One Enchanted Evening

Ana laid tangled in Nick’s arms in the bed of his parked pickup truck, soft music floating from the cab. Far from city lights, a million stars dotted the sky. She thought the night couldn’t be more perfect but he promised more.

He led her through the woods to their campsite. Soft illumination inside the tent made it glow green like an emerald. Twinkle lights hung in the trees. The beauty left her breathless.

She turned to find him on one knee, ring in hand. Hope and anxiety were clear on his face.

Serenaded by cicadas, the couple celebrated her answer.


PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.




To My Daughter on her Thirteenth Birthday

You changed my life on a snowy February night in Cleveland, Ohio.

After a precipitous labor and emergency delivery, I spent the first five minutes of your life praying. I begged God to let you live as the neonatal team resuscitated you. When you stabilized, a kind nurse wrapped you up and brought you to my bedside so that I could see you before they whisked you away for surveillance. With china-doll features and eyelashes that touched your cheeks, you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.

I flew by the seat of my pants in those early months, following my instincts (and always second guessing myself) and always in haze of sleep deprivation. The toddler and preschool years were a different challenge as you grew into a headstrong and defiant child. While you were a sweet and kind-hearted soul, you were also fiercely independent. You taught me to pick my battles, balancing between helicoptering and giving you the space you needed to learn and grow.

When you started school, you blossomed academically and socially. You are smart and have always excelled with high grades. That makes me proud. Kind, gentle and accepting, you were always a child that teachers would pair with a child who needed a friend. That makes me even prouder. You have even navigated the perils of middle school with grace. So far. I worry, of course. I am waiting for the first broken heart or the first betrayal by a friend – seemingly inevitable pitfalls of the early teen years.

So here you are… an official teenager. You may be a bit too fond of your phone and your tablet but you are a pretty amazing kid. You are polite and respectful. You love animals and they are drawn to you. You are good with children. You have a servant’s heart. You love the service projects that we do in scouts and you joyfully give your time and talents to others. You are a gifted musician, though I wish I could convince you to put your heart into it. While you have many interests, you have yet to find something that lights a fire in your soul. I pity anyone who tries to stand in your way once you do find that something.

You are not perfect. You need to be kinder to your sister. I know she’s a bit younger than you and sometimes you find her annoying. But she’s your sister. She will always be your sister and I hope that someday she will be your best friend. She balances you and I wish that you would appreciate what she brings to the table. You can also be hard on yourself. I understand that. Believe me, you come by that honestly. My advice is to loosen the reigns and learn to let some things go –  the things you can’t control. Spinning your wheels with stress and anxiety only hurts you. It has taken me a long time to learn that and I expect that it will be the same for you.

My dear daughter, happy 13th birthday. I love you more than you will ever know. You have brought immeasurable joy into my life. I am proud of the young lady that you have become and I am excited to see what the future holds for you. You are my heart. Always.




Booze: the savior of family holiday gatherings.

I kid, I kid. Seriously, I am blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

I may snark about my family in an attempt at humor, but I love them. Even my in-laws, who are a helping of dysfunction with a side of crazy. I am so glad that they made the trip to share Thanksgiving with us this year.

While my kids may drive me to partake in the sweet nectar that is Crown Royal from time to time, I love them more than words can adequately express. They are my heart.

And my husband, who I probably snark about the most, has been my best friend through thick and thin for 16 years. He puts up with my crazy which I know isn’t always easy.

Even though I have more aches and pains than I used to, I have good health. This is something I never take for granted.

My job may feel like it is slowly stealing my sanity, but it stimulates my mind and feeds my soul. I love helping people.

I have a nice home in a safe place. I have food and clean water.

I have faith and freedom.

I am rich beyond belief (and I’m not talking about money).

I think this sums it up quite well:


(This isn’t mine. I saw it on facebook. I do not have a source for attribution).

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Eat much and make memories. Love and laugh. Be blessed.

Day 3: Home

Writing 101: Day 3: One-word inspiration. Select one word from the list that speaks to you in some way.


Despite the walls that she so carefully constructed,
Despite her best resistance,
He edged past the barriers
And surreptitiously made his way
Straight into her heart.
Patiently he worked,
Patching the cracks and mending the breaks.
He decorated the walls with grace
And made his home there.

photo credit: Eirik Solheim


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”


He turned his head to look at her.  She was radiant, bathed in moonlight.  Her long, wavy hair was fanned out on the blanket beneath her.  She laid next to him,  quiet and still, gazing at the stars.  His eyes ghosted over her silhouette, overwhelmed by her beauty.  She looked innocent and fragile, but he knew better.  She was intelligent, strong and courageous and she had become a grounding force in his life.  She was his sustenance and he needed her like his lungs needed air.

As he had many times before, he wondered how he had come to this place.  With all of the things that he had done, he did not feel like he deserved her attention, let alone her love.  Yet, against all odds, they were here.

She turned her head and he found himself staring into those familiar blue eyes.  He searched them as if the answers to the universe could be found there.  For him, they could be.  All he ever needed to know was right there in front of him.   He was sure of it.

She smiled and touched his face. “You look lost in thought. What are you thinking about?” She asked.

While he had much on his mind, being in this moment with her quieted all of the noise.  Nothing else mattered.

“You. Always you,” he said.

Rolling on his side, he reached out and placed his hand on the gentle swell of her stomach.  He could feel the growing life within and it gave him hope.  He knew not what was to come but he felt a peace settle over him.  He realized that this place, however he came to be there, was home.



A/N: OK, so I linked this to a daily prompt (a few days late, of course) but this is actually a small piece of a much larger project that I’m working on.  I didn’t have much time to edit, so I  know it’s not perfect (nothing ever is, right?). Feedback is welcomed.





In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burnt.”  (AKA the prompt that won’t die)


Love lost is like a burnt house.

I roam from room to room, assessing the damage. So much damage. The pieces of us are scattered, strewn about carelessly. Remnants. I take on the task of sifting through, searching for something that I can salvage and reclaim.

I find that some things have survived the fire virtually unscathed. I pick these pieces up and carry them with me. I cherish them. I am thankful for them. Lucky survivors are they.

Other pieces are damaged, but still whole. Maybe they are a little scorched around the edges or torn. Broken but repairable. They have changed but their essence remains the same.  Here I must decide what I can keep and mend and what is better left behind. The pieces that I keep and mend will assimilate into my new normal. So I must choose wisely.

And then there are those pieces that are gone completely, consumed by the fire. Disintegrated. It is almost as if they never existed. But I know that they existed, they live in my memories. I miss some of those pieces dearly. I mourn them. For others, maybe their absence is a blessing in disguise. Maybe I am better off without them, whether I realize it or not.

Our love is a burnt house. An empty shell of what once was.

photo credit


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”

His eyes stare at me from the photo,

full of light, love and mischief;

full of life.

I remember that morning,

how the light streamed in the window

and accented his face on the pillow,

how his dark hair flopped over one eye,

the look of the stubble on his chin.

This man, who filled my bed and

filled my life with love and laughter,

frozen for a moment in time.

A precious moment, 

brief and fleeting.

If I had known it would be the last photo,

I would have taken a thousand more.


It was a Friday night after a long week, a long day at work and a long drive home. I walked into my house to find an uninvited, unwanted guest. Well, he was uninvited and unwanted to me. My husband had brought home a houseguest without consulting me at all. And this houseguest was not temporary, he was to become a permanent part of our household. His name is Rusty and he is a three year-old brittany spaniel.

Confession: I am not a dog person, never have been. Its not that I don’t like dogs, dogs are fine animals. I don’t care for dogs in my house. Most dogs I’ve known in my life have been loud, hyperactive, messy, destructive and smelly. I know, dog people everywhere are throwing things at their screens and calling me names. I understand. Dogs have just never been my cup of tea. I’ve always been a cat person.

Not to mention, I have always felt that taking on a pet is a huge responsibility and not something to do on a whim and most certainly not something to spring on another person without notice or against their wishes. So to say that I was unhappy with this turn of events would have been an understatement.

I kept my eye on Rusty the first couple of days. I was kind and tolerant of him but I didn’t go out of my way to welcome him with open arms.  It was obvious that he favored my husband and stayed by his side whenever possible, laying at his feet or curling up next to him. When my husband came home, Rusty greeted him enthusiastically, his joy at seeing his favorite person evident in his body language. Rusty would follow him from room to room, just wanting to occupy the same space as his best friend.

My kids took to Rusty immediately. They showered him with love so he bonded with them quickly as well. He would lay next to them and watch them play. He was gentle with them, as if he realized that they were smaller and more fragile than my husband. He would lay next to them and put his head in their laps. At night he would go between their two bedrooms, sleeping next to one bed and then the other.  I started to notice that not only did he want to be near them but that he also took a protective stance when he was around them.

Rusty quickly began to win me over. He was a very well-behaved houseguest. He was fully trained, so he did not have any accidents on the carpet. He did not bark or chew. He didn’t even smell that bad. When it was time to go outside, he would sit very patiently and calmly, waiting for the leash to be clipped onto his collar. He had a very calm demeanor, very reserved. He even got along with our cat, Gracie. He was really unlike any other dog that I had known. He liked to be around me, but also seemed to know exactly how much space that I needed. I noticed an intelligence in his eyes, an ability to assess.

One day, he was laying next to me and he gently put his paw on my arm. “What’s he doing?” I asked my husband.

“He does that. He wants you to pet him.”

I looked into his eyes and it was almost like I could see into his gentle soul. I pet his head and he immediately rolled over and exposed his stomach. I gave him a belly rub. And just like that, we were friends.

Rusty has been with us for a couple of months now. We go on walks and runs together. I give him daily hugs and belly rubs. I don’t mind when he curls up next to me or wants to jump in the bed with me. He is a cuddler and absolutely shameless about it. I love watching him with my kids. He so openly and caringly accepts their love (even my 5 year-old who sometimes, in her excitement and exuberance, forgets to be gentle). He shows quiet but fierce loyalty. He has so completely and effectively carved out a place for himself in this family with such grace that it has impressed me.

And he has done what no other dog before him has been able to do. He has made me a dog person.



Day 6 prompt: Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014. In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study.