Friday Fictioneers — Old School

85E5FE2C-7310-4960-99F8-B501DE6E150FHaving recently retired and with time on his hands, Clark decided to fulfill his life’s greatest ambition. With a head full of ideas, interesting and compelling characters, and intricate, twisty plot lines, he would write the great American novel.

Clark was old school. It wasn’t that he was a technophobe. He just liked the feel of using a manual typewriter. So he put aside his laptop and took out his old, antique Underwood, slipped a piece of paper on the roller, and started pounding away on the keyboard.

Before he finished the fourth page, though, Clark stopped typing. “Damn arthritis.”

(100 words)

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Jeff Arnold.

SoCS — Going Postal

For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to write about “the last piece of mail you received.” She goes further by instructing us to “talk about the subject of the last piece of physical mail you received.” In other words, if it’s a gas bill, for example, she wants us to write about gas, not about the bill.

My daily snail-mail delivery consists mostly of bills, catalogs, and promotions or solicitations. When I checked my mail late yesterday afternoon, one of the pieces of mail I received was a job solicitation from the U.S. Postal Service.904290FA-B733-4D8C-8215-EED2CE232866It asked whether I might be “looking for a fast-paced, challenging, and rewarding job with career advancement opportunities.” Woo hoo!

How exciting. I could be a mail carrier, a mail handler assistant, an auto mechanic, a tractor-trailer operator, a motor vehicle operator, a clerk, and, best of all, “more!”

Now I have nothing against the U.S. Postal Service. I don’t know my mailman (or mailwoman), but I appreciate what they and their fellow postal workers do. That “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” motto is really inspiring.

The thing is, I’m retired. And I kind of like being retired. And I was able to put enough away during my working years that, unless I live as long as Methuselah, I should have enough money to survive on so that I won’t ever have to work again.

So I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass on this kind invitation to join the ranks of the U.S. Postal Service. But if any of you out there are interested in going postal, I’m sure your local postmaster would be happy to chat with you.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Paradise

904A674F-6768-4A29-92C8-7128BCB03D49.jpegIt was picture perfect. As close to ideal as any place could possibly be. The weather all year long was wonderful, with mild days and cool, crisp nights. There were typically around 300 days of bright, sparkling sunshine a year, and when it did rain, it was almost alway at night. The ocean’s warm blue waters surrounded the peninsula on three sides.

They had promised themselves that they would sell their home in the city and move to paradise once Eric retired. They had scrimped and save and had accumulated enough money to finally fulfill their promise. And so, when they found what seemed to precisely meet their needs, they took the leap.

Sure, it was a little more than they planned on spending, but they decided to splurge. They bought a lovely three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath beachfront bungalow. There was room enough for the two of them plus for their grown kids for when they wanted to come by and stay over for a weekend or longer.

They moved in and got settled and were enjoying the good life.

A thousand miles away, an earthquake.

A few days later, the tsunami.

That was the end of paradise.

(198 words)

Written for Susan Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Anurag Bakhshi.

One-Liner Wednesday — The Early Bird

577723F2-FCA1-4FA1-9E7B-0D2E0CA0A726“Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.”

Ursula K. Le Guin, American novelist.

Now that I’m retired and don’t have anywhere in particular to be first thing in the morning, I rarely set my alarm.

And yet, I usually wake up every morning between 6 and 6:30 regardless of what time I go to sleep. And that kinda pisses me off. Because I’d love to be able to sleep later.

So Ursula is right. My mornings still arrive — way too early, I might add — even though I don’t set my alarm.

Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

J is for Juggling

I’ve spent most of my life juggling stuff. I don’t mean literally juggling objects, as in throwing three or more plates, bowling pins, or flaming batons up into the air and catching them. I mean juggling everyday activities of daily living like school, sports, work, family, social life, reading, writing, and the like.

I had to work my way through college. So for most of the time during my undergraduate school, I was working at least part-time and going to school full-time. Once I got into graduate school, my time was spent working a full-time job during the day and going to classes at nights and on weekends. And for my own sanity and well being, I also tried to squeeze in some kind of social life.

After I got married and had kids, I found myself juggling my time between my job, my wife, and my kids. After my kids grew up and moved out of the house, I was still doing that delicate balancing act between keeping my wife happy and my boss happy.

(Actually, upon review, that last sentence seems kinda kinky. What I meant was keeping my wife happy with respect to my duties as her husband and my boss happy with respect to my job duties. There was funny business going on at work.)

And now that I’m retired and have taken up blogging, it’s a matter of juggling my waking hours between spending quality time with my wife, walking our dog, reading books, watching TV, and writing and reading blog posts.

I suppose that juggling is something that all of us do most of our lives and will continue to do until that inevitable time when there is no longer a need to juggle.