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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Magic Bath

Here’s my contribution to Jenny Matlock’s meme, Saturday Centus. Not familiar with this themed writing exercise? Click on the Saturday Centus link above and find out all about it. And don’t forget to check out Jenny’s on my tangent... She’s a wonderful writer. Please take time to read all the entries. You will find some very clever little stories.

This week's prompt is “The white-bearded fat man rolled through the church doors...”

Here is my little story:

The white-bearded fat man rolled through the church doors and tumbled like a red snowman all the way down to the feet of Baby Jesus. The preacher helped Santa to his feet and got a whif of what must have been rum.

“Welcome, Santa. What brings you to church on Christmas Eve when you have rounds to complete?”

The Schlottmans had egg nog instead of milk, and I’m afraid I overserved myself. Do you have any coffee?”

“We have Holy Water. Let me sprinkle your forehead and you’ll be good as new.”

“How’d it go?” asked the elves.

“I wanted coffee, but he gave me a bath. Let’s go.”

© cj Schlottman 12/25/10

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Elves Rule @ Small Stores and Stuff

Here’s my contribution to Jenny Matlock’s meme, Saturday Centus. Not familiar with this themed writing exercise? Click on the Saturday Centus link above and find out all about it. And don’t forget to check out Jenny’s on my tangent... She’s a wonderful writer. Please take time to read all the entries. You will find some very clever little stories.

This week's prompt is
“Dad has ruined everything. What was he thinking? OMG! Elves are soooo 2009..."

Elves Rule

The rehearsal party was in full swing, and the air was festive with Christmas music from the grand piano in the library. Trays of drinks and hors d'oeuvre were being passed by butlers dressed as elves.

The future bride came in with her fiancé and stomped over to her mother.

“Dad has ruined everything. What was he thinking? OMG! Elves are soooo 2009..."

At that, she looked up and spied Santa Claus at the piano. He winked at her and she rushed over.

“My dear,” he said. “Elves are forever, and so am I.

Then he disappeared into thin air.

© cj Schlottman

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday @ Small Stories and Stuff

Here’s my contribution to Jenny Matlock’s meme, Saturday Centus. Not familiar with this themed writing exercise? Clint on the Saturday Centus link above and find out all about it. And don’t forget to check out Jenny’s on my tangent... She’s a wonderful writer. Please take time to read all the entries. You will find some very clever little stories.

I snooped in the back of his closet, having struck out in all of his usual hiding places. My birthday present had to be here somewhere. An involuntary gasp of shock escaped my lips when I opened the shoe box and saw the pointy-toed strappy Jimmy Choos with 4 inch heels.

I envisioned us dancing at the Wellington’s Christmas party and began to configure the proper outfit in my mind. A little black dress and my ruby and diamond earrings and pendant. Perfect.

Unable to stop myself, I pulled the shoes out and tried them on. Two sizes too small! That cheating #@&*%$^!!!

Wait ‘til his birthday comes along................

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Christmas Elf @ Small Stories and Stuff - The Truth

Before I publish my second Saturday Centus of the week, a word of explanation is in order. My son, Parrish, is 41 and suffers from schizoaffective disorder. The simplest way to explain it is to say it is an unfortunate combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. You will find the first post here.


She wanted a happy ending so fantasized one. The last paragraph was a lie. The lights were so overwhelming that he sat and cried. They went back to the attic.

The weekend was a series of intermittent confusion and hallucinations and perseverations about every conceivable subject. He wept often, woke her in the night for coffee and company. At Wal-Mart, he spoke only Spanish. He sat in the kitchen while she made chocolate mousse and jambalaya.

Today he was eager to go “Home.” His safe place is no longer with her.

Her heart is shattered.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Christmas Elf @ Small Stories and Stuff

Saturday Centus again already! Most of you now the rules, but if you need to know more, visit Saturday Centus, the brain child of Jenny Matlock, whose blog, “ on my tanget” is a must for good reading and great ideas. She has other memes, too!

This week’s prompt is, "The bin of tangled up holiday lights..." We have 100 words, not including the prompt, to write a little story around the prompt. Since it is a writing exercise, I put myself on a timer and usually give myself an hour to complete my entry. How you handle it is, of course, up to you.

Here is my take on this week’s prompt. You will find it in italics.


Having her son for a weekend is like inviting a bear to a picnic. Disorganized and distracted by his disease, he forgot to bring warm clothes. The kitchen counter around the coffee maker feels like super glue, and he he obsessing about what he will wear - to Wal-Mart.

At 5:30 AM, she found him on the deck in shorts, no shoes, and a tee shirt smoking a cigarette. Temperature 35º.

But when she pulled the bin of tangled up holiday lights from the attic, he set to work and systematically straightened each strand. She plopped a Santa hat on his head and smiled a mother’s smile.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Horrorscopes Make Her Cranky

Well, Jenny over at Saturday Centus has “done done it agin,” as we say in the Deep South. With the help of Clearspace, she has come up with a writing prompt with a twist. If you are unfamiliar with Saturday Centus, just click on the link above to learn the rules.

You know those horoscopes in newspapers? One of those will be our prompt for this week. We are to pic one randomly from a paper or a web site and write a story using the usual <100 words about the kind of day that horoscope "predicts". When you have linked up your contribution and read the others, be sure to visit Jenny at on my tangent. Please try to read all the entries and give some feedback. That’s what a blogging community is all about, and you will see some very smart, original writing there.

I am and Aries, whatever that means, and I got mine from a web site called and here it is:

Saturday, November 27 2010

You may have noticed that your old zest is back and your social life is picking up--you will seek out new people, maybe even a new job. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) satisfies a deep emotional need. A new cycle begins for you, signaling a greater than usual interest in relationships, social connections and the arts. A family squabble helps to show off your problem-solving abilities. You are able to see both sides of an issue. The situation calls for understanding and compromise. Marriage and other close relationships come to your attention today as you express your appreciation for other people in your life. This is a time to enjoy and appreciate your ties to others, and to seek and promote harmony.

What am I supposed to do with that, and in less than 100 words, to boot? This will take some thought, but my on-call day has been quiet so far, so maybe I will get it done today.

Here goes:

Horrorscopes Make Her Cranky

Her “old zest” having turned rancid the day before Thanksgiving with the return of profound depression, cj certainly disputed the first sentence. Not her. Ditto the garbage about “greater than usual” interests. She was satisfied with the ones she had.

A family squabble? Happened weeks ago when she
admonished her stepchildren to “Be Nice or Leave” on family night - AKA the Jerry Springer Show.

Marriage? After only 18 months, she still felt very married to her late husband.

Who ARE these people?

She decided to climb back into bed and pull the covers over her head.

© cj Schlottman

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chalice of Hope


Give Thanks

Today is Friday, which means it is Six Word Fridays at Melissa’s Making Things Up. To learn how it all works, visit her Six Word Fridays info page.

This week’s prompt, “Give Thanks,” is a hard one for me this Thanksgiving season. I almost skipped it altogether. My depression, after lurking beneath the surface for a couple of months, has manifested itself in a great sadness in me. To illustrate, here is a link to my last post, Cupcakes.

It is hard for me to be grateful when I am so bogged down in my heart and my spirit and my soul. However, this morning, I read a post by Christine over at Hope Despite Depression in which she states that she is grateful for her depression. I am not grateful for this black cloud, but Christie inspired me to search my soul for reasons to be grateful.

So here goes.

Chalice of Hope

A blue sky through a veil
of tears still lights the earth
and sea, creates a backdrop
across which birds soar and butterflies
flit from flower to flower, dancing
in the wind on their rounds.

Sad dog eyes, soft pawings of
concern still carry utter belief in me
soothe my wounds, stop the bleeding.

A tear stained face can still
reflect hope of climbing from the
pit into light, escaping the chill
of frozen hopes into warm sunshine.

A fractured heart holds the possibiity
of mending, pieces melding once more
to weld it, cracked and crooked,
into a chalice filled with hope.

© cj Schlottman

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving at Small Stories and Stuff


"Pardon me," said Tom T. Urkee..."

That’s this week’s prompt from Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus. Trot on over to her site by clicking on the Saturday Centus link above to learn all about it. You will find a diverse community of talented and supportive writers. Be sure to read all of the posts. If you don’t, you’ll no doubt miss something really good. Also, check out Jenny’s on my tangent. She’s a great writer.

My take on this week’s prompt:

Sitting in the Corner Café, the group spoke of Thanksgiving - where they would be, who they would see, the most dreaded relative who would attend.

They chewed on toast and drank coffee, and the conversation died away as they lost themselves in thought.

"Pardon me," said Tom T. Urkee, as he waddled to the table. “May I sit down?” He perched on a chair, and the conversation once more sprang to life.

“We were discussing Thanksgiving. You know, the holiday we love to hate.”

“Jeez, folks,” gobbled Tom. How the heck do you think I feel? I’m on the menu.”

© cj Schlottman

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Early November - 11/17/10

Well, here I am again, entering my Saturday Centus on Wednesday. On call all weekend, then two drives to Atlanta for concerts. Enough excuses. As most of you know, Saturday Centus is one Jenny Matlock’s many ingenious writing exercises. If you aren’t familiar with it, please click on her Saturday Centus link above and learn how to become a participant. You will find a community of great - if somewhat disturbed - (and you know who you are [Tom] ) writers. Please read and comment on all the posts. You will find some fine writing and want to join in yourself! And be sure to check out Jenny's Blog, off on my tangent....

This week’s prompt from Jenny is:
"The early November sunshine cast golden rays..."
Here is my conribution. The prompt is in italics.

Early November at Small Stories and Stuff

The early November

sunshine cast golden rays

on the creek, shone amber,

glinted on the marsh grass.

Tide running low, dolphins

rolled their way back to sea

in the afternoon glow.

Great Blue Herons took flight

soaring to their roosting

trees across the expanse

of waving fingers of gold.

In flocks, Egrets joined in

winging their way home.

The sun shone its last sparks

of light, dropped beneath

the horizon, seeking

its own resting place.

© cj Schlottman

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Poor Ole Abe @ Small Stories and Stuff


Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus prompt for this week is: "Abraham Lincoln was a lot shorter than I thought he would be...” To learn all about Saturday Centus, the rules, and to read the other posts, just click on the button on my sidebar or on Saturday Centus above. You won’t be disappointed!

Jenny hamstrung us a little by limiting our posts, not including the prompt, to 50 words instead of the usual 100. I suppose it’s her Halloween “Trick” for us!

Poor Ole Abe

"Abraham Lincoln was a lot shorter than I thought he would doubt because he had been hounded, hammered, harangued, pummeled, persecuted, punished, disturbed, drummed, denigrated, disparaged, downgraded, deprecated, dismissed, rattled, ruffled, trivialized, traduced, minimized, maligned, battered, berated and, yes, belittled by Mary Todd.”

© cj schlottman

Friday, October 29, 2010

Just Once More

It’s Friday, time for Six Word Fridays over at Making Things Up. Melissa prompt this week is “treat.” As usual, I have written a poem with six-word lines. This week, I am adding a link to My Poems.

Just Once More - 10/29/10

Treat me to one more kiss
soft lips, sweet breath of dying.
Give to me one more touch
fingers tracing my face, my shoulders.
Treat me to your belly laugh
dissolve me into tears with it.
Wash my back again, water warm,
gentle caresses down to my spine.
Lie with me naked in your
arms, legs pulled up to fit
the curve of mine as silent
tears flow down my cheeks, knowing
you are leaving me, taking the
air from the room as you
love me with tender words, whispering
“Darling, its been a great ride.”

© cj Schlottman

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nuts! @ Small Stories and Stuff

This is my take on Jenny's Matlock's Saturday Centus prompt for the week. To read all the rules and join in, just click on the her button on my sidebar. Also, treat yourself to a trip over to her blog, on my tangent

This week's prompt: "This is the scariest story I've ever heard..." You will find it in bold italics.


“Good Lord, Hazel, Macadamia Plantation is down to one bed - The Filbert Suite. I’ve been trying to save it for a VIP, perhaps Jumbo Cashew, but it being Halloween, it looks like we are going to have to give it to Peanut.”

“He’s delusional, thinks the folks over at Skippy are after him and his family to make peanut butter. They’re a large group, so they would make a nice jarful.”

“He needs medication. I gave him some Trazabone, and he turned into a skeleton and hung himself from an IV pole, clacked his teeth and said ‘Nuts’!”

“Now, this is the scariest story I've ever heard."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Enough of This Blasted Cast

It’s six word fridays time again, and once more, I’m showing up on time. Melissa at "Making Things Up" gives us a prompt each Friday and with it we may use only six words to say what we want - or, and this is what I usually do - write a poem or essay using only six words per line. This week’s prompt is “enough,” so here goes............(sob)


enough of this right wrist cast

now my thumb is set free

only I still have a blasted

uncomfortable, ugly, bulky cast to wear

getting in my way, making me

hate to type - my favorite thing

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trick or Treat @ Small Stories and Stuff

This is my take on Jenny's Saturday Centus prompt for the week. To read all the rules and join in, just click on the her link above. This week's prompt?
"Trick or treat!" they shouted as the door opened.

The old man, in black tie and tails, stooped over his Steinway, bony fingers floating over the keyboard. He played his favorite Chopin Etude, Opus 10, #4. It was Halloween, and he hated those little intruders.

The doorbell rang and Hazel shuffled to the door.

"Trick or treat!" they shouted as the door opened.

As they packed themselves into the foyer, the old man had an idea.

“Come in,” he said. “Have a seat on the sofa before Hazel dispenses the candy.”

“Here is your real treat.” He addressed the piano and played the etude, chuckling under his breath, “This will teach you little buggers to ring my bell.”

Friday, October 15, 2010

favorite things @ Small Stories and Stuff

it’s six word fridays time again, and for a change, i’m showing up on time. melissa at "Making Things Up" gives us a prompt each friday and with it we may use only six words to say what we want - or, and this is what i usually do - write a poem or essay using only six words per line. this week’s prompt is “favorite things,” so here goes............

funny crooked smiles------sweet puppy breath

angelic baby faces------pink awareness ribbons

verdant spring lawns------crisp autumn days

old people laughing------young people playing

rich chocolate truffles------ruffled linen blouses

incandescent light bulbs------warm summer sun

tender loving kisses------our angels unaware

every beatles song------wind chimes singing

timeless vintage dresses------fresh cut grass

happy intact families------secrets kept secret

innocent baby kittens------grandmas in swimsuits

new eye make-up------wal-mart super stores

green-eyed men------my two dogs

simple country food------all my readers

If I had a hammer...@ Small Stories and Stuff

well, it’s thursday night, and i’m just getting around to my favorite meme, saturday centus. as most of you know, each week jenny matlock over at off on my tangent provides us with a prompt, from which we create a story - or poem - of 100 words or less, not counting the prompt. you may use the prompt anywhere in the piece, but it must remain intact. to join in, just click on the saturday centus link above or use the button my sidebar.

this week’s prompt? “if i had a hammer.....”

why, i cannot say, but this prompt gives me trouble here’s my best shot. you will find the prompt in italics.

If I had a hammer, I could fix this,” Jane declared to the empty room, staring disgustedly at the bent door jamb . “Blast those movers. Scratched my piano while they were at it.”

Jane, of course, did have a hammer, somewhere in the stacks of boxes in the garage, piled so high she could not reach them without climbing on a ladder.

“I told them it was just me, to stack them low. cretins!”

Running her hand through her hair, she thought, “Best I can’t find the hammer, I’d just take it over to The Cheater’s house and bash him in the head with it.”

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fantasy @ Small Stories and Stuff

six word fridays - 10/09/10

DISCLAIMER: writing today with cast on right wrist and hand so ‘scuse the lack of form - please

okay, okay. broke my wrist while out dancing with some crazy friends the other night - doing the twist down low - lost my balance and caught myself on right wrist - three cracked bones and a bright pink breast cancer awareness cast!

now, back to the business at hand. melissa, mistress of six word fridays, has chosen “fantasy” for our prompt this week. as usual i am late to the party, but here goes:


feeling pretend feelings in my heart

anticipating dreams waiting to come true

needing to escape the real world

to write stories in my head

and watch them grow, become sure

solid and emerge from the mist

you all know as my mind

© cj Schlottman

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"A 30 Sentence Kid In The Front Row Story, by 28 Authors."

I've been tagged! Now this is an interesting concept. Kat at Emptynester created a meme started by The Kid in the Front Row which is called "A 30 Sentence Kid In The Front Row Story, by 28 Authors." Want to see the rules? Click here.

Basically, the "Kid" starts and ends the story. The rest of us complete it one sentence at a time. So without further ado, here is my contribution at #12. I am honored to have been tagged by my friend Jeff Campbell at Mississippi Mud Bug, and I am tagging Sue at Sue's News, Views 'n Muse to contribute sentence #13.

1. Jane never expected to visit Belarus, but it was the only possible solution after what had happened.

2. Her lonely planet guide had advised her that it was a great place for birdwatching- so she packed her binoculars- Todd would have been proud, had he not been lying in a coma.

3. Poor Todd; Jane remembered the incident so well: he had spotted a rare long-whiskered owlet, had ran out into the street to snap a photo, and had thusly been hit by an ice cream truck.

4. Except the ice cream truck was actually a roasted salmon!

5. Upon seeing this strange occurrence, a Portuguese fisherman who happened to be standing on the other side of the street (and who was also, coincidentally, the resident expert on salmon) ran to scene and called 911, prompting Todd's speedy - albeit smelly - rescue.

6. Naturally, Jane was distraught over the entire salmon/ice-cream truck affair , moreover considering that she was the one who had wanted the photo of that owlet; they were both avid birdwatchers, but she was particularly fond of the owlet.

7. She had gone off owlets since then, and as she checked into the little hotel by the river, she wondered if she could find solace in the azure tit, a beautiful bird that, while easily spotted and hardly rare, at least had a name that sometimes made her giggle.

8. Surrounded by beautiful little azure tits as she wrote in her journal to un-bird-en herself of thoughts of fish, and fowl, and Todd (who was slowly recovering, and would join her soon); and as room service arrived with her vegetarian plate; her phone vibrated, signaling a text....

9. Alas, the careful study of azure tits would have to wait as an urgent text message from the manager of the treatment center where Todd was hospitalized informed her that something truly extraordinary was happening to him

10. Please return to hospital stat - patient awake, agitated, requesting nurse to masticate and regurgitate his dinner - wings noted sprouting from back, need your expertise in birds ASAP!

11. When I returned to the hospital and Todd's room, I was shocked to find that his nurse was a female member of The Blue Man Group.

12. She had a bowl of Froot Loops soaking in milk dyed blue and was layering them carefully on Todd's wings, feathering them smoothly while intermittently tossing handsful of the colorful orbs against the wall and screaming the lyrics to Blue Bayou and muttering "Great Blue Heron, oh, Great Blue Heron."


















30. The three of them left as quickly as they could and vowed never to return again, especially if Jane was in town.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Can you believe it? I'm posting my Saturday Centus on Sunday! Most of you know the rules, but if you need a tutorial, check out the Saturday Centus button on my sidebar. This week, Jenny changed things up a bit by giving us a photo for our prompt. I like the concept. Good on you, Jenny, for thinking it up! Also, don't fail to to visit Jenny Matlock's very cool blog, Off On My Tangent.

Pumpkins @ Small Stories and Stuff - 10/03/10

Golden soldiers in slack formation
wait to be loaded, packed into trucks
carted to markets, fall festivals,
to be inspected, chosen or not
for bundling into minivans for
the trip to death row, the carving knife
waiting on the kitchen counter.

Cut them, gut them, bake them into pies.
Purée the pulp to polished pudding
spiced with cinnamon, sugar of brown.
Bake them in crunchy crusts with sugared
rims, slice them into silken servings,
flavor of fall.

Or make them jack-’o-lanterns, creepy
as clowns, eerie carved-out orange orbs
candle flames flickering through triangled
eyes, snaggle-toothed grins, freaky frowns.

© cj Schlottman

Friday, October 1, 2010

For the Record @ Small Stories and Stuff

10/01/10 - Six Word Fridays

Well, for the first time in a long time, I am on time for Six Word Fridays! This week’s prompt from Melissa’s great Friday writing exercise is for the record. We participants may use just six words to express what the prompt means to us, or, as I usually do, we can write a poem using six-word lines. Click on Melissa’s name above to get all the rules and join in. You’ll like it here.

My Contribution:

For the record, if there were
no record, we would all have
nothing to report or to dispute
or to agree with or not.

For the record, my record may
not match yours or your neighbor’s.
We may see the same thing
and not see it the same
at all, no, not at all.

For the record, records are made
to be broken or at least
cracked or weakened so a breaking
is possible and a new one
stationed atop the world of records.

For the record, I am sixty-two
and refuse to act my age
and wear sensible shoes, opting instead
for cute little heels with pointy
toes that peek from the hems
of my “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans.”

For the record, I just cooked
the most incredible pot of shrimp
risotto with red pepper flakes and
a touch of honey just for
me and my girlfriends - no men.

For the record, I plan to
spend Sunday afternoon in my bed
with my friends and drink wine
and eat snacks and watch TV
shows just for girls like us.

For the record, my life is
good and filled with love and
craziness and a zany man-friend
who holds the record of being
the craziest person I ever knew.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday @ Small Stories and Stuff

Here I am again, late, very late to Saturday Centus. After missing last week altogether, I did catch up on all the posts from last week, so now I can write my own for this week and begin to read yours.

The rules are simple, but in case you’re new to Jenny Matlock’s brain child, just click on her name in the first paragraph to learn the rules. There is also a button on my sidebar that will take you to her,

This week’s prompt is, "He never dreamed when he blew out the candles on his cake..." After a lengthy shopping trip a few days ago, I am keenly tuned into the obesity in our population. More than half the people I encountered were significantly overweight and many held the hands of rotund kids. These people are killing themselves and creating a legacy of illness and early death for their children, and it worries me. So, forgive my rather moribund take on this prompt. The prompt is in bold italics.

He never dreamed when he blew out the candles on his cake that the room would grow dim, he would feel the weight on an elephant on his chest and collapse into his chair, sucking air and wondering if he where were dying.

“Call 911 and get him an aspirin,” his mother screeched in horror.

He opened his eyes to a circle of concerned faces, wishing he had the breath to tell them to back away and stop stealing his air.

Paramedics moved him to a stretcher, gave him some oxygen and carted him to the bus to stabilize him.

“How many candles on that cake?”


“No pulse. Let’s get busy.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Listening at Small Stories and Stuff


Listen. Now there’s a great prompt for Melissa’s “Six Word Friday’s” blog hop! I’ve been absent but with a good excuse - work with overtime. Things are settling down now, so I am back to try to catch up. I am so sorry to not have been able to read and comment on the wonderful posts that this exercise generates. I have some days off, just maybe I can once more become an interactive member of this group.

So, what is it that I
listen for on these first few
days of fall? The rustle of
leaves, the last chatter of my
summer Hummers as they, busy bulking
up for their winter migration, continue
to empty the feeder almost daily.
The anxious animated sounds of the
paws of my dogs as they
scramble into the morning cool, rushing
to pee so they can come
inside and crunch a treat then
hop again into my soft bed
for an extra hour or two
of sleep in the dreamy coolness
under our fan on these rare
mornings when work does not call.
Honey. Belle. Me. Happy. It’s good.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grandpa Comes to Visit

Better late that never, as the old cliché goes. I’m late to Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus party, but I hope there’s a glass of wine for this tired nurse. This is my favorite meme because it challanges us to distill our words down, which makes them more powerful, gives them more density. Each week Jenny gives us a prompt, and from that prompt we are to write a 100 word story, not including the prompt itself. You will find the Saturday Centus button on my sidebar. Click on over and read some good stuff. (If you're not too late)!

This week’s prompt: it was a dark and stormy night

Here’s what I did with it. The prompt is in italics.

It was a dark and stormy night,
lightening flashing, thunder crashing,
windows rattling, our teeth chattering.
We hid under the bed, clutching
one another like life savers
my brother and I.

The front door flew open, banging
against the foyer wall. Wind swept
through the hall that bisected our
antebellum home just yards from
the rising river.

Afraid to come out of hiding
lest we be swept away by the
howling wind, we clung together
with new energy.

An eerie quiet fell on the
house. We stared into each other’s
eyes, sighing, palpably relieved

“Grandpa’s finally gone.
We can go out now.”

“You sure? I’m still scared.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

reflections lost


10/06/10 - late again

work and labor day play have me late to the party once again - here is my contribution to six word fridays, written on tuesday. gad. i must do better.
you will find the url for this great meme/blog hop on my sideboard, so click away and come see what it's all about.

reflections lost

transform yourself if you will but
beware of finding a stranger in
the mirror one morning and wondering
where you went - was it the
new friends you sought to be
included on all the right lists?
was it the little work on your
face to erase the lines you
earned back when you were you
the real you, the one with
certainly of purpose and confidence in
who you were? where did I
go you will ask yourself as
you stare at the stranger in
the mirror, no one staring back.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer with cj Continues

Jenny Matlock has done it again, thrown us a slider. This week our assignment is to continue a previous Saturday Centus post - ours or someone else’s - with the usual 100 word limit. Her button is on my sidebar, so check it out. It’s a wonderful writing exercise, and for me this week, a great outlet for anger and frustration and pain.

I am continuing “What I did over my Summer Vacation.” My addition is in bold type. And yes, it is true.

What I did over my Summer Vacation

I went to Miami, not to vacation, but to see to my son, who was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider and nearly lost his hand. I got calls from the mental hospital where he went because he started hearing voices again.

I began my job with Hospice, and after two weeks, I was tossed from the high dive in to the deep end of the pool - ten patients for me to take over. I sweated and ministered and prayed and was prayed over. I did not drown. I’m still swimming and ready for whatever tomorrow brings.

I am grateful.

As my son heals and readjusts, the crippling heat in Georgia continues, and I spend my work days driving from house to house, seeing to my patients. The full moon brought a spate of deaths, most pain free and serene.

One, though, was an agonal and torturous leaving. Her children refused morphine, accused me of trying to kill her with it, insisted I not enter her room without an appointment.

The anguish on that woman’s face will never leave me. She was dead before we could make an appointment that suited her daughter.

She is at peace. And I’m grateful.

This post is linked to Saturday Centus.

Read more at The Red Sweater.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Late again for Six Word Fridays! Fridays at work are hard, so I rely on Melissa’s patience to allow me to squeeze my entry in on Saturday. She runs this very cool blog hop in which she gives us a word or prompt. We can use six words to say it all, but I am rarely capable of that, so here is a little poem of six word lines. You will find Six Word Fridays on my sideboard, so click on over the join us. It’s a great writing exercise and a wonderful opportunity to network.


Waiting is hard, no one wants
to wait in a queue for
a cab or a ride at
the amusement park when it’s hot.
Waiting for payday is never easy.
Unless, of course you don’t need
the money. Hah! We all need
to pay the bills and feed
the dogs and ourselves and sometimes
have friends for dinner and use
the fancy French coffee maker from
Lyons that entertains the guests as
you finish up with the preparations.
Waiting sucks. Who wants to wait
for a plane that is late
or a bus that cannot be
seen, so far down the street
it is? I wait impatiently every
month for the first Saturday so
I can attend my writer’s workship,
see my precious granddaughter at the
same time. I am not patient.
Well maybe I am patient - occasionally
but not often enough to say
it’s a habit, a good habit.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer with cj

Jenny Matlock hosts Saturday Centus, a writing meme in which we are allowed 100 words to write a little essay or story. Jenny gives us a prompt, and from there, we begin to build our submission for the week. Please click on the Saturday Centus button on my sidebar to join in. You will find some good writing that runs the gamut from silly to serious.

What I did over my Summer Vacation

I went to Miami, not to vacation, but to see to my son, who was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider and nearly lost his hand. I got calls from the mental hospital where he went because he started hearing voices again.

I began my job with Hospice, and after two weeks, I was tossed from the high dive in to the deep end of the pool - ten patients for me to take over. I sweated and ministered and prayed and was prayed over. I did not drown. I’m still swimming and ready for whatever tomorrow brings.

I am grateful.

(Yes, this is true). Read more at The Red Sweater.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MMOM - cj Schlottman

Woops! It’s already Tuesday, and I haven’t yet posted on Java’s great blog hop, Meet Me on Monday. Every Sunday she posts questions for us to answer that might reveal more about ourselves than just what is in our blog posts. It’s a “get acquainted” kind of thing! Her button is on my sidebar, so click on over and join in!

Here are today;s questions and my answers:

1. What is your favorite dessert?
Creme Brulee!

2. What do you wear to bed?
Panties and my late husband’s Red Sweater

3. Do you get regular manicures/pedicures?
Yes! I need pampering - lots of it.

4. Did you play any sports in high school?
Nope. I gave up swimming when I learned
about boys!

5. Do you have an iPod?
I have THREE - Classic, Nano and Shuffle.
I adore gadgets of all kinds, but I
haven’t gotten an iPhone because I’m
addicted to my Blackberry.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Christmas Eve

Saturdays come around so soon these days. Having a JOB has cut into all of my time, but I am determined to make time for Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus, my favorite meme. Each Saturday, Schoolmistress Jenny gives us a prompt around which to write a 100 word story - I have even seen poems - not counting the words in the prompt. The trick is to keep the prompt intact and keep your piece to 100 words. You will find the Saturday Centus button on my side bar, so click on it and become part of this wonderful writing exercise. That’s why we’re all here. Right? We are writers who want to be better writers.

This week’s prompt is:

I listened to them from my perch on the top step and didn't know whether to laugh or to cry...

Here is my post for this week. You will see the prompt in bold letters.

It was after midnight, and my five year old head was spinning. Would he come? Did Santa exist? I thought so, but my brother, Henry, said Santa was made up just to trick little kids.

I heard a sound downstairs and slid out of my bed, cracked my door and squeezed through it into the hall.

“Hang it all, Gladys! I’ll never get this bike put together! Why don’t they write instructions in a language that’s understandable?”

“Shhh, Hank, you’ll wake the kids and Sally won’t believe in Santa.”

I listened to them from my perch on the top step and didn't know whether to laugh or to cry...
so I tiptoed into my room and cried my eyes out.

This post is linked to Saturday Centus.

Friday, August 13, 2010


It’s time again for Six Word Fridays, and I am posting on time this week! This blog hop is hosted by Melissa at Making Things Up, and each week she gives us a word or prompt. The rules are simple. Using six words, or maybe a poem with six word lines, write what the prompt brings to the end of your pen. You will find her URL on my sidebar, so click on over and start taking part! (Read my post first, of course)! If you are a poet or a lover or poetry, please visit me at My Poems. There aren’t a great many there, but I would love to share.

This week’s prompt: “This Much I Know”

I am feeling sad and wounded and my contribution reflects that. I am reminded of the famous quotation from Ernest Hemingway:
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

This Much I Know

My head spins with confusion, angst
has me in a headlock, squeezing
my confidence into tiny bitter pills
that scorch my throat, burn holes
in my stomach as they force
their way into my blood, muscle
skin, now prickled, spiked with pain.

Gone. Forever? I extend my hand
am rebuffed, left alone to feel
my tears trickle, splash against my
seared cheeks, seep into the sides
of my mouth. This much I know.

This Post is Linked to Six Word Fridays

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tell Me More Tuesdays

Today I am introducing another blog hop to Small Stories and Stuff. It’s called Tell Me More Tuesdays, and you will find Traci’s button on my sidebar. It is a great follow-up to Java’s Meet me on Monday. Like Java, Traci gives a series of questions that are are intended to help us get to know one another better. Read my answers first, of course! Then click over to join the hop.

?s for 8/9 are:
1. Can you swim?
Yes. I swam competitively until I was 14 - backstroke and breaststroke. I held a regional record in Georgia for girls 15 and under for years!

2. Is telling a lie ok?
No. I just broke up with my friend-boy because I found out what a liar he is. Every time I lie about something, I pay for it, Then, again, sometimes it's okay not to tell the whole truth to spare someone's feelings.

3. Do you have any body piercings?

One hole per earlobe.

4. Are you related to anyone famous?
I am a direct descentant of Robert E. Lee.

5. Do you have any tips on approaching companies about sponsoring reviews and/or giveaways?
No. That is way out of my field! I'm a writer and a nurse and that's about all I can handle.

6. What is the best thing you have ever won?
Over the course of the last ten years, I have won about $6000.00 in a friendly betting pool around the four major golf tournaments! Alas, the owner of the pool retired it. I was the only one who ever one it more than once!

7. Is sex ok before marriage? (I kinda borrowed this one).
Yes. You wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without trying them on, would you?

8. If you borrow something for someone should you return it? And in what shape?
Absolutely! ASAP and in the shape you received it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meet Me On Monday


Gad! Mondays roll around too fast now that I'm working, so I'm posting on Sunday night as a part of Meet Me On Monday, Java’s blog hop that reveals more about us than might be gleaned from our posts. She poses a set of questions for us to answer and these are the ones for tomorrow:

1. Do you watch any Soap Operas?
I watched Guiding Light from the time I was in tenth grade until it went off the air. I was devastated when I lost my soap opera family.

2. What appliance is used the most in your house?
My washer and dryer, followed by my coffee maker. I don’t cook since my husband died, except for very small groups, so I rarely have dirty dishes.

3. Do you wear make-up every day?
Nope. In this heat, it just rolls off my face! Thank goodness I inheritied my mother’s clear skin, and since I have been using Lastisse, my lashes are long and dark, and I have a little stain of eyeliner from the product.

4. What is your worst pet-peeve?
This is not easy, but if I have to choose just one, it’s wild-ass drivers who think they own the road.

5. What is your favorite lunch meat?
I don’t eat lunch meat! I try to eat whole foods, so I mostly eat fruits and veggies. If I eat meat, it has to be cooked by me! (And since I rarely cook any more...........)

Wish I had time to post great photos like Java, but alas, this is the best I can do.

NIce to meet you!

Closer to My Heart

After missing last week's Saturday Centus except for reading others' posts, I a glad to be back. This is my favorite meme, and I am determined that my work schedule not keep me away. Jenny Matlock's prompt this week was, at first, a real puzzler for me, but after I published a post on my blog, The Red Sweater, the meme wrote itself. You will find the Saturday Centus button on my sidebar. Please click and join the wonderful writers you will meet there. Here is my contribution for this week. You will see the prompt in bold letters.

My mind wandered as I drove over country roads, verdant and more lush than to be expected in the incredible August heat wave. Checking my rear view mirror occasionally as I usually do, I saw the small town of Barnesville dissolve in the distance and turned my thoughts back to Jenny’s prompt.

Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear...

I had just left a dying man, having been at his home by a fluke, and I had treated him and taught his family how to help him die.

Yes, objects in my rear view mirror were much closer to my heart than they appeared.

This post is linked to Saturday Centus.

Saturday, July 31, 2010



Here I am again, a day late for Melissa’s fun blog hop, Six Word Fridays. Each Friday, she assigns a word for us to explain or define in six words, and many times we end writing poems with six words per line. It’s a great way to get to know our fellow bloggers, and it’s fun! On my sidebar, you will see Melissa’s URL, so click on it and join us.

This week’s word is “perfection,” and here’s what I did with it.







This post is linked to Six Word Fridays

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Almost Home

Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus is my favorite meme. Each week, Jenny posts a “prompt” around which we are to write a story using only 100 extra words. You can always find her button my my sideboard. This week’s prompt was longer than usual, sixty words, so there was already a style embedded in it. I tried to write in that style, really get outside myself. Did I do it? Can’t tell. You will see the prompt in bold italics.

Almost Home

I organized and packed my things. Did Thomas Wolfe have it right when he wrote, “you can’t go home again?” Twenty years had passed since my high school class graduated and fled Medford for college or jobs in the city. Would many of them attend the reunion?

I tried to make the best of the trip, but driving six hours is a long time on the road. Six hours spent singing car-aoke and taking in the picturesque scenery, but mostly reminiscing about the good times. But those days were long gone and my mind was in a different place now. Or was it? My pulse quickened as I passed the road sign which read "Medford 27 miles."

Good times, really? What about bad times, being labeled a nerd? I sighed to myself. “It’s here, the day you have been dreading, the day you travel back in time.........”

I turn around in a driveway and wasted six more hours on the road.

This post is linked to Saturday Centus

Runaway Words

SWF - A Day Late
As most of you know, Six Word Friday is a writing exercise that grew out of the ample brain of Melissa over at Making Things Up. Each week, she give us a word to ponder and write six words about it or, more often, poems with six words per line. Come join us. It's lots of fun and often inspiring.

Here's my pitiful entry for this week's word, together:

Together, all my words ran away.
Where they are I cannot say
and without them I am blank
stuck searching for them in my
brain so often so filled with
them that they spill theselves out
of my head and travel to
my fingertips on this MacBook keyboard
and speak loudly for themselves. (Sigh).

This post is linked to Making Things Up . Please click on the link in my intro and pay Melissa a visit!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Under My Bed

Is it Monday ALREADY? Java has posted our “Meet Me On Monday” questionnaire, so it must be! Curious about her blog hop? Just click on the “Meet Me On Monday” button in my sidebar............


1. What is your favorite sandwich?

Give me a good ole BLT with home grown tomatoes and crispy bacon, lots of mayo, and put it on untoasted white bread. Maybe I’ll have one for lunch.

2. What is stashed under your bed/mattress?

You’ll find a few pieces of luggage (LV duffles that I bought years ago when it was still affordable - in Paris) and maybe a dust bunny or two. I chase them out every week, but they keep coming back!

3. What is your favorite flower?

Hydrangeas in any color and the camellia called “Betty Sheffield Supreme.” It’s white with pink edges on the blossoms, and it’s oh-so-beautiful. Oh, and I also adore alstroemeria...........any color.

4. What is your favorite magazine?

The New Yorker and sometimes “O.”

5. How often do you weigh yourself?

Every morning. It keeps me on my toes, as I weigh in at the top of the normal range for me. Diet? Try to eat whole foods and stay away from the white stuff - sugar, white flour, salt. (This time of year, when tomatoes are so fresh and juicy, I give myself dispensation for eating some white bread and bacon)!

This Post is linked to "Meet Me On Monday."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Somewhere Under the Rainbow

Here we are with another prompt from Saturday Centus: "Somewhere over the rainbow..." Don't know about "Saturday Centus"? To find out more, please click on the "Saturday Centus" on my sideboard. You'll want to check out "Alphabe-Thursday," another of Jenny Matlock's ingenious memes.

This prompt is a challenge because it evokes so many memories in me. It's difficult be creative when awash with sweet memories. So, here is my little story, not a made up one, a real one. You will see the prompt in bold type. (I promise to do better next week)!


Afternoons on Martinique, rainbows appear, crystalline arches fill sun streaked skies,
colors splash across a blue canvas, glowing and fading each in turn, neon fire flies as dusk descends.

They sit on the balcony of their hotel, condensation droplets lace their martini glasses, and they revel in the quiet. The sun retreats and there are only dark blue skies twinkling with a web of tiny stars.

In his half-step flat tone, he hums “Somewhere over the rainbow...” Their fingers entwine, and she hums along. They move inside, still humming, knowing that what’s under the rainbow that really matters.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It is You or I?

Six Word Fridays - A Day Late

Well, Melissa has given us another word for “Six Word Fridays.”
................and the word is.........”YOU”

Hmmmm, let me see what I can do this this.

It’s about you, or do you
mean I when say, simply, you?
You could mean you, of course
but it’s I who’s the star
of this silly verse about you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Worthy Quotations

Cheap Therapy - July 14, 2010

Like Jennee at Cheap Therapy, I think quotations can be a big part of our lives. Here are three of my favorites:

1. “If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.” - Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton hit the nail on the head with this one. Although I have traveled widely, I have lived in Georgia all my life. Here in the South, we make too much work out of trying to be happy, searching for happiness, pretending to be happy when we are not. Happiness is not something that we can find and faking it just doesn't work.

We make our own happiness. I recognize that to be an over used and worn out cliché, but it works here. We are the only source of our own personal happiness, and we, in many cases, choose whether or not to be happy.

Exception: After profound loss, such as I have known, it is very difficult to conjure up much happiness. We must grieve, and grieve well, before the happiness is us is accessible.

So, in most instances, happiness is a choice, and yes, we can be happy when our lives are in chaos and change. We are the only ones responsible for the way we react to our life circumstances. Nobody else can make us happy!

So, I am learning to stop trying to be happy, but instead, opening my heart and mind to it, so that there is room for it in my soul.

2. “Never submit to the will on anyone for whom you are merely an option.” - Unknown

Have you ever found yourself saying “yes” to an invitation, even though you are relatively certain that you were second, or even third choice? Ever say “yes” just so that someone’s dining table will be balanced out by our presence? Clutch the pearls! Heaven forbid that there be a odd number at the table.

Ever dated a man who you know is dating someone else and who only calls you if she says “no?” I haven’t, thank God, but I have friends who do.

To allow ourselves to be merely an option is to denigrate ourselves and diminish our sense of self worth. It is a form of self torture, I think.

So, I don’t do it! My life is complicated enough without me making matters worse for myself.

3. “Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.” - Janis Joplin

This almost speaks for itself, and it ties in with the quotation above. By settling for second best, we cheat ourselves out of the potential for real growth and honest self-assessment. I am worth more than that, and so are you. We should love ourselves enough to muster the strength to avoid compromising our beliefs, our talents, our strengths.

Ever turn your head the other way when someone utters a bigoted remark? I must confess, that in the past, I did that, convincing myself that to speak up might cause an argument or even a scene. Not any more! These days, I speak up, and not one person has gotten nasty with me. Often they apologize.

We are powerful enough to be our true selves, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that fact, but a fact it is.

This post is linked to Cheap Therapy. You will find its button on my sidebar, so click away and join in this discussion!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meet Me on Monday, July 13, 2010

It’s Monday again, so we have another set of questions from Java at Never Growing Old. Meet Me on Monday is a way for us to get to know a little more about one another, the things that might not be reflected in our blogs.

So...............Here is my Q&A for July 13!

1. What do your normally eat for breakfast

Coffee is my breakfast. I don’t wake up hungry, and
I just can’t eat first thing in the morning!

2.  What kind of vehicle do you drive?

I drive my late husband’s 1997 Lincoln Town Car. It only
has 60,000 miles on it, and I couldn’t get rid of
the Honda Odyssey fast enough. It was a cruel
reminder of our need for it because of Clint’s
wheelchair. I love driving the land yacht, just love it.
Its in great condition, and I feel kind of cool tooling
around in it!

3.  Have you ever met a famous person(s)?

Clint an I met Harvey Keitel in a bookstore in Paris. I
also met Ellen Gilchrist and Shelby Foote in New Orleans.
I consider them literary celebrities!

4.  What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Baskin Robbins Jamocha Almond Fudge. Tasteeeeee.

5.  Which TV Channel do you watch the most?
I rarely turn on my TV, but I DVR several programs.
I always watch The Closer and Law and Order, Criminal
Intent. Ahhhhhhhhh, Jeff Goldblum.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Encounter at The Ritz


It’s Sunday night, and I am just getting around to Jenny Matlock's fabulous meme, Saturday Centus. Each week she gives us a prompt with which we are expected to write a 100 word story, using it as a guide or as part of the text. This week, we have 100 extra words, because she has thrown us something of a knuckle ball by asking us to write in the style of an Harlequin Romance Novel. Hell, I’ve had so much going on, I may not finish it tonight, but I’ll give it a go. I never, ever gave a second thought to writing romance. This ain’t gonna be easy. I’m sure I’ll need the extra 100 words. So, here’s this week’s prompt and my take on it. The prompt will appear in italics.

When I turned around I was startled to meet a green eyed gaze..."

I felt the unmistakable heat of a man, and when I turned around I was startled to meet a green eyed gaze. They were emerald pools in a chiseled face, half obscured by a lock of black hair. He tossed back his head, reached around me to lean on the bar. My breath caught in my throat, and I could feel his eyes scan from my face down to my breasts, glowing now with desire for this stranger. He tilted one side of his full mouth into a sexy smile and took my arm, then slid his muscled arm around my waist, pulling me toward the door.

My heart pounded as he touched the elevator button and we walked inside. Alone in the car, he turned to me, and pinned me against the wall, breathing warmly on my throat before touching the stop button on the car panel.

His strong hands caressed my waist, moving down to briefly brush my buttocks, then sliding up my back to my shoulders and down to the tops of my breasts. Defenseless against his charms, I shimmied the straps off my shoulders, raised my arms and took his face in my hands, kissing him deeply, allowing his tongue to explore my mouth. He restarted the car, it slid open, and he swept me into his suite.

This post is linked to Saturday Centus. You will find the button on my sidebar, so click away and join the fun

Friday, July 9, 2010

Feeling Afraid

Hey, it’s already Six Word Friday, Melissa’s great meme. Today’s word is “feeling,” and as usual I have chosen to write a poem with six words per line. I am currently on an airplane to Miami to visit my son, who has been sick. Yesterday was his 41st birthday.

He has special needs and has had quite a hard time for the last two weeks. I am linking this post back to The Red Sweater so you can read about the Trials of Parrish. Just click on the title of this post!

Meanwhile, here’s my poem for this week.

Feeling Afraid

I could go on forever feeling
these feelings of butterflies in my
throat as the plane descends into
Miami. Sometimes I think the butterflies
live in my throat, have taken
up permanent residence there to stop
me from forgetting to be afraid.

This post is linked to Six Word Fridays! Click on the url in my sidebar under its title! I'm still trying to grab Melissa's button!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Thanks to Jennee, I have found yet another blog hop, and this one is really cool. Click on her Cheap Therapy Button in my sidebar and pop over to participate! She has given us three thought provoking questions that reveal some things about ourselves.

I’m cj Schlottman. I’m 62 but don’t look it, and I live in Macon Georgia, in the heat belt of the Deep South with my two dogs, Honey, a Lhasa Apso and Belle, a Boxer. I also have a betta fish whose name is Mr. Palmer. I have one grown son who has schizoaffective disorder and lives in a personal care home. My only grandchild is Addie Duck, and she lives in Savannah. She is above average.

Three simple questions? We’ll see.

I’ll take them ad seriatum,

What have people always thought that you would be doing with your life?

I don’t recall ever being pushed in one direction or another by my mother. I think she expected me to educate myself in the field of my choice, and she never doubted that I could do just that. My family and friends, I think, expected me to succeed at whatever I chose to do with my life.

I am a nurse, have been in 1969, and I’m a good one. I’m just making a transition back into the field after the death my husband, Clint, last year. I will be working with Hospice. He was a physician and retired early so we could travel. Thank God for those years. The memories sustain me now.

And I’m a writer both of prose and poetry. I have no desire to be published. It is my “Cheap Therapy,” though I take it quite seriously and work continuously at my craft. I have been a member of an ongoing writer’s workshop for women since 1996. It’s called Zona Rosa and we meet once a month at the home of our mentor, Rosemary Daniell, in Savannah, Georgia, which is 160 miles down the road. If you don’t know about her, she was at the forefront of the feminist movement in the early 1980’s and scandalized the entire South with her memoir, Fatal Flowers. In an effort to improve my writing, I am reading Proust (I’m on the seventh and final novel, The Past Regained) and Nin and Flaubert. I’m working my way to D. H. Lawrence and Dylan Thomas.

Are they surprised by the path you’ve chosen?

No. I have never doubted myself, so others believe in me, too.

Are you surprised at your own path?

I became a nurse out of necessity, as it was the only profession I could predisoe in our little town except teaching. I ended up loving it!

As for writing, I have been writing all my life, so it does not surprise me that I have taken it up seriously.

Maybe this gives a little insight into who I am!

This post is linked to Cheap Therapy. You will find the button on my side bar!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Meet Me on Monday

Here are our questions for Melissa's Meet Me on Monday

1. What is your favorite Fast Food Restaurant?
Does Waffle House Count? If so, that's the greatest!

2. If given a complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose and why?
I would be a professor, a teacher of poetry.

3. Do you prefer your toilet paper to come over the roll or under the roll?
Oh, under, no doubt about it!

4. What was your favorite tv show as a child?
"Ozzie and Harriett." I was in love with Ricky Nelson!

5. What is your favorite Summer drink?
Lemonade, made from fresh lemons!

Choosing our Heirs

It’s Monday night, and I am just getting around to Week Nine of Jenny Matlock’s ingenious meme called Saturday Centus. Don’t know about it? Just click on her button on my sideboard to learn all about it.

I’m pleading “holiday weekend” and “blog overload” syndrome for being so slow to publish my post on this week’s prompt:

"Are you sure that's the one you want?" I felt a little lump in my throat as I peered down at my choice, held tightly in my hand. I didn't think this would be so nerve-wracking. Was I making the wrong decision? I couldn't agonize over this any longer.

I took a deep breath before managing to say, "... Yes, it is."

Here is my take on it. You will see the prompt in italics.

I sat for a moment, taking a breath and drinking in the face on the photo in my hand. I stood and paced around the office, saying silent prayers, pleading with God for help. I reread the biography, and still unsettled, looked to the counselor, pleading with my eyes for some sort of advice.

Finally, I said, “This is it. This is the one, no doubt.

She queried, "Are you sure that's the one you want?" I felt a little lump in my throat as I peered down at my choice, held tightly in my hand. I didn't think this would be so nerve-wracking. Was I making the wrong decision? I couldn't agonize over this any longer.

I took a deep breath before managing to say, "... Yes, it is."

My head held high, I walked confidently out of the sperm bank.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Heart's in Lost and Found

Hey! It's six word fridays again! Today, Melissa has assigned us the word "found." Her format draws six word lined poems out of me, and here is mine for today. Please look on my sidebar for six word fridays and click on the little tools to go to Melissa's blog. You will be amazed at what you find there!

My heart's in Lost and Found
just where I do not know.
I had it with me when
you died, or did I? Maybe
you took it on your final
journey, forgot to send it back.

It was yours alone, for sure
as I gave it to you those
many years past in the heat
of our new love, the fire
of new passion and youthful lust.

I miss my heart as I
do you, my one true love.
Please come back and bring it.
Oh, I know you can't do
that. You can't come back, but
could you leave my heart in
my dream one night, a kiss
out of darkness on my breast,
the flutter of its beating restored?

What X Means to Me


Well, it's Alphabe-Thursday, and we all know what that means. You don't? Then click on Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursdays button in my sidebar and find out all about it, and while you're at it, read some really good writing!

X is for eXamples, the ones
we set for our children and those
with whom we share great love.

X for the eXtras, the ones we
give and receive, like knowing smiles
and unexpected warming hugs.

X is for the eXtraordinary
beauty of a night sky, fire flies
atwinkle in the dark back yard.

X is for eXtreme kindness, like
buying groceries for one who
clearly struggles to make ends meet.

X is for eXultation, the
pure joy of complete fulfillment
happiness oozing from each pore.

X is for Xanadu, that place
we never cease to long for in
our dreams and in our waking.

X is for an X-ray fish who
nearly transparent thrives in the
rivers of South America

X is for Xanax, the drug that
soothes our anxiety when we
are overwhelmed with sadness.

X is for Xavior, Saint
Francis who with a few others
founded the Society of Jesus.

X is for eXhuastion, the kind that
come comes with making love on a
hot afternoon in September.

X is for the X chromosome
that makes me a woman, happy
as I am to be one, happy indeed.

This Post is Linked to Alphabe-Thursdays Button on left!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Two Cents Worth

It’s Saturday Centus time again! Jenny Matlock has created this wonderful meme to help all of us sharpen our writing skills. We are given a prompt and must write a little story or a poem using the prompt - in 100 words of less. Intrigued? Clink on her link at the bottom of this page to got to Jenny’s and find out more.

This week’s prompt is "Did you notice Elizabeth in class this morning and how forlorn she seemed?" Perhaps I will write her a comforting note, I thought.

Below is my take on it, and you will find the prompt in italics.

"Did you notice Elizabeth in class this morning and how forlorn she seemed?" Perhaps I will write her a comforting note, I thought.

“Don’t enable her,” said Val, a judgmental scowl on her face. “She has no business trying to rejoin aerobics class so soon after her son’s death.
It’s unseemly.”

“In her defense, she is only trying to help herself.”

“Piffle! She has always loved the spotlight, and losing Tony is just another excuse for her to milk us all of every modicum of pity we have.”

My cell phone rang. It was Mac, Elizabeth’s husband.

“I hate to say this on the phone, but I wanted you to hear it from me. Elizabeth came home from aerobics and hanged herself.”

This post is linked to Saturday Centus - Button on the left!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet Me on Monday

June 27, 2010
It’s already Meet Me on Monday again. Where does the time go? Each Monday, Java posts five questions for us to answer about ourselves. Click on her button right here on this page and join in the fun of learning more about each other!

Today’s Questions:

1. Are you a collector of anything?
I’m not much of a collector. I do have every book Ellen Gilcrist ever wrote, so I guess that counts. When I was younger, I collected thimbles, and I still have all of the silver ones.

2. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Clutch the pearls! I am an aging Southern Belle with one hole in each
ear lobe and that’s it.

3. What is your favorite salad dressing?
Bleu cheese mixed with honey mustard. Don’t wrinkle your nose up until you’ve tried it!

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
Some Cheerios, dry and right out of the box. It’s my bedtime snack nearly every night. Call me weird. I don’t mind!

5. What was the last movie that you saw?
It’s Complicated. I laughed so hard, I almost wet my drawers!

This post is linked to Meet Me on Monday. Button on left of this page!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Going Back to Work

My Big Fat Goal

Goodness, I have an important goal.
Going back to work it is.
It takes forever to make it
through the confusing maze of paperwork
after that the mandatory drug screen
‘Cause if you flunk you go
no farther. I will pass that
silly test, already peed in a
little plastic cup and gave it
to the nurse. She said gravely
“We’ll call you in three days.”
This is day three, so maybe
they will call to set up
a physical exam and other stuff
like a criminal backround check and
being fingerprinted. I look like a
shady character, that must be what
they think. A sixty-two year
old grandmother who sells drugs, maybe.
Not! A good nurse who wants
to work in Hospice - a lot!

All you bloggers out there please
cross your fingers for me and
pray if that’s what you do.
I need all the help I
can get with this frustrating goal.

This post is linked to six word fridays!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

What If?

W is for........

W is for :What If?”

*What if I had been born on another continent?

*What if I were of another race?

*What if I didn’t write?

*What if I didn’t have any friends?

*What if my parents were still alive?

*What if I had cats instead of dogs?

*What if I were 5’10 instead of 5’3?

*What if I had never met Clint?

*What if my son didn’t have schizoaffective disorder?

*What if, suddenly, a world wide peace broke out?

*What if I had been named for someone other than
my father?

*What if there were not hunger on this planet?

*What if I could paint?

*What if I had become a teacher instead of a nurse?

*What if everyone lived by The Golden Rule?

*What if there were no pancakes?

*What if I lived in New York instead of Georgia?

*What if every TV set in the world failed to operate
for just 24 hours?

*What if the iPod had never been invented?

*What if there were no blogs?

*What if we took all the gadgets away from our 
children for a week?

*What if George Washington had never been born.

*What if Proust had not written A La Recherce du 
Temps Perdu?

*What if I weren’t reading it?

*What if dinosaurs were still alive?

*What if all the water drained out of all oceans?

*What if I we lived on a different planet?

* What if if I blogged on a PC instead of a Mac?

* What if there were no flowers?

*What if there were flowers in everyone’s abode?

*What is nobody thought up the idea for NASA?

*What if all politicians were honest and good?

*What if there were no California?

*What if there were no cigarettes?

*What if we could find a cure for cancer?

*What if I had cancer?

*What if I broke my leg?

*What if I didn’t volunteer at the free clinic?

*What if the sky were green?

*What if Clint and I had made a baby?

*What if nobody thought up the vibrator?

*What if I could play the cello?

*What if a whale walrus lived in your back yard?

*What if your back yard were the Pacific Ocean?

* What if every family on my street spoke a different

*What if Jenny had not invented Alphabe-Thursday?

*What if your started your own list of “what ifs?”

This post is linked to Jenny Matlock

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meet Me on Monday - Week Two

Meet Me on Monday - Week 2

1. How many brother and sisters do you have?  
               I have one surviving brother, Paul.  He's an accountant, and he is 14 months younger than me.  My big brother, Harry, died in a farming accident in 1960 when he was 14.  My baby     brother, John, a writer,  died of kidney cancer in 2000.  He was 45.  I miss them every day.

 2. What is your favorite thing to do?
        Why, writing, of course!  I also love knitting and reading and walking and travel.

3. What countries have you visited?  I have been to Mexico, Canada, England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France and Italy.

4. Are you a morning or a night person?
        Oh, I'm not sure.  Probably a morning person, because I get more done, even though I like to sleep until 10:00.

5. What's your favorite cereal?

This post is linked to Meet Me On Monday. Button on the left!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Crash


It's Saturday Centus day again!  Our Prompt:  

It was Fathers Day, 1984, when I heard that voice in the hallway... You will find it in italics in this little story I wrote around it.

We didn’t know our daddy.  He died in 1955 when I was six, and Mama never forgave him, wouldn’t even grieve.  I never heard her utter the word “dead” in the same sentence with his name.                  

It was Fathers Day, 1984, when I heard that voice in the hallway... It was my baby brother, my favorite, John, now a father himself.   Then came the crash.

I scurried to the hall to find Mama, on her knees, arms wrapped round herself, rocking and weeping, surrounded by a pool of red stones.

“What happened?”

“She finally let it go, and her heart crashed onto the floor and broke into a million pieces.”

This post is linked to Saturday Centus. Button on the left!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Friday June 18

The heat has taken mine away,
only water melon appeals to me.
At the store there are some
but they don’t look ripe enough.
So I speed to the farmer’s market
and pick out one of theirs,
race home to refrigerate this treasure
and count the hours until it
is cool and I can cut
into its lusciousness and eat.
Cool and juicy, it drips down
my arms and off my elbows
as I stand over the sink
slurping and sucking like a pig.

This post is linked to Six Word Fridays (

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Meet Me on Monday

Here's more fun stuff! I'm participating in Meet me on Monday, a way for bloggers to get to know each other better. Each week, we get 5 questions to post, and here are the ones for this week:

1. What kind of computer do you blog on?
A MacBook, white with a pink cover. I do pink everything because I support the Avon Foundation's Breast Cancer Crusade by either walking or crewing in one of their walks each year.
2. Do you wear perfume? If so, what kind?
I used to use Anais-Anais, and I don't know why I stopped. I think I should go out and buy some since I am reading NIN. I have occasionally used Wings by Georgio.
3. What do you do for a living?
I am a registered nurse looking for work in a Hospice facility. I thought I had recession-proof skills, but it is proving harder than I imagined to get back to work after the death of my husband, Clint, last year.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?
I have two wonderful dogs. Honey is a Lhasa Apso, and Belle is a Boxer.
5. Are you going anywhere for Summer vacation? If so, where?
Pinching pennies this year. Have a free place to go on Sea Island but no definite dates.

This post is linked to Meet Me on Monday. Button on the left!

V is for Vivaciousness

This is my first post for Alphabe-Thursdays, and today's letter is V. Read on to see what I did with it.

V is for the vivaciousness in our lives, for the people who bubble over with energy and spark and give us permission to unabashedly push our laugh buttons. These are the people who bounce back and take us with them.
Our vivacious pets, their paws morphing into springs, sparkle with animation and love when we return, whether we have been at work all day or on a 15 minute errand or a week's vacation. They are always smiling and available.
Vivacious food, primarily chocolate mousse for me, not only feeds our bellies, but also our souls. Think French fries and red Jello and pimiento cheese and bright green grapes. Imagine the smell and taste of freshly made (by you) marinara sauce, poured over angel hair pasta and dusted with freshly grated Parmesan. A deep red Chianti gleams in your favorite crystal glass.
Flowers in bloom feed our need for vivaciousness. Think yellow daisies, red roses, purple violets and orange marigolds. I dare you to look at a blooming cherry tree and not smile! Grab a bunch of sunflowers at the market and put them on your table in a bright container. Vivacious!

Red shoes are vivacious and sexy and satisfying to wear. Red lipstick oozes vivaciousness, as does a red dress. Rubies, sparkling in a necklace send out vivacious laser beams to meet our eyes.
Alphabe-Thursdays bring out or vivaciousness and sends us off in all directions.

This post is linked to Alphabe-Thursdays. Button on the left!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I'm back to Saturday Centus after missing last week due to brain drain. It's a great creative exercise, so please click on the link below to join the fun.

This week's prompt is in italics.

It’s true, the smell of freshly mowed grass can stay with you for years, for decades, settle into your core. When I was little, my daddy cut the grass with a hand-push mower, the clippings flying up behind the primative machine, leaving a bordered trail where the grass had been.

These days I need only to look at my daddy’s picture - even the one in his Navy uniform - to be overcome with the perfume of freshly cut grass.

And when I am out walking or riding in my car and smell grass being cut, I see my daddy’s face.

This story if linked to Saturday Centus. Button on the left!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daddy, Nancy Drew and Me © Claudia Schlottman

w and Me © Claudia Schlottman

I am participating in Saturday Centus for the third time. It's a great meme that you can access with the icon below. This week's prompt is:

“May I help you, miss? You look puzzled.”

“Mmmm… thank you, I’m just looking for my father. We came in together a moment ago, but he seems to have wandered off.”

Here is what I did with it.

It’s 1959. I’m eleven, and Daddy and I are at the book store. No brothers, just me. Sitting on the floor facing volumes of Nancy Drew, I lose time paging through The Secrets of the Old Clock. I look up. Where is Daddy? He will find me soon.

Today I haunt the fiction section for NIN and Proust. I look up. Where is Nancy Drew? Where is Daddy?

“May I help you, miss? You look puzzled.”

“Mmmm… thank you, I’m just looking for my father. We came in together a moment ago, but he seems to have wandered off.”

I pay, wait, books in hand.

"Oh, Daddy, there you are!”

He hugs me tight and we go for ice cream, just like always.............though he has been dead since 1955.

This story if linked to Saturday Centus. Link on the left!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ole Muddy - My Saturday Centus for this week

Ole Muddy - My Saturday Centus for this week

I stuff my clothes and toiletries into my fake LV duffle. Then I walk into the bathroom and face myself in the mirror.

“You stupid mule,” I say to myself. “You’re donkey of a person. Now it’s all gone, all those hard earned dollars down the drain in a casino in Vicksburg.”

I walked in here with my dignity intact and enough money to have a little fun. Now, I’m outta here - and broke.

I check out, throw my bag into the back seat of my T-Bird and I look back over my shoulder, squinting into the late afternoon sun, gawking with stunned alarm at the broad rolling muddy waters of the Mississippi, flipping it the finger and driving east, hoping the casino will flood.

This story if linked to Saturday Centus. LInk on the left!!