welcome readers & writers! in this cyber space please find: + a photo writing prompt + a place to post your creative writing response (poem, memoir, short story or the like) to the prompt + a community of readers and fellow writers excited to read your writing + morsels of genuine fiction, poetry & creative non-fiction as the blog is updated. share a response as often as you'd like. everyday discoveries from my life, captured on film, will serve as prompts. this is not a place where we will critique one another's work; however, words of encouragement or praise for writers who share their work are most welcome. writers, share your story, poem or creative non-fiction response to the photo by clicking on comments; word count is flexible. cheers! demery

Thursday, August 19, 2010


welcome readers & writers. many thanks to you readers - without you we wouldn't be writers. thanks also to yesterday's writers, including author chuck galle. it's an honor to write with each of you!
as i continue to build a readership & writership for this blog, i will need a little help from time to time if you're willing. first, if you're a regular visitor, please click "follow" on the right hand side of the page and become an official follower. another very simple way to help promote the blog is to click the "stumble upon" icon (under the word sociable on the right hand side of the page). the "stumble upon" icon (blue and green with a white squiggle through the middle - 5th from the left) will take you to the "stumble upon" website. you won't have to do anything special there (unless you'd like to surf around on it and see various random blogs that other folks like - it's actually kind of interesting). i'd encourage you to click this icon when you think the photo prompt and/or the posts are exceptionally good. when folks submit write away every day to "stumble upon," others interested in reading and writing will be directed to this website and so more likely to find us. thanks! :)
okay - so enough of this crazy media marketing thing and onto today's photo prompt.  can't wait to read your take on it! here's mine: 
Don't tell anyone, but this slanty garage is mine. It's actually brand new, but I got out and roughed it up a bit when the contractors left - to make it look old and kind of artsy. See, I want it to look good, I do live in this neighborhood, but not too interesting. That's because of what's inside. By day I'm a big city, big boned, middle aged lady lawyer. I leave for work in the a.m. in my power suit and square toed shoes. I drive my yuppie car and carry the requisite Kate Spade bag into a shiny suite of legal offices. But by night, and on weekends, this is what I do. I sneak out of my condo and into that shed. I change into a t-shirt, boots, and leathers. I let my hair down and roll up my sleeves so my ink shows. I put on my black helmet, pull down the visor, open the garage door and ride out, busting a wheelie right down the alley to the road and onto the highway. I ride until every last infuriating conversation with my boss or repugnant encounter with a colleague or opponent has seeped out of my pores, dried up, flaked off and whipped away in the wind. Do any of my neighbors really care that I ride a bike? No. Is there a reason to be so secretive, like I'm some kind of... of superhero? No. But there's is no better high, no sweeter solitude, than total anonymity when I ride.  
come write with me!  250(ish) words or less - submit your short story, poem or creative non-fiction piece by clicking on comments below.


  1. This garage is special. Not like all the others. Pretty much every garage in a twenty block radius is tiny, covered in corrugated sheets and worn thin by time. But this one is different. Thirty-three years ago today an FBI agent walked down this alley on the trail of a killer. What he called, "A bad man."

    He held his gun in two hands, muzzle down as he walked. Tension ran tight though his shoulders as his eyes swept from corner to corner, wall to wall, listening for somebody who did not belong there. Listening for that crack before a bullet caught him high and ended him.

    What drew him to this garage he couldn't tell you. Maybe just a sense of bad men. There was no other sound, no wind, no birds. Just gravel under his hard shoes crunching like brittle snow. It had come to this. The sun was hot on his face. Sweat gathered in his eyebrows and down his neck. He brought his gun up and swept the doors and windows.

    The pop was surprising to him, not really sounding like gun. But the little black hole in the corrugated metal door was clear enough. A second pop and another hole, and he felt something tear at his side. And then he fired, using those holes as guides. Seven rounds in maybe three seconds. Maybe it was two. And silence. And then moans. And curses. He felt pretty good that day to be alive. To have this bad man curse him. That hot sun on his face was the warmth of life, sweat and all.

  2. New Neighbors

    “I hate this garage.” She pointed at it and said, “Do you see what I mean?” “I do see what you mean.” I said, and she continued, “It was better before the neighbors across the alley moved out. Sure, there was a car there but I still had a nice view of their house, the nice one, on the nice side of the alley.” She paused and shook her head. “Now there’s this,” as she gestured toward the garage. “Granted, they did make it look like it’s been here forever but I know it’s brand new. Now our back patio has a wonderful view of rusty, corrugated metal.” After a pause she said, “Well, al least I still have a decent view out my two upstairs windows.” “This is true.” I said as I pointed to the stain on the concrete ramp. “And, you don’t have to look at their old rusty car leaking oil.” My eyebrows were raised and I was nodding my head hoping for the same from her but she gave me a scowl and walked away muttering to herself until she was out of sight.

  3. See, I joined this daily writing group on the web run by this nifty woman whom I suspect was an English teacher, and who poses a writing challenge each day by putting up an evocative photo. I wonder about where she gets these photos; are they hers, her husband's, a friend's, does she Stumble around the web finding them, solicit them from her FaceBook page, have an enormous collection she's been gathering since childhood, what? Where? How? When? Who?
    So, anyway I go out there today and here's this picture of an old corrugated steel garage, rusted as it always is, with a slanted top, and utility wires contrasting the slant, and my memory shrieks an image from years ago. I don’t want to write about it. I want to create fiction. But in the course of my busy day, peddling books to bookstores and libraries, replaying an Army experience force-marching myself up the nearby steep hill, shopping, other stuff, the old image demands to be explicated.
    Nineteen-sixty-two. My life is half a shambles, half sweet. Patty has just given birth to our second child. I am helping my friend publish Outcry Magazine, within a week I have been within touching distance of Robert Frost in his last public reading. I am using too many too strong drugs.
    After seeing Karen and spending time with her exhausted mother until the nurse kicks me out I walk up Pennsylvania Avenue to one of the hundreds of little triangular parks sprinkled around DC. Bill is there, the former owner of the coffee house I hang around in. He lost it because he's a drunk and a fool. An "old fashioned" poet for whom women are conquests, a fact supported by his only poem I remember, written for his beautiful wife.
    The Girl With Long Red Hair
    I met a girl with long red hair. I kissed her there
    and there
    and there
    and there
    and there
    and there.
    So much for the girl with long red hair.
    I tell him I'm a new father again. He says he's looking for someone to share this joint with. Yeh. We get high, and I fire us up one of mine. He asks me if I've ever seen the twisted house of Q Street? I've never heard of it. We walk up Twenty-first Street, competing for pulling out new joints, until we get to Q. Utterly wasted. We turn east off Connecticut Avenue down Q street on the uptown side and suddenly he stops, faces right and says "Behold! The Twisted House Of Q Street!" It's a three story stucco building, small, a single door right plunk in the middle, up four steps, one standard size window on each side. And it leans to the left by two, maybe three degrees. It's going to fall into the building next to it one day. We two clowns, wrecked beyond description, fall out laughing at it. This is why we smoke marijuana, for things like this to happen. Then he pulls the punch line.
    "C'mon" he says. We cross the street, walk up to the small brass plaque attached to the wall beside the door. This building is the home of the American Architectural Institute. Within five years it is torn down.

  4. “He lives there,” he says, and I feel the tug on my hand as his other hand shoots outward to point at the corrugated, galvanized door, pulled down tight. His little steps speed up to keep pace with mine.
    “That’s a storage shed. Nobody lives there.”
    “He does. I know it. That’s where he goes at night.”
    “Who?” I ask aloud and wonder how my little boy, in bed by eight, could know where anyone in our new neighborhood goes at night, especially because this is our first trip to the park walking this route. We’ve never seen that building before.
    “Did someone tell you that?” I wait for his reply. He hasn’t seen any other kids except from a distance; school doesn’t let out for the summer for another week.
    He pulls in his lip and I recognize his, I’m not sure so I better not say anything, look. I hate that look. I know where it comes from.
    “It doesn’t matter.” I soften my grip on his hand and bounce it, playfully, I hope, against my thigh. “Tell me. Who lives there?”
    He looks down at the sidewalk as we walk along, his lips puffing in and out, squinching up, pressing together, relaxing; his hand soft and lax in my grip. As we near the corner, he lifts his head and looks over his shoulder. “God,” he says quietly but firmly. “God lives there.”