Archive for the ‘Writers Workshop’ Category

Forgiveness Denied

April 26th, 2017 Comments off

The brothers  had avoided each other for years. No longer the kids who romped and played, worked the farm,  and chased the girls; now their faces were creased with the burdens of life, their brows lined with unspoken pain.

It was over.  James  made the first move by calling his younger brother and saying he wanted to talk.They would meet at the river, neither had to ask where.

Thomas was there first, sitting on the porch of the cabin, perched at the river’s edge. He stood when James drove up, and watched him get out of  his truck. 

Thomas’  first words, after all those years were, “You got old.” 

“Yeah, well where’s all that black wavy hair you spent so much time combing?” James threw back.

“Guess I combed it right out of my head,” Thomas said, running his hand through his thinning gray hair. 

They started walking the familiar path along the river, stopping to observe the changes they saw from when they were boys. James took out a cigarette and sat on a boulder.

“No wonder you can’t keep up with me, if you’re sucking on those things!” Thomas said.  He pulled a small bottle out of his back pocket.

James laughed, “Yeah, you kill yourself one way and I’ll kill me another.” He threw a stone in the water.

“Ma would have a fit if she could see us today, wouldn’t she Tom?”  

Before he answered,  Thomas took another sip. “Naw, she’d be happy just to know we were talking again.   I’m sorry Jim.”

“Me too Tom.  Too much like Papa I guess.  He never could give an inch either.”

Thomas put the liquor back in his pocket and James flicked his cigarette into the sand.

“Edith wants us to get together for a picnic.  Think we could do that?” James asked.

Thomas cleared his throat, “Yeah, I think we could do that.”

They walked back to the cabin.  James opened his truck door and then turned back to his brother.  “That gun was mine you know.”

“No, it wasn’t,” Thomas said. “Papa left it to me.”

James cursed.  “I want the gun Tom. I’m the oldest. It should go to the oldest.”

“No.  Papa gave it to me.”

James struck the truck cab with his fist and cursed loudly. He turned as if to say something else,  but instead sent a cold, piercing stare, climbed into the truck, and drove away.

Thomas pulled the bottle out.  “Guess the picnic is cancelled,”  he said dryly.

fiction by M. Taylor


April 17th, 2015 Comments off


img562Tessa had paid the price for her bad decisions of the past. She was now living as decently as she knew how.

She was determined to change: slowly, deliberately, honestly.  No matter who doubted her sincerity, she knew in her heart that this time would be different.  She was looking for progress, not perfection and more importantly, she was learning to turn it over to God instead of seeking a numbing escape.

“One day at a time, old girl,” she said to the sleeping calico cat next to her.

“One day at a time.”


Miss Minnie and the Passage of Time

September 17th, 2013 2 comments

How Sweet the Sound

At her age Minnie was quite aware of the passage of time, and she was appreciative of another day.  She was determined to enjoy the years she had left before she would find out for sure what Jeremiah had been doing since he went ‘home’.  Her faith bolstered her and strengthened her resolve that she would be with him again, and that whatever he was doing would be fine with her.

Minnie thought back to her youth, when she had longed to be grown up.  Time could not move fast enough for her.  Now, well, now she thought in terms of today, instead of tomorrow.  She had learned to truly appreciate the variety of colors, the joy of a pain free day, and the refreshment of a good night’s sleep.

Taking her coffee cup back to the kitchen, she went to her room and knelt by her bed.  Reaching under the bed she pulled out an instrument case.  She walked outside to the swing, opened the case and there nestled in the soft pink fabric was her Oscar Schmidt autoharp.

It had traveled many miles through the back roads of Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee, as she and Jeremiah obeyed the Lord to go to the ‘highways and byways’ to preach his word.

She held the autoharp in her arms in the Appalachian style of Mother Maebelle Carter: her left hand holding down the chord bars and the right hand crossing over to gently strum the seventy-two strings.  Minnie closed her eyes and memory returned to her hands as the sweet sounds of Amazing Grace filled the air.


 drawing and story by Mary Taylor

Writing Tip: Edgar Allen Poe

January 29th, 2013 Comments off

January Tuesdays: a writing tip from an accomplished author.

January 1st, 2013 Comments off

F. Scott

Mary Taylor Writes: “A Mom’s Roller Coaster Ride of Emotions”

July 12th, 2012 Comments off

img485When seventeen year old Lawrence came home he usually left a trail of his stuff  from the front door to the kitchen, from the kitchen to his bedroom, from his bedroom to the den and so on.

His mother, Lorraine,  had decided to lay down the law.  She was going to tell him again, in no uncertain terms, to pick up after himself, that she wasn’t his maid, that she worked hard all day to clean the house only to see it destroyed when he bounded in at 4:30 every day.  Enough was enough!

But today he was late.  She fussed and fumed and then started to worry.  When he wasn’t home by 5:30 she started making calls, which he didn’t answer.  Why didn’t he answer?  Anxiety  built by the minute.  By 6:30 images of terrible possibilities flashed through her mind , and she felt almost paralyzed with fear.

Then she heard the car, and there he was, big smile and all.

“Hi Mom, sorry I’m late.”  The backpack fell by the door, his cap was thrown on the chair, his keys clanged on the desk as he headed for the refrigerator.

Lorraine stood almost gasping for air.  Relief, deep, deep relief  came over her.  She wanted to grab him, tell him how frightened she had been for his safety, how terrified she was at losing him.

Instead, she let out a deep cleansing sigh and whispered, “Thank you God.”

Then, relief turned to anger. She wanted to shake him , and tell him never to do that again.  Why hadn’t he called her?  The five foot-two woman started after her five-eleven son.

“Listen here, young man!” she called.

“You forgot me!”

May 30th, 2012 Comments off

A little story, by Mary Taylor.

“Hi Honey, I’m home.”

“I’m in the kitchen.”  Tracy, peeling potatoes, leaned toward Ben to get a kiss.  “Where’s Sammy?”

“Didn’t you get him?” Ben asked.

“No.  I told you I had a faculty meeting and it would run late.  You were supposed to pick him up!”

Ben groaned, winced, and said, “That’s right.  Now I remember.  I’d better hurry, they closed fifteen minutes ago.”

Rushing into the day care center,  Ben saw Sammy and Mrs. Counters sitting together. Neither looked happy.

“Where have you been Dad?” The five year old complained.

“Sorry little man, sorry Mrs. Counters.  We had a miscommunication.  I thought my wife was picking him up.”

“Mr. Toner, you know our policy.  This is your third  time this month.  A fee will be attached to your bill.”

“I know, Mrs. Counters.  I’m really sorry.”

“My family is waiting on me to get home Mr. Toner.  When you are late, it throws other people off their schedules too.”

“I completely understand and we’ll do better, I promise.”

“Okay.  Sam, we’ll see you tomorrow.”  She hugged the small boy before he ran to the door and out to the car.

“Did you have a good day?” Ben asked.

Youforgot me!” Sammy answered angrily.

“I didn’t forget you.  I thought your mother was picking you up!”

“But I heard her tell you to pick me up.  You forgot me Dad!”

Ben pulled the car to the curb.  “I said I am sorry, now let it go. Besides, I didn’t forget YOU, I forgot to pick you up.  There is a difference.”  He pulled back into the street.

Sam wiped a tear from his eye and said, “Well, it feels like you forgot ME!”

Another diet? Sylvia Plath, here I Come . . .

January 13th, 2012 Comments off

The Fall

September 28th, 2011 Comments off

By Mary Taylor

“Are you okay?”

Ruth looked up into the tanned face leaning over her.  Embarrassed, she muttered, “I’m not sure yet.”

Ruth had landed awkwardly, feet in the air.  She winced, more at the thought than the actual pain.

“The hazards of  roller blading on the strand at Venice Beach,” she said.

He knelt down and looked at her knee, “You need a band-aid.”

“That’s okay, it’s my pride that’s wounded most.  A tourist got in my way, or maybe I got in hers, I don’t know.”

“A tourist at Venice Beach, how unusual,” he laughed.  Extending his hand he helped her up.

“I’m  Nick,” he said.

She pointed to herself, “Ruth, the fallen.” They laughed.

“So, Nick, are you always so helpful to strangers?”  She shaded her eyes from the sun to get a better look at him. 

“I’m just being a good neighbor, I live here,” he said.

“Really, I didn’t know anyone actually lived here.”

“Well I do, at least for one more week,” he laughed.  ” Right down there,” he said, pointing to a rental beach house within walking distance.

“I’m impressed,” she said.  “I had to drive ten miles to get here.” 

“A local huh?  Then I’m impressed, because you can come any time.”

“Not quite any time, I  have to work, you know,” she said.  

“Bummer,” he smiled.  “Me too!”  

Before he could continue the conversation  she said, “I’d better go, thanks for your help.”

He stepped toward her, “Say, would you like to come over to my place and I’ll get you something cool to drink and fix that knee?”

Ruth stared into the inviting brown eyes.  She hesitated and took a deep breath, not sure she was ready for another fall.


En Español

¿ “Es usted dole”?

Ruth miró arriba en la cara bronceada , ella murmuró, “yo no estoy seguro”.

Ruth había aterrizado , los pies en el aire.

“Los peligros de roller blading en Playa de Venecia,” ella dijo.

El se arrodilló abajo y miró la rodilla, “Usted necesita una curita.”  

“No, es mi orgullo que ha herido más. Un turista entró mi manera, o quizá entré suyo, yo no sé”.

“Un turista en Playa de Venecia, cuán excepcional,” él se rió. Extender la mano que él la ayudó arriba.

“Yo Nick,” él dijo.

“Hola, Yo Ruth.”

¿” Es usted siempre tan útil “?

“Acabo de ser un vecino bueno, yo vivo aquí,” él dijo.

“Realmente, yo no supe que nadie vivía  aquí”.

“Bien hago, por lo menos para otra semana,” él se rió”.  

El derecho allá,” él dijo, señalando a una casa de la playa.

“Soy impresionado,” ella dijo, “Tuve que manejar diez millas llegar aquí”.

” Entonces soy impresionado, porque usted puede venir muchas veces”.

“No exactamente , yo tengo que trabajar, usted sabe,” ella dijo.

¡” él sonrió”. Mí también”!

¿El hombre guapo dice, “querría usted venir a mi lugar para para beber y fijar esa rodilla”?

Ruth miró en los ojos castaños atractivos. Ella vaciló , no seguro ella estuvo preparado para otra caída.

Gertie and Sonia

September 18th, 2011 Comments off

I can’t sit here all day, I’m baking a pie to send to Erma.


She’s down in her back and I thought an apple pie might cheer her up.


I know.  I know. She can be contrary.  but it won’t hurt me to go the extra mile.

After the way she talked to you the other day,  about whatever it was we were discussing?  She was hateful as an old settin’ hen, and I for one don’t have no use for her after that.

Why? She wasn’t talking to you Gertie, and besides you don’t even remember what it was we were talking about!

Sonia, you’re just too nice some times.  Just too nice. People like that don’t deserve anyone being nice to them.

Now, now Gert. How about a cup of chamomile tea to settle your nerves?

There you go again !  Can’t you just be hateful once in a while? Let me tell you Sonia, your good nature can be very annoying!

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