Assigned Topics

Assigned topics could be something like a favorite movie or song, a memorable vacation, a letter to a famous (or not so famous) person, or even the message inside a fortune cookie. These are usually assigned to write at home, but occasionally are done spontaneously at the meetings.

Art Appreciation

by Randy Munch The Joy of Writing Club members were presented with a color photo of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting The Luncheon of the Boating Party. The assignment was to write an art appreciation essay on the masterpiece. However believing me, a linear thinking professional engineer, can write an intelligent dissertation on a Renoir masterpiece is … Continue reading Art Appreciation

It’s An Ant’s Life by Antonio, the ant

By Larry Meath (This was an activity in anthropomorphism, giving human characteristics to a non-human object.) Let’s start with this fact, there are lots of my relatives on planet earth.  Twenty quadrillion, give or take, by latest count.  Yeah, you heard me right–even though you probably have no idea how many that really is.  That’s … Continue reading It’s An Ant’s Life by Antonio, the ant

On the porch.

By Henry Dumas September 25, 2022 The assignment: Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to something that isn’t human, such as an animal or object. Write a scene or story that includes anthropomorphism.             That evening, Steven and his girlfriend sat together on a wooden swing on the front porch, watching the sunset over … Continue reading On the porch.

An Airplane’s Orchestra

The airplane’s landing gear drops, kerplunk          All passengers, as if on cue, jump.              As it descends to the landing strip,           nervous passengers tighten their grip.    The wheels hit the ground, a loud thump they make        and screech as the pilot pumps the brakes. A chorus of cell phones when turned on, chromatic dings creating a … Continue reading An Airplane’s Orchestra

Once upon a time

July 29, 2022 / Henry Dumas By Henry Dumas The assignment: Take an old fairy tale and reset it in modern times and in your hometown.              Once upon a time in a far-off land called West Jordan, Utah, there lived three fairies.             Elfie, Lucy and Sadie buzzed around the garden, protecting it from unwanted … Continue reading Once upon a time

My life in a song

July 4, 2022 By Henry Dumas The assignment: If each decade of your life was represented by a pop song, what would each one be? And why?                Nineteen forty-nine to nineteen sixty. Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys by Waylon Jennings. Life was always an adventure playing cowboys and Indians … Continue reading My life in a song

What If

Topic:  What if By Larry Meath (The actual topic was “If Only” but failure to read carefully combined with old age resulted in the following poem. It happened so suddenly My ears had quit ringing As I stepped onto the deck And the birds had stopped singing. It struck me as odd That those sounds … Continue reading What If

Springtime in Alaska

By Larry Meath (Topic:  Write about the season where you live or currently happen to be.) Alaska is not exactly a Hollywood Mecca as a movie setting, but in 1960 Alaskans were proudly surprised when John Wayne, the Duke, starred in a film roughly based on a Johnny Horton song, North To Alaska.  Horton must … Continue reading Springtime in Alaska


By Martha Jo Tisdale We were those folks who sent postcards to family and friends as we traveled across the country in our motorhome. Then we decided postcards were too small — not size, just couldn’t get enough ‘message’ on it, plus the postage was too high. So we started a blog and taught our … Continue reading LIGHTNING


By Martha Jo Tisdale It was the middle of the night and I had just fallen asleep after more than an hour of listening to the barking dog across my back fence. No amount of yelling “shut up, you mangy mutt” did any good. Tossing and turning and with a bit of mulling, I finally … Continue reading THE ANSWER


By Martha Jo Tisdale Story starter: She stopped to pick up the hitchhiker despite her parents’ warnings. What harm could an old woman do? * * * * Charlotte was driving west on a country road in the most out-of-the way place in all of Texas, she was sure. The road curved, then straightened, then … Continue reading THE HITCHHIKER


By Dorothy Tarpley They married young, merely teens out of high school.  Inexpensive wedding bands were all they could afford, though that had nothing to do with the love they felt for one another.  No one would bet on this marriage lasting, they were just too young.


By Sonja Steele Life is great. Yes it is. We all appreciate our families and loved ones. I welcome them to my home. I appreciate all people and love them.


By Dorothy Tarpley You’re the OBJECT of my affection Unless, of course, you OBJECT This isn’t a CONTEST of wills You can always CONTEST or accept Right this MINUTE I’m crossing my fingers And planning each MINUTE detail

The Cagey Bird

By Pam Bergman Crawford No sooner had the family left to watch their son’s hockey game, the cat, who had been casually sitting on the sofa watching out the window, sprang into action. He had been studying the birdcage for days. It was hung on a hook, firmly attached to the ceiling. Ha, ha, he … Continue reading The Cagey Bird