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 4, 2010


welcome new writers, FilmGuy and Leah Peterson. and welcome back De Lange. thanks for your posts, ya'll!  as always, welcome readers; without you we could hardly call ourselves writers.
i'm laughing at myself today because to look at my blog a person might think that i spend an inordinate amount of time at gas stations. i guess life is just interesting there, and it's a place where one must sit still and wait (with the engine off), and watch, for extended moments.  anyway - the setting of my photos will vary very soon.
however, today's photo was taken last week at - oooph - a gas station just off the interstate, where we sought shelter from a nasty summer storm.  here's my story:
"Mom," he says over the smatter of rain and pummeling wind, "what would you do if you won the lottery?"  "Don't know," I say, "I've never played."  "But just if you did," he says, "What then?" My yawn swallows the next few words and I say, "I guess we'd buy a bigger house, go to Disney, like that. I'd stop working and you would be set for college and well beyond. And," I say, remembering the God thing, "we'd give a lot away to charity."  Silence from the back seat. Man that was unimaginative, I think. My answer makes winning the lottery sound about as appealing as a serving of Brussels sprouts with a side of lima beans. I wonder if we're in the path of a tornado, if sitting in the car is a stupid idea. "So what would you do," I say, "if you won?" Even before he speaks I can hear the amusement in his voice, and I turn to see the smile I expect to find playing on his lips. "I'd invent a robot for Andy that would do his chores," he says. "He's always wanted one of those. I'd design four solar houses on the same block, one for everyone in our family. I'd build Ryan his own soccer stadium. I'd find a cure for every sickness. I'd become a judge who ordered kids to stay home and read all day when it rains and go out to play all day when it's sunny.  They would only go to school on hot, humid, muggy, hazy days."  "Like today," I say? "Yeah, maybe," he says. "But probably not."  "I love you," I say. "I hope you win."  I hope he wins.    

do you see a story in this photo?  i look forward to reading it.  submit below by clicking on comments.  250(ish) words or less.   


  1. It is a lonely admission of desparation to sit in your car outside the convenience store deciding if you can spend a dollar on a few extra minutes of dreaming. Somewhere inside is that belief that the unexpected could happen. Somewhere inside is the ache of knowing that the odds don't really matter. Sometimes a soul just needs to lose itself in hope, like a healing bath. A dollar can't buy you much these days. But staring at my wallet in hand, I could do worse. And I could do better. That's what kills me. Most days I just hop out of my car, go inside and buy my ticket from the nice white-haired lady who has been there long before me. She always smiles and makes nice small talk. She has a job I suspect most people wouldn’t want, but she has a bounce and an energy she shares with every customer… every person. And maybe I am imagining it, but I think I see in her look a wistfulness for me when I buy my ticket. Not that the lottery win will come for me, but that the dollar isn’t buying what I think it is. She’s right of course, but in the brush of a moment is easy to not care. Hey. Want a dollar?

  2. ‘Play Lottery’ the sign said. Not ‘Play THE Lottery’. There was no verb either. Is it asking do I play the lottery? Is it telling my I must play the lottery? Or is this telling me that Texas hasn’t a real lottery at all?

    “What are you doin? What are you starin at?” Jeff says, annoyance creeping into his voice.

    “Nuthin” I say.

    “Nuthin…..nuthin….it’s always nuthin with you.” Jeff says, mocking.

    “Do we have money?” I ask.

    “For what?” Jeff says.

    “The lottery.” I say, turning to look at Jeff.

    “The lottery?? What? Are you nuts?” says Jeff, shaking his head, checking the fuel gauge.

    “I’m not nuts.” I say.

    The neon sign stays in my mind as we drive. I didn’t really want to ‘play lottery’. I just wanted to buy a ticket, do something different, escape from the routine.

    The wipers hypnotise as we drive towards my new home. Jeff says they are rich. I hope he is not planning to ask for money like last time. They looked at us like we were scum.

    “Jeff.” I say.

    “What?” he replies.

    “What’s wrong with the lottery?” I ask.

    Jeff laughs.

    “It’s a mugs game, a tax on stupidity.” he says.

    We must owe a fortune then, I think to myself.