This space, other than my letters to the princes, has been about fiction for so long, it feels weird to be writing about life in the kingdom.  So much has changed since I first started.  That was before the first prince had even shown up.  He was on the way, yes, but not yet here.  How can eight years feel like a lifetime ago?

I keep having this conversation with a colleague, about how time is always funny but pandemic time has been outright “hilarious.”  (For today’s post, hilarious = ridiculous.)  Blink once and the day is over.  Blink twice and you’ve lost a month.  Blink three times and suddenly time has slowed to the point where it feels like it might just be going backwards, and what a horror that would be…  Blink four times and the cycle repeats, except maybe they’ll be in a different order.  Or maybe it will be completely different because nothing is certain at the moment, not even the steady march of time.  It slips.  It slides.  It stops and sprints.  It does a jig and then stands against the wall to catch its breath.

–Side note: fellow author and blogger, Arthur, has a podcast where he delves into the mystery and inevitability of time. He has some great word play in the podcast that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I’ve spent the last 14 months working from home.  It’s been an adventure.  I’ll likely be home for a few more months as well.  That information is just a tangent on how the normal rhythm of my days has been different during the pandemic and is definitely a factor on how weird time has felt.  And while you may ask how come I haven’t gotten into a new rhythm, a new routine, in those 14 months, my response would be laugh and gesture broadly towards my surroundings.

In the kingdom, the rhythm to every day is different.  Sometimes the rhythm of the morning is different from the afternoon.  Sometimes it changes suddenly.  Sometimes it changes so subtly that you don’t even notice until something goes wrong and you realize the song changed to a waltz and the cha-cha steps you were doing no longer make sense.  Not sure why I threw in a dance metaphor there.  It works though.  This has all been like a dance.

Some days are salsa: fast tempo, fun, quick steps.  Some days are waltz: slow, beautiful, smooth.  Some are the “high school hang:” I have no idea what I’m doing but gosh darn it I’m going to get out there and be seen anyway.

Not sure where I was headed when I started writing, but here we are.  Songs over, another is about to start.  I wonder what will come on next.  A swing?  Hustle?  Whatever it is, I’ll pick up the rhythm as best I can.

And you?  How has time felt for you during these 14 months?


The brick courtyard sparkled in a thousand shining rectangles, where the light bounced and danced off the more sunken stones, left slick by the morning dew. I wanted to hop over the wet ones, in a morning waltz, or perhaps more of a swing, but there were too many of them, scattered almost haphazardly but still with a sense of balanced symmetry that made it impossible. Surely, I would have fallen. Then again, some risks are worth it in this life, are they not? We are constantly striving to live safer, to live longer but does that dampen and deprive us of adventures we might have had otherwise?

The brick courtyard shimmered in a thousand radiant rectangles. The lamps cast their soft light downward where it reflected up in thin pools of water that had come to rest in the pre-dawn hours. One light above created hundreds of lights below, dancing together one with the others in a beautiful ebb and flow as I walked across the dry stones. I wanted to skip, to play, to join their dance and sing the songs of morning that were bursting from my heart…

And yet, I didn’t.

And that is something I may always regret.

The brick courtyard dazzled my eyes and set my mind racing with dreams of adventure. What might have been if only I had risked giving in to that moment? Likely nothing of great importance, no life changing epiphanies, or spiritual awakenings. But rather than telling you about that one time I saw a beautiful dance floor spread before me and I chose to walk, I would be telling you how I sashayed my way into the day instead. And who wouldn’t want to read that?


The poetic dynamo, Hasty, was kind enough to write a duet with me. Head on over and check it out.


Another new duet partner.  Thank you for writing with me Matticus

Also, I am using an image I found of an artist named Khaled al Saai, who is incredible and I hope you check out his art site by clicking on the picture.

alsaii Calligraphy by Khaled al Saai

Written by Matticus and HastyWords

The ‘sphere, smooth, invitingly gleams,
Word by word, clean, I loose my waltz,
Rise and fall, elegant, a dream,
But the story spins, discord, the music halts.

The atlas upon which I had always spun,
Stood silent inside these forgotten halls.
Upset tapestries billowed curses at the sun,
As shadows wrote blasphemy on my walls.

Steps falter, unknown, across the floor,
Balance shifts, lost, gracelessly flails,
The line breaks, shattered, spills out its moor,
The written dance, chaos, slips the rails.

Rusty tears free form into a manic dive,
Smearing stains, blurred arcs, finding rest;
A spilled…

View original post 63 more words

A billet-doux for my wife

My Queen,

We spoke the words.  We meant them.  We locked eyes and said from that day on as we sought out what this world has to offer we would do so side by side, each others greatest supporter.  We promised love and adventure.  And Craig Armstrong’s “Portuguese Love Theme” played in the background.

We danced.  Our first dance.  Our movements in unison.  Our bodies as one.  Working together we told a story of love and our new life together.  And Michael Buble’s “Everything” played in the background:

“And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.”

We lived.  Bought a home.  Adopted kittens.  Brought a child into this world.  Of adventure, there has been plenty.  Our promises have been kept and will continue to be kept.  I wouldn’t want to share this life with anyone else.  I wouldn’t want to share our adventures with anyone else.  And +44’s “Make You Smile” played in the background.

The future is ours.  We will seek out new adventures.  We will walk hand-in-hand.  We will explore and learn and grow.  Through it all, my love will never falter.  I will lift you up just as you always lift me up.  We will dance always.  Our bodies moving as one.  And Michael Buble’s “Everything” will play in the background.

“And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.”

My love for you shines through in every line – those from the songs I sing to you, those from our bodies as we dance together.  My love shines through in every word – those I write to you, those I whisper in your ears late at night, those that go unspoken.

You ARE my everything,



Thank you Queen Creative for this wonderful opportunity to tell my wife how wonderful she is and how much she means to me:


Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Sometimes called a billet-doux, or a love letter, a love note is a personal letter to a loved one expressing affection.  The loved one does not necessarily have to be animate, human, alive, or known.

Suggested Prompts:

  • Write a love note to someone.  It can be to the love of your life, the world, or to yourself.  It can be an open letter to a celebrity, or the last love note of your life, or the one you’ve never sent.
  • Tell us about the a love note you received.
  • Show us a picture that represents writing with love, for love.
  • Imagine someone wrote you the perfect love note.  Make a list of all the things it includes.
  • … or make up your own related prompt!


And! I publicized this post, the first one I’ve ever done, through Twitter to comply with the request from this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge:

For this week’s featured-based challenge, try to find a blogging event through our Events Listings page and use one of these features to give some extra oomph to your entry:

  • Publicize your submission, making sure you edit your custom Publicize message to include any relevant hashtags or @mentions when your post is shared. In case you missed it, you can now automatically share your posts on Google+ as well.
  • If you’re going to be attending a few real world events and want to let your readers know where to find you, try creating your own custom calendar to use with the Upcoming Events Widget, which shows a list of happenings on a specific calendar feed. It’s a fun way to connect with others, while keeping track of your own social and writerly engagements.
  • Sometimes a contest or event takes place on other social networks, such as Facebook. If you participate in a Facebook-based event, try embedding a post from Facebook to get as much mileage as possible from your social networks to your blog.
  • Similarly, use the Media Explorer to search for and embed Tweets related to the event in which you’re participating. Many competitions will include a related hashtag — like #nablowrimo, or even #postaday — which lets you easily find fellow participants, and include yourself in the dialogue. With the Media Explorer, you can give a shout out to other participants who you particularly admire, or share a Twitter conversation with your blog followers.

an alias to remember

Over the course of our lives we pick up many nicknames and aliases.  Your friends may call you one name, your parents another, your lovers something else entirely.  This is the story of why, for a time, I went by Fred Richards.


I knew straight away that I was in trouble.  I was smitten.  I was lovestruck.  I was captivated.  I was willing to drive 350 miles every other weekend for a year and half to be with her.  That says enough on its own, doesn’t it?

It’s also very telling that she drove the other weekends.

When circumstances changed and it became feasible to live together, I moved away from my college town, to rent an apartment with her in an area near where she had been living and worked.  I knew then, even before all the boxes were unpacked, that it was only a matter of time before I asked the question that I hoped she would say yes to.  However, I bided my time for a little while longer as I tried to come up with a suitable manner to propose, a fitting expression of my love and devotion.  I wanted to wow her.

Inspiration struck: she was a dancer and I wasn’t.  What if I took lessons in secret?  What if I learned for her?  What if I could figure out a way to surprise her with that?

With only a vague idea of what I was getting myself into, I worked with her boss to figure out how I could take lessons, and as my would-be fiance had access to and monitored the student rolls, we determined that I needed an alias while I was in the studio.  Fred (part of my middle name and a family name) Richards (my father’s middle name and a family name) was born.  I frequented the dance studio for several months, making sure that my time there didn’t coincide with her time there.  I learned, I danced, I stumbled, I learned some more.

And then the timing was right.

An opportunity came up where Fred Richards could have a lesson with her as the instructor.  I showed up.  She was very surprised, and a bit flustered.  We danced and it was perfect.  That night she came home to flowers, candles, a poem, and, of course, a proposal.

She said ”Yes!”

Then the work really started for Fred Richards, for me, as I had to cram to learn the routine for the first dance!

It may have been Fred Richards who learned how to dance, but I was the lucky one dancing the rumba with my queen.


Word Count: ~449

This is my first attempt at a Yeah Write Challenge: