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Category Archives: Creative Writing

O Christmas Tree

The tree stood a mere 32 inches off the floor. She reflected on the tree from the Christmas prior and figured she should be thankful. That one had been a literal sapling, meant to be planted outdoors after the passing of the holiday, but it had deteriorated and died before Christmas day had even come. It was just as well anyway as living in an apartment didn’t afford much of a place for them to plant the bitty tree.

She tried not to see the parallels in the trees and her own lack of thriving. The positive side was that one strand of lights made this the brightest little tree she had ever seen. And after scanning the living room portion of their one-room studio apartment, she could see that shifting the items from the small corner table to the desk by the bed would provide a better vantage point for the tree and give it the appearance of a being taller.

After placing the tree in its new home atop the table, she decided it was best to be thankful for what she had and placed their small star on top. With a feeling of contentedness, she settled down on the love seat with a cup of hot cocoa. Unexpectedly, her husband arrived home from work, emerging through the door with a six foot tree he had won at his company Christmas party.

 

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My Writer’s Block Poem

so just write

I haven’t really done much poetry in years. Somehow the perfect storm of discussing writer’s block and reading the poetry of a few talented kids made the following today:

I can’t start to finish

when I can’t even begin.

Lack of inspiration

may be all in my head.

But I can’t seem to find the words

to get me through a line.

Do I have it in me,

to write a verse this time?

Empty words are dulling me.

Nothing now has meaning.

I don’t want to be a writer

with no substance, no feeling.

With my head in my hands,

I let out a monstrous moan.

Yet somehow I have done it.

I have written this poem.

 

Terri Klaes Harper

Copyright 2015

Guilt

Just a little something that was in my head. Write whenever you can, even if it’s just a little thing. It might become part of a big thing.
I was always the bad girl. My friends all took their cues from me, so I guess I decided to help them cover their biggest mistake out of guilt. Guilt, and the possibility that because of my past history, I would probably get accused for their crime anyway. The only problem was…I never killed anybody, and it’s a little harder to cover up a mess like that.

 

All rights reserved

Terri Klaes Harper 2015

TBT: Some Old Ramblings

writers block

10/17/16

Okay, I have something to say. I just don’t know what it is yet, but I’m sure there is something waiting to come out. Something has been waiting for years to come out.

Oh, where is my muse? Where is the magic that used to be in my words, dancing on the pages? I used to see them in my mind and feel them form into ideas. There was always a poem in my head or a story waiting for a chance to spill out from my pen. But for so long now, there has been nothing. How can I call myself a writer when I don’t write?

Start small. Description. Like the constant humming and croaking of a million different night creatures in my back yard… getting louder as they find their places, my writing will reveal itself.

My cat with the twitchy nose and freckled face can be my muse. Start small. Start with the movement of her radar ears, which spasm at each noise in the darkness. She cranes her neck to see what only her imagination knows for sure is there. Her back ripples as I touch her softly with just one fingertip. I softly trace the line on the back of her head that separates the two color blocks of black and coppery-brown.  She turns to look at me with ears pointing straight up, as alert as soldiers on watch. Her pupils almost fill the space of her eyes, searching for the source of a new noise. She gingerly licks her paw and smooths it over her ear and spotted face. She always looks as though she has missed a spot, or twenty. She doesn’t mind. Contentedly, she settles down for yet another nap.

TBT: Words are Life

Cleaning our home office has yielded the discovery of many treasures, such as this poem. I had long forgotten its existence, but when I found it, I remembered the point when I came to the epiphany that in neglecting my writing, I had neglected a part of who I am. It’s not always easy to find time to write, and the world around me often leaves me unable to sneak in even a few sentences, but I need it as often as I can. I need words.

Words…

wrought with anger,

dripping with tears,

pure intensity.

 

The salvage of me.

And who am I?

Don’t you see?

 

I am Frankenstein’s creation…

dead pieces melded together.

Now bring me to life!

 

A perversion of self,

no longer who I used to be.

Now bring me to life!

 

Can I again use words

to find my inner self?

Can words bring me back to life?

 

My soul has no voice.

My heart bereft of inspiration.

I need the words…life.

 

Terri L. Harper

Copyright 2005

words poem

TBT: Random Poetry Bits

I have notebooks and folders scattered and tucked into dark places throughout my house, and most of the time, I forget they exist. I’ve been on a cleaning and organizing binge as of late, and I have found odd, mysterious little treasures. Many writers save everything we’ve ever written, not so much because we really like most of it, but because we figure there’s a chance some of it will strike inspiration into us later.

I don’t know how inspiring these little bits of poems actually are, and I have no recollection of actually writing them, though it is undeniable that this handwriting belongs to me. Perhaps there never was an occasion for the words, but rather an idea for characters in a story I locked in the back of my mind. I don’t even have any clues to when I may have written them. Anyway, here they are, just for fun.

Sweet and serene,

I found an old photo of you and me.

Nobody knew back then

How close we were to

stumbling

off 

the 

edge.

…and…

The silent waif of yearning

hungers for a gentle word,

a soft caress of love,

to help stop the mourning.

Memoirs Christmas Excerpt- All I Want for Christmas

This week, I have posted three Christmastime excerpts from my second book, Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-meat Year. I am skipping an important Christmas chapter, so if you want to read it, follow the link above to my books on Amazon. In the meantime, enjoy this, the last chapter about Christmas in Drew’s freshman life experience.

All I Want for Christmas

Without Angela, and being snowed in, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were quiet and fairly uneventful, which I was totally ok with. I spent most of Christmas Eve holed up in my room, alternating between reading and writing.  My mom and I made some cookies together and then it was time to open presents.  Yeah, we did the early present thing and got stockings in the morning.  I suppose this contributed to my not believing in Santa as a young child.

I’m sure I received some great presents, like sweaters, perfume, and maybe a music box, but much like the desire of Ralphie to get a Red Ryder BB Gun, I longed for a keyboard.  Adrienne and I were going to form a band, and though I planned to be lead vocals, I wanted a talent to back it up, even if keyboards were losing their luster in the early ‘90s.  I had dabbled a bit, and badly, with an old acoustic guitar, but we had given it away when we moved, and I had been teaching myself to play the family’s organ.

No box existed beneath our tree that looked quite big enough, but the last box was the right shape and big enough if the keyboard was smallish.  My parents handed the neatly wrapped box to me with Cheshire grins.  By the feel, there was no way this was a keyboard, but I was optimistic it would somehow work out anyway.  Maybe I just wasn’t a good judge of boxes.  I peeled back the paper to reveal a longer, more slender, naked cardboard box.  I needed a sharp object to cut through the mailing tape my mom had used to secure it shut, so my dad handed me a key.  Inside the box was a literal wooden board, wrapped in tissue paper, and adorned with pencil traced keys, much like the one my father had handed to me to open the box. The word “KEYBOARD” had even been neatly scrawled along the top, centered and everything.  I’d been had.  “Very funny!” I whined.  “Just take my dreams and smash them, why don’t you? Hmmpphhh!”

They laughed, and my mom snuck over to a hidden corner of our large basement living room and pulled out a much larger box.  “Maybe this will make up for it,” she said, offering this new gift, which obviously was a keyboard.  I hugged both of my parents tightly and tested out all the settings and voices on my new treasure.  There were 100 effects in all and it was glorious. I got my Red Ryder BB Gun.

On Christmas morning I found candy, toiletries, and more Christmas socks in my stocking.  We spent a good portion of the day watching some holiday classics, which even my mom was able to join in on since she only had to cook a small Christmas dinner for three.

We each spoke with Angela on the phone.  She missed us and cried a little again, but Ryan had bought her some expensive perfume, so that helped, though his parents had bought her a cookbook, something she did not take kindly to.

That evening, Belle called to wish me a Merry Christmas.  We couldn’t talk long, but it was good to hear each others’ voices.  Our conversation was cut a little shorter than planned when Milton started barking and running in circles by the front door.  Somebody was trying to open the door.  “Dag nabbit!” came a muffled voice from the outside.  My dad cautiously opened the door to reveal the Phillips’ grandma, the one whose sweaters matched her dog’s. She wore an expression of bewilderment.  “But…you’re not Phillip.”

“No.  Can I help you?”

“Oh, dear.  I can’t find my house.”  I didn’t know if either of my parents had ever seen this woman before, so I didn’t think they knew where to direct her, and I stepped in.

“Uh, actually, you live down the road there,” I said, indicating the Phillips’ home down the hill, all lit up, with a Christmas tree in every visible window, and one on the roof for good measure.

“Are you sure?  It’s kinda tacky.”

I suppressed my laughter as best as I could.  “Yes, ma’am.  I’ve seen you with the family before.”

“Oh, my.  It’s a bit slippery out here.  I don’t suppose one of you could help me and Lester out?  I don’t want another hip replacement.” I assumed Lester was the name of her dog.

“Sure.  I’ll walk you home,” I found myself saying before I knew what I was doing.  “That’s ok, right?” I asked Mom and Dad as I laced up my snow boots.

“Sure Drew, but you be careful too,” my mom replied.

As we took the short hike down the hill I learned that Lester’s owner’s name was Wilma, “like from the Flintstones,” and she had moved in with the Phillips a few months after they moved in.  She didn’t like her son or grandson, but her daughter-in-law was nice.  When we arrived at the brightly lit front door, I rang the doorbell because it was locked.

Junior answered.  He just stared at us for a bit, long enough for me to catch a glimpse of several Christmas trees, which smelled awesome, but having so many was still weird, like a forest in their house.  “Looks like Grandma didn’t get run over by a reindeer after all!” he shouted over his shoulder towards what I assumed was their dining room area.  Filipia came running, but an indifferent middle-aged man, Mr. Phillips, just glowered from a distance.

“Oh, Wilma, I was so worried about you,” she said as she gently took the old lady’s hand.  “Thank you so much for returning her to us,” Filipia directed toward me.

“Yes, thank you, Deary,” Wilma said as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a quarter.  “Here you go and Merry Christmas,” she said, placing the coin into my hand.

“Oh, well thank you, and Merry Christmas to you all,” I said as I reversed directions and walked as quickly as I could back to my own, normal home, twenty-five whole cents richer.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved