Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: creative nonfiction

Developing New Habits: Using Prompts as a Writing Session Warm Up

I love developing new habits, especially good ones that make me feel like I’m getting somewhere. I have found that I’m a naturally habitual person, so if I can make one little change in my routine stick for a few weeks, I have a very hard time letting it go. I have to be careful though, I can easily make myself crazy with habits. Ok, crazier!

This new habit is writing related! Yay!

I’ve been wanting to write more fiction, but I find it difficult to get started, and then more difficult to stick with a story longer than a day or two. My current writing practice is to use quotes from the books I read as writing prompts, write for thirty minutes, edit the thirty minutes I did the day previous, and then post them. It reflects my attention span, for sure.

A couple of times last year, I was able to get my brain to move in one direction for nearly a week and was very happy with the stories I was able to cobble together. I want more of that! Come on brain! Work with me!

I went looking for prompts and found Reedsy! I haven’t submitted any stories yet, since today was my first day of this new habit, but I’m totally going to. This might be just the sort of spontaneous publicity this girl needs!

As a teaser…I know you’re going to love this…this is what I came up with this morning.

On my side, long pillow tucked under my arm and a knee up, fetal position. Feather blanket and heavy quilt in disarray, one foot partially out from underneath. The perfect temperature.

The cat, perched up on my shoulder, purring away.

I lay there, still, awake but not moving. It’s dark, very dark.

What was I dreaming about? Something disturbing. That recurring one where I’m trying to explain something, and no one understands. No, they aren’t listening, and I get louder and more insistent until I’m screaming insults and epithets in a desperate attempt to get their attention. Blank stares, as if I’m not there at all and then suddenly, comprehension, and anguish in every face. They’re destroyed by my words, pushing away from me in pain. I wake from this dream often, several times a month, not with a start or tears, just quiet and helpless resignation, a deep and still sadness, wishing I could take my words back, wanting the ability to be quiet.

I lay there another minute. I’m warm. I’m safe. It was just a dream.

Then that feeling comes as I lay there waking up…I should get up. I have things to do. Places to be. I can’t be late. What time is it? I carefully crane my neck to see the red numerals of my clock at the foot of my bed. Without my glasses, my sleepy eyes can’t quite make out what it reads. The cat complains of my movement. I’m disturbing his sleeping place. I lay my head back down.

That’s all I have time for this morning. I have a breakfast date with a hot babe! But I’m looking forward to working on this and adding more. Will I actually submit something? I hope so!

I have written some stories in the past. I keep them collected on my Short Stories Page. If you like any of them, please share!

“A Man Without a Country” by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut book cover on a desert planter background.
Old Books Smell Good

I’m not a fan of Vonnegut. I know! Everyone likes him! But I find him funny in a negative way, not an uplifting one. Like…we’re all going to die, everyone is horrible, ha ha…kind of way. It makes me sad. And, according to my astrological sign, that’s intolerable to me.

And it is, really! That’s what’s so strange to me. I know not why, but I looked it up yesterday. My squirrel brain was overly active, so I decided to let it run free and follow it, much like I’m doing right now.

I’ve always been fascinated by horoscopes but a little skeptical, but then something comes up that is so right, and I think, “The stars know me!” Yesterday was one of those days. I swung all the way from “This is ALL SO much bullshit!” to “I’m basing every decision from here on out on what my stars tell me!” in a matter of minutes.

Where was I?

Oh, yes!

Kurt Vonnegut makes me sad, so I make him go away. But his stories are good, I’ll admit that. This book, specifically, is another one I picked out of the redistribution library back in December, “What Did My Blog Accomplish in 2020?” Why did I pick up a book by an author I’ve already read but don’t enjoy? Because I’ve heard of it and if I’ve heard of it and haven’t read it, it goes in the TBR pile!

So here I am reading it, laughing, and then then thinking, “Geez, Kurt. Way to be a downer.” I don’t always agree with him. Our politics are different and so are our personalities and outlooks. I’m giving it a chance because even if we have NOTHING in common, I can still find something to enjoy about a book by another human that lived on this earth.

Do you like Kurt Vonnegut? Have you read his books? Watched the movies? You can find his books at Thriftbooks.com! Leave me a comment and tell me what you think! Hell, leave me a comment and tell me what your sign is. I’m a Sagittarius, but you probably already know that.


“Four Reasons a Newsletter is Better Than a Social Media Feed”
Bypass the social media algorithms and sign up for my weekly newsletter. Each week will give you a rundown of my favorites posts, podcasts, and few funnies. Read what you want, when you want, without getting sucked into the endless scroll mode!

Why do the Cat and Dog Wake Me Up to do This?

Cat and dog sleeping on the couch.

Ahh…the cat and dog post! I know. It’s not about books, but is about life and I was reading a book when I took the picture. So…RELATED! Besides, who doesn’t love a cat and dog post?!

These two heathens wake me up every morning at 4:30 AM. The dog sleeps under my bed all night. The cat sleeps on my shoulder or at my feet. They hear my husband get up for work and within an hour they begin to insist that I get up as well.

The cat follows me to the bathroom, refuses to leave and then meows to get out as soon as I shut the door. The dog waits by my bedroom door.

I come into the kitchen led by the cat just out of foots reach in front of me. The dog is waiting by her food dish, impatiently whining and stepping in the bowl as if I might forget where her food goes. As I put some food in he bowl, the cat waits by his on top of the freezer. It may have food in it already, but you know cats. That’s yesterdays food that he demanded be put in the bowl. I sprinkle a few bits on top to “freshen” it and he digs in.

A grab my book, a drink of water, and then a big cup of coffee and plop myself on the couch. Within a few minutes, the beasts are beside me, snuggling down and then…fast asleep.

What the heck?! Why did I need to be up so you could eat and go back to sleep? What kind of a life do these animals have? Why are they so tired?

I do find a little joy in disturbing THEIR peace throughout the morning by getting up to get another cup of coffee or to use the bathroom. Then I need my other book. I dropped my pencil and move the blanket to find it. It’s the evil side of me coming out. You beastly things disturbed my sleep. Turnabout is fair play!

It turns out that I’ve written about my furry friends before. Click over to “Why I Get Up -Episode 5” to read more about this cat!


Pet lovers! I just found Chewy (late to the game, sorry) and because they’re so awesome, I want to share it with you. I used to get pet food on Amazon but we live rural and they don’t deliver to the house. I did some poking around the interwebs to explore other options and found that Chewy is generally cheaper AND they deliver to the house. Win! And, no, I’m not paid to advertise. I just like them!

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