#FridayThoughts: Not ready for supermarket hot food bars.

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It’s sunny today, but I think it’s a ruse, I feel chilly. Or maybe I’m just chilly.

Can’t tell if it’s me or the weather.

We’re back to Friday yet again, the week in its final roll down the hill and I got some stuff done but not everything I would have liked which seems to be basically life. In a nutshell. And now I’m messing around instead of being productive.

Well.

Not RIGHT now.

Right now I’m writing a blog post and we can both agree it’s a form of productivity. If you squint one eye and kind of tilt your head a little.

I saw this morning that Whole Foods’ hot food bar is back and I have to tell you, I’m not ready for it. Honestly, I may never be ready for it again, unless they have staff dishing out the food. The pandemic isn’t even close to over, what on earth are they thinking?

It’s as though this is all so much, people want to pretend it’s not happening and never happened.

Welp.

Anyway, that’s it for me today. Have a wonderful Friday and a fantastic weekend.


Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

#ThursdayThoughts ten word photo prompt: Good News

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

It’s time! Using the above photo as a prompt, write a story of EXACTLY ten words. That’s why we call it the #ThursdayTen!

It’s fun!

Sometimes.

It’s easy!

Practically never.

But try it anyway!

Ready?

Here’s mine:

Done. Max’s nemesis destroyed. Jay just didn’t know it yet.

#FridayThoughts: Free read! And also it’s weird!

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It’s been a WEEK, as you know, so today my only thought is this: Amazon has finally price-matched my short story collection, Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, so grab one! They’re quick, odd, fun reads, just right for a little distraction.

And have a great Friday!

Grab me, I’m FREE! (It’s a link for Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities.)

#FridayThoughts: #Happy2021! And now, “In with the Old”

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Yikes, looking back at last year’s post, there’s so much I didn’t see coming, even as jaded as I was after three years. And now I’m extra happy to see it that year go. So much so, it almost gives this story I post every year a whole different feel.

In any case, I hope you enjoy it, and I wish you great happiness, prosperity, joy, productivity, and above all, health, in 2021.

And, in what is now firmly a tradition, here is a short story from my collection, Better Living Through Gravy and Other Oddities:

In with the Old

“It’s nothing personal,” she said as kindly as she could muster, “it’s just time.”

“But I’m not nearly as used up as they said I would be,” the other one said, “not nearly at all. I’m not wrinkly, or old – I’m kind of in prime time.” She gave herself an once-over, careful not to break her bond with the contraption behind her.

“Unfortunately, we really need the machine.” She sighed and tapped her pen on her clipboard. “We only have a few more hours.”

“We?” said the woman in the machine. “We only have a few more hours? You’re going to install that thing,” she gestured with her head toward the giggling baby making faces at the man in the white coat at the other end of the room, “and go on with your routine. You think don’t have it down by now? Daily dial turnings, just one click. Then you, with that pretend-serious look, yanking that lever. You think I didn’t notice you enjoy those lever pulls? Well I did. And you do.”

“Now come on, Wanda, there’s no need to be this way. You can go out with dignity.” She shot a look across the room to her coworker. He was too enthralled with the baby to get her message for a little help.

“What am I supposed to do now? I was huge, I was everything.”

“You’re sounding like a bad movie.”

“They don’t tell you what you’re supposed to do when it’s over.” She relaxed her grip on the copper handles inside her chamber, her visible gears going slightly slack down her arm toward her shoulder, the teeth just a bit looser. The worker took that as a good sign. She quickly tamped down her encouragement, in case Wanda saw.

“There are always retrospectives,” the woman said. “You know, ‘Best ofs.’ And there’s still plenty to do in the first few months, while people are getting adjusted. You know, rent checks, 18-month calendars, that kind of thing.”

“And then what?” said Wanda. “Then what happens? Where do I go? What do I do?”

“I’m so glad you asked,” the woman said, finally able to return to her script. “You see, we have this lovely facility, all of you go there, you know, when you’re finished. Here,” she slid a glossy folded paper from beneath the clip of her board and held it toward Wanda. “There’s even a brochure.”

The pictures were bright and multicolored, with others sitting and laughing, eating, strolling by the water, the patina of their clockwork innards glinting warmly in the setting sun. It didn’t look too bad. She nearly let go of the handle to take the brochure, to open it, to see what kind of crafts there were, as promised on the cover, when she remembered.

“No,” she said.

“Wanda,” said the woman, her tone sharpening, gaining hardness around the edges, “I’m afraid you haven’t got a choice. It’s time.”

She shook her head as much as the chamber allowed, which wasn’t much. “I’m not going.”

“But what are we supposed to do with him?” She pointed her pen at the baby, who turned, stared at them and burst into a full beam, his tiny gears engaging as he reached his arms toward Wanda. “It’s his turn now. Don’t you want to give him his turn?”

Wanda closed her eyes. It wasn’t fair, she thought. It went by so quickly, her lifetime of usefulness, her purpose, and now she was supposed to retire off with the rest of them, with some anonymous body of water and a dining hall and crafts. Though crafts are nice. But still, this was her machine, it was hers.

The worker had moved away, but she could hear her talking softly, her sentences interspersed with the cluck of her two-way handheld.

“No, no, I’m telling you it didn’t work.” Something unintelligible garbled through from the other side. “No. Clamped on, completely. Like a vice.” Again, soft electronic murmuring. “It’s like Oh-Three all over again.” More garble. “What? She can’t hear me. I’m away from the chamber.” Indistinct chatter. “Fine, fine, Trinity. Like Trinity all over again.” She waited for the response. “That would probably be best.” After a long interlude of murmur, the handheld fell silent.

“Umm, Wanda?” said the worker several minutes later, the ice in her voice retreating. “I’d like you to meet someone.”

“Not interested,” she said, her eyes still closed. She knew the truth, the worker had practically said so herself, with the conversation she thought Wanda couldn’t hear. She was only a number to those people. Oh-Three indeed. “What do you call me when you’re out of the lab?” she said, her eyes still completely shut. “When you’re talking to your buddy over there at lunch or wherever it is you go?”

“Wanda,” the woman said, her discomfort obvious even to Wanda and her closed eyes.

“What do you call me? One-One?”

“Wanda, really, there’s someone here you should meet-“

“Or Eleven? Do you call me Eleven? A number to you, that’s what I am after all this time.”

“I thought she couldn’t hear,” she said to someone, though Wanda wasn’t going to bother to open her eyes to see who it was. “I swear, I wouldn’t have used the technical–“

“Technical?” said another voice, a new voice, a male voice. “Technical? Really? Is that how you’re describing it?”

“Well-“

“Her name is Wanda, you know,” he said, his tone both relaxed and oddly engaging despite the rebuke. Wanda couldn’t help herself, she opened her eyes a crack.

“I’m Oden,” he said with a half-smile. “I’d shake your hand, but I understand your position. Obviously,” he said. His gears were slightly rainbowed with a healthy dose of age. Wanda thought they made him look distinguished.

“Oden,” she said. “So I?”

“Replaced me, yes.” He took a step toward the chamber, careful to keep a distance. “Flip of the switch and it was me in there. And you over there,” he said, and smiled at the baby, a real smile, not a put-on one.

“What did you do?”

“I went,” he said. “It was time. It’s how it works, you know.”

“I know,” she said, looking at her feet, so comfortable in the only spot they’d ever known. She glanced up and met his gaze. “I know,” she said again.

“The place really looks like the brochure,” he said, offering her his hand to help her to step out. She considered it, but didn’t lessen her grip on the handle.

“What about the crafts?”

He took the hand he’d been holding out and dug into his pocket, his gears gliding smoothly along. He pulled out a wallet. “I made this,” he said. “Stitched it myself.” She took in the uneven stitches and frowned. “I’m not a very good crafter,” he added quickly, “but they are fun to try.”

“Hmm,” said Wanda. She glanced at the worker who looked at the clock on the wall and back at Wanda, her face full of cautious hope. Oden set out his hand again.

“The sunsets are every bit as pretty,” he said, “and the best part is there are no more dials, no more levers. No more chamber.”

“But I like the chamber,” she said, scooting back to be further back within it.

“You like the chamber,” he said, “because all you know is the chamber. Take a leap.”

“No, no,” said the worker, “that’s him.” She pointed at the baby.

“You understand you’re not helping the situation?” Oden asked her.

“I do, yes, realize that now.”

“So what do you say, Wanda?”

She gave her chamber and the lab a final look over. She could probably make a better wallet. She could certainly make a better wallet. Maybe they’ll have pottery. Slowly, she released first her right hand and then her left, and placed it in Oden’s outstretched palm. The machine beeped behind her while the worker anxiously watched the clock, the man with the baby leaning, ready to place him.

She stepped out of the machine.

The woman grasped a crank on the side of the box and turned it furiously so that the chamber got smaller and smaller and the arms shorter and shorter. The man, watching the clock rather than her or the baby, placed the baby where she had been moments before but where she would never fit now. The baby giggled.

Without looking back, Wanda took Oden’s arm, and together, they headed toward the door. They reached it and disappeared into the flash of sudden white light.

The worker leaned against the machine, her hands shaking. “Happy New Year, everyone,” she said weakly.


Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.
Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird!
Peruse Montraps Publishing

#WednesdayWisdom: Shake it Up

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I’m still having technical issues with Daily Burn in the morning, and it’s happening no matter the device. I’m sure I’m not alone.

But this morning I used it as an opportunity to mix things up a little. I usually do a different, game-based workout in the afternoon, but today I did a high intensity one in the morning.

And the world didn’t stop spinning. Shocking, I know.

Not sure what I’ll do in the afternoon, maybe some yoga, or try something else on the Daily Burn site. Adaptation.

Routine feels cozy in this topsy-turvy world, a world where it feels like anything could happen at any time, where there are no limits of normalcy. Yet it’s OK if we deviate from it.

We’re unlikely to make the sky fall.

Do something a little differently, it might be just the thing you needed. Or maybe not, but then at least you’ll know.

Have a great Wednesday.


Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

#ThursdayThoughts Ten Word Story: Careful

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Photo by Denise Rodrigues dos Leal on Pexels.com

It’s Thursday and time for our #ThursdayTen! That’s our new hashtag, in case you’re wondering, and a way from here on out to find the Thursday prompt!

Using the photo above for inspiration, write a ten word story.

EXACTLY ten words.

No problem right?

Here we go. This is mine:

“A deal,” he said, and the smoke curled around him.

#ThursdayThoughts ten word photo prompt: perseverance

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Photo by Lhairton Kelvin Costa on Pexels.com

Technical difficulties are my theme today, but nonetheless we press on! Because it’s Thursday.

And I said so.

Using the above photo as a prompt, wrote a ten word story. Exactly ten words.

Easy peasy.

Ready? Here’s mine:

Zombie death was no excuse. Enid demanded Roger finish painting.

#MondayThoughts: Did you hear about Venus?

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Oh Gus from Psych is probably thrilled. They found a gas that is often a signature of life, though it may not be in this case. Still, the possibilities are fun to contemplate, many many miles away from here.

Gray again after a sunny respite yesterday. Now the sky is gray and the clouds are gray, and it’s not unpleasant to look at but it doesn’t look like summer.

I had mediocre sleep but a good workout, and I’ve landed somewhere in the middle, my brain tired despite the coffee, my body awake, mostly. It definitely feels like a Monday in the apocalypse, our slow-motion collapse teetering another of this house of cards.

Ah. Cheerful.

Although maybe being cheerful at times like these is more of a problem than not. This is not the 21st century we envisioned, at least outside of a disaster movie.

Anyway, that’s it for me this Monday. Have a great day.


Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

#FridayThoughts: Just like that

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Gray and rainy again today, but somehow I don’t mind it. I spilled half a cup of coffee on my carpet, and as much as I blot, more seems to lurk there, coffeeing.

Oh well.

We are at the end of a wild week of news, and most of it is no longer trending, which is strange and not strange all at the same time. But if you needed Bob Woodward to tell you trump is a monster, you haven’t been paying attention.

It seems chilly today, too, like Fall means it now, the wildly hot days of the last weeks as though they never were. It’s funny how the weather can change, just like that.

I hope we can change just like that.

If we can, if we do, what a better world we will have. That’s it for me today, have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.


Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

#TuesdayThoughts: Now with more Tuesday.

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It stormed early in the morning, lightning, rain clattering against the window, and it’s still gray now, at least down around the horizon, with a band of bright clouds above.

Pretty, and quiet.

What a strange year it’s been, nothing quite real, science fiction movies come to life, but with far worse writing. Worst of all, we are constantly being told not to believe reality, but to believe what we are told about reality.

It has to end. It has to.

Yesterday, I was completely on edge, my heart racing for no particular reason, but today I feel calmer. Maybe it was my workout, it was a doozy, and one of my favorite trainers from the past, alas she is no longer with Daily Burn.

Anyway, there are Tuesday things to do this Tuesday, so I might as well get t them. Have a great day.


Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.