Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Decima Italiana poem and one line story opening

--Writing Prompts Responses:


1.       Poetic Asides, Writer’s Digest, January 2016, decima Italiana (10 eight-syllable lines with the rhyme scheme:  ababcdedec.

The Costs of Spring in February

Early Spring in February

Makes the tourists hum with vigor.

The locals, though, feel contrary,

Knowing what such heat can trigger—

A boiling June too soon will come

And with it, days that never end,

But blister on from dawn to dusk,

Burning faces that will not mend.

So to their doctors they will fuss

About the costs, they won’t be mum.


2.       Enter your story, Writer’s Digest, February, 2016—the opening sentence in 25 words or less (to visual prompt of a red VW bug in a sunset landscape).


As dusk approached, I hurried back to the farm, seeing the red VW, its motor running high with no one in sight for miles.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Old Man of the Cafe

Prompt response to Hemingway’s Iceberg from The Creative Writer’s Notebook.


Exposed iceberg:

In the café, Jerry studies the doctor’s report online.  He’s looking for hints of the number of years he has left.  Hoping to make it to seventy, he picks up the Wall Street Journal and tosses it into the garbage can. [written after the Water Line]


Water Line:

A man of sixty-plus years sits alone at the café table.  His neatly trimmed beard of mostly white hair partly covers his neck and black baseball hat shades his eyes from the sunlight. Wearing khaki shorts with no socks and black and white Converse, his legs are splayed around the table.  He swirls the cup of his half-filled iced coffee. Then takes a bite of his crumb cake with his right hand.  Wiping his fingers on his shorts, he begins taping on his tablet and glances at the newspaper.  Shrugging his black hoodie over his shoulders, he gets up and throws the paper in the garbage.  Folds down his computer tablet, carrying it under his left arm, and opens the door with his bent back.  A January wind blows the door open.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Journey to the Farmers' Market

Going to the Farmers’ Market could be a long walk or short drive.  Because of the six pins and metal plate in my right ankle, I prefer the short drive.  Heading to the market, my husband and I pass a strip mall, an elementary school, renovated apartments and the University of Arizona Village Farm.  I see a sign at the farm.  It says “Mushrooms Workshop This Afternoon.”  I smile, imagining bobbing mushroom caps, busy like Santa’s elves, in a workshop shed. 

It’s mid-morning in January and the market, across the street from the adobe church is bustling.  A variety of people and dogs parade around the canvas covered stalls.  At both ends of the market, stone fountains spout towers of water.  A few children dip their hands into the cool pools.  Their parents pull them back.

I purchase two half-pound bags of fresh pasta.  I buy a tan baseball cap for my husband.  It carries the brand name of the market:  FoodinRoot.  Together, we select three shiny red tomatoes and a two-palm sized head of lettuce, picked that morning from the university farm.  Damp roots still cling to the green globe.  We visit a favorite Greek food vendor and pay ten dollars for quinoa tabbouleh and eight stuffed grape leaves.  Tonight’s dinner is complete.  Our bag is full of items and we stroll to the nearby financial bank to replenish our wallets.

On the way home, traffic is light and we take Limberlost Road past one hundred sixty acres of the university’s animal research farm.  This autumn’s calves chew grass in one field.  Scattered horses stand in the shade of a dusty field.  A bicyclist on the road signals left.  Winter’s noon sun is soft and slanted.  Full of its light, the fields open against our desert’s blue skies.  We are almost home.

[Exercise for Pace (sentence length) from The Creative Writer’s Notebook/Hemingway Section.]
FoodinRoot Farmers' Market, St. Philip's Plaza, photo by anita fonte


Monday, January 11, 2016

from the headlines

Using a prompt from Austin Kleon's book, The Steal Like and Artist Journal, to use words from newspaper headlines, here is today's product (1/11/16)

Walls of kindness circle,
changing the world.
Canyons protect the weaker.
The strong continue life.
Mercy makes a difference
for pain is gaining fast.

 my artwork 12/15

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Poem

Wrote a short poem today (12/2014) in response to a prompt to write about hope, entitled "Hoping Today" (for New Year's 2015) and it is also a good way to begin 2016.

I hope for health for me and thee.
I hope for birds singing in a mesquite tree.
I hope for love for family and friends.
I hope for faith that never ends.
A new year brings snow in the mountains.
Icicles form on the edge of cement fountains.
I bundle up to take a walk
Then stay inside to write and talk.
This is a pattern I hope to repeat
With singing heart and dancing feet.
I hope you too find a way to start
This sparkling new year with an open heart.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Little Daily Miracles

author (in striped blouse) Grant School, 6th grade
Little Daily Miracles (a response by a.c.fonte to a prompt in The Creative Writer’s Notebook)

“Write a short piece using the following lines from [Virginia] Woolf’s To The Lighthouse for inspiration:  “Little daily miracles”--

My little daily miracles:  waking up in a warm bed, listening to rare rain on the roof, feeling Gray, our cat, press his back against my ankles.  Later, the miracle of a hot tea bag infusing my cup with the sweet scent of bergamot, stimulating my senses and brain.  I read the newspaper—skimming the bad parts of terrorism, disease and dipping stock market—to savor movie reviews and comics.

A toaster is a miracle of engineering. It takes a piece of plain bread, warms it, browns the lightly sugared flour into an inviting picture of texture and taste.  I sprinkle a mixture of three grated cheeses over one thinly buttered side of the toast and bite into it. 

Now I am back in Elgin, Illinois where whiffs of early morning black coffee beckon me to the breakfast table.  My mom is pouring her last cup from the McGraw Hill plug-in coffee pot and watches me eat my toast.  It’s Saturday, and my dad is outside shoveling the overnite layer of snow from our slick driveway so my mom can go to work.  He will get groceries from Gromer’s and take two bags of requested items to my Grandparents.  They live on a small farm about fifteen minutes away and their driveway will need to be shoveled, too.  While my mom manages a busy day of pre-Christmas Saturday shopping at Ben Franklin’s Store, my sister and I will go with my dad on errands and be greeted at the farm by our Grandmother who has just finished baking sugar cookies.

All this is rediscovered in today’s toast, eaten at a small table with my husband in Tucson, Arizona.  Marcel Proust was right:  taste is a miracle of memory.


(325 words 12/12/15)


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Excerpt from "Family Members"

I wrote three descriptions (this is one of them) in response to a prompt from The Creative Writer's Notebook, complied by John Gillard.  In the style of James Joyce, the prompt was to write descriptions with a word count that matched the person's age in years and offeres a variety in sentence length.

Mark (age/word count 64):  As my husband ages, years of riding a motorcycle collapse his upper body into a permanent curve.  I worry about his heart.  Is it getting stuffed into the pillow of his stomach?  His feet itch from a fungus that also crusted his fingers.  But it's not all bad. The fingers have healed. And now he is more open to what lies beyond the desert road.