A Tribute to Gary of Bereaved Single Dad Blog

It’s been a while since I wrote a tribute piece; all the more reason to cobble one together.

Tonight, I wish to honor Gary of A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent. Real, authentic, and (in his son’s words) a muppet; Gary mixes relatable humanity with life lessons and heartwarming morals.

I fall flat, I’m certain, but here is my effort to replicate his style and pay tribute to his daily blog posts.

Meal Plans

close up photo of man cooking meat

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Had to use a photo from the free media library as I didn’t think to take my own today. Was too busy putting out flames.

“So, last time I used the grill, I noticed it was really dirty. I pushed all the burned stuff into the bottom through little holes, but then saw I couldn’t get it out without taking the grill apart…”

My husband and I were between work and night, between school for the boys and free time on the computers, between dinner and eating it.

Evening had come without meal plans, as usual. I’d searched the freezer for what meat might be hiding and discovered chicken breasts from the mad rush to stockup last March. Surely if I could defrost them enough we could grill them the rest of the way, I thought.

“…Well, when I closed the grill cover, those old pieces all caught fire…”

Hm, my husband said, I wondered why I smelled smoke.

He hadn’t seen the entire grill in flames. Thankfully.

While the fire died down so the gauge didn’t read 750 degrees I mixed up a sauce for the well-done chicken. Oil’s good for a sauce, and vinegar, and this bottle called Pizza Seasoning and salt and pepper… Turns out oil’s also good for a second round of incineration.

So, dinner was also between: between raw and burnt black.

It’s not bad if you put barbecue sauce all over it, one son said at dinner. His piece of chicken was more sauce than bird but he ate it.

Life doesn’t always turn out how you plan either. Sometimes you plan a wonderful dinner. Sometimes it’s a good idea to get takeout. Most times, at the between times, you make do with what you’ve got.

And perhaps pull out the barbecue sauce.

——

If you’d like a better representation of Gary, visit his site. The poor guy’s only got a few thousand adoring fans.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

A Tribute to Geoff LePard of TanGental

I’ve wanted to replicate Geoff’s style for awhile now, but he is a very …unique sort of writer. Take Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Mark Twain; then add a little brain injury or late night staring at hedgerows and you’ve nearly got him.

Since I’m not those authors and lack any hedges (I’m American), I’ve vowed to do the best I can. Geoff writes spot-on reviews of plays or movies, brags about his amazing garden (with pictures), and includes the occasional stint into poetry. Most of the time, however, he comes up with the strangest of short stories (supposedly) based on photo prompts.

The final sort is what I chose to mimic. I give you, therefore,

Tricks and Stones #writephoto

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‘What d’you think, Francisissi?’

‘Hard to say, hard to say…’

‘But you do say it’s him; tell me you say that, at least.’

Thomaquinas scratched a gravelly spot near his ear. He attempted to pull at his robes near another, equally irritated area, but failed. ‘Hard to say…’

A puff of dust exited Fran’s facial orifice that once resembled a mouth. He should’ve expected this; should have brought along Patrireland or even Thérieux. No, maybe not Théri. Last time she’d literally talked the ear off the poor soul –

Thom shifted uncomforably. He always shifted uncomfortably, of course, but managed to convey that this particular discomfort came from his needing to answer Fran and not, as was usual, from a necessarily stiff figure.

‘So is he a close enough resemblance to try it?’

Thom considered, his features a blank slate as he did so. He nodded, dropping a few chinks of neck in process.

‘Right.’ Fran raised his arms stiffly to meet Thom’s. Their palms touched in a small crumble of grey dust. Fran winced.

Aiseray isthay oulsay omfray ethay astpay, the two intoned. Aiseray isthay oulsay omfray ethay astpay!

More dust and chips of rock fell as they attempted to raise their arms. The ground rumbled. Grass wilted. A doe, as surprised by talking stone as readers are to find a doe suddenly inserted in a paragraph, leaped away. The statue before the chanting pair shook slightly, else shook because the ground beneath it did.

Beginning with a muffled ‘Eeeur,’ and ending with a shouted, ‘Rrrrraugh!’ the man before them began moving. Dust, bits, and the odd bird excrement flew at Thom and Fran from his stretching limbs. Uttering a final, Omfray ethay astpay!, they stepped back apace and dropped their hands.

‘Yeaurgh!’ the third man said. He shook and twisted at his immobile robes, then fixed blank, grey eyes on his rescuers. ‘What’s this, then?’

‘Francisissi.’

‘Thomaquinas.’

‘Eh?’ Tilting his head to the side, he smacked at an ear. Smallish rubble and powder drifted from the downward side of his face and rained on the wilted grass.

‘Are you,’ Fran queried, ‘Simeter?’

‘Who?’ Their companion tilted the other way, smacking more grey detritus to the ground.

‘Simeter,’ Thom ventured, ‘Or, maybe …Paulsus?’

‘Who, me?’ The once-statue’s face nearly broke as he broke into a grin. ”Fraid not, boys.’

Thom turned and fixed Fran with a stonelike stare. ‘Well,’ Thom gulped, coughing from swallowed dust, ‘Who are you?”

‘Dominizza,’ Dominizza shrugged, ‘The pizza deliverer.’

——

I probably murdered it, so sorry to Geoff. To the rest of you, try him out if he’s your cup of tea.

 

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoZac Farmer

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Carrot Ranch’s Writing Contest I

Do you like writing contests?

Of course you do!

That’s why you’re sure to be hollerin’ when I tell you about Carrot Ranch‘s Rodeo! Every year, Charli hosts contests over a few weeks with varying themes.

Interested? There are prizes…

Here’s the information for the first one:

CRITERIA:

  1. Write a tall tale and exaggerate something that happens to someone somewhere.
  2. It can be fiction or fictionized BOTS (based on a true story) but must be exaggerated to the point it couldn’t possibly be true. It’s okay — tell a whopper of a lie as a story!
  3. It can be humorous, sensational, or melodramatic from any genre.
  4. Use original details to express your tale.
  5. Make the judges laugh or gasp in surprise.

CONTEST RULES:

  1. Every entry must be 99 words, no more, no less. You can have a title outside that limit. Check your word count using the wordcounter.net. Entries that aren’t 99 words will be disqualified.
  2. Enter this contest only once. If you enter more than once, only your first entry will count.
  3. Do your best to submit an error-free entry. Apply English grammar and spelling according to your country of origin style. As long as the judges can understand the language, it is the story that matters most.
  4. Use the form below the rules to enter.
  5. If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email WITHIN 3 DAYS, contact Charli at wordsforpeople@gmail.com.
  6. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 9, 2019.
  7. You may submit a “challenge” if you don’t want to enter the contest or if you wrote more than one entry.
  8. Refrain from posting your contest entry until after November 28.

2019 JUDGING

Charli Mills, Lead Buckaroo at Carrot Ranch, will collect stories, omitting names in order to select the top ten blind. Please refrain from posting your contest entry on your blog. A live panel of judges from the Keweenaw will select three winners from the top ten stories. The blind judging will be a literary event held at the Roberts Street Writery at Carrot Ranch World Headquarters in Hancock, Michigan. After selections are made, a single Winners Announcement with the top ten in each category will be posted on November 28. All ten stories in each contest will receive a full literary critique, and the top winner in each contest will receive $25 (PayPal, check, Amazon gift card, or donation).

YOU CAN ENTER AS A CHALLENGE.

—–

Go on over to Carrot Ranch and enter today!!

(what if I hear them) whistle and cry

Always so apt at capturing The Song of Things: Frank Prem.

Frank Prem Poetry

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I hear the dead
cry out
in the colours
of the burning night

even my shadow
bows down
before them

these
are the stranger days
with ghost silhouettes
that I
can see

this killing ground
is the shade
of dying fire

and I am
alive
I wonder
why

I am alive
perhaps
to play
the witness

and what if I
were hung
to drain and dry
suspended
from my toes

what if the sound
of the wind
in my throat
was
the only proof

of a lie

troubled days
troubled thoughts
troubled visions

trouble
everywhere I go

there is no sound
that is not
the dead

whistling

the wind blows
without care

whistling

and the creaking
of each rope
is a separate song

the creaking
of each soul
is a sigh

I have to turn
away
lest these images invade me
in my sleeping

I think
I may have known…

View original post 53 more words

The Enemy of Fear

“Fear cannot kill you but it can stop you from living. It can stifle and stymie potential and ambition, preventing you from becoming the person you were created to be. But do you want to know a secret? Fear has a weakness, an Achilles heel, that when exposed and exploited will bring it crashing to its knees. That weakness is YOU. Which is why it hates you so much and devotes so much energy towards destroying you.

“You can conquer fear, overcome it and send it scurrying back to where it first crawled from. Fear is a bully. It hates to be confronted and exposed for the despicable coward it truly is. Stop running from it. Turn and face it. Raise your sword and strike it down dead in its tracks. Your sword is your story, your weapon the words within you that fear so wants you not to write….

You are the superhero you’ve been waiting for all this time.

“We are a tribe that fear cannot breach. Today I encourage you to embrace the freedom that is fearlessness. Throw off the shackles and stride out of your cell. Live your life and not a life sentence. Expose your fears for what they are. Write about them. For you are not alone anymore. Fear can be conquered. The resistance starts today.”

From “What Are You Afraid to Blog About Today?,” by Stephen at Fractured Faith Blog.