Member Monday: Time, by Larry Solberg

By Larry Solberg

EPSON MFP image

 

 


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Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction 9.) Poetry

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Member Monday: Enrique, by George Parker

photo of author
By George T. Parker

Today I am sharing a poem I recently wrote. I wrote it in response to a prompt from In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop, by Steve Kowit.

You can listen to me read the poem at our new Writers Forum Podcast.

Enrique

   One of my favorite people

   For a couple of high school years.

Goofy.

Happy.

   Blasts of Faux Chinese.

He built model planes, too.

   Not well,

      As told by the

         Brush strokes in the glossy paint

         And upside down American star and bar.

But his got put on display

   In the school library.

      Mine did not.

         Why?

      Because he had the chutzpah to ask.

Sometimes high school insult humor

   Goes too far.

One day I went too far with Enrique.

After class, in the hall

   He grabbed my shirt front

   And shoved me against a locker.

He was rightfully pissed

   And I knew it.

So I didn’t react.

   I didn’t push back.

      We didn’t fight.

We went our separate ways

   But things were never

      The same

         After.

Enrique joined the Marines.

One day I heard about

   A car bomb in Beirut.

241 dead American servicemen.

   220 of them Marines.

Holy shit.

   Enrique.

I called everyone I knew who

   Might still be in touch

      With Enrique.

Nobody heard anything.

Nobody knew anything.

I saw lists of names,

   Partial lists.

I never saw Enrique’s name.

   That was a good thing.

Mostly.

As years passed by

   And I encountered other

      Round Lakeoids

One of my questions was always,

   “Have you heard anything about

      Enrique?”

Nobody had ever heard anything.

   That was a good thing.

Mostly.

And then…

Facebook

Eventually

   After years of finding

      Old friends and classmates,

There he is.

Enrique.

Safe. Successful.

   Selling cars in Chicago-land.

It doesn’t surprise me

   That Enrique is good at

      Selling cars.

Today we remain

   ‘Acquaintances’

      More than ‘friends.’

But learning that

   Enrique is okay

Was one of the joys

   Of my

      Life.

George T. Parker ©2021

Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. This is only the beginning of the sorts of things we can do with a podcast for Writers Forum. If you are a Writers Forum member, you can head over to a discussion with other Writers Forum members at the private Facebook group Redding Writers Forum.

I will be talking about Poet Laureates, and in particular, California’s Poet Laureate on next week’s podcast.

Thanks, and have a great day!

Geo.


Writers Forum is open to submissions for the blog or the newsletter.

Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction 9.) Poetry

Please submit copy to the editor at writersforumeditor@gmail.com . Electronic submissions only. Microsoft Word format, with the .docx file extension, is preferred but any compatible format is acceptable. The staff reserves the right to perform minor copy editing in the interest of the website’s style and space.

Writers Forum Podcast

Mic and Zoom Crop

Today we launched a new tool for Writers Forum: Writers Forum Podcast.

Our web-hosting site, WordPress, recently formed a partnership with the free podcast-hosting website, Anchor. This is going to make it easy to add a dimension to our on-line presence. In addition to the text and visual elements of our blog, we can now add audio.

Our pilot episode is a simple introduction less than two minutes long. The plan is to post news, upcoming events, interviews, and possibly readings in the future.

Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. What kinds of topics would you like to hear in a Writers Forum podcast?

Thanks, and have a great day!

 

Geo.


Writers Forum is open to submissions for the blog or the newsletter.

Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction 9.) Poetry

Please submit copy to the editor at writersforumeditor@gmail.com . Electronic submissions only. Microsoft Word format, with the .docx file extension, is preferred but any compatible format is acceptable. The staff reserves the right to perform minor copy editing in the interest of the website’s style and space.

Member Monday: The Three Trail Workers, by George T. Parker

The Three Trail Workers

By George T. Parker

Dedicated to Sam Indigo

Once upon a time, a Trail Worker was hiking through a forest in the Sierras. She was hiking fast, because there was Someplace She Needed to Be. As she hiked, she came across a foot bridge. The foot bridge crossed a creek in a very deep, rocky canyon. She was in a hurry, so she did not hesitate to step out onto the narrow wooden bridge.

When she was almost all of the way across, a loud voice boomed from under the bridge.

“Who’s that trip-trapping on my bridge?” The deep heavy, growly voice echoed up and down the canyon.

The Trail Worker froze as the largest bear she had ever seen climbed out from under the bridge.

“Give me your food!” The Bear said.

“Uh…well…I don’t…”

“Don’t lie,” The Bear said. “I can smell the food in your pack. Give it up!”

The Trail Worker’s shoulders sagged. She knew there was only one way out of this. She shrugged out of her day pack and opened it. She reached inside and pulled out a dirty white sack. She handed it to The Bear. The Bear looked inside.

“Trail mix?”

The Trail Worker nodded.

“That’s it?”

The Trail Worker nodded.

“Nuts and berries?”

“Well…raisins…actually.”

The Bear waved his paw at the forest surrounding them. “I can get all of the nuts and berries I want out there. I was expecting real food out of you.”

“Sorry.”

“Maybe I should eat you.”

“Oh, no, Mister Bear! You don’t want to eat me. That would ruin your appetite for the goodies I’m sure my supervisor will be bringing along soon.”

The Bear considered, and let the Trail Worker go. The Bear climbed back under the bridge and took a nap.

Soon, the Trail Crew Supervisor appeared on the trail. He was hiking fast, because there was Someplace He Needed to Be. He started across the bridge, but before he got all the way across, a loud voice boomed from under the bridge.

“Who’s that trip-trapping on my bridge?” The deep heavy, growly voice echoed up and down the canyon.

The Supervisor froze as the largest bear he had ever seen climbed out from under the bridge.

“Give me your food!” The Bear said.

“Well…I don’t…uh…”

“Don’t lie,” The Bear said. “I can smell the food in your pack. Give it up!”

The Supervisor dug around in his pack and handed The Bear a dingy white sack. The Bear took the sack and dumped it onto the ground.

A package of ramen and two energy bars fell out.

The Bear looked up at The Supervisor.

“Really?”

“Hey! Our resupply helicopter got diverted to a medical emergency. We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for food.”

“Maybe I should eat you.”

“Oh, no, Mister Bear! You don’t want to eat me. That would ruin your appetite for our sponsor. They should be along any time, and they are just hiking in from the front country. I’m sure they will be loaded with goodies!”

The Bear considered and let The Supervisor go. Then The Bear climbed back under the bridge and took a nap.

The Sponsor was indeed hiking in from the front country. They were hiking fast, because there was Someplace They Needed to Be. It was nearing mid-day, and they were thinking about the fat turkey sandwich, dripping with mayo, and topped with a juicy tomato that they were looking forward to for lunch.

They reached the wooden foot bridge and started across. A loud voice boomed from under the bridge.

“Who’s that trip-trapping across my bridge?” the deep, heavy, growly voice boomed up and down the canyon.

The Sponsor paused as a huge bear climbed out from under the bridge. It wasn’t the biggest bear they had seen, or the fiercest, but it was good-sized.

“Give me your food!” the bear said.

“I haven’t got any.”

“Don’t lie. I can smell…”

The Bear paused as he sniffed the air. He couldn’t smell any food!

“This is strange,” said The Bear. “You’re just hiking in from the front country, right?”

“Yes.”

“You guys always have food.”

“I ate before I came. I haven’t got anything with me.”

The Bear snorted and woofed. He stomped his front feet.

“Prove it,” The Bear said.

The Sponsor dumped their daypack out onto the ground. The bear pawed through the gear. There was no food that he could see or smell.

“Maybe I should just eat you.”

“Oh, no, Mister Bar. You don’t want to eat me. That would spoil your appetite for the Junior Woodchucks group that is camped in the next canyon. They have lots of food.”

The Bear considered, and then headed up the mountain to get over to the next canyon.

The Sponsor quickly gathered their gear from the ground and stuffed it back into their daypack. Especially the tightly sealed bear-proof food canister holding a fat turkey sandwich, dripping with mayo, and topped with a juicy tomato. Then they hurried up the trail to be far away by the time The Bear found out there was no Junior Woodchuck group camped in the next canyon.

THE END


Writers Forum is open to submissions for the blog or the e-newsletter.

Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction. 9.) Poetry.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Fusty; by Dave Smith

 

The Good, The Bad, and The Fusty

by Dave Smith

When I was young my mom used to admonish me, “if you got nothin good to say just keep your damn mouth shut.” (Mom was very direct.)

I liked to argue with her so I’d come back with a comment resembling, “Well what if there was something bad going to happen and hurt someone if I didn’t tell about a bad thing?” To which—after a three-second hitch and an evil eye—she’d snap, “Go outside and play and stop bothering me.”

The Good: I found another website for writers that I think is super-duper. It’s hilotutor.com . Obviously the young lady who is in charge lives in Hawaii, and she tutors. She loves words, and on her site, in the archives, she delves deep into their meanings and uses. Kinda like the soul I mentioned before.

If you want to really, really understand words, check it out. Now, it isn’t a dictionary, so the number of entries is limited, but what’s there is awesome, and you’ll find a bunch more stuff I’m going to let you discover on your own. Click on “…& archived issues.”

The Bad: I sometimes fall for 20% off specials on writer’s books, and I definitely buy when I see 40% markdowns. This results in my having a few duds on my shelf. Against my mother’s advice, and at the risk of offending at least one of you, here’s one I suggest you don’t spend your money on (at least not until maybe 80% off): Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.

Before you throw those tomatoes, let me explain. The title should have told me this wasn’t the book for me. That’s right, it’s a GD textbook; one you should have only if in school you wore bowties and floods and your best friend was a calculator.

Each topic in the tome has seven subtopics which have three subheadings, all of which have five important bullets, every one referring to another chapter with more related topics. You can’t ace the test (write a good story) unless you have a photographic memory.

It hurt my head!

I don’t want to engineer things. If I did, I would work for LEGO designing new gubbins. I just want to write. Can you help me do that without abusing my mental faculties?

If you want to test my hypothesis, you can borrow my copy—no, you can have my copy. Caveat: you can always find a tidbit, even in the worst books, so feel free to contact my customer complaint department.

The Fusty: don’t you just love that word? I do. In addition to tickling the tongue and making you giggle when you say it, it’s mostly self-explanatory. Even if you don’t have a dictionary, or if you’ve never seen the word before, you could probably use it in a sentence. It’s a fun word, don’t you think? I can tell you’re going to use it soon; maybe on Thanksgiving to describe the bathroom after Uncle Cletus uses it.

Now try this on for size: sesquipedalian. Sure, it’s long, but even if it were short would you have a clue what it meant? Me neither. I have to look it up every time I see it, which is too often. It’s a fusty word.

Your choice—fusty or sesq-u-i … whatever.

I’m on my way out to play.


Writers Forum is open to submissions for the blog or the e-newsletter.

Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction. 9.) Poetry.

Please submit copy to the editor at writersforumeditor@gmail.com . Electronic submissions only. Microsoft Word format, with the .docx file extension, is preferred but any compatible format is acceptable. The staff reserves the right to perform minor copy editing in the interest of the website’s style and space.