Life in progress


#JusJoJan prompt the 11th – “Letter”


She sits at her kitchen table, the clock tick-tick-ticking on the wall, and she stares at the blank sheet of paper before her. Her ballpoint pen poised but unaware of which words she needs to write—why can’t it decide for her, she wonders.

A letter. She knows this much. So begin with …

Dear Ava,

But what can come next?

She stares at the clock. 11:49. Ava will be home for lunch soon. And if the letter isn’t written? She can’t even contemplate that.

She gets up and pours herself the last cup of coffee from the pot and sits again. Picks up the pen. Tick-tick-tick.

She gazes out the window. There’s a cat in the back yard and it’s not her cat. It’s stalking something—probably a mouse. What would Ava say?

Probably, Oh look. A kitty. Let’s keep it!

No, Ava, she said in her imaginary conversation. We cannot keep that cat. And we cannot buy that car or that fancy house.

Dear Ava,

I gambled away all our money. I’m leaving you. It’s for the best.

I love you, though.



The clock strikes 12:00. She prepares her lunch.

(Okay, yeah, that was weird. But what is true for me is that whether I write paranormal, comedy, horror, or anything else, it will almost always have something unexpected in it. Because that’s where my brain goes when I let it loose.)

Here are the JusJoJan Rules:

1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list), counts as a “jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5). The prompt will be the word in quotation marks in the title of my 2am post. You don’t have to follow the prompt every day, but that will be where you leave your link for others to see. You’ll get a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday and on Saturday, when your prompt will be the Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS, which will appear at about 9:30am Friday. Each prompt post will include the rules.

3. Please ping back or link to the daily prompt. To ping back, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! Note: A) The newest pingbacks will be at the top of the comments section. B) Ping backs only work if you’re blogging on WordPress. Everyone else must paste a link manually.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. If your post is NSFW, do not ping back. Please leave your link in the comments with a warning.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

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322. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Thursday, July 19th, 5:00 6:00pm
Zoey (and Whitley)


Zoey sits at the window. Whitley takes the seat beside her.

Whitley: Hey, are you a twin?

Zoey: Errr … no. Why?

Whitley: Oh, because I thought I recognized you.

Zoey: Wwwhy would you think you’d seen my twin before but not me?

Whitley: Because she doesn’t look like you.

Zoey: Ooookay.


Next stop: Friday, July 20th, 6:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.

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320. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Tuesday, July 17th, 5:00pm
Kyra (and Bruce)


Kyra sits at the window. Bruce takes the seat beside her.

Kyra: That’s a nice plant you’ve got there.

Bruce: (hugs his plant) She’s my friend.

Kyra: Aww, that’s nice. Does she have a name?

Bruce: (smiles) Dinner.

Kyra: You’re going to eat your friend?

Bruce: (looks horrified) NO! That’s her name.

Kyra: That’s a weird name.

Bruce: It’s her karma. Her name was broccoli when I got her.

Kyra: Ahh …

Bruce: That’s nothing. I used to have a friend named Godzilla.

Kyra: A lizard?

Bruce: A grasshopper.

Kyra: Did you have a chihuahua named Werewolf too?

Bruce: (frowns, confused) I don’t get you.

Kyra: Never mind.


Next stop: Wednesday, July 18th, 5:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


293. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Wednesday, June 20th, 5:00pm
Melina (and Zoey)


Melina sits at the window. Zoey takes the seat beside her.

Melina: Wait, what year is it?

Zoey: Errr … 2018 …?

Melina: You’re not sure either, eh?


Next stop: Thursday, June 21st, 7:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


259. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Thursday, May 17th, 5:00pm
Aaron (and Rachael)


Aaron sits at the window. Rachael takes the seat beside him.

Rachael: (combing her wet hair back with her fingers) Whew, is it ever raining out there!

Aaron: Great day, isn’t it?

Rachael: Sure, if you’re a duck.

Aaron: Or if you’re me. I’m going to see my kids.

Rachael: Been a while?

Aaron: Yeah. My ex has been keeping them away from me. The whole lawyer thing, you know. I’m finally seeing them for the first time in a year.

Rachael: You must be excited.

Aaron: I am. One of them just had an operation.

Rachael: Oh dear. Nothing too serious I hope.

Aaron: Nah. He was just neutered.

Rachael: Wait … I thought you said they were your kids …

Aaron: They are.

Rachael: Oookaaay…  (nods slowly and looks away)


Next stop: Friday, May 18th, 5:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.



Of all the posts I’ve written that might have seen a lot of traffic, I didn’t suspect Song-Lyric Sunday – If I Had Words – Babe would be the one. But for some strange reason, it is.

It was originally published on May 29th last year. The views dropped off for a while but they started to pick up around mid-September. The last day it didn’t get a view was November 7th, 2016. It has almost 1,000 views already this year.

The movie is 22 years old. Are they remaking it? I dunno. But for some reason, the song is still very popular.


A Strange Experience

I don’t want to call it an out-of-body experience because I didn’t feel like I’d floated out of myself, nor was I looking at myself from a distance. What happened was, I was sitting in the small audience of fifty people at the writer’s Masterclass last weekend, and had finally gathered the courage to ask a question. I was shaking in my boots. (Not literally: I was a bit nervous and I was wearing running shoes.) About half way through my question, I noticed I could hear myself as other people might. I actually remember thinking to myself as I spoke that I could hear my voice, and I had time to wonder in amazement that I didn’t stutter or screw up what I was saying as I was saying it. It was kind of surreal. Like mentally multitasking.

Has this happened to you? If so, what were the circumstances?


Insane or just a vivid imagination?

Okay, bear with me for it seems that perhaps no one saw my angry rose quite the way I did.

I drew you a diagram.

Here’s the original:

dead roseangry


and here it is again with my mad paint skillz added:

click to have a closer look... if you dare

click to have a closer look… if you dare

Now look at the original and tell me you can’t see the crazy-assed disembodied-headed dead rose that’s still sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to eat me for dinner.

Seriously, you can’t expect me to deal with this insanity alone…


One-Liner Wednesday – Angry Rose

dead rose

Apparently it wasn’t happy that I allowed it to die…


The stuff of nightmares is dying in my kitchen


Anyone who would like to try it out, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday, if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Make it either funny or inspirational.

Have fun!


Friday the 13th – I Met the Grin Reaper at Starbucks

The Grin Reaper (typo intentional) stopped by my table at Starbucks tonight and introduced himself. Seriously – he reminded me of the childhood image I have of Beelzebub.

I was sitting at a table working on my laptop, minding my own business and drinking a grande Mocha. Channing Tatum sat two tables away, alone, (yeah, unlikely, right? Okay, so it wasn’t him, but the guy I sat beside was the spitting image) facing the same way I was, doing something on a tablet. Our backs were to the wall. Here’s how it went:

Grin Reaper: (approaches my table and smiles, saying nothing)

Me: (looks up at him and tries not to shrink back)

Grin Reaper: (finally) Hello. I think we’ve met before.

Me: I don’t think so.

Grin Reaper: (holding out his liver-spotted hand) I’m Leo. Nice to meet you.





Me: (shaking his hand and deciding not to give my name) Nice to meet you too.

Grin Reaper: (smile slips) Do you come in here often? (smiles again)

Me: No, maybe once every six months.

Grin Reaper: Hmm. I sit in the mall every day and read four newspapers. And I play the piano at nursing homes so I keep busy.

Me: (staring at his crooked yellow teeth as he grins creepily) That’s nice.

Grin Reaper: (looks down at my laptop) What are you studying?

Me: Oh, I’m just writing.

Grin Reaper: You’re a writer? I’m a writer too. I write about psychology, sociology, neurology, philosophy, religion… (and he named off about four more things)

Me: Well that’s interesting.

Grin Reaper: (stares and smiles)






Me: Maybe I’ve seen you in the mall…

Grin Reaper: Yes, that’s probably it. (stares and smiles)

Me: Yyyeah…

Grin Reaper: (stares and smiles)




Me: (probably 20 seconds have passed but it feels like he’s been sucking on my soul for an hour) Well, it was very nice meeting you.

Grin Reaper: Yes, nice meeting you too. (smiles and retreats)

Beside me, Channing turns to look at me, smiles and shakes his head. I look back, eyes wide, one eyebrow raised, with a frightened look on my face. Channing laughs.

I swear to God, Leo looked EXACTLY like Reverend Kane (Julian Beck) from Poltergeist 2. About 90 years old, thin, and well over six feet tall, he walked with the stoop of a man above average height. He wore a three piece suit and a hat, and had the most God-awful creepy look about him, as though he wanted to tell me how my life is going to end in grisly yet accurate detail.

Had I had my wits about me, I’d have asked Channing if that really happened. In fact, I’d have asked for his number as well – you know, just because he’s my only witness – so I could get another reality check at 2am, after the nightmare I’m sure to have tonight.

I may never go to the mall again.