One-word Prompt: Storm

This one is almost too easy considering a beast of a storm ripped through the St. Louis area just last night. While we did get crazy high winds at home that tried to rearrange all the flowers and plants on our front porch we didn’t lose power, unlike nearly 100,000 people in and around the St. Louis area.

Large swaths of destruction could be seen both on my evening commute yesterday and my morning one today primarily comprised downed branches and piles of leaves, sticks and trash but there were some major incidents of property damage as well. Some trees snapped nearly in half and one fell over this house only a few blocks north of mine.

housetree

There were several HUGE old trees downed in and near Forest Park. Sad to see such majesty felled so easily. And the property damage continued as some unfortunate citizen had gambled on a parking spot and lost.

cartree

Storms are always prevalent during the Summer months in the Midwest but it sure seems they’ve grown in intensity over the last year. Thankfully my friends and family are all safe today after Mother Nature’s wrath but She’ll be back. She always comes back.

This post was in response to The Daily Prompt.

Storm

100 Word Challenge: Dream

The suits milled about, oddly calm, the rumbling sounds of thunder and a mild tremor underfoot creating only a low murmur of concerned voices. The bank of windows, darkened by night and driving rain lit up with intermittent streaks of lightning casting erratic, jerking shadows across the floor.

As pairs began to form, a ladder carrier with a rope holder, and the suits streamed up to the roof for rescue, I began to panic. Every pairing seemed to come together slightly faster than I could move. Every suit made it out of the now crumbling building but me. I died.

 

100 Word Challenge

Using “dream” for inspiration, write 100 Words, no more, no less, then link back to this post, or leave your submission in the comment section. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow wordsters.

This Just Stinks

Standing now, shaking flecks of plaster and brick from his hair, Max walked tentatively toward the gaping hole where once the elevator doors stood, mindful of the rubble strewn across the hallway. There was no sign of Ralphie, or the cop, or the dark, hooded figures…

Did he remember that correctly? Had there truly been dark, hooded figures in the hallway? The last day or so melted in his memory like so much rainwater streaming down the windowpanes of his friend’s apartment building. A ringing persisted in his left ear, bothersome that.

A crowd of startled faces appeared from Ralphie’s open doorway behind Max. Various neighbors on the floor began filing out, a quiet rumble of questions and exclamations emanating from them as they gathered, transfixed by the aftermath of what seemingly was some kind of explosion. Was it terrorists? A gas leak?

Though Max hadn’t invited him, the elderly gentleman from 9A was suddenly at his elbow, peering down the ruined shaft. The scent of oil and burning electrical wires assaulted their senses. The old man muttered, “how positively noisome.”

Max looked at him, blinking.

(This excerpt was prompted by Studio30 Plus. Click through and join us!)

Studio30 Plus

WWW Wednesdays: November 19, 2014

Another fun, weekly prompt from Should Be Reading. Follow along through the link or click the image.

To play, simply answer the following 3 questions in your post and be sure to add a link in the comments over at the original page.

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 I’m currently reading and just about to finish The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson. Pick it up and get to know the Fangs, you’ll enjoy the ride.

 I just finished The Long War, by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter, the second book in the “Long Earth” series. If you’re familiar with Pratchett’s “Discworld” series you’ll recognize a few of his nuances, but this is something completely different. You don’t need to know anything about his other work to enjoy it but read The Long Earth first.

 Next up will be Happy Hour in Hell, by Tad Williams, the second Bobby Dollar book. It’s got everything you’d expect in a book set in the underworld, plus some characters you wouldn’t. Dollar being one of them. Buckle up, because Bobby doesn’t really use the brakes. Again, I’d suggest reading the previous book before jumping into this one. Not for the faint of heart, just sayin’.

Teaser Tuesday Nov. 18, 2014

This is a fun, weekly prompt that I lucked onto some time ago and I’m trying to be more consistent in my posting so I wanted to include it again, and hopefully will continue to do so moving forward. You can click the image above to get to the original site or use the following link:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I’m currently reading The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. This excerpt is from page 120:

“Okay,” Mr. Fang said, sweeping the tray off the table, dumping it into the trash. “This little experiment is over. Let’s go home.”

The Family Fang

 

 

WWW Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Should be Reading’s weekly prompt encourages us to share the books we’re experiencing. It’s become a fun way for me to find new things for my shelf.

WWW_Wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Wolf in White Van Right now I’m thoroughly enjoying Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle. Survival, fantasy, sometimes dark and uncomfortable. I highly recommend it.

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings I just finished Fluke, by Christopher Moore. I thought I’d read all his novels but found this one by chance, thank goodness. He’s hysterically funny, and with the kind of edge I like in my laughs.

The City & the City The City & The City, by China Mièville is what I’m planning to dive into once I finish Wolf. It’s been on my list for over a year now, and I think that’s long enough. I can’t remember why I added this, but it was probably suggested by a reader friend. He’s a “fantastic fiction” author from the UK, and I’m pretty sure that’s in the “fantasy” sense of the word.

Happy reading to you!

Blogging 101: Make Your “About” Page Irresistible

Today’s assignment: create and publish your About page, and adapt it for a widget on your home page.

The “what” of my blog has always been a bit hard to pin down, as I’ve not been ready to commit to any one genre or topic. It’s been a potluck- just whatever I decided to bring on any given day, often based on prompts found on other blogs and websites.

Who I am, on the other hand, is fairly simple to present, and I’ve had my About Me page published for as long as I can remember. Thanks to this assignment from Blogging 101 through The Daily Post I’ve made changes to my page that more accurately reflect current conditions. It was sorely out-dated.

Thanks again for reading.

Blogging 101: Love Your Theme!

This is a fun exercise from Blogging 101:

Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you first chose. Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.

I’ve been using Piano Black for quite a while and I’ve really liked it. Maybe I was long overdue for a change but regardless, I’ve not taken much time to look and see what’s out there so this was a great nudge in a positive direction for me.

Here’s what I chose to look at today:

“1. Pick something that speaks to you.”

The simple but bold look of Flounder stood out to me. I also was instantly drawn to take a look at Eighties (though yes, it was near the top of the list and so easy to choose quickly.) Another was Bushwick, for the (radically different, for me) layout with the large cover image.

“2. Consider your content.”

I don’t rely heavily on images but I do like to include some kind of media in my posts whenever possible. The content of my posts is what matter most to me, so I ended up going with a theme I felt brings that to the forefront.

“3. Think about your priorities.”

I’m a huge fan of customization, so that played an important role in my choice. I like the freedom to add and change things around if I want to, even if I don’t do it. In the past it seemed very important to me to have all the things in the sidebar but I’ve decided it would be better for people to focus on the posts themselves.

Ultimately, I chose to change my Theme, feeling it was indeed time for a different look. The black background of Piano was elegant, but also dark, and I’m definitely feeling like my life is brighter these days, and moving in a happier, lighter direction. Current hardships feel more like temporary challenges than simply a way of life. I hope you’ll keep reading and enjoy the update as much as I do.

Blogging 101: Dream Reader

I’ve got a little catching up to do, missed yesterday’s post so this will be 1 of 2 for Friday.

Yesterday Blogging 101 asked us to:

publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Maybe this post will serve two purposes. I can publish this post for my “dream reader” by asking for some feedback. I probably have multiple types of readers and various industry specific people I’d love to have reading my blog such as publishers, magazine editors, and anyone directly involved with the St. Louis Blues.

At a very basic level though, I’m interested in interaction with my readers, so with this post asking a question I hope I’ll find that. Leave answers and feedback in the Comment section below and I’ll be a better blogger for it. Thanks!

Now, I’ve included many different elements in my blog posts over the last few years. Videos, images, embedded music, quotes, and even Tweets. I don’t Pinterest so I can’t put any Pins in a post, and I’m not sure what else I could include.

What’s something new I could include in my posts?

Blogging 101: Saying “Hi!”

The 3rd assignment in the Blogging 101 class is to make some new friends:

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.

Community has become a big part of why I blog- to meet other like-minded writers and share stories, tips, and generally find folks who want to discuss the matters of the day. You can see my blog roll to the right of my page, and to stay true to the course I’ve added 5 more today. I’ve also written briefly on a daily prompt below, from The Daily Post:

Happy Radars

I’m usually a pretty good judge of the temperature of a room. If you’re reading this and know me and disagree, please say so in the comments! Do we (collectively) tend to put on a “good face” when we’re unhappy or feeling low? Yes. I can almost always tell when that smile is hiding sadness or anger.
Maybe because a large part of my job involves listening to people talk, listening for clues and cues as to their wants and needs, but I can usually hear the underlying sentiment even when it’s being sugar-coated outwardly. Can I read minds? Of course not, but I’m a very empathetic person.
Unfortunately, I seem to be able to communicate far more eloquently through the written (typed!) word than in face-to-face conversation, but that’s probably a topic for another chat. Or maybe for a therapist 😉