99 Word Challenge

This post is in response to Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch Communications’ Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. I was intrigued by this writing exercise that consists of only  99 words and knew I had to give it a try. The prompt for this week, which is renewed each Wednesday, is “Walk Across Sand.”

I’ll take any opportunity to practice my writing, and I think Charli is a very interesting person, so here’s my story.

Sand in Her Soul



She grew up on the beach and was twelve-years-old

 before she knew

 that all beaches did not have

 sand that looked like pearlized glitter.

 She used tanning lotion when she was on the Gulf side of the island

and was unaware of the sun’s effect.

But she did know about the secret,

she just did not know what the secret was.

She thought about it most of the time.

Secrets are fear-filled and ugly. So, finding out

what could not be spoken

was not one of her top priorities.

Not knowing was better than the knowing was to be.


I guess I didn’t realize what writing my own blog would entail, feel like, and require. As I’ve said before, I’m a freelance writer, so it’s easy enough for me to write blogs for someone else. But making my five-day-a-week blog fun and interesting uses a different part of my brain and comes from a unique place in my heart.

If I were reading this blog right now, I would tell the writer to calm down, have fun, and stop stressing. And that’s not bad advice. But I want to make sure that taking this project on will help other people and give me a platform to give a little something back to my readers.

I also did not realize five years ago how much fun it is to be a maker. Lucky for me, I have a retired contractor for a husband, and he came with all the tools and experience of 40 years in the business of building and remodeling houses. Now that we’re both retired, I have every DIY-er’s dream workshop. No, I haven’t come close to the mastery my husband has for making just about anything. But, boy, do I have fun using his equipment and learning from him!

So here’s my latest “made item,” and I hope it will inspire you to try putting something similar together yourself. This time, I changed the bottle type, changed the number of bottles, and made the handles from rope. Take a look:


Simple, but useful as a centerpiece or flower holder, right?

So, happy making and here’s wishing you some realizations of your own!

I Think that I Shall Never See…

Fern Springs Farm

This is the beginning of a poem by Joyce Kilmer, published in the Poetry magazine in 1913, titled “Trees.” The end of the phrase that I used for my post is completed with these words: “a poem lovely as a tree.”

Reading it again today took me back to a third grade assignment my class was given to memorize the poem and then recite it to our teacher. I can even recall that she smelled like sweet flowers.

The poem was set to music in 1922 by Oscar Rasbach, and can be heard on YouTube being sung by Bob McGrath, famous for being  Bob Johnson on Sesame Street. But I digress.

I never forgot the poem or the song, which I sang in junior high chorus. And now, I live on a small six-acre former dairy and chicken farm. Fortunately, since I love to make things, I have an abundance of limbs, stumps, branches, weathered wood, and twigs to keep me busy all the time.

But more than having a plethora of crafting materials at my disposal, I have the great privilege of watching the seasons come and go by enjoying the changes in the trees around me. I am blessed to have a front row seat for observing the shadows and light as they slowly form and reform through the year.

It is a gift I try to appreciate to its fullest every minute. Here’s wishing you many days in the company of trees.