What Flavor Ice Cream Would I Be?


I was given this writing prompt a couple months ago. I completed the writing prompt and never did anything with it. After reading it again today, I decided to post it.


Chocolate ice cream is fairly plain. It’s one of the most basic flavors you can get from ice cream. It’s not as simple as vanilla, but it’s almost there. You won’t find any surprises in the flavor of that sweet, classic flavor. It’s exactly the kind of comfort you’d look for when troubled.

The softness of marshmallows makes you hold them with a lighter hand than you do peanuts or cashews. Marshmallows are vulnerable, weak. They are flexible and most often bounce back, but squeeze them too tightly and they will become permanently disfigured. Stretch them too far and they will tear. They don’t tear in a straight line that is easily fixed. No, they tear in a jagged, splintered and web-breaking pattern that can never be mended.

Almonds on the other hand, those take a great deal to break. You can’t just squeeze one between your fingers and expect it to bend to your will. The salty and brave almond will stand the toughest tests (until it makes contact with your teeth of course). You can only eat so many almonds before you need a break from them, before you need water to refresh your mouth and gullet. They are a delicious treat, but brutal in their own odd way.

These make for a very odd combination indeed. The warmth and familiarity of chocolate mixed with unforgiving, frozen cream. The susceptibility of the marshmallow in comparison to the stubbornness of the almond. Yet, here I am. Rocky Road in the flesh. In the snap of a finger I can switch from Almond Mule to Marshmallow Dog. I can provide a Chocolate Shoulder for anyone to cry on and the next day become the Queen of Ice Mountain.

I’m not as elegant as French Silk or Bourbon Praline Pecan. I’m not as sweet as Dulce de Leche or White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. I’m not as rich as Double Fudge Brownie or Chocolate Fudge Cores. I’m definitely not as complicated as Honey Salted Caramel Almond and not nearly as classic as Neapolitan.

I am what I am. I would love to boast a name such as Caramel Praline Perfection. Perfection! In the name! Or maybe Cake & Cookie Fantasy. Caramel Delight? But I’m afraid I’m leaning closer to Peanut Butter Overload or Espresso Chocolate Cookie Crumble.

I’m OK with Rocky Road for now. I’ll keep my mixture of classic, sweet, and salty for the time being.


I Am Nothing and No One – Part Two

Laughter rains through the air

Like the torrential downpour a thirsty jungle must feel

Heads are thrown back in arcs of pure delight

A hand or two comes down on the table

Sharp, quick snapping sounds echo through the carpetless room

My lips curl upward, fighting gravity a millimeter at a time

I bare my teeth and laughter escapes from deep within

This practiced gesture, this actor’s gimmick is one I’ve done before

The woman inside runs her claws along my skull

They’re laughing at you, she says

With such lack of feeling that I cough and my laughter dies

A word is said, a jab is served and the thunder of laughter roars on

This jungle has turned cold

The rain soaks deep into my essence

The woman’s fingers curl around my throat

As the chilling rain drops grow larger, beat down harder

I study the group

Looking for a hint of recognition

Someone please see through this practiced smile

This facade I’ve donned

Blood does not create links of this nature

Her fingers tighten and my world is lost in darkness

Her voice is colder than the ice now falling from the sky

You are nothing and no one

I Am Nothing and No One – Part One

The leaves whisper their unknown language to each other

As I lie in bed, eyes closed, fists clenched.

The crickets sing their happy summertime song

I listen, alone and on edge

The moon reflects the sun’s yellow light from its silver surface

As I pinch my eyes tighter, bite down hard on my lower lip

The highschool marching band lifts their notes heavenward

And they dance the long distance along the waves and into my window

I wrap the pillow around my head to block out the sound

In the darkness behind my eyes

In the tightness of my fists

In the quiet of my room

I can’t escape my mind

I can’t escape the woman inside

She is hollow, numb, lifeless

She holds no mercy, sings no songs

She lights no torch nor whispers in the dark

She has no fear, she feels no pain

She is ruthless

The lion shreds its prey, limb is twisted, bone is splintered

The lion cares not that the fawn’s mother watches from the tree line

It cares not that the fawn is still crying out, still thinking it can be rescued

It only wants to feast

To bury its teeth in the soft flesh of its downed prey

To feel the warm blood swirl along its coarse tongue and down its thirsty throat

The trees have stilled their ancient tongues

The crickets song has ceased

The silvery moon has disappeared

The marching band has faded

I am nothing and no one.

This is the first of a series I am going to be doing. It may only be one more poem or it may be a couple, but I would love feedback if you’re willing to offer it.

I want to develop my poetry more as a side project during some downtime or when I need to free up my mind for ideas for my novel. Please feel free to comment and let me know what I need to work on.


Lucy watches the faces of those around her. Some have been around for years, some for months. Each is unique. Some may be similar, but no two are equal.

The face across from her is filled with concern, but wears a smile nonetheless. He winks across the fire at her when he spots her gaze. The gesture something she will always associate with his fatherly love.

The one next to him is filled with content. She leans against his shoulder as a soft and beautiful smile slowly spreads from her eyes to her lips.

There are the others that fade from time to time, but never truly go away. They are the faces that will always be familiar. They will always come back and will never disappear. Disagreements, life, distance, it may all cause fading, but these faces will never be lost.

There is one in the circle that is understanding and has proven more loyal and true than many others and still Lucy has her reservations. A heart eaten by betrayal and hurt does not easily trust again.

There are a few faces that lie in the shadows. Only Lucy seems to notice these. Those whose faces are lit by the light of the fire have no knowledge of those on the cusp of darkness. Their eyes bear down on Lucy. They dare her to fight, dare her to lose again.

There is a face dotted here and there in the circle that is so new Lucy isn’t even sure what to make of the features. Are they friendly? Are they acting? Are they trustworthy? Why are they here?

Then comes the last face of all. The one Lucy fixates on the most. The eyes born by this face capture her attention, her soul. She stares, immobile, into those captivating eyes. When her eyes do finally break away, they fall onto soft pink lips. They are plump and full, but not overwhelming. She runs her tongue along her own open lips unknowingly.

This face hasn’t been around as long as the winking one, the soft smile, or those that will never fade. Yet this face is the most important one. It’s been there even when the circle has been empty. It’s been there when the circle has been too full for comfort. It’s been there while the fire blazed high into the air, but has also leaned in close when nothing but coals remained.

Lucy stares into this face. This handsome face that begs without speaking to be touched by her hands. The lips beg to be kissed by hers alone. The eyes look at no one in the circle but Lucy; always Lucy. The chatter of those around them always fades as she watches the flames dance with passion in his eyes.

It doesn’t matter who comes and goes as long as he stays. The fire shouldn’t be at the center of the circle, he should. What good is the fire without him? The fire is not the center of her thoughts, he is.

Lucy cannot resist the urge any longer, she reaches out and touches his face. Her fingers dance with electricity. As she runs her thumb along his lips, he kisses it and Lucy can feel her own heartbeat where his kiss was left. The fire seems to burn brighter in his eyes.

Lucy’s hand falls slowly back to her lap. He is hers and she is his. All other faces may fade or disappear completely, but one thing she knows: his will always be there.

Writing Is Terrifying

To me, writing is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done in my life. It’s not terrifying in the sense that a life-threatening experience is, it’s a different kind of terrifying. It’s hard to explain. I find a rare peace in writing that I find in few other places (my daughter’s smile, my husband’s arms to name examples). 

This peace only lasts as long as I am actively putting words to paper. While my fingers tap away on my keyboard, the world around me disappears and I’m lost to another place and time. I’m completely at peace.

As soon as my fingers stop, the moment the spell is broken and the real world comes back to me, I’m terrified. I put my soul into my writing and I think that is why it’s so terrifying. Many may think I’m a very open person and I am when it comes to certain opinions and thoughts. My deepest thoughts and feelings, however, are very reserved. Only my husband can claim to know those secrets and, as sad as this may sound, even he has not reached all depths of the world within me.

When you put so much of such a secret part of yourself into something, showing it to anyone, even those closest to you, is horrifying. This is a delicate, fragile piece of your very own soul. What happens if they don’t like it? What happens if they rip it to shreds with their criticism? Well-meaning or not, it’s some scary stuff.

I’m not tooting my own horn, but I think writing takes bravery. It takes courage. You are faced with the choice to bare your soul to those around you and suffer the repercussions or keep your words to yourself and allow your soul to slowly die as your words deteriorate therein.

When you decide to bare your soul, you are choosing to accept the comments and views of others. Some of those views will be negative and I think as a writer, you are acutely aware of just how negative those reviews could potentially be. This is mainly because you’ve already heard the negativity in your own head. Hearing it from another place, however, is much harder. It validates the doubts you already feel.

This is what makes writing so terrifying.

You Are Not Your Trauma

Trauma invades areas of our lives we never thought possible. It leaves physical scars. It leaves mental scars. It leaves emotional scars. It halts you in your tracks at the smallest of memories. Your body tenses in response and you are suddenly alert, acutely aware of every noise and movement around you.

The effects of trauma don’t always show on the outside. Someone walking past you may not even know that your heart is racing, that your throat is dry. They may not see your clenched fists or tight jaw. Your physical scars may be hidden beneath clothes. You may not have physical scars, just those etched into your mind, onto your soul.

Trauma can be an extremely lonely experience. How do you find someone who understands when you don’t know how to explain it? How do you find someone who will understand why you are quiet for long periods? Who will understand why you are fidgeting and looking nervously around at nothing? How will they understand how real the nightmares are? Who will understand why you want to stay in bed today?

Recovery from trauma is hard. Being a survivor doesn’t mean you forget. Living your everyday life doesn’t mean you’re healed. Being able to laugh all night with friends doesn’t mean you won’t be crying on the way home. It’s not something that goes away. It stays with you for life. It burrows deep inside of you.

Trauma is like your shadow. It follows you everywhere even when you are completely unconscious of it. The memories, the feelings, the emotions…they can be as easy to trigger as a light switch. It’s frustrating and painful. It’s agonizing and stressful. It’s paralyzing. It’s impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it. It’s lonely. It can’t be erased. It will never be forgotten.

Yet, as a survivor, you take that step forward. You get up in the morning. You shower. You get dressed. You go outside. You go for a walk. You go for a drive. You head to work. You hang out with friends. You grab a coffee. You go to lunch. You keep up with the news. You read your favorite books and watch your favorite movies. You do everything that is “normal”. 

You are a fighter. You carry the weight, but in silence. You know you will have lapses and you know you will have bad days, but you don’t let it stop you because you are stronger than your trauma. You are stronger than the memories, than the scars, than the triggers. You are not your trauma and your trauma is not you.

You have dark days when all you see are the images playing in your head. You hear every sound that takes you back to that place. You smell those familiar and hateful scents. Those dark days do not define you. You know they don’t. You will let them run their course and then get up and carry on.

You will carry on with your life because you are strong enough to know that you can continue on one more day. You are strong enough to take another step. You can live a normal life. You are not your trauma and your trauma is not you. 

You are strong. You are brave. You can hold your head high. You can be proud of every small step you take. You don’t have to explain anything to anyone. You can carry on because you are not your trauma and your trauma is not you.

Jackson – A Fleeting Inspiration

“For the love of Christ! What are you doing?” Jackson yells as Allen’s foot tries to slam a hole through the car’s carpeted metal floor. Allen says nothing, but a smile slowly creeps into his cheeks. Jackson is holding onto the “oh shit” handle and braces himself against the leather back of his seat.

“If you want to die, that’s on you, but you don’t have to drag me with you.” Jackson’s Brooklyn accent is not something he has been able to completely drop. When he’s calm, he can tuck it away neatly. But when stress put the pressure on him or when he was heated, he didn’t even realize how much it was changing his words.

He had come to Ohio to get away from the city and the noise. That’s what people did, right? They grew up in the city and would either love it or try like hell to leave. Jackson had tried like hell and had succeeded. He had found a little backwoods home in the middle of nowhere. When he told people the name of the town he now lived in, they gave him confused looks so he started using other towns to describe it.

“It’s about 20 minutes north of Juliette. You ever heard of Ross?” They would nod vaguely aware that it sounds familiar. “Yeah, it’s just before that.” It was true that the town was nothing more than fields and trees with a few houses or parishes scattered here and there. Sometimes the quiet would keep Jackson up at night. He missed the city sounds at times, but also smiled when he thought about how infrequently he heard sirens. His town didn’t even have a police station. Every two months or so you may see a state trooper cruise through, but that’s really all he did; he cruised through and didn’t pay any attention.

He was wishing this was one of those days that the trooper may cruise by, see the speeding car, and do something about it. Allen’s foot wasn’t letting up. That smile was still eerily plastered on his face. Jackson turned to face the road. He could feel the car slipping on the loose gravel.


I’m looking for inspiration. I had it in one brief moment during a ten minute break almost two weeks ago. Before I got a chance to finish what was sure to be at the very least interesting, my break was over. I have opened this post a few times since then and could never find the same fire that started the first paragraph. I wrote the last paragraph this morning and something just feels off about it. I also have no idea where to go from there.

It’s heartbreaking to have lost the words that only a couple months ago came so easily. I don’t know why I can’t summon words with the same ease as I did before this wretched concussion gripped my brain. I feel like the words are all jumbled and I have no idea how to unscrambled them.

I want to write again. I miss it. It’s like a part of me is in a coma and I don’t know how to wake it up. It’s lying there, I can see it. I see it’s even breathing on its own so why won’t that part wake up? I feel like it’s trying to fight the condition; a brief moment here or there where movement is detected. Yet in the end, that part of me is still sleeping. 

I want my writer self back! She needs to wake up! I can’t feel the release my soul needs without her. I feel couped up and like the words are building up inside me. I fear the pressure will build too high. I fear she will be lost forever if that pressure should finally cause an explosion.

I try to use prompts, but end up deleting the post because it doesn’t make sense. I can’t do it without my writer self. Without her inside my brain feeding me the lines deep from within my soul, I am nothing but a shell. My soul is resting inside her body and I fear it may just disappear.

Guardian Angel

The day’s nightmares are haunting me as I try to fall asleep. Noises echo in my head. They bounce from cell to cell in my brain. The rush of the car as it passes me. The horn that’s blown across the intersection. The two coworkers arguing over whose fault it was that the report didn’t get filed. The TV show characters replay their crisis for me. The doctor telling me that these cells that control all this chaos aren’t behaving the way they should be.

The ever-present pessimist living inside me yells that I’m not good enough. She persistently badgers me and complains about how terrible things are always going to be. She’s aggressive and argumentative. She paces back and forth, demanding I just give up. “There’s no point in fighting it. It always gets worse!

The optimist, who I know is somewhere in there, huddles in a corner. She whispers that it might not all be bad. “Maybe this time things will be different.” she says in hushed tones. The pessimist frightens her, intimidates her. From time to time she can be strong, but I think this most recent series of events has finally cracked her. I don’t understand why she doesn’t fight harder.

I squeeze my eyes tighter trying to block out the sounds. I just want to fall asleep. The noise is so loud. My ears are ringing. My head aches. My heart is pounding. Just go away I scream to the ghosts lingering in my subconscious. Why don’t they just let me spend my night in peace? They torment me enough during the day that they should have the decency to let me sleep.

Please” I’m begging. “Please just let me sleep.” I feel my eyes warming and the first start of tears sliding down my pink cheeks. It’s too much for my soul to bear. It’s too much for me to take. “Please God do something.” I squeeze the pillow over my ears in an attempt to shut them out, but there’s no shutting out what’s already inside.

You’re a failure and you know it!” miss Pessimist says. “Not a complete failure.” Miss Optimist whispers weakly. “Of course she is! Look at her. She can’t even silence the voices in her own head!

I’m transported into my mind. My body drops on the dirty, dark gray cement ground. I curl into a ball as the bodies of the voices come closer. They are on top of me. They will consume me. I’ll have no choice but to give in. Their dark figures loom over my head. “Please God. Please. Please.” My plea fades softly until I’m just mouthing the words, my face now wet with tears.

Through the dark figures, a single soft light makes its way toward me. She’s found me once again. She is wordless. She is silent. In the midst of all the yelling, angry bodies, she is quiet and calm. There is a soft smile on her lips. Slowly the darkness is pushed back. A white, shimmering force is pushing them back. The noise is fading. The darkness is being pushed away by her light. Her fingers graze the soft shield she has made for me.

I watch the angry ones beat against the shield, but I hear nothing. Silence and warmth wrap themselves around me. She sits next to me and gently smooths my hair. As peace begins to fill my soul again, I hear her soft, gentle humming. It’s so faint I wouldn’t expect it to be coming from the being next to me. My guardian angel has saved me from my demons once more and I sleep.

Black Bears

I see him in the distance. He’s giant and round. His hair should be shaggy and mangled, but it just looks silky as the breeze pushes it back and forth. I flatten myself against the hill and hope he doesn’t see me. He looks my way and I lower my head more. I wait a few seconds and chance a glance up. He is looking the other way. I slowly start to crawl toward the shelter. It’s a pathetic sort of shelter now that I think about it. It’s only advantage is that it is on a hill high enough to stay out of reach. Otherwise, the pavilion-like structure offers little protection. I crawl a few paces and look back to where he was standing on all fours. His eyes are locked on me. I freeze as panic starts to set in. I’m still quite a distance away from the shelter and he can move much faster than I. His snort is faint, but is enough to warn me. He turns his body in my direction and before I can see if he will take a step, I’m on my feet and running as fast as I can. It’s not fast enough though. I feel a force pushing against me. It takes every bit of strength I have to keep moving, to keep pushing against whatever this mysterious unseen force is. I can hear his colossal paws landing hard and fast against the hard packed dirt and grass. My heart is racing and, as I reach the ladder, the force is gone and I climb swiftly to safety.

I look down to see the black bear standing on his hind legs at the bottom of the ladder. He growl is low and short in repetition. He’s frustrated and I’m doubled over sweating. He goes back to all fours and turns first to the left and then to the right. I look to my right and toward the steep stairs carved into the cliffs. They lead to the parking lot, to my car, to true safety. I hear the black bear walking around the shelter. The hill it sits upon is oblong in shape. The sides of the hill are made of rock, just like the cliff’s sides.  The rocks aren’t exactly smooth, but they also aren’t jagged enough for him to get a grip to climb. Thankfully, he doesn’t know how to use a ladder.

My eyes follow the cliffs on either side of the steps. On the left there are two more black bears. Somehow, I know they are females. They are resting in the sun on an outcrop. It’s far enough away from the steps that I may be able to make it to my car. I scan the right side of the steps and my heart sinks. There are three cubs playing atop the cliffs. Never get between a mama bear and her cubs. The saying echos in my head and hope of reaching my car is diminishing. I walk around the edge of the shelter looking for Mr. Bear. I see him on the opposite side still trying to find a way up when another bear shows up beside him. Now I have four full-grown black bears to contend with who will also be hypersensitive to my movements considering the cubs they are caring for.

I hear talking and movement from the other side of the shelter. I turn to find people walking about the park. I’m about to warn them of the danger when the bears come around to the front and show themselves to these strangers. The bears sniff the humans and the humans show no fear of the bears. One young woman actually reaches out and runs her hand along Mr. Bear’s furry back as she walks past. My brow knits in confusion. Why are they not afraid? Why do they not see the danger? Why do the bears seem perfectly fine to let them go while feeling the need to eat me?

I look back at the steps and, although I didn’t think it possible, my shoulders drop further in discouragement. One of the female bears is now with the cubs and closer to my car. I have nowhere to go. I have no escape. Mr. Bear and his friend continue to stalk around the shelter and I’m trapped.


I hate that words have failed me. I lost…I…I can’t even articulate. This is my life, my dream, my pain. There may have been times when inspiration had left me, but never a time when my words have just disappeared. I start to write what I feel, but then the words just stop. My mind has become silent. I’ve struggled before, but never like this. It’s taken me 7 minutes to write one short paragraph. A paragraph that would normally take a minute or less.

What do you do when the words just stop? What do you do when you can’t even express… When you can’t even express…I could take lessons from Porky I guess. Didn’t he just change the sentence entirely? If I were to write the words as they come to me, my sentences would make no sense. I get partials, bits and pieces, tidbits.

Maybe I can… Maybe…fuck. Do I just give it time? I hate words. I miss them. I feel betrayed by them. They’re like a friend who just stops calling or texting. Why aren’t they there? Why did they stop visiting me? Where did they go? Fuck it… Maybe one day they’ll come back.