Thursday, June 26, 2014

Picture it & Write! - Bygones

He'd arrived on a night much like this one; misty, whimsical clouds low in the sky, Lake Michigan lapping at the shore of her rented cottage. She had known he wasn't one to stay in one place for very long.

Two weeks ago, he'd glided down from heavens like a gift from God. His hot air balloon from a bygone era landed in the field behind her silver electro minivan.

Tonight, she stood there wondering where his adventure lies next. Would he remember her? Like she did, as his smell still lingered in the very air that surrounded her?

He'd changed her even with the few hours they had together. How would she explain those changes when questioned by well meaning friends and family?

Some would think she took their advice and paid Kurt back by sleeping with someone else. But they were wrong. Sex wouldn't fix what was wrong. 

She'd begun her own adventure to find peace after the scandal of Kurt's betrayal spread through their close knit community. Some would understand that she moved away from the pain of Kurt's affair. Others would claim she never cared in the first place and she had gotten what she deserved.

Hugging herself close, oh, she'd cared but now. . . watching the balloon float off into a different time and space. She knew she was going to be okay.

Hope you enjoyed,

Leann Holland

Thursday, December 12, 2013

~Picture it & Write! - Temptation

~Picture it & Write!


I had been so sure this day would never come. I missed him so very much. He was my best friend, lover; my husband of fifteen years.

Then on his way home on a routine day on a routine route, an accident happened. The one that took him away from the kids and I.

I stare at the picture on the cover of a romance novel my sister bought for me. She dropped it off when she took my children for a sleepover with her two sons.

Romance novels had been a guilty pleasure. I'd stay up late until almost daylight reading them once or twice a month until Brian died.

I couldn't touch one for the last two years. Just looking at the cover reminding of all I had lost. But as I glaze down on the book in my hand, I wonder if the characters I create in my mind will look anything like the ones on the cover.

I lay down on the tattered beige sofa thinking I should be cleaning the kid's bathroom. I turn to the first page. I'm lost. See you at sunrise.

Hope you enjoyed the flash fiction. 


Leann Holland

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

~ Picture It & Write! - Water's Edge

Water's Edge
(A short story)

Today would have been her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Yolanda Dean never expected to celebrate it by herself. They had made plans now that both kids were graduated and in college to travel a little. They, she and her husband, Lonnie, loved sunsets over water. They had traveled all over the west side of the state of Michigan taking pictures of the sunsets, entire walls showcased the beauty of Lake Michigan. It had all started with their honeymoon in Holland, Michigan.

Now, she sat here on the edge of the Pacific Ocean looking at the most vibrant colors they'd seen this year. But Lonnie's chair was empty.  She wouldn't cry. It had only been a month since his passing. It was so sudden, so unexpected. The kids told her to come and not let the tickets go to waste. 

Ermilia's ~Picture it & Write! Click the picture to learn more.
Her mother was sitting back in the hotel. Yolanda asked her to let her do this alone. Standing at the water's edge, she held his urn tightly. It was time to release his ashes per his request to be scattered over water during a beautiful sunset. Tears flowed down her lined checks, lines that weren't there a month ago. 

"Goodbye, my love!" Yolanda tried to let go. She cried harder. "Sorry, my love! You're coming home with me. I'll let you go over our beloved lake which isn't this far away from me." Hugging the urn sitting down in her borrowed beach chair, she picked up her bottle of iced cappuccino and drained it. Resting the bottle on her knee, the sunset magnified. She felt God and Lonnie smiling down at her.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Yesterday at our church's small group class, a interesting question was asked. What advice would you give to the soon-to-be married or the newly married?

I was amazed at the response. They didn't feel that it was good idea to tell the truth. Marriage is hard and is filled with a lot of hard work. (I struggle with this attitude - topic for another time. Lying to the next generation maybe why we have a generation gap!)

Here is the advice I wished I had received. Stop judging everything your spouse does by your family's "we've always done things this way." Just because we've done it this way doesn't make it the only way for something to be done right.

Here is an example from very early in my marriage. Where does mustard go when it's put away? His mother put it in the cabinet. My mother always refrigerated ours. Who was right?

This could be a big conflict. Could you image the fights over the condiment of mustard? Unfortunately, it is things like this that are the beginning of a lot of martial troubles. No, not mustard but little petty things.

The label on the mustard bottle does not claim that it needs refrigeration. We put the mustard on the cabinet shelf. Then I had to confess that I prefer my mustard cold. Luckily, he didn't have a preference. Now, you will find the mustard in our refrigerator.  

It seems like a little thing but communication is really the key. We need to express our wants, needs, and preferences but we need to listen to their wants, needs, and preferences and that's when compromise is necessary. Beware the need to control everything around us. It will make us miserable.


Leann Holland

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What will you do for work?

During the early days of this recession, my husband's construction business was a scary place. We were hit really hard before they even labeled it a recession. Then the work started picking up, not great but we survived. The recession was labeled. The 401k's and IRAs lost money. The mortgage crisis hit. The stock market dipped further. Work was slow and steady like the tortoise in classic children's story.

My husband had to work jobs out of town away from the family. Sometimes the accommodations were nice. Some were not. One job in Georgia, in December, he lived in a log cabin that was not winterized and had no heat. It was a cabin that had seen Sherman march by in the civil war (The cabin was on the wrong side of the river and Sherman decided not to cross for it). It had been unkempt for years before some restoration had taken place. General cleaning was not one of the tasked performed.

We are in the process of selling our house and relocating to our home state which we left nineteen years ago. This is the reason I haven't posted in some time. It would be a hard time in which to get a new job here and we can't move until we sell our house. [Sidebar: Actually we've had one contract and another interested buyer back out because in these tight credit times, they can't qualify for a loan (credit problems).]

My husband has proven his love of his family again, working a job that requires he live like an animal. My husband works with a crew that restores dilapidated old log structures and makes them functional and usually beautiful.

This current job site is six hours from home on a log addition to a grand home. The homeowner chose the hotel in which to house the crew, a hotel owned by his uncle. He told them it was nothing special. He drove the guys to their home away from home.

The initial impression, judging the book by it's cover, was spot on. My husband wondered how such a place could still be operating. The truly scary part is the condition of the room. The toilet hasn't been cleaned in at least weeks. The garbage container still contains the leftovers (beer bottles and other trash) from the previous occupants. One of his coworkers ran to the store to obtain cleaning supplies as he was so concerned about the conditions. While my husband checked the bed for bugs, he's not sure how well he'll sleep tonite. Bugs weren't apparent. Cigarette lighters and more trash were found behind the headboard. Then he check the condition of the mattress, praying for clean sheets. An abandoned mattress lying around in the precivil war era log cabin looked to be in better shape than what he is expected to sleep on tonite.

What would you do? Leave or Stay? Come home with no job to face three hungry teenagers. What will you do for work?

Count your blessings tonight when your head hits a clean safe pillow.

Leann Holland

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do you Zazzle?

Earlier this month, I stumbled on an interesting creative outlet. Zazzle is a print on demand for artist; enthusiast, hobbyist, or professional.

How is it different from all the other photo services out there?

Zazzle allows you to use your digital art/photos to create personalized items. (Yeah, I know a lot of places allow you to do that.) But can you sell your items to any else? At Zazzle, you can. And you can get paid a 10% royalty (you can set the royalty higher if you choose too.)

They have an associate program. So advertising your art or someone else art from your website can you earn 15% royalty.

I love the selection of items on which you can place your designs (art/photos). Ipad cases, Iphone cases, T-shirts, ties, ornaments, greeting cards, necklaces, stainless steel travel mugs, and many other categories, they are still adding new products. In the three weeks since my first visit they have add two or three more shapes of stickers.

I have added a link on the right for my Zazzle store and here it is again, Bending Tree Designs .

Yes, I do Zazzle. What about you?

Happy Spring,

Leann Holland

Friday, March 11, 2011


I've been hard at work writing. My current YA WIP (work in progress), Droke's Way: A Journey Home, is at a crisis moment. It's the make or break moment of the story.

Last Sunday, I took a break from the writing to focus on the business side publishing. One of the blogs I read was advice to writers. Don't make your antagonist too big or powerful.

Underdog - Ultimate CollectionI've been watching a TV series on the American Revolution. Talk about a David and Goliath moment. America shouldn't exist. We lost more battles than we won. We were outmanned, outgunned, out everything. Yet here we are. A story that shouldn't have been told.

Is that why our folklore is full of underdogs?

Our nation has made the transition from Underdog to Top Dog. Where do we go from here? We've become the Goliath at which we thumbed our noses. We had a common goal, a purpose. We've reached the peak. Now what?

Will we tear this nation apart with fighting amoung ourselves or will we get the fairy tale endings? Luckily, I can't peek at the end of the story. It's still being written.

Love to hear your opinions.

Leann Holland