Death to the Adverbs at the Grocery Store

Today’s Prompt for Writing 101: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.


This morning was my grocery shopping trip for the month. The prices of foods and other products have gotten ridiculous. Some of the items I often buy have risen in cost by 50%. Now, that’s killing me.

When I go to the grocery store I am not looking for anything to inspire me (sorry WP University).

I go to the grocery store to do my “hunting and gathering thang.” My mind and eyes are focused on the items that are on my list and on finding the best “deal” possible (which may or may not include the cheaper brands).

Grocery shopping has become much harder over the years. One thing I notice more and more now regarding shopping for groceries is that prices for the products are ambiguous. They don’t make it easy to read what the prices of the products are. Because of that, you have to be on your toes when you are checking out to make sure the products you are purchasing are indeed the prices you thought they were.

When I have finished my hunting and gathering and then gallup to the check out stands, this is when I feel like the cashier and I are face to face in a shoot-out and I have to focus on the task at hand. My right hand hoovers over my price pistol in my pocket along with my insistence that they help me bag my groceries and place them inside the basket.

Many times (literally) I have had to stop cashiers in the middle of their work because the price was not what I thought it was or the price in the computer system wasn’t changed to the “on sale” price. This is very irritating.

Some grocery stores (Walmart, to be exact), do not want you watching the prices going into the register. Instead, they are insisting that you sack the groceries and put them in your basket as they are doing the scanning. My answer to this is, “NO. I am going to watch the prices going into the register and the cashier IS going to help me bag the groceries and then help put them in my basket. Those checkers do not want to help you with bagging and placing the bags into the basket, insist they do it anyway.



Ryan Lance Writing Prompt 03-09-2015

A Raise to Dread

Randall got a raise today. He would like to be happy about it but isn’t.

Randall and his ex-wife have been fighting for weeks over her alimony payments. She wants more money, it’s always about more money. He tries to get across to her that he doesn’t have it to give her.

They were both smitten with each other when they were in seniors in high school. She was the first girl he had ever dated. Randall was aware that many of the other boys in his class wanted to date her but she was dating him, exclusively, and he was proud. So very proud.

His mother warned him time after time, “Watch out for those pretty ones, son. They’ll get you in the end.”

Randall didn’t believe her for a minute. Not Elaina, she was beautiful and sweet and everything he wanted in a girl. Six months after their high school graduation, they were married.

That was five years ago, and now they are divorced. Maybe it was because Randall couldn’t make enough money to keep her happy. Or maybe she just stopped loving him. Didn’t really matter to him anymore. You don’t count chickens that don’t hatch.

Whenever he even thinks about her his head starts pounding, like a hammer that’s timed with the second hand of the clock.

Finally, with trembling hands, he picks up the phone and dials her number to give her the news she craves and he dreads.


Ryan Lance’s Writing Prompt:

Write a scene about an increase in pay that someone is not looking forward to.



Ryan Lanz’ Writing Prompt – 1/21/2015

* Start a scene with, Clock’s aren’t suppose to stand still like that. Ryan Lanz


“Clocks aren’t suppose to stand still like that! What the hell is wrong with this place?”

“What do you mean clocks aren’t suppose to stand still like that? That’s a grandfather’s clock.”

“No man, I mean, well, I mean that clock is standing still.”

“Of course it is standing still, it’s a grandfather’s clock.”

“I don’t know what a grandfather’s clock is. Where I am from, clocks don’t stand still. They move. They dance and sing and stuff. They interact with all the parts that are within and with the ticking of the second hand. They DON’T stand still!”

“Wow man, where the hell are you from?”

“Third galaxy to the right about 5 million light years away and the planet, Bortheo, the fourth planet from our main sun.”

“So, dude, how old does that make you? “


Kind of silly, I know, but it was fun to write. So, I hope you all enjoyed it. ~PJ~ Would you like to join the fun?

Check out Ryan’s post: Writing Prompts-Court Jester


Finish the Story 1-19-15

They finally made their escape.

“That was a close call mi amor.” Roberto clasped Rosa’s hand and pulled her closer to him.

“Si, I am so glad we were able to get away from him. He would never let me marry you. I just couldn’t tell him I was carryin’ su bebe’. He would kill me.”

Rosa took one hand and placed it on her stomach, “I will be showing before long and could not have kept it a secret any longer.”

“Today is the beginning of our life together mi amor.”

Roberto reached down and picked up the lightest backpack and handed it to Rosa.

When the ‘coyote’s’ jeep pulled over to pick them up, Roberto made sure the money he had been saving was still in his pocket.

“We have a long journey, but first, we must get ourselves across this border.”

“Si, Roberto, first things first.”

~149 words

This is my first attempt at “Monday’s Finish the Story” challenge, hosted by babso2you. The challenge is to write a story with 100-150 words. We are given the first sentence for the story and a photo prompt. If you are interested in joining this challenge please click on this blog:

Monday’s Finish the Story


Sunday Photo Fiction Jan 11, 2015

“Why is it when something wonderful happens it turns out to bite me instead? Why does this crap keep happening to me?”

I sat on my bed holding my blue journal wishing I could write about something wonderful happening to me without it turning to stab me in the back. My heart felt like it was in my throat, restricting my breathing. I keep gasping trying to suck through the lump in my throat so I can inhale air into my lungs. It releases. The tears come, streaming down my cheeks.

The silent voice is taunting me, “Stop it. You’re just feeling sorry for yourself!’

“Shut-up Shut-up!” I scream, sobbing breathlessly. “Just shut-up!”

My inner voice whispers, “People will disappoint you. It happens and there is nothing you can do to change it. Remember, you have to change yourself.”

Suddenly, my tears stop. That is true. I cannot change other people, I can only change myself. But, what is it that I need to change about myself?

In my concentration to figure out what I need to change, I remember these comforting words,

“Someday, your ship will come in.”

Sinking further into my pillow, I begin thinking about ‘my ship’.

~200 Words~

This story is submitted for the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge hosted by Sunday Photo Fiction. The challenge is to write a story of 200 words.

If you are interested in learning more, or would like to join, please click on this url:



The First Fright

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First!.”

My first day of blogging was a “leap of faith.” Literally. I had no idea what I was doing. My beginning posts (poor ones, at that) explained that I was new and had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to do this, or that.. it was terrifying.

In fact, the first time I got a reply from my first post, it frightened me. I thought…”You mean people actually read this!?” With that thought, I felt paralyzed as what to write next. “Whatever I write on this blog, anyone.. anyone in this whole world.. can read it!” That thought was mind numbing, at the very least.

Because I am such a private person, it was difficult to think of things to write about. Things to write about that felt safe to me. The whole “blog thing” felt like a “coming out party.” Coming out to the whole world that I exist and that I have things to say that “some” people might even find interesting.” But it also felt like I was putting myself out there as a vulnerable, self-conscience person that could be rejected and hurt in this blogosphere.

I am very thankful for those people that started following me and has continued following me and has given me so much positive support (Mark Bialczak, thank you!).

Because of this, when I come across a new blogger on WordPress, I try and follow them and give them positive support so they will grow and blossom as a blogger among the WordPress family blogworld. If they don’t know how to do something and I do know, I try to help them. (Because I remember how desperately I needed other people’s help).

All of us had a first time here and a first day here. We remember what that was like. I hope we all take the initiative to help the newbies overcome the “First Fright.”

Thank you for reading and wishing you the best in the new year ahead. ~PJ~

HappyHappy JoyJoy

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happy Happy Joy Joy.”

The last time I cried tears of joy? Frankly, I don’t usually cry tears of joy, with the exception of the birth of my children. Those tears came each time I held my beautiful and healthy new baby in my arms. They were tears of joy mixed with tears of relief (the painful labor was over) and the wonderful result was lying in my arms.

I do remember crying tears of joy and relief when I realized the severe depression and paranoia I had been suffering with for years had finally lifted and I could, in fact, feel joy again. My depression had slowly consumed me. It felt as though I was in a pit and suddenly the bottom fell out.

I will never take feeling joy for granted. Not after what I went through. For a very long time I felt that I would never smile again, much less feel joy again.

Many people do not realize that those who suffer severe depression do not have the control to shut it off at their own will. It consumes you and takes control. It does not allow you to “just turn it off.” Particularly if it is caused by a chemical imbalance. In order to overcome it, it takes an enormous amount of work and the correct medication. I believe doctors have become better trained for mental illness and chemical imbalances and that medications have evolved to produce much more satisfying results than they did in years past.

This post is suppose to be about joy and not depression. But, how do you know what joy feels like if you do not also know the pain of sadness?

I can safely say, without a doubt, that true joy is priceless.

To each person reading this, I wish you a very Happy New Year and I wish you the best of everything wonderful.

Peace, Love, JOY and Hugs


The Life of H2O

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Ice, Water, Steam.”

Among all the other little droplets of water, high in the sky was I. There were so many of us that our cloud became too heavy and it rained many of us onto the dry clay earth.

The earth turned into a puddle and many of us swam around in the puddle for awhile until the earth became so cold it froze. We were no longer droplets of water. We became crystals. Beautiful mesmerizing crystals.

Then the sun came out and melted the crystals back into droplets of water. Some of the drops remained on this earth and others turned into gas and some of us floated back up to the big sky to become part of the clouds. Every time it rained more and more droplets of water stayed on the earth. It has rained many times and therefore there are many water drops on this earth.

There were so many water drops on the earth that it became crowded. And, the water drops began to soak into dry clay and became a muddy mess. There were many wars during this time. Many wars and many mud people that died. Still, they didn’t learn. They didn’t learn not to hate each other or not to try and control each other. They didn’t learn how to love one another and make this world a beautiful place. Instead, they remained mud. And the world remained muddy. The more crowded it became, the messier it became. The world was a very messy place. Hate, anger, bitterness and vengeance ruled this muddy earth.

Then one day the Sun God came out and it was very very hot. The mud dried up and became clay again. The mud people cried for the lack of water and their thirst was mighty and awful. They cried and begged for water. The sun continued to beat upon them until they turned into sand. (Me and the others that are still in the cloud in the form of a drops of water are told to stay there for a very long time). We could hear the terrible cries of the mud people to the God of Moisture and Life. But still, it did not rain.

The Big Winds came from the Wind God and blew all the sand around and around until each piece of sand was somewhere different upon the dry earth. Land masses and islands began to form and Mother Nature God came and controlled all the animal and plant life upon the earth.

Animals began to roam the earth. Many and various kinds of animals. They walked upon these land masses, made by the mud people, and it is this land that give these animals life.

The God of Moisture and Life decided it was time to rain and the rain fell and fell for many days and nights. The mud people that were now land masses cried with joy and many beautiful plants and flowers began to bloom from their land form. The God of Moisture and Life was happy and became one with the God of Mother Nature.

Rain forests, mountains, valleys, and more beauty than one eye can hold grew and became solid upon this earth, from one end of this earth to the other.

Then the God of Humans said, “I am going to make people from these drops of water and clay. But, this time, I will not give them possibility of knowing evil because there will be no evil. Instead, they will only know Love, Joy, and Peace. They will play with all the precious animals of the earth and tend to the beautiful plants, flowers and trees, and they will all love one another.

And all of the Gods, the God of Wind, the God of the Sun, the God of Moisture and Life (now one with the God of Mother Nature) agreed, “This is indeed good!”

The End

Over the Years

The holiday season: can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it all to be over already? Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years? ~The Daily Prompt 12/19/14

When my children were younger it was important to me to make sure they had a nice Christmas. I concentrated on purchasing their gifts, on the holiday meal, and over all the little things that make Christmas special. Watching their joy at Christmas always brought out that little child in me. It was glorious to watch their eyes light up and to hear their laughter of joy and surprise. It was a wonderful and exciting time of the year. It was also an exhausting time of the year.

No matter how exhausting it was, there was always a sadness when the holidays were over. “This year my children are such-and-such age and they will never be this age again.” There was also the sadness of, why can’t we feel this joy all year instead of only at Christmas?

My children are grown and have children of their own. They are the ones creating the special Christmas plans for their children and feeling those feelings I felt so many years ago. And, as it should be, their focus is on their children – making their own Christmas memories.

Christmas comes now without much fanfare. I hardly notice it’s arrival. I choose not to decorate or put up a Christmas tree because it only makes my home feel empty. My gift purchases are minimal because my children and grandchildren prefer gifts of money rather than anything I could pick out for them. This is perfectly fine with me. I don’t have to stand in line at the check-out counters in stores or stand in line at the Post Office to mail them.

Instead of celebrating all the fanfare and gift purchasing of Christmas, I celebrate the real reason of Christmas: Peace. Love. Joy. Hope.

Do you think someday it might catch on?


Merry Christmas everyone! May yours be Merry and Bright. 

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish you a wonderful and happy New Year.