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Showing posts from July, 2018

The Three Widows by RM Martinez

All characters and events in this story are entirely fictional. The three widows first met during senior aerobics.   They became good friends and were soon making plans to get together during the week. The aging women went out to lunch, had their nails and hair done, and often found other things to do to pass the time.   They called them “outings,” and it pleased their grown children. It freed them from having to entertain their mothers.   When the three friends offered to take each other to doctor appointments as well, the children, especially their spouses, were even more delighted. One day the youngest of the three, the one with emphysema from breathing in years of her late husband’s cigarette smoke, was called in to the police station for questioning. She had a real estate license so her fingerprints were on record with the state. On a random search, her thumbprint matched one found on a bat, the weapon at a gruesome murder scene. When questioned about her whereabouts o

The Cousins/Los Primos

July 23, 2018           The idea began five months ago at my mother’s funeral.   Cousins from both sides of the family talked about getting together at a party of our choosing, instead of waiting for a death or a wedding to bring us together again.   We needed time to get to know each other; we needed time to share family history and stories.     Only one uncle and one aunt remain of my mother’s entire generation, so it was up to us The Cousins ( Los Primos ) to tend to the family tree. Our parents and grandparents were brothers and sisters to each other, and we the cousins had once also been close, childhood friends, but marriages, careers, and travels had taken us down different paths. It took a small group of The Cousins (Los Primos) from my mother’s side of the family to take on the formidable task of hosting a matriarchal family reunion on short notice, but it was one amazing afternoon.   We have an astounding history; we have memorable stories, and by sharing them with

So I Prayed

           Walking into my fourth-grade classroom, the teacher announced a pop quiz over the history chapter she assigned for homework, the one I didn’t have time to read, because I had math homework, and science, and spelling words, so . . . I prayed and promised all kinds of things, if only He would help me get through the pop quiz without failing.           My mom interrogated my baby sister about the pearl necklace she found in her jewelry box.   I was next, so . . . I prayed for forgiveness, not because I was going to confess my guilt since I was the one who played with it when it broke into beads, but because I was going to lie and weasel my way out of a spanking. By some miracle, my baby sister got blamed, no one got spanked, and I still kept my promise to be extra nice to her for a whole week.           Fast forward a few years.           I hate thunderstorms, heights, and scary movies.   They give me nightmares, so I pray and He sees me through my fears. Prayer also

The Mother of a United States Soldier

My paternal grandmother saw three of her four sons sign up and go off to fight in World War II.   My maternal grandmother saw all three of her precious sons drafted in the early 1950’s during the Korean War.   Several of my male cousins, including my older brother, served and some died in the Vietnam war.   Those who came home were changed forever, but their parents stood proud, supportive of their sons’ service. When the draft ended in January of 1973, many mothers (and fathers) rested easy; their sons could choose to serve or not.   Even with that freedom, some of my family, both women and men, have joined the US service and made it their careers.   We are proud of their patriotism and selflessness. My youngest joined the Marines during his senior year and in June of 1999, just weeks after graduating from high school, he went off to boot camp. He made a studied decision and though I cried about it, when it came time to drive him to the drop off point, he deserved my respe

Ode to the Simple Sentence

          The marvelous sentence seems so simple a preschooler can string one together without thinking; yet, it’s amazingly complex in its construction.           A composite of numerous careful, deliberate, and creative decisions, its basic construction can be taught easily; but only a dedicated wordsmith can transform it into a memorable work of artistry.           Like any other aspect of language learning, we listen and observe before venturing to imitate and form a sentence.   We learn to speak by speaking; we learn to write a sentence by writing.   But some writers venture farther; they create.           Like their fellow artists - musicians and painters -, the writer looks at each single word like a beat on a sheet of music or a stroke of the brush on canvas. Each word is deliberate; every punctuation mark is a nuance filled with meaning.           What needs to be altered? Cut? Revised? Expanded?           The writer artfully and courageously choreographs each