#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


The clicking of laptop keyboards in a haze of coffee semi-consciousness lent a collegiate atmosphere to the bookstore.

I shelved the thought of Elder Roberts, like a book I had read as a child & had gone back to, only to find I had outgrown it.

In Mormonism, there was a Heavenly Mother, & I often wondered if that was the other part of “we” God spoke of collectively in Genesis.

I’d hidden Elder Roberts’ letter in David’s first edition of Gone with the Wind, for I felt the title exemplified our forbidden love.

Sometimes you chose to let go of those you loved, but you didn’t let them go if you believed you could make them happy.

Elder Roberts was enlisted in “God’s Army,” but I was a captain of David’s, defending his world as Elder Roberts spoke of the one to come.

Whenever Sister Schafer mentioned wine (which she called “strong drink”), the emphasis was always on “new,” meaning unfermented.

Mother spoke of this mysterious “burning in the bosom” which she claimed was the Spirit that testified of the truthfulness of all things.


Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #439: Heart


The Storyteller

Her heart was neither in the mathematics nor the sciences;
she didn’t need to know how things worked,
for it was enough that they did–
to experience the magic without knowing the tricks.
Her heart was in the histories and in the literature–
the truths and the untruths.
Her heart was in the languages,
in the communications that drew
or withdrew
people from one another.
But it was into the words she wrote–
words that bridged these three–
that she poured her heart.


#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


The temple was the Kingdom of God on Earth, the home, the second most sacred space, but under the banner of Heaven, I was closest to what I thought God was.

Pink, candy cotton clouds were spread across the periwinkle sky to the west, & I wondered for the first time how anyone could gaze upon such creation & not wonder if it all had a Creator.

The Church had made me think about God more.  Though I knew there was something more, I didn’t know what that something was.

Mother had never seemed so proud of me, perhaps because, for the first time in my life, it had been her I had tried to please.

Everything I had ever done had only been for David, but forsaking my lack of faith, I had done for her.

Memories of life before Mormonism seemed long ago, & I wondered if I was finding myself in the Church, losing myself in it, or simply finding a way to be lost.

Like mass hypnosis, during Fast & Testimony meetings, members would go up to the podium & testify of the truthfulness of the gospel.

I’d never understood why God gave his children weaknesses to overcome, for did not mortal parents try to prevent such things?

Once Tony married Kath, he would be able to burn off his passion in a way that was acceptable to God, so he would not burn for eternity.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #438: Pool


Ned’s Folly

(based on the short story, “The Swimmer,” by John Cheever)

For Neddy Merrill,
swimming the Lucinda River
ages him in dog-years,
while his four little women at home
remain nameless.

Yes, they had all gathered at the river
that flowed by the throne of inebriated suburbia,
the adults committing merry debauchery in the cabanas—
adultery and drunkenness mostly—
while their Wonderbread-complexioned children splashed
in chlorinated summer bathtubs.

In and out of Lucinda,
Neddy only comes up for air to find Shirley above him,
giving him CPR from drowning in the depths
of marital servitude,
until he breaks away to chase
that next body of water,
each one becoming colder and less welcoming than the last.

When he comes to the river’s end,
the seasons have made haste,
and there is no petrichor to cheer him,
but rather, the dank odor of clothes
left in the washer too long.
Did he jump into the deep end,
or did he fall in,
only to find himself in an empty pool?

For the short story this is based on: