Word of Mouth

It surprised me when she started to talk. I thought she’d already learnt her lesson; thought she’d learnt it well. Hadn’t we personally been burnt by others’ hateful remarks about our past? Yet there she was, right in the midst of that nasty little gaggle of busy-bodies who passed gossip around like it was a plate of afters ready to be devoured. The look on her face was what wounded me most – that look of pure satisfaction in herself as those spiteful words leapt from her hissing tongue. I couldn’t help but wonder to whom she was doing the most damage. I wasn’t sure how much was being done to her victim. Yet I was certain there was a great deal being heaped upon her soul. As the poisonous venom dripped off her tongue, the others greedily gobbled it up as if it were a tart, juicy piece of ripe fruit. Come to think of it, maybe it was – just like in the Garden of Eden.

 Tantalizing words that tangle the tongue,

Seduce the brain once the brash deed is done.

Back away!

Flee the wrath!

Their fire flicks the teeth,

meandering wrong paths

as if they have feet.

Oh, turn your head from their creative conception;

Their lustful spice will ruin your perception.

This sweet kiss bestowed will steer you towards death

by the one leaned so near,

who has poison on her breath.

© jody love 2013

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One picture + a 1st line prompt  (provided this week by Maggie, winner of thespeakeasy #108)

+ a little creative thought =

Passages

Every day when I wake up, I open my eyes and realize I have all these doors staring back at me.
Other people call them choices or decisions. I know better.

I’d only be fooling myself to believe I have an equal amount of control over which lever I will reach to take hold, or which door through which I’ll be compelled to travel.

They’re not all alike, you know. Some are strong and sturdy, like well-crafted oak or mahogany. They come designed to impress. Whenever I knock on one on those, the announcement of my meager presence is nearly absorbed by its colossal construction and display. Why, I feel swallowed whole whenever I dare consider allowing myself the right to lurk behind any of their beings. I’m rather certain, given enough time, they probably warp and decay; but something about that troubles me too. I don’t want to stay around to see it.

Others are hollow, though seemingly encased in metal. They appear more difficult to encroach upon than, in truth, they actually are. Some of them come with intimidating messages attached, such as “Do Not Disturb.” I’ve kicked a few of them in a time or two in my life. Nothing’s all that interesting behind them.

Most days, for whatever reason or other, I’m drawn back to the revolving door. You know the one. It stands front and center, transparent, made of breakable glass. There’s no guessing what lies on the other side. And, mostly, whenever I enter it, by the end of the day, I’m just right back where I started.

My head is spinning (but not in an Exorcist sort of way), -jody

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Trifecta’s got another challenge this week. This time it’s:

DOOR- but not just any old door! It has to meet the 3rd definition:

1: a usually swinging or sliding barrier by which an entry is closed and opened; also : a similar part of a piece of furniture
2: doorway
3: a means of access or participation : opportunity <opens new doors> <door to success>
As you can see, I’ve used one type of DOOR to metaphorically depict another.
So here are the rules & regs. (I would also suggest not running with scissors, but that’s the mom in me.)
 
Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If you know your post does not meet the requirements of the challenge, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.
This week’s challenge is community judged.
  • For the 14 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link.  To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone. Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish, but please don’t tell them to vote on a number.  The numbering of the posts changes regularly, as authors have the ability to delete their own links at any time.
  • You have 14 hours to vote.  It’s not much time, so be diligent! We’ll send out reminders on Twitter and Facebook.

Just a Fessed-Up Mess

Her mom described Bess
being a well-behaved mess –
blessing in disguise.

But how did she bless?
Anyone’s wild-goose-chase guess.
Make one? Ill-advised.

Better not to mess
with mother’s rose-colored best
spying child-like lies.

© 2013 jody love                                             

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I have a little more going on here than what might first meet the eye.

  1. April is NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), in which I’ve challenged myself to publish 1 poem per day on my blog site in its honor. There are a trio of haiku above, for those of you less familiar with making immediate recognition. (I did these in the more traditional format of 5-7-5 syllabic stanzas.)
  2. Haiku do not traditionally have rhyming segments, but as NaPoWriMo comes to an end, I really just wanted to throw it all out there and doubly challenge myself. (Technically, in making this a “story” of sorts, I’ve broken from traditional haiku format, anyway, through the use of capitalization, punctuation, and such…)
  3. Now, it just so happens that the weekend came along and the Trifecta writing community (who has somewhat learned to tolerate me) came up with a new Trifextra challenge: “Your challenge this weekend is to give us 33 words about anything you want.  Your piece must include at least one hyphenated compound modifier.”
  4. Sensibly, if I wanted to balance my haiku beyond its syllables, it became my goal to balance my word count within each haiku to 11 words each. (Believe me when I say this is a little easier said than done, but compound modifiers are greatly accommodating here!)
  5. I’ve also come to highly admire Kristjaan (Chevrefeuille) at Carpe Diem, along with a wonderful writing community of haikuists (this is my own made-up term possibly) there who were my inspiration in trying this format to meet this multi-level challenge. Today’s Carpe Diem challenge was “Awakening,” which I consider may be the greatest challenge of all for a parent or a child to become aware of seeing the other as a fallible human being.

So, with that much-compounded explanation, all that’s left to say is…Ta-da! Let me know how you think I did in attempting to meet my challenges, whether self- or other-imposed.

Friday Fictioneers


Image Copyright-Claire Fulller

Nigel never read that strange mess of books.
He merely wanted them rearranged.
In truth, he rather liked all the queer looks
from others who thought him quite deranged.
He’d precariously ascend that wooden ladder
then plummet from tip top to floor;
until forced to go attend to his frantic bladder,
before he’d come back to engage them some more.
He’d visit his library daily,
sometimes pulling books off from each shelf.
Then go inform the head nurse, Mrs. Bailey
he had urgent need to relieve himself.
Nurse Bailey long ago had decided
it was far easier for her to clean
Nigel’s mess of books, rather ill-resided
than whatever else his excursion might glean.

© 2013 jody love

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For Friday Fictioneers: I’m hopeful that I didn’t make an utter “mess” of this week’s poetic story!

Warming One’s Feet in a State of Ecstasy

She glanced in the mirror to comb through her wet hair, serenading into the toothbrush as she reached to grab it up. The words she had been singing with her iPod transitioned into muffled hums as she scrubbed away at her teeth. She spit, rinsed a few times, squirted some moisturizer on her face, and let the towel drop as she reached for lotion to rub on her arms and legs. One more minute to braid her wet, brown hair for bed; then came the ritual of iPod off, bathroom lights out, bedside lamp on, covers back, and pillow plumped. She reached onto her night stand for one of her academic reads. Looked like it would be some Aristotle and Socrates tonight. That familiar companion she had named Loneliness tried to creep into bed beside her. She pulled the covers up over her cooling body to ward off his chill before propping reading glasses over dark brown eyes that refused to look his way. Soon, she was convinced she had ignored him sufficiently. He could go find a more suitable bed partner. She understood the only state of ecstasy she could hope to enter into in this domain would come from the trance-like state of reading for the sake of nothing better to do. If only this type of ecstasy came equipped with foot-warmers, she mused.

who would have entranced
a warm bed to lie upon
gifts cold ecstasy

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Yeah, yeah. I duped you with the title. Or…unlikely if you know me, since when have I ever written erotica?! (But I’m thinking Trifecta is trying to get me some of those types of followers, once I put in my tags…) 😉  Moving along…

Many thanks to my favorite pirate for introducing me to haibun, which has saved me (more than once) during NaPoWriMo when I wanted to submit prose. (Presto! Throw in a haiku at the end & you’ve got yourself a poem! I’m ecstatic!)

Ecstatic! Get it?! (moan & grumble, okay) That wasn’t exactly the definition Trifecta was after this week anyway. (And I’m apparently not ecstatic, based on my melancholy submissions as of late. What’s up with that anyway? Knowing me, they’re all just intros to those needing some better life stories – and those of you who know me know my mantra: Everyone needs a good story.)

On to the weekly prompt. This week’s word is:

1a: a state of being beyond reason and self-control

b archaic : swoon
2: a state of overwhelming emotion; especially : rapturous delight

Please remember:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

Recipe for Baking Earth Pie – in honor of Earth Day

I thought I’d rerun this, in honor of Earth Day:

Carl Sagan is credited with saying, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

So I thought, ‘Who isn’t up for a good geography lesson on the earth’s layers – while hanging out at the dinner table, eating a worthy illustration made of ooey-gooey pie?’ I figured we could have our pie and live on it too!

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Brick oven in South Sudan

Insert two parts core.

Center, magnetize, stir

at faster rotational pace.

Layer mantle. Use

Easybake oven, circulating heat.

Add crust.

Thin, crispiness of

Continents, ocean floors,

oozing volcano pie.

Serve on tectonic plates.

Yei, South Sudan

Here’s to earth pie in your eye! -jody

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The ingredients & recipe for Earth Pie were originally written in response to:


Trifecta’s weekend Trifextra Writing Challenge forty-nine: As you’ll recall from your elementary science class days, the structure of the earth can be divided most simply into three sections: core, mantle, crust.  (Diagram is below.) Give us 33 words from it.  Interpret the prompt however you wish–literal, metaphorical, or somewhere in between.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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And while we’re talking about the Earth, did you know there are still people dying on it every 60 seconds from a disease that is strictly related to poverty and that is both treatable & preventable?

That disease is malaria – and it especially strikes out against young lives. Of the children who die under the age of 5 in Africa, approximately 1 in 5 of those is from malaria. (The photos above were taken in South Sudan, where many of these children live – and die.)

Just $10 could make a difference in saving that 1 life. Here’s a little more information, if you’re interested in celebrating Earth Day on behalf of people who struggle to survive on it daily:

Imagine No Malaria – Break the Cycle

The Idiomic Human Race

jodyism_68_life_humanrace

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This one goes out to Trifextra this weekend, in response to the following challenge:

This weekend we’re asking for exactly 33 words including an idiom somewhere within.

I thought it might be time to pull a jody-ism off the shelf and dust it off. I can’t imagine anything I have more idiomic than that! (No, I wasn’t trying to say idiomatic here – or even idiocratic – think more along the lines of “crossing your t’s”). 😉

Friday Fictioneers: Whose Reality?

Though others outside these insulated walls might have considered them strange, none could feel stranger than those huddled together on the inside, reciting morning prayers by lamplight.

What a queer testing this had been. What on God’s given piece of green earth shouldst possess Brother Addley to agree to such an abomination? It had created quite a stir in their private sect when the television crew had driven up, unannounced; but ne’er the stir as when Brother Addley walked out and made an agreement with one of them by signing some sort of covenant. What a curiosity, this Reality TV.

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Friday Fictioneers offered up the photo as a prompt. From there, I got to add the hundred words.

Every Friday authors from around the world gather at Friday Fictioneers to share their 100-words and offer constructive crit and encouragement to each other. This creates a wonderful opportunity for free reading of very fresh fiction! Readers are encouraged to comment as well.

Tagged. You’re “It”

crosswalk

Impatiently, he sat at the crosswalk, watching the woman steadfastly make her way from one side to the other. She wasn’t what he’d consider old, by any means. Yet her gait was slow and deliberate, though she held a regal posture as she attempted not to appear unbalanced in her orthopedic boot. He wondered whatever would possess someone to accept that a perfect stranger (behind a ton of steel with a motor attached) would be honorable enough to maintain the steadiness of his own balance on a braking mechanism much smaller than his foot size. She didn’t seem concerned, as she made her way across, about such an unthinkable, yet potential, act happening within a millisecond of time; how it might crumple her entire body into a heap and render the rest of her as useless as the weakened appendage she was now trying to protect inside that monstrous boot.

Dusk had already settled into deep twilight, making an act like the one he’d just thought up that much easier, he knew. The driver wouldn’t even have to be concerned with the body’s disposal. A hit and run in an unregistered vehicle by a man no one could describe, and the woman’s life would end instantly. She’d feel pain for such a short time. The car could be dumped, the money collected, and then it’d be time to move on. That kind of job was lucky, matching the challenge of taking candy from a baby. Who cared enough to even give her a second thought?

So why, then, did he find himself carefully studying her, thinking about her, wondering how she’d gotten here, to this moment? Surely her story wasn’t nearly as interesting as his had once been, before he’d gotten bored with the nagging details of guilt surrounding all his past deeds. So why did he find himself hatching a plan to study her more closely, to personally acquaint himself with a woman who was sitting atop a mercenary’s tag list?

© 2013 jody love

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This is one of the newer writing projects I’ve been working on and am expecting to turn out as a novella, by estimated length based on the outlined phase of what it’s going to take to complete the story. My WIP title is simply Hitman. I’d surely appreciate any feedback on this one.

This abridged intro was written in response to Trifecta’s Week 70 challenge:

On to the weekly prompt. Pay attention to the third definition, as always. Good lucky!
1: having good luck
2: happening by chance : fortuitous
3: producing or resulting in good by chance : favorable
Please remember:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

…And We Danced

I was meeting a group of friends after the class reunion because, even as an adult, I felt too awkward to attend. It had all started with that same group at a middle school dance (my only one, I might add). They had pushed me – I mean, literally – to ask this guy to dance.

His friends had snickered, while he looked around in discomfort. Then, in one long grimace (or was it one swift cut?), he shook his head and backed away. I spent the remainder of the night buried under my covers in tears, and the remainder of my school years buried behind my books in humiliation.

Here I am, years later, fearless international spokesperson for NASA’s space program; yet, too scared to attend my own local high school reunion. I negotiated, instead, to meet a handful of friends afterward.

I stumbled, coming through the door, upon catching his eye – one of two boring a hole into me. He stood and approached with his hand out, cuing me there was music playing in the background.

“I wanted to say yes back then,” he shrugged, “but I knew I’d look stupid because you were such a good dancer, and I…wasn’t.”

“Are you saying you’re better now?” My mouth engaged before my brain.

“At a lot of things, yes,” he grinned. “Care to find out?”

Steps from the dance floor,

Stages from a former dream.

Time stopped. And we danced.

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I have to say that I greatly missed participating last week at Līgo Editions and hope for the opportunity to go back and read what I know were fantastic contributions there.

Just last week I also missed a high school reunion planning meeting due an already overbooked schedule, but this missed appointment did serve to give me the idea for this week’s haibun. The challenge prompt line was already so spectacular, I couldn’t have outdone it for my title either.

The Līgo Haībun Challenge ~ Prompt “And We Danced”

ligo-challenge2Haībun is Prosimetric writing. The haībun format here for the Līgo Haībun Challenge is as follows ~

paragraph (more than one paragraph is fine, or just a few sentences) in prose form of either

  • a descriptive passage , or excerpt from a story/or previously published post
  • an explanation 
  • a tale
  • a travelogue
  • a news item
  • a recipe

and

  • the haiku to close

The expression does not have to be used exactly as it is. Remember the word limit is normally if not formally 220 words, including the haiku, and more than 1 haiku is fine.

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