Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Worthless Words

I am feeling like I should to write something worthwhile.
But I'm not feeling full of worthwhileness words.
I think I have run out of them.  They are all worthless words.
Well, at least not worth much.  Maybe a dime or two.
This is my 20 cents' worth - my 2 dimes' worth -
a quarter and here's a nickel's change worth.

Cat and mouse,
Hat and blouse,
Down and out,
Twist and shout,
Good dog,
Wood log,
Sit right down,
Go to town,
Tight fist,
Light mist,
Row your boat,
Get your goat,
Slap happy,
Rap tappy,
Pick a flower,
Take a shower,
Tricky kid,
Sticky lid;
If I had a penny for every rhyme
I'd have 20 cents, or double a dime.
Rhyming 5 more times would make
A quarter, but that's too much to take.
So I'd pocket my dimes and skip away;
You keep the nickel and I will play.
Tomorrow I'll think of better words,
Not these ones that are for the birds...
Cheap cheep!

©Donna JT Smith 2012
So this is what came out when I just started writing with nothing in mind, no thought except "What in the world will I write for Tuesday's Slice?" and I knew I had nothing.  It's funny, but it seemed like nothing for quite a while as I kept putting things on screen.  A couple rhymes here, a couple there, then the thought of a another rhyme about the "worthless" rhyme...and finally the cheep of a bird and the cheap of worthless.  I believe I have 20 rhyming pairs.  You can't count cheap cheep - those are homonyms.
I guess my slice is really about "just write", even when you think there's nothing there.  Start writing worthless words and keep it up until something more than worthless emerges...even it is doesn't end up profound, it might just end up "pro-fun"!

Monday, July 30, 2012

WRiTE CLUB Competition Starts Today!

It's time to read and vote!   All writers are anonymous at WRiTE CLUB.  You can still submit writing also, but you NEED to sign up even to vote.  The first two pieces of writing are up now, and there will be two more on Thursday.  Each piece is 500 words or fewer, so it doesn't take long to read and vote!  Enjoy!  I've submitted my piece...but you will not know which one it is because, again, it is a nonny mouse.  I've cast my vote today for one of the writers.  Hop on over there and take a peak at the two selections for today, sign in and vote!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Filling Your Shoes

You left your shoes for me to fill
Sometimes I put them on
And hear you still 
Some days I feel you in the air
Facing indecision
I see you there
Practical words you'd give today
And comfort bestow in
Your special way
In many ways that can't be known
You have lent me wisdom
Beyond my own
So when I wonder what to do
I can look inside me
And see you too.

©2012, Donna JT Smith

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

10,000 Day

My celebratory iPhone swirl at nightlights...looks almost like fireworks!

Today is the day!  I have had 10,000 hits on my blog!  Yea!

I've been blogging on Mainely Write for just under a year and a half...since March, 2011.  Over the past couple of days I've been watching the stats creep up to 9000 and past, and today, TODAY, I see 10,003.  I missed seeing the 10,000 exactly, but that's okay.  This is so neat.  Now, I'm going to see if I can get the next 10,000 in one year or less.  Not sure how that will happen, but it seems like a goal. I guess I could turn off the "Don't count my own hits" button.  I could really rack up the points that way!  But I won't do that.  I'd have hit 10,000 way before this if I had counted myself as a visitor!

I never had a goal when I started, except to write and write faithfully in a sort of faithful type manner, whatever that is.  I think I've been pretty faithfully writing, and oft times writing faithfully.

I need to think about how I want to celebrate my 10,000 mark.
I thank everyone who has been reading! 
I hug everyone who has been commenting! 
I love everyone who has been encouraging! 
This is a good, no, a great day! 
Celebrate with me...what should we do?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What is Wrong with This Picture?

One of our "things to do" on Saturday now, is to go out for breakfast.  And when I am out I have trouble ignoring the things I see around me.  Most of the time it is wonderful and I enjoy watching the sights and the people as they come and go.

But this Saturday, it just struck me.  We were in a nearby small breakfast/lunch restaurant.  If I were to pick a genre for the restaurant, it would be a diner, just not in an actual "diner" car as one would usually think of a diner being.  Anyway, it has a "sit-at-the-bar" area on one wall and 4 tables on the opposite wall, and two tables with windowseats and chairs in the front window.  It is a small place, that serves up homemade foods.  It has great food and delicious coffee.  The walls are painted a cheery yellow, with a sage green trim, and has small floral print cotton curtains on the windows.  It's a happy, kitcheny place to go for breakfast or lunch...no suppers - they're closed then.

Usually we are at a table on the wall, but it was full when we got there, so we sat at the bar.  We aren't a fan of sitting up high, so when a windowseat became available shortly, we moved there.

From this spot, I could see the whole place.  And it struck me that this could have pretty easily been a diner set up from my childhood.  But the people were not from my past.  It was interesting, to watch how people have changed over the years, and how our expectations have changed.

I watched a young lady, probably 12 or 13 sitting beside her mother (there was no father with them, so that's the first difference) and across from her probably 10 year old brother.  From the back I could see her bra straps, since the tank tops of today don't seem to be made with any care as to where your underwear will be.  That just was a terrible "no-no" in days gone by.  It would be mortifying if a part of your bra strap peeked through from under your blouse (what's a blouse?), as sometimes it did, since straps were threaded in a clip and the end was free and unattached.

They were talking about where they should rent a cottage it sounded like, with the mother asking them how important it was to be right on the ocean because it was difficult to find one right on the water. Well, yes, and it is much more expensive, too (which I suspect was the concern, not the availability), so why should they really have a say in this (unless money is not object, I suppose)? They looked at a brochure for a bit and then girl felt rather free to speak her mind quite loudly and clearly about how she would and could NEVER live in Maine!  Well, again, when I was a kid, that wouldn't have been a topic for discussion.  It wouldn't have been spoken about loudly in a public place.  AND it wouldn't matter where YOU didn't want to live.  You lived where your parents were and there just wasn't a reason to talk about where you did or didn't want to live - we weren't paying for it or trying to find a job there.

When they had first gotten to the table, the brother sitting (and I use that term loosely) across from her, had immediately grabbed a creamer that was sitting in a bowl on the table.  He opened it and drank it before opening his menu.  Now, I know this again is a little thing.   But when we were kids, if we had done that, we would have been told - a. that is not good for you, b. that is not what that is for, c. that is not free: it comes with a coffee that you purchase, and d. if you had gotten away with it before those admonitions were given to you, don't, under any circumstances EVER do that again!

Then we would have been told to SIT DOWN...on your bottom, not with your shoes on the chair.  He was on his knees and feet, leaning on the table throughout the whole ordering, waiting and eating.  Someone is going to need to sit on that chair later, and won't expect it to be like sitting on a dirty sidewalk.  And then we would have been told to TAKE THE HAT OFF...not just AT the table, but upon entering any building.  Where did that go?  Of 5 males in there 3 had hats on.  The two males with hats off were my husband and another older adult.  The three with them on were the young boys (though I often see older men with their hats on at the table nowadays).

A mom with a 2 year old daughter was sitting at the farthest in table, near the kitchen area.  Mom ordered her a LOBSTER - yes, lobster - omelet!  What?  Who are we trying to impress here?  Certainly not the toddler.  The toddler was done with her meal in short order, and now mom was trying to entertain her while mom finished her own breakfast.  Finally, she told her she could get down and play with a wooden pull toy as long as she stayed away from where people would be walking.  So the child was at the front of the diner near the front door, out of sight of the mom who was way at the back.  The child made a few stops on her way to the front to stand and stare at the people eating.  She was cute, but that is beside the point.  You don't stand by people eating and just watch them.  We would have been told that was impolite, well, aside from the fact that we wouldn't have been turned loose in a restaurant for one second.

On their way out of the diner someone said what a cute little pull toy...to which the mom replied, "Oh, it's not hers. The shop down the street said she could take it with her when we went to eat...good advertisement...and we could bring it back after.  I don't know how that's going to go..."

Wow.  I want to buy that toy after it's been pulled down the street, set on a restaurant table, handled by a 2 year old, etc.  And what a great way to teach your child that it is okay to take things from a store - as long as you bring them back - used.  Or even better, a way to get your parents to buy you something.  I'm sure giving it back now will be easy to explain to her.  I'm sure she just handed it back and walked sweetly out of the store.

Now, before you go all "glad I wasn't there, she's really in a grumpy mood", or "chill out, lady", just remember, I'm just telling you (if you are young) and reminding you (if you are older), that it hasn't always been this way.  Once upon a time we had manners and respect for other people's feelings and property.  Things are changing.  Change is not always a good thing.
I'd like to see a return to a few of the niceties, the manners, the self-restraint, the thoughtfulness, that was a part of my childhood.

Keep your elbows off the table.
Please, don't talk with your mouth full.
Don't touch, it doesn't belong to you.

I'm sorry!  See.  I can't even write this without feeling guilty about criticizing.  But it's not like they are bad people, or that I am totally disgusted or angry or indignant...I'm just disappointed, I guess.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Scream, You Scream...Dogs Scream?

Today is Poetry Friday and is being hosted by Tara, over at A Teaching Life.  Go there and enjoy sitting in the poets' corner today...have an ice cream while you read!

Does your dog enjoy a cold ice cream cone treat on these hot summer days?
Pippi says, "Make mine vanilla..."
I promise to brush my teeth afterwards.
I Don't Scream

I’d like a treat
If you don’t mind;
I’d like the kind
That you would eat.
Not just a bone,
Though that is good,
I think I would
Like a cone.

So, if you please,
Another ride
Where you have buyed
Cold sweets for these
Sweet tooths of mine.
I’ll lick it up;
Not in a cup
A cone is fine!

I know last time
I got brain freeze
And had to sneeze
And left some slime;
This time I’ll eat
Very neatly
And completely
In the back seat.

You’ll have no mess
I’ll eat with flair
No wear and tear,
Nor drippy-ness.
My tongue will wrap
Around my jaws,
and then my paws
I'll quickly lap.

Slurp steering wheel
Lick floor and door
Could I do more
To seal the deal?
I've heard it said
That you would scream
For this I-scream;
I'll bark instead!

©2012, Donna JT Smith

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WRiTE Challenge

Are you ready to try this?
Here's the description from DL Hammons:

"Over the course of twelve weeks we’ll be holding weekly bouts to determine winners that will advance to the play-offs, which will ultimately lead to a single champion.  Bouts between who…or what…you ask.  Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted by anyone who wishes to take part, that’s who.   The submitted samples should be identified only by a pen name of your choosing (be creative) that nobody has ever seen before.  The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction.  It’s a way to get your writing in front of a lot of readers, without having to suffer the agony of exposure.  We’ll start accepting these submissions today and will continue to take them during the entire twelve week preliminaries, but beginning on July 30th, the first WRiTE will be held."

So head on over to Cruising Altitude 2.0 and sign up right away!  It sounds like it will be lots of fun!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Slice of Golf

look down
swing up
then go again
the green goes on

then count your swings
the score is ending

deep grass
sand trap
then in the pond
the hazards rather

look far
look wide
then go inside
this was my last

On Since You Asked, Dawn was talking about the relative safety of golf versus football for her two sons.  When anyone brings up the topic of golf, I am instantly transported back to my childhood experience with the sport of golf...and I just have to disagree with its receiving a "Sporting Safety Award".   I know, I know, it is generally a safe sport.  But in my household, with two brothers close in age, we two sisters observed many a safe sport or activity turn treacherous.  I learned a lot by watching them.  There were so many things I decided not to do.  I really should thank them officially some day.
So, about golf. My mom and dad had decided to take up golf.  It was a short-lived jaunt to the country club life, just before their tennis era, so there were some golf clubs accessible somewhere in our house.  I don't think I was even aware of the opportunity to use them.  My brothers though, always took advantage of opportunities which I never knew existed.  I often found out later that there had been no standing invitation to use or do the things that created those memorable moments of instantaneous chaos in our relaxing weekends or evenings.
My two brothers (though they weren't officially "playing golf"), found the clubs, and were swinging my dad's golf clubs in the backyard.  One sure, swift swing from one brother met the side of the other brother's head, severing his ear.  I know, you are cringing.  I did, too.  But don't worry, it turns out okay in the end.
The good thing was that, the "slice" wasn't a fraction of an inch forward.  The outcome would have been much different had it hit just about anywhere else in that area. The other fortunate things were that we lived next door to a doctor, who escorted us to the hospital and stitched the ear back on; and that my mother was a registered nurse so knew how to take care of an errant ear.
Looking back it's incredible that we were able to survive some of our childhood fun.  When I started high school we moved into the city, so we could be closer to school.  The doctor was probably happy to see us move closer to the hospital and farther from him.  It must have made his backyard cookouts much more relaxing and enjoyable.
BTW, this same brother with the wild swing, has now taken up golf some 50 years later.  He keeps asking me if I want to play golf with him.  Uh, no.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Clever, Handsome Fellow

Thanks Jone at Check It Out, for hosting Poetry Friday today.  If you are visiting here, go there and check out more awesome links to all things poetic posted by others.

I'm hoping to get a picture today of a seagull on a pole or post to put here.  I tried a couple of days ago, but none of the seagulls were interested in poles that day...only rooftops.

People hate them on rooftops.  What a mess!  We used to have 60 -100 that would sit atop our school roof adjacent to the parking lot.  Needless to say, we complained - a lot!   At the end of the day our cars looked like they'd been splattered with white paint.  It didn't come off easily, so you had to decide if you wanted to drive looking around that splat, or if you wanted to try to use your wipers and make a fine skim coat of it to look through.  The school actually has installed a rooftop speaker system that periodically plays the sound of an injured seagull, and that seems to keep them away now...not a very empathetic group.

Here you can see that the seagull repellant isn't working.

The Seagull

A clever, handsome fellow
Is that seagull on the pole;
He sits up there to spy a clam
To pull out of its hole.

He swoops down low without a sound,
He spies the clam's air bubble;
He grabs the clam out of the mud
And now that clam's in trouble.

He smashes it upon the rocks
With gusto and great zeal;
It makes a great big mushy mess,
Oh, such a tasty meal.

But that's not all the seagull
Likes to carry off to munch;
Be very, very careful
Or he'll abscond with half your lunch!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Try This!!!

Yesterday I had the most fun with some flash fiction!  
I had gone to a website to see about inspiration and challenges for writing some flash fiction, and came across Flashpoints: a site-specific mass writing event.  The challenge was to go to a public place, bring a pen/pen and paper, look around and get inspired in the area to write something that relates to your flashpoint somehow, write your piece on only one side of the paper, leave the piece of writing for someone else to find and read, record with a photo where you left your piece of writing, submit the writing and photo to the web site.
So, I went to Starbucks after doing some errands, and while I was there I thought..."Hey, I could try this out here."
I didn't have any paper, but I got a napkin and wrote on one side of it.  Then I typed it into my iPad, so I'd have a digital copy to email in to the Flashpoint site.  I took a picture of the blue wall and lights there, referred to in my writing, with the written upon napkin on the arm of the chair.
Instead of leaving, I went and sat down elsewhere, posted the Flashbomb to the website and waited to see if anyone would notice the writing, or if it would be just thrown away.
It was only a matter of a few minutes when two young women came in and spied the napkin  on the chair over in the corner even before ordering.  They went over to it, looked down at it and began to read it.  One of them picked it up then, folded it and put it in her purse.  They ordered and left.  I wish I'd heard their conversation, but I was too far away, and I'm not sure if they had read the whole thing before leaving the coffee shop.  But it was fun nonetheless!  I'm going to try it again very soon. This is the direct link to my Summer Relief.   Go to the site and visit other "flashbombs"!  And maybe you'd like to try one yourself. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Two Rainbows and the Moon

Head on over to Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference, where this week's Poetry Friday is being hosted.  Thank you, Tabatha for hosting everything poetic this week! 
Okay, Linda, I did it. Thank you for the gritty grain of an idea you left in my comments from my previous post. And thank you Stacey for the idea for the "I Wish" poems from your Sunday, June 24 post.  I combined the two thoughts with my post from yesterday.

Two Rainbows and the Moon

I wish for you bright days ahead,
Joys full within your soul, 
A happiness that grows within,
As waves to shoreline roll.
I wish your days be long and light
With butterflies and breezes;
I wish for you the clearest skies
And nights with firefly teases.
When rain quenches the dry land's thirst,
May drops pit-pat a tune
And after that, be overhead
Two rainbows and the moon,
Reminders that forever more
Is just around the bend;
The past has just slipped past us and
To that we've put an end,
Today is what we have to live,
To love, to laugh, to dream;
Don't let it slip away without
Your dance, your song, your gleam.
And though some days hold back the sun
Remember very soon
To look above and see my wish:
Two rainbows and the moon.

©2012, Donna Smith

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Missed it, but Got it.

I seem to have been so busy for the past two weeks, that it has been nearly impossible to settle my brain to writing something.  I have been either on the go or sleeping it seems.  There have been some good "Words With Friends" and "Spider Solitaire" games, too... perhaps that is when I should have been writing.  But it still seems like my games were more to try to settle in for sleeping after a long day.
So now I am sitting.  It is finally not too hot, too!  I cannot think in hot weather, and we've been having a bout of hot weather after all the rains.  We are still getting some great rains between sunshines.  Which reminds me of Sunday night.
Sunday night I drove home from church alone.  My husband had to catch an early flight the next morning out of Manchester (NH) to Salt Lake City, so we drove separately.  After evening church service, I headed home on my hour plus drive.  The sky was spectacular, but I was driving, so I couldn't get a picture of it without jeopardizing the lives of all around me.  Believe me, I tried, too!  But I finally resigned myself to the fact that it would be dumb to be in an accident all for the sake of a beautiful sky!
But let me tell you what I saw.
On my left, the horizon was sporting puffy golden and pink clouds with upper highlights of silvery white on the light blue watercolored sky.  To my right, there were heavy gray clouds, threatening rain.  But in the middle of those gray clouds was a rosy deep pink glow, like the flushed cheeks of a child with a fever...the glow seemed to emanate from the cloud, but in reality it was the reflection of the setting sun on that cloud...and then...
two rainbows over that fevered cloud!
As I made a turning exit off the highway, almost reversing my direction, I saw now between the two sun creations, the bright white, almost full moon in the clearing between the clouds of the setting sun and the reflective clouds with rainbow.
How much beauty can you take at one sitting, I wondered.
I was mesmerized and wished that I could somehow get this recorded.
I guess I did in a fashion...
I hope my memory of it remains clear.  At least I've written a photograph.

Z is for Zoetic

Good Words Alphabetically: Z is for Zoetic Ah, z end of z month... I'm going to miss writing a poem and drawing every day.  Perhaps I wi...