TTOT 2020.06.26.

  1. Lexulous (online scrabble) that frustrates me sometimes to the point of screaming but keeps me in touch with my Broad Stroke sister, Laura who saved my life in North Carolina.
  2. Dear, dear close friends I keep in my heart. You know who you are. I hurt when you do. I’m full of joy when you are.
  3. POD where my errors in publishing a book can be corrected ASAP.
  4. KDP where I can order one book or a hundred at the same cost.
  5. SSS six sentence story prompt from GirlieOnTheEdge, sent weekly for such fun to do.
  6. My biological family who don’t understand me but should know that I love them anyway.
  7. My interesting ancestors who gave me a base to start from. I desperately need to write your stories.
  8. My precious years lived in Bordentown, New Jersey. They were so happy and full. I will always consider it my town.
  9. Costco that keeps Amazon from being the only choice. People need choice to keep everyone from getting too greedy.
  10. My thesaurus that picks up when Bacopa doesn’t.
Bordentown Postcards
Major Fraser’s



Before all this quarantine began, a group of writers gathered together at a coffee house for a rare morning gabfest about books, magazines, journals, and writing in particular and in general.

One of the questions always asked when wordsmiths get together is the usual but always interesting query of “what is your earliest memory of  when you became aware of reading being something special to you?”

Ahhh, an easy one for me, i spoke up quickly without even having to think about it since it hangs close to my heart where i can touch it if need be.

“In first grade of grammar school i recall once a week a reading lady came into our classroom and while standing in front of us, she would thumb through a large size magazine to find a story in it that she read to us.

While we had library books and 10 cent comic books that were traded back, forth and back again, there was no room in Mom’s budget to have magazines mailed to our home.”

What is it about memories of reading and writing that create such exciting energy to fill any room where scribblers congregate?


Joe, Step-dad arlene s bice

A word for the step-dads

on Father’s Day

men who stepped into shoes

emptied leaving a big gap

hard to fill

Joe was one of those

stepping into my father’s boots

when Dad became terminally ill

removing fear of failure from

Mom’s list of worries

filling our refrigerator

trips to the farmers’ market

a case of beer a week for Mom

replacing the octopus of a coal

heating system so he could

remodel the basement for us

the list is a long one

he released my oldest brother of

financial obligations, allowing

him to fly away to his dream plans

placed presents under the tree

candy in the Easter basket

baseball bat and bike for Bobby

tap shoes & a catcher’s mitt for me

when a near-spilt came

we rooted for Joe

he got new respect from Mom

Bobby got college

i got a movie-star wedding

Joe got a family and all it entailed

including the love and deep respect

he deserved. 


Ten Things of Thankful

McCallum – Moore Gardens
  1. A quiet place of peace nearby to feed my writing.
  2. Time to read for knowledge and pleasure everyday.
  3. Classical music to soothe and nurture my mind
  4. A computer that brings the world to me.
  5. Writers who seek the truth no matter what.
  6. Dark chocolate of quality.
  7. Reconnecting with long-ago friends, if only by phone.
  8. My wonderful teenage years.
  9. Love that floats through the air to bind us.
  10. Spirits in the afterlife that stay in touch. ~asb


In days long-passed life was different than we know today; when men were commissioned to form swords, shields and body armor to use in the defense of one’s family, friends and property through the use of steel. Ahhh, such longing of the romanticism of yesteryear when knights were bold and women were feminine tickles my fancy as I read. Those stories of daring challenges were written down for us to enjoy today without the painful loss of hot and cold running water, luxurious bathrooms, kitchens where anyone can create gourmet meals, not to mention central heating.

Secret Door oil on canvas-Arlene S. Bice

Most of all in reading is the uncovering of enigmas tucked away in the backs of cupboards, in hidden drawers built in massive oak desks and cemented up in the walls of convents where they lay for centuries waiting for my favorite authors to find and reveal for all to see. To hide these objects of sequestered history one had to enter through the uncovered doorway where once you needed the code word to enter. The door was found down the garden pathway, tucked in behind the dense growth of bushes, spotting the cast iron fancywork hammered onto thick slabs of mahogany where you absolutely knew was the mysterious doorway to all those secrets.


Father, in Time(c)

Dad, me & Bobby

arlene s bice

Bringing back memories

before my time began

my father’s music, written

for him by the






sung & arranged

for me by Rod Stewart

thoughts come forth

if Father’s dreams

were the same as my dreams

was his creativity passed down to me

his words come from my hands

perception, arrangement

come to me from him

love of the written word

of art, nature, even cooking

from my father

love of education

tho late, was his dream

and mine, too

it took many years, changing

record labels for

Rod Stewart

to succeed in recording

his father’s music

in time

The Great American Songbook yet

his dreams were not his father’s.


SSS~ Therapy

I walked into the nursery, plant and flower nursery that is, enjoying each inhaled, distinctive scent that floated under my nose.

Ah-h-h my blood pressure was dropping down to a normal level even after the unhappy morning at work where the boss was way out of line with his demands, red-faced shouts at everyone about everything that was wrong in the office.

We all knew it was really wrong in his home but none of us were about to speak up or even look him in the eye because good advice about divorces might slip out.

The man wasn’t living a decent life and wouldn’t be living a life at all if he didn’t seek some therapy to get him over the bumps in a disastrous marriage.

I cringed inside for the man and his suffering ignoring how he was making us suffer because of his choice of bride.

Then again, my therapy is in place with the cat that waits for me to come home to be the perfect companion to me.


What it is to be a Woman

Featured author:

The House of She    – Ellie Newbauer                                           

It’s a curiosity,                                                                             

Where all these Shes come from                                                  

Who rent space inside the house of me

Where do they stay through the day

As they peek from behind the curtain of my mind

Waiting to show their idiosyncrasies

I am a house full of acquaintances 

Each one hiding behind their title,

Wife, Mother, Friend, Teacher, Artist, Monk,

So many more

All faces nodding to one another in passing

Occasionally a purposeful-She

Will stride forward demanding that

This minute serve her alone as others

Hide behind their imaginary walls

read the rest of the poem in:

What it is to be a Woman


six sentence story~passion

Sitting in front of my computer I began to deflate, almost crumbling into a fetal position in a chair, if that is possible. It seemed like yesterday that I began with excitement, enthusiasm and pure joy to be writing this story that was building a fire within me for what seemed like a lifetime. For sure it was a lifetime because there were so many bits and pieces of me scattered throughout the words that lay on the page after page after page unfolding before me.

Ocean Sunset ~ the late Juanita Crosby

The excitement of something new and challenging changed in time to plodding along with questions burning inside me; like should I include this or would it be better left out. The plodding along changed to struggling, feeling like pushing a ball uphill, not being able to see the sun setting on the horizon to complete this all-consuming project. Finally the flow of words fizzled down to a few that stumbled along until I tapped the last letter of the last word and my passion died a heavyweight dead, letting me know it was over.