SoCS — The Frame

506CEE64-AFD4-4F5E-A104-8B79C45172F6For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has given us the word “frame,” and instructed us to “use it as a noun or a verb or any way you like.”


A man with a heavyset frame walked into my shop. He came up to counter and unfurled a canvas on which was a clearly old, but beautiful painting. “Do you have a suitable frame for this painting?” he asked.

“Of course I do,” I responded. “This, after all, a frame shop. What did you have in mind?”

“Something fancy to reflect the era of the painting,” the man said.

“I think I have the perfect frame for you,” I said. I went to the back of my shop and came out a moment holding a large, gold-leaf, ornate, baroque-style frame.

“Yes, that will do,” the man said. “But when you mount this painting in the frame, I want you to put this other painting on top of it,” and the man unfurled a second painting.

I gave him a quizzical look and started to ask him why he wanted two paintings in the frame, especially since the one he wanted me to put on top seemed to be of far less quality than the one that would be hidden behind it. But before I could ask, he held up his hand and said, “No questions. You’ll be paid accordingly.” Then he asked me how long it would take for me to frame the paintings.

I considered my existing workload and framed in my mind how many hours the job would take. “Give me a week,” I said. He agreed and said he’d be back in seven days.

One week later two men walked into my shop. One man introduced himself as a police detective and the other as an insurance investigator. They asked me if a man with a heavyset frame had come into my frame shop a week earlier and had asked me to frame a painting for him. I affirmed what they asked. They explained that the man was an art thief and that the painting was stolen. I told them there were two paintings that he wanted me to frame, but they were interested in only the one that was to be hidden, which they said was extremely valuable.

A few minutes later, the man with the heavyset frame came into my shop to pick up the paintings I had framed. But as I brought the frame to the front of the store and handed it to him, the detective and the insurance investigator confronted the large man. The detective handcuffed him while the insurance investigator grabbed the frame with the paintings mounted in it. The large man was livid and shouted, “I’ve been framed!”

As the three men left my shop, I smiled. I did frame two paintings. The one in front was the worthless one, and the one underneath was actually a decent knockoff of the valuable one. The original painting that the art thief had given me to frame was still in the back of my shop, waiting to be picked up by the guy I had sold it to on the dark web. He’d agreed to my price of half a million, which would be enough to allow me to retire in style on a small Caribbean island.

SoCS — How To Write a Blog Post

53777316-BF99-4AAF-9225-F10F49550527For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to “Write instructions for anything you know how to do.”

I don’t possess a particular expertise in any area, but there is something I do multiple times a day. I write posts for my blog. So here are my instructions for writing a blog post in 32 easy steps:

  1. Sit down at your computer (or with your tablet or smartphone).
  2. Open up your blogging app.
  3. Stare at the screen while you think of something to write about.
  4. Fix yourself a cup of coffee.
  5. Check your stats and read comments on your other posts.
  6. Go to your newsfeed, Facebook, or Twitter for ideas on current events, politics, religion, sports, or technology, or read other bloggers’ posts for ideas and/or writing prompts.
  7. Stare at the blank edit page waiting for something to click.
  8. Get another cup of coffee.
  9. Choose a topic for your post.
  10. Start typing (or tapping).
  11. Stop typing and read what you’ve written so far.
  12. Admit that it’s crap and move it to trash.
  13. Check your spam folder.
  14. Go back to your edit screen and start typing.
  15. Repeat steps 11 and 12.
  16. Repeat step 14.
  17. Repeat step 11 again.
  18. Decide that it’s good enough.
  19. Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  20. Fix any such errors you find.
  21. Read your draft post out loud.
  22. Make any further edits to enhance flow and readability.
  23. Search the internet or your own photo library for a suitable image to illustrate the subject matter of your post.
  24. Preview your post.
  25. Make any further changes necessary.
  26. Repeat steps 24 and 25 until you think it’s ready to go.
  27. Hit “Publish.”
  28. Read your published post in your browser.
  29. Say to yourself, “Shit, how did I miss that typo?”
  30. Fix the typo.
  31. Hit “Update.”
  32. Go take a nap.

SoCS — More Homophones

Once again, Linda G. Hill has given us a pair of homophones for our Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. This time the homophones are “chew” and “choo.”

The first thing that came to my mind was when I was a kid and my mother used to admonish me if I didn’t chew my food 32 times before swallowing it. She would actually count how many chews I had made to make sure I chewed it 32 times. Seriously, have you ever tried to chew each morsel of food you put in your mouth 32 times? That’s nuts. What did she think I was, a cow chewing my cud?8B5A8A64-77D6-4213-B6E5-89BDEDD63B41And what the fuck is “cud,” anyway? Okay, I Googled it and cud is a portion of chewed food that returns from a cow’s stomach to its mouth to be chewed for the second time. Gross. That almost makes me wants to become a vegetarian, for crissake.

Now when it comes to choo, two things came to mind. First, the second part of the sound you make when you sneeze, as in “ah choo!”64FD033F-1D34-4ECF-BAB3-CC5E91A85E79Second, it’s also what many young kids were taught by their parents was the sound a train makes.A0FFC0ED-3FEB-4080-9195-35E47CC85591But then I learned something I didn’t know. My wife informed me that Choo is the last name of a London-based Malaysian fashion designer best known for the Jimmy Choo brand of handmade (and my wife tells me, very expensive) women’s shoes.FEAD0521-C4E3-4456-BBFD-EF5496E6EBD3Who knew?

SoCS — Homophonia

For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has given us an exercise in homophonia. No, that’s not a typo. She didn’t ask us to write a stream of consciousness post about homophobia. She asked us to write a post using “for,” “fore,” and/or “four.” She said we could use one of them, all of them, or any of them. So I guess I’m done since I just used all three of them.

Just kidding!

“For,” “fore,” and “four” are homophones. That is, they are words that sound alike, but have different meanings, and have different spellings.

“For” is the 12th most commonly used word in the English language. It’s everywhere and has multiple uses. According to Dictionary.com, “for” has 32 different ways it can be used as a preposition and two additional ways it can be used as a conjunction. “For” is quite a handy dandy little word.

At the opposite end of word variations is “four,” which is simply and pretty much only used as a number, as in one, two, three, four.

And somewhere in between, in terms of meanings, is “fore.” It can mean the front of a boat, as in “fore and aft.” Or it can mean in, toward, or near the front. Or it can be what someone shouts right before you get knocked unconscious by getting hit in the head by a golf ball.3CFE79EF-E66C-4913-B56D-75BE6DA7C683A few other common examples of homophones are:

  • to/too/two
  • there/their/they’re
  • by/buy/bye
  • know/no
  • here/hear
  • ate/eight

Well, Okay, you get the idea.

Now I’m done.

SoCS — Leave It Be

75A32B1F-B038-4878-960F-A6F2E9F6479AIt was autumn, the season when the leaves leave the trees, when you told me that you were going to leave me.

I’ll never forget it. It was a late afternoon on a cool, crisp fall day. You said that you wanted to take a walk in the park and that we needed to talk. Then you confessed that you no longer loved me. You said that you were leaving me.

I was in a state of shock. I didn’t understand. I thought everything was fine between us. But you said that that was the problem. You said that I didn’t really see you, see us. You told me that you’d found someone else who did see you. You said that you were leaving me for him.

And then you left. You left me standing alone. I sat down on a park bench and watched the leaves falling from the trees, floating to the ground and swirling around, carried by the autumn breezes that had suddenly grown much colder.

That was two years ago. It’s autumn, again. I am sitting on that same bench in that same park, watching as the leaves are once again leaving the trees.

My cellphone rings. It’s you. You tell me that you’re leaving your new man. You tell me that it isn’t working out with him. You say that he doesn’t really see you. You tell me that you miss me, miss us.

I tell you that I’ve moved on and that you should too. I say that we need to leave well enough alone; that we need to leave it be. And then I say goodbye.


Written for this today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Our task is to use the word “leaves.” Photo credit: VectorStock.com.