Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Writing Prompt Wednesday: First Thoughts

Because I am about to escape the Phoenix heat for a beautiful three days of camping, and this picture was also taken during a camping trip, today's prompt is:

Write the first thoughts that come to your mind when you look at this picture.

Stairs are treacherous. As a young mother, I am very familiar with hovering over my toddlers anytime they are around stairs, just waiting for that moment when I need to snatch their arm as they teeter on the edge. Sometimes I have missed the snatch, as the tiny white scar on my daughter's forehead can evidence.

But these rickety wooden stairs actually remind me of a funny story from my childhood. Growing up, the stairs in our house had a broken step at the bottom; it was at an angle while all the others had a defined edge. One night, for some unknown reason, my dad took it upon himself to repair the broken step. He removed the carpet and the wood so instead of a step a hole gaped into the storage closet underneath the stairs.

I knew my dad was fixing the step. His tools were all over the stairs. And yet, somehow, as I trotted down the stairs after putting my pajamas on, I stepped right into that hole. As I cried for help, my sisters busted up laughing at the sight of my legs dangling down into the storage closet.

Dad (or Mom, I can't remember) helped me out, and the story should end there, right?


After going upstairs again to grab a book, I trotted downstairs and stepped into the hole again.

You'd think I would have learned, right?


My sisters once again howled with laughter at my plight.

I think this story reveals so much about the multitude of issues that plague me to this day. Namely that I am a klutz and it takes me lots and lots of times to get things right.

And also that my sisters are really mean.

Happy Writing Prompt-ing!

The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Return of Writing Prompt Wednesday

Long ago, when I first started this blog, I used to post a writing prompt every Wednesday. That lasted for a few months, then life took over and Writing Prompt Wednesday fell by the wayside.

Now, however, I am published, I've quit my day job (not because of writing, but that's a story for another day), and I no longer need an excuse to unabashedly make writing my life (or, well, most of it. I still have three small mouths to feed. And a dog that just wants to play. And a husband who needs love and kisses). So I am bringing back Writing Prompt Wednesday!

Every Wednesday I will post a writing prompt, some made-up, most taken from people cleverer than me. The dreamer in me envisions other people commenting with their responses to the prompt, and even eventually turning it into an occasional writing contest with awesome prizes from yours truly for the winners!

But that may be a day far far into the distant future.

Until then, enjoy Writing Prompt Wednesday. I hope it inspires your writing!

Today's Prompt: Begin a story with the line, "They were eating dinner when a  butterfly floated in and landed on the meatloaf."
(Reprinted by permission all rights reserved (c) C.M. Mayo "Giant Golden Buddha and 364 More 5 Minute Writing Exercises  www.cmmayo.com/d5mwe.html)

They were eating dinner when a  butterfly floated in and landed on the meatloaf. Everyone reacted differently. Billy, not old enough to talk, cooed and laughed and clapped his hands. Grandpa, old enough to talk though everyone wished he wasn't, started to say, "Now that reminds me of that time in the war..." Father attempted to shush him and Mother reached across the table to shoo the butterfly away, knocking over Suzy's water which spilled in her lap, surprising her so much with its coldness that she hit Billy, who started to cry, which reminded Grandpa of another war story Father had heard a million times. Mother helped Suzy wipe up the mess and scolded her for hitting her brother. The butterfly, meanwhile, floated out the window, leaving chaos in its wake.

The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My First Book Signing

Years ago at some random bookstore, I remember seeing an author sitting behind a table stacked with his books, awkwardly waiting for someone to come buy one and have him sign it.

I remember thinking, "I never want to do that."

I did, in fact, want to be an author. I have wanted that my whole life. But the awkward pushing of my own book, equivalent to hawking my flesh and blood to any stranger on the street? I could do without that part.

And yet, two weeks ago, I had my turn being that awkward author behind the table.

I forgot names, misspelled words, and repeated myself. And watched in agony as people picked up my book, glanced at it, and put it back down.

The two things that saved me?


True sisterly love and devotion.

And all the amazing people who showed up to support me:

(These pictures don't represent all of you. Some of my pictures aren't loading right. And, let's face it, we don't need to see any more of that shiny forehead.)

When the signing was over, I felt awkward and vulnerable, worn down and insecure. But I also felt loved.

So I will probably do it again.

Here's to being published!
The Brown-Eyed Girl