“Hey Kory! I found this GIANT cornucopia at the antique store and came up with some new ideas for….Thanks….giv…ing…? What’s going on you guys?”

Lena had burst into her foster-sister’s normally unlocked house like she always did. The girls had been bonding over shared responsibilities of planning the big family gathering for Thanksgiving dinner.


Lena and Kory were best friends from the time Lena’s family moved in next door to the Mulder’s when the girls were 1st graders. Their friendship was instantaneous and they were like two sides of a coin –  opposites, but you can’t have one without the other; they were never apart. When they were in the 4th grade, a man, who had a weakness for whiskey drove on the wrong side of the highway. The head-on collision with Lena’s family SUV killed her mom, dad and little brother. They said it was a miracle Lena survived. For years Lena blamed herself because she was buckled into a seat in the third row. She had had an outburst at the mall, shouting at her parents for refusing to buy her an American Girl doll. Wanting to be as far away from them as possible she chose the back seat so she could slouch down  and sulk about how unfair they were.

Kory’s parents said it was the right thing to do, taking her in afterward. There was no other family to take Lena. They said they didn’t even have to think about it they just scooped her up, moved her in, helped her heal and showered her with compassion and love. She never forgot her parents, and never thought that calling Helen and Tom mom and dad was a betrayal. For her it became an honor to be lucky enough to have two moms and two dads. She cherished her new sisters Kory and Kim and she gained Kevin, the big brother she never knew she needed.

Lena and Kory grew, graduated High School, went to college and the year before at 22 Kory married Rod. The house they bought was two blocks away from their parents where Lena still lived while she finished nursing school. Mom and dad told her it would simplify her life and make it easier for her to focus on her studies. So no knock entry was normal for the Mulders.


Muffled grunts, squeals and thumps (was someone giggling?) were followed by her brother-in-law Rod stumbling down the hall with a suspicious look in his eyes. (was that panic?) Lena looked at him confused, leaned her head to look around him and pushed passed him to walked down the hall.

“Who’s back there Rod? Why are you home? Is Kory back there?”

She approached the family room with dubious apprehension, peering from side to side trying to look through the door which was slightly ajar, and the gap on the hinge side. Her eyes were wide with an electric mix of worry bordering on fear and curiosity. Cautiously, she pushed the door open. The crepuscular darkness of the room was shattered as light bathed the room and grinning, smiling, beaming laughing faces materialized before her. Her eyes rapidly twitched around the room and settled on a large, magnificently elaborate sign with her name written in elegant script, Lena Elizabeth Mulder. Wait, her last name is Jackson. Her eyes filled with tears that quickly spilled over.

Her voice strained with emotion, “Mom? Dad?”

Her dad stepped forward and declared with a strong official voice, “Lena Elizabeth Jackson, with integrity, love and devotion we hereby declare our intent to adopt you. It is our hope that from this day forward, you will be called Lena Elizabeth Mulder. Mr. James, Esquire has the necessary paperwork to begin the process. All that is required is your consent and signature. What say you?”

She looked around the room at eyes full of anticipation, compassion, and empathy as they waited for her reply.

Her tears flowed freely as she pulled her hands away from her face and gave a resounding, “YES!”
Day 4 – Writing for 7 Day Personal Challenge. I missed a day so Day 4 is on the 5th day after I began, but resolved to continue. I had a hard time finding inspiration tonight so I posted this request on my Facebook page: Give me a word that has special meaning to you. I need inspiration. I’ll use all that get suggested for today’s writing.

The response was impressive! I received these words from my friends:

Dubious, Weakness, Family, Hope, Honor, Bond(ing), Betrayal, Cornucopia, Compassion, Love, Empathy, Simplify, Integrity, Cherish, Apart, and Corpuscular.

I put each word in bold italics. I also created each character name using letters from the names of the friends who submitted words. Those names are in bold red text. 


2013 in review

2013 was a pretty good year for me creativity wise, even though I lost steam at the end of the year. Here’s what WordPress put together for me for the end of the year. Thanks to all who have read and found my little blog. I hope you stick around for more in 2014!

~ Debbie


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Facets of Love

royaldiamondI’m awestruck by the glint of your blinding rainbow. Sparkles radiate from within the cut of your crystal heart, dazzling my senses. The delicate allure is concealed in sharp corners and jagged edges.


Trifextra: Week 85

Trifextra: Week 85

Trifecta’s weekend challenge Trifextra nearly stumped me. Here is what they gave us:

This week we are taking you, once again, back to school for a lesson in literary devices.  Remember the apostrophe?  About.com defines apostrophe as, “A figure of speech in which some absent or nonexistent person or thing is addressed as if present and capable of understanding.”  That same site provides some excellent examples of apostrophes in classical literature. Check them out and then have a crack at it yourself.  Give us your best 33-word example of an apostrophe.

I read a few submissions and was still confused. Then I finally click on the link provided and actually read the explanation and examples and I got it and and idea came pretty quickly. The music? Well, it’s just good, and perfect for this post.

A New Day

Backpack photo sunset

A low bright ember burns until the horizon is breached then yellow explodes bursting indigo hues. It claws and scratches at the heavy cloak of night, raking and burning the ink into day.


Trifecta’s Trifextra Week 78 asked us to give them 33 word describing a color.

The photographer happens to be a dear friend who has an amazing talent. Her morning sunrise photos always inspire and with her permission I am putting words to one of her beautiful pictures. Thanks Cheri.
Photo credit: ©Backpack Photography 2013

Trifextra: Week 78

Trifextra: Week 78






At a reading Neil Gaiman was asked to describe his writing process in three words. His response was “Glare. Drink tea.

This weekend, Trifecta asks us to sum up our own process with just three little words.

I’m giving you my three words and a great song sung by Jim Croce about how dang good it feels to be free, rolling down the highway with the top down. Yeah, that’s what it feels like when I hit publish.


Box Up Emotions

Shades of happy pink are abundantly splashed; purple jealously accepts next best. Angry and worn, white subdues black and navy’s careless invasion. Optimistic yellow’s smile shines brightly while gray mourns, ignored and avoided.



Linking this up with Trifextra Week 52 where they asked for a 33 word example of personification. I looked around the room and saw the box of crayons used by my granddaughters to happily and obsessively create drawings and color in coloring books. Many emotions spill forth when she is coloring. The perfect object to personify.

Trifextra Week 52

The Writing Garden


Writing is like cultivating a garden. If you don’t feed it, nothing grows. I’m discovering thist more and more and unfortunately, the hard way.

IMG_0339Often I binge write. I get on a roll and I’ll post to my blog, Day In and Day Out,  four of five times in a week. Then something switches off, or life happens and it can be weeks. Like right now. My writing has taken a six week hiatus and my head starts screaming at me “WRITE! Just WRITE!” But I’m in my car driving somewhere and when I get home the voice has been drowned out by a three old needing “milkie” or
“sontee eee!” (something to eat)

Discipline is my kryptonite. I lack it and I desire it. Fortunately my best time to write is nights. Everyone else is in bed. My Nanny Granny duties have ended for the day and I have the quiet house to myself to open up my brain and write. Unfortunately, my best time to write is nights. When my head kicks in gear and the words flow, I’m up into the wee hours of the morning abusing my laptop.

The fertilizer that feeds my writing and gets things going are prompts. I have several favorites. I’m huge music fan and collector with a wide range of styles so there’s the  “100 Word Song” Lance, a fellow Studio 30 Plus member, has at his place My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, Trifecta’s weekly writing challenge, and Velvet Verbosity’s 100 Words. I’ve participated in a couple of prompts here at Studio 30 Plus as well. When I’m participating in prompts and really stretch into those that don’t necessarily appeal to me at first, I have discovered that I write better and reach for more. Often once I get started I am writing for multiple prompts in a weeks time.

I find I want more from myself as a writer and am my harshest critic. I yearn for more and better quality time to write so I can punch out more than 100 or 200 or 500 words at a time. I have several examples of writers who have produced some quality stories using nothing but prompts to put together a plot with a beginning a middle and an end, and I’ve got a story going right now that is all prompt driven.

I give in to the distraction of cooking. I love to create, alter and prepare wonderful, delicious food and I blog about that as well. After two of my pack moved out of state and I got regular phone calls asking for this or that recipe, a blog was the perfect answer to share my recipes not only with my kids but my widening group of friends. IMG_1055So Cooking the Mad Scientist Way was born. Some weeks cooking becomes my focus as I spend time in the kitchen perfecting a recipe. When cooking happens, creative fiction writing suffers. Recipe blog posts are given the effort to make them well written and entertaining if possible, so it’s not a complete loss.

Photography has been a longtime love of mine and pictures go hand in hand with my creativity. The upside is I almost always have a picture somewhere on my hard drive or iPad that is perfect for a blog post. If not, I grab my Canon 40D and shoot, transfer edit and upload.

While I tend to be hard on myself for not being as disciplined as I believe I should be, I can look at my extra creative outlets as branches on the same plant. My imagination is always working on something. I’ve given myself permission to have other outlets to inspire and share my abundance whether it’s  something tasty, a beautiful picture or new story.

So for now, with the time I’m given between being Blossom’s mom, a babysitting Nanny Granny to Princess and Warrior Girl, wife to Captain my Captain and being an awesome cook and a mediocre housekeeper I write, I blog and I create what comes when it comes. I balance what’s in front of me in the moment and I tend the big garden where writing is but one row.

*** Blogger Note: Tom Petty and I go back a long, long way. Since the beginning of his career to be specific. Long road trips and raucous fun blasting songs on the radio or the electronic device of the time. I love that he sings with raw emotions, and this song pretty much sums up what I wish. I wish I had it all; all the time I want to write, I want the perfect kitchen and all the time to cook, I want the best camera and the time to step out the door and frame the perfect shot. I want it all. Don’t we all?


I wrote this post for Studio 30 Plus as a featured writer. Tuesday and Thursday they feature articles on writing, becoming published, social media strategies, improving your blog, and more. I don’t think I’m an expert at giving advice on any of those, so my article is about my writing process.