Category Archives: writing101

Writing 101-Day 18-Compose a series of Anecdotes

image-man at the wheel

“They That Go Down To the Sea in Ships”

‘Man at the Wheel’ Fisherman’s Memorial

Good Harbor=Beauport

Inner harbor-Back Shore

Bay View, Lanes Cove

Eastern Point, Twin Lights

Rocky Neck –Gloucester Fisherman,

Coast Guard Commander, Water Rescue

Navy Rank, Officer, Petty Officer, Ensign, Mate, Midshipmen, Captain,

Captain’s Courageous,

Aye ye Matey,

Stowaway locked in the bulkhead below,

Pirate Bar, Salty Dog

Accordion keeping time to sea shanties rhyme,

Prime Meridian lies across a wet salty desert,

Gulf, Gulls shrieking wail, Jonah, deck hands, mast, cast forth, cold and wet, wrinkled to the bone, rolling waves, port, starboard, helm, bow, stern, in irons, point of sail, beams reach, “keel hath beached upon the reef”, breech to port

And ….. Home!

Writing 101- Day 17-Map as your Muse

Naval Aviators Lost In Haze,

Seaweed in Longitude/Latitude Splays,

Sea to Wildest Seas Traversing,

Seafaring Lines Ceremonial Crossings,

Tropics of Cancer and of Capricorn,

Straits of Gibraltar, Magellan Reborn,

Sailing From Pollywogs to Shellbacks in Mass,

Sailors Beware As the Serpents They Pass,

King Neptune the Ruler of the Raging Main,

Realm of Czars above Davy Jones Reign,

Golden Dragon Traveling Time,

Poseidon’s Trident pointing in line,

30th Parallel Circumnavigation,

Admiral’s Nautical Mile Celebration.

Writing 101-Day 13-Play With Word Count-Clay Pots


Rich dark soil of human history,

Like a mug of steaming love,

Served in heavy, clunky pottery,

And delivered from above,

Spun by nimble hands,

Formed in our lands,

From earthy hearty clay,

The patina of,

The fragile porcelain glove,

We could not spin away.


Only now our memories will withstand,

The kilning fires we all stoke,

By our own weak hand, a choking smoke is fanned,

And what we fear we will invoke.


What if our thoughts and actions now,

Gave back all we took away?

Glazed not just with good intentions,

But with real sacrifice today.


Rich dark soil of human history,

A gift of nourishing natural grains,

Grown in heavy, clunky pottery,

And throughout our worldly plains,

Farmed by nimble hands,

Harvest of our lands,

From the earthy clay it rose,

But we couldn’t wait,

So we tempted fate,

And we stepped on our own toes.


Withstanding only in our memories now,

The organic grace we sought,

What has come about,

With our spiritual drought,

Is our abundance left to rot.


What if our thoughts and actions now,

Gave back all we took away?

Harvested not just with good intentions,

But with integrity today.


Dark heart of human history,

Will we learn from what we’ve done?

Broken heavy, clunky pots of clay,

What we are, we cannot outrun,

Though created by the nimble fingers,

Of the potter we once adored,

Our careless nature lingers,

And the warnings we ignored.


We can still hold all the blessings,

Back to basic human grace,

We must heal our lands and control our hands,

What we must conquer, we first must face.


Humility withstanding shame,

All false idols left to past,

We can return today,

To the simple clay,

From which each of us were all once cast.


What if our thoughts and actions now,

Gave back all we took away,

Men not just with good intentions,

But with real brotherhood today.


Rich dark soil of human history,

contains the dust from past mistakes,

we can always start a brand new pot tomorrow,

All we need is a lump of clay.







Writing 101- Day 16- Mine your own material

paper bridgePaper Bridges

Paper Bridges Span,

But they do not try to reach,

From heart to heart,

We read the plans,

In our own unspeakable speech,

Delicate as glass,

We smash designs our piers demand,

Never to interpret,

What the hearts language understands,

We listen with our stubborn voice,

What our minds do need to hear,

Pilings sunk in sand,

Cannot withstand,

Paper bridges built with fear.

Day 5 Quote

“All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.”

~Edgar Allan Poe

Parallel to what we know,  does another world exist? Natural order, ebb and flow, still symmetry persists.

If atoms burst outward as they meet when molecules collide, do particles react as they retreat to an equal and opposite side?

As elements extract moving energy and antimatter expands, we may find there is a path to synergy, a new universe to understand.

The Quarry

One by one we leapt into the abyss of life. Some still haven’t  reached the fresh clear water of adulthood.  Many friends left a bloody mess when they jumped one too many times and never cleared the rocks at all. Many fellow jumpers in our “Crew” live only in our memories now, lost to poor planning or just plain bad luck. Some jumped well yet still never surfaced from the depths to jump again. Weighted down by injuries too heavy to carry on with, or forever anchored to the bottom by a poorly placed landing. Wasted potential, unfinished lives, stuck in the muck with one foot through a rusted out car roof.

We jumped over and over, scaling the wall again and again, leaping from the cliffs with reckless abandon, crying out with glee each time as we sailed through the air on the way down to forever. We were living in the moment, our moment. No consequences, responsibilities, or excuses. No tomorrow just today.

The “Pit” was a spring fed oasis of fresh water just a mile inland from the salty Atlantic coast where I grew up. A granite quarry long ago abandoned by the Finish immigrants who mined the stone from pits scattered around the wooded center of Cape Ann until the turn of the century. It is said that most of the hard granite stone in Philadelphia and Washington DC came from these very Quarries.

It was our swimming hole. Our secret place in the woods. A place away from rules and judgment. The quarries were a long walk down a rustic path. The trails were former mining roads, now most impassable by motorized vehicles – although some were brave or careless enough to go “woods bombing” with their junkers. This often resulted in flat tires and broken axles, but getting the kegs to the pits seemed worth it.  Away from the prying eyes of cops, parents, and informers, we languished away our summer days, and partied with Cuckoo juice bonfires till the wee hours. It was more than a place for our teenage shenanigans. It was a safe place to detonate our teen angst just outside the periphery of our small village community. Imploding the last remnants of our youthful innocence together, we were letting go before moving on.

Vernon's PitNelsons_pit31quarries1

A Fictitious Writer’s Mind

2015-05-07 12.30.16
I wish to see the everyday monotony of life from a bird’s eye view by asking “who, what, where?”
The innermost thoughts of others’ are imagined with ease by asking “why?”
The actions and reactions of human nature are predicted with each monkey wrench scenario and ‘what if’ possible when asked “how?”
What is expected to happen is joyously twisted into what I want to make happen.
Like a grand puppeteer I thrill in mastering each turn of events, controlling with the flick of my wrist how it all makes sense.
Surprises are even more delicious when they make no sense at all until they are tied up into a tidy ball of revelations at the end.
Descriptive words are too easy and the greatest discoveries come in the form of unfamiliar phrases, similes, and symbolism that ring familiar and true to their describer in a perfect metaphor.
Beneath it all a constant inner monologue reigns king and it pours from my brain -to my hand -to my paper like tears turned to melted silver memories in Dumbledore’s pensive.
I long to express daydreams of what never was.writer1

Writing 101- Day 7- Moving Day, Here and There

Scratching his head as he sums up the situation, “Wow, you have a lot of stuff”.

“It’s actually not that bad” I say as I piled the last bag of clothes on the mountain of bursting hefty bags. “We can throw these bags over the rail and then it’s just the last of the boxes that need to be carried down”. “All of the furniture I’m taking is already loaded, the rest is staying here for Merry who’s renting my apartment”.

“What time you leaving?” he says with raised eyebrow.

“Noon sharp”, I say adding “There’s a few more people coming to help and say goodbye too”.

“OK, then we better get to it”.

“Let’s just sit and drink a cup of coffee first, we have time. I told people to be here at 10”.

“I’m going to miss seeing you guys around here” he says as he takes the recycled gas station cup of steaming brew I offer.

“I’ll miss you too” I say my eyes filling with emotion, “This community really embraced us after Jim died and I will always be thankful that James was able to grow up living here”. Little James wanders out of his bedroom carrying an armful of stuffed toys.

“Hey little guy, you all packed?”

Ignoring the question little James grabs a tennis ball from the Rubbermaid tote by the door “Mom, can I go out front and play?”

“Just stay in the yard” I call as he bounds out the door.

“How’s he handling it”?

“He loves it here. His friends, the elementary school, the church, it’s all he’s ever known”. “I think he’ll be ok once we get there.”

“Well you guys better stay in touch.”

“We’ll call you when we get there and there’s always Facebook.”

“I hate Facebook.” he says

“Well you better start liking it. We’ll be posting our adventures on the way out. We’re taking our time and stopping at the Cedar Point Amusement Park and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” “I told James to think of this as our vacation, just me and him.”

A little while later as I head to the truck arms full of memories little James appears.

“I remember when I got this ball!” James grabs excitedly at the milk crate full of sporting goods on the back of the truck. “Will I get to play baseball there?” James asks

“Yes James, Grampy and Uncle Matt tell me there’s a little league team at your new school and a baseball camp this summer that they got you all signed up for. I know you’ll make lots of new friends”.

“Where are you going put it all?” As he yanks on the handle and the back of the U-haul slams shut.

“We’re renting a storage unit until we get our own place”.

“So you’re staying with your folks?”

“Right now they need me. Dad is having a hard time keeping up with the house, and Mom needs supervision when he’s not home. Her memory is getting worse and she forgets to take care of her diabetes. She even forgets to eat sometimes.”

“Geez, that’s tough. At least James will get to know them better.”

“Yea and I’m hoping I can help Dad set up some services for her. In my heart I know that this is what we need to do.”

“How long does it take to get there?”

“It’s a solid 24 hrs of driving bet we’re stopping to stay in hotels a couple of nights.”

“With a pool, right Mom!” James pipes up.

“You bet buddy!” I say.

As I hop up into the truck I call to James “Co-Pilot?”





“CHECK!” A little Mew comes from the cat carrier between the seats.

In the rear view mirror as we pull out a crowd has gathered to wish us off.

“Drive safe!”, “Safe travels!” “Good luck” …. “Love You!”
I beep the horn and James hangs out the window waving until we turn the corner.

You can “Get there from here” I think. And we are going.

Day Six- Writing 101- Character study

The Piano Man
It was easy to imagine how he had been in his previous life. The life of the party, eternally youthful, quick witted, self -effacing, and popular with drinking acquaintances. He was a great debater and social commentator who never took a stand on, or gave a true opinion about, anything. He was more interested in being liked than being real.
He is a talented musician and has accompanied many well known artists over the years. He avoided the spotlight, gave his talent away freely in support of his band mates, and he was not one to brag, or even take credit for his own accomplishments. Natural musical ability allowed him to play almost any instrument including banjo, guitar, drums and piano in any style. An agreeable, low-key demeanor with a desire to please others made him malleable and easy to work with. His preference was always Jazz because of the room it gave him for interpretation. The only time he could every feel at peace and be himself, for himself, was when he was in his zone, playing his feelings out. Writing songs still comes easy and he has his own personal style of storytelling reminiscent of Garrison Keillor. He was a relentless worker whose original ideas were adapted to become original hits for rising stars. The epitome of “nice guys finish last” he often felt used and unappreciated for his efforts although he insisted that he never wanted recognition. Like many talented and artistic people he suffered for the sake of his art, for the sole purpose of creating something. A little bit too sensitive and vulnerable for this world, he often felt abused, taken advantage of, and tortured by inner demons.
Handsome, classy, and somewhere just beyond middle-aged he had managed to keep a spark of boyish glimmer in his eyes. Distinguished silver sideburns framed his clean shaven face, anchored by a strong square jaw, and flanked with symmetrical laugh lines that disguised pubescent dimples. His big sincere smile was almost a little too perfect like the feathery mop of longish hair that bounced when he moved like it was dancing to a Peter Frampton tune. A little thicker around the neck and middle, a little thinner and drier his sun damaged skin, he had the air of an almost has-been lady killer. Still sexy, but quickly fading into the realm of inappropriately hot.
Like the two sides of a coin, he had one shiny heads-up face that he showed the world, and on the other side his tails-down patina of a bad penny stuck in the muck too long. Only his closest companions sensed this darkness hidden within him. Nobody knew that while he was jovially making plans by evening, he would never follow through with any of them by day. He was sinking deeper into addiction, drinking to ease the pain of his woefully empty existence. When he wasn’t making merriment and living the high life, he was hung over, paralyzed with guilt, crippled with self disgust, and wallowing in self-pity. One day the penny flipped over and he ended up on the fourth floor, the locked off mental unit of the county hospital. The dark depression that he had been fleeing for years finally overtook him.

Writing 101- Day 5-letter with a twist

Todays Challenge-You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Nailed to a tree, my old familiar path, predatory ink, my family letterhead, arrogant words, extort my soul, “I have your daughter”, RUNNING HOME.