OLWG #69- Me to Me and Me to You – Only Two Versions of Me (with a little Haiku on the side)

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The stuff below was written for practice; because practice makes perfect, and everyone has their own perception of me. There are lots of versions of me out there.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

I think of myself as young, good looking, smart, and witty.
I believe I’m a good provider.
I am creative and constantly strive to find time for my art.
I’m empathetic.
I’m helpful.
My mother would be proud of what I have become.

You think of me as an old man, grey, and pallid.
You’ve heard my riff so many times you no longer believe I have anything left to say.
You still let me hang my paintings because you abhor empty walls.
I forget your birthday and pick you up late after work.
I seldom do my share.
None of your friends understand how I can look at myself in the mirror, they encourage you to leave.


Haiku inspired from last week

The crowd was frenzied
We needed to get away
I went right, Claire left.

We need them to pay,
and we think you know someone.
Apply some pressure.

Alas, my cookies
are not to be, not today.
Mom needs more sugar.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. splitting up a bag of potato chips
  2. you can call me ‘Vegas’
  3. tied to the branch of a creosote bush

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun


OLWG #68- Filmore

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction below was written for practice; because practice makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

It never failed. Filmore opened up his mouth and an avalanche of words tumbled forth threatening to bury anyone within range of his voice. This time was no different, except this time he had an audience comprised of more than family members or doctors. That morning he had walked out of the facility behind Dr Gold and no one had noticed. Dr Gold was still new, so he hadn’t recognized the breach of security. He hadn’t recognized Filmore either.

Clothes were easy, there were strip malls with Laundromats about and people don’t pay attention to dryers that don’t contain their own clothes. So, wearing an ill-fitting orange tee shirt that proclaimed he was the world’s greatest grandpa and baggy red plaid flannel pyjama pants he loosed himself on the unsuspecting public. He was only lacking shoes; shoes and an automobile. Shoes to keep his feet from blistering on the hot pavement, and an automobile to get him to the inner city. People would listen to him there.

He looked into the cars in the lot but no one had left their keys in their ignitions.  He kept walking and had gone less than half a mile before arriving at a liquor store, or an off-license, as his mum would have called it. He struck pay dirt when he found a pea green Buick idling near the front door. It was a luxury automobile.

He snuck up on it and moved stealthily from car, to bush, to trash can, to car until he could crawl along the final bit of asphalt and reach up to open the driver’s door. He took the car and on his way out of the lot, he noticed a pile of heavy plastic milk crates near the end of the building. Stopping, he dashed from the vehicle and snagged a crate which he tossed into the passenger seat as he jumped in. He ratcheted the shifter into Drive and laid rubber on the highway, heading for town.

Now he was in a large park, standing barefoot on an upside-down milk crate. He was telling a growing crowd that, the entire universe and everyone’s memories had been created just last Thursday. His words fell on disbelieving ears until he started singling people out, “Prove me wrong!” he shouted to the doubters in his audience. Fights began to break out between the believers and those who couldn’t see, who refused to understand. Things were beginning to heat up, soon he’d have them eating from his hands. They’d be pliable then, easy to control.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. Mom needs more sugar
  2. we think you know someone
  3. Claire left

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #67- That One, Over There, That One Looks Like a Pony

 This week I’m trying something a wee bit different. Instead of finding this week’s prompts at the bottom; you’ll find them directly below. I wanted to make a word cloud. How’d I do? Choose as many of the words in the cloud as you like and incorporate them into your work. You can use the literal word or be more figurative, loose.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.


This week’s prompts are found above.

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #66- Ben and Loretta, Loretta and Ben

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below was written for practice; because practice is what makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

When Benjamin woke it was still dark. His senses told him that something was amiss, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He drifted back to sleep. It wouldn’t be until later that he would realize his trepidation had been the result to too much quiet.

When he woke again early sunlight peeked through the curtains. He could hear doves calling softly from the tree by the front window. Loretta lay next to him in the bed. She was still. She was quiet; still sleeping. He eased from beneath the bed sheets and the duvet, swinging his feet to the floor and stretching his arms high, shaking off the sleep. He eased his butt off the mattress, so as not to wake Loretta, stood and made his way to the kitchen.

There, Ben set up the coffee machine to make a pot of Bustelo and as the coffee was dripping he checked his attire. Sweat pants and a long sleeve nightshirt, not too bad. Good enough to collect the news anyway. He stepped out on the front porch and picked up the morning paper. The headlines were about another political scandal and more kids with guns. He shook his head, went back inside, and poured himself a cup ‘o Joe. Rifling through the news he found the comics. The sports and the funny papers were about the only parts of the paper he could stand to read anymore. I oughta just cancel my subscription.

He smiled at the comics. He noticed that the Sharks had won, that was good, that the Cats had lost, that was less good, he folded the paper and tucked it under his arm. Pouring another cup for himself and one for Loretta he navigated the dim hallway again to wake his wife. She liked to stay in bed for her first cup and watch the morning news on channel 7.

“Morning ‘Retta,” he said as he pushed his way back into the bedroom. She didn’t acknowledge him, but that wasn’t unusual, Loretta wasn’t a morning person. He set the cup on her bedside table and scooted back around to his side of the bed where he slid in next to his wife.

Loretta stayed still and quiet so, Benjamin began to tell her about today’s Calvin and Hobbes strip from the paper. She always got a kick out of that boy and his tiger. As he spoke he opened the news to the comic’s page and folded it back. Then he folded it in half, and again. He held it up so she could see it if she just turned her head, but he got no reaction.

“’Retta?” he questioned her, “Loretta? You OK?” Her skin was cool when he put his hand on her shoulder. She must have gone in the night. It was not unexpected but he was still surprised. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Suddenly confused and despondent, Benjamin slid down in the bed next to his wife of almost fifty years. He moved in close and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her to him.

He wept.

There was so much he wanted to tell her. I wanted to say, “I love you,” one more time. I wanted to thank you again for putting up with me for so long. I wanted to apologize for never doing enough and, for taking you for granted. He wanted to take her to more fine restaurants. He wanted to go dancing again, but all he could do was hold her; so he did.

He might have gotten lost or dozed with her wrapped in his arms because, suddenly it was almost noon. He got out of bed and tucked Loretta’s covers under her chin. He watched her as though she slept and wondered, who do I call when this happens?  On top of his bedside table he found his phone and stared at it. Do I call an ambulance? The police? Dr. Franklin? Who do I call?  He was still confused, still despondent. What am I going to do now?

This week’s prompts are:

  1. you won’t be able to tell anyone else
  2. well, that was the idea
  3. all my favourite people

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #65- My Dogs are Barking

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story, or poem, or whatever it might be, below was written for practice; because practice is what makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

Lawton got off the train and walked the last three blocks home.
There were no taxis to be had.
It was dark and it was late.
It was a long three blocks, but he spent the time thinking about his girls and how good it would be to see them after the night he’d had.

Fisher had called in; car trouble or some such. “Shouldn’t be too late.” he’d said, but he never showed.
Lawton covered his tables, had to hustle too. The silver lining was that the tips had been good.
He’d been on his feet all night, his dogs were barking.
It was about half twelve when he rounded the last corner.

Lawton lived in a third story walkup.
An old brownstone – lots of deferred maintenance.
But… it was quiet. He loved the Powell’s, the couple who owned the home and lived on the ground floor.
Better still they loved him.

The Powell’s let him keep the girls and they’d even let him slide a day or two on the rent from time to time.

He was surprised to see the lights on on the ground floor. The Powell’s were up.
Lawton checked his watch. The Powell’s were never up when he returned home after his shift.
Old Mrs. Rabinowitz, on two, had her lights on too.
Something’s up, Lawton thought to himself.

Concerned, he picked up his pace.
As he drew closer he could hear what was going on, faintly at first, but growing louder as he neared.
It was the girls. It was Stella and Coco.
They were making a lot of noise, creating a huge ruckus.

Mrs. Rabinowitz was going to make his life miserable for at least a month. There would be no appeasing her.
He’d make the Powell’s a big batch of chocolate chip cookies. They’d be fine.
What was up with the girls though? What had set them off? A cat, maybe?
Lawton toyed with the idea of not stopping. He could just keep walking; try coming home again in an hour or so.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. you never know who your friends are
  2. if she squinted, just so,
  3. the underdeveloped characters

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #64- Another Great Adventure

So this weekend was an adventure for me. We got up early on Friday and drove for about eight hours to come down south and watch my nephew get married. He and his fiancé tied the knot on Saturday afternoon which meant I had a Saturday morning free and I got to join in with my old friends at the Orange County Writer’s Guild and we wrote for 32 minutes with three prompts. The prompts were:

  1. Natural Pharmacy
  2. Turns out; it was quite good, I was just an idiot
  3. I am very shy

We’ll be driving back Sunday morning, but this is what I came up with today, writing with friends. (practice makes perfect).

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

I was watching American Ninjas that night when the phone rang. I let the machine pick it up because I didn’t want to break away from the action. After the show, I went and collected the message.

“Hello Roger, this is Mister O’Toole from Paramount calling to let you know that we want to bring you in for another reading. Call me back to arrange things. My number is 867-5309.”

I thought to myself, “Hmm, my name’s not Roger and I don’t know Mr O’Toole, this is obviously a wrong number, but perhaps I can parlay this into a gig somehow.” So I picked up the handset and dialled.

“Hello?” said the disembodied voice answering across the ether.

“Hi,” I said, “I’m trying to reach Mr O’Toole.”


“Oh sorry, I didn’t recognize your voice sir, you called about wanting me back for another reading.”

“Of course, Roger. Thanks for getting back so quickly. We’d like you to come in and do another reading for the pirate part. Can you come into the studio tomorrow afternoon? Soundstage 7 at 4 o’clock?”

“I’d like that very much sir, thank you.”

“OK then, I’ll leave your name at the gate. The guard can direct you. I just want to confirm the spelling of your last name. Is it S T E W A R T or S T U A R T?”

“It doesn’t matter to me, Mr O’Toole I’ll spell it any way you’d like.”

“OK, that’s very accommodating of you. That kind of attitude can take you far in this business. Let’s go with S T U A R T shall we? I like that. Not as common.”

Fine sir, I’ll see you tomorrow at four.”

I hung up the phone and my mind began whirling. I knew where Paramount Studios was, of course, but I had a lot of preparation to take care of.

First – What fucking pirate? This could be anything. Did I have a script? Well, I didn’t but had they given one to the real Roger? Could I tell them that I’d been mugged and the papers were stolen? Could I say that I’d left my copy at home and get a new one? This might be tricky.

Second – What if they give me the part? I’m very shy and I’ll have to overcome that and then I’ll have to change my name to Roger Stuart. I can always call Jimmy; he’ll know how to help me out with that bit.

Third – What did the real Roger Stuart look like? Would I need makeup? Would I need costume? I guess I could Google him. He must have a SAG card and some publicity photos.

I went and grabbed my laptop from the bedroom, carried it into the kitchen, set it down on the worn pink Formica tabletop and turned it on. It wouldn’t boot. Back to the bedroom to retrieve the power supply and plug.

When it finally fired up I typed Roger Stuart into the search bar. Forty-three pages were returned.

“Shit, I’d better get a drink. This could take all night. How many ways can you spell Stuart? Whisky must have whisky.”

Time’s up – Put your pencil down and step away from the notebook.


For this week’s prompts, you can choose the ones I used (above) or you can use these:

  1. beat poets
  2. go easy with that, Darlene
  3. in the desert

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #63- First Thought, Best Thought

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The five sentences below were written one per day for five days running and were written only for practice; because practice is what makes perfect. I stole the title of the collection from a real poet.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

Faces pass without names; fleeting, unremarkable, unremembered.

The Central Coast
With the scent of old growth, Giant Redwoods prowl these steep coastal mountains.

Careful What You Wish For
My feet are like stone; my hands without feeling, but the cancer is gone.

Bitter Resolution
Faced with deciding between drugs and food, I choose to feed the dragon.

It’s our nature that dictates and controls our need for filling pauses.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. you’re early
  2. always on the run
  3. the way you sleep

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun