Too Late!

24 06 2009

If you neglected to meet Fredward yesterday then you missed your chance entirely. Tonight after I got home from my 13-hour day, I took Fredward’s candle outside where I removed Fredward from it with a small stick.

Good luck with your new life in my bay tree, Fredward. It was nice sharing my bathroom with you for the past eight days. You didn’t use my towels or my favorie shampoo, you never kicked me out or left your underpants underfoot. I appreciate your stoic silences, the way you were always there no matter what and how good your home smelled.

In the interest of your continued existence I had to let you go. It was hard. I will miss you. In the end, though, it’s really all for the best. Go! Be free! You were the best non-pet spider I could have asked for!


Have you met Fredward?

23 06 2009

I have a candle in my bathroom. In the candle lives a tiny black and white striped jumping spider. That spider’s name is Fredward.

I found him last week and every time I look in that candle he is there. He’s only left once that I’m aware of and that only for a few minutes. Maybe he needed snacks.

Point being, I’m worried about the little guy. He can’t possibly be eating anything in there and even spiders need food sometimes. My theory is that he thinks that the candle (which smells oh-so-good) is a flower. Bugs like flowers. Hence, bugs have to show up at some point.

The problem with Fredward’s imaginary explanation is that the candle is NOT a flower and I VERY VERY rarely see even a single bug in my bathroom. Fredward is out of luck and I’m scared that in not too many days he’s gonna be out of life.

Tell me, how does one save a delusional jumping spider from himself?

Short Fiction or How I Process in a Pinch

22 06 2009

This subject of loss and reaction to loss has been much on my mind lately. Why can some people withstand enormous loss and suffering while the smallest deprivation takes the life right out of others? What do you do when everything you love is taken away from you? What if the one who took it all is placed fully within your power? How generous, how forgiving can you be? Read the rest of this entry »

For Father

20 06 2009

For Marcus Smith

In Honor of His 25th Year as a Father

Some of the Many Reasons We Love Dad


Submitted by Jennifer

Submarines and houses made of boxes

 Telling us “just one more story”

 That time Jennifer ran over the bush and you made her put the sign on the yard that said “killed by a hit and run 16 year old”

Daddy daughter dates at Sonics games, where you bought us coke and cotton candy

When you were at work, you would always take time to talk to us when we called, no matter what you were doing

That time when we were little, and you made us scrambled eggs and put salsa on them, and we though it was gross and wouldn’t eat it, you remade our eggs.

The Smith Family Opera


Submitted by Meghan

You made us French Toast in the mornings

You let us have a series of pets with grandiose names, names you reduced to one syllable


Chasing us up the stairs while pretending that you weren’t trying to scare us

That you pray for us every day

Encouraging our dreams

 Not making us take out the trash

Dirty sock fights

Being generally funny

Making wise cracks in church

 Scratching Isabelle’s ear canals when I’m out of town

Scrubbing a toilet better than anyone on the planet

The dead fat lady story

That you and mom never yell at each other

That you’ve never yelled at us

Any of “your girls” crying makes you upset

 You taught us to love the Three Stooges

Popcorn and orange juice IS the perfect combination

 Buying us art supplies, dance lessons and many books

 Being proud of us, no matter what

 Taking us to the dog park with Gus

 Disciplining us when we needed it, even though it wasn’t fun

 The creaky-door sound that always preceded an entrance by CAPTAIN BARNACLE

 Captain Barnacle

 Minnesota Slim and his monkey, Sara

 Noticing when we get our hair done or are dressed up

 Your incredible generosity

My Dad The Magnificent made you cry

You used to teach school, which is pretty awesome

Now you keep your temper at work, which is even more awesome

You spread gravel

You raised excellent children

You raised excellent children who raised excellent parents


 You done good Dad and we couldn’t say “I Love You” or “Thank You” enough times to express our feelings.



Writing Prompt 2

16 06 2009

“Use this phrase anywhere in your story: burn the midnight oil”


My name is Jack. I would have started out with something more interesting, but Tara tells me that one traditionally begins by introducing oneself. If she is fibbing me I have no way to know- you are the first people I have ever had to introduce myself to.

No, no, I know what you are thinking but they do NOT treat me badly. There is no reason why I should need to meet anyone. 

The Doctor raised me, with a little help from Tara. He taught me about the stars and forests and cultures from across the wide world. She made sure I ate and had new tunics when my weed-like growth demanded them. Sometimes from my cot blaze-side I would hear her pleading with the Doctor to let me out of the under-city where he chose to live. He always said no and sometimes he struck her when her weeping became loud. I was glad of the “no”- the Upper scared me- though I cringed and whimpered when I heard the blows he dealt. 

I’d been dealt my own share over the years. The scar over my eye and my slight limp both came from the backside of his hand. 

He never told me why he saved me in the first place. Most orphans are killed by the guard as a matter of course, at least the ones under-city. But the Doctor had interfered and kept me. 

So I grew in the lamp-lit halls of the Doctor’s home. I served him as best I could, mainly keeping the Time Mechanism running. My job was the most important one in the Doctor’s home, though Tara and I were not the only members of the household. We were the only ones who didn’t have to sleep in the Cages. 

Sometimes when the Doctor was working on a particularly difficult experiment, he would have me bring the Time Mechanism into his lab so that he would know exactly how much time had passed. The only instances that he ever spoke during these experiments was to remind me to be extra careful about the mechanism. “Burn the midnight oil, Jack”, he would say, and I complied gladly. The different oils have different scents and allow him to notice the hours passing without having to consciously mark it. 

Someday he might decide to take me Up. I might get to see the stars and trees that I’ve learned so much about. I might have to meet new people. If that day ever comes I will be glad to know that one begins a conversation by introducing oneself.

I am Jack, and I keep the time.

Writing Prompt #1

12 06 2009

I found a website of writing prompts and decided to pick one. I’m tired of silly update posts and want to write something that I at least would find entertaining. The prompt was “Write a short story (100-200 words) based on the sentence “They had nothing to say to each other”.

His fingers traced the pattern of the faux-wood table. His coffee cup was empty. She had ordered tea with honey but had yet to even taste it. He wondered what she was waiting for, but didn’t want to ask and seem rude.

She shifted her weight, keeping her hands still on the table. Her tea was almost room temperature. It was an odd quirk she’d adopted when her mother, who used to do the same thing, died. Luke-warm tea would never be a hit with the masses but it made her smile.

He had finished his coffee. She flushed, embarrassed that neither of them seemed to have anything to say.

He wished he’d never let Brian set them up. He couldn’t find his wits with a greek goddess sitting so near.

She wished she’d forgotten their date. His movie-star good looks couldn’t resign her to his shyness.

The barista felt a stab of sympathy. They weren’t the first blind date she’d seen deteriorate into silence. The only difference was that these two hadn’t even started out talking. They just sat at the corner table looking at each other.

He was about to stand up and put both of them out of their misery when it happened.

A man walked into the coffee shop wearing nothing but a pair of bright purple cowboy boots. Under one arm he carried a baby Bengal tiger.

The beautiful woman and the kind-hearted man locked eyes. They’d found something to talk about.

On the Brain

9 06 2009

My heart (and schedule) are very full these days. 

Last Saturday was my first day back working at the theatre. Starting tomorrow I work there 7 shows a week for the next three weeks. The very thought makes me want to sigh. I’ve been there for three years and it’s never been as hard as it was last Saturday and Sunday. The entire atmosphere is emotionally draining, the more so because I actually want to be enjoying myself. My only theory (other than just plain old fashioned grumpiness) is that the Lord is helping me by making it VERY clear that this season is over. If only this season were over at the theatre too… I appreciate the money and they’ve decreased the length of my shifts and the HS is very kind so I’ll make it but phew! I wish it were July.  

The UP side of the whole work thing is that (for the very first time) I am able to wander around that building without entertaining the thought “if only I could sing like these people…”. Most of you won’t understand what an ENORMOUS thing that is in my life. I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that I had something major missing from my list of skills because I didn’t have a Broadway-caliber voice. I flat out don’t care anymore, even if it is true, which of course its not. Read the rest of this entry »