Locked Doors


PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Martha sat, rocking, smiling into the sunlight streaming through window.

John sat in the far corner, unnoticed and forgotten for the moment.

Elisabeth tiptoed in and handed John the album. Martha didn’t notice.

John flipped to a random page. A beautiful young woman in a military nurse’s uniform smiled up at him. England, 1945.

He glanced at Martha.

Another random page and there was his and Elisabeth’s mom as a baby. 1951.

Another page. Paris, 1979.

Another page, another memory.

“It’s all there, but the storage doors are locked.”

John looked up. Elisabeth was watching Martha, tears in her eye.


Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © J Hardy Carroll.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

The Weekly Smile for the 18th of November, 2019 #weeklysmile


Last week was a pretty good.  Nothing huge or super, but good.  Some of what happened sounds like it would make for a great smile, such as the woman we asked to speak to our Lions Club about time in Kenya, but I don’t want to go into too much depth since I didn’t tell her I’d blog about her. There was also the after effects of last week’s smile – hours in the studio playing and recording music, but I just talked about it last week so…  I had a couple of great runs, some of my best since summer.  There was the usual play time with the dogs, including running around a big field near the school – but I want some photos for a dog play post :) It was my six year blog anniversary (blogaversary) and I had a great blog-week. But not a big, I need to write about this event.

You know what? I am going to do another “it’s the small things” post.

It is the small things. We cannot be constantly ecstatic.  Life has ups and downs. There can’t be major events every week or those special events become just normal events. Life is not a series of great achievements but a continuous path.  Sometimes there are hard uphills, but there are also great views. Parts of the path may e lined with thorns, but sometimes there are flowers on those thorns. Biggest cliche in the Universe, but maybe we need to slow down, look across those views and stop to smell the flowers :) Continue reading

The Weekly Smile Recap 11/11 – 11/17/2019


There were a few glitches in my smile post last week, but we seemed to have gotten back on track after the WP mess was straightened out.  All of the smiles are great, as usual :) If you need a smile, click on one of the links below:

Trent’s World
Nut House Central
The Jesh Studio
Sagittarius Viking
Ruth Scribbles
Poetry, Short Prose and Walking
Colline’s Blog
Beckie’s Mental Mess
Tessa Can Do It! Positivity is Catching!
Change is Hard

This week’s smile will be posted soon!

What made you smile?

If We Were Having Coffee on the 16th of November, 2019

Coffee in NH with Moog

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a mug of very strong Dark Roast (my personal blend ;) ), a cuppa tea or other beverage.  It is still a bit cold, but will warm up a little today. Right now it is sunny and beautiful!  We did have a cold and windy week.  In my state we saw down to -17 F with winds over 100 mph! Of course that was the top of Mt. Washington. It only felt that cold and windy here ;)  Where are we? I gave it away, but for those who didn’t guess or don’t know the photo at the top, I am in New Hampshire today.

This week I tried to stay warm ;)  I worked.  I played with the dogs, as always.  I took long walks. I read. I wrote. I finished my studio reorg and played some music.  Last night I started to work on my first piece of new music in the “new” studio :) I ran and exercised. I went to Lions Club. We had a guest who talked about her 11 years in Kenya, which was interesting.  I have several African friends on the blog, but nobody from that part of the continent.  Continue reading

Six Years

Dabble - Sketch by Trent P McDonald

On Monday evening I received a notice from Word Press that it was my blog’s anniversary, “blogaversary”. It was on November 11, 2013 that I put up my first post. My first post was awful.  I thought of a blog like an online magazine with “articles” instead of as social media with “posts”.

I had no idea what I was going to do when I started. Over the years I have had many photo posts, “compassion” posts, smile posts :), posts with my original drawing and painting, music posts, personal experience posts, coffee-shares (starting in early 2014!), etc.  Just a wide variety of random things. An eclectic blog.

One thing, though: three of my first ten posts were book reviews.  Also in my first ten was an inspirational piece that pushed towards creativity. Between posts #10 and #15 there were three other posts about writing or creativity (total of 4 of 15) and post #15 was my first short story that I posted here. Posts 20 and 21 were also short stories. Little did I know that I would eventually post hundreds of stories, several serialized novellas and three serialized novels! OK, 3 1/2 including “Frank” ;) Continue reading

Glass #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

Jay looked across the lake at the distant mountain. Nothing was moving over the glassy water.


He slipped the kayak into the water, stepped in placing his little backpack on the floor between his legs, and pushed off. After a couple of hard paddles to get the boat’s momentum up, he relaxed into a routine of gentle, quiet, yet efficient strokes.

Silent. That was the key word. Didn’t need anyone to hear, and there were a lot of ears, not to mention the Guardian.

After several minutes, Jay glanced back. The kayak created a small wake as it sliced through the smooth water. Eddies swirled where his paddle had pushed the water back, propelling his tiny craft. The shore was receding, but still near, too close. There was no movement, his theft had yet to be discovered. Continue reading

Silly Question on Blurbs


About two months ago I wrote a blurb for The Old Mill.  It wasn’t quite right, so I did a few changes.  Much better.  But then I noticed something.

The blurb was in present tense.

Even though most of my fiction is in past tense, I always write the first draft of my blurbs in present tense, though occasionally I have done an odd mix of tenses (ugh…).  One of the pluses about being in present tense, if I ask questions at the end of the blurb, they can be in present tense or future tense and seem fine: “With Amesbury entering a new “time of dying”, seemingly at the hands of the long dead Thomas Goode, the man said to be responsible for the first “time of dying” in 1821, will Gill succeed and perhaps drive off the black clouds, or will the evil forces streaming out of the Goode Mill, the Old Mill, win, destroying everything, and everyone, that he holds most dear?”. If the blurb is in past tense, can I ask such a question? You know, the action has already been resolved…

So a quick question for you: Should a blurb for a book written in past tense be in the past tense, or does writing it in present tense make sense?

After I write this, I will spend some time on Amazon and see what others have done, but I’d like to hear your opinion as well.



PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Its doors long closed and shuttered, the place of worship was a reminder of a bygone era.

D stood enchanted, staring at the ancient façade, a hint of nostalgia and regret on his face.

“Come on,” Y said. “We’ll be late.  Why did you stop anyway?”

D just shook his head, took one last look at the temple and followed Y to the gleaming glass tower in front of them.

How different the city was in the days of old; the shifting demographics, the people changing like the seasons.

In some ways D wished that there were still humans around.


Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Roger Bultot.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

Warmth #Haibun #Nonet


Painting by Jim Warren


It is a dark and cold November day. The clouds are dragging grey across the dull sky, faded dead leaves litter the ground. Even the fire doesn’t provide warmth. I need something to spark my flame. I need you.

You beckon, drawing me into the bedroom. Beneath the sheets, you cuddled in my arms, I see lovers in the vibrant clouds. The setting sun glints rainbows on the tropical waters with horses dancing in the waves. A warm breeze over the cool, majestic mountains makes me forget the forecast of snow. Waterfalls near and far pulls me more into your allure.

I search you out on a cold dark day
Your agile tongue speaks in my mind
I follow your elegance
Dreaming with open eyes
Bewitched by your tone
Another land
On your pages
A book


This is a double Challenge.

I decided to participate in Sadje’s What Do You See challenge, which she recently started to host.  She provided the painting at the top (Painted by Jim Warren, found on Google) as this week’s prompt.

This was also written for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge.  This week’s key words are Grace and Style, but only synonyms can be used.  I chose a Haibun with a nonet.

I hope you enjoyed this love poem to books and reading :)

Guest author: Trent P. McDonald ~ The Mad Quest in Fiction

I was a guest blogger over on Sue Vincent’s blog yesterday talking about quests and inner journeys. Check it out!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Our way forward could only be half guessed across the almost vertical gash of loose dirt and stone, the aftereffects of a major landslide. The slide had erased what little path there had been and I couldn’t see a safe way across. Just a little way down the slide path from us, the loose stone stopped and the open air began. I sniffed the wind.

“What do you think?” Merla asked.

“I don’t smell or hear anything. What do you see?”

“The path is totally gone, but I can see a way across, not easy, but doable. Let’s go. But, please, be careful!”

Merla picked her way first. I followed close behind, trying to place my feet exactly where hers had been, knowing she had a sense of the path that I couldn’t match. It wasn’t easy and, with the sun beating down on me, I began to…

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