Archive | If you don’t ask RSS feed for this section

A Four Monkey Day

1 Nov

three monkey day copy

Bonnie Carini never reads my blog.

She goes a mile a minute and has a lot on her plate so of course, I forgive her. We met in the late eighties when she was a diver for Atlantis Submarines and I was a green Co-Pilot. She moved on and we kept in touch through the intervening years. In June of 2003 I met her by chance at the Keahole Kona airport departure lounge. I was seeing off a friend and she was headed to New York for a week before going to the Faroe Islands with a small crew to film a documentary about life there. As they called her flight, she said I should come along as a camera operator, gaffer, interviewer and jack of all trades. They called her flight again, we hugged, I said I’d think about it….and off she went.

A week later I called her room at the Palace Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, from my room at the same hotel and told her I’d see her at the airport the next morning for our connecting flight to Vagar Airport in the Faroes. She was only slightly surprised.

We spent three weeks that summer shooting footage and meeting people and finding our way around some of the most beautiful group of islands on the face of the planet. At breakfast one morning, sitting on the lanai of our rental house in Leynar and close to the end of our trip, we decided that we needed to tell a larger story about the islands and the people that grace them.

Next summer we returned for six weeks and began writing Pilot Whale Fog, a story of a musically gifted boy befriended by a pilot whale in a country where the whales are most often referred to as ‘dinner’. We returned to Hawaii and tried to market our nascent screenplay but truth be told, it needed a lot more work. The seed was there, but it needed water and care. In 2010 through 2012 we spent many days meeting in Kona at the Royal Kona Resort to rewrite, reshape and reboot the screenplay. During those long days, if we found lightning in a bottle and the work went well, we would ask the waitress at the oceanside bar for one of their little plastic monkeys they used to decorate Mai Tai’s. I’ve got a drawer full of them now and the result is a finished product that is a hundred times better than the original. Since then Bonnie has done what she does best and pushed the work, getting it out into the wider world and in front of as many people in the business as is humanly possible.

This October we received word that the screenplay for Pilot Whale Fog had been made an Official Selection at the 2014 International Family Film Festival to be held in early November in Los Angeles. This is thanks to a lot of perseverance on her part and I want to thank her for it on the pages of this blog. That way if she ever does read it, she’ll know that it means a lot to me to have been on the journey with her. I know it’s not the Oscars…yet, but it’s pretty cool. (You can’t get there if you don’t try and if you don’t ask, the answer’s always ‘no’.)

So, thank you, Bonnie. Today’s at least a four monkey day.




Official Selection

Swan Song

1 Jan

100 words to end 2013 in a bad way and start 2014 in a good way. You’ll get my drift eventually, if not now. My gift to fast friends and faithful readers is that you really don’t need to comment on this entry as it is not a story as I understand the definition.

My thanks to Madison Woods for starting Friday Fictioneers and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping it going. I have learned a great deal during my two years of writing here, not the least of which is that less is more. Time to put it to good use. May 2014 be a sweet year for you and your writing projects.  Aloha, D.

Swan Song

First I wrote about a dog that talked the little girl into climbing the tree before a giant sinkhole swallowed their house…. Lassie saving Timmy, I know. Been there, done that.

Next try was about the silly questions women ask men. (Do these pants make my butt look big?) How to alienate half your readers, right? Next.

Talking dog? (Really?) (Not.) Shelved that. Started over.

This is my last attempt.

From high in the gum tree, little Poppy could see swans on the lake in the park next door. Their sweet siren voices called to him…

Rudyard's dog


25 Sep

100 words for Friday Fictioneers and an answer to a few of the comments I received on last week’s story.  (Thanks for all of those.)

Thanks to Mrs. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing her cat herding duties, to Mr. Katzenjammer Voza for the photo prompt (below) for the stories this week, and to me for coming back and talking to me in 1967.  (It hasn’t happened yet, but the intent is there so you never know.)



The old man scared me until I realized that only I could have known the things he told me. When he finished, I believed.

“You’re fourteen now. Work your ass off and save every cent. When Microsoft and Apple go public, buy and keep buying.”

“Is there anything else I should do?”

“The Morrisey twins,” he replied, without hesitation.

“Did you?”

“Never asked. Faint heart and all that. Don’t want you still wondering when you’re seventy.”

“Which is when you first went through the portals?”

“Exactly. Blue door first.”

He handed me an envelope.

“It’s all in here. Have fun.”



Screen shot 2011-10-02 at 12.02.44 AM


One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows

18 Sep

Here is this week’s 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers. It is based on a true story that is happening now and on the photo prompt shown below courtesy of John Nixon. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for winding the ship’s chronometer, to Ben Franklin for my title and to R. A. Heinlein for everything he ever wrote. The stories of all contributors can be found here. Take some time to check them out. Never know what you’ll find.

(For those of you new to Friday Fictioneers, the founder, Ms. Madison Woods, is getting married this weekend. Talk about your ripples in a pond. She has changed many people’s lives for the better, even if she doesn’t know it yet, or modestly denies it.)

Madison, thank you for all that you’ve done. May you find the magic and love you have deserved for so very long. Aloha, D.

One Tomorrow

Life was a holding action in which I could see no future. Seventy years of bad decisions found me worn out and headed straight to hell on a bad road paved with good intentions.

Which is why I paid attention when my doppelganger walked into the store and placed a satchel full of hundred dollar bills on the counter.

He handed me an envelope and one-thousand dollars.

“Tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby. Bet the trifecta, 19-6-5. After you collect, open the letter and follow the instructions. Don’t screw this up. Don’t think. You’ll only hurt yourself. We’ll talk again twice. It’s time.”

Click this link.

Or not.

Because Freedom is Dangerous

28 Aug

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, a gathering of writers from around the world who meet each week in Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s cyber garage  to share their 100 word inspirations based on photo prompts such as the one shown below from Dawn.

This week’s picture is of Union Station in Washington, D.C., a city created by Congress to keep the nation’s Capitol distinct from the states and to provide for its own protection. (Seems they were doing then what they do so well now. Go figure.) It  is also famous for harboring a disproportionate population of vermin whose actions are the subject of my story. (I’ll let you know my cell number as soon as I’ve settled in.)


“Destination, sir?” the TSA agent asked.

The elderly man standing trackside looked his interrogator up and down, taking in the blue and gray uniform rife with none too subtle bells, buttons, whistles and decals.

“Do I know you?”

“I’m a Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team member. We’re authorized to….”

“Visible Intermodal what?”

“VIPER Team, sir.”

“Has it crossed your mind how ridiculous that sounds?”

“The Department of Homeland Security chose the name.”

“Ever wonder who chose theirs?”

“Your destination?”

“My ticket says Denver, but it’s looking more and more like Lubyanka Square, Moscow. ”

“Please come with me, sir.”

House of the Sun

27 Jul

100 words that will last a lifetime.

This offering is for Friday Fictioneers and is inspired by the photograph below. It is one of my favorite views on the planet and was taken from my office (which has no walls but one hell of a window).

Haleakala means House of the Sun in Hawaiian. Its summit is 10,000 feet above sea level and 28,000 feet above the sea bed of the Alenuihaha Channel that separates the island of Maui from the Big Island. The distance from summit to summit is roughly eighty miles and the clouds in the picture top out around 9,000 feet.

Whenever I see this view I think about distance and beauty and love and I imagine.

Life has me very much behind the curve re comments and replies. I know you all understand, but I still feel the need to apologize. Let me encourage those of you who are equally burdened to comment with a simple smiley face or some such thing. Lots of stories, little time. I know that song well.

And this one, too, a missive from a Captain to the beautiful woman who faithfully tends the Hoaaloha lighthouse on Maui’s northern shore.

House of the  Sun

Clouds wreath Haleakala’s regal shoulders and all is bathed in radiance. In lofty solitude I gaze north and west to the place where my heart wanders when I am alone.

In scenes from a serene Haiku I see your bare feet glide with feline grace through lush green grass. I see your shadow waving. I see us hand in hand at night on a beach. Wind and surf sigh and starscapes glitter in our footsteps.

So very close, yet sundered.

From salient to salient on unwavering beams of pure intent I send love and hope for you and yours, always.

White Mountain

(This is the opposite view, looking from Haleakala toward Mauna Kea near dawn.)

Higher Learning

3 Jul

Here’s another 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers, an ever changing group of authors from around the world who use a weekly photo prompt as a catalyst for their work. This week’s photo, shown below, was graciously provided (thank you) by David Stewart. Stories can all be seen here. Check them out or write one yourself or both. Live a little. Stretch your wings. If you’re wondering whether you can, the answer is yes, and it will be awesome.

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for organizing, herding cats, putting up with serials, serial killers, vampires, zombies and her constantly changing and/or misspelled name. She is a diamond in the rough and we are fortunate to have her in the driver’s seat.

Higher Learning

I spent graduation night in the company of pigeons atop the rusty township water tower. Earlier in the day, Mrs. DuBois had given me the quarter credit I lacked but attending the ceremony didn’t feel right.

Much later I realized my parents had given up and that my guidance counselor just wanted her books cleared. I don’t blame them. Somewhere along the tortured road of childhood I’d found a way to escape into myself and even if they’d tried, I wouldn’t have let them in.

 Nothing is ever as it seems.

 Forgive yourself and others.

 Remember to enjoy the view.

Sat outside and looked at the stars

I can attest to the truth of this.

P.S. Do not read on if you are pressed for time.

P.P.S. (You have been warned.)

P.P.P.S. Once I got things sorted out I decided to become a fireman. Here is a short video the photo prompt brought to mind. It is just one of the many skills we were asked to master at the firefighter’s academy.

P.P.P.P.S. I washed out early on and decided to join the navy and become a submariner because I knew that flooding would likely put out all the fires and my ineptitude as a fireman would remain a secret. The rest is history.

P.P.P.P.P.S. Do not click here either.


20 Jun

100 words for Friday Fictioneers, inspred by the photo prompt below, a snapshot of my heart this day.  What price duty, honor, and love?

I hold to the first, retain the second, and have lost the third. From this day forward my life will be a study of endurance in the empty space between.


“The old ways are dead, Annika.”

“The old guard is not.”

“No, but their time approaches. Name one thing you owe them.”

“Allegiance, Gustav. I swore an oath….”

“Keep it and you’ll be shot like a dog when the palace is taken.”

“I’ll not leave my post tomorrow.”

“Then your life will be forfeit. Is there anything you hold more dear?”

“Honor.….and you.”

“Hjärtat, the revolution cannot be stopped. Will you not reconsider?”

“Will you?”

Annika’s tears ceased with the dawn. When the mob charged, she prayed for courage, stood her ground, and put a bullet between her brother’s eyes.

A Case of You

11 Oct

An interlude, as promised to a friend, before an eruption on the island of Santorini.

100 words inspired by Jan Morrill’s photograph for Friday Fictioneers, a rodeo run by head honcho Madison Woods. Click here to read all the stories by authors from around the world. It doesn’t take long and will often transport you to other places and times. What more could you wish for?

This week’s story is for a very special woman enduring great pain for the promise of less. I could get lost in an eternity of moments like this and when I do I sincerely hope to find her there.  

(Click here to listen to the song mentioned in the story, sung by the master storyteller herself, Joni Mitchell. Play it soft and low as you read so you can hear the ancient pulse of the Aegean carried in on the wind.) 

“Will you come early?” she teased.

“No,”  He promised with difficulty.

“I need time.” A smile, an eyebrow arched, breath caught as she moved.

“I’ll give you all that you want….but you must tell me …”

“When I am ready.”

Curtains bellied in on the afternoon breeze that rose from Red Beach to cool the white washed walls of Akrotiri. Joni sang softly in the background, predicting their future.

“And when I am ready?”

She leaned down, golden halo of her hair enveloping him, tasting of the sea, and whispered  in his ear.

“I’m going to drink you like wine.”

Twists and Turns

14 Aug

This afternoon I got into my truck to drive into town and saw Widget, my Australian Heeler, walk out from his place in the shade of the mock orange bushes on the side of the house. He’d come out to see me and the least I could do was return the favor. I got out, knelt down and rubbed the sleep from the corners of his eyes and when he was looking square into mine I asked him to please come find me in heaven. I told him I’m going to need his help and that I hope he’ll meet me whenever I show up. Widget’s brown eyes showed no sign of comprehension, but if you don’t ask, the answer’s always no. So I asked, and personally, I think he’ll be there when the time comes.

Back in the truck and driving down the long driveway past the barn and stables, the arena full of weeds, and out the gate I thought about the time with Widget and about the changes that will happen in my life because of how I spent those two minutes. Each decision changes everything that follows and each day is filled with an almost infinite stream of moments. Twists and turns that lead to….more twists and turns. And whither then? What’s out there waiting round each corner? The only answer is the one the grizzled New Englander whittling on the front porch of the general store gave to the tourist asking whether it was going to rain that day; “Hard tellin’, not knowin'”.

Tomorrow I’m taking grandkids to a resort hotel down on the coast. They want to go on a water slide that corkscrews for a hundred and twenty feet of distance and thirty or so feet of elevation change and empties into a pool near a cave-like grotto. Almost twenty-six years to the day, the very same hotel was about to open its doors to customers and I was doing punch list clean up work for the terrazzo company I was working for. The pools had just been filled and were being inspected for leaks and new hotel staff was being trained. Most of the construction crews were long gone but there was still quite a few workers like myself on the grounds, aware that very soon we were going to have to move on, find other work or take a long unpaid vacation. (A resume of mine had been in the hands of the Operations Manager of Atlantis Submarines in Kona for a few months but that’s another story, and at the time I had no idea what, if anything, was going to happen there.)

Four o’clock rolled by and someone put three garden hoses at the top of the water slide and turned them on full blast. Another someone found a bottle of dishwashing soap and slicked up the first twenty feet of the slide walls with it. Word spread fast and in no time there were about ten construction workers stripped down to their blue jeans and whooping and hollering as they followed each other down that slide to splash into the pool overflowing with soap suds. We were celebrating, that much was clear, but what?  The end of the day? A job well done? The unknown that waited somewhere out ahead of us?

It didn’t take long for someone to chase us out of there, but for a few beautiful minutes we were just kids having a good time, the first of many to come, sliding happily down that slide and headlong into the future. Tomorrow I’m going to have to pay for the pleasure of revisiting my past. My grandkids will think I’m there with them, little knowing that I’ll be time traveling with a big smile on my face, moving backwards along the twists and turns of the past decades until I meet myself one hot afternoon a long time ago, the first guy down the water slide.

(the slide now)