Watch the Patterns

Watch the patterns
Slipping and twisting and sliding
Warp and weave of life

Embrace the predictable
Steady and comfy and easy
Rhythm and pace of peace

Enter the unexpected
Abrasive and invasive and persuasive
Hammer and chisel of change

Watch the patterns
Pleading and tweaking and kneading
Twists and turns of life


Never more right
Than when you're wrong
No other opinion matters

Discussion is useless
If you set your mind
Pressing truth 'til it shatters

Take it personally
When confronted by logic
Defensive attitude revealing the hate

Can't argue issues
Without a dose of sarcasm
Bitterness camouflaged as debate

Read more One Single Impression at http://onesingleimpression.blogspot.com/

The Hurricane

The eerie sound of laughter rang across the landscape, incongruent amidst the ruin and devastation. Marie stopped and listened to the hideous noise of joy. The futility of struggling to survive pressed against her heart. The storm that raged only days ago had taken her last morsel of hope.

She pushed aside a two-by-four, torn from its structure and roughened by the wind's fierce onslaught. Beneath a sludge-encrusted sheet, she found the box, still taped shut. A score of memories flooded her soul, yanking at her spirit, refusing to allow her slow descent into despair.

Her mind rewound the day she stuffed all of Sadie's toys into the packing crate and sealed it with a kiss. So much anticipation. One more day. Just one. And they would have been on the road to a new home and a new life.

She yanked the tape from the box and tossed toys on the still wet ground. At the bottom, she found Sadie’s teddy bear. Gulping back her tears, she pushed it against her chest--a vain attempt to keep her heart from leaving her, never to return. For although she had lost Sadie to the storm, she refused to lose her memory.

Read more Theme Thursday at http://www.theme-thursday.com/

Read more Sunday Scribbling at http://www.sundayscribbling.blogspot.com

The Shadow

It bounced with the beat of my heart. Every time I moved, it moved. I shook my head and rubbed my eyes, but the shadow wouldn’t disappear. How could I get past it? Behind me, my self-inflicted prison yawned like an abyss. If I plunged back into the depths, my descent would take me straight back to the pits of hell. Before me, the thing refused me the right of passage. It morphed into grotesque shapes and shifted from left to right. The sweat rolled down my backbone. I clenched and unclenched my hands willing my stubborn digits to cooperate. Grasp the light, my tortured mind demanded. Grasp the light and conquer the fear. My fingers wrapped around the base of an oil lamp. Its blue-black flame flickered, teasing the dark. Now or never, my mind screamed. Take action. Defeat the fear. Rushing the remaining few steps, I faced the shadow and challenged it on its own turf. The ethereal form coalesced into a human shape. As I tossed the lamp at my biggest fear, the fire engulfed the negative image of my soul. My mind cleared, and I stepped into the light.

Read more Sunday Scribblings at http://sundayscribblings.blogspot.com/


Summer RentalSummer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I usually can't wait for a new Mary Kay Andrews to hit the shelves, but it took me a while to get around to reading Summer Rental. I looked forward to this read with anticipation. The book is basic chick lit. Three friends, Ellis, Julia, and Dorie, go to the beach to get away from their lives and find out what they really want from life... sort of.

Andrews usually writes with charm and wit and just a bit of attitude. Her stories are generally full of southernisms and over the top characterizations and just to the edge of belief situations, which is what makes an Andrews read so much fun. But I found this book flat. The characters were predictable, their lives were predictable, the ending was predictable, even the hot romance with the hot guy was predictable. And where were the slices of Southern Americana I was waiting for?

The introduction of a fourth character added the suspense element to the plot, but I found the telling of Maryn's story redundant. First Andrews tells the reader about Maryn and her woes though an information dump, and then she retells her story through lengthy dialogue chunks several chapters later. It would have been far better if Andrews had never added Maryn's POV, but rather told her story through the other characters's interaction with her. Or even better if Maryn's story had been one of the three main character's story, and her character omitted.

The most distracting element of the read was Andrews head-hopping. I'd just get settled into one character's point of view when she'd cut to another character's point of view mid-scene, and then switch back before the scene was over, sometimes bouncing between three points of view in one scene.

I found myself wanting to skip ahead to the end to see what happens because the narrative seemed to drag on and on. This is the first time I've had to talk myself into finishing an Andrews. Would I recommend this book? Well.. If you've never read an Andrews, I'd suggest reading Hissy Fit or Little Bitty Lies first.

View all my reviews


Thirteen 5-7-5

Human Volcano

tiptoe around me
don’t be loud, I might erupt
Human volcano

Heartbreak Waterfall

raindrops form tears that
puddle around the remains
Heartbreak waterfall

Midnight Serenade

no one gets much sleep
dad saws logs while mom calls hogs
Symphony of Sound


doubt accumulates
unkind words dissolve spirit
fragile like snow flakes

Bitterness Erupts

negative feelings
break through the tranquil surface
Bitterness erupts

Spirit Abrasion

indulgence in hate
like sands blown across the heart
abrades the spirit

Mimosa Memories

rain of floating pink
covers childhood with laughter
Mimosa shower

Random Words

Random words flutter
Through the corners of my mind
Cling to my psyche

No Light

looking in or out
life viewed through a darkened veil
Finds no light of peace

Bitter Disease

a bitter disease
jealousy invades the heart
Stealthy virus

Consuming Avarice

grabbing with both hands
the poison that suckles life
Avarice consumes

Edge of Desire

flesh driven to the
edge of sensuality
Obsessed by desire

Consumed by Excess

pushing past enough
going beyond point of need
Consumed with excess

Read more Thursday Thirteen at http://thursday-13.com/



One foot here, the other there
Ups and downs of need, speed, greed
Centered over the pointed base of desire
Careful voices call, don’t run too far, too fast to the end of the beam
Desire nudges the counterweight of reason to the edge
Daring to peer into the nothingness void beyond
Trampling on seasoned knowledge, on sound judgments
Morsels of life gathered by wiser, older, been-there, done-thats
Niggling doubt of well-intentioned intentions looks over shoulder of caution
Rejection of discretion fueled by self-indulgence in consuming I wants
Grasp the impossible, push past the sensible, grab the brass ring with outstretched fingers
Impetuous extension, tilting the fragile balance
Merciless slide to the other side

Read more Theme Thursday at http://www.theme-thursday.com/


Behind the Mask

Facades pretensions posturing front
My vanity hides who I am
Tired of being someone else
Sweeping away debris
Letting go of pride
Pushing past pain
until I'm
left with


With One Smile

With one smile

The tender heart falls to pieces
at the sight of such a simple gesture,
gathering affection to the soul
like a friend once lost now found

Anger flees as if it can’t
remain in the presence
of that small flicker
of reconciliation

Hope wriggles into the
crevices of dissension,
nudging two wounded hearts
toward healing

Joy binds the fracture
as two spirits realize
what might have been disaster
was averted once more

With one smile

Gone Too Far

The whispering began shortly after the Smith sisters entered the room. With a woman’s instinct born of too many nights doing what she should have been too young to do, Jessie the oldest, pushed through the crush of spectators hovering around their old man. This was standard procedure. Jessie knew her lines without a script. She would scald him with words meant to cleanse the befuddled thinking from his whiskey-soaked brain. He would first try to charm her, then he’d invent some story to make his behavior seem reasonable. But there was no reason at the bottom of a bottle. He knew better than to confront their mother in his condition.

She held back a moment, stalling when she saw her mother’s ashen face as she stood on the edge of the crowd. Her mother stumbled slightly as a man, a stranger, slid an arm around her waist to steady her. Her father’s blood decorated the man’s shirtfront in streaks and spatters of crimson. Disgusted by the latest installment of their family drama, Jessie started to turn, but her sister Jackie, always oblivious, pushed on through, causing the gawkers to scatter in her wake. Jackie had a knack for never knowing the right thing to do in any given circumstance. Her actions weren’t reactions, but mere acting as if on cue.

She saw what she didn’t want to see over her sister’s shoulder. Their father lay sprawled on the dirty bar floor, shards of broken glass circling his head like a broken halo. Jackie’s mouth flew open to question her mother, but it closed hard like a trap door. Her mother was too drunk to focus on the scene in front of her, the pattern of her insatiable urges written all over her haggard face. When she saw Jackie’s horrified face, a happy-go-lucky greeting formed on her tongue, but local law enforcement took control of the tragedy before the habitual confrontation ensued. Jackie looked at the cop and looked at her father, then decided the act wasn’t worth the effort. This time her mother had no defense. This time she’d gone too far.

See more Sunday Whirl at http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/


Just Breathe

Breathing despite the struggle to live
Existing between heartbeats
As if all of life is wrapped up in
One moment
Is that all there is?

Is more too much to ask?
One life
Swelled to capacity as if
Activity defines being
Breathe for the sake of living

Read more Carry On Tuesday

All I get is six words?

I'm a writer. I should be able to do this, right? I can't sum my week up in just six words. But I'll try...

A wordy person sums up week.

Sent rewrite to the publisher yesterday.

Hoping and praying the edits satisfy.

Too many words fill my head.

Must write. Must edit. Must breathe.

I need another cup of caffeine.

Amended per Ron's suggestion. Now They're six by six.

See more Six Word Saturday at http://www.showmyface.com/


Snipdons of Toebridge, a serious poem

The challenge is to write a nonsense poem.

Oh, the gink of minhoppen stance
smailed by the glimpkin of stope.
Nothing can turn the pindrege of prance
when laken is cause for althenprope.

Except for a few snipdons of toebridge,
peemp and pimpkle will always tilldon.
Mending the fine cantilated mindge
of tankle and burple at oxilated mindon.

Read more Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Sliver of Light

Wedge of hope penetrates the blanket of
  all consuming uncertainty
Shadows of doubt curl into the corners of the heart
  with freak show fingers of insecurity
Internal roller coaster plunges trust into expectation
  on a downhill ride through the dark unknown

Read more Three Word Wednesday at http://www.threewordwednesday.com/


Review of The Help

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I struggled with the rating and review for The Help, a story about a white woman writing a book about oppressed domestic help in 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. Usually, the sign of a compelling read for me. But I never considered giving it a 5. I flip flopped between 1 and 3. The book bothered me (not its subject matter, but its execution), and I couldn’t rest until I’d untangled what kept pushing me toward the lower rating. I admit I settled on 3 simply because I couldn’t put the book down. I kept reading because I wanted to know what Celia’s secret was and what the heck Minny put in that pie. And I think that’s what bothered me. In a book whose underlying subject has so much more relevance than these details, the trivial captured my attention.

With so much about the book and the movie already discussed, I wasn’t sure I could add anything to the public discourse. As a white woman who grew up in the south in the sixties and came of age in the seventies, I don’t feel adequate to address the social issues underlying the debate. I was either too young, or too oblivious, or too sheltered to understand or recognize the racial tensions in our community during that era. Even going to a mixed race high school in the seventies, I had little personal experience with racial conflict. After reading the book, I have a difficult time believing Ms. Stockett has any more personal experience than I do. Not that a writer can’t write about things they know little about. Ordinarily, adequate research solves the lack of knowledge. I do, however, have a difficult time believing Ms. Stockett’s characters, both white and black, are anything more than caricatures or stereotypes.

If The Help is supposed to be a commentary on social injustice or an attempt at recording history through fiction or even a story about overcoming oppression, it fails miserably. If it’s supposed to be a entertaining, fun read, it fails just as much. For me to find the underlying premise of a work of fiction credible, especially one that attempts to address such a charged issue, my disbelief has to be suspended. I have to find the situations and characters, emotions and reactions, believable. The premise of the book has been minimalized by the devises Ms. Stockett chose to move her plot. The conclusion of the book breaks down. For the central characters, everything is wrapped up in a happily-ever-after ending. The way in which Hilly confirms Aibileen contributed to the book is weak. The use of the pie and its secret ingredient is disgusting and unbelievable. The naked man in Celia’s backyard adds little to the plot except some comic relief. The contrivance by which Hilly is silenced and the maids escape retaliation is thin. If this were a true story, recriminations would have been swift and harsh. The subject matter is too serious to be taken lightly.

There is hypocrisy in the way Ms. Stockett portrays her heroine. A lot has been written referring to the character of Skeeter Phelan as another white-savior protagonist. I really don’t see her as a savior. She reads more like a selfish little white girl, anxious to get away from a miserable life and an overbearing mother, whose social mores are skewed to say the least. How many white girls in the south endured similar pressures? Much pressure was placed on little white girls to find a husband. If we dared to desire a career, then we were pushed toward nursing or teaching, traditionally feminine roles. Did the desire to be a catalyst for social change prompt Skeeter to write about the oppression of black maids? No, I don’t think so. Ms. Stockett gave some lip service to this notion, but Skeeter’s true motives were revealed in her actions.

There is nothing heroic about pushing Aibileen and Minny to risk their lives so that Skeeter can get a job in New York in the publishing industry. Without their stories, Skeeter had no book. The social ostracism she endured was nothing compared to what might have happened to the maids. No one forced them to tell their stories. They made their choice despite the threat of great personal harm. Disappointment, anger, frustration, indignation pushed them to cross the lines drawn by powerful people. For me, the real heroine is Minny. She contributed to the book and urged her friends to do so as well at great risk to herself and her family. Then she included the one story that would bring the wrath of Hilly on her head, providing a buffer between Hilly and the other maids. Ms. Stockett’s choice of Skeeter for her main character minimized Minny’s larger role in the story. I think the premise would have benefited greatly if the story had been told strictly through Minny’s point of view.

The real story is the abuse of power by those in authority. There is more than one kind of oppression here. The white women over their black maids. Leroy over Minny. Charlotte over Skeeter. Elizabeth over Mae Mobley. Hilly over Celia. Hilly over the women of Jackson. By submerging her story in the hot topic of racism, Ms. Stockett diminished a more fundamental aspect of the human condition, one human being’s capacity to torment another human being simply because she (or he) can.

View all my reviews


Words Of My Soul

Where do the words come from
That express my life
My hope
The essence of me
That my soul spits out
Not sensible but making
oh so much sense

Not so much as joy and
Fleeting moments of happiness
Wrapped up in relationships and
Memories and
I don't want my life to be over

I want to live for the now
And for the future
And I want my words to flow
To tell stories of my existence
To dump the essence of my soul
With reckless abandon

Where do the words go
When they leave my mind
Do they frolic and
And cavort with intent
So that a piece of me
Makes oh so much
Sense to another 

Read More One Single Impressions
at http://www.onesingleimpression.blogspot.com


The Heart Of a Giant

Come fly with me,” Penelope said and nudged Tucker on his shoulder.

He stretched his long arms and plopped his size twenty feet on her coffee table. “Today’s a bad day, babe. I have thousands of things to do. The fence won’t rebuild itself you know. The stones are heavy, and there’s just me to lift them.”

“You could ask Toggle for help. He’s big and strong and—”

“Are you saying I’m not?” he asked, a hint of injured feeling in his tone.

“I’m not saying that at all,” she replied as she lifted a spare key to the gate from the hearth. Tuck was a sensitive giant.

The fluttering started again. Her breathing increased its fractured pace before it settled into a normal rhythm again. She had almost forgotten the large bump that weighed her abdomen down.

“Come on, Tuck,” she begged. “It won’t be too many days before the baby comes. Then I wont’ be Able to fly for a long, long time.” When he didn’t immediately object, hope began bubbling and bouncing in her tired soul. “You know I can’t fly without you,” she wheedled. “When you’re with me, I feel as if nothing in the world can stop me—”

“Okay, okay,” he said and rose to his full height of ten feet. The top of his head brushed the underside of their thatched roof. He smirked. “Grope around in the storage bin for my crash helmet.”

“Must you use the word grope? It sounds so… so….”

He lifted one eyebrow.

“And must you be so smirky about my flying abilities. I can’t help it if my steering gets a little… off sometimes. At least I can fly.”

“Do you want me to fly with you or not?” he grumbled.

Without another word, she found his crash helmet. Should she dare flash him an appreciative smile? She did and he smiled back. Tucker loved her in his own way. The heart of a giant is larger than most and filled with strange and unusual emotions. He didn't see her the way others saw her. He filtered his view of her through what resided in his oversized heart.

After he smashed the helmet onto his head, he took the key from her hand and led her out onto the open field in front of their small cottage.

“Hang on,” she said.

“I always do. I don’t want anything happening to the baby… or you.” With a boom and a shock they lifted from the ground, veering left, then right to clear a large tree directly in their flight path. He turned to her, squeezed her hand, and grinned. “We both know you couldn’t fly without me.”

It was true. Penelope’s power only stabilized when her hand was in his. Together they were invincible… if she didn’t plow them into a tree.

REad more Sunday Scribbling at http://sundayscribblings.blogspot.com/
REad more carry on tuesday at http://carryontuesdayprompt.blogspot.com/
REad more sunday whirl at http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/

Frolicking On the Edge Of Normal

Frolicking on the edge of different
Eccentricity or insanity
Shades of normalcy
Quirky personality or secret insecurity
Defined by cultural norm
Exotic or psychotic
Popular keepers of the social covenant
Who decides what’s normal

(c) 2012 Denise Moncrief

Read more Sunday Scribblings at http://sundayscribblings.blogspot.com/


Review of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would give this three and a half stars, leaning more to the three. The novel started slow, but picked up as the story progressed. Backstory bogged down the first chapter. Most of the narrative in Chapter One could have been woven into the remainder of the novel. There was a lot of narrative and little dialogue throughout the entire book, and the pacing seemed off at times. This is a story that screams for action sequences, fast paced and full of dialogue. The settings are shown to the reader in wonderful detail, artfully written, but the characters reactions in action sequences sometimes read choppy and forced.

This story concept has potential that was wasted. It's a relatively short book, and I can't help but wonder if some of the long passages of Jacob's inner thoughts were added to fluff the word count. I enjoyed the pictures. They added a unique twist to the novel.

As far as plot and characterization, I think the novel suffered from lack of credibility. Not of the situation, but of the characters actions and reactions. If I found myself in such a circumstance, I don't think I'd react as calmly as Jacob. This would be a harrowing situation for anyone, let alone someone of Jacob's seemingly weak character and immaturity. I expect stronger reactions to nightmares come to life.

I would have liked to get a better idea of the inner conflicts Emma might have felt. Her character is important to the story, but so little of her personality was shown to the reader. As was the case with all of the peculiar children. They are written more as caricatures of carnival freaks than humans with real emotions. Their personalities were one-dimentional at best.

Would I recommend this book? Maybe. If you don't have something more compelling waiting.

View all my reviews


Certainty of Change

Plum(b) lines drift off center,
little by little, creating changes in the level
with slight variations from normalcy

Joy, fine stitches in quality garments
gathering family, faith and friends
like expected blessings in a rich life

Loss, a course pattern of thick, bright
yarn woven into the texture of existence
like aberrations in bulky sweaters

Pain, a shovel that digs deep into the
meaning of survival until it hits a root
like a hard stop in an endless progression of days

Hope, words written in the wind
with bold lettersexpressing anticipation
of joy, loss, and pain in the certainty of change

(c) Denise Moncrief 2012

Read more One Single Impression at http://onesingleimpression.blogspot.com/

Read more Sunday Whirl at http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/

Read more Theme Thursday
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...