Sunday, May 30, 2021

Writers' Pantry #72: Oh, I Will Walk 500 Miles...

Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! Over the holidays my parents gave my husband and I one of those gadgets that track your steps among other things. I had only been half-heartedly monitoring my daily steps for a while, but I had a couple of periods of high slugdom during the last couple of months, and the weather is getting nicer. So I’m trying to be more deliberate about hitting the 10,000 step mark.

You’d think having a dog makes this easier, but my pupper lives life in slug mode. I often find myself having to take extra walks after he’s done walking (and taking twice as many steps in half the time). But the really nice thing is that my husband, who has been very good about walking all this time, is often willing to be my walking buddy when I need it. Anybody else making more of an effort to move more?

Looking forward to the week ahead, when Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose which includes one (or all 3) of the following words: unusual, uncommon, uncanny. You are welcomed to choose your own topic, genre, form… But your contribution must include at least one of the words.

Now it’s time to show how you’ve flexed your writing muscles this week and share your pieces. I’m taking new and old pieces, poetry and prose, fiction and non fiction. One piece per person and please keep your prose pieces to 369 words or fewer.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Weekly Scribblings #71: Waiting

Waiting for the dust to settle, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting in the wings, waiting in line, playing the waiting game, waiting with bated breath, waiting for Godot, I can’t wait …

Hello again, dear Wordsmiths.

What are you waiting for? 

To be vaccinated; to be able to travel more freely; to see family members in person at last; just for the whole damn nightmare to fade…?

For the completion of a project; for a particular phone-call or email; for a train or a bus; for a parcel to be delivered; for the doctor to see you…?

With trepidation, for exam results? With eagerness (especially if young) to celebrate your birthday?

Are you waiting for rain? Waiting for the rain to stop?

My cat waits for the next meal, the next game, the next snuggle. My friend’s dog waits for her daily walk. 

And what do you do while you’re waiting?

Waiting for a bus, or a medical appointment – those are good times to catch up with reading, or even writing. Or I play on Instagram, checking profiles I follow: from National Geographic and ‘earth’, through besotted cat owners and Doctor Who fandom accounts, to new poems and photos by some of you.

Waiting for something more suspenseful? Well, maybe we still need to resort to those same activities to take our minds off. Or do we pace the floor, keep checking our watches, ask importunate questions over and over …?

Enough speculation! We’ve waited long enough. Luckily we don’t need to wait for inspiration. We have prompts.

Please write about waiting.

Poetry or prose; new, recent or extensively reworked; only one each; prose pieces 369 words max. The prompt will stay open all week.

Leave us a link here, maybe a comment, and if possible please mention this prompt on your post, or linking to it there would be really awesome.

The first song about waiting to capture my heart. I know Marlene Dietrich made it her own, 

but it was Vera Lynn's version I first heard.



Sunday, May 23, 2021

Writers’ Pantry #71: The Turtle Moves

Greetings, my dearest poets and storytellers. Today is World Turtle Day, a time “to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.” Go ahead, read that sentence three times fast. I triple-turtle dare you.  

I haven’t seen a turtle in ages. I used to visit a bale of turtles that lived in the park where my Piano Man and I had our first date. But we haven’t been there since the pandemic started. I hope they are doing well, having fun (and many healthy babies).

To celebrate World Turtle Day, I wish to share the beginning of Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites (the book where I first glimpsed my favorite turtle in the whole wide universe):

This is a story about magic and where it goes and perhaps more importantly where it comes from and why, although it doesn’t pretend to answer all or any of these questions.

It may, however, help to explain why Gandalf never got married and why Merlin was a man. Because this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author’s control. They might.

However, it is primarily a story about a world. Here it comes now. Watch closely, the special effects are quite expensive.

A bass note sounds. It is a deep, vibrating chord that hints that the brass section may break in at any moment with a fanfare for the cosmos, because the scene is the blackness of deep space with a few stars glittering like the dandruff on the shoulders of God.

Then it comes into view overhead, bigger than the biggest, most unpleasantly armed starcruiser in the imagination of a three-ring filmmaker: a turtle, ten thousand miles long. It is Great A’Tuin, one of the rare astrochelonians from a universe where things are less as they are and more like people imagine them to be, and it carries on its meteor-pocked shell four giant elephants who bear on their enormous shoulders the great round wheel of the Discworld.

As the viewpoint swings around, the whole of the world can be seen by the light of its tiny orbiting sun. There are continents, archipelagos, seas, deserts, mountain ranges and even a tiny central ice cap. The inhabitants of this place, it is obvious, won’t have any truck with global theories. Their world, bounded by an encircling ocean that falls forever into space in one long waterfall, is as round and flat as a geological pizza, although without the anchovies.

A world like that, which exists only because the gods enjoy a joke, must be a place where magic can survive. And sex too, of course.

The passage always makes me laugh aloud, so I hope that it brewed at least one chuckle out of you. If not, then I hope something else makes you smile today.

Now, let us open the Pantry! Share poetry or prose that is old or new, fiction or nonfiction. Let your contributions be short or longish (if you choose prose, let the word count be 369 words or fewer). One link per participant, por favor. This prompt shall remain open for a week. Write, share, read, comment... And if you get a chance, help a turtle.

- for our next Weekly Scribblings, our Rosemary will invite us to write about waiting.

The Turtle Moves, by Joanna Johnen

 - the title is a quote from Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett.