Telling Tuesdays: “Morning”

Welcome to Telling Tuesday, a day reminiscent of those in school when I looked forward to seeing what everyone brought for show and tell. This weekly feature was inspired by an article on WriteToDone.com, called “How to Show (Not Tell): A Writing Lesson from John LeCarre.”

It is one of the best articles I’ve seen on the rule all writers know–show, don’t tell–because it doesn’t just tell us how not to tell, it shows us some of LeCarre’s very own examples.

” . . . descriptions can set the scene, convey the inexpressible, and turn the reader into a witness, instead of remaining a mere bystander.” — Mary Jaksch, author of the article

Each week, I’ll give a “telling” prompt, and invite you to show us, to make us a witness, not a mere bystander. Feel free to use the prompt, or the photo (if a photo is shown.) Of course, if you have a completely different “telling” prompt, you can “show” us that, too.

As always, I invite you to leave a link to your website or blog with your comments.

THIS WEEK’S PROMPT:
Sometimes a prompt doesn’t come to me until the morning of “Telling Tuesday,” and sometimes it doesn’t even come to me then. This morning, I couldn’t think of anything to use as a prompt (which is why Telling Tuesday is late today) until I smiled at the daily ritual of every one of my mornings.

So, I thought it would be fun for each of us to “show” our mornings. Here’s mine, and it revolves around my two labs, Bear and Jubie.


My morning begins . . .

Bear nudges me with his nose. I ignore him the first time, lie perfectly still. Maybe he’ll think I’m still asleep. Then, he pokes me again and whines.

I open one eye, focus on the clock. 5:47.

No, Bear, not yet.

I sniff. The coffee isn’t even ready. Flipping over, I turn away from him. He rests his head on my leg and takes a deep breath–a dog’s pout. At least I have a few more minutes.

Another nudge from Bear, another sniff from me. The coffee’s aroma has wafted upstairs.

I push away the covers, pat Bear on the head, then feel around for my slippers. “Okay, okay. I’ll get up now.”

I smile at the swish-swash, swish-swash of my slippers on the floor. It is a sound that always echoes in my mind, memories of my grandmother walking around in her kitchen, early in the morning before anyone else was up. The stairs creak as I follow my nose to the coffee, though, not wanting to wake either Stephen or Jubie, I do my best to be quiet.

I beeline for the coffee.

Bear beelines for the closed door to Jubie’s “bedroom.”

When he scratches at her door, I realize I’ve lost the battle. Until I free Jubie, take her outside, then feed them both, there will be no coffee.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK!

Can’t wait to experience your morning!

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23 Responses to Telling Tuesdays: “Morning”

  1. ed_quixote says:

    Greetings from the German Shorthair Pointer Association. Please be informed that we are repossessing the animal “Jubie,” who you have slandered by calling a “lab.” Let that be a lesson to you, dummkopf!

  2. necia says:

    The darkened room blends my dreams with waking. I hear the water running in the hall bathroom as Allan washes up, splashing and turning the faucet on and off, on and off sharply, making the pipes bump. The pad of feet clicking lets me know that Penny has arrived beside the bed, and is peering at me to see if my eyes are open. She rests her chin on the bed, leaning over and breathing softly, to examine my face. If my eyes are open, or I greet her, she licks my face; if they aren’t she nudges me with her great nose to roll me over enough to make room for a morning cuddle. If my back is turned to the edge of the bed, she sighs and walks away slowly, coming back in a few minutes to try again. The stumbled progress of Allan’s return with an aromatic cup of coffee means that the day has begun. “The butler is here with the coffee, Madam.” He declaims. I shove my way into a sitting position and hold the hot ceramic mug in my sleep-cooled hands. Penny leaps up and lays what feels like a forty lb. head in my lap. Her head can’t weigh 40 lbs. if she weighs 90 lbs. altogether, but she relaxes her neck so much that it thumps on my legs like a boulder. She sighs happily and slides back into sleep, as I wish I could do. Allan clambers into the other side with a bowl of yogurt and a side of conversation, as we plan the day.

    • janmorrill says:

      What a nice start to the day, Necia. I can just see Penny peering at you. Funny how alike dogs can be! And how nice to start with a hot cup of coffee served by your own personal butler. 🙂 Thanks for letting us take a peek!

  3. Russell says:

    Amid the crackle of static, a noise that barely passes for music escapes from the clock radio, shaking us from our slumber. Reception is poor and the selected station even worse. Perhaps that’s the point. Otherwise, we might never find a reason to leave the comfort and security of a warm, soft bed.
    I open one eye toward the east window and catch the first rays of dawn sneaking over the horizon. The covers rustle and I hear Connie’s feet softly patter across the pine floor. Half-asleep, I listen for the sound of the Keurig flushing hot water through coffee grounds. It’s a repulsive spewing noise, as if the machine has something stuck in its throat and a Heimlich maneuver is being administered to clear the passage. Ah, but the results are worth the racket.
    I slip on my lounge pants, t-shirt, and house shoes and stumble out the front door. Buster wags his tail as we head toward the road. I stop at the paper box and he keeps going. It’s time for his morning constitutional and a neighbor’s yard is much more inviting than his own. Good boy.
    Connie kicks back in the recliner to absorb the morning news. I bury my nose in the paper and read the same information the newscaster is regurgitating over the air. It’s a peaceful, predictable ritual—my favorite time of the day 

    • janmorrill says:

      Wonderful, Russel! I love all the senses you shared with us. The soft pattering of Connie’s feet, the spewing of the coffee machine (excellent!) and your gratitude to Buster for taking his business elsewhere. Hey — isn’t Linda a neighbor? 🙂

  4. Beth Carter says:

    Enjoyed your ritual, Jan. Here’s mine:

    I reach for the snooze button on the alarm button as a two-note song escapes. I don’t feel like playing “Name That Tune” and pound the top of the radio until there’s silence.

    I roll over and prop up hubby’s pillow to block the sunlight for I know he is long out of bed. After three more sessions with “Name That Tune,” I give up and lumber into the bathroom. I grab a sweater from the closet, put my hair in a ponytail and put on glasses. Contacts bother me first thing in the morning.

    Eyes half open, I saunter down the hallway looking forward to my first cup of coffee. As usual, hubby is perched at the breakfast table slurping cereal, yogurt, and coffee. Before I can reach for my favorite blue Wonder Woman mug, he hands me a document to sign. Almost. Every. Morning. There’s always a contract, company documents, tax info–something–that urgently needs my signature while the enticing coffee waits. My brows furrow, I grimace and frown at him.

    “I know you want your coffee but this needs to be signed.” He just doesn’t get it.

    After this little tug of war, I turn on the television, watch the morning news, and catch up with friends via Facebook and email. All the while I repeatedly get up and down to refresh my much-needed coffee in peace.

    • janmorrill says:

      Beth, the second half of my morning (to be continued next week — didn’t want to go too long!) is much like yours. That’s funny about the contract signing. Loved your Almost. Every. Morning. Excellent use of style to show your frustration. 🙂

  5. Beth Carter says:

    I’ll look forward to reading it. Thanks. I wonder if I should show this to him. I still don’t think he’ll stop with the early morning paperwork. Ha.

  6. Linda Joyce says:

    Jan,
    Your writing is lyrical.

    Here’s mine:

    Gwack.
    Click. Bright light. I groan.
    Hubby sits upright, stretches to look over the end of the bed. A second later, the bed moves.
    “Come here,” he coaxes, scooping up the littlest dog, barely the length of a football, and carries him to the bathroom. Renoir faces exile in the tub, just in case a second gwack was coming. Can you tell we’ve been through this before?
    Eight prancing feet on the bathroom tile echo like sounds of Grand Central Station. Beau and Jack, the Brittany boys, eagerly follow after the little guy. Then, I hear Beau’s familiar entire-body shake, part of his morning routine. Jack provides his morning serenade: argn–argn, argn–argn.
    Sighing deeply, my feet hit the floor.
    Already dressed, Hubby meets me at the bathroom door with Renoir on one arm and shoves a bottle of Nature’s Miracle and a cloth into my hands. The big boys bounded out of the bedroom the minute the door to the hall opens.
    I bend to clean the silver-dollar-sized spot on the carpet marked by a partially eaten acorn and a tiny wad of paper. Every day he battles with me when I try to keep him from eating things he shouldn’t. I guess the world looks different when you’re only six inches tall, you think you’re an elephant, and ‘mom’ is only a mere human.

  7. erinleary says:

    My Morning, Speed Racing

    Click the alarm off before the music starts, grab my glasses, grab my bathrobe, morning pit stop, and then the fun begins. Snap Crackle Pop used to be a breakfast treat, now it is the soundtrack of my early morning movements. Ready Set Go – Scoop some cat poop, fill one cat bowl, head to check email for work, wondering what the day holds, Meanwhile, cats 2 and 3 weave their way around my legs, urging me to take care of their needs. The dog, meanwhile, scratches to get out of the boy’s room. Email read, calendar scanned, I head down with the dog and cats tripping at my feet, and the ballet begins. Bend and pick up the small cat bowl, fill it once to deposit in the large cat bowl, bend again to fill it one more time and place it on the ground. Next pas de deux is to fill the water bowl and the dog bowl. By now the dog has heard all this activity and is at the door wanting out. Out she goes, then scratches to get back in, disdaining to even glance at her food. The lunch dance is next. I gather lunch items for the boy’s school lunch and weave back and forth around the coffee machine, getting One Two Three shots ready to go. Add some milk, place on the table waiting for me to enjoy. Breakfast is wrangled next for me, a place setting for the missing boy and I sit down. All of this before 5:45 a.m. Next race: Get out the door in less than an hour to head to the office. I sigh into my coffee and think about mornings without a rush. They are sacred indeed.

    (More telling than showing, but I like it….)

  8. erinleary says:

    Thank god we don’t have ducks anymore. They added a whole layer of fun to the morning routine!

  9. When DOES morning begin? For me, it all starts at 3:30AM. That’s the time that a brown mockingbird perches on the telephone wire just outside of my second-story apartment and sings forth a serenade that belies the darkness, penetrating the thick, concrete walls so common in this city.

    The sun has not even thought about creeping over the horizon, but this chipper chirper is already proclaiming that a beautiful day is starting and he does NOT have a “snooze” button! Fortunately, the whistles and trills so prodigiously projecting from those diminutive lungs are far from disagreeable, so I just allow the bird to sing me back to sleep.

    Around 5 or 5:30, I awaken again. Now, the sun, the grackles and the kiskadees have joined the party. That’s okay, though, since this is the usual time I arise.

    I’m someone that everyone loves to hate: a morning person who doesn’t need coffee to wake up. In fact, I don’t even LIKE coffee in the morning, although I do enjoy it after dinner. Why bother, when each new day presents me with a cantata as my “caffeine”?

    186 Words
    @LupusAnthropos

    • janmorrill says:

      This is wonderful, LupusAnthropos! I can just hear the birdsong you described. There’s not much better than waking up to such a cantata. Thank you for sharing your morning. I was just wondering why you’d been so quiet!

  10. Thanks.

    Have just been busy with a number of other things and haven’t always been able to make the deadlines. I’m hoping to be able to get back to more flash fiction starting Thursday.

  11. Am planning to be there.

    Have also been trying to start my own, once-a-month flash-fiction that I’m calling #TitleTwisters but NOBODY has responded to it, so I guess I’m the only one who likes the idea.

    Here are the rules: http://wp.me/p24aJS-3D
    and here is the first challenge: http://wp.me/p24aJS-3H

  12. Pingback: Telling Tuesday: Jubie Wakes | Jan Morrill Writes

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