Sunday, October 28, 2012

Twitter Fiction Festival call for entries

So who's entering the Twitter Fiction Festival? 

From its blog post: At the end of November, we’ll host a five-day Twitter Fiction Festival — a virtual storytelling celebration held entirely on Twitter. The Twitter Fiction Festival (#twitterfiction) will feature creative experiments in storytelling from authors around the world.

Follow this link to enter. And good luck if you decide to try. Submissions due by Nov. 15. Selected authors and festival agenda will be posted on Nov. 19. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fact or fiction: A cancer diagnosis

It’s like waking up to a surprise snowstorm. One day everything’s fine and the next day you’re buried in a foot of white stuff so heavy you can’t move.

You’re not prepared. You thought you had time -- years, not months. But months are what you have.

Suddenly, everything you’ve ever wanted to do becomes more important. Little things mean a lot and big things aren’t so big anymore.

I’ve always marveled at people who can live in the moment. That’s hard for me, especially when life seems to pull me in a million directions at once.

Well, it’s not pulling anymore. The light’s turned red and I’ve skidded to a halt.

I’ve learned I have cancer.

I don’t know how to tell Ella. She’s lost so much already. Her mom, dad. sister. I’m all she has left. Well, me and Maddie. Don’t know where I’d be without Maddie. She’s always been like an aunt to Ella.

Maybe I’ll write Ella notes, a whole year’s worth. One for every day after I’m gone. If I start today, maybe I’ll finish in time. 

Death never waits. 

Fact or fiction? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A snippet of real life

Shoppers looking for deals packed the discount store. Like bees to pollen, they were drawn to the books section.  

I had stopped to look for some toddler Bibles and to pick up a few gift bags. As usual, I left with a lot more.

While standing in line to pay for my bargains, a girl walked in. She was thin and her long brown hair was parted on the left side and pulled back.

My 20-something cashier said something to her. I don’t remember what he said; I only remember her reply.  

“I got married today.”

It was around 2 in the afternoon. She had gotten married that morning and was at work a few hours later.

Now that's real life. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bermuda: Sir David Gibbons home

The taxi driver we hired for a few hours took us to the home of Sir David Gibbons. Gibbons, a member of the Gibbons family of the department store fame, was a former premier. He opens his home Monday through Thursday. 

You can't see it well, but the pond contains a grassy relief in the shape of Bermuda. You can get out and walk around it. It's absolutely beautiful. Here's a view of the garden from above, which gives you a better picture. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bermuda: Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas

We cruised on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda. It was my first time on the Explorer, although I've been on its sister ship, Navigator of the Seas, twice. Both of these ships include climbing rock wall, basketball court, miniature golf course, ice rink, Royal Promenade (Think Main Street in a city), live performances, casino and more. We always get an outside balcony room.

Here are two photos of the ship along with a monkey our room attendant made us one night and hung from a pant hanger. 

Other Bermuda posts: 

Fort St. Catherine

St. Peter's Church

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bermuda: The Mid Ocean Club in Tucker's Town

On our tour of Bermuda, we stopped at the Mid Ocean Club in Tucker's Town. What a beautiful course!  The golf course, built in 1921, hosted PGA Grand Slams in 2007 and 2008. According to its website, it was also the venue where President Eisenhower met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1953.

Other Bermuda posts: 

Fort St. Catherine

St. Peter's Church

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bermuda: Graves above ground

I thought it was interesting that many graves in Bermuda are above ground but the bodies are buried 6 feet under. Our taxi driver/tour guide told us that generations are buried in one plot. This saves space.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Horror movie quote quiz

I'm not a fan of horror. I learned long ago that watching a horror film means not sleeping soundly for weeks, maybe months. The last horror film I watched was "The Silence Of The Lambs" in 1991. Even mentioning it here makes me break out in goosebumps. Yeah, it creeped me out big time.

But since it's the season for all things scary, I've come up with this quiz. Name the horror movie that contained the following quote. Answers on jump. 

1.  “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." 

2. “Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!"

3. “I see dead people.”

4. “He-e-e-e-re’s Johnnie!”

5. “Listen to them, the children of the night. What sweet music they make.”

6. “Get away from her, you bitch.”

7. "If only it was the picture who was to grow old, and I remain young. There's nothing in the world I wouldn't give for that. Yes, I would give even my soul for it."

8. “It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”

9. “Hi, I’m Chucky, wanna play?”

10. “They’re Heee-re.”

11. "Whatever you do, don't fall asleep."

12. "Oh, yes, there will be blood."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fact or fiction: The broken nail

“Maddie! Maddie!” Ella screamed.

Maddie ran into Ella’s bedroom.

“Where’s the nail?" asked Ella, tears pooling in her eyes. "Where’s Grandma’s nail?”

Maddie scratched her head. “You mean the broken nail that was on your dresser?"

Ella nodded.

“Why, I threw it out. I found it when I was dusting and thought it was trash.”

Tears exploded from Ella’s eyes. “No! It wasn’t trash. It was Grandma's nail. The only piece of her that hasn't been turned into ashes and stuffed inside a stupid urn."

           Maddie wrapped her thick arms around Ella and kissed the top of her head. “Calm down, Ella.  We’ll dig through the trash until we find it.”

            Maddie dumped the contents of the trash can into the bathtub. They dug through white tissues, a rolled-up toothpaste tube, strands of slimy dental floss and dirty Q-tips.

            Just when Ella was about to give up, she spotted a hint of rose in the folds of a crumpled piece of paper. She reached for the paper and picked out the jagged tip.

            “Maddie," Ella sniffed. "I know you probably think I’m acting childish, and you’re probably thinking how stupid it is for someone to keep a fingernail. But when I see this nail it reminds me of Grandma’s beautiful hands and her long nails that she always painted. Even when she was too sick to paint her nails herself, she’d ask me to paint them for her.”

Is this fact or fiction? Read on to find out

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bermuda: Colorful cottages

Bermuda is chock-full of colorful houses. The square pastel cottages with their white stepped roofs add a certain charm to the island. Besides rain, there is no fresh water supply so the limestone roofs are designed to catch rain water. The limestone purifies the rain as it drains into underground cisterns. Bermudians use this water to drink, cook and bathe.

Here are some photos of the beautiful quaint cottages that dot the hilly island.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Writing prompt: The minute I did it I knew I was in trouble…

Let’s have some fun. It’s been awhile since I’ve given you a writing prompt. Here it is:  The minute I did it I knew I was in trouble…

Keep it to around 200 words. Here’s what I wrote. Can’t wait to see yours in comments.

The minute I did it I knew I was in trouble. You don’t tell your mama to shut up and get away with it. Not my mama anyway. She whipped around faster than the dog chasing its tail and whacked me a good one right across my face.  It stung worse than a billion bees and left a big old red mark.

“What’s that on your face?” Addy asked.

Addy found me crying in my apple tree. It’s my thinkin’ place, the place where I go when I hate mama. And right now, I’m hatin' her good. I only told her to shut up because she was yammering about me being dumb. I’m tired of being dumb. I want to be smart. Like Addy. That’s what mama says, anyway. Addy’s smart; I’m not.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bermuda: Fort St. Catherine in the historic town of St. George

Fort St. Catherine is located on the northern tip of St. George's. 

On my recent trip to St. George's in Bermuda, I toured Fort St. Catherine. The fort is located at the northeast tip of Bermuda and overlooks the ocean. It was built on the spot where Sir George Somers and the original settlers wrecked in 1609.

Hubs and I enjoyed touring the fort, winding our way through its many tunnels and recesses and exploring its towers, redoubts and ramparts. I was amazed at the condition of the fort, which has changed little from the late Victorian Period. Visitors can tour the Powder Magazine, Keep, Cook House and Soldier's Room.  It contains an extensive 19th century gun collection and an incredible view from the roof. 

Here are some more photos of the fort:

This is a view of the fort from the ferry.

Poll: Who is the scariest character?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fact or fiction: Yapper in the house

Her mouth flapped faster than the American flag whipping the metal pole in the spring green yard. Just when I thought a period was coming and she’d stop and take a breath the sentence ran on – and on and on and on.

 It was like watching my wheaten cairn terrier eat up the yard looking for that dang brown bunny, the one that teases him from the other side of the glass patio door. I swear that if the bunny don't die the dog will trying to catch it.

Like the cairn, she was on a topic and she wasn't going to let it go until she killed it. Her rubbery lips fast danced and her mouth spewed gossip like it was a volcano that couldn't keep its fiery guts from boiling out.

After awhile, I stopped listening. Like I sometimes do in church when Pastor Greg’s voice slides into a lullaby. You’re looking and nodding but your mind is somewhere else. Maybe you’re thinking about the Moose Tracks ice cream in the freezer and wondering if there’s any left. Maybe you’re thinking you need to clip your nails or shave or… Hell, I don’t know. You’re thinking a million things other than what you should be thinking. And that’s when it happens. She notices your glassy eyes, the way your melon-sized head bobs and your heavy eyelids crawl closed.

“Are you even listening to me?” she spits in your face.

 And you know you’ve been caught mingling with more interesting subject matter – like Moose Tracks ice cream. So the question is do you tell her the truth and admit you played mental hooky (which means she’s going to start over and you’ll be listening to her yap for another hour) or lie.

 I lie. Try to sit still. Keep my eyes focused on her acrobatic lips.

 “I thought you said you were listening to me?”

I twist in my seat like I’ve got to pee. “Sorry. I’m listening. Totally. I promise.”

“As I was saying…”

And all I can think about for the next 30 minutes is how much I want to eat the Moose Tracks ice cream. When she shuts up, er leaves, I leap for the freezer only to find that someone’s beaten me to it.

The Moose Tracks is gone – and so it my sanity.

Is this fact or fiction? Read on to find out. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bermuda: St. Peter's Church in St. George's a historic jewel

Hi everyone! I'm back from my cruise to Bermuda, and I wanted to share some of the sites I saw while there. Today's post is about the beautiful St. Peter's Church in the historic town of St. George's.

St. Peter's is the oldest Anglican Church outside the British Isles and the oldest Protestant church in continuous use in the New World.

This year marks the 400th year since the founding of the church. On March 18, 2012, Queen Elizabeth II granted the church the title Their Majesties' Chappell.

It's difficult to adequately describe how I felt when I walked into this church. I love historic buildings, and this one, with its exposed cedar beams and pews, took my breath away.

Here are a few tidbits:

  • The Communion table, made in 1612, is the oldest piece of Bermuda furniture.
  • A servants gallery was added in 1721 so that black people could attend services in the church.