Well of Amundsen: NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (21)

They could see for only a hundred yards down and then it was as if the well was a black hole that swallowed light and atoms into a swirl of nothingness.


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

Baker’s Dozen: NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (19)

She stood on a flat and spacious plain.  Remnants of brush and other dead looking flora interrupted the smooth and glistening ground here and there.  She knew this was the rolling desert she had learned about when Maiden Hassium had pushed her to stop lingering on the pictures in her month of geography.  She could see nothing moving as far as her sight covered of the plain.  As for “rolling” she didn’t understand why it was named this way.  The area reminded her of a bowl.  Except for the opening far in the distance where the coach was pointed, they appeared to be surrounded by ridges of rock and metal on all sides.  The solar rays were brighter where they reflected off some of the peaks.

“You ever been outta’ Shackleton?” Patel asked from behind her.Participant-2014-Square-Button

“No, Bishop,” she replied, without a second thought to her learned propriety.

He didn’t correct her, wanting to stay on the subject.  “This part o’ the desert is called, ‘Baker’s Dozen,’ ‘cause there’s thirteen peaks around the edges of the bowl.”  He watched her count and then reached into his pocket.

Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

Coach through Baker’s Dozen: NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (18)

The air was moving.  The orange solar glare was reaching over some kind of ledge a few feet from her face and behind it, pink-orange hues were drawing swirly lines across a cornucopia of purple shades, interspersed with wisps of cotton clouds.  Participant-2014-Square-ButtonShe squirmed until she was sitting up.  They were on some kind of old fashioned coach, its polymer mold rounded at the corners of the compartment she was in, with no doors to be seen.  Terra yawned and tried to stretch.

Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

Fame in Four

Heatwave’s “The Groove Line,” was playing on the radio.  The sun was out; the water was blue, and the mountains wrapped around.  The road stretched and she was rolling.  Dancing in her car as she drove home, she had four hours left.  Four hours to be home for an entire week – and she was giddy.  The song bounced off the windows of her car and she danced as she drove, squirming around in the seat.  Her shoulders sprang up and down; her head bobbed and swirled.  She performed any move that struck her fancy, carefree and excited to be headed home.  Alone in her world of revelry, she pointed, drummed, and tapped as much as the road and traffic would allow.  She was one with the wheel, and traffic was light.  She was a Supreme; now a Pip.  Meanwhile, a bored teenager in the car ahead used his cell phone to capture her dance of glee for all posterity.  Five minutes later it was posted to the web, and in the space of two hours it went viral.  When she arrived at the house – she was on “cloud nine . . .” and the evening news.

Evanovich-Like Description

Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae (5076304681)



A plethora of greens tumbled down the mountainous hill. Evergreens and bushes scattered amongst other assorted outcroppings. Additional amber, auburn, oranges and browns – sprinkles of brush –  dotted the clay drizzled hills. She knew that she should marvel at its beauty, that deep thoughts should come to her. But for some reason it reminded her of a mint chocolate chip ice cream sundae drizzled with carmel syrup. If it had been a cloudy day she would have counted it for whipped cream and put a cherry on top.

A History in Woods

Griffy Woods - squirrel - P1100479
In 1928, when Nila was born, the woods had been there, surrounded by more forrest on all three sides. A dirt road drew it’s contour on the east, and a creek ran it’s southern side. When hayfields and corn started dividing the countryside, they’d stopped at the creek, and at the sudden rise in elevation on the north and west sides, and the woods had remained a remnant of what used to be. These and the paved country road where the dirt road had been, clearly defined the boundaries to the property when Nila and Jim eventually purchased it.

Nila and Jim married when she was twenty in the summer of 1948. They acquired the woods twenty years later in hopes they might one day build a house there, but the little town of Menden had grown up around the first and only house they would ever live in for their 62 years together. The woods had instead became something of a family member, almost mystical and later, perhaps a bit haunted.

Mushrooms grew in some places (if you knew where to look). A nice morel flanked dinner was your reward, and folks in those parts had a hankering for that.  In warmer months, the creek bed, it’s silky-soft mud lacing through your toes as it cradled your feet, was host to children and adults alike. The family spent time in the summers trimming and mowing the meadow that served as a huge welcome mat with the creek off to your left, the hill to your right, and a peaceful upsweeping trail on back behind.

The meadow had seen many tents, many campfires, and heard many ghost stories. Many a child had woke screaming in their beds, their mothers calling Nila exasperated and angry, after Nila had scared them the night before at a campfire. The creek wasn’t any good for fishing, but that didn’t stop some of the children from tying strings to the end of sticks and dropping pieces of kneaded bread balls into the water. They’d giggle and scream as baby smallies would nibble at the bait, then gulp it down and give their little makeshift rods a tug as they swam away.

Nights in the woods were unpredictable. If there wasn’t a group camping, if it had been still and untouched for a time, one of the family teens might park a car just outside the meadow. Still under the canopy of trees and out of sight to passersby, some tried to lay blankets out for their attempts at passion. The more experienced simply cracked the windows and used the back seat, too many creepy crawlies on the damp ground. This went on until Nila’s brother and his wife bought a spread of land next to the woods and built a home there. Nila threatened several grandkids in the late 80’s when reports of their scandalous activities made it to her ears.

In the winter, the hill north of the meadow was perfect for sleds. The deer that frequented the woods would keep a low profile when sounds of children whooping and laughing would begin wafting through the trees, magnified by the silence the snow cover promulgated by filtering out other sound.

In time, Nila decided to leave the woods wild, and thought of it as a nature preserve. The hill and trails became overgrown, and even the meadow became more and more neglected as the pair grew older and the younger members of the family moved away or had other priorities. A chain link fence, complete with “Private Property” and “No poaching” signs made the boundaries clear at that point. And if family wanted to go for a walk or sit by the creek, they had to retrieve the key to the padlocked gate from the hiding place in Nila and Jim’s pool house.

Jim died in 1992, and Nila held on to the woods. When she passed away ten years later it was January. The leafless trees draped over patches of snow and mud, and in its wintery silence, the creek’s trickling of tears and the black and white imagery adjoining it, the woods displayed its profound sorrow and loss.

This is semi-biographical and was inspired by the “Landscape and Time” exercise in Brian Kitely’s book The 3 A.M. Epiphany. If I had written in response to this exercise for a class I would have failed, because as usual – I cheated. Alas, I am not writing for a grade. This piece still bugs me for some minor touch-ups in language and direction. I wanted to detail what kinds of trees grow there but, much like a person’s shirt color, I couldn’t recall all of that.  Funny.  I would appreciate any ideas you have for what works, what doesn’t, etc. Also, feel free to share where you would have written about and why.

[Photo above:By User:Vmenkov (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]

Wentville Wind Chimes

Stacheldraht 05.jpgThe sound an old rusted chain makes when the cheap plastic seat, baked by the sun, has succumbed to one too many cracks and fallen off … and the chain hits the swing-set pole when the wind catches it. The sound of farm land metal (resurrected from a dirt grave where the orange-brown pipe has corroded for years) when it takes a dive into a burn barrel of the same color. That’s the sound wind chimes in Wentville make. They fit right into the landscape of yard trampolines and trailers, old tires and dead grass cradling yard trash.

Photo: “Stacheldraht 05” by WaugsbergOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.