Death to the Adverbs at the Grocery Store

Today’s Prompt for Writing 101: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.


This morning was my grocery shopping trip for the month. The prices of foods and other products have gotten ridiculous. Some of the items I often buy have risen in cost by 50%. Now, that’s killing me.

When I go to the grocery store I am not looking for anything to inspire me (sorry WP University).

I go to the grocery store to do my “hunting and gathering thang.” My mind and eyes are focused on the items that are on my list and on finding the best “deal” possible (which may or may not include the cheaper brands).

Grocery shopping has become much harder over the years. One thing I notice more and more now regarding shopping for groceries is that prices for the products are ambiguous. They don’t make it easy to read what the prices of the products are. Because of that, you have to be on your toes when you are checking out to make sure the products you are purchasing are indeed the prices you thought they were.

When I have finished my hunting and gathering and then gallup to the check out stands, this is when I feel like the cashier and I are face to face in a shoot-out and I have to focus on the task at hand. My right hand hoovers over my price pistol in my pocket along with my insistence that they help me bag my groceries and place them inside the basket.

Many times (literally) I have had to stop cashiers in the middle of their work because the price was not what I thought it was or the price in the computer system wasn’t changed to the “on sale” price. This is very irritating.

Some grocery stores (Walmart, to be exact), do not want you watching the prices going into the register. Instead, they are insisting that you sack the groceries and put them in your basket as they are doing the scanning. My answer to this is, “NO. I am going to watch the prices going into the register and the cashier IS going to help me bag the groceries and then help put them in my basket. Those checkers do not want to help you with bagging and placing the bags into the basket, insist they do it anyway.



Ryan Lance Writing Prompt 03-09-2015

A Raise to Dread

Randall got a raise today. He would like to be happy about it but isn’t.

Randall and his ex-wife have been fighting for weeks over her alimony payments. She wants more money, it’s always about more money. He tries to get across to her that he doesn’t have it to give her.

They were both smitten with each other when they were in seniors in high school. She was the first girl he had ever dated. Randall was aware that many of the other boys in his class wanted to date her but she was dating him, exclusively, and he was proud. So very proud.

His mother warned him time after time, “Watch out for those pretty ones, son. They’ll get you in the end.”

Randall didn’t believe her for a minute. Not Elaina, she was beautiful and sweet and everything he wanted in a girl. Six months after their high school graduation, they were married.

That was five years ago, and now they are divorced. Maybe it was because Randall couldn’t make enough money to keep her happy. Or maybe she just stopped loving him. Didn’t really matter to him anymore. You don’t count chickens that don’t hatch.

Whenever he even thinks about her his head starts pounding, like a hammer that’s timed with the second hand of the clock.

Finally, with trembling hands, he picks up the phone and dials her number to give her the news she craves and he dreads.


Ryan Lance’s Writing Prompt:

Write a scene about an increase in pay that someone is not looking forward to.



Ryan Lanz’ Writing Prompt – 1/21/2015

* Start a scene with, Clock’s aren’t suppose to stand still like that. Ryan Lanz


“Clocks aren’t suppose to stand still like that! What the hell is wrong with this place?”

“What do you mean clocks aren’t suppose to stand still like that? That’s a grandfather’s clock.”

“No man, I mean, well, I mean that clock is standing still.”

“Of course it is standing still, it’s a grandfather’s clock.”

“I don’t know what a grandfather’s clock is. Where I am from, clocks don’t stand still. They move. They dance and sing and stuff. They interact with all the parts that are within and with the ticking of the second hand. They DON’T stand still!”

“Wow man, where the hell are you from?”

“Third galaxy to the right about 5 million light years away and the planet, Bortheo, the fourth planet from our main sun.”

“So, dude, how old does that make you? “


Kind of silly, I know, but it was fun to write. So, I hope you all enjoyed it. ~PJ~ Would you like to join the fun?

Check out Ryan’s post: Writing Prompts-Court Jester


Finish the Story 1-19-15

They finally made their escape.

“That was a close call mi amor.” Roberto clasped Rosa’s hand and pulled her closer to him.

“Si, I am so glad we were able to get away from him. He would never let me marry you. I just couldn’t tell him I was carryin’ su bebe’. He would kill me.”

Rosa took one hand and placed it on her stomach, “I will be showing before long and could not have kept it a secret any longer.”

“Today is the beginning of our life together mi amor.”

Roberto reached down and picked up the lightest backpack and handed it to Rosa.

When the ‘coyote’s’ jeep pulled over to pick them up, Roberto made sure the money he had been saving was still in his pocket.

“We have a long journey, but first, we must get ourselves across this border.”

“Si, Roberto, first things first.”

~149 words

This is my first attempt at “Monday’s Finish the Story” challenge, hosted by babso2you. The challenge is to write a story with 100-150 words. We are given the first sentence for the story and a photo prompt. If you are interested in joining this challenge please click on this blog:

Monday’s Finish the Story


Sunday Photo Fiction Jan 11, 2015

“Why is it when something wonderful happens it turns out to bite me instead? Why does this crap keep happening to me?”

I sat on my bed holding my blue journal wishing I could write about something wonderful happening to me without it turning to stab me in the back. My heart felt like it was in my throat, restricting my breathing. I keep gasping trying to suck through the lump in my throat so I can inhale air into my lungs. It releases. The tears come, streaming down my cheeks.

The silent voice is taunting me, “Stop it. You’re just feeling sorry for yourself!’

“Shut-up Shut-up!” I scream, sobbing breathlessly. “Just shut-up!”

My inner voice whispers, “People will disappoint you. It happens and there is nothing you can do to change it. Remember, you have to change yourself.”

Suddenly, my tears stop. That is true. I cannot change other people, I can only change myself. But, what is it that I need to change about myself?

In my concentration to figure out what I need to change, I remember these comforting words,

“Someday, your ship will come in.”

Sinking further into my pillow, I begin thinking about ‘my ship’.

~200 Words~

This story is submitted for the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge hosted by Sunday Photo Fiction. The challenge is to write a story of 200 words.

If you are interested in learning more, or would like to join, please click on this url:



The First Fright

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First!.”

My first day of blogging was a “leap of faith.” Literally. I had no idea what I was doing. My beginning posts (poor ones, at that) explained that I was new and had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to do this, or that.. it was terrifying.

In fact, the first time I got a reply from my first post, it frightened me. I thought…”You mean people actually read this!?” With that thought, I felt paralyzed as what to write next. “Whatever I write on this blog, anyone.. anyone in this whole world.. can read it!” That thought was mind numbing, at the very least.

Because I am such a private person, it was difficult to think of things to write about. Things to write about that felt safe to me. The whole “blog thing” felt like a “coming out party.” Coming out to the whole world that I exist and that I have things to say that “some” people might even find interesting.” But it also felt like I was putting myself out there as a vulnerable, self-conscience person that could be rejected and hurt in this blogosphere.

I am very thankful for those people that started following me and has continued following me and has given me so much positive support (Mark Bialczak, thank you!).

Because of this, when I come across a new blogger on WordPress, I try and follow them and give them positive support so they will grow and blossom as a blogger among the WordPress family blogworld. If they don’t know how to do something and I do know, I try to help them. (Because I remember how desperately I needed other people’s help).

All of us had a first time here and a first day here. We remember what that was like. I hope we all take the initiative to help the newbies overcome the “First Fright.”

Thank you for reading and wishing you the best in the new year ahead. ~PJ~

HappyHappy JoyJoy

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happy Happy Joy Joy.”

The last time I cried tears of joy? Frankly, I don’t usually cry tears of joy, with the exception of the birth of my children. Those tears came each time I held my beautiful and healthy new baby in my arms. They were tears of joy mixed with tears of relief (the painful labor was over) and the wonderful result was lying in my arms.

I do remember crying tears of joy and relief when I realized the severe depression and paranoia I had been suffering with for years had finally lifted and I could, in fact, feel joy again. My depression had slowly consumed me. It felt as though I was in a pit and suddenly the bottom fell out.

I will never take feeling joy for granted. Not after what I went through. For a very long time I felt that I would never smile again, much less feel joy again.

Many people do not realize that those who suffer severe depression do not have the control to shut it off at their own will. It consumes you and takes control. It does not allow you to “just turn it off.” Particularly if it is caused by a chemical imbalance. In order to overcome it, it takes an enormous amount of work and the correct medication. I believe doctors have become better trained for mental illness and chemical imbalances and that medications have evolved to produce much more satisfying results than they did in years past.

This post is suppose to be about joy and not depression. But, how do you know what joy feels like if you do not also know the pain of sadness?

I can safely say, without a doubt, that true joy is priceless.

To each person reading this, I wish you a very Happy New Year and I wish you the best of everything wonderful.

Peace, Love, JOY and Hugs