and salt sell out fast with no halt.
I need new boots to tread on the ice.

The wind from the north is bitter and harsh,
But my temperature, still it is rising;
I am in a foul mood, for I see nothing good
That can come from a snowstorm arriving.

But then the flakes start, and I feel in my heart –
Watching white, fluffy, wonderful, wild
Filling all of my world with such beauty unfurled –
That in truth I am still just a child!


To participate in the challenge, visit Sanaa at A Dash of Sunny.”



WordPress, WHERE Is My Snow???????

SAD SMILEY - FLESH COLORI don’t have snow!!!  And I don’t understand.  I have the box checked on my settings. I even unchecked it and re-checked it, then saved the settings again — just to make sure. I have snow on my other blogs, but not on my main one — this one. Two of my readers tell me they can see it snowing on this site, but I still can’t see any snow. I even checked the site in a different browser, and that made no difference. Is anyone else out there having trouble seeing your snow?????


A Christmas Carol – Where Are They Now # 2

Second story in the series: “A Christmas Carol — Where Are They Now?”
Just a little more fun from my Christmas website.

Merry Christmas, World!

With my sincere apologies to Mr. Charles Dickens, I’m offering a series of futuristic vignettes that take a look at a few of the characters of his heart-warming novel and what their lives may have been like decades  beyond the words “The End” at the close of his masterpiece. These tales are simply the result of my imagination being given free rein, but I offer them in the spirit of the season, hoping you’ll enjoy them. You can also find them in my Christmas anthologyStocking Full of Stories, which is for sale at the Amazon Kindle Store all year long.


# 2 Tiny Tim???

“Excuse me, Mr. Alexander. You wanted to see me?”

“Oh, yes, Christmas Past. I’ve called for Present and Future as well. Oh … here they are now. Come in, gentlemen.”

“Is there a problem, sir?” Present asked.

Mr. Alexander sighed deeply. “Indeed there is!…

View original post 480 more words

Share Your World 2016, week 49

Visit Cee’s site to find out how to participate in ‘Share Your World.’

Question # 1: What do you value most in a friendship?

The only TRUE friends are those people who continually draw out the highest and the best in me. They value me for the good they see in me — in spite of my flaws — and my interacting with them helps me focus on and grow in what is good. I try to be that same kind of friend to those I care about.

Question # 2: Do you prefer eating the frosting of the cake or cupcake first? Do you have a favorite flavor?

HECK NO!  Who would want to eat just the frosting first?  What makes a cake delicious is the combination of cake and frosting together. In fact, I try to eat so that I get some frosting with every single bite of cake.  Favorites?  I naturally prefer chocolate, but orange and buttercream are close seconds. And I have to admit that as long as it’s smooth and full of sugar, I like any frosting.

Question # 3:  Have you ever been in a submarine? If you haven’t, would you want to?

No.  And NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!  There — that should be clear enough.

Question # 4: If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

Very few — if any.
I don’t have a perfect life, but I spend most of my time using my God-given abilities and gifts doing things that make other people’s lives better, healthier, and happier. I can’t imagine anything being more satisfying.




Daily Post Prompt: Panoply


MAN'S FACE, FINGER ON CHINI must write a post using “panoply.”
But I’m stuck and a little confused.
For it isn’t a world I use commonly,
For with snobb’ry I feel it’s infused.

I did look up its definition
Just to make sure I wasn’t quite wrong.
Now I’m even more sure it’s pretentious,
For it’s synonym list is quite long.

Now, I’m likely to use the word “trappings,”
Or “collection,” or even “array.”
And in reference to a suit of armor,
Well – “armor” is just what I’d say.

I find this prompt most aggravating.
It offers no useful rewards.
To describe just how irksome I find it
Takes a literal panoply of words.


To take part in the prompt, visit Daily Post.







Christmas E-Book – $0.99 Today Through December 24.


My Christmas short-story anthology, Stocking Full of Stories, is on a special holiday sale at the Amazon Kindle Store.  It will be only $0.99 until midnight December 24.

Christmas is about love – and laughter – and hope – and second chances. This collection of 11 original Christmas stories covers all those subjects and then some. From poignant to funny to heart-warming and faith-inspiring – you’ll find a little bit of everything in this Stocking Full of Stories. Read the book straight through for an evening of well-rounded Christmas pleasure. Or pick and choose, one story at a time, depending on your mood.

Give yourself a gift this Christmas: fill your stocking with these stories of the season. And while you’re ordering, go ahead and send one to someone you love.

Amazon also provides a free download for a Kindle app so you can read on any of your devices.





Friday Fictioneers 12/2/16: Solitary Confinement

I’m determined to participate in this week’s Friday Fictioneers. The prompt for the 100-word story is the picture below, compliments of Jan Wayne Fields.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

Copyright Jan Wayne Fields



He crossed out the date. Two years now – and only a little crazy. The symptoms had abated, but government doctors weren’t negotiating about his exile.

“Sorry, Nigel,” they’d said at the last visit, looking through the visors of their protective headgear and patting his arm with their sterile gloves. “Lessening symptoms don’t mean anything. The disease won’t die out – until you do. There’s still no cure. Total isolation is still mandatory to avoid spreading. We appreciate your obedience in staying strictly within the circle painted around your camp. The cameras show you’ve been diligent about it.”

He sat now staring at those cameras. He’d rigged them to cover for him, and so far no one suspected a thing.




Smoky Mountain Fires

As many of my readers know, my favorite place in the whole world is the Smoky Mountains, which cover more than 816 square miles of the far eastern end of Tennessee and northwestern corner of North Carolina. This week horrific wildfires raged through the area killing three, injuring fourteen, forcing evacuation of two towns, and destroying untold numbers of homes, businesses, and acres of forest.

Firefighters called repeatedly for prayer from people all over the country as they battled the raging fire fed by the areas worst drought in a decade and by hurricane force winds blowing flames at speeds of between 70 and 90 miles an hour. Rains finally came in and offered some help over the past 24 hours, and authorities now say that the worst is over.

I’m fighting tears as I write this post, thinking of all the people who have suffered such agony and loss and most especially because the evidence points to the fact  that this whole fire was the result of arson. There are so many crazy people in this world, but this kind of evil never fails to shock me. It is beyond my comprehension.

I’ve shared a series of videos below that include TV broadcasts as well as local personal videos of the horrors individuals went through as they faced losing everything they owned and trying to make their way to safety through the fire. I believe it’s most definitely a miracle that more lives were not lost, and for that I’m extraordinarily grateful.

The Great Smoky Mountains got their name from the Cherokee who have inhabited the range for generations and who coined the name to describe the haze that hangs over the mountains and nestles in the ridges every morning. It is often blue in color and gives the whole range a unique beauty that isn’t found anywhere else in the country. But after this week, that name won’t seem nearly as positive or happy as it did in the past.

However, I do have one positive note to add: I am happy to report that the family-owned inn where my family stays most of the time when we are in the area — and the town we spend most of our time in — are both safe and miraculously untouched by the fire.


Share Your World 2016 – Week 48

Goody!  I decided I could take time to do Cee’s “Share Your World” challenge this week. If you’d like to participate, just follow the link to her site for the details.

Question # 1: Do you prefer eating food with nuts or without nuts?

Generally, I prefer eating food with nuts, but unfortunately, I’m dealing with two chipped teeth that are waiting to be fixed (I have a dentist appointment for one next month), so lately I’ve been avoiding nuts unless they are in baked goodies so that they are soft.

Question # 2: If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?

Well, personally, I think everyone’s life would have to be a combination of all of the first four. I don’t know any adult who hasn’t had his share of drama, comedy, action, and romance. But if my life were not a combination, and  I could actually CHOOSE one genre or over the others, I’d definitely like for it to be a romantic comedy. Some of my favorite romantic comedies are Desk Set, Every Girl Should Be Married, Bringing Up Baby, Pillow Talk, Bachelor Mother, and Christmas in Connecticut.

Question # 3: Who talks real sense to you?

A good friend of mine who is totally different from me in almost every aspect of our lives. I’m continuously amazed that we even became best of friends. I generally look at all sides of a situation when I have to make a decision, but he does so even more than I do. In fact, it causes him to take a very, very long time to decide things personally. But when he’s giving me advice, he comes at the situations from such a totally objective point of view that it’s very helpful. And he’s blatantly honest. And he is very good at separating emotion from facts, which is something I don’t do easily. I also use him to edit every book I write before it goes to a publisher. If there’s anything he thinks is less than excellent, he won’t fail to tell me so in detail.

Question # 4: Do you have a favorite board game?

No, but I love word games. I especially enjoy a game called Bananagrams. It’s played with little tiles of letters that you use to create words. It’s similar to Scrabble, but actually gives the players a lot more opportunities to be creative with their choices. It’s rather addictive — at least for someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes creating with words – as I do.

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I got to begin my newest blogging class. And I’m grateful that I was able to spend a lot of time with my family over Thanksgiving.

This next week I am looking forward to putting up my Christmas decorations. I wanted to start getting them up the first week of November, but there are just so many other responsibilities in my life that I couldn’t seem to get that part of it in gear any earlier.






A Christmas Carol: Where Are They Now? # 1

Thought it was time to post some fun from my Christmas website

Merry Christmas, World!

book_52-trquis-christmas-talesWith my sincere apologies to Mr. Charles Dickens, I’m offering a series of futuristic vignettes that take a look at a few of the characters of his heart-warming novel and what their lives may have been like decades  beyond the words “The End” at the close of his masterpiece. These tales are simply the result of my imagination being given free rein, but I offer them in the spirit of the season, hoping you’ll enjoy them. You can also find them in my Christmas anthologyStocking Full of Stories, which is for sale at the Amazon Kindle Store all year long.


Ebenezer had never felt his heart stop beating before. Was that what was happening, or was he just forgetting to breathe? He wasn’t sure, but He did know he was looking at the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen, and he was glad…

View original post 431 more words

Seven Reasons I Love Blogging



1) Meeting people and making friends from around the world.

2) Taking part in all kinds of writing challenges that force me to get out of my comfort zone and stretch myself as a writer.

3) Opportunities to share my thoughts and beliefs with people I’d never have a chance to communicate with through any other medium.

4) Communicating with other extraordinarily creative people. Creativity begets creativity, so my own creative gifts are strengthened and stretched by that communication.

5) Opportunities to present some of my work and receive honest feedback from my peers.

6) Opportunities to lift and lighten someone else’s day by positive things I’m able to share.

7) Opportunities to make myself available to other writers and artists who would like to draw from my years of experience in the field of journalism and literature.

I’d be delighted to hear from some of the rest of you about why you love blogging. Just post your thoughts in the “Comments” section below — or if you want to write a whole post on your own site, you can share the link to it.