Author Archives: trentpmcd

About trentpmcd

Trent P. McDonald Musician, composer, author, photographer, general creative.

If We Were Having Coffee on the 12th of November, 2022 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large dark roast, a cuppa tea or some other beverage. It is pouring rain outside now. The rain had lessened, so I took a walk but it came back and I’m soaked. It is warm (for November) at 68 F/ 20 C, so it was a nice walk despite getting wet. The storm is far to our west, but I am sure this rain is influenced by it. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from Cape Cod.

It has been unseasonably warm lately and I spent a lot of last weekend outside in a short sleeve shirt. It was very nice. I drove to the Cape on Tuesday evening and had yesterday off (Veterans Day in the US, Remembrance Day in most of the English speaking world). I was not able to do much after work on Wednesday or Thursday, so I spent all day yesterday outside, much to the chagrin of the cats (the cats come with me here). I did a kayak paddle in the morning, took a very long walk on the beach and a longer walk in the woods. I was out a lot besides those walks and paddles. It was a great day.

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The Weekly Smile for the 7th of November, 2022 #weeklysmile

Hi All! Wow, it is November already. It feels like early September. Last week my smile was about enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, so I can’t use that one again. Hmmm… I can write about how well my writing is going, but I will wait until I put “The End” on my WIP ;) I got it, I will write about Halloween!

On Monday we went to help a friend hand out candy for Halloween. He gets over 1000 tick-or-treaters. So we get there and a couple of his other friends are there ahead of us. Music is playing and there are some instruments on the lawn. One of his other friends is going to play sax to prerecorded tracks. I get pulled into playing “drums”, or actually a cajon (look it up). I have never played one before and I am a bit rhythmically impaired, but I did it.

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If We Were Having Coffee on the 5th of November, 2022 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of super strong dark roast, a cuppa tea or some other beverage. It is actually pretty nice out, so we’ll move it outside. This week has been unusually warm and today will get up to 75F/24C. To someone in Arizona that might not seem warm, but for November in New Hampshire,it is almost hot. After about three weeks of above average temps, next week it will drop to closer to normal, but still be sunny and nice. Oh, where are we? If you missed it a few sentences back, the photo at the top might have told you that we are in New Hampshire.

So it was a nice week if busy. I worked and work was busy, though not insane. ‘Nough said.

Last weekend was gorgeous and I spent most of the weekend outside. Very nice.

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Can You Change Your Pantster?

About three weeks ago I wrote a comment on a blog and used the phrase “sometimes you have to know where to stand.” When it was agreed that it sounded like a title, I wrote a quick three sentence synopsis of a non-existent movie. I liked the idea, so I sat down and wrote a 6,000 word story. I had no idea where I was going, I just had the phrase and a little off-the-cuff synopsis to use. I didn’t plan. I just wrote. Here is the story, which is pretty much a rough draft, yet passes as a finished story.

People often say that there are two types of writers, planners and pansters, i.e., people who write from the seat of their pants. My example above is pure panster. It is the method I use most often. I write for some of the challenges you can find on WordPress, and those are pure panster as well – I see the photo, perhaps read a key word, and write. I wrote two long novellas (25K + words) based on Writephoto challenges, so as I was writing those stories, I had no idea where I would go until I saw the next photo. I also wrote a full length novel this way! I have not published that novel, but it was written.

Most challenges are written 100% off the cuff as was the story described in the first paragraph, but more often I will write non-challenge stories when I am walking. I will at the very least get the basic idea, some major plot points and even whole chapters (if a book), but will often have the entire thing down, start to finish, in my head. I then will sit down and write it all out, like I am taking dictation.

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Orange (Day of the Dead ;) #tanka #TastetheRainbow

Drying leaves under foot
Early sunset sears the sky
Pumpkins by the door
Bright orange seems to speak of life
It is the color of death


Written for Colleen’s syllabic poetry challenge. This week the challenge is “Taste the Rainbow” and the poem should have a color theme, be about a color, feature a color, describe a color or have something to do with a color. I chose orange and wrote a tanka.. The Day of the Dead is November 2 and Halloween is Oct 31, so today is the day between. My poem, of course, can be the Day of the Dead, or Halloween or both. It is the transition to late autumn and the color that seems to represent that transition, orange. I hope you enjoyed! (Photo at the top is part of the show the Mexican contingent put on for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and represents the Day of the Dead. Below is a pencil drawing that I did ages ago, colorized (by hand) on the computer.)

The Weekly Smile for the 31st of October, 2022 #weeklysmile

Hi all! This will have to be super short. I have a packed day today. Besides work, car work, dentist, helping a sick friend, etc., it is, well, just busy…

We have had a late October warm spell. It looks like it will stay this entire week. Yesterday I did a long walk, a few shorter walks with the dogs, ran 5 miles (8km) using the run as interval training, raked leaves and, well, I spent pretty much the entire day outside. October has been a month of back to back appointments and such, so having a day outside was wonderful.

That’s all I have time for today – I most likely won’t be back to answer comments. Oh yeah, forgot, what I didn’t put at the end of that first paragraph is that I still need to try to find a way to celebrate my birthday today.

So that is my smile for this week, spend a good chink of the weekend outside, including most of the day on Sunday.

What made you smile?


Come on, I’m sure you smiled at least once last week.  Why don’t you share it?  I hope you can join in!

Here is list of “rules” and guiding ideas.  If you don’t have time to read it right now, just remember that this is an exercise to spread positivity.  Don’t smile about the misfortune of others.  Don’t smile in a way to excludes others.  Make sure a 12 year old can read it.

To join in, write a post to share your smile and then leave a comment on this post with a link to your smile.  Or, if you prefer, do a pingback to this post (pingback = have a link from your post to this one) (Note – pingbacks have been very inconsistent – please leave a comment :) ).   You can post any time until next Sunday evening (to be simple, I will say midnight GMT, which is 7 PM Sunday for me).  Note – I am no longer compiling the smiles into a weekly post as I used to – Sorry, I do not have time.

If We Were Having Coffee on the 29th of October, 2022 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of super strong dark roast, a cuppa tea or some other beverage. It is still a little cool out. With the clear skies, I think last night was the coldest it has been this autumn, down to the upper 20s (about -2 C), so, yeah, I think our second or third frost of the year. But it will get pretty warm later today, and I have on a short sleeve shirt. Odd, but looking at the next week, it will be an unusually warm (for November) next week. I regret putting away most of my short sleeve shirts a couple of weeks ago – I have worn all of the ones I left out this week, and next week will be warmer! I’ll have to pull some out. Just weird – I am usually in a turtleneck by the 20th. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire.

A work week – ‘nough said about that.

As I said last week, our Lion’s Club had the big Penny Sale last week, sharing duties with the local PTO. It was a long day, but went well. I was able to get out an walk and run (I walked the mile or so each direction for the set up). Our Lions also held a “Candidates Night” for local candidates on Monday, but I was unable to attend (for me, buying coffee was more important – I was completely out ;) ). Our district governor came to our Tuesday Lions Club meeting. Yep, lots of Lions stuff…

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Fog #writephoto

Image by KL Caley

Bran sat down at the river’s edge.  He picked up a small stone and tossed it in, without paying attention to where it went or the splash it made.

Why did Drest always treat him so rotten?  It wasn’t fair.

As Bran sat, staring at nothing on the outside, every slight the older boy had ever given him, real or imagined, came up. 

A deep heat rose from the iciness.  He’d show him!  Why, the next time they met, he’d take care of that bully.

Bran didn’t notice his teeth gritting nor his breathing becoming heavier and ragged.  He didn’t realize that his fists were clenched nor that his face was red.

Images of what he’d do with Drest flashed through his mind.  They began to swallow all other thought.  With the violent, angry thoughts, came darkness.  All light was blocked by the mental fog.

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Perhaps He Has a Point…

PHOTO PROMPT © Bill Reynolds

“I don’t have a mortgage or pay rent.  If I don’t like the view out my front window, I can just go someplace else.  I have everything I need.”

I had given him a few brochures about shelters for the homeless and cards for people to help him find a job.  He handed them back and asked why I felt such a need to turn him into a person like me.

Look, I’m just trying to help my fellow man.

Funny, as I waited for my town to be rebuilt after Ian, I saw his trailer in an abandon lot.


word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo by @ Bill Reynolds . If you want to join or see other stories, go to the inlinkz linkup.

Careful What You Wish For #tanka

What was is what was
Follow entropy’s arrow
Let sleeping dogs lie
Life unfolds the way it wants
So beware the monkey’s paw


This was written for Colleen’s weekly Poetry Challenge. This week, we were to write a syllabic poem using the theme chosen by Anita Dawes, “What you wish for?” Being the season, I changed it to “Careful What you wish for!” and immediately thought “Beware the monkey’s paw”. So there you go.


BTW, I once posted a small piece of music on a forum. People told me I should expand it. When I did, I used the working title “Careful What You Wish For”. Later I decided to expand again by making it the first movement of a new piano sonata. I did a post about it. And here is a video of “Careful What You Wish For”, but with a much more boring name:

(click here if you don’t see the video below)