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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


welcome readers & writers. it's wednesday and i'm thinking there's a good reason wednesday is called hump day (and it's not a naughty reason either). sometimes weeks are long. sometimes days, hours and even minutes seem endless. maybe hanging out on the blog a bit today to read or write is a good way to find the downhill side of the mountain - or at least a bit of a shelter. several of my friends are suffering through rough times, and the phrase "life can turn on a dime" keeps drifting through my mind. 
the photo prompts i've shared so far are pictures of scenes or objects i stumbled upon in the course of a day. for today's photo prompt, however, i felt the need to photograph a spinning dime. it took a few (47) tries to capture the photo - and it only turned out in the end because my eight year old proves to be a dime spinning expert. but here it is - the turning dime. what's your spin on it? (pun intended). here's mine:

Some sit as if perfect posture might earn them a free pass out of the group. Some slouch like they're lounging on a college green. Others lean forward - heads down - cradling cups of coffee like eucharistic wafers. One twists a napkin around her finger over and again, while another gnaws on a hangnail. Carl over there bounces his foot maniacally. All that stuff happens when someone is sharing. Between sharing, every last one of them grows still and listens hard for the next words. Lamentation, confession, plea, or proverb, they pray that just maybe the right combination of words will end the pain that buzzes in their heads, their bellies, in that narrow space between loosely clasped palms.

    "Did he suffer? Was she scared? Why now?"  

    "There was a day when loyalty in the workplace meant something, when a good        person who did good work could hang on to a job forever..."

    "Malignant. I hate that word. I hate that word so much I could spit..."

    "She said she'd never leave. I feel like I'm going insane..."

But mostly there is silence, and the young therapist (correction, support group facilitator - we must empower people to heal themselves) is also thinking. In fact since taking the job all he can do is think. Just now he picks at his eyebrow, obsessed with the growing realization that no one escapes being part of the group, that it's just a matter of time.

come write with me today! 250(ish) words or less.  submit your story, poem or creative non-fiction work by clicking on comments below.


  1. He heard it. He knew the sound. He didn't know where it had come from. When the dime hit the end table, time stopped... except for that spinning whirring drum of the dime's edge. He must have missed it in his pockets during prep. Unforgivable. What would happen next was, for just a moment, "in play". Unpredictable. A very dangerous word to him and to others. Was this the beginning of things going bad and the end of someone's life? Could he count on luck to let him slip on by? If you count on luck, half the time you lose. Also unforgiveable.

    He eased out and lifted his pistol slowly towards the stairs and listened. No steps. No sounds. Wait. He heard a creak. Footsteps... tentative. Then a voice, "Hello?" Luck hung there on a thread. When the phone rang he quaked. The person upstairs, almost assuredly Col. Barnes’ wife, answered and in that moment of distraction he moved with purpose and speed. The safe would take seconds to open if the code he had received was correct. The colonel’s wife was chatty. In twenty seconds he could be out the way he came.

    He grabbed that dime as he quietly slid out the back door.

  2. It had come down to this. My brother and I fighting over the last of my father’s few items of any value. A life-in-the-moment man, he seldom invested in anything built to last, and if he did, he more often than not left it out in the rain or didn’t bother to clean it. This was different: a gift unused. Sterling silver and engraved, he’d never filled the reservoir with lighter fluid or slid a few fresh and perfect cigarettes into the attached case. He’d flicked the flint a few times no doubt, to see how it felt to the thumb, then he put it back in its velvet bag and into the velvet lined box it came in. He’d left us his debts and this. We passed it back and forth, opening the top and the back, listening to the sharp click each tiny catch made when it dropped back into place. We turned it upside down. We ran our fingers over the engraved initials. We read all the labels on the box including the one that indicated where the box had been manufactured. Michigan. Wisconsin. Someplace like that. We put it away. We brought it out. Finally, we set it on the table between us and starred at it, chins resting on folded hands, peering, waiting as if it would spin and point at one of us. Breathing out a long sigh, Ed sat back and reaching into his pocket took out a dime. “Call it,” he said and gave the coin a spin.

  3. Random Acts of Blindness

    Spinning coin on table top, so very soon and it will stop.

    Dazzlingly blurry orb, an instant or lifetime to absorb.

    Memories traveling fast into my coarse and blackened past.

    To ponder senseless acts I fear and why they brought me here.

    For me there was no kindness, just a random act of blindness.

    That sent me on a twisted trail to wonder whether to prevail.

    The mirror face without the mask has a question I should ask.

    Is the purpose to this mess, that I’m an act of randomness?

    So for all I am should I forsake, or is a 10 cent choice I make?

    And if that coin turns up the tail will my strong conviction fail,

    To execute this random plan or will I choose to spin again?

  4. The coin fell on the table (making a slight dent that didn’t go unnoticed) and went into a spin. He looked at it turn and wobble as he collected the rest of his stuff. The kid was watching it too and he decided to leave it spin and just go.

    He hated leaving them again but they forced him into this position. He was not going to let them pressure him into making rash decisions, and he always said it was only going to be a temporary situation anyway.

    She hugged the kid but he was just looking at the coin. He picked up his bag and headed for the door.

    “I made no promises.” he said.

    “I know.” she said sadly.

    He stepped outside into the blazing heat and light. The sudden wallop of heat made him catch his breath. He walked to his car, sweat already forming on his back. The car was going to be like an oven.

    Scattering dust, he drove off at pace. It wasn’t clear where he would go or end up next. But he was going anyway.

    He thought of the kid staring at the coin. He tried to imagine him as an grown man. He lit a cigarette and put on some music, loud.

  5. To go or not to go. That was the decision that hung in the balance. The coin came from one of those 5 gallon containers used for water in fancy office buildings and light industrial break 'rooms'. Our family had been putting coins into that container for over 4 years. Change from the mini-golf outing. A dedicated percentage from the 6 year old's allowance. Accumulated coinage from multiple vacations. All of that - and it was down to this.

    Heads: we go to Europe together as a family. Tails: the money goes to local charities.

    So odd to have this mixture of hopes and dreams, challenges and conscience ... wants and needs played out on a living room table. Seemingly, eternity CAN be held in a moment, in a couple of rotations of a spinning coin. Not all that hard, really, to think about how lives will be changed - one way or the other.

    The spinning slows. Gravity asserts itself. A peek between fingers. A back slightly turned away. A gasp.

  6. "one more quarter," ryan whispered as he pushed his last coin into the slot
    he pulled the triggers and pushed the buttons frantically
    then the words GAME OVER flew across the screen
    ryan felt so upset he thought he could scream
    then the pain of hunger hit the bottom of his stomach
    he felt like he had been socked in the get three times and then mercilessly slammed into a car
    he hadnt eaten in three days
    it was saturday afternoon, blazing hot outside
    ryan was thankful for the shelter of the arcade
    the thought of running away had sounded so good on wednesday night
    now ryan wasnt sure how much longer he could take it all
    the awful heat
    the unending hunger
    he wasnt even sure if they had started looking for him yet
    he had wasted the ten dollars he had on a bus fair out of the heart of NYC
    and the rest he had spent on these stupid arcade games
    his idea of begging and mooching off people was a no go
    then out of no where he felt hands grabbing his waste form behind
    he could feel himself being turned around
    he looked up and saw.... his mother!