#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

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No one from the LDS Church knew of the quickening of Patrick Nolan’s soul to the Spirit World.  It was the saddest, strangest day I had ever spent.

The funereal funeral was a secret affair.  No one knew Patrick Nolan had died—that Laurie Nolan had been living in mortal sin for 13 years.

Caitlin & I did as we were told, Caitlin, still grieving & I, taking no delight in what I had dreamt of for as long as my eyes had beheld the glory of David Dalton. 

In the B.C. era (before the Church), I had wanted Mother to marry David, but in this New Era, I realized 2 wrong people were trying to do the right thing.

The glories of the terrestrial & telestial heavens shined their pallid light upon us as David knocked on the pastor’s door, bearing redemption on the other side.

A baby grand sat in the corner of the room, the top of which sat a picture of Jesus.  For some reason, it made me think of a picture of a woman’s late husband.

Swiss clocks adorned the high walls, chiming ten, creating a clamor, signaling that the hour of reckoning had come.

To write one’s own vows was to promise more to one another than even God expected, & so it made sense that David & Mother had written their own.

We were to become a blended family, but our mixture would remain homogenous.

“David, when I think of you, I think of the guardian angel who came to us all those years before, bearing good tidings of great joy,” I said.

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #480: Negative

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The Digital Children

The heartrending images
of the prepubescent children
who were part of
the adult entertainment industry
would no longer be relegated
to the memories of the perpetrators
with the destruction of the negatives,
for with one click,
the eradication of their childhoods
could be viewed again and again.
But hey,
at least the perps weren’t involved
in a college admissions scandal.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 480

#Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

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He was a team player,
who enjoyed watching
a bunch of men
running around with numbers
on their backs,
throwing what looked like a
misshapen Hostess cupcake
through the air.
She was a team of 1,
who wrote & edited
her own stories,
for there wasn’t always
someone there
to read them.
And to keep the peace,
he agreed to never make her watch,
while she agreed to never make him read.

He was a purveyor of magic tricks,
she, of magic treats.
When they crossed one another’s paths
at a Halloween party
like a pair of black cats,
they became unlucky in love,
for she found out that his tricks
were nothing but an illusion,
& he,
that her treats were flavor-enhanced with MSG.

He loved secular holiday tunes,
she, spiritual Christmas carols,
for she saw Christmas as a holy day,
& he, a holiday.
For him,
the lists were naughty & nice,
based on words & deeds;
for her,
the lists were Heaven or Hell,
based on belief.
Even though they would forever
disagree on everything else,
they could agree that
whatever the reason
for the season,
kindness should be
the universal code of conduct.

Truth is its own magic: A Mother’s Day message

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When you’re a mom, some of the things that come out of your mouth may sound strange:  “Don’t chew on Jesus,” “Will you just hurry up and poop?”, and “Stop putting chicken on your head!”, are some of my greatest hits.

As I was getting my daughter ready for bed the other night, thinking about what I wanted to read to her (praying she wouldn’t mention Minnie, as in The Mouse), the Beatitudes of Jesus came to mind.  I realized then that I’ve spent so much time reading and singing to her and teaching her the things she will need to know to get on here–like letters and numbers, saying “thank you” and not littering–that I hadn’t focused much on the religious part of her education.

Thinking back, that’s exactly how my parents raised me.  For them, church was something you needed if you were an ass.

When I was in high school in the nineties, a lot of kids were self-proclaimed “Jesus freaks,” wearing “True Love Waits” rings and WWJD bracelets.  There was a lot of talk about the rapture and born-again virginity.  Church was their social life, Praise and Worship music their vibe.  Some of them even carried their Bibles around at school.  

Just as Felicity (remember that WB show?) followed a boy to college, I, a freshman, followed a senior boy to his church.  One evening, after service had ended, we sat in a pew as he led me through the salvation prayer, and I was like, “That’s it?  Are you sure? It’s that easy?”

I had been expecting a feeling–a total transformation like Saul’s to Paul–and now I wonder when Jesus told Doubting Thomas that (and I paraphrase) blessed are they who don’t see but believe, that “see” could also apply to “feel.”

Four years later, I joined the Mormon Church.  All the good feelings I had expected to feel when I had gotten saved, I felt then, but who isn’t going to feel good when they’re around so many friendly people who open their hearts and homes?  Even though it’s been years since I sent my name to Salt Lake to be expunged (er, removed) from the records, I will admit that the Church made me a more spiritual person.

In the Church, I was taught that the glory of God is intelligence and yet, according to these same people, for those who had mental challenges, the devil could not touch them. 

To my understanding, a lack of mental capacity (e.g. intelligence) saved a soul.  It seems contradictory, and yet, it somehow makes sense to me.

As I gaze upon my child, I see that light and intelligence.  She knows so much more than she communicates, which can be frustrating, but I have learned to overcome the need to explain why she is the way she is to people who don’t know her–to explain why she doesn’t respond when people ask her her name–but then, I have had several people who’ve taken one look at her and ask if she’s autistic.

I may never know how much she understands, but I do know that I will teach her everything I know and believe, whether it’s that adverbs are the enemy of good writing or that respect doesn’t have to be earned but it can be lost.  (You don’t disrespect people until they “earn” your respect.)

I’ve striven so much to give her a magical childhood through imagination and storytelling.  (Children’s author, Nancy Tillman, is a master at this.)  Nearly every night, since my mom passed from this earth, I ask my daughter to tell Grandma “good-night” and “I love you” and to blow her a kiss.  And then I seemingly catch that kiss in midair, letting her open my hand and take it; sometimes I place my palm on the crown of her head–a blessing from Heaven.

Of course, I don’t really know how things work up there, but part of parenting, for me, has always been teaching truths with just a pinch of magic.

C.S. Lewis did that very thing with his Narnia series, just as I will someday do with mine.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

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For he would love her for eternity,
which meant he was lost to me forever;
he would take her to the temple,
& only through Mother’s death—
not his—
would he be able to obtain
a second sealing.

To watch an atheist in prayer,
was to witness a truth—
a truth that was shielded with the lie
that there was no God,
but rather,
the idea of Him.

The New Millennium
ushered in a New Era—
an era of women’s meetings,
of volunteer callings,
& enduring to the end.

David did not promise me many mansions,
but one.
He did not promise me his mansion,
but a room in it—
a place at his table.

The Church was the lie
that led me to the truth
that was David Dalton’s
everlasting love.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #479: Weapon

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Bad Hair Day

Vi’s weapons of mass seduction
were the talons she got filed & polished
every week,
but crimpers & curlers,
hair dryers & conditioners,
&, as a last resort,
a scrunchie with barrettes,
were her weapons of choice
when it came to fighting a bad hair day,
just as a rug was her hubby’s only choice,
as every day for him was a No Hair Day.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 479

#Micropoetry Monday: The Lighter Side

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When the black widow
married the brown recluse,
they made an agreement:
She would leave him alone &
he would play dead,
making their Web site
a happy one.

When Complement Sandwich
met Knuckle Sandwich,
neither believed the other cut the mustard,
until they met Open-Faced Sandwich—
after which the 2 decided to bury the bread knife &
initiate Open-Faced into the menu
by giving him a complimentary knuckle sandwich.

When Kit Feline took Kitty Katzenberg
to see Guess What’s Coming Up for Dinner?
she decided that supper after the show
was no longer appealing.
She ditched him for Fluffy McFurry,
who was in the next room,
spinning yarns that turned into
hilariously ugly Christmas sweaters.