Sunday, June 27, 2010


Picture credit: Magpie Tales

Short story below is also posted on Magpie Tales, Mag 20: . She takes fun pics for writing prompts if you are interested in adding your writing to her blog!
He set the toothbrush down on the bathroom sink and turned to her. Anni took his breath away. She was the mother of his children, his best friend, his wife, and his love. Wiping his mouth with a towel, he smiled. Morning gave her sleepy eyes and mussed up hair. That didn’t matter. She was still beautiful.

Anni looked at him in surprise. “What?” she said, smiling, her eyes narrowing at him suspiciously.

“I love you.” He tossed the towel on the counter and stepped over to her. She opened her arms to him. He held her tightly. They gazed at one another, happy in the moment. Anni leaned up for a kiss.

From the closed bedroom door a knock could be heard. “Mom? Dad? We’re hungry!! We’re hungry!!” small children chanted.

He sighed. Anni sighed. They chuckled at themselves and the timing of their children. Their moment would have to wait.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Run

This is inspired by Willow's Magpie Tales #19 @
Photo credit: Willow
Sara didn’t know which way to turn. Her scarf fluttered in the mid-day, summer breeze that swept through the forest. Her feet and ankles ached from the distance she had already run in her tie-up sandals. Why had she worn them this morning instead of sturdy running shoes? Cursing herself, she listened for sounds and scanned the area around her, looking for red, shaking with shock. Where was he? Had she really seen what she thought she’d seen? How far was she from her car?

Driving through the Utah mountains on small highways, Sara was taking the long route to Park City, Utah, where her best friend was waiting. She had pulled off from the highway to break up her trip, stretch her legs, have a quick bite to eat, and read a book for a few minutes. The sun shone warm through the trees, the sandwich she’d picked up earlier was delicious, the book a well-earned treat. Then she looked up from reading and saw something red moving in the trees. She watched it, trying to identify what it was.

Sara stood and walked through the forest, towards the red, her vision focusing on the distant object---a man wearing a red shirt. He moved his arms purposefully, gesturing towards another, smaller man standing in front of him. Sara could tell that they were arguing about something. She couldn’t hear all of their words, but picked out “stop,” “money,” and “don’t” from their distant shouting.

She watched the man in red carefully remove a large switchblade from the pocket of his shorts. He held it down against his leg and opened it slowly with one hand. When the other man turned to walk away, the man in red grabbed him by his shoulder and hugged him, plunging the knife into his gut, pulling upwards. The man yelled out, his mouth open, his face a mask of shock. Sara screamed. The man in red turned and saw her. Without thinking, Sara began to run.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Hard to be 40

This post is dedicated to the dreaded 40th birthday and all of the women in the world who must endure it!

It’s Hard to be 40

My mouth is a dry desert

yearning for water constantly.

My mind is a colander

losing thoughts and important things.

My body is a faded image

changing from curvy to straight.

My face is a wrinkle farm

hugging my eyes and mouth.

My elbows are sharp sticks

poking my husband in his sleep.

My teeth are cracked porcelain

keeping my dentist in business.

I wonder what 50 will be like?

(Based on the children’s book “It’s Hard to be Five,” by Jamie Lee Curtis.)

Photo credit: Corrina L. Terry and her Sharpie

While I've been whining the last week or so about my upcoming 40th birthday it's to hide my true feelings. I've been panicking. I want to hide in bed. I want run away. Crying doesn't seem to help. A birthday is not something one can hide or run from though. It comes no matter what. Lying seems like the only option, but I hate lying. Besides, I stink at it, just ask Steven J. 

So I take a deep breath and shoulder the year. I can do it. Yes, I can. I can suck it up and admit to myself that I'm getting oldish. Older. For-ty. FORTY! Yikes! Where did the time go? Somebody pass me the chocolate.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Peace

In one week J and I will be camping in Duck Creek, Utah, for our annual Durfee-Van Leuven Reunion. This is a reunion and a time I look forward to all year. When I’m having a crappy day, students are restless and unwilling to listen, husband is in a bad mood, sons are bratty, house is a mess, or I’m just overwhelmed with too much going on, I think about the mountain.

My mom’s family has been meeting at Cedar Mountain for generations. So while a reunion may not sound like much fun to some of you (hint: Steven J), it’s a tradition for us. For one weekend a year we meet and catch up, take walks, tell stories, sing, eat, and play games. It's a chance to camp out, trailer it or cabin it, depending on your finances, and enjoy family we never see.

But it's not just the reunion that pulls me to Duck Creek. This mountain flows through my blood and my memories. Growing up, my brothers and sisters and I spent a major part of every summer on the mountain. As our parents and grandparents built our family cabin, we built forts, hiked roads and trails, played, walked, and ran like wild children through the hills and streams. It's a sacred place where we've brought our friends, as well as future husbands and wives, and was a significant part of the healing process after my divorce.

So in a week, (just one week!) when I’m reading in my camping lounge chair, or roasting smores over an open fire, or visiting with family, and all the while smelling fresh, cool mountain air, viewing green trees, and clear streams, know I will have found my peace this year, at last.

Photo credits: Corrina Terry, 2009.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Someday . . .

I will earn 32 credit hours above my master’s degree.

Today I am finishing a 2-credit class.

I will own an updated home.

Meanwhile I am helping Steve remodel our bathroom.

I will plant a big vegetable garden.

Until then I am watering my potted plants.

I will write a fun-filled mystery novel.

Right now I am writing a poem.

I will take exotic vacations.

I the meantime I am enjoying camping in Utah.

I will pay off all of my debts.

As for today I am making my payments each month.

I will see my son, Joshua, all grown up.

Tonight I will tuck him in bed, tell him he is amazing, and kiss him

(Based on the children’s book, “Someday,” by Eileen Spinelli.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Statue

I'm really liking the writing prompt blog .  Willow's photos are interesting and I love the challenge of coming up with a short story for each one. So plan on seeing these "short shorts" every week or so, at least through the summer months (while I have a break from teaching.) ;o) Enjoy the one below!

She couldn’t believe she’d found it. The chipped marble statue sat in the dusty corner of an old shop in Rome, selling odds and ends. Natalie had found the store by accident. She’d made a wrong turn and then another while following her map to Trevi Fountain, only to look up into the windows of a second-hand shop. Curious, she entered and meandered around the narrow store, picking up old books, peering around kitchen items and antiques.

Then she saw the statue, a boy with his mouth open in song, in a corner under the windows; a statue that once stood in a fountain. Now it stood alone, leaning against a wall. In shock Natalie walked closer and knelt down in front of it, touching the cheeks. She ran her hands over the forehead and hair, marveling, wondering how it came to be here.

From her small backpack she pulled out a black and white photo of her grandfather taken during World War II. He’d served as an Army Engineer and had spent most of the war in Italy and France. One of the pictures he’d sent home to her grandmother was a picture of himself in a small piazza somewhere in Italy. In it he was standing next to a marble fountain, the center statue of a boy with his mouth open in song.

Photo credit: Willow @