“Choice” is a random best of anything…

Welcome back to “Best of Anything That Strikes Someone’s Fancy” series.   This is from 2012. It’s a pleasure to feature Writers Forum member Lindy Jones.

The Choice

by Lindy Jones

“I just can’t take it anymore,” the gambler swore and threw his cards down onto the table, “my mind’s just not into the game tonight.”

“Trouble at home, Eddie?” a shadowy man asked.

“I just can’t concentrate on the cards.  I keep picturing what’s she’s doing while I’m here.”

“Having trouble with the wife?” another man asked, taking a long swig out of a dark bottle.

“I know that while I’m here she’s with him — taking a long bath, putting on the lingerie I bought her, revving up to spend the evening with him.”  Eddie slammed the table with his fist, causing piles of chips to topple.

“Who is he?”

“You know the type, crisp white shirts, upper-crust kind of bloke.  While she’s with him, I don’t have a chance.  What could she see in me,” he said, indicating his holey t-shirt and faded baseball cap, “When she can have Mr. Fancy-pants with her every time I’ve got to hit the road.”

“Sounds like you need to teach them a lesson.  Show them who the real man is.”

“Right,” Eddie said, stumbling to his feet, lifting his last bottle, taking one last mouthful of liquid bravery.  He gave his friends a parting salute, as they wished him luck.  As he opened the bar door, the rain hit his face, awakening his senses.  He mounted his motorcycle, revved the engine, and accelerated off in a scattering of gravel.

On the way home, Eddie stopped by his old apartment, still half-filled with his belongings, since their marriage the month before.  He unlocked the gun case and grabbed his handgun.  He hoped the confrontation with Mr. Fancy-pants wouldn’t lead to violence, but he wanted to be prepared, just in case.

As Eddie pulled into the empty driveway, he noticed the house’s windows were dark, except for flickering lights coming from their bedroom window.  Sitting on the porch swing, he removed his boots and wet hat.  He eased open the screen door, letting it shut quietly behind him,  grateful he’d greased it just the week before. Muffled sounds came from the bedroom, quiet classical music, murmured voices.  He bit his lips in mute rage, containing the desire to punch a hole in the wall.  He tiptoed down the hallway, gun held high in his steady hands.  He hugged the bedroom door, laying his ear against the wood and heard a man confess, “I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”  The gentleman’s baritone voice sounded refined, and it caused Eddie’s blood to boil, and a thousand murderous thoughts to flood his brain.

Eddie threw open the door.  He glimpsed a scented candle, the wick sputtering in a puddle of melted wax, a half-open box of chocolates, two wrappers thrown on the floor and his wife lounging on their bed in her favorite lace lingerie, her long hair scattered on her pillow.  Her lashes fluttered open, and when she caught sight of her husband, wet with rain and holding a gun, she bolted straight up in bed.

“Alex, you’ve got to decide, is it going to be him or me?” Eddie snarled as he pointed the gun at the Regency-era gentleman on the television screen.

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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“Freedom Falls” into a random best of anything category…

Welcome back to “Best of Anything That Strikes Someone’s Fancy” series. This is from 2012.  To read more our Webmaster’s current trip to Uganda, please visit http://vigilantekindness.com/or visit her Vigilante Kindness page on Facebook. 

Freedom Falls

I’ve been home a little over a day now. To get home I passed through five airports and flew on four different airplanes before my hubs drove me the last leg home.

I flashed my passport through countless screenings and talked with several new friends on the planes home.  Each time someone discovered that I’d spent the month in Uganda, they’d ask two questions.

“What were you doing there???”  I’d tell them about helping 50 or so kids write a book about pivotal moments in their lives.  We’d have a brief conversation about the kids and their writing and without fail they’d ask the second question.

“So how is Uganda doing?”  This question was often times paired with a gulp and a brow wrinkled with equal parts fear and worry.

I loved this question.  It’s one of the reasons I took this journey to begin with.  I wanted to see how Uganda and her people were doing.  I wanted to hear and help record firsthand stories from her children.

The best way I can answer the question of how Uganda is doing is to tell you a story about two of Uganda’s waterfalls.

Murchison Falls

This is Murchison Falls.  It’s a mere seven meters wide and at one point in time the whole of the Nile had to pass through this narrow gap.  It is staggeringly beautiful, but make no mistake, Murchison Falls is a crashing, thundering force to be reckoned with.  Living beings who have the misfortune of falling into the crevice of the falls do not resurface again until the water has suffocated all of the life and breath out of them.

In 1962 Uganda was granted freedom from Britain.  This may surprise you because even Uganda’s most recent history is marred by dictatorial leaders and bloodthirsty warlords, not to mention the corruption that has taken root and entwined itself around the hearts of most of Uganda’s politicians.  But indeed on January 15, 1962 Uganda was declared an independent country.

Another surprising thing happened in Uganda in 1962.

It rained.

Hear me out, during the wet season, it rains a lot in Uganda.  Almost daily rainstorms roll in with the evening and pelt the earth until the morning sunlight glistens in the pools of rain atop the sodden earth.

In 1962 the rains didn’t roll in and out.  They rolled in and stayed, pouring themselves into the mighty Nile who rose to the challenge.  Her waters ascended like never before, sending creatures to higher ground lest the Nile drink them in.  Day and night the rain fell until the unimaginable happened.

Instead of squeezing herself through the oppressive rocks of Murchison Falls, the Nile burst over the land and a completely new waterfall was born.  It was like the whole country, from breathing men to teeming rivers, rose up and claimed freedom.  The second waterfall was called Gulu Falls.  Gulu is a Bagandan name meaning ‘God of the sky’.  However most locals call it by another name: Freedom Falls.

Gulu Falls (left) and Murchison Falls (right)

Each time I answered the question ‘How is Uganda doing?’ I thought of Gulu Falls and I thought of the students I worked with at Restore Leadership Academy.  After living through a time of thundering, crashing oppression, there is a generation of young Ugandans rising up.  They’re dedicated to justice over corruption, love instead of vengeance and healing for their scarred land.

How is Uganda doing?

She’s headed for a bright future because when young people have hearts full of love, minds dedicated to justice and a yearning for freedom, well, that’s a force that simply can’t be contained.  And when it spills out over the land, Uganda is going to find herself completely sodden with the kind of freedom that once caused the Nile to entwine herself over the land and move in a completely new direction.

Freedom Falls

A Note from the Webmaster: Writers Forum has the author’s permission to publish this work. The author retains full copyright ownership and protection. This work may not be reproduced or used in any way without the permission of the author.  If  you’re a member in good standing, please consider submitting a piece of your work to share.  Essays, poems, songs, articles and any other stand alone pieces are welcome.  To submit your piece, please e-mail it to webmaster, Alicia McCauley, at writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com.   Members featured here are guests in our Writers Forum house.  Treat them as such in the comments section and enjoy this beautiful thing we call writing.

Impressionistic random best of anything …

Welcome back to “Best of Anything That Strikes Someone’s Fancy” series.  This is from 2012. Please join us in welcoming Writers Forum member Felicity Dippery.

First Impressionist

by Felicity Dippery

I want to sit in the corner,
and let the details of how people look
be the sum total of who they are.
Because I don’t know what color your eyes are,
or if you write with your right hand or your left.Instead I know that your head turns away,
when you laugh, and in laughing, you speak,
and in speaking, the ghost of the boy you were
hums forth a slight impediment,
tongue at the back of your teeth.
You can’t help yourself.I know this without wanting to.
Three times today, I kept myself
from reaching out, and touching hands
with who you used to be.
Felicity Dippery writes under the name D. T. Kastn, and her work has appeared in a number of publications, including Danse Macabre, Every Day Poets, Arcane, and the upcoming anthology Darque Fantastique. Her comedy/time-travel novel, Tendence and Cavile, was recently published by Leeftail Press, and she blogs about writing and being mildly obsessive at dtkastn.wordpress.com.
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.  Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links.  Thank you!

“Loosing It,” a random best of anything…

Welcome back to “Best of Anything That Strikes Someone’s Fancy” series. This is from 2012. It’s a pleasure to feature former Writers Forum newsletter editor and wordsmith extraordinaire, Jennifer Phelps.

Loosing It

by Jennifer Phelps

These days everybody seems to be “loosing” things.  It’s as if the entire English-speaking world has forgotten how to spell the word “lose.”  This problem is most likely perpetuated by the fact that spell check doesn’t balk at “loose.”  It’s a word, just the wrong one in many instances.

I should probably consider the possibility that these are not typographical errors and that everyone has taken a detached, carefree attitude toward life.  Maybe they have simply started cutting things loose.  They loose their keys.  They loose their wallets.  They think that they may be “loosing it.”  I think of the lyrics of that old hit song by 38 Special: “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go.”  Perhaps everyone has taken this to be gospel and has started loosing things.  It’s a paradigm shift of epic proportions.

Spell check may be in part to blame for the prevalence of “loosing” (if one rejects my paradigm shift theory), but the “autocorrect” feature on smartphones, Facebook, etc., is often responsible for other, even more amusing incorrect word substitutions.  If I’m not careful about meticulous proofreading, these things will get by me.  What’s interesting is how “autocorrect” seems to choose bizarre words that are far less common than the one that was intended.  The other day someone mentioned the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, but autocorrect exchanged “wicket” for “wicked.”  This created a whole new villain.  Everyone taking part in the exchange (on Facebook) appreciated language, and we had fun speculating about this “Wicket Witch.” Someone suggested that perhaps she takes pleasure in (gasp) seeking out and ruining croquet games!

I recently saw the words imminent and eminent mixed up with entertaining results.  Substituting eminent for imminent, like this offender did, can be funny (an eminent disaster, for instance), but what if imminent were substituted for eminent?  Is an imminent leader one who is sure to be elected?  I have to wonder.

These sorts of errors happen in the context of technical language, too.  In my medical transcription work, I’ve seen people mix up discreet and discrete, transcribing in all seriousness a “discreet nodule in the axilla” or a “discreet lesion seen on CT scan.”  It is reassuring to think that although these findings may well represent some unfavorable pathology, they are at least being discreet about it.

It really isn’t nice of me to assume such a snobbish attitude toward those among us who aren’t acquainted with the finer nuances of the English language.  I have to remind myself often that it’s their language, too.  They are as entitled to misuse it as I am entitled to use it correctly, but I do take a sort of “wicket” satisfaction in these language blunders.  I am not “loosing” my manners, though; when an “imminent” member of the writing community has made the error, I try to hide my amusement whenever possible.  It always pays to be “discrete.”

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.  Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links.  Thank you!

Writers Forum’s Summer Time…

The Writers Forum summer is spent many ways.

Those members who are teachers don’t teach like they had; as teachers, they are always teaching, but not in a stuffy structured environment.

Some members big $$$ is in the non-winter months; summer is for working long hours.

Some members hardly notice the change, as they are writing, writing, writing; editing, editing, editing; revising, revising, revising.

Some travel, some stay at home; some venture out, some hibernate.

Regardless, they all remain members of the greatest not-for-profit known to mankind. Well, slight exaggeration, but you realize where this is heading: SOME THINGS SLIP THROUGH THE GEARS OF A WELL OILED MACHINE.

Didn’t see that coming, didja? It is true. The Website has been remiss in posting. Some say responsibility lies with the President who said at a Board Meeting, “No Problem! I will run a “Best of Member Monday” series. But procrastination won out.

So this is solemnly pledged; “There will be postings; maybe a “Best of Anything that strikes Someone’s Fancy” series.

Stay cool while that someone figures out why Word Press has shifted to a “Replace” mode rather than the usual “Insert” mode; don’t believe it is a keyboard issue.

PS. This could be in lieu of the monthly Message from the President.