OLWG · writing

OLWG# 261- The A to Z Guide of Families and Family Life

Written for OLWG# 261

Peter’s family moved from Live OakTerrace to HighPoint Heights at the end of his first year Jonathan Doerr High School. As one might expect, this necessitated his transfer to Stephen F. Austin School of the Arts.

He met Ellen Grisham at Austin.

It was love at first sight.

Peter was so in love with Ellen and so excited about being in love that he went home and told his father. “Dad, I’ve met a girl at school, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. We want to get married and raise a family together.”

He expected his father to be supportive but was shocked when his dad pulled him out to the garage, “Ellen Grisham, you say?” Peter’s dad almost whispered. He seemed nervous.

“That’s right, Dad, she’s beautiful. She and I love one another.”

“Peter, you can’t date Ellen Grisham. Please don’t say anything to your mother, but as a young man, I sinned. My flesh was weak; and I slept with women outside of my marriage. Ellen Grisham’s mother was one of them. Ellen is your sister. You can’t do it son. It would be unnatural.”

Peter was heartbroken, but he took his fathers words to heart, and he cut ties with the young Ms Grisham. Although heartbroken, Peter was young enough to bounce back. After several months he met Angela Bishop. Peter again went to his father and, guess what? He told Peter that Angela Bishop was also his sister.

Devastated, Peter had no choice but to betray his father’s confidence, and he went to seek advice from his mother.

He told his mom everything. He told her about Ellen and Angela. He cried as he told her how her husband, his father, had betrayed her all those years ago.

Mom smiled sadly and pulled Peter into an embrace.

“Don’t you fret about that shit, boy I knew about his philandering ways.” She pressed his head into her shoulder.” If you want to date any of those girls, you feel free to go ahead and do it. Hell, date them both. I’m going to tell you the truth now. He’s not really your father.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. bellyful of gin
  2. remember what it feels like to fall
  3. death comes like dawn


ZOZO- 23.May.22 The Stars

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

Melissa leaned back on the grass next to Paul and studied the carpet of stars that filled the night sky.

“Have you ever looked at clouds to find the shapes, the pictures in them?”

“I have,” he answered. “When I was very young, my brother and I once spotted a dragon in the clouds. He didn’t last long though the wind reshaped him into a sailboat. We should try it with the stars.”

Melissa mused, “I think that is what those old Greek dudes did, and they came up with the constellations. Do you think we could find some new ones?”

“We should try.” they agreed.

“Look over there,” Paul pointed to the eastern sky, “That one looks like a centipede. And there he pointed a few degrees to the west. That might be a paperboy on his bicycle.”

“I just don’t see them,” Melissa said, puzzled, “I see a girl who doesn’t think she’s pretty enough, and there’s a girl with an eating disorder. Probably anorexia; she thinks she’s too fat.”

“I get it,” said Paul, “I see a wimpy boy. He’s not strong at all. He constantly disappoints his parents.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. the starlit evening
  2. embraced her insecurities
  3. the dragon needs rescuing


ZOZO- 17.May.22 Burma Shave

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

I glance at the gauges on the dash

110 miles per hour

temperature is good

Oil pressure – right where it should be

Getting a little low on fuel


Rain glistens on the windscreen

Charlie Rich croons on the radio


I need to start looking for that Texaco

the one with the diner, the one recommended by the sign just back

Texaco bacon sounds good about now

or eggs, over easy, perched atop a slice of sourdough.




Maybe a Sinclair 

The green dinosaur

They used to be called Brontosaurus. Brontosauri?

But that’s changed now.

Why would a dinosaur change his name?

Was a judge involved in that business?


Rest Stop 15 miles

Does anybody need to pee?


Next services 90 miles

That must be Flagstaff

It seems about right

Can I make it?

I have an extra two-and-a-half gallon can

in the boot.


I can make it

will make it

I am the master of my fate

Flagstaff is just a bump in the road.

Just a bump in the road

A bump in the road

A bump

The road


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. 90 miles to Flagstaff
  2. to be or not to be
  3. I am the master of my fate

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 260- A Formidable Doubt

Written for OLWG# 260

Sam and Evelyn were sipping coffee and sitting in the sunshine that streamed through the kitchen window.

“Jimmy never came home last night,” Sam said to Evvie, “He didn’t call either. He better be in the hospital, or I’ll put him there.”

Evvie shook her head, “He probably just got drunk and spent the night at one of his buddies places,” she said.

The girls heard a key in the front lock, and the door pushed open, but the chain was on. It didn’t open very far.

“Sam? Sam, open the door.” they heard Jimmy calling through the narrow opening. “Samantha, let me explain.”

She got up from the table, walked over and slammed the door in his face. She quickly turned the deadbolt and went back to the table.

“Up yours, Jimmy, I don’t want to hear it,” she hollered over her shoulder. She got almost halfway back to the table, stopped and turned around. Back at the closed front door, she said softly, “I dropped your stupid dog off at your mother’s house, Jimmy. I told her that you were out sleeping around. I told her that you’d probably be moving back in with her soon.

“I’ll pack your shit up and get it to your mom’s someday, Don’t come looking for any of your shit here. I’m keeping your black Sonic Youth tee-shirt, though.”

“No, Sam. Samantha, you can’t do this,” he said softly from the other side of the door.

“What’s her name, Jimmy?”

“Sam?” he pleaded.

“Do you even know her name, Jimmy? Huh?”


“Her name’s not Sam. That’s my name. I’ll find out, though, and I’ll tell everyone. Go away now. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

When Samantha got back to the table, Evie gave her a thumbs up, “Damn girl,” Evvie said, “it’s getting cold in here. You have a jacket I can borrow?”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. don’t want to hear about it
  2. sweet revenge
  3. getting cold in here


Missing State Writers- May 2022

Written in five minutes time, with some friends in Capitan

I carried the bag filled with cheap plonk from my car, through the door that joined the garage with the kitchen and set it on the table where the Formica was faded from wear and sunlight. Sunlight that had streamed onto the surface through the window ever since my mother had put the table in the position where it still sat today. I retrieved a tumbler from the cupboard, filled it with cheap Spanish wine and began to drink. I had set the goal of drinking until the darkness descended and enveloped me in a cocoon of silk – no pain.

  1. it is what you allow it to be
  2. the darkness
  3. the cheapest wine
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 259- Mr Field’s One Night Stand

Written for OLWG# 259

It was about an hour before midnight, and the rain was rolling in when he pulled off the freeway and stopped at the signal near the Belden Village Mall. His destination was the Residence Inn on Broadmoor Circle. It was around the backside of the mall, off the beaten path enough that you had to be going there to go by there. He had never been there before, so it was unlikely that he’d be recognized or remembered.

Parking in a dark section of the lot, he grabbed his soft leather valise, pulled his hat down low, turned up the collar of his raincoat and made his way inside. A petite woman with mousy brown hair and acne scars  sat behind the check-in counter. She turned her attention from the magazine she held, to him, as he drew near.

“Help you?” she asked.

“Hi, Tiffany,” he squinted at the copper coloured name badge she wore on her lapel, “I have a reservation,” he said, “My name is Fields, Tyson Fields.”

She typed the name into the system and studied the screen, “Yes, sir, I see your name, but unfortunately, your credit card’s been denied. I’ll need to collect payment, how would you like to do that?”

He sighed and rolled his eyes, “This is the last time I use this Marshall BankCorp card. They have been nothing but trouble. How about if I give you cash for tonight?”

“Of course Mr Fields,” she smiled at him, “Cash works. You still want the single king for $68.00?”

“That’s great, can you put me on the ground floor?”

She typed a bit more and smiled at him as he placed three twenties and a ten on the counter. She scooped up the bills; pressed some keys on her keyboard, they both heard the ding sound of the cash drawer opening. She dug out a couple of singles and handed them to him. They both smiled.

Handing over his key-card, she informed him that room 145 was down to the end of the hall, on the right-hand side.”

He took the card and turned toward the corridor she had indicated. He turned back and asked, almost as an afterthought, “Tiffany, where would be a good place for a guy to find a drink. And, maybe some …companionship around here?”

She held up one finger, picked up the phone and dialed a three-digit extension, “Hey, Denise,” she said into the handset, “Can you come and take over the desk? I gotta go,” she paused, “yeah, right now.”

Pushing up her breasts and throwing her shoulders back, she said, “The Thirsty Dog Tavern is just up the road in Morningside heights. When Denise gets up here, I’ll be happy to show you.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. like what you see?
  2. the rain rolls in
  3. grew up tough in Morningside Heights

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 258- A Strong Woman, One of a Kind

Written for OLWG# 258

My Great Grandma was a strong woman. She, her husband, and their four daughters had a gold mine in New Mexico that they worked together until the late 1800’s when he was killed in a poker game. She took the girls south, where they homesteaded a ranch in the Permian Basin. She was tight, she was stern, and I never saw her smile. Life was hard for her, raising daughters on her own and sending them all to college. College educated women were rare in those days, but all four of her girls were college graduates.

She would wear her shoes on the wrong feet every other day, in order for them to wear out evenly and last longer. She wore long black dresses, devoid of ornamentation, and kept her hair pulled back into a knot at the base of her neck. She died in the 1950’s, at the ripe old age of 100. My sister and I used to visit and sit with her when my Grandma and my mother would go ‘tend to things on the ranch. We’d sit in silence on rocking chairs in the shade of the porch, sipping lemonade garnished with a sprig of fresh mint pinched from the garden. Occasionally she would make a comment about the weather.

“Hot today,” she would say. Or, “I reckon, it might rain.”

We were not expected to react. We might nod in agreement, but nothing more; we were children, after all.

When my sister suggested I write something about my great-grandmother, I resisted. “I write fiction,” I’d say.

“Try it,” my sister would argue with me. “You might enjoy it.” She explained that she had done all the research and could spoon feed me all the information I needed.

“I don’t like writing true stories,” I’d argue back. “Fiction is more forgiving.”

We been going back and forth on this for years. This piece is the compromise, and you, the reader, have to decide how much is fiction and how much is truth. Sorry to lay this burden on you. Let me know what you decide.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. the world took her smile
  2. fiction is more forgiving
  3. brushed your cheek


ZOZO- 02.May.22

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

I was on the bus, heading home after my overnight shift cooking at the Roadhouse Grill when I met her the first time.

She introduced herself as Donna and said that she used to be the queen of Texas but had been unseated from that position by her sister in a coup that few people even knew about; Donna wasn’t bitter. She hadn’t liked being queen anyway; too much responsibility, too easy to fuck things up, mess with people’s lives. The sister, Anita, who was now known as Queen Anita, was a witch, “Anita deserves to be queen,” she said, “I hope the job drives her crazy; stark raving mad. I never liked her anyway. She was always my mom’s favourite, Daddy’s little girl. I had to set the table, I had to lay the fire, I had to do the dishes, and I had to mow the lawn. She never had to do any of those things.”

“Yeah,” I told her agreeably, “you’re better off not having to put up with all that bullshit. Better to be ‘Apple Girl Cinderella’ than ‘Princess Cinderella.’” I knew not the first thing of what I spoke, but it encouraged her. She nodded her head, grateful that I understood. And, who really was I to say what the better position was, but she seemed to crave reinforcement of the things she had already decided. I was happy to oblige.

“What do you do now?” I asked her, “I mean, now that you are no longer Queen of Texas.”

“I take care of the park downtown. You know; the one where they have that statue of that guy? Where all the pigeons shit? I water the grass, trees, and bushes there. I also arrange for the proper winds when people come to fly their kites. Box kites require specific wind conditions to fly properly, you know.”

I nodded, “of course.”

“Box kite conditions are not necessarily the same as those required for Diamond kites or Dragon kites. The secret to a successful Diamond kite flight is getting the proper wind for the length of the tail. It’s not easy, but I persevere. Sometimes I have to have as many as five different wind conditions at the same park, all at the same time. It’s a thankless job. That bitch, Anita has no idea.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. take me home
  2. stark, raving mad
  3. the witch deserves to be queen

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 257- Unspectacular

Written for OLWG# 257

I met the seventeen-year-old Kwin Ginerisey at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving of 1941. She was a gamine girl – petite, with a sharp, angular body and bone structure. Kwin was lithe and lean. She was spectacularly equipped with small breasts and narrow hips. She was leggy and coltish, with large eyes and wispy, childlike features. I was smitten.

Mom worked downtown as a secretary to Mr Berkowitz at Frost Brothers on Houston Street. Kwin, with her looks and talent, was a star, selling cosmetics and fragrances at the make-up counter on the third floor. Mom thought Kwin and I would be a cute couple, and she wasn’t averse to playing the role of matchmaker. Mom worried about both of us. She was also concerned about the wars in Europe, and North Africa. Mom decided to pair Kwin and me. She recognized that she couldn’t do anything about the foreign wars, but she could introduce Kwin to me and me to Kwin. We hit it off right away and began dating. It was only a few weeks later, in early December, when the foreign wars were suddenly closer to home, and the United States could no longer remain neutral. I signed up with the Navy and shipped out before Christmas, soon finding myself embroiled in an ugly war in the Pacific.

Kwin relocated to Fort Worth and went to work at Consolidated Aircraft, were she became a “Wing Mechanic.” She helped build hundreds of the four-engine B-24 Liberator bombers. I didn’t come home until October of ’45 after the end of hostilities in August of that year. Security regulations did not allow me to communicate with my loved ones about my return home. I knew that Kwin would be in Fort Worth. I took a bus from San Antonio. I was leaning on her front steps when she got home from work on Friday, the 12th of October. She took me upstairs, and we did not re-emerge for four days. She was still the long, lean gamine girl I had left at home when I went overseas. She now wore her blonde hair long, and that afternoon when we were reunited, it was pretty dirty, but she cleaned up just fine. She looked like the girl I had left behind, but her face was different. I think that she looked wiser, somehow.

We never did get married in the conventional sense, but I changed my last name to Ginerisey, and the two of us raised a family. We lived together as man and wife until she passed away in 2009. She was 85. She’s resting now in Holy Oak Gardens. There’s a space next to her reserved for me.

The kids have been gone for a while now. We lost Raymond in Vietnam. I think it was 1968. His sister, Shannon, lives just outside Seattle with her husband, Eugene and their kids. I usually hear from them on my birthday and at Christmas. Charles Ray and his husband, Ruben, live in South Beach. They are childless. Kwin was proud of all of them, and so am I.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. long blonde dirty hair
  2. and I sleep in your hat


Zozo Writers- 19.Apr.2022

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

“You don’t want to hear that old story again, do you? I mean, I’ve told you twice already.”

“No, we do want to hear it again. I like the way you tell it.” They shouted in unison.

“Well, now I’ll tell it, but you all need to be quiet and pay attention. I might give a test later.” His gaze took in all the children sitting in front of him. Sitting in the dirt beneath the tree, they were grandchildren.

There were the two redheaded boys, the twins. There was the youngest, who was a girl with curly blonde hair and green eyes; there was the tall boy, brown-haired, with a spray of freckles thrown across his nose; and his sister with her hair as black as coal and an eagle feather held at the side of her face with a knot of rawhide.

They all watched him expectantly, waiting for him to start. The broken toothed twin wiped his nose with a shirtsleeve. The little blond girl clung to her feet as they rested atop her crossed legs.

“OK, then,” he said, “It was a long time ago; I wasn’t much older than him,” He pointed at the tall boy. I had run away from home and wanted to join the circus, but the big top wanted nought to do with me. I had no circus skills. I couldn’t tame a lion or swing on a trapeze. So I made my way to the waterfront and signed on board a freighter bound for adventure, bound for Africa.


time’s up – step away from your keyboards and notebooks

The prompts:

  1. my own special way
  2. I’ve told you twice
  3. an eagle feather