Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty

Wil Power checked the posted starting positions in a cool, passing fashion. As a race day wind whipped her long, dark curls, she donned her sunglasses with a dramatic flair and looked bored. She heard an increase in volume from the three hundred thousand cheering fans just a tarmac away; they loved her unaffected demeanor and professional detachment.

“You ready?” her crew chief asked.

She nodded. Once.

He nodded. Half of once.

Her team swarmed around her tracksuit body; taming the hair, gloving the hands, booting the feet, and even glossing the lips. They stepped away to reveal Wil Powers: race car driver, today’s favorite to win.

Wil turned to the thousand-person section nearest her and blew them a red-lipped kiss. The resultant screams and foot-pounding shook the ground, even where she stood. Accepting her helmet from the last waiting crew member; she raised it, donned it, straightened it, tucked her hair in it. Spinning on a heel, she strutted the asphalt catwalk to her waiting car.

She loved her car almost as much as herself: sleek, fast, sexy; sporting the top sponsor every other driver envied her for. Let them envy.

Her chief’s instructions droned in her ear as her hands and eyes ran their automatic checks over instruments, seat, steering, and panel. Fully fueled, newly tired, she could feel her IndyCar just waiting to fly.

Not soon enough, the officials were finally ready. Non-drivers began moving away. “Not yet, Baby,” she told her ride.

“Not yet,” echoed in her ear.

Crews scattered, engines started, the customary celebrity car inched forward to lead them.

Not yet, she felt in the impatient rumble through her seat.

The trio in front of her moved out and hers followed after a pause. She was on the inside. She was ready. In a clouded haze of pre-race meditation, Wil saw the race from a distance: thirty-three cars all weaving patiently; thirty-three drivers scratching, adjusting, rubbing visors, quadruple-checking screens.

“Two corners, then green flag,” her crew chief intoned.

“Almost,” she purred.

Almost.

Another celebrity stood poised atop the tower, his green flag already waving like mad. Wil Power did not even grant him a glance as her red baby zoomed across the start and hungrily revved to reach lap speed.

“Now!” they all chorused. Beneath the helmet, she smiled.

 

Continued from Seventy-Nine.

 

Want to start at the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start.

Sunshine Blogger Award Thingie, Again

I’m not a fan of the award thingies, mostly due to the whole chain-mail idea of them; however, I am a fan of sharing people’s sites and connecting and learning more about everyone.

So when Len over at Len’s Daily Diary mentioned my site, of course I answered …a few days a week later. He is just the sort of upright, intelligent, honest, kind, humble, and great writer you’ll want to follow, anyway. So check out his stuff.

Here are the questions he posed to me, with my answers:

1.What is your fondest memory of childhood?

As an adult, I feel my childhood images have blended into a kaleidoscope soup of random feelings and sunshine moments. Trying to pull one, fondest shard is a daunting task. I do know that I’d pick from amongst my family vacation moments.

My parents took me and my brother and sister on a vacation every year. The funny thing is that I know we were absolute jerks pretty typical children, yet I only retain the happiness I felt in new adventures and experiences shared with the people I love.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/view-of-empty-road-1537979/

If you think this looks idyllic, add at least three underage voices SCREAMING death cries to a background of loose objects being smashed against car and human body parts.

2. If you could write your obituary, what would it say?

How morbid am I that I’ve thought about this more than once and am under the age of 50? (In my defense, I seriously considered it after helping my aunt edit the one for my grandmother.)

I’m not going to write it out here, but let’s just say that it will contain a hidden message or two and at least a passing reference to HG2G -all written in verse.

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3. Do you prefer turbulent waters or the stillness of the desert?

I definitely prefer the desert over deep water. -Don’t get me wrong; I love turbulent things. I just have a sort of terrible thalassaphobia.

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4. What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream?

I have more of a favorite brand or type than flavor, because I’ve gotten to the point where I’m picky about the depth of creamy taste and luscious thickness of quality ingredients.

So, a darned good chocolate variety works for me.

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5. Who do you most admire from history?

Distant history? Pretty much anyone who survived all the diseases and tooth decays and no hygiene; and still lived, reproduced (gah! tooth decay!), and made himself better in the world.

I admire those who had great difficulty; they are real people to me.

 

Thanks, Len! If the rest of you are still with me, here’s my nominees/people you should go check out:

Bladud Fleas: An extremely excellent writer, superbly talented artist, and …well, I don’t really know much else about him. Go visit, though.

Wilton Sugiyama of Wiltoons: He’s a dude I met through my motherhood site who draws cartoons about life.

Thru Violet’s Lentz: An excellent writer of many genres.

Ruth Scribbles: Another excellent writer who mostly dabbles in poetry.

Bereaved: My short name for A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent. Long name; hilarious and touching posts.

All y’all can answer these questions if you feel like it:

  1. How much chocolate is too much?
  2. Who would really win: Batman or Superman?
  3. Why is it always the last place you look?
  4. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen European swallow?
  5. Where would you go to find The Meaning of Life?

 

Photo Credits
Pexels.com
Sandy Millar
Greg Rakozy
Pexels.com

Home Life Poetry

The Laundry

I start the clothes
Then, finds some holes
In folds and soles
Then thinks
Or yells,
-‘Midst stinks
And smells-
“It’s time to switch up roles!”

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Stay At Home Mothering Melancholia

Some days I sit or stand or write and sigh.
I feel the world; it turns without an I.
Yet stand I still and sigh as still I stand
And wonder at my world of self-made sand.

A day in ten, I’ll press against the glass;
See others, walking, smiling, talking past.
They wave; I raise a hand, a shy half-smile.
Some beckon; No, I say, to thoughts erstwhile.

I’ll stay and stand and sigh and write today;
I’ll watch and lift my mouth a twitch and wave;
I’ll cry and sift some sand from out’ the way;
I’ll forget this melanchol’ia. I’m okay.

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Photo Credit
Nik MacMillan
Jules Marchioni

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good day to you all. This here’s The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, tenth edition.

Don’t know what ‘terrible poetry’ means? Read mah handy article, “How To Write Terrible Poetry.”

Here are the rules for this week:

  1. Topic: Worrisome Noises. They could be anything, from anywhere.
  2. Keep it reasonable in length. No ballads, please. (That means we don’t want a poem in excess of 200 or 300 words.)
  3. Should it rhyme? I don’t care. It’s yours to let us read.
  4. This may be the most important rule: make it terrible.
    I want the neighborhood auto mechanic to beg you to bring in a hundred engines with ‘funny noises’ driven by grandmothers who don’t know which body part is aching while their grandchildren drop something in the backseat that makes a suspiciously-messy *sploosh* sound.
  5. Keep it PG-rated. The grandmas might read it.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (January 25, 2019) to submit a poem.

Post your poem or a link to it in the comments, or fill out the included form. I read them all and judge as impartially as blindly as I may.

 

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Photo Credit:
Clark Young

Creativity Contest: We’re Going Treasure Hunting

Treasure chest prompt? You got it!

Visit The Great Peregrine Arc’s site to read her story prompt idea and fly away with it!

Peregrine Arc

I’m experimenting with these contest things, trying to think of ways to get creativity flowing, imaginations growing and neurotransmitter reward paths triggered. Er, I mean, I want you to have fun. Right? Right!

So this week, I want you to imagine you come across a treasure chest. The setting and circumstances are yours to invent. But you need to tell the reader what’s inside…eventually. Build up a little intensity; spice it with anticipation or season with mystery. Do your thing and we’ll read it. We’re looking forward to what the treasure chest reveal for you.

The rules are below. No winners/losers this week; we’re just swimming in the sea of creativity. Pass the conch shell, would you? I need to sharpen my pencil.

While you’re here, hit subscribe and stick around for while. We’d love to have you.

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WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Has the bleak midwinter weather got you down? Try our collection of elemental limericks!

This week’s winner was tough to forecast, but I settled on the first of two poems submitted by Molly Stevens:

Untitled piece

by Molly Stevens

Why does I freeze in Maine year round?
Shouldn’t I be Florida bound?
Palm trees, iced tea, flickering fleas,
And green pies made with limes of key!
Unless, of course, my ship runs aground.

Congratulations, Molly! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Admittedly, Molly’s ‘B’ lines of her limerick were longer than is traditional, but I could only see how much that added to the terrible nature of her construction. I also liked her near-rhymes, her references that somewhat-related to a theme, and that she kept to a limerick format (in general).

I had so much fun reading through the other entries, even if the writers did not read all the directions. Or, to their credit, maybe they felt too shy to write a limerick. For the others, great work! So funny!

Speaking of the others, here they are in submission order:

Untitled piece

by Molly Stephens

Snow, sleet and freezing rain,
Pounding on my window pane,
Do I care
Enough to swear?
Dreaming of a life in Brisbane.

—–

Rain

by Karen

the thunderous rain comes falling down
it hits the ground without a sound
it splashes in puddles
without any trouble
and gathers in holes in the ground

—–

Snow

by Karen

snow is white when it leaves the sky
and yellow on the ground, but please don’t try
they say not to eat
it isn’t a treat
but you’ll heave if I tell you why

—–

Untitled piece

by Geoff LePard

It’s wet
Yet
I get
Het
Up if turns out nice and I have to water the garden.

It pours
Befores
I bores
The in-laws
With my moaning about having to get the hosepipe out.

The rain
‘S a pain
Yet I refrain
Again
From saying the bloody sunshine isn’t what I need right now.

This drought
Ought
Not to have caught
Me out.
English weather is almost as annoying as spelling.

—–

Whether weather wether

by Bruce Goodman

A ewe asked a ram, known as “Heather”,
Whether a wether was a misspelling of weather?
I’ll show you one day
Why missing more than an A
Prevents us from getting together.

—–

Untitled piece

by Bladud Fleas

gravity dictates
precipitates
fall
that’s all
mates

is it snowing?
I ask knowing
the white stuff
ain’t fluff
the wind’s blowing

—–

Untitled piece

by Cricket Muse

There once was a terrible storm,
That changed from cold to warm.
The snow and sun mixed
and couldn’t be fixed,
Which is why parkas and shorts were worn.

—–

Untitled piece

by RH Scribbles

in Texas you never know if
it will rain now or in a jiffy
it won’t even snow
so off to school I go, bro
the teachers will all be so beachy

Keep up the ‘good’ work, everyone! See you for next week’s contest!

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The Cure for Depression

Step right up, folks! Step right up!

Come feast your eyes on this marvelous tonic; right here, right now. What you may think is a simple bottle is actually the most secret of formulas from the Jungles of the East; from the hand of Marvelodijiling, the famed Healer and only man to live past 200 years of age without a health problem of any sort.

This is The Cure for Depression.

It is, indeed. You may shake your head at me, madame. You may wonder at the authenticity, young sir. I assure ALL that this product is exactly as it says. One simple dose each day will GUA-RAN-TEE to rid you of the woes of Depression.

Labelled glass bottles with various powders and liquids

…And if that sales pitch convinced you, then you and I need to have a long talk.

Actually, we can have a really short talk: Depression doesn’t work like that. For one, it isn’t “cured.” It is, however, a condition that CAN be managed once you learn the skills. This depends on the severity of symptoms and genetics and a whole crapload of stuff that would best be handled by a professional.

I am not a professional; at least, not that kind. I am merely a fellow sufferer with access to Google. I have, therefore, come up with a list:

1. Connect with a human.

2. Connect with a paid human; also known as a counselor, psychologist, therapist, and perhaps a psychiatrist.

3. Swallow that pill, if necessary.

4. Get up, then move.

5. Get outside.

6. Eat something healthy.

7. Do something that brings you real joy.

8. If it doesn’t fit in with #7, do something for someone.

9. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

10. Sleep, at sleeping times. Wake at morning times.

11. Follow a routine.

12. Meditate, pray, journal, etc.

13. Don’t get sloppy and skip what works.

14. Never give up. (Never surrender.)

Whenever you’re in your cave, I’d like you to pull out this list. Grab one; do it. Maybe steal another after an hour of trying the first one.

Furthermore, I’m gonna help a brother/sister/broster/sisther out by writing individual articles about each of these ideas. It’ll be a tetradecalogy. Stick around; eat some chocolate.

Come for the treats, stay for the community, and live life for the future you.

 

Originally posted at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog on May 28, 2018. I intend to publish one of these articles each week.

unsplash-logoMatt Briney

How to Win Friends and …Nevermind

I am not very good at making friends.

Or, maybe I am and don’t know it.

Reassuring people on places like Facebook (who do not stay to talk long in person) tell me that everyone feels the way I do. They say that they like me and, no, I do not have a smell or an annoying habit or whatever.

Then, as I said, they don’t hang around.

I think, in fact, they are wrong about their assertions. -Though not about the smell. I shower and deodorize and even use girly-spritz most days.- I think I do have an annoying habit and I am a whatever.

My annoying habit is that I am socially defunct and that I kind of want to be. Whilst simultaneously envying the cluster of blonde-dyed women who have all had Botox and wear Size 4 or lower, I also …well, you see what I do. I judge. I think it even shows in my face because what’s internal becomes external for me. No, I am not a good poker player.

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What I am not sure about is whether this envy/judging plays a part in my other behaviors or if I am just trying to ‘be me’ (another terrible suggestion). In this case, I refer to my discussing subjects that are more interesting than whoever is pretending to be The Bachelor or what piece of whitewashed antique barnwood Joanna Gaines is using this week.

Further, I am not sure if I eschew things like barnwood because of my fierce desire to be unique and, most definitely, not ever be classified as a typical woman; or if I really don’t like those things.

Some times I go to social functions and feel things are going well. I listen to a willing woman’s life stories and, occasionally, am able to broach a more advanced topic. More than once when this happened, my conversation partner remarked, “You’re a deep thinker.”

Deep thinker? Does that make them a shallow thinker? A not-thinker?

There I go being judgy again. I guess I just need to turn that off. Or, start watching more shows about bachelors.

Are you a social butterfly? An outcast? A ‘deep thinker?’ What do you think about The Mystery of Socializing?

—–

I can small talk. I’ll start with my week in review:
Wednesday, January 9: “A Tree Falls in a Forest; Does the Reader Hear It?,” a post about a little stream, or maybe a metaphor.
Thursday, January 10: “Skinwalkers, XLVIII.” The End of Skinwalkers, at least on here. The story was taking way too long for everything I wanted to do, so I figured I’d stop boring everyone with it.
Friday, January 11: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congrats to a new contender, M.K.M.
Saturday, January 12: Announced the ninth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Write a limerick and share it!
Also, “Directions from a Druid,” in response to D. Wallace Peach‘s picture prompt.
Sunday, January 13: “Bio-Enrichment,” my flash fiction conversation for Carrot Ranch.
Monday, January 14: “Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Nine.”
Also, “What Do You Do All Day?” at my mothering blog.
Tuesday, January 15: Inspirational quote from a song written by Charlie Chaplin.
Wednesday, January 16: Today!

Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Nine

Wil didn’t notice her interesting ensemble, and her mother was too kind to draw attention to it. Wil might have requested the information, had she known that a certain occupant of Building Five was spying more discreetly than even W could manage.

She and her mother suspected nothing. They walked their familiar, echoing path past the winter-dead trees and morning-shadowed playground. They spoke less than usual; they thought a lot more. Her mother had two coughing fits but insisted she felt fine enough to continue. Wil sighed deeply more than twice but insisted she felt fine enough to continue as well.

They walked the cold and empty route in a quiet unease; each with thoughts far from the areas she walked through or the person she walked with.

“All right, Wil…” her mother said once they were back at home. Her intended speech, however, was interrupted by yet more coughing. Wil closed the door, then walked her gasping mother to the couch. She held up the medicine bottle, the water cup, and then the nebulizer in turn. Cynthia shook her head at each but the last. Wil found and measured out the correct medication, attached the air hose, and offered its mouthpiece. She anxiously watched her mother inhale the vapor at a gasp in the coughing; cough; inhale; breathe out. Wil sighed, as she always did, in relief.

Her mother cleared her throat in the careful manner she’d used all weekend. “Now, Wil,” she said in a quieter voice, “Are you going to tell me more about your secret clues, or about Reagan, or…” She fixed Wil with a knowing look. “About why the playground outside makes you sigh?”

Wil looked up, shock plainly written all over her face.

“Or,” her mother said kindly, “Maybe you want to talk more about the letter from Gwen?”

Wil opened her mouth, changed her mind, and closed it. Her face changed expression to one of scrunched thoughtfulness as she considered what to say. She opened her mouth to try again.

“Mina!” her father said in surprise. He stood in the doorway to the hall, coat in hand and socks on feet. “We need to go!”

Wil hurried a glance to the microwave clock. They were late! “Oh! Sorry, Dad! Umm..” She searched around herself for what she might need to grab, as her thoughts searched around her head for what she might need to remember. Her mind grasped an idea before her hands did. “My bag! I’ll got get my bag from my room! Then we can go!”

She rose in a rush and made to dart around her father; who, for some reason, blocked her path. Wil looked up at him in confusion. A smile played at the edges of his mouth.

“Min- Wil,” he said. “Maybe pick some different pants first?”

Her gaze traveled back to her own person. “Gah!” she exclaimed, and again made to rush to her bedroom. This time her father did not stop her. In fact, she heard what sounded suspiciously like a chuckle just before entering her room.

 

Continued from Seventy-Eight.
Keep reading to Eighty.