Wriiting Conundrum – Names

Over the last few weeks I have felt compelled to write a short story. All I can think of is the name Meredith. I was curious so I checked the SSA database to see how the popularity of the name had changed over time. (Yes, I can have nerdy tendencies.)

The name Meredith was most popular in 1981. I never knew anyone with this name. I can only think of two celebrities with the name – Meredith Baxter Birney and Merdith MacRae both born in the 1940s.

So why this name? For some unknown and seemingly disconnected reason, I browsed through the short fiction pieces I have posted on my blog this morning. I have used the name Meredith in at least four or five fiction pieces I have written. I find that odd, especially realizing I did not remember ever using the name.

Have you ever experienced something similar? Do the same names, places, or situations frequently surface in your writing? Do you have a mechanism to track characters you write about? I know some writers use spreadsheets. I fear I am not that organized!


SoCS – My Hippocampus is Busted

Linda is back with a new challenge for us this week. Pop over to Linda’s place to join in: Life in Progress – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cam.” Find a word that contains “cam” or use it as is. Enjoy!

Someone asked me why I write so much about my nostalgic memories. For some reason, those memories are water tight! Which leads me to believe that perhaps my hippocampus is busted. 😂

Maybe this is why I can walk into the kitchen looking for something but when I get to the kitchen, I have totally forgotten it. Now, Ido not remember exactly the functions of the brain, but I seem to remember the hippocampus has a role in short term memory – at least I believe it has a role in moving short term memory to long term memory. Is this why I don’t remember what I did last weekend?

That whole frontal lobe of the brain is pretty busy. Maybe because there wasn’t much emotion involved in my weekend, my hippocampus thought maybe it wasn’t worth moving along to permanent storage.

Or maybe I should refresh my memory on brain function. Maybe I am falsely accusing the hippocampus! Now that’s funny. Using my brain to study about the brain so I can use my brain to remember what the brain does.

I think I’ll stop now. My hippocampus hurts.

Blog, fiction, SoCS

SoCS – A Fictional Story for a Saturday

Linda is back with a new challenge for us this week. Pop over to Linda’s place to join in: Life in Progress – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “boo.” Find a word with the letters “boo” in it or use “boo” as is and base your post on it. Enjoy!

This story could be true, but alas, it mostly and utterly completely 100% false. As a matter of fact, it is a lie of epic proportions. It is a made up story of a little boy who had but one dream – to become a star.

Little Boo Ridley grew up deep in the heart of Texas. They were neither rich nor poor nor even middle class for that matter. His parents, Loula Mae Ridley (a bookkeeper) and Clarence Ridley ( a boom operator) encouraged little Boo to pursue his dream of being in a band. They tried to support him in any way they could.

He first became a roadie working for Booker T and the MG’s, but he tired of all the instrumental music. He thought if he heard “Green Onions” one more time he might go insane. He had a brief stint as a songwriter. His most successful gig was writing for Sly and the Family Stone. He was disheartened when he was not credited as co-writer on “I Want to Take You Higher”. After all his penning of the phrase “boom laka laka laka” was what made that song!

He moved through the circuit only to get hired for one boondoggle after another. He finally took to the bottle and started boozing it up. Before long, he found himself living down in the boondocks far from the right side of town. He fell in love with a girl that lived up on the hill and wrote a song about her. 

Sadly, he had only scribbled the words down on the back of a paper bag. One night, down on his luck, looking for money for a bus ticket home, he sold his song to a guy named Joe. Sure, it needed some tweaking, but he thought it was catchy. 

After scraping together enough money for a bus ticket, he heard a song. The words were familiar. I took him a minute to realize it was his song made famous by someone else and he had squandered away another chance for success. it was yet another loss for the books.

How could he go home now? Failure was a taboo subject in his household. He dragged himself off the bus at the next station. He  needed a drink but all he could afford now was some Boone’s Farm. He asked around until he found a local bootlegger. 

He knew when he took that first sip it would only be a matter of time before he was playing peekaboo with the boogey man.

Many thanks to the artists of my youth for providing inspiration for my story. I love them all!

Blog, fiction

The Message – A Fiction Piece

Arnie pushed her auburn hair behind her ears. She found her hair annoying at this length but there was no need to worry about a haircut now. The message was clear, perhaps the clearest she had ever received.

She scooted her stool close to the window and pushed aside the blue and yellow flowered curtains her grandmother said would be perfect for her room. “You will always have a breath of spring in your room!” The sky was baby blue with cotton-ball clouds In the distance. Other than her curtains, spring had faded away. Summer arrived with warm days and cool nights. Everyone seemed anxious to get outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun but Arnie was conflicted.

Jack Rose, Arnie’s father, paused by her door. “Gorgeous day, isn’t it?” The question was rhetorical of course as her father continued toward the stairs that would lead him to his morning coffee. Grandmother Rose moved in with them when Arnie’s mother passed away. Three years had passed but it still felt like it happened yesterday. People had been kind, but Arnie never wanted to see flowers again. She could no longer tolerate their syrupy sweet smell.

Of course Arnie knew of her mother’s looming fate before anyone else. The message was the first one that frightened her and she clung to her mother hoping it would sway the imminent message. All she could do was wait until others learned what she already knew. Sadly, there was no changing the result. The drunk driver was never caught, but Arnie knew that would be the case.

Arnie quit trying to talk about the messages long ago. Everything was conveniently whisked in the category of coincidence. Arnie was not mature enough to articulate what she knew so she just quit talking about them. Over the last few years the frequency of the messages had decreased. She knew as soon as her mother died she would lose her playroom so Grandma Rose could have a nice room of her own. She packed up her most important books and the stuffed bunny with the floppy ears her mother gave her long before her father explained the need to consolidate her belongings.

She smiled at the squirrels jumping precariously through the oak tree out front. She slipped on her sandals and went downstairs to join her family.

“Your pancakes are ready, my dear.” She loved the way her grandmother smiled with her eyes. “I even warmed the syrup just the way you like it.” Her grandmother kissed Arnie on the forehead as she handed her a plate with three large pancakes. “I hope you’re hungry.”

As she ate her pancakes, Arnie listened to her father and her grandmother talk about the weather. It was a perfect day to just relax with no errands to run and no work to be done. Arnie tried to compartmentalize her thoughts. Should she tell them? What purpose would it serve other than turn a perfectly glorious day into a catastrophe?

After breakfast, Arnie went outside and climbed into the curve of the oak tree. It was a perfect place to give into her thoughts. She thought about her mother and wondered if this was what she felt? Did she know on that day she would breathe her last breath or did it come as a complete surprise?

Who does one tell, when the entire world faces the same fate? Who would believe a thirteen year-old child if she told them today would be the last sunset for the entire planet? Who would believe the sun would lose its grip on this beautiful earth forcing it to be flung into space?

From the tree she watched her father practice on his makeshift putting green. Her grandmother clipped the rose bushes, cutting off the dying blooms. She closed her eyes and wondered if today she might see her mother again.

A hawk appeared out of nowhere and scooped up a small squirrel scampering across the yard. Sunset had come a little early for that little guy.

Blog, fiction

Meredith – A Fiction Piece

This piece was inspired by the following photograph. It is outside of my normal style of writing and stretches me out of my comfort zone as it is a little otherworldly. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Meredith’s mother did not approve of her afternoon walk to the forest. None of her mothers had approved of most things Meredith did, but they never argued. They were wary of her, their feelings bordering on fear. She knew the time was approaching. These human bodies wore out quickly, and each time the process started over. The first had lasted only six months. The second almost two years. She had lost count. Each time she shed the human shell, she observed the look of relief on her mothers’ faces. Her new mothers were elated, but the elation soon turned to sadness. As the new body grew and stretched, the mother’s anguish increased.

This time she made it 12 human years. This body had nothing left for her to take. The transition time was near. She always wished it could happen here, alone at the edge of the forest, but she knew the process. Luckily, this time, the neighbor’s wife was with child, and that child would be relinquished and the process would begin again. All her prior transitions had been within hours after the human birth. This time, she wanted to be there from the start. She had the power to transition before the birth now, but it required more time preparation, as the sun relaxed its hold on the energy she needed to survive.


”Thank you for coming, Simone. This child has been a difficult one.”

”She has such a high fever. Have you sent for the doctor?” Simone thought Meredith was such a beautiful child – she hoped her child would be as lovely.

”No, not yet. I hoped she would come around. It’s such a long trip for the doctor and she might recover on her own.”  Constance was tired. 12 years she had tried to love this distant child, but something about Meredith was foreboding. Even as a young child, mothering her was torturous. Maybe it was best to release her, but these were words she would never utter out loud. No one could understand. She decided it was best to let nature take its course and hope this would be the end.

“Let’s let her rest. How about a cup of tea?” As they walked toward the kitchen, the house grew dark and a bitter chill fell over them.

Simone stumbled as she made her way to the table.

“Oh, honey! Are you okay?” Constance held her arm and helped her into the chair.

Simone tried to gather herself. The baby moved so suddenly it caused a sharp pain to rip through her abdomen.

“Could I have some water?”

After a few minutes, Simone seemed to regain her composure.

“You scared me. It’s too soon for labor. You have another six weeks to go.” Constance rested her hand on her neighbor’s shoulder.

“I think I should get back to the house. Sam will be home soon and I’d like to lie down for a bit.” Simone stood slowly. “I hope your angel gets better soon.”


The next morning, the sun broke through the window early. Constance rose to check on Meredith. She had not moved since the prior afternoon. She entered the room and glanced at her daughter. Her eyes were open, but her body cold and white. Constance sat down on the side of the bed and gently closed her eyes, putting a penny on each one. She breathed a sigh of relief as she felt the release of 12 long years of frustration and fear.

“I don’t think you were ever my child, really. I’m not sure where you have gone, but I’m relieved you are no longer here.”

She closed the bedroom door and waited for the doctor to arrive.