Posted in poetry, Writing

Another Planet

I have a special ticket

Source: Another Planet

Posted in everyday living, life and reflection, Writers I Like, Writing, Your Turn

“Ode to the Liquor Store Lady” by M.D. /Writers I Like

I wonder sometimes if she sees their pain …all of our pain. What kind of job it must be to hand out the poison that ruins every other patron. Is she a home-wrecker? A murderer? An abuser? She’s just doing her job. We are the ones so willing to walk through her doors & waste away an entire paycheck on that sweet nectar that rots our minds. The housewife with her Sunday wine. The college kids with their vodka & Redbull. The awkward first-timer perusing the wares. The homeless man counting his pennies for some gin. Everyone has their story, why they’re here. Why they can’t look her in the eye. I’d like to blame her for all the misery. ‘Why do you do this to me?’ when I really want to ask ‘Why do i do this to myself?’ That must be one of the worst jobs in the world. To see the best of people with the worst of intentions go in & out – in & out – day after day, week after week … until one day they don’t show up anymore. Jail, rehab, death? Where did they go? What path did you lead them down? – the drunks, with their pursed lips & dry hands. The ones who are too weak or too strong to make it through their days. How many families have you ruined? How many hearts have you broken? Jaws have you broken? Cars wrecked? Thank you for your services, liquor store lady. You are the kindest of doctors. The sweetest of anesthesia. The warmest of fires & the Queen of the Drunks.

Posted in Writing and all its cousins

Places From The California Notebooks 2015

I like this very much.


once I used
to live in a jungle
I think

I spent my time
wading off emotions
spiders and mosquitoes


the light was
hardly shining
emotions were
too thick

I needed a machete

cutting off some thoughts
new emotions started
to grow tall and lean
fewer the ivy

now I live

in a green pasture
sunshine on a clear sky
and the occasional
thorn bush


.2015-02-11 09.31.09.









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Posted in Writers I Like, Writing, Your Turn

Artist & Writer: Monte Robinson

I have shared several of his poems and essays on the blog–BROKEN DOLL, GIVERS VS TAKERSINCOMPLETE; we’ve collaborated on a few projects, or at least tried (FREESTYLE); and now, Mr. Robinson, aka The Writerly Genius, has finally granted an interview.

Do you agree with the cliché that creative types are misunderstood?
​I do​ agree with that statement, because of personal experiences and scientific research. Artists are often stereotyped as weirdos, and I think some of that perceived weirdness derives from the creativity we hung onto and expanded throughout our lives. We do not quite fit into the box of what is considered “normal” due to our natural born talent.
I draw, paint, write short stories, and dabble in poetry. Those things require me to think differently than the average person. I think all artists think differently than the average person, which can lead to us being misunderstood. In many cases, I just experience the world in a way that others do not. When I look at real life landscapes, I see them as two dimensional like they were on a canvas. At random times, lines and stanzas just pop into my mind.
From an educator’s standpoint, how would you encourage a young person interested in the Arts? How would you  encourage your younger self?
Usually when students tell me they cannot write poems, short stories, or plays, I reassure them that they have the ability, and they just need to tap into it. Generally, they are afraid that it will not be good enough, so I explain to them that “good” is relative. Some may like it; some may not, so write something that you will enjoy. My mother was very supportive of my artistic side, so I would encourage my younger self the same way she did.
We often hear the term “natural-born talent”, do you feel we have innate gifts, or is creativity one of those things learned over time?
​I believe we are all born with creativity. When left to their own devices, kids come up with some creative – sometimes crazy – stuff. I think some of us are more developed in specific areas than others, also. My mom said I started drawing at age 3. I remember being in Headstart at age 5 and drawing my own cartoon characters on the back of the pages they gave us to color. I think schools, adults, and the need to fit-in kills the creativity. ​
You’re both an artist and a writer. Which of these was most dominant in your formative years? In later years? Are there similarities in each field?
In my formative years, I was more of an artist. I did not think of myself as a writer at all. I still don’t. Looking back, I realize that I used to tell short stories to entertain my cousins. It was usually silly stuff, but it fit my age. I really enjoyed drawing, and it garnered lots of support, so it was much more of a factor for most of my life. I only started writing within the last fifteen years after I stopped drawing and painting. It started with blogging. I had a way of getting my point across in story form and that eventually morphed into writing short stories. My ex-wife was a poet, so I kind of started messing around with poetry because of her.​​
The similarities between the two are that I am trying to tell a story. The differences are – besides the obvious- I have to find just the right way to tell my story in a single image while drawing versus writing​​ ​where I paint the picture with as many or as few words as I like.​
Imagine you have time to pursue a creative project. What would it be?
I would write a novel. For years now, it has felt like something I was destined to do. It is hard to explain. It just feels like the next step.​

In one word. Writing is _____________

Posted in Writers I Like, Writing and all its cousins, Your Turn

Forget-Me-Not by Nusquam Esse/Winner of Flash Fiction Contest

Read Nusquam’s winning entry and other creative works here:



*I think what initially attracted me to Nusquam Esse’s piece is the first line:  As children, do we realize what a father does?  There are many things we take for granted as children–plus, I wanted to know what it was in particular that this father did to make him story worthy.

Then Esse goes on to talk about a seed. A seed his father has tried desperately to grow in the harshest of conditions. Will he succeed? Is he crazy? Why is this tiny seed so important?

And the ending is both ironic and bittersweet.

Give it a read and feel free to comment in the section below.


Posted in Writers I Like, Your Turn

Bring On the Words Honorable Mentions, Gwendolyn Payton & Christina



I’m talking
but no one cares to listen.
I’m crying
but no one sees my tears.
I’m shivering in the cold and lonely darkness,
but no one cares to know my fears.
I’m hurting
but no one cares about my pain.
I’m drowning in despair
but no one tries to save me.
I’m hearing the voices of the little evil men.
I’m seeing demons no one else can see.
I’m tripping
but no one tries to catch me.
I’m falling
yet everyone smiles.
I’m helpless, and I’m asking for a hand
as my friends stand laughing all the while.
I talk. I cry. I shiver. I hurt.
I drown. I hear. I trip. I fall,
while everyone stands around me laughing.
Does no one not care at all?

* Just a quick note. It was  difficult to choose “just one”  third place and honorable mention winner. Therefore, there are two in each group. Out of several entries–which is great for a humble and aspiring novelist, poet, and blogger such as myself–the submissions were pared down to the following list:

The Hope That Lies Beyond by Rick Puetter   First Place Winner

51 Hillview Street by Will Neill  Second Place Winner

Daddy Do You Hear Me by Katherine Stokes Third Place Winner

Rich or Poor by Tate Morgan Third Place Winner (Visit him here)

Does No One Not Care by Gwendolyn Payton *(See above)

The First Sinking by Christina *Available only to members of

Posted in Writers I Like, Your Turn

Third Place Winners of Bring On the Words: Katherine Stokes and Tate Morgan



Where would I be if I didn’t have you?

Lost in a world of confusion

not knowing what to do

I knew you were around,

it was just something I missed…

Silent cries of my envy of

a father’s sweet kiss

That’s why I ask,

“DADDY do you hear me?”


Did you know the many nights I cried,

as I wondered why you were away

Mind riddled with negative thoughts

from negative people from around the way

All my life seemed to be in shambles,

a sort of battle-like tug-of-war

Not knowing you had demons of your own

away from your family, so very far

But I still ask,

“Daddy do you hear me?”


Daddy I would have loved every moment

of every minute of every hour

of the precious moments I had with you

Overjoyed with the thoughts of many questions

that I needed answered,

that only you had the answers to


Man I was lonely…

My loneliness still remains a new-found friend

of purpose,

never knowing where my focus should be,

and what price I would have to pay

to see a future of gain–Are you listening daddy?

I ask again,

DADDY do you hear me?


I have been through so much,

and in life it’s a lesson learned

Pain, anxiety, and such are the evils that

cause concern

Why did I take myself down that road, daddy

to a place where I knew I could never win

A full day can’t go any farther,

it’s a dead-end

Daddy if only I could rewind

the times I had with you

Daddy, I would tell you that one last time,

how much I love you


I know you’re up there gazing down on me

I want you to know I’m doing good to let God–

trying to be drama free

Yet, I still ask…DADDY do you hear me?


Though my life seems challenging, I wake

full of hopes and dreams

Goals steady coming, a future yet unseen

Daddy, I know you hear me, it seems to be clear

Remembering the times we had together

as I hold them dear

I love you with all my heart…

Your grand-daughters look just like you

I ask, daddy, do you hear me?

And in turn I know you do

Posted in Writers I Like

Winners of Bring On the Words: Rick Puetter



Oh, how life’s cares bound up my heart!

I faced each day with dread

My life was so devoid of joy

Held woe I could not shed

What could I do to ease this curse–

To find from pain release?

I lifted goblet to my lips

Drank full, the world to cease

And as I slept upon my bed

A dream appeared to me

It seemed that I in water swam

Then sank into the sea

And down and down my body sank

Pulled down into the deep

I felt my lungs about to burst

Prepared for final sleep

But on the bottom’s rippled sands

Were sunken ships arrayed

The ships not in sad disrepair

But stately were displayed

No rotting timber marred their hills

No mud-encrusted sterns

This not a death-bed of the deep

These ships by God ne’er spurned

This not a graveyard damp and dark–

Wrecks ravaged by petards

No ghostly sailors beyond hope

No soul from heaven barred

But proudly sails were hoisted high

Filled full by current drafts

The sight did draw from me a sigh

To see such spritely crafts

And as these vessels strained to move

To free hulls from the sands

Me thought I heard a Captain cry

“Me hardies next stop land!”

And spirit crews did then appear

Trimmed sails and manned the ropes

So lively did the sailors move

My God, it gave one hope!

Then clouds did move from overhead

And light of moon did gleam

Jeweled rays of light cut through the sea

And lit this brilliant scene

Then slowly from their watery graves

The ships began to move

Their hulls now free from sandy bar–

Untimely death reproved!

And as the vessels sailed away

In water I did rise

Then somehow walked a sun-lit beach

With life restored as prize

And gazing at the sun, amazed

I clutched myself in tears

Oh how my life had been so blessed

I’ll cherish all my years!

Then I awoke upon my bed

My fears all swept away

Oh was this dream or was this truth?

I really cannot say

And yet I’ll always carry this–

This vision of my dream

And whether true or whether false

I’m stronger so it seems

And I can see those sunken ships–

Can see them sail away

And now can face the world again!

Find joy in every day

*Rick Puetter


This is such a compelling piece. I read it several times in judging and many more since then. I hope you all will find it  inspirational as well.


Care to read more? Visit Rick Puetter here: