Something Wicked

Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?



What’s there not to love about a dark and dreary night?

How could you not love a bitterly cold foggy morning? Or better yet a foggy night with dead dry leaves crunching under  foot as you make your way home to a fire, something warm to drink  and your favorite novel, ( or in my case for sure ) a little something by Mozart.

I do love the Spring, I love the green and the fresh cool air. It’s full of promise. It’s open and free.

But Autumn is secret and sly. It’s the bad boy in the leather jacket  who plays the guitar or rides the motorcycle- the one you’re Mom warned you about because guess what. She probably met the bad boy’s acquaintance before too.

When the Fall shows up  those flowers you planted seem to just disappear one night, the leaves on the trees turn slowly from gold to red and fall off one by one until boom! They’re on the ground and being carried away to wherever  it is winter lives.

This is the time of year  when take out our dark clothing and we put on  our hats and scarves and cover our faces. We make our way, wrapped in our shadow friendly clothing, through a world covered by low dark clouds, full of snow or rain. Now is the time we blend easily almost naturally  into the shadows and doesn’t that just make you feel…just a little wicked?

People are alive during the Spring and Summer.

But I believe during the Fall and into the Winter

Everyone wakes up.

It’s Alive!


    Brevity Pulls

    “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Blaise Pascal
    Where do you fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum?

    When Stephen King was a little kid his grandfather said to his mother, “Why don’t you shut that kid up, Ruth. When Steven opens his mouth, all his guts fall out.

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    Stephen King

    When I was a kid my family used to stand there and watch me talk with the same look on their faces that they would have had, had our family dog walked up to them and asked what the time was.

    One of my cousins was more blunt. When I was about seven he was listening to go on about the possibility of the lady next door being a  a Mad Scientist like Dr Phibes  (mostly because she sort of looked like Vincent Price ) and he said,

    ” There should be some kind of law about what you use words for.”

    At the time I didn’t get it, but I was smart enough to know that doing anything against the law was bad so for what felt like days but what was more like seconds I watched what I said.

    Personally I love to hear people talk. Use as many words as you want.I think it’s great. I mean, if you want to open your mouth and your guts fall out I will listen and watch and hang on to every word.

    Verbal Vomit holds  no fear for me.

    To tell the truth,  I have been known to not just paint a picture with words,I have been known to take a spray can and tag an entire city block, just because it was the best way to get my story or point across.

    Most of the time, it was just to see how people reacted.

    I used to work in a funeral home and to do embalming.

    To this day at Thanksgiving I can’t reach into the turkey and put stuffing into it. My heart races, I break out in a sweat and I feel like I’m going to faint.

    And it goes without saying that I will not be eating turkey that day.

    I can stretch that story out to last so long I should have commercial breaks.

    So, I will tell that story and use as many words ( and big ones ) as possible if it’s right for the moment, other times I don’t go into great detail but I”ll tell the story differently.

    All you’ll get then  is, ” I don’t stuff  Turkeys. I used to. But I got traumatized at work and now I can’t stand to stick my hand into cold dead things.

    Conversations, storytelling, letter writing, they take on a life of their own. I say let them go where they want. It makes for better listening and reading.

    Make it an Epic conversation, make it a little one.



Sincerely Yours


Writing 101: Be Brief

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. 


The envelope light blue and the stamp was from Christmas- it had a smiling Santa with the standard red nose and chubby cheeks.

It was August and 85 degrees out, the sun was hot and Christmas seemed years away. So I picked the envelope with the Santa stamp up and turned it over.

It was addressed to MLT  at a post office box in Seattle.

The return address caught my eye

S. Stanwood

C/O Fenton Estates


I know Fenton Estates. Most people around here do. It was the States First Mental Hospital and it closed about 20 years ago.

I pulled the letter out.

It was written in purple ink in small neat block letters.

Come Visit . I am so lonely.

Sincerely Yours,


I turned the envelope back over and looked at the post mark.

It had been stamped a week ago Bridgewater, Washington.

I folded it, put it into the envelope and wondered-  who would reply if I wrote and said I’d be there soon.

I guess there’s only one way to find out.

It’s Like We’ve Always Known Each Other

Delayed Contact

How would you get along with your sibling(s), parent(s), or any other person you’ve known for a long time — if you only met them for the first time today?

I think that what makes me and my sister so different from each other would make it possible for us to be friends if we just met.

Two things: My Uncle gave me the nickname ” Pebbles ” and my sister really is the efficient one who needs to laugh louder.

So this story is sort of based on us.


The bus wasn’t late, it was on time. It’s always on time it’s the passengers who are late.

Today  a woman with long dark hair, a limp and a red backpack was the last person to board the bus and it took her a minute to find her bus pass and scan it.

She slung her backpack over her shoulder and made her way to the back of the bus and took a seat next to Adele.

Adele was always on time. She was never late. For anything.

The woman with the backpack was a few years older than Adele and when she slid into the seat next to Adele she looked over and smiled at her.

” Guess I held the bus up. ” she said.

” Well. Maybe a little. “

Adele looked at the backpack on the woman’s lap and saw a tag with the woman’s name on it. It was written in gold glitter pen and edged with hot pink marker.

” Pebbles Macleod”

Adele wondered if the backpack belonged to the woman’s daughter .

She must have been staring at the tag for a little too long because the woman volunteered” Oh yeah. That’s my name. My Mom was a big fan of the Flintstones cartoons. To bad she couldn’t have been a fan of a show that involved real humans. Then I could have had a normal name like Emma Peel or Barbarella. “

Again Pebbles laughed and Adele found herself laughing with her. She wasn’t sure why. The woman’s laugh was deep, heartfelt and a little too loud. Usually Adele didn’t bust a gut, but she thought she easily could with Pebbles.

” Have you taken this bus before? ” Adele- the same Adele who never spoke to anyone she rode the bus with.

” Oh. You know how it goes. I just grab whatever shows up.”

” Nah. I like to be home at the same time. Stuff to do for the family.”

That laugh again. ” Wow. If my boys waited for me to do stuff they’d be walking around naked and hungry. They’re teenagers. They can manage.”

Adele and Pebbles made small talk all the way to the Transit Center and when they got off the bus Adele was sorry to see Pebbles head towards another bus.

” Hey. So maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.” Adele said.

Pebbles swung around and smiled. She laughed. “I think so.”

Dream A Little Dream


Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

 Francie Paulo’s favorite writer in the entire world- for her entire life time – is the slighyly famous yet very  infamous Violet Hale.

Violet’s first book was published when she was seventeen. By thirty she was dead- executed for the murder of her husband’s lover.

Violet hung Clarissa in her husband’s law office and in turn the state Washington hung Violet. Violet found that amusing, which is the real reason she was laughing when the trap door snapped open below her feet.

Of course the witnesses at Violet’s execution thought she was crazy, which was slightly true. But that isn’t the reason, like I said, for her laughter.

Francie has Violet’s books- all slightly worn but well cared for books, all first editions in an old china hutch in her bedroom. The shelf and the books are the only thing in her room that could count as decoration.

She has a bed, a nightstand with a small ceramic lamp on top of it and that’s about it.

Francie leads a very simple life.

When Francie comes home at night she is welcomed by her cat and Violet Hale.

Nowadays she doesn’t pull her books down from a shelf. She does however have to pull her cat down from the shelf because it likes it up there.  Then after a very small meal she gets into bed and pulls out her phone (which never rings) and she goes straight to the internet and the site where Violet’s books are.

Francie never has a problem stepping into the worlds Violet created over thirty years ago. The problem is, sometimes Francie gets a little carried away when she’s there.

Like a few nights ago.

Francie was reading a particularly disturbing account about a Vampire and a school teacher and a meat grinder. ” Oh no.” Francie said bringing the phone up to her nose. ” She can’t mean to..”

Francie read on ” Oh. Oh. That’s just. No.”

Francie put her phone down for about a minute (which was a record of sorts for Francie). And then she picked it up back up and began to read.

Her face was lit only by the glow from the phone and her big dark eyes widened and then snapped shut. ” Why do I read this stuff before I go to sleep. WHY?”

But Francie read on.

She felt a sliver of sweat run down her spine. She wondered if it was really possible to make a  body snap in half like that. She hoped not. It was so…she put her phone down again. For less then a second.

And then Franice got to the part of the story with the Vampire and the embalming fluid and the holy water and she shrieked

‘ Yuck.Yuck. And Gross. Violet Hale you are the most twisted monster that ever walked the face of the earth…”

That’s when the light bulb in Violet’s room blew and she threw her phone against the wall and dove under her satin comforter.

And for good measure Francie Palo Born November 5th,  1864 died at the hands of a real vampire on July 10th and brought back to life again on July 17th of 1904 reached up and slammed her coffin lid shut.

” You’re a monster Violet Hale!  An Honest to goodness Monster! “

And Top Of The Mourning To You Too!


Ready, Set, Done

Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.


Reflecting the biblical account of the Fall of Man, the snake-entwined figure epitmoizes evil and sensuality

I was in search of a Good Mourning Comic, but this picture from the artist Franz Von Stuck was the way to go.

The Seattle Times, in their review of Von Stuck’s work which was being shown at the Frye Museum in Seattle ( and I was lucky enough to see- Thanks Colleen!) was described as ” Spooky, Sinful and Seductive “

Why wouldn’t you know it.

Those are my favorite topics to write about.

In Von Stuck’s work I found it interesting that the less than holy subjects seemed to be more in charge of their enviroment then the more ” pure ” figures- even to the point to where the models representing all things “spooky and sinful and seductive”  seemed to be burning their way into Von Stuck’s and in turn the viewers eyes.

I like that in a monster.

I actually like it in people who are NOT monsters, but that doesn’t happen very often.

Isn’t it said that if someone looks into your eyes for more than twenty seconds they either love you or want to kill you? So I guess that’s why people thinking looking into anyone’s eyes is a sign of aggression. Maybe it is.

Maybe it is.

But when I need a little inspiration or when I just want to look at something that makes my brain and spirit sigh together in harmony I pull out the book ( they call it a catalog ) I bought at The Frye of Von Stuck’s work-

and enjoy.


( Click On The Picture To See More of Von Stuck’s Works)

%d bloggers like this: