Morning Inspiration: Writing Prompt No. 6

Good morning! Rise and shine! May I borrow a minute of your time for some quick inspiration?

It’s been a week since Thanksgiving, and I have just one question for you. Have you thrown out those Thanksgiving leftovers yet? No? Well, it’s time sweetie, past time.

Today’s Prompt

Garbage


My Inspired Story

When he said, “Plan on getting dirty,” I honestly thought he was referring to something else.

Cleaning out the gutters? Not my idea of a first date, but we’re supposed to hang the Christmas lights after, so the night could still end…magically.

He balances on the ladder, fourth step from the top, and I remain grounded, holding out the black garbage bag to catch the leaves he tosses below, clumped together by time, rain, dust, and God knows whatever other particulates in the air our government tries to convince us isn’t polluted.

As I wait for the next delivery from above, my eyes drift from his shoulders, past his fleece jacket, down to the denim jeans that hug his curves just right.

Never thought I’d be attracted to a man with a big butt. Then again, who wants a man shaped like a twig? He’d break right under me. But that ass? That ass can carry some weight.

Ugh, forgive me for being single for so long. Even as he cleans the gutters, my mind is perpetually stuck there.


Time for Yours

Now it’s your turn! Use your inspiration from either the word or photo prompt (or both) above and write whatever comes to mind! Fiction, poetry, prose, random ramblings—you pick! Drop it in the comments below or post on your own blog and link it back here. I hope you’re inspired!

Morning Inspiration: Writing Prompt No. 5

Good morning! Rise and shine! May I borrow a minute of your time for some quick inspiration?

Feeling stuck? I’ve been there—I still go there sometimes. Been living the same day on repeat since March 2020? Right there with you, hon! These last 2 years have been tough; finding the inspiration to write, even harder. And the holidays can easily be the most depressing time of year for some. But I’m here to lift you out of your funk, because as hard as it is to start writing, once those creative juices start flowing, it’s quite therapeutic! You can do it!

Today’s Prompt

Here’s to hoping for a brighter tomorrow with today’s prompt:

Horizon


My Inspired Story

The ocean is bluer than the sky.

I could get lost in it—

Lost in your eyes.


Time for Yours

Now it’s your turn! Use your inspiration from either the word or photo prompt (or both) above and write whatever comes to mind! Fiction, poetry, prose, random ramblings—you pick! Drop it in the comments below or post on your own blog and link it back here. I hope you’re inspired!

Morning Inspiration: Writing Prompt No. 4

Good morning! Rise and shine! May I borrow a minute of your time for some quick inspiration?

So, when is it appropriate to begin decorating for Christmas and playing holiday-themed music? If you’re in the retail business, it’s the day after Halloween. If you’re my grandfather, it’s the day after Thanksgiving. Most people like to wait until at least December 1. Me? Well, last year my tree went up two weeks before Christmas and never came down, so technically, I was very early this year.

Obviously, it’s an artificial tree, otherwise it’d be crispy as a chip!

Today’s Prompt

Now for today’s prompt. Whether you’re hanging lights outside or a wreath on the door, buying a real or artificial tree, or turning your kitchen into a bakery full of yummy treats, how will you be inspired today?

Decoration


My Inspired Story

Powdered sugar snow on my nose and on my lips.

“One more cookie,” he says.

“One more kiss.”


Time for Yours

Now it’s your turn! Use your inspiration from either the word or photo prompt (or both) above and write whatever comes to mind! Fiction, poetry, prose, random ramblings—you pick! Drop it in the comments below or post on your own blog and link it back here. I hope you’re inspired!

Morning Inspiration: Writing Prompt No. 3

Good morning! Rise and shine! May I borrow a minute of your time for some quick inspiration?

Another day another dollar. It’s Monday morning, and for most of us, we’re returning to the office (or home office) after a four-day weekend of feasting with family and holiday shopping.

Okay, so maybe we’re not 100% ready to go back to work. Maybe we’re still full from all that Thanksgiving eating. Maybe our minds are overstimulated from the excitement that it’s finally the holidays.

Here’s a suggestion: Write about it.

Today’s Prompt

Snooze


My Inspired Story

6 AM before 
the sun, I'll wake and get my
workout done.
Morning comes, and sleep still looms—
Slap alarm. Ten-minute snooze.

Time for Yours

Now it’s your turn! Use your inspiration from either the word or photo prompt (or both) above and write whatever comes to mind! Fiction, poetry, prose, random ramblings—you pick! Drop it in the comments below or post on your own blog and link it back here. I hope you’re inspired!

Morning Inspiration: Writing Prompt No. 2

Good morning! Rise and shine! May I borrow a minute of your time for some quick inspiration?

Two years ago today, I decided to stop combing my hair.

Okay, I know that was pretty vague. Let’s try this again…

Two years ago, I decided to liberate myself from always having to “do” my hair…

Still lost? Okay, fine, I’ll tell you plainly. I locked my hair, or “loc’d” my hair, if you want to be technical. More specifically, I let my hair loc itself. The beauty of freeform. Allowing your hair to become its own fingerprint and not conforming to society’s standards of beauty, or beautiful hair.

You never know how people will react to locs. Especially freeform, which some would define as messy and unclean. Me, I call them an expression. An expression to be authentically me, without the weight of anyone else’s opinions or ideas. And that is quite freeing!

Today’s Prompt

Now for today’s prompt! In honor of my two-year “locaversary” today’s prompt is:

Locked

My Inspired Story

Two years ago, I stood at the edge of Folly Beach and said goodbye to my father—

The sun set behind the ocean, and the waves lifted his ashes off to sea.

Today I return for a piece of him I might have left behind.

The wind whips my locs forward with sand and salt to cover my eyes, and one of the tendrils reaches down to wipe away a single tear.

All the years we lost, even before he was dead, I’ll carry with me—

and remember them differently.

Time for Yours

Now it’s your turn! Use your inspiration from either the word or photo prompt (or both) above and write whatever comes to mind! Fiction, poetry, prose, random ramblings—you pick! Drop it in the comments below or post on your own blog and link it back here. I hope you’re inspired!

Morning Inspiration: Writing Prompt No. 1

Good morning! Rise and shine! May I borrow two minutes of your time for some quick inspiration?

I know what you’re thinking. Another daily writing prompt post. How is this one different from the rest? I’ll be perfectly honest with you. It’s not. But if you’ve been a follower of this blog for a long time, you know that after being super prolific for several years, my blog suddenly went quiet.

It’s true, before this week, I hadn’t posted anything new since September 2019. Over 2 years! Sure, there was a whole pandemic in the midst of that, but while most people spent quarantine being productive, baking bread, starting businesses, finally exploring interests they’d had on the backburner because of work and responsibilities, I was, well, not writing.

So, these morning inspirations are not only for you but, most importantly, for me. To find that inspiration to write again, consistently, before everything went dark. To write anything. Even if it’s just a few words. Even if strung together, those few words don’t make sense. It’s something, and something is better than nothing.

New Laptop…Now Write Lovely Curses

What a difference a new laptop makes when it comes to finding that motivation—and inspiration—to write, again. A fresh new canvas, wide and bright. Shall I return to write? Listen as the words come to life, once again.  This poem is also available as a blog post: https://lovelycurses.com/2021/11/21/new-laptop-new-me/

Today’s Prompt

Now for today’s prompt! Given what we all did this past Thursday (that is, if you’re American), you can pretty much guess what today’s prompt is:

Stuffed

My Inspired Story

“It was the stuffing that did me in.”

I lean back in my chair, unbutton my pants and allow the weight of my inflating stomach to push the zipper down. I could sleep now. And I probably wouldn’t wake until noon tomorrow.

“You ate a lot,” Mom says as she clears the table. The rest of the family has migrated to the living room, where the flat screen plays the second half of the Cowboy’s game. I remain in front of my plate, where the last of my mom’s brioche stuffing sits on the fork, waiting to be eaten. But I have no room.

“The stuffing. I wasn’t expecting that.”

“I’m glad you liked it. I’ll have to remember to save the recipe.”

I give her a thumbs up, because if I open my mouth again, only a loud belch will escape.

Who knew old bread soaked in soup stock and baked with chopped vegetables into a mush with a slighly crispy top would be my ultimate demise?

One thing’s for certain, it definitely tastes better than it looks!

Time for Yours

Now it’s your turn! Use your inspiration from either the word or photo prompt (or both) above and write whatever comes to mind! Fiction, poetry, prose—you pick! Drop it in the comments below or post on your own blog and link it back here. I hope you’re inspired!

Me Too

“Aye, baby, lemme get some of your water!”

“Come back with a better pickup line, and maybe I’ll think about it.”

Stacy tucks her water bottle under her arm, juggles her keys in her hand, closes her fingers around the small can of pepper spray on the chain, just in case he takes her comment as an invitation to follow her to the car.

That happened to Remy just last week, in this same parking lot. Thankfully, a cop was a few spaces down, writing up a police report for a minor fender bender. He gave the creep a stern talking-to about boundaries. It might’ve made a difference had the guy been a twelve-year-old boy, but it gave Remy enough time to speed out of there before he tried anything else.

Tisha wasn’t so lucky. Her husband is still afraid to touch her. She doesn’t go to the gym at night anymore. Too risky. Men are bolder after dark. Cat-calling no longer satisfies the itch. They upgrade to touching, groping, tackling, pounding behind empty brick buildings.

They don’t even wait until a woman’s passed out now—too much like fucking a dead person, and they enjoy the chase too much, the fight.

Stacy wishes her rapist shared that sentiment.

When she’s safe inside her car, she doesn’t wait for it to settle in. She locks the doors and puts it in reverse as soon as the engine turns over. When she glances up at the rear view mirror, she sees him standing in the center of the lane, arms raised as if to say, Leaving so soon?

“Yes, getting as far away from you as possible.” She’s built up her endurance on the treadmill in the last year. Can sprint a mile in under ten minutes and maintain a steady breathing pattern. She has to keep in shape in case she has to run again. Won’t let another man catch her.

—Nortina

Your Love Inhabits

Love Sedoka #1

Your love inhabits
my brain, fills me with thoughts of
your kiss, your touch, your hips be–

–tween my thighs, sinking
in, reaching out, exploring
the places that make me melt.

—Nortina


This poem was originally going to be a tanka, but that last line wouldn’t go away, so I did some quick research on other Japanese poetry forms and discovered the sedoka, which is a pair of 5-7-7 syllable katauta, or half-poems. In this form, the two katauta would address the same subject from different perspectives and could stand alone.

I read somewhere that the katauta form was often used to address a lover. So, in a way, the sedoka could be a call and response between lovers, though technically that would be a mondo, but sedoka sounds more sophisticated. Besides, Mondo was the name of my pet fish in college.

Learn more about Japanese poetry here!

Saved by Grace

It wasn’t enough to sign, “We can’t see each other anymore.” He doesn’t take no for an answer, in any language. And when Felicity confided to her best friend that she feared Darrel was stalking her, Tippy scoffed and said she was overreacting.

But she’s seen his car drive past her window twice, and now there’s a light knock on her door, turned to a pound, turned to a kick. And then a sudden blast.

He has a gun.

It wasn’t enough that he had stolen Tippy from her. Tippy still thinks she’s clueless. Mute doesn’t equal dumb. She’s seen the naked photos, the video in his phone. Tippy was willing to do everything Felicity’s morals commanded her to forsake. Tippy could make as much noise as her stronger vocal chords could carry, egging him to press harder, stroke faster.

But he wanted them both.

Felicity dedicated her voice to the Lord the first time Darrel raped her. She speaks only to Him now. She offers her body only to Him.

But Darrel could never take no for an answer, and now no one but God will hear her scream.

She hides in the bathroom closet, praying for deliverance, fully aware that He could tell her no, like He refused to remove the thorn from Paul’s side—because His grace is sufficient. All things work together, she reminds herself. Not her will but His be done. His power is made perfect in her weakness. She was not given the spirit of fear, so she will not panic. She only wishes not be touched again, that she be made holy and taken into His glory.

Darrel taps the heavy metal on the closet door and rips it open. He’s always wanted to boast his strength, impose his dominance over her. He wields the gun in her face, and she exhales—closes her eyes and exhales—slow, smooth, as time freezes, and all of her breath flows from her body.

No words exchanged—his hatred has consumed him now. He pulls the trigger—a quick blast—and she is caught up in a cloud of fire.

—Nortina


It is Short Story A Day May, and today’s prompt, “Writer’s Clue” was kind of a cop out. No offense to LJ Cohen, but c’mon, girl, all you did was tell us to write a basic story! So I took a little inspiration from the Daily Prompt: panicked. It worked out in the end. Maybe that was her point all along…

Office Small Talk

“Good Morning! Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving?”

God, I hate her. Some people are just too damn chipper at 9 AM. Everybody hates Mondays, but the Monday after a holiday is particularly unbearable, and here she is, standing outside my cubicle, rocking on the balls of her feet, barely taller than my 3-draw filing cabinet, eager to hear me reminisce about my Thanksgiving feast. God, I hate her!

“I ate, watched football, went to sleep.”

“What did you have to eat? Did you have family over? Did you go somewhere?”

Now she’s sitting on the corner of my desk, the toes of her red faux alligator skin flats just grazing the carpet. God! Just scan whatever papers you need to and go! Just because the copy machine is located behind my cubicle, that does not give you reason to make small talk with me. Do you see this face? The bags under my eyes, the slight curl at the corner of my mouth, the wrinkle on the bridge of my nose. This is a face that is not interested in small talk. Do you feel how your lips blab on and on? Like the sputtering exhaust pipe to a classic 1950’s Chevy truck. You are small talk. I am not interested in you.

“The typical Thanksgiving dinner, I guess. Turkey, ham, mac and cheese, dressing—”

“Dressing or stuffing?” she says with a wink. I just look at her. She flaps her hand in my face, as if to say she’s only kidding. I really don’t care.

“Either way, it’s delicious. With stuffing, you get the juice from the turkey to season it even more.” She licks her lips. “Mmm! I love the Stovetop brand.”

“I prefer it fresh,” I say flatly.

She sits there quietly. Her eyes roll as she searches her mind for something else to say. God, just go already! I swear, some people come to work with so much vigor while the rest of us are only here to collect a paycheck. The highlight of our day is logging false facilities tickets and having the cute maintenance guy from the basement bend over in front of us to check on a problem we know isn’t there. Sexual harassment, my ass. Eight hours dealing with dumb asses like her—we’ve got to find a little light to bring into our day.

Because we damn sure aren’t trying to be friends with our co-workers. We definitely don’t want to waste another second of our lives with them going out for a drink after work. And we absolutely abhor pointless copier conversation. God, it’s worse than elevator talk! Nice weather we’re having—yes, this day is moving by so slow—four more days to Friday. 

UGH! Kill me now! Does she see me making a gun with my thumb and index finger, pointing it to my head? I know she sees me. God, let her see me. Pull the fucking trigger!

“Well my daughter and son-in-law came up from Tallahassee. Tallahassee, Florida?”

Like I don’t fucking know.

“It was great seeing them. He travels a lot for work, so—”

I wish I could travel for work. Book me a trip to India. Half our jobs are outsourced there, anyway. Anything to rid myself of this incessant woman.

“I’m still waiting on grandkids. They’ve been married five years, you’d think it’s time.” She brushes her hair off her forehead. “I know, I don’t look like a grandma.”

We all know you dye your hair, bitch. With that Ellen DeGeneres haircut, and that Whoville nose, and those 101 Dalmatians freckles—better get those checked, bitch, they could be skin cancer. Heaven please, let them be skin cancer!

Maybe I’m just a bitch.

—Nortina