Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest!

Free Write Friday #28: Pick a Title

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreYes, I know today is NOT Friday. It is Tuesday. So-o-o-o, since Friday and the weekend were not conducive to writing I declare today a Friday Tuesday [or is that a Tuesday Friday?]. In either event, when I finally filtered through my massive email and read Kellie’s latest challenge, my mind was immediately fired up!

From Kellie: Here is your FWF prompt…

Select a title from the list below as your inspiration:

“Dandelion Season”
“Phone Call at Midnight”
“The Green Years”
“The Human Zoo”
“The Fires of Spring”
“The Ivy Covered Gate”

Here’s to you, Kellie, my contribution, which was inspired through your challenge regardless of the day or hour. I do hope you will accept in spite of the lateness:

“The Fires of Spring”

Butterfly of the Day for the 2nd of October 2012 from Rockey & Dee, on Flickr

Awakening from Winter’s sleep
Mother Nature bursts forth in song
Calling out her intense colors
Bidding ashen days so long

Buds and blossoms explode
In vibrant shades of rainbow hues
Igniting senses of emotion
From white-hot to passionate blues

Atala butterflies emerge
Hovering amid soul-scorching bliss
Flitting moment to moment
Donning petals a velvety kiss

Creatures of the earth
Fervently greet balmy ground
Fire in their hearts
Tempers as passions abound

Fiery sunrises, flaming sunsets
Mirror warm hues of wood fires
Bright oranges, blazing reds
Unleash Spring’s burning desires

©2013 catnipoflife©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.”
–  D. H. Lawrence, The Enkindled Spring 


Free Write Friday #23: Keepsakes



Kellie Elmore is nostalgic this Friday challenging writers to examine none other than…



keepsake locket

Attic nooks, garage floors, closet corners
Full of clutter

Crates and cartons, cardboard boxes, packages and parcels
Nothing but junk

Paper sacks, bags and bundles, stacks and piles
Ready for the trash

Shoe boxes, jewelry cases, and plastic containers
Overflowing with treasure

Clutter, junk, trash, and treasure
My, oh, my how the time has flown
All personal collections, priceless beyond measure

Keepsakes renew old memories
I think I will just leave them alone
And go bake some brownies

© Sharla Lee Shults

Confession: I must confess this poem is from my book Echoes. With my husband’s illness and recent release from the hospital, my mind just wasn’t up to a new write today. Even though he is home, there are still many hurdles to cross. Kellie’s theme this week actually focuses on that one special something cherished beyond measure. However, when I saw the theme key word, I knew the one I needed to share.

Am I forgiven since I confessed? Hugs!

Now I am off to see what others have written…

terry 1954

bennett @

river @

joe @

sana @

heather @

graypoet @

gene @

Now it is your turn!


Free Write Friday #18: Word Bank

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreWelcome to another Free Write Friday! Today Kellie Elmore’s challenge is . . .

Word Bank: Opal, Vague, Whirl, Dream, Sheer, Conjure, Bare, Allure

With Valentine’s Day only a short time away, emotions of love and the beauty of the opal gemstone just seem to go hand-in-hand. So, thank you Kellie for your latest challenge and hopefully I live up to your expectations.

The Opal…

A gemstone of rare beauty
Alluring to the naked eye
Never vague, always unique
This surely one cannot deny

Colors of the spectrum
Whirl and twirl in the light
Conjuring bare opalescence
A dream of sheer delight

My Love…

Precious and rare in beauty
The opal of my eye
Never wispy, always strong
This no one can deny

Poignant emotions
Dance and cry with joy
Bare opalescent smiles
Readily you deploy

Happy pre-Valentine’s Day!

Now off to some other postings so I can link them here. If you arrive early, be sure to come back and check out other contributions!


Annie’s Musings

Joseph Hesch

Charles Mashburn

Gray Poet

Susie Clevenger

Mark Schutter


Free Write Friday #12: Word Bank

Today has been a day of agony. . .a day of grief. . .a day without warning. For Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday this week, she has chosen a word bank that without hesitation reflects on the horrific events of this day.


bewitched – agony – awe – dismay – jaded – enamored – sacred – nirvana – fury

Feelings & Emotions


The agony felt today
Is in no way easily expressed
Lives of innocent children taken
Left families torn and distressed

Is life no longer sacred?
Are we no longer impressed
By life’s awe and glory
Instead lonely and depressed?

A day etched with dismay
Forbids whispers of nirvana
Unwanted raging tears
Abandon joyful persona

Life’s jaded texture
Neither bewitched nor enamored
Resolved destiny’s fury
On a day forever remembered

©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Candle for Connecticut. In Memory.

It only takes a split second, a fleeting moment for lives to be forever changed. Hold on to every second, cherish the moment, for all too quickly it shall pass. Got something to say, say it! Want to give someone a hug, give it! Need to pay someone a visit, do it! Do NOT hesitate!

My heart bleeds for the families, friends and loved ones of those whose lives were taken so abruptly in a moment of someone’s sheer madness. So many questions, so few answers for those whose lives have been shattered. Please hold them dear to your heart with prayer to offer comfort in this hour of such dire need.


Free Write Friday #8: Halloween Haunting

Today is Friday and that means another opportunity to ‘free write’ and on this day I have decided to do just that…FREE Write! Halloween has passed but memories of its haunting still linger. On Wednesday Kellie Elmore placed a call for submissions asking for Halloween photos and a chance to have a well-chosen image offered up as this week’s FWF prompt. The winning photo was taken by Missy Upton and pictures Oak Alley Plantation, which was the location for the movie Interview with the Vampire. The photo is displayed at the bottom of the writing.

Thank you, Missy for a great photograph and Kellie for the opportunity to use imagination to write. [OOPS! Being the educator that I am, I must admit I did correct some of the errors along the way.]

Here is my contribution. . .

The Haunting

Rain, pelting the road and windshield, was unrelenting as the drive seemed to be never ending. When we left home, it wasn’t so bad, except the sun had already begun its decent and shades of deep purple projected an eerie feeling to this already spooky day. “Why did we decide to get on the road on Halloween?” I ponder. “And, of all things, now it is pouring rain and getting darker by the minute.”

“John, do we have to go to Aunt Mary’s?” I ask in a trembling voice. “You know I don’t feel comfortable in that big old house of hers and the weather, well, it is terrible and frightening.” At that exact moment, lightning bolts zig-zag across the sky followed by sharp, loud cracks of thunder. “Please, let’s go back home. Please!”

“Settle down. Not for you to worry your pretty little self, my darling, I am driving and all you need to do is lay your head back, close your eyes and we will be there before you know it. Give Aunt Mary a chance and think of the house as a historical landmark. Step back in time. Just think, you would make a great Scarlet from Gone With the Wind! The way you are acting one would think the house is haunted for Pete’s sake!” John laughs as he tenderly takes my hand and presses sweet, tender kisses across the top of my fingers. “I love you,Scarlet!”

No way was I going to relax. Absolutely no way was I going to close my eyes! Too many visions within blood-curdling scenes scream thirstily as they whirl around and around with eyes wide open: knives, axes, scissors, villainous apparitions float effortlessly through the winding corridors of my mind. Understand it isn’t that I don’t like Aunt Mary or that she herself is frightening. She is wonderful and loves to cook and every year at Halloween she tries to outdo herself from the year before as she concocts the most unusual Halloween treats. It is the house…it seems to cast a spell as though dear sweet auntie is Bloody Mary. “Snap out of it!” I slap myself subconsciously.

Thoughts begin to turn away from tales of ghostly encounters and unexplainable happenings that had been reported from one generation to the next in THAT house. I began to surmise whether they are true or simply the fabrication of chilling whispers within the wind of souls crying out to be released. Some say fact, others proclaim fiction. Me? I don’t know but I do know one thing for sure I don’t want to find out on this night.

Oak Alley Plantation

“We’re here!” John exclaims as he slows down to make the turn into the driveway. There it was…Oak Alley Plantation. Nestled back off a private drive, the secluded house stood hauntingly still. The gaze down the driveway becomes absorbed in massive oaks stretching outward forming a canopy of moss-laden limbs. Shadows creep along the driveway as the wind wrestles with the moss clinging to the oak limbs. The scene is like arms above and below reaching for anything along their path to bring into the clutches of its grasp.

We are not ten feet into the driveway when the car begins to shake. Spine chilling, hair raising, heart pounding sounds howl within the night wind. Rattling chains, feet dragging along the driveway, freightening moans and groans pierce the air synchronizing their echoes with the thunder as it claps in the distance. Are the chains symbolic of slaves owned by the former plantation masters? Do the sounds of feet dragging mimic those of the tired workers coming in from the cotton fields? Are the moans and groans typical sounds of constant hunger and thirst for something better?

Now, I ask you: Is it real? Are the haunting tales of horror coming to life? Is the plantation truly haunted or is it Uncle Harry playing a practical joke?

What is your perception as to the ending to the story?

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing
guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity
is self-doubt.”  ~Sylvia Plath


Free Write Friday #7: Abandoned

FreeWriteFridayBadgeKellie’s back! In the midst of the chaos in her life over the last month (or so), and the MIA of FWF, Kellie feels the word desinated below would be perfectly suited for the returning prompt. For those who do not know the events leading up to this week’s prompt, here is a little blurb from Kellie’s blogpost on September 28, 2012:

After the lab tested the materials in our home believed to be asbestos, seems the contractor was mistaken. It tested negative! After five long days away from home, I’m happy to say we will be moving back over the weekend and continuing our remodeling!

Glad to have you back, Kellie♥

Here is the FWF prompt:


  1. (of a person) Having been deserted or cast off.
  2. (of a building or vehicle) Remaining empty or unused; having been left for good.

Here is my contribution:

Picket Fences

The home place is visible in the distance

Fully laden pecan trees line the driveway

The front porch is in dire need of repair

And the picket fence guards the entrance way

Sounds of laughter, children playing can still be heard

“Don’t leave the backyard,” echoes the wind

As visions of scampering little feet

Turn them quickly around again

Gardens of rose buds, camellias in full bloom

Need nurturing and lots of care

Weeds have grown all round the fence

But sweet aromas linger in the air

Remembrances of family gatherings

Held dear and close to the heart

Are renewed with a walk along the fence line

Remaining very clear until time to depart

Smiles from within follow the picket fence

Along the perimeter of the yard

Securing home and gardens

Like an ol’ soldier standing guard

©2009 Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults


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