Friday, January 23, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 47

(Please scroll down for Skywatch Friday.)

This is week 47 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. I was really glad that everyone kept the process going last week even in my absence. Those words were so awful that I felt compelled to try and use them so I have included them in my paragraphs this week. Whew! Not easy! Also, I want to apologize in advance. I am leading a 2-day reiki workshop this weekend so I will be late visiting - possibly not until Monday, though if I'm not too keyed up and can settle down, I'll try to visit earlier.

Also... I have no idea why these come out in all different sizes and shapes. They get pasted in one size, one font. Beats me what cyber imp makes them all goofy like this. My apologies. I tried to fix it and just made it worse. Sigh.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: air tight seal, bitter cold, draft card, diner, paragon of virtue, broken computer monitor, CPR, a love of folk music, scatter-brained, can of worms (last week's words were: tuna on rye, ghost hunters, I'm as corny as Kansas in August, sympathetic ear, science fiction, muffler, cavernous, giraffes, prospecting, paraphernalia) and the mini challenge: California here I come, Springtime in Alberta, panorama, etchings, miracle foot repair, (last week''s words were: Key Lime Pie, porcupine, Library of Congress, fingernails, spell-bound)

Here's my ten-word offering for this week:

I’m no paragon of virtue. I smoked pot in the sixties, protested the war, and even burned my draft card, but basically, I’m a pretty normal guy. Science fiction and a love of folk music are among my greatest passions in this life. I spend much of my time prospecting online for information and paraphernalia to pursue my new-found interest in ghost hunting. Had some problems with the computer this week. Let me tell you that a broken computer monitor does a real number on a scatter-brained computer junkie like me. What organization I’ve been able to manage is all on line. No computer no world and I’m as crazy as Kansas in August – oops, I guess it’s as corny as Kansas in August – but anyway, I’m pretty much a basket case without cyber space. My wife practically had to do CPR on me when the light blinked out. It was like a great cavernous can of worms formed under my feet and sucked me in. It was touch and go for a while. Luckily my wife is a smart and sensible woman and knows how to lend a sympathetic ear no matter how foolish my problems are. She did a great job of talking me down from the edge of despair. Got me break out of the air tight seal (so to speak) in front of the computer. In fact she talked me into putting on the hideous wool muffler she knit for me with these weird giraffe-like things on it and go out into the bitter cold of a January day. We went to the local diner and had a fine lunch. She had tuna on rye and I had a cheeseburger. Then we had some apple pie a la mode. It was one of those blessing in disguise, spending a nice day with my wife like that.

And here's my mini challenge:

Springtime in Alberta may be beautiful, but winter is not so fine unless you like snow, cold and lots of it, so California here I come. Standing here at Porcupine Ridge Outlook, and looking at the Panoramic vista, I am spell-bound by the beauty of the scene. It reminds me of old etchings from the 1800s that I saw doing research at the Library of Congress. The narrow windy roads left me chewing my fingernails and my hiking weary feet are in desperate need of some miracle foot repair, but the stop and the walk at sunrise were worth any pain I may be feeling now. My camera is full of pictures, my lungs of clean pure air and my heart is singing with joy at the experience of such pristine beauty. Next stop is the the Porcupine Ridge Diner for a cup of coffee, an omelet and – even if it’s breakfast – some of their famous key lime pie.

And for the mega challenge:

My life sucks. I’m sitting here in front of my broken computer monitor shivering from the bitter cold because there’s not a single door or window in my little house that has anything close to an air tight seal. When I was young I was a virtual paragon of virtue. But then the Vietnam War started and virtue met civil disobedience and that opened a whole new world to me along with a half dozen cans of worms. I went from being the kid who walked around humming I’m as corny as Kansas in August to a long haired, scatter-brained hippie who burned his draft card and developed a love of folk music and rock. Being good hippies, it was all California here I come and my friends and I gathered our collective paraphernalia, jumped into an old jalopy with broken muffler and in hopes of prospecting for girls and LSD in that order. Took my first and last acid trip at an incredibly beautiful spot with the odd name of Porcupine Pond State Park. If I’d been smarter, I’d have realized that glorious natural panorama before me was better than anything drugs could offer, but I was young. On our way to the park, we stopped at a little diner and picked up a half dozen cups of coffee, several tuna on rye sandwiches for each of us and for some reason a whole key lime pie. Man that pie was good. Glad I ate it BEFORE I did the drugs because my trip wasn’t that happy. It was like living through some bad science fiction. God knows why, but I found myself wandering through the Library of Congress and then I was in a cavernous room looking at etchings that were hung on the wall and each one I looked at came to life. The scariest one was these space aliens who looked like giraffes only they were purple and orange and had glowing green eyes. They spoke in a kind of pigeon English and went on and on about fingernails and toenails and miracle foot repair. They were followed shortly by a flock of pelicans pretending to be ghost hunters when in fact they were cannibals in disguise. I was terrified but spellbound, wanting to run but paralyzed. I think my heart must have stopped. I know it did, actually. Lucky for a park ranger came by who knew CPR. He was able to bring me back. Even luckier for me, he was a cool guy who also hated the war. He listened to me with a kind and sympathetic ear as I came down from my bad trip and instead of arresting me, suggested pointedly that there were few things finer than springtime in Alberta. That’s how I ended up in a dead-end job in Canada instead of either California, jail or Nam. Even though I complain a lot, I'm alive and well and I have a beautiful wife and the daughter and son you could ask for, so now that I think about it, my life doesn't really suck, it's pretty darned good.

This week’s vanity wordzzle: Culture, sheep, skin, mentally, box, desert, several people, church.

From his seat near the back of the sanctuary, the hungry young man furtively eyed the alms box that hung on the far wall. He watched thoughtfully as several people stopped to drop coins and bills into the small box and mentally calculated how much money he might find inside. He had never robbed a church before and was not entirely comfortable with the idea, but he was desperate. He had not always been the creature of skin and bone who now sat huddled in the shadows of this great cathedral. He had been a man of culture, a solid citizen. He had been kind and generous, had always done - or tried to do - unto others as he would have done unto him. But then the thing had happened - he could not say the word - and his world was ripped apart, his wife and children gone and he cast into a desert of the soul where he had found himself increasingly lost. He looked at the beautiful stained glass window and the serene Jesus carrying a lamb in his arms and thought bitterly that somehow the deity had forgotten this sheep. It was indeed all hype and God had forsaken him after all. God, he figured at least owed him a little cash. But suddenly, as though in answer to those thoughts, a ray of light came through the rich glass - straight from the heart of Jesus - and shone directly on his thin, tired face. "My son," a rich voice said, "may I help you?" and turning he looked into the kind face of an elderly priest and wept.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: snow and ice, vegetarian chili, pampered kitty, anthropology, do you own a home, coronation, you can change the world, hideous curtains, stammering, premonitions

Mini Challenge: Is there a doctor in the house, blowing in the breeze, shadows, comedian, sleeping disorder

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


19 comments: said...

I am glad your computer is up and running again and that you could "catch up" As always you are the Mistress of the Wordzzle. Hope your workshop goes well. jcs

Lu' said...

Hi. I'm heading off to bed. Dashed off a story. I'll be back to read later. Have a nice weekend :)

Carletta said...

You sure had time for your talented mind to so great wordzzle thinking this week!
I loved it. I was picturing the
60's too. :)

Have a wonderful workshop!

Dianne said...

Have a great workshop! I'm sure you're really excited about it.

I'll be back later to read. I couldn't sleep so decided to post but my mind is very fuzzy at 4AM

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I haven't been here before. I like the challenges you set.

Anonymous said...

Excellent story Raven! It has an absolute perfect ending. Very well crafted.

Akelamalu said...

You always pack so much into your wordzzles Raven - great stuff!

I'm a bit short on time today but I will get round to everyone at some point over the weekend. :)

Dr.John said...

I tried doing two weeks words in one story once but here you did three. I marvel at your skill.
But as you might guess I liked the last story best.

bettygram said...

What a great job in using so many difficult words.
I liked the ending to the stories.

Melli said...

OH you DID it! WOW! That is amazing! And they all came together GREAT too! I especially liked the 10 word (uh... 20 word!) with the sweet ending! But all of your endings were SO POSITIVE today! I LOVED that! And... I have to agree that key lime pie is good at ANY time of the day... *nods*

Dianne said...

and you said you couldn't do 2 weeks worth of words!

I loved that you called your mini a mini - it's not a mini with all those words

I love the feel of the stories - they're all wonderful

enjoy your workshop

Richard said...

Great stories. I had so much difficulty with Blogger this week I had to erase and start over - AAGGHH!

By the way, wasn't last week #46 - I am so confused now!


Anonymous said...

For some reason last night -- probably because I was so tired I kept falling asleep at my computer -- I only saw and read your last story! I must have had a slit-second sleep break and scrolled by the others without noticing!

At any rate, your last story is still my favorite, but I like the hippie story as well. And I thought the story that started in the freezing house with the broken computer monitor was going to be autobiographical!

Anonymous said...

I found this on someone's blog and was interested in doing this, so I gave it a try. I like the challenge of it. I did the 10 word one.
It is here:

holly said...

hi. newby here, came here because of di from 'forks off..'. i'm not nearly as sophisticated, and just thought this might be fun. sorry if i messed it up.

i really enjoyed yours, and am almost ashamed to admit i did one.

hope your workshop goes well, i'm 2nd degree and i miss the get-togethers (i don't really know any other reiki people here - i got certified in hawaii).

okay. i'm away to bed as it is now a single-digit hour again.

Jeff B said...

Raven, i have yet again missed posting a Wordzzle this week, but wanted to let you know, I'm still reading yours. Do I detect a bit of fact mingled with the fiction this week?

You did a brilliant job at weaving all those words into well written and entertaining stories.

I hope to get back on track with this next week.

Akelamalu said...

Errrm, I'm a bit confused. :(

You're on Wordzzle #46 and some of us are on #47.

Raven said...

Hi everyone.... My gathering didn't close until almost 9:00 and I was so exhausted last night that I went to bed at 11:00... WAY early for me. It was a great day, though. They are all due back in about 20 minutes so I just have time to leave a note.

First - to the newcomers - Jean Luc, conniemeraldeyes (did I spell that right?) and Holly - welcome. I'm so glad you are joining in and look forward to reading your first wordzzles.

Holly - wordzzles are like reiki - you can't mess them up. This is the first workshop I've done in a very long time. I'm exhausted (really!) but it feels good.

jay, lu, dr. John, melli & betty - thanks... looking forward to reading later.

dianne - I didn't think I'd be able to do doubles, especially with those awful words from last week. Yikes.

Jeff b - not really very autobiographical except for the existence of a broken computer monitor and references to computer addiction.

richard and akelamalu - I screwed up the numbers. It really IS 47. I'll fix it. Quilly - looking forward to reading your wordzzle/portrait of words combo.

Hopefully I won't be quite as tired tonight as i was yesterday and I can start catching up.

Thanks for playing everyone.

Lu' said...

Those were good. Let me guess, you were bummed your computer took a poop. I actually liked best the fella that took to the cold January air for a stroll and a meal.