Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kitty Alarm Clock

Kitty Alarm Clock

The sun that creeps in silently
Onto my sleeping eyes
Is not my only indication
That it is time to rise
With quiet mews and sandpaper licks
Ian the cat tells me to wake
He jumps on my back and paws at me 
Persistent despite my shakes
His whiskers tickle my face
Under covers I attempt to hide
Only when I stand awake
Will my alarm clock be satisfied 

Just a goofy little poem about what I experience.  Every. Single. Morning. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to the regularly scheduled blog...

So since last Thursday I've been busy preparing for Hurricane Irene and haven't been able to post or write anymore.  I'll be back to posting tomorrow when my life gets back to its regular schedule. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dragon in Captivity

And you thought dragons didn’t exist!” the San Diego Zookeeper exclaimed loudly into her headset microphone.  “You are among the first visitors in the world to see this new and exciting creature!  An animal only believed to be alive in myth and so dangerous it has to be properly subdued in order to keep its aggression in check!”
“Yeah, this seems kinda dangerous, Mom,” Ginny whispered as crossed her arms.  “Something about a fire-breathing, aggressive reptile doesn’t seem too family-friendly.” 
“Oh Ginny, hush!” her Mom shushed her as she glanced over at her husband who was bouncing Ginny’s younger sister on his shoulders.  “Isn’t this fun, sweetie?!” 
“Dragon!” the little girl squealed with excitement as she clutched a stuffed dragon from the zoo gift shop.  
Ginny rolled her eyes at her mother’s lack of attention and turned her focus to the large purple curtain that was obscuring the dragon from view.
“This nearly two-ton reptile was discovered in the Himalayan mountains and is believed to have a life-span of over two hundred years.  With a fire-breathing capability of temperatures near 2,000 degrees, introducing...” the zookeeper paused for great effect while the curtains began to part. Ginny leaned forward with the crowd in attempt to get a better glimpse. 
“Krypton!” she yelled as the curtains parted to reveal the mysterious dragon.  The crowd was quiet as everyone surveyed the creature that they’d only seen in illustrations or computer-generated movies.  
The dragon’s scaly skin changed color as it moved and smoke rings rose from his nose to the sky of the open-air cage.  
“Krypton has been discovered to have chameleon-like properties and can change the color of his skin.  Impressively, he also has a wing-span of nearly 50 feet.”  Krypton paced his cage and his piercing yellow eyes stared into the crowd.
“Mom, I don’t like this.  He’s freaking me out,” Ginny tugged at her mother’s sleeve.  After a full minute of deathly quiet, the crowd irrupted into cheers and applause.  The Zookeeper beamed and rattled off a few more facts but Ginny wasn’t listening.  Her eyes were glued to Krypton’s yellow and fierce eyes that pointedly gazed at the audience.  
The noise from the crowd began to agitate the beast as he moved roughly against his shackled ankles.  Krypton let out a huge roar that stunned the audience and they stepped back from the cage quickly.  
“There’s nothing to fear, he’s been given harmless drugs to subdue him and because of those drugs he’s unable to breathe fire,” the Zookeeper attempted to keep the peace.  Krypton roared once more and blew fire at the Zookeeper.  
She quickly was enveloped in flames as the hundreds of people began to scatter like cockroaches.  Ginny was frozen in horror as she watched the Zookeeper flail, scream and writhe in agony.  Her attention was called to the dragon who was now flapping his wings wildly and trying to break free of his confines.  One of his shackles broke loose as the other zoo workers were kept busy trying to put out the fire on the burned woman.  
“He’s getting loose! RUN!” someone yelled and the crowd pushed Ginny into the ground.  As much as she tried to get up she kept being shoved back to the pavement by frantic feet scurrying away from the cage.  Her body ached after being hit numerous times and she screamed for her family.  When she was finally able to get to her feet she saw the dragon had managed to break his other shackle and took flight into the sky and quickly vanished.  
“Ginny!” her mother grabbed her arm and dragged her away from the cage as if the threat was still eminent.
“I told you it was dangerous, Mom!” Ginny cried.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Goofy Ode to PT

I guess it’s just human nature to personify things.  You could personify your pet, your computer, parts of your body or your toys.  It’s like that teddy bear that stares at you pleadingly with its sad, beady eyes as you downgrade it from its prominent place on your bed to the closet where all your clothes going to Goodwill has piled up.  Some even personify their car, name it and refer to it as ‘him’ or ‘her.’ 
It’s just a car.  
Today, my husband and I bought our first car together.  We traded in my PT Cruiser in favor of a newer model Jeep, and while I’m ecstatic with the new car... PT was a faithful friend. 
Cars symbolize more than just transportation but the easiest method of human freedom.  PT offered me that freedom like I’d never experienced.  Because she was brand new and full of life (unlike my previous car), we could travel anywhere and I knew that we’d be fine.  When I stepped into that new car, put my seatbelt on and felt my heart pound and palms sweat with the stress of driving a new, fragile vehicle off the lot, I knew I was in love. 
Perhaps it’s my own version of personification but PT and I have been through a lot together.  
I worked and paid my car payments on time diligently.  Despite still living at home with my parents, paying my car payment gave me a sense of adulthood and responsibility that was lacking.  Paying for PT had the added bonus of helping me to establish credit (which has come in quite handy ever since). 
The first trip I took in PT was a five hour trip to Tombstone with my brother and my husband (then boyfriend).  My brother is really interested in history and fascinated by Tombstone so I decided that ten hours of driving there and back in one day was totally doable in PT.  She made the trip there and back beautifully without a single hiccup (though, the same can’t be said for me who did a significant amount of driving in one day!). 
Following the maiden voyage to Tombstone there were trips to San Diego, Phoenix and everywhere in-between.  Throughout the early years of my adulthood, PT was there taking me where I needed to go and getting me there safely (well, I think I have a hand in some of that... I [was] the driver).  
I cried into her steering wheel when I learned my boyfriend had a week warning before he was headed to Navy boot camp.  
I stuffed PT’s cargo area with decorations for my wedding.  PT drove us home after the wedding was over and the last of the decorations were collected.  
We filled the PT to the brim with all of our belongings after the wedding weekend was over for the drive to our new and foreign home 2,500 miles away. 
The road trip from Yuma, Arizona to Virginia Beach, Virginia was a bittersweet event in my life.  On the one hand, it was a great and exciting adventure.  On the other hand the day we left was one of the saddest days of my life.  Leaving my friends and family in tears was a difficult way to start our journey.  But, we had each other and PT to take us there.  
We got to see the country from the other side of her windows.
And when we finally got to Virginia Beach and settled in a place full of strangers, she felt like my last connection to home, her beautiful Arizona license plate stuck out in a world full of dull, white, boring Virginia ones. 
But now, my only souvenir of PT is my dusty license plate.  And while I may have reluctantly teared up as I watched her drive away for the last time, it was only a car and perhaps I’m just attached to the memories I made while owning her rather than the vehicle itself.  
I tried to finish this yesterday for the official ‘day five’ but yesterday was a busy day.  I’ll try and post ‘day six’ today if I get the time.  If not... I guess I just skipped a day. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Broken New Year's Resolution

The morning sunlight streaming in through the open window wasn’t what woke Tim out of a dead sleep, it was the sound of someone beating on his door that seemed as loud as if they were beating on his ear drums.  
“TIM!” a woman screeched as she proceeded to pound on his front door.  He recognized the voice and was eager to answer until he stood up and saw the body lying on the floor next to him.  With the strength of a tsunami, the previous night’s events washed over his consciousness.  
The club, his ex-girlfriend being fondled by the now-dead man, the fight.
“Open the fucking door!” Tim could tell that Sarah’s voice was getting hoarse from screaming.
“Just a sec!” Tim snapped out of his reverie and his stomach clenched in panic.  He couldn’t let her in with her boyfriend’s body lying face-down in a pool of his own blood and he didn’t have time to clean it up.  He tossed a throw blanket onto the body and ripped the couch cushions off to surround the corpse.  Stepping back to survey his attempt to cover his tracks, he decided that there was no way she could come in. 
Tim smoothed his crazed hair and straightened his gray t-shirt as he checked himself out in the mirror.  I think I can pass for someone who didn’t kill her new boyfriend.
“Sarah, how are you?” he opened the door just enough to fit his body into the doorframe. 
“Don’t fucking ‘how are you’ to me!  You acted like a complete asshole last night and you need to stay the hell away from me,” she cried as she shoved him in the chest full-force.  “I don’t appreciate you punching Chris in the face, we’re over!” 
Sarah’s face was flushed with anger, her violet hair whipped in the wind as if her emotions had suddenly controlled the elements.  She looked like she wanted to claw his eyes out and it was one of the things he loved about her.  Seeing her this furious made him want to grab her around her waist and kiss her right there. 
A combat boot to the groin made him forget any romantic thoughts he had as he doubled over in agony.  
“If you come near me, I’m going to kick you in the nuts again and slap you with a restraining order,” her eyes met his and from the intensity of her gaze, he felt as if he would erupt into flames.  Without wasting another moment Sarah hopped off the porch and her car tore out of the driveway.  As much pain as he was now in, he couldn’t help but miss her as soon as she was gone.  His first love; the woman he had killed for.  
Tim picked himself and his dignity off of the front step and closed his door behind him.  He looked at the lump on the living room floor and sighed.  Only two weeks in to the New Year had passed and Tim had already broken his first resolution: Don’t kill anyone.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cell-Phone Implant

Write a fictional news story based on this headline: Businesswoman Gets First Cell-Phone Implant
In June, thirty-five year old businesswoman Christine Willis, elected to become the first person to receive a cell-phone implant. 
“I was always misplacing it and missing calls with serious clients.  I’d forget to charge it and then I’d have no way of getting into contact with anyone,” she says.  “I’m a forgetful person and this just seemed to be the best solution.” 
The procedure involves sensors to be placed under the tongue to detect speech and in the ear canal to receive the transmitted sound.  The sensors are then connected through various pathways into the brain.  The entire piece is charged by the electric currents produced by the neurons in the brain. 
Critics claim the procedure is dangerous, extremely invasive, and liken it to an electronic leash,
“I would not recommend this type of procedure to anyone,” Dr. Brent Matthews from the Mayo Clinic commented on Christine’s recent surgery.  “It’s invasive, there are risks to the brain involved and it just seems to be a rather ridiculous solution to a problem of forgetfulness.  If you keep losing your keys your not going to attach them to your fingers, are you?” 
Christine responds to the criticism in a positive manner, “This procedure isn’t for everyone, of course.  It is invasive but it has also improved my quality of life.  I’m able to work better and keep in contact with relatives better.”
Christine also doesn’t gloss over the procedure’s drawbacks, “Sometimes if someone calls me in the middle of the night it wakes me up and is highly disruptive.  But then again, if it’s something important than I’m glad it wakes me.  I do have some trouble eating at times.  Food becomes lodged in the sensor but a little mouthwash solves that problem.” 
“I also have to be careful what I say, too,” she laughs while describing how voice-activated dialing can cause problems.  “One time I said to my husband that I felt like pizza for dinner and it automatically called Pizza Hut!” 
While the Cell-Phone Implant Procedure has been done on numerous patients, the product is still in its testing phase and will be available to the general public within the next five years.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Shred On Me

Write from the point of view of a stack of paper a few inches from the shredder. 
Here I sit, inches from death on the corner of some office schmuck’s desk.  The way I look at it, he’ll be doing me a favor.  
No longer am I going to be the coaster for his morning coffee that he always seems to spill down the front of his previously-stained cotton button-up.  I won’t have to watch him sneeze spastically on the computer monitor and look around for a kleenex but resign himself to using one of my precious sheets for a tissue!  I won’t miss hearing him slurp obnoxiously at his Cup of Noodles everyday because his culinary delights are limited to microwavable soup and stale cookies from the office break room.  I won’t have to bear the embarrassing sight of watching him attempt to glance slyly at the butt of the office secretary or hear him whisperingly berate himself for not saying “hi” to her, again. 
Really, I should take it as a compliment that they need to shred me.  Some paper stacks spend their entire lives printed with meaningless dribble like school lunch menus or office memos.  I’m important.  If you were to glance at my immaculately white pages you would be able to find sensitive financial information about the office schmuck’s company and personal information on some of the employees.  I’d have a pretty sweet gig if I was sitting on the CEO’s desk instead of this college-dropout who tries to look up nudey sites on his lunch break.   
I go forward into the shredder valiantly.  I have done my office duty and lived out my life.  I’ve been handled and read by many people and even been scribbled on a few times.  It is my time and I go willingly.  Also, I hope it won’t hurt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Penny Lane

Since I have taken a hiatus from my novel (because once you stop it's hard to start again), I'm hoping that by using writing prompts I can hone my skill further and hopefully get back into the writing groove.  I've been gathering writing prompt ideas from the internet and I will put them in bold and continue the story from there.  We'll see where this takes us...  

Penny Lane
The detective saw his opportunity.  He grabbed the waitress’s arm and said,
“I’m sorry miss but I must direct you to leave this instant, you’re in danger.” Ethan Valcone wasn’t accustomed to giving orders.  He was a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type man and for the last year of the waitress’s life, his job was to observe and not to speak or act.  He glanced quickly at the waitress’s black name tag to learn the name of the woman he’d been trailing, Veronica.  
Before this moment she had only been known to him by the code-name he had received, Penny Lane.  Ethan assumed that he was kept in the dark about the woman’s true name in order to protect the mission.  Throughout the year of surveillance, he’d spent hours thinking about what a woman such as herself would be called and no other names seemed to fit her besides Penny.  
Like Mt. Vesuvius, the coffee pouring out of Penny’s coffee pot overflowed the cup and the scalding liquid overtook his dinner plate.  She quickly wrenched her arm away from his grasp and stared at him fearfully.  Penny’s brown eyes grew large and looked at Ethan as if he were a hunter with his crosshairs pointed in her direction.  Before she could back away from him he continued,
“The men in the corner booth- don’t look!” he hurriedly whispered as she automatically glanced over her shoulder.  “You need to leave and you need to come with me.”
“How-how can I trust you?” Penny stuttered as tears filled her eyes.  She bit her lip as if trying to decide which way to run.
“Your father, Congressman Bishop has known that you could be a possible target.  He hired me to follow you and protect you.” 
Penny’s eyes darted around her as if to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation,
“Anyone could say that.  Prove to me right now you are who you say you are or I’m taking this can of mace out of my pocket,” Penny threatened as she regained her composure. 
“Your father gave you a code-name, the title of your favorite Beatles’ song,” Ethan leaned forward.  “Penny Lane.”  Penny’s face relaxed and she took her hand out of her pocket.  
“Fine,” she sighed while brushing her curly, copper locks from her face.  “What do you want me to do?”
“There’s a window in the ladies bathroom that opens and leads to the alleyway.  Meet me there in five minutes.  Don’t tell anyone you’re leaving- not your co-workers or your boss. Go.”
“Well so much for this job,” Penny whispered under her breath as she glided toward the back of the diner. 
Ethan chanced a peek at the corner table.  The three men were attempting to blend in with the customers as they sipped their coffee, read their newspapers and chatted lightly.  He rose, tossed a crinkled $20 bill on the table and exited the establishment without drawing attention. 
Penny was already waiting in the rain soaked alley when Ethan arrived.  The November night was chilly and she shivered as she buttoned her cardigan. 
“Now what?” she asked, clearly irritated with his silence.  
Ethan stared for a moment at Penny and sighed.  This was the moment that had been a long time coming.  He’d been dreaming for the last year about finally being alone with her and he felt a twinge of sadness knowing that it would only be temporary.  Her cheeks were alive with the slightest blush and her eyes looked wide and wild.  He was sure if he placed his hand on her neck he would feel her heart beating quickly with adrenaline and fear beneath her milky skin.  Her beautiful long hair reflected the moonlight and her lips glistened seductively.  Ethan wanted so much to kiss those lips that he’d been admiring in numerous surveillance pictures that littered his apartment floor.  
“We’ve got a car coming to take you away to your father’s safe house in the Hamptons,” Ethan’s words poured out of his mouth easily.  The well-rehearsed line that he’d been instructed to tell her in order to make her feel more comfortable made him feel dirty to recite.
“My father doesn’t have a house in the Hamptons,” Penny said slowly as she took a step back from Ethan.  She almost looked like she was thinking about climbing back into the restroom window before the black van pulled into the alley.  
Ethan grabbed  her arms and before she could shriek the van skidded to a halt in front of them.  Two men dressed in black emerged and Ethan threw Penny to them.  They made quick work of duct taping her mouth and tying her up.  One of the men made a move to close the door before Ethan cried, “Wait!” 
He caressed Penny’s face softly and kissed her covered lips,
“I’m sorry we had to meet this way, Penny,” he said softly before the man shoved him out the door.  Ethan lost his balance and tripped into rain puddle.
“Stop!” a man shouted from the other end of the alley.  Three men with guns drawn pointed at Ethan as the van’s tires squealed forward, leaving Ethan alone in the alley.  A shot rang out and caught him in the chest and he collapsed to his knees.  He clutched at his chest as if he could claw out the bullet from his body.  Sinking onto his back he stared at the clouds in the sky as rain began to sprinkle his face.  The world swirled around him but all he could think of was the frightened look on Penny’s face.
        He vehemently wished that he had been the good guy.