May 18 Daily Prompt: Feed Your Senses

Write down the first sight, sound, smell, and sensation you experienced on waking up today. Pick the one you’re most drawn to, and write. (For a bigger challenge, pick the one you’re least drawn to.)

Photographers, show us one of the five senses — bonus points for depicting a smell!

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Hello Allergies!

When I wake up in the morning, I reach for one of those because my nose is inevitably congested. Welcome to my friend for spring and fall 😦

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Posted in Daily posts, Photography, Prompts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Help me complete this story. Open for 24 hours

Hello everybody!

This week for the writing challenge, I have to get feedback from readers to complete one of my short stories. This is part of my main character’s childhood: period that shape their character. It’s your turn to help me write their story! Submit ideas below. Nothing public so you can’t see how it unfolds.

Setting: Late 1968. Biloxi, Mississippi.

Main characters of the scene:

Russ, 18 year old Caucasian male. Captain of the basketball team. Heading to Columbia University. Political Science.

Fred, 18 year old. African American. Captain of football team. Heading to Notre-Dame. Business Management.

Cecile, 18 year old. African American. Fred’s twin sister. Dating Harold, another football player. Fred’s friend. Heading to Spelman. Nursing.

Russ and Fred used to be friends. Separated by life, different sport, different friends, etc. Fought when Russ was too close to his sister Cecile last year.

Prompt: First integrated prom. Ready, Set, Go!

Submssions: Closed at 5pm EST Tues 5/14

Thank you! I will post this when I finish it. I will combine as many submissions as I can to write it. You will see the final version in the novel… After you submit, you can check the first short story I shared; it was in 1978 (a modified version is in the novel).

UPDATE:  Submissions officially closed. I am working on three short stories that I should post this weekend. The Weekly series resumes on Sunday.

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Posted in Prompts, Weekly Writing Chanllenges, Writing & Publishing | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

May 13 Daily Prompt: Fill In the Blank

Three people walk into a bar . . .

Three inventions walk into a bar: a radio, a television and a laptop.

Radio says: I am a great invention because I can go anywhere and I make people dance.

Television says: I am better invention because people can watch me. I can make people dance too.

Laptop says: I am the best invention because people can play with me. They can watch me and I make them dance too.

Ms Water who was working at the bar yells: Shut up and drink before I spill myself all over y’all. I am your worse nightmare, just like Mayhem!!! (referring to Allstate commercial)

The End

So I am definitely NOT a comedian but I gave it my best shot. How did I do? Can you come up with better ones?

PS-In my defense, I had 2 other stories with “three men” in mind due to some headlines this morning. I thought they were too heavy and controversial for a Monday morning. Let me know if you want to read and I will post them 🙂

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Posted in Daily posts, Prompts | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

May 12 Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom!

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. Wherever in the world you are, write your mother a letter.

Photographers, share a photo that says mothering.

Hello Mom!

I want to say thank you for everything you’ve done for me, from the little things to all the major sacrifices. I would not be where I am today without you.

Thank you for all the values you’ve ingrained in me: moral character and work ethic, love for education, respect for others, personal drive for success, tolerance for differences, optimism for better days, fear of God. Patience, appreciation, accountability, honesty, kindness, love, friendship, acceptance, etiquette.

Thank you for supporting all my ideas and curiosities as a child. I remember events from the age of 4: you teaching me how to sew like you do because I was going to your box behind your back, teaching me about manners at our tea party with your set that was in the glass on the wall, teaching me how to read as you studied for nursing school, teaching me about previewing school work and redoing them with me as I cried for messing up on my circles in pre-K. Yes, I still remember all of that.

Instead of punishing me, you supported me and made sure I did the right things. I can see how those little changes made my shaped my little self into the present me. As I get older, I understand more and more how hard it is to raise a child, about all the sacrifices you’ve made for us, about how many adjustments you’ve made to accommodate us.

You may not always agree with what I do but you are always there for me. You’ve allowed me to grow and flourish, moving to the beat of my own drums. It’s a great feeling to turn back as I walk the road of life and see you in the bleachers, as one of my biggest cheerleader and fan. 

For all of that, I want thank you. I am proud of who I am today.

Sincerely, your dear daughter

Happy Mother’s Day to All Mothers, including the WordPress family!!!

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Posted in Culture, Daily posts, Prompts | 7 Comments

Blog Feedback Opportunity

Greeting to all my readers!

I have reached over 100 followers! I want to thank every single one of you. As much as you read my blog posts, I enjoy reading yours and interacting with you all. When I first started, I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I do. Blogging is increasing my creativity, your posts are teaching so much about writing, publishing and the world. I thank you again.

Many of my readers are not necessarily on WordPress so I am giving you a chance today to voice your opinion regarding my blog. I have many more blog posts coming your way. I will also share more short stories, more characters from the novel and poems. I am looking for feedback regarding the content of my blog so far. So here is your chance to speak directly to me. I’ll post about responses and clarify. You are also welcome to comment publicly below.

Provide email only if you want a response. Thank you!

Note: I will keep this form permanently on my About me page.

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Posted in Writing & Publishing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Live and Learn Saturday: Duke & Durham, NC

The visit itself was so much fun. The travel itself was not a great experience with the airlines. I talked about the arrival flight here and I will post about the return later.

1. Duke University School of Medicine

I got a chance to visit the new School of Medicine building. I have been to the old one but the new one is totally fabulous. The functionality and the technology integrated in this building is first class. Below is the picture of a sticky note pad. I thought that was cool gift. Specially for a writer like me who write a million things per day on sticky notes. You can read about the official details and see pictures here.

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Notepad. Gift from Duke University School of Medicine

Breakfast was served downstairs. On one of upper floors, students were presenting their research. On another one, I had the chance to watched demonstration in the stimulation laboratory. Below is a nasogastric tube insertion. There are many different medical simulators.  The Harvey model has just left the building and a new guy just came in. Other simulators included mother/baby, an operating room, an intensive care simulators. Also virtual simulations set up. These lab are used by the medical and nursing students.

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Nasogastric tube insertion. Simulation laboratory.

2. Les Duke Medsérables

In the evening, I attended the Medsérables which is a twist on Les Misérables which I will review here after I watch it. It was about a poor medical student deciding which branch of medicine to specialize in. The student actors/singers did a fantastic job. The adaptation was well done, funny, witty. I would buy it if it is sold.

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Duke Medsérables Show. It was hilarious!

3. Duke Chapel

Coming out of the auditorium, the Chapel is standing nearby. I went in for a visit. I always though it was a Catholic church. It is not but there is a Catholic Mass in the evening on sundays. According to their site, Duke Chapel is an interdenominational Christian community formed by the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. The Chapel does indeed include symbols of many different relations. You can read about the details here.

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Duke Chapel

4. Dinning In Town

The first night for dinner, we went to a local restaurant. We chose Piazza Italia, located in downtown Durham, NC. The food was totally amazing and the service was great. I was craving lobster so I ordered the seafood feast with scallops, shrimps and lobster. It was my last “meat” meal and it was worth it. One of the owners was at the next table and asked if I would come back. I answered that I would come back. If you are ever in Durham, try it.

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The next night, we went to Lilly’s Pizza where we ordered the vegetarian pizza called The Aristrocrats. All their pies have creative names that do not tell you anything about the food which I find funny. According to their menu, The Aristocrat is made with extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic, cremini mushrooms, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, roasted organic tomatoes, roasted organic yellow onions, roasted potatoes & parmesan. I love the small restraurant, family friendly atmosphere. The artwork all over the walls is undescribable. I should have taken pictures. We had a great time.

5. Al Buehler Trail

In order to burn all the good food, we went to Al Buehler Trail. It was very well attended by people. There were many students, faculty and community members with their family. I saw some children riding their bikes. Some people running, some walking. Others brought their dogs. A couple of the hills were pretty steep, specially on the way down (most people walk it up). At certain areas, you can see the Duke Golf Course.

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Al Buehler Trail

I hope you enjoyed the pretty pictures of Durham, NC. I will take more pictures at my next visit. I blogged about meeting with a stranger while in town.

Since you did not get to watch the Medsérables musical like I did, I will leave you with this classroom musical. One of my favorite pranks!

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Posted in Durham, Food & Drinks, Travel & Adventures | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

May 11 Daily Prompt: I Want To Know What Love Is

We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal, or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”?

Even though we use the word love to represent feelings in so many different relationships, it is one single idea or definition. My definition for love: overwhelmingly positive feelings or emotions associated with said person, thing or place. I love my children. I love this shirt. I love New York. It can translated to mean that I really really REALLY like each and every single one of them. I will do anything for my children. I enjoy wearing this shirt. I love all the fun activities and the sites in New York City. Or the City is home, like my main character Russ would tell you. What changes across is the type of relationship.

I love my husband is definitely not the same as I love my friend Angie or I love my dog Fido. I love this food means I really enjoy this food, not that you want to marry it. I love this shirt means that you want to wear it but not have it on every day. When I first started, I did think maybe there are different definitions but I could not build an argument for that case. I kept thinking of examples and each one landed to the same definition. It is definitely a single idea.

Can you think of different definitions or do you think it is a single idea? Let me know what you think… Personally, I recently fell in love with the city of Durham, NC. Check out Live and Learn Saturday: Durham, NC now posted because it is so laidback and chill town and people are so friendly there.

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Posted in Daily posts, Prompts | Tagged , | 25 Comments

May 10 New Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture which means PATTERN to you!

I went to visit the Duke University campus, located in Durham, NC.  I took a few minutes to visit the chapel. You can see patterns everywhere in the building, from the exterior to the interior. The details are amazing. Beautiful sight.

Duke Chapel. Durham, NC.

Duke Chapel. Durham, NC.

The whole time, I thought it was a Catholic Church. It is not!

UPDATE: As part of Live and Learn Saturday, read more about my Duke University visit, my food experiences in the area and my overall trip.

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Posted in Colleges, Durham, Live and Learn Saturday, Prompts, Travel & Adventures, Weekly Photo Challenges, Weekly Series | 9 Comments

Then the ducks quacked

As I walk towards the library, I see these ducks just hanging out. I thought how cool, how I wish to be like them, just grazing in the almost summer sun! It is sunny, nice breeze and beautiful out there. It would have been great to just lay down out there on the grass.

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Then out of nowhere, three other ducks fly towards us, quacking loudly and vehemently at the first ones while descending a little closer to the grounds. Some of those who were just chilling took off. I gotta say I found them pretty fast for such heavy birds. They scare me for a second: I thought either I’m about to get attacked or get pooped on (which has happened before, by the way. lol…)

Thankfully, they flew away. And I made it safely (and cleanly) into the building. Yeah, I’m definitely a city chick. Not sure why I still wanna go camping lol…

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Posted in Nature | Tagged , | 8 Comments

May 10 Daily Prompt: Morphing [people voice]

Language evolves. The meaning of a word can shift over time as we use it differently — think of “cool,” “heavy,” or even “literally.”
Today, give a word an evolutionary push: give a common word a new meaning, explain it to us, and use it in the title of your post.

I will take the commom word “people” and evolve it to include all life forms from animals, people, trees. Even aliens from a different planet or universe. So when the “people” assembled in the new world to make a decision, we are all must be present and voice our opinion. The movie Avatar comes to mind. While I am at it, I want to extend the word “voice” to any means or forms of communication. So a tree can swing side to side to voice a “Yes” and a fish can wag its tail to say “yes” just like dogs.
My evolutionary push: the people’s voice means the whole planet came to this particular agreement.

PS- I am not a sci fi person. lol… Do you have other words you would like to give an evolutionary push?

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Posted in Daily posts, Prompts | Tagged , , | 6 Comments