Photo: Tell the World

Tell the World 

"'So to reveal myself, that was a big hurdle -- not only to be the center of attention, but saying, Look at what I've created. Do you like it? As you know, everyone has an opinion. But I've been through a lot in my life, and I have a thick skin. I learned to trust my gut early on. I knew that I was on the right tracking writing songs and performing, knew that it was going to open up for me. I trusted myself.'"

-- artist Ray Lamontagne, from an article by Eric Snider, Tampa Bay Creative Loafing, April 2009.

Today's Truth:  Trust yourself.

C.A. MacConnell


From the Show Horse

Hey everyone. Fine tuning poems is good practice for writing fiction -- helps me create voices, sharpen my mind, tune in on the small stuff, focus, etc. I'm glad I have my roots in poetry. This is one of my favorites. From the point of view of the horse. Love, C.A.

From the Show Horse

Reaching. Stretching. My neck. For hay, for grain.
I get the green hay, which is better.
My field friend, J.J., gets the yellow.
Last night, out with the boys, I heard that the white mare, Lily,
is having a baby. No,
it wasn't me. They won't let me near her,
but she's lucky. The big man feeds her
the sweet feed kind, which is like dessert,
so she'll probably gain...
a couple hundred. At her old home, her real name
was Emmi Snow, but nobody liked it
except for me.
It's sweaty in the barn, but we go outside after breakfast.
On the way, some don't have manners,
because they're mad at
inside. I don't mind. I know it's not
forever. When my shoulders lock up, I kick the stall wall,
and I chew on the wood. I can't stop chewing some days.
All the dark-haired ones tell me fast, soft words
that it's gonna be all right. The funniest man with the hat
cleans my dirty. I think he came from
somewhere. Then he stops and turns into smoke.
Then he rides on loud machines and gives me
an extra soft bed, and maybe his apple core, which is
happiness. But on the quiet day after two days of busy,
sometimes he doesn't show up.
And when he comes back, I think he might die,
but he gets better.
I thought I was going outside, but here comes my girl.
I lick some salt from the block and
stand tall. Keep going. For her. Today in the barn,
she leads me again. I’d follow her anyhow,
but she uses the rope. I breathe on her neck,
placing my hooves down; the right front stings a little
from the shoe man, but I won't tell her. I take it easy
on the right, tight side. Man, the work. But seeing her,
I come alive, feeling her fingers stroke and brush my black
mane. Mom had that shade too. One day, they put her
on the small barn with wheels, and she never came back.
J.J. always tells me they sent her to a rest farm, but he looks
backwards when he says it. I know she went to the
killers. I'm big, though. I'm five now.
Yesterday, the skinny vet came. I like that one. His hands
are soft, but bony and gentle. I don't like the fat one, or the one
who does my shoes. I admit I tried to kick him once.
My back has almost healed from the jumping crash,
but on rainy days,
my girl brushes me longer
than she should, just to be sure. I guess she knows
I'm still achy. I guess she knows that I was
trying, that the wreck wasn't my fault. Suddenly it hits me –
the sharpest air. Storm’s coming. I hear 32 hooves
shift at once. The oldest one and the sick one call out
warnings, always a dead giveaway. My girl cleans me,
and I know she thinks I'm handsome. Then she sweeps
the aisle, making cloudy dust. Each moment my body
is awake, I move for her. Even when I can’t feel my muzzle,
when it’s too cold to sneeze, I move for her. Later, if I stay in,
when the barn is dark, I spend minutes,
hours rocking
in the stall. Can’t sleep, can’t see, and if I lie down,
she might worry with morning. I listen to her breath,
letting it lift me, balancing steadily, without the wall.
I guess I love her, enough to know I don’t love another,
enough to recall the one who jerked me around. Later,
they'll give me a snack.
Hey, yesterday, she packed up
my bridle, her saddle, and her shiny, heavy tool box,
then gave me a bath, and the tall man cleaned my teeth.
My chewing is gonna be worse now. Looks like
we’re going somewhere. This must be what people feel like.

C.A. MacConnell

Photo: Self

Me, a few hours ago. So I had Arctic Zone frozen dessert for dinner, and I got so cold, then I had to make hot chocolate. It's tough regulating temperature sometimes. <3 If that's my worst problem today, I think I'm doing pretty well, ha.

C.A. MacConnell



flash poetry


I see your face
in the face of

strangers --

in the lick of lips,

in the sweeping,

and my eyes become

like you,

and the green becomes
my tree,
my man,

my church.

C.A. MacConnell

Photo: Private Plane 4

Private Plane 4

Today's truth:  The hawks tell me to be wise, to rise above, to soar, and that I am on the right path; the spirit is with me.

C.A. MacConnell


Sign Patrol: Fencers!

Hot damn! I don't know about you, but I'm grabbing my shield and sword and heading right the fuck on over there!

C.A. MacConnell


The Computer Lady

Howdy. I'm hard at work on my book #3. Slowly but surely the past few days, due to some big changes that needed to be made. Still, I'm happy about my decision making. Just thought I'd share a story in the meantime. I like this one, the twists and turns here...see what you think. Sometimes I write stories about things in my life that are open-ended, when I'm searching for answers....and they're not there. Stories can help me sort through. You'll see. Now, here is the story. May you have all the things that I want, C.A.

fiction, short story.

The Computer Lady

Grunting, The Computer Lady always arrived at Bumble Bee Cafe after lunchtime; she appeared around two in the afternoon. She was nearly forty-five years old, and her too-long, frosted bangs blended into her shoulder length, patchy-frosted hair. Sometimes she resembled a scarecrow. Short with small breasts, she wore a little extra roll around her middle, because every now and then, she enjoyed a Bumble Bee pastry. Sometimes she wore lightly tinted, Janis Joplin style glasses. Other days, she showed her face. But one thing never varied -- every day, after slowly eating her lunch (tuna salad on wheat, cup of soup), she sat and stared at her computer for hours. She drank water. From time to time, she asked the server, Jim, for more water. Mostly, she demanded it. Water, more water.

Several times, Jim had thought that she might need a hose attached to her lips.

Computer Lady raised the glass and shook the ice. No words at first. But when no one immediately responded, she changed her ways, and she began to scream. "Where is my water?"

Jim tried to keep the glass full to avoid the inevitable scene, but he'd been busy with the end of a lunch rush, so he'd been a little distracted. "I'll be right with you," he answered. Quickly, he found a full pitcher and refilled her glass.

An hour or so later, Jim thought she was gone, so he cleared her table, taking her water glass with the plate, the fork, the knife, the soup spoon, and the always-wet napkin. But that was the wrong move, he found out. Way wrong.

Suddenly, Computer Lady returned from nowhere and yelled, "Where the hell is my water?" She yelled it loud enough for every customer to hear.

Heads turned.

"I'll get you another one. So sorry," Jim said quietly, hoping his tone would soothe her. "I thought you were gone."

She muttered, "Hmmphhh," shaking her head with disgust. "You always assume I'm gone. It's not right."

Jim grinned and hurried to get her another water. With lemon.

She went back to her computer.

When it was time to close, Jim took the check to her. Seemed like the thing to do. He'd been doing the same thing for years.

She looked up and yelled, "Do I have to pay this NOW?"

"Well, we are closing," he whispered. "We always close at six. You know that."

"Hmmmphh," she said, handing him her credit card.

After Jim rang the card, he took the slip over to her. Again, it seemed like the natural course of events.

When she saw the slip, she scowled at Jim and asked, "Do I have to sign this NOW?"

"Uh, that'd be great," he muttered, trying to hold back a chuckle. She wasn't just simply rude. She was beyond rude. He'd seen it before, but it usually wasn't that bad.

After Jim finished rolling his silverware at the Bumble Bee, he had some time to kill before he met up with his friends, so he headed to Lucky Dog Coffee for a shot. Then he glanced to his right, and there she was again. The Computer Lady. As always, she was sitting by herself, staring at her computer, drinking water.

Jim called out to her, "Hi there, I just saw you. I work at the Bumble Bee...you know, where you just were. You writing a novel on there?"

"No," she barked.

"Oh, okay," he said, introducing himself. "My name's Jim by the way. I've never told you all these years."

She muttered, "Laura" and went back to her computer.

He knew her full name. He'd seen the credit card slips for years, but it was nice to hear her say it. Then he asked, "Why do you come into the Bumble Bee every day?"

"Oh, I banned that place for a while because of bad service, but now I go back because I like the soup," she answered, still staring at her computer.

He nodded, rose, went to the bar, and ordered his espresso shot from her, the Barista. No, not one, a double shot. On the way back to his table, he walked near The Computer Lady, sliding right by her, wanting to look at her screen, wanting to know what she was searching for, wanting to ask more questions, but she was still buried in the computer. So he gave up.

He thought about how she came in every day at the same time, how she ordered the same thing. She always stayed for hours, and she rarely looked up from her computer. What was strange was that she rarely typed anything either. He couldn't figure out what she was doing, and he'd never had a chance to sneak up behind her to look at the screen. Well, he'd had the chance, when the tables were slow, but he'd never had the guts. Sometimes "not knowing" was better. But his next mission was this:  he was determined to make her react, to hear some sound come from her other than choppy words and angry grunts. Perhaps she was a closet genius, and she was creating something brilliant on that computer, right there, right in the Bumble Bee Cafe. Could be anything. Maybe she was a nurse. Yeah, she worked the early shift, and she came into the restaurant after. Yes, she saved lives. Maybe she was creating the cure for Cancer. Or Diabetes. Or mental illness. Maybe she was memorizing the famous paintings of the world. Looking at photographs? Videos? Her kids? Nah, she definitely wasn't the motherly type. Strangely, he wanted to give her a hug. She looked like she needed one, but he was afraid she might crack. He wanted to do something, anything. He wanted to know what stories lived inside such an angry heart. She might crack.

Jim's phone vibrated. He checked the screen. Text from Jason, the sensitive one who couldn't hold his liquor. Jason wrote, Jim, you better come out with us. You've been a hermit, and I'm already buzzing, and I need help with that girl, you know, I can't talk to her, and I know she'll be there, she is so amazing, holy shit. Jim's phone vibrated again. Text from Kara. Heya, I'll be there now, I changed my mind. I'm getting wasted. Lisa broke up with me. Again. I need you. Five more texts. Five emails. Then he got hooked on some YouTube. Even after his espresso shot was long gone, down the hatch, Jim sat next to Computer Lady, staring at his phone. He was there for hours and hours and by then, it was getting a little late to go out. Might as well just chill and go home. Jason would make it happen with the girl. And Kara had serious muscle. They'd be all right. He thought about sending a group text that said this:  I'm here. Who is going to help me? Then he looked up and saw her, the Lucky Dog Barista.

Curiously, the Barista was staring back. She thought he was attractive for an older man. She was only twenty, and he appeared to be at least twenty-five. The way the Phone Man was dressed, maybe he was an artist, yeah, a painter, or a musician. No ring on. He always came in at the same time every day, around 6:30pm. And he always sat next to the woman who was buried in her computer; the Barista assumed she was his mother. How sweet, he's hanging out with his mom on a Friday. Not a great resemblance, but it was there -- their quiet ways, and the expressions -- utterly unreadable. She'd been a Lucky Dog Barista for a long time, and she could usually read a face, but when it came to the Phone Man and his mother, the Barista remained stumped. Phone Man always ordered one shot, like a poet. But that day it was two. Strange, very strange. Perhaps he'd be interested in a free shot. She could deliver it to him. She was sexy, playing with a straw, making eyes at him. She wasn't trying to be sexy. She just was. Often times, on her days off, when she dressed for the occasion, she made men and women drool. She thought about making him something free. But she couldn't tell...maybe he wanted to be in his own space. Like his mom. He was impossible to decipher. Every day, she tried to make him smile. Maybe if she could make him smile, she could make the mother smile too. So far, nothing. Always, he simply stared at his phone. What was strange was that she saw the phone flash and vibrate, but she never saw him text anyone back. He just looked at his phone and sipped his espresso. Maybe he was an undercover cop or a Dad. Nah, he didn't seem like the fatherly type. Maybe he was an actor, yes. He looked like one. So handsome, in a weird way. Some days she wanted to hold his hand. But he might shatter. Other days, she wanted to grab his shoulders and shake the pretty face right out of him, to know his real heart. It was maddening.

The Barista cleaned the espresso machine, and she made as much noise as possible.

Jim went back to his phone.

The Computer Lady held up her glass, shaking the ice. Then she yelled, "Hey, can I have some more water?"

"Right away," the Barista said to Computer Lady. She said it ever so softly, trying to keep the scene calm.

That voice, Jim thought. He too knew what it was like to keep a customer from breaking, really breaking. He wondered about her, the real person attached to the voice. Jim turned off his phone and looked sideways at the Barista.

The Computer Lady yelled, "Water!"

The Barista swooped in, handing a tall, dripping glass over to The Computer Lady. She rolled her eyes, and then she looked at Jim, smiling wide. "You always come in here at the same time, every day."

Jim's eyes widened.

In a huff, for no reason, the Computer Lady rose and said, "I'm never coming back here." And she left.

The Barista shook her head. "What's wrong with that lady? I thought maybe she was your mom."

Jim glanced down. "She is. She just has no idea. She gave me up, you know, way back when."

The Barista sat down at Jim's table. She sniffled a little. "Oh my god. That's why you come in here every day."

Jim looked back up. "At first, yes. And then I realized...well...now I come in here for you."

-- C.A. MacConnell


Photo: Look Up

Look Up

Today's Truth:  Great Spirit, let my vision be your vision. Let me hold it close, and let it be strong. -- Inspired by today's meditation on the White Bison site. This site promotes a wonderful program called Wellbriety (I've read all their texts), and all the proceeds from the clothing and jewelry items in the store help support the White Bison Women in Prisons Program.

I love it when a nonprofit's proceeds go directly to the people they serve. To me, that's what it's all about, and it goes beyond awareness events,

C.A. MacConnell


Photo: Milk


C.A. MacConnell

Photo: Baby Bert

Baby Bert

Good morning. Aw! This guy was actually really tiny, but isn't this a cool shot? I love the texture. I've been into texture lately. He was about the size of a quarter. I chased him over to the side of the path so he wouldn't get stepped on. Then I squished him with my shoe. Just kidding, haha. I saved him.

Hey, I just woke up from a nightmare where some girl busted into my apartment and told me she was gonna use my bathroom. I was like, "No, who the hell are you?" She said, "I'm using it anyway!" And then I got up to chase her, which made me wake up. Deep stuff.

C.A. MacConnell


Photo: All in, Love

All in, Love

I just take shots that make me feel. Hope you like them.
C.A. MacConnell

F'n Rad Poem for My True Love: He Might Be Mad

He Might Be Mad
for my true love

when I saw the Radisson hotel,
I thought you might be in there,
loving me,
and I could find your room,
and we could wrestle,
but then I thought,
No, you're probably already naked and busy,
and you might get mad if I bust your cover,
and you might get really mad if you find out I'm only in Kentucky to buy cheap smokes
so I didn't go in,
but at least you have cable.

C.A. MacConnell

Sign Patrol: Learning So Much

I think you can learn so much from sidewalk chalk drawings. I was praying about my future true love, when I saw this. I know it's a sign. Now I think my future true love will be a cartoon space man sword fighter with chicken legs who wears a parachute and booties like Santa might. Cool.

C.A. MacConnell


Photos: Three, Four



C.A. MacConnell

Photos: Leap

Leap, Spring

Leap, Winter

Leap, Summer

I love these...because of the different seasons, the beauty of the suggested movement, the life, joys, struggles, and time represented there, and also because, in #3, the one I took yesterday, I saw two images leaping together, rather than just the one.

I'm up early, as usual. Drinking coffee. Eating a veggie brekkie sandwich. Just sayin. Kylin the cat is sleeping on the lion-bed. He loves this thing. And I love him.

C.A. MacConnell


Photo: Day Lilies 2

Day Lilies 2

This is what my day felt like -- bright and free. I got to go skinny dipping, hot tubbing, naked hiking, and some more interesting events. I've been to this wild place before, and even the drive itself is awesome, but no one will ever go with me, ha. I felt like myself again today. Also, I don't fit in with my family, and I don't fit in anywhere in the town I live in. Oh well. They'll all have to deal.

Also, this morning I got through the first revision on my book #3. I'm nervous and excited for more.

Love to you,
C.A. MacConnell

Photo: Tell Us

Tell Us

Today's truth:  Fill up your day with love, whether it be alone, with people, or with nature. The Spirit of the Universe is always with you, every step of the way. Listen. <3 <3 XO

C.A. MacConnell