How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Can You Handle a Surprise?

February 26th I had the sweet opportunity to attend the launch of Time and Place, a cultural quarterly. Nervous as a cat (cliché, I know, but I was nervous), I swallowed hard and went into neutral mode—think the idling of a car while you wait for a green light. This was a two-fold occasion. I also read a story I’d submitted! Yes, me.

Each submission required the significance of time and place regarding origin of story. (Noted at bottom of page.)

photo (4) Time and Place Cultural Quarterly


It has begun…my worst nightmare. Myrna-Jo Bourke blinks and stares into the gas-lit fireplace. Nail-bitten fingers smooth her creased forehead. She frowns at a rap at the door.

A lanky girl, cinnamon hair streaming, soars through the finished basement to the Easy Boy and her grandmother’s arms. “Why are you sitting in the near dark?” The girl squints and pulls back for a better look. Her small hand brushes the rough cheek. “Grammy, are you okay?”

“Of course, I’m all right.” Myrna-Jo offers a fake smile and plunges closed fists into her lap.

Thin lips clamped, Lilli slips out of the light embrace. “Your cheeks are wet. Why?” Stepping away and examining the room, she flicks on the light switch.

Grammy’s glance drops and rises. The half-lie slips out between wobbly lips. “I’m happy to see you.”

The young girl leans in again and lays a warm satin cheek against her grandmother’s. Arms steal over rounded shoulders and circle her neck. “No-one hugs better than you.” Lilli breathes in the baby-powder scent of her grandmother’s neck, sighs, and tightens her embrace.

“Can I help you?”

Giggles tinkle like tiny crystal wind chimes. “I almost forgot.” Her nose scrunches. “Mum wants you to come to supper Saturday. For your birthday.”

Myrna-Jo’s eyelids flutter. “Birthday?”

“You didn’t forget did you, Grammy? Wait till you open my special surprise.” Lilli rocks on stocking feet, hands twirling at her sides.

“Such excitement over a little birthday…”

“But it’s your seventieth.” Pink-faced, bunched hands rise and slip underneath her chin.

“Seventieth?” The voice cracks. A spotted hand pats the bun. “Seventieth. And you are how old?”

“Stop teasing, Grammy. I’m eleven. Remember the hot pink dress you gave me last August?”

Myrna-Jo’s eyes wander. Time rushes headlong with a mind of its own. If only I could slow its….

Lilli grins. “You’re coming, right?”


“For supper Saturday, didn’t I just say?” She searches the drawn, clouded gaze of the woman in the recliner. “Grammy?”

Eyes dart left and right as the woman claws her throat. “Who’s my most favorite grandchild in the whole wide world?”

“Silly, I’m your only one.” Fidgety, Lilli caresses the cloud-white hair. “What will you wear?”


“I know—your green pantsuit—makes your eyes look like emeralds.”

“Oh… Come and help me dress, will you…?”

“Okay, an hour before supper. Gotta go. Mom is setting the table.” She plants a kiss on the cold cheek and scurries away. At the door, she hesitates. “Grammy?”


“Love you. See-ya-bye.” Slam. Thump. Thump. Thump. She avoids a collision with her mother on the landing.

“There you are. Thought I’d have to come down. Wash up.”

“Mum, is Grammy all right?”

* * *

Myna-Jo listens to chairs scrape overhead and buries her face. How long before I end up like my Aunt Sylvie. Can I lay this burden at my family’s door?

Another glance ceiling-wise, then she gazes into the rhythmic flames as if answers are written there.


A short time ago, while working on another short story, I rummaged around in my head for a particular phrase. My brain refused to cooperate for a moment. Because of my age, this made me wonder about memory / word loss and its beginnings. What happens when you are aware of what’s happening to you? What if you loved writing?This story is the result of those meandering thoughts, somewhat abbreviated due to word limit.


This has been printed with the permission of Ninth Floor Press ISBN 978-0-9919730-0-2

Editor: Ed Shaw. Submissions:


Razzle Dazzle Page

I have no idea how to PUBLISH the new PAGE I added today.

Hope you enjoy what’s on it and check out some of the wonderful folks whose links appear here if they are new to you. I am about a year overdue with this work and I apologize for my tardiness.


^ .. ^


Quickie Update – NaNoWriMo


This is for inquisitive minds who need to know. Today is day 9 and counting down to zero for NaNaWriMo.

I’ve managed to stay in the game—still can’t believe it.  To say I am learning about keeping my balls in the air and scribbling in my notebook along the way, has opened my eyes in ways I could not have imagined. I have never attempted writing so grand a piece—I’m a short story enthusiast.

Writing something as large as 50,000 words has been daunting, humbling and informative. Eight days to go, and ONLY 5323 more words….

See you soon…


Awards? On My!

A surprise. To ME as well, you see.

I wasn’t planning a post tonight–I’ been LEARNING–so–o-o-slowly. Since January, I’ve avoided posting awards—because I didn’t know HOW to put them on my blog–true story (and the responsibilities were so involved and time-consuming). On the other hand, I wondered how gratifying an award was–considering the blogosphere has SO many talented and exceptional writers.

For this award, I thank Mary Louise Eklund and my recompense is  five questions.

I acknowledge all my followers with this same award: I cannot choose and exempt! Please pick one up on your  way out after reading about my foibles. . . . And, thank you Louise!!

~ * ~

1) If you could change something what would you change?

Hmm. My age? Not likely. My dreams–hm? Oh, yes. I would have started sooner had I known my life had the possibility of being much more exciting…

2) If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

Are you NUTS? Who the heck would, in his or her right mind want to take that chance? Thanks, but I think forward. Life’s too short to think backwards.

3) What one thing really scares you?

Dying. Don’t make a fuss. I mean dying puts a stop to what I have in mind to pursue.

4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it.

As soon as I retired, I had my eye on the ball. There is only ONE for me now and I expect to pursue it–and I WILL. Write, write, write, as much as youd can?

5) If you could be someone else for the day, who would you be?

It’s hard enough being me, why the hell would I want to complicate my life MORE? Nope, I’m her for the


100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #35

Always Cesare

Nine-year-old twins kneeled before the travel trunk in the attic.

“Where’s that key you found?”

“Here,” squealed Alexa,


Small hands tossed yellowed clouds of tissue paper around them. A soft thump sounded.

They stared at the red box; lid popped, brooch spilled. Alana grabbed it. “Love always, Caesar?”

“But that’s not gra…


“L-u-n-c-h, girls!”

* * *

“Grandma, who is Caesar?” Alexa asked.

“It’s Chey-za-rrey . He was my Italian dance partner.”

“And this brooch?”

“From Cesare.” Grandma turned away; eyes blurring.

The twins blushed.

‘He’s gone now,” Grandma said.

The twins looked at each other. Before Grandpa?!


I’ve been meaning to try this challenge for a while. Here I am: (Join us).


A Special Announcement

Yay. Many thanks to Kana Tyler, a most talented blogger—check her out—who passed on the ABC award to me January 2nd.  Am I tickled pink or what? I’m a little technically challenged, slower this year than last (who knows why?) and basically caught up with life around me. I know excuses don’t cut it but there you are. I just needed to get that off my chest because it’s a little more puffed out than usual.

Here are seven things you don’t know about me:

  1. I LOVE movies, because I love STORIES and love being entertained.
  2. I no longer enjoy driving long distances by myself—on the highways.
  3. I use the speaker phone on my cordless so I don’t have to hold it (OK, my hearing might be going OR, my phone needs replacing).
  4. I’ll read just about anything that isn’t nailed down.
  5. I like cats rather than dogs but have nothing against dogs.
  6. I don’t mind being housebound some days especially in cold weather.
  7. If I don’t read every day, I get cranky

Bloggers I have chosen to share in this award are as follows: I enjoy and look forward to reading them all as will you. Do stop by their blogs.

Deidra Alexander

Sylvia Morice’s Blog

Today I think…

Have Bag, Will Travel

Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences


Stories of a Mom


Thank you  pamelazimmer for my Versatile Blogger award on January 4th. She’s another engaging blogger I enjoy reading. Go there now!

Official Rules of the Award

  1. Thank the award-giver(s) and link back to them in your post.
  2. Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.
  3.  Give this award to up to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.
  4. Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

Seven things you don’t know about me:

  1. I like coffee to be hot when I drink it
  2. I get exasperated when things don’t go smoothly
  3. I like cooking, especially when I’m upset. Dicing and slicing is therapeutic.
  4. I hate don’t like housework much
  5. I’m all thumbs on my new notebook
  6. I don’t have a sweet tooth
  7. I like to be organized. Lists are where it’s at for me

The following fabulous bloggers to whom I’d like to pass the award are:


Diane Henders

Tootlepedal’s Blog


I’d Rather Be In Iceland


Today I think…

I hope you all enjoy receiving these awards. A great start to a new year!