Archive for August, 2015


It hung on a string from the rack in the yarn shop, its red beanie button eyes staring out at the world.  It was constructed of black yarn twisted and wound into the general shape of a person, a boy, I thought.  It’s nose and mouth, such as it was, consisted of red yarn stitched loosely down the face between the eyes.  It was an art project gone wrong.

I knew immediately that I wanted it.

“Mama, may I have the doll?” I asked.

She looked down at me and frowned.  “Why would you want such an ugly thing?”


Her face softened as I knew it would. “Well, let me get my yarn, and I’ll see how much it costs.”

The proprietor laughed when Mama asked, and patted my cheek.  She gave it to me for free.  We left the shop with me happily carrying the doll in my hand.

I set the little figure on the small chair in my bedroom, turning it so that it faced the room door.

“What are you going to name your doll?” asked Mama when she came to tuck me into my bed that night.

“I don’t know, but I’ll think of something.”

She smiled and gave me a kiss, turning out the light as she left.

Later, I awakened to hear the noises that came more often lately; the sound of a raised voice as Papa shouted at Mama, then the terrible sound of him striking her and her quietly crying.  The house grew still for a while after that, but my stomach clenched because I knew what came next.

I watched fearfully as my door quietly opened, and Papa, outlined in the hall light, edged into my darkened room.

He came and sat on the side of my bed and leaned over me as usual, but this time was different.

I looked past him to see a large dark figure looming over his shoulder, and before he could do the things he usually did, he made a muffled noise as a pair of black arms wrapped around his head and snatched him away from me.

I sat up and watched as he became entirely covered by the huge figure, his struggles getting him nowhere, his voice unheard.

I knew that he would never hit Mama or slip silently into my room again, and I smiled.

The next morning when Mama called me to breakfast, I picked my small yarn doll up from the otherwise empty floor and carried it to the kitchen with me.

Mama’s eyes were red and swollen, and her face was bruised, but she smiled at me as she placed my breakfast before me.  “Did you think of a name for your doll yet?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” I told her.  “His name is “Good Friend.”

I was five years old when Papa disappeared, never to be seen again, and life was much better for us afterward.  I’m well-grown, now, but Good Friend protects me still.



Writing Tip(s)?

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come with some clever writing tips, and…*sigh*… I guess I’m simply not that clever.  I could only come up with one.  Wanna hear it?  Here it is:


Not trying to be facetious but that’s all I have.


If you want to do so…


Thinking about it, reading everything you can about it, waiting ’til you’ve got all your ducks in a row…none of that is writing.  Writing is.

I suppose I should add that reading is certainly a good idea, especially reading books and stories in the genre in which you wish to write.   In fact, all the writers I know are also readers.  The thing is, though, that if you want to write, you have to – at some point – put the books down for a while, and actually…


What I’m saying is, all the writing tips in world – and there’s some truly good ones out there by some real clever people  – won’t help you at all if you don’t grab your dictionary and thesaurus, park yourself at your desk, or wherever you choose to do it, put your fingers to your keyboard or take pen in hand (whichever suits you best), and commence to putting that great idea you’ve come up with, into written form.

In the final analysis – and I know I’m sounding a bit repetitive here – the only way to write is to get on with it, and…


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