Hike

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

My favorite fall hike is along Sandia Crest to a spectacular view of a stand of aspen. We’d almost reached the viewpoint when I smelled it. The unmistakable aroma of death. My steps slowed. Behind me, Jeni muttered, Do you smell that?

Within a few yards, we could hear the flies.

It will be a bear or a coyote, I said. We peered over a sharp drop off and saw a woman’s body. She sprawled face down, her left leg at an awkward angle. A knife stuck . . .

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Inns and Suites

Today’s topic: inns and suites. My first 50 words . . .

I followed her to the South Valley Inns and Suites. She headed straight to the building farthest from the highway and parked outside room 412. She scampered to the door her silly high heeled shoes and disappeared into the room. I recognized the black SUV parked next to her car. It belongs to my sister Pam.

I dropped the baseball bat I’d been clutching and stared at the SUV. It really was Pam’s. What did that mean? I couldn’t think. I pulled into a parking slot and grabbed the bat again . . .

I wonder

Today’s topic: I wonder. My first 50 words . . .

I wonder if she still likes lima beans. Does she still pay avid attention to the international news from Eastern Europe? Can she still write a powerful sentence? Did she navigate the perils of drugs and alcohol during her adolescence and make it through to adulthood still able to take advantage of her potential?

There have been many ten-year-old people in my life, passing by year after year. They blur after a while. But some stand out. Like scruffy, blonde haired . . .

Breeze

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

Breeze is a great name for a piece of software. It sounds light and refreshing, like something you’d enjoy on a spring day. My first experience with Breeze was, in fact, a pleasant one.

The software lets you share your voice, image and the files in your presentation with remote viewers. It also creates a chat window for questions and feedback as the presentation is going on.

With technology like this, you could take a class at Harvard while living in Ordway, Colorado. . . .

Sweetheart

Topic of the day: sweetheart. My first 50 words . . .

Honey, you came to the right place, he said. He waved his young and nicely sculpted arm toward the array of used vehicles in the lot outside the window. I have a sweetheart of a deal for you. The perfect car for what you need.

He stood up and moved toward the door. I followed. I generally didn’t respond favorably to men who called me honey, but I decided to reserve judgement until I saw what the sweetheart deal amounted to. . . .

Chronicle

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

The chronicle of my death was not meant to be a mystery, although it turned out that way. I asked the scrawny fellow conducting me through the mist, What happened? How did I die?

His answer was an inscrutable smile.

I have to go back, I said. I need to find out what happened to my daughter. She was with me just now.

He flapped his tattered wings and continued to forcefully herd me along. . . .

Carpet

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

I accidentally slid on the carpet, Joey said. ‘Cause I fell accidentally.

I eyed his scabbed face. It looks very painful. He nodded in agreement. I looked him over carefully then, checking for bruises and other signs of injury. I didn’t want him to realize I was checking him, so I rattled off some remarks about his beloved soccer.

He’d come to school before looking bruised and battered. But I’d come to believe from watching his athletic grace with a soccer ball at recess that he wasn’t as accident prone as he professed. . . .

Cat

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 . . .

My dad always said

Today’s topic: My dad always said. My first 50 words . . .

My dad always said he wanted to die by being shot at age 99 by a jealous husband. He missed that by quite a few years and a massive heart attack. He also frequently said it was hotter than a two-dollar pistol. He found plenty of hot places in Colorado in the summer, climbing around in attics as part of his work as an electrician. I don’t think he ever owned a two-dollar pistol, but he loved to hunt and owned several guns.

Now me, I possessed two matching two-dollar pistols. Gold colored cap guns that had the distinct characteristic of realism because they shot a disc of only six caps, just like a real six-shooter. I ruined my repulation forever by wearing these two cap pistols out in public . . .

Yelling at the TV

Today’s topic: Yelling at the TV. My first 50 words . . .

Nobody yells at their TV these days. Everyone is too busy writing a blog, telling their opinions to the entire world. Instead of tossing house slippers at the tube, we toss words into the cosmic consiousness at an amazing rate.

The previously unmet need for self-expression that the Internet fills sparked an economic boom along with creating a vast network of opinion pushers and closet writers . . .