The Ditch


Lots of writers and artists have stories about that moment that they became a writer. This is my moment:

I used to walk home from babysitting jobs when I was a kid.

It was always dark and in those days we didn’t have sidewalks, so you had to walk along the side of the road and in some cases you had to jump over a ditch ( if there was water in it ) or step down into it ( if there wasn’t roadkill in it ) to avoid cars.

At this time girls were going missing around Seattle- the missing girls all had long dark hair, like me. It was a scary time.

So to comfort myself on those lonely walks, I would play in my head, over and over again the cold open to the TV series, ” The Night Stalker ”

Here’s a clip, so you’ll get the idea:

So as you can see I may have looked like I was on the wrong track because as I walked along I could hear Kolchak saying something like:

After a long night of playing board games, watching TV and popping corn Anita, Babysitter to the unbabysittable made her way along the dark road to her house.
She hated kids but she loved comic books and records, that night she had made an extra dollar and had big plans for her night’s earnings.

Too bad she never got spend that money.

( This is when the monster of the week would make it’s appearance.)

Sometimes though, as Carl would say, The Monsters just don’t appear on TV sets.

One night as I was walking home from a babysitting job a car was coming up behind me, so I jumped the ditch and kept walking.

The car pulled up along side me and I saw the dome light go on. A man and a woman were in the front seat. The woman rolled the window down. ” Hey. Want to party? ”

I kept walking.

” Come on, want to party?”

I stopped. I walked to the edge of the ditch and I said:

” You don’t want me to get into your car. I could be anybody. Anybody at all.” I said, thinking about the missing girls with long dark hair and Carl Kolchak and his monsters.

The looked at each other, they looked at me. I heard the woman tell the man, ” What a freak.” The light went off, the window went up and as I walked the rest of the way home, in my mind’s eye something crawled up out of the ditch and followed me.

I’ve been writing about it ever since.

Bridge of Stars

Putting My Feet in the Dirt Prompt#2 Lost Loves and Unlickable Lollipops

Did I really sit in that movie theatre

holding your hand, eating buttered popcorn

laughing at the funny lines waiting for the movie to end

so that we could leave and drive over the a bridge of stars.


Was that day in May

the only day it didn’t rain for real?

Was it a ghost that  snuck across  that bridge of stars

looking for a life to live?


Maybe that night in the theatre happened like I remember it

maybe that one single sunny day in May really happened

maybe that bridge of stars was real too

but it isn’t anymore.

Blogger Wars

PuttingMy Feet In the Dirt Prompt#1 Juicy Jokes and Buttered Books

Artists: AI

We all started our blogs back at about the same time around 2006.

One of us fancied himself to be a political wit,  the other saw himself as the Big Daddy of our activist circle,  I saw myself as someone who just liked to write about ghosts and cannibals.

One day we started to talk about our blog traffic.

They each got around 20 a day, if they posted something- which wasn’t bad in a universe of blogs. So one day they asked me where I was and I hmmed and fudged and said. ” Well. I do okay.”

They smirked, they smiled they gave me advice about how to be a better blogger.

For some reason they wouldn’t let up about the numbers. So I said,  ” Well. Like I get a couple of hundred. ”

” Oh in a month?”

Then I did exactly what I wouldn’t do today. I gave a non- answer. I said. ” Uh. Huh.”

” Well keep at it maybe you can build your count up- but if all you’re doing is writing fiction. Well. That’s hard. People want information. Plus you have to be really good to get a base for that.”

That got my goat but good. They just compared themselves to journalists- and were they? Hell. No. They just spewed back what they saw on TV or heard from Tom Hartman.

I wrote every single day. I spent more time reading books then watching TV. I had been writing since I was nine years old.

So I coughed up my stats.

” No. That’s not a week or a month. I get over 200 hits a day. ”

I could tell you what they were eating and drinking that day because their mouths dropped open.

We were at a Cafe and one of us had a laptop so I went on my blog and showed them my stat reports.

” During Halloween, it’s triple that. ”

I tried not to smile, but I did.

It was a little victory, they never asked about my blog or my writing again.  On the other hand, of the three of us I’m still writing.

My stats aren’t what they used to be, but that’s okay- right?

I think so. I’m still writing, I think I’ve gotten better at it and I don’t need numbers to make me feel good about what I’ve accomplishments.