“Do we have to move, Mom?”

Amelia gestured for her eldest to set the table. “Not for a long time, dear. Unless you want to move and don’t mind if I cash in all of our college funds to do it.”

He laughed. “Just checking. Mickey’s parents are getting a divorce so they’re leaving before school starts.”

“Given everything put into this place, I intend to hold on to it as long as I can.”

“Hey, Mom? Did you know the guy down the road never owned a house before? In fact, this is the first time he’s staying put.”

Amelia set the hot dishes down on the table. “How’d you learn that?”

“I overheard him and his sister talking. She told him it was about time he grounded himself.”

“Not everyone defines their homes in the same way. Who knows? Maybe you and your sister will go in opposite directions or-.”

“And leave you? Not like him. No.”

Amelia took a deep breath then let it out slowly. “What’s between me and your father is between me and your father. Don’t rush to be a grown-up so soon. Trust me, there’s plenty of time for that.”



“Do you sometimes wish you were home, back where you grew up, I mean?”

“No!” She shook her head. “I mean, no. Go get your sister. She’s probably still playing with the new doll house you made her.”

Games People Play

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“What if everything falls down,” Amelia’s youngest asked, reaching for the last of the mini chocolates from the bowl.

“Then we get right back up,” she said.

“What if people cheat?”

“Then we play by the rules.” Amelia scooped the chocolates away.

“What if…there are more cheaters than us,” her youngest persisted.

“Impossible. There are more good people in the world than bad, sweetheart.”

“What if…?”

“Just make a move already, huh,” the eldest complained. “For the thousandth time, by my rules, no one is ever allowed to pick on you. Ever.”

Amelia tried not to smile. “And you two remember my rules. Stalling this game does not get you to stay up past bedtime.”


“At least we’re not as screwed up as some of the families in school, huh, Mom.”

Amelia looked up at her eldest. “What did we say about assumptions?” She waited him out before encouraging him to continue.

“Fine. Can we at least pick some decent folks who aren’t going to try and cheat us? That new family down the road, for example?” He paused. “Then again, they were probably conned, so…”

Amelia flicked the towel in his direction. “All the more reason to help them while we can.”


Eventually, Amelia would be able to enjoy a hot cup of tea and start the next chapter of the novel for book club.

For now, she relished the silence of her sleeping children. They were holding up better than she first feared. And for them to create a new routine to claim as their own had been a nice change. Who knew that change would lead to meeting the new owners of the property?

Dog Gone: It

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“Dog’s gone again, Mom!”

Amelia sighed, putting the pen down on her diary. “You two said you’d look after It!”

“I was,” her youngest whined. “And then I blinked.”

“And then you blinked,” she whispered to herself. “Well, do you want to go look for It before or after you make ‘Lost Dog’ posters?”

“It’ll come home,” her eldest said, a hint of hope and doubt. “I still have the posters from last time.”

Amelia smiled. “Of course you do, dear. Get your jacket. I’ll get the sturdy leash. Cost of the kennel is coming out of both of your allowances!”

She never wanted a dog, still couldn’t figure out how or why her ex got a dog, and worse still, why the dog didn’t go with him.

Count, Down

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Amelia stared at the remains of her yarn basket contents now shredded, pulled, destroyed, with bits of unidentifiable ick mixed in for good measure. The kids promised to put all of the crafting supplies away before breakfast.

“4, 3, 2, 1! Step right up or all is done!”

She put her hands on her hips and listened for the pitter patter of panicked feet or the mournful moans of a munckin in misery nearby. With neither forthcoming, she repeated the warning then started her search.

Amelia found the old feline curled up under the furthest corner of the bed.

“Count, Count, Count. How many times are we going to play this game?” Amelia shimmied under the bed as far as she could go and began to coax the gray and white cat. The fact that he didn’t claw her worried her.

“I suspect you found something the kids left behind, huh?” She sighed. Last thing she wanted to do was go to the vet. But, if Count was down, she had no choice.

Bound by Beliefs

At Hugo House

Barry would have had a slew of profane words to fill the air. That was never Amelia’s style.

Beyond the fact that she and her brother took different things from their summers with their grandparents, Amelia took after Grandpa Gregory – never curse when a well-versed line would do.

So she had taken a composition notebook, poured through the books a shelf at a time in their library, and wrote down all of the different insults she could find. When her cousin Isabel found it, Amelia gleefully shared the sources and offered scenarios when they could be used.

Not that she had planned to.

Then there was the dolt teacher in middle school – Mr Norman. The first one to declare that women had nothing meaningful to contribute to literature, let alone culture, when someone pointed out there were were no female authors on the required reading list.

Amelia dodged detention via a biting essay for Mr. Norman and a bitter letter to the school board.

Grandpa Gregory smiled. ‘Words are the true sword in defeating the stubborn sods,’ he wrote in a note left on top of a leather-bound journal.

Amelia’s love of words grew stronger that day and blossomed ever since.

So there was no way in Hades that her soon-to-be-ex was going to get anything of the library.

And it’s Chaos – Again

Amelia Livingston had enjoyed the dull, uneventful routine, where nothing ever happened.

Until it did.

And it was her misfortune to always be the last to know.

Until death do us part, he vowed.

Amelia loved all of the work she put into this old house.

Until now, when she’d probably have to kiss this thing goodbye.

And to think, she had taken him at his word.

Until it became her downfall.

Amelia knew he held the first thread of what would become her unraveling tapestry.

Until it dawned on her, grounded her, that it was still better than being someone else.

Sunday Snippet

Fresh Starts 1.2020 by Tommia Wright

A fresh pot of coffee was out of the question, given that the last of the grounds were now compost in the garden. Time for discipline, Kai Addison thought. Finish the first few pages of her project, fueled by the sufferable remaining cup of cold caffeine in front of her, then reward herself with a trip to main street.

She hadn’t quite gotten a clear lay of the land, as her uncle would say. However, she knew there had to be a decent coffee shop or two to try. Maybe she could find a safe path to take up running again. Goodness knew she had plenty of time now, until she actively started looking for work – another mission for main street.

Kai Addison could adapt, had always adapted. New town, new start, and plenty of fresh possibilities.

Jolly January

This Writer’s Desk

Well, how to define the fun silly goals of 2021?

  • Sign up for the 1-Million Words challenge
  • Sign up for the Write a Novel in 2021 challenge
  • Sign up for the Shut Up & Write challenge

And that’s just the beginning.

How about you? What wordsmithing mischief do you have planned?