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MWC was updated last week as was Firefox. When I returned to the sight a few days later to upload the entries for Poetry Challenge #150, I found that my Bulletin Board Code (BBC) was non-existent. I didn't know what the BBC was but I did know that I no longer had the buttons that usually appear above my reply box.

The 1st row consists of: The B for bold text, the I for italicized text, the U for underlined text, the S for strikethrough, the Preformatted Text button, the Left Align button, the Right Align button, Font Face selection tab, Font Size, and Change Color selection tabs. The 2nd row consists of: Insert Image icon button, Insert Hyperlink icon button, as well as 16 more linked icon buttons.
3rd row consists of of those yellow Emojis we've come to love or hate.

I also found that I was not able to post the poll for Poetry Challenge #150 with the current updates because I couldn't add options beyond Option 2, and had to continually  scrap my efforts. For those of you who have never posted a poll, each "Option" is one of the choices that you may choose to vote for. Those choices or votes are automatically tallied. Without the ability to add "Options" there is no way to track the tallies. It took hours but I was able to pull it off by alternating between refreshing the page and "History" repeatedly and until I finally started with five options then started from the fifth and worked my way up. Although it would have been a welcome problem, had I needed more than five options, I don't know that I would have been able to post the poll and would have had to impose on a moderator to post it for me.

In case you're wondering what poll I'm referring to, click here to go directly to the page in the forum.

In searching for solutions, I discovered that those handy buttons and poll posting tools I took for granted are part of what's called the Bulletin Board Code (BBC) but I was unable to fix the problem and get them back while using the Firefox browser so I'm back to Internet Explorer unless someone has a solution and is willing to help me fix it.

Tim, the Red Barren, was my go-to guy with coding problems and luckily, I haven't had any serious issues since he's been gone. I've had many occasions to miss our good friend but I had forgotten what a Godsend he was for technical gobbly-goop.

I wonder if any of you have had this issue and if so, how were you able to remedy the situation? Otherwise, I'm looking for someone with technical know-how and the patience to walk me through a solution or anyone willing to trust me compare their coded pages to mine so that I may make the changes necessary to be able to use Firefox and MWC together.

I welcome all comments and suggestions.

Whether you can offer a solution or not, please visit the Poetry Challenge #150 Voting Poll and be sure to vote before December 6th and just for fun, enter one of the challenges. I guarantee it will help you grow as a writer and you'll surprise yourself with what you are able to create. The challenges offer opportunities to write something you wouldn't have otherwise created.

Many thanks.

Have a Bountiful Day,

Praise Poems
A big, "Thank you!" to all of the participants for your clever, fun, personal, and moving offerings.  It has been my pleasure to receive these poems first and I'm thrilled with the results! I applaud your sense of adventure and bravery for digging deep inside and exposing your core selves.  Good luck to all of you!

This challenge presented a specific task for the writer to convey personal information.
I recommend you write one for yourself.

You'll find vulnerability, humor, and tragedy in these poems, so take your time to read these, mull them over, let them sit with you while you try on the writer's shoes. You have twelve days of Christmas Season to choose two favorites. It won't be easy. Voting closes after December 6th. Polling tallies are revealed after you cast your votes.

To the victor belongs  the spoils. Each participant and yours truly, will extol the winner with poetry written to or about him or her, in any form. We've got high stakes here so be sure to vote.

My sincere apologies to everyone, especially the writers, for the tardiness of this post.  I did the best I could to run this challenge properly but I can't control unforeseen events so please do not let yourself be disgusted and give up on these challenges or this site. We mustn't let extraordinary challenges sour us. Let's get this site jumping again.

I'm sorry this post is so terribly late
but you'll find these poems are worth the wait.
Now, without further adieu
A bouquet of poems for me and you.


                                                          ~      *      ~        


                ~      *      ~      

1.  The Gift

It wasn’t dressed
with pretty pink bows
wrapped around
factory rolled insipid paper
masses pick
in ignorant bliss,

it came from Paula Rego’s
topsy turvy world
where young girls undress men
while mothers smile,
check pulses
and plead
that I ask why.

You see,
the gift
is not to balk at
nor cast aside
without due thought
as you might throw aside
a painted chocolate box,

it’s to think.
see with different eye
stories told in paint
so powerful
my heart beats fast
while drawing outlines,
fleshing the tale
of a moral maze
at first dismissed,

then like that blank canvas
now filled with brutal beauty,
the gift sets free
my mind to show me


             ~      *      ~

2.  Praise be me

I'm a Woman.
I came through the womb of Ages,
rolling out
like my mother
and her mother
and all the mothers before her.

I'm a Queen
made a mother
by my daughter.

My swinging strides knit my path through the world
I'm old and I'm young
I'm the little girl hidden deep inside
Living a life of nothings
Sometimes beautiful sometimes bitter
And I've known fragile sparklings.

I am a Tower.
The Fortress : come and cry in my lap
and I will dry your tears
(mine make big clouds,
mine don't rain)

I smile.
To enlighten your lives.
To make you laugh.
To show you the path.
I smile like a stream rolls down the hill
or like the bird darts in the morning air.

My fingers are velvet
and my mouth is soft
when I sing my praise
when I sing my praise
when I sing my praise

            ~      *      ~

3.    Untitled

I'm taller than I look, the casual eye observes average height
sees a slim, white-haired man who's closing in on 60
pale Celtic skin adds to the impression of frailty,
countless tons of granite carried, countless hammer swings
might have dropped my shoulders, and bruised my back
but they still laugh at ideas too heavy for ordinary men,
and work and move the heavy stones that
commemorate bigger healthier men.

I'm braver than I look, every fear destroyed,
and there were many
dark, dentists, spiders, blood, heights, public speaking, needles,
to mention a few,
all banished by force of will.

I'm stronger than I look, the sexual abuser when I was 12 didn't
create a 'survivor', he created nothing, and was resigned to the past,
but worse
the teacher's crippling humiliation bled into my adult years
the occasional little bandage still occasionally required now
is still a positive, it's a gentle reminder to always be kind because
the dangerous hurts hide silent.

It is what it is.

I sometimes feel like a hawk, hovering, observing
seeing life for what it is, attacking, and
accepting when it doesn't always go to plan.

My anxious origins and challenges have defined me.
I'm better than I appear, most of us are.

Maybe that could be my epitaph
'He was better than you thought he was'

But no,
because I'm kinder than I look, and know that Supermen don't wear capes.
I've blocked rush hour traffic to save an injured pigeon, and to carry a dying badger off the road
wrapped him cosy in a blanket, and sat holding him for his final hour and
will forever be proud of myself for not taking my roundabout exit after passing him,
I was scared, but the rear view mirror showed no one was stopping
so I returned, before they, afraid,
slowly squashed him flat.
The experience of being that close, of touching such an elusive creature, was quite a thing
and I'll admit to a few tears.
I saved the life of a little girl, once again a traumatic situation, and me fresh out of First Aid school.
I still haven't got over the wonder of's still quite a thing.

Maybe my epitaph should read

'He was kinder than you though.'

            ~      *      ~

4.    Ebahgum
ahm a big yorksher lad me
Fra Gods own country tha knows
ah   like what I  say and
ah  say what ah  bloody well like and
ah dunt care what any bugger else says neither

I’m like a big oke tree me an’all
seven foot three in me bare feet
a flat cap, wellies and a ferret
dahn me trasers is all it teks
to see where ah come fra’

nowarrahmean like lads an lasses

ah like a drink me  so stop
polishin them there glasses
and fill em up wi ale eh?
ahm spittin ruddy fevers here
must be oer 10 degrees eh.

on a summer day ah tie knots in me ankie
and purrit on me head, cant afford a sun hat  me eh?
ah dunt like me wimmin to make a peep
that’s why ahm courtin a sheep and
baa eck like she’s a right likl goer an all
took er to t’edge of a cliff t’other night like

well that’s a noother story if tha knows nowharrahmean.

and so ahm ready for a Yorkshire Pud, and a bit of Gravy me
So ah’ll nip off and see if me dinners ready eh.
If not ah’ll prune them there White Roses eh.
ah dunt like red uns me tha knows
Tarra lads and lasses, sithee later mebbe.

       ~      *      ~

5.    Separated at Birth

We come from
Maine and the Midwest
and before that mostly
mud huts, but nobody
wrote it down.
I heard we farmed
or cobbled or hooped
or something.  Grubbed
for sure, and probably
argued, drank and fought.
Like a quick line of unicorns
halted too abruptly.  Or
wool clothes passed down
until someone dressed
a dead uncle in them
for burial.  Finally.

I am metaphorically
my own size.

Somewhere between wüstite
and magnetite I turned black or
red - I blame the wind, the rain.

I can mimic a cat in repose,
a dog in heat, a woodchuck
on the run, and a Shetland
hunkered, in the dead of winter,
ass-end to the wind.

On that topic, I hear the wind
on the north Manchurian steppes
never quits. That’s me.

At the creek bed
I regard the banks, rocks,
pool depths. I sense life - the rustle,
the gurgle, the smell of rabbit tracks,
crayfish, trout poop.  My lungs fill
with organics.  I set my hiking stick
on the downstream side and put
full weight on a crossing stone only after
testing its stability.  Above, hawks
play in sunlight in a sky which, on
a scale of one to ten, is breathless blue.
None of this escapes me.

I am short and fat
but I can stand up.
I can see.

I walk the hills above, until
the day’s light is lost. At night
I come alive.

              ~      *      ~

Your challenge is to write a personal praise poem. 

Please submit your entries to me by private message before or on November 22, 2017.

There are variations of praise poems written for kings, warriors, and legends. That’s not what we are going for here. Our focus is based on a type of traditional, West African oral poetry that tells a story about you.  Before you head for the hills or put that roadblock between this page and your muse, please try to give this challenge a shot. You’ll be glad you did. Really, I’m not saying that so you’ll enter the challenge. :P Praise poems can be liberating if you allow yourself the freedom to acknowledge your own strengths, which as a society isn't something we normally capitulate. Silence your inner critic and tap into the things you like about yourself then write them down. Be brave, embrace your truths and endearing quirks, and let your inner beast run free.

*Be sure to include a title.

Characteristics of a praise poem to include:

1. Your heritage or lineage; who are your ancestors, where is their origin or homeland, is there a famous relative or a hero of family legend, someone heroic only to you?

2. How tall are you? Your metaphorical and/or actual height

3. Your skin color; actual and/or a metaphor;  Try to include the color of your personality, what is it colored with or by?

4. Animal(s); compare your actions, habits, or personality to one or more.

5. Compare/associate with something in or a force of nature; describe actions/personality. What about you is overlooked/prevalent?

6. How do you walk in /navigate through this world?

7. Refer to a personal action, deed, skill, or accomplishment 

Click here for a succinct praise poem directive.

The people who participate but do not win this challenge must write a poem about or for the winner of the challenge. This can be in the form of a haiku, a limerick, concrete, or whatever. You will have two weeks from the day the winner is announced.

Note* If you avoid these challenges so you won’t get stuck with the tradition of running the following challenge, I, or some other volunteer will run it for you but you must come up with the challenge premise.

Most of all, have fun being creative!

Let's try something new and see how far it flies.

We are from different parts of the world and I am curious about yours. I am open to suggestions but here's what I'm envisioning. I'll start with where I would take you if you were to visit California. I've been all over the United States, parts of Canada, and Mexico but I'll start with California because I don't want you to be one of those poor saps who spends a fortune to visit Hollywood and leaves feeling unsatisfied. Not to say I wouldn't take you to a live performance at the Pantages or The Manns Chinese Theater but I have a feeling those of you from older parts of the developed world could do much better in terms of venue and entertainment.

Use your own pictures if you like.

When I finish describing where I would take you, I'm going to ask you to take me somewhere. It doesn't have to be someplace you've been. I'm not even sure it has to be a real place but it might help to clarify in case someone decides to buy tickets. If you're looking for an outdoor adventure, mention it. Otherwise, let your tour guide take you away.

So, what do you say? Are you game?

I'm your tour guide and I'm taking you to the Redwood Forest in California. We'll take the Pacific Coast Highway up past San Fransisco in a ragtop with the top down so if you get car sick easily we'll grab some ginger snaps before we set out. Wear a hat and a warm sweater even if it is Summertime.

This forest has the tallest living things on Earth. The majestic giant trees with deep red, thick bark, sit in forests carpeted with ferns and cloaked in fog and mist.  Today we'll hike on forest trails that are mostly flat. Tonight we'll camp in a warm tent, eat vegan smores, and drink whatever your heart desires. We'll camp inland by a stream.

Tomorrow we'll explore tidepools on the Redwood Coast. We'll discover sea urchins, bright orange and purple starfish, quick black crabs and hermit crabs with impossibly large seashells on their backs. We'll laugh a lot and if you're up to it, play jump rope with seaweed. We'll investigate driftwood huts and rockhound on the beach then go back to camp hungry. We'll barbecue veggies seasoned with pepper and grilled onions. If you like meat, that's on you. I'm vegetarian.

We'll sit around the campfire and tell stories, laugh, drink and wish we had five more days.

Sorry, my photo application isn't cooperating.

I'd like someone to take me to a beautiful green place in the UK.

Writers Wanted! / Focusrite Looking for a Product Copywriter in England
« on: November 10, 2016, 07:35:29 AM »
Hi All,

Focusrite, a sound system design company, is looking for a copywriter in their marketing department. I have no affiliation with this site or company. A Twitter contest led me to it so I thought I'd share it with my MWC friends in England. Best of luck if you decide to apply.

~ Deb

Here is the Overview from the Focusrite page.




Job Location
- United Kingdom -- England -- South East England -- Buckinghamshire -- High Wycombe

Job Type

Friday, October 14, 2016

I almost posted the following comment on one of the challenges in "Writing Games and Challenges" but I didn't want to affect the voting or take away from the submitted stories because my opinion does affect my vote. I will refrain from voting for the time being because one of the stories I want to vote for is, "Untitled" as are several other submissions.

I have noticed that in recent challenges, the "Untitled" heading to stories and poetry is more prevalent. What's with the "Untitled" bit? Is this a practice typical of published writing?

I tend to think that whether it is part of the word count or not, there should be a title that somehow alludes to or helps to frame your story.
For me, the title is a thoughtful part of the overall story or poem and without one, the work feels unfinished.

I think it would be lazy of me to not take the time to give some thought to a title for a piece unless it is a work in progress but even then, a tentative title is better than nothing until the piece is complete.

I hope no-one takes offense to this because it is only my opinion.
Maybe it's just me and I'm being persnickety but because I sometimes struggle with the title and try to put some thought into it, so I can't help but feel like it's sort of a copout when other writers do not bother to create a title for their stories or poetry, especially if they are entering in a challenge or contest.  :-\

Please discuss. I'd like to know how others feel about this.


The Coffee Shop / This Company Wants to 'Engorge" Customers
« on: May 06, 2014, 07:58:00 AM »
 Check out the refund policy of this company.

This Company strives to, "strongly engorge" their "valued home delivery program members."

The right thing to do would be to contact the company and inform them of this unfortunate typo in their Terms. I feel just a tad guilty about having fun at their expense but I wanted to share a laugh first and I doubt they feel badly about swindling $89 dollars for a trial product and auto ship program.

Hello Friends,

Jack Kerouac wrote spontaneous prose. Some say it sounds like madman gibberish while others call it genius. I call it raw and sometimes write in a similar way -let emotions fall out in words onto the page. I'm not saying it's good or bad and I have never written anything in this manner I felt was worthy of sharing. However, in a state of wrung up angst, last December, I wrote and posted the following on Face Book and received (for me, anyway) tremendous response. So, I thought I'd toss it out here for my writer friends to read. I'm not entirely sure why.

Feel free to leave feedback or PM comments if you like.

Thanks for your interest.
Have a bountiful day!


                                                                                      *   *   *   /~/   *   *   *
                                                                                         Growing Pains

Today is our oldest son's birthday. It is the first birthday since his birth that he will not be with us to celebrate. The same holds true for my birthday and Christmas.  He is in New Mexico with his girlfriend at her grandparent's home. His car essentially 'broke' when they were a few hours away and now it is in a shop in Las Cruces, New Mexico, awaiting parts and costly repairs.

Darren and I did everything we could to help Dakota prepare his vehicle for the trip, sinking well over $500 into the old car. There was a tiny part of me that worried the car wouldn't make it and a huge part of me worried about him being a driver with less than five years under his belt embarking on such a long journey. What if... I wanted to talk him out of going or hoped he would change his mind but I knew he was excited and determined to go. After all, we are the ones who introduced him to the freedom, adventure, and fun of road trippin'. I wouldn't dream of butting in.

I miss him and find myself feeling sentimental and reflective this morning. I'm well aware of the fact that all mothers go through this to some degree and some handle it better than others. I'm glad our youngest is still here. I feel shame for all the times I let my boys down, for my flaws, foibles, and inadequacies. I hope they forgive me.

I hope that the boys will want to return home to celebrate together as a family every Christmas and that they'll bring their family or roommates or best friends with them. It's what I want but may not be what they want.

So, I begin to reflect -  left with the memory of  how it felt to watch Dakota and his girlfriend, Brandy drive away, and how  I bravely stood there watching, waving- smile on my face, -holding back unexpected and unwelcome tears coming from where, I do not know...

Suddenly, I feel my mom… (who died on Christmas Eve last year, the day after Dakota's 18th birthday).

I always knew it was hard on Mom to say goodbye to us - Heck, it was hard for all of us. The yearly goodbyes were always heart wrenching and tearful. They were masked with smiles of false bravado and left me feeling empty except for a giant pit in my stomach. I cried for hours after saying goodbye to Julie, Jeff, and Mom. I couldn't grasp what she was going through every time she had to say good bye to us kids. I couldn't grasp my own pain.

But this morning, I got it. I felt Mom's presence and it hit me like an ice cold gust that slams into your face forcing you to gulp frigid air while the biting cold shocks your teeth and compels you to breathe the burning frost even as it seizes your lungs -piercing your chest.

I felt it in my heart - all at once I knew her pain.

For all of the times she stood in doorways, on porch steps, in driveways, or at the airport terminals summer after summer, bravely waving goodbye to me, or my little brother Jeff and little sister, Julie with a brave smile on her face, holding back unwanted and unwelcome tears coming from where, I do not know...

Suddenly feel my mom and for the first time in my life I truly understand her pain.

I understand her worry, telling me to drive careful, her guilt, and those sudden sickening feelings of wretched inadequacy that you quickly swallow so you won't choke on them. And I am ashamed for the times I didn't call her but should have. Ashamed and regretting the months I spent angry at her for not being perfect - because she made mistakes. I held her to a higher standard unreasonable for a woman in her situation. How that must have hurt.

This brings to me a new understanding of other things too. I can see why she drank her pain away, why she was so distant in one moment and clingy the next. Why she could be funny as Hell at times and an hour later swimming in a pool of self pity. I grasp the rage behind her belligerence and appreciate her intelligence and quick wit.

I should have appreciated her more - been a better daughter.  

As I come to grips with the pain I caused her and the worry and sadness she must have felt when I pulled away physically, emotionally, or both - I am in sweet gratitude for my son's decision indirectly affecting my consciousness giving me a clearer vision of myself, teaching me the sacrifices of motherhood and bringing me to the realization of what my mom's life had become -  leaving me at once heartbroken for her and... in awe of her bravery.

I miss you Mom and I'm sorry I never fully understood. I love you and respect you in ways I didn't know I could.

~Deborah G.
December 2013

The Gallery / Poem: Dream Car
« on: April 13, 2014, 05:37:48 PM »
Dream Car

I'm aware
   None will care
           My desire

Four wheel drive
        Off road vibe
                Getting there

We can't wait
      It seats eight
             Rag top down

Five-speed, clutch
         Ask too much?
                Hugs corners

No one's heard
        Of my absurd

April 13, 2014

The Coffee Shop / Goodbye to Silver Screen Legend, Mickey Rooney
« on: April 07, 2014, 01:20:12 AM »
R.I.P. Mickey Rooney.   September 23, 1920 - April 6, 2013

 The original Hardy Boy, an actor with a spry personality, starred  in over 200 films. He was an advocate for seniors and testified in US Congress against elder abuse. He was also the first juvenile to win an Academy Award.

Mr. Rooney died today at the age of 93 from natural causes.

He was an occasional customer at the off track satellite wagering facility, at the Ventura Fairgrounds where I worked the beer bar in the early 1990's. Sounds like so long ago. He was usually jovial and upbeat and liked to play the ponies.

Thanks for memories and smiles.

The Writers Circle / Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
« on: April 05, 2014, 12:56:56 AM »


For writers in the Southern California area or those just visiting, on the weekend of April 12 & 13,  2014, the Los Angeles Times is sponsoring the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the USC Campus.👍

Admission is free. 😎

I haven't attended this particular event before but I might go check it out.

The all important link for more information

I don't know if this is the proper place to post this or not. If not, my apologies for making some overworked snoggerator (he he) have to work that much harder to move it to a more appropriate location🚀🗿🌛🚣


The Coffee Shop / Most Memorable, Oddest, or Profound Piece of Advice
« on: March 20, 2014, 12:06:49 AM »
Something new - revisited.

What is the best, most memorable, silliest, oddest, or profound piece of advice handed to you by a relative or good friend?
Here are some examples when asked on Father's Day about fatherly advice.;topicseen

Writing Games & Challenges / Bonus Team Deb and Silt
« on: October 03, 2011, 07:29:49 PM »
Please place your tray tables in their locked and upright position.

We are ready for takeoff.

The Coffee Shop / The Things People (or Animals) Do to Make You Smile
« on: September 19, 2011, 04:58:59 PM »
I propose this thread as a place to post creative things that make you smile. More specifically, things that other humans or creatures do or create that make you smile.

Smiling is good for your immune system and if you can work up a giggle or a downright and delightful belly laugh, then you're golden!

I found this one in my You Tube box today from Improveverywhere. It's called Say Something Nice.

What can we, at MWC, do to create the same kind of joy in the world?

Let's see how this goes.

My screen name at You Tube is greeneyeddg if you ever want to send me a link.

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