Monday, September 29, 2014

Pet News 10: Oh, those Pearly Whites

We’re always so worried about our teeth that we don’t stop and think that our pets deserve them too.

As a guardian, it’s important to brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week. Brush one tooth at a time. Cats can benefit in brushing their teeth, too.

Make sure you use toothpaste made for dogs (or cats). Do not use human toothpaste. Dogs can’t spit out the stuff and it could cause stomach upset.

On the days you don’t brush, you can rinse your dog’s teeth with water or purchase a special spray for the gums and teeth.

Make sure to take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental check-up and cleaning once a year, especially if you have been watching for signs of tooth decay and discoloration of the gums. 

Always start early when your pet is a puppy to get them used to brushing their teeth. Use your finger at first and do the motions as if using a dog toothbrush, then, wean the actual toothbrush.

Dogs love the attention. Just watch those fingers of yours!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Quote 10

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.
-Jane Goodall

When I arrive to work, I think about how important it is to treat others respectfully, how everyone is important and has something of benefit to share.

Though, at times, we may find ourselves working with an individual who might make it difficult to acknowledge any of our input, we should behave in a well-mannered way.

Yet, when I get home and sit myself down to write, I know the characters I write are individuals, too. They matter as much as the people we come in contact with everyday do.

Our quest as a writer is to find what role each character plays in our stories. What kind of a difference do they make for our protagonist’s goals? What will they share? How do they behave? Where do they fit in the overall plot? How do they relate to each other?

Many more questions might enter your mind when creating these individuals. In a way, they come to life for us and help build a world.

After all, stories are a reflection of the world we inhabit. So, why not think of them as real?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Short Stories & Such: Retirement Party Food Fight

Retirement Party Food Fight

Everyone cheered as I stepped into the staff lounge. All kinds of faces stared at me. Their little twinkling eyes and recently whitened teeth suffocated me.  My only salvation was the ridiculously huge banner’s reminder that it had been 40 years of the same job. God only knew I was ready to retire.
My coworkers, on the other hand, must have been glad to take some time off from their duties and throw this party’ cake and ice cream… the whole bit.
“Speech! Speech! Speech!”
Of course it was going to come to this. I might as well join the festivities and take this opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing commemoration of the end of the line. I wasn’t going down alone, though.
“I’d like to thank each and every one of you for this joyous occasion. You don’t know how much it means to me to know there are people who will miss me.”
“Ahh, chucks!”
“Keep going Alexis!”
“Nevertheless, I want to repay you by telling a story. Please, bear with me.”
I looked around the room and I spotted him. How fitting it all seemed. The gray streaks of hair on the side of his temples circled toward the back like a skunk’s tail.
“There was a time that I believed everybody’s business was their own, until Facebook showed up and taught me otherwise.”
The mass laughed and clanged their glasses of ginger ale and soda.
“Learning to Google and all that has brought to my attention certain events I would rather forget… events where a certain individual posted photos of himself spanking a life size gorilla doll wearing the mask and underwear I designed for the advertisement shot a week later.”
Suddenly, the room fell quiet and all eyes met mine. It was not easy standing in front of everyone who confided in me for the past years, but this dark secret must be told.
“That individual is Mr. Ryan, our boss.”
They all turned to witness the reddening cheeks of Mr. Ryan.
“He ruined the chance for me to sell the contract and step up the ladder.”
Some shook their heads and skewed their faces in disgust. They understood.
Mr. Ryan backed away from the center and picked a sandwich from the snack table. He threw it in my direction. I ducked, but it hit the person in front of me. She turned and threw something back, then, everyone started a massive food fight. I hunkered in a corner while glasses were tossed high in the air. Only the sound of sirens echoing in the distance broke it up.
They found Mr. Ryan covered in lettuce, cream, and other pastries. If only my coworkers knew the truth. Mr. Ryan was not the sort of man to offend anybody, but it gave me great satisfaction to see he get his “just desserts” for making me retire before my prime. 

You can read the original version on Writer’s Digest under 'Chilo" for the February 28, 2012 Writing Prompt at

Monday, September 8, 2014

Books I’m Reading 10

Unforgettable by Loretta Elsworth is a novel about a teenage boy named Baxter Green who has a photographic memory and who remembers everything. Due to his gift, the mother’s boyfriend takes advantage of Baxter’s abilities and steals money from a bank. The Greens move to a new location where the man can’t find them, but that is where things get interesting...
Cy in Chains by David L. Dudley is a novel that takes place after the Civil War and is about an African American named Cy Williams who is wrongly accused of a crime and sent to live and work in a labor camp.

Real talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith. Veteran teacher, Esquith, writes about the hard core truth about teaching and provides advice to become the best model students would ever have. He includes tips for trying something new every year, teaching students self-control, learning from mistakes, remaining calm, and finding your voice as a teacher. He also delves into the education system being flawed and that teachers have been portrayed as ‘bad’ before society by the media when it shouldn’t be. He even explains why he doesn’t believe everyone is equal and how we should think everyone deserves to be treated equally. Overall, great book!

Monday, September 1, 2014


Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

If you haven’t browsed through the site, check it out. About every month I include a short story, poetry, pet news, and such for reading.

Hope you’re having a good Labor Day Weekend!

Note: Speaking of poetry, My poem "Only Live in Americas" is posted on the San Gabriel Valley Poetry website at

Monday, August 25, 2014

Writing Endeavors 7: Updates

So what’s been going on with my writing?

A lot =)

I’m reading lots of fiction and writing books.

I’ve completed my first revision to my thriller about a woman locating her kidnapped children. I’m thinking of doing a second revision to the father and son drama I completed previously.

And I’m putting together a collection of Spanish and English poetry for a manuscript.

Yep, I think I got my hands full.

Sometimes I ask myself how I do it, but I’m finding out that the more I get into a routine, the better off I am at staying focused and writing. I just hope it continues…

That adage: “Just do it” really holds a lot of weight.

I know what you’re going to say: when will my book come out?

I wish I had a definite answer to that. I’m enjoying the revision part of my writing. I also have a goal to get the novel the best I can make it. Maybe I’m aiming too high, but “patience is a virtue!”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Death as Metaphor 12: Dreams and the Grave

Poetry can help individuals sort through their traumas and losses. It can help share and express their deepest thoughts.

Feelings of loss may be represented with symbols of ash or dust in a dream. When one loses an important person through death, they must deal with the departure. Dreams help create metaphorical symbols to explain the pain. Sometimes, dreams that revolve around death may be about the dreamer’s own mortality, at other times, the dreams are not about death but about the future, life changes, fear of the inevitable circumstances such as retirement or divorce.

W.S. Merwin wrote in his poem, “Some Last Questions” ( that ash and body parts represent how we put them to good use in life and our eventual death. Violence in dreams may end in death and can symbolize the person’s inner turmoil between good and evil, a failure or judgment of character, including guilt.

Symbols for death vary and may be used to associate the coming of death, going back to death, rebirth, an accidental death, the afterlife, and may even mean life.

The personal grave is another symbol for death and dying. The grave or tombstone in a cemetery is the symbolic representation of the deceased and helps transform our attitude toward death. It leads to a connection between present and future unknown. For example, the person visiting the grave site of the deceased recalls certain events and characteristics of the dead. Graves and things associated with cemeteries are used as metaphors to symbolize different forms of loss and pain. Through memories, one connects the past with the present and learns to make meaning from the future without the presence of the dead.