Burch (Part 1)

Today was the day.

Al opened his eyes. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining brightly and had already dispersed the early fog. It felt warm on his face. He blinked, adjusting his vision, but the scenery didn’t change. God he loved this spot. 

The warm stucco at his back pulled at his clothing and made a scratching sound as he shifted first one way then the other, bringing the rest of his body awake. Al bent one knee and then the other until he was sitting hunched, almost resting on his heels. He closed his eyes.

The coffee shop was a quaint place—not one of those chain deals—that looked like an old-fashioned, family-run business swallowed in the hustle-bustle of the big city. It was far enough away from the Embarcadero to retain its off-the-beaten-path charm but close enough to draw plenty of traffic. Tourists wandering around the side streets trying to get a view of the ‘real city’ were drawn by its large bay windows, green and white checkered tablecloths, and the old-timey penmanship that adorned the shop’s windows and cornices. A tourist trap in the perfect disguise of a non-tourist trap. That’s precisely why Al had chosen this spot.

Al had become a fixture at the cafe–its most regular regular–and he sometimes kidded to himself and others that the tourists came to see him as much as they came to see the coffee shop. They never asked him to move when they snapped pictures with their fancy cameras of all shapes and sizes. They thought they were capturing the “real” San Francisco, bums and all. The life of the city. He didn’t mind when they took his picture; it usually meant they would give him a buck or two if he asked.

​​This was one of the many ways Al earned a buck or two. He liked to vary his schedule. Some days he would bring pieces of colored sidewalk chalk and draw pictures on the cracked walkways around the café. Sometimes he brought a beat-up guitar he borrowed from one of his buddies and played tunes the whole day. Some days he just sat. 

Sometimes he asked for money. Sometimes, he just waited for it, amused to note that if he could make eye contact for more than ten seconds, hands dug in pockets, and the rattle of change or the crunch of a bill would make his day. 

Crying was a risky venture, but he pulled it out from time to time. It seemed to depend on the day whether a crying destitute man on the street would inspire pity, fear, or contempt. Of course, he got the range of these emotions every day, but it seemed to be more obvious on the crying days. Sometimes the hands dug deeper, and the rattle and crackle were heard more frequently. On other days he watched as wide-eyed mothers dragged their offspring to the opposite side of the street to avoid crossing his path. 

Some tourists and locals stared or pretended not to see him, and some snarled “get a job” or “quit your bitchin’” at him disdainfully as they passed. Some even faked a swift kick. 

The funny thing, at least to Al, was he really had nothing to cry about. It was simply a skill–like drawing or playing simple tunes on the guitar–he had cultivated over the years. He found it was easier than some of his other skills and, at least some days, far more lucrative. He would allow himself a small cackle when he counted the take on a particularly profitable crying day.

But today was not a crying day.

I am.

I am.
My self
Is enough
For Me.

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Do this.
Be that.
I am.
Only aware
To be

This one is a little late, but grace is a thing around here. It’s actually the perfect opportunity to introduce what happens next.

April showers bring May flowers, right? I’ve made this joke before. Well, this year, consider my April poetry as the seeds showered, sprouting into what I hope will be beautiful May blooms.

In other words, I’m going to keep writing to You.

Since I started with poetry in April, I’m switching to prose for May.

You can comment below and tell me what you’d like for June. I have a few ideas, but I always welcome your input.


Cloudy Clarity

He said:

Pillar we move.

Cloud we stay.

I said:

“What about the sunny days?”

He said, laughing, ever patient:

“Very well.

Pillar we move. 

Cloud we stay.

Sunshine we enjoy.”

I said:

“Ok. I can handle that.”

He said:


That still means

Don’t move.”

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It’s all too much

It’s all too much

To lose and gain

In the same space. 

To feel so much

Love and loss.

Open hearts hurt.

Closed hearts rot. 

Pain is useful

To let us know 

We are living. 

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You Are Not Alone.

In a conversation with writer friends, I got an insight into how I and my writing offer hope to others.

My gift, if you will, my strength, certainly, is being able to sit in the dark with others. I have not had a bad life, but bad things have happened. I am not a stranger to pain, but it has not consumed me. I have survived, and I am willing to reach my arm back into the pit.

If that’s where you’re sitting, you’re not alone.

To celebrate national poetry month, I wanted to play with that form a bit because it’s something I rarely do. It’s outside of my comfort zone to share my faltering attempts with the world, but sometimes that’s just what we need.

Writing poetry for me is reaching for something I cannot grasp. If you’re feeling the same way, I hope this helps:

I can
give you one
thing, it is this:
You Are Not Alone.
I am here
for you

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Your darkness
does not
scare me.
Follow me
to the


You read that write…I mean right.

I’m just crazy enough to pull off an all-day writing stream, this Friday, April 1st, from 10am to 10pm CST. on YouTube

HERE is the link.

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It’s the start of CAMP NANOWRIMO, which, if you don’t know by now, is an international writing competition. For this iteration of NaNoWriMo, you can set your own word count goals or work on other projects such as plotting or editing.

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I just created my project (my username is linseyte if you want to be my friend!), and I’m ready to start writing. I will start Friday at 10AM and get as much done toward my goal as possible.

I would love for you to join us as we celebrate the start of April. See you there!


WorldWideWriteathon (WWW) THIS WEEKEND!

It’s that time again!

This weekend I have the privilege of hosting one of the productivity sprints of the World Wide Writeathon.

It’s a great time to prep your CAMP NANOWRIMO project, which is what I’ll be doing, or start that shiny new idea you’ve been pondering. This 36-hour writeathon will banish your writing excuses. It’s all on YouTube so it’s easy to access, and there will be participants from all over the world.

Make new friends and get your writing projects done.

Join me Saturday night at 10PM Eastern (9PM central) to 12:30 AM Sunday as we get our writing projects on. I have two wonderful co-hosts that will be joining me, so be sure to give them some love too.

Wondering about the links? Here they are. Can’t wait to see you there!

March 2022 Playlists:
Productivity Streams — https://tinyurl.com/March2022Productivity
Social Streams — https://tinyurl.com/March2022Social

My Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Cb5jenix8


Happy Birthday

This is my birthday week and I got an unexpected gift. A little bit of space.

I’m using it to celebrate as much as possible.

I’m celebrating food and drink and time with loved ones.

I’m celebrating change and growth. While they are painful at times, they pave the way for better things. I don’t like shedding my skin, but I am ready for the next phase.

I’m celebrating the freedom to be who I am.

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It’s hard to remember to celebrate every day. There often seems nothing so wonderful about an average day. That’s why I’m trying to look at each one as a unique gift I’ve been given and celebrate it accordingly.

I can’t hope to maintain daily celebrations, but I do hope it will change my attitude toward some of the hard things I’m doing right now. I’m practicing “I get to” rather than “I have to” and it has made a difference.

What are you celebrating this month?

Fat Tuesday (Celebrate)


That’s the word, the concept, the brick wall I keep bumping into.

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I can’t seem to get past it. I’m supposed to celebrate, though I don’t know how or why.
That’s not entirely true.

I have plenty to celebrate, and I’m getting a lot done. I sometimes feel overwhelmed at all I am fielding, but I had to be reminded today that change is good. That’s what we want right now. Still, change can be painful or hard to grasp.

The trick is seeing the joy in the hard parts, and it’s joy that gives us strength for the hard parts.

So I came up with some reasons to celebrate, starting today. Today is the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent, but it’s also just today. Today is reason enough to celebrate.

If joy gives us strength, then celebration is my new gym membership.

I am trying to make celebration part of every day this month, but at least I will check in every week here.

What are you celebrating this month? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Dear Universe

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Thank you for the wonderful life I’ve been provided. Help me approach each new day with gratitude and belief. I am beyond blessed and thankful for my blessings.

I am happy where I am, and I want to grow into more. I know growth is painful and learning is uncomfortable, and while I love the life I have, I believe I can handle more. Here are the things I want:


Bring these opportunities to my door and prepare me to see and accept them.

Thanks in love


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