My first attempt at taking on writing prompts. So, I will see how well this works out for me. This one, I think I may work into a complete story.

He had been the one man in town to seek. There was such a longing in her heart, that she was certain would never be quenched, if she couldn’t do enough to impress him to pay attention to her. There was so much hoopla at the spring party when everybody saw them together. She had found her spring egg. It was no surprise that all the other women glared at her in jealous anger. But. She had a secret that could never share with anyone.  A secret that would cost her dearly, if found out. She had cast spell to capture him for herself.

(104 Words)

Short Story written for:

Why I Have A Dog

Ten years ago, our two dogs came to us when they were puppies. They’re senior dogs now.  They don’t move around as much or as fast as they did when they were puppies.  And they stay closer to home these days.  When they were puppies, they would go down to the river and come home with mud caked in their fur and paws, looking as happy as can be.  Their river trips usually took place at the hottest time of a summer day.  Just like kids going to their favorite swimming hole.  Just like kids, we used to worry about them running into a rattlesnake, a coyote, or other dogs.  And just like mischievous kids, you couldn’t keep them close to home.

Dogs Make Great Companions

Both our dogs came to us when our daughter was living at home and going to school.  Now that the nest is empty, we have become one of those people who call our dogs our children.  I swore up and down I wouldn’t go down that road.  But, I sure as hell did.  Yes.  I know they are four legged, furry critters who would rather sleep outside at night regardless how cold it is, but I sure do spoil them.  And I talk to them just like I do any human.  The great thing about talking to them, is they don’t talk back or argue with you.  Sometimes late at night or early in the morning when I am working in my office, they will come in a lay down next to me.  I take great comfort in that.  Then when I go out on a walk, they go with me.  I like that.  I don’t feel alone.

Dogs Make You Feel Better

Our dogs are very in tune with how we feel.  They seem to know when something is wrong with one of us, because they will come up to you and nudge you or sit there staring at you, until you pet them or talk to them.  I have found doing this to be very therapeutic.  I work in the evenings, and many times I drive home tired.  Seeing them sitting in the front yard waiting for me, without fail, makes me smile.  When I open the door to get out of my car, they will come and greet me.  Many times, I will sit in my car, petting and talking to them. I have even told them many times I appreciate them waiting for me. When I get out to go inside the house, they will either go to the backyard to go do whatever it is dogs do or come inside. And I into the house, not feeling as tired as I did earlier. 

Dogs Are Good Watchdogs

We live in a cul-de-sac. Our dogs know each and every car that belongs in that cul-de-sac.  Our dogs also know who our neighbors are.  They don’t bark at them.  Now, if someone walks or drives into our cul-de-sac, they will bark at them. So, we know every time someone different comes near the house.  Our backyard faces an open field where coyotes or the occasional elk will make an appearance. Other dogs also make that open field their playground. Our dogs will stand at that back fence and bark.  I appreciate the fact that our dogs are such good early warning systems, as they have kept us safe.

Never A Dull Moment When A Dog Is Around

Our dogs like to get into mischief.  I have a garden in the backyard. I have a fence around that garden, to keep them out.  All summer long, I was scolding the dogs to stay out of the garden. They had figured out a way into the garden and were getting in and digging, and doing all the other stuff dogs do.  I think they were looking for lizards.  Every year about this time, they like to show off their hunting skills by looking for lizards. Sometimes they catch one. They don’t eat the things, but they like to show us their kills.  I wish they would leave the lizards alone, but they don’t.  We get lizards every year.  But every year, about this time, I start reminding them both to leave the lizards alone.  I think they believe I am playing a game, because when they see me walking around the backyard, they start “hunting”.

Dogs Help You Heal Faster

Back in December, I was out in the snow, when I slipped and fell, breaking my ankle.  The dogs came right away to see what I was doing.  I think one thought I was playing, because she proceeded to wash my face.  When it was found out, I was down for the count, they were a great source of encouragement and companionship during those early weeks when I couldn’t really move around. They were curious about my foot cast.  Then when that cast finally came off, they seemed as happy as I was that I was back to normal.  But, I tell you what, they seemed to know when I was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t work, because they would come to me looking for attention, or they would find a place next to me to lay down.

Dogs Help You Stay Fit

There is a trail near us that many people use to walk or run.  It is a dirt road that people use for a variety of reasons.  When I walk, I take the dogs with me.  Out there, they get to chase rabbits, while keeping me company.  It is fun watching them attempt to catch a rabbit.  Those rabbits are just too fast for the dogs, which is good, because I don’t want them to give me with a rabbit.

Dogs Help You Be More Social

I did not know how many people had a dog until I got one myself.  And it seems like everybody, regardless if they have a dog or not, enjoyed talking about dogs.  I have learned that if you want to have a conversation with someone, a great conversation starter is talking about dogs.  I have started many a conversation by telling a story about the dog.  I am not that great at starting conversation, but I sure manage almost flawlessly when it comes to talking about something my dog has done recently.

A Dog’s Love Is Unconditional

Want or need a lesson in unconditional love?  Get a dog.  Why?  Someone can be mean to their dog, for whatever reason, then an hour later call that dog to them, and it will come running, tail wagging, a smile on its’ face.  The earlier hurt is completely forgotten and forgiven.  That is how a dog shows you the love they have for you.  That is something that should never be taken for granted.  Also, that unconditional is a good lesson to learn, if you allow it to happen.

Dogs Help You Get On A Routine

I have always struggled to stay on a consistent routine.  Don’t know why, because life in general is routine.  But when it comes to specifics, like my writing, I struggle with finding a routine that works for me and sticking to it.  But I tell you what, those dogs of mine have to come to expect to be let out at a certain time, be fed at a certain, and to go on a walk at a certain time.  When that doesn’t happen, they have their way of letting you know the daily routine has been upset.  Their favorite way of reminding us to get back on the routine, is to come and sit in front of us and just wait until we figure out what they want.  Lately, I have begun to notice that I am slowly establishing a routine in different areas of my life.  I think I can thank the dogs for teaching me how to organize.

Dogs Help With The Grieving Process

Sometimes, the best way to help someone is to be there for them.  Many times, especially during the grieving process, there aren’t enough words of comfort one can give a person to make the hurt go away.  I learned how much comfort a dog can give someone when my own mother passed away.  Both dogs knew something was wrong, because they constantly came to me, many times laying down at my feet.  That was something they had never done before, and when they sensed that I was starting to feel whole again, they stopped. But during those low points in my healing, their presence was a godsend.  There wasn’t enough words of comfort anybody could ever give me that would take away the pain, and quite honestly, I didn’t want to hear it.  I felt so alone just after my mother passed, and I just wanted to know I wasn’t alone. The dogs filled that void when people couldn’t do it.

I have learned long ago how wonderful having a dog is, and how much a dog can complete a human’s life.  I have gotten so used to having a dog in the house, I’m not sure how it would be not having a dog around.  All I got to say is, dogs are wonderful.

Dear Mom, I Miss You”

“What should we have for Easter dinner?” Mom asked me one day. She was in hospice. We had celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s together. Her birthday was in February, and I had bought her a big box of chocolates. I don’t remember when I had last bought her a birthday gift. I don’t even remember the last holiday we had spent together. I had moved out at eighteen, chosen to spend holidays with friends, then spent time in the Army spending holidays at different places around the world, then I came home to spend holidays either working or doing other things.

Growing up, we spent holidays together. I think one year she tried to entice me to back holiday treats. I wasn’t really into that then, and she never brought it up again. I wish now I had shown more interest. I learned during the five months I took care of her while she was in hospice, those shared moments are priceless rare gems.

“I don’t know mom. Let’s see what happens in the next week or so, and then we can plan something.” To this day, I don’t know why I didn’t sit down with her and plan a meal for Easter. We certainly had for the other three holidays. Maybe it was because those times, she wasn’t talking to dead relatives as if they were sitting there in the living room with us.

She has been gone for three years now. This time of year is the hardest for me. I don’t think it will ever get easier. Today, I found myself talking to her, asking her if ham and yams were fine for Easter dinner. I asked her if it was okay I have to work that day, but I can eat before I have to leave for work. I think she is okay with those plans.

One of the last things I gave her was a chocolate bunny and chocolate kisses, I had picked up at walgreens, when I had made a prescription run for her. I haven’t bought a chocolate bunny for anybody since. Mom loved chocolate. Maybe, tomorrow when I go to the store, I will pick up a chocolate bunny and maybe some chocolate kisses. Maybe.

A Grand Adventure

I am a lazy writer. And lazy writers don’t get nothing done.  I really have no excuse any more. The kids are all grown and out on their own. I am five years away from retirement.  So, life has slowed down for me.

I was maybe ten when I wrote my first story.  It was an adventure that my collection of stuffed animals took.  They were on a quest to find a great treasure that would make them rich, allowing them to live happily ever after.  Of course, there were obstacles in their way, but they overcame those obstacles, slayed the dragon or evil wizard and were successful in completing the quest.  Back then, mom was struggling to put food on the table for us kids.  I didn’t know it then, but writing was my therapy to cope with life in general.

In high school, I discovered JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  Reading that book fostered my love for reading fantasy.  Fantasy was all I read for decades.  When I was home taking care of the kids, I turned to romance.  I don’t recall writing much during my high school years, although I did dream of being a writer equal to Steven King.  But, writing is active.  If you don’t write, nothing gets done.  I got nothing done, because I was too busy dreaming about writing.

It was while I was staying at home taking care of the kids, that I decided I wanted to be a romance author.  I even joined the local group of RWA.  I went monthly, and talked about what I was doing to get closer to finishing up a book.  I spun my wheels.  Hard core.  I attempted to write a few stories, even entered a contest or two, but never really accomplished anything. After a year, I let my membership drop.  Life moved forward with me still dabbling with the idea of being a writer.  I read about writing on the internet, bought scores of books about writing.  I even continued to dabble in writing.

Fast forward two more decades. The beginning of this year, I sat down and organized and cleaned out twenty year’s worth of writing related stuff I had collected.  It was time.  I had all the tools available to me to do something, to accomplish great things.  I also discovered the Indie Author World.  I could publish my finished writings myself.  So I wrote a book, 52 Writing Prompts and published it on Amazon, under the Kindle Unlimited Program.  That one act alone, committed me.  It was time to get serious about this.  I had dreamt away an entire lifetime.  I went back to the very beginning and started to learn the process of writing, how to organize a story, how to write an outline.  This showed me how much I really didn’t know. But it also narrowed my focus.  I also found avenues to write, publish and get read.  I joined Medium.  And now here. I don’t have many readers.  I’m just beginning. But at some point, you have to take that first step and get going.  I have set deadlines that are to be met on Medium and here.  Starting small isn’t a bad thing. Not starting at all is wasted time and energy. Not starting is how dreams are lost. If you have a desire to write stories or something and haven’t started working on fulfilling that dream or desire, ask yourself why. 

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