Dear John

fountain pen

“What instrument shall I use, and what medium to convey my deepest and most honest wishes?”  Annalisa, one hand holding her elbow, the other holding her chin, scanned the open drawer filled with seven different kinds of pens (one with eight different nibs for calligraphy), a half dozen different colored inks, brushes of many sizes and an uncounted number of acrylic paints (some rolled tight into tiny secret snails of color, others fat and shiny like a slug that didn’t give a shit), a box of 50-count soft pastels (none broken, but all tested and of different lengths…a lovely diversity), and no markers of any kind as she detested them. Continue reading

I Got Life

Steaming coffee mugPre-COVID, we met, early Saturdays, in the Midtown Market. Few stirred: lady mall cop, staff from the attached hospital, lone coffee shop doing brisk business, shops from around the world setting up. We were inspired by Heaven’s scents.  Continue reading

Periodical Illiteracy (or How I Learned to Love My Public Library)

banana

Cheryl stood outside the heavy glass doors of her local public library, stepping to one side and nodding as the Tween pushed through in a rush, tinny post-Disney pop leaking from a pair of bright pink ear buds. Her forceful exit left the door open wide enough for Cheryl to step through without touching anything.

She didn’t want to leave any fingerprints.  Continue reading

Free Association Writers: Saturday Morning Edition

She hunches over the library table, and rubs planed fingers over an already-slick forehead. Canadian forests are burning in the northwest, and the haze is thick, humidity high from last night’s rains. Her other fingers wander back and forth across a college-ruled composition book, cheap pen jagging with arrhythmia. In search of inspiration, but there is none to be found.  Continue reading

Cool Water or Writer’s Block?

Azul Tequila with lime

The firefighter pulled off his helmet, face streaked with sweat and dust from a raging fire, now controlled.

He’d single-handedly saved an even dozen citizens that night. He felt a tug on his pant leg and looked down into the wide eyes of a tiny tot.

“Thanks, Mister!” the child lisped. “Want a TMCoke and a smile?”

“Thanks, but I’d rather have some cool water.”

“Good choice!”

(No. Just…No. Highlight, then delete.) 

Continue reading