20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


I’m not ignoring my community.
It’s just that Brainstorms needs attention too.
To write on two blogs doesn’t leave me free
to do much else. I so want to be true

to obligations here at 20 Lines.
Yes, after all, it is the discipline
that helps me find and plumb the gold in mines,
discovering that certain phrase, unpin

it from its base. With practice I will see
those nuggets shine more brightly to my eye.
I’ll turn one in my hand and climb the tree
that will allow a look high from the sky.



The goal for today was 8333 words and I am now at 10,079. I can’t believe I’m ahead of the daily average, but it’s a good thing because I won’t have as much time to write on other days as I’ve had over the weekend. And I got all of my writing for today done by around 11:15 this morning. One of my college friends is listening to it chapter by chapter, as is my brother, so I’m getting feedback as I go.

This is a good exercise. I have the definite feeling that this book won’t be published. I doubt that I’ll even seek outlets for it. So why, you might ask, am I doing it?

It’s wonderful discipline, which Melissa has begun in me with 20 Lines, and I’m simply challenging myself to see if I can do it again. Now that I’ve passed 1o,000 words, I realize that’s only 1/5 of the way. Do I have it in me?

We’ll see.

The Briar & Seeing Your Roots

It is just a random thought that has crept into my head this Saturday morning. A pipe (briar), bare feet, dirty faces and rural folk have combined to remind me of part of my heritage. Fascinating, harsh yet comforting.

Me…The early 1950’s living in a rental in a poor part of town. Even my parents, born into harshness, knew they had to move from that neighborhood.

My Dad’s grandparents. Hillbillies. Hard edged. Rural folks.

My GGGrandmother sporting a pipe sitting on a simple porch.

Some of my Dad’s clan left behind, 1940’s

Yes, I sometimes smoke a briar. Usually, when deep in the woods or on the water. Not by any desire to emulate the past, I took up the pipe because the tobaccos smelled nice. Here, I strive for a smile, that seemed to elude past family members.

Life: a decent middle class neighborhood…typical kid and shenanigans…ordinary, if mediocre student…college…a career and decent life style…really a very comfortable life, which I earned…but all this materialistic, fast paced, techno life cannot, must not overshadow my roots.

Farmers. Rural to the core. Somewhat violent. Primitive. Hard. My parents escaped it lest more harm pushed them over the edge. And, all their efforts to build a better life aside, the residual truth remained. The early years etched markings upon them. Reflexively they passed on the pain, leaving similar markings upon me.

Did they see the pattern? Were they at all concerned at passing on the harshness? I don’t know. I just know, I forgive them. And, I hope that perhaps those old folks smoking a briar above reflected at some point on what they had wrought. In the meantime, I will smoke my briar with a smile.



I want to Thank You for choosing Mine………. xo

Many thanks to those who read my post on the challenge Dreams

with 17 votes they say I WON!

Thanks to all of you again who like what I share.

This is all new to me honestly it is.

A far cry from driving a Big Rig!

to then being so depressed with pain, after a horrible wreck, to now just having my life come around again with me being ready to LIVE IT!

Love to each and every one of you who voted or FOLLOW ME as it is you who inspire me each day.



Thank you

I just got a notification that I’ve received 500 likes from you all here at 20 Lines A Day.  Thank you so much for that…and for your comments and your own wonderful posts, and mostly for your friendship.  I’ve talked about how my own blog is such a blessing in my life right now.  But this blog has been a huge blessing to me too…a place to come and discipline myself to write something every day.  For me, it’s poetry because I love poetry so much, and there’s healing in it I think…whether the poems are serious or just prayers, or just trying to find something funny out of the journey.  Thank you Melissa for this place to come, and blessings to all of you!


An Exercise in Discipline

It just occurred to me that this, the name
of 20 Lines, is so like me right now.
My weak, infected respiratory frame
wants exercise and discipline. Allow

me once again to freely breathe and sleep,
and give me oxygen to flow around.
You know that I detest how I must creep
through hours, afraid that coughing will abound.

I’d rather eat and drink as once I did,
and go to lunch with friends or have the strength
to lift a book. All normal acts have hid
behind the hacking that for two weeks’ length

has burdened me. Give me the house to clean,
a fun time with my little ones, the class
in which I volunteer. Illness is mean.
When will my voice ring sonorous as brass?


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