A few days ago, I planned to use what I thought was a Mark Twain quote as the subject of a post.

It turned out Twain didn’t say it.

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He did say this one, and It fits today’s prompt, “right” so today we’ll get some advice from a literary giant.

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It is a challenge to write every day,

I haven’t been able to write every day, or just didn’t want to, for much of my writing life.

Then, in the middle of a coronavirus quarantine when routines were forced to change and the world no longer spun quite so fast, WordPress Discover brought back daily prompts.

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The crazy time happens just before dark.

Today, I’d been home from work for a little while, and I got another chance to do what’s become part of my routine since “coronavirus” and “quarantine” became parts of regular conversations.

I sit on the front porch in a rocking chair and read.

I cracked a new book open today, but I didn’t get through the prologue before it started.

It was the crazy time, when those crazy things come from who knows where and try to eat me alive.

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This is it.

With this post, I have written something every day for the last month.

I am grateful to WordPress Discover for these prompts, which is great because today’s WordPress Discover prompt is “grateful.”

Sometimes, things just work out well.

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I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is I finished reading another book today. It’s the second one I’ve read this month.

The bad news is I am still three books behind pace of my goal to read two books a month this year.

What better way to plan how to catch up than to list the next five books I plan to read?

My to-read list is just one of three purposes for this post.

The second is to complete today’s WordPress Discover prompt, which is “list.”

The third is to ask others for additions to my list, which is after the jump.

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One of my favorite parts of my journalism job was when veterans told me their stories.

They told me how they jumped onto a beach in France, and they told me about sleepless nights in the Vietnam delta.

Sometimes, though, there were stories they weren’t ready to tell.

Sometimes, those memories were parts of their past they preferred to keep there so we let them lie buried.

There were words they couldn’t say, and scenes they didn’t want to replay.

I always accepted their hesitation without question, but earlier this year a book helped me understand it.

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This poem filled with pairs proved easy to write,

after I saw what I saw last night.

I watched a dad sit down in a chair,

and hold his two daughters, who sat with him there. 

One of the girls held onto a book,

but dad opened it up and all three took a look.

It wasn’t just any old story or fable,

On that pair of pages, laid flat on a table.

This wasn’t a tale of planes or a park,

but the story of Noah, and a boat called an ark.

There were on those pages a few things to find,

Among all of the animals, two of a kind.

Pictures of pages from “Noah’s Ark and Other Bible Stories, First Look and Find” from Phoenix International Publications, Inc.

A hammer, a saw, a ruler for size,

all spied by the gazes from three pairs of eyes.

They found everything on the floating zoo,

which the animals boarded, two by two.

I know all of those pairs surely caused some congestion,

but still — I can’t help it — I have a question.

Answer me this, or I’ll never know,

why did this guy show blueprints to a hippo?

When the story was finished, goodnights were said,

then mom and dad put the children to bed.

When it comes to kids, that pair surely wins,

For they have a young son, and their daughters are twins. 

Mama’s Losin’ It

I sat in a mall food court yesterday afternoon.

It was the first time I’d darkened the door of the mall in a while. I’d planned to people watch, because it’s just about the only thing suitable to do in a mall while you patiently wait for a woman to finish shopping, but something was off. (more…)