Having spent the first week of The Year slammed against the clock to tick things off the list and to fetch my brother from the airport as he returns from Afghanistan to spend 2 weeks with us, as I lay the stones and mattresses and pockets of possibility that will provide shelter and structure for 2011, I have written only lists – lists of things to do and get and remember.

I have missed you, me, us.

So this morning I commenced a scant trip through the wildes and happened upon a spark that I fanned, despite interruptions of dog and mate and food and child. Something fun and different for me (unless you count the inevitable pitfalls of memory and recall): fiction. And because I have plans that involve such ledge-jumping, I availed myself . . .

~~~ Your assignment is to write a short piece – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, whatevs – in which each sentence starts with a the next letter of the alphabet. Starting with “A.” So, yes, your finished product will consist of 26 sentences. ~~~

A Tree was born, a treeny triny Tree. Before the sun came out, in the vast silence of the moon, the Treeling began to stretch herself up from her mother’s roots, up, up, up into the moonlight. Callous philistrenes and thorny scrobbeites hogged the light and threatened to quash the youngsTreeneur before she had a chance to fledgle. Drondonemides peed on her and called it nourishment. Elvemites, tickled to be larger than something for a change, tromped on her. Flimones and flickites and fligmos landed on her for respite, then showed their (so-called) strength as they crudely pushed themselves off, thinking higher equals closer to the moon. Giantmongous birdithers made a game of balancing on the youthful, learning Tree.

Helicopters in search of a missing girlchild flew so close that the wind from their whirling blademonifiers momentarily buffeted the Treeling back into the safety of her mother’s rootnook. Icicles became water fountains as the night stretched itself out, and the Treeling licked them to quench thirst and keep her internal water system filled and flowing. Justreene, the Treelings’ mother, remained close by to provide as much shielding as possible. Kindness showed itself, even in the austere culture of winter, because Fledge (as she was now called) was watching for it. “Look for it,” Justreene told her Treechild, “look closely and you’ll see magicrous, wonderical things.”

Maneday came after the first frightfulous weekend of hunting season. Not the kind of hunting Justreene and Fledge were doing, mind you, these hunters were in search of animals to kill. Oh my goodweiss, Fledge lost count of how many soles she witnessed as hunters tromped over and around and beside her, sometimes missing her by a mere squeege. Pieces of paper were left along with other souvenirs of that weekend. “Queer that they actually believe others will find their trashscolomite useful,” Justreene murmured as she blew her mightiest clearing wind after their eventual departure. “Really,” she harumped then fell silently into the wind song.

Stumpette added her voice after a schiminisculle to sing along with Justreene’s wind. Trempet joined in to form a treeo of lullaby. Usuanda and her feathered flockure were soon chirping along in their own way. Vickets joined, too. Winds of harmony filled the night. Xenogenesis did not exist in the Land of Woulde that night as Fledge swanced to the sweettimonious melodies. Yellow sage added the light show, her flowers turning from redilicious to orangeimony and back to yellowsumptious.

“Zzzzzzzzzz,” hummed Fledge, completely content in knowing that she would always have this treemendous raffle to counsel, cajole, comfort, console, and cheer her.

### The Beginning ###


  1. Tracy Brown

    This is absolutely magical and beautiful and wonderful and I’m wondering who you really are, Jeanne, and why doesn’t everyone in the world know you – because they should know you. They should know about this blog.


    • whollyjeanne

      Thank you, Tracy. You are the first responder to my first step off the ledge and your kind, supportive words bring tears up from my heart. Thank you, my friend, for being one of the Trees in my Woulde.

  2. Mrsmediocrity

    Oh, you are the best. You are, and I love you.
    “Icicles became water fountains as the night stretched itself out…”
    Oh my.

    • whollyjeanne

      Hello, my talented friend called Thel. I’ve missed you in my absence, my list-imposed sabbatical. Thank you. Coming from you, this comment is quite a compliment.

  3. Emily

    I LOVE this story!!! And I love the assignment you make out of it, too:) Though I don’t fancy myself much of a writer, I’d love to take on this challenge sometime soon.

    • whollyjeanne

      Oh, Emily, I bet you can sling words together like noneother.

  4. Carrie

    This piece was filled with magic. I could picture the scene, like something from the movie FernGully with all the fairies and such trying to save their forest. I loved the use of words and the way you created your own yet it all still made perfect sense 🙂

    Visiting from Red Dress Club

    • whollyjeanne

      Wow, Carrie. Thanks. Looking forward to dropping by your place and seeing more of you now that I’m wearing my digital red dress;)

  5. Drgarnecki

    i love your invented words that very much sound like real words—with a very visual and rich context. this is pure whimsy and fun. beautiful!

  6. Sally G.

    Wow. I have missed you ~ and realize now that if I have any hope at all of observing your life throughout this year, I’m going to need vision-enhancement. You are Taking Off!!

    (Or perhaps I will sprout wings of my own …)

  7. Noel

    APPLAUSE to you for taking this challenge on and making sure poetry out of it. Your story was like sunshine for the mind … much needed color in this bleak winter season!

  8. Amelia

    well hello there you amazing writer! those are some impressive writing chops you have! I have used this exercise in a similar way, during a team building exercise where everyone sits in a circle and has to create a story. Each person tells a part of the story beginning their sentence with a,b,c etc. It turns into a lot of fun!

  9. Angela

    I agree with Tracy: everyone in the world should know you and your blog. I love the story, the invented world and words, and the beautiful mystery. More stories, please.

    • whollyjeanne

      thank you, my friend. always appreciate your feedback.

  10. Abigail

    Wow, such imaginative language! Your kids must never get bored. I love that! You are a surely a writer who knows the rules, and thus, can break them all she wants!

  11. Julie Daley

    Jeanne, This is absolutely fun and delightful, so much like spending moments with you IRL. Pure Pleasure.

  12. littleyawps

    If you do not make this a children’s book with fantastical illustrations, I will never have children.

  13. Elizabeth Howard

    Completely wonderful… this ticks so many boxes I don’t know where to begin with the complements.

  14. Patti Murphy

    I’m with @littleyawps on this one. Except I already have children, who would probably love to read this.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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