What?

No longer publishing writing prompts?

How am I supposed to find inspiration without my word guide? I mean, how can I truly think up a word all on my own? After all, words are scarce and hard to come by. I rarely see them, barely speak them.

I have to think that way otherwise words haunt me. Words jab me, beg me to choose them, taunt me with how to use them and how to employ them to serve in my sentences.

And then there are the letters and the endless possibilities of aligning them to create a noun, verb, adverb …

 

Words exhaust me.

Druck

Which is why it’s easier to have a writing prompt.

No longer publishing writing prompts?

Here is my writing prompt: Disgruntled

Who’s in?

When the Bull Gets the Last Laugh

texas-longhorn

Maybe it was a low point for Dad but for me, it was anything but.

We were living at the Dennis ranch, when Dad came home drunk and decided it was time to act like a real rodeo star. I was standing outside the corral, where we kept one of our two-year-old bulls. Dad saunters over to me and slurs, “ Cono, grab that bull o’r yonder. Hold’em still ‘til I get on. I’m gonna ride this son of a bitch”

“Sure I will, Dad.”

It was better than watching a picture show. While I was putting the rope around the bull’s neck Dad went over and fixed Ike’s spurs to his shoes! Not to his boots because he didn’t even own a pair of boots, but to his shoes! Then he slapped on Ike’s chaps. I helped him get on top of the bull and stood there holding his rope.

“Whenever you’re ready,” I said.

“I’z ready,” he slurred.

I let go.

Dad put one hand up in the air and said, “High, ho, silv……”

That bull didn’t even buck. He just turned around real slow, like he was trying to see what kind of idiot wanted to sit on his back. That slow turn-around was all it took. My Dad fell right off that lazy bull and straight into the dirt, Ike’s spurs dangling from Dad’s shoes.

I turned around and looked in the other direction, so Dad wouldn’t see the laugh in my face. If he was paying attention, he would have seen my shoulders quivering with the same laughter.

He got up and staggered back to the house, mumbling something about killing steak for dinner. Some things sure were funny back then, but other times? You couldn’t find “funny” anywhere you looked.

 

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper by C. Dennis-Willingham

image credit

via Laughter

The Worry Wrestler

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Ike Dennis

Ike, my grandfather, ain’t mean like his son. Unless he’s breaking a horse or doing something else with purpose, he’s got a smile perched on his leathered face.

He stays cool as a cucumber even when times are hard. I hardly ever see that worry bubble dancing over his head like a cloud of Texas dust that most of us stand under.

He got rid of his worry a long time ago at the age of two when Great Grandpa Jim put him on top of a horse. If  T-R-O-U-B-L-E comes knocking on his door, he just wrestles it off until all that’s left is the T.

 

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper by C. Dennis-Willingham

via Bubble

Lessons from the Fox

He was undu-ly-late 

but that didn’t stop him from making his presence known to The Little Prince.

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And in excerpts, the fox said:

I am a fox.

I cannot play with you. I am not tamed.

It is an act too often neglected. It means to establish ties.

To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .

My life is very monotonous … Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .”

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

photo credit 

via Undulate

He Can Run But He Can’t Hide

Narrated by Cono Dennis:

I listened to those summer bugs, the cicadas, the ones that sound like sandpaper being rubbed together. Aunt Nolie’s radio started to crackle. We knew we were getting close.

Finally, we heard the announcer, Clem McCarthy, saying that the fight was about to start right there in New York’s Yankee Stadium. I tried to picture Yankee Stadium, but I hadno reference for it. Instead, I pictured a crowd a whole lot bigger than the carnival tent in Ranger.

In the red corner, Max Schmelling weighing in at one hundred and ninety-three pounds. In the black corner, Joe, the Brown Bomber, Louis, weighing in at one hundred ninety-eight and three-quarter pounds.

The crowd on the radio roared. We sat real quiet, listening to every sound that came through Aunt Nolie’s brown box. Even Dad sat there with us, leaning forward with his hands folded under his chin like he was really there.

Joe had Max up against the ropes and then knocked him down three times. In two minutes and four seconds, Schmelling got in only two punches. The fight was over.

Joe Louis, the man that says, “He can run but he can’t hide” and “Everyone has a plan until they’ve been hit,” had marched right into that ring in front of thousands of people—heard by a million more—and showed us a thing or two about how to get things done.

Boxing’s not my career; it’s more like a survival skill that keeps me alive. I’ll use those skills when I need to, like when I arrive in Temple in a couple of hours, stare into my dad’s eyes and say, “Ding, ding, round one.”

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via Finally

excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper

I Will Not Say

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When I lay dying upon my bed

when only past then lays ahead

With only farewell’s left to bid

I will not say, “I almost did.”

When sheets are warm but cold within

reflecting back on what has been

all the times of profound gladness

I will not say, “I almost had this.”

The ripples of my life to fade

I’ll leave a message well conveyed

as light turns dark from setting sun

I will not say, “I almost won.”

 

photo credit

via Almost

Back in Bad Ass Grandma’s hometown …

girl smiling… her granddaughter smiles. “Mom, when will Bad Ass Grandma come back from her vacation?”

“What’s so funny?”

 

“Thinking about what she did. She lifted one leg over something I couldn’t see then ran round and round while bouncing up and down.”

“Why …”

“She sang,

Round and round up and down

on the carousel horses.

Up and down, round and round

as the music plays.

The lights on top they shine so bright

as we go round and round

use your hands to hold on tight

as we go up and down.’

Then she sang it over and over again.”

“Yes, your grandmother is quite extravagant with her imagination. Was she still wearing a pony tail?”

Granddaughter laughed and trotted back to her room, saying, “I hope she’ll be home soon. She promised me the moon.”

carousel granny

 

 

via Extravagant