Category Archives: Challenges

Happy Birthday Kate!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I haven’t posted in quite a while, and I’m not going to apologize for it.  I’ve been busy with other things.  Last time I was away for a while it was not due to being busy, especially, it was more due to procrastination, but when I apologized for it I was told by a lot of my readers in comments, to not apologize and beat myself up, but to write when I felt the inspiration to do so.


Well, I felt inspired for several reasons today.  The first and foremost of those reasons is that today is my wife, Katrina’s, birthday.  She turns eighteen…again!  I’m amazed, truly, because I didn’t realize she was that young when I married her…


I also need to get a blog started for her.  As I mentioned before, she writes most of our missionary newsletters and updates, and up until recently, I was simply emailing those out to all our friends and supporters.  While on furlough a few months ago, I realized that a blog would be the perfect medium for her newsletters.  So keep an eye opened and we will be letting you know when and where you can begin to read those.


Without further ado, I’ll post my most recent poem.  It’s all mushy and such.  I just wanted to express some of my feelings toward her in verse.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Eighteen Again


Eighteen AGAIN?  How do you do it?


You look the part as always.


I’m afraid God might have blessed me too much,


with a wife that perpetually stays,


as young as a spring chick


in earliest May


with the spirit of a foal


in the meadow to play.


You revitalize me with your ever flowing fount


of energy, joy and grace,


and I give thanks to God for the heart that you have,


and I’ll do so for all of my days.


I wish you, this year, on the very first day,


that you’ll not falter in your pace.


But, I will be by your side should you wish to lean


on my arm or to seek my embrace.







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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Blog Management, Blogs, Challenges, Christianity, Inspiration, Life, Poetry, Prompts, Religion, Social Media, Writing


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My Blog is in the Doldrums

Doldrums ExperimentFor those of you who haven’t read much about maritime sailing, here’s the definition of doldrums from Wikipedia: “The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage for those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm.”  This typically meant, to sailors at sea during the age of sailing vessels, that the ship didn’t move much unless they towed it with rowers in boats out front.  Very exhausting work.

Well, I have been very busy lately with building projects and writing my novel and have basically neglected my blog.  I do apologize to those of you who look forward to hearing from me daily.  I’ll try to do a better job of keeping the blog current.  Lately it’s been too much like work and I hate rowing.

I had an idea this past week that I am hoping you will all respond to and maybe we can work together to get the momentum going again.  Here’s the idea.  Let’s make a list of all the different writing challenges and prompts we know of.  It doesn’t matter if it’s poetry or prose, short or long.  I’m interested in hearing about your favorite weekly or monthly writing challenges.  I like flash fiction and poetry, but feel free to stretch our imaginations.  If you know about a writing challenge, let’s hear about it here.  (10 extra points if it’s on a WordPress blog)


100WCGU is a 100 word challenge for grown ups based on the one for schools.  It is held weekly.  There is a text prompt of some type given.



Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Challenges, Contests, Inspiration, Prompts, Writing


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Week #30 of Julia’s 100 Word challenge For Grown Ups


This week’s prompt is “…it wasn’t my fault…”

The challenge is to complete your entry with 100 words or less, creating a story or verbal image that captures the imagination.  You can enter your own entry at Julia’s 100 Word Challenge For Grownups.

Also, be sure to visit the 100 Word Challenge for schools, where the idea originated.

This is still following my Valentine’s Day theme, albeit in a twisted sort of way.  Enjoy!


“It wasn’t my fault” she said.

“Who said anything about it being your fault?” said the detective with a sidelong look to his partner.

“He was my boyfriend.”

“Really?  For how long?” said the second detective.

“Almost a year.”

“Was he seeing anyone else?” said the first detective.

“Yes, but he didn’t care about her.  If he had just listened to me none of this would have happened”

“What would you have told him?”

“What does it matter now?”

“What indeed?”

“Should I call a lawyer?”

“We said you were entitled to one.”

“Maybe I should… It wasn’t my fault”


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The Most Romantic Thing My Wife Has Ever Done For Me

Today I was reading Bah – Bam!  My Musings, one of the blogs I follow,  and the author is celebrating her birthday, the release of her new book and her up-coming wedding by challenging those who read her blog to write about the most romantic thing their girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse has ever done for them.  There is no word limit and the only other person to step up at the time did so in the comments section.  Well, I have my own blog and I like to share everything I write in here, so I decided I’ll post the link to this post in her comments section and kill two birds with one stone.

The Most Romantic Thing My Wife Has Ever Done For Me

A few years back on my birthday, my wife took me out to dinner and I didn’t expect anything more than that.  We went to dinner at a local hotel that is pretty much the nicest hotel in town.  Keep in mind that doesn’t say much, because not only do we live in Honduras, but we also live in the back-woodsy-est part of Honduras you could imagine.  This place is the original Margarita-ville without the blenders or the ice to make a margarita.

Our landlord, who was an American that used to live here and had since moved back to the states, got married and become a missionary also, was here again on a short visit.  While we were waiting to order, we saw him and his wife walk by and hailed them and they joined us for my birthday supper.  It was a nice time and we all had fun talking, but about midway through dinner Tom’s wife handed Katrina the key to a hotel room and said they had left some gifts in their room for us to take to the children’s home my wife manages.  She asked if we would go up there and collect  them before leaving since they were going to visit some friends as soon as they had eaten.  I thought how kind it was of them to get gifts for the children’s home and we all finished our meals.

Of course, because we never have peace and quiet at home, we wanted to go sit by the pool after dinner, so when Tom and his wife left we relocated poolside and sat there while we just enjoyed each other’s company.  It was very nice to just be alone with each other.  I had almost forgotten about the gifts upstairs and was ready to leave when Katrina asked me to go with her to help carry them.  When we arrived at the room she handed me the key to open the door and I did so.  Much to my astonishment the room was done up like a Valentine’s Day Suite at a Vegas hotel.  There were red balloons and red candles everywhere and the bed, which was made up with a pure white bedspread, was virtually covered in red rose petals.  Now I’m a six-foot four-inch tall, 280 pound man and I tend to be insensitive about romance, but this touched me to the core.

Needless to say the situation got very  “kissy and huggy” very quickly and just when I was about to invite my sweet wife to turn in for the night we heard the little pitter-patter of feet and there was a knock on the door.  I grunted and complained and finally went  to answer it after the third time they knocked.  Upon opening the door this time I was surprised yet again.  It was our kids!  (All six of them.  Our four and the two Indian kids that also lived with us at the time.)

Happy Birthday!” they yelled.

I smiled and pretended I was happy they were there and looked questioningly at my wife who smiled back at me.  She was actually chuckling.  My eyes narrowed to a squint and I asked her if she had told them to come.

“Of course I did, you nincompoop!” she said,”You wouldn’t want to celebrate your birthday without your whole family here would you?”

We took the kids to the pool where they had a cake and sodas already set up.  They gave me their gifts and we enjoyed their company for another hour or so.  The kids enjoyed themselves and I must say it was nice to play with them, and then it was time for them to go home and go to bed, which we all knew they were NOT going to do since the youngest was eight and the oldest was fifteen, but that’s what we told them.  We sent them on their way and returned to the room for happy hour.

My wife is a very special lady and she’s always trying to do things to add romance to our marriage.  I’m such a clod that I usually mess them up somehow, but that was one I didn’t manage to mess up.


Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Challenges, Valentine's Day, Writing


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Water Dragon Challenge

And another writing challenge. I haven’t completed my entry for this one yet, though. I’ll probably post it later today.


Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Challenges, Reblogs


Story Competition

I found another writing competition to enter.  I like these things.  This one has nine story cubes, like dice, that generate nine little pictures as prompts.  In addition, there’s a 350 word limit.  Good idea for a creative writing competition, Hannah.

Here’s my entry.

The Book

By Roger Engle

(345 words)

The shooting star arced across the sky.  It seemed like a streak of light, but that’s because it was moving so fast.  There was a roar, the ground trembled and they realized it was approaching, not simply crossing their field of view.  A thundering roar, the fireball skimmed the treetops, crashing a half-kilometer from them.  The explosion knocked them down with a shockwave and heat from the blast.

Tommy woke up first.  He aroused the others.  Corey was covered in ashes and debris.  They found him, shoes knocked off, red socks showing.  Derrick slapped him to wake him.

Corey looked at Tommy, Simon and Derrick, puzzled.

“Come on, man!  Get up!” said Tommy.  “Where are your shoes?”

Corey noticed his feet with surprise, and then found his shoes.  Putting them on he suggested they go examine the crater.

The boys ran through the woods until they reached a steaming furrow in the ground, uprooted trees, piled dirt on both sides, marked the spot clearly.  Steam and smoke obscured their vision.  They followed the furrow and saw an object glowing at the bottom of the crater.  Sheep from a nearby farm could be heard bleating senselessly

The object was shaped like a rectangular box with glowing symbols on it. As they stood there watching, it opened with a hiss.  They were surprised to find a book inside.  On the cover was printed, in English, the words, “How to Save Your Planet”.

“What the heck?” said Simon, wonder in his eyes “Really?”

They heard a crunching noise, saw a man touch down through swirling mist, his parachute falling behind him.  He had a patch on his shoulder in the shape of a lightning bolt.  As he slipped out of his harness his weapon came up.  “You boys will have to come with me.”

Ten minutes later a troop transport truck cleared the rise behind them and stopped within yards of the crater.  Soldiers poured out, surrounded them, weapons at ready.  Following the orders given them, they climbed the ladder into the truck.  Where were they taking them?


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Trifextra: Week Two

I found this blog today and figured I’d try their Trifextra Challenge.  I’m always looking for some good writing exercise in which to engage.  The challenge is to “give [us] a complete story in three sentences.”

I attempted to make this an ode to the approaching holiday; to honor lovers everywhere, while bringing to mind the euphoria that accompanies the reward for having bested every obstacle in the path of young love.  This is entitled “First Kiss”



First Kiss

Peter waits as Kelly’s lips, poised in a perfect kiss, hesitate just fractions of an inch from his.  He braved the torturous deriding of his competition, even a thrashing from her strongest pursuer, Bill Simmons, and conquered the fears and insecurities within his own heart to be under this apple tree, on this secluded hill on the backside of Mr. Hastings’s orchard watching her as she brings her lips to his to reward him.  Now his senses explode as his head swims, his heart pounds and he, lost in time and space becomes nothing but lips, tongue, the smell of blossoms and co-mingled bliss!


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