Meditation Piece

I wrote a meditation piece a few days after I was out of my last hospital visit. It speaks of things on my mind at the time.

What I did know how it was easy to lose a day. 

My brain when it’s overloaded

with toxins gets ill and it loses time.

It’s scary to me. 

I sat and told a nurse at the hospital I was going home

Even removed an IV in my panic.

I have learned that hospital psychosis is real.

If I am not checked on periodically,

I will lose time.

I will have conversations with non- existent people

And have conversation not remembered.

who tell me what I want to hear.

It feels like my brain is different again.

Typing is difficult for me. 

My fingers feel the keys have been moved on them.

It gets better with time.

Things are hard.

No One Can Stop a Writer A Poem

No one can stop a writer,

no words have been uttered

that should ever stop you,

unless someone yells “Fire”

and there really is a fire,

then stop and get out.

But words mean something,

they shape lives.

Books affect people in ways

 you will never know

unless you express it.

Let it out.

There is Writing Dragon

within all of us.

We just must find it.

Sometimes it needs waking up,

 sometime all you have to do

is wave pen at it

and you better be ready to write.

A writer is a someone

who takes these simple letters of ABC,

and forms them into words.

Words big or small,

that form sentences.

Sentences that form stories.

Stories that make books.

 Books that give memories and imagination to others.

written by Katherine Soto 2/28/2019.

Writing Prompt- Soccer Mom

Soccer Mom

Meets someone from her past

Lucky charm

Dear Moose,

     I can’t believe we ran into each other the other day.  My kids wondered who you were.  I told them you were an old friend.  They wondered why I did not invite you to stay for lunch.  I invite everybody to lunch. I always pack too much food in the picnics.  I wondered why I didn’t, too.  For a minute, then I remembered our past together.

     You know you were my first crush, my first love, my first anything.  The first time I laid eyes on you I was love struck.  But then I am sure you know this from all the love notes I gave you over our time together.  I stuck them in your locker, had friends hand them to you and once even put one on your car windshield.  I often wondered if you kept any of them. But then, you being a guy, probably not.  I’ve kept my memories of you. 

     Funny how our lives have changed.  I am a stay at home mom now with three kids, a husband who loves me, and a house that I love.    I like my life, but often wonder what if…

What if we had gone off together as my notes suggested? Would you now be my husband?  Would we still be together or broken hearted like the divorcees on TV?  Would we have had children? Would they look like you or me?

My kids are a combination of my husband and me.  To look at us together you would see the family resemblance.  My daughter looks more like him; my son more like me.  My son was the one playing soccer in the field closest to us.  My daughter was out further practicing with her team.  I wish they could have met you.  But then I would have had to tell them our tragic love story.

I miss those high school days sometimes.  We were so full of life.  We stood on the precipice of the unknown and ready to throw ourselves in to the abyss of the unknown. 

I wish we had tried harder.  We could have been good together.  We could have had that everlasting love.  If we both had worked at it.  I am not saying you did not, but you could have done things differently.  As our relationship went along you could have let me know you cared.   I was so in love with you.

What happened?  You never wrote me back.  All those love letters torn up and put into the garbage.  I heard you and your friends laughing over the hearts and poetry I sent you.  I saw you tear them up one by one.  Do you now the effort that went into each one?  The love?  My soul?  You made fun of my love.  

Well, Dear Moose, you will find that you are feeling a little funny.  Strange the things you can get from an alchemist.  The horseshoe charm is covered with the poison ink this letter was written in. I am sure it has been sitting in your hand while you read this letter. I suggest getting rid of it and burn this letter as soon as you finish it, so your dear wife does not encounter it, or your two lovely girls. 

Love does funny things to people.                                            

Love,  Lydia

Written by, Katherine Soto February 2019

Writing Prompt- Tattoo Artist

Tattoo artist

Ignores all the signs

Hair

“Dude look at my tattoo!” my client said. “What the hell happened?”

“ Man, calm down.  We can look at it and see  what happened.” Jose answered.   Bizarre things were happening today.

Jose led his client down the hallway of rooms to his client room.

“I took the bandage off this morning, took one look and put the bandage back on.  I got here sa soon as I could.”

“Okay, let’s see what we have got.”  He gently pulled on the bandage off the skin.  There was his tattoo art.  “Ummm, what’s wrong with it?”

The client yelled: “What do you mean, what’s wrong?  Do you not see the hair all in the tattoo?”

“Uh huh.  I see it” Jose answered.  “When you got the tattoo, did I not tell you there might be unusual healing?  After all the lion tattoo is a special tattoo only I do.”

“But the hair!” he exclaimed.  “In the tattoo….I don’t think it should be there!”

Jose put a clean bandage back over the tattoo.  “Like I told you already, this tattoo is a new technique.  Relax and let it heal.  Keep the bandage on for three more days, then come see me again.”  Jose led his customer up front to the cashier area and ushered him out.

“No charge today” Jose told him. 

“Better not be.” aas muttered and the client left the shop.

Jose and the cashier’s eyes met. Jose shook his head.

“My special technique seems to be surprising people.”  Jose said.  The cashier shrugged.

Jose headed down the hallway to the living area.  He debated between beer, cola or water as he opened the fridge.  HE took a cola, popped the top, and found a seat in the room.  Bossman walked in.

“Hey Jose.  I heard your client today.  Did you keep him happy?”

Yeah, I think so. Rebandaged and reminded him it was healing.”

“Great, I would hate for your special technique to bomb.”

“Yeah, me too.”  Cola finished, Jose went back to his office next to the client room. 

He sat thinking about the three tattoos he had done with his new technique.  The first one healed up and looked good.   The second time, there were a few glitched, but he managed to get it right for the client.  This third one, he did not know what was going to happen.

The hair had not been as thick in the first tow he had do0ne.  This third one looked like a real lion with a mane.  He looked over at the new ink and machine he had bought cheaply in Tijuana.   He call and have a chat with the old woman who had sold him the equipment.  She had said something to him about the equipment, but he did not listen.

He found the card that came with the equipment.  He dialed the number.

“Hello, Tijuana Mane. Can I help you?” said a voice with no Spanish accent.  Jose thought this was strange.

“Hello, may I speak to Marie?”

“May I ask who is calling?”

“Tell her I bought some tattoo equipment from her last month.”

“Okay, hang on”

Jose heard the girl yell for Marie.  She told her what he wanted.  Marie came on the phone.

“Oh, I am so glad you called, that equipment I sold you was the wrong equipment.  Tell me you have not used it yet.”

“Only three times.  Why?” Jose was puzzled.

“I will bring you new equipment, better equipment today.  Whatever you do, do not use the stuff you bought from me.”

“Okay, okay.” Jose said reacting to the panic he heard in Marie’s voice. “What time you think you will be here?”

“About three.  Again, put the stuff away and do not use it again. Lock it up if you have to, but do not use it.”

Jose hung up the phone.  It was two hours until three.  He took the equipment down off the shelves.  He managed to find all the ink he had bought from her.  He noticed skulls on the jars that he had not seen before.  He was getting worried as he gathered everything together.  He liked this tattoo machine.  It fit his hand perfectly.  Even the ink was smooth, gliding out of it perfectly.  Jose placed the equipment and ink into a box and closed the lid.  It was hard to walk away from it.

He went up to the front of the store at a quarter to three to wait on Marie.  When Marie finally walked in a half hour late, Jose was shocked.  She was not the lady he had bought the equipment from in Tijuana.  She was carrying a box and was grateful when he took it.

“As promised, new equipment for the old equipment.  Can I have it back please?”  Marie said.

“Sure, let me go get it.” Jose answered.  He walked to his office and retrieved the box.  Marie looked relieved to have it.  She checked the contents very carefully. 

“Good it is all here.  Thanks.”  She turned to go.

“Hey. Don’t I get an explanation?” Jose queried.

“Let me put this in the car where it will be safe.  I will comeback and tell you a story.”

Marie walked out the door to the parking lot. She opened the trunk of a white car, put the box in. and slammed the trunk lid own.  She walked back over to where Jose stood watching her.

“Got a drink?” She asked.

“Oh sure. Beer, cola, or water?” he asked.

“Beer.”

They both had cold beers in hand when they sat in Jose’s office.

“Tell me the story you promised.”

“Okay, okay.” Marie said.” Let me get a drink and my thoughts straight.”  She stared off into space as she drank a few gulps of beer.  She finally looked at Jose.

“That equipment belonged to my grandfather.  It was never meant to be sold.  My mother has tried several times to get rid of it, but it belongs to our family now.  I have had to track it down each time.  This is the last time, I am going to lock it up and bury it tonight.”

“But it is great equipment. It works great and..”

Marie interrupted him. “Have you noticed anything weird about the tattoos you did int hat ink with the equipment?”

“Well, yes.  I have had the three customers heal differently than normal.” 

“Lucky you only did three.  My grandfather did ten tattoos with it.  By the fifth tattoo things got weird. At first we thought it was the new technique he was doing, but it was the equipment combined with the strange ink.  The tattoos healed funny at first, then there was hair inside the tattoo as it healed, then the tattoos started to move.”

Jose laughed uneasily. “Tattoos do not move.”

“These did.  They would move up and down arms and legs restlessly.  We could do nothing for the clients.  It drove a few of them to suicide.  One went to get laser surgery and died from it.  Grandfather decided that the equipment was cursed and put it away.  But he could not stop using it.  I found it in his office one day and asked him what he was doing with it.  He told me he could not help it, he had to tattoo with it.  He showed me the little tattoos that were moving all over his skin.  He had tattooed himself, rather than use his clients.  He was a great tattoo artist for years before the equipment came.  Afterward he withered away into his tattoos.

Jose listened to the story with disbelief.  “Marie that sounds crazy.  But, I have seen my three client tattoos do exactly what you described.  They healed strangely.  The third one had hair growing in it.”

“I told you.” Marie said. “It’s the equipment.”  She rose off the chair she had been sitting on.  “Do not buy strange old tattoo equipment.  Most of it carries a curse.” 

Jose watched Marie leave the store, get into the big white car in the parking lot, and drive off

.Written by Katherine Soto February 2019

Response a writing prompt- Frying Pan

This is stuff I am from prompts as writing practice. Tell me what you think.

Character: Someone with nothing to lose

Situation: Professes a secret love

Prop: Frying pan

FRYING PAN

“Babe, listen to me.  I told you nothing else mattered to me but you.” Denny.

Denny’s proposal to Meredith had landed like a ton of bricks. 

“But you can’t just up and move to Atlanta with me just because….What about your job, and your family, and everything!” she said to Denny, not believing what she had heard.  The proposal came out of the blue. Meredith stood stunned.

“But I love you, Meredith. We should be together.  We are good together.” Denny responded.

It won’t work, Denny, you can’t give up everything and just be with me!  Are you crazy?” Meredith asked Denny stunned.

“I can do it.  I can move to be with you.  I can come with you anywhere.  It doesn’t matter where, Meredith.  I just need to be with you.”

“But, Denny, how can it…I don’t understand…You can’t be that in love with me.”

“But I can,” Denny answered. HE was getting a little steamed over her panic-stricken look and her talk of impossibilities.  “We can make it work.  Just say yes.  I can make it work.”

Meredith stood there watching Denny change from being full of joy from his proposal to bewildered to anger.

“Denny don’t be mad at me.  You surprised me so much.  We’ve not been together that long.  I do not even know how I feel about us as a couple yet.”

Denny snarled: “You’ve been leading me on all this time.”

“Denny I think you should leave.  Let’s think it over for a few days.” Meredith said, slowly moving towards her kitchen door that faced into the courtyard.  Denny edged backwards step by step to the door.  Meredith said: “Call me in a few days.”

Denny turned towards the door, opened it,  walked way a few steps, then turned to face Meredith  “You’ll see Meredith.  You can’t be a bitch to me all the time.” 

Meredith reached up for her large frying pan hanging over the stove. 

“Denny, I can be a bitch any time I want.”

She hurled the frying pan straight at Denny’s head.

Written by Katherine Soto February 2019

Answers to Prompts from diy/MFA Book Questions Part 2

Prompt 4: What feeds my creativity?

I have discovered that I enjoy learning about writing from other writers.  I am finding new things to go research on the internet.  I am seeing books I am reading in new lights.  I have found several new things to use in my writing bag of prompts and things to use.

 Right now, I am doing an art journaling class and am letting that boost my creativity.  Art is difficult for me.  When I get a hold of paper, crayons, paint and glue; it all explodes into moments of creativity and it turns out like a four-year-old whirlwind came through the room.  Then I remember that I love that part of my artistic side.  Then my writer side comes out, breathes a sigh of relief, cleans up behind the whirlwind, and is usually ready to do some sort of work. Currently I do the art journal, I have writing classes on udemy I bought super cheap, plus I pulled a couple of book lists off the internet to look over, in addition to a couple of stories I am working on. 
I am attempting to join Queen’s Own, the Mercedes Lackey fan site. So I am working their writing requirements. I have sent in two character sketches, plus I am working on a story for them. Then there is a 20 page research paper.

Prompt #5  What writing Advice did not work for you?

The statement I saw that said: To be a writer just open a vein and bleed words. Nope. Did not work for me. I finally figured out why my writing process was not working following that advice. I had to relearn how to write. I am 56 years old and taught 6th grade special education classes for fifteen years. I taught writing to kids. I have had to relearn about character development, learn story plotting, review basic writing skills. Writing is one of the hardest things I do, so learning all about it is a good idea.

Prompt #6  Have you had a time when resistance served as your creative compass and pointed you toward a particular project?

i am published in small newsletter for dialysis centers. I had written a poem about the dialysis diet which at the time was frustrating the heck out of me. The editor stumbled across my poem on a website, loved it and wanted to publish it. I discovered poetry is a good way for me to take my resistance on about

Prompt 7 Supporting Characters

Antagonist or villain- In some of my stories the villain is the world and boy are they going to get creamed.  However, I would suppose if writing to keep a reader interested a good villain would move a story along.  Especially when the protagonist’s emotions are affected. 

Love Interest- I am attempting to write a romance novel.  I have a cute idea I am basing it on.  The love interest of my main character is not her favorite person at first. HE has a way of fitting in with everyone around her except with her. The dialogue needs work between them.

BFF or sidekick-when I write this as a character they are usually very static and do not really runt he story along.  I am going to have to work on this in a story.

The Mentor- I written a short story recently with a mentor in it.

The Fool-  This is an honest character.  Helps the main character.  Helps to move the story along by giving advice.  A few scenes with bits of advice periodically.  I can see how this would work.

My reading of books is going to be useful when going back to decide how characters in the book are being used.

Prompt 8

What is your favorite story type?

 I have not really written enough to have a favorite story type.  I have mostly written poetry up to now. In my reading I read a lot of protagonist confronts antagonist with more power.  Usually science fiction stories are set up that way.  Aliens are made to be more powerful in most books.  It is hard to find an alien who is equal to a human, however I am sure they are out there.   

Prompt 9   Try a New Technique from MFA?

I took the plotter/Panster Quiz. I discovered with a +8 I am more of a plotter, than a punster.  However when I write I am more of a punster. I tend to let the ideas take me into part of a story I am writing then I get lost because it has not been plotted out and I do not know my main characters very well.  It is amazing to me what I am learning about writing and my style of doing it.

Prompt 10 Reading List

Competitive Titles

Verses for the Dead- Mystery

Gragon Quartet- Sci Fi Fantasy

Brisinger- sci fi/Fantasy

Contextual Books

diyMFA

Elements of Style

Elements of Style Workbook

Now Write! 3 books

Contemporary Books

Wheels of Time Sci Fi/Fantasy

Mercedes Lackey authors

Terry Goodkind authors

Classics

The Odyssey /Iliad

Invisible Man

The Stranger

Langston Hughes-Poems

Writing Prompts and response DIY/MFA

I have been answering writing prompts from DIY MFA.

One word to describe my year’s goals.  “Positivity: the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude. I am expanding it ti all areas of my life slowly.

Writing Prompt 1

Number 1 Prompt: How did you become a writer?

      I have a vivid imagination.  I also read anything I could get my hands on from an early age.  I had to get my parents’ permission to read the books I wanted to read in the adult section.  It went from reading stories to enjoying writing assignments throughout school.  I still have writings from a high school creative writing class. 

I think my teachers thought I over did it sometimes.  One comment was “Very creative thoughts, but a bit unrealistic” when we were asked how we would spend $1000 dollars.  As a sixth grader I had no idea what a thousand dollars looked like.  We were dirt poor.  I immediately bought a horse ranch and horses.  I wrote my dream. Ever since then I try to write out dreams.

Writing prompt 2

Prompt: Tell a story about a time when you had to honor your reality.

I have ESRD-end stage renal disease.  I have dealt with it most of my life.  Reality hit in 1998, when I started dialysis three days a week.  I have been on hemodialysis for twenty years now.  My reality is going to dialysis three days a week, without fail, no matter what. 

Writing prompt 3 What type are you. Take the quiz.

Result: The Disruptor

You’re drawn to larger-than-life characters who rebel against the status quo. Your stories champion people who will do whatever it takes to change their societies, overcome all odds, and defeat tyranny. Whether your character makes a small but significant personal choice or starts an all-out revolution, at the core your stories are about sharing your ideals with the world.

I am totally a Disruptor. I have to tell my self I am not Wonder Woman and to take off the gold bracelets periodically.  My mother said to me one time “You always followed your own drummer.” “Yes, Mom, what did you expect?” was my answer before I ran off to find the drummer.  My usual nickname with friends is “Trouble.” They see me coming and know things will rumble eventually.   I bring it into my writing.  Most of my characters are trouble makers.  They do not think anything about putting on those gold bracelets, walking out the door into a thunderstorm and changing their lives forever.

Number 1 Prompt: How did you become a writer?


I have a vivid imagination. I read anything I can get my hands on from an early age. I had to get my parents’ permission to read the books I wanted to read in the adult section. It went from reading stories to enjoying writing assignments throughout school. I still have writings from a high school creative writing class. 
I think my teachers thought I over did it sometimes. One comment was “Very creative thoughts, but a bit unrealistic” when we were asked how we would spend $1000 dollars. As a sixth grader I had no idea what a thousand dollars looked like. We were dirt poor. I immediately bought a horse ranch and horses. I wrote my dream. Ever since then I try to write dreams.

My newest project is to practice writing and I found an online class that will hopefully focus my writing and put it to good use this year.

My Ode to Missy

I adopted her at a rescue event at a local Petsmart

It was in the hottest month of August, 2001.

She was lying down, calm, looking a little lost

Amid a brace of barking crazy. little dogs.

I asked about her.  We met.

A mix between whippet and Labrador.

Long legged, slim, coming mid-thigh in height

She was what could be called a tan and white mongrel.

Around nine months to a year old.

A mutt.

I fell in love.

I hoped my husband would accept

The newest in our menagerie.

She needed reassurance and love.

In addition, boundaries were necessary

Plus, those necessary lessons in manners

That dogs so desperately need.

We formed a bond of friendship:

Owner to dog, Pack leader to pack member

After she learned and knew

This was her permanent family.

It took six months.

To finally relax and stop worrying.

She was our girls’ dog during their teen years.

Missy put up with Santa hats on her head,

reindeer antlers during Christmas time.

Pictures were taken

Memories were made

We would make up nicknames for her.

Mine was Mishugunna an old word

Meaning crazy or silly.

One nickname got so silly

We would hysterically laugh

As we tried to add to it.

Missy Von Whipp Lichtenstein the First.

Also known as the famous model

Miss Maybelline

Due to the black encircling her eyes.

She always wore makeup.

Fireworks beyond her comprehension

Thunder booming during storms

Would send her shivering in fright

To a couch or at a desk

I ended up with a dog close to me.

Our couch potato chose one

 to make herself comfortable on

We called it Missy’s couch

I lofted a blanket over it for her to lie on.

The first day in our house

One of our cats walked up,

Rubbed across Missy’s legs.

Missy took off whining;

Scared out of her wits

She later made good friends

with Nanny Cat

So many memories

Such fun times

Dog parks, walks in the neighborhood,

Playing with her girls,

Spending time with her family.

This is still Missy to us.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end

One weekend she would not eat, not even special treats.

I knew we would end up at the vet.

Examinations and X-rays taken

We were given sad news.

Kidney and liver disease had crept

into our loyal friend

We chose to let her go

Before the hurting and pain

became all her reality.

We stayed saying love tidbits

Through to the very end.

 A sympathy card full

of condolences from the vet staff

arrived with a pawprint.

Another arrived from our groomer

telling us she would be missed.

Her cremated remains are in a box

On a bookshelf in my library

Along with a red collar

license still attached

A ceramic pawprint rests on top

Written by K. Soto  1/17/2019

Writer’s Craft

It is hard to write

Wait a minute, too simple.

It is difficult to write

No, not right

It is difficult to learn to write.

Not quite there…

It is difficult for me to learn to write.

Not yet….

I have discovered that it is difficult to write.

Ummm. words, words…

I am discovering it is difficult to learn to write properly.

Aaaggggg! what is a better word for difficult?

I am discovering it is exacting to learn to write

No, no sounds silly, exacting, hmmmmm

I am discovering learning to write is demanding

okay whole sentence. A little awkward.

I am discovering creating great writing is demanding.

How about adding superb instead of great?

I am discovering superb writing is demanding

Try again, how about the word craftmanship

I am discovering superb writing demands craftsmanship.

Okay discovering might be overkill, drop it. Get rid of I.

My writing demands craftsmanship .

Where did superb go?

My superb writing demands craftmanship.

My writing demands superb craftsmanship.

That might be it….

Writing demands superb craftsmanship.