25 February 2017

Weekly Prompt Writing

We paused on our way to refill our skins in a fresh stream off the road. Katrina leant over the water and dunked her head in, then squeezed out her sopping hair.

Lam was filling a skin next to her. “So, Katrina’s a nice name,” he said. “Do people call you Kat for short?”

She looked him dead in the eyes, water dripping from her hair back into the stream. “Not twice.”

Lam let out a nervous laugh.

The Elder approached me as I secured the last skin to our packs. “Your sister seems irritable.”

I shrugged. “That’s just the way she is. You know what they say, twins are polar opposites.” I brandished a winning smile.

He didn’t look convinced. I sent up a prayer to the Ancients to make The Elder let me stay on the quest. If they made me leave because of Katrina, I’d kill her. Sure, I hadn’t been as useful in the catacombs as they had hoped, but I was sure I could prove my worth now. And besides, if I hadn’t been with them, Katrina would probably have stabbed them all in the deep recesses of her cave, then rifled their belongings and left their bodies to rot.

Funny her middle name was Ruth.

“Fletcher, did you finish your portion of rice at lunch?” Rhynd asked.

I opened my mouth to reply, but Katrina intervened. “No, he didn’t. But you can’t have it, Mr. Rhynd. I already ate it.”

I shoved my hand into the pocket where I had carefully wrapped up my sticky rice for later. The handkerchief was gone, as was the food.

I glared at my sister, who flipped her wet hair so it sprayed in my face.

20 February 2017

Upcoming Visit!

My visit to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles is set for early May! Pray for me please!

19 February 2017

Saturday Walk

With the weather being so warm, Tessie and I decided to take a walk on Saturday afternoon. We walked to the art museum on campus, then to the student union, then back downtown to get coffee, then went home. It was a fun afternoon of sister-time!

My favorite of the day.

This was a trippy prism thing.

Saw the old favorites by Harvey Dunn. This one is called "Just a few drops of rain."

Houndstooth jackrabbits!

the iconic "The Prairie is my Garden"

Tessie's fave

I love these watercolors by Paul Goble.

I was impressed by these feet.

A perennial favorite of Tessie's and mine. So sad but so beautiful.

A clue!

We liked the cats and the baby.

Tess loved the sparkles (which are hard to see in the photo).


A photograph of wintry corn stalks.

intaglio print

It looked like melted wax. It was called encaustic.

An octopus! Titled "I can do it myself."

18 February 2017

Weekly Prompt Writing

I wrote the next four installments at the same Skype meeting, and they all follow the same storyline.

From the top of the staircase, we hadn’t been able to see the bottom. We had been trudging downward for more than three hours now, and there was still no sign of the end. My mind was drifting as my body repeated the motions over and over…down a flight, pivot, down a flight, pivot. When I blinked, the darkness was scarred with zigzags.

I almost lost my footing when someone tapped me on the shoulder. “Do you need some water?” Lam asked.

I shook my head.

“Give him water,” The Elder said without looking back at us.

I took the skin from Lam and winced at the inevitable muttering. “Told you we shouldn’t have brought the kid. Can’t even handle this.”

“No one asked you, Rhynd,” The Elder said. “Fletcher will be a godsend to us later, when we reach the catacombs.”

I whispered a thanks to Lam and peered over the edge of the staircase, careful not to lose my balance. The darkness continued for a seemingly endless distance. When would it start getting difficult to breathe? I looked around at the huge cavern that contained only stairs, as far as I could tell. There was plenty of air to go around. But why would the Ancients have built such an extravagant entrance to their secret chambers?

The monotony was beginning to wear on us. With a swift motion Rhynd ripped a button from his jacket and hurled it down into the abyss. We all froze to listen. Silence. We shifted our feet but dared not move from our places.

A full ten minutes elapsed, and we jumped at a distant plink. A wave of trembling went over us. The Elder gritted his teeth and lifted his torch again. We continued down into the ancient catacombs.

14 February 2017

Valentine's Day

Mom and I visit the homeschool co-op on Tuesdays so she can teach art and I can help with Latin. We get there during snack time, and sometimes they offer us some of their treats. Today I received several little gifts--so cute!

Hot chocolate mix, a slinky, a heart made of molten crayons, a little rock person, and chocolates (which I already ate).

11 February 2017

Weekly Prompt Writing

The prompt for this one was a song:

     Forty-four days. It had been forty-four days. Not even so much as a “hello”. She knew she deserved it.
     She sat at her piano and brushed her fingers against the cold keys, worn from years of use. Random snippets of songs transmitted from her brain into her hands, but she couldn’t make any coherent melody out of them. She searched for the perfect thing to play, but instead of finding it, her hands fell limp into her lap.
     A yellow light flashed in the corner of her eye. The piano needed water. For once, she ignored its gentle plea. She leaned her elbows on the keys, put her head down on her arms, and stared out the window.
     Words floated in and out of her mind. Patches of conversations they had had. The sounds of uncontrollable laughter, mindless humming, quiet sobs. The voices were soft and familiar. Even smells came back to her, the aromas of baking cookies and rainy asphalt and the dust that collected on the windowsills.
     Forty-four days since she had been home. It felt like years.

10 February 2017

Mom's Birthday!

Happy birthday to my wonderful mother! Thank you for everything! I will miss our times together next year! 

with aunt Sr. Martina, OSB, in Germany this past October

04 February 2017

"Weekly" Prompt Writing

From tonight's Skype meeting:

     Splash, plop, giggle. Splash, plop, giggle. The boy would never tire of his game. He glanced up. “Mama, are you watching? Do you see the big splashes I’m making?”
     “I’m watching, dear,” Charlotte said, “but we need to go home.” She glanced at the bundle in her arms. “The baby is getting wet.”
     “Oh, alright.” He skipped to catch up to his mother and walked beside her, stomping in every puddle that crossed their path. He picked up a dripping leaf. “Mama, this looks like an L, for Lucy. See, Lucy, this is your leaf. Mama, how do you spell Lucy?”
     “L-U-C-Y. But do hurry up, Jamie.”
     “L-U-C-Y,” James chanted as he hunted in the muddy gravel for the rest of the letters that made up his little sister’s name.
     By the time they arrived at home, all his clothes were wet, and he had found only the L and the U. Charlotte made him keep the leaves outside, which he almost complained about, before he remembered that she had promised him a story after she put the baby down for a nap.
     On her way to the nursery, Charlotte paused by the portrait hanging in the hallway. The last she had heard from Blaise, he had been healthy—as healthy as could be expected—but hungry. How awful to know her husband was across the world going hungry, while she cared for the children and avoided talking about their father.
     One day the war would end and they would be a family again. But until then, there were many days of the same loneliness and fear.