The “Airport Test”

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Thanks for stopping by Redhead Reflections!

I hope this day has treated you well thus far, and I send out good energies to all who read this!

Today’s word from WordPress is Forlorn, and the prompt from my book, Writer’s BlockIMG_4442 is…Opening Lines.

So, I continue my quest to combine the two prompts, with the intention of creating an interesting challenge that will be entertaining for my readers.

Writer’s Block says this about Opening Lines:

“What makes a good opening line?  It depends on the story.  Editors of suspense thrillers often hold manuscripts up to an “Airport Test”:  If you were browsing through an airport bookstore, picked up a paperback, and read the opening line, would you buy the book before boarding your flight?”

After reading this I decided it would be fun to take an opening line from one of my horror stories, and tweak it just a bit to include the WordPress word, forlorn.  

Today’s combination is the third in this series.

“Amy opened her eyes to nothing…forlorn, she tried to bring her hands to her eyes, thinking she could rub away the dark, but her hands were bound behind her back.”

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Photo from loverofdarkness.com by Don

Hopefully, this opening line passes the “Airport Test.” 

***

If you would like to read Amy’s Story visit Creepy Reflections where all of my horror stories take up their residence.   

 

Viable Danger

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My sister, my mama and me 

Today’s word prompt is viable.

So, I took the liberty of looking it up in several dictionaries, and this is what I found:

  1. Alive, capable of living, developing, or reproducing.
  2. Capable of working, functioning or developing adequately.
  3. Able to exist, perform as intended, or succeed.

After digging a little more I was able to discover its etymology.  It originated from Latin’s word vita.  In France, during the 1820’s, “vita” evolved into “vie” which meant life, and the suffix “able” was originally used in reference to newborn infants, in 1848.   If we were to compute this etymology into a mathematical equation it would look something like this:

[Latin/Vita]  +  [French/Vie=Life(1820’s)]  +  [Able=Newborn(1848)] =  Viable

Gosh, I love words!  

New words are provided daily by WordPress (WP), with the intent of getting the writer’s, imaginary juices flowing.

Sometimes they inspire me, but mostly…not so much.

514zc4z+s6L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Today, I had the bright idea of taking today’s  word, and combining it with a prompt from my book, The Writer’s Block.  The book is a 3×3 inch block filled with 786 ideas. (That’s a whopping 2 years and 66 days of writing material!)

My challenge is to take one prompt from the book, but only in the order it is given.  The very first prompt is:  Describe your first brush with danger.  So, if I were to compute today’s challenge into a mathematical equation it would look something like this:

 

[Viable]  +  [Describe your first brush with danger]  =  [Today’s Post]

So without further ado…today’s post:

 

Viable Danger

My first brush with danger happened early in my life.  I was only a newborn, so this story is based on my mother’s word, and it goes something like this…

I was a preemie, born a month early, and weighed barely five pounds.  In spite of this, baby Lisa, was a viable newborn, ready to take on the world.

My mom took me home to live on Wood Street, in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

Wood street, at that time was a dead, end dirt road.  The locals liked to call it “washboard alley” because of all its ruts.  Also, I’ve heard it say, that the area was called “frog level,” because every evening the frogs would congregate in the nearby creek to serenade the street dwellers.

One day, my mom laid her sleepy baby (me) in the crib, and covered her with a warm blanket.  Since I seemed content enough, she left me with my father, and walked past my aunt’s house to visit my grandmother, who lived two houses down and on the left.

After a while, my dad looked in at me, and saw that I was not breathing and that I had turned an ashen color.  Frightened, he picked me up, opened the front door, and hollered, “Bessie, come quick…there’s something wrong with this baby!”  My mom and aunt came running, grabbed me, got in the car, and headed to the hospital.  My aunt drove, and my mom, who just happened to be a nurse, performed CPR on me the entire ride to the hospital.

At the hospital I was given oxygen.  The doctor said I almost died of SIDS, (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and then scolded my mom for laying me on my back instead of my tummy.

My mom vowed she had laid me in the crib on my tummy, and I believe her.  At that time (1960’s), it was advised to lay infants on their stomach.  Today it’s just the opposite.

That’s the story of my first brush with danger, and since it nearly killed me; I dub this post Viable Danger.

***

I’ve no clue what WP’s daily prompt will be, however,  the prompt from The Writer’s Block is:  Diet

(Hope you’ll join me for tomorrows combination!)

PS –  Thank you mom, dad, and aunt Emma for saving this girl’s life!

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Daily Meditation: Mark 2:16-17

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One day, a well-known, and well-hated, tax collector invited Jesus and his friends to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors, and many other notorious sinners.  

When some of the teachers of religious law, who were Pharisees, saw Jesus eating and socializing with people like that…they asked, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

Jesus heard the question, and answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, sick people do.  I have come to call sinners, not those who “think” they are already good enough.”

***

We are called to pull down the walls, and open wide the gates.

Christ says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL unto me.”

All means All, there is no fine print.

How magnetic is your faith?

Do you compel, or do you repel?

***

Father, may my actions and words draw others to your unconditional love.

***

Daily Prompt:  Magnetic

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A Day in the Life of Bagsby Jones, Bull Dog P.I.

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Bagsby Jones, Bull Dog Private Investigator, was on the case!

He wrinkled his brow, sniffed the air, and vigorously kicked his hind legs.  He rarely took the time to relieve himself while on the job, but, this particular deposit had been necessary.  Call it an emergency that couldn’t wait, or, an accident waiting to happen; either would be true.  Feeling his tummy rumble, he grimaced, and vowed to pass by the next road kill.  Bagsby surmised it must have lain in the sun for too long.  He vowed the next time he came by such a find, he’d take it home to the cat.  He snickered at the thought.

Bagsby scanned the busy street, and was relieved to find that his target had yet to round the corner of Big Bills Butcher Shop.  He was so thankful the poop stop had not hindered the mission at hand, that he sent up a silent “thank you” to Pooch Heaven.

All four of Bagsby’s short, but muscular legs, carried his stocky, body towards the perfect hideout.  He had spent weeks watching and calculating the moves of the big guy, and Bagsby was confident this was the perfect place for the ambush.

Stifling a bark of laughter, Bagsby began to back into a small space between two large trash cans.  This maneuver proved difficult, as the space was quite small.  He grunted a cuss word, or two, and wiggled his booty back and forth, until he finally squeezed into the tiny opening.  Had it only been yesterday that he had been able to back in with ease?  Bagsby was baffled, until he remembered the road kill, and realized the tainted stuff must have given him gas.  A repetitious rumble, sneaked out his back door, giving credence to his assumption.  The confined space captured the ripe fragrance, and wafted it to his nose.  Bagsby curled his upper lip, scowled, and cursed the road kill, but then he thought about the cat, and smiled.

His mischievous day dream, of poisoning the cat, dissipated at the sound of a distant whistle.   Harmonious whistling had always preceded the big guy’s approach.  Bagsby, reigned in his thoughts to the task at hand.  He knew his target was close, so he tensed his body, and readied himself for the ambush.  Sure enough, the whistling grew louder as the target rounded the butcher shop.  After a moment he could hear the big guy’s footsteps, so he hunkered closer to the ground, in preparation for the attack.  Bagsby could barely contain his excitement.

“Wait for it…wait for it…not yet,” he chided….wait for it…wait… ”

Then it happened!  Shoe leather, and blue fabric entered his field of vision.  Without hesitation, Bagsby lunged his bull-dog frame forward, but his bloated body wedged to a halt.  The noise startled the big guy dressed in blue, and when he caught sight of Bagsby ricocheting between the two trash cans, he screamed, and ran down the busy sidewalk, dodging the passerby’s.

Bagsby feared his target would escape, but adrenalin and another slippage of gas propelled him forward, toppling over both trash cans.  He hit the ground running, booking it in the direction of the fleeing man.  When he was within striking distance he jumped with teeth bared and jowls flapping in the wind.

Bagsby came down on all fours, with a mouth full of leather.  Proud of his conquest, he vigorously shook the leather bag, spraying a cascade of stamped envelopes to the wind.  Bagsby dropped the satchel, sat on his haunches, and smiled.  He enjoyed watching the array of colors fall all around him.

After they had settled, Bagsby knew it was time for his finishing touch.  He waddled over to the leather bag, and for the first time, he noticed it had the big guy’s name stitched on the front.  Bagsby saddled up close, lifted his hind leg, and christened Mr. Newman’s mail bag.

Afterwards, he kicked his hind legs, and happily headed towards home, after all, he had a cat to feed.

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No reprieve in a dog’s life!

Sometimes Resurrection Requires Letting Go (Amanda Miller Garber)

3254a0cb305b209fbf29469efcfce9c0Mother’s Day is difficult for me.  Since it always falls on Sunday, I usually play hooky, so I wont have to put on the façade of “happy mom.”  However, this Sunday was different.  As fate would have it…or maybe God…this Sunday I was slated to help with communion service.  So for that reason, I sucked it up, and went to church.  “Let the acting begin,” I thought, as I walked through the door.

Now, you may wonder, why Mother’s Day is so difficult.  Several reasons.  One, my mom is dead, and yes I miss her, but, I also do tremendous guilt for not spending more time with her while she was alive.  Two, I miss my own children, who live far away, and I also do tremendous guilt for decisions I made in the past…decisions that negatively impacted their lives.   Some of those decisions needed to be made, but, none-the-less, I do guilt…and I do it well.  I usually hear from them…a text or a call, but I can’t help but wonder how Mother’s Day would be if I’d only chosen a different path.  It torments me.

On Mother’s Day I just want to crawl into a hole, but this year the hole sat empty, as I sat in church.  Listening to the pastor’s sermon, something she said jumped out at me, and caught my attention.  She said, “Sometimes, resurrection requires letting go.”  She asked the question, and I paraphrase, “What is keeping you from experiencing true resurrection in your life?  What are you holding on to, that needs to be let go?”

***

Today, intellectually, I realize I need to let go of the past, but I’m discovering it’s not easily done.  I guess, a good first step would be forgiveness.  Somehow, some way I need to figure out how to forgive myself.  My prayer is for God to show me the way.  I’m sure it’s not something that’s said and done, but rather, something that must be practiced on a daily basis.  I pray for God’s strength.

Just like a baby learning to walk, we have to let go, to move forward.  More often than not, what we desperately cling to is toxic.  If we fail to let it go, we begin a slow death that eats away our individuality, until we no longer recognize ourselves.

We all teeter on the precipice of transformation, but to get there we must let go.

***

“Sometimes, resurrection requires letting go.”   __Amanda Miller Garber

 

Trump-Care, Is It Better?

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Hurray for the GOP!  They finally passed a health care bill for the American People!  Mind you, they don’t want it for themselves, or for their families, but they deem it perfect for us.  They were so proud of themselves for reaching this monumental decision, they ordered crates of beer to celebrate.  Oh, what fun.

But, here is the question everyone is asking, Is Trump-Care better?

Well, lets take a closer look.

Under the proposed Trump-Care bill, the following changes will occur.

(My source for the following summations:  Jonathan Gruber, Economics Professor from MIT)
  1.  States will be allowed to receive waivers, to charge higher premiums for those individuals who suffer “pre-existing” conditions, that could include, but not limited to:  Sexual Assault, Arthritis, Asthma, Depression, Pregnancy, Anxiety, Cancer, Diabetes, etc.  If you want to read the complete list visit here at CNN.Com.  Also, just for your information, such waivers are NOT allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
  2. States will be allowed to “opt-out” of rules, established under Affordable Care Act, that require insurance companies to pay for “basic stuff,” such as… Hospitalization, Emergency Room Care, Ambulance Transportation… etc.
  3. Mental Health Coverage, and Drug Treatment Coverage would “wither.”
  4. Insurance companies will be able to charge old people, 5 times as much as they charge younger people, for the SAME coverage.
  5. Big companies will no longer be required to provide health insurance for their employees.
  6. As a result of millions of Americans (24 million) losing their health insurance, hospitals will suffer financially, and the hospitals already in dire straits are likely to close.
  7. Medicaid, which goes to help the poor and elderly, will be cut almost 900 billion dollars.  In fact, the subsidies that are set in place to help the poor and elderly, take the biggest cuts, under Trump-Care.
  8. If there be any “silver-lining,” or good news within this bill, it is this:  Those making over $250,000/yr will receive a huge tax cut.  How huge?  It is estimated to be within the 300 billion dollar range.  (At least someone will profit from Trump-Care)
  9. Those who suffer from Depression will likely pay $8,490/yr EXTRA.
  10. Those who suffer Rheumatoid Arthritis will likely pay $26,580/yr EXTRA.
  11. Those who suffer from Asthma will likely pay $4,340/yr EXTRA.

MIT Economics Professor Jonathan Gruber, admits he is certainly no historian, however, it seems, to the best of his knowledge…Trump-Care…is the largest redistribution from the poor to the rich in one bill, this country has every seen.

Trump-Care, is it better?

You, decide.

***

To watch the interview by Rachel Maddow of Jonathan Gruber visit here.

Daily Prompt: Better

 

From Snowflakes to Blanket

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I’m a little snowflake,
I drift about.
 
Looking for injustice,
hear me shout.
 
You label me as liberal,
and think me lame.
 
But I embrace your symbol,
and use it for my name!
 
Snowflakes are small,
and they seem quite frail.
 
But when we come together,
we are a force from hell! 
 
We are the resistance,
marching for our land.
 
So, snowflakes, remember
UNITED WE STAND!
***
 
 
 
 
 
 

The God Who Sees Me…

“You are the God who sees me…” __ Hagar

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I’ve always felt a kinship with Hagar.  Hagar was the maidservant of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

This is her story:

Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was barren.  None-the-less, God had promised  that through their children would come the nation of Israel.  Abraham and Sarah had tried to have children for many years, but now they were old, and Sarah finally gives up hope.  One day, she tells her husband…  “The Lord has kept me from having children.  Go sleep with my maidservant (Hagar); perhaps I can build a family through her.”

[SCRRRREEEEEECH…]

[Pardon the interruption…it’s just my wheels coming to a halt!  Okay, if I had been the writer of this Genesis’ story, I would have written it, more to this effect,

“…go sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her,” said, no woman ever! 

Call it a hunch, but, I have a sneaky suspicion this idea was more Abraham’s than Sarah’s.]

[…now…back to the story]

So, Abraham, “obeyed” his wife, and slept with Hagar, and Hagar, became pregnant.  Of course, tension mounts between the two women, until one day, all hell breaks loose within the camp.  Sarah, in a jealous rage, mistreats Hagar.  Scripture gives no detail as to how, but it was bad enough for Hagar to run away, and hide, from her mistress, in the dessert.  Scared and alone, Hagar finally finds a spring of water and pauses  to drink.   God sees her at the spring, and begins a conversation with her.  It goes something like this: 

God:  Hagar, what has happened and where are you going?”

Hagar:  “I’m running away…”

God: “Go back… face the problem, and I will be with you.”

Hagar: “You are the God who sees me…”

And so, Hagar returns.  The problem doesn’t go away, but God is true to his word, and helps her every step of the way.  Eventually, she is blessed with a son, she names Ishmael, and through Ismael’s descendants the Arab nation is born. 

 

In my life, I have endured many “Hagar moments,” and I bet you have too.

How often I’ve felt…

  • …alone
  • …misunderstood
  • …unloved
  • …without hope
  • …a victim of circumstances, beyond my control
  • …an outcast
  • …ready to give up

 

When I read God’s words to Hagar, I read them as if they were written just for me.  He tells me, “Go back, my child, and I will be with you.  Don’t give up, I have a good plan for you.”

I’m so thankful, He is the God who sees me.

***

Daily Prompt: Measure

Everything we need is give through His good measure.