Power of the Prompt: Provoked to Write workshop

Connie Kinsey is a former military brat who has put down deep roots in a converted barn on a dirt road at the top of a hill in West Virginia.  She lives with two dogs and a cat and is pursuing happiness, one cup of coffee at a time.  Her award-winning writing has been published online and in print.  She is also a spoken word artist and the Writer-in-Residence for the Museum of the American Military Family.  Connie has blogged at https://wvfurandroot.com since 2008 and is wild about comments.  You can reach her by email at c_kinsey@frontier.com


We’d finally had rain. I was standing in a clearing on the heavily forested mountain.  Though the drought had been brief, I had been worried.  My house is made of old wood and sits amid the oaks – forest fires are worrisome.

I took a deep breath and felt the week’s stress being expelled with my exhale and the day’s fragrance of much needed rain inhaled bringing a sense of well-being.  I felt my inner compass shift to true north.  I was where I needed to be when I needed to be there.  At ease, relaxed, and enjoying the silence save that of the bird song.  I should make this walk a part of my daily routine. I vowed to do so.  But I’ve made this vow before.  Real life has such a hold on me.  I really do need to make more room for the magic and peace inherent in my surroundings.  I was fortunate to live in a forest and I should maximize it. But there are so many shoulds in my life.  It’s hard to accommodate them all.

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Not so little boys

Jake started shouting and pointing, “Hey, Dad! look!”

Jeff got up and went to Jake.  I didn’t look up from my book.  I imagined he found minnows or a crab or something. 

Then Jeff started hollering, “Miranda!  Look up!”

I was nursing an umbrella drink with one shot of vodka and two drinks worth of mixer.  The concoction, lemon and strawberry and frozen, was the perfect beach drink for the perfect beach day.  We were alone on the beach other than some surf fishers off in the distance, their poles set up in a row with them sitting in camp chairs around a cooler.  Occasionally their laughter would ring loud enough that we could hear them.  They were having a fine time.

Jeff was beside me and the Designated Parent for the day.  We took turns.  Our son Jake was playing in the shallow surf, his floaties bright orange against the blue water and blue sky and his blue swimming trunks.  Jake’s blue eyes had been wide with excitement since we arrived.  I vowed to make his first trip to the beach memorable and was succeeding.  Each night he fell asleep at the dinner table and we carried him to the second bedroom of our rented condo.  He would sleep all night and wake me before dawn.  He with a glass of milk and I with my coffee would sit on the balcony and watch the sun come up.  We were making memories that I hoped would sustain him his whole life.  Shared, quality time in paradise.

“I closed my book and looked up.”

“Oh!”  I rubbed my eyes.

I hadn’t even had a full shot of vodka yet and yet, there he was.  Puff.  In all of his majesty, scales gleaming iridescent purple, pink, blue, and green in the bright sun.

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