Freight Train

Where I grew up most of the freight trains came carrying sugar beets. Open topped cars filled to almost overflowing with big white beets. When the sugar factory on the north side of town was operating, the stink filled the whole town. But like the cattle feed lots that joined in the stink, nobody complained about ‘the smell of money.’

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “freight train.”

Curse

My grandmother didn’t curse. When really frustrated she would spell out S-H-I-T. Maybe she cursed when I wasn’t around. But her son, my father, couldn’t get through a sentence without some sort of curse word. He used to brag that he talked like a drunken sailor. He never said a goddam thing that didn’t need a strong curse. And me, what position do I take on cursing?

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “curse.”

As a Kid

As a kid I loved shooting rubber bands and spit balls at people. I thought it was funny to tell other kids they had spiders in their hair. I liked calling random people on the phone and asking if the refrigerator was running. That goofy sense of humor went away. Or maybe it turned into a love of puns, obscure literary references, and strange science stories.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “as a kid.”

The Best Day

Were there days that felt like the best day of your life? The day your children were born? The day you got married? The day your book was published? The day you survived a car wreck? Or maybe just waking up and getting out of bed is a great day. Another day to be your best day ever.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “the best day.”

The Human Condition

The human condition is an inexplicable mass of contradiction. For example, our ability to believe the most ridiculous things in spite of masses of evidence to the contrary. For example: If I put the cigarettes on the TV instead of by my chair I won’t smoke as much. If I don’t activate my credit card I won’t buy so much crap. If I don’t buy snack food I will lose weight. If . . .

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “the human condition.”

I Saw

I saw the full moon rising over the Sandias, their pink sunset glow washed out by the blazing light of the moon. It took but minutes for the complete circle of light to rise above the mountains. It took but minutes for me to stop, watch, and reset my heart. Sometimes it’s easy to find peace. It helps if you’re outside.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “I saw.”

I Gave

I gave to the United Way. I gave to the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. I gave to the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. I gave to Go Fund Me. I gave to nonprofits and charities. I gave to funds for tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires. Then I gave my taxes to the US government.

All that giving helped others, but my taxes help me.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “I gave.”

Glad

“He was a mean son of a bitch and I’m glad he’s dead.”

I didn’t know my grandfather. Nobody, including my mother, ever spoke about him. One time I asked my Uncle Dave about him. That was his answer.

When something like this lives in your family history, how does it affect the generations that come after?

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “glad.”

Funny

She was such a funny kid. The youngest in the family, the clown. She could make me laugh until I face ached and my stomach would have laughter abs. That was what made her a hit with everyone, all those smiles and all that joy. Priceless, she was.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “funny.”

My Favorite Toy

Stop me if I’ve told you this before. Oh, right. You don’t know what I’m talking about yet. Well, when I was a kid I had these gold colored cap guns. Shaped like six shooters. They used caps that came in a disc with six shots. I had a plastic holsters to carry them in – one on each hip. I tell you, I was so cool carrying those cap guns down the street, I could hardly stand myself.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “my favorite toy.”