Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and has become a moveable feast of word or picture or music prompts to encourage us to write stories, poems, or whatever strikes our fancy.
This month, the prompts are being provided by Charlotte/Mother Owl.
The words this week:
And/or the saying: You can't have your cake and eat it!
"Suri, what's taking you so long?"
Pam stood outside her friend's house, WONDERing why she was so late coming out. Didn't she know they needed to get back to the story?
The girls had dreamed up the idea of writing a book together, and were spending inordinate amounts of time in the tree house discussing, debating, cooking up plot lines and writing out notes.
A good story, they knew, had to have a treasure CHEST in it for starters. Suri wanted the treasure in a LABYRINTH, and Pam held out for a CAVE below the SURFACE of an enchanted mountain. They'd been discussing it in Pam's kitchen while getting a snack, and Pam's mother had suggested a labyrinthine cave, which satisfied them both.
Today they were going to talk about what guarded the cave, and what the Princess (of course there is a princess in every great story, they reasoned) was going to have to overcome to find it.
Suri finally came out to find Pam standing at the edge of the chicken yard, where the best hen in the flock, Miss Betty, was leading a PROCESSION of her chicks. Miss Betty had hatched out the UNHEARD of number of 17 chicks a few days before, and Pam, whose family raised vegetables but not chickens, was endlessly fascinated with them.
"How," Pam asked, as Suri tended to her morning chore of throwing out feed for the flock, "does one mama hen lay that many eggs and hatch them?"
"She doesn't," Suri answered as they watched the flock SWARM the area and start scratching for breakfast.
"When one hen gets broody and is ready to sit on a clutch of eggs, all the others decide to lay their eggs in that same nest and let her do all the work."
"I guess a SWAN wouldn't do that," Pam mused.
Suri looked at her friend. "I don't know about swans. Do we want a swan in the story?"
"Perhaps," Pam said. "Let's go to the tree house and talk about it."
Once the girls were settled in the tree house, each with her notebook and pencil, Pam began to tell Suri about the swans she'd seen at the lake where her family had been on vacation the year before. "They SWAM so beautifully, but they are not very nice birds. They chase people away who get too close to the nests. Maybe the Princess has to get past a Swan that chases everyone away."
"We'll have to add a pond or lake, then," Suri mused, dutifully making note of it.
The girls went on discussing, sometimes writing some lines of dialog, sometimes sketching out how they saw the land they were creating in their imaginations, until they could no longer ignore the DEMAND of their grumbling tummies that told them it must be lunchtime.
Pam's mother had fixed lunch for them that day, as the girls were so much together that summer the moms had agreed to just alternate the midday meals from one house to the other. Both were enjoying listening as the girls would tell them about the stories and how it was going. The girls were convinced they were writing a bestseller, and neither mom wanted to disabuse them of the notion or call it WISHFUL thinking.
"Girls, don't forget to load your dishes in the dishwasher," Pam's mom said as she got ready to go start a load of laundry. "And how about the two of you spend some time this afternoon helping me weed the vegetable garden."
"But mom, we were heading back to the tree house!" Pam pleaded.
"Girls, you need fresh air and sunshine and Suri does her chores at home with the chickens and other things, Pam, you need to do your chores, too. The weeding is getting behind, we can work together and you can talk while you work. Trust me, a change of venue will help you come up with more ideas," Pam's mom was insistent.
"Plus, you can't eat your cake and have it, remember."
"What does that mean?" Suri asked.
"That's what mom says when we want to do one thing and she wants us to do something else," Pam explained, and her mother laughed.
"I guess I never have explained that to you, have I? It means you can't have two incompatible things, like a whole summer to just do what you want and neglect your duties."
The whole summer, between chores and trips to the pond to swim, and even some bicycle riding and games, Suri and Pam worked on their story.
When school started up again, they had less time, and as months turned to years, the friends ideas about what made for a good story changed. Their friendship didn't, though, and their mothers still treasure those old notebooks, yellowed and faded and full of young girls' daydreams.
Armed Forces Day -- Mali
Camcorder Day -- five companies agreed, this day in 1982, to cooperate and construct a camera with a built in VCR
Celtic Tree Month Beth (Birch) ends
Coffee Break Day
Day of National Mourning -- Azerbaijan (a/k/a Martyrs' Day)
Festival of Jubilation for Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate, in Busiris)
Heroes Day -- Cape Verde; Guinea-Bissau (death anniversary of Amilcar Cabral)
La Tamborrada de San Sebastian -- San Sebastian, Spain (24 hours of drumming, begun last evening)
National Buttercrunch Day
National Cheese Lover's Day
National Granola Bar Day
National Disc Jockey Day -- listed lots of places, but no particular reason given for the choice of date
Penguin Awareness Day -- lots of celebrating, but no history of who started it
Sacrifices to Athena -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)
Stay Young Forever Day -- celebrate the child in all of us, do something fun
St. Sebastian's Day (Patron of archers, armorers, arrowsmiths/fletchers, athletes, bookbinders, diseased cattle, dying people, gardeners, gunsmiths, hardware stores, ironmongers, lace makers/lace workers, lead workers, masons, plague victims, police officers, Pontifical Swiss Guards, raquet makers, soldiers, stone masons/stone cutters; several cities, but especially of Rio de Janiero, Brazil and San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, where today is marked with celebrations; against cattle disease, enemies of religion, plague)
Take a Walk Outdoors Day -- unless it's storming, a good way to get some exercise
Skeet Ulrich, 1969
Rainn Wilson, 1966
James Denton, 1963
Lorenzo Lamas, 1958
Bill Maher, 1956
David Lynch, 1946
Dorothy Provine, 1937
Arte Johnson, 1934
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, 1930
Patricia Neal, 1926
Otis Dewey "Slim" whitman, 1924
Federico Fellini, 1920
DeForest Kelley, 1920
Joy Adamson, 1910
George Burns, 1896
Harold Lincoln Gray, 1894
Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, 1889
Carolus Linnaeus, 1778
André-Marie Ampère, 1775
Richard Henry Lee, 1732
"Meet the Beatles"(Album, US release), 1964
Today in History:
The first elected English Parliament called into session by the 6th Earl of Leicester, and meets in the Palace of Westminster (a/k/a Houses of Parliament), 1265
The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored, 1502
The Casa Contratacion (Board of Trade) is founded in Spain to deal with American affairs, 1503
The cornerstone of Amsterdam town hall laid, 1648
The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Botany Bay is unsuitable for the location of a penal colony, and decides to move to Port Jackson, 1788
China cedes Hong Kong to British, 1841
L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster, 1885
The first full length talking motion picture filmed outdoors is released, "In Old Arizona", 1929
Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin deciding on "final solution" calling for extermination of Europe's Jews, 1942
The first atomic submarine, USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut, 1955
Witnesses report sightings of a Bottlenose whale swimming in the River Thames, the first time the species had been seen in the River Thames since records began in 1913, 2006
A three-man team, using only skis and kites, completes a 1,093-mile (1,759 km) trek to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility for the first time since 1958 and for the first time ever without mechanical assistance, 2007
Austria votes to maintain compulsory military service in a referendum, 2013