Fall-ish Friday

Today’s post is brought to you by cooler temperatures, slanty-sunlight, and this poem I wrote back in 2005. Wishing you a weekend full of autumn adventures (and not too much time spent studying). 🍁

Freezing rain drizzles
Into a 2 a.m. dream
Tucked beneath fuzzy flannel.

Wind and sunshine slant
Through ancient, dust-covered blinds:
Morning wake-up call.

Rubbing sleep-filled eyes
And Oreos for breakfast
Shower, make-up, bus.

Leaning on cool glass
Eyes and thoughts wander through lakes
Of golden, crisp leaves.

Yellow, orange, red,
Bright, burning scoops of sherbert
Piled atop bark cones.

Oh, Glorious Fall!
To frolick in deep-set rays
And tumble like leaves.

Hot apple cider
Whispers of Christmas to come
With sweaters and scarves.

But Fall lingers still,
Warmed with bonfires and coffee
To get through the night.

Papers and exams
Flood into Autumn-filled thoughts
Causing a deep scowl

Stumbling off the bus
Pouting footsteps trudge uphill
To the library.

Guest Post by Dr. Sandra: Another Micro-Story!

Meet Dr. Sandra: my *better* half.

She’s my editor, my mama-partner-in-crime, and the best thing that’s ever happened to me. 💜

Here are her prompts and (super) short story submission to the NYC Microfiction competition (see my post below for more info!)

Prompts:  Romance / donating blood / “popular”

Caleb was dressed in his finest when he sat down on the beige padded donation chair.  There wasn’t much time, so he hoped his suit wouldn’t get dirty or wrinkled. Very carefully, he rolled up his sleeve.  The nurse swabbed his arm. 

“Ok, just a little pinch, now relax your arm,” the nurse said, looking at him curiously. “It’s not a very popular tradition for a groom to give blood just hours before he’s about to get married.” 

Caleb chuckled.  “Well, I understand how important it is. You see, about 10 years ago, I was in a horrible car accident.  When they found me, I was in critical condition and had lost several pints of blood.  I owe my life to the person who decided to donate that day.” 

The nurse was fiddling around with the bag to make sure the blood was flowing properly. “Mhmm, we get a lot of stories about near death experiences turning people into donors… but on your wedding day?”  

Caleb smiled.  “Five years after my accident, I met the woman I’m about to marry.  Three years later, we found out it was her blood that saved my life.  She didn’t know when she was donating then, that she was saving her future husband – so it’s my wedding vow to her, to donate blood every year on our anniversary… just in case I should get the opportunity to repay my debt.”

My NYC Midnight Addiction

Two years ago, my rad friend Ammie – a WM Geology alumna like meee – posted an announcement for the NYC Midnight Short Story Competition.

Basically, writers are assigned a genre (sci-fi or action/adventure), an action (fishing), and a person (firefighter), and must incorporate their prompts into a short story. But there’s a catch – both the word limit AND writing time limit DECREASE as you pass each round in the competition (see below).


Even though I’ve never made it beyond Round 2, I’m sooo addicted to this competition (it’s spawned many of the short stories on my website!). So when they announced a micro-fiction competition, this mama was STOKED (because 250 words is an abstract, scientifically-speaking, and I can BS one of those in like 30 minutes).

For this challenge, you’re given a genre, along with both an activity and a word that must be explicitly included in your story.

Here were mah prompts:

  • Fairy Tale and/or Fantasy
  • Starting a fire
  • infinite

Here’s what I did with it – enjoy! (and let me know what you think!)

Zula stirred the boiling liquid in her cauldron one last time, before moving to her alter. She picked up the steel dagger and took a deep, steadying breath. 

Images flooded Zula’s mind – her sisters, her own daughter, stolen while Zula was out gathering. She heard the echoes of screaming women, being dragged away, tied to stakes and burned. Her coven had been ripped apart, and Zula had nothing left to lose.

Shutting her eyes and firmly grasping the dagger, she quickly slid the blade across her open hand and watched as beads of dark blood gathered in a pool. Tilting her palm over the cauldron, she spoke the sacred words:

“Oh, Great Goddess – 

I invoke your infinite power 

Against the evil forces 

Who have destroyed

The deep bonds of our sisterhood.”

The fire beneath the cauldron suddenly swelled, sending a burst of heat into the room. In the distance, Zula heard the *pop* of a single flame, felt it spread through the undergrowth, moving quickly through the forest towards its target. 

“I invoke the wrath of our Mother

And summon the ancient fires 

Upon those who have taken 

The souls of my sisters.”

The fire’s roar shook her small hut. In the distance, Zula heard the frantic cries of villagers burning, as church bells began to ring out a futile cry for help. Her voice swelled with the final words. 

“Purify the Earth

With your cleansing flames

So that we may rise

From the scorched ground


oh, look! another blog.

The purpose of this new, shiny blog will be to showcase some of my random stories, writings, and other nyssa-thoughts.

I’ll try to update weekly, but if you’d like to showcase your own writing / artwork / random creative thoughts, leave a comment or send me a message!

Check out more bloggy-posts below!👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

  • NYC Midnight 100-Word Micro-Story Competition!

    May 10, 2020 by

    It’s been a hot second, what’d I miss? 😂 To take my mind off of *gestures to everything* I signed up for the super-duper-short (no, like shorter than any writing competition I’ve ever signed up for) 100-word microfiction challenge (and… Read more

  • Host an En-ROADS Workshop!

    February 2, 2020 by

    ­­­Are you a business owner who wants to know how to take specific steps to reduce your contribution to climate change? Maybe you’re an educator, looking for a fresh, new way to engage students in STEM? Or perhaps you’re (just)… Read more

  • Halloween = Dolly in Drag

    October 31, 2019 by

    As you’ve probably guessed from my website, I’m unemployed and on the job hunt. One of the (many) jobs I’ve applied for was a fiction writing/editing position; and as part of the process, I was given a few prompts +… Read more

  • The Manager’s Special (Pizza Horror)

    October 22, 2019 by

    I’m a sucker for free writing competitions…and pizza (who isn’t). So when I found out there was an opportunity to be featured in an anthology of pizza-based horror, of course I submitted a story. Even though I didn’t make the… Read more

  • Patreon? Like the tequila?

    October 15, 2019 by

    In efforts to pay my rent this month, I’m trying something new! Have you checked out my Patreon site? (not pronounced like the liquor, I’m told.) Basically, it’s a site where you (the patron) supports my art – but don’t… Read more

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Stuff I’m listening to at the moment: