Tag Archive | flash non-fiction

Grumpy Bear

51s8l7OYpAL._SL500_AA300_The Care Bear Grumpy Bear. He was blue and soft and bear-shaped and sat on white shelves across the room from my bed. I had a bunch of Care Bears–Cheer Bear and Love Bear and Sunshine Bear and Lucky Bear and all that–and they all had these white patches on the stomach with a picture. Instead of a rainbow or hearts or a sun or a shamrock or whatnot, Grumpy had a perfect storybook storm cloud with little drops of rain falling from the cloud on his stomach. There may even have been a zigzag of lightning on there. I loved him best. Even if I couldn’t articulate it then, he was the most like me. I loved storms and thunder and lightning. I loved the rain. All the other bears were great but they sorta reminded me how my mom was always telling me to be more cheerful–even assigning me the line in a Girl Scout Brownie ceremony, “I pledge to be cheerful,” or some such. But I wasn’t a cheerful child. Grumpy got me in a way the other bears could not.


I thought that instead of posting some small excerpt from a longer piece (which can come w/it’s own complications at times) that is in the midst of being revised, I might post some short, self-contained responses to writing exercises. Not as polished, for sure, but there’s something to be said for that.

I’m taking a memoir writing class this term, and one of our writing exercises was to describe a familiar object from childhood, something you could see in your room, for ten minutes. Then we talked about the objects in small groups (my object prompted another group member to ask, “What does that say about you?” in a tone I’m not quite sure how to interpret) and discussed whether we could look them up somehow to verify our memories of them. I can but haven’t yet. I’m going to post the sample and then I’ll google image search it out and see how it measures up and include the pic in this post.

So, like I said, just off the cuff, no editing, no pre-planning, just, there it is.

For more writing samples, check out the Samples Page, Older Works, and Published.

What childhood object or toy do YOU remember? Freewrite for ten minutes if you want.

~Emilia J

Island Orcastrations

sucia-island-ewing-cove-view-orcas-island-mt-constitutionTo get to Orcas Island in Northwest Washington, you have to take a ferry. Many of the 4,000 year-round residents come from the fringes of society—hippies, ex-hippies who settled down and had “indigo children,” drug addicts, recovering addicts, organic gurus who live off the grid and prepare for Peak Oil, retirees, healers, felons, millionaires, artists, and other assorted misfits and runaways. In 57 square miles there’s not one record store or regular concert venue, but music on Orcas permeates the atmosphere and is as soft around the edges as its characters.

At solstice parades, local ceremonies and the Farmer’s Market, performers range from saxophonists and a cappella groups to a World Fusion band called Orcatraz. In summer, there’s “Music in the Park” every Sunday night and “Brown Bag Concerts” on the green every Wednesday at noon. Both feature feel-good fare. There’s always reggae at the Oddfellows Hall, where local dances and holiday festivities happen. And now, for the second winter in a row, the island is having its own Orcas Idol contest.

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