Lorenzo & Co.

Glad you could join us for the next lovely episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot L
Photo credit: Vadim Trunov

“Dudes!” Lorenzo called to James and Juliet. “Look at this!”

“What is it, man?” James asked, prodding Elliot with one toe, “Is it, like, alive?”

“I dunno, dude. This foreign guy just came up out of the water with diamonds in his mouth and stuck it on my boat.” He plucked Elliot off the side of the log with his bill and lay him at their feet. “I don’t think he’s breathing, man.”

“Stand back, you guys,” Juliet commanded. “I know CPR.” She stretched Elliot’s neck back, leaning his chin to one side, and began compressions.

“She is, like, amazing,” James confided. “She just knows so much stuff. That’s why I married her, bro.” His eyes gleamed with pride. Or something.

Without warning, Elliot blurped a dirty dribble of water and coughed raggedly. Juliet sat back beaming as he tried unsuccessfully to right himself.

“Whoa, dude! It is alive!” Lorenzo exclaimed.

“A little help here, please?” Elliot requested, rolling back and forth on his shell.

“And it, like, talks!” James gave Elliot a little push with his wing tip, tilting him over to stand upright.

Shrugging his shell back into place, Elliot drew himself to his full height and dignity. “I beg your pardon,” he began, nodding to Juliet, “I’m a little confused. How did I get here?”

James squawked a quack that struck Elliot’s nerves like lightening. If his foot hadn’t been so firmly stuck to the bark, he would have flipped overboard.

Lorenzo’s wings flapped frantically. “It was epic, dude! This diamond guy spit you onto my boat, but you were, like, dead, and Juliet brought you back to life!”

Turning to Juliet, Elliot bowed his head. “Thank you for saving me. I wish I could repay you, but I’m afraid I need to ask for one more kindness.” He swung his eyes from one to the other to the other. “I need to return to shore.” His eyes swept in separate arcs above his head, searching for a likely place to disembark.

To the west, a mossy knoll on the opposite bank caught a ray of sunshine through the trees.

Then he saw her.

To be continued…

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

#AtoZChallenge A-to-Z Fictioneers: Interested in original fiction? Here’s a list of writers who are writing stories for the 2017 A to Z Challenge. The author’s link will take you to their “A” post. If you know of any other story writers I can share, please drop the link in the comments!

Today’s twofer from April 17, 2016:

Letters and Livelihood

I wrote letters when I was growing up. Mom insisted. Dad had escaped the Midwest with all of us in tow, so all our relatives were 2,500 miles away, wanting to know how we were and what we were up to. Especially Mom’s two older sisters, Sis and Dorrie, authentic maiden aunts who lived with their mother all her life, and together all of theirs.

Strangely enough, they were not crazy cat ladies. In fact, their living situation didn’t seem the least bit peculiar to me.

I wasn’t the most eager letter writer. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was so busy with chairing the Commencement Committee, copy editing the yearbook, serving as Treasurer of ECIVRES (service spelled backwards, an honorary… yep, service organization), keeping up with a college class in Political Science, trying to earn A’s in my honors classes, working regular babysitting jobs, and attempting to have some sort of social life, that my letters were closer to lists of activities and apologies for not writing more often, than to meaningful communications with people who loved me.

Dorrie often issued a dire warning against “burning the candle at both ends”, which I saw as:

candle 1
Intriguing, and kind of romantic, yes?

And I’m pretty sure she saw more as:

Candle 3
A worn out puddle of splurp.

To this day, I have never heeded her warning. Which brings me to the


portion of this post.

I am behind. I am behind in posting to the A to Z Blogging Challenge (today is N Day, isn’t it?) I am also behind in my livelihood work.

Confession: “I am an increasingly reluctant seamstress.” Me. On a good day.

From your side of the table, it looks a lot like:

sewing 1
But with far less attractive nails.

From my side, it looks a lot like:

sewing 2
Crap. Where the hell is the hole?

Several factors have come into play to inflate my dream of retirement from this honorable and manually laborious trade.

  1. Advancing age
  2. Retreating eyesight
  3. I’d rather be reading good books
  4. I’d rather be reading other people’s blogs
  5. I’d rather be taking pictures for the M:P366 Photo Challenge
  6. I’d rather be writing the A to Z Blogging Challenge
  7. I’d rather be writing the 3 Day Quote Challenge
  8. I’d rather be writing the “final” edit of Enhanced
  9. I’d rather be writing the next part of the Second Earth Trilogy
  10. I’d rather…

You get the idea.

But because I am well endowed with Dad’s Germanic stubbornness, my own near compulsion to defy common sense limits, and “a pesky need to eat sometime this month” (thank you Joss Whedon), I persevere. I will continue my unbroken 107 day streak on M:P. I will complete the 3 Day Quote Challenge tomorrow. I will catch up on A to Z this weekend.

And dammit, I’ll get all that sewing done, too. Because, reality being what it is, rather than retire, I will have to work until the Day. I. Die.

Well, maybe I’ll take that last week off.

What are your retirement plans? Is it even a realistic option? Or are you already living the dream?

Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

40 thoughts on “Lorenzo & Co.”

  1. I thought the Batman installment was “the latest”.. boy was I wrong 😂
    But I’m now at a comfortable place in the story to leave Eliot for a bit, while I visit the real world.. But I will be back 😉

    I am living the dream while not retired yet.. It’s a good thing too.. If I waited until I retired, I’m not sure if I could physically do all the things up at my property that are my dream piece of the world to retreat and enjoy..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SURPRISE! The Batman episode? Oh, my! Lol. I hope you enjoy what lies before you — you will, of course, always be a welcome visitor.

      Living the dream every day IS the dream, isn’t it? What kind of property do you have? I’m imagining woods and a stream, deer in your yard, seclusion, and starry, starry nights. Maybe snowed-in winters. Room for cats, dogs, and horses. Even though I’m STILL ready to move on from seamstressing, I do love my life. I relish the autonomy of self-employment, the freedom to set my own schedule, and the time I have to invest in creative endeavors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you 😊
        You got it almost perfect..
        15 acres of woods and wetlands with a brook on one border and 850 ft of riverbank across from my road frontage.. Wildlife and birds are abundant but very shy.. In spite of deep snowy winters, my dream is to stay off grid in modern but cozy comfort..
        I think your skill as a seamstress is as impressive as any author.. Sewing takes talent, I tried to learn it from my mom and school.. I just don’t have the dexterity or talent.. Can I find examples of your work on the blog ? I’m only on for a minute catching up with comments, if you have some of your sewing up, please post a link ?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Your property sounds ideal. Are you working with alternative energy sources? I hope you’ll share your off-grid experience at least intermittently with people like me who can’t quite break from the convenience of living surrounded by concrete.

          As it happens, the Elliot episode (Mysterious Mushroom Maiden) following the one you paused at, is paired with Making Money, a little picture album of some of my more unusual sewing creations (https://stranscht.com/2017/04/15/mysterious-mushroom-maiden/), all of which are far more exciting than the repairs-and-alterations that are the bread and butter of the business since I stopped working on weddings and proms. I’ve cut back on theatre work, too. Typically, I do only one show a year now, working with a friend who costumes for regional theaters like Cygnet Theater in San Diego and Pasadena Playhouse. It’s always a highlight of my work year because she lets me design trick costumes — like the dress that bursts into flames on stage. (I am now prepared to costume a stage production of Hunger Games, should anyone ask!) lol

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That was great ! Thank you 😊
            I’ve posted a few videos of my progress on the property and decided to continue to plot my progress on the blog.. I’m hoping to get a lot further the next 3 months, as winter tends to come early in Maine..

            Liked by 1 person

          2. When my son was little, I told him about a train trip I had taken (at age 11) with two of my sisters (ages 13 and 9) and our aunt. We rode from Milwaukee through Denver to San Diego. 3 days, 2 nights, sitting up to sleep, running up to the glass ceilinged observation car whenever we went through a tunnel. He decided he wanted to take “a train to Maine”. We’re both much older now, but it’s still a dream. I’ll seek out your videos — I’ve seen a couple of them along the way, but I didn’t realize you were in Maine.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I didn’t know trains had an observation car and with a glass ceiling ! Amtrak seems to think that Maine ends at Brunswick 😕 But there is much to see and do above there.. I hope that dream comes true, it’s a beautiful state from coastline to mountains..

            One thing I love in the mechanics of your blog, is something sorely lacking in mine.. Organization.. Some is laziness on my part, but most is my lack of WP skills..
            Videos of the cabin and property will be found in Pitstops.. I hope you enjoy my bits of video 😊 Disclaimer : “home movies”, not to expect action pack or an interesting plot 😂

            Liked by 1 person

          4. They even dimmed that car’s lights while the train was in a tunnel — great fun being in the pitch black if you’re a kid! Out in the daylight, it was the best place to read.

            When I researched the “train to Maine” idea, I was surprised Amtrak stopped such a short way into Maine, too. I figure if I can ever afford the trip, that’s where I’ll rent a car. lol

            I’m not sure my site’s any better organized than yours — I probably just offer fewer topics. I added the “Previously” and “Next” links to each Elliot post so the serial isn’t interrupted by anything else, but otherwise, everything is one chronological list under Home, with the About and Enhanced pages tacked on.

            i enjoy your videos! They’re slice-of-life with a musical score.


  2. I am living the dream, thanks for asking. On the other hand, I’m definitely NOT retired. And, like you, I am BEHIND! Sheesh, it’s hard to be anything but behind during the A to Z challenge, right? It’s crazy. Still, Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Easter to you, too, John! I did fall behind last year, but this year, I decided to try planning ahead — oh, the novelty! I didn’t prepare the entire month, but I’m managing a week at a time. I admit it’s removed much of the stress I experienced last year.


  3. I was REALLY worried for Elliot!! Lucky the duck dudes came along..but..WHO has he seen?? Can’t wait for the next instalment!
    Great second read too, was it Mae West who said: ” My candle burneth at both ends it will not last the night; but Ah my friends and Oh my foes it gives a lovely light!” Always makes me smile…:) xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was trying to come up with a dreadful cricket related pun there, something about being out for a duck, but I don’t know enough about the game…!!
        And fancy that! I did think it sounded unlikely for Mae West, although I am quite sure she embraced the philosophy of it!! 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha! I’m sure it would have gone right over my head. I know nothing about the game of cricket except that there is a flattish bat (that can be used as a weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse), and there are wickets.

          P.S. I think Mae West was known as a pretty smart cookie. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Good thinking…I never considered a cricket bat as a weapon…the advantage of keeping the zombie at arm’s length while not needing total accuracy…🐱

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I always pictured burning the candle at both ends as a straight candle with a wick on either end, floating in midair, burning. This image makes no sense in reality, and the circular candle seems much more possible in the real world. I suppose you could have the candle lying on its side with the flames barely above whatever surface it was laying on, but that seems entirely too precarious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the very least, it should be U-shaped, right? But I carried the same straight candle floating image that you did. Now, I would create something more artistic like a folded spiral with intertwining ends. Or a knotted rope shape with a clove hitch or sheep’s bend. Or a free form squiggle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Diana. Growing up in southern California, there were plenty of surfer dudes around to imprint the culture on the rest of us. These dudes were naturals. There have been times I’ve threaded that needle by feel. I’m not sure what quality I would achieve by sewing blind, but at least I know I could get the thread through the hole! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a fine saga indeed – what will Elliot be up to next? I’m smiling at the image of burning your candle at both ends – just be sure to keep it away from any and all seamstress-y things. Retiring in a flame of glory might not be exactly what you had in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deborah. I hope you’ll join Elliot for each unexpected turn he takes. Ah, retiring in flames would be a very short retirement, wouldn’t it — but, as you say, glorious! No, no, completely unappealing. I shall mind your advice. lol


  6. You see, this is what happens after I read your blog… First, I smile and think about Elliot (apologize for misspelling his name the other day) and his being brought back to life with CPR. Then I read about your childhood memories and my mind takes me back to OUR times together. I marvel at your ability to remember details and how beautifully you express those memories in your writing. I think about enrolling in a writing class, but then wonder where I’ll find the time because I too have a list of things to do even though I am blissfully retired. I spend WAY TOO much time analyzing my response usually deciding I don’t like what I’ve written…erase, erase…start over…oh crap…just hit the “like” button. Then I spend a good part of my day feeling guilty that I didn’t write a proper response. No wonder I can’t get anything accomplished. 😕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And you have that beautiful family to devote time to, too. There are only two solutions I can suggest: A. Give up sleeping. B. Get a time machine. (I was going to say “Build a time machine”, but obviously, you don’t have time for that. But I think they’re on Backorder at T.A.R.D.I.S.com.)

      Thank you for your very kind assessment of my writing. As for the clarity of my memories — I think the older ones have just been there so long, they’ve become as solid as petrified wood. It’s the fresh memories that seem more vaporous. lol. I feel your pain about proper responses. There are a few places I always try to leave one of those, and then there are ALL the others.


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