Member Monday: Twelve Days of Writing by Larry Watters

Welcome back to Member Monday.  It’s a pleasure to feature a piece by our devoted Writers Forum President, Larry Watters.  Larry’s piece had us all in stitches at our December Read Around.  Welcome, Larry.

Twelve Days of Writing

 by Larry Watters

On the first day of writing, my Muse gave to me … blank paper on a desk.

On the second day of writing, my Muse gave to me … 2 paper weights, blank paper on a desk, and permission to shorten this by not repeating.

On the third day of writing, my Muse gave to me … 3 cups of coffee.

On the fourth day of writing, my Muse gave to me … 4 potty breaks and further permission to shorten this even more.
Ergo:

… 5 pink erasers

… 6 broken pencils

… 7 pens a-leaking

… 8 gendered pronoun mistakes

… 9 oft-over-done phrases

… 10 plots a-twisting

… 11 reject letters

and finally

… 12 awards for Best Book of the Century!!!

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

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Young Writers Contest First Place Winner: David Smith

We’re back for our final week featuring young authors.  David Smith won first place in the second Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine.  The theme of the contest was “The Gift”.  Congratulations to all of our young writers and welcome, David!

The Gift

by David Smith

David SmithOnly seven more days until Christmas!  Mark could not wait!  Christmas was his favorite holiday and his list this year was very long.  He wanted: a Nintendo 3DS, a PlayStation 2, a bunch of Lego sets, a few movies, four posters, a Giants jersey, and a lot more!  When he went to school all the talk was about toys, toys, and more toys.  On contrast, at church the preacher said Christmas was about the day Jesus was born.  When Mark was asleep he heard a tiny voice saying, “Mark, Christmas is not about toys or getting, it’s about giving.”  The next day Mark thought about his dreams the night before and wondered what it all meant.  Finally, he pushed it to the far corners of his mind and got ready for school.

Mark was taking a math test when the principal called him to the office.  His parents were waiting for him, they had some bad news.  They told him that after they had taken him to school they left the stove on after making breakfast and the curtains over the stove caught on fire and burned the house down.  Mark was shocked!  His parents said that they were going to the homeless shelter.

Each day everyone helped out to keep the shelter clean and prepare food.  Everyone did their part.  Every day the preacher came by and told the true story about Christmas.  Mark knew that there would be no Christmas gifts this year, and that was okay.  He had his family and a warm bed to sleep in.  It was a gift just to be at the shelter with the nice people who gave every day to run it.  Mark remembered the weird dream he had.  Now he understood what Christmas was about.  It was about giving.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Young Writers Contest Second Place Winner: Caitlyn Harney

We’re back for a second week to feature another piece by a local young writer.  Caitlyn Harney tied for second place in the second Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine.  The other second place piece was featured last Monday and the first place piece will be featured next Monday.  The theme of the contest was “The Gift”.  Congratulations to our three young writers and welcome, Caitlyn!

Just Keep Loving

by Caitlyn Harney

Caitlyn HarneyEaster 2011 was probably the most heartbreaking day of my life. It was the day my dog, Bodee, passed away. My parents got him before me, so he was with me for my whole life. For a while after that, my parents and I thought we would never get another dog. Well, we changed our minds this year. I wanted a puppy for my birthday, so my dad started looking.

One Friday night, my parents told me that the next day we would go to PetSmart and look at the puppies there. My dad had read online that Pets without Partners, a non-profit rescue adoption agency, was showcasing a litter of puppies they had received. There were about seven in the litter, and they were half Boxer, half Labrador Retriever.

On Saturday I excitedly waited with my parents at PetSmart for the litter to arrive. Soon, the store was filled with the yelping and howling of puppies. My dad told me to watch them in the kennels to observe their demeanor. As I surveyed the puppies in the kennels, my eyes rested on one puppy in particular. She was calmly sitting in the back of the kennel, not seeming to care that her siblings were nipping at her.

My dad asked the employee if we could hold her. When the employee placed the puppy in my arms (we found out the puppy’s name was Dorie, which means “gift”), I just knew that this was our puppy. I told my parents that I wanted her. Now, Dorie loves to snuggle with me anywhere, anytime.

As far as gifts go, I would say that Dorie is the greatest gift ever. After Bodee died, she reminded me that no matter what happens in life, just keep loving.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Young Writers Contest Second Place Winner: Kendall Jones

We’re breaking away from our typical Member Monday to feature a piece by local young writer, Kendall Jones.  Kendall tied for second place in the second Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine.  The other second place piece and the first place piece will be featured the next two Mondays.  The theme of the contest was “The Gift”.  Congratulations to our three young writers and welcome, Kendall!

The Gift

by Kendall Jones

kendalljonesI guess I’ve always been lucky.  I’ve found over ten four-leaf clovers and I’m only ten.  The most special four-leaf clover though was my first one.  It all started when my mom brought me to one of my favorite places: the park. I was quite young then and full of energy.  It was then that I saw it, a perfect four-leaf clover alone (with no grass around) in a big brown lump of dirt.  I picked it and admired all the detail in each leaf.  In the car I thought of what I could wish for.  When we got home, I had decided.  I wished for magic beans.  For six long months I tried to forget about my wish, hoping that if I could forget about it, that it would come true.

One Christmas I will never forget is when I got a box with strange shaped beans that tasted sugary and fruity.  The beans were from the L.G. also known as the Leprechaun Guild, according to the note that came with the box.  In the note, it said that it took them so long to find the beans that they sent them with Santa to my house.  I ate all the beans except two.  I planted them both in the ground and the next day there were two giant lollipops sticking out of the ground, the same size as my face.  I gave one to my sister but in the end neither of us ate a lot.  There were ants.  This has been one of my greatest memories and I’ve felt lucky ever since I received the gift.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Member Monday: Cigarettes in the Volkswagen by Jennifer Phelps

IMG_20130719_162041Welcome back to Member Monday.  The Writers Forum board sends our sincerest congratulations to Writers Forum member Jennifer Phelps, who was recently published in the 2013 issue of the Santa Fe Literary Review.  The review selected her poem Cigarettes in the Volkswagen.

Cigarettes in the Volkswagen

by Jennifer Phelps

She found them between the front seats

of her mother’s old VW bug:

two dry husks of cigarettes, long forgotten,

discovered as she dutifully detailed the car –

a teenager’s task – cramming the vacuum

crevice tool into that awkward abyss,

sucking up tarnished pennies and old French fries,

the Volkswagen an accidental time capsule,

the Viceroys evidence of the free spirit

her mother was once, before she became wife,

Mom, perfectionist, tyrant –

maybe even before she became unhappy.

Back then she was just a kid selling records

at the music store on Fourth Street,

listening to Janis Joplin wail and sob on LP,

staying up late, talking and smoking,

making plans as if her ideals could never

be bruised with the blunt force of disappointment,

as if she would never assume

the heavy veil of responsibility,

as if the day would never come when she could love

her unborn daughter enough

to quit for good the carefree nicotine habit,

as if that daughter would never grow up to write

reminiscent poetry labeling her mother tyrannical, unhappy;

the same daughter who took a moment’s pause

from her cleaning chore to pick up those cigarettes –

those tattered testimonials to a long-forgotten innocence –

touching them briefly to her lips in a kiss

before reluctantly letting them go.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!