Friday -the Wakefield Doctrine- “and then there were three”

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Why is a coffee mug like a writing desk?

no, I’m serious… Readers of the Wakefield Doctrine can easily imagine how good/pleased/(I’d say delighted but fear that would sound… I don’t know, a little X-Chromish) I felt when, upon Phyllis’ arrival home the other night and said, “Did you know there were packages on the porch. I think one is the clothes I ordered…”*

Well. I came up the stairs, a rectangle box that  was littered with slogans and icons of LL Bean in one hand, and in the other, a cube of styrofoam. Not exactly a cube, more of a decahedron of styrofoam. I looked for a return address and finding none, walked out (through the French doors in the dining area) to the deck and scanned the trees surrounding the house.

There was a cup inside the cube decahedron. And the cup is,  well you can see it above. It is a lot like the first mug and undeniably quite different.  Let me show you:


…that’s how a mug is like a story.

Thank you, mug-fairy(s)**

(Best be careful in them trees, hear tell there’s some snow in the future for them of us in New England)

*  note: I always come into the house through the garage, which is sorta under the main living area and so will hardly ever notice parcels or packages on the front porch. I put a photo in the ‘cover photo’ for this post. You can kinda see the design in the photo

** no, I totally agree, not a major risk of that term gaining traction in the world of fun surprise anonymous gifts of coffee mugs that contain a secret story.



Six Sentence Story -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)


I love this painting. And, this being the Six Sentence Story, I thought, hey zoe will provide the word, let the photo provide me with ‘an atmosphere’.

Probably should provide a little backstory. I just finished writing ‘Almira’ and I’ve been giving thought to what to write next. Surely less that a full-novel, maybe a novella, you know, smaller, (with less than a year in time commitment). In any event, my second thought was, ‘damn, clark, you’d better hurry and learn more about writing’.

And so the Edward Hopper painting.

or something

This is zoe’s Six Sentence Story. A bloghop which invites all to take the week’s prompt word and write a story of six (and only and exactly) sentences. It really is fun and satisfying. Join us! This week the word is ‘Will’

Star let the night-dark shadows of the alley drape over her shoulders just enough to mute the natural extroversion of her long blonde hair, while still keeping the man and woman across the street in view, where they sat in a 2 am diorama, ‘Diner under yellow fluorescent lights’. She struggled with the necktie, over-coming her natural tendency to tie a playful bow instead of a small, hard, ‘none of your business, it’s been a long day’ knot. Cinching the belt into a newly punched hole, the extra length of leather stinking out like the tongue of an impudent child, she completed her change of clothes by forcing the last rebellious wave of gold up and into the sweat-stained fedora.

Hearing a sound behind her, the girl crouched down, “Ok, boy, you wait here, I’ve got a little business across the street to take care of and then I promise we will get something to eat.” In the canine tradition of cheerfully ignoring the ways and conventions of the humans they’d long ago adopted, his tail wagged side to side, which unlike a human, indicated wholehearted agreement and, without taking his eyes off the girl, backed into the shadows.

Star touched the brim of her hat and smiled at the bare leg protruding from the row of once shiny garbage cans, like the lower half of a semi-colon and said, “Thank you Mr. McLarty, I’d promise to return your clothes, but our stories will be more convincing if I don’t,” and she tucked a stiff parchment rectangle into the inside pocket of the suit coat, “Last Will and Testament’ protruding above the Brooks Brothers label and crossed the street on lily pads of street light and litter.


Whosday -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)


How cool is this?


There was a note:


The answer: very cool.

(updated photons):


There is a person who not only is kind and generous, but also has that rare sense of the fun of giving gifts without attribution. This seems to be a quality, inherent in all of us (imo), that is enhanced by the virtuality of this place where we all meet and interact and do fun things (trying to avoid ending in a preposition, ya know). Surely this is an aspect about the virtual world that is an improvement on the ‘real’ world. I mean, think about it, to accomplish what our secret gift giver has accomplished, would require: all of us, (everyone reading this), to have binoculars and a secure position in one of the many pine trees that surround Phyllis and Una and my house, …maybe night vision, no, definitely night vision, ’cause I opened the ‘un-return address(ed)’ package last night… and might as well throw in some listening devices. And…and! enough solid upper branches in enough trees for everyone to watch the gift hit, because  then everyone could look around, (at tree top level), at everyone else and try to figure out who set the fun train careening down the track.


Thank you.



Ten Things of Thankful -the Wakefield Doctrine- late edition!

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Slow start this weekend, it being Saturday night at 9:43 already!

As the new Mistress of the Thankfuls*, Wendy/Josie has re-affirmed what, (imo), has, in part, accounted for the success of this here bloghop here, and that is, ‘good intent always trumps rules and requirements’. Sure, there is the implied rule of 10 Items as a baseline number, but there are few among us who have not encountered a week where we are hard-pressed to hit that number.

(She and I had a Commentvation about certain artifacts from TToT.1 such as the Book of Secret Rules (aka the Secret Book of Rules). The consensus was that traditions and in-blog jokes are wonderful and enjoyable as long as they don’t appear, to a new Reader or participant, to be an ‘inside joke’. She (Josie) has a talent for presenting ideas in such a way as to make alternative perspectives not only possible, but attractive. I quite got the perspective she was suggesting and not only agree with her,  I also perceive a challenge that can only result in my own self-improvement of myself in terms of my writing skills and such.

So, on with the TToT for this week.

1)  I would start with the easy ones**  (hey! I really am grateful for having: a) things and people and dogs in my life that constantly stimulate a gratitudinous response  and 2) participating in a gratitude blog that not only allows for…. liberal interpretation of acceptable forms of expression, but actually kinda encourages it. (So put me down for #1)

2) In the category of lifeforms (human and non-human) Phyllis and Una have total tenure in these pages.

3) holy smoke! It’s Sunday afternoon!  (I am not going to claim smoke, Sunday or (the) afternoon as a Grat item. (Although I can see one L Rogers, somewhere (hopefully in a excessively english-looking library, or, weather permitting, in an english garden (on an uncomfortable looking, but period necessary, wrought-iron chair around a circular table, Delft Blue tea pot in the center, english looking cookies (macaroons or macadoons or some form of overly dense, hyper-desiccant pastry), her eyebrow, slowly rising, dragging one corner of her smile upwards, “Good ahead, clark!  Lets see you try to make these three things, Things of Thankful, I dare, you, I double dare you!”)  I will not.

4) I typed, ‘The End’ to ‘Almira‘. The final Chapter is written and our tale has ended. I’m still processing the feelings. It’s always been a good feeling to finish a Chapter as I have each week for nearly a year. But this is different. The story is complete. That there is as much work yet to do to find an agent and a publisher does not impinge on the good feeling.

5) the un-alloyed gratitude I have, here mid-way through my list for a small group of readers who have been with me every chapter of the way: Phyllis, Denise, Val, Kerry and Lise. I am totally in debt to you guys for your encouragement and feedback. Thank you.

6) The Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)… my favorite Latin phrase still totally says it all, ‘sine qua non’ (‘without which, not‘)

7) The Graviteers over at the Gravity Challenge ( val, joy, lisa, sarah, kristi and may)

8) zoe and her Six Sentence Story bloghop  every Thursday a new prompt word and reality gets a little more permeable and you’ll see (and read) some of the strangest things… very fun, you are invited.

9) the Book of Secret Rules (aka the Secret Book of Rules)… we’ll be coming back to this wonderful portal-allegorical over the weeks. I might describe it as ‘the opportunity to enjoy the creative writing implied in the TToT, while remaining true to the spirit of the blog, which is encourage people to share those parts of their lifes and times that might engender the experience of gratitude.’  I will demonstrate it with the next item. the ever useful and popular, Secret Rule 1.3

10) SR 1.3  (so, as all good stories should begin, once upon a time, when I was totally at wit’s end coming up with a list of Ten Things of T, I despaired of reaching what I considered the end of my week’s list, the Tenth Thankful. Although it is clear that 10 is a good number, a list of three or fifty-five or eighteen Things of Thankful is what the TToT is all about, I did not know that. I tend to have to struggle with every list, (yeah, I know, ‘knock you over with a feather’ lol), in any event, I was almost there, but, as zoe would say, when it came to Item 10, ‘I had nothin’. It then occurred to me that the very near completion of my list was something I could legitimately be thankful for!  cha ching!  the Tenth Item!   (Many have commented that the effort to explain the rule is probably more than the effort to complete the 10th item. I would say, ‘yes and no’ Yes it’s true but no, the effort (in this case, to explain SR 1.3) is a part of my contribution to the common effort represented in the TToT bloghop every week. It is to say, ‘hey, I might be from Y Chromia and have trouble with emotions and such, but here! look! I found a really neat book!’




*  yeah, does sound odd when you say it out loud, and silently when you read it, for that matter.

** for the record, I am not one inclined to readily recognize those things that I should feel grateful for, not solely due to my hailing from the land of Y Chromosomes


FTSF -the Wakefield Doctrine- ‘..of slide projectors and Planters Cocktail peanuts.’

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)


I was wandering the ‘net and scrolling through the Facebook when I saw a familiar face. The cool thing is that it was of person I’ve never met but have known since he was, like 5 years old. The best part of this virtual world is the opportunity, if we’re lucky, to share or get a glimpse into the lives of friends (and their family) that we may very well never ever find ourselves in the same room with. But, as I’ve said elsewhere,  the gift of the blogosphere is to be able to say, “hey remember the time that Tucker…” or “that reminds me of the trip you all took to…”

This bloghop is where I ‘got serious’ about blogging. The FTSF is a deceptively simple premise, ‘though fraught with the hazard of self-revelation. It was, for me, the place to be for a number of Fridays…back in the day.

This week, Kristi and them at FTSF are inviting us to complete the sentence:

When it comes to traveling…

…I stay indoors.

Funny thing about posts in general, and this bloghop in particular, sometimes you have an idea of what to write but it doesn’t …make you type. Sure it’s a sound idea, a good theme, but its just not fun. Then there are ideas that yell in your head, ‘Hey! There you go!’ (The idea that I really like was right there in my intro, but it took coming back this morning (Saturday) to know what I would write.*)

In my more mundane version of this post, I would have said something about the business trips I used to take and how they were adventures, not merely in seeing new places, but in taking myself to new and different places. Watching myself as I explored other parts of the country was as much fun as going there (whatever that means).

But in this version, (the fun one, where the words rush out like kids out to a school yard), when I read the sentence fragment, I would say

“When it comes to traveling… I like to tag along on friends vacations.

The photo of Tucker (on Kristi’s post) says it all. My immediate reaction was, “Hey! I remember that time.”

I have never met Tucker, but I’ve known him for a number of years. This is true simply because Kristi has afforded me the privilege of sharing parts of her life, through her blogposts at Finding Ninee and (her) comments at the Doctrine and the other places people meet in the virtual world.  So, I remember the trip to the beach and the trip to Colorado. This is travel is a very special way. Think about gatherings of family and friends, especially those made up of people who have not been together in some length of time, the binding thread, the proof of membership to the group, is almost always, “…remember the time….”

Anyway. While some of the most fun I’ve had traveling has been sitting in airport terminals, listing to the voices on the PA try to not sound like that part in ‘Airplane!’ about the White Zone being for loading and un-loading only, most trips are a collection of Doctrine posts.

The real fun in traveling, at least as it comes to mind as I type and tell you about the time driving up through the Mississippi Delta and stopping at ‘Edna’s QQICK Gas ‘n Go’ and the fun conversations I had, has been in hearing about my friends road trips and family vacations. It’s the 21st Century version of slides in the living room on a Saturday Night, (the only time of the year, barring New Years and Thanksgiving, when Planters Cocktail peanuts were available in free supply to a 7 year old clark) and seeing what another family saw on their vacation. Off course it’s not the slides, it’s not even the vicarious pleasure of the commentary, it’s the sharing of one family’s life with another friend or family that’s the greatest gift of this here internet here.

…remember that time that…”


*  actually it took ‘hearing Kristi’ which is to say, reading an overnight comment from her on a Six Sentence Story post… funny thing about ‘voice’ and reality.


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