Poem: Find Your Joy

Find your joy
On the darkest days
When the days are short
And the nights are long

When it feels like
All you can do
Is wrong
Find your joy

I look to family
Soft, puppy nose
Colors of winter
I find my joy

In warmth like love
All wrapped up
Happiness is
My babe, the pup

Laughter in the kitchen
Favorite tv shows
Days off of work
When it snows

I find my joy
Shopping online
Sipping tea in the bookstore
On days I feel fine

In walks after work
With the dog and his toys
Long chats on the phone
These littlest of joys

Are bright tokens
of happiness
All stored away
I find my joy

On these darkest of days

Part 2: Endtown (a short story)

Happy Thursday! If you haven’t read Part 1 of this story, you can read it here. I am temporarily calling it “Endtown.” Here goes, enjoy!

OVER pancakes, sausage, and bacon they talked about the master’s plan.

“So, you want to board a train?” said Genevieve as she forked pancake into her mouth. She chewed slowly and then swallowed. “After we were told strictly by the master to leave it alone? It’s clearly dark territory.”

“Well, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” said her friend, mentor, and sometimes brother.

“He’s all-seeing, he’ll find out, Gaven.”

Gaven shrugged and started eating some bacon. “You know what I like about earth-food?”

“What’s that?” she said as she stared at the ice in the bottom of her empty glass.

“The grease.” He took another bite of bacon and crunched it loudly.

She just shook her head, but she couldn’t completely hide her smile. He kept her sane this friend, who looked like an older brother. Gaven was tan all over, with blue eyes and brown hair. He looked like the type of guys that girls her age would probably giggle over. But things weren’t always what they seemed. She wasn’t the little girl she appeared either.

She watched him as he set down his fork. “You didn’t tell me about the parents?” he said.

“They think I’m twelve,” she said with a grimace. “They treat me like I’m twelve.”

He sighed. “If you’d just repent…”

“I’ve said my sorrys, what more do you want from me?”

“This punishment won’t last forever, Gen.”

She stirred scrambled eggs around her plate. “That’s not what Harry said.”

“Harry is a wicked angel, Gen, you know that.” He gulped at his orange juice. “God, that’s good.”

“He said something about the master telling him it was true. How I was stuck like this. Forever.”

“Nothing is permanent in this world, you know that. It’s life and death and high calories.”

She stuck her tongue out at him.

“There,” he said as he saluted his empty juice glass at her. “Now you’re starting to act your age.”


An hour later, they shivered in the dark next to the train tracks. The place was lit by a single street light, and the usually brown-dirt looked a strange purple in the darkness. “What are we doing here?” she hissed, as she hugged herself against the early morning chill. “We are going to get ourselves killed.”

“You can’t get killed if you are already dead, and besides, we are invincible.” Gaven bounced up and down on his feet. He glanced at his watch. “It’s passed 3am, something’s wrong.”

Genvieve gazed down the tracks; it ran through trees and behind buildings, but the only thing she saw were the hills on the other side of town. She looked across the tracks at the tall, shadowy rundown factory. She could see the rust on the smoke stacks, the grime that spilled down their sides. Stretched out in front of the leftover rusty pipes and barrels were mounds of dirt, bulldozers and holes in the ground. Somebody was rebuilding something.

A train horn sounded in the darkness.

“So we are going to jump onto it as it comes by?” she said faintly as she waited for the front of it to appear.

“That’s the plan,” said Gaven.

Genevieve didn’t like this plan. She didn’t like anything about the dark just then, the way morning seemed so far away, the way the smell of the trees and dirt smelled sweet and heavy to her nose, like something was rotting.

She heard something snap. “Something’s here,” she hissed and turned around. But beyond the light that lit up the construction site and part of the tracks, she saw nothing. She heard the scuff of someone kicking a stone in the darkness, the sound of a muttered curse. A man’s voice.

“Who’s there?” she called out.

They saw the glow, first. Of eyes that snapped on, like someone had turned on a light switch. Glowing faint at first, and then closer, she gasped as two orange and fiery red eyes appeared. She thought she should be scared, but for some reason, Gen thought of campfires and felt like lying down and going to sleep.

“Knock it off, Gill,” said Gaven, “We know it’s you.”

“Oh, the master’s going to kill you,” said a deep voice, gleefully.

“Gillian!” cried Genevieve. She heard laughter and grunts as Gaven punched him in the gut. The glowing eyes disappeared. Not all of them knew how to use glamor.

The train appeared on the track, rushing closer, growing bigger. Just as Genvieve was about to open her mouth to let Gaven know, there was a rush of heat, and white light and the front of the train exploded in the darkness.

To be continued… (next Thursday!)

Author’s note:

These story posts have minimal edits; I thought I’d let the story take me where it wants to go, so the next words are as much of a surprise to me as it is to you, the reader. I do have a vague idea of what I thought I wanted this story to be, or want it to go, but I think I’m going to continue on like this and let the words take me.

I’ve read that some authors do that, they let the story take them where it needs to be and I think this will help me work on plot-building too, (which is something that I struggle with.)

So the result might be a big win or a big disaster. I can already see some things I need to work on, meh. 😉 Thanks for reading, and for the support!

Tune in next Thursday for more!

Happy writing everyone!

Climbing My Mountains, One Step at a Time

In case you didn’t notice…I had a bit of a rough time last night.

The weight of the world was on my shoulders and sometimes you can’t help it, you feel yourself sinking down into that deep, dark abyss.

Heavy and dreary skies at the beach at Wilmington, NC.

I watched my niece earlier today and as I was playing the “Be Patient” song to her on YouTube from the music machine, it had me thinking about the other songs my mother used to play for us as kids, and among them were the Psalty Song Book Praises.

Now, for those who don’t know who or what I’m talking about it was a series of music tapes created by a church group aimed to spread the love of God through kids songs.

And yes…I grew up in a very christian home and as I’m certainly not as innocent and trusting as I was back then…sometimes a message meant for kids, hits just as close to home when you are an adult.

And that is a song called “One Step at a Time.”

No matter what gets you down in life, you can climb your mountains… one step at a time.

Whether it be school, job, your kids, your homework…everything is easier to tackle little by little. I shouldn’t let that mountain-load of stress get me down…even if it does seem a heavy load to bear…

Rainbow in the sky over Binghamton University. Taken about April 2011.

Remembering that if I climb on top of it, look at the larger picture, one itty-bitty step at a time… “I’m gonna make it!”

And whether it be God, your parents, your husband or your best friend, no one is alone in their troubles…or you don’t have to be. A friend is there to lighten the load. Just like laughter is, just like love.

And loving something or someone other than yourself, other than your troubles…makes the world brighten.