The Yellow Brick Road?

Here’s my response to Crimson’s Creative Challenge #40. A bit of nonsense maybe, but I had fun imagining where this trail might take a person. 🙂

Can This Be The Yellow Brick Road?

“You need to follow the yellow brick road,” someone told me. “That’s where your dreams will all come true.”

I googled yellow brick road and it brought up an album by Elton John. It appears his dream has come true, but I was actually hoping for a successful career on Wall Street.

So I programmed the navigation system in my car for “yellow brick road” and followed the voice carefully. However, when the synthetic lady told me to head west on County Road #64, a narrow lane, I got a bit nervous. What kind of career awaits me out here in the boonies?

I abandoned the car when the country road morphed into Shady Trail. After a thirty-minute hike I’m seeing a shining path ahead, but it doesn’t look like yellow bricks. Still, I kind of like the peace and quiet here. Perhaps I’ll become a famous naturalist.

Did It Ever Happen?

Here’s my response to Crimson’s Challenge #32. The set-up of this door, with such a minimal building behind, made me think of a prop in the scene in a play. So I ask, did the scene I’ve concocted ever happen in real life?

Did It Ever Happen…?

“Alright, Vivian. We want ecstasy of escape, fear of being followed. Clark, swashbuckling do-or-die.” Irvin looks up. “Heavens, no windy puffs, pl-e-e-ease.”

“Cameramen, focus on the door — no bushes. Got that extra angle covered?

“Yessir.”

Irvin claps. “Places, everyone.”

A moment of general shuffling, then, “ACTION!”

The door’s flung open. Bravado-perfect, Clark sweeps his maiden off her feet and steps outside. He takes six steps, trips over camera cord and goes sprawling. Vivian shrieks, tumbling from his arms.

“Cut! Cut,” Irvin bellows, throwing up his hands in despair.

“Well, we got one thing right,” a cameraman comments. “No breeze.”

 

Goodbye, Charlie

I am very late posting this response to last Wednesday’s 100-word challenge, but when I saw the photo this is the story that came to mind. You can check out the other responses at Crimson’s Creative Challenge.

Goodbye, Charlie

A great day for boating, Jayson thought. And good riddance to that nuisance.

Venice gazed out to sea. “Hope he doesn’t get lost.”

“He’ll be in heaven.”

“I hated to let him go. Charlie’s so cute — in his own way.”

Jayson rolled his eyes. Vicious little monster.

“Such a long way. And what if he meets a shark?”

“Charlie’s a fighter.”

Venice waved one last time, wiped a tear and climbed into the truck.

Someday Jayson might tell her that piranhas, freshwater fish, can’t survive in salt water. Today he’d let her picture Charlie merrily swimming back to the Amazon.

NOTE:

By and large, I strongly oppose dumping unwanted pets. This awful practice has caused so many environmental issues and introduced invasive species, to the detriment of native creatures. And fish are easily enough euthanized in a merciful way. But when it comes to piranhas, please leave them in the Amazon! 😉

Early Morning Haze

For some reason I woke up just before 4 am this morning. I was having a dream of some kind, though I can’t remember anything now. Maybe that woke me up or maybe it was the soreness in my back from lying too long in one position. At any rate I decided I needed to get up and move around — and it has definitely helped.

Of course our two cats wanted to go outside and see what’s happening in the yard, so I went out with them, stepping out on the small deck by our front door and enjoying the atmosphere. The moon’s just over half full right now, so was shedding a fair bit of light on our earth. The heavens above us were clear and the stars brilliant. A jet was heading somewhere, leaving a trail in the sky over by the moon. I speculated for a moment what important trip this jet and/or the people on it would be taking, to be off before 4 am.

The temp was about 0 C. It’s great to be able to stand outside and enjoy the scenery without needing a jacket! We’ve had such warm weather this past while our snow’s about all gone, and today is supposed to be another warm one with a high of 14 C / 57F.

I checked my incoming WordPress e-mails and saw that the Ragtag Daily Prompt had arrived. Today the prompt word is HAZE. It didn’t apply to my world at that moment, but by 6:00 a fog was starting to roll in and there was a haze around the moon. I checked again fifteen  minutes later and am amazed at how fast the fog has enveloped our countryside; it’s 6:30 now and our yard is surrounded by a grey fleece.

My brain is starting to feel a bit hazy, too — as if I got up three hours too soon. By now it’s time either for a nap or another cup of coffee. Before I go, here’s another haiku, this one drawn from an observation a few days ago:

the old dog watches
sparrows foraging nearby
live and let live

Something Good to Share

I just came across an interesting blog challenge and it sounded like such a positive idea I decided to participate. The heading is, “Tell me something good.” Check it out HERE.

And now for the something good:

The canola fields are in full bloom now, both the fields around our yard and the ones we see as we drive down the road.

Canola
Photo courtesy of PIXABAY

And a bonus “something good”:
I’ve been checking the swallow nests around the yard, especially the one I can peek at from my sewing room/spare bedroom window. When I looked last week I saw this (actually two little heads):

Tree swallow
Photo courtesy of PIXABAY

This week it appears the babes have flown from two of the nests. A new generation to swoop through the air around here.

 

On Writing Less

Agreeing With Steven King

Last week I finished Steven King’s book On Writing. I won’t rave about it, since his advice is like we writers hear continuously. Should you decide to launch into it anyway, note that that he firmly espouses the vocabulary of the common man. Personally I could do without the graphics, though he does use four-letter words sparingly. But I cheerfully admit that he does have many good tips on writing clearly — and the sales to prove that he isn’t just whistling Dixie tunelessly.

While he and I are playing in an altogether different ballpark — I’ve never even cracked open a novel he’s written and don’t intend to — we do meet companionably in the stands when it comes to good writing skills. One point being Adverbs. In most cases they should be struck out.

Yes, when it comes to adverbs, King is pointedly blunt. He states emphatically* that writers should snip the adverbs, especially flowery ones, and I heartily second this advice. Adverbs, he maintains uncompromisingly, slow the reader down. (One might add that if they are six syllable ones, they categorically do slow the reader down.)

Reading late one evening, I related sleepily to my husband that Steven King and his friends very wittily played a party game using dialogue tags + adverbs, like “We’re having a great time,” the plumber said flushingly. (I may not be quoting SK exactly, but you get the point. They got rather off-colour at times.)

Mind you, a person could have some fun with that:
“We’ll get him yet,” the dogcatcher growled doggedly.
“Here. I’ll finish that off,” Blimpy said expansively.
“Hold still, will you! This will only take a moment,” the surgeon said sharply.
“Caught any fish yet?” the newcomer asked fishingly. “No. They just aren’t biting,” the old angler snapped bitterly.
“I’ve killed five people this morning,” Steven King said horrifyingly.

If you’re reading a book on a lazy Saturday afternoon at the beach and you’re up for some chuckles, you may not mind wading through a slew of adverbs. But how much humor does one want to mix into horror? Very little. Mysteries, thrillers and their ilk are meant to move breathtakingly along, not amble meanderingly.

I’m writing this for a reason — besides satisfying the demands of the *daily prompt word over at Word of the Day. I’ve just finished a mystery novel and, while the story was interesting and well plotted, it definitely could have benefited from an editor skillfully wielding a red pen. I plan to do a book report shortly. 🙂