5 Day Photo Challenge Day 3

I accepted a challenge to post a story/poem/etc inspired by a picture every day for 5 days. Today is Day 3. 🙂

For my selection today, I chose to do a poem. Since I have been trying to learn poetry, I like to play with different forms to try my hand at different patterns and rhyme. This form is a septuplet, which I found on the great poetry resource site, Shadow Poetry

I hope you enjoy, and I will see you tomorrow for Day 4. 🙂
  

Ticking
Clocks tick, 

consistently, 

in measured beats.


Time 

stops –

and starts again,

when lovers meet.

5 Photos/5 Days Challenge Day 2

I accepted a challenge to post a story every day for 5 days based off a photo inspiration. Here is Day 2. 🙂
  

Normally the sounds of lots of people screaming would be disturbing, but the bursts of blood curdling cries were nothing to Noah by now. No, it was just ‘another walk in the park’ – the local amusement park. 

Noah had been working this amusement park all summer. He had seen and heard it all by now. 

Screaming people on the rides, screaming kids off the rides being told it was time to go and screaming parents exhausted from the long hot day shuffling their munchkins from ride to ride to ride all day long. 

He had seen his fare share of blood, sweat and tears. Kids bloody noses, lots of sweaty kids and adults and many a teary-eyed toddler. 

He saw people angry that they had to wait in line so long only to find that it had been shut down. He saw happy people who just rode their first roller coaster and who had fallen in love with the thrill. He saw the genuine fear of people anticipating the possible terror awaiting them at the end of the long line. He saw relief as they got off the ride, knowing it wasn’t so bad after all. 

Summer was almost over now, though, and Noah was ready to see the end of this ride. Next summer he would get a job waiting tables like his cousin. There’s gotta be way less screaming at the diner, or at least he hoped so anyway.

5 Day Picture Challenge Day 1

My friend, AJ Prince, a fellow “Twisted Writer” from our group blog, must have seen my recent lack of blogging here on my regularly scheduled blog site since she has given me a virtual nudge to get me back on track. AJ nominated me for a 5 day challenge where the nominated blogger (like me) chooses a photo to serve as a writing prompt, posting the photo and the response on his/her blog. 

We then also nominate another blogger to keep the challenge going. I nominate my friend Shelley who also took on the A to Z Challenge for the for time this year and really rocked it out. I know that she is also crazy busy, so she is of course not compelled to participate. But if she chooses – the 5 Day Photo Challenge “rules” are as follows:
1) Post a photo each day for 5 consecutive days

2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.

3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation.  Just have fun. 

Day 1

 

He should have felt relieved. Practice was now over, and the season ended the next day. No more long, sweaty practices. No more Coach pushing them to run one more lap or run one more drill. No more endless wind sprints or tackle drills. He should have felt relieved.

Instead, he was damn near heartbroken. As the late fall sun fell low, he knew he wouldn’t be coming back for another season. He stood silently off by the uprights as the others started drifting away. The younger guys were laughing and cutting up, others were pumping each other up for the next day’s game. As he listened, he tried not to mourn what was likely his last football practice. 

Sure, the practices could be a beating. Sure, he had suffered an injury or two. Sure, he sometimes hated being pushed to hit harder and run faster even when he knew it made them better. Sure, he had more than put in his time through the years. 

But he would miss putting on the pads, lining up next to teammates who now felt like brothers, and fighting it out for another winning season. 

He sure as hell would miss it.

Of course, he could always watch games when he went to college next year, and he probably would, but he knew it wouldn’t ever be the same as standing on that local high school football field, with those guys he’d grown up with playing ball under the hot Texas sun. 

A Reading Summer 

Summer has officially started for my three sons since Friday was the last day of school. We celebrated with them, but my husband and I also have been anxious to figure out what we will do to keep them busy and active and learning this summer. This is not always the simplest of tasks. 🙂

One of the biggest things that we would like to focus on for our twins is reading since their school year was a challenge to meet the required minimum level. We would love to see them start off the new year without falling back on any levels, but our biggest hope is that with a good solid push over the summer, they may start the new year ahead. 

In addition to seeking out other activities to keep them physically active, one of our goals this weekend was to find some academically challenging workbooks and get them going on books to read. I was very happy to find this fantastic workbook that takes them week by week through the summer with ideas for learning activities, suggested reading, and then many pages of exercises in reading, writing and math. Included with the exercises is a rewards system of stickers and certificates, so we have a great way to offer incentives. 

For my gifted and talented oldest son, I skipped the workbook for his grade level and picked out a few logic and puzzle books. His teacher also gave her class a lovely Brain Teaser packet full of logic problems for the summer. He may not have been fired up for it, but his dad and I thought it was great! 

Speaking of great teachers who help over the summer, one of the twins’ teachers offers a bookmobile service over the summer where she will meet us at the school once a week on a designated day and at a specific time to bring some leveled reader books to kids that are needing a little extra help over the summer. What a gift! You gotta love teachers! 

We also have a fantastic library near us that works in conjunction with the schools to push a summer reading program, so we signed up the whole family for the summer reading challenge – me and my husband included! To get them started on it, I took my twins in today and they got their first library cards! We have been to the library there for years but I didn’t realize until recently that they could have their own cards. I thought they were excited, though one of them promptly set his down on the floor to pick something up and forgot all about it. So, maybe not. 😉

Everyone got new books this weekend and everyone is signed up for the summer reading program and everyone is committing to read. This will be our Summer of Reading, and I must tell you I, at least, am very excited for it! 

How about you? Will you be reading this summer? Have kids you are working on reading with? What did you do to keep them reading? 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week! 

~CJS

Memorial Day

  

My post today is short and sweet and dedicated to the men and women who have given their lives in service. I also want to honor the families they left behind. I have tremendous gratitude to all those who serve our country and a pride in the level of heroism so many have displayed. 

I saw this bumper sticker the other day and just loved it – seems about right. 

  

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day. See you next week. Hope it’s a great one for you! 

~CJS

Killer Queen 

I used to think I had a pretty diverse taste in music. I used to think I had my own favorite songs. That was until my 9 year old and 7 year olds started teaching me about music. Yes, these little boys are teaching me about music!

Let me first say that there are lots of great classic rock songs in kid’s movies and superhero movies in case you haven’t watched them lately. Iron Man, of course, got my guys started on AC/DC, which I now have quite a few AC/DC songs on my iPhone now. MegaMind helped introduce them to Guns&Roses “Welcome to the Jungle”, Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. You gotta love when your 7 year old starts yelling out “Don’t turn the station mom!” when “Crazy Train” comes on. LOL

There’s also the greatness that is Jimmy Fallon and his Lip Sync Battles that you can watch on YouTube. One of my 7 year old twins impressed the lady who cut his hair when she asked if he had any favorite songs and he listed “Take On Me” because he saw Jimmy Fallon do a lip sync battle with it once. 

It’s thanks to the Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync Battle that my sons are now currently teaching me all about Queen. Jimmy and Paul Rudd do one of the best battles – one of Rudd’s being Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. It’s hilarious and I cannot hear the song now without seeing Rudd’s ridiculous and addictive performance in my head. And let me tell you we hear the song a lot.

I downloaded the Queen’s Greatest Hits to my iPhone and they are frequently the choice my boys will queue up when it’s their turn to play a song in the car. Each has their own favorite, but I have been surprised that I really enjoy them all. There are even a few I don’t have on the album that I’m probably gonna have to download as well. 

In addition to the songs on my phone, we frequently will watch the videos on YouTube on the television in the living room. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is such a classic, even if I always feel a twinge of guilt when the “Mama…just killed a man…” lyrics come on. Still, it’s classic. “We Will Rock You” gets them dancing everytime. And “Under Pressure” is my husband’s favorite Queen song, which instantly cemented it as one of my oldest’ favorites as well – because hey, anything Dad loves must be great, right? Right! 

What I love is how much I never realized I liked Queen until my kids got me on this kick. And watching videos and behind the scenes I have learned a lot about a history I never knew. I’ve also had the opportunity to have some great conversations with the kids about being different, about AIDS, and about suicide. Pretty intense huh, don’t worry I keep it as age appropriate as possible. The younger ones aren’t as inquisitive or as tuned in as the older one is most of the time. But there are always great opportunities to throw in a word or two here and there. And while I am always trying to teach my guys, I absolutely love it how they are teaching me, too! 

Do you like Queen? What is your favorite? I’m really torn but right now, “Somebody to Love” is one I have to sing along with, though Bohemian Rhapsody is just such a classic! Feel free to share your favorite in the comments! 
(PS – Sorry I missed last week’s post – I was suffering from blog fatigue after posting daily, but have also had some sick kiddos. Plus, you know, just …life! 😀) 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week! 
~CJS

Z is for…

 

My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.
 

This quote is from a book I read in college,  Their Eyes Were Watching Godthat really opened my eyes to the beauty and richness of a unique voice.

I remember being absolutely mesmerized by the language. Some assigned reading you read, do the report and just move on, but some stays with you. This one always comes to mind when I think of voice and language as a deep and emotional aspect of the overall piece. 

I love these lines for the feeling of something important that is coming. Which year are we going to hear about? The one that asks or the one that answers? What will the questions be? Will we like the answers? What are those answers? Such a very rich beginning with which to begin to spin a story! 

But with this beginning we also find an end -an end to the A to Z Challenge for me for 2015! Thanks so much for joining in this adventure! Hopefully you have enjoyed it as much as I have. On my next regular post, I plan to share some of my favorite new blogger finds & also recap the month for you. 

Thanks & I will see you Monday!

– CJS