San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
August 15
A "writer" in that I transmit others' words, all the time, on a huge variety of subjects. A professional observer; a silent listener. I nonetheless have a voice, which I like to let out once in awhile (nice doggie). Owner of children and cats and one puppy. Standing still, battling fight or flight syndrome.


JANUARY 15, 2010 1:41PM


Rate: 19 Flag

     Ding had the white-blond hair of a forest elf, which lay across his brow like a dove's wing.  He was constantly tossing his head to the right, flipping it out of his eyes, which were the pale blue of the melting ice shelves hanging over the turn of the creek behind his home.

     Ding was 11 years old, determined and stubborn.  He suffered fools badly, but was hardest on himself.  He could climb a 30-foot tree in seconds, but dawdled on the mud path to the school bus, every day, exasperating the bus driver, who would occasionally toot his horn and move a few feet, in an effort to make Ding pick up the pace.  Ding never did.

     Sue-Ann, Ding's mother, also caught a bus, but it came a quarter hour later than her son's.  He made her breakfast every morning - scrambled eggs and toast - and then constructed sandwiches for lunch, his in a brown paper bag, hers in an insulated lunch box.  Side by side they sat on the green formica kitchen table.  Ding did not want a lunch box.  A brown paper bag felt good in his hand, though he couldn't have said why.

     Very occasionally, his bus would arrive late, and the two vehicles - one large, faded mandarin-orange; one short, white with colorful logo - would dance an intricate dance, picking up their respective charges.  Just beyond the mailbox was the end of the lane, and each had to execute a four- or five-point turn to depart.

     When this happened, the children on Ding's bus pointedly looked away from his mother's transport.  It was wise not to give it more than a quick eyeball.  If they'd said one word, they knew Ding would pound them.  Small and lean, Ding was nonetheless all self-contained muscle and rage.  Few had seen him angry, but the legend lay down the path between the seats like a sinewy python, and all avoided acknowledging its existence.

     Ding, too, looked out into the trees, bare in winter.  He focused on a small gray bird, puffy and still on the lowest branch of a glowing birch.  The sparrow looked resigned, holding its warmth inside, fluttering heart awhir, its hollow bones offering little protection.  But it would be here in the afternoon, and Ding would give it the crusts from his sandwich.  It would be all right.  Spring would come again.



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I dreamt of this boy this week. He's been haunting me. I had to show him, let him out.
I am intrigued. Tell me more. Now.
I want to know more about Ding. I think I love Ding.
Very nice, Connie. This reminded me a little of The Scarlet Ibis.
this was unexpected, I love that. I mirror the comments here and hope that Ding still haunts you, so that you give him more breath.
Glad Ding is free to roam around, and like others, I am intrigued. This was an excellent tease.
"He could climb a 30-foot tree in seconds, but dawdled on the mud path to the school bus, every day..."

I think Ding has his priorities in order.

"The sparrow looked resigned, holding its warmth inside, fluttering heart awhir..."

Both the sparrow and Ding have warmth and heart...very well told story. Ding is a dream? - interesting, because the way you describe him as he went about his day, I could imagine him clearly.
Ding is fascinating. Another story about him would be great!
I enjoy the narration which takes in the elements, the weather, the longing for Spring. You seem willing to show patience in ladling out the story, hinting only at the caregiving capabilities of an 11-year-old. I like to slam into the action myself, but many real books, the published kind, take your approach, the point of every page being only to make the reader turn it.
Actually, the dream was really a vision. It was of a young, lean, very blond boy, walking away from me on a path in the woods. He was looking over his shoulder with both steel and trepidation, his fists clenched. I knew that his mother was mentally disabled, but didn't see her. I knew he had to care for her in a world of dismissal and want. The rest has been coming to me while conscious.

Thank you for your commentary; and especially your critique. I'll work on this some more.
I have known and loved many little guys like Ding. Glad he got out. Hey, old friend nice to see you.
You've intrigued me.

I would love to have another visit from Ding. So, should he re-appear, please let me know.

The feed is awful slippery lately.

This is some damn good writing, Connie.
I'm so glad you let Ding out. The second to last paragraph really sized Ding up for me. He has a lot of power. Btw, nice to meet you!
Who names a kid after a small dent in a car?
ah, JohnB, that's the point. You can wonder. I know.
so much in six lovely & intriguing paragraphs. Barely a page & I already care about your main character. I hope you'll expand on this, it sounds like the beginning of a novel or short story.
leaves me wanting more
Very compact, but dense. I like this.
The mysterious being will haunt my senses forever. I can feel her presence whenever I enter a darkened passageway; a fleeting light, a fading shadow. If only I could touch her. Yet, is there anything there to touch? And the aroma - yes the sweet aroma - my senses are awakened by the full richness of this heavenly being.

Could it be? Yes, alas we meet. It is dung - my fantasy fulfilled.


Oops! Wrong dream.

Seriously, this is great writing Connie. We’re all waiting for the next episode.
This is so good . . . so good. I love this line: "Few had seen him angry, but the legend lay down the path between the seats like a sinewy python, and all avoided acknowledging its existence."

Glad you brought him to us . . .
I knew Ding, his name was Raymond.
But in New Orleans there is no snow, it was thunderstorms under moss draped live oaks and puddles that resembled brown silk velvet.
Thanks for the memories
I'd like to learn more about Ding.
I like! I hope you will continue this!
Whats that song, don't "Mess with Ding". No, wait, that "Don't Mess With Jim". Sorry. I bet Ding is a psycho, right. I have to know, please let me know!!!!
This is marvelous. The second part follows naturally from the first part. Sue Ann learned to love with Ding's birth and it was enough nourishment for his heart. He overtook her but didn't leave her behind.
I don't know why I returned to your blog today. I read this yesterday and left what I thought was quite a clever comment. It isn't here, so needless to say I'm glad I returned to tell you how beautifully you write. The rhythm and pace are perfect. You leave me wanting to know more about Ding. R