Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #436: Comprehensive

Assembly Line Blues

For a time,
they’d known how to put all the pieces together,
until it became more profitable for the Conglomerates
for them to know how to make only one piece.
Then came the day that none of them knew how to make anything,
for the robots did everything.
And so they built the robots–
until the robots were taught how to recreate their own kind.
And the Conglomerates owned the robots,
until the robots owned them,
turning them into what they had been,
even as these bots became what Pinocchio had always dreamed of becoming.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 436

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


I’d always had a feeling there was a special reason why we went to that little, out-of-the-way diner during the long drive home…

Foster’s Diner was like a place that only appeared when we needed it, awaiting us at the end of a tree-lined road that seemed to go nowhere.

The Diner was like out of a Twilight Zone—it had a timelessness about it that made one want to go back to a place one had never been.

Beth and Gerald Foster were friends of the family, yet they had never met my mother. Somehow, I knew she wasn’t supposed to know about them.

Only David knew where the Diner was; if I tried to find it myself, I’d be as Gretel, lost in the woods.  David was the magic that made it appear.

Years later, I would learn that Foster’s Diner wasn’t our hideaway, but the hideaway of its owners—for the woman David loved hated them.

Twas always summer at Foster’s Diner—the magnolias with their fat, white blooms creating a green canopy like a time capsule, preserving it.

The foliage surrounding Foster’s Diner was thick, so even when it was summer day, it felt like winter night.  We were always the only patrons

Leaving Foster’s Diner was like a drive-through car wash, but with leaves scraping our windows, like fingers trying to keep us there.

The light always blinded me so when I tried to look back, I could no longer see the diner, as if it had been a mirage—one David and I shared.

I’d accepted the mythical nature of my and David’s whimsical retreat long ago, never once thinking I’d try to find the answer to its mystery.

Only David and I knew of the Fosters—of their little diner in the big woods. When we left this earth, their memory would die with us.

Foster’s Diner was our Brigadoon, except it did not appear for a day out of a century, but for us only, for the time we were there.

Poem-a-Day Writer’s Digest Challenge #20. Theme: Use at least 3 of these 6 words…

…relent, horrendous, artifact, lagoon, wobble, and plunder.

The Burial Underground

Twined with rusting links resembling
tarnished jewelry,
wrapped like a mummy in white sheets,
like a goddess of ancient Greece,
a woman resides in the Lochness Lagoon—
an artifact of a domestic goddess
who identified with being a mermaid.
Her legs are tied together,
even as her hands reach upward,
unbound by wood or satin,
or the complexities of life.

In life, he imprisoned her;
in death, he set her free,
for there is no grave with his name on it
attached to hers.
She is free to remain alive in the hearts
of those who still love her above.

The water plunders her flesh,
even as it preserves her bones,
in this twilight zone
known as Davy Jones’s Locker.

An Author in Search of a Market


If I had to describe my book, Because of Mindy Wiley, I’d classify it as a Southern Gothic horror with a little magical realism thrown in, or, more specifically, “where V.C. Andrews meets Mormonism” (see:  https://sarahleastories.com/because-of-mindy-wiley/).  I am reworking several chapters from it to submit to “The Midnight Diner,” which describes themselves as a “hardboiled genre anthology with a Christian slant.”  The journal seems to combine two of my favorite things:  noir and religion.  Many of my stories (in my opinion) have always been too religious for the mainstream market and not religious enough for the Christian/LDS market.

Though I still write what I want, I am writing for specific markets/tailoring my existing work (without compromising my craft) for certain publications, as well.  The best site I have found for writing jobs is writingcareer.com.

Moving the Goal Posts


So I spent my New Year’s watching the “Twilight Zone” marathon on the Sci-Fi channel.  I didn’t make black-eyed peas (I prefer field peas, even though I don’t know what the difference is).  I have also since decided that coming up with a healthy menu I will stick to isn’t easy.  No matter how hard I’ve tried, I just don’t like cold cereal (or bananas, for that matter, or fruit much in general), though I don’t relish the thought of eating eggs everyday.  I have also decided that unless a dessert has chocolate in it, I may as well save my calories.

My breakfast of choice growing up was a chocolate milk and a brownie.  Every morning, before my dad dropped me off at Pensacola Christian School, we’d stop by Delchamps and I’d get just that.  Let’s just say that my stories, “A Cafeteria Thanksgiving” and “A Trashcan Christmas”, were inspired by my family–the gift that keeps on giving (when it comes to my writing).  My dad burned everything and the only thing my mother knew how to cook was goulash (which was interesting, as we weren’t even Hungarian).

I read somewhere than men are more successful at losing weight because they just give up stuff altogether, rather than trying to find substitutions.  See, I am already thinking about making almond flour brownies to last for a week’s worth of breakfasts.  However, Diet Coke is still a no-go for me.

We are getting back on track with our spending (mainly, because we don’t have it to spend, which, in turn, is helping clean out our fridge, freezer and pantry).  Since Apple Market doesn’t offer their $5 off $50 or $10 off $75 dollar coupons, which Publix accepted, we don’t feel bound to spend at least that much whenever we go to the store.  I much prefer to buy as I need, and stock up on the staples when they’re on sale.  Less food goes to waste that way.

We’re slowly getting back on track with a lot of things; our tax refund will help us get there quicker.  Sometimes you just need a shot in the arm (pardon the cliché) to get ahead.  I know I need a plasectomy (as Dave Ramsey calls it), but I’m not ready to give up my Kohl’s and Target card.

Not yet.