Leaving Town Abruptly

Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: Leaving Town Abruptly:

A friend rings your doorbell way too early in the morning to be ringing doorbells. You answer the door in your PJs, and the friend says, “Pack a bag quickly. I have to get out of here now and need you to come with me.” You are intrigued.

I grabbed her arm and pulled her inside.

“Ten minutes,” I said, both of us knowing I would take twenty. I stood in the middle of the living room for a moment, my body trying to move in three directions at once as my brain moved in twelve. Finally they both settled on one at the same time and I ran up the stairs, two at a time.

Fortunately I hadn’t put away my travel bags from my weekend trip to the islands so there was no having to dig them back out of the closet. Unfortunately, I also had not yet done laundry. I pulled my drawers open and stared at their contents, stumped.

“Okay, Micky,” I called down the stairs. “I need input. What am I packing?”

“Warm weather, um… four days?” She paused a moment, then added, “We can do laundry there.”

I grabbed a handful of underwear, three summer shirts, a pair of shorts, and one sweater – just in case. Then I shuffled out of my PJs and stuffed those in as well. Half of what I put in was dirty but the promise of laundry invigorated me to take my favorite shirt from the hamper.

I hesitated beside the bed for a moment before I grabbed my teddy bear and stuffed him in as well. Never know when you might need the moral support.

Back in the living room, I left my bag on the couch as I counted off my fingers of what needed to be done.

“Feed the cats, grab toothbrush and makeup, call my mother- once we’re gone,” I added as she made to object. I looked around again for anything I might be overlooking.

“What about food?”  I asked.

“What about clothes?”

I pointed to the bag; she pointed to me. I looked down.

“Oh, that. Yeah, I mean, I suppose I could get dressed,” I said nonchalantly.

“Well hurry,” she said, barely concealing her laughter. “It’s been ten minutes already!”

“Alright, alright! You get the cooler from the back porch and raid the fridge, I’ll be back down in a minute.”

Armed at last with pants and a proper shirt, I grabbed my purse, shoved a camera into the side-pocket of my travel bag, decided there was nothing to be done about my hair anyway and conceded I was done. We loaded my things into the trunk beside hers and then got in.

“This is what I love about you, Liz,” she said as she put the car in gear and pulled out of the driveway.

“What’s that?”

“You never ask.”

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Writing Prompt: Describe Being a Writer

To dream about what isn’t and make it real; to see what is through a lens of what should be, or perhaps what should never be. To paint an image in your mind and weave invisible threads into your feelings to tug and tease at will.

To be blindness to the sighted, poverty to the rich, womanhood to the man; to impart an experience through a commonality which diverges and takes you with it to places you never thought possible. To make sacred the mundane and make known the hidden. To whisper in your ear of how good a sunset tastes at dawn and breathe in the waters of life and death and see which one I become. To be a bridge, to bear your weight as you tread across my back and see what I’ve carved into my hands for you.

And at the last to bare my soul and let you step inside me for just a moment to see the world through my eyes, and in doing so, to see the world through another’s eyes as well.

Love Is Dope

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Writer’s Relief posted the above picture on Facebook with the following caption: “Describe being a ‪#‎writer‬ without using the words ‘writer,’ ‘write,’ or ‘words.’ ‪#‎writingprompt‬ ‪#‎writinglife‬.” I’m always down for a good writing prompt, so I decided to share my (short) response here.

A somber-looking stranger on the train. The bewitching pre-dawn hours while alone at my desk. A long-abandoned building with “beautiful bones”  observed during a walk in the neighborhood. Any and all of these things could be the catalyst for my muse to alight upon my shoulder and whisper into my ear.  My mind starts churning, thoughts fill my head beyond capacity and I must (no, I really must) transfer those thoughts to page or screen. Sometimes those penned or keyboarded thoughts make it to a wider audience than my own two eyes.  In some bizarre corner of the universe, a company or a person…

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Memories

Washed smooth by nature’s caress, the jagged edge is eased.  Beside lapis waves which kissed the ocher shores we plucked our wind-worn memories from the sand to leave in our wake a mark of passing.  A tenuous journey across time where two paths cross – the wanderer and the placer.  It takes a steady hand to find the balance; unsettle even one, they fall.  The strength of the offering is in the leaving, an act of faith in defiance of gravity.   Poems precarious, they stand as testaments to the impermanence of creation.

silent words of stone
whisper to the next who pass
you are not the first
follow in my footsteps and
for a moment we are one

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Daily Prompt: Dream Home

Sometimes The Daily Post offers up a prompt that is just too delicious not to take.  Especially for someone who pines for her lost architecture career and has recently been wanting – but too broke – to do more home renovations.

And then this comes along:

You win a contest to build your dream home. Draft the plans.

With a squeal of delight audible only to dogs, I opened AutoCAD and got to work to once again draft yet another set of plans for even more dream home ideas.

Because let’s face it, asking an architect to design their one dream home is kind of like asking a chef to make the one meal they’ll eat for the rest of their lives.

And my dream home will always depend on the exact circumstances of my life at the time, of course.  I have no kids, so guest rooms and craft/art rooms will replace the bedrooms.  This set of plans has a lower floor area of 1,289 square feet and an upper floor of 919 square feet for a total of 2,208.  Still within the manageable range for cleaning, a bit larger than my house now, and most importantly, more bathrooms!

Among the features that make this my dream house are the attached greenhouse, the library with reading nook (which is to say: a bed set into the shelves for good proper book cuddles with cats and tea during a thunderstorm), a nice walk-in pantry, mud room to hose down the people and animals when they come in from the mud, or to catch snowy boots.  I just realized I didn’t put the washer and dryer in the mud room but rest assured, they would be there in my dream house.

There is room in the entry way for a coat tree, a bench for shoes, and perhaps fresh flowers in spring in a little table beside the window.  I love the way the rooms flow into one another.  The kitchen has easy access to and from both the living room and dining room, who also access one another while maintaining a level of privacy as well.

Upstairs, all the bedrooms have walk in closets, and the (theoretical) kid’s rooms are separated by their closets to (hopefully) reduce the amount of annoyance one child can cause another.   But as I stated earlier, their actual use would far more likely be guest rooms or sewing and craft rooms.

The master bedroom has a private deck to watch the sunrise, and a nice big tiled shower.  The second bath separates the sink from the toilet and tub area to allow for multiple use at once.  Though they are on the same floor, the bedrooms are separated enough to allow for a measure of privacy.

The house would be laid out with east oriented up, so the green house would face full south, the kitchen would face east, and the library would be tucked up north, with the entrance on the west side.

Now all I need is about… oooh, $200,000 to build it.

So for today, this is my dream home.  I’ve drawn them before, I will continue to draw them in future, but just for today, this is my dream home.

mainfloor

Main Floor Plan
1,298 square feet
© Eliza Murdock 2013

upperfloor

Upper Floor Plan
919 square feet
© Eliza Murdock 2013

 

And just for the curious, other iterations of my dream home have included – but are not limited to – a library with just enough amenities to make it habitable, a hobbit hole to go in the side of my hill, a castle (on the smallish side), and a yurt.

A Sheep Date

This is the poem I had initially intended to write for the poetry prompt yesterday. It needed more than I could give it yesterday, but after a (surprisingly) good night’s sleep, it just flowed out. So this is my ode to my dear friend, and inspired by her picture:

 

https://i0.wp.com/s3.roosterteeth.com/images/BaghdadBean51d239eb475cb.jpg

Picture of my friend, Sgt. “Bean” Clayton, on her ranch.  Reposted with permission.

A Sheep Date

Woolly touch that creates a connection,
A gaze held between two sets of deep eyes, –
Picture of peace, of quiet reflection;
Beauty defined beneath Oregon skies.

A moment’s respite from the herd chasing,
This testament to the animal wife,
With one leg braced, the other embracing –
The shepherdess understands sheep is life.

These are the dreams I desire when I sleep:
Lakota dancing with Navajo sheep.

Photo Challenge

we drink because we’re poets has also issued a photo challenge:

Last week we looked at the Chinese element of Fire…this week we will look at Water…not the Chinese element, which I’ll talk about much later, this time I want just Water.

 

So I would like to humbly submit: water at my house

put words here

Like the cross section of a tree,
You can count the rings
On the sides of my water barrel
Down to the rocks at the bottom.
I’m sure the tomatoes won’t mind
A few rose petals in their drink.

She asked why I believed in angels. I replied, because I've seen them.

She asked why I believed in angels.
I replied, because I’ve seen them.

All the diamonds in the world Would scare suffice When what is longed for Is water and ice.

All the diamonds in the world
Would scare suffice
When what is longed for
Is water and ice.

Rain collects on leaf In the palms of green hands and Strawberry blossoms

Rainfall collected
In the palms of green hands and
Strawberry blossoms

May I interest you in a cup of tea?

May I interest you in a cup of tea?

 

We Drink Because We’re Poets, Thursday Poetry Prompt #9

Once again I’ve been inspired by we drink because we’re poets and have written a poem for their Thursday Poetry Prompt #9

Guess what today’s prompt is, people? Today, and for the next few days, your task is to create a “magical recipe” that has unintended consequences…in the form of a poem! There are no constraints on this piece as far as form, so go with a form of your choosing!

And may I *highly* recommend you visit the original entry and read the first submission.  It’s a scream!  (You especially, Evan, will appreciate its… ehem… imagery.)

Watch That Last Step

Boil a pail of rabbit’s blood,
Mix with earth to form a mud,
Then crush and add a nightshade bud
When Autumn’s moon is whole.

Scale of dragon, dried and cured,
A phoenix feather, deftly procured,
One poppy bloom, fully matured,
Ground in a mortar bowl.

The mingled juice of lovers’ play,
Three reddish toadstools, picked today,
One token from a werewolf’s prey,
And one from a fallen soul.

Hair from a satyr’s cloven feet,
A pint of milk from Hathor’s teat,
Tears from a dryad, bottled neat,
One last step to the goal –

All these items must combine,
Then mix it into some sweet wine.
All your wishes can be thine,
But you must pay the toll.

You drink and wait, but are you sure
You gathered only the most pure
To act the part of fortune’s lure?
Read the fine print on the scroll:

The last ingredient, you’ve guessed,
It was the heart within your chest –
As black as pitch, you failed the test –
Weep now, your fate to thole.

Nerdy Girl

From the desk of we drink because we’re poets (love the name), I was inspired to write a Nerdy poem.

Prompt: write a humorous poem, in any form you choose (I’d go with a limerick, though, just as a suggestion) about a day in the life of a nerd! You can be as nerdy as you dare!

I didn’t have to go far to find my inspiration: my desk at work.  Where I was sitting.  When I wrote the poem.  It is a ridiculously silly poem, but then, what did you expect?

And just to prove that everything I wrote in the poem was absolutely true, I took pictures.  😀

 

The things upon my office desk
I think make it abundantly clear
Exactly the type of person you’d expect
To find sitting and working here.

Sticky note origami flowers
Form a paper garden beneath my screen,
And my bag of multi-sided dice is
Behind the Loki figurine.

An XKCD comic strip
Is pinned by my model Serenity,
And sandwiched between file folders are
The soundtracks to Myst I, II and III.

The Halo 3 spartan desktop pic,
Thor and Iron Man cupcake rings,
And Lego hoodie on my chair;
Surely there can be no misunderstandings.

Think you’ve got me figured out?
Just one last detail to fill in,
Think you know whose stuff this is?
Nerdy girl with glasses, FTW!

 

Da proof:

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Oh dear, oh dear!

I don’t usually follow the Word Press challenges, not that they aren’t interesting, but often times the challenge they come out with is something I’ve just done, which then always feels a bit odd to try to redo it just for that.  Or it’s something that isn’t quite my focus, or something that catches my attention but then I forget about it, or any other number of reasons why I don’t end up doing them.
But this week’s challenge presents me with a real challenge. Weekly Writing Challenge: And Now For Something Completely Different.

Which states:

So this week, we challenge you to step outside your blogging box and try something totally different:

  • If you normally write non-fiction, try fiction.
  • If you normally write fiction, try poetry.
  • If you normally post photos, try writing.
  • If you normally just write, try including photos.

And therein lies my problem.  I already write.  I already write fiction.  I already write poetry.  I already post photos (art).  And I do, occasionally, post non-fiction.  I’ve even posted environmental stuff.

I’m actually having trouble figuring out exactly what I haven’t done already to try!

So for you lovely people who follow me and/or stumble across my blog, I have a request to make of you: what would you challenge me to do?  What ideas do you have that I haven’t tried yet?  I am all ears and eager to have at some new spark of inspiration, so please share whatever comes to mind!

🙂

Weekend Watercolor

I painted this weekend.  Quite a bit.  I’ve scanned my favorite 5 in to share.

Red Trees

I really like this pallet.  The reds and golds have captured my interest, which is why this is now the third iteration of this particular pallet.

Irish Mother Earth

A gift for my sister.  She loved my Mother Earth painting so much, I painted one just for her, with her Scot/Irish red hair.

Navajo Churro Sheep

A dear friend of mine raises Navajo Churro sheep.  They’re absolutely gorgeous!  If I had a spinning wheel I’d buy pounds of it to spin!  As it is, I’ll have to console myself for now with just painting pictures of them.

Palm Sunset

Generic sunset from a tropical beach.  Showing this now, but it was an offshoot of the inspiration for the next picture, because I want to save the best for last:

Concrete Sunrise

This.  This is my favorite so far.  This was the view out my kitchen window this morning at 6:30 AM when I went down to get a glass of water.  The sun was still behind the mountains, but the sky was just beginning to grow light, and the trees and hills were perfectly silhouetted against it in black.  It was so beautiful I immediately went back upstairs and started to paint it.