February Word Challenge, Day 14

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are kennel, denim, genius, creeper, pocket.

Chosen word for free association: creeper
unsavory dude, mechanic’s dolly

Exercise:
To Harold, “Creeper” was never an insult. It was just a nickname he got because he spent so much time under cars on his mechanic’s dolly. He even made a trucker hat that said “CREEPER” across the top. He never understood what all the chuckles were about; he just thought he made people happy whenever he came around.

When the authorities showed up at his garage to charge him with harassment, it was a complete surprise.

February Word Challenge, Day 11 (with poem)

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are sand, napkin, ski, insult, race.

Chosen word for free association: sand
Wyoming, wind, Ed, cats, Wheatland, Wyoming Sun, Wyoming son, Landshark

Exercise (haiku):

“Wyoming Son”
for Ed

Wheatland winter
Winds moan, mourning the loss of
Their Wyoming son.

— Stace Johnson, 2017

Title page of Wyoming Sun, inscribed to me by Ed Bryant

Title page of Wyoming Sun, inscribed to me by Ed Bryant

February Word Challenge, Day 10

There will be no February 10 entry for the February Word Challenge, because that’s the day Ed Bryant died.

There are no words.

February Word Challenge, Day 9

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are berry, mellon, whiteboard, oyster, spirit. (Interesting spelling of “mellon”; I’m sure it’s a mistake on the part of the programmer for the random word generator, rather than a reference to Andrew Mellon.)

Chosen word for free association: whiteboard
(Sorry, showing the free association would ruin the joke. 😉 )

Exercise:
Martin grew up in a typical Americana suburb, with one and a half siblings and most of a dog. His mother was a teacher, so when school was out, Martin would wait around in his mom’s classroom until she was done grading and preparing lessons for the next day, then ride home with her. She always had a sandwich waiting for him, usually bologna and mayo on crustless Rainbo bread. When he was done with his homework, he would often doodle on the dry erase boards that lined the classroom walls.

It was definitely a whiteboard and mayonnaise upbringing.

February Word Challenge, Day 8

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are toast, giant, cliff, caper, senator.

Chosen word for free association: cliff
fiscal, sheer, wall, tall, fall, winter is coming

Exercise:
It seems to me that something shifted in 2016. I posted on Facebook in June that it felt like the world was at a tipping point, and that the security of everyday men and women around the world was rattled. It certainly was a strange year, with Brexit and Trump and numerous celebrity deaths flooding the series of tubes that is the internet.

When I wrote that post in June, I think I may have been feeling the looming Zeitgeist; if I had to identify exactly where the tip happened, I would probably have to say it took place on election night. That night, it felt like the world closed itself up, like a roly poly bug, individual nations and people retreating behind their armor and walls, even as talk of even bigger walls burned up the ‘net.

In June, I wrote that if there was ever a time for us to exercise compassion, it is now. I still firmly believe that is the way through our current global debacle.