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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


welcome readers & writers!  thank you, Chuck Galle, for writing with me yesterday. 
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here's today's photo prompt and my spin on it.  writers, i'd love to read your take on the photo: short story, poem or creative non-fiction.  just click on comments below to share!
Paul likes to whittle. Each day, after his coffee (cream, no sugar), and his toast (honey, no butter) he takes a seat in his workshop. With the radio buzzing away he picks up a block of wood and whittles it, chisels it, fashions it, sands it into something beautiful. His favorite project is toys, baby rattles especially. For years he watched his kids, and then his grandkids, play with plastic monstrosities: loud, gaudy, annoying things. Back then Paul wasn't woodworking yet. He was working, though. Eighteen hours a day in his restaurant. And all for what, he asks himself sometimes. No, often. All for what? He worked until he was too old to work anymore. None of his kids wanted to take over the business, and he wasn't about to make them. He wanted them to be happy. So he sold. And, after twenty-five years of constant motion, he went crazy for awhile - trying to learn golf, follow soap operas, and work the Sudoku puzzles on the daily calendar his grandkids gave him for Christmas. Gardening helped, but winter months were long. One day he decided to clean out his already spotless cellar, and he came across some two-by-fours left over from a fence project. Something about the swirly, fingerprint-like grain of the wood called to him. He dug up his old swiss army knife that day and whittled a whistle. No matter that it didn't actually whistle in the end. He went to bed happier that night than he had for years. That's how it started. That's how Paul came back to life again.
come write with me!        


  1. There are no broken pieces in God's plan.

    Everyone was worried about Shawn. He was very small as a child. He didn't eat right. He was slow to walk, slow to talk, and socially awkward.

    Even in our family he made people uncomfortable. Often times my sister would tell me how he "hit on her" at family functions, "He's our cousin for goodness sakes," she would say. "He just weirds me out. I wish I knew what was wrong with him."

    My mother told me once, that he had some liver disorder which made him brittle, or maybe it was an immune disorder, or something more simple like hemophilia. I don't remember and after that one time she didn't want to talk about it again. No one talks about how Shawn is different. But that doesn't explain the social awkwardness. Nor does it explain why he went to a "special" school.

    A few years ago my Aunt Patty finally admitted that Shawn was different. After he repeated a few years of Catholic school and her younger son Derek was about to pass Shawn, she pulled him out of St Francis and brought him to the trade school. But Shawn was still odd.

    He fit in at the trade school, he made friends and even had a girl friend for a while. But when he graduated there wasn't a job for him. He started working at the Home Depot, but he wasn't cut out to be a floor person. He had no interpersonal skills. He would be helping someone find paint, and just walk away when he got to the lumber department and start "smelling" the wood. He was rescheduled soon after. He started working the graveyard shifts, as a stock boy.

    When he saved up enough money, be bought a lathe. Like the one he had in trade school, he was so proud of it, that he brought me out to his shed on thanksgiving and showed me how it worked. I didn't care, but he was so pleased that I smiled and nodded as he showed me how he could make a spindle for a stair rail.

    By that christmas, his oldest sister had had his first nephew, Conner. Shawn, was beaming when I saw him at our family gift exchange. He was looking at Conner, who had his hands wrapped around a teeney tiny rattle, not even 2 inches long. He was so proud. I asked him where he bought that beautiful toy. He didn't say anything, but grabbed my hand, drug me out to the shed and showed me a stack of rattles, different sizes stacked upon his bench.

    I smiled at him, and grabbed his hand and walked him across the snow. I realized then that Shawn wasn't as awkward as I had thought.