For WITS and Margie Lawson …

A writing challenge. A question. Win a course. Meet the deadline. Catch the gold ring and get a free ride.

Alas … my brain dislodged and with few if any precious moments in my day left for free-thought, I was captive of no thought.

A no brainer. A. Mental. Detach.

A moment in time when non-thought ruled what was left of my right brain/left brain battle.


I sat down to write this morning and nothing came-to-mind, entered my intellect, agitated my little gray cells, pounded against the stem, stretching, reaching for reason and rhyme and like hearing white noise, I came up senseless-speechless.

Surrender being the better part of common sense, I gazed out my kitchen window, across the yard, and over the wooden slated fence where our traveling neighbors park RV’s, trailers and such and saw the mast of a small sailing boat.



Sailboat in The Keys

In my empty-headedness she sailed through blue waters, the bow slicing the sea, a baker slicing a chunk of soft dough into rounds. We made a heading for the turquoise-blue-crystal waters adjacent to the Florida Keys, passing by Bogie and Becall’s Key Largo, skirting the connecting keys, happily dancing on swells that waved to Fiesta Key, Rattlesnake Key, Long Key, and Conch Key.


Seven Mile Bridge

… doing a Strauss Waltz with the Seven Mile Bridge.

My left brain held her course steady aft at the wheel whilst my right brain leaned fore into the warm breezes, the sails flapping; the skirts of a young girl with tight thighs, carefree, the untouched virgin of the faraway girl of a distant memory.

She wanted to play. Chase the dolphins keeping time to an ancient tune they alone can hear. She wanted to capture a sunbeam as it broke into thousands of gleaming stones, scattered accross the satin blues. She wanted to think grand thoughts or have no-thought.


The left and right slugged, slapped with open palms to awaken thought, any thought. And again, she could not think of a single thing to say that anyone save her poor dead mother might want to hear.

With no regard for those important rules about a point-of-view, she and I switched sides. First we were first person trying to tell you we could not think of anything to say this morning. Then we were third person, detached as to hide behind an invisible narrator; still with nothing in our frontal lobe.

Of course, millions of useless words are said and written by people who have nothing in their frontal lobes and they are usually the ones with too much to say about everything.

Every thing. No Thing. Babble and scrabble, they smear the blank page like a toddler with finger paints.

In a long-ago-forgotten time, my inner child made up all manner of things to say. She pretended. The only child with no one to play or share, the kid who was always under-foot; a size fourteen man’s foot.


Far too large for her to avoid, that stubborn child acquiesced, her face scrunched under a heel or to play, she might have said … heal. To repair damage or a person who was not so nice.

She was a teenager riding the rails of the Brighton Beach Express, now called the D Train. She held the straps and so became one of the millions of strap hangers, those unlucky subway riders with no seat. A perfectly happy neurotic, she filled more empty hours with grand thoughts and high hopes.

She became a solitary single mom, an independent professional, a struggling middle-aged woman with the perfunctory dangling earrings and long swishing skirts, a more serious senior with more time than dollars who like the kid avoiding the size fourteen foot, ignored the pile of bills stuffed into the middle drawer of her desk.

And I perfected avoidance/avoidance, all too often becoming a living cliché; the outside all happy and carefree; the inside a jumble of nerves. Fear. Loneliness. Doubt. Insecurity. The write words of a person who still believed she had something to say and no one to hear.


Several decades have evaporated since that annoying kid followed her mother around the kitchen of their cold-flat, decades of time and care-worn purpose.

Ah, but to meet the WITS writing challenge with no time to spare. To come to another day of pointless labor and find oneself with gainful means of support.

Not to become a full-time, money-earning, note-worthy teller of tales. Not to become a Best or win the Prize, but to merely find a thought to fill this page.

images (4)

I pride myself on being a multi-tasker. I can meet the challenge and think about the thoughtful blog post of Margie Lawson, get the dishwasher filled, do another laundry, make haste to clock into more gainful employment, meet the deadline of my weekly blog post and find some thing … any thing … to say this morning.

I meet dozens of visitors, those who have never been to Florida, who crave fun-in-the-sun, Disney-dreams and Universal-fantasy and tell them that the best destination on the East Coast might well be Lands End. And not to see the two dozen places who swear Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea “here,” and not to hear all the wanna-be pretenders of Buffett, but to take a ride along Federal Highway and head south. Because it is not Key West at Land’s End that is the best part of the Florida Keys, but the ride itself.


I am crafty at convincing friends and relatives to take a ride, to drive down the highway with me as a passenger. I don’t care for the ride when I am the driver. I need to trick someone into taking me along so I can ignore them for a few glorious hours and gaze out at the waters of the Atlantic mixing with the Caribbean, to imagine parking along the way or living on one the tiny out islands scattered in the sea that hug the connecting keys.


The Keys, the dots of land, strung like mismatched beads, the small and the large, the long and the short, the amazing collection of land that snakes from south east to south west, to the only spot on the east coast where you can see sunset in the ocean.

I must confess to Jenny Hensen that my writing challenge today produced two thousand words and not the short stint of perhaps one thousand words. An average length of posts for me, my usual flash fiction length, my normal number of words for a visit to New York, Brooklyn or others of the five boroughs of The City in City Scapes.

Would I Ramble or have Random thoughts, would I entertain you with a flash-mystery or a snippet of a page from a neglected novel or short story?

Who cares? Certainly not I. Like the kid underfoot, I stubbornly continue with a life mission. And although life interrupts with its detestable responsibilities, I refuse to give up the living ghost of her dream.

Cliché, Margie? I once dared a writer friend to write a thousand words by connecting nothing but clichés and still have a beginning, middle and end of a real story.

It is possible you know. There are so many clichés that some editor or agent of sorts, commissioned a Geek to develop a software to search and destroy them. Yes, there is a software that can detect every cliché written in any language. There is a software for finding every thing and any thing written in a story or even in a resume.

Image that if you will. Potential employers, like potential agents and/or publishers have a means of finding certain key words that will tell them if they want to read your work or give you an interview for a job.


As always … I digress …

Ever notice that I have this annoying habit of digressing? My son would roll his eyes and in his silent rebellion tell me to get to the damn point. A friend might smack me in the head and exclaim, “Oh for Pete’s sake.”

I wonder why it was Pete and not Harry? I wonder about all manner of things, the little colored balls fall on my tongue like bubble gum from those pretty dispensers.

Where was I? Oh yes, I was sailing down the Florida Keys in a sail boat sitting in our RV parking lot. Since our canal connects to the intercoastal waterways and we have a boat dock, it is not that odd to see a boat parked with trailers and the storage pods of our Canadian snowbirds.


But it was earlier this morning that I noticed the mast of a boat rising above the fence and I could not resist taking you for a ride.


Just so you know how Margie Lawson can inspire. All of this happened because I was making a pot of coffee and the expression “no brainer,”  “came to mind.”


You can go on forever with this long train of useless thoughts. For instance, I once did a post with time clichés. Time is of the essence, no time like the present and all the rest.

No time like the present?

Why not. There is never no time like the present because it is the only time you have. You can’t have time back once it is gone. You can never live in tomorrow land. And so, for whatever it is worth these days …

My time is the present. And at present I am actually performing for an hourly wage. Don’t cry for me Cincinnatti … I am happy to be out from under that damn big foot and those frightful folks at IRS.

And if you need something done quickly, give the job to the person who is the busiest, not the one with time to spare for As the World Rebels.

Here’s another one. The more you do, the more you can do.


I get more done when I have no time left or I think I have no time left. Because in fact, if I had no time left, I could not sit and write any thing. I’d be dead.

Think about how lucky you are not to be dead and enjoy time since all the minutes that the universe has allotted to you was determined before you were born. You will never know when you are dead. You’ll just stop. And maybe if what I believe comes to pass, you will start again somewhere else.

In the mean time, my boat has just sailed by Duck Key, a tiny little bit of earth with a general store, a tiny strip mall and one restaurant … naturally … a diner.

And if I could move onto dry land, my road trip would be all the highways and byways connected with a thousand versions of the English language and thousands of roadside diners, with thousands of short-order cooks fixing my favorite … two over easy with home fries.

I’d get fat on burger specials and like that funny kid, I’d sit and watch all the patrons and drink that bottomless cup of coffee until it was the noon hour and then move on.

In my head I have traveled to thousands of places my body has never been. And since I love living inside this head, and I love people, I am happy that I had nothing to say today and found the time to remember those amazing blue-green waters and tiny patches of land called The Keys.

And if you had nothing what-so-ever in your lovely heads, where would you go? Would  you take a plane or a boat or ride on four or two wheels? Would you travel north or south, east or west?

And how much would you say if you thought you had no thing to say?

Tell me true, what is it like to be you?

And would you like to take a ride down to the Keys?

You drive.

fOIS In The City


Credit for another Maxine

Note:  All Florida Keys Photographs


Filed under Ramblings

13 responses to “For WITS and Margie Lawson …

  1. Florence, the places your mind goes! Thanks for the trip! (and the WITS shout out!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – now that was a different post! I love the pictures of the Keys. I’ve never been to Florida and don’t know if I will ever get there; but you always describe the places you’ve been so that I feel I can almost see it in my mind’s eye. Thank you for the morning “trip”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great, Patti … it is a magical place to see. Not the tourist traps, but what nature provides for free. I’ve been there dozens of times and intend to go a few more dozen. Glad you enjoyed our morning trip 🙂


  3. This post is so full of life. I sometimes write morning pages but not this well.


  4. christicorbett

    You make a “not having an idea what to write” post amazing.


  5. vicki

    Hi, Florence – what is it like to be me? Today was exhausting. So was yesterday. So was Monday. I think I need a vacation. Would I want to visit the keys? Yes!!! But sadly, you still will have to drive because I would be too distracted and we would end up in the water. LOL. Or we could hire a chauffeur.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, Vicki … a “handsome” chauffeur 🙂 I know you would love it … it is a majestic, magical trip !! Take a ride in your mind and make it scenic enough to let all your cares fall away 🙂


  6. Finally I get over here!! Yes, I understand what it is like to fall behind. But if I had those gorgeous views of the Keys in front of me, I don’t think I’d mind. 🙂 I’ve always wanted to go see that underwater Jesus.

    “I must confess to Jenny Hensen that my writing challenge today produced two thousand words and not the short stint of perhaps one thousand words.” Good on your for producing so many words. They were counted in our “novel.” Did you see that the total words for all added up to a 80K novel??? It was amazing and inspiring.

    Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

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