Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

Free Write Friday #29: Fall Word Bank

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreWelcome to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday! New here? Read the intro. Everyone else, let’s get started.

Here is your FWF prompt:

foliage – amber – wicker – aroma – sweater – cocoa

You may use as little as one word or all of them if you choose. Have fun!

‘Til the Last One Falls


Foliage changes color
Plushest green to amber
Hanging onto life
‘Til last leaves fall

The wicker rocker creaks
As aromas lazily drift
Tickling each nostril
‘Til stars at twilight call

Crispness in the air
Hints a light sweater
Breaking the chill
‘Til warmth arrives

Sounds from behind
Break concentration
A steaming mug of cocoa
Embraces, revives

Smiles from within
Send a new kind of chill
Inside and outside
‘Til nighttime calls

Foliage changes color
Plushest green to amber
Hanging onto life
‘Til the last one falls

©2013 catnipoflife2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Check out these contributions!

~ neenslewy

Loved this prompt – hadn’t planned on using all the words in the bank but just kept on writing. Here’s my Friday token!

~ Author’s Thought

Love the prompt Kellie, here is my link “Fall”

~ Roberta

~ Terry

Hi Kellie

~ graypoet

Thought I would try and post a little of my rambling…. Glad to have a chance to brighten my Friday….

~ Maleko’s Art

Free Write Friday #28: Pick a Title

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreYes, I know today is NOT Friday. It is Tuesday. So-o-o-o, since Friday and the weekend were not conducive to writing I declare today a Friday Tuesday [or is that a Tuesday Friday?]. In either event, when I finally filtered through my massive email and read Kellie’s latest challenge, my mind was immediately fired up!

From Kellie: Here is your FWF prompt…

Select a title from the list below as your inspiration:

“Dandelion Season”
“Phone Call at Midnight”
“The Green Years”
“The Human Zoo”
“The Fires of Spring”
“The Ivy Covered Gate”

Here’s to you, Kellie, my contribution, which was inspired through your challenge regardless of the day or hour. I do hope you will accept in spite of the lateness:

“The Fires of Spring”

Butterfly of the Day for the 2nd of October 2012 from Rockey & Dee, on Flickr

Awakening from Winter’s sleep
Mother Nature bursts forth in song
Calling out her intense colors
Bidding ashen days so long

Buds and blossoms explode
In vibrant shades of rainbow hues
Igniting senses of emotion
From white-hot to passionate blues

Atala butterflies emerge
Hovering amid soul-scorching bliss
Flitting moment to moment
Donning petals a velvety kiss

Creatures of the earth
Fervently greet balmy ground
Fire in their hearts
Tempers as passions abound

Fiery sunrises, flaming sunsets
Mirror warm hues of wood fires
Bright oranges, blazing reds
Unleash Spring’s burning desires

©2013 catnipoflife©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.”
–  D. H. Lawrence, The Enkindled Spring 


Free Write Friday #27: Word Bank

Welcome to Free Write Friday. New here? Read the intro. Everyone else…let’s go!

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreThis week’s FWF prompt is a word bank:

blanket – falsetto – cumbersome – cinema – coins

You may use one or all of the words. Don’t force it. If only one speaks to you, that is your muse. If you can use all of them with little effort (no overthinking it) then let it flow. Look forward to reading you.

Come Play With Me!

Narrow prisms of light
Beaming through window panes
Beckon come play with me
Outside in nature’s games

Song birds of the city
Above the noisy streets
Croon soulful falsetto
In half and quarter beats

Five o’clock rolls around
The cinema draws a crowd
Ten dollars plus a few coins
The cost to be allowed

Cushioned rocking chairs
Face an indoor screen
Cola, candy and popcorn
Monopolize the scene

Do I leave the office
Moving from indoor to indoor?
Don’t go from inside to inside
My heart and mind implore

Leave behind, forget
Cumbersome daily chores
Grab a blanket and basket
Enjoy me, the great outdoors

Narrow prisms of light
Beaming through the trees
Beckon come play with me
Come on outside…Geez!

©2013 catnipoflife©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Other Contributions:

Author’s Thought says:

Hi everyone, new to this and have posted my first prompt. My link is

seanbidd says:

A small experiment with prompts, something to challenge the time writing loans me in the realm of the free.

purple says:

Thanks for the prompt idea.

Christy Birmingham says:

I wrote this poem, containing ‘blanket’ and ‘coin’ today. Great prompt, Kellie and happy weekend!

Lorraine says:

Thanks for the prompt Kellie, here’s mine:

Heidi says:

Love word banks! Tried to be a little more fun. Not sure I succeed. :P

buildingalifeofhope says:

Loved this one today!

gotmeghan says:

Hey Kellie, hope you are enjoying your day and enjoy your weekend too! :)

Annie’s Muse says:

OOPS—here is the link:

Joseph Hesch says:

Nostalgia seemed the only way to go, Kellie. Once again, I tell a story maybe only an old guy could. (Pssst. second piece of the day, too.)
August Nights

K. Smith Matthews says:

Thanks for the free write prompt! I need to get in the habit of doing this more often.

whimsygizmo says:

Talicha J. says:

I finally did one on time, the world must be about to end!

Terry says:

Hi Kellie

Rishal says:

Hey fellow FWFians, here’s my take on this week’s prompt. What a random choice of words Kellie. Quite delightful! Luckily I managed to fit all the words in my poem.

dorothychiotti says:

Kellie … I love these word banks! … Please enjoy this ever-so-brief “Night at the Opera” … Cheerz!

arbiterkitty says:

What an interesting choice of words in the bank! I was only able to use two of them, but I had fun writing this :) Thanks for the prompt! I look forward to next week’s.

Suzanne says:

Unwinding after a busy week I offer you this little snippet
Thanks for the prompt Kellie. I enjoyed the challenge.


Free Write Friday #26: Time and Place Scenario

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreWelcome to Free Write Friday. New here? Read the intro. Everyone else, let’s get started.

We had so much fun with the time & place prompt last week that I thought we’d have another go. Ready? Here is your FWF prompt:

It’s high noon. Sun blazing. You awake in a field and birds are pecking your skin… GO!


Day had begun no different from any other day. I knew at daybreak it was gonna’ be a scorcher. Weatherman had already predicted temperatures in the 100s and with little or no rain in sight that meant the heat would be relentless.

“Hey, Paw, are you going to ride across the fields this morning?”

“Yeah, son. Gotta’ check on the crops. Not much I can do but it beats just sittin’ ‘round.”

Grabbing my handkerchief from my back pocket, with a quick swipe across my brow, sweat drops saturated the tattered and worn cloth. It was only 6 AM.

Ol’ Sadie lazily trotted out of the barn with an expression (as far as mule expressions go) that indicated she did NOT want to leave the coolness of her shelter. She started with a whinny and ended in a hee-haw! With a quick toss of her short, thick head, her long ears flopped about swatting anything that dared to come near.

“Come on, Sadie. We need to get a move on before the sun reaches high noon and too hot to go anywhere. Don’t want to be out in the field for too long on a day like today. Bye, son. Draw a couple of buckets of water and gather the eggs while I’m gone. I’ll be back before noon.”

Of course, I did not make it back as promised. As I lay in the tall grasses of the field, thoughts shifted back and forth trying to grab hold of reality. What happened? A slight breeze tossed bits of dirt and particles about my face. With each sting, it felt like the birds were pecking away at my flesh. Hey! That is the darn birds!

Puzzlement engulfed any conscious thoughts as my mind tried to discern what did happen. With eyes barely open, I caught a glimpse of Ol’ Sadie ambling toward my limp body. All of a sudden she struck outward with her hooves in every direction. . .even sideways. . .even with her tail. Swish…down one! Whump…down two! This went on until the birds decided to give up feasting on any more of my fleshy morsels.

I had no clue how long I had been lying in the field but I could tell it was approaching high noon. Off in the distance, I could hear a voice shouting, “Paw! Paw!” Junior had become worried since I had not returned and took it upon himself to see if anything had happened. Good boy!

Ol’ Sadie started whinnying ending in multiple hee-haws with each sound wave from Junior’s voice. All I could do was look up into those sad eyes and smile. “Way ta’ go, girl! Maybe I will sign you up for the Little League!”

Check Out Other Contributions: I’m off to see what others have to offer and will return with the links. Here they are…really great reads! Enjoy!

Ms. Roberts says:

Here is mine, I don’t know why the pingback didn’t work.

neenslewy says:

Brilliant – I enjoyed the time and place prompt last week – love having a new one!
Here’s mine

Rishal says:

Hi, here’s my first contribution to FWF. Love to hear what you have to say!

Heidi says:

Okay, EWWW! LOL Here is mine for this week.

Annie (@txstarkeeper) says:

Kellie … you win again! Thought I was stumped, but found my crazy way out of the box again!

Lorraine says:

Hi Kellie, thanks again for the prompt, here’s mine

buildingalifeofhope says:

Hope you are getting enough sleep! Here is my entry:

Yoshith Perera says:



Free Write Friday #25: Time and Place Scanario

Here it is nearly 4 AM and still unable to sleep. Itching, itching, itching from the severe case of free-write-friday-kellie-elmorepoison oak is a nightmare! So, what do I do? I write. Brain will not shut down anyway. Thank you, Kellie, for this week’s Free Write Friday prompt.

Let’s leap into the future with a time & place scenario. 

The year: 2063

The place: An underground bunker

What’s going on?

Charred_EarthThe day is cold, the atmosphere grey. How I long to peer through an open window or walk outside to smell and feel the freshness of an early morn, wiggle my toes in the dew-dappled grass and quench my thirst with the cold water of a mountain stream. It was inevitable for such things once taken for granted to no longer be possible. Why? Why didn’t we listen, heed and make the necessary changes for a better life than the one now being experienced underground.

The soil of the earth is poisoned. Air is stagnant misty with the ashy residue from heat and continuous fires. Water is polluted and life as we once knew it has ceased to exist. Dawn’s songbird melodies are no longer heard nor crackling of rocks and leaves underfoot—the trees are no more. Gone are the critters, the chirps in the night and the nightingale’s song. So much death. So much destruction.

Sounds of machinery grind away from dawn ‘til dusk, metal upon metal inching along clearing debris that has yet to disintegrate. Step-by-step, inch-by-inch, pile-on-top-of-pile! The noisy motors never stop.

I sNewLifeomberly rub my palm across my stomach feeling the new life as tiny feet push within the lining of my belly. Hard to believe such a nightmare evolved only a few months ago. Dreams shattered. Plans obliterated. Appointments eliminated. Still within me is new life…L.I.F.E. But yet this life begs the question, what kind of life? What kind of future?

What, oh what, lies ahead for tomorrow?

Sounds of the elevator shaft bring attention full circle as its massive doors open into the bunker. Stepping through its doors is my husband, father of our child, grimy, dusty, dirty, smelling of charred earth holding in his hand a small tarnished pot of soil with a tiny seedling showing its face. Green. A speck of green. Color other than grey.

There is hope! H.O.P.E.

Check Out Other Contributions: I haven’t visited yet but will in the morrow! Good night and sweet dreams within what is left of the night. . .

Annie (@txstarkeeper) says:

Kellie — this one took some thought. Finally I decided what the heck and just had fun with it!

Suzanne says:

This prompt could have been tailor made for me. I hope you don’t mind the way I have used it. It was an opportunity too good to miss.

Terry says:

Hi Kellie

buildingalifeofhope says:

Here is mine. Completely off the top of my head!

Mark says:

Here is my contribution > I hope mine is not prophetic but it is how I have been feeling lately. Thanks Kellie, for another thought provoking and interesting prompt that takes us to places we might not otherwise allow ourselves to go.

caroljforrester says:


Free Write Friday #24: Ponder This…

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreWelcome to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday. Here is today’s FWF prompt…

Today you have been granted the opportunity to go anywhere, do anything, meet anyone, travel in time…whatever you wish, it is yours. Now, there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?) When you wake up tomorrow… you will not remember any of it.

Like a Lost Dream

Photo by

Do you remember—
Childhood fantasies of the past
Beginnings of the day
Visions for the future?

What have you forgotten—
Yesterdays’ lost loves
Today’s wrong words
Tomorrow’s hopes?

If given the chance
To do anything you please
Would you readily accept
Only to remember to later forget?

Is it remembering
That is important
Or grabbing the moment
Before it’s lost?

Like a Lost Dream
Quickly fading in the morning
With the only memory
Being you know you dreamed

 Mysterious yet fascinating
Leaving questions, few answers
So, given the chance
Go for it, if only for the moment


“Want not, waste not treasured moments that life sends your way.”

Other Contributions:

lozzypower says:

My offering:

dorothychiotti says:

Here’s my take on this week’s #FWF:

Terry says:

Hi Kellie!!

Annie (@txstarkeeper) says:

Kellie — you do love to make us sweat!!! Here is my response…

neenslewy says:

Great to be back and to see how popular FWF has become – loved this prompt – here’s mine

Lorraine says:

Had some fun with this one! Thanks Kellie:

Heidi says:

Here is mine for this week. I’m a little off today. My response will explain.

Pink Woods says:

Here’s mine! I love this topic… I get to really reflect on it. :)

Mark says:


Free Write Friday #23: Keepsakes



Kellie Elmore is nostalgic this Friday challenging writers to examine none other than…



keepsake locket

Attic nooks, garage floors, closet corners
Full of clutter

Crates and cartons, cardboard boxes, packages and parcels
Nothing but junk

Paper sacks, bags and bundles, stacks and piles
Ready for the trash

Shoe boxes, jewelry cases, and plastic containers
Overflowing with treasure

Clutter, junk, trash, and treasure
My, oh, my how the time has flown
All personal collections, priceless beyond measure

Keepsakes renew old memories
I think I will just leave them alone
And go bake some brownies

© Sharla Lee Shults

Confession: I must confess this poem is from my book Echoes. With my husband’s illness and recent release from the hospital, my mind just wasn’t up to a new write today. Even though he is home, there are still many hurdles to cross. Kellie’s theme this week actually focuses on that one special something cherished beyond measure. However, when I saw the theme key word, I knew the one I needed to share.

Am I forgiven since I confessed? Hugs!

Now I am off to see what others have written…

terry 1954

bennett @

river @

joe @

sana @

heather @

graypoet @

gene @

Now it is your turn!


Free Write Friday #22: Time & Place Prompt

Welcome back to Free Write Friday! If you are new here, feel free to read the intro. FreeWriteFridayBadgeOtherwise, let’s get started.

Here is your FWF prompt…


Time & Place:

You find yourself in an elevator. The door closes and you see only five buttons. A sign hangs above them that reads: “Find Happiness.” Each button is a different color. Red, blue, green, orange and yellow. There are no other instructions and you must push one to get the elevator to move. Which color do you choose and why? Where does it take you?

Here is my story…

Up at 5a.m., getting ready for work and kids ready for school, packing lunches, chasing a piece of dry toast with a glass of OJ and I am out the door. The ‘hustle and bustle’ of the city streets is already in full force and my mind is spinning as I fight the horrid traffic. Not even at work yet and stress already has me in its clutches. Oh, what I would give for a day, just a day away from it all.

Finding a parking place is just as horrendous as the traffic. I ride ’round and ’round to no avail and end up parking in boo-foo as usual. Arr-r-r-rgh! Now it is beginning to sprinkle rain, I have on my high heels so no chance of running. I look toward the back seat and at least my ‘what’s left of it’ umbrella is there. It took a tumble in the wind a few days earlier but flimsy as it is it is still better than nothing.

I make it to the building without becoming totally drenched, shake my umbrella, gather my composure and walk toward the elevator. Something appears strange though. While the noise of the streets reverberates constantly on the outside, there is a sense of calm inside the building. No one is in sight. That is unusual, in fact, eerie. I glance at my watch, day and time, to be sure I hadn’t totally gone off the deep end and sent my kids to school on a Saturday. Nope! Today is Friday. A holiday? Nope! Those are celebrated on Mondays. Did I miss the retreat? Are you kidding? Boss would have us working overtime to brainstorm before allowing a day off for a retreat.

I approach the elevator and push the up button. A few seconds later the door opens. I step inside and the door immediately closes. I expect to push 7 for the seventh floor but there are only five buttons. What the heck? Am I in the Twilight Zone? No one was around to step into the elevator with me so realization set in that I am perfectly alone. I slap my face to see if I am dreaming. OUCH! Nope! Very much awake. At that point, I take a closer look at the buttons – definitely only five but not numbered.  Each button is a different color. Red, blue, green, orange and yellow. That’s when I notice the sign: “Find Happiness.”

By this time, I knew I had gone completely nuts. Stress factor was on overload and I was entering meltdown. If I am dreaming, I might as well make this dream as pleasant as possible. Why not? It’s MY dream! Okay, let’s look at those buttons and think about the sign “Find Happiness.”

Red is first. Red symbolizes fiery heat and warmth, action, courage, vim and vigor so to speak. Right now I feel ‘red’ enough, not up to any more activity and my courage is at a all-time low so I’ll move on to the second choice, blue, which happens to be my favorite color. Blue is the color of the sky, ocean, sleep, twilight symbolizing serenity. Blue is the calming color. Right now I am thinking I should push Blue and get the elevator moving for I could definitely use some calming down right now. Well, not so fast. Green is next, the color of nature, life, richness and has been designated the most restful color. Um-m-m? Another thought…do you suppose a bag of greenbacks is waiting upon my arrival should I choose this button? Nah! Move on to orange…the epitome of the warmth of the sun. With my fair complexion, I stay out of direct sunlight for fear of freckles. Better leave this one alone in case the elevator door opens onto a sunny beach. Well, I am here alone so why not let my imagination run rampant? Remember, the green made me think of a that bag full of greenbacks. One more. The last one is yellow, my second favorite, bright and cheerful. The yellow daisy is my favorite flower and I can envision the door opening onto a field of daisies where I can take off my shoes and chase the butterflies. Man, am I weird!

Alright already! I need to get moving so a decision has to be made. But what IS the meaning behind each of the buttons? Are my thoughts being monitored and serving as guideposts toward something mysterious laying in wait? The sign does say “Find Happiness.” Is this merely a means to let me know I need to slow down and really look at my life? Am I happy? This is definitely Twilight Zone material.

I lift my hand, slowly reach outward and push the Yellow button. Why yellow? I can think of reasons why or why not for each one of the colors. You would think my choice would automatically be blue since that is my favorite. This time I am going with number 5. Yellow is the fifth button and while blue may be my favorite color, my number is 5. Anyway, yellow is a happy color. Thus, “Find Happiness” must be found in the yellow zone, rather than blue of the twilight zone.

The elevator slowly rises. 2. 3. 4. 5. Ding! Door opens.

“Sweetie, wake up! Are you okay? Usually you have already had your shower by now. When you did not come downstairs, I got worried. Now, I am surprised to find you still in bed.”

“Is it you?” I reach out and touch the face of my loving husband with the oh-so worried look on his face. “I had the strangest dream. Yet, it seemed so real.”

“Well, you better hurry up or you will not make it to work on time. Kids are ready so you don’t have that to contend with this morning. See you in a few.” After a swift kiss on the nose, I am left alone to ponder the happenings of my dream as I shower and dress for work.

Once ready, I grab my purse, smile to myself and head to the kitchen. I had only one foot in the doorway to the kitchen when I heard, “SURPRISE!” There in front of me was nothing but solid happiness. My husband, our kids, two cats and a vase full of bright, sunny, yellow daisies. And of course, smiles from everyone with thoughts that transpired “Just because we love you!”


Free Write Friday #21: Serendipity

serendipity-fwf-wordIt was summer. It was hot. So hot the black tar pavement could easily serve as an iron skillet where if an egg were dropped it would fry itself to a golden crisp. The only relief from the sweltering heat: a boat ride to Shell Island! Even the wind whipping across a sweaty body and through salty hair wasn’t enough so the only resolution was a cool dip in the ocean.

1-2-3 Spa-lash! OUCH! Suddenly a sharp pain ran from my big toe up, up, up all the way through my brain. If ever I thought my brains were about to come out my ears, it was that moment. The water was much shallower than initially envisioned. Thus, upon jumping into the water, both feet hit bottom. Pa-lop!

But, why so much pain? Must be something sharp…a broken bottle, a chunk of shell, a rusty nail, a piece of plastic, a fish hook, a sea urchin? Could be any of these. It just hurt whatever it was.

With a quick grab of the foot and a few dances along the ocean floor, the pain slowly subsided. Now to determine the culprit that dared break such a peaceful scene as it surrendered to a nightmarish scream. Goggles were donned and the search was on.

It didn’t take long to spot something silver and shiny sticking up from the ocean bed. The sunrays penetrated the crystal-clear water reflecting prismatic colors off the shiny object and shimmering sandy bottom. Carefully reaching forward, scooping up who knows what at the time, it was carefully lifted from its resting place and into the sunlight above the water.

Removing the goggles and swishing the object through the water revealed a tiny silver box with a jagged edge. Must have hit the edge just at the right spot on my big toe when I jumped into the water. Luckily it did not break the skin so no bleeding. Whew! Never know what is lurking about in the ocean that might like the smell and taste of blood. Enough thoughts on the jump, let’s get back to the find.

The box was not very big and rested easily in the palm of my hand. There was a tiny latch but no lock. At first it was hard to open. There was no way of knowing how long it had been in the water. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Slowly lifting the top I suddenly stopped in dead silence. There looking right back at me was a sparkling sight as though it was saying “What took you so long?” I was stunned. Then, I smiled and laughed. When I thought I could laugh no more, I kept on laughing. By sheer accident, I was now facing something good and I had not even been looking for it.

This little box with its jagged edge was filled with tiny jewels! Were they real? Use YOUR imagination…



Hope you enjoyed my contribution to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday. Not often do I write a short story instead of poetry but that is what I enjoy most about Kelli’s free writes. You simply write what comes to mind at the time. Thank you, Kellie, for another great challenge. Now, as usual, off to see what others have written so I can share. Be right back…so if you go away, be sure to return for links to other free writes.


Free Write Friday #20: Lyric Prompt


Free Write Friday (FWF) lyric prompt…

“Oh yea, they say ‘life goes on’ long after the thrill of living is gone.”

This is one of Kellie’s favorite Mellancamp songs, Jack and Diane, that she says leaves her pining for those long lost summers of youth and wishing she hadn’t been in such a hurry.

What does this lyric mean to you?


When I was a child
Thrills were in toys
Barbie dolls, Play-Doh
Anything but boys

Later as a teen
Thrills ran with friends
Drive-ins, roller skates
The rouse a kiss sends

Summers came and went
Thrills gone too fast
Boys, boys, boys
None that would last

As a young adult
Thrills & chills hit the scene
Fast cars, night clubs
Anything in between

Summers still came
Thrills led abroad
Oceans of pleasure
Applaud, applaud

Then came thirties
Thrills took a turn
Heartache after heartache
Made the heart yearn

Finally one summer
Thrill of it all
Set my heart afire
My soulmate’s call

Ah! But forties
Thrills at their best
Children of my own
Those were life’s test

Summers came and went
Thrills beyond measure
Swimming, playing in the sun
Search for life’s treasure

The nifty fifties
Thrills beyond compare
Kids grown and gone
Much music in the air

Summers brought joy
Thrills forever after
Wedding bells rang
Grandbabies thereafter

Sixties are here
Thrills still abound
Two cats, a bird
One funny hound

With each day
Life quickly marches on
New sights, new sounds
Long after thrills are gone

©2013 catnipoflifeSharla Lee Shults

©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Off to catch the thrills of others…be right back!

feminineocean says:

terry1954 says:

Mark (Maleko’s Art) says:


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