Wednesday, July 11, 2018

20 Tips and 5 Apps to Break Through Writer's Block

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The 10 Cent Teapot

By Mary Russel
While searching for antiques at a rummage sale, the collector spotted a nondescript teapot. Upon closer inspection, she noticed the spout and handle had been glued, the cover was missing, and the pot sported various cracks and chips. 

It was priced at 10 cents and she wondered why anyone had bothered to price it. Why hadn't it just been thrown out, and why was it calling out to her? Thinking about it some more, she realized, someone couldn't bear to just toss it. They hoped beyond hope that someone else would see some value in it, too.

So she bought it and gave it a place of honor on her bookshelf to remind herself that no matter how flawed she was, she had value.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tom's Tomatoes

Backyard neighbors, Tom and Mike had a running contest every year over who could produce the most luscious tomatoes the earliest in the season. The loser had to buy dinner. Since their gardens abutted, it was easy for them to track the progress of their competition. Tom noted that Mike's tomatoes were starting to ripen, while his had yet to produce any fruit. The next morning Tom saw Mike in his backyard heading for his garden. Tom joined him, bent over in his garden, and gleefully produced a large fully ripened tomato. "Looks like you owe me dinner," he said.
"We agreed on McDonald's this year, right?" Mike said chuckling.
"In your dreams," responded Tom. "We'll be eating at my favorite restaurant. Here's a consolation prize." Tom handed Mike the winning tomato. As Mike admired the tomato, he started laughing.
Handing the tomato back to Tom he said, "Looks like you need a consolation prize. I'm free tomorrow night and we'll be eating at my favorite restaurant. Next year, don't forget to remove the produce sticker."
Once again, Tom handed the tomato to Mike as he said, "Look closer at the sticker."
Pulling on his reading glasses, Mike read it aloud. Congratulations, Mike, it said.

Originally, I ended this with the sentence that ends produce sticker but my character, Tom insisted he would never cheat like that so I had to restore his reputation. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Paul's Time in a Bottle

These spring-like days bring back fond memories of many hours spent with my dad listening to the Braves. In honor of those memories, I've resurrected this relic I wrote about ten years ago.

Paul’s Time in a Bottle

It was 2026 and Paul’s 80th birthday.  He couldn’t wait to use his “Time in a Bottle”. He had purchased “Thursday, Oct 2, 1958”, so he could attend the second game of the New York Yankees vs. the Milwaukee Braves World Series. The "Time in a Bottle" rules were simple. The purchaser had to drink the entire contents of the bottle and could only go back in time 24 hours in his or her own lifetime. He had had tickets for the game when he was 12 years old but the fulfillment of his fondest dream had been thwarted.

12-year- old Paul had worked hard to save up the money for his ticket. He had a paper route and worked at odd jobs throughout the year. When he finally purchased his ticket, he hid it away for safekeeping in his sock drawer. Before going to bed on Oct 1st he checked to make sure it was still there. He was so excited he could barely sleep.

But when he woke up he had the flu and could only listen to the game on the radio.

It was an exciting game for his favorite team, the Milwaukee Braves.
Helped by the power hitting of the Braves Pitcher, Lew Burdette, the Braves had earned a seven-run rally in the first. Burdette held the Yankees to just two runs and three hits going into the ninth. The Yankees Hank Bauer had a late-inning homer and Mickey Mantle added his second of the day. Both efforts went in vain though as Milwaukee went on to a crushing, 13-5 triumph.

Now, 68 years later, Paul finally had the chance to relive the actual game as a spectator.

As in his childhood he checked his sock drawer, then slept fitfully…and once again, he woke up with the flu.  

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Blowing in the Wind

Blowing in the Wind
Trash containers, made lighter by the Friday garbage pickup, cavorted with broken branches down the streets Saturday night. Sunday morning, neighbors reclaimed wayward bins, newspapers, and downspouts. Sadly, no answers were found blowing in the wind.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Journalists and Responsibility

In the book I am reading: The Mark by Jason Pinter, one of his characters says, "News is the DNA of our society. It shapes how we think, how we act, how we feel. It dictates who we are and who we become. We are all beneficiaries--and byproducts--of information." 

That is a weighty responsibility and one that today's journalists should take a lot more seriously.

Short Story Published

Creature Features The Ark of Writing Issue 24 ISSN 1450-3352 Published and Edited by Rubi Andredakis is now available and an excerpt from my book in progress, Sleuth and Scribe by Deke the Dog, has been published in it.

200 pages of reading enjoyment, it includes international animal stories, poetry, and articles. It is $12 US.  It can be purchased by emailing Rubi at roubi at cytanet dot com dot cy