Tag Archives: Word of the Day


mastermind – noun, verb

[mas-ter-mahynd, mah-ster-]

  1.   noun: A person who plans and organizes something
  2.   verb: to plan and direct (a usually complex project or activity), especially skillfully


Ollie held a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich. Those were Kirby’s favorite. A mastermind of thievery, Kirby put her plan in action.

A tree stood tall between Ollie and Kirby. Kirby hid and watched. Ollie spread mustard on his sandwich, making sure it reached all edges. He carefully replaced the top slice of bread.

Kirby snuck up behind a bird in the yard.

Ollie opened his mouth.


Tweet, tweet! Whizzzz rustle.

Ollie jumped at the sudden movement. He looked up. A leaf directly above his head fluttered toward him.

“Stay off my sandwich, leaf. It’s mine.” Ollie shooed the leaf away and settled back down.

Kirby slunk closer. She had to stop Ollie from eating that ham and Swiss sandwich. Her mouth watered. Drool dripped from her muzzle.

Ollie opened wide and took a dainty bite.

Kirby cocked her head. Such a small bite for such a wide mouth.

“Mmmm. This is the best sandwich ever.” Ollie licked his lips.

A rock lay near. Kirby turned around three times, then kicked the rock right past Ollie, toward the field.

Just as Ollie opened for another bite, the rock tumbled past.

Kirby hid behind the tree.

“Who rolled the rock?” Ollie asked.

The wind whistled in response.

Ollie grunted as he took another bite.

His mouth full, he looked around.

“I wonder where Kirby is?” Ollie said, chewing.

Kirby yipped at the sound of her name. Oops.

Ollie swallowed. “Too bad Kirby isn’t here. I would gladly share my sandwich with her.”

Kirby crawled on all fours toward Ollie. Sneak attack.

Ollie swigged back water from his cup.

Kirby crawled closer. Rustle. Snap.

Ollie set his sandwich down on the wrapper. He stood up and stretched.

This is my chance. Kirby crept.  And crept. Almost there.

Grumble, burp!

Kirby stopped in her tracks.

Ollie sat down. He stretched his legs out in front of him and put his arms behind hid head and lay down. The sandwich lay on the wrapper next to him.

“I just need a couple minutes rest before I finish my sandwich.”

Kirby stood up. She tread softly to Ollie’s other side. She watched him breathe softly, his eyes closed. The sandwich was just ahead, near Ollie’s side.

Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.

Get outta here fly!

Bzzz. Bzzz.

Ollie swatted the air above his face.

Kirby placed her front paws down in front of her, raising her butt in the air.


Ollie swung his arm out, swiping his sandwich high into the sky just as Kirby flew through the air, her mouth open wide.

Success! The sandwich made contact and with one tug, it ripped in half.

“Great effort Kirby!” Ollie laughed. “You know, I always share with you. No need to sneak attack.”

Kirby gulped her half down.

“I suppose you need a drink  now?” Ollie asked.


“Here you go,” Ollie offered Kirby his cup of water. He finished his sandwich while she drank. “I hope you left me a drop.”

Kirby looked up, water dripped from her muzzle.

Ollie looked in his cup. One drop left. He hugged his dog. Kirby nuzzled him back.

“I suppose you want to nap now, huh?” Ollie lay down.

Great idea Ollie! Just like I planned. Kirby nestled into Ollie.

Dreams of their next adventure filled both of their heads.







Today’s word of the day selection is from Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

synchronicity – noun sing-kruh-NISS-uh-tee


1 : the quality or fact of being synchronous

2 : the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality — used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung


Synchronicity of two psychic events is a common theme in my young adult writing. Some day in the next few years, one of my thriller, synchronistic, YA books will be available for readers. 

As for now, research is calling.

If you have written a short short story using today’s word of the day, please feel free to comment it in the comment section below.

Happy writing everyone!




Disclosure: The purpose of my Word of the Day story/writing is to promote getting the words down, which is a big feat for writers or anyone needing to write a paper. I give myself just 60 minutes to write and edit before posting. Therefore, the story/writing is barely past a first draft.  I use one of the three online dictionaries #WordoftheDay posts as my writing prompt. I encourage you to try it too. Feel free to comment below. 


nevertheless – adverb

[nev-er-th uhles]

  • in spite of what has just been said





You can feel the excitement building with each number and BAM! Climax. What’s next? Does the world stop to watch? Sometimes, yes. Such as in the case of any rockets going into space. But what happens after the New Year hug, kiss, or high-five of celebration of witnessing another year ringing in?

For some, it’s writing out the new year goals or resolutions. For others, it’s going back to the humdrum of life that was before the new year started. And yet for the rest, it’s revving up the excitement of working on or planning what will partake this new year. What adventures to go on. What new things to try. What form of self discovery to indulge in. Then diving in head first to make it happen.

Where do you fit in? Are with the some, the others, or the rest?  You could fit into more than one category, most people do.

For me, I choose the rest category. No resolution writing.new years (2)_LI No humdrum. Instead, I choose to DO! I choose to show, not tell. What does that mean? Instead of telling people what I am going to do, I say nothing and just do it. No need to tell people, I just need to show to myself, that I can do whatever it is I want, by doing.

Pertaining to my writing, how about this to ponder: words are words, actions are actions. Show or tell.

Almost. As a picture book writer, my job is to show what cannot be shown by illustrations. As a middle grade, young adult writer, I need to show more, since I have no illustrator to help me, but I do still need to tell a few things depending on the story.

If you read a book that only told you everything that happened instead of showing you, would you keep reading?

If the story was shown to you as a movie, using words, would you keep reading? That’s the only way I will keep reading. I want to feel as though I am in the story.

What about applying this to life in general? Good question. If I’m telling people I’m going to write a book, I probably am not going to actually write a book. So, I don’t tell people. I write the books instead.

The fun is in the showing, not the telling.

(Nevertheless, telling has its’ place; such as reporting bad behavior, or reporting an accident, etc.)


I know what I’m doing next. Do you?

Cool!  Go do it!


#justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting


spatula – noun    spatula


  1.   a kitchen tool that has a handle which is bent upward and a wide, thin blade used for lifting and turning foods on a hot surface
  2.   a kitchen tool that has a long handle and short, soft blade and that is used especially for mixing, spreading, etc.
  3.   a kitchen tool similar to a knife that has a flexible blade and that is used for mixing, spreading, etc


Today was special for one reason: Nana and Paps were bringing my family a surprise! They brought us surprises a lot. One time, it was a tire swing and a seesaw they made from scraps. Another time it was an exotic food cookbook from a flea market (my father doesn’t like any of the meals Mom made from that cookbook so far) and the last time, they gave us a recycled picture frame with them in it. The surprise could be small or it could be big, you never knew. We took turns guessing what the surprise could be.

“A puppy!” Leesa, my baby sister squealed, as she threw handfuls of dog food out for Lila and Jack, our hounds.

“A T-Rex!” said my little brother, Drew.

“We already have two dogs and dinosaurs are extinct,” I told them.

“I hope it’s a new cookbook so I can try new recipes,” Mom said.

“I hope it’s not,” Dad joked. Mom shook her melted spatula at him. It was a family joke how her favorite spatula came to be that way.

Dad had accidentally dropped a pan-flipped pancake onto the hot gas burner and grabbed Mom’s favorite plastic spatula to scoop the pancake up but melted the spatula in the process.

“Should have used the metal spatula to begin with.”

“I didn’t use a spatula at all to begin with,” Dad said.


Mom was angry for a millisecond before she laughed. She then schooled him on the different kinds of spatulas and their use.spatulas


My guess was the most practical, “I think the surprise is Ol’ Blue, Paps old truck. He said he wanted to buy a new one soon.”

Mom smiled. She liked that idea. Her and I helped Paps wash, wax and work on Ol’ Blue since I was big enough to hold a sponge.  It was a classic that he drove only on special occasions or for hauling. Ever since I’ve known Mom, she’s wanted Ol’ Blue.  I hoped she got it too, because I wanted Ol’ Blue after her.

Honk. Honk.

We all knew that sound. Nana and Paps were here!

And they were pulling a covered trailer behind them.

“Is the puppy in there?” Leesa asked, pointing to the trailer.

“It’s too big for a puppy. But not for a T-Rex!” said Drew.

Since they brought a rented trailer, I was now sure my guess was wrong. Maybe it was a baby T-Rex.

Nana scooped Leesa up as soon as she got out of the truck.

“Where’s my puppy?” Leesa asked.

“You already have two dogs,” Nana said. Leesa stuck her tongue out at me. It’s not my fault, Nana and I think alike.

“Is the T-rex in there?” Drew grabbed Paps hand.

“It could be a T-Rex,” Paps said. “But what if that toothy dinosaur tries to eat my grandkids?” He chased Drew and Leesa around the yard.

“How about we eat lunch first and then we can see what’s in that trailer,” Mom said.


After lunch, we gathered outside by the Ol’ Blue. Nana pulled a skinny, long package out from under the seat. She handed it to Dad.

A shiny wide metal spatula with a long handle greeted him as he opened it.

“Perfect for flipping pancakes,” Nana said.

“The handle is a little long to be used on the stove.” Mom said.

“Follow me,” Paps said.

We followed him to the trailer. Once opened we could all see a short space with a blanket covering.

“Pull off the blanket,” Paps said to my Dad.

“Presto!” Dad said, uncovering the loot.

“Yippee!!! Can we play on them?” Drew begged.

“Do they bite?” Leesa asked.

“Now I know why I need that long spatula!” A spiffy gas grill caught Dad’s eye.

“Help us get these out Amy,” Paps said to me.

I helped him, Nana, Dad and Mom unload the rest into the backyard by the see-saw.

Mom had to stop Leesa and Drew from climbing on their new Doggy and T-rex spring riders.

“Not until Paps and your father bolt them down,” she said, laughing.

I helped Mom and Nana place the grill.

“Open it,” Nana said.

Mom opened it and shrieked. “It’s my favorite spatula and one of your favorite cookbooks!”

Nana had given Mom one of her old spatulas that she said were tried and true.

“Since Darin melted the original one I gave you, knew you could use another. And I have the recipes in that book, memorized. Thought you could use it now that Amy is learning to cook,” Nana said as she winked at me.

I smiled at her. I liked cooking but I wasn’t as fanatical about as Mom and Dad were. Seemed like everyone got something they really longed for. Except me. I was too big to ride on the spring riders and as I stated, I really wasn’t much into cooking. But the spring riders would keep Drew and Leesa out of my hair for longer times.

I looked at the trailer. It seemed like too big a trailer to hold just a grill and two spring bouncers.

“Why didn’t you just put the grill and the bouncers in the back of Ol’Blue?”

Mom nodded in agreement.

Nana said, “Ask your Paps?”

So I did.

Paps told us all to follow him back tot he trailer. What we didn’t see at first, he showed us; the wall had a handle at the top and he pulled it down.

Inside was a shiny black, new car.

“She’s a beauty!” Dad said.

“Is this another surprise for us?” I asked, confused.

“Nope, this is,” Paps said as he threw Mom a set of keys. “Drive the car out please.”

Mom carefully drove the car out of the trailer and parked it next to Ol’ Blue.

As she opened the door to get out, Paps said, “Leave the keys in but pull out what’s under the driver seat.”

Mom felt under the driver seat and held up another set of keys. “These are the other set of keys to Ol’ Blue.”

“Yup. I figure you’re going to need them in about three years.”

My eyes grew big as saucers. I was only three years away from getting my driver’s license.

“Dad?” Mom questioned Paps.

“I’m giving you Ol’ Blue. We’ve been wanting a sports car for years to travel in and I know how much you and Amy love Ol’ Blue. It’s time Ol’ Blue earned her keep and was used.” He threw the other set of keys to Mom. “All you have to do is sign the papers for it and she’s all yours and Amys’.”

Mom and I gave Paps and Nana a huge hug and thanked them.

“There’s only one catch,” Paps said. “You have to take the trailer back for me. That little hotrod can’t pull it.”

“Deal,” Mom said.

“SURPRISE!” Nana shouted.

Best surprise ever!








outpouring – noun 

[out-pawr-ing, -pohr-]

1 : an act of expressing an emotion or feeling in a very powerful way — often + of

2 : a large amount of something that is given or received in a short period of time — often + of                                   


Holly was sad. Her letter to Santa was returned without a postmark on it.  It was wrinkled, and mangled, with paw prints all over it. The paw prints confused her but she was pretty sure her big brother Logan, had taken the letter out of the mailbox before the mailman came.

Christmas was less than a week away. Even if she mailed the letter today, Santa would never get it in time. Her only choice was to write her letter in the snow and hope Santa would see it early enough Christmas Eve.

Outside in an open space between their front yard and Findley Forest, Holly roped off a large rectangle  in the snow. She took her mother’s holly garland off the deck and the front porch for the border of the message. Inside the rectangle, she smoothed the snow with her sled, making a blank plot to write in. Her message was simple:

Dear Santa white


“Whatcha doing Holly?” Logan sauntered up to the carefully plotted message.

“Go away Logan!” Holly said. “You stole my letter to Santa out of the mailbox and gave it to the neighbors cat.” She refused to look at him, tears ready to spill over.

“What? I did not!” Logan’s face turned pink. “Why would I give it to the neighbor’s cat? That doesn’t make sense.”

“So you did take it!” Holly stood up, indignant.

“No. I didn’t. And if you’re going to accuse me of stealing, I won’t ask you to go sledding.” Logan turned toward home.

Holly sighed. Maybe Logan didn’t take my letter, she thought.

“You really didn’t take it?”


“I’m sorry. My letter came back today and it looked like this.” She showed him the still sealed letter.

“That’s weird. So what are you going to do now?” Logan asked.

Holly opened her arms wide revealing her finished message.

“I hope Santa gets here first on
Christmas Eve, so he sees it in time,” Logan said.

“Me too. Can I still go sledding?”


On December 21st, Holly awoke with a great idea! She gathered the cranberry Christmas garland off the Christmas tree, bundled up and ran out into the windy morning to add to her Santa message.

“OH NO!” Holly cried. Her message to Santa was gone. The wind had blown snow across it. She tried to write the message again but the wind kept filling in her letters. She ran into the house, and smacked into Logan, tears streaming down her face.

“What’s wrong Holly?” he asked.

Holly explained.

“I can help.” Logan bundled up, grabbed a bucket of water and said, “Follow me.”

“As I pour water into the snow, write your message, the snow will be stickier and the wind can’t blow it away as you write it.”

Holly agreed. Logan poured, Holly wrote. Every few letters, Logan ran back to the house for more water. Each time, Holly cleared the snow out of her letters that the wind had blown in.

When she was finished writing, she helped him mound up snow around each letter.

Dear Santa blue

Satisfied with their work, Holly ran into the house to get her forgotten cranberries.

“What are you doing with those young lady?” her mother asked.

Holly explained.

Her mother smiled, “Go ahead then.”

She gave Logan some cranberries and instructed him to place them in the letters to help the letters stand out more.

When they finished, they helped their mother bake cookies inside.

While Holly and Logan were cutting out cookies, their mother snuck away to tell their father about the snowy message.


Bright and early on Christmas Eve, Holly and Logan bundled up and ran outside to check on their message to Santa.

“Oh no!” they cried. The letters were trounced upon, no longer letters and the cranberries were all missing. Various animal tracks littered the snowy rectangle, leading back to the forest.

“What are we going to do now, Logan?” Holly asked. She couldn’t be angry with the animals because she knew they only wanted the cranberries to eat. The animals had no way of knowing that they were trying to save the animals’ home.

“Well we don’t have any more cranberries, but we can rewrite the message.”

But the snow had turned icy.

“I’m sorry Holly.” Logan led her into the house.

Hot chocolate chip waffles waited for them in the kitchen.

“Why the long faces?” their mother asked.

Holly explained and concluded, “It’s no use. Santa will never know what I truly want for Christmas and the forest will be cut down to make wood.”

“Finish eating and meet your father and me in the garage. But bundle up first,” their mother said.

They met their parents in the garage. Their father was holding his paint gun, their mother, a rake and a large bag of corn which she handed to Logan.

“Follow us,” their father said.

He led them to their special message spot.

“The holly garland looks good out here,” their mother said, smiling. “I’ll rake, Logan you smooth the snow, and Holly, you tell your Dad, slowly, what to write.”

Each family member did as instructed. When they were finished, the message said:

Dear Santa Red

“We have more to do,” said their father. “We’ll make corn mounds near the forest for the animals to eat so they stay away from this message.”


On Christmas morning, a thunk hit their front door. It was a special newspaper edition. The front headline read,


Below it was a photo with this caption: Dear Santa blue





Local children have a message for Santa                                                                                                 and it’s not about gifts for them.


The article went on to say that the editor received so many letters and phone calls about saving Findley Forest, the day after the photo originally printed December 22, that she had no choice but to take the letters to the Mayor and forward all calls to the Mayor. Not wanting to risk losing the next election, the Mayor rescinded the agreement with a logging company to cut down Findley Forest, bit by bit.

“Look at this!” Logan showed his family the last photo on the front page. Too excited to bundle up, they rushed outside to see for themselves.

Surrounding their message to Santa were animal prints and a large mound of corn.

Holly beamed, shivered, and shouted out to the animals, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

The End


This Christmas story is my Christmas gift to you. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Merry Christmas




furious – adjective 

[fyoo r-ee-uh s]

1 : very angry

2 a : very powerful or violent

   b : very active or fast
Long ago, the landfill in Titustown had filled up. The town agreed that they needed to do something better with the garbage than to fill up land with it because it would fill up too fast. The solution was to build a large incinerator that would burn the garbage that could not be recycled in one way or another. But the only land large enough to hold it, belonged to Gortok the Greedy, as the townspeople nicknamed him, and he refused to have that ugly incinerator on his property.
The only solution left for the town,  was pile all of the garbage on the only open lot in town that still belonged to it. Which was right next to Gortok the Greedy’s house.
Gortok wanted more than anything, for the mountain of garbage behind his house to disappear. He hated the sight of it and the smell was atrocious. The town had been using the lot as the dump for too long.
The mountain just grew…
and grew.
and grew.
And now, the smell was coming into his home.
So Gortok made a wish.
“Mother Nature,  please make the garbage go away.”
A few days later, Mother Nature granted his wish.
The wind came from the outskirts of town and blew in with a fury.
Garbage from all over town rose up from the streets, the gutters, the lawns, everywhere, and landed on top of the mountain.
The town was clean. But Gortok the Greedy’s property smelled worse than before.
In a huff, Gortok walked to work. On the way, he unwrapped his granola bar, ate it then tossed his wrapper to the ground. He then he popped open his juice box.
Mother Nature was not happy. She sent the wind out once again.
The wind picked up the tossed wrapper and whipped it at Gortok.
The wrapper hit him square in the face.
“Who threw that?” Gortok asked, expecting to find kids near. He grabbed the wrapper and whipped it to the ground again. He finished his juice and threw the plastic bottle as well.
Furious at Bartok’s behavior, Mother Nature once again sent wind out to do her bidding.
This time the wind blew the bottle at Gortok, hitting his leg, and the wrapper hit his arm as he walked.
Gortok kicked the bottle and flung the wrapper.
“Enough!” he shouted, though no one was near to hear.
At the factory, a newspaper flew through the air, landing against the door Gortok was opening.  He threw it onto the walkway and went inside.
Mother Nature decided she had had enough herself. She told wind what to do and wind got right to it.
It was quite late when Gortok left work. He was half asleep as he walked home and fell exhausted into his open doorway.
In the morning, a cool breeze woke Gortok up. He noticed the sweet smell coming in from the open doorway.
“This is unusual.”  He shuffled around his property. His jaw dropped open at the sight of the lot behind his house. The mountain had disappeared! Mother Nature had granted his wish. He did his happy dance, jigging and jagging around his lawn.
That day, Gortok whistled as he walked to work, saying hello to his factory workers as they walked past, plugging their nose. [He should have been more concerned as to why they were not on the job.] 
Around the corner, he found out why.
The mountain of garbage now covered his entire factory.
He was bewildered until he remembered his wish.
Gortok made his way through the garbage, into the factory and got right on the phone.
The headline on the next newspaper read,
The opening sentence of the article said,
‘Gortok Industries to start making incinerators for home use after finishing a large scale incinerator for the town’s garbage which will be built right on Gortok property.’
Mother Nature did not help Gortok with the garbage this time.
Gortok cleaned up the mess himself.

Ort: A Perfect Mouseful

[dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day selections; photo credit-Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day]

ort – noun


  1.   Usually, orts. a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.


mischievous – adjective

[mis-chuh-vuh s]

  1.   causing or tending to cause annoyance or minor harm or damage

2.   showing a playful desire to cause trouble

      3.   intended to harm someone or someone’s reputation


Cat was angry at Mouse. Mouse was laughing at Cat because Mouse had just won his third game against Cat. Cat slunk off to figure out how to beat Mouse at Mouse’s games.

I have to slow down Mouse or trip him up somehow, Cat thought. Visions of glue, tape and food danced in his head. With the glue, Mouse was begging for help reaching out to be pulled from the glob of glue gumming up his paws. Cat shuddered at the thought. No glue.

Tape took over, tacking Mouse to it who was desperately trying to escape. Tape won’t work either. I don’t want to hurt my friend. 

While Cat was contemplating his next move, Mouse was mulling over how to help Cat win a game. A mischievous idea formed quickly.

Mouse made a maze in the middle of the yard. To help Cat win, he made Cat smiley faces on each turn leading the way out. Whoever got to the end of the maze first would win.

Tap, tap, tap.

Cat whirled around, surprised to see Mouse.

“I don’t want to play anymore of your games. I think we should play one of mine,” Cat said.

“Sure, but can we play one of yours after this last game of mine? I worked really hard at creating it,” Mouse said.

Cat’s whiskers twitched. “What’s the game?”

“I built a maze in the yard. Whoever gets to the end first wins and can choose the next three games to play.”

Cat shook his head. “Since you made the maze, you know how to go through it. That’s not fair.”

Mouse sighed. “You have a point, Cat. I will wear a blindfold to even us out.”

Cat thought about this. “We should each choose a winning treat for the other to place at the end of the maze. Whoever makes it through the maze and finishes their treat first, wins.”


Together they scoured the house for the perfect treat.

Mouse found part of a tuna sandwich and carried it out.

Cat scoured the kitchen but there were no orts about, not even one crumb. All he could find was a small pink glob under the table. It was a little big for Mouse to eat but Cat planned on winning.

Treats in place, Cat and Mouse took their spots at the beginning of the maze. Cat was haunched in start position while Mouse was blindfolded and ready to go.

“Go!” Cat shouted.

Cat darted away turning this way that, into a dead end. “Drat!” He looked for Mouse. No Mouse around. He listened for Mouse. He could hear scurrying ahead of him.

Mouse twitched his nose letting him guide him to the end. He bumped into wall after wall but the strawberry smell was getting stronger.

Cat turned right, then followed straight. He turned left and left again into another dead end. He sat down and pouted. Doggone Mouse! He’s going to win. As a tear rolled into his whiskers, he noticed a smiley cat picture on the opposite wall. Oh sure, rub it in Mouse! 

Cat ran to the picture and scratched it out. He sulked through the maze scratching out each Cat Smiley he found. He was so busy looking for these smiling Cats, he didn’t realize what he had done.

I. Smell. Tuna! Cat’s nose twitched and his tail swished. He followed his nose right to the end of the maze. Mouse was already there, chewing and chewing.

Cat’s ears drooped. Mouse had won again.

“You won Mouse. But I’m going to enjoy this sandwich anyways.” He took a bite, then another.

Mouse said nothing but kept chewing away.

Cat finished his sandwich. “This was a great treat Mouse. Thank you.” Cat licked his paws.

Mouse just chewed.

“I said, ‘Thank you’ Mouse.” Cat stared at Mouse.

Mouse inhaled deeply.

As he breathed out, a bubble formed and grew and grew. Then…


Cat jumped straight into the air.

Mouse’s mouth still full he muttered, “Clever cat, giving me this ort. Not supposed to swallow gum. I lost.”

Cat blushed. “Mischievous mouse. Drawing those Smiley Cat faces to tease me. If I had seen those sooner I would have…Hey!”

“Won sooner,” Mouse said still chewing.

“You said a mouseful.” Cat laughed.

The next three games were Cat’s choice and he lost all but one.



If you enjoyed this story, take the challenge and write your own story in 60 minutes and edit it. The idea is to #justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting.









Save Me From the Words

[This is a short story using both Word of the Day selections from http://www.dictionary.com and http://www.learnersdictionary.com. My goal for these stories is to get the story out by writing and editing it in one hour] 

galore – adjective, adverb

[guhlawr, –lohr]

always used after a noun informal

: in large numbers or amounts


logophobia – noun

[law-guhfoh-bee-uh, log-uh-]

an obsessive fear of words



Words shouted at Lucy.



Lucy wanted no part of them. Every time she misspelled a word, she was made fun of which was every day. Her wings were torn forcing her legs to carry her to the forest edge before the words had a chance to catch up.

“Whew! I think I lost them,” she said to the owl perched in the tree.

“Whooo?” was the owl’s reply.

“The words,” Lucy said. She trembled and shook. She peeked around the tree edge and was off again.

The words were relentless. They chased her through the woods.




Leaves crackled, twigs snapped. Lucy raced on, her legs burning. For a meadow fairy, she was quick and agile.




Lucy ignored the words. Her heart thumped against her chest bursting to get out.

Above, the owl followed along, cruising over the treetops always aware of the action below.

A tree root rose up out of the ground. Lucy’s foot snagged it sending her face first into the soft earth.

The owl swooped down, extended her wing which Lucy happily took. She swung up on the owl’s back. Together they flew out of the forest and headed towards town. Below them, the words gave up the chase.

“You suffer from logophobia,” Owl said.

Lucy scrunched her eyes.

“You are afraid of words; they terrify you.” Owl explained.

Lucy nodded.

“Only a few words were chasing you and they said they wanted to help. They seemed genuine.”

“I don’t think so. At school there were words galore. I’m not a good speller. The words became angry when I spelled most of them wrong.” Lucy’s bottom lip quivered.

“And so they chased you?” Owl asked.

“Not then. They threw the chalkboard eraser at me and made me write each word until I got it correct.”

“That’s not very nice.”

“You’re telling me. Fairy school is not all it’s cracked up to be. Every fairy culture is gifted in different forms. Meadow fairies are not good spellers. We don’t have to be because we are of the meadow and talk to the meadow creatures and care for them. We use no spells so we don’t write words, just speak them. Other fairies have to learn words to communicate to the other worlds, this is their job.”

“I see,” said Owl.

“When the last eraser hit my wing, tearing it, I stomped out of school, swearing I was never going back. Then one word apologized and then another, but it was too late for me. Once outside, I could not fly so I took off running.”

They glided through the air until Owl perched a top of a tall boxy building.

“We’re here,” Owl said.

Lucy stared at the sky. Stars twinkled. Meteors flew across it. She wished she could fly like them.

Bong! Bong! Bong! Bong!

“Tis four o’clock. I shall take you down now,” said Owl.

Lucy  held on tight, her wings tucked in neatly.

“Off you go. What you need is in here. Every culture and every law can be found here. You just have to look hard and research and you will find your answers.”

Lucy stepped toward the large building with the wise owl statues lining the stairway to it.

“Do not be alarmed when you enter. Words abound in every corner. These words are here to help you. Though you may be terrified of them, give them a chance. If it becomes too overwhelming, ask a librarian for help as help is always available in this magical place.”

Lucy was skeptical.  She stepped back toward Owl.

Owl nudged her forward. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.

“Thank you Owl for rescuing me. I shall take your advice.”

“Remember dear fairy, overcoming obstacles is not easy and takes time.”

Lucy nodded and waved goodbye.

Inside, the words waited patiently.

They had their work cut out for them.

As did Lucy. This was just the beginning.







[photo credit: allpicts.in]

Today’s story is under 100 words for Susanna Hill’s 6th Annual Halloweensie Contest that starts today and runs through Halloween night. The main rules are the story has to contain (in some form) these three words: ghost, moon and spider AND be 100 words or less.

In addition to these three words, I have incorporated both Learner’s Word of the Day and dictionary.com Word of the Day for today (Oct. 27, 2016) I also gave myself one hour to write it and edit it as per my usual Word of the Day guidelines.

delectation – noun

[dee-lek-tey-shuh n]

  1.   delight; enjoyment.

gourd – noun

  1.    any one of several types of fruits that have a hard shell and that are used for    decoration and not for eating
  2.  a gourd-shaped, small-necked bottle or flask.
  3.  a dried and excavated gourd shell used as a bottle, dipper, flask, etc.
  4.   Slang. out of one’s mind; crazy.



by Traci Bold

97 words

Moon cast light on the delectation below.

It saw animals, cowboys, ghosts, ghouls, knights, princesses, superheroes and witches running house to house for candy.

In the dark…

A huge sneaky spider spun its web fast which caught Moons’ attention.

The web grew large and wide enough to snare some tasty trick-or-treaters.

The spider was off its gourd! Moon was horrified.

It cast it’s light upon the spider for all to see.

The trick-or-treaters tricked the spider with their sticky candy, wrapping it in its own web.

They thanked Moon with a candy offering.

Which made Moon smile.



links to the contest:

And Now…The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For…!

The 6th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest – aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

testudinal – adjective

[te-stood-n-l, –styood-]

  1. pertaining to or resembling a tortoise or tortoise shell.


crevice – noun


  1.   a narrow opening or crack in a hard surface and especially in rock


“I feel so naked without it,” Terrence said to his best friend Trent.

“You look fine without it,” said Trent.

“But I need it, it protects me. You wouldn’t go anywhere without yours and you know it.”

Trent kicked the ground, shuffling his feet. “You’re right, I wouldn’t.”

Terrence covered himself with large leaves he found.

Trent laughed. “You look better without the leaves.”

Terrence squinched his eyes and curled his mouth. “Fine.” He dropped the leaves.

“We need to retrace your footsteps,” Trent said. “Start from the beginning.”

Terrence led Trent back to his home under the mud bog. Trent scratched around the mud. Terrence breezed through the brush. “Not here,” he called out.

A shadow passed above them. Chills crept over Terrence.

They traipsed to the rock quarry next. Terrence kicked rocks out of his way while Trent noses around the big rock. “Not here,” he said.

Sweat dripped off of Terrence, his skin becoming pinkish.

“We have to find your shell fast. You’re going to fry right up and the buzzards will eat you all gone.”

Terrence trembled at the thought. He led Trent to the other side of the rock quarry where the sun was almost hiding.

A testudinal object poked out from the crevice in the quarry.

“Look Terrence!” Trent pointed.

CRAW! CRAW! A shadow circled above them, then disappeared.

“Run!” Trent called.

Terrence used all of his might pushing his stubby legs as fast as they could go.

The shadow became two.

Terrence pushed on.


Terrence ducked. “Almost there,” he chanted over and over.

Trent chucked a rock at the buzzards.


He ducked into his shell as the buzzards dove toward him.

Swooosh! Miss.

Trent peeked out from his shell, fearful for his friend.

Terrence lunged forward.

The testudinal object was indeed his shell. He pulled and prodded. Swoooosh! and pulled some more. The shell flew into the air…kerplunk… hit a buzzard and landed perfectly on Terrence, covering his body once more.

CRAW! CRAW! Screamed the buzzards, one rubbing it’s head.

Terrence ducked into his shell and hid in the crevice between a rock and a hard place, known as the quarry.

When the buzzards bagged out, Terrence ambled over to his friend.

“Good thing they’re gone, they almost had themselves fried tortoise for lunch.”

“And chicken soup if they had caught me,” Trent said as he shivered.

“You were brave Trent, not a chicken,” said Terrence.

“I guess so. But you’re the one who gave one buzzard a goose egg.”

Terrence laughed. “Yeah. Buzzards love to eat tortoise eggs so I bet they love goose eggs too!”

Together they laughed and laughed all the way to the mud bog where they filled up on leaves for lunch and nestled into the mud for a nap.