Friday, January 30, 2009

Posted stories for book give-a-way!

I am so proud to put up the writing here - beautifully done, all of you. I want to comment on everyone's story, but I told you I wouldn't do that until after the "winner" of BRIDA was decided. But, I can say that I am blown away by all of your words. Beautiful! Stunning, revealing, filled with images that stay with me - I know these people-and that my friends is what writing is all about. yes. Well done.

I've posted the "poll" where you can vote for the one you respond to the most on the sidebar to your right. Don't think of this as a "contest" but instead a celebration of writer's words and how those words create a visceral response in you...then vote. On Monday, I will announce who receives the copy of BRIDA. I am glad I am not voting, because I wouldn't be able to decide ... in fact, lucky me - I get to "vote" for them all. Brava Writers!

And here they are, in no particular order:
Janna Qualman - Something She Wrote

It weren’t what I wisht fer my wife. I wanted ‘er taked care of. But I got sick, ya know. And things, theys happened so fast. I lost my job at th’ mill. And the insurance done run out ‘fore th’ medical bills finished comin’. An’ then I’s gone.

Suri got left wit’ a lot when I died. Left wit’ too much. Our’n son, th’ no good bugger, God love ‘im, said he’d help ‘er. But all he did was help ‘er clean out th’ bank account. Only he didn’t give ‘er nothin’. She ain’t seen 'im since.

An’ now, when I looks down from th’ Great Glory Above, I sees ‘er. She huddles on th’ walk, lookin’ old ‘n’ frail. My Suri. She’s wore down, I knows. But she keeps tryin’ to sell them newspape’s o’ hers. It’s all she got. Th’ only way to earn ‘n’ eat.

I pray she join me soon. I wait fer ‘er here in Paradise.


Debbie – Suburb Sanity


While the word rings true and hard, it cannot begin to express the depths of despair that follow it wherever it goes. It surreptitiously enters your life and changes everything you are and have. First, you begin to let the small, unnoticeable things slip: taking the time to call a friend, upkeep on the house, little details at work. Slowly, these small things morph into larger items neglected: dressing properly, caring for your family, striving to get ahead at work.

You know the addiction is in control of your life when you feel drawn to it instead of reading with your child, you don’t bother to go out of the house, and work is an afterthought. There is no world for you outside of the addiction. Nothing can take its place. The pleasure you derive from it cannot be matched by anyone or anything else.

You don’t want to reach out for help. The desire to leave this habit behind and return to your former life is not within you. You cannot see a time it will not be the center of your universe. No matter how difficult life becomes, you will not let go.

Blogging is your life.

Stephen Craig Rowe

Two hundred words are as near as the image. Clear as cold soft snow
upon words well written.
That warm withina place where words
Never free and alone
When one
has the
Years meld,
Faces change,
give birth
that sustain
The mountian
Poetry and
Tender Graces.

The fiddler does not count words
and droans
in the
that even
stones can hear.
"We're only footsteps away from the next person."

I thought about my husband's words as I snapped the picture of the woman before me. The last round of cuts at the newspaper had been close--so close but even with this latest assignement, I wasn't breathing too easy. I wondered what would happen when we couldn't pay the next electric bill...when the bank told us we were behind too many payments.

How did it feel to be on your knees looking up?

I took a step closer and reached out my hand.

Tim - Perception is not always reality

"Helga, the first Mongolian in history with a Swedish name, always had a dream of one day becoming ambidextrous. When she was little, being right handed she used to feel really sorry for her left hand, so she started talk to it behind the right hand’s back.

While her right hand was not looking, she sneakily introduced her left hand to juggling, knitting, driving, paddling, pottery and the piano, in the hope of becoming proficient but to no avail, leading to constant mockery by some of her friends.

However, at 102, Helga always knew she’d have the last laugh as she has outlived all her childhood friends to live and tell the tale that – with great perseverance comes, great reward.

She is now often seen on the streets of Mongolian Townville, nimbly rolling newspaper cigarettes with both hands before puffing away to read the latest obituaries of those who thought she’d never be ambidextrous."


More Than Just A Mother

She sits on the pavement, newspapers a defensive arc against the cold of humanity. Nobody notices her. Even as they drop a coin and snatch a paper, hurrying by to meet self-imposed deadlines, nobody notices her. In the rain they run past her, kicking up sleet in her face. In the blinding heat of the sun she sits, still as a lizard, as children’s laughter echoes through the streets. She has worked the fields till her feet bled from exhaustion; she has borne the children who will shape the future; she has been a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mother; but nobody notices her. She is old now, and one day soon the winds of time will sweep away yesterday’s papers without her. And nobody will notice.

Afiori - (Maria-Thérèse Andersson)
She had long since lost the fear of smoking. Of doing anything that's bad for you, for that matter. I'm sick of living, the old woman thought as she saw the legs of the crowds pass her by.

All her friends were gone. She was of no importance to anyone anymore - they even stepped on her as she was sitting on the pavement; it was as if she were invisible.

Really, there was no point in living.

She inhaled the smoke and once again played with thoughts on how to end her life. Would she jump in front of a train? From a bridge?

Still, she couldn't help but look for signs.

If three persons with red shirts passed her within the next five minutes she would go on living.

If the word "hope" was found five times in the same newspaper she would not kill herself.

She inhaled the smoke while she carefully read all the newspapers in the pile in front of her.


Small Footprints

I'm invisible
as I sit on this street.
They don't see me
and I don't speak.

They don't know that I was once a mom.
I lovingly called her "Jen".
I kissed her check before her prom
and never saw her again.

Unknown woman died last night.
That's what the headlines will say.
Papers surrounded her - it was an awful sight.
Perhaps it is better this way.


People pass, look away, think I sell papers from home. Not so. I shrug shoulder, shoo. I not give up precious news.Gift son give. Lin say read, bring old country to you. Not same. Nothing same. My language, each character tell story of heart left behind.

Not stay in restaurant all day, everyone busy. Lin say sit, enjoy being elder. Old fool he think I am. Invisible paper lantern. I sit outside where lamp in sky shine light on words. Bring water to eyes. Tears float for father, sister. Try night escape, no tell anyone. Bad men come, take away tongue. I lucky get away, some not. They ghosts above rice fields.

Granddaughter want hear story. How survive. How family live when I girl. What words I say?Heart torn out too?

I tell her: Honor where come from.Even if tongue have short life.Respect what elder keep hidden. Some story go out like match. Some burn fire where heart once live.

I try put pieces together. Puzzle I know broken. Never be whole. I find words for Granddaughter.

Maybe help her tongue sing.


Janna Qualman said...

I hope she doesn't mind my doing this, but Joy's "entry" can be found here:

She gets my vote!

Kathryn Magendie said...


Angie Ledbetter said...

Good griefaroni! Glad I'm not the judge of these AWESOME contest entries. Congrats to every one of you.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Tell me about it, Angie! I'm stunned - and just so happy to see these words !

colbymarshall said...

Haha- gotta love Debbie's- true to my life!

Nannette said...

Yeah, absolutely great stuff.

kimmi said...

They are all GREAT. Voted!!! : D

t i m said...

This was fun.

I won’t vote for myself so I’ll opt for someone else more worthy than me - its a tough choice, but thankfully I have a an 8-sided dice to help me decide...

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank y'all for coming by and voting and everything! :)

Walker said...

OK I voted and it wasn't easy.
Alomst as hard as judging a wet t-shirt contest

Anita said...

This was fun! Thanks for giving me the chance to vote!

Barbara said...

Congrats to all. Wonderful writing.

Debbie said...

I'm embarrassed that my little dribble is on here with these excellent writers. Wow.

Barry said...

I enjoyed all of them and hated voting for my favourite.

But I did.

DebraLSchubert said...

Very cool contest. It took me a while to figure it out (must be all the "fun" I had back in the 80's!!). It was fun voting. Best of luck to all the writers.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thanks for voting Debra!

Anonymous said...

Wow - I won! Thanks so much for such a fun contest, and the opportunity to write outside my comfort zone :)