Sic Sent Sto -the Wakefield Doctrine-

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


Way early start on the ‘warm-up’ section of this week’s Six Sentence Story. That it helps to write something/anything on this page prior to having to write words on this page, is not in question. If there is, (a question), it would be, ‘What is the shelf-life of story ideas?’ I am loath to start writing a Six, knowing that there is not enough time (or pressure) to complete it into publishable form, were I to attempt to write it now, on this Wednesday morning. (I just laughed at myself. I am one of those people who, prior to becoming hooked by the blogging bug, was of the opinion that the whole internet/blogging thing was nothing more than a can of spray paint and a virtual bridge abutment …in a nicely middle class neighborhood (“For a great recipe for brownies call….” Bloggers Rule!”  “OMG the breakfast I had this morning was so good, it was…”). Not exactly thug, but certainly sharing the desperate passion of the under-appreciated.)

Well, that certainly sets an uplifting tone for this week’s Six. zoe, in her finite wisdom, has deemed that the word we must create a story of six (and only six) sentence around, over, under, sideways, down… ( lol )  with the prompt word:



The mist that swaddled the commercial fishing port, like pristine cotton under an engagement ring, burned off as the men began their work, the morning air was tinted with the cloying perfume of diesel exhaust and Dunkin Donuts coffee; with the fleet out, the pier felt spacious, in contrast to when, upon their return, the narrow planked corridor would be hemmed in by the great, steel trawlers, secured to the pilings like clockwork dragons.

“Every guild follows the same time-honored tradition of handing down, from one generation to the next, the skills and techniques refined by those who practice their craft,” Sven Sorenson, like the dim silhouette of a priest in a confessional, spoke through a curtain of cigarette smoke, his hands never ceased their movement, a lifetime of practice made the necessity of watching what he was doing laughably un-necessary.

“I’ve worked hard, done everything you’ve told me to do,” the young man spoke as he rolled the barrel of strung bait down the dock and returned with an empty one just in time to be under the twine-strung-skates as Sven let it drop from his hands, “it’s been five years I’ve stood with you, learning to string bait, yet my friends from high school have all advanced in their trades; Billy Framingham is now a master carpenter and, even Scotty Gauss, who started in his apprenticeship a full year after I did, he now can call himself a master electrician!”

Sven stared, out beyond the granite-block sea wall that protected the harbor, towards the open ocean and tried to remember the simple joy of youth, the need to be in motion, to push against the world, and turning slightly, looked at the young man who came to him with un-scarred hands and the dream of joining his guild, and wondered if there was ever a time he’d looked so guileless.

“You are correct Stephen, the time has come, the traditions of our guild require that, once the master has taught his apprentice all he knows of the craft of baiting and adjudges him worthy, must promote him from Apprentice, so from this day forward you may proudly proclaim…”

Interrupting with the guileless exuberance that takes perspective as the price of enthusiasm, the young man threw up his arms and shouted at boat full of tourists, just passing by the working docks, on their cruise of the fishing port, “Today I am a …!!!!”*




* note: this Six Sentence Story, through the right of this-is-fun-as-a-writing-exercise-too, is my effort to re-tell a timeless joke. Well, timeless among a certain gender. It was one of a pantheon of what adult referred to as off-color and boys called ‘wicked funny’, jokes meant to welcome it’s…. members into adulthood…. as soon as we could be convinced to give up adolescence, of course.


TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine- Saturday

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


Una stands guard. The bottom third of the photo shows 3/4s of the letter ‘a’, the dirt making up the left and top curves of the letter have been dug out. To the bottom right is a rusted-red wheel barrow, the handles pointing back towards the camera, there are black grips on the ends of the handles. There is dirt in the wheelbarrow, it is brown and has lighter brown clumps for stuck-together soil. Leaning against the front left edge of the wheel barrow is a shovel. The working end of the shovel is in the trench that forms the letter, it is leaning at an angle like if you raised your left arm from against your side out, maybe eighteen inches. The shaft of the shovel is red and the end has a black rubber grip. The middle and top of the photo are of the letter ‘n’ and ‘U’ (we’re at the bottom of the word looking up). There is a certain black dog sitting guard. Una is facing away from the camera and sitting upright on her hind quarters at the inside top of the letter ‘n’. Her coat is lighter black on her back, shiny and her tail shows out behind her.

You know, I’m coming to appreciate how much reality is a process, as opposed to a product. (The latter supposition underlies the remarkable perseverance and the near-tragic inability to capitalize on the passing good fortune that most clarks encounter with a frequency that would make a pessimist doubtful and optimist suddenly agnostic).

In any event, this is the Wakefield Doctrine’s TToT post. Hosted by Josie every weekend, we’re all invited to contribute and/or share examples of the people, places and things that have caused us to feel the emotion of gratitude. It, (this bloghop), is fun and interesting. Many correspondents are remarkably skilled in (the) concise, orderly and direct presentation of their experiences. These writers have that gift of conveying, in simple terms, complex emotional experiences. Fortunately there is also room for those of us for whom the challenge of conveying emotion is all too daunting; by predisposition, mood or predominant worldview, we find the emotional side of the world something of a cypher. Relating an experience of gratitude can often be difficult, as we are usually not always paying attention to that side of the psyche.

Enough of the introspection. You want Ten Things that make me say, ‘hey! that was interesting.*’ Here:

1)  So, you’re thinking, ‘Sure you’re saying you’re a clark. Last week’s instance of the story of digging a lot of dirt out of the ground and moving it from place to place was fun, and certainly suggestive of one born to the reality of the Outsider, but we want more proof.”  Well, here is the wheelbarrow I’ve been using for the Una garden project. (It was a gift from Phyllis’s father when we bought the house in 1990. It, the wheelbarrow, was getting a bit old then.)


old metal wheelbarrow. it’s body torn from metal fatigue, the single wheel at an angle out of true.


2, 3 and 4): (i.e. My work / coastal community / me to drive around.

5)Home and Heart (a Sister Margaret Ryan novel)’. Chapter 9 will be out tomorrow morning, at the latest. (Teaser: Sister Margret is encouraged to return to her childhood home on Tulip St, in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. Since it is Sister Bernadine who did the encouraging, her trip is a surprise to no one. What she finds as she walks through the door is something else entirely.)

6) The soil reclamation phase of the Una garden project is complete. Totally grateful to be done with that part, sorta. it has been good exercise.

7) Phyllis and Una

8) something tomorrow? maybe…

9) the Wakefield Doctrine  because with a proper of understanding of this perspective on people and such, one would have been able to correctly identify the gardener in our tale of dirt and plants-to-be as a person who grew up and developed the social strategies and coping mechanisms that would them a  fighting chance of thriving, while living life  as an Outsider. ya know?

10) SR 1.3




Six Sentence Story -the Wakefield Doctrine- (what the?!)

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


Six Sentence Story

Bloghop. Simple theme: story writing. Requirements equally simple: six sentences in length. exactly six. (as opposed to 7 or 8) zoe provides a prompt word that must be involved with your story. Notice I did not say ‘used in’, ‘a part of’, or ‘central to’? All that’s needed is an involvement, (that is apparent to the reader, of course.) or not… all depends. lol


” I must not, I cannot!” shrugging off the Harris tweed coat, Vlad Scripturam, let it fall to floor, leather elbow patches creating suede block quotes, “We’re mere narrative elements in a writing exercise.”

“So you say,” with the wanton disregard of the other-worldly beauty of her flawless skin, Elise managed to arch a perfect eyebrow at the edge of her furrowed brow, “but only one of us, if my understanding of rhetoric is correct, is the protagonist. I will take care of us, mein liebchen.”

“But, mon cherie, no less an authority than the Chicago Manual of Style would beg to differ, citing both ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Lethal Weapon’,” Vlad stepped back from the chaise lounge, looming tall and erect over the woman’s confidently relaxed posture.

“You are concerning yourself far too much with mere details, relax and allow me to cue the love scene,” Elise’s smile, comprised of a thousand invisible fishhooks, tore at Vlad’s flesh, radiating pleasure throughout his body; who among us, having never been a fish can say that the sea creature, feeling itself drawn upwards, out of its natural element, towards no less a probative heaven than that which fills the myths of mankind, is not in a state of bliss.

Vlad (‘the Rhetorician’) Scripturam allowed himself to be drawn closer.


TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine

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


A photo of a pineapple upside down cake* The view is from slightly above and in front, so that the full height of the edge closest to the camera is visible. The cake is on a white plate that shows as a bright crescent in 3/4s of a circle around the cake. The cake itself is varying shades of brown. The slices of pineapple on top are a shiny, pale yellow and there are cherries on the top (mostly in the center of each pineapple slice). The cherries are very red (one might be tempted to say ‘cherry red’ but one suspects a trap in so simple a description). The top of the cake is shiny enough to reflect light (little spots of white on each cherry and other places on round top). The side of the cake is mostly light brown, darkening at the very base where it looks crumbly, like the top of a coffee cake. * well, in answer to the un-asked question, this is the Wakefield Doctrine, we pretty much go stream of conscious on these posts. but you probably guessed that already

This is the Ten Things of Thankful bloghop, hosted by Josie Two Shoes each and every weekend. It is a ‘gratitude blog’ with a difference. The difference very much being what is asked of participants. (Of course, every and all bloghop(s) have requirements (although, it might be fair to use the work ‘definition’), because, well, because you wouldn’t want to work hard on your post of the perfect pineapple upside down cake, complete with alphabetized ingredient list, oven temperature (in both F and C), recommended sources of the basic materials, and, of course, time-lapse photos of every step of the process from, start to finish only to discover, (after seeing that your post received 1400 views, 6 blocks and a scathing letter from Facebook censors), that you’d posted it to ‘Cars, Craters and’. (Why yes, that certainly was a long way to go for a slight chuckle and a, “those people at that Wakefield Doctrine, I do declare”).

So the idea is to share a glimpse of your reality. It is a given (at the Wakefield Doctrine) that perspective is the secret of the universe.

1)  Una Garden update: In soil reclamation phase. The soil in our yard is way inhospitable to anything other than pine trees, moss and violets. The layer of loam is only a few inches deep, then it goes to clay and gravel. The solution is to dig up the good dirt. Dig up the gravel to a depth suitable to a successful vegetable garden. Replace it with good dirt. (photo below)


A photo of the Una garden. The left half of the capital ‘U’ and the upper left quarter of the small ‘n’ have had dirt dug up and removed. The top of the photo is the interesting part. There is a ‘lumpy, lozenge-shaped pile of dirt on top of a pale, almost aqua blue, square. Hard to see, but there is a red wheelbarrow at the right end of this pile of dirt. My gardening is all about the primary colors, apparently, no 64 crayon Crayola set (“Now with built-in sharpener!!) necessary to draw a picture.

2) I will cite health and (mostly) working body parts as Item 2 on the basis of being able to dig up dirt and move it from one place to another place, one of my all-time favorite things to do in life.*

3) * Speaking of Mother’s Day, actually Item 2 totally makes me think of Mothers Day. My love of digging. No, wait! I’m totally serious. I trace my life-long love of digging to a throw-away remark from my mother when I was 5, maybe 6 years old. I still remember the phrase, if not the context, ‘Clark never be ashamed of honest work. Even if you’re only digging ditches for a living, it’s something to be proud of.” And, to this day, I derive pleasure from the act of digging, not simply what the digging produces. So my compliment-in-a-question to those readers who have children is, ‘Given my example of the power of a mother (or father) in shaping a child’s mind, how do you work up the nerve to say or do anything with very young children?!!’  (My customary joke with the digging story is, ‘Why couldn’t she have said, “..even if you’re only driving around in an Aston Martin full of movie starlets, it’s something to be proud of.”

4) Chapter 8 of ‘Home and Heart‘ is on the shelf. I’m trying to get myself back to the once-a-week, Sunday Night publishing schedule. Hoping to get that re-established this weekend.

5) the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers) a perennial Item on our TToT posts, the Doctrine is both useful and amusing. A wish for many of us from the moment we stepped off the school bus for First Grade. Anyway, this past week, I was driving around, (seen Item 6) and talking to Phyllis, (see Item 8) and something came up in the conversation about ‘the three jobs’ (as defined in the Wakefield Doctrine). They are: Salesman, Scientist and Machine Operator. All jobs, professions, vocations, avocations and hobbies can not only be characterized as one of these three, but, as with so much of the Doctrine, links and associations between traits of the three personality types offer a very helpful perspective on the behavior of the people in our lives. (Hint1: the underlying principle of the Wakefield Doctrine is that our ‘personality type’ informs us of the relationship between (us) and the world around us. Hint2: scotts are Salesmen, clarks are Scientists and rogers are Machine Operator). Just in case Hint2 is not sufficiently intriguing, consider this: the definition of Machine Operator includes symphony orchestra musicians.  No, really!

6) I am very grateful that the work I do allows me to drive around, and, if the need or desire strikes, talk on the phone while doing so.

7) Thanks to zoe for the photo of Skip on the landing page of the post (one of my favorite dog photos) (A most excellent doggie)



Phyllis and a (very) young Ola This photo is from, like, 1991. Phyllis is sitting cross-legged on the carpeted floor which is a grayish color. She is wearing khaki pants and a white blouse with purple stripes forming large squares. Sitting in front of Phyllis is Ola, a German Shepherd puppy. She is kinda sprawled (Ola, not Phyllis) Leaning against Phyllis’s folded legs, she has a toy mouse in her mouth (Ola, not Phyllis) and is totally staring at the camera. Her ears are up (which is unusual, as German Shepherds take 18 months to have their ears mature enough to stand up). Ola is probably not yet a year old and her colorings are mostly black, with beige front legs and some lightness around her eyes. The inside of her ’rounded triangular’ ears is pink enough to see in the photo.

9) Yeah, I’m totally sure I’ll see something cool tomorrow, be sure to come back!

10) Secret Rule 1.3 ( as cited from the Book of Secret Rules, (aka the Secret Book of Rules), ‘the act and fact of the completion of, in liming  as you complete Item 9, the gratitude felt upon this stage of completion may serve as its own Item.’ It is customary to place SR 1.3 in the number 10 spot, but, there is a body of thought that would propose that provided the writer could produce convincing and compelling evidence of the (future) completion of the list, they could put it any damn place they wanted. (lol)


one plus five/noun + verb + object -the Wakefield Doctrine-

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


Shake is the word of the week.

By word, I mean ‘prompt word’. (By prompt word, I mean the nucleus (actual or figurative) of a story of six and exactly six sentences)

By week, I mean every Thursday zoe hosts the Six Sentence Story bloghop.

This is one of them.*


“You wanna stay upright, here at Parchman Farm, you best learn to keep your head down and your heart with Jesus.”

The words passed down the line of men. Like a lost species, drawn back to a life-giving ocean, they waded through the shallows of dust that rose and covered a hundred worn and tired feet, “You keep shakin’ your head when the bossman talkin’, you ain’t never gonna see your family.”

In the griddle-flat bottomlands of the Delta, the Mississippi dawn was slow to burn away the cool green of the eastern horizon; like a young drunk, it spent its anger first thing in the morning, not caring about how long the day would be, confident it had more heat than the earth could absorb.

The line of men from Camp 11, pulled back to the fields by invisible threads that bound them to the endless scattering of white cotton bolls, spent their days, backs bent, dragging 11 foot sacks that clung to them like burlap tumors. As the cool of the dawn faded, a song grew quietly, not rising enough to be heard by the men on the horses that rode the day, “Judge gimme life this morn’in, Down on Parchman Farm.”**





* For whatever reason, Parchman Farm lodged itself into my brain this week and the internet being the wonderful thing that it is, I came to having an impression of the place that wouldn’t let go and so, zoe’s wonderful bloghop being the entertaining and instructive writing exercise that it can be, I decide to write me a prison six

** ‘Parchman Farm’, Bukka White (1940)



© 2009-2017 Francis Clark Farley All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright