Posted in Writing Prompts

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #282- The Weight of Time

It is entirely your choice to use either one or both of the images as prompts.
I chose the image below.

Prudence became momentarily frantic while searching for her cellphone. She needed to know the time!
How long had she been ambling along the serene, wooded path?
What time IS it?!
“Okay Prudy, breathe…just breathe.”

Moments ago, she’d watched chipmunks scurrying in and out of a tree trunk. But for “How long?” She still grasped a little of a blissful, weightless, freedom. She hadn’t known the time and, for once, didn’t care. But now, Prudence needed to know!
She’d been a slave to time since… well, forever. Forever was indisputably a long time and “NOW” couldn’t work without the anchor of a clock. Everything needed a time stamp- a before and after. It was the lifeline and essential compass that sustained her.

A distant voice came out of nowhere, just in time.
“Prudence? Prudence, open your eyes.”
A white light made her wince as her eyelids separated.
The first thing she was able to focus on was a large analog clock with a bright red second hand on the recovery room wall.
Her heartrate immediately slowed to the rhythm of that ticking time and she relaxed.
Next, that same nurse’s voice announced from somewhere behind her, “You’ll need to take some time off to fully recover, Prudy. Maybe somewhere where you can stroll in the woods?”

While drawing in a jagged breath in order to scream, Prudence fainted.

Posted in Writing Prompts

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #281- Life Decisions

Let’s see how you choose to open and decode this message 🙂

Marj was in a dark dilemma.
She’d done so much crying that her eyes were nearly swollen shut.
What would she tell her parents when they returned from their overseas trip in ten days?!
He was 7 years older than she at 24, and her “first”, but he’d romanced her in a way that made her feel completely safe and valued. What a naive child she was! Now, that was all a tortuous month ago and he had since vanished.
The early pregnancy test had come back positive this morning and she now found herself rummaging in the attic for luggage to run away… or something else.
Another rush of panic made her fall to her knees praying to God for direction and it was then she spied the envelope between the rafters.
It was stiff-almost crispy- and it was sealed with wax like was done in the ‘olden days’.
When she turned it over, the three bold words on the other side made her audibly gasp.


The letter must have belonged to her great-grandmother whose name she had always worn proudly. Marj had heard that she had raised her grandmother all on her own after a “tragic accident” of some kind had claimed her first husband. Later on, when Grandma was 10, she’d married Grandma’s stepdad -the man she knew as Grandpa-and had twin sons.

Marj waivered a bit then opened the note:

My Dear Marjorie,
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I did love you! Never forget that. We were impulsive kids full of lust and got carried off in a few passionate moments. Now I hear you’re “in trouble”.
I know a doctor in Memphis who deals with unmarried girls who are “in the family way” and sets things right. I’ll help you pay for travel, if you wish. Do what’s right.

As Ever,

“Great-grandmother Marjorie had never opened this letter. She probably knew what it was going to ask her to do. And I’m here because she chose not to do it. I hear you, God!.”

Marj placed the letter back, a little more carefully hidden, between the floorboards. Straightened her posture and went back to her room to look online for a job, and possibly later on, research ‘baby names’.

Posted in Writing Prompts

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #178-Conscience Before Comfort

I’ve chosen a few unusual words to serve as a fillip to your imagination.


Adjective: hating endings; someone who prolongs saying goodbye for as long as possible.


Adjective: to do something with soul, passion, or love. 


Verb: to turn into a star. 


Noun: a person who reads in bed.


Adjective: whirling around the universe. 

It may be a good idea to invent a word of your own on similar lines and use it in your piece. Mention the word that you have chosen as a prompt.

Or you could choose to write something on etymology or how authors choose their language to suit the theme.
I chose to make up my own word for this challenge.
Survoward – A person who perpetuates falsehoods in order to preserve his/her standard of living, to feel accepted by society, or to ensure their own personal safety.

Bonnie was told to introduce gender fluidity to her Kindergarten class. It was part of the new curriculum. There was also an implied urgency to this morning’s memo.
She’d been thrilled to get the teaching position and excited to engage with her favorite age group of kids. Her generous starting pay would mean she’d finally be able to save AND pay off her college debt simultaneously.
Bonnie was instructed to use this book with kid friendly illustrations:

When she read the book, her gut bothered her. Bonnie could see her 4 1/2-year-old niece who’d be a kindergardener next school year. Her innocence was always the greatest part of playing with her. She’d never even think about introducing this topic to her!

Suddenly, Bonnie had a flashback to her ‘tomboy’ period at age 15. She had tucked back her hair while staring in the bathroom mirror and imagined herself as a boy. Would she had been a handsome boy instead of a rather plain girl? That was her momentary question at the time. She went easily from there to excelling on her softball team and forgot the question as quickly as it had occurred to her. What if? What if someone had told her to BE a boy?
Bonnie shuddered while recalling a recent video made by a child psychologist. The psychologist had said that she’d had only one child with gender dysphoria in her entire 20 years of practice until 2018. Her much older colleagues had had none in their longer practices. But starting in 2018, she had gotten a progressively larger gender confused clientele. So many that she could not in clear conscience say that this change was organic. It was, in her opinion, a conditioned response. It was real in the genuine suffering but there was ‘something’ environmental obviously inspiring it.

On the next school day, Bonnie held back tears and told her kids she had been hired someplace new. Then she handed in her resignation letter. She had chosen not to be a survoward by choosing her human dignity and conscience over her financial comfort. Her financial situation ultimately did become difficult again, but she also found that she was sleeping better than she had in a while.

Posted in Writing Prompts

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #277-What Happened to Better Days?

Our challenge was to choose among an assortment of quotes for writing inspiration. I chose the one below.

“There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person’s life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn’t take one step, then find yourself in a completely new location. You first took a little step off the path to avoid some rocks. For a while, you walked alongside the path, but then you wandered out a little way to step on softer soil. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. Finally, you found yourself in the wrong city, wondering why the signs on the roadway hadn’t led you better.”
― Brandon Sanderson, The Emperor’s Soul

Guilda turned off the radio and sighed. When, or more importantly how, had the World gotten turned upside down?
Was she just too old to understand what progress looked like? Were her childhood memories tainted by innocence?

She closed her eyes and rocked with her hands in her lap. It felt like a curse that she remembered going straight home from school where her mother was waiting with a snack and then quickly changing out of school clothes to play clothes. She always did her homework first thing then ran outdoors to play until called for supper.
Her neighborhood had at least a dozen kids who did the same. Bicycles zoomed and games of ‘Kick the Can’ sprung up on every sunny day. Nobody worried about what they wore or being liked or lonely. If she wanted a cool drink, her neighbors- every single one of them- had an adult at home who would oblige her. Dogs roamed freely and never needed to go to the vet. And no one felt the need to lock their doors, ever.

The drift away from what seemed an ideal time period had happened slowly. Families started having fewer children. Mothers needed to work away from home, babies were sent daily to day care centers, and never-before-heard-of ailments and cancers started killing dogs who routinely had often lived to 19 or 20 years old. Step by step changes came. It didn’t feel much like progress to Guilda, though.

Then she pondered if anyone could have magically changed the course that had led to this present. If she had had a crystal ball, which things would she have kept and which she would have left alone? There had seemed a clearly marked path forward, once upon a time… grow up, finish school, get married, raise children, etc., but now? No wonder people say that they feel lost, lonely, and purposeless today. All former paths have become enveloped in fogs. The fogs have names too, “Nihilism”, “Self-Centeredness”, and “Greed”.

She wasn’t eager to leave this world but wondered if, perhaps, it would be for the better for her to fade away just like those better times. People can’t miss things that they never have known were possible and she would no longer have moments of regret that those former days are forever gone.

Posted in Writing Prompts

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #275-Just Desserts

We have a picture prompt this week.

Finding themselves lost in the forest for a week, the desperately hungry and tired wanderers-possibly the only two survivors of a world-wide apocalypse- searched for sustenance.
Ralph and Jeanette were complete strangers saved by happenstance… or maybe divine intervention? They’d briefly heard the sirens when everything was engulfed in a blinding white light. BOOM!
However they’d gotten to the pristine natural setting in what seemed to be an enchanted forest, they were confident they’d never know. All they knew, after patting themselves from head-to-toe was that they each were uninjured and alone.
But shortly after their effervescent celebration of life, Ralph’s realization of their grim chances for long-term survival, made him determined and sober.
Jeanette was still dressed in designer clothes and decorated in lavish jewelry while Ralph luckily wore his many-pocketed work overalls that held a lighter and a few cutting tools.
He was able to keep them warm and create a shelter, but they’d seen no animals and eaten only a few sour berries since they’d gotten there. When Ralph finally fell to his knees and prayed, Jeanette, although weak, had the strength to mock him.

“Aww geez. You’re going to ‘wish’ for food now! Your God destroyed the world and you’re happy to praise him?”

“Jeanette, he knows our hearts and gives us our just rewards. Do you hear that?! Birds!”

They raced to the nearby clearing where a freshly dead small bird lay. A source of life sustaining protein at the ready.
Ralph offered it to Jeanette, but she brushed it off.

“Okay, I’ll play. Hey God, what I need is a large egg! Work your mumbo jumbo and bring me my heart’s desire! I’m starving!”
And, after a brief search, what she found in the nearby bushes, made her collapse to the ground and sob.

Posted in In my humble opinion...

Reena’s Xploration Challenge- To My Granddaughters

I took the image and suggested prompt below and turned it on its head. As my blog’s primary purpose is to offer my views to my granddaughters, my interest is in their futures as truly strong women who believe in themselves. I would fail them if I suggested a vantage point, that I completely disagree with that suggests they should feel aggrieved or behave like entitled ‘victims’ of imaginary forces SO some may be offended. Hey… so be it.

The picture above seeks to capture your heart,
On terms now used more often to split us apart.
Women are special in their own beautiful design.
Their different abilities from men work just fine.
Equity tells us we need the same results,
It’s our diversity and efforts that term truly insults.
Our sizes and shapes don’t need to conform.
In Nature uneven potential’s the norm.
If you lift up a frog, it won’t learn to fly
Because all his value is swimming, that’s why.
Our potential is honored by being treated the same,
Not by deciding who gets a boost in the game.
Equality tries to promote sunny days
For everyone hoping to shine their own ways
But well-meaning people take an odd pride,
Thinking working achievements require a ‘ride’.
When fudging one’s gifts or in granting a perk,
Equity values no claim to your own work.
You’re not entitled to be all the same height.
It’s your equal chance to grow that’s your right.
The big no-brainer is we aren’t all the same.
Embrace your own talents for winning your game.
Equity enforces shortcuts chosen for some they enhance.
Equality promises you’ll all get a fair chance.