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The Silent Scream


The forest was thick with the smell of pine and screech owls glided overhead. Patches of thick heavy fog hung low to the ground and left her feeling vulnerable. She was careful not to walk too fast, as she couldn’t quite see where she was going or what she was stepping upon. The ground was soft and squishy and with each step she took, her boots sunk deeper into the boggy terrain. She wrapped her parka tighter around her chilled body and hoped that it wouldn’t be too long before she found her way back to the cabin.

The day had been unusually warm for this time of year and so she had decided to go for a nice long walk in the woods. She didn’t really think about where she was planning on going and ended up letting her imagination flood her mind and in the process ended up leaving her good judgement behind. Eventually, she realized that she had lost her sense of direction and had been wandering around the forest for several hours. She tried desperately to find her way back, but was quite sure that she was just walking around in circles.

The trees were so tall in this part of the forest, that she could barely see the sky through the canopy of endless evergreen pine needles. She did the only thing that she could think to do and just kept walking. She walked deeper into the forest and noticed that the terrain was quickly changing. The day was fading fast and the forest had become eerily quiet. Every twig she stepped upon, echoed in the cool night air and dark shadows formed all around her, causing the forest to turn into a frightful and foreboding place.

She pressed on though and searched for an open place where she could at least sit down and rest and hopefully be lucky enough to capture a glimpse of the North Star to help her find her way. As she continued on, the ground only became more difficult to navigate and soon she was so deep into the marshland, that she could barely lift her feet at all. She wanted to turn back, but she couldn’t remember from which way she had come.

The screech owls were back again, their frightful cries caused her to shiver and tremble in fear. Suddenly she heard a twig snap from behind her and she whirled herself around as fast as she could. To her surprise and great relief, it was only a raccoon and so she continued to trudge through the soggy soil as best she could.

A little while later, she heard another twig snap and figured that her little friend must be back, but as she turned around, she discovered a man instead. He was nearly twice her size and his cold hard stare caused her to stumble backwards. His eyes were black as coal and he wore a long dark trench coat that was covered in mud and torn in several places. In one lengthy step he closed the gap between them.

She tried to scream, but no sound came. She felt her body begin to plummet into a black hole of oblivion. The last thing she saw before she broke free of his evil gaze, was the edge of a silver blade, saturated in a thick red substance, which was trickling down upon the watery ground below. The droplets pulsed through the murky waters and formed beautiful patterns that glistened in the moonlight.

Startled awake by this haunting dream, she woke up in a cold sweat and wondered where she was. She sat upright, trying to adjust her eyes to the darkness and breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that everything had all just been a crazy dream. She laid back down and tried to fall back to sleep, unaware of the screech owl perched on a low hanging branch just outside her window and the large muddy footprints on the floor just outside of her bedroom.

Written by, Michelle Cook

Originally posted: November 6, 2015

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Masquerader – Writing 201: Poetry, Day 4 (Imperfect, Limerick, Enjambment)



Look into my soul and there you’ll find

An imperfect soul

An imperfect mind

This ugly abyss deficient and flawed is secretly a place of



Though I struggle to be good my twisted heart


I wrestle with myself to no easy


I wonder…

Can my heart be redesigned?

Or is this the way…

I’ll forever be defined…


Originally posted: October 8, 2015

Photo credit: pinterest.com

I Write Because…


I Write Because…

I write to…
Explore hidden realms beyond my reach

I write to…
See the universe in a different light

I write to…
Free myself from the confines of this world

I write to…
Hear my imagination think

I write to…
Escape to other dimensions in time

I write to…
Empower my introverted side

I write to…
Give my soul a much needed rest

I write to…
Pretend that I am someone I’m not

I write to…
Become a happier self

I write to…
Share my innermost thoughts and emotions

I write to…
Give hope to the hopeless

I write to…
Allow myself a few moments of weakness

I write to…
Make people laugh and cry

I write to…
Challenge myself in numerous ways

I write to…
Reach out to the brokenhearted

I write to…
Be daring and free from the chains that imprison me

I write to…
Create stories that I can call my very own

I write to…
Bring creativity into existence

I write to…
Have adventures that would otherwise never take place

I write to…
Acknowledge all that is good and true

I write to…
Perfect my hidden talents and abilities

I write to…
Show myself that I am worth so much more than I think that I am

I write to…
Find comfort in a place that I didn’t even know existed

I write because…
I am a writer.


Written By, Michelle Cook

Photo credit: pinterest.com

Originally posted: November 2, 2015

Missing you…


Me, my brother David, and my sister Dianna (May 2014)

Missing you…

Two thousand miles
Stand in our way

I never quite know
What I should say

I know you’re probably wondering
Why I don’t try

But life becomes hectic
And time passes by

It’s frustrating for sure
Being so far away

But I wanted you to know
That I’m thinking about you today

I love you so much
You’ll never guess the amount

For it’s certainly higher
Than you ever could count

Written by, Michelle Cook

With much love to my dear sister and brother. Time passes, but you are forever in my thoughts and prayers.

Love your sis,

Originally posted: November 22, 2015

Next time you hear someone given the title of hero, think about this…


“A true hero doesn’t think for a single moment about himself; but instead, in wholehearted concern for another.” ~M

Originally posted: June 16, 2015

Photo credit: pixabay.com

The only one for me


Kind eyes lure me in
Sweet chivalry works again
Honest words bring an everlasting trust
Heartfelt love is never about lust
You invade my thoughts with your boyish grin
Your sentimental charm reels me in
Thoughtful gifts leave me to wonder
Sensual thoughts pull me under
Knowing glances are just the beginning
Tender kisses set my head spinning
Your lingering touch awakens my soul
Your warm embrace makes me whole
Passionate cravings are just the start
Deep affection fills my heart
Alluring advances lead to unconstrained dances
At last fulfilled desires leave me giddy
Genuine approaches are never a pity
Gentle caresses slowly fade
As shared dreams eventually invade
Memories of enraptured delight
Sweep me into mornings light

By, Michelle Cook


Featured Writer – Paper Stars and Blue Honey Poems


The Writer

Writings along the walls

Writings along the roads

Words pouring out of the people around her

Letters simply buzzing by in the air

Nobody saw them

Except for one

The one called

“The Writer”

The Writer took these words

And put them onto paper

She took them

Stroked them

Took care of them

And they took care of her in return

Like a crazy cat lady

She had thousands of them

Each of them she knew by name

The people of the town

Knew not of these words

They saw the air around them

They saw bees buzzing

Saw the trees swaying

But words never spoke to them

The words didn’t speak to anyone except for The Writer
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Him vs. Her – The little things


Do you ever find yourself getting frustrated by the annoying little things that your spouse does? And do you allow those things to become bigger issues than they really should be?

I can think of a zillion times when my husband and I have fought over the most pointless things. For example, I used to get mad at him for leaving his dirty clothes all over the bedroom floor. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much, but when there’s a dirty clothes hamper two feet away, it just seems lazy and almost disrespectful to assume that your wife will pick them up and put them in the hamper for you.

Fortunately, I don’t get mad about the clothes anymore. I do however still get upset when he leaves his size 14 shoes in the middle of the bedroom at night. I mean… who wouldn’t trip over those bad boys in the middle of the night on their way to the bathroom? It’s like he’s setting a trap for me to fall and break my neck! I wonder… is he secretly trying to do away with me? I’d like to think not, but seriously… little things like this can be the cause of some hefty arguments, and a whole lot of late night swearing.

I also think that at the root of every small disagreement, there usually lies a much bigger problem that has yet to be brought up. All it takes is that one little annoying thing that he or she does, to eventually fuel the fire. Oh I hate it when that happens! And when it finally does, one of us is usually regretting the little mishap that started the explosive reaction in the first place.

Our biggest petty disagreement in recent years has been the thermostat. I like the house to be warm and hubby likes it cool. I grew up in sunny California and so I don’t think my body has ever really acclimated to the weather here in Wisconsin. I know this is such a trivial thing to fight over, but I have gone to bed mad at him on more than one occasion, because he didn’t want me to change the temperature on the thermostat. What gets me the most, is when he denies he has changed the temperature, even when I know he has! Why lie about something so insignificant?  Oh he can be so sneaky sometimes!

We have now made an agreement, that I am the “official” keeper of the thermostat. Since I’m home more often than he is, we agreed that I should be the one regulating the temperature in the house. I actually think it was my final threat of going to a hotel to sleep for the night, which finally convinced him to let me have my way. I was very serious at the time and since I’m so stubborn, he knows that when I threaten to do something like this, I may just do it! Thankfully he puts up with my obnoxious behavior and has a very forgiving heart. 🙂

Now that we’ve been married, forever… we often find ourselves looking back at a lot of those trivial moments and we can actually laugh about most of them now. Of course back in the early days of our marriage, we really had a hard time letting go of such unimportant things and our marriage really suffered because of it. We’ve definitely learned how to compromise more, and although I still have my hormonally challenging moments like any woman, his response to my moods has changed for the better.

My husband no longer reacts to my stupid remarks the way he used to, he lets me have time to vent my frustrations and he doesn’t try to remedy the situation. Instead, he just simply listens and tells me he’s sorry. I am amazed by how he has learned to stay calm and not overreact to the stress that I’m feeling. By him being the more level headed person, it calms me down and then I find myself able to let go of the issue and move on more easily.

I feel blessed that after all these years of marriage, I really can’t find too many things that frustrate or annoy me about my husband. Yes, he’s the typical guy with enough burps and farts to clear an entire room, but at the same time… he’s also the one God chose for me to spend the rest of my life with, and honestly… right now, I couldn’t be happier.

Is there anything in your relationship that causes you to feel frustrated or annoyed? And if so, have you found a solution that works for you?

Cartoon found at: nickandzuzu.com


Featured Writer – Vasantha Vivek


Marriage gives us a lifetime companion. It gives us hope, peace,security, love, life, kids and much more. For some, marriage was made in heaven. They enjoy each other’s company well. But some were not able to survive the problems raised in a married life. So with my 11+ years of experience in marriage, I learnt these 40 Mantras for Happy Married Life. 

40 Mantras For Happy Married Life

  1. Start everyday with kisses.
  2. Select one song as your Love Song.
  3. Discuss only about positive dreams.
  4. Say ” I Love You ” often.
  5. Accept mistakes.
  6. Greet with flowers and gifts for every wedding day and valentine day.
  7. Be positive.
  8. Listen to your spouse.
  9. Be pleasant always.
  10. Give respect.
  11. Laugh together.
  12. Be calm and cool.
  13. Be truthful.
  14. Give trust to your spouse.
  15. Accept differences happily.
  16. Be transparent and frank.
  17. Be firm to accept failures.
  18. Celebrate birthdays in grand manner.
  19. Praise at least two times a day.
  20. Serve breakfast for your spouse.
  21. Call your spouse.
  22. Visit your favorite places together.
  23. Go outing once a week.
  24. Ask what to do to make your spouse happy.
  25. Pray for your spouse.
  26. Understand your spouse’s feelings.
  27. Have gentle friendship with your spouse’s friends.
  28. Try to attend the spouse’s needs immediately.
  29. Act according to your spouse’s wish.
  30. Sort out chores and problems together.
  31. Finish your official works at office.
  32. Plan a holiday trip every year.
  33. Encourage your spouse with your moral support.
  34. Seek old married couple’s advice, if needed.
  35. End each day with soft hug.
  36. Show unconditional love.
  37. Avoid arguments.
  38. Discuss your financial matters before making any decisions.
  39. Give freedom and space.
  40. Support each other during failures.


For more inspirational thoughts from Vasantha Vivek, please visit her blog at:  My Sweet Nothings

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Dear friends, I really need your help!


I just want to say a huge thank you to all of my WordPress friends, old and new. In the last month, I have gained 500 new followers and it has been really fun engaging with all of you. I have noticed that many of my new followers have started reading my Genesis series.

For those of you that missed the last update, I was originally going to begin removing my old posts from the series so that I could begin the editing process for my book. Many of you probably don’t know it, but I am hoping to eventually publish these short stories as an anthology of biblical perspectives from my personal point of view.

On my blog, you will find just a portion of what I have actually written for this series.  I now realize, that all of you may be able to help me through this editing process, simply by giving me feedback on these old posts of mine before I actually send everything in to be officially edited.  I may actually be posting some of my newer stories as well.

With that said, I will be going back through and editing the Genesis series to the best of my ability and then begin re-posting these stories, in order to get some feedback from all of you. I would really appreciate your comments, both good and bad. I need you to be completely honest with me, so that I can go forward and make this series the best that it can be.

Please keep in mind though, that this series is going to be published as historical fiction, since I am writing these stories from my own perspective. I don’t want any of you to think for a moment that I am trying to rewrite the Bible and change the original words, because this is not my intent at all. I am simply retelling the story of Genesis, as if I am there witnessing it first hand for myself. I am trying my best to stick to the facts of the original stories; yet from time to time, I have added my own thoughts and perspectives, because the Bible doesn’t always give us the full picture of what is going on. So when you’re reading along, please keep all of this in mind.

I’d like to thank all of you in advance for any help that you are willing to offer.  If you have any suggestions that you want to share with me privately, please feel free to send me an email at: jeansforjesus@gmail.com.

Thanks so much! ~Michelle  😉

Photo found at:  mezzotessitura.deviantart.com

Featured Writer – Jerry Lopper

Making Sense of Life

“People write,” he said, “to make sense of their lives.”

#76 - Mannequin ArtistBrenda, an outstanding writer and member of our local writers’ group quoted that line from a workshop she recently attended. Being the excellent writer she is, when Brenda makes a writing point of emphasis I take notice.

People write to make sense of their lives.

The line struck me as profound and I immediately began exploring my own writing experiences. Is that why I write, too? To make sense of my own life?

“No,” I thought to myself, “No, I write to share what I’ve learned with others.” Trained and experienced as an engineer and manager, I began writing shortly after retiring. That’s also about the time I began to seriously explore my place in the universe.


Maybe I was subconsciously trying to make sense of my life in the big scheme of forever. Pondering further, I realized something else; when faced with life events that overwhelm me, I compulsively write about them. Some examples came to mind:

  • When political rhetoric building up to the invasion of Iraq left no doubt in my mind where the administration was headed, I wrote about peace.
  • When a young man went berserk, launching a shooting spree in Blacksburg, Virginia, writing about the ingredients of our culture that made his actions possible helped me make sense of it.
  • When diagnosed with a serious health issue—something I had never considered or been concerned about—I came to grips with it by writing.

With hindsight, I guess I do write to make sense of my life. As anyone who has ever taught a class knows full well, teaching something stretches your understanding of a topic like no amount of self-study can possibly accomplish.

That’s what my writing has accomplished—for me. I hope that others benefit, too, but I know that when I write about overcoming fear, learning to love unconditionally, or finding life purpose, my writing-journey is personal and heartfelt.

Write from the Heart

That’s the other point Brenda made that day—writing from the heart is powerful and attractive. When it matters to me it will matter to others, too. Cranking out an article simply because one is due just doesn’t work for me. I don’t have the raw talent to pull it off.

I can do it, but the results aren’t satisfying to me and readers notice that. There’s a certain mechanical feel that results from “turning the crank.” Without the well-honed talent to turn out words that sing, my writing efforts must spring from the depths of my best insights and deepest feelings.

So that’s my promise to myself and to you; no scheduled articles, no deadlines, no quotas. Write when the compelling force to write surges from within. Write what I feel. Write from the heart.

Does this resonate with you? Do you journal, blog, or write articles when dealing with something very difficult to understand in your life?

How Do You Make Sense of Your Life?

If you deal with these things by other than writing, what do you do? How do you process and come to grips with events that disrupt your sense of who you are and what your life is all about?

I’d love to hear more about why you write and if you do write to make sense of things. How do you make sense of your life?

For more inspiring thoughts from Jerry Lopper, please visit his blog at: 80 Insights

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Day 21 of our 21 day adventure

We are finally back home from a wonderful vacation. It only took us about 5 hours to get home today and the girls were excited to see us, our dogs included…

Here’s a collage of our overall vacation. We had a blast! Thanks for joining us along the way and hopefully it won’t be too long before we travel again.


Never lose hope…


“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” 

~Martin Luther King Jr.

Day 20 of our 21 day adventure


We slept in this morning, and oh how glorious it was to finally be able to get some much needed rest. We have another full day of driving ahead of us though and so we can’t really dilly dally all day long. So… after quickly checking out of our hotel, we are now on our way to Urbandale, IA.

IMG_2593After a couple of hours of driving, we spot an Air and Space Museum and decide that we can’t possibly pass this up. We both love airplanes and if I hadn’t joined the Army, I probably would have joined the Air Force. I have always had a fondness for anything related to space as well. So this is the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon.

IMG_2619I am completely amazed by the sheer size of some of the aircraft. It’s hard to believe that something this large can actually make it off the ground. I’ve seen plenty of airplanes in my life, but these are huge! After making our way through the self-guided tour, we stop in the gift shop and buy some much needed space ice cream and some other small trinkets that we are sure that our girls will like.

IMG_2604We are back on the road within a few hours and still making good time, even though the traffic has picked up. After arriving at our hotel, we are surprised to find that our room resembles at hospital room. We are in a very crowded district here in Urbandale and after settling in, we try to figure out what to do for dinner. Neither of us really wants to venture out into the traffic, and fortunately we find out that there is a very nice restaurant within walking distance of the hotel and so we decide to eat there for dinner to avoid the traffic on the roads.

IMG_2633The place turns out to be quite charming, its country style suits me. The place is called the Machine Shed and honors the American farmer. I am very surprised at how amazing the food is. The people here are really friendly and this is such a great way to end our day. We’ve had an amazing adventure so far and this will be our last dinner on the road. Tomorrow we head for home. Ahh… Home Sweet Home! I can hardly wait!

A proposal to all writers…


After thinking about this for quite a while now, I have decided to add a featured post to my page. The thing is, I need all of you to participate in order for this to work.

I am looking for: quotes, short stories, poems, cartoons, inspirational photographs, or anything else which others may find encouraging, uplifting or humorous. Whatever you decide to submit, must be written by you and not be a copy of somebody else’s work.

Please send your submissions to: thoughtsofmanywriters@yahoo.com, with a link to your blog or website, so that I can give credit back to you. Continue reading