Friday, May 31, 2013

Final Posts for Blog Every Day in May Challenge

I write every day, but I write to topics befitting two blogs and about subjects I select. I write fiction daily as well, but again, this is fiction that lives within me, that demands to be heard. Writing to a prompt invented by someone else is not something I do daily anymore, but it's been good for me to stretch and practice. I hope you've attempted at least a few of Jenni's prompts for the Blog Every Day in May challenge.

For Saturday, May 25, 2013: Write about something someone told me that I'll never forget.

To everyone, near and far, living or dead, thank you for telling me that I made a difference in your lives. That has made all the difference in mine.

For Sunday, May 26, 2013: Write about something I read online; include the link.

I still own property in Moore, OK. It was spared at the last moment when, on a whim, the tornado turned northeast, away from my neighborhood. I’ve spent more time on Facebook and Gmail since Monday, May 20, than ever before in a day in my life. There I learned who survived and which structures were destroyed. I also saw many of my FB pals, those who accept the mantle of animal caregiver with pride begin to post photos of dogs lost and found as well as the location where people can take their lost pets. Those people and their commitment have my respect and gratitude, then I read this, the story about one devoted dog left alone, about his rescue, and about the man who plans to make him whole again by taking him home. If you are near Moore or even if you are not, please give to rescue the dogs, cats, parrots, people, and belongings. Make them whole again.

For Monday, May 27, 2013: Write a letter to readers.

I write; therefore, I think. I think; therefore, I write. Writing helps me think more clearly, and writing transforms the mundane, sometimes bringing to life beauty and truth. I’d love to persuade you to write, guide you as you write, inspire you to write daily, and share writing with you through My Writing and Editing Coach.

Through Living Like Atticus, I consider this world, such a complicated place, full of competing interests. I try to shed a bit of light on some of those interests. I try to be honest and reveal the resources I’ve used so that you can read them for yourselves and judge whether I’ve been fair.

Share your comments with me please. I learn because you do.

For Tuesday, May 28, 2013: Pictures Only. See 15 Favorites at the Link Below.

For Wednesday, May 29, 2013: Post Five Songs or Pieces of Music that Speak to Me; include links.

Puccini’s aria, O Mio Babbino Caro, conveys the human heart yearning and seeking. Whether instrumentally rendered or sung, the piece fills my heart. Enjoy. And again.

I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables has the same vocal range challenges as Puccini’s aria, but it also speaks of a heart broken and hope defeated, a universal human experience shared by all at least once. Here is Susan Boyle receiving well-deserved applause during her life-changing performance of this piece.

Another aspiring, yet humble contestant rendered a different Puccini aria about love and hope powerfully. Here is Nessum Doma,  sung by Paul Potts and again from the masterful Luciano Pavarotti.

Among great, loud, driving tunes, the kind that make you wish for an open stretch of road and wide-open speeds, few performances beat Marshall Tucker Band’s Can’t You See? This one blends an achin’ heart, bluesy notes now and then, and great guitar.

While driving on that open stretch with the windows down and the music blasting, cue up Still the One by Orleans, the song that I’ve used for my husband’s ring tone, the song that makes me think of him whenever I hear it, the song that tells truths about long-term loves. Listen to it.

Five choices is at least twenty-five shy of the number in my basic play list. Alas.

For Thursday, May 30, 2013: React to this term: letting go.

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop is about letting go of things easily replaced, places and people not easily replaced, and people irreplaceable. She writes:

The art of losing isn't hard to master; 
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, a poet whom I admire, has mastered the art of understanding the complexities and aches associated with letting go. She knows that letting go--or losing--is difficult to master. Even small things that seemed determined to be lost upset our tender hold upon this world for we must spend the hour badly in search of those things. She also knows that we will survive and endure the loss of places, names, and even our mother’s watches, but she doesn’t hint that we will triumph over those losses. She only grants that losing them will not be a disaster.

Losing you--someone dear to us--someone with a joke carried along in his voice, a person who gestures in a way that touches our hearts--losing that someone will feel like and look like disaster, but it won’t be a disaster. We’ll survive. We’ll endure in spite of having someone beloved wrenched from us. We’ll let go, but oh, we’ll do so in the knowledge that that particular someone will never come again.

For Friday, May 31, 2013, the Final Day of the Month-Long Challenge: Write about a vivid memory, this one originally posted in this blog on March 22, 2013

The old dog no longer walks beside me. She fell behind, unable to breathe well enough to climb the hill at my slowed, patient pace. Then, thunder sleet and snow sluiced through limbs and branches, spread like fondant icing, slick and smooth and treacherous. She wanted no part of it, and I think, gave up. The world had turned arduous. Chat and rock below an alien, impassable field, an asphalt trail that climbed up and up until it gave way to dirt and leaves and tinder now hidden and frozen out of sight.

I began to bribe her with chicken broth, baby foods, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs. At first, she ate eagerly, grateful for the treats and new flavors, but these pleasures faded as the joy of walking uphill had. She adopted the posture of Eyore. Her head hung low as she labored to please, her tail tucked, not wagging or alert, just defeated. I began to repeat like a mantra, “Come on, Emma; you can do it. Good girl! Fine dog!”

Now and then in the last days, she seemed to believe me. She picked her head up and let her ears engage with the sounds. Her pace quickened but only for a few steps. On her last day, she staggered on the return. We’d only traveled a few short steps from our door, but even this was too much. She trotted, then stiffened, unsure on her feet, unsure even about which one to move in order to advance. When she tried to walk back through the door, she missed and butted her head softly into the frame.

Now I walk alone and mourn her as the eagles fly above the bluff just above us. I hear their coming in that sharp high-pitched keen fading on the air, the sound Emma no longer heard, her sight and hearing gone before her body. I smile and wince in their presence, and I follow them as they lift, catch the current, and dive,
fishing and feeding. I continue to watch them as they lift again, effortlessly, to the hills and into the sky beyond.

I wish now that Emma could have soared effortlessly as they do. I see them above the trees, circling, held aloft by currents unknown to those of us held below, and I know I will miss them every day of my life.

Reading Challenge:

Read other responses to these prompts at

Writing Challenge:

Choose at least one of Jenni's prompts and write your own response.