20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


Sometimes it happens-

… so quietly that you don’t even realize it.  There was no alarm.  No bell.  Not even a ringing in your ears.  Nothing lets you know that the moment that just got by you was the one that you should have reached for and held onto.  That it won’t come back again, even if you beg.  That you are left in a permanent state of watching her walk away.

That’s okay, you tell yourself.  There will be another one.

You silently hope.  You wish it to be true.  You hope that life will be kind and you will keep on getting chances just like the one that kissed your cheek, then turned away.

The truth is, we never know, do we?

I am blessed by this community and by the gifts you share of yourself every day.  Coming here always makes me smile, and  I know I’m not the only one that feels that way.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Just took a peek at the stats, and while this is something I usually never do, it feels like a milestone and I thought I would share it with you.

Happy 50,000+ visitors to 20 Lines.  I thought I’d let you know.


Cheers, and happy everything,


1 Comment

In Search of the Poem, by Susan Dean Wessells

The words are hiding
from me

I awoke,
certain they had summoned me;
but now
they have crept
out of sight,
engaged in their endless game
of hide-and-go-seek.

I search
under the thesaurus,
beside the dictionary,
but for all the words there
none adhere to me.

Then this notebook opens
revealing a welcoming page
and from my pencil lead
the poem bursts forth,
snickering quietly to itself.

Susan Dean Wessells

Susan’s muse has bitten her! and we are the lucky recipients. Thank you so much for joining us here, Poet Susan, and sharing your work. — Melissa


Monday Morning Writing Challenge: A Day in the Life

What I’d really love to hear from you is about a day in your life.  When do you wake up?  What’s on your mind when you do?  What are the things your heart is telling you while you go through your day?  Are you fulfilled at your work, in whatever ways you work or whatever capacity?  What moments give you pause?

Share it with us, in words or pictures.

To our Followers, if you’d like to write with us, post yours in the Comments section of this thread, and we’ll post them on your behalf.

Thanks everyone!  Have fun with it!




My friend Diana – Pat’s prose challenge

I saw Maggie reference a challenge of Pat’s, which I don’t recall seeing.  But it sounded interesting, so I thought I’d try it too.  I’m with Maggie though…this was difficult to do!  But it was fun doing something a little different.  In Maggie’s post below, it says that Pat’s challenge was to write a prose piece of 150 words, and then cut it to 50 words, and then to 25 words, to see if it’s better when it’s more concise?  Is that right?  Personally I think 150 words was hard enough. Ha ha…but I can be long winded.  Here goes! (Editing here to include the link to Pat’s post in her blog about this.  It was actually 150 wds., 80, and then 25.  But I did it 150, 50, and 25.  Oh well.  Here’s the link! Exercise in Discipline by Pat Wood)

My Friend Diana

Diana was a beautiful girl, with raven hair and a fair complexion.  I loved to ride the school bus in the afternoon on those special days when I was allowed to stay overnight at her house.  It was a lovely, two-story house in the country.  The trim was blue, I think.  It wasn’t huge, but to me it was like a palace.  There were two bedrooms upstairs.  Diana said one was her winter bedroom, and the other one her summer bedroom.  The master bedroom where her parents slept was downstairs, off the pretty living area, with a piano that Diana’s mother would ask me to play sometimes.  She always requested that I play, “Love Is Blue”, and would sit and listen while I happily complied.

Diana and her boyfriend Mark were killed instantly in a car wreck when we were fifteen.  My life will always be touched by her memory. (150 words)


The nights spent at Diana’s house in the country were always a special treat for me when I was a child.  Diana was an only child, a beautiful and sweet girl, and a lovely friend.  I remember that Saturday morning in 1973 when she died.  Gone too soon…but not forgotten. (50 words)


Diana was a lovely girl, and my childhood best friend.  Thirty-nine years have passed, since that tragic Saturday morning, but her memory still lives on. (25 words)


That Violent Storm (How Anxious’ Open Book Challenge)

Thank you for the challenge, Howie! http://anexerciseindiscipline.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/new-writing-challenge/

That Violent Storm
by Anne Sikes


That storm deep within me, it comes and it goes

Like waves of the ocean, it ebbs and it flows

Life can be difficult, but also sweet

It brings tears or laughter from head to my feet


I cannot deny, the pain of the storm

When violent winds blow, and shake my whole form

But I will not miss that feeling of peace

That calms and refreshes when winds and rain cease.


That’s life on this journey that you and I walk

We choose what we dwell on, to thrive or to balk

A storm may be lurking…it may shake my core

But I will not lie down and die on the floor


I will still be standing as bold as can be

Though weathered and tempered, and bent at the knee

And I remain thankful, though winds may blow long

That violent storm was just making me strong.


New Writing Challenge


Here forth, I bring a new writing challenge. It is a very simple, yet a difficult challenge. There are certain steps you need to follow for this challenge. Well, I am writing the whole procedure step by step- so please read a particular step and then complete it before going on for reading the next step. I can’t force you to accept it but I must tell- it is great fun.

Step I- Take out your favorite book. Bring it up to your laptop/PC.

Step II- Open a random page of the book, any page.

Step III- Give a quick glance over the page and read loudly the first phrase/word/line you catch.

Step IV- Repeat that particular phrase/word/line in your mind. Think about it deeply.

Step V- Write a poem or any other writing piece. The title for the poem or the theme of your poem/writing piece is going to be that particular phrase/word/line.

I hope you will have fun participating in this challenge. I did follow the same steps while writing one of my posts here on 20 lines- The Lone Walker.


HA :-)


Hello- A New Challenge…


Here forth, I bring to you a writing challenge in which you have to write a poem on any theme with any type of verse or any poetic style. What I mean is you just have to write what comes from within your heart. The only thing you have to do is involve a simple plain line but this line which still leaves me shivering when I think about it, just a simple plain line- that is what you have to include in your poem. And that is actually taken from a very beautiful poem- yes, of course you know about it. The poem is- Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats and the line/phrase I have had talked about earlier is- “Thou was not born for death, immortal Bird!”.

Have fun! Don’t forget to add the links to your poems in your comments or you can even include your poems within your comments.

Sorry but I haven’t got any badge or token of honor to give.. there would be no voting as such. This is just for fun and not necessarily a “real challenge” type of challenge with a “clear winner”.

Tada! :-)


Winner of the Shed Challenge!

Thanks to all of you for playing along on this.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Our winner is Diane at Hometogo232 with 17 likes!  Congratulations Diane! Awesome job!  :) Here is the complete poem, with my first 12 lines and Diane’s 20 line finish.

The Shed

Was walking down the road one day, when something caught my eye

So beautiful, miraculous, I smiled, and breathed a sigh

Twas only how the sunlight fell upon the trees ahead

Within a forest, deep and thick, and lit upon a shed

The shed was old and falling down, its roof had sunken in

I thought about that worn out shed, and what it might have been

My curiosity was stirred,  my longing to explore

Before I knew it, there I stood, before its faded door

Carefully, most cautiously, I twisted the old knob

The hinges squealed, with pain it seemed, as I felt my heart throb

With cobwebs woven everywhere,  my feet froze to the floor

I dared not take another step, but had to still see more

There was a table sitting there, with dishes there on the top

The dust was thick and what was there beside made me stop

A child’s small bed with teddy bear sitting on the spread

And a picture of a small boy there, to me more words were said

Unspoken words were clearly in the scene that I did view

A family lived there long ago, my thought were not a few

What happened there so long ago that things were left like this

Something wasn’t right as everything was scattered and amiss

A newspaper lay among the pile of things upon the chair

The date of it gave a clue as to what had happened there

A story of a little boy that was found in a nearby creek

The parents of that little child were unable to even speak

They couldn’t bear the thought of living in that old shed

The child they loved and cherished with all their heart was dead

I somehow wished I hadn’t seen the things that were displayed

As now my thoughts and feelings were very much dismayed

I said a prayer and left the shed and made my way outside

But then I thought again and made my way back inside

I picked up the little teddy bear and hugged him close to me

For this little bear was all I had of the child who would never be.


The Shed Challenge closed for submissions…please vote for your favorites!


Please click on the link and take a look at the links to the submissions for this challenge, in the comments, and vote for your favorites by ‘liking’ them.  I will announce the winner sometime on Saturday.  My granddaughter comes home that day, (YAY!) so am aiming for the usual time of noon central, but that may have to be delayed.

This was fun, I thought.  I hope you all had fun too.  If there were any other submissions that are not linked in the comments of the above post, please be sure to do so, so that they can be voted on!  And thanks again to all for your submissions.  I loved them all!


1 Comment

The Shed Challenge: Maggie’s entry

The Shed: Another Challenge – Follow this link to see the original post and links to the entries.  Here’s Maggie’s entry! Thanks Maggie!

The Shed

Was walking down the road one day when something caught my eye
So beautiful, miraculous, I smiled and breathed a sigh
Twas only how the sunlight fell on the trees ahead
Within a forest deep and thick, it lit upon a shed
The shed was old and falling down, its roof had sunken in
I thought about that worn-out shed and what it might have been
My curiosity was stirred, my longing to explore
Before I knew it there I stood before its faded door
Carefully, so cautiously, I twisted the old knob
The hinges squealed with pain, it seemed, as I felt my heart throb
With cobwebs woven everywhere, my feet froze to the floor
I dared not take another step, but had to still see more.
I poked my head inside the room that felt so cold and still.
I couldn’t shake the shivering that caused that awful chill.
Some beckoning attraction made me peek around…and — no –
my mind would not allow me to believe what I saw low
to floorboards old and worn. Was I imagining? What would
I do? My morals came in questions: Was I bad or good?
I stared at it as if I thought that it would speak to me,
but all it did was lie there. I was anything but free.
I wondered, if I touched it, that police would ever find
me guilty of a crime. Oh, no. I knew myself. Behind
decisions that I make I know the ways that I’ve been taught,
so even all that money in the shed would stay unsought.


We’re standing on the cusp of summer and I wondered if anyone was up for a bit of writing inspiration/challenge.  Talk about summer.  The summer ahead.  Summers past.  Anything that you think of when spring loses her bloom and the lush heat of June and July starts to spill.

Write or share a photograph and get us in the mood.




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