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, September 2, 2010


welcome writers & readers!  readers, thank you for keeping this blog in business (so to speak).  writers - FilmGuy, Chuck Galle, Christa and Brian - thank you for your awesome posts yesterday!

i'm hoping that today's photo prompt feels wide open enough that you might look at it and see a hundred possibilities for a back story to go with it.  but if not, just one will do :)  submit your story, poem or creative non-fiction by clicking on comments below. 250(ish) words or less.  here's my interpretation: 

Jeeves the butler loathed folding towels. He never minded the washing up or the ironing, and he was a stellar hospital corners guy with bedsheets. But for some reason the towels felt tedious. That's why they were always a little off, kind of wonky when he stacked them in the linen cabinet. No matter. Because Madame never looked in the linen cabinet anyway. She would simply say, "A fresh towel, please, Jeeves," and he would fetch and smile and bow ever so slightly until he was dismissed. This exchange occurred no fewer than ten times a day. Every time she washed her hands, or returned from her stroll around the garden, and wanted to dab the fine beads of perspiration from her face, she would call for him. And whether he was baking or gardening, polishing silver or (shhhh...) mixing himself a martini, he would go to the linen cabinet, pluck a towel off of his listing tower and deliver it. Of course when she was finished, she would hand the barely soiled cloth back to him with quite a formal thank you for a woman who'd known Jeeves for well more than a decade.  Then he would add it to his basket of wash, along with all of the other slightly used towels, and he would wash and dry it. And, yes, by golly, he would fold it.  

come write with me!


  1. I'm going. To have. A heart attack.

    The rows and rows of towels and washcloths in the supply closet towered to the ceiling in front of me. I've never had a panic attack per se, but this is certainly what one might feel like. The walls were closing in, my vision was blurring and all I could picture was me drowning in a sea of terricloth.

    I take a deep breath and step back out into the department store. It's okay. I'm okay, I repeatedly tell myself. It's just the Linen Department of Macy's, I can work here, I can do it.

    In the connecting public restroom, I splash water on my face and look at my harried reflection. I'm silent but my Mirror Me shouts back at me. "The manager left me in the department! ALONE! She asked me to make a display table with sale signs and all the towels and washcloths look the same!"

    I feel my heart rush and beat and thud all over again. I'm dizzy. I have to get out of this windowless-third-floor-asylum before I go absolutely mad.

    Rushing out of the department, I pass a fellow saleslady whose name escapes me. I say to her, "I'm not feeling well, I'm sorry, I have to go home."

    Down the escalators, out the front door, I suck in great gulps of fresh air and vow never to return. Never, even though I've never run out of a job in my life.


  2. Distraction

    I could never own towels with lines. Like those white ones right there with the blue dotted lines all painfully out of whack. If they were in my house I would feel compelled to make runways. They would all have to be perfect and that’s just another stressor that I would not want around. It’s like when the cat starts to purr. My heart starts to race and I can feel my blood boiling and I get so distracted that I can’t think. All of my focus gets pulled to the cat making that noise and I have to put on some music to drown it out or turn on the sink or sometimes I have to leave the room. I wish I didn’t get that way but how do you control something that just happens all by itself. I’m starting to get that way right now walking down this isle. The right side isn’t so bad with the solid colors but the left side is pulling my eyes over to all those uneven lines. I need to get out of this isle but then I’ll just be in another one with something out of place or crooked or shifted too far… This is why I don’t go out very often. I need to get back home where everything is clean and simple and the only thing I feel the need to make straight are the vacuum lines in the carpet. Maybe on the way I can stop at the bookstore. Maybe they will have something that can help me. I can handle the bookstore, it’s fairly well organized.

  3. It was in one of these stacks, I thought. Wrapped in plastic. A finger. Five cases in five weeks. Each time the body was missing a finger. A different finger. And each time the finger was hidden in a baggie somewhere… and I thought it was a clue. It was all too methodical. Week one, death, little finger. Week two, death, next finger. And so on. But what was the connection between the mutilations and the little game of hiding them. What did the fingers point to? Yeah. Ok. That was icky, but seriously after five weeks the thought occurred to everyone. A cooking pot. A hideaway sofa. A paint can. A bag of chips. And a stack of towels. At least I thought so. We were tearing the hotel apart… but something about these lined up towels whispered to me. Come. Look. Inside, deep, I really didn’t want to. I knew there would be that moment when I would hear the sound of plastic. I would have to pick up that baggie. I really hate this job.

  4. "Hi! Welcome to Colonial Country --"

    "Ortenberg. 314."

    "How many towels would you --"


    "Yes Mrs. Ortenberg."


    "Oh. Well, have a nice--"

    And the woman, forty years old and wearing a bikini, keeps walking, past the umbrella stand where a young girl, maybe nineteen, sits wilting in the heat. She has to wear a dress to work, because she's the first thing the members of Colonial Country Club see.

    "Or rather, don't see," she thought glumly, picking up the little box of index cards and scribbling down the name, "Zoenberg. 314. 15 towels. And a canary."

    No one read that box except for her. And Ms. Ortenberg came to the pool every day. She laid out in the sun. She ordered an eight dollar salad. She looked good in front of all the other moms -- in fact, she had a much better body. But it didn't seem to register with them. The trail of three little curly-headed girls that used to stop at the towel stand and ask to see the pen and the box and the stack of toys Katie had saved for them, no longer accompanied Ms. Ortenberg to the pool every morning for swim practice. She had started working out.

    Katie looked at the row of white plastic lounge chairs. They must have been excruciatingly hot in this weather. But Ms. Ortenberg was already laying there, having soaked her towels in the pool (against the rules) and laid them over the chair to provide a cushion between her and the hard bright-white plastic.

    Katie looked at the sun. Mid-afternoon. She would need to start cleaning soon. And collecting the towels. That was when she actually had to walk around the Country Club, talk to people, see their faces or, rather, make them see hers.

    It was her least favorite part of the day.

  5. Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. It means a lot to know I'm not playing to an empty house.

    It's solid towels for me. I would waste too much time folding towels with stipes just right in order to get them to flow in straight lines in the closet. Solid towels are comforting.

    Have a great end of week, Roland

  6. Registration

    beep, beep, beep
    The red light dances over the computer designed zebra stripes on each of the pieces of the flatware that we picked. Saucers, beep, salad plates, beep, soup bowls, beep

    I giggle when he picks up the butter dish and asks if its for hotdogs. We smile at one another and his hand wraps around mine taking the scanner out of my grasp and replacing it with his hand.

    "I didn't think this would be fun." he leans over and whispers in my ear. "but its not so bad, where to next?"

    "I think, the bathroom, is the next department" I say stepping into the aisle and leaning forward to the left, genuflecting to fix some desk lamps on the end cap, I laugh we've spent the last 3 days with the priest discussing the liturgy of the big day, will we genuflect, what will be sung, said or chanted, I look up at him and smile patiently waiting for him to realize what I've done.

    But he is gone, off paying attention to the little details, He seems enthralled by the blue and white stitching on the bath sheets. He is such a stickler for detail.

    We are getting our house in order, after years of living in dorm rooms, crummy apartments, and with hand-me-down dishes we are going to have our choice of matching plates. Is it normal to have plates that match the drapes, which match the dishes?