Knights, and Peasants, and Kings…oh my! #JusJoJan

Just Jot it January badge

I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. The word prompt for today is ‘knight.’


Knight…what to write about a knight? Before I knew it, I was deep in the midst of Renaissance Faire memories and missing them. I used to go every year – or at least most years. Then I moved to Texas and have only been once, probably 2009 or 2010.

I love the atmosphere that permeates renaissance fairs – the joy, the laughter, the revelry, and yes, the knights. Now that we’re deep in the digital age, with cell phones that do everything for us, I should be able to pull up pictures from that last fair in a snap. But with the digital age comes technology snafus. A crashed hard drive and a failed cell phone took hundreds of pictures with them in their failures.

Thankfully, I have a friend that made us all scrapbooks one year. It was probably twenty years ago, long before the days when cell phones snapped every memory we wanted to document. But because of her thoughtfulness and her knack of this ‘old-school’ craft, I could walk to the bookcase, pull out a photo album, and instantly be transported back to a day when we all went to the Renaissance Faire in Devore (CA) together.

Much has changed from this long ago picture. The husband is now an ex. Both boys are grown, with children of their own. (The youngest turns 30 in a week!) And the mother (now a grandmother) sports quite a few more wrinkles than she had here. But the beauty of the Ren Faires is that they don’t change all that much. You can copy and paste people into any scene and you’d never know what year it was. Wenches and peasants, nobility, kings, and knights – all in place to take us back to medieval times.

Not Your Typical Walk, Run, or Amble Post #SoCS


Today is Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Here’s the prompt for today’s writing:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: movement. However, don’t use the word “movement.” Choose some sort of movement, and base your post on that. Enjoy!

You can see more details here, if you’d like to participate yourself.

I was racking my brain to find something to write about, without mentioning the ‘M’ word. (Not so easy to do on a Saturday morning after a busy week) Walk. Run. Amble. Stretch. Reach. Some of the words were inspired by Friday morning’s yoga class and I almost went in that direction.

But I wasn’t committed to that idea. I went about my routine morning tasks, still thinking of what to write about. Then the thought crossed my mind – writing about the unmentionable ‘M’ word prompt doesn’t have to be a word of physical action. Striving to reach personal and business goals is also something that follows the general idea. (And I know, I shouldn’t use ‘idea’ again as I just used it a few lines ago – but in keeping with the idea of stream of consciousness writing, with no edits, the word is staying.)

Work this past week was busy and I found myself not accomplishing my afternoon goals. I didn’t worry or fret about it. With all the flu and illnesses floating around, I also realize that there are times that I need to take care of myself and not push. I need to rest and relax so that I remain healthy and don’t lose days or a week to an illness. I had a few non-productive days that I didn’t finish my goals for the day. So this weekend I’ll buckle down and get back to business. I’ll get back on track of the process about getting closer to my goals – my writing goals for the month, and my personal daily goals. I’ll catch up on a few administrative tasks, add to the word count in two different manuscripts, get out my weekly newsletter, and take action with a small book promotion. By doing these, I’ll be a step closer to reaching another milestone. And that motion is just as good – if not better – than any run, walk, amble or stretch.


Such a Strong Word #JusJoJan

Just Jot it January badge

I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check out the details for Just Jot It January here. The word prompt for today is Ultimatum.

It’s such a strong word – ultimatum – one that I don’t typically use.

Merriam-Webster defines ultimatum as “a final proposition, condition, or demand; especially: one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action.”

There are certainly situations that call for this type of final demand. Ex-husbands that have no desire to stop drinking. Teenagers that have no intention of following the family rules. Friends and neighbors that like to encroach on your time, energy, and resources. There are endless examples of when an ultimatum is necessary.

But, you’d better have the arsenal to follow through with what you’re prepared to do if the other party does not comply with the conditions or demands.

I rarely try to issue an ultimatum. But in light of the recent New Year we’ve entered, and all the plans I’ve outlined for 2018, I wonder if maybe I need to give myself a few ultimatums.

Young lady (okay, maybe not so young), you WILL get this submission finished or no dessert for you.

Trisha Faye, you WILL get that essay completed, revised, and submitted by the end of the month or no yoga for you next month.

Listen up girl, you WILL follow through and complete two short stories every month for the year, or no visit to the grandchildren. (Now that one will work. Don’t even try to keep me from my grandkids!)

How do you feel about ultimatums? Have you used them before? Did they work?

Following Your Dreams Cover

FREE OFFER – FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS. Do you like reading tidbits about what’s going on in a writer’s life? Like reading story snippets of upcoming books? Like getting free book offers and hearing about free book giveaways? Sign up here for Trisha’s Tidbits, my weekly newsletter, and get a free copy of FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS.

The Empowered Woman – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Blogger Linda G. Hill, organizer of Just Jot It January, also coordinates a Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing event. The prompts that she uses varies from week to week.

This week the prompt directions are:

When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

The rules are simple. The basic ones are:

  1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
  2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

And write to the prompt. And a few other administrative things. You can read more about Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday event here.


This is the first time I’ve participated in Linda’s Stream of Conscious Saturday blogging fun. In the spirit of following the rules, I grabbed for the top piece of paper on my towering pile. (Readers, forgive me, but she said no editing – so no editing it will be. You’ll just get the words that spew forth from my fingers for the next little bit.)

Okay, to be truthful, I did go with Door Number Two. At first I grabbed the top paper from the right hand pile. It was a library flyer. But then I got hung up on which were the sixth, seventh, and eighth words. Do I count the title? Do I count the header? Do I go straight to the information?

If I looked at the header, it would have been ‘closed January 1st.’ Hmmmm, there’s possibilities there. If I went straight to the information about the first event, the words would be ‘to access private’.

Feeling uninspired with each of these possibilities, I switched to the left hand pile. Ah! ‘The Empowered Woman.’ Much better! I’ll choose Door B, thank you very much.

That page was something I printed out October 24th, the information for a submission for Chicken Soup for the Soul.

The heading reads:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Empowered Woman
101 Stories about Being Confident, Courageous, and Your True Self

Right away I knew what I was going to write about. I even started it. The first paragraph. Then life started to overwhelm me. A book release in November, a part time job that picks up hours through the holidays, and the usual Christmas madness. I didn’t get back to this until after Christmas. And I’ve added very little to the essay over the past two weeks.

Other tasks were completed and checked off of my list. But I had trouble coming back to this one.

Being for the Chicken Soup crew, I needed to finish this piece to give myself time to set it aside and come back and edit and polish it.

The next thing I knew, it was the morning of January 10th – the day the essay was due. And I still hadn’t even finished it. I berated myself for not finishing it earlier. I knew that I had to ignore everything else on the list and do this item with a looming cutoff date.

As I started feeling pressured – by myself no less – I finally decided to cross it off the list and not even stress about finishing this item.

You know, once that was crossed off and was no longer a nagging ‘to-do’, my shoulders un-tensed and I eased into the rest of the day working on other items feeling relatively calm.

I got to thinking – isn’t part of being an empowered woman also knowing when to not do something? Isn’t allowing ourselves the option of saying ‘no’, or ‘I changed my mind’ a way of empowering ourselves? The choice to not do something we think we should, or not do something that we’d decided to act on earlier, is also a way of gaining internal power.

So, no – you won’t be reading my thoughts about The Empowered Woman in any Chicken Soup book soon. But I’m okay with that. I’m proud of the other items I did accomplish that day. By crossing that line off of my list, I felt stronger and more in control. I’d make a conscious decision about deleting that item, rather than being wishy-washy the rest of the day and sliding into the end of the day with the essay unfinished and unsent.

Now, about this ‘no editing’ part. Not so easy. It’s like the ugly first draft stuff. I’m okay with that. It’s the pushing that unclean, newly birthed creation out into the public view without any cleaning up. But there you have it anyway. And now I find myself starting to hunt for words to finish, so I’ll simply end it here.

Thanks for a fun challenge, Linda!

The Never-ending List #JusJoJan

Today I’m writing to the Just Jot It January word prompt for the day – aggravation.

Just Jot it January badge

This is Friday morning and I’m looking at the ‘To-do list’ I jotted down last Friday. About half of it is crossed off. I certainly should have made more progress than that over the past week. I find myself struggling with an attitude of aggravation when it takes me this long to cross items off the list. And now that it’s Friday, I need to add some of the routine Friday/Saturday things back to the list.


Some of the things that were accomplished this include: two books reviews, a newsletter, mailing off a book order, submitting a 53 word story, doing the agenda for our writer’s group, doing my end of year numbers, creating a new tracking document for 2018, updating my queries/submissions form…and more.

But…big sigh…still so much to do. And that’s not even getting to the fun things I want to play around with this year. One is needed for a March birthday.

All is good. At least when I hit ‘publish’ on this post, there’s one more item that can be checked off the list.

I’m curious – Do you ever finish everything on your to-do list?

Four Words I Want More Of #JusJoJan

Just Jot it January badge

I came to the party late. This month is ‘Just Jot it January.’ But as I just saw the post about this fun month, I don’t have anything for the first ten days of the month. That’s okay. I was always one that arrived at the party late anyway. Just ask my mom. Or sister. Each day of the month has a word prompt, except for One Liner Wednesdays and Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

The word prompt for today is ‘humiliate.’

Here’s my ‘jot’ for the day.

Earlier today I added a post-it note (another one!) to my computer screen. It’s a reminder of something I just read on a blog post.



Four great words and four great attitudes. One even matches one of the three words I chose for 2018 – authentic, action, and joyful. I’d like more of these qualities in my life.

But yet, when I look at the goals I just set for 2018, they’re all measurable goals about my writing life. Where are the goals that will bring more of these four qualities into my life? Will I be humiliated when I reach the end of the year and I’m in the same place? (Humiliated is a stronger word than one I would have chosen to use here. But I needed to work in the Just Jot it word prompt for the day – so there you have it.)

No. I won’t be humiliated. Because I’m also trying to get better about not beating myself up and being more flexible to go with the flow and be gentle with myself for what happens and what doesn’t. But even so, I sit to sit down and look at conscious actions that will bring more love, peace, joy, and gratitude into my life.

What kinds of things do you jot down?

Dear Arlie – bean

Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘bean.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.


Typically at the community picnics at Old Settler’s Park Arlie was like the belle of the ball, traipsing back and forth amongst the different groups of families and friends. On this Fourth of July gathering though, she was more sedate than usual. She sat primly on the family’s woven blanket, legs tucked underneath her in a ladylike manner as she listened attentively to George. In between his ramblings, he’d stop to stuff his mouth with a huge bite of the fried chicken he was so anxious to get.

In these quiet pauses, Arlie’s mind would wander. What surprise does he have for me?

“Baked beans?” George’s words caught her unawares and she jerked to attention, almost knocking the pan of golden brown nuggets out of his hands.

“Oh, no…sorry. You caught me woolgathering.”

“About anything exciting?”

“No…not anything in particular…not really,” Arlie stammered. She didn’t want to admit that her thoughts were racing through her brain, trying to put together little bits of puzzle pieces in an attempt to figure out what his surprise was.

The family finished eating and passed their plates to Mother, who gathered the dirty dishes and utensils and placed them in the picnic hamper, along with the leftover food. Everyone lay back relaxing with full bellies and the summer sun beating down upon them.

William and Eddie wandered by and stopped to visit. “Hey, George…want to join us in a game of horseshoes?”

George turned to Arlie with a question in his eyes. “Do you mind?”

“Of course not. You go on. I’ll stay here in the shade and rest.”

After the men ambled off, Arlie’s mother looked her square in the eye. “Are you alright, dear?”

“Yes, Mother. I’m fine.”

“You’re so quiet today. You’re not being a little gadfly between all your friends.”

Arlie sighed and tried not to be disrespectful towards her mother. “Remember…Millie’s in Michigan. And Pauline’s moved. Only Alla’s here today. I haven’t seen where the Richardson’s are sitting, and it’s too muggy to go walking about in search of her.”

“Just asking, dear, to make sure nothing’s amiss.”

“Really, Mother. I’m fine and dandy.” Arlie paused and stroked her chin. “Besides, George has a surprise for later tonight and I’m trying to figure out what it is.”

Arlie tipped her head up in time to see her father trying to suppress a grin. “What? Father? Do you know anything about what George is planning?”

Arlie’s father coughed and wiped his hand across his mouth as if trying to wipe his expression away. “No…no…not a clue. Don’t know a thing about what the young fella has up his sleeve.”

Shaking her head in disgust, Arlie laid back on the blanket and closed her eyes. This is going to be the longest day in history.

But, after a short cat nap, and George returning all red and flushed to wake her, the day passed by quicker than she’d imagined. Neighbors stopped by to chat with one another. The mayor and his wife circulated among the crowd, passing out small flags to anyone who didn’t already have one. When everyone was getting hungry again, they dug out the pans of food and cleaned up the rest of it. And before she knew it, the evening sky was dimming, and the crowd was beginning to stir and get restless.

dear arlie_picnic2

George spoke to Arlie’s father. “Sir, may I whisk your daughter away to watch the fireworks from a special spot?”

Arlie’s father winked as he answered. “Naturally, son. Long as it’s not too secluded and private.”

George blushed and stood. “No, sir! It’s nothing like that. It’s a spot I discovered last year. At the edge of the park. And you can see the fireworks quite clearly. Not a tree nor a bush to hid them.” He glanced up at the towering oaks they were sheltered by as if to make a point. He held out a hand to help Arlie stand.

Arlie took his hand and felt her heart flutter at his touch. She felt flush at the thought of being alone with him at the edge of the park, just the two of them with no family and friends.

When they arrived at the location George led them to, he turned and apologized. “I’m sorry. I neglected to bring a throw to sit upon. I suppose we’ll have to stand and watch.” He glanced over to a rock overcropping at the top of a small ravine. “Unless you want to sit over on that boulder? Although it’s not much of a chair for a princess.”

“Oh, George, you know me. I’m not that prim and proper.” She waved her hand in the air as if brushing the thought away. “But you can scout it out and make sure there’s no snakes.”

Grabbing a small limb laying underneath a hickory tree behind them, George did his manly duty and pushed and prodded at all the nooks and crannies. Declaring the area free of vermin, he proceeded to grandly lay his white handkerchief out on the flattest part of the rock for Arlie to sit on. There the two sat, shoulder to shoulder, as the bangs started and the night air was filled with sparkling flashes of red, white, and blue.

They sat in awe, the flares in the night sky being much tamer than the sparks that were igniting in their bodies. As the grand finale lit up the valley in an explosion of light and color, George turned to Arlie and caressed her cheeks with his palms. “My sweet, sweet Arlie…would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”

Dear Arlie_fireworks.jpg

Return to TUESDAY TALES here.

Return to MY WEBSITE here.

Dear Arlie – bike

Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘bike.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.



Arlie rushed to the front door and flung it open to reveal George standing on the covered porch.

He held his straw fedora in his hands, nervously twisting it in circles. “My, aren’t you a lovely vision for this fine Fourth of July?”

Arlie tucked a few strands of loose hair into her bun and primped. “Why, thank you, kind sir. And you are so handsome in your freshly pressed shirt and striking tie. Is it new?”

George shuffled his feet and dropped his head as if suddenly shy. “It is. Got it at John Campbell’s mercantile for our outing today.” He tipped his head up and raised his shoulders as if finding an inner well of courage. “Are you ready to go? I heard the band practicing on the way here. The parade should be starting soon.” He held out an elbow, ready to escort his girl.

“Let me grab my parasol and tell Mother that I’m leaving.” Arlie dashed back inside, leaving her guest standing on the wrap around porch in front of a wide open door.

George awkwardly stood, as if unsure whether to enter, stay where he was, or sit on the porch swing and wait. Before he could decide which plan of action to follow, Arlie appeared in the doorway, tucking an embroidered handkerchief in her waistband, a white lacy parasol dangling from her wrist. Taking his offered elbow, she slid a gloved hand into the bend and the two stepped down off the porch and headed towards Main Street.

A squeaky noise appeared behind them, accompanied by a soft scrunching sound. Both George and Arlie turned their heads to look and saw Arlie’s neighbor on a bike soon to overtake them.

Arlie squealed with delight. “Look at Mrs. Henderson go!”

George chuckled as he watched the woman ride past them, her eyes intent on the road and never veering towards the pedestrians. “Bet the whole population of Ellwsorth will be in attendance today.”

dear arlie_woman on bike.jpg

By the time they’d reached the downtown of their small community, Arlie already had her parasol open and was shading them both. Heat waves shimmered off of roofs and surfaces. Dust from the foot traffic billowed around the crowd, but everyone was so caught up in the excitement, that the heat didn’t slow anyone down.

A drum cadence announced the start of the parade and those mingling in the middle of the street quickly moved to the sides, clearing the way for the uniformed drum crew. A vendor passed along behind the crowd hawking his wares. “Flags here. Get your flags here. A penny a piece.”

George dug in this pocket and handed the stubble-faced man two pennies. He and Arlie now had a flag in hand to wave with the other observers. Three motor cars followed, with billowing drapes of red, white and blue festooning each vehicle. The local suffragettes followed at the tail end, waving flags high above their heads, while two women on each side of the group handed out flyers to the crowd lining the street.

dear arlie_parade.jpg

Arlie frowned as they passed by. “How I wish Millie were here for the fun today. It’s just not fair that her father spirited them away to Michigan. She’s always been here for the festivities. And Pauline too. This is the second year she’s missed. I wish she hadn’t moved all the way to Los Angeles.”

“Do you ever hear from her?”

“From Pauline?” Arlie waited for George’s nod of agreement before continuing. “Yes. A postcard now and then. Not often enough. But several times a year. We were so close for so many years. She’d often take the train down from Bloomington and join us at Old Settler’s Park for different events. Now our little group this year is down to me and Alla.”

“And me,” George reminded her.

Arlie patted his shoulder in reassurance. “Yes, dear George. You too. The best part of the day.”

He grinned slyly. “Maybe before the day is over, I can make it even better for you.”

“Better? Come now, dear man. How could that be? Do tell.” Arlie pursed her lips in a pout.

“Tell? And ruin the surprise? That would never do. You’ll just have to wait for the fireworks to find out.”

“Not find out till the fireworks? But that’s hours and hours away!”

The crowd began dispersing and moving down the street towards the park. George, the ever perfect gentleman, held out his arm to guide Arlie along. “My sweet Arlie. You’ll just have to wait in suspense. Now, let’s join the others at the picnic, lest they think I’m hogging you all to myself for the whole day. Much as I’d love to do that.”

“Give a little hint at least?”

George stopped and turned to look her square in the eye. “A hint? Hmmmm…fireworks and the desire of my heart…a lover’s moon…Arlie Shinkle on my arm…”

George Noble Paxton. That does not constitute a hint.”

“Then I suppose you’ll just have to wait. Let’s go eat. I’m famished and my stomach has been rumbling for some of your Cook’s delicious fried chicken.”

Dear arlie_picnic.jpg

Return to TUESDAY TALES here.

Return to MY WEBSITE here.

Dear Arlie – business

Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘box.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.


The small group finally arrived at the meadow, their journey slowed by the joking and lollygagging along the way. As they headed towards the small corpse of trees where they typically laid out the picnic blanket when they came to the creek to play and cool off, Arlie spoke up. “I’m so excited about the picnic and fireworks this year.” She tried to suppress a widening grin. “I even have a new frock to wear for the Fourth. It’s got huge blousey sleeves with a fun red, white, and blue trim.”

George looked in her direction and winked. “I’m looking…”

Before he could finish his thought, Millie butted in. “I won’t be there this year. I’m going to miss it.” She pursed her lips in a pout.

Arlie stopped and spun around. “You won’t be there? But why ever not? You’re always part of our little gathering. You, me, Alla – and Pauline before she moved. You have to be there!” Arlie gestured emphatically as if the waving of her hands in the air would make it so. She paused and scrunched her eyes, little lines around the corners emphasizing her worried look. “But what about the flyers? I thought you were going to help your mother and her friends pass out the flyers we folded the other afternoon. The ones advocating our right as women to vote.”

“Father’s being a beast. He took some time off from the bank. We’re going to motor up to Michigan on Monday.” Millie frowned and stuck out her tongue. “For the whole month! Imagine! What am I to do up there for the whole month with no friends? Although – it is awfully strange that he’d come up with this grand idea so suddenly. Almost as if he’s out to foil Mother’s plan to participate with the suffrage group.”

Quiet Alla spoke up from the rear. “Michigan? Why there? You have family there?”

Although Millie’s tongue returned to its proper place, the frowny pout remained planted on her face. “No family. Father says one of his business associates told him of an Inn that’s a wonderful place to holiday at. Sauble Inn, if I recollect. There’s supposed to be a grand lake with rowing and fishing. I imagine Father will be planted behind the end of a pole for most the days. It shall be dreadful. I know I’ll pine away from loneliness.”

A young woman always shows her sunny disposition. Words that Arlie’s mother frequently admonished her with came floating through her mind to haunt her. And, although she was slightly concerned about how it appeared that Millie’s father was attempting to sabotage his wife’s activism activities, thoughts of spending time with George crowded out her other concerns. “Well, if there’s rowing that should be delightful.”

“I suppose. At least it shall be cooler up there,” Millie conceded.

Arlie turned and began walking again towards the shaded glen. “Speaking of cooler, let’s sit down the blanket and basket and go cool our feet first before we eat.”

dear arlie_wading1.jpgThe rest followed and soon all six were down at the creek removing shoes and socks. The three boys were slowed as they rolled up pants legs, while the three girls simply picked up the edges of their skirts and were wading about in the ankle deep creek.

George was the first of the boys in the water, trousers up about his knees and hat still in place. He made his way towards Arlie.

Arlie giggled and kicked up a foot, splashing water in his direction.

“Arlie Shinkle…” he started in protest, then chuckled and splashed a handful of water back towards her. “You better behave, or I’ll get even at the fireworks.”

dear arlie_wading2.jpg“Now just how will you get even then? There’s not a bit of water about at the park.”

“No, no water. But there’s watermelon – and cold drinks. You just never know, my sweet girl.” His eyes twinkled as he teased her.

After an hour splashing about, the friends returned to the picnic area, cooled and refreshed. They dug into the hamper with relish, eating as if it were their first meal in a week. Full and replete, they lounged on the plaid, woven blanket. William and Eddie soon snored away, their heads propped up on their rolled up jackets. Arlie and George spoke quietly to one another, seated next to each other at the far corner. Millie and Alla, wanting to give their friend a little private time with her beau, grabbed their cameras and headed back down to the stream.

dear arlie_camera1          dear arlie_camera2

Return to TUESDAY TALES here.

Return to MY WEBSITE   here.

Dear Arlie – box


Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘box.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.


dear arlie_3 friends on the fence.jpg


Although the heat was rising, it didn’t slow the group of six friends down. They were on a mission to reach the cool shade of grove of trees lining the meadow. Only the girl’s silliness gave them occasional pause, as they stopped along the way when their giggles overcame them as they frolicked in front of the camera lens.

Millie took the camera from around her neck and held it out. “George, come get the camera and take a photograph of us girls.”

“I don’t know how to use that new-fangled contraption. Last time I shot a photograph it was still the old box type.”

“You can do it. It’s a snap. Come here, I’ll show you what to do.”

After a two minute instruction on the workings of the Kodak, George seemed satisfied that he could operate the device. “Besides,” he countered, “if you two girls can do it, then a strapping fellow such as I should be able to.”

Arlie snickered. “It’s not the brawn that will take a good photograph. It’s the brains that matter for this.”

George looked up at Arlie with a twinkle in his eye. “Then I guess I’ve got the brains too. After all, I’ve got enough smarts to know that I want you for my girl.”

A hot blush rose from Arlie’s neck and tainted her cheeks scarlet. She opened her mouth, but not a word came out.

“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” George teased.

Alla’s raised voice from behind them shattered the moment. “Come on you two. Arlie, get over here with Millie and I so George can take our picture.”

Reluctantly Arlie turned to go join her two friends. She rather would have stayed and pursued the conversation with George. A Cheshire grin lit up her face as they posed for the camera.

He likes me! He wants me for his girl!

As she settled in on a wooden step between Millie and Alla, Millie rose up and started acting like she was going to climb over the makeshift ladder contraption set over the barbed wire fence.

Arlie’s grin widened, even though she tried to sound outraged. “Millicent Arnold! What in the world. Get back down here before you show those young men more than they need to see. Sit down properly so George can get a good shot of us.”

The click of the camera echoed across the space and the girls knew that Millie’s shenanigans were captured on celluloid. “I get this one. It’s my birthday so I get this picture to put in my scrapbook.”

Return to TUESDAY TALES here.

Return to MY WEBSITE here.

Previous Older Entries

July 2021

Past blogs