Grandmother from my novel isn’t called Nana

CCO Public domain photo by Linnaea Malletta

Note: this is a blog post version of a book chapter. Thus, I’ve not added section dividers or more photos.

Jemima Cornflower turned to look one more time at the garden she had planted. It was too early for most of the food crops to show if they were growing well since it was only mid-May in upstate New York. She turned back to face the fence that enclosed the space to keep it safe from rabbits, at least, and deer if she was lucky.

She closed the gate on the fence and turned to go into her cabin. She…

A new way to develop greater depth in your characters

Photo by Kyle Bushnell on Unsplash

Any of you who read my Medium poems and articles on a semi-regular basis have noticed that I sometimes mention my novel-in-progress, currently titled Burnt-Over Memories. I had planned to spend more time working on it this Fall and spending less time on Medium.

I certainly don’t write on Medium for the money. My monthly earnings have been abysmal.

But I love all of my co-writers on Medium, especially the ones where we look for each other’s posts, read them, clap generously, and often leave friendly, helpful, and often insightful comments. I like you, gang.

But a likely solution has…

Haikus to salute the latest space mission

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash (This is a stock photo, not Inspiration4; it’s too soon for SpaceX to allow downloads. Sorry. I wanted to feature a landing video)

They did it! They’re back!
Four youngsters brought space closer
For the rest of us

They’re up! They splashed down!
Will SpaceX hire some Xtras
With much, but not youth?

I love outer space! To be more accurate, I’ll say I love the idea of outer space. I’ve mentioned this before, the last time in July when many of us were following the excitement of VirginGalactic’s and Jeff Bezos’ minutes’ long voyages to outer space, or to what some are calling Outer Space Lite.

This latest space adventure lasted for three days. The four passengers were untrained space travelers, and…

Don’t blame autumn, blame the real culprit

Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash

This is a short, not sweet post to clear my mind of an insistent-becoming-incessant theme:

The crime that is named Covid seemingly works constantly to wear us down. If it can’t directly infect us with its poisonous virus, then it attacks us indirectly with a miasmic mood mud.

A mud that slithers and slides, slinks then slathers our minds and oozes throughout our brains, leaving us soggy, unfocused, and doubtful about any future in which we don’t have to beware of its recurrence.

This metaphoric mind mud is simply another means of controlling us and keeping us prisoners in our…

Haikus for haunting

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

It’s too quiet, child
Take care! Don’t make too much noise
You will wake Fall’s ghosts .🎃

Don’t fear the graveyard
The spirits there are friendly
They just want to sleep .🍁

They mean you no harm
Just leave their graves alone and
Softly tiptoe by. 👹

Beyond the graveyard
Strange unknown spirits wander
Best stay near your home. .👺


I love happy Fall festivals, Glenda and all the other good witches (who include all women willing to wear the label), paper bag luminaries, and all the good-natured Halloween decorations, rituals, and, of course, candy!

If you think I’m…

A Pre-autumn lai

Photo by Baard Hansen on Unsplash

Autumn is pending
Leaves start descending
Breeze flows

Seasons are blending
Green to brown trending
Wind grows

Time for yard tending
Need for fence mending
Rain woes

The rules for writing a lai were harder than I expected. The short syllable lines that rhyme can be challenging.

The French lai form of poem consists of a total of nine lines. The rhyme pattern is aabaabaab.

The “a” rhyme lines each use five syllables. The “b” rhyme lines each have two syllables.

The lai is one of the 15 uncommon forms of poetry listed in the challenge to poets by Somsubhra…

Short and simple

Photo by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash

A shadorma is a little used form of poetry that originated in Spain. They read like prose, I discovered while trying to write a pair of these.

Shadormas are comparable to extremely short pieces of micro fiction.

This form always consists of six lines and a total of 26 syllables

The syllables per line are: 3–5–3–3–7–5.

My efforts are below:

The Owl’s Message

A shadow
She turned and looked up
An eagle?
A wise owl
Nature is angry, it said.
The earth is on fire.

A Storm Comes

The breeze blows
With increasing force
A storm comes
With warning
There’s time to close the shutters
And prepare lanterns…

What else can I say?

Photo by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

I hate inertia.
Let me do something to help.
Inaction is hard.

Think before acting!
Maturity must prevail,
Time is an ally!

I have several projects in process, but each has reached a stage where I need to wait on something or other. That would normally be okay with me, but I’ve promised to deliver a finished product in one case, and I hate to break a promise.

Adding to my restlessness are the situation in Afghanistan, where everything is literally hurry up and wait, and Haiti, where each update on the aftermath of the huge earthquake accentuates the tragedy…

Yes, it’s true

Photo by Gustavo Zambelli on Unsplash

My years as a Realtor in the past gave me a new perspective on human nature. A story about penguins illustrates my point.

Janet said she and Jim wanted to buy a brick house that must have a formal living room, a separate dining room, and most importantly, a huge kitchen. Jim said they wanted a contemporary-style house with solid construction, no stairs, a double garage, and a level lot.

Three days and twenty houses later, we found their dream house.

Back to the penguins.

On our first house-hunting day, Janet casually mentioned seeing an ad for a house on Penguin Drive, but she…

Anne Chisom

Writing on whatever strikes my mood, from politics to humor (or a combination of the two), to spirituality, or whatever else shows up. Retired, not in retreat.

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