Timing is Everything

Along with millions around the world, I, too, wept in shock to see the images of the magnificent Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral burn.  It is illogical to think that these things will last forever but, let’s face it, she has been standing for 800 years.  We have gotten used to her existence.

©François Guillot AFP Getty Images

I could not help but think how, if I had sold my house six months ago, I would be there right now, today, April 16.  I had put my deposit on Cook in France, the newest destination cooking getaway created by Linda and George Meyers of Cook in Tuscany, a year ago, thinking my house would be sold and settled, and, even if I hadn’t moved yet, I’d be free to roam Burgundy and Paris for three weeks.  Notre Dame would definitely have been on my itinerary.

And now I’ll never see her in all her glory.  Even though she is badly wounded and not completely destroyed, any restoration that will take place will take years.  I don’t doubt it will happen.  I just don’t know if I will ever see any of it.  This does sound woe-is-me-ish, doesn’t it?  I don’t suppose I am alone in this one.  Oh, there are those who have no desire to travel and see the world and that’s okay.  I’m just not one of them.

This thought, of course, begat more thoughts and I found myself remembering those times where the fates were against me (protected me?) such as the time we left late to go to the movies, and as a result were behind an overpass crashing down as I once wrote about here.  Had we left earlier… who knows?

How some people were supposed to be at the Twin Towers on that fateful day but missed their plane, slept in, whatever; while others, on a whim decided to join up for breakfast as did two sisters, only to have it be their last meal.

I could, of course list many a coulda, shoulda woulda or a couldna, wouldna, didna but they will all end up in the same place.  This or that did or didn’t happen.  Call it fate, call it “not your time”, call it happenstance; doesn’t matter.  Whatever works for you to understand the why you missed something or not.

I’ve never been a proponent of the “why me?” mentality.  The opposite holds true, as a matter of fact.  Why the hell NOT me?  Why should I deserve or not deserve whatever I am receiving?

Which brings me to a show I loved that sadly only lasted two seasons.  “Dead Like Me”, with Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin and Jasmin Guy, who play grim reapers, working to collect souls:  the names and times of death received on post-it notes.  It might seem blasphemous to end this serious-starting post with a comedic-drama show but that’s how I roll.

The View From Here – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman is in Portland, Oregon. Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Feel free to use the image supplied with the prompt, or choose your own view of Portland in streetview or photosphere.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others at the link up below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun.

I found this story and felt compelled to write it.  Thanks to both Josh and Karen for hosting this fabulous challenge.  Congrats to Karen for passing your certification test! Woot!

Click me to play!

The View From Here

“Vista Bridge is so beautiful”, thinks Bonnie Kahn driving to work.  “So glad I have an office window.”

Walking hurriedly, William Pope makes his way to the bridge, his tall, athletic frame bent over to combat the rain and snow pelting him.

Bud Clark, mayor of Portland, glances out of his apartment window, on his way out the door and freezes.

“Life is just too hard.  I’m done,” says Will under his breath as he reaches the midway point, hops onto the railing, and jumps.

Bud watches in horror, incapable to do anything but witness it.

Bonnie, arriving at her office, stops with a jerk when she sees the body lying in the middle of the road, blood pouring from his ears.

Therese Schwenkler’s phone rings.  “Did you hear what happened to Will?”

 

The fences may be ugly, and people hate them, but since 2013, not a single suicide has occured.

********

I landed on this story quite by accident, looking for inspiration for this Pegman destination.  Here I was thinking I’d be writing about the music or foodie scene.  So much for that!  This bridge was called “Suicide Bridge”, as there was an average of two leaps per year since its official opening on Dec. 6, 1926.   To read more about it, click here.

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #101 – Charlatan

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  Thank you Sammi, for this challenge where I keep challenging myself!

Word Prompt

Charlatan

Challenge

First of fifteen
She’d not be swayed
None shall I have!
She vehemently said
Yet, at twenty-four
A fourth! No, oh dread!

Determined was she
To end this misfortune
Doctor could help
Illegal abortion
The place was so filthy
She recoiled in aversion

A charlatan is he
She turned to flee
Thank goodness
Because
My mother and me
Would never be!

Conversation With Myself – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #22

I’ve been mulling over Crispina’s photo for two days now.  We’ve had a few paths or gates so far – albeit all very different – and I didn’t want to find myself telling a different version of a previous story.  What to do?  I found myself having an internal dialogue, going over ideas.  Hey….there ya go.  Make that the story.  So I did.  Care to join in on the fun?  Just click here to find out all the rules and regs.  There are none!  Well, except going over 150 words.  That’s the only rule.  Not so tough, eh?

Conversation With Myself

Does that path up ahead look smooth to you?

No, why? Is it supposed to be?

I though it might be; at least somewhat.

Where’d you get that notion?

I figured I’d earned it by now.

Based on what, exactly?

My age, years worked, life experiences

And you figured by now, all the hard stuff would be done?

Pretty much

Kind of presumptuous, no?

You think? I just didn’t figure I’d be starting over so late in the game.

Life’s funny like that.  Just when you think you have it figured out—

Boom!  Here comes another rock, jutting out just enough to trip you

You know what they say, right?

Oh shut up! 

But it’s true!

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… Ugh.

You’re resilient.  You can handle it.

Well maybe I’d just like for things to ease up!

They will, in time.

When?

Soon enough.

I hate you.

 

 

No Sanctuary – Friday Fictioneers

OMFG!  I cannot believe I accidentally flushed my original story that was soooo hard to write.  Sigh.  That’ll learn me to pay attention when, on my phone, it says update post.  Where my text went, I know not.  How the text both above AND below the picture vanished, is beyond me.

And YAY!  How Rochelle had it in her phone is beyond me.  I’m calling it some kind of divine intervention.  You Rock Rochelle!!  Thank you, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

©Roger Bultot

Click me to play!

 

No Sanctuary

Death was next.

An entrepreneurial spirit, he’d turned his habit into a successful business by 22.

Snorting coke to stay alert, drinking booze to pass out, he lived this illusively, exciting life. Till he lost himself.

At 23, weighing 125 lbs, he found himself homeless. Desperate, he knocked on the church door, seeking assistance.

The priest looked down, repulsed; “You are beyond help,” and slammed the door in his face.

Years later, he was now a sober, successful man. His wife beside him as he drove past, he pointed and spit out bitterly, “That’s the church that turned me away.”

 

What Happens When You Procrastinate

Last Wednesday I spent the afternoon with my long-lost cousin, Sonya, and when he got home from work, her hubby, Gilles.  A mere one-hour drive and I was back in a winter wonderland.  Yes, granted, this is ski country but still.  It was a shock.  Sonya and Gilles live way out in the boonies but once you get there, one discovers a little slice of paradise.  Let’s face it, if one chooses to live here, one accepts the weather that comes with.  Somehow I did not take a decent picture of the humans so I have stolen this picture from my cousin’s FB page.

Lace, Eagle and Sonya on Lac Dominique

We hadn’t seen each other in fifteen years and honestly, I don’t know who was happier to reconnect.  So I’ll say it was in equal measure and now that we have refound each other, we are not letting this happen again.

We went for a walk on the lake, basically in her backyard, which turned out to be quite the adventure.  We learnt to walk where the snow was packed otherwise we sunk down (up?) past our knees!  The dogs had a blast chasing each other and getting their freak on.  Too bad the sun only occasional peeked out so, forgive me for the crap photos.  To give you an idea just how big these beasts are, below is Eagle just standing next to the kitchen counter…

I regaled them with my “Mick” stories and it was determined that I have a talent in telling stories – such a polite way of saying I hog the conversation, albeit at their urging, dontcha think?

Skip ahead a few days and it brings us to Saturday.  Sitting in my office, doing computer work, I spotted movement in my little tree/bush.  Managed to grab my camera and capture these two from my window before they flew off.  There was a party going on but opening my window scared most of ’em off.  As you can see, the female wasn’t so read to step out into the open, so to speak.  My knowledge of birds is extensive. Red bird, not a robin, female, not so colourful.

Sunday.  The day I was going to post but then did, whatever it was that I did, besides post.  Which means my post about the beautiful spring weather has become something else entirely.  Because, well, you’ll see.  Sunday was gorgeous!  I had no more snow on my front lawn (advantages to living on the sunny side of the street) and Zeke and I were going to take advantage of this 11ºC (52ºF) and go for a good walk.  I figured our usual destinations would be rather mucky so, where to go?  I decided on the Parc de la Freyère, completely forgetting that there was a birding thing going on.  On our way there, I passed by the streets in my old ‘hood and could hear a major loon partay going on.  What a ruckus!  We stopped and yep, there they were hanging out on the bit of ice still or swimming – Canada geese.  Trying to get Zeke to not scare them off, we made our way quietly.  I managed to snap a few pics but it didn’t take long.  They were on to us and took off like the hounds of Hades were after them.  I’m not what you would call a nature photographer but I tried.  They were quick and I just clicked away and prayed.

The damage done, we continued on our way to the park.  There were quite a few birders there with their big-ass telephoto lenses (I look kinda poor with my 75-300mm lens but hey, better than nothing!)

Now THAT’S how you get great shots…

But I did manage to capture a woodpecker – sure it has a formal name.

There were more Canada Geese raising hell but nothing to write home about.

And then came Monday.  Rain.  Freezing rain.  Electricity goes out at 8 am.  I start work at 9 am.  Thankfully I don’t need to blow-dry my hair and it’s bright enough, sorta, outside to do my face, what little I do, do.  First day of work.  Great. I have to scrape my car.  It is April friggen 8th!  Whatevs.  Get to work, meet the new peeps, do my day, all goes well and leave by 4 pm.  (By the way, electricity came back on at about 12:30, I’m told.)

Walk outside.  What?  I come out from work to see this?

OK, OK.  It’s April.  We know foolish things can happen in this month.

Then today happens.  Andrea and I decide to go for breakfast.  It’s chilly.  Back into the negatives.  Sigh. Put on a thicker coat and off we go.  Enjoying a nice breakfast with endless cups of coffee and look outside.  What in the name of all that is holy is that white shit falling like it was bloody Christmas Eve?  For realz?

Umm… April SHOWERS bring May flowers, my ass.

Sorry folks, apparently we are gonna skip that shit this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Titan to Pillar – What Pegman Saw

Today Pegman takes a trip to Tbilisi, Georgia

This ancient cobblestoned city has a complicated history of Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings, and Soviet Modernist structures. Walk around and see what strikes your fancy.

The purpose of this prompt is to inspire you to write 150 words about this place. You can use the Google photo above or stroll around until you see something that strikes your fancy. When you’re done, remember to link your story to the others using the InLinkz frog below. Reading and commenting is half the fun.

So, that said, I did some searching and Googling, as this challenge is wont to make me do, and discovered that Greek Mythology has something to do with the Caucasus Mountains.  Who’d a thunk?

Click me to play!

From Titan to Pillar

“It’s bad enough you created man out of clay, Prometheus.  That much I can handle.  You were smart enough to side with us Olympians in the first Titanomachy.  Smart of you, by the way, saved you from being imprisoned in Tartarus.”

“Thanks, Zeus. I’m not stupid. I knew you were way more powerful than us.”

“Silence! You dared trick me into choosing the bones and fat of an ox and then gave the best meat to humanity?  I took away their fire, forcing them to eat their meat raw.  And what do you do?  How dare you!  You stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to them!  Do you realise how much power you have given them?”

“But—”

“But nothing!  For this you shall be taken far east and tied to the mountain in Caucasus, your liver to be pecked at and eaten daily by wild birds for eternity.”