Silver Pen

United States of America

Christian/LOVE Jesus/she/her/big family/scifi/fantasy/Minnesotan/good books/beautiful words/wit/Halo/notebooks and pens/old book smell/coffee/ royalty/honor/love

Message from Writer

I came here to love, learn, laugh, and hone my skills.
I hope to return the favor to my fellow Write the Worldarians.
The pen is mightier than the sword -- especially if it's launched from an elastic band. ~Me and my awesome sister Éowyn

Published Work

Faber#realitymeetsfantasy

    Nothing is spookier than staying in a new, unfamiliar house all alone on a stormy night after binge-watching the Weeping Angel episodes of Dr. Who.  It's the sort of fear that makes you want to turn on all the lights in the house and in the garage, triple-deadbolt all the doors, wrap yourself in a blanket and sit in a corner.  Very debilitating. 
    I've seen my share of thunderstorms.  This one needs a new category invented for it.  The wind is bellering around the walls like the demented progeny of a bull and a dynamo, and every few minutes the thunder smashes its sword and shield together and raises up a tremendous battle cry that rattles the window panes and every bone in my ribcage.  The rain is coming down in a series of nearly opaque sheets, while the temperature has dropped to the point where I'm glad for a soft, fuzzy blanket.
    KNOCK! ...

Refuge

Refuge Is

    Refuge is the arms of my Heavenly Father closing around me, closing out the fear, the hate, and the chaos of the world around me and filling the world within me with love, peace, and joy.
    Refuge is the truths in God's Holy Bible.
    Refuge is the name God gave me to kill my fears with.
    Refuge is the words God speaks to me when I am alone.
    Refuge is the support of a family that loves me, whether we share genetic material or not.
    Refuge is the knowledge that all bad things end sometime.
    Refuge is a wall between me and a war zone.
    Refuge is the feeling of something solid at my back when I'm sure something is about to spring at me from the dark.
    Refuge is the music in my earbuds when my grasp on sanity feels tenuous. ...

I Love My Sister

    My sister is what is usually called special.  Now, I know what you're going to say: "Everyone's special, Dash."  Well, you're right.  Each on of us is our own special blend of special.  That's not the point right now, though; the point is that my sister is special.  A Hispanic or Asian might call her tall.  I wouldn't; my dad is 6 foot 3.  I do call her...elegant.  She's got this grace,  this poise, this indescribably beautiful face.  She loves kids, and they love her back.  Aaand...
    She's an artist.
    Pencil, paint, ink, paper, charcoal, shading, form, outline, color, composition, you name it.  She often draws things straight from her imagination -- no models.  Her portraits of fictional characters?  Unnervingly accurate.  Portrait of our baby brother?  Downright cute, just like him.  She does with lines what I do with words and what Beethoven did with musical notes.  Art.
    One evening, she got...

Spring in MN

    Winter in good old MN is no place for wussies, that's for certain.  This year has ben a doozy!  The snowbank outside my bedroom window actually rose over the sill after a winter's worth of snow and shovelling.  There was a stretch when if you went outside, you got to choose between feeling the inside of your nose begin to freeze or the inside of your mouth, the air you breathed in was so cold.  And, if you lingered on the pavement after going in the house for a bit, your boots would start freezing to it.  Wet boots add a whole nother dimension to the fun.  There is no cold that makes your very bones ache like the cold of wet boots in the winter.
    Course, it can't storm forever.  My favorite part of winter weather is hoar frost.  It's like a coat of the most elegant ermine draped over creation as far as the...

Universal Knowledge

Fundamentals

    The common language of the world is spoken in hugs and in laughter, in tears and in music, and in pain.

Genre Bender

New York TImes Op-Ed from 2119

  1.  Technology has weakened our military!  Secret sources say that during the attack on Ares Superbase on Mars, the sentries on duty at the time attempted to respond to the as yet unidentified attackers with security drones instead of physical force, despite the close range (three meters) of their opponents.  XYZ News has released footage of two soldiers being anihilated as they attempted to activate air-to-air combat drones in a desperate bid to halt a ground-based attack.  Apparently these city boys need to go back to a good old-fashioned Marine boot camp from 2054.
  2. Martians have invaded Ares Superbase!  Soldiers describe the attackers as wearing strange armor and carrying projectile weaponry with astounding durability.  One even said that he observed a Martian firing his weapon after picking it up out of a muddy river in the Superbase's recreational park!  Tune into conspiracynet.com's live stream at 2030 Greenwich Earth time for more evidence of an extraterrestrial attack!
  3. The use of real fur in celebrity fashion is an...

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

I Don't Conform

    My back is literally against the wall, and while I can't see the monsters, I can hear them coming.
    But I have never conformed.
    
I will die as I have lived: daringly different.  I begin to praise my God for His goodness in my life.
    A gray blur explodes into my chest.  Teeth and claws pierce me.  I scream --
    And awaken in my own bed!  I laugh with relief.  Why?  My greatest fear has been resolved.  When the time comes, I now know I will be able to face death with courage.
    After all, I don't conform.  

Read This as Your History

When I was born
All the stars looked down in their courses
Took notice
Saw greatness
Knew victory was inside of me

When I got older
I got smarter, love made me all over
Again, all over again
Took sin 
Took hell 
Threw 'em out the door

I was made to rock it like a boss
I was made for victory at all cost
I was made by God above
And God first of all
Gets all my love

Adamantium heart
I run through others' breaking points
I take the spoil
No one ever told me 
The gospel would make me so rich quickly

And as I got older
I got smarter, learned more 
Of what Love did for me
Took guilt
Took shame
And killed them to the core

I was made to rock it like a boss
I was made for victory at all cost
I was made by God above
And God first of all
Gets all...

Bread and Light

Nourishment

1)  God
    
My body, my mind, my soul, my spirit, myself is Yours, and You take good care of Your belongings.  
2)  Myself
    
I encourage, control, and refresh myself.  When I am with myself, I know I am in good company.
3)  My Family
    
My parents give me wisdom and train me up to be all I can be, holding me to high standards.  My siblings teach me how to love.
4)  Writing
    
What do I have to say?  I chain words together to form worlds and laws; I follow in the steps of godhood.  When I finish, I can live in the real world with renewed vigor.
    Hang on, my ice cream is melting...
5)  Music
    
Music is a place in my mind that I enter to escape the noise.  Music is the background color that I paste the fragments of my imaginings to in a collage of broken plotlines.  Music is...

I Do

    When I am
    Invincible in self-worth,
    Complete in relationship with God,
    I am ready to help show the world
    The new definition of humanity
    That Christ's work ushered in.
    I must not be silent.
    I must not be afraid.
    I must speak the truth in love 
    And exhibit God's power in boldness.

Self-Respect

I Am

    
    I am a child of God because when I accepted Jesus as my Saviour,  God adopted me.  I am the daughter of the One Who flung the universe into being with all the authority incumbent in His matchless words.  This is my primary source of self-respect.  It is internal; it is eternal.  What better reason do I have to hold my head high?  Jesus took my sins away; they are gone.  They are a non-issue.  I am a new person now, a partaker of the divine nature.  I am not enslaved by fear.  I am not dragged down by shame.  I am not held back by sin.  I am held in my Father's hand.  He lifted me up and washed me clean.  He made me brave, smart, funny, beautiful, loyal, kind, and powerful.  My self-worth comes from all that God did for me.  I may not always remember that.  I may not always behave that way. ...

To the Winners

    AJ-Izzy - Honorable Mention
    
Quixotic thinking was fatal that day.

    
Lissie - 3rd place
    
A hand pressed firmly against the glass.  It was a thin, feminine hand, gloved in black leather, its tense silhouette stark against the blue glow of the monitors within.  

    Quille - 2cnd place
    
don't you know how i've longed
    to lock all obstructions in destruction?
    to scatter all resistance, every obstacle 
    like bats before the dawn?
    to avenge the utter injustice?
    you are blind
    yet you believe you see
    my heart...ah,
    what is my heart to you?
    Let your memory linger in oblivion a little longer, 
    But know that I am coming to save it.
    

    Christy Wisdom - 1rst place
    TRANSCRIPT: TRANSMISSION - LOCATION[REDACTED] - DATE[REDACTED]
    FROM: SILENT EYE
    TO: WHISTLING BLADE ...

Book Review Competition 2019

The Bible: A Book Review

    The Bible usually isn't seen as a story -- more as a compilation of sermons or as a textbook.  But it's so much more: a bold and beautiful history of the Creator's romance with mankind.
    It begins at the very beginning with this assertion:
    "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
    Not "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light, and I can prove it with these scientific facts."  It's a statement forceful in its simplicity that tells us, "This is what happened, and this is Who caused it and what He is like."
    Not that God the Main Character doesn't have a stellar support cast.  Consider this account of the little-known mighty man Benaiah, one of my personal favorites:
    "...he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:
    And...

Contest Winners

    Hey, guys!  Apologies for the belated results, but here they are.  Thank you all for participating and for your wonderful entries.  I wish I had more places, as I enjoyed more entries that those that won.  Choosing was difficult, but I managed it.  So, without further delay, the winners:

    FIRST PLACE: Christy Wisdom
    
Writing a plot line is like a book with a lot of plot twists: even I have no idea what on earth is going on.
    Word: War

    Both of your entries were first class!  Choosing which would win was tough, but the better flow in this one won out.  You gave us two hassles we can easily equate with in a humorous manner.  Excellent work!

    SECOND PLACE: Quille
    
You know you've been writing for about ten hours straight and without enough coffee when you start describing raindrops as wet.
    Word: Oblivion

    This really...

Contest Update

    Hey, you guys!
    Quick contest update: I've had to prioritize writing a birthday present for my sister Éowyn, so I'll prioritize judging the awesome entries for my contest after February 9th.  I'm terribly sorry about that, but my sister has to come first.  Nothing against you guys; I just have to put my family first.  Thank you for your entries and understanding, and have a great week!  Jesus loves you!

Quick Contest

    Hey guys!  Here's the first contest I've hosted on WtW, so please pardon any mistakes. :)
    
    Your objective is to take one of your worst problems as a writer and describe it in one sentence in such a way as to make people, hopefully yourself included, laugh about it.  When you can laugh at something, you can rise above it.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad, for that nugget of wisdom.)  Here's an example that I put in a comment on on of my pieces:

        Naming a story is like trying to name a monkey who won't sit still so that you can spy his most defining feature.

    First place: 800-100 word short story/poem
    
Second place: 40-50 word short story/poem
    
Third place: 20-25 word story/poem
    
Honorable mention: 6 word short story/poem
    
    I'll put the prize stories in one piece to make it easier to find.  ALSO, include a...

Uranium Path

    I am marching
        Marching ever onward
     On a uranium path
         It's taking me farther away
             From that beautiful smile
         But that's okay
              Two steps forward
                   One step back
               I march on

                   I am planting
                        Planting little seeds
                    I don't know if they're sprouting
                        But I will trust
                            In the Lord of earth and sky
                        To give the increase
                                He is always for me
                                    Never against me
    
                                 I am wondering
                                    Wondering if I can reach you
                                        In my spare time
                                      But I have to plant seeds
                                            I have to make the earth green again
                                                For my beloved King
                                            He has a pasture
                                                So green, so lush, so wide,
                                                    There I will rest and reach
            

A Synopsis

    We called him Handsome.  It was as good as any other name, and fitting.  He just showed up one day with no memories at all.  All he had was a pair of tattered orange coveralls.
    But handsome is as handsome does, they say.  Is Handsome worthy of the name?  Or is he responsible for the disappearances? They've happened before, but not here.  Is he an escaped convict?  If so, was he convicted for something our tyrannical overlords deem a capital offense, or for...something actually wrong?  Where did he escape from?  If he got out of the high-security compound, there might be a chance that the Revolutionary leaders can escape.  And what do the weird lights and noises on Roy's Hill have to do with all of this?  DO they have anything to do with this?
    I'm Molly Gray, and I live in the tension of conflict and ignorance.  I won't take it anymore.

A Window

Listen
Listen closely
I'll give you a window into my soul
It's not fair, I know
That you have a window into me
And I don't have one into you
But it is fair
Every story is a window
Into the author's soul
All I have to do is find one of your stories

Frustration
Roils in my soul 
Behind a focused face
I couldn't tell you why it does
Perhaps I want to be perfect
More specificly, I want to write perfect
But if I was perfect
There would be no journey
No getting better
And without the journey 
There is no character
Perfection right away 
Is worthless

Just writing 
Calms the sea
Puts rest in my soul
The sun is breaking through
This story will not be perfect
It will not be the last
It is a start
And I hope the end will be glorious

 

Writing Resolutions

Goals

    As a professional, I hope to at least begin editing my first book by the end of the year -- though it could be a pretty long book, so that may be unrealistic.
    As an artist, I hope to better my descriptions.  Not many people offer helpful tips about those.
    Why am I even writing this? 

Accident#POV

    "Hey, look, Darell.  There's this little girl running through a backyard."
    "Don't get sidetracked, Colt.  We have a job to do."
    "But she's cute!"
    Darrell wheeled on his companion.  "Everything is cute to you!  You'd think a roadkill skunk was cute!"
    "No, really, let's just watch a minute."
    Darrell grabbed Colt's arm.  "Let's go."
    "Hey -- oh no!"
    Darrell turned to see that the little girl was lying on the ground, all doubled up like a crumpled piece of paper cast aside by a hasty artist.  For an awful second he wondered if she was dead.  Then she rolled over to face the sky, and he knew she was OK.  He hurried over.
    "What happened?" 
    "She was just running, and then she jumped on the one cinder block and jumped off again, but the cinder block moved under her and...

Writer's Resource: Names

    Hey, guys!  I just wanted to share some knowledge I've accumulated.
    Finding the right name for a character can be tough.  While Internet searches are often an author's best friend, they aren't as random as, say, looking in a phone book.  Yes, those ancient yellow tomes are still useful.  One problem with phone books is that you may end up with too many names that start with one letter because you just can't give up some of those awesome names you found in alphabetical order.  Also, if you happen to live in a fairly backwoods location like I do, your phone book won't give you a whole lot of ethnic diversity.  And you have to sift through all the adds.
    Which brings me to my current favorite source of names: movie/ TV credits.  Yes, that boring list of names that always used to infuriate you is actually a gold mine in disguise.  Plus, you...

To Whom It May Concern

Rock back and forth.  Breathe in; breathe out.  Go back to the basics and breath.  This won't kill you.  It can't last forever.  One day the light will dawn on your face, and you will treasure it the more for having lost it once.  The grass will be greener, the sky wider, the air freer.  You will be strong.  The sticks and stones will break on your bones.  You will be alive.

A Collection

Minnesota
Is 
Stomping through a snow drift
In a T-shirt and shorts 
To handle a quick chore.

Peer Pressure
    
I always get told how peer pressure can make me do stupid stuff that I know I shouldn't do.  Nobody ever told me that I exerted peer pressure on people, and they certainly never told me that I can use it to change the world around me.  No on ever told me that it was one of the underpinnings of the fabric of society.  Only rarely did I hear that it could be used to propagate a morally decent, responsible mindset -- certainly not enough for me to remember it on a day-to-day basis.  Why did I have to write this?  Doesn't everyone know that peer pressure was never supposed to be about making people drink too much or do even more stupid things?  It was to encourage us to do the right thing.  
    So how do I...

Watchword#serendipitouscomp

    The cave was dark.  A breath of wind stirred in the trammel of its craggy walls like the brush of bats' wings.  All it served to do was to whip up the stench that flowed from its dripping intestines to its gaping maw.  A man, his dark eyes wild and his sides heaving, crouched against the slick stone at the very back.  Before him stood a woman, her aqua eyes gentle and sad. 
    "Marcus?  Marcus, it's me.  Sandra.  Do you remember me?"
    The sound of the man's harsh, ragged breathing echoed off the walls of the cave.
    Sandra sighed.  She had worked so, so hard to forgive them, only to come face to face with the wreck of the man who had once been something of an older brother to her.  Would it ever end?  
    "Hey," she whispered, crouching and setting her flashlight on the ground.  "Marcus.  Let's go for...

Kindling#fire

    Flames are such dancers.  No matter what happens, they dance on until they run out of fuel and sink into flickering coals that shimmer like a miniature city of jewels.  Then the shimmer fades into a glow that grows fainter and fainter, like an echo.  At the last, all that is left is a bed of downy ashes and the smell of smoke on the wind.
    "
Watching a fire again?"
    Tha dark eyes, which glinted like embers in time with the leaping flames before them, never left the cheery blaze.  "Why have you come back?"
    "You can't just sit here until you die."
    "I will not sit here until I die.  I will sit here and watch the fire until I become the fire."
    "You want to become the fire?  You have to jump in the fire and dance with it."
    The eyes lifted to...

#myfirstcontest

Prompt One:
    
"Scarred face?  Me too. It's contagious."

Prompt Three:
     
                                                                        Promises to Keep

    "They've taken another one."
    The soldier did not reply.  He was staring at five fresh graves, their rich black dirt a stark contrast to the lush green turf.
    "Malahide."
    The man stirred.  "Sir?"
    "They've taken my son."
    The soldier did not answer.
    The general sighed.  "Malahide, I know that what happened roughed you up.  A lot.  You'd be a robot if it hadn't.  But people need you.  My son needs you.  You know what they'll do to him if he isn't rescued."
    Malahide spoke.  His voice sounded like a hollow rendition of a mind working in slow motion.  "I'm on leave.  You'd never get clearance to send me on a personal mission anyway."  He turned to face the general, allowing his senior officer to see...

Another Debate: Description

    Hi, guys! My first debate went so well that I decided to do another one.  If you've read a lot of my stuff, you'll notice that I tend to have problems with descriptions: when to include them, what needs to be described, and even how to write them.  So, here are the points to address in your awesome and much appreciated comments:
    1.  What should be described, in general?
    2.  When should descriptions be added?
    3.  When should they not be added?
    4.  What are the critical components of a description?  
    Please keep your comments civil, but feel free to respectfully disagree!  I look forward to hearing from you all!  Merry Christmas and God bless!

Radiation Burns

Warm.  
I am warm, on every level.

Golden.
I am golden, in the fabric of my being.

Sweet.
I am sweet, down to my cells.

Petrichor.
I am petrichor, in very move that I make.

Melody.
I am melody, every second of my life.

Strong, 
I am strong,  it is leaking out of me so fast I cannot contain --


Our hands touched for the briefest of seconds.
We swapped smiles.
I thought I had found a gold mine.

A rock shied through the air with a scream of hate.
It knocked our hands apart.
I wailed, gutteral, visceral, and red.


Lost.
I lost the hands 
And the smile
So now I wander
And I wonder 
If I will ever
See them again.

I was told that I was made to love.
They never told me it would be easy.

Debate: Story Beginnings

    Hey guys!  I'm going to bring WtW's feedback aspect into play and start a debate.  Here's the question: is it better to start out a story fast, or slow?  By this I mean is straight to the action a better idea, or should you give the reader time to get acquainted with and invest in the main character(s)?  What are the benefits and downsides to both approaches?  Which one do you prefer, and why?
    This is not one of those debates where the person who started it has a foregone conclusion and is trying to make a point!  This is me asking for your opinions and hoping that our combined insight on the subject can inspire each other and help us grow as writers.  With that in mind, please leave your thoughts in a civil comment below.  Thank you all, and write free! ~SP

Foenetyk

Rumblyng skiz and shaekyng wyndoe paenz.  Wyndz howl yn thee treez liek thee wulf that uest tue waer thee skyn Ie'm waeryng now.  Ie wundr at thee fyueree uv thee hevenz, prhaps foer thee last tiem.

Conflict(SW)

    Andy scowled and moved a threatening step closer.
    "A spy, huh?" he growled.  
    "Wait," Miranda said.  "If he is a spy, why would he tell us?"
    Andy looked back at Sam.  "Why would you tell us?"
    "Becaus I'm not spying for our captors.  I'm a spy for their enemies, an inside agent for a coming invasion."
    "Who?  Who would come to save us?" Andrea scoffed.
    "Jesus will," Sam answered evenly.
    "Oh, great, another nutcase.  I might as well be stuck in here with a bunch of squirrels!"
    "You're saying that because you've never seen the power of God.  You never had a use for Him after your grandmother died of cancer."
    Andrea gasped.  "How did you know that?"
    Sam opened his mouth to reply, but the door opened and a teen poked his head in.  A shock of back, spiky hair contrasted...

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!

    Usually I don't do social pieces on WtW, but this time I'm making an exception because I need help!  I have a KIndle Fire tablet, which I use for all my electronic writing stuff.  It came standard equipped with the WPS documents app, which I used to type out a series of short stories to send to various interested relatives.  I had those stories edited nicely and almost all ready to go, and then I found out that all my editing had disappeared.  Gone.  Vanishd.  AWOL. 
    Those stories will never be the same again!
    I'm looking for a good documents app that I can use with my Fire, because I am not using WPS again.  It's not my tablet; one of my dad's novel chapters, also typed on WPS, disappeared five or six times.  All I need is something easy to use, Fire compatible,  and standard equipped with bold letters and italics.  Let me...

Amputation#BleedingLove

I'm bleeding in love
Because I grew into people
And they grew into me

It was a golden time
Our blood flowed together
A shared river of life

But then they died.

I've been amputated.

Raw Oats

    Three o'clock p.m. is snacktime.  The normal snacks are gone.  So, I mix chunky peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, and raw oats in a bowl, and I prepare for a long meal.
    Horses eat raw oats; horse fans know this.  What people may not realize, though, is that humans are also perfectly capable of ingesting raw oats.  The thing is, you can't chew raw oats.  If you chewed raw oats, you would makee unnatural noises after you swallow.  You can chew cooked ones, but not raw ones.  If you were a horse, you could chomp your oats.  But you're not a horse.  If you were, you wouldn't be reading this.  No; raw oats must be chawed.   
    Chawing is a highly technical procedure, like opening presents or slapping people.  The main distinction between chewing and chawing is that chawing has a higher level of noise byproduct.  However, most people who get themselves into situations...

Winning

Is
Your little brother running to tell everyone
That you got first place.

Is
Your entire family quietly applauding you
But the quiet is because Mom is napping.

Is
Your dad, also a writer, saying "well done"
And giving you a high-five.

But most of all,
Winning is a God who always loves you
Whether you win or lose.

Glory be to God!

Welcome To Mercy

    Pain.
    Pain.
    Pain.
    For now, his world is pain.

    Sam Whittaker woke to the bliss of warm, dark drowsiness.  He was lying on his stomach, and a blanket was stinging the welts in his back as it trapped his body heat.  A light was on, but he didn't care.  He just wanted to hang on to these moments of comfort before the pain began again.
    "Are you awake?"
    Sam's eyes flew open. A soft voice, a gentle voice, a comforting voice, had somehow snuck into his world of pain, and he wanted to see where it had come from before it vanished.
    "It's OK," the voice continued, almost in his left ear.  "You're gonna be alright."
    Sam lifted his gaze into the most breathtaking face he had ever beheld.  Grimy and pale, this oval of humanity looked back at him with two pools of...

My December Writing Competition 2018

Is This the Finale?

    December.
    Is it just another name on the calendar?  Is it just thirty-one more days in a tangle of days that run together like wet watercolor paint?  Is it just another part of a flat, joyless existence?  Is this the grand finale of the cycle of our lives?
    Or do I need an attitude adjustment?  To squint my eyes against the snow glare, strain my ears against the hiss of the wind, and snuff the freezing air until I find what I'm looking for?
    December up in Minnesota is not for those who love warmth and sunshine.  Lately, it hasn't even been for those who love snow, steaming breath, sleds, and skates.  What it has been is cold.  We dip down to -40 degrees Farenheit at our lowest, while 40 above is Providential bliss.  We don't get a whole lot of snow at once anymore, but let me tell you right now...

Paradox#PlayTheGame

Easy overworking,
    Confusing clarity,
        Ebony whitness, 
            Powerless gravity,
                Graceless fluidity,
                    Are you confused yet?

Messy order,
    Falling up,
        Kneeling kings,
            Merciful massacre,
                Untold decrees,
                    Have you had enough?

Bloodless wounds,
    Silent speech,
        Seeing blind,
            Dancing lame,
                Confident humility,
                    Can you really understand?

I'm playing mind games with you, reader mine.


 

The Impossible Choice

    Sam Whittaker strolled along a sunny side street on his way home from the first day of school.  He had forgotten how invigorating it was o get out of that brick building.  He paused to gaze at an ash tree that had already turned a golden yellow in the cool fall air.
    Those ashes are always the first to go, he thought with a shake of his head. 
    Two men strode out of a gravel alley that ran parallel to the street.  Sam tried to appear unconcerned,, despite the nagging warning in what is popularly referred to as the gut.  Something just seemed off about them.
    I shoulda just put my 1911 in my backpack, he thought.  Course, why would I?  I've never needed it before.  This is a nice neighbourhood in a good city.  I'm just imagining things.
    No, you're not.  But go with them quietly.  I have a job for...

Logic Poem

    Math is the language of science.

    Science is the rules of the universe.

    Therefore,

    Math
    Is the language
    Of the rules
    Of the universe.

Epistle#DearGod

Dear Heavenly Daddy,
​    I just found out that Ryder has another cool contest.  She wants us to write You letters.  That's a great idea, don't You think?  And we don't even have to pay postage, because You've been reading them since before time existed!  (I still can't wrap my mind around that, but whatever.  If we could wrap our minds around You, what kind of a God would You be, anyways?)
    Do You remember the time when Dad had started writing almost full-time?  I do.  Our house has never had that kind of atmosphere again.  It was peaceful.  It made me feel alive.  I remember I would sometimes peep into Dad's study just to feel Your presence wash over me.  You were so good and faithful to us.  Whenever I feel like I'm having a really hard time hearing You, I'll still go to where Dad writes.
    I remember even better the many times I haven't measured...

World-Changer#WARNING!

    WARNING: WORLD-CHANGER.
    That's what the sign said.
    I stared in disbelief at the white posterboard flaps that had been strapped together so I could wear it front and back.  I looked back up at Principal Higgins, who was glaring down his nose at me with a severe frown on his wrinkly face.  That frown almost reached his coffee mug.
    "You can't change the world," he said.
    I put the sign on and grinned.  "Principal Higgins, I think this is the nicest thing you've ever done for anyone.  I'll wear it with pride."
    Now the disbelief was on his face.  "Arwen, you can't change the world!"
    "Why not?" 
    Principal Higgins sputtered and spat.  "You need a majority to change the world!"
    "Just yesterday my history class learned about a courageous woman named Rosa Parks."
    "She didn't change the world!  The movement...

Angel Express#firstraycontest

    Ben the angel gripped the shaft of light tightly as he half walked, half skidded down a quiet street.  His real name was Benaniah, but everyone called him Ben for short.  The light was a present he had been specially commissioned to deliver, and it seemed to be in a hurry to get to its destination.
    "Steady on!" he yelled as the ray squirrelled around a corner.  A ten-year deployment in England had added some interesting expressions to his vocabulary.
    Why exactly was I needed to get this where it needs to go?  Someone remind me, he thought.  Of course, it was usually useless and foolish to question the rhetoric of an omniscient Being Who had created the universe with His wise words and raw power.  You'd find out eventually what you were doing if you did it long enough.
    The beam turned another corner and stopped so hard that he ran right...

In Parallel

We were born nuclear.
Our bones ached as they tried to contain the power stored inside.
Our skins sparked and flared as we turned to one another and our first words leaped like castles from our inferno throats.

We lived nuclear.
The world we shed our lustrous power into tried to tear us apart and pick us off one by one.
It bound us together more tightly.
Our hearts burst into color as we joined our wills into one.

We will die nuclear.
The world that scarred us will mourn us.
As the light in our eyes and flame in our hearts departs, we will bless the world that cursed us.

Because that's the only way to make it better.

Argument#ICBYShortStory

    "I can't believe you! Not after you lied to me so many times!"
    "I wasn't lying, I was -- giving you truth you could handle."
    "NO, you were lying, and it's killed us.  You knew we were falling apart.  And you just kept shutting me up, saying, 'no, it's fine, it's not cancer, it can't possibly be cancer, you're just imagining things.'  And you killed us."
    She listened to the argument of herself with herself.  It raged on, a self-destructive storm.
    "I should have listened to myself," she said aloud at last.

My Rant

    Why, why, why does WtW have to have so many contests?  I can't enter them all, even if I want to (which I usually do -- I'm a competitive person who likes to win and gain prestige, plus the prizes are usually pretty good) cause it's just TOO MUCH!!  Too much work, too much stress, not enough time, and now I sound like an adult complaining because they're existing instead of living.  Adults do that.  So do we.
    This is funny, because I had an idea for a pretty cool contest, and here I am, complaining about how many contests there are!  Humans can be such contradictory creatures.  I think that I'm just going to wait to host the contest until after the holidays because maybe it won't be so crazy then.  What do you guys think?  Let me know in the comments!
    By the way, I think contests are good, and I'm grateful...

Novel Writing Competition 2018

Diplomacy

    Two officers of the United Space Navy entered the court of King David the Just with butterflies in their stomachs.  King David would be no trivial foe if they messed up these negotiations, though he hadn't yet shown any hostile intent.  On the other hand, his allegiance would deter the International Starfarers, a marauding group of bandits, from trying to steal territory from the USN, which could prevent a war.
    The court, simple in its expensiveness, was a sea of vibrant color that dashed against King David's golden lion throne and Queen Abigail's silver eagle throne.  The sunlight through the many windows set the thrones and robes ablaze.  The reflected hues enriched the drab gray of the officer's uniforms, while the male officer's red hair resembled a signal fire lit on top of his stocky body.
    King David moved his whiplike frame with authority as he stood, his simple golden robes swirling.  "Greetings!  Please,...

Why I Write

Why Do I Write?

    Why do I write?  Who asked this quetion?  Why does anyone write?  Why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa?  Why did Michelangelo sculpt the Pieta?  Why do toddlers scribble on any paper they can get their hands on with whatever happens to be lying on the floor?  You might as well ask a bird why it builds a nest!  Why deny a part of my being, the creativity that comes from bearing God's image?  
    I write to create worlds.  I write to defend the weak, strengthen the strong, administer justice to the wrongdoers, pardon the repentant, love the unloved, and praise my God.  I write to make my audience smile, laugh, frown, shake their heads, cry, love my characters, never expect what comes next, and hopefully learn something good along the way.  I write to explore tough topics, help myself answer moral dilemmas, and share my answers to problems. I write to prevent myself from going...

Novel Writing Competition 2018

Diplomacy

    Two officers of the United Space Navy entered the court of King David the Just with butterflies in their stomachs.  King David would be no trivial foe if they messed up these negotiations.
    The court was a sea of vibrant color that dashed against King David's golden lion throne and Queen Abigail's silver eagle throne.  The sunlight through the many windows set the thrones and robes ablaze.  The reflected hues enriched the drab gray of the officer's uniforms, while the male officer's red hair resembled a torch.
    King David stood.  "Greetings!  Please, name yourselves and be seated."
    "I am captain Erik Llewellen of the USN Starfarer.  This is my commander, Hope Starwender."
    King David sat and studied them intently.  "You are the captain of the single ship your commanders sent, and this is your first officer?  How nieve.""  He leaned back in his throne with hooded eyes and a masklike...

Tyranicide#Paperbirdcontest

    The needle flicked in and out of the durable gray cloth.  Ice hummed an ancient melody as he turned the corner of yet another patch to the knees of his pants.  
    "Why don't you let the laundryman do it?"  Dancer asked.
    Ice paused.  His nimble tan fingers rubbed the supple material, as if searching it for answers.  "I want to do it myself."
    "Why?"
    Ice lifted his steady gaze to meet Dancer's lustrous black eyes rimmed with thick matching lashes.  They complemented her delicate facial structure, but her body was stocky and trim from hard training, and her skin was browned from long hours under the sun.  Beauty and strength -- passports both to all but the sternest of hearts.   "My dad always mended his own trousers."
    "But why do you?"
    "Why shouldn't I?"
    Ice resumed his even stitching.  Dancer was not about to...

Shrink, Shrank, Shrunk#contestfor69

    When things are not how they used to be, it's time to pay attention, Sam decided as he confronted the leg of a coffee table that rose up like a monolith before him.  He jumped up and shook his head at the plain of ankle-high carpet fibers he was on.
    "It's OK, " he told himself.  "Mom and Dad will be back in two days.  All I have to do is survive until they get back."  He began to slog towards the kitchen.

    The world keeps spinning no matter what happens on its fertile hide.  This means that two days pass as surely as any days would, but also that Sam couldn't skip those intervening days.  He couldn't skip the hunger pangs and the gnawing, rasping thirst when the water in the dog's dish ran out.  And he couldn't skip the terrifying episodes when Trip the dog and Snowball the cat erupted into full-on battle...

Rationalizing

    Nothing is more intolerable than living under a question mark.
    When I saw SomeFormofWriting's last goodbye, I felt grief.  Not much.  I'm fairly new, I never actually knew her.  Unless reading someone's writing is like looking into their soul. 
    I respect her decision to leave.  
    Don't get me wrong.  I think WtW does have the right to censor us if need be.  They made the site; they make the rules.  The question is, when is need be?  Who's in the right: WtW admin or the people who want the censorship to be lifted a little?
    This is why I'm writing at 10:53 instead of sleeping like sensible people.  This question really bothers me, and I feel the need to write out my thoughts so I myself can understand my thoughts.
    I signed up for this site  partly because I saw that it wasn't supposed to have a whole bunch of...

Tribute

    SUBJECT: 07
    DATE: 11/5/20--

  1. Who are you?  A soldier.
  2. Who are your friends?  Why are they your friends?  What are they like?  Why would I tell you?  Who are you?
  3. Likes?  Dislikes?  I'd like to make you shut up because I dislike your nosiness.
  4. Hobbies?  Passions?  I'd passionately love to see you shut up.
  5. What is your usual routine?  If you don't have one, why not?  I get up, I take orders, I follow orders, I shut people up, I go to bed.
  6. How do you think others view you?  How do you view yourself?  Does it matter?
  7. What is your view of the world?  Could be better.
  8. What is your view of humanity?  I'd prefer to take my chances with the aliens.  (Author: She'd miss her team after a while.)
  9. How well do you do with others?  Is this a psych eval?
  10. Who do you wish you could be like?  Why?  Why would I tell you?  
  11. ...

Krayt Fett#DPTW66contest

    Master Yoda watched as Krayt Fett, their clone padawan, as he expertly parried a stroke from Mace Windu.  He had never seen a padawan so skilled with the weapon of the Jedi, nor had he ever seen Windu taking such risks so early in the drills.  When Krayt made a blurred slash at Windu's legs and had to turn off his saber in order to avoid slicing off the limbs, Yoda realized that what he had mistaken for risks was actually appropriate training for the youngling.  
    "Krayt, your meditations have you done?"
    Master Windu halted, but Krayt slashed and had to deactivate his weapon again so he wouldn't kill his master.
    "Padawan!" Windu barked.  "What did you think you were doing?"
    "Finishing the fight, sir,"  Krayt replied, his youthful enthusiasm slightly dampened by his tone of respect.
    Mace rolled his eyes.  "The fight is done when the master...

Cinder Mountain#JKG

    A flighty sparrow alights on a black boulder embedded in the flanks of Cinder Mountain.  The craggy earth's-bone uncannily resembles a muscle-bound titan lying spread-eagle, as if arrested by a spearhead.
    The grey predawn light touches the ebony shoulder.  A twitch runs through the massive frame.  The sparrow squawks and flees as the rough-cut statue stiffly rises.  It lifts its eyes to the east, and a sunken fire kindles in the dead orbs.  Swaying like a warship's mast it tackles the slope, which trembles under his charred, jagged feet.  Ancient trees creak and snap like blades of grass before his mighty strides, and the clouds above swirl as the dense skull sails through them.  Wildlife flee like ants, stately harts and saucy squirrels alike.
    Pink spreads like a blush on the sky's satin cheek.  The giant quickens its steps, unconscious of the mass destruction in its wake.  It crests a ridge and charges up...

Turned to Stone

Seeds of Epics

    Three empty bottles sitting on a windowsill.  Each with a story.  Each with a message.  Each with a name.  Each with a victim.

    "We never knew what happened to Hunter.  He just -- left.  Took a piece of my heart with him, but who's counting?  Anyway, I figured, hey, you wanna find a hunter?  You gotta be one yourself. And my comfort zone was like, nah, and my adventure side looked like a dog that had been invited for a walk, so I say, hey, self, how's about we become a hunter..."
    Hunter listened as the stream of words flowed on.


    Vermin.  Dogs.  Jades.  Find.  Kill.  Avenge.

    The raider surveys the fertile valley below.  He points with his crop to a small hamlet wreathed with trails of smoke.  His lieutenant nods -- and lets slip the dogs of war.

Shrink, Shrank, Shrunk#contestfor69

    When things are not how they used to be, it's time to pay attention, Sam decided as he confronted the leg of a coffee table that rose up like a monolith before him.  He jumped up and shook his head at the plain of ankle-high carpet fibers he was on.
    "It's OK, " he told himself.  "Mom and Dad will be back in two days.  All I have to do is survive until they get back."  He began to slog towards the kitchen.

    The world keeps spinning no matter what happens on its fertile hide.  This means that two days pass as surely as any days would, but also that Sam couldn't skip those intervening days.  He couldn't skip the hunger pangs and the gnawing, rasping thirst when the water in the dog's dish ran out.  And he couldn't skip the terrifying episodes when Trip the dog and Snowball the cat erupted into full-on battle...

Ariel#WeAreUnnamed

He wears worn blue jeans and ragged T-shirts, and, for some reason, moccasins.

His skin is like russet leather from all his time in the sun.
    
His hands are broad and callused, but their touch is gentle.

His muscles could handle almost any task.
   
The sun has bleached his hair to near whiteness.
   
No amount of lead could stop his piercing gaze.
    
Tropical lagoons and his eyes are the same color.

A knight would envy his chivalry and diligence.

A gambler would envy his poker face.

No one could begrudge him his winsome smile.

He prays like God's his Father.

His wrath is hard to stir, but it strikes swiftly and cools slowly.

Like most strong men, he usually can't be bothered by petty quarrels and jealousies.

People gather to listen to his good-natured bantering.

His friends, few in number, are friends for life.

His acquaintances, many indeed, melt in the warmth of his...

Heaven's Economics

    I approach the counter.  A man is working there,  smiling and humming to himself.  His name tag says JESUS.
    I set my bundle on the counter.  "I'd like to trade this in," I say in a very small voice.
    He sets down a rag He was wiping the counter with and examines my bundle.  I squirm.  It's an ugly black bundle, full of Hate and Pride and Sin and Shame, and I know it.
    Jesus takes out His wallet and starts putting cash in the register.
    "What are you doing?" I ask, startled.
    "I'm paying for you," He replies with tender matter-of-factness.
    "Why?"
    He smiles and peels back the fetid morass that is my bundle.  Inside sits a tiny pearl called Potential.
    I look back up at Him.  He smiles again and points to His eye, His heart, and me.  I remember...

Secrets#RefuseToSay

    "No matter what happens, I can't tell them.  If they find out, it's over."
    Those were his words.
    I would have given everything in my possession to know what he was talking about.  Not out of idle curiosity, but because I deeply desired to help him.  His desperation washed across my open mind.  Tears welled up in my eyes. 
    I could have forced him to tell me.  His mind, though strong, was no match for my patience and experience.  I could have begged.  Often he could not refuse me.
    I did neither.
    I knew now that something was wrong; therefore, I could look for it.  Evil in a universe created for good stands out like a shouting man in blaze orange coveralls.  The thing about that is, a universe full of shouting men in blaze orange coveralls makes things a tad difficult.
    I walked away.  He never knew...

Kyle#IslandPrompt

    A young man groaned and blinked against the brightness of the pungently azure sky.  Still blinking sand out of deep blue eyes that had been a source of daydreams, fluttering hearts, and despair to many teenage girls, he propped himself up on his elbows and did his best to survey his surroundings.  He was lying on the sort of white, sandy beach that resorts are built nearby.  About five hundred yards down the coastline massive craggy boulders rose up and blocked his keen vision.  The sea's smiling, dimpled waves washed along the shore with happy hisses.  The teenager scowled at the fickle element and turned his gaze inland.  A mountain thrust itself up from the lush, dense greenery.  Cries of gulls and exotic creatures filled the air.
    "Wow," he said emotionlessly.
    He stood up annd lokked up the other stretch of coastline.  Wreckage - wood, rope, canvas - lay strewn on the sand.  He...

Forward Backward

The Elements

Ignis
He traces in ashes.
Cold, breath-frost dancing, alone, 
His footprints make marks in the pure snow.

He dances in fire.
Free, glow-lines tracing, exultant,
His hands rip rents in the dark smoke.
     
He piles the wood.
Strong, muscle-cords pulling, expectant,
His grin puts pain in his cheeks.

Aqua
He maps the currents.
Intent, thought-gears clicking, diligent,
His will pushes paths in the sea.

He rides the waves.
Shouting, adrenaline-cry swelling, alive,
His joy laces laughter in the tides.

He builds his bark.
Thirsty, work-song lilting, sweaty,
His hammer hunts in the hull.

Aer
She tosses the waves.
Laughing, wind-cheeks dimpling, playful,
Her fancies flow in the air.

She drives the storm.
Fierce, hail-spear holding, screaming,
Her rage roils in the thunderheads.

She marshals the clouds.
Attentive, breeze-crook wielding, peaceful,
Her royalty reflects in the river.

Terra
She cradles the coals.
Warm, mother-arms rocking, gentle,
Her smiles smoulder in the winter.

She feeds the furnace.
Plentiful, life-fuels heaping, queenly, ...

Forward Backward

The Elements

Ignis
He traces in ashes.
Cold, breath-frost dancing, alone, 
His footprints make marks in the pure snow.

He dances in fire.
Free, glow-lines tracing, exultant,
His hands rip rents in the dark smoke.
     
He piles the wood.
Strong, muscle-cords pulling, expectant,
 His grin puts pain in his cheeks.

Aqua
He maps the currents.
Intent, thought-gears clicking, diligent,
His will pushes paths in the sea.

He rides the waves.
Shouting, adrenaline-cry swelling, alive,
His joy laces laughter in the tides.

He builds his bark.
Thirsty, work-song lilting, sweaty,
His hammer hunts in the hull.

Aer
She swaddles the world.
Humming, mother-heart bursting, soft,
Her blanket blows in all life.

She weaves the clouds.
silent, breath-fingers searching, adroit,
Her mantle murmurs in the trees.

She threads the wind.
Singing, gust-scissors snipping, happy,
Her work whispers in the wilds.

Terra
She gathers the stubble.
Sleepy, life-fuels exhausted, languid,
Her regeneration rests in the quiet.

She gives the harvest.
Smiling, earth-presents heaping, plentiful, ...

Unplug

Performance

    I will be the first to admit that I have little to no experience with social media.  However, I am a writer, and I have an imagination.  I also know what it's like to feel the need to perform.  So, I'll tell you a story, just like I'm talking to you in this print that stares bald-facedly at you from the screen, and I'll try to explain what I think about living life without an audience.
     I have performance issues.  I hope they are getting better through the love and grace of God, because sometimes the progress of our spirits and souls is so gradual as to be rather hard to detect by ourselves.  This need to perform, and I know it too well for my tastes, comes from this question: "Am I good enough?"
    Am I?  Are you? 
    Maybe that's the question we're trying to answer when we stress out over...

Perspective

Here you stand.
Powerful, loved, creative, and beautiful, the cherished prize of the Creator.  
I hate you.
He planted you here, the final humiliation for my perceived crimes.  When I enslaved you,  He sacrificed His Son on the altar of His justice.  It was a glad day for me.  I had finally got back at Him for all the humiliation He heaped upon my head, throwing me down to this rock and chaining me here, then sending His pets to walk all over me.  In His likeness, too!  A continual reminder of all that I could not have.  I had just put him through the most excruciating death in the history of the world.  Now He was in my domain, to do with as I liked.
He walked up to me and said: "I'll take the keys."
He took all my authority, all my power, and gave it back to those snivelling morons!  All I have left now is lies,...

FACT

Date Nite

    Nectar is 70% water.  Honey is 18% water.  Those little bees sure do a lot of fanning with their little wings, getting all that water to evaporate.  And they don't even know why they're doing what they do.  They just do it.
    Kris sighs and sets down yet another request from a certain rambunctious subordinate to know why he's doing what he's doing.  He runs his broad hand through his black hair and then rubs his blue eyes furiously.
    An adventurous ringtone erupts from his smartphone.  His face brightens visibly, and he hastily answers the hail.
    "Hey, honey," a cheery, syrupy voice says.  "We still on for tonight?"
    Lack of adventure makes people do crazy, stupid things, like cheat their spouses or jump off the Eiffel Tower with a small piece of heavy carpet for a parachute. Frequent doses of healthy adventure usually cure and prevent this deficiency.
    "Absolutely," Kris...

Unconventional

Spread the Fire

spinning
motes of ashes

swirling
breaths of wind

twirling
sparks of fire



rearing
flames lick sky

leaping
flames brush girl

laughing
queen holds flare



screaming
men see queen

asking
queen knows nothing

shrugging
queen takes flame


gasping
men see queen

smiling 
queen gives fire

laughing
kings hold flare

Impermanence

No Assurance

A young man stands here.
Lightning flashes, and where he
Stood, the Grim Reaper.

Open Prompt

Is This Victory So Small?

    I defeat the rush of life. 

    Life tugs and nags, urging, "Work, work!  Lazy, good-for-nothing hunk of meat, work!  You are worthless and inadequate if you don't spend every second of your waking life doing something productive!"
    I look at the dirty dishes sitting on the counter, waiting to be cleaned, the food on them slowly hardening into an irascible crud.
    I look outside, where my dad is twirling in the rain with one of my numerous brothers slung over his shoulder, laughing.
    Those dishes will be there when I get back.
    I hasten into the garage and pause at the doorway to the backyard, hesitant.
    I step into the rain.
    This progeny of the grey skies is cold, but not cruelly so.  A slight breeze wafts the water off my skin, cooling me a little past the bounds of comfort.  My father greets me,...

10 Second Essays

Pearls to Ponder

    Life is either a grand adventure or the most miserable drudgery.  It all depends on how you see it.

    Good things are best taken in small, frequent doses.

    Why complain if your complaining will not move the mountain in your path?

    If you want to know how the world works, ask the One who made it.

    Only when you find the place that is relevant to you will the irrelevant sliuce off you like waves off a cliff of adamant.

    Who are you?