How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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North to Alaska: Snooping Around

We arrived late for lunch with no idea the buffet would be closing soon. No one blocking the food, I managed to take these pictures of various stations.

The buffet servers work eight months on the ship and return home for the remaining four.

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A boom-boom disturbance overhead disrupted after lunch coffee. No other patrons seemed worried or appeared to pay attention. A couple noticed my bewilderment and the man explained there was a basketball court overhead.

“You’re not pulling my leg?” Mary asked.

“I’ll bet my lunch that’s the sound of a bouncing basketball.”

Mary giggled. “You’ve no lunch to bet.”

The sun struggled to brighten the day but dark clouds had other ideas, thrusting it into the background. Huddled in our jacket collars, we jogged a couple laps around the promenade deck after lunch—three and a half laps = 1 mile. A biting wind forced us back inside. Had the weather cooperated, we would have logged a few miles more. We passed a few pairs of walkers, a meditating woman on a blanket (b-r-r), and another one practicing yoga. Three men in white overalls painted the outside deck walls. Phew. I gagged on the fumes, though we were outside. I wondered why none wore masks against the toxic vapors. Seems Health and Safety rules do not apply to painting with nautical paint. Or is this a non-issue since all the workers are from poor countries and nobody cares? Shame. Shame.

I had my heart set on a generous feed of fish and shrimp, but we were late arriving. The buffet had run out. More arrived after we’d finished a fish dinner and Mary scooped up a half dozen to share. I’ve only had shrimp that huge once when I purchased them for a New Year’s Eve dinner party years ago. Thank goodness, I hadn’t invited the neighborhood.

Tummies happy, we searched for advertised entertainment. The Hudson room offered a piano/violin duo and inviting deep chairs but the music didn’t suit our mood—too sedate.

Next, we discovered the duty-free store. A female employee in the jewelry area talked us into sticking around for a free draw in ten minutes. She tore off matching tickets: one for each of us and the twin for the bin. We figured with only a half-dozen participants, we had an excellent chance of winning something. Soon the employee hooked 50 or 60 male and female shoppers and those waiting for the piano bar to open. Ten minutes turned into a half-hour.

What a setup. The person with the winning number had 30 seconds to open as many boxes as they could manage in an effort to extract one containing a jewelry surprise. Soon, a couple of the ‘winners’ asked if there were indeed prizes as the first handful were not lucky. The employee threw the empty boxes back in the bin to encourage deeper digging. What felt like hours later, we left empty-handed and yawning. Six happy winners dispersed to the bar. The lounge singer behind a ¾ wall crooned for some time to clinking glasses and the murmur and hum of energetic conversation.

It had been a long day fighting bitter winds, moody clouds, and noxious paint fumes. The first full day surrounded by nothing but water and food drew to a close. I wished for my pillow to hasten our time of arrival in Juneau the following day.

~ * ~

Next on April 13th – North to Alaska: Yay!  Juneau Ahead

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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100-Word Challenge for Grownups

Check this out:

https://jfb57.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/10”0-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week149-2/

Prompt for this week: …April… + 100 words

100wcgu-72

Roses

Fingers chilled, April worked her forehead hard. Will this day never end? Caramel rubbed against her ankles; she ignored him.

Meow?

Urgent pounding startled them both. April froze, hand splayed at her throat. Miaow! The cat bounced into the air like a Billy goat and tore down the hall. Go away.

Curiosity won. She peered through the peep-hole. A florist’s box? She scooped the narrow box and slammed the door. Yanking off the top, she tore into the tissue. Long-stemmed white roses. Oh, Henry. April’s tears splattered the buds.

No. A drunk driver killed you. Five years, today.

“Then, who? Why?”

 

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles


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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?


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100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #132

To join, check out http://jfb57.wordpress.com  and  ‘What is 100WCGU?‘  This week’s prompt: Emerald. 100-word limit.

100wcgu-72

UPS

A jarring gong shattered the silence. Iris slapped her book on the end table and sighed. She kicked back the footrest and forced her wiry frame out of the recliner.

“Coming.” She whipped open the door, auburn hair springing.

A round silhouette waved a contraption towards her. “Delivery for Mrs. Collingwood.”

Iris blinked in the sunlight and scrutinized the UPS uniform and truck in the drive. “Yes?”

“Sign here, please.” He thrust a package forward. “Good day.”

 * * *

Sheer fabric of emerald, the colour of dreams and desire, lay nestled in cloud-like froth. “Oh!” A heart-shaped card tumbled to the floor.