#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


In Mother’s eyes, 5 years of marriage seemed to matter more than 10 plus years of unmarried, enduring love.

There was no limbo in relationships. There were two choices: married or single. Shacking up was emotional purgatory, at least for David.

David had been Mother’s lover before the elders, now he was her boyfriend, &, all in a ploy to make it right, he would become her fiancé.

They said Patrick was in the spirit world, waiting to be baptized by proxy. Mormons not only had to take care of the living, but also the dead.

Patrick wasn’t in Heaven, but among us in another dimension called this Spirit World. David was among us, in the Heaven I knew as home.

Patrick was more real to me dead than he had been when he was alive. He was the unseen guest at our dinner table, eating us all up inside.

A dead man’s alleged wish overruled her lover & children. Mother took her love away from the living to give it to the dead.

“You should’ve seen the way David looked when you mentioned your husband’s name. A poor, wayfaring man of grief he was then,” Elder Johnson said.

Caitlin loved Patrick, whom she had never seen. I loved David, though my eyes had beheld my father’s face. Just what did that say about me?

The ticks & tocks from our grandfather clock matched the lub-dubs of my heart–still beating, despite holding my breath & feeling as if I were dying.


Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #369; Theme: Pattern


Loosening the Stitches

Coral Fabrique was never cut of the same cloth,
for prettily patterned was the life she led—
held together by needle and thread.

There were the polka dots of her childhood,
for the beach balls she loved to kick;

paisley paired with denim in adolescence,
to better match her Crowned Victoria lipstick;

florals in the bloom of motherhood,
for what better to mask the spit-up;

oatmeal tweed in her golden years,
sharing wisdom over steaming teacups;

violet velvet in the twilight of her life,
protecting the richness of her jewels;

satin and lace in her last months,
to match the lining of her shiny box,
as she once would have matched
purses and shoes, and sometimes socks.

#Micropoetry Monday: #Nature


The siren of the sea,
rose from the surface each dawn to claim a life,
until she fell in love with the mortal who would mount her…
on the wall.

She was born of a virgin,
but raised by the birds of the air—
God took care of them all—
His flock & Goddess.

The squirrel ate the baby of the mother who housed it;
her branches were the nesting place for the robin.
Birds had lived, children had played,
even as men had died from her arms holding them up.

It was the season of happiness—
of summer reds rather than winter blues.
It was the season of strawberries & sunshine,
of butterflies & rain.

With a dress made of rose petals & a veil of firefly wings,
Serena, upon marriage to Brother Nature,
became the Enchantress of the Forest.

Writing Prompt: Experimenting with Hybrid Fiction


Like the New Wave of French cinema in the fifties and sixties, there is another form of writing taking shape, called hybrid fiction.  I have experimented with a few of these forms, and have found they spark my imagination—take my mind in diverse directions.

The following are frameworks, or foundations, that the hybrid uses as a structure, and then goes from there:

1. Advice column
2. Board/card game:  https://sarahleastories.com/2015/05/01/poem-a-day-writers-digest-challenge-30-theme-bury-the-blank/
3. Christmas letter
4. Church program
5. Deck of cards
6. Last Will & Testament
7. Medical chart/records
8. Obituary (or even an entire newspaper/scrapbook of clippings)
9. Open letter
10. Police report
11. Radio show
12. Recipe
13. Speech
14. “Bressay” (an essay built around a book review):  https://sarahleastories.com/2016/09/18/book-review-womens-wisdom-pass-it-on/
15. Resumes, e-mails, etc.  This is something Sophie Kinsella has done in her “Shopaholic” series; sometimes they are the funniest bits of the book.  However, considering we already know the character of Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood), it adds context to these bits, so the real challenge is for these to be able to stand alone.

Scholarship Essay for Verizon Internet


Virtual Limits: The Offline Life

I feel fortunate that I remember what life was like before cell phones and the Internet became our primary ways of communicating.  I spent more time outside, looking beyond—not straight into a screen or down into a phone.  The world seemed so much bigger then, just as now it’s contained in a square that fits in the palm of our hand.

For better or worse, my life would be different if the Internet didn’t exist.  I would certainly have a better memory, as I don’t have to remember anything anymore.  I can just google it.

People would play games with family and friends rather than online with people they don’t know.  I wouldn’t take pictures of my food, just to show everyone how good it turned out.  My old acquaintances would fade into the past, and some people, I would still be friends with, because it’s easy to have no filter when discussing politics behind a monitor.  That said, there are many I would have never known at all, due to location, and I might actually see the friends I have more.  I may even get to know my neighbors better, for they are equally distracted by friends in that mystical place called Elsewhere as I am sometimes.  No one but family would see my home movies or pictures of my children.  We would truly live, not live to record.

News would be more objective, because I believe most news is manufactured to generate controversy and buzz online, becoming provocative than informative; it’s shaped to divide, because conflict sells.  Pundits aren’t experts, but personalities—entertainers in one of the lowest art forms known as political theatre.

Authors would find it easier, in some ways, to sell their work, for free content wouldn’t be so prevalent.  Yet, many voices might never be heard, as I’ve found mine through blogging.  Introverts, like myself, would have a harder time breaking the ice—having to do it over the phone or in person—but the quest for likes and followers would be nonexistent.  Magazines would no longer be flooded with submissions, and would be less likely to charge a reading fee.  I wouldn’t even have a blog, my audience reduced to the people I would send my work to, my family, and a few friends.  I would no longer have the instant gratification of being published instantaneously.

School would improve, for cyberbullying would be a Thing That Never Happened.  When writing research papers, I would have to go to the library to cite sources, poring through pages and pages of information I would never use, and some questions, I would never know the answer to.

Our society would invest more in the local economy for harder-to-find items, and companies like Blockbuster would still be in business.  We would have less choice, and yet, the choices we would have might seem vastly more appealing.

 “It is the greatest truth of our age: Information is not knowledge.” ― Caleb Carr

(Word count:  501)

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


Opening the door to the elders had been like lifting the lid of Pandora’s box.

In all the years we’d lived in Green Haven, we’d never had company. We were close to no one but ourselves. The Church changed all of that.

We did not cast the pearls of our personal lives before swine, but before these glorious pigeons who brought us messages from Kolob.

We all had different ideas of what Heaven would be, & I often wondered how many good people had died, only to be trapped in someone else’s.

Heaven for Mother was to be with Patrick again, David, to be with her, but in the LDS faith, only men could be sealed to more than one spouse.

When the elders spoke of eternal marriage, Mother’s eyes lit up like the sun, where the celestial kingdom—the highest level of Heaven—was.

The elders added eternity to the years of my life. Through their eyes, I began to see how seductive the idea of life everlasting could be.

The concept of eternal marriage was foreign to me—like the idea of spending 3 hours a week, worshipping a Deity so He would take us back.

The elders were invited for a “second date”, as Caitlin put it. They had been gentlemen, & Mother saw a future with them.

When the elders transferred out to another area, taking their spirit with them, I prayed Mother would be free from continuing this charade.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #368; Theme: Words

For today’s prompt, write a poem using at least 3 of the following 6 words:


If you want to use any of these words within a larger word, that’s totally fine. For instance, ghostwriter, cracked, freedom, handle, checked, knowledge, etc. If you can use all six (as I’m about to try), you get extra credit.


Hysteric Asymmetric

Crackie O’Cain was a know-it-all,
with a sniff upper lip,
yet her left hand knew not
what her right hand did;
when she fused
Personality #1 & Personality #2,
(a.k.a. Thingy #1 & Thingy #2),
she lost her ambidexterity,
becoming one-sided, yet torn in twain.