How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


62 Comments

My First Post #myfirstpostrevisited

I’ve been shanghaied nominated by Willow and Judy to re-blog my first post. Thank you, both. I don’t usually participate in blog hops as I’m always frazzled. Thank goodness this required only five nominees.

myfirstpost-revisited

A tag started by a blogger/writer called Sarah Brentyn, asking us to revisit our first ever blog posts!

I had begun another blog titled Who Knew but after several months I deleted it due to the friendly spam I received each day. There was no Spam blocker there and no, it was not a WordPress blog. I screwed up my courage and started again on July 2, 2011. Here I remain.

Okay the rules

Obvious rules:

  • No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you love…first post only.)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

  • Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine but NO editing.)
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  • Tag…um…tentwotwelve five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  • Include “the rules” in your post.

Completely silly rules that someone  made up as they typed:

  • Drink a glass of wine, bottle of beer; cup of coffee; mug of herbal tea. or whatever floats your boat after you hit “publish”. (In other words, toast yourself. Go you!)
  • Read the post out loud in a Mickey Mouse voice.

who to  nominate 

Linda

Terri

Lucy

Teagan

Glynis

Hello, World!

Let’s cut the crap! None of us is getting out of here ALIVE (much to my surprise—I don’t THINK so!). I’m making the choice to make the most of it. Hopefully I’ll grumble, whine and complain all the way to…you know where: that last vacation in the sky (none too loudly). You CAN stand out in the crowd and make everyone else miserable OR you can try to look on the bright side. There always is a bright side, isn’t there?

I’m a grandma and keep busy looking after my two grandkids. I read voraciously. I like my bookclubs because they aren’t boring. We eat, drink and talk books (eat and drink are the operative words). I’ve started golfing. I try to exercise although I can’t always manage to squeeze it into my day. I enjoy my friends and family. What else is there?

I’m economical  by choice. I get riled when people act like we have nothing to lose. Money doesn’t grow on trees; neither do our seemingly endless resources. Call me cheap if you want to but if you don’t know the value of a dollar by your mid-thirties, in your old age you WILL be poor. How will you survive? Everything keeps going up except for body parts being tugged downwards by gravity. Only two things are certain in this life and even the best of us can’t avoid them: death and taxes.

My quest is to grumble as quietly as I can manage to as Mother Nature disowns me inch by painful inch. I’ll TRY to own up to what’s happening and try to own it but I hope to find some joy into the journey.

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#BlogBattle – Week 26

Check out the originator of this challenge at

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

The rules are easy:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story,put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

~ * ~

This week’s prompt:  Head

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

* * *

Grandpa Jones

The house looked more tired than a couple years earlier when I’d last driven past. I braked, tumbled out of the car and gawked. My feet plodded across the gravel country road as if drawn by a magnet.

Angry shouts rang out. Hands hammered bare wood. The racket rose from the old house across the road. I broke into a run. Old Grandpa Jones still occupied the hovel, a well-shared joke in the county, though no-one had seen Grandma in years.

It turned out Grandpa wanted out and pushed on the front door knob but it wouldn’t budge. He cussed and kicked without success. For one thing the door opened inward and he pushed out. It was also warped more than ever since the recent rain; the only door in or out of the house.

“Let me outta here. Let me out.” A gummy voice bawled inside. Open palms slapped the door.

“Calm down, old man. Step away from the door.” I expected it to crumble from the blows on the other side, but it held fast. “Stand clear. I’ll put a shoulder to it.”

The quiet on the other side yawned loud.

The warped door groaned but didn’t shift a sliver in its frame, yet I felt rather than heard disintegration within where my shoulder encountered the wood and pitched me forward. Ow. that hurt. I folded over my knees to catch my breath and regroup. Overhead, the door shattered as a chair seat bulged through a hole inches from my face. The chair yanked out, rheumy eyes stared at me through the splintered gap.

No-one knew Grandpa’s age, but for a reedy fellow with a bedraggled beard, greasy white hair and no teeth, he appeared strong and tenacious.

“I guess you didn’t need my help after all.” I had to talk though I’m a man of few words.

“I can’t get out through this here hole. Get my axe in the woodshed.” He pointed a thickened, yellow nail to the left. “Move along young man. That-a-way.”

I took one last look at what one might call his abode with kindness. I wondered what held the wood fibers together and conjured up spider spit and dirt. The weary shack had no business standing at all.

I spun round and gave the house another gander. The structure had sunk lop-sided and cockeyed. No-one had seen it happen, but I heard talk the recent hard rains were responsible for the slippage of a lot of the old properties. It’s a wonder the wind hadn’t shoved once too hard leaving a confusion of dried kindling strewn about, yet it had hung on like a drunk weaving in the elements, loose and somewhat upright.

“Stop gaping, young man. Action gets the job done. Move it.” My face burned. The old man’s impatience took me back to childhood days when everything I did was open to criticism. I forced myself forward and rushed back with an ancient, rusted axe.

“Stand back,” I said.

Grandpa Jones had other plans. “Give it to me, handle first. It’s my house and I’ll wreck it any way I must.”

I learned something that day. You can’t judge any exterior by appearance or your pea brain idea of it, man or structure. I also experienced the shock of my life.

Grandpa Jones axed the door. His vigorous thrusts shook the house to quivering. Each lunge of the axe sent the house lower, the mud still fresh from the latest rain. He’d demanded I leave with no thank you, but I sat in my car instead and watched. Why, I will never know. I laughed and laughed—thought I’d lost my head. And then, it happened.

Noise to my ears rather than pleasure, birds and crickets sounded louder and busier. I hadn’t noticed them earlier. Though mid- morning, the temperature had shot upwards. I whipped out my trusted hanky to dry my forehead and had already removed my suit jacket. The crack of the axe continued. Ticked by the old man’s ingratitude, I started the engine. I glanced back one last time. A groan and rumble stopped me. The outdated shelter collapsed, tumbling into itself. My heart plunged. Stupid old man.

I rushed towards the house.

Please don’t let the old man die.

* * *

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


38 Comments

Writing Process Meme

Note:  This is longer than my usual.

Kansen Sakura @http://kanzensakura.com/  asked if I’d be willing to answer and post four questions. I didn’t ask for details. The request sounded easy enough. It wasn’t until she posted her answers that the realization hit me: I’d already done this. What to do? Shush. Do it.

She is full of unbelievable surprises. She’s a chef, engineer, and a poet, with interests in ballroom dancing, photography, things Japanese and on and on. Recently, she became a student again in Pharmacy study. Check her out and be amazed.

J.B.Whitmore’s Scribbler’s Playhouse @ http://holdouts.wordpress.com/ is a new blogging friend who also asked if I’d answer four questions about my writing process. I asked to be excused as I had recently been tagged by Jacqui Murray at http://worddreams.wordpress.com.

Check out JBW’s open invitation to all Writers’ Writing: http://holdouts.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/open-call-for-writers-writing/

 

Drum roll, please. If you have not met these ladies, let me introduce:

  1. Colleen Brown @ http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/

Colleen writes about life as it strikes her. She has a particular way of looking at the world, peeling the layers one by one, until the heart of her topic is exposed. Laugh or cry, you’ll experience a new way of understanding. As well, you’ll enjoy her clever shadow people. I won’t explain; you must see for yourself.

 

  1. Vanessa Chapman @http://vanessa-chapman.com/

I can’t recall how I stumbled upon her blog a couple of years ago, but I have enjoyed her humor and inventiveness since. She’s not only a blogger, but is also a part time actor, a writer of magazine articles and works at a university in England.  I can almost manage one blog; she has a two. Do breeze over to: http://sugarness.com/

 

  1. Sherri Mathews @http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/

Sherri believes in hope. She says moving has been a constant throughout her life. Unexpected and unplanned changes and obstacles forced her to rethink her outlook. Opportunities came and vanished, but she ploughed forward. She currently blogs and works on her memoir with a radiant smile and sunny disposition. Stop and say hello and have a look around.

My answers:

The rules for this meme are to answer four questions about your writing method and nominate three new people.

 

What am I working on at the moment?

I’m sorting through and sprucing up short stories for submission before summer readings close. Matching the correct magazine to the story is my biggest headache and time consuming. Do I do contests or pay fees? At first I did for a couple, but no longer. I am retired after all and fees add up, although submitters usually receive a ‘free’ subscription in return. Since I first posted this, I’ve read reading fees are becoming a reality.

 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ve a simple and unexciting answer to this question. I believe my writing fits into general fiction and not any sub-category. I tend to write about a variety of subjects which don’t include fantasy, sci-fi or horror etc. Everyday common-man-situations readers might associate with and cheer are what grab me as well. I can’t help being tickled if the stories are entertaining to readers when I release them.

 

Why do I write what I do?

I write to entertain myself, to analyze situations to better understand them, and to sort out the clamour in my head. I write about what grabs my attention. Sometimes, I believe I have a life altering idea and sometimes this is true, but not always. Okay, hardly ever.

 

How does my writing process work?

The middle of the day works best for me because I use up mornings to ease into the work after I’ve read the paper, my e-mail and blogs, and swept away diversions so I can concentrate.

I have a spiral notebook within reach to scribble fleeting ideas before they vanish. However, my handwriting has degenerated so much even chicken scratch doesn’t describe it. Most of the time I write like a demon and can’t make it out later. My favourite writing tool is my laptop from draft to finish.

I don’t accomplish as much as I should because I’m disorganized and easily distracted. Sometimes, I type as fast as I can to capture what’s going through my head and then leave it for another day because I’m not always sure what to do with the information right away.

When the going is hot—not often enough—my day vanishes. I’ve typed the first draft and filled in holes, patched bridges and edited as much as I can. I then put away the piece for another day when I can read it like a stranger. Only once or twice have I written a short story from start to finish in one day and been satisfied. Believe it or not, I enjoy editing the most because then I take my time.

 

Once again, these are my three nominees.

  1. Colleen Brown @ http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/  (July 21)
  2. Vanessa Chapman @http://vanessa-chapman.com/  (July28)
  3. Sherri Mathews @http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/  (Aug. 4)

Answer these four questions on your blog beginning July 21, 2014 (and on consecutive Mondays thereafter) and add three new nominations to your posts.

  1. What am I working on at the moment?
  2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  3. Why do I write what I do?
  4. How does my writing process work?


62 Comments

Writing Process Blog Meme

boy-148071_640The supportive and generous Jacqui Murray at http://worddreams.wordpress.com nominated me for this blog meme. Thank you, Lady. Long ago, I bowed out of any manner of nominations or awards, but this is a tad different.

I cannot recall how or when I stumbled upon her site, but that was my lucky day. Jacqui’s blog is a writer’s premier resource, chockfull of valuable writing advice and guidelines galore. Please check her out.

The rules for this meme are to answer four questions about your writing method and nominate three new people. You can accept or not, but come on, this will be fun, won’t it?

 

What am I working on at the moment?

I’m sorting through and sprucing up short stories for submission before summer reading close. Matching the correct magazine to the story is my biggest headache and time consuming. Do I do contests or pay fees? At first I did for a couple, but no longer. I am retired after all and fees add up, although submitters usually receive a ‘free’ subscription in return.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ve only a simple and unexciting answer to this question. I believe my writing fits into general fiction and not any sub-category. I tend to write about a variety of subjects which don’t include fantasy, sci-fi or horror etc. I’m more into everyday common-man-situations readers might associate with and cheer. However, I am tickled if the stories are entertaining when I release them.

Why do I write what I do?

I write to entertain myself, to analyze situations to better understand them, and to sort out the clamour in my head. I write what interests me most at any given time.

How does my writing process work?

The middle of the day works best for me because I use up mornings to ease into the work after I’ve read the paper, my e-mail and blogs, and swept away diversions so I can concentrate.

I have a spiral notebook within reach to scribble fleeting ideas before they vanish. However, my handwriting has degenerated to chicken scratch and is difficult to decipher if I don’t slow down. Most of the time I write like a demon and can’t make it out later. My favourite writing tools are my laptop from draft to finish and real deadlines.

I don’t accomplish as much as I should because I’m disorganized and easily distracted. Sometimes, I type as fast as I can to capture what’s going through my head and then leave it for another day because I’m not always sure what to do with the information right away.

When the going is hot—not often enough—my day vanishes. I’ve typed the first draft and filled in holes, patched bridges and edited as much as I can. I then put away the piece for another day when I can read it like a stranger. Only once or twice have I written a short story from start to finish in one day and been satisfied. Believe it or not, I enjoy editing the most because then I take my time.

These are my three nominees. You are not obligated to join in. Remember no-one will come to your house if you’re not up for participation.

http://kanzensakura.com/  sakura

http://chasingrabbitholes.com  Huntmode

http://mikeallegra.com/  mike

Answer the four questions below on your blog on May 5, 2014 (and on consecutive Mondays thereafter as long as this meme keeps going) and add three new nominations.

What am I working on at the moment?
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Why do I write what I do?
How does my writing process work?