Writing Friends & Challenges

Sometimes, I like to write and let my thoughts meander through my mind while my fingers tap away, recording every scent, memory, feeling which I conjure. It is like unleashing my dog and letting him run wild in an open field, exploring all the sites and smells, and eventually, the water.

Some days though, I need a little outside inspiration choosing a topic, so, I typically turn to The Daily Prompt, which unfortunately, has been falling out of favor with many of its long-standing authors, running short of quality prompts.

I began looking for and have found other communities who try to mimic what Word Press first started with its different prompts and challenges, but it seems to me that many of these wannabes have turned into cliques which can be… I must say no more, I have been on a war path lately and do not want to say anything more about that.

However, the whole point of this post is to gather a listing of smart, established, non-prejudicial communities where bloggers can join in, feel welcomed and pat each other on the backs, even if it’s just to say “Hi!”  
Here is the beginning of my list:

CEE’S PHOTOGRAPHY, is where I go for great fun with participating in her four different photography challenges – B&W, Oddball, Which Way, and Fun.

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS - Every Friday authors from around the world gather here to share their 100-words and offer constructive crit and encouragement to each other. This creates a wonderful opportunity for free reading of very fresh fiction! Readers are encouraged to comment as well.

As always a special thanks to Madison Woods for founding this terrific group.

Watch for the new photo prompt on my main page every Wednesday. Hope to see you there.

I know I have seen many bloggers whom I follow participating in other writing challenges, but, I did not bookmark them. If you have any writing groups which you enjoy, please comment below so I may add them.


Already Aware


As “Pinktober” is nauseously approaching, I am so happy to see some of us breast cancer survivors tell it like it REALLY is!! Britt tells it right:

Originally posted on Blooms and Bubbles:

Is there some box we can check when filing our taxes or punching our ballots or mailing in the census? Could we somehow alert the Universe that WE ARE ALREADY AWARE? I dare you to find a single (lucky) person remaining on the planet whose life has been entirely untouched by breast cancer. But apparently there are thousands of people who think something this wretched needs to exist for our benefit.

Look at me! I'm like, sorta bald, you know, just for today. AWARENESS!

Look at me! I’m like, sorta bald, you know, just for today. AWARENESS!

I cannot tell you how badly I want to rip this off of her head. What’s next? Faux colostomy bags for Anal Cancer?

Your fundraising starter pack includes t-shirt with a detachable Velcro “bag” with realistic, watery poo! Customize your stoma to honor a loved one: “I’m diverting my colon today for Uncle Harry!”

I hope everyone would agree this would be in poor, poor taste…

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Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Candid Photography – B&W Beauty!

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Candid Photography

Here is my entry in Cee’s B&W Challenge: Candid Photography. My Uncle took this photograph of his sister somewhere, downtown Chicago back in the 1940’s. Something tells me that she knew he was photographing her, she always was a bit of a “ham.”




Other Entries:
Richard Treehouse
Something Fishy
Ritva’s Art
Mittened Hands
Now At Home
Art Korppi
Temasek Garden
RJ Bailey
Waiting Is: The Unposed

Forever this Way
Evening Sun
Wayang Maker
The Karaoke Singer
Candid Monochrome
Joseph Elon
Beyond The Brush
Medicinal Meadows
Nancy Merrill
Mad Meandering Me

What, Me Worry?

TDD_DeviceLast time I was tested at keyboarding, I scored 135 wpm with zero errors. Speed was important for the job I was applying, a Relay Operator for the deaf. A TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf) was used in the home of the deaf person, it was also utilized for hearing persons who were mute but could read. All this information has nothing to do with the subject of which I will write, but, it is important so that you know I can fit a lot of words into ten minutes of writing with my super duper, speedy little fingers but still have a difficult time keeping up with my lightening fast mind. Hardy har har…

FlareUp1Yesterday, it was my turn, my turn to have a visit at our family physician. My intent was to tell him that I needed help with my continuing digestive problems. I even typed out a bullet-type list of how I suffered with my most recent episode of pain last weekend.

Our family physician is a nice guy, I like him. Prior to finding out I had breast cancer, my visits with him were confined to complaints of seasonal allergies and sinus infections bi-annually – most likely caused by the blasted allergies where we live which seem to last year long.

Prior to his entering the room, his nurse took my vitals and conveyed her version of the reason for my visit into their computerized system. While I explained the “flare up” to her, I handed her my neat little list which described the CRAZY pain I felt during my latest “flare up.” She began typing into the system, mind you, she’s not as fast as I am, and it seemed that her fingers could not keep up with what her brain was telling her. So, she grabbed the note paper I had given to her, my file, and said that it would be easier for her to just, she mumbled incoherently, and left the room. Gheez! Didn’t this just happen to me a short while back when the new Oncologist RAN out of the room?


©Village of the Damned

I started wondering what was wrong with me, why was I having this effect upon female medical personnel? Did I stink? Were my eyes beginning to glow red or yellow? Did I have a dark cloud hanging about me? I should not have stank, I took my daily shower, used deodorant, dabbed on a little “Tommy” perfume, very sparingly. Beyond smelling bad, however, I could not see myself to decipher if my eyes were in fact glowing or if I was shrouded in darkness.

Fifteen or twenty minutes passed before the doctor came in the room. He made some small talk before arriving at the reason for my visit. One of the subjects of small talk was his query about my visit with the Oncologist to whom he referred me. I point blank told him that she lied to me and I would not even let her treat me dogs much less a human being! He was stunned at how visibly irritated I was at the mention of her and quickly changed the subject after asking what I decided to do for an Oncologist. When I told him that Integris has a terrific Concierge program, he gave me a high five and happily changed the subject and his concentration to my at-hand physical ailments.

After much discussion about my pains, he switched the subject and asked if I was still taking the smallest dosage of Zoloft (anti-depressant) to which I answered “No,” because it was incompatible with Tamoxifen which I recently started taking after the horrid Oncologist told me how I would DIE if I did not take the hormone blocker.

Dr. P’s fingers were typing away, researching my claim that Zoloft was incompatible with Tamoxifen. He found that I was correct and tried to pair other anti-depressants which only had the same incompatibility of reducing the effect of the hormone blocker.

“Well, with everything that is going on for you, you need to be on something, with your nerves… You know, some people are naturally a little on the nervous side and there are others whose nervousness is magnified. Women are more prone to nervousness and..” He kept talking but by this point, my NERVOUS mind was already wandering, rather, worrying about what the heck was he talking about? Was he telling me that I’m a nervous wreck? Holy crap! Now I have to worry about having a mental problem?

How does he know “everything that is going on for you”.. sure, he knows a little bit about what’s going on with my husband. Harry’s recent X-rays of his shoulder and hips, the ones of his shoulder showed “severe aortal atherosclerosis”… his MRI showed blockage in his left femoral artery. His shoulder shows tears and his hip has something wrong with it too. Meanwhile, I have a dog



who is chewing his paw off due to diabetic neuropathy. It has been a MONTH of my cleaning and bandaging it, administering two different types of oral medications, and just when I thought we were on the road to a complete recovery, he chewed it up yesterday AND chewed the next digit up as well!! Blood everywhere!!

“Ahhhh, I have it,” Dr. P. proclaimed, “Alprazolam, let’s just see… yes, it is compatible with Tamoxifen. This should work for you. You might want to take it at night, before bedtime just in case it makes you drowsy during daytime. This should do the trick!” He smiled as if he had solved the JFK assassination conspiracy!

“That’s it,” I sadly thought, “I am a bona fide, fu~king lunatic!”

So, here I am, two days, or is it one day, after starting my bedtime Xanax? Ok, last night was the second night of taking Xanax before bed, .5mg and I slept like a rock! But, I’m still VERY aware, VERY alert of all my worries about my husband’s health issues and how I think it is time to have my beloved Buddy put to sleep even though my husband vehemently disagrees with me. Why, just yesterday, I actually scream-cried at him on our front stoop as he was leaving after lunch, “YOU don’t have to clean up the bloody messes on the carpet do you? YOU don’t have to put the ‘cone of shame’ around his neck to restrain him from licking, YOU don’t have to soak the wounded paw, apply medications, wrap it and watch him LIMP!! YOU don’t see the pain that I see!!” And at that moment of emotional explosion, tears poured down my face, you could hear my quivering voice echo the breaking of my heart.

CryAlone“So f~ck it then! Put him down, I’ve had it!” And he slammed his pickup’s door and left for work. I retreated into the house where I cried and cried, big, long, bottom-of-the-heart sobs.

There is no end to this ten minute writing, the issues continue until… until there are resolutions to the subjects of my worries.

DAILY POST – Ready, Set, Done. Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.



More Participants in The Daily Post’s Prompt, September 18, 2014:

Speech! Speech! Speech!


The whole reason I started my blog was to keep track of my experiences, appointments, procedures, feelings and to be part of a community of outstanding women who were also diagnosed with breast cancer.

Jenny’s story, and her telling of it, is the perfect depiction of what we go through. I’m still in tears for her eloquence.

Originally posted on My Story:

I always imagined I would hear a strong chant from a crowd..”Speech, Speech, Speech, Speech!” …but my first real true-biz speech in front of 300+ people happened a lot differently than that.

I was approached by a guy I went to High School with a few months ago. He is a recovering drug, and alcohol addict. He now spends his life helping others with their addictions. He is truly a success story. As he explains, every single day is a struggle. So, he reached out to five people who have personally touched him and asked them to present a speech to at least 100 or so folks. 

Not thinking clearly, I agreed to it. Then, as the time went by, I started regretting my decision. Although I feel comfortable in front of a computer, I didn’t think I would feel comfortable saying works like “cancer” “death” and “boobs” in front of a crowd. 

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The Bloggorhood

No writing today. It’s a beautiful Fall-like day outside and I am in the mood for taking a walk through the neighborhood. Not my neighborhood outside the front door, but my neighborhood in cyberspace.

Cup of fresh, hot coffee on my desk, fluffy slippers on my feet and I am ready to go! So, don’t be disturbed if you hear someone on your cyber front porch, it’s only me, stopping by to say ‘hello.’



Hallowed Halls

Occasionally, I search various social networking sites using the tag, #breast cancer. I search for information and new friends to follow. This morning, I came across this brilliant quote from mdstudentabroad at tumblr.  

This is the quote with which I was so moved: