Category Archives: Fun

My First Mystery

… award that is!

A big thanks to Kristian for the nom. He has a very entertaining blog and it’s hard to believe it’s less than a year old!

The Rules:

1. Put the award logo on your blog. ✅

2. List the rules. ✅

3. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog. ✅

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.❓

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself. 🆗

6. Nominate 10-20 people. ⚠️

7. Notify your nominees. ⚠️

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question. 🚫

9. Share a link to your best post(s). 💤

Three Things:

1. I’ve never seen Titanic.

2. I’ve been wearing tights under pants because it’s so cold in SoCal.

3. I usually cry at other people’s sad animal stories, and sometimes at happy ones too.

Questions from Kristian:

1. Name something you like to see in a book, that makes you want to read further.

– A kitty or puppy.

2. What would make you want to stop reading a book?

– The author intruding with his/her political opinions in fiction.

3. If they produced the story of your life, what genre would it be?

– Medical: “A Cure for Insomnia” 💤

4. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

– NorCal.

5. What advice would you like to give to your ten-year-old self?

– Go to Northwestern!

As for the rest, my nominees and questions, I shall use this handy-dandy card from Rory. 😀


Pretty Birds

Thought I’d share some of my fave birdie pics for Ryan’s photo challenge to brighten up the week. I took these 3 years ago at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

Weekly Prompts: Green

Photo taken at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, November 2018.

Prompt from GC and SueW.

The Lonely Unicorn

I colored this in October, but it was too pale. After I began working on the monkey page again, I got sidetracked and decided to brighten up this one. I think I made his teeth pink, oopsy… too much cotton candy!

Prompt is from Linda and goes the whole month. Join in!

Song Lyric Sunday

Jim is guest hosting the SLS prompt for Helen while she focuses on getting better, and he’s come up with the appropriate theme of doctor/ health/ medicine for today.

Here’s one of my favorite medical songs to hopefully cheer Helen up if she gets around to reading my blog. 😂

Monkeys in Progress

For Tao-Talk. I began this back in October when I was in NorCal for a week, but didn’t want to share until it was finished. Dunno when that will be though!

A New Dawn [FTS]

A New Dawn, Part 1 by Teresa

The snow pelted Jon in the face as he stumbled toward the trees. He looked back at the city lights and brushed his long, wet hair out of his eyes. The lights that once held such wonder and mystique now held only despair and heartache. He remembered the warm spring day he first pulled into the city and saw her on the corner waiting for a bus. Lacey would soon be his girlfriend, then fiancé with a little boy on the way. That seemed so long ago. A time when his life was perfect.

He turned back to the trees and allowed the dark to engulf him. Tripping and running into low-hanging branches reminded him he was still alive – for now. Blinded by the snow, tears, and rage, Jon pushed further into the blackness of despair.

Suddenly the ground gave way and he tumbled into a grove surrounded by dead trees. Blood poured over the side of his face and no matter how much he tried, he did not have the strength to fight to live. He only prayed, as he closed his eyes, that they would be waiting for him.

Robins and other songbirds stirred him. Warm rays from the rising sun warmed him, and as his eyes batted and tried to make out what had happened, a sweet voice laughed.


The voice laughed again as Jon rubbed his eyes and sat up.

No silly,” the voice said. “It’s …”

Part Two – Written by Fandango.

It’s Matilda and I am your guide.”

Jon could not see the source for the voice. It seemed to be coming from all around him. “My guide? Show yourself, guide. What is this place and why must I have a guide?” he asked.

The guide laughed again. “Oh Jon, everyone who comes here needs a guide. You’d be lost without one. You wouldn’t know what to do next. Besides Jon, you did pray for me. Don’t you remember?”

The last thing Jon remembered was falling down, tumbling into a glade, and feeling battered, bloody, weak, and hopeless. He touched his head, but there was no blood. He looked at his clothing only to discover, much to his dismay, that he was draped in a white silk robe and had leather sandals on his feet. “I don’t understand,” Jon said. “Where exactly am I and why am I dressed this way?”

All in due time, Jon,” Matilda said in a smooth, calming voice.

I demand that you show yourself,” Jon said. “Show yourself and tell me what this place is.”

I am not like a child who should be seen and not heard,” Matilda said. “Quite the opposite, in fact. As to where you are, Jon, a smart man like you should have figured that out by now.”

Am I dead?” Jon asked. “Am I in Hell?”

You’re not in Hell,” Matilda said. “And neither are you in Heaven, Jon. You’re in …”

Part Three– Written by Kristian 

You’re in the place between.”

Between where?” Jon’s voice started to show the fear that he had been trying to keep concealed.

Why, between everywhere, of course. I’ll help you navigate your way. Trust me. Every step you take will make you relive every important decision that you ever made and you will see how it affected everything. Step forward now.”

Jon took a step into the bright sunlight. There was nothing beneath his feet, no ground to hold him up, but he trusted the voice and remained hopeful. Then his foot seemed to land on something soft and solid.

A blinding light flashed and he looked out through the eyes of his own childhood. He remembered standing there, looking through the bannisters looking down at his father in a drunken rage. His father’s arm pounding into a pile of cotton clothes that lay at the foot of the stairs. Should he stay hidden, or rush to stop his father. Try to bring him to his senses. The white clothes had begun to turn red.

Violence was in his blood. He’d remained hidden. Later he would be sent to a foster home and his father drank himself to death.

He didn’t want to remember any more. The memories had led him into his own drink problem.

The soft, calm voice came again.

It’s Okay Jon. It’s over now. Step forward, there is no going back now you can only go forward.”

He took another step forward and this time ……

End of Part Three.

Part 4 Written by Sadje 

He was standing in the playground of his high school. He saw his friends and classmates playing in the basketball court. It struck him what day it was! The day he had that big dustup with his team mates over the passing of the ball. He was loosing his grip over his temper more often than ever.

He closed his eyes in an attempt to avoid seeing the scene he was creating, shouting and berating his teammates. Pleadingly, he turned to Matilda, ” can we not do this, please . I know I have hurt many people by my anger issues. Can I atone for my past”

Matilda seemed to be pondering on his request. ” What do you want then?” She asked Jon. ” Are you giving me a choice?” There was hope in Jon’s question.

I can offer you a way to undo the hurt you have caused people in your life, but to do that you will have to ……

Part 5 written by Tao-Talk

…commit five years of your life to serving the Goddess Verdita on the Isle of Fermentia. Your life will not be your own, and you must serve the full five years. It is there that you will find atonement and freedom from your past. If you meet the challenges to the satisfaction of the Goddess and the Other Holy Ones from the Mountain, you may even have a chance at being reunited with Lacey and your son.”

Jon’s mind was spinning. He had always prayed to the Gods before in a sort of theoretical way, but to know they actually existed and that he would be serving one on the Isle of Fermentia! And greater yet, the chance of being reunited with his beloved and their son! He couldn’t understand how that could happen, as his loved ones had passed into the Underworld, and once there, they could never return. Was he being tricked, or were the Gods powerful enough to bring love back to him and give him his own life back?

Matilda, I’ll do whatever it takes if there is a chance I can right my wrongs and see their faces again. When do we leave?”

I tag Paula at Light Motifs II to continue or finish the tale…

 Part 6, Written by Paula Light

Jon cleaned the sticky tables at the Kombucha Café in preparation for yet another day of demanding customers. It had been over four years since he’d agreed to come to Fermentia and work for Verdita, performing all sorts of physical and mental challenges, each one more demanding than the last. You would think that working in a café serving a bunch of spoiled brat kids of the gods and their friends would be a piece of cake after swimming blindfolded across Croc River and solving the dodecahedron puzzles.

You would be wrong.

“Jon!” The baker yelled at him from the kitchen. “I need more purple peppermint for my muffin toppings. Go grab some from the garden.”

After Jon returned from the garden, wiped down the counter, set up the display with today’s specials, and called the AC guy again, three customers were already lounging at the front.

“May I help you?”

The blonde smirked. “Nice haircut, Jon boy.”

Jon smiled pleasantly. Verdita required him to keep his hair very short while working in her café. This was unflattering to him and made his ears stick out. “Thank you, Luridia. What can I get for you today?”

“The yooge.” She shrugged.

“Hey dumbo!” Saturn called from a table–he was one of Verdita’s zillions of nephews. “What’s the WiFi password again?”

Jon felt his face redden, but he kept his cool. His behavior and reactions were one hundred percent under control now. “It’s ihaveatinypenis all one word.”

The three customers cracked up. “What?” Luridia said. “I didn’t hear you.”

Her redheaded friend Beryl began giggling so hard she cried. “I’m crying!” she said. “What’s the password? Why is it so hot in here?”

As Jon handed Luridia her drink, she deliberately knocked it over. “Oopsy,” she said. “Clumsy dumbo. They’ll take that out of your pay.”

Pay? Jon smiled to himself. Little did they know. He cheerfully cleaned up the mess and began making a new drink. He was quite aware that he was still being tested for any last wisps of anger or other flaws, but he had steel at his core now. Nothing could interfere with his one goal of being with Lacey and their son.

Jon served more rude customers who mocked his hair and the WiFi password until mid-afternoon when the door burst open and Goddess Verdita herself strolled in.

“My Goddess!” Jon bowed his head. “It has been so long. How may I serve you?”

“Dear boy.” Verdita clasped his hands in hers. “You have learned your lessons well. And I have a surprise for you!”

The door banged open and in strode Walt, the HVAC repairman.

“Hey,” Walt said. “Sorry I’m so late, but there was a big accident on Croc River with a ferryboat. Ugly mess. Let me tell you, those crocs are–“

“Yikes,” Jon interrupted. “That sounds terrible, but I’m glad you made it. Would you please check our AC? It’s not working at all.”

As Walt went into the back, Verdita beamed at Jon. “Nicely handled. As I was saying…”

The door opened again, and this time Matilda walked in, accompanied by Lacey and their son.

Jon stared at them, unable to speak, his heart filled with joy.

“Hi Jon,” Lacey said, her eyes shining. “Can I get a locally sourced green tea with vanilla soy milk for me and an organic apple cider with a cinnamon stick for Keto?”

Jon grinned. “Anything you want, my love. Anything!”


The Rules

1. Copy the story as he or she receives it.

2. Add to the story in some fashion.

3. Tag yet another person to contribute to or finish the story.

4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.

5. Have Fun!

FTS 2019 #1


#FTS 2019 #1


Haven’t done a pile of questions in a few days and these are about one of my fave topics… food!

Today’s questions:

1. What is your favorite chocolate dessert?

– Here’s (yet another) weird thing about me. I love chocolate in its pure form, like a delicious truffle, but not that much in cake or ice cream ~ though I do love choc chip cookies. I have a favorite brownie, which is like candy, in that its from the Ghirardelli mix with extra fudgy wudgy gooeyness. But only that brownie.

2. Where do you go first in the grocery store?

– Produce

3. You win three minutes of free shopping in the grocery store with an empty cart…what do you fill it with?

– All the books

4. What is your favorite fruit and how do you like to eat it?

– Mango, dripping over the sink like a barbarian

5. You go to a magic cafe where plates fill with whatever you request…what do you get?

– Seafood pasta

6. How do you like your fish?


7. Do you eat jello (what is your favorite flavor)?

– Meh

8. What is the most, ahem, “adult” food you can think of?

– Grape Nuts 😝

9. What food do you eat that might put you in the “old” age?

– Salad?

10. Mall food courts…yes, no, where do you eat?

– Barf, those places are disgusting. Panda Express! 😂

Staying Positive 🎉

I’m taking a cue from Revolutionary Musings and calling my plans for 2019 “goals,” not “resolutions.” When I think about the word resolution, it makes me feel I’ve done something wrong and need to improve. There’s the constant worry and pressure that I’ll fail ~ and isn’t that what so many people say? They’ve failed to keep their resolutions. Or they don’t even make any because they know they’ll fail. I want to be more upbeat this year. ☀️

Goals are positive. Even if we don’t reach them completely we can say we’ve made progress, and progress is good. Last year, I wrote/finished two new poetry books and they’re up for sale now on Amazon, and I completed the NaNoWriMo 50K word challenge. I’m proud of myself! 😀 Did I complete all my 2018 goals? No. But I don’t feel like a failure. I’ve made progress and will continue to do so.

For 2019, I want to finish my novel Ghosted. A novel is harder than poetry or a book of short stories, since when working full-time it takes an immense amount of focus day after day crammed into bits of free space. If I break my concentration for a couple weeks to “have a life,” it’s difficult to get that focus back. But this is the plan and I anticipate finishing my novel by the end of the year.

I also want to exercise more, which is a thing I say every year, and each year I feel worse and do less, but that doesn’t mean I should abandon the goal. This past year I was not very active at all and though I can’t do a lot, I can do a little, and I want to do that little bit. Realistically, there will be days I can do nothing but slog through from morning to night and congratulate myself for simply existing with chronic pain, but every day isn’t like that, TG. Those better days are days I can exercise.

Forex today. I planned to take a long (for me) walk to start the year off nicely. But I awoke with a migraine ~ not from booze, lol. I don’t drink alcohol. But I stayed up very late and it’s crazy windy too, both of which are triggers. Anyway, I’ve taken meds and later will exercise to a video instead of going outdoors. This is just how it is ~ I have to accept it and work within the parameters instead of giving up. 👊🏻

Regarding blogging. It brings me great joy, both writing and interacting with people who love to write. Those last three words are key though. I’ve culled some blogs from my list recently that weren’t much about the joy of writing and only about getting us to click links. No thx.

But there’s more. I like participating in the prompts; however, I don’t understand why some of them require so much kooky hoop-jumping. Linking back to the prompt post should be enough. I have created a few new tags for my faves, okay. But I’m not going to click frogs or create more tags or follow a pile of arbitrary rules just to bring more readers to the prompt host. In the end, it’s the host who gets the clicks, let’s remember this. ✅

My goal for 2019 is to get more reading and writing joy out of every minute I spend immersed in the world of words, so things that contribute to this goal have a solid place in that world… and things that don’t or that gobble up more time than they’re worth, do not. 👎🏻

Going along with this goal is reading less news. Most of the “news” isn’t really news ~ it’s tabloid type crap and a waste of my time, more of an addiction really. He said/she said, insults, rehashing, garbage about celebs and the royals, blah. It’s only going to get worse with the 2020 election coming up. 👿 I don’t need to read every scrap of nasty gossip and all the hot takes on what someone else said and who is banned from where. It’s simply tiresome.

I may begin doing some photos again, with a catch ~ they’ll be new photos. No more spending gobs of time trawling through old albums taking photos of photos. Bleh! If I happen to catch a shot of something that goes with one of the City Sonnet themes, cool. This aligns with my goal of having fun blogging and interacting with bloggers, but not wasting time doing boring, obsessive stuffs.

Onto forming happier, more productive traditions!

Happy New Year!

The Haunted Wordsmith had a great idea to post some songs for the transition into 2019. Here are some of my fave uplifting tunes to start the year on a positive note!

May your New Year be awesome! 🎉🥳✨