Category Archives: Virtues

INCONSIDERATE: Nightmares From An Unbleached Soul, AtoZ Blog Challenge

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NIGHTMARES FROM AN UNBLEACHED SOUL

INCONSIDERATE

I hold doors for all genders; it's my way
Thinking of others,whatever the day
Please and Thank You are always on cue
You're welcome follows whenever it's due
I'd give up my spot on a crowded bus or a train
But lately from another...no, no. I'll refrain.

It's a blast meeting someone with a pension for being polite
We could play Alfonse and Gaston all through the night
Winding up at a diner at dawn, stifling yawns, 
We drained out third cups of joe, out we go
Cracking smiles with late owls and overnight crew
But lately from another...no, no. I'll eschew. 

Now don't get me wrong, but some can make me blue
They've opinions that they are entitled to
But confrontations growled right out loud
Behind my back or in front of a crowd
Greed and jealousy are not part of my deck
But lately from another..oh well, what the heck.

Mr. Inconsiderate, without the Mr. is her stance
Facing each other we do an antagonistic dance
Yet she fails in her visions of superiority over me
Now any infractions that she perceives
Is handed to her flunky to handle. It's a crazy scene
But lately from another..oh well, she's just mean.

[The band]
HA YEAH
She's just mean

[sotto voce] 
Now you don't have to just take my word
Every encounter has been taped and observed
Big Sister is watching, tries to use this clout
To knock people off kilter, spinning all about

[Loud and call backs]
HEY BIG SISTER
              [HEY BIG SISTER]
I SAID HEY BIG SISTER
              [HEY BIG SISTER]
MR. INCONSIDERATE WON'T TAKE IT
              [HEY, WON'T TAKE IT]
AS TIMOTHY LEARY SAID, OH SO PRECISE
               [Oooo Oooo Ooooo]
I'll question your authority
Until you learn to play...
Nice. 
               
[spoken]
Maybe not even then!
Inconsideration is not in my purview
Right now? It's up to you.
Roll the dice. 
Ciao!




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“I” had me in a holding pattern for most of the day.  Then a style of music, and singer, popped into my head. I’m glad I listen to so many types and genres.

Nightmares From An Unbleached Soul. 26 posts during April, a new Lyrical Poem with every post.

If you’d like to discover new blogs along interests you may have or want to explore, click on The Master List on the AtoZ Blogging Challenge page.

Hank’s Sorrow: Nightmares From An Unbleached Soul, AtoZ Blog Challenge

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NIGHTMARES FROM AN UNBLEACHED SOUL

HANK’S SORROW

Hello Suzanne, I'm sure you already know,
The worst that could happen; a horrible blow.
Just wanted to tell you, he did love you so
Whenever he mentioned you, his words were aglow.

He was planning on returning, to take up his place
Right beside you, for always, writ on his face
Suzanne I'm sure you've cried, a thousand times or more
Losing him a bit each time he shipped out for war. 

I know he loved you, each and every way. 
He told us to a man; all I can say
He won't be forgotten; we take to heart
A brother beyond the end, he will never depart

Know that you'll have support, from afar or so near
His loving heart is with us, nothing left to fear.
He was brave and determined every damn day
And I'm sorry...I'm sorry, that it ended this way.

His grave is waiting for the topsoil to fill 
The empty six feet down, atop this old hill. 
He loved you, loved you, his forever bride,
He's at rest now, right by your side. 

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Nightmares From An Unbleached Soul is my theme for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. 26 posts during the month of April, with Sundays off for good behavior.

I gave myself the challenge of Lyrical Poetry. I’ve had different styles of music in my head as I wrote, and will write, each piece. Would love to collaborate with a musician. If you are one, or know one, who would like to talk about it, let me know. I think it would be a learning experience on both sides.

Click on The Master List so you can find the blogs of writers, poets, photographers, recipes, and more from all over the globe.

Please comment below. Constructive critique is always welcome.

One More Day… AtoZ April Challenge

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One more day.

Follow your dream; The courage found within.

It’s been inside of me all along

All along.

Don’t give up.

Please, don’t give up.

Don’t let me down

It’s your destiny to make it to the end

Now I see the finish line

Gonna finish mine

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

One day more!

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April 1st and the Blogging from A to Z Challenge begins.

26 posts, starting with A and finishing with Z.

My theme this year:

Nightmares from an Unbleached Soul

Song Lyrics and Poetry

Something different from me to you.

Please leave a comment here in the comment section.

Click on the link for AtoZ Blog Challenge; it’s not too late to sign up.

It’s never too late to discover new blogs on a variety of subjects.

I hope you enjoy what’s to come.

Me?

I’m a bit on the terrified side.

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Copyright info for the song lyrics that make up the top “poem.”

  1. Don’t Give Up lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management
  2. Strength Courage & Wisdom lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc
  3. Follow Your Dream lyrics © Star Songs Inc.
  4. One Day More lyrics © Alain Boublil Music Ltd., Alain Boublil Music Ltd, Wb Music Corp Obo Alain Boublil Music Ltd.
  5. Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun (25th September 1967 “Top Gear”) lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.
  6. Don’t Let Me Down lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
  7. Finish Line / Drown lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Reveal Yourself! : The AtoZ Blog Challenge + a Bonus

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“I suppose all fictional characters, especially in adventure or heroic fiction, at the end of the day are our dreams about ourselves. And sometimes they can be really revealing.”
Alan Moore

“The act of writing is a way of tricking yourself into revealing something that you would never consciously put into the world. Sometimes I’m shocked by the deeply personal things I’ve put into books without realizing it.”
Chuck Palahniuk

“its memories that I’m stealing, but you’re innocent when you dream”                                     Tom Waits

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Hi

I started Tale Spinning in January of 2011. April happened, and I discovered the AtoZ Blog Challenge. It has been a path I’ve taken just about every April since then (I didn’t participate twice; life, y’ know?).

When I sign up, I rarely know what I’m going to tackle by Theme Reveal Day. I’ll have an underlying theme title, maybe, and let the story/characters/ideas take over once we come very close to the start on April 1st.

Last year’s story, A Car in the Woods, began as one idea and morphed into something completely different by the third post. Some of that came from comments from the readers (comments ARE important); the rest of it, the characters spoke up and made the story-line happen. This year could be the same. Won’t know until we get there.

So, my AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal is…bfdf76177b189d0d568eb27495748d23_exciting-news-drum-roll-please-words-big-news-writing_1314-1600

Nightmares for Unbleached Souls

I was taking one of my walks. 6,000 steps into Tom Waits soul (which is a cool theme idea unto itself). His songs propelled me along. Somewhere along my route Innocent When You Dream starts playing. Through my headphones, I really HEAR everything that Waits is pouring out, laying his thoughts and feelings down for anyone who will listen, to experience.

The song, like others of his, stops me. I replay it a few times. Then a few more times. The words moved me while I stood still.

I’m a bit twisted, for those who’ve never read my writing before. For me, going in the opposite direction from a jumping-off point is kind of my norm.  Hence, Innocent When You Dream rolled into Nightmares for Unbleached Souls.

Thank you, Mr. Waits. For all the words and music. For being my muse for this challenge.

I have my initial AtoZ list of nightmares/phobias (which most likely will change as I write during the month). I’m still debating the form this will take. Right now, I am contemplating:

  1. Song Lyrics. Yes, I’ve written songs before. The challenge here would be 26 in a row. It is also something I’ve never tried in all the years I’ve been doing this; there’s the appeal.
  2. Diary-like entries, episodic but with an underlying back story (yes, my mind is drifting towards Lovecraft)
  3. Individual posts that let me go where it will take me (Flash Fiction; Drabble; Poetry; etc.). Essentially, stand-alone stories that have nothing to do with any of the previous posts but keep to the theme (I’m thinking along the lines of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, but in my own way).

#1 seems to hold my attention more, and I think it fits with how I came to this AtoZ Theme: Tom Waits songs.

We’ll see when April 1st arrives.

YOU can still join in. Visit the Blogging from A to Z home page. Take a gander at the Master List and Theme Reveal pages to see who is already participating. As I’ve mentioned before, it is not just creative writing. Non-fiction postings sit next to photography a day, parent advice blogs, poetry, and so on.

Just remember one thing: Comments are important.

Thanks. I hope you’ll enjoy what’s coming to Tale Spinning.

Bonus with colour confetti. Vector paper illustration.

Driving Into The Sun

Pure adrenaline; squealing around turns
A rise along the sediment; a bump, unseen
And we’re lifted off the ground
We’re lifted off the ground
We’re driving into the sun.

Pushing past the limits; Downshift to take it high
The glaring prism breaks the pain
That’s everywhere as we scream
We’re lifted off the ground
We’re driving into the sun.

Light ahead; lights behind
There’s no box to keep us level
No box to think within
We’re lifted off the ground
Lifted off the ground

Are you still with me?
I really can not tell
Not sure if I care or not
It’s all a blur as we ascend
We’re driving into the sun

Driving into the sun
Lifting off the ground
Nothing really matters much
Driving into the sun
We’re lifted off the ground
Off the ground
The ground

We’re driving into the sun.

Jump At The Son

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JUMP AT THE SON

 

He was usually by my side. In his early days, we walked hand in hand. As our walks increased in step by step increments, he’d hold his arms way up high. Of course, I picked him up, carrying and mini snuggles. Other times he rode on my shoulders, clutching my hair. We became a Two-Headed Monster. We shared a gnarly growl; it always announced the monster’s arrival.

Always.

Yet, years pass as they dispassionately are prone to. From my side, hand-holding, carry snuggles, becoming a Monster were abandoned. We went on chases instead; more me chasing him. Then he’d chase after me, laughing so hard his head popped off his neck when I turned the table back to chasing him. When I was his prey, he always caught me. Once in a while, I would catch him.

We morphed into One less and less. We lost the “carry me,” and hand-holding didn’t exist.  By this point in our lives, we also lost the Monster.

He never said “Goodbye” to either of us.

Things change.

Things changed.

We ran the gauntlet most parents know. As he slalomed around me, his looking up to me would change to “I hate you!” to apologies and understandings, and back to volatile disagreements. In those cases, the slamming of his bedroom door was the coda that generally ended in “Arrrrggghhh!” from both sides of the door. There began the push away/pull me back times. From a protected, cared for son, a new monster, singular, appeared. He was striving to grow up, to be self-reliant. Independent.

Moments blipped passed us. We talked. We gave each other the Silent Treatment. Doing something fun together could quickly flip into parent shunning. I was waiting.

Waiting for things to even out, for our varying personalities to allow each other to breathe again when we were together. It happened with no rush to make it real. We had been on a strained thin rope, correcting our balances, expecting the other to fall.

I know there were times he did not like me. It might have bordered on hatred, but that remains in his secrets stash. It’s hard to say, but there were times I did not like him. Love, yes. I’ve always loved him.

Things change.

Things changed.

Marriage happenings took over our lives. He committed himself to his bride, his mate, his best friend; my commitment dissolved around me, shredding into strips and then pieces. What was left was a tattered life. It all turned to ashes.

I’m proud of the man he has built for himself. He holds his strengths, his humor, his intelligence, and his weaknesses.

We are no longer a combined Two-Headed Monster, physically. There are those moments that sneak up on us, where our inner gnarly growling meshes. It may happen across the many miles that separate up. Face to face, the growl surfaces.

In those times I can shout out: “Beware. Beware! The Two-Headed Monster has arrived.”

It’s still alive.

In some ways, things stay the same.

The Secret Acquiescence: #FridayFictioneers

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The Secret Acquiescence

“Unfriendlies.”

“Copy that. Commence action.”

“Affirmative.”

The dome exploded, shards of glass rained. Zeta Team rappelled down.

Shots fired; shots returned. Unfriendlies down. No Zeta casualties.

Scanning the area, Zeta One signaled to advance. They reached their second objective:  a large steel door.

Detcord placed, explosives went off, door breached. Zeta Team cleaned out all resistance along the hallway.

Final objective: door to the prisoner.  Extra Detcord did the job.

Zeta One approached the objective. He had a white beard and hair, hat in hands. He looked at Zeta One expectantly.

“The country needs you, Uncle Sam,” Zeta One said.

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Author’s Note:

It’s #Friday Fictioneers prompt time, as always created and hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields on her blog, Addicted To Purple.

The rules are simple if you’d like to do this:

    1. Use the photo on Addicted to Purple as your prompt (goes up on Wednesday).
    2. Write a 100 word story, complete with beginning, middle, and end.
    3. Make every word count.
    4. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor of the photo credit.
  1. Add the InLinkz button (below) so your readers can find the dozens of other bloggers who have taken up this challenge.

Stuck On You

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Stuck On You

#Flash Fiction Prompt

“How are you? I’m OK, but I’m leaking glue.”

Elsie stared at Elmer in disbelief. They had been together for a while now. He’d always been a bit bullish, and she adored that about him, especially in the sack. He was almost always horny, and that was fine with her, as long as they weren’t chewing the cud. Nothing ruins mating like starting a discussion.

Like now.

“What do you mean, you’re “leaking glue?”

Elmer had been behind her, as was his want, but mooved around so he was facing her to make that statement. She loved the milky whiteness of his skin, the baleful ferociousness that was offset by the cravings she saw in his big brown eyes. She loved how he was outstanding in his field, how Angus and the others freely gave him his stomping grounds.  Elsie loved a lot of things about Elmer, but this…this was scary. He was not one prone to joking around or making existential statements. He was more of a grunting hulk, moody at times, but…that was just his way.

“I’m…I’m OK as well, Elmer,” she stammered out. “Honey, what do you mean? You’re leaking glue? Is that a joke?”

He didn’t answer. Elmer mooved away slightly, staring off in the distance. She turned in the same direction as his gaze. She saw nothing out of the ordinary. The young ones were frolicking over the meadow, no matter how many times they were swatted to stop. Over by the clump of trees a number of their crowd were just lazing around. Elsie noticed Bessie-that heifer!-was there, making eyes at anyone who would pay attention. She had been with Elmer when they were younger, but he had mooved on. He was with her, now, and she’d be darned if…no, he wasn’t looking at her.

What was he looking at?

She waited with him, patiently at first. He wasn’t paying her any attention, and she wasn’t used to that. Sure, they’d stand around all day, catching rays, or hang out under the trees. But, Elmer had always been Present. This, this was unlike him, and it made her skittish.

The sun moved west, and the light of the day began to wane. The others began to mosey indoors; it was feeding time, and none of them would wait a second longer if they didn’t have to. Elsie stayed because Elmer stayed. He was lost inside of himself; she had no idea why.

The light of the day slowly turned to darkness, accentuated by the twinkling far away lights. The moon was full and bright, which allowed her to see quite well. Her gaze was on Elmer. His was still elsewhere.

The grumblings in her tummies had grown to an uncomfortable level. Head hung down, Elsie thought to swat Elmer, mad at what went on this day. Her better sense of propriety won out, and with one last look at Elmer, she started to saunter off to be with the others.

She had only taken eight steps when Elmer said his first word since earlier in the day.

“Elsie?”

She stopped. Her heart began to race. Elsie slowly turned around to face him. The faraway look that held him was still focused, but focused on her. She stayed where she was, rooted to ground. The grass, which had been getting taller, swayed around her.

“Elsie,” he said again. “Have you ever thought why we are here? What our purpose for being is all about?”

“Ugh,” she thought. “Existentialism, just as I was not hoping for.” She shook her head, dismayed. A smattering of bells, discordant in nature, accompanied her gesture.

“Do we have the right to be happy? If we do, is it something we have to earn? Do we have to have commonality to really connect with another?

All day, I’ve thought of all these things, and more. The why, the where, the how, the what, and when… these thoughts rushed over me. When they did…the questions: they froze me in place. I felt small, for the first time, as I began to…to…” Elmer trailed off into silence.

“What? You began to what?” Elsie asked, with a tone in her voice that she never, ever, used with Elmer.

“Contemplate. Us. You and me. Our crowd, our offspring, our being in this place, right here, right now.

I came up with some thoughts I’d like to share with you, if you’ll bear with me.”

She shivered at the thoughts of bears. She knew that wasn’t what he meant, but the image was placed in her skull. She hated bears.

Elmer cleared his throat. Elsie quietly sighed.

“I’m OK, but I’m leaking glue.

Bound together, me and you…”

“Poetry? You wasted the day on poetry?”

Elmer glared at her. If there was a stronger light source, she’d believe his eyes were turning red.

“I’m sorry. Please, go on.”

He shook his head, clearing his mind, centering himself. He began again.

“I’m OK, but I’m leaking glue.

It binds us together, making us true.”

“That’s not what you said before.”

“It’s a work in progress. Humor me.”

Elsie sighed again, and nodded her acquiescence.

He coughed. “Please let me finish.” Without waiting for a response, he soldiered on.

“I’m OK, but I’m leaking glue;

It binds us together, making us true.

The reason I am here on this Earthly place

Becomes clearer as I look upon your face.

A gentle peace resides within,

Even though we occasionally sin

Yet a more beautiful heart I will not find,

Especially one with a wondrous behind.

It matters not what others may say,

I will love you to my dying day.

No tears, no tears, my heart does swell,

As in this dell do we dwell.

Let what I feel spread to all around

My love is strong; to you I’m bound.

No matter whatever roles we’re meant to be,

Why we’re us and not some flea.

We’re here together; it is our due,

 I’m yours, forever.

 I’m leaking glue.”

To Elsie, it was a bit laughable, but in the end it really wasn’t. This day she felt her heart grow three times its size. Tears started to well in her limpid eyes. She mooved close to Elmer and leaned against him.

They stayed that way through most of the night, not saying much at all.

Towards the dawn, they both snuffled a bit with the rising dew around them. Elsie started to quietly chuckle.

“What’s that for?” Elmer asked

Elsie leaned her head on his, closing her eyes.

“I think I’m stuck on you, too.” Elsie paused. “You do know, that was a bit cheesy.”

The two of them laughed, and were still laughing, when the others came out for the day.

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Author’s Note: Yes, the above came from a prompt, which was:

 “How are you? I’m OK, but I’m leaking glue.”

That line was actually said to either Debs or David of Fiction Can Be Fun. They hold prompts once a month, and post here and there when they can. Life, y’now? They collaborate on the site as well as write together: they are in the midst of fleshing out their WIP. I’ve read the bones of it, and I am excited to read it all when they care to share their showable draft.

If you want to take up the prompt challenge, Here There Are Rules:

Please post on your own site and add a link in the comments section [on Fiction Can Be Fun].  If you don’t have your own blog or similar outlet, do send us your story via the contact form on the About page and we’ll post for you, with an appropriate by-line.  

Word count: up to 1,500
Deadline: 2pm GMT on Friday 8th June 2018

Please do not submit anything that would be NSFW.

Now shoo. Have fun storming the castle.

Reflections of the 2018 #AtoZ Blog Challenge: The Abysmal Dollhouse

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A-to-Z Reflection [2018]

For all the information you could ever want about the AtoZ Blog Challenge, Click:  Blogging From A to Z Challenge.

This was my fifth AtoZ Blog Challenge:

The rules are simple: During the month of April, you commit to writing 26 blogs, each day based off the run ot the alphabet. Up to you how you do that. Blog hop around, read and comment on other blogs, build a community. Don’t sleep. You had to sign up through the AtoZ main page. From that, most people chose and announced their Theme (more below): I signed on late, missed that, and, well…I had no idea what I was going to do up to two days before it started.

Yes, I am that unorganized.

I actually had another idea that I thought would be funny, but when I realized the main character I wanted to use was verbotten, the idea lost all its allure. Quelle dommage. That had me in a bit of a spin; I asked on Tale Spinning if anyone wanted to see me continue some previous storylines that I liked, or should I try something new. I got two: TWO, and only two, requests. Hence, The Abysmal Dollhouse.

I have written TAD stories since 2012. Almost always positive comments. A few followers suggested I should add more to the oeuvre and publish it. Hemming and hawing, procrastinating, all my usual excuses for not committing fully added up to one fact: I didn’t.

Scared? Insecure? A rough number of years on so many levels? No motivation? Creativity and passion just drained away?  Lump them all together and I just never carried it through, letting the ideas pretty much just lay there, occasionally bursting forth. Definitely not often enough. Tale Spinning was pretty much an empty space for the last couple of years.

In actuality, boredom with my life, and myself, kicked me in the arse.

I’m what is known as a Pantser: I don’t prewrite, rarely have an outline, especially for continuing series that I like, and only have a basic idea that I use as a jumping off point. When I started off this round of TAD, I just thought I’d continue on my “Monster of the Week” stories, letting the letter of the day create my title, which then started my writing for the day.

One thing I do do (hee hee. Oh, sue me) is take a little bit of time for research. In this case, I just went online and found a whole bunch of Weird, Murder, or Haunted Houses around the world. I chose a number of places that I thought would be great prompts for every day of the challenge. Didn’t use even half of what I found, this go around.

Something happened that changed in me really early on in the process: I started creating a backstory/mythology for the series and began to drop hints and clues about the backgrounds of The Unfolding Doll and the Shopkeeper. Yes: I started to shed my pantsing and began-gasp!-planning. Not 100%, still no outline, but things were starting to gel and I got much more invested in what I was writing.

I look at it this way: X-Files had many episodes of Monster of the Week, with episodes of their mythology scattered here and there. A MOTW episode could still give us more background info on Scully & Mulder while kinda sorta avoiding the BIG story. Character development and whatnot. That’s how I was viewing all this.

Then the next change happened: I got some new readers, who commented, questioned, told me what they liked, and I felt they were really invested in what was going to happen next. I had that in 2016 with that year’s storyline (link at top of the page), but not to this extent. It kind of added to the challenge for me; it definitely altered my thinking on the storyline.

The ending may seem rushed (it was) but I had dropped hints and clues in many of the stories. It’s hard to fill in all the details when I was trying to limit the daily posts to around 1,000 words. Many people will skip a long posting, and I know I lost potential readers for that reason. Nothing I can do about that. I’m sure many will pass up this reflection for the very same reason. Quelle dommage, part two.

For those who might have missed the main posting where I dropped a lot of clues, go to the “I” posting: In The Absence Of…

A couple of more things: please bear with me.

One thing I’m “frustrated” with are the posts that I thought I was being witty with. Alas, alas, alas.  Too gimmicky? Too obtuse? Spot on? No idea: no feedback. Jabber Wonky was my attempt to play on the Jabberwocky poem in Alice in Wonderland (which gave me the reason to rhyme what goes on in The Child’s mind). I used some of the verbal tomfooleries in the piece, more as an homage; In Quoth the Riven, I think it was pretty obvious. I actually wrote following the path Poe’s poem took. One of my favorite pieces by him.; Orchestra! Curtain! Lights! was my wink to one of my favorite things-animation. It’s the opening lyrics from “The Bugs Bunny Show” theme song. My story has nothing to do with Bugs & Daffy, but Orchestra! was my jumping off point for the tale.

I did not blog hop as much as I was hopping to. I always say I’ll do more, and I did, this year, but I fall far short of others. My apologies. I did happen to come across some wonderfully written blogs along the way and picked up some new blogging friends. I’d like to thank (in no particular order): David, Debs, Sharri, Ms. Wolf, Iain, Jo, Jacqui, Varard, and Melanie. If I’ve forgotten anyone, please forgive me. As to previous readers/bloggers: thanks for sticking with me. Roy: didn’t make that many mistakes this time around, eh?

Special thanks go to Arlee Bird for starting this whole thing, and to the hosts who share the duties. It’s been a blast of a month. Next year? When the time comes, we’ll find out.

Thank you, everyone.

Nonviolence In Action: The Abysmal Dollhouse (AtoZ Blog Challenge)

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** New Readers to this challenge: This is a serialized, continuous work. Please start with the first piece, Abysmally Yours. The AtoZ Blog Challenge began April 1st; ends April 30th. Thank you.

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Nonviolence In Action

The Abysmal Dollhouse

She walked carefully past the Muirhouse, taking her time, placing her feet just so, making sure nothing was underfoot. Her robe brushed just above her ankles, wound so it would disturb nothing but the air she passed through. There had been no conscious thought that brought her through the door of this place, nothing that she needed, for she needed nothing. The feeling pulled her in; being Jainist, peace was her only reason, doing no harm to others. Her Satyagraha, her truth-force, was strong. It was right to be here, otherwise she would not have taken the path that led her here.

The Shopkeeper had had her broom in her hands, ending her sweeping just as the door chime tinkled. She had felt nothing stirring before the sound, and turning she uttered a simple “Oh” at the figure before her. The woman’s mouth was covered, her hands tucked in fabric folds, small brushes hanging from delicate hooks around her waist. The Shopkeeper simply stood straighter, bowed her head slightly towards the woman, and remained silent. Her hands stayed on the broom, leaving the state of her dress as it was.

The woman had begun a circuitous wending through the shoppe. She deftly avoided some of the dollhouses, her brow furrowed at those times. The Muirhouse caused one such reaction. The movie palace another. She veered away completely from The Wall of Death behind the glass cabinet doors.

It was the Shopkeeper’s norm to offer assistance, but she knew it was not necessary. The woman practiced ahimsa; the Shopkeeper did not know this. She just knew this woman posed no threat to her or her inventory. Looking over to the far corner, she did wonder what the doll was feeling if anything at all.

The woman made her way around the shoppe, observing the many decors, the many feelings emanating all around her. Passing of the counter, where the Shopkeeper waited, that the woman, she took three steps and stopped. She lowered herself to her knees, balancing so that the contact she made with the floor was minimal. She reached out her right hand towards the lowest shelf and stopped. Her head turned towards the Shopkeeper. Their eyes meeting, the Shopkeeper again bowed her head, this time in a nod of consent.

Turning back to the shelving, she gently moved The Singleton House out of her way. Behind it was a structure that caused the woman to gently gasp behind her mouth covering. She reverently pulled it closer to the front of the shelf, letting the light of the shoppe dispel any darkness from falling on it.

A Derasar, her Derasar, left so far behind. It was exactly like the temple she left, winged arches over curved roofing. Her shrine had been small, a one-room structure, servicing a small grouping. Rice paper doors open, beckoning all to come and commit to the peace that is inside, the temple and the people.

Her hand went to her waist and detached her oldest, softest brush. The brush tip, after a silent prayer, was lightly placed in front of the open door. She began her gratitude for cleansing. Her mind was focused, as were her hands with the brush.

Forgotten were the cruelties she encountered on her journeys. The meaning of her life and faith had been tested often, and often harsher than she had thought possible. She visited places of contemplation along the way, taking the inner sustenance. she needed to go on. She did no harm in her actions or inactions.

Brushed inside and out, she crossed her legs underneath, placed her palms up, and closed her eyes. She valued the ideal of perfection that the Tirthankaras have achieved. It brought her peace. It calmed, it soothed, it became her.

She fell asleep, her dreams floated with her. When she awoke, there was a warm presence by her side. She felt no alarm as she raised herself into a sitting position. Malcanisen was asleep, a soft snuffling snore leaving his drool covered lips. She had been so tired she had not been aware of the dog creeping in while she slept. She placed her hands on his dark gray fur, smoothing out the matting as best she could.

Giving morning gratitude to her gods, she left Malcanisen in his slumber, took her brush in hand, and began the cleaning process once again.

*****************************

The AtoZ Blog Challenge

During the month of April, 2018, the challenge requires that we write 26 posts, starting with the letter A on April 1st (yes, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke) and ending with Z on Monday, April 30th. A week or so later, there will be a reflection post that will wrap up this experience, for me as well as my readers.

*I’ve decided to reblog past Abysmal Dollhouse stories on Sundays since we’re not required to write those days. The reblog will not correspond to any specific letter. Just thought you might enjoy some of the previous entries that I’m fond of.

Liebster Award Sunday: not lobster; Abysmal Dollhouse/AtoZ Blog Challenge

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** New Readers to this challenge: This is a serialized, continuous work. Please start with the first piece, Abysmally Yours. The AtoZ Blog Challenge began April 1st; ends April 30th. Thank you.
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“Share, Discover, and Enjoy!” That is the underlying mission of Shari Marshall’s blog, Writing is Communication. We discovered our mutual blogs through the 2018 AtoZ Blog Challenge. It has been a pleasure discovering her work: focusing on a fantasy world continuing story through a drabble (100-word complete flash fiction). It’s not easy to par down all you want to say in just 100 words, make the post complete, AND have it tell an engaging ongoing narrative…well, Shari accomplishes it, and does so very, very well. I’ve linked the title to her blog: go check it out. Now. Shoo. Do it. I’ll stick around for the nonce.

As to the Leibster Award: AtoZ and other blog challenges are two-fold. (1) The most obvious is that they are challenges for the blogger to meet the requirements in whatever they are tasked to do; not always the easiest thing to accomplish, but the reward is in making a go of it and hoping you can see it through to the end. (2) The most important element (to me, anyways) is to discover new blogs and their creators. I’ve come across some amazing sites, followed & continue to follow most, became online friends with a lot of them, and one more intense crossing of paths.

Nominating blogs you admire is tied into the blogging community. It shows appreciation for what you’ve produced beyond hitting a like button, or stars ratings; even beyond leaving a gushing comment or three. While there are many “rules” for the Leibster Award, here are the

RULES OF THE LIEBSTER AWARD 2018
The rules are:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award logo.
2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger sets for you.
3. Nominate blogs that you think are deserving of the award.
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let your nominees know about their nomination!

Hey Shari: I acknowledge you. Phew. That one was easy peasy.

I shall now endeavor to answer her eleven questions, sorta like a magical quest:

  1. Do you think that a writer has to be defined by one genre?

Absolutely not. I do my darndest not to. I believe a writer should move beyond what becomes their comfort zone.  Write what moves you that day. I’ve attempted a lot of genres and styles. Some more successful than others. My blog is an open…blog. The list of the last 50 or so is to the right. Scroll down. Discover. I have favorites that went nowhere.

2. What is your favourite writing topic?

Paranormal stuff. Horror, lately, it seems.

3. Do you have a book that you recommend to other readers on a regular occasion? What and why?

Knots, by RD Laing. It blew my mind wide open at 17. I suggest that if you tackle it, you must read it in one sitting, late at night. If you do, I think you’ll also get a good insight of the mess that is my thinking process.

4. Book version or movie version?

Depends on the book and the movie. Each is its own animal. Caveat: If the movie is trying to be a “faithful adaptation” of the book, then you better damn well be faithful. Loose adaptations, where the director is adding her/his voice (which is the majority) I’ll try and take it as a separate entity. Please note: I wrote “try.” Just be good. Don’t suck.

5. If I gave you the word “vellichor” as a writing jump off point where might you jump?

The Last Used Bookstore In The Known Worlds

6. What would be your dream setting to write in?

THE comfy chair, headrest perfectly aligned (with massage system embedded and  attuned to every ache). THE perfectly brewed Black Cherry Iced Tea. THE best snack at hand: sweet or savory, as needed. THE well-trained puppy and kitten, needing attention; being perfect momentary distractions. Last, but definitely not least, THE love of my life, for fuller distraction and attention, cuddles, kisses, massages (who need the comfy chair, then?), and other things only she can provide.

7. What is your favourite season?

Fall. Cool, breezy weather. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh

8. Who is your favourite villain? Why?

Catwoman. Meow. Does one really need to ask?

9. Who is your favourite hero? Why?

I’m Batman, Damnit.

10. What does writing mean to you?

Release. Distraction. Creativity. Justification. Acknowledgement. Appreciation. Love.

11. How would you respond to either of these quotes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there” or “No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.”

I’ll take “The Road Less Traveled” for $2000, Alex.

Phew. All done. Wait? That was only #2 on the Liebster rules????? OY…I’m dying!!! Ok, here are my TOP OF THE POPS:

Fiction Can Be Fun   Yes, both of you!!!

A Creatvie PTSD Gal

A Bit To Read

Iain Kelly

Swerve Strikes Again

WordDreams

I’m exhausted. But wait…there’s more.

OK. Here are MY elven…um…I mean eleven questions that the six nominees (well, 7) NEED to answer. There will be a quiz. BONUS POINTS: answer any of the questions with WHY you answered that way. Up to you. No pressure. ::::Unfolding Doll sharpening its knife::::

  1. If you could write in any writers voice besides your own, whose would it be?
  2. What literary genre holds NO interest for you?
  3. What song with a strong narrative still touches you?
  4. What fictional character do you wish you were?
  5. Savory or Sweet?
  6. What are “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of?”
  7. You stumble upon a magic rock. Picking it up, you discover something underneath. What is it?
  8. Have you had an inexplicable experience? What was it?
  9. What fiction book would you recommend to me?
  10. What movie or TV show do you love but hate to admit it?
  11. What does writing mean to you? (yes, I’m stealing it from Shari. Deal).

Have fun kiddos.

I’m done. Lunch and nap.

Tomorrow: N is for…