Category: Writing From Prompts

NaBloPoMo and PrompTuesdays

No More Tangles

It’s PROMPTuesday #47: The Triumvirate over at San Diego Momma. Here at Blog This Mom! it is PROMPTERTuesday, which means it is Monday. Deb’s early post this week coincided nicely with Laura going to bed early tonight, enabling me to write unfettered by the typical weeknight distractions of raising a nine-year-old girl.

Deb’s prompt: Use in a story/poem: a skein of red yarn, a comb and a bottle of water.

No More Tangles

Aunt Pat refilled the empty bottle of Johnson’s No More Tangles with tap water from the bathroom faucet. She sprayed some on Tay-yay’s hair and began to comb out the knots. Tay-yay did not complain when Aunt Pat pulled too hard. Aunt Pat chattered away and took notice of the overall condition of Tay-yay’s hair, clothing, and general appearance. Aunt Pat’s indirect observations about Tay-yay’s mother were more critical than the concern she was feigning, even to an eight-year-old’s ears, but Tay-yay was tempted to join in the criticism just to have Aunt Pat’s approval and attention.

When Tay-yay’s hair had been combed, Aunt Pat let her put on the flannel nightgown that looked a lot like the one that Karen Dotrice wore in the Mary Poppins movie. Tay-yay really wanted to be Jane Banks, with a nanny and a mother who were happy women and co-conspirators, and who at once outsmarted and dearly loved Mr. Banks. Aunt Pat and Tay-yay moved from the bathroom into the living room. Seated on the floral print sofa, Aunt Pat pulled out her knitting bag and handed Tay-yay her pair of needles, which were stuck into a small skein of red yarn.

“Has your mother taught you how to cast on or off?” asked Aunt Pat. Tay-yay replied, “She taught me to knit and purl.” “Well, you need to be able to cast on and off, too,” said Aunt Pat. “I’m surprised you didn’t learn that first,” she added with knitted brow. “I just like the knitting and purling,” said Tay-yay. “Mommy will show me how to cast off if I ask her.” Aunt Pat clicked her tongue. “I’ll show you how to do it when you’re ready,” said Aunt Pat. Tay-yay bent her head down and looked intently at the red yarn.

“What are you knitting, anyway?” asked Aunt Pat. “A potholder for my mother,” answered Tay-yay. Aunt Pat’s brow knit again. “Huh. Does your mother cook very often? I didn’t think that she did.” Tay-yay looked up and replied, “My mother is a good cook.” Tay-yay expertly took in the look of displeasure on Aunt Pat’s face and added, “She doesn’t cook as well you do, Aunt Pat.” When Aunt Pat beamed, Tay-yay looked down again and felt a sharp stab of guilt. She tried to knit and purl with greater care so that the potholder would turn out especially nice.

In My Parallel Universe

I’m playing with the brilliant, creative, and stunningly beautiful San Diego Momma again, and it isn’t even PROMPTuesday. We are Bloggers Gone Wild, I tell you, W.I.L.D.

You can play too. Your mission, should you choose to accept it If you want to play, you have to go see San Diego Momma. There you will find your “assigned” topic in the comment immediately following your comment on her post, which will have a topic from you for the next person.

It’s really much simpler than I’m making it seem.

Go on, you’ll see.

San Diego Momma will be publishing a list of links to the posts of the posters who were formerly commenters. You’re following the bouncing ball, right?

Go to San Diego Momma and check it out. She ‘splains it more better.


You get that I’m not doing this well (and curse you law school education for making me so long-winded), and that you should already be at San Diego Momma by now?

Are you going to stop what you’re doing this instant and go to San Diego Momma, or do I have to pull this blog over right now?

Okay. I’m back. (And you must be too. Hi! I missed you.)


My assigned topic is to write about a typical day in my parallel universe.

In My Parallel Universe
The globe is not warming.

The desert’s not storming.

All diseases are cured.

Souls and spirits are stirred.

All children are fed.

Each one has a bed.

I listen with my heart and smile.

I know when to go the extra mile.

I know just when to walk away.

I always know just what to say.

EDITED TO ADD (Sunday, February 22, 2009): I was on an airplane earlier today doing grounding meditations at 10,000 feet in the air (I just picked that number at random; I don’t know how high airplanes fly from Arizona to California), and there I started thinking about my parallel universe. I realized that although at first glance when the two are compared side by side they appear to be parallel, in fact, they are not. Actually, the two universes are on a path that will intersect at some point in the fourth dimension.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Over at San Diego Momma it is PROMPTuesday #43: The Firestarter. Deb’s prompt this week is to start a story with that classic beginning by Bulwer-Lytton (and borrowed by Snoopy), “It was a dark and stormy night.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

“It was a dark and stormy night,” began the narrator. She settled back in her seat and brushed her hand across the bag of popcorn, grabbed a couple of warm kernels, and popped them into her mouth. The taste was divine, partly sweet and partly salty because of her divine method of eating one plain M&M first. She let an M&M melt in her mouth, until the chocolate formed a sweet, creamy film over her tongue, and then she added two pieces of salty, crunchy popcorn. Divine.

She thought that she might have felt awkward alone in the theater but for the dark to hide her. And this made her wonder. Did she dislike being alone, or just having others witness it? She decided that people were less uncomfortable being alone, or seeing someone else alone, at a movie than in a restaurant.

She remembered walking through a Chinese restaurant on Valentine’s Day on her way to use the restroom, and spotting a lovely African-American woman seated alone at a table. There was only one place setting, one glass of white wine, and the woman was reading a book as she used her fork to eat fried rice. As she walked by, the woman looked up from her reading. Their eyes met just for a moment, but before the awkward glance became an understanding nod or smile, they both looked away.

In the dark of the theater, she did not trade glances with anyone. She put another M&M in her mouth, and while it melted, she plucked two warm kernels from the bag of popcorn.

You Wanna Know What Comes Between Me and My Whoppers?

Over at San Diego Momma yesterday was PROMPTuesday #40.

Deb’s prompt:

This week, tell us about your first job. If you want to fictionalize it, all the better.

Over here at Blog This Mom! today is Not-So-PROMPTuesday (aka Wednesday).

My first job:

The lights in front of the camera were very hot. I had on so much hairspray, that I was certain should the temperature in the room increase by even one more degree Fahrenheit, my head would burst into flames. The makeup was heavy on my face. And the jeans were one size too small, as they were on the model for whom I was standing in during this photo shoot. This photo shoot was one from which controversy would arise.

It has been almost thirty years since I spent an entire day slightly bent over with my shirt partly open, while various assistants flitted around me. I held that pose for hours while the photographer’s lighting technicians, makeup artists, and set designers tweaked and adjusted to get it all just so. The model went under the lights and struck the required pose at the last moment, only for the actual picture taking. While I stood under the hot lights, she thumbed through magazines nearby in an air-conditioned dressing room. Her mother stood sentry as the stylist, makeup artist, and hairdresser circled.

The only reason I got the gig was because a friend of mine knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who was looking for the right stand in. It was my first paying job, and the closest I’d ever get to modeling. The only reason that the friend of a friend of a friend suggested me was because back in the day my hair, face, and body were that of a model Brooke Shields and I both had long hair and bushy eyebrows.


Am I telling a whopper? Or. Was my first job actually flippin’ Whoppers at Burger King when I was barely fifteen? And was the only reason I got that gig because I altered my birth date on the required work permit?

You wanna know what comes between me and my Whoppers? Nothing.

(The photo of Brooke Shields and the Whopper courtesy of Google Images. The photo of thirteen-year-old Blog This Mom! holding pom poms is a figment of your imagination, so please forget you ever saw it. Thank you.)

Don’t forget! You have until January 31 at 11:59 PM to leave Laura a
birthday comment, and enter her Lucky Ducky Birthday giveway.
The birthday comments are bringing Laura lots of joy,
so thank you for that to those of you who’ve left them.

Inscrutable Scrutiny

Deb at San Diego Momma is hosting PROMPTuesday #36: The Senses.

Scroll down to see my submission for this week, “Inscrutable Scrutiny.” Below the prompt, past the rules, and under the photo and audio link, yo. Keep on scrollin’.

Here’s Deb’s prompt message and rules:

Here’s the background: I recall taking the picture of the man below waiting at the bus stop, and he never once looked up as I surveyed his angles and released my noisy shutter over and over just feet from his face. I still think of him often, photoaging him in my mind to imagine what he looks like now, to place him in a happier place; and I return to this picture again and again to analyze his inscrutability.

Write a story about this guy. Or a poem. Or a rumination. Give him some background, some context. And because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I’ve provided a song snippet to shadow the photo. Hopefully, one or the other will inspire you.

* Try to write your entry in 10 minutes.
* Aim for 250 words or less.

So . . . here’s PROMPTuesday #36 by Blog This Mom!

Brandi Carlile – Turpentine

Inscrutable Scrutiny

The small town has no paved road. A thin layer of brown dust seems to cover every surface outside, but inside the tiny house every surface is spic and span. In stark contrast to the dry climate outdoors, her skin is dewy and moist as she stands by the kitchen sink gazing out of the window. The very beginning of a swell is showing in her lower abdomen, and her left hand rests over it.

Hundreds of miles away from the dusty small town, he sits and waits at a bus stop. The calluses on his hands have begun to soften. A silent observer looks in his direction, but he doesn’t notice. He is deep in thought. The observing woman is captivated by his expression, and ponders over what he might be thinking. She takes a camera out of her bag.

Inside of the tiny house, her hand moves from her belly to her eyes. She rubs them as she moves from the kitchen window to the stove. She thinks of him, yearns for him, as she stirs the contents of the pot. He is a quiet man, but she understands him as though he were whispering in her ear everything on his mind. With her mind’s eye she sees his face, and she gazes upon his heavy eyebrows, his contemplative squint, his dark hair, and the jut of his jaw. Every detail of him is etched in her brain, as if a black and white photograph were lodged permanently in the recesses of her mind.

Wise Men Bring Gifts

It is PROMPTuesday #35: The Secret over at San Diego Momma.

Deb’s PROMPT: Tell a secret. A true secret. About yourself.

Deb: Cool. Kind of like Post Secret, except not because you want me to post my secret on my blog for the world both of my readers to read and know that the secret posted is my secret. And, of course, no postcards are involved. So, yeah, cool.

Readers: Rather than tell all both of you my secret right up front, why don’t you read my story and see if you can find my secret before you get to the end. There was a pun in the last sentence, and the pun was at the end. Also? My secret has to do with buns, and buns rhyme with puns. Speaking of rhymes, my secret rhymes with Freud, and Freud would probably have a thing or two to say about someone whose puns rhyme with buns.

Wise Men Bring Gifts

I have been having a hard time sitting down for extended periods of time, and going number two for the last couple of days is especially painful. The reason I can’t sit or poop comfortably rhymes with Freud. I might as well put that right out there rather than make you wait until the end. There’s that intended pun – the end, and pun rhymes with bun. The thing that rhymes with Freud is in my bun end. Are we all on the same page? If not, keep reading.

So not being one to complain about medical conditions (I have a straight face, do you?), I casually mentioned to Tom that the Preparation H in our medicine cabinet expired five years ago, and I didn’t think it was working on my end. My buns were still uncomfortable after using it for a couple of days, buns rhyming with puns, of course. And then I didn’t mention my secret that rhymes with Freud again, except for when I’d sit down or poop.

On Sunday, Laura and I were baking cookies. From scratch, with organic ingredients, and they were shaped like ducks. I’m not making any of this up. Tom left to go get a pedicure. I’m still not making any of this up. Now Tom really isn’t in it so much for the pedicure as he is the foot and neck massage that he gets simultaneously with his pedicure, by two women at once. Yes, you read that correctly, two women at once massaging my husband. I allow this because Tom allows me to lust after blog about church bass players, Johnny Depp, Wentworth Miller, hawt toenail-removing doctors, and so forth. Tolerance Trust Tolerance and trust are two of the secrets to a successful long-term marriage, by the way, and ours has lasted thirteen years to the day. (Happy Anniversary, Honey, now excuse me. I gotta get back to writing yet another post about the intimate details of our lives.)

When Tom came home from his ménage a pedicure, he had a bag in his hand and proffered it to me. “I brought you something,” he said. I thought, “Wow! What could it be?” I was a little bit excited and quickly opened the bag. What to my wondering eyes did I see? Why it was a brand new tube of Preparation H! I was immediately touched. I really was. I felt so loved. I really did. You see, I hadn’t even asked him to go to the store for me. He thought of it all on his own. And I noticed that he even got the extra-strength kind with pain reliever. He must really love me.

But that’s not the end of the story. Oh, no, it’s not. Now I have to back up a bit. Tom injured his hamstring last week while running, and he’s got a pretty serious limp going on. In fact, after he hurt himself Laura said, “Between Daddy’s hamstring and Mommy’s toe, I don’t have a parent who can walk.” (My toe is better, by the way, and thanks to all of you who’ve asked. Seriously.) Now back to the story about the thing in my bun end that rhymes with Freud: Tom told me that when he went into the drug store, it was very crowded with shoppers. He said that he felt a little self-conscious when he had to limp to the cash register with freshly pedicured feet holding a tube of Preparation H.

(Pictures courtesy of Google Images.)

A Limerick for a Lady

Deb at San Diego Momma is hosting PROMPTuesday #34: Bawdy Prose. Why? Because it’s the Holidays. You may have noticed that today is Wednesday, but you’re probably much too polite to bring my tardiness to anyone’s attention and I appreciate that. Still, you may be wondering why I am late posting this. Can you guess?

Possible reasons that WhoaItIsWednesday is the new PROMPTuesday at Blog This Mom!:

1. I was being fitted with a prosthetic toe on Tuesday.

2. Petty annoyances like raising children interfered with blogging on Tuesday.

3. I am addicted to Prison Break and watched all twenty-six hours of season one during the twenty-fours hours of Tuesday.

4. I am addicted to Wentworth Miller and cyberstalked him all day on Tuesday.

5. My Internet connection was down much of the day on Tuesday and it keeps going out today and is it the wind blowing on the cables? and why does it keep going out? and so I can’t read blogs or post to my blog or send emails or receive emails or cyberstalk Wentworth Miller and if it weren’t for Prison Break to distract me from the toe pain I would have lost my mind on Tuesday.

Speaking of Prison Break, maybe you have the same question that Laura asked me yesterday: “Do you and Daddy kiss naked while you watch Prison Break?” I giggled when Laura asked me that, but then I thought, “Hey, she might be on to something!” Because? Kissing naked with one eye on Wentworth Miller? Brilliant. You see? I’m raising a brilliant child despite the time it takes away from my blogging to do so.

Naked. Wentworth Miller. Kissing. Um. What was I saying? Oh. Yeah. PROMPTuesday. On Wednesday.

Deb’s prompt this week: Please compose a holiday limerick.

So . . . rather than composing something bawdy and rhyming with sleigh (holiday? gay?), I composed a non-bawdy and almost-rhyming limerick for Deb.

A Limerick for a Lady
There once was a writer named Deb

Who wove tales on the World Wide Web,

Each Tuesday she’d prompt

‘Til I got verklempt

From limericks rolling ‘round in my head.

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