‘Z’ is for Zoo



When I was in grade school my mother, sister and I went to the small zoo in my hometown of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Each of us had a close-up and personal experience with three different animals. One would expect to see various animals at a zoo, but not in the vein I’ll explain.

On this hot summer day, we walked around the zoo in search of specific exhibits. Top on the list was the Spitting Gorilla. It had a reputation of spitting, and we wanted to see this phenomenon. My sister wanted to see the lions, and I liked the domestic animals like the large population of goats and not exotic ones at that.

When we visited the Gorilla area. A huge happy and playful looking, super hairy and humanlike character with long arms, urged the three of us to watch him play in his hanging tire swing. We got pulled into his scam and didn’t notice him reach down to the cupped area of the tire that held rainwater, and with his lips, he sucked up a hefty amount of water.

Funny Gorilla hd Wallpapers 2013_2


So when he came over to the bars, separated by some other iron bars, It was evident he had eyes for my mother only. With a mischievous smile in a mouth full of water, he spits all over her white blouse that clung to her bra appearing like she only wore the bra.

Lion Peeing

Next, we reluctantly went to the lions where the King of the Jungle marked my sister as his own. He lured her over close to the trench that separated the iron bars. She felt special, as she should, and singled out. Then when she was expecting it, he butt his butt as close to the bars as possible and peed all over her. He didn’t even lift his leg like a dog.

I was the lucky one that day, because when we went over to the goats, I was the only dry one of the trio. Plus, the Zoo Keeper scratched the head of a new young goat named George. I fell in love with George, and the Zoom Keeper told me someone donated him to the goat herd, but he was already castrated, so couldn’t help grow the herd. I understood this problem, growing up on a farm. Since George liked me so much he asked me if I wanted to take him home.


So that day at the zoo, my mother and sister left drenched and smelling disgusting. I left dry, but with a new pet goat, so I probably stunk too, at least a little.


‘Y’ is for You, Angels to the Rescue


English Definition of Yow

  • Expression of humorous surprise or emphasis.

You’ve been divorced four times? Yow!

  • Expression of pain; touch.

Yow! I dropped it on my toe!

YOW, Angels to the Rescue

by Pam Kesterson

I fell asleep, and remained in a peaceful slumber, that only a pregnant mother experiences from exhaustion combined with over sensitized emotions that require major settling down and rest. Then suddenly I heard jackals and dogs snarling and barking in high shrill screams all around me. The noise and a decaying stench jarred me awake. I bolted up, throwing off the comforter in the process, but then a thick cover of dread and foreboding blanketed me instead.

I scanned the room to identify the barks, snarls, and howls that sounded like some dog creature. I could barely see, but then I made out sparse shades of light that cast eerie shadows from the small nightlight. I felt my skin crawl as I searched the dog shapes, large and smaller and I froze from a primal fear. I wanted to hide under the covers, but they were in a pile on the floor. How could this be happening to me? I have to protect my baby.

I was frightened and expected the saliva-dripping dogs to bite us with their razor sharp teeth that snarled from decaying muzzles. More dog creatures ran through the bedroom door knocking others over to see who could devour me first. These dogs were more like rabid wolves and scrappy, decaying coyotes. They came in all sizes, and all with intentions satisfying their hunger. I was a plumb meal in a helpless body, now sitting up in the bed with flashes of fear and my life, our lives, ending right then and there.


Some of the dogs vaulted to the bed, though seemed to freeze mid-air. I summoned all my faith, but the little life inside of me summoned more, picking up on my slack. I felt it kick inside of me with a rage, an awareness of maturity beyond its four months of existence. Still I saw the dogs lock their red eyes on mine. I was terrified and froze, so my child took control. I trusted the situation and held back the screams that threatened earlier. The tiny, yet powerful spirit welled up more and this time his spoken words took charge, with great authority and assurance the voice demanded, “Satan, I render you useless, and I render you ineffective.”

Brightness flooded the room, and a sweet scent wafted and mingled the yellow illuminating glow. All at once the room filled up with Angels, large and small, fifty, a hundred, two hundred, too many to count in my state and because they wouldn’t hold still. One particular Angel guarded our bed, and its presence comforted me, as its mighty wings swept the vicious dogs off the bed with no effort. Then it almost enveloped us in a cool, but soft embrace. The other Angels in the room rounded the dogs up and escorted them with all the authority of the Creator. The dogs tucked their tails between their legs, and limped away, fleeing from the bedroom.


Just as suddenly, the Angels disappeared and at that same moment the phone rang and snapped me out of my vision, or dream, I didn’t know what it was, except an amazing experience. In the absence of noise from the barking dogs, then the fanning and flapping of wings from the Angels, I heard the humming of the bedside digital clock that sat next to the phone and the clock flashed 4:00 AM as if an energy surge tripped its wires. In the delayed reaction before I responded to the ringing phone, I knew that my little person inside of me would be born at 4:00 AM five months later, and I also knew that he was a boy.

My baby kicked inside of me in rhythmic nudges as if to say, “Answer the phone, already.”

Still trembling from the experience, I put my left hand on my belly for support and to stop my shaking. I suspected the phone rang concerning the recently organized prayer chain in our church because our Pastor had been battling cancer and we formed an around the clock prayer group for special prayer requests. When prayer was needed a written request went out to everybody who accepted the challenge of joining with others, no matter of the time of day or night to pray. We had volunteered the previous week and had received calls a couple of times, but always in the daytime.

All the prayers started with our Pastor, and often he would have a short message of encouragement as he, in essence, gave everyone marching orders for prayer and even how to pray. There was nothing like an on the job training for the prayer warriors holding up and interceding for others needs.

Not only had our Pastor gained assistance for his grave and pressing problem, but others also found a way to minister and help by giving their time and reaching outside of themselves. So after receiving an encouraging heads up and okay from our leadership and the entire congregation, volunteers signed up and soon the chain had its structure. Not only for our Pastor but other prayer needs as well. The prayer chain started with a request and worked its way down to the bottom.

Though, my husband was out of town that night finishing up on a landscape project four hours away, as the owner of the company he had to be there. I was comfortable being alone for a night. We lived in a safe neighborhood, and had security all around us, but apparently, some defenses couldn’t keep some evil away. But I found that the protection of Guarding Angels supersede any electronics, now, then, or in the future. But I found that the security of Guarding Angels supersedes any electronics, now, then, or in the future.

After I had talked to my husband on the phone that night, I said my nightly prayers, then went to bed at a reasonable hour without knowing I’d have the most intense and surreal manifestation of my life. No experience before that time or since then can quite compare.

Oh yes, back to the phone call. As if in slow motion, I finally picked up the receiver, and the familiar voice of one of the organizers of the prayer chain came across the other line. He passed on the information to me, and I wrote it down on the paper I kept next to the phone for this purpose of praying with an unwavering focus in mind. It also had the names and numbers of the people I needed to call. Likewise, they would call the five names that had on their list and would read the message verbatim.

I knew with the clarity of a pregnant woman that had just experienced another realm, which this particular message given as a directive to the intercessors would ring true my entire life and its effectiveness would assist with the needs at hand. The words for the prayer chain confirmed so much. He read to me, “Satan, I render you useless, and I render you ineffective.” The prayer chain continued for a season with great success and five months later our loving, and inspirational baby boy was born at 4:00 AM, whom our Pastor helped name, Ian.



‘X’ is for Xerotic (a poem


Definition of xerosis

noun, Medicine/Medical.

abnormal dryness, as of the eye or skin.

normal sclerosis of the tissue in an aged person.
Origin of xerosis
Alright, alright, so I changed one word in my poem so I could include an ‘X’ word, which are few and far between. So when you read my poem, know that the Xerotic word means dry. Here’s the poem, we’ll see if it works.


photo by pixgood.com

Xerotic Hopes

by Pam Kesterson

The xerotic hopes,

The desperate longings.

Able to touch my dreams,

But not allowed to embrace them,

Through the bars of a prison.

Caught in punishment to fulfill,

For a crime that I didn’t commit–

Unless it was in ages past.

God’s grace abandoning me,

Like a diseased varment.

My faith voices a different cry.

One of abundant rainfall,

That tomorrow invariably brings the new,

And today will be but a memory that some day is forgotten.


Only the abrasions,

The scar tissue remains to tell the story

of a difficult time.


‘W’ is for Webs (Poem)



photo by spayun


by Pam Kesterson

Caught in the webs of confusion,

An entanglement I’ve severed before.

Longing to once again free from

The choking,

Agonizing pain.

Desiring to fill the void

With an indestructible solution,

An impenetrable shell.

The only accessible entry,

Becomes the purity of the Creator.


‘V’ is for Vegas



Before finding this picture, I remember the mushroom explosion and viewing it closer than the normal viewers from the city of Las Vegas where I lived as a child. Though since my father worked at the Nevada Atomic Test site, our family was able to view it closer still and within a protected area, if there is such a thing. My mother didn’t take a picture; she probably thought it would melt the camera, so thank goodness for the Internet providing a vivid picture for others to see what I had replayed over and over in my head like a video.



So why am I writing about Atomic Bombs on my writing blog? There are many other ‘V’ words, but Vegas came to mind. Growing up in Vegas is a magical place for a child to conjure up all sorts of stories to write about from Horny Toads to sitting in the back seat of the car with my sister as my parents drove home at nighttime and viewing the bright lights of the city that never sleeps in the distance. We only saw the colorful Vegas lights and shapes from a distance.

Lots of memories took place in Vegas, such as flash floods and dust storms. Tortoises like SoSlow that I wrote about in a previous blog, and Tarantulas and Scorpions in Captivity that my dad would bring home from the test site in coffee cans to show us kids what to avoid while playing out in the desert sun. He’d shake the spiders out from separate Five-pound coffee cans. The Tarantula wanted to show off his legs span and wouldn’t shake loose onto the table for the lesson, so he remained in the can. Other fun activities like lots of swimming and drinking Kool-Aid to stave off the heat took place in Vegas, and even experimenting with frying an egg on the hot sidewalk occupied my time as a child. At times Vegas was beige and drab from the desert sand, but imagination made it enchanting, and descriptive, if not terrifying at times.

But the most fantastic memory of all was when I saw the last above ground Nuclear Bomb go off right before my eyes. The picture above says it all, and you can read more details on Wikipedia right here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sunbeam

Let me know a vivid memory that you have from childhood, one that ignited all your senses. I’d love to hear your stories when you have a chance.

‘U’ is for Understanding Sharon

Sometimes poetry is the only way to deal with a loss. Yesterday I lost a dear friend that had fought cancer and other complications for over three years.U

Understanding Sharon

Urgent in need, yet never demanding, even under the pressure against time, the stopwatch and crime of death. Under the whimsical promise of hope.

United in an understanding of the urgency, family and friends surrounded her to make known in gratefulness her giving heart. Though many unspoken words lingered, as we gazed like mutes into the depth of her spirit and portrayed our love. She understood as I, as we, ushered her into a different realm of peace from turbulence. With tears, I’ll express the ‘us’ in our friendship. I’ll lift her up as a sacrifice to a hungry God that wants her more than the pull of gravity here on this earth. Rendered helpless without enough power to stop the sting of death.


Her ashes to flow on the bay of understanding for others who seek to understand the gentle, unselfish love of Sharon.

Good morning Sharon. How are you doing today on the other side?

‘T’ is for Tortoise (SoSlow)



One of my favorite pets as a child was a tortoise named SoSlow. Still with a soft shell, my father rescued her from getting hit and my sister, and I shared a new pet, that if properly taken care of, would live to 200 years old.

tiny tortoise

Over the years, I learned a lot from SoSlow. I found that even slow critters get around and always ended up at the right place at the right time.


SoSlow’s hunger was so fun to satisfy. For the most part, SoSlow had free run around the house from the time he was six weeks old. He had an appetite for lettuce. When held out to him, he’d crunch, then leave his mark in a V shape. Liking the design, I’d rotate the lettuce until I’d get a starburst shape, then on to another leaf. He also craved marshmallows, or at least we thought he did, even though he was a vegetarian. Mostly fresh greens did a good job sustaining him. Fresh greens with a high content of water.

Tortoise eating lettuce

I think we always had water available for him in a small low bowl, but he’d usually just walk over it, and it would warp the bottom of his cardboard house. As a tortoise, he never swam. He wasn’t the kind of turtle that could take a bath with you before soaping up in the tub.
SoSlow was entertainment for sure. He was an upbeat character and seldom withdrew into his shell.

Since I’m relating the similarities of my tortoise, SoSlow to the writing process, I’ll list some of them below (then some later).

  • Soft shelled at first, and vulnerable to many elements of dangers, like death of an idea.
  • Keep a slow and steady pace: Some of you might be like a caffeinated tortoise and move at a quicker pace while others can relate more to a consistent speed, and writing a novel might take a good year or more from start to finish.

Pam, Kathy and SoSlow

My cousin Kathy was holding SoSlow. I’m the shorter girl on the left

SoSlow also lived in a large cardboard box that my sister and I made into a roofless house, complete with various rooms for SoSlow to walk in through a large open door. He loved to move through the maze of his boxed house. We’d hear his nails scratching on the cardboard floor unless he shuffled into a carpeted room that we glued fabric on to look like carpet or the beach rooms with sand on the floor that we’d mold into tiny hills. We spoiled SoSlow, as the most fun pet ever. He practically smiled if we’d scratch and rub the top of his head, which we’d put little hats on for special occasions, that we’d borrow from little dolls.

SoSlow gradually grew from the size of a silver dollar to the width of a grapefruit when I was 16 years old. We’d take SoSlow outside in the hot weather to play, but we never left him unintended outside. Whereas some people in the desert would drill a hole in the pet tortoise’s shell and attach them to a rope or chain, but we never did that.

In my opinion, tortoises are too free-spirited to be tied up to anything. It’s too restraining. Though, since SoSlow wasn’t a trouble maker, we’d often take him out of his cardboard house and let him have free reign. Part of the fun of letting SoSlow walk around our place was so we could search for him when we wanted to play with him. It was like a daily Easter egg hunt. Only, one sad Fall day, we searched and searched all over the house and couldn’t find him. Our search continued into the next day and the next. There was no way he could have crawled outside because of the screen door. We didn’t have any other animals that could have eaten him because of his protective shell and evidence left behind. He was nowhere to be found. Our whole family was heartbroken. Nonetheless, we kept searching daily for months and months.

Then one day, about 12 weeks after losing SoSlow, my mom was in the kitchen cooking up some goodies, and when she went over to the refrigerator to grab some eggs, she noticed a movement at the bottom of the refrigerator where the metal grate was covering warm vent of the motor. There was just enough room for SoSlow to fit. She first noticed his nose poke out from under the refrigerator; then he walked out like waking from a long nap, which is what he had been doing, napping, or hibernating all Winter long.

Refrigerator GrillRefrigerator GrillWe found out later that only certain species of tortoises need to hibernate, while others do not. The following year SoSlow did the same thing and in the same place. Later he grew too much, and with his shell too high he wouldn’t fit under the vent of the refrigerator, so we made another warm and quite area in a special box that worked well for many years.

There’s another similarity of tortoises and writers.

  • Some writers may need to hibernate for a certain period.

This might involve excluding yourself from some commitments and social events, for a time so you can focus on your writing. That doesn’t mean you get a three-month nap, but rather, sometimes you have to focus to finish a novel, or withdraw to meet a deadline. Of course, it’s next to impossible to crawl under a refrigerator altogether because we still need to function and meet the needs of our family. I’m not recommending complete exclusion from life. But we need to be understanding of our nature, and if there are periods of times that you and others think you’re an introvert, this is why. You have your reasons and be forgiving of those needs.



Please let me know what type of (species) writer you are. Do you need to hibernate? Does this happen at regular intervals or just occasionally? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

‘S’ is for Sales (a Poem)


As much as I’ve tried to remove myself from ‘sales,’ getting your work out there is all about sales. That is, if we write for others to see and try to promote our work. Today’s word is ‘S,’ so I’m including a poem I wrote on SALES. 


by Pam Kesterson

I’ve been in SALES for some time now,

Inside and outside, but still somehow,

It’s SALES elusions I recall-

I really don’t know SALES-at all.

Some SALES are simple,

Samples left behind.

The Merchant thinks you’re being kind.

A soft SALE now-

Though expected later-

Like a hunger alligator.

This kind of SALES in quite bizarre,

The Salesperson gets a company car.

Climbing Sales

The “absolute one time close,”

Has much smooth talking,

And is best left for pro’s.

It convinces the shoppers

That searched the rows;

Buy this today,

And don’t buy those.

Numbers/Sony Disk

Rejection is a way of life-

That is in SALES-not Man and Wife.

‘A numbers game,’ I often say,

Then, ‘Lets break the odds,’

to God I pray.

The fearful quota,

Which is known in SALES,

Makes the salesman strong as nails.

Saleswomen too-not only males,

For without a quota

Success often fails.

The thrill of the SALE will come, I know.

And like an arrow in a bow-

The target hit for all to see.

But did it happen easily?

No-instead, consistently.

elephants hide

elephant’s hide

In SALES, an elephant’s hide is mandatory.

If not, our skin will turn quite gory.

It’s been said of me, ‘I am thick skinned.’

My persona, right there is pinned.

If you’re not in SALES

You may discover,

The gold of a promise

That you’ll never uncover.



‘R’ is for Rain, Acid Rain


Here’s a poem about rain. Though it doesn’t feel like the nice refreshing rain of on a Spring day.

Rain Falling on the Ground

Rain, Acid Rain

by Pam Kesterson

An aching response threatened by time.

Fear showering down like acid rain.

An inability to open my eyes of understanding

As if a drop of dilation

And the sunlight sensitized my pupils,

Unbearably so.

Futility seizing the moment,

to undo the progress of faith,

Like an opportunist.

Persistence is my only weapon,

And movement (however slight)

My only recourse.rainy-cloud-smiley-emoticon


Let me know your favorite rain poems since it’s that time of the year.

‘Q’ is for Quotes from Quirky Writers

Below are writing quotes from famous writers, including many we might not recognize. I have 17 quotes matching up to the 17th letter in the alphabet-Q.



1. “Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?”

― Cornelia Funke

2. “In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book.”
― Junot Díaz

3. “Those who write are writers. Those who wait are waiters.”
― A. Lee Martinez

4. “Yeah, I know what your English Professor tried to tell you. But if your English Professor could make a living writing fiction, they would have been doing it.”
― Dean Wesley Smith

5. “As a writer one is allowed to have conversations with oneself. What is considered sane in writers is made for the rest of the human race.”
― Alan Ayckbourn

6. “A writer is one who communicates ideas and emotions people want to communicate but aren’t quite sure how, or even if, they should communicate them.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

writer (1)


7. “No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”
― Erin Bow

8. “Write like you’ll live forever — fear is a bad editor.
Write like you’ll croak today — death is the best editor.
Fooling others is fun. Fooling yourself is a lethal mistake.
Pick one — fame or delight.
The archer knows the target. The poet knows the wastebasket.
Cunning and excess are your friends.
TV and liquor are your enemies.
Everything eternal happens in a spare room at 3 a.m.
You’re done when the crows sing.”
― Ron Dakron

9. “We all dream dreams of unity, of purity; we all dream that there’s an authoritative voice out there that will explain things, including ourselves. If it wasn’t for our longing for these things, I doubt the novel or the short story would exist in its current form. I’m not going to say much more on the topic. Just remember: In dictatorships, only one person is really allowed to speak. And when I write a book or a story, I too am the only one speaking, no matter how I hide behind my characters.”
― Junot Díaz

10. “Writers begin with a grain of sand, and then create a beach.”
― Robert Black

11. “Without the dreamers who write science fiction and other imaginary material we’d still be sitting in caves … if we weren’t already extinct.”
― William C. Samples

12. “We writers are resilient souls.”
― Lauren DeStefano, Wither

13. “Don’t let yourself be amazed by the imagination of a writer and his words, writers are almost all the time in a love-hate relationship with words.”
― Nema Al-Araby

writer 3


14. “Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric.” 

― Buffy Andrews

15. “That’s okay,” I said. “We’re writers. We make things up.”
― John Irving, In One Person

16. “Writers are engineers of human souls.”

17. “I propose that every person out of work be required to submit a book report before he or she gets his or her welfare check.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

I’d like to hear your favorite writing quote. Let me know when you have a chance.