January 27, day 27 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I thought I would get on today’s post early rather than late. It might give my voice a different tone. I’m not always tired and bluesy. If I was a singer, it would be an asset. It would be an honour to be called the Empress of the Blues. But that title belonged to Bessie Smith. She was a renowned blues singer during the Jazz Age. She rose from poverty with a mighty and strong voice. She was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 43 in 1937. Her grave was unmarked until a tombstone was erected on August 7, 1970, paid for by the singer Janis Joplin and Juanita Green, who as a child had done housework for Smith.

Her life is such an interesting story. We each have our own story to tell. They’re equally interesting. It’s in the way of telling and how we feel about our stories. I see stories in pictures. I see pictures in stories. In the same way, I tell my stories – one evokes the other. When I see the photo of our house in China, I remember playing up on the rooftop. I saw my first ghosts there. It wasn’t that I ‘saw’ but rather felt their presence. I remember my mother telling me they’re our ancestors and not to be afraid. I also ‘saw’ someone standing by our bed one evening. It was more of a shadow than anything. At the time I was still sleeping in the same bed as my mother. It was made of boards, covered with quilts. Our pillows were wooden blocks. I don’t remember them being uncomfortable though. Aren’t childhood memories/stories wonderful?

I used to write flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Rochelle is a published author of several books and a watercolour artist. For Friday Fictioneers we write a story of 100 words to a photo prompt. It was a good fit and practice for me. I’ve learned to make every word count and to hone out needless, excessive words. We interact with each other much like on the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You read me, I read me. Then we critique each other – in a positive constructive way. The Dentist is one of my flash fictions that still has the photo prompt in the post. I’ve removed the photo prompt in most of the posts to free up room in my media library.

This is the long and short of my post. Not my best but not my worse. It has a beginning, a middle and an ending. Now I’m off to work on my watercolours. What is your story?


It’s Wednesday and snowing big times here in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It’s a good day for storytelling.  What better venue than the Friday Fictioneers. We like to tell stories of 100 words to a photo prompt.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here is my story.


I sat at the base of the tree, cradled by two roots. I gazed across the pond. Right out there in the middle was where my brother and I got stuck. We were chasing the water buffalo with sticks. We didn’t get very far before we couldn’t go at all. We had to be rescued. Boy, did mother give it to us after! We were soaked and caked in mud.

Those were the good memories. What haunted me still was the memory of my grandmother being publicly humiliated and persecuted by the village under this very tree many years ago.


IMG_2257Some days I’m a bit melancholy – maybe a left-over feeling from childhood days when we were new immigrants.  Can an eight year old feel lost and displaced in Gold Mountain(Canada)?  Where was the gold? In my child’s mind I had expected to see a land filled with colourful balloons and lollypops. There was neither.  It was puzzling.


IMG_2270I felt the smallness of our town, the dirt streets and the emptiness. I felt the smallness of me.  What I remembered the most was the loneliness of my mother.  I did not recognized it as such at the time but rather felt it. I was probably equally as lonely.  We were far away from home and our extended family.  We did not know the language.

It was so many years ago.  Was my memory correct?  Was it true?  Or was it distorted by the clouds, a sleepless night and the moody blues?  The thinking mind can be so deceptive. I have sunnier memories of other days when my mother recount stories from her childhood, of her siblings, her parents and China.  I have a rich and colourful heritage, one to be proud of.

unravelling_300pxI am dusting off the cobwebs and debris of my mind.  I am sweeping them out the door. I’ve finished  unravelling 2014 and now ready to tackle 2015 of Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead.  When I am feeling discouraged, it helps to look back at the seeds I have sown and the rewards reaped the past year.  I have not done a small thing.  Life is not a small thing, but it is made up of many little things.

The evening is here.  There is no sun to set. The day is done.  Time to put thinking aside and rest on my laurels.