From the Keyboard

child:warsawghetto:FromYadVashem Warsaw Ghetto — Yad Vashem

It wasn’t an unpleasant day. It wasn’t raining or snowing, extremely cold or hot; there was nothing that would make a short chat with a friend, or wait for a green light uncomfortable. Yet no one stopped. I suppose you could say that people had somewhere to be—work, school, appointments. People are busy. Yes, they have schedules. But they rushed by as though they were already critically late to wherever they were going.

The woman was lying on the sidewalk, unconscious, twitching. Her clothes—jeans, untucked shirt, light jacket—were loose around her. Her handbag, soft, slouchy, not terribly full, was at her side.

I was headed somewhere, I’m sure, but because of the way I was raised, because of ancestral ghosts who’d been bypassed, overlooked, ignored…rationalized to dust, I stopped and crouched beside her, spoke gently, pulled her purse close to her body where I could…

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It wasn’t an unpleasant day. It wasn’t raining or snowing, extremely cold or hot; there was nothing that would make a short chat with a friend, or wait for a green light uncomfortable. …

Source: Involvement

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A Transitional Season

Writer's Cramp

The wind has picked up today and is so strong that the birds and small animals have taken cover. We are transitioning into the fall season but summer doesn’t want to let go. We are still in the last tattered shreds of our Monsoon season – it has rained almost every day this week. The Monsoons should have ended a few weeks ago but they got a late start so we are thankful for the lingering rain.

The wind is poking around in every nook and crack. I can hear it protesting in the chimney because it can’t come all the way into the house. I always have windows open, even in the dead of winter, so the wind is finding another way to get in.

chamisa-1The Chamisa is in full bloom so the sometimes dry and dreary desert landscape is cloaked in bright yellow. I’ve never seen it so…

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On the El’

From the Keyboard

Randolph_Stop_South_:JonathanMichaelJohnson:PlanckStudios500 Randolph Stop South — Jonathan Michael Johnson

He walked up to me,

this man on the El’,

a stranger,

and said the Lord asked him to bless me.

His suit was gray,

And his tie was…

I don’t recall.

The essence of caramel tinged his skin,

and his eyes,

a feast of lime, maize, blueberry,

intensified as he spoke —

enticed by…


A tired sigh,

empty stare?

I can’t remember being hungry.

I don’t believe in angels.

I do not worship gods.

But on that morning,

with the scent of sweet, molten gold

rising from the quaking ground,

I tasted faith.

© 2016

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In Boxes

From the Keyboard

Windows:Biscoitius-Blog Biscoitius-Blog

You can’t put Haydn in a box.

You can’t put Bach in a box either, because he’ll find a way to squirm out of it — those endlessly growing and weaving themes, you know, but Haydn is more deceptive.

Because he worked during that eighteenth century movement of reaction and refinement, you might think it would be easy to shove him into a box that would tell you everything about him.

But no. He is too unpredictable, too full of surprises, too quick with sleight of hand. He takes you to unexpected places, makes you wait, teases you with tense dissonances and embellishments. Oh, and those rubatos. Yes, he plays with time, too.

_ _ _

In 2001, I had the privilege of living overseas. When I returned, the first question many friends and acquaintances asked was, “What are the people there like?”

I suppose it was a natural…

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The Brick City – Benton Park

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on Brick and Stone: Architecture and Preservation:
Let’s start this blog post with a catastrophe! On May 17, 1849, a fire broke out on the steamboat “The White Cloud” docked at the St. Louis levee. The city was crowded with…

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The View From the Observation Car

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Originally posted on Writer's Cramp:
I enjoy train travel. There, I said it for all the world to see. For some reason there is a lot of complaining and ill-will directed toward train travel and especially Amtrak, the only…

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From the Laundry Room

I have never been bullied.

There was that one time some kid said my red hair looked like a used tampon in front of the entire class, but that was just… odd.

I’ve been teased about my freckles and my last name. I am occasionally mocked, mostly by my children these days.

Throughout my life, people have been mean to me, hurt my feelings, but I have never experienced harassment or being backed into a corner so dark that I didn’t want to get up in the morning.

On the flip side, I can relate to being bitchy. I can even see judging another person or having a laugh at someone else’s expense. We have all done that, well maybe not all of us, but I have.

I understand not being the best version of one’s self from time to time.

I don’t understand being a bully.

Terrorizing someone until…

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Annie’s Apology

nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings

Another short story from the archives. Hopefully, a few new stories like Flying Lessons will be written and posted. In the meantime:

Annie’s Apology

In fifth grade it seems as if girls and boys go through a stage where they pretend to hate each other.  Or, at least, decide to not like each other, but Annie never really went through that stage.  Of course, there were a few boys that could be annoying; there were others that still had gross habits like picking their nose, but the worst ones were the ones that were cute, had a cocky attitude, and teased unmercifully.

Sometime during that year, Jack became that one, the cute, cocky one: the one that could zero in on the one thing that a girl wanted to forget or hope that no one else noticed.  And he did.  In particular, he teased Laura, one of the girls in…

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Self-Published Book Beats the Odds by Making the New York Times Bestseller List

Eva Lesko Natiello

832495198_c7e4955f21_z photo by Esteban

When I self-published my book, admittedly, it was the last resort. It was the backup plan if I had failed to sell it to a trade publisher. I promised myself that if I couldn’t sell it, or find an agent to represent me, I would not tuck it in a drawer and forget about it. No. I worked too hard. If that happened, I would self-publish. That promise reassured me during the querying and submissions. It was comforting until it was my reality. I didn’t think I’d ever need the backup plan.

Quickly, the consolation prize felt very much like a booby prize. It was difficult for me to warm up to the plan I had planned. I felt like a failure. It’s hard enough to self-publish a book (as I would soon find out) when you’re excited. How would I attack this endeavor now, feeling half-hearted…

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