Urban Safari

Early that day the squawk of a mother quail brought me to my window. I saw the mother and about 12 tiny quail following behind her. Later in the arroyo behind the house–the place the neighbor calls “the wildlife preserve”–I spotted a roadrunner, several rabbits and some small furry thing that might be either a prairie dog or a ground squirrel.

Who needs a zoo when you have all this outside your door? It’s a true urban safari just to walk out the front gate and wander down the street. In this urban jungle, the troublesome beasts are the house pets. The dogs. The untrained dogs who lunge at you on the trails. The untrained owners who leave long trails of dog poop for others to step in are a menace, too. There’s one dog owner who . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “urban safari.”


Small Blessing

The mini blinds look like Ramen noodles,
It’s possible that we may need another rug,
A lamp cord lies severed from its plug,
The electric blanket ripped and ratty,
Papers on the floor chewed to confetti.
Yes, we are blessed with a new puppy.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “puppies.”


I stood before the stove, mesmerized by the pan of sugar water I was boiling up for the hummingbird feeder. The roar of the garbage truck barreling down the alley brought me back from my pot-watching mental time warp. I turned off the heat and set the pan aside to cool.

For several days I had suffered these wandering moments. I couldn’t get my mind off Margie McNamara, the young officer who brought evidence into my forensics lab last week. She . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words about the topic “hummingbird.”

Animals are

Animals are invading my dreams. Moose, bear, wolves–they’re all in my head and popping up in my dreamtime. I attribute this to Dana Stabenow, whose 8 or so books about Alaska native Kate Shugak I have read in the last month or two. I love these books, these people, this Alaska she writes about. I picked up the first one because it was a mystery, which I read a lot of, but have learned to appreciate Stabenow as one of the more accomplished writers in any . . .

Write the first 50 words of your piece about “Animals are” in a comment.


Today’s topic: cat. My first 50 words . . .

I’m a die-hard fan of blues singer Ruthie Foster. At a recent concert she talked about learning to play the guitar in the company of a cat and a metronome. She asked, Have you ever seen a cat around a metronome? Not many of the audience had, I’m sure, but we could all picture it, and we all laughed at the thought.

We know cats, we know metronomes. We understand what the juxtaposition of those two elements would produce. That’s how humor works: the juxtaposition of unrelated elements. The best humor . . .


Today’s topic: giraffe. My First 50 Words:

I pick the giraffe named Melman as my character. I’m tense, joystick clutched tight, but determined that Melman-as-me will play a red hot game of putt putt golf. My eyes are fixed on the screen, unblinking, ready to play.

Gabby sprawls on the floor, relaxed. She moves the controls like they were part of her autonomic nervous system. The first putt is . . .

%d bloggers like this: