The Rose of Sharon

A flaxen haired, grinning girl perches among the robins and crows. She peers into the mist waiting for me. The girl is my Other, materialized from lifetimes ago.  Her name is Sharon, meaning “plain.”

I write furious first drafts about her. Sometimes Sharon is an angry, scared teenager screaming for release. Other times she is a little white girl among a nation of Navajo kindergartners.

Once Sharon dreamed she was a Roma gypsy child hungry for freedom from filth and destiny. She woke up stranded on a lonely road and taken in by a dark circus. She dreams of fame and flamenco dancing with Carmen Amaya.

Image courtesy of Danka and Peter

In response to Tale Weaver by Mindlovemisery Menagerie



Hummingbird Feeder

Instant coffee, thin and pale, filled a dirty mug. Deck of Uno and a waiting game of Kings in the Corner sat across from her. Outside her ancient window, Gertrude would watch the hummingbirds spin around like a colorful mobile.

The webs the birds would spin wove delicate lace trim, like her wedding dress so many lives before. Her husband’s name still on the shack door although the Harley doesn’t visit there anymore.

The breath of her four sleeping grandchildren keep time with dreams of sunnies caught down by the docks of the resort, just a stone’s throw away.

Inspired by the Photo Challenge at MindloveMisery’s Menagerie

Buckholderia terrae

This is an camera shot taken by submarine from an area assumed to be inaccessible to humans. However, given that the full moon is in retrograde, our team was able to pay off the seadog creature guard at the mouth of the cave, Bukholderia terrae, to gain access. At first thought to be a sea snail covered in ice and rock, we were tipped off by today’s horoscope in the Daily Reader.

What you are looking at is evidence that the origin of our species is not an ape, but a creature with bright yellow hair, icy growths along its sides and mouth area. When country music is vibrated through the water and into its fur, our ancestor emits a yodel in response. This specialized yodeling sends a complex message to the creatures around it causing them to smile and sing kumbaya. The snail is incidental and probably just lunch.

Inspired by a writing prompt at Mindlovemisery Menagerie


“Flower Caught in Ice”

I find Beauty in…

 in the ordinary, familiar places

 the quiet moments in the morning before anyone stirs.

when I breathe in deep.  

the rituals and habits we embrace at home that no other place could possibly offer.

stealing a kiss from Shawn’s lips as I make my way out the door for another work day. 

the lunches that he packs with love.  

night when we reach for each other and find the other there.

biting air because it is clean.

warmer weather than I experienced up North.

Created in response to Mindlovemisery’s Photo Challenge #152

A Winter Tale

It’s been awhile since I have participated in one of MindloveMisery’s challenges. My fingers wouldn’t lose their grip on the keyboard, so I present to you a story:

The day that my grandmother Trudy died, I heard her say goodbye. I wasn’t near her. I was riding my bike in mud puddles and following little rivulets along the street to the drain. I told I think my mother that I had heard her but she didn’t even show disbelief. My exulansis formed an invisible barrier between me and her. The force field was almost imperceptible, but I could tell it was there by the look of incredulity on her face.

The barrier allowed me by invisible permission to escape from regular familial obligations like spending time watching sports in the basement or even the responsibility of watching my sisters. My favorite place to regather was my small single room with full control of the heater in an otherwise uninsulated house, or in a vacant and ancient bedroom when we were at the grandparents for Sunday dinner.

I was searching for Truth like the Bible had mentioned in sections like Psalms and Proverbs. I hadn’t gotten the “memo” on how to gain acceptance from the family. Perhaps in an inadvertent way, those crystalline moments were assumed to be diabolic in nature. I didn’t see the connection between saying the Rosary and grace, nor confessing my sins to a man whom I had no spiritual connections to.

I had been raised with the help of Miss Manners and grandma’s rules to be polite at the dinner table. To never speak what I really meant until I had located the correct filter and tucked in my white blouse into an ankle length black skirt to address a Latin teacher after school I was forced to take classes from (deep, cleansing breath.)

Six years later, I produced a likeness in a operating room in Duluth, MN. There was little fanfare and although I had been given a haircut by a visiting aunt, I left the hospital seven days later resembling a prisoner of war. We didn’t have a car and the hospital refused to let her leave in a car seat, his sister came to pick us up and drop us off at our duplex just across the parking lot from where she was born.

Our bedroom was at the back of the ground floor apartment. The neighbor upstairs had a habit of screaming at the top of her lungs out the window. I can still hear her stomping across the room, could feel her seething with confused rage.

Her crib was across from our air pump mattress, scattered clothes and tools made the room feel so small. A hoarder’s mess. The room had a screened in door that could not be locked against the night, the frozen air came and went as it pleased. So she often slept with me, locked upon my breast every two hours. I dreamed of the connection we would share. No invisible barrier made from small town religion and poverty.

I would tuck her into a Snugli and zip her up with a huge coat against the wind when we went out. Just days old, but so adroit at finding her milk. Few I think knew that she traveled as she did before birth as the bus lurched up each ice hill.

When he couldn’t find a job, we moved back home to the small neighborhood where we first met. I let family hold her in the hope that her small body with milky breath would soften their hearts towards me. I drank up hope only to drown later from the threat of Purgatory.


Image by Jordan Whitt

Saturday Show & Tell

Persephone Knits

A special guest Show & Tell!


Rochelle Campbell has a BA in Written Communications with an emphasis on Digital Media. The SciFi End of the Supernatural will be her fourth published book. It will be available on January 30th in both print and e-book on Amazon and CreateSpace.

We met online during the #Storydam Writer’s Group, and her productivity and attitude are a great fit for the Saturday Show & Tell. (You can find her on twitter @NotebkBlogairy.)

JR: You started in journalism and public relations. Can you talk a little about how those experiences from your early writing career shaped who you are as an author today?

RC: Sure!  I think you’re the first to ask me about those yesteryear experiences! The main thing journalism did for my current writing was force me to think of plot – What’s the story?  My editor, at The City Sun

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