Alone In A Hotel Room…

© Dawn Quyle Landau

© Dawn Quyle Landau

The prompt is to write for 10 minutes, “no more, no less.” Check out other writing for this Word Press Challenge, here.

 

Alone In A Hotel Room

The temperature is strange, the pillow foreign. I toss and turn in the dim light– room darkening curtains make it hard to know what time it really is, and I always turn the glowing clock to the wall. Time limits the potential for sleeping in, or seizing the day. It’s still early though, and I have nowhere I have to be. All expectations are my own.

When I finally get up and throw the curtains open, the city of San Diego greats me, through filthy windows. I hate dirty windows. It confuses me for a moment– is it raining? Is it that early? It’s cloudy– dark gray clouds are unexpected, given the forecast of sun and temperatures in the low eighties.

I’m fortunate to travel a lot– more than usual this year. I was thinking about that last night as our final flight took off and fears of crashing grabbed me. It happens more and more as I get older, even though I fly enough to know that it’s safe. A miracle: taking off in a metal cylinder and landing in a new place. I’m lucky, blessed to travel, despite the moment of fear.

Every time I wake in a hotel I struggle with the same quandaries, should I: sit in bed; watch out the window at the mysterious world below, taking in the hum and movement of a new place; should I spend the day writing; or get dressed and go out exploring? Which direction? It’s always a slow decision for me. I am impulsive to distraction. Should I stay or should I go, now… badadadadada!

I hear the housekeeping cart down the hall and feel a vague sense of urgency. Guilt? I don’t want to seem lazy… but to who? Whom? I have the day alone, to myself, in a city I have visited before but don’t know. Which direction should I go? How fast should I move? The decisions shake me, and cause me to question my sense of independence, adventure, motivation, age. My knee hurts. Walk? Rent a bike? Which direction? So many options make for so many possibilities– taken or missed.

When I wake in a new hotel, in a new city, traveling again, these are the thoughts that fill my head as I wake and start my day, alone in a hotel.

Notes on the process: I set an alarm on my computer and typed for exactly 10 minutes. I did not add anything once the timer went off, but did correct punctuation. The spelling I did as I went. I went with the first thoughts I had, versus planning out a writing strategy. I wrote the final sentence too soon, and put it aside. I knew that that’s where I wanted to end. So, not watching the clock, I wrote free-form, and checked at 1 minute, so that I could wind up and finish where I wanted to end.

When I work with seniors on their college essays, we always do some “blitz writing,” so it was fun to wake up, see this prompt and challenge myself to do it… alone in this hotel room.

*     *     *     *

What do I want? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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Friday Fictioneers: Abuela Works

friday-fictioneersAs so many of you have noted, it’s such a wonderful surprise to wake up and see your own photo on the Friday Fictioneer’s page. This morning when I saw this photo, I thought: “Wow, I wonder who else went there?” Duh. It took me a minute to check the © name. It’s also true that writing a story for a photo that you know is a different challenge all together. I’ll be curious to see what you all come up with! I’m heading to Southern CA today, so if I’m slow making the rounds, please know that it isn’t for lack of interest!

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly, photo promped flash fiction challenge. Members are encouraged to write a 100-word story, with a beginning, middle and end. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is our maestro, coordinating this ever-growing community of writers. It is the one thing I do consistently each week, for the sheer joy of it. September 8th marked my 1-year anniversary of joining the Fictioneers, and I haven’t missed a week yet! Woot woot!

If you’d like to join us or check out the other stories, visit Rochelle’s blog Addicted to Purple for more details. I always welcome constructive, thoughtful feedback; please leave a comment.

© Dawn Quyle Landau

© Dawn Quyle Landau

 Abuela Works (100 words)

Abuela stirs the briny water day in and day out. Six days a week she climbs the steep trail to the salt mines; Sunday she walks to church. In cold mornings she dons her red gloves and sturdy hat, to protect her from the burning minerals and the brutal sun. Her eyes have grown milky from the glare; her skin is dry and cracked.

Do the touristas taste her tears in the salt they buy?

As I walk to my dusty school, I promise God that I will go to college and make Abuela proud. I will ease her burdens.

•     •     •

Can you help a girl out? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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If Wishing Made It So… In Remembrance of September 11, 2001

friday-fictioneersWhen I saw the photo prompt this week, several threads came to me. However, today, as I cleaned my deck and reflected on this day thirteen years ago, this story took root and had to be written.  In remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people who died on September 11, 2001 and the tens of thousands who have died in the years since, in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If wishing made it so, it would simply have been a beautiful late summer day.

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who patiently organizes and herds our eclectic band of writers each week, reminding us that stories should be 100 word– with a beginning, middle and end, and somehow connect to the photo prompt. This week’s photo comes form Janet Webb. There are so many good stories; if you’d like to join along or just check them out, visit Rochelle’s blog Addicted to Purple.

© Janet Webb

© Janet Webb

If Wishing Made It So (100 words)

 Jacquie walked into the bathroom, and dragged her finger along the trim. Dust collected under her chipped nail, and dust motes floated up– reflected back in the streaked mirror. She avoided eye contact with the pale, thin woman there.

She gathered the dry bouquet, another reminder of the desperate weeks since Todd’s death. What had been a thoughtful apology– end of summer lavender, beach grass and a starfish they’d found together– now sat neglected in the vase.

If only we’d stayed on the Cape for the week after Labor Day. If only he’d stayed home with me that Tuesday. If…

•     •     •

What do I want? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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Yeah, Yeah, I’m a Bad Blog Buddy… But Hear Me Out.

If you’re not a blogger, you may find this behind-the-scenes ditty interesting. Or not. Each link in here will take you to a wonderful world of reading and/or images. Take a trip down the rabbit hole; you’ll thank me later.  If you’re a blogger, you may find yourself nodding your head as you read. I know I’m not the only Bad Blogging Buddy (Yo! Shout out to the BBBs in the house!), or possibly tisk-tisk’ing because you’re a great blog buddy. I can only own my own shit. And yes, this is one mother f’ing long post. I know.  It should be 500 words or less, but I can’t own my shit in that many words. (*You may want to bring some food and water though).  So here goes…

When I started blogging it never occurred to me that I would meet people on-line, or that I might like some of them, and we might even become blogging friends. Really, I didn’t. Initially, I just wanted to get back to writing. Frankly, I was shocked when a few people I know, in real life, actually read some of my posts. Elizabeth F, you know you were the first. The start was lonely. I hadn’t told too many people I was doing this, and when I ran off to Yellowstone, only a couple of people noticed that I also mentioned something about a blog. That teeny tiny group of two people kept me company, as I struggled with my life and with this new enterprise called blogging. I didn’t know how to post photos; I didn’t have followers; I didn’t know how to do jack shit. In fact, it’s a wonder that anyone ever noticed me– least of all the Word Press Freshly Pressed Gods.

layoutsparks.com

layoutsparks.com

But they did. They sprinkled their fairy dust on my post The Grass Is Always Greener On Someone Else’s Head… and voila! I had a few more people reading my post. For the record (and I know I’ve told this story before…) I was so new at blogging (six weeks in) that I didn’t even know something had happened, until others told me. I was only checking my blog every few days, if that… So, I was seriously shocked when there were comments (450 of them!) and that people were actually reading what I wrote! Well, I’d better write something more, I thought– hoping to hold the attention of a few of those people. Since then, I have often thought that I have written much better posts since then, but that is how the ball got rolling.

In the three years and three months since, I’ve worked hard to build my blog and its following. What started as a “platform” for getting a book published has become something I love and nurture, for its own sake. I love writing Tales From the Motherland. I love that some people read it (though, far fewer than the number who have hit follow). I love the comments that people leave– they challenge me to think about what I write, or they support what I’ve put out there. The comments make me think, and that’s part of why I write. The people who read my work and share their thoughts have been the icing on this cake!

Let me introduce you to some of my friends:

Some people stop by once and say hello, or tell me they liked something I wrote– or something they didn’t– and then they’re gone. I appreciate their feedback; I’m grateful they came. Others come back again and again, and over time we get to know each other in this strange little world of blogging– the blogoshere…  And that is where the magic has been. I’ve gotten to know people in a very real and special way through blogging. This too is something I’ve written about; it’s been no secret that I’ve made an effort to meet some of the people who I’ve connected with on-line. Like a benign online dating site, I’ve had dates with Mike and Meagan, to start with. They were local, and having exchanged messages on-line, we took it a step further and met face to face. Pretty soon I was stretching further and meeting bloggers in other places. Heading to New York city? Then I should meet Lisa! we’d been online buddies for ages; I’d been in her anthology Tangerine Tango– so a face to face was clearly in order. In June I was off to North Carolina for a wedding. What better reason for dinner and drink with Jennie, who I’d long had a blog crush on. What a wonderful date that was! She let me sleep over and gave me toffee. My blog crush was officially love.

IMG_6042My son and I headed to Scandinavia this summer, and I decided to take a chance and reach out to Björnone of my fellow Friday Fictioneers, and someone who has long intrigued me. My son and I had lunch with Björn and the lovely Charlotte, in Stockholm. I learned that he was that much more interesting in person, and oh how I wished for more time!

Me, Kylie, Emily and Amy... champagne dream date!

Me, Kylie, Emily and Amy… champagne dream date!

When I went to BlogHer14 I made sure that I got to hang out with one of my favorite blog crushes, Emily. Emily was there for me when I was in the hospital last December– quietly, tenderly helping me get through a hard time. Her heart and her dry sense of humor were twice as big in person, the Memphis accent was a surprise (um, not sure why ’cause she talks about home all the time!) and we had a grand time! When Amy, the blogger who turned me on to Friday Fictioneers (my weekly flash fiction addiction) said she’d be in town too, the icing was butter cream– which was consumed with the champagne that she, Emily and I had together. They introduced me to Kylie and what a grand night it was!

Getting to know you... Tonya and I

Getting to know you… Tonya and I

Then there were the blind dates at BlogHer14– the people I’ve read, but hadn’t really chatted with online. I’ve left a comment there; they’ve left a comment here, but we haven’t gotten to know each other. It was indeed a surreal moment to be in a small hotel room, doing Jello shots with Hedia– even more Geisha-exotic in person– and Aussa looking on! Tonya was a total blindside– a ball of instant dynamo that I am so glad I met, and wish I lived closer to.  Chloe snuck up on me in the most delicious and surprising ways, and has left me with a blogger boner that Julie (who was pure delight) predicted. The three of them were part of the first night’s dinner blind date, which ended up being one of the true highlights of the weekend for me. Julie, Chloe and Tonya, thanks for that! I may not have known them when I left home, but now I watch for their posts and I delight in their updates. And of course the mother of all blind side hook ups, The Bloggess. Yes, I know I was just one of the bazillion women (and four men) cheering for her at the BlogHer14 conference, but when I had my book autographed and my picture taken with her, I know she felt something too… aside from me stepping on her pretty red shoes. And admittedly, my heart skipped a beat when she Liked one of my Tweets… but I have no doubt she quickly realized how boring I am on Twitter and flew south. Oh, but the thrill, for that brief, shiny moment in time. (And don’t think I won’t post this treasured photo over and over and over and over… again!)

Me and The Bloggess... clearly a bigger thrill for me, but she was delightfully fun.

Me and The Bloggess… clearly a bigger thrill for me, but she was delightfully fun.

Perhaps you are now wondering… how does this make Dawn a BBB- Well, because despite all the exciting hook-ups, in the day-to-day I’ve really dropped the ball. Despite all this face to face connecting, I’m actually not a big dater. I’m not that good at the consistent nurturing of blog relationships. My intentions are good, but I get overwhelmed easily. If I hit that follow button on your blog that’s what I do: I follow you. I feel a sincere commitment to read the blogs that come to my in-box, and while that was initially not such a hard thing to do, over time– with so many of you writing really great stuff, I’ve fallen way behind. Recently I had nearly 3,000 emails in my “blogs I follow folder!” (Yes, I really have that) Those waiting posts were making me crazy, and I knew there was no way to read them all! I spent several days, finally, reading what I could (which was a lot of reading!) and guiltily deleting the others.  Being away so much this summer, having had a few rough bumps in the spring (to say the least), I’ve dropped the ball, and that ball involves people I really enjoy and care about. For real.

Recently Samara told me not to feel bad, not to apologize, but I do feel badly and I am apologizing. Samara I love your writing and I should engage more, because you’re true blue and you say incredibly nice things like “Please, never apologize! Are you kidding? That you find the time to visit at all is a gift.” Hello? Such gracious kindness! I feel the same way about so many of you who read my blog, but how wonderful to hear that from another blogger! That comment really got me thinking about so many of you who I have not made as much effort with as I’d like– including you Samara!

It is not personal; it’s not you. It’s me. There are lots of excuses: I often feel not cool enough for your witty comment sections (honestly!); I get busy outside my blog and I forget to touch base; I mean to read your work, leave a comment, say that I care (because I do)… and I miss the boat in follow-up– to name a few excuses! I’m sorry for that, even if I don’t have to apologize.  Many of you deserve better from me, but I am just over extended.

I’m also:

tattoo-design-name-sincere-01

 

 

And so, Sincerely:

KZ, your horror stories are incredible! I should have done more to promote your super scary new book, because you’re a truly gifted writer. Helena, could you be more prolific and amazing? No. Before your self-deprecating self answers that… No. You are so incredibly talented, and I don’t spend nearly enough time basking in your glow. I ordered your book (Volume 1), but I haven’t had the time to read it yet. That said– I need to make the time because I know it’s good, if your blog is even a hint of what’s in there. Rara, I loved your energy and good heart, from the start.  If truth be told, certain unpleasant events in our tight blog world rattled me last January and I pulled away from anything I couldn’t be totally sure of. Let me be clear: I’m not stirring that pot again, but it left a scar. I realized that I didn’t really know some of you, as much as I thought I did, and it’s made me a bit more wary when I read. The mere idea of the Rara I like so much in jail is horrible beyond horrible. The only thing more horrible is that I don’t believe everything I read anymore, and I’m just not sure what to think about this whole turn of events. If that doesn’t make me a truly BBB, I don’t know what does. I’m sorry for that. If you clear your name and come back, I hope you’ll understand that my intentions are good, but my guard is up. Twindaddy, I drop by; I love what I find, and then I drop off. Sorry, you deserve better. You’re such a great blog buddy to so many, you are indeed “genuine” and I enjoy your posts. Even more, Toby what a loser of a friend I’ve been to you! You never fail to tweet my posts; you are such a lovely, loyal buddy! You are truly a Fearless Leader, and I have not been there for you. I try, really I do. I stop by and read, but dumb people piss me off, and while I also laugh a lot, I also get irritated by their… dumbass’ness. Clearly thousands (literally, that’s an understatement) of other subscribers know a good thing when they read it; I’m just… lame. You are too good for me, sticking by me the way you do. Forgive me!  Cyn, your Cynking Feeling is one I had a million times when my kids were little, and now when they come home in the summer… and I am not dealing with autism. You do it so beautifully, and write about it with candor, humor, and heart. I should read more, but:  a) you’re seriously prolific, and I can’t keep up, and b) my babes are grown and I while your writing always pulls me in, I don’t read as much about little ones anymore… just as my older ones are probably very foreign to you as well!  Jen, oh how much fun it would be to have a Tonic (with a wee nip of vodka in it) with you! Given geography, I hope it happens one day– sooner than later!

^^^  I apologize for not making more effort to be consistent with all of you! ^^^

Amy, Sara, Annie, Guapo, Susan, Alicia, Claire, Susan, Björn, Adam, Dana, Brenda, KatrinaHeather, Shavawn, Audra (Where have you gone? I miss you!), Eleanor, Nicole,  Cindy, Karen, KatDeanna, Rochelle, Lesley… All of you, I have enjoyed so many of your stories and posts! Your blogs are the ones I keep going back to over and over– but I acknowledge that I’m terribly inconsistent and annoying in my efforts. For all I know, some of you barely notice when I’m there (or not), and are now wondering why I tagged you, and why am I sniveling away about commitments. But, this is my shit I’m owing here. My inconsistency is not for lack of sincere interest and the real enjoyment I get when I do visit. I love your work; I tell my friends about your blogs, but I get pulled in other directions and I don’t visit as much as I should and want to. Again, that’s me, not a reflection of the great writing I find when I do visit. Those of you who are prolific (posting every day, or multiple times a week), it’s that simple: I can’t keep up! I get overwhelmed–> then I feel guilty –> then I avoid visiting–> then I fall behind   –> and it circles back to–> overwhelmed and lame.

karch10k.wordpress.com

karch10k.wordpress.com

Cathy, Jennie, Susan, Melissa (Lyssa), Carrie, Jen, Meagan, Emily, Lisa, Kelly, Mike, Julie (please come back!), Pam, Jolene (you make me break out in song, I mean really, that song was written for you!)– Guys, I’ve got mad love for you and pretty much anything you write or publish. Your words and images have made me cry; made me laugh– until I lose the little bladder control I have; they’ve made me think. When I don’t visit for a while, because I’m busy being a wound-licking mom in the real world, or an over-extended friend/wife/volunteer– I miss you. Really, I miss YOU. It’s not just about your writing anymore. I feel a connection, and when you’re not around, I miss that. I want to hear about your babies; I want to share some coffee or a drink and laugh– put our heads close and share thoughts. I want to go on second and third dates. Ok… maybe I’ve taken this metaphor to a creepy place, but hopefully you get my point. You’re great, and I’m grateful for our connection. Your blogs rock, and your posts have moved and impacted me!

The platonic kind... that isn't creepy...   (nilrix.com)

The platonic kind… that isn’t creepy… (nilrix.com)

I’ve been a BBB for lots of reasons, and I’m sorry for that. But my heart is sincere and anything I wrote here is because I really feel it. I’ve gotten so much more from this world of blogging than I’ve given. Whether my blog ever ends up being part of that “platform” for getting my book(s)– because yes, there are now two– published, it doesn’t matter anymore. I may not have as many Facebook likes as I want for Tales From the Motherland; I may not be wildly followed on Twitter (and let’s face it, I’m boring there… except for when I’m not); and my blog may be growing but not anywhere near the 10,000 followers that publishing says you need, to be a platform. (Sinks her head and groans) This blog has come to mean so much more than I ever imagined, and so much more than the illusive platform can provide. If it weren’t for this blog I would not have met any of you! Of course I’m glad that some of my posts have resonated with people, and that my writing is appreciated, but let me be clear and say this again: I have gotten so much more in return. And for that, I am very, very grateful.

Final note: It is inevitable– so inevitable that it gives me a knot in my stomach, that I have forgotten someone who I really like. Who knew that there were several hundred-thousand blogs out there (on WordPress alone)?! I haven’t skimmed the surface, and I’m overwhelmed with the great writing I’ve found and enjoyed. So, if I did miss you in the epic Oscar worthy acknowledgement, I am sorry. Truly. Please don’t take it personally; my intentions are good, but Yeah, I’m a Bad Blogging Buddy.

*     *     *

What do I want? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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Fairly…

IMG_6780

Each year I go to the fair. It’s a summer ritual, that I look forward to, and plan for. The Northwest Washington Fair, often called TheLynden Fair, is a classic old time country fair and is about thirty minutes from where I live, and I’ve gone just about every year, since we moved here 13 years ago. For a long time our trips to the fair were marked by child-centered activities: which rides could they go on, what sugary thing could they try, and how long would they hold up? Back then I longed for some time to just peruse the animal barns, check out the winning quilts and visit the sea of vendors– all of which my kids found horribly boring. Instead, it was a battery of questions, and pleas for things that only came at the fair.

“Mom, can I get a cotton Candy? An elephant ear? Some curly fries?”

“Mom can we ride the Graviton? The Ring of Fire? The Tilt’a Whirl?”

“Mom, am I tall enough to ride this one?” They stood on tippy toe, hoping.

“Mom, can I bring a friend?” Always a friend who didn’t have a ride.

“Mom, my friends and I want to go to the fair; will you drive?” Or, several friends–

“Mom, I’m meeting my friends at the fair… could you please not hang around us?”

“Mom, the barns are boring! All my friends are at the rides.” Of course.

“Mom, I’m starving! Can we get a turkey leg– it’s protein! Mini donuts?”

“Mom, can I have some money for…” The fair… is very expensive!

There was always an endless list of must haves at the fair; thankfully it only came once a year, and I was never afraid of the word no.

It was often so hot that I wanted to leave, as soon as I got there– the heat amplified by the straw, the dust and and the dry grass all around. But deep down, I loved being there as much as my kids did.  I would follow them around, waiting as they road the rides and bellowed that they were doing it again. I’d get dizzy just watching them spin and flip and do it again, over and over. We generally went with friends, and the adults would stand around tisk tisk’ing the poor choices made by the teenagers– checking out who was there with who, and what they were wearing. We watched our own kids turn green– even as they pleaded to keep going. Their determination and energy was boundless, each year a the fair. I waited, and followed and paid and waved, patiently, hoping that somewhere in the day/night, we’d wander into the barns, and see the animals.

“Let’s go look at the horses,” I’d coax. “I love the way they braid the horses’ manes, and the lambs are so cute!”

“The animals are boring! Want to come on the Ferris Wheel with us?”

“I think it was Socrates that something about all the world being in the eyes of a cow.”

They rolled their eyes at my feeble attempts. “We’re hungry!”

Let’s face it however, without the food and the rides, the fair would just be a farm. It’s the one time of year that we buy lots of junk and celebrate getting it! Outside of Disney, where else do you get a 2 lb. turkey leg?

I learned to park in the back lots, so that we had to pass by the barns coming in and going out. It helped my chances of breezing through a few of them, one way or another. Inevitably, my kids would venture through the barns with me, when they were sick from eating too much starchy, sugary food, and riding one too many upside down, twisty machines. They never admitted defeat, but came along to see the animals as if doing me a favor. Of course they enjoyed the animals too. But for me, this is the best part of the fair. I could watch the baby goats scramble over each other for hours. The pigs amazed me– their violent tussles and their lazy slumber. The ravenous piglet who  are  perpetually suckling from an exhausted sow. The cows and horses are my always my favorite– the cows, with their enormous, soulful eyes, and the horses with their beautiful coats and elegant rink maneuvers. I love the smell of a barn, the light, the memories that are evoked.

One year we saw a baby cow being born. They added a “birthing barn” a few years ago, and if you’re lucky, you might see a an animal being born. This calf was stuck– breach, in its mother. I watched in amazement as the vet attached chains and pulled the calf out by it’s little hooves, feeling a certain maternal connection to the wild-eyed mother. My son Middle Man, watched in silent horror, though he was long old enough to know how babies were born– human or animal. Those are memories with my children, in a place I love, that I will always hold dear.

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This year I went to the fair with a good friend. We’ve gone together nearly every year for the last eight years, but this year, neither one of us had kids to take. Mine are gone, off exploring the world, or figuring out college. Hers are still in high school, but past the point when going to the fair with your mom is acceptable. Admittedly, it all felt a little different. We stayed away from the rides, and I wouldn’t recognize any of the teenagers at this point, anyway. We shared a turkey leg, some mini-donuts and an elephant ear, over the course of the day– after all, it’s still about the food. We took our time looking at the blue ribbon quilts, the collections, and the artwork– not feeling rushed or pulled. We visited the rodeo to watch a shortened version of the big show that would be performed over the weekend. But we took our time in the barns. We watched young riders compete on horseback in the main rink; strolled along as stalls were mucked out, and watched baby animals play, without feeling any pressure to be somewhere else. We remembered the years we’d brought our kids, but also enjoyed the freedom to take our time and enjoy all the other great things at the fair that we wanted to see.

Time shifts; the lay of the land changes, but the fair is still how I mark the end of my summer. It’s a symbolic heralding of a change in season, leaves changing color, and my kids moving on. This year at the fair, there were no kids with us, and while that was a little bitter sweet, it’s also just fine. We enjoyed it on our own terms, and had a blast.

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Friday Fictioneers: Be Careful What You Wish For…

friday-fictioneersWell…  Once again, I forgot to link up, for 10 hours; but better late than never!  Friday Fictioneers is brought to you each week by the indefatigable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who leads our band of merry writers, in weekly photo-prompt flash fiction. It is also her birthday this Thursday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCHELLE! Thank you so much for all you do each week, to make FF so wonderful!   You can find other 100-word stories on Rochelle’s blog, Addicted to Purple. Join us, or just enjoy the wide variety of stories.  This week’s photo was provided by our hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. **Please leave a comment. I always welcome honest, thoughtful or constructive feedback.

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Be Careful What You Wish For (100 words)

“Please put your shoes away; they don’t belong on the kitchen floor.”

“Mom, what’s the big deal? I’m going to wear them again in a little while.”

 

“Put your dishes in the dishwasher when you’re done eating; don’t leave them in the sink!”

“Yeah, I know, Mom. I will.”

“You know what? And when?”

 

“Seriously, put your stuff away! This isn’t a dorm, it’s our home.”

“Yeah, I know.”

I come home from the airport– my daughter headed 7,000 miles away, my son 8,000 miles, chasing their dreams. Tears burn in my eyes, as I stand in my clean, silent kitchen.

*    *    *

What do I want? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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Friday Fictioneers: Broken Dreams.

friday-fictioneersAs soon as I saw the photo this week, I knew where I’d go… it just took, me awhile to pull myself out of the happy stories I’ve written of late, to address this “squeamish” photo– brought to us this week by Madison Woods. That, and a very busy few days!

Friday Fictioneers is brought to you each week by the indefatigable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who leads our band of merry writers, in weekly photo-prompt flash fiction. You can find other 100-word stories on Rochelle’s blog, Addicted to Purple. Join us, or just enjoy the wide variety of stories.  ** Please leave a comment. I always welcome honest, thoughtful or constructive feedback.

© Madison Woods

© Madison Woods

Broken Dreams (99 words)

Jonathan paused, the box heavy in his arms. He glanced around and swallowed hard, tears springing to his eyes again. He’d spent the weekend clearing the small room of anything that would remind her: freshly cleaned blankets and soft onesies; the “perfect lamp,” chosen to send dancing stars across the room at night; the cradle, passed down from her parents. Everything was packed away, the room returned to it’s previous benign status as an office.

They’d gotten so close this time… Three more weeks, he thought.  Jonathan took these moments to grieve in private, the fourth and final loss of their dreams.

*     *     *

What do I want? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter,it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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