Four steps to making your charitable donation eligible for a deduction

 “Not all Contributions are Equal”

Basking in the excitement of your upcoming benefit event in a few weeks, you are suddenly jolted out of your reverie as your assistant places her hand over the mouthpiece of the receiver of her finger wheel desk phone.  She pauses and says

Receipt -
Receipt –

“How much of the benefit dinner ticket payment is tax deductible?

Tilting your head towards the ceiling for a moment, you turn to her “That is an excellent question, can I get back to you on that because I do not have an answer right off the top of my head?”

Continue reading Four steps to making your charitable donation eligible for a deduction

Included or Ignored – How would you like to be treated?

Which best describes you? The life of the party or the one in the corner cringing at the thought of having to approach total strangers at your colleague’s daughter’s graduation party? The kicker…you came all by yourself because your social butterfly of a cousin cancelled on you last minute.


What to do?  Simple.  Make me… the guest, your number one priority – cater to my every whim. Just kidding!!

How about I walk away from that experience with a warm feeling, convinced my host(ess) really put some thought into planning the get together? and more importantly, that it was clear her guests were her top priority?

Here are a few suggestions on what my hostess would possibly include in making for a low on stress but high on memorable experience occasion; one in which the guests walk away with no doubt in their minds they were included and not ignored. Continue reading Included or Ignored – How would you like to be treated?

Collage: a collection


Collage: a combination or collection of various things.

Collage derives its name from the French verb coller, to glue. The work of art is made by gluing things to the surface.  Collage became an art form during the Synthetic Cubist period of Collage, Picasso and Braque.

The exclusive use of photos in a collage is called photomontage.


Collage of Mini Cooper Facts


The first mini cooper was built in 1961.  Originally called the Austin 850 in North America and the Morris 850 in France;

 in Denmark, the Austin Partner (until 1964) and Morris Mascot (until 1981);

in the U.K. and Australia – the Morris Mini Minor and the Austin Seven.

After 1961 the car’s name was finally changed to Morris Mini and Austin Mini.  Continue reading Collage: a collection

Unearth your Spirit of Altruism

Give a little and Gain So Much More

Are you the one jumping in to help with tasks beyond your normal scope of duties because of a fast approaching deadline or the parent teachers appreciate, because even on last minute notice, you take the day off to chaperon the school day trip?

How about where there is no direct or indirect, tangible or otherwise benefit to the giver; that is, service essentially done out of sheer altruism, will you still be so quick to jump in?

Research shows that one of the advantages of volunteering is that it shifts the focus from the individual to others.  Although the focus of this article is on traditional face to face volunteering, there are a plethora of remote volunteering opportunities.  They offer the added convenience of making that difference sometimes from the comfort of wherever you have internet access.

Continue reading Unearth your Spirit of Altruism

Flash Fiction – Forever Hold your Peace or Pace or Pain

“Tiffany, I am confused or is this some sort of twisted joke?”

“Blaine it is in both our interests to end this thing between us.  I have accepted Roy’s proposal.  We get married a week from today, next Saturday.  I cannot do this anymore… not knowing for certain how much longer you will be away is emotionally draining…”

Only a few hours earlier he had gone over how he was going to surprise Tiffany with the good news of his early release from deployment.  His assignment was officially over on Sunday.

“I guess the surprise is on me”

There was silence and then continued.

“Tiffany, hold off on the wedding plans.  I will be back in about three days”

Even though it all seemed to be working against him, beginning with the cancellation of his connecting flight after a two hour delay due to inclement weather, Blaine arrived town in the wee hours of Saturday; just enough time to make it to the combined wedding ceremony and reception venue.

“Tiffany don’t do this to us”.  As Tiffany recognized the voice, rushing towards the sudden commotion in the back, the officiant stopped reading and looked up from his script. On the concrete floor, Blaine lay in a fetal position clutching onto the ipecac bottle, shivering.

A few minutes before, Blaine had helped himself to some of the punch at the beverage table.  The timing had to be executed with laser precision.

In that moment, bent over while clutching onto his midsection, managing to whisper a few words in between shivers he said ” i was left with no other choice” and immediately the retching began.

The original response to a Flash Fiction writing prompt has been modified.

The Conclusion – Have Something to Say

Meeting at Zuby’s Café at 4pm

As the hour drew closer, the knots in her stomach seemed to expand by the minute.   It did not help that she was running a bit late.  As she stepped over the wood threshold, she quickly skimmed the sitting area of the cafe.  Just then Mezu sidled up to her.

“Oh my you are just getting here as well”.  Bisi was grateful for his relaxed attitude which eased her anxiety.

“Pardon me for being late.  I sent you a text.  There was an accident on the highway.”

Within a couple of minutes of being seated, their server had taken their drink orders.

“Since there is really no pretty way to go about this, I am going to jump in right away.”

Mezu recalled:

“I must admit I was already in somewhat of a funk but it got worse after our breakup.  I felt rejected and inadequate. I needed to clear my head so once I was done with a series of interviews, I travelled home to visit my parents for the holidays.  My fortune seemed to have taken on a new dimension or so I thought that day at the village fundraiser with Idara my cousin.  That was when I first spotted Akunna.”  

Idara pulled a chair next to his cousin’s who appeared preoccupied.  He followed Mezu’s line of sight which rested on the young lady.  There was a young girl by her side. 

“Cuz some flower seems to have caught your attention” Idara’s  gentle elbowing interrupted his concentration.

On occasion, Mezu had to remind himself that he was the older of the two because of Idara’s special way with words.  That sounded like something his grandmother would say.   He construed Idara’s reference to a “flower” as the young lady in the distance.  Continue reading The Conclusion – Have Something to Say

Potent – Flash Fiction

Her ears perked up with the alacrity of a response to a drill sergeant’s orders.  Home alone with a horror movie marathon session as her company of choice for the evening, she could never be too cautious.

The screams were more than a few decibels louder than the audio streaming from the TV.  The frenzied pitch was unnerving.  As she pressed on the volume down arrow of the remote, the screams seemed even more intense.

Barreling down the hallway towards the screams, she thought to herself even at Usain Bolt’s pace she could not get to her “baby” fast enough.  Its intensity escalating by the nanosecond.

Jason! Jason! Jason!.. All she received in response were more screams in the direction of his room.  She froze in her tracks…shreds of fabric, picture frames knocked over, feathers, and wallpaper strewn all over the floor.

He bolted towards her. Almost knocking her over, she managed to tip her weight,  shifting her right foot forward.  Latching onto her waist, the sobs and shivers could not be controlled.

His room looked like a tornado casualty but with the walls still standing.  With the ripped pieces of Jason’s best speller award around them, hands still resting on his shoulders she stooped to his eye-level, “Jason what happened here?”

Nedu followed his fingers as he pointed towards the wood floors.

Just then she noticed a dark tray with what looked like cracked egg shells.

Right on cue, one, two, three, six, after ten, she lost count; egg yolk yellow chicks, with streaks of green and blue feathers around their protruding bellies, each about the size of her fist, come traipsing out from under his bed.  Small but mighty.


This original entry in response to a flash fiction writing prompt has been modified.

Have Something to Say (II)


Two and a half years earlier

It was a longer than usual weekend for Mezu.

The first couple of days were absolute bliss but after three days of being cooped up in his condo, Mezu was certain he either get out and get some fresh air or let Mr. Cabin Fever have a field day with whatever was left of him.

Sprawled on his royal blue tufted chaise lounge, at the foot was a copy of the Thursday edition of the C-Metro express paper perched on the lattice side paneled wood end tables. Mezu had been staring at the paper for the last few minutes, which only seemed to stare back at him. The center fold advertisement in the metro express had the event for Sunday at 4pm. Shifting his gaze from the muted TV, he settled on the pendant light hanging above him for a few seconds before zoning in on the time display on the TV. It was on the TV guide station. It was 2.45pm.

An hour later, he walked past the stained glass mural next to entry way leading into the “Sub Sahara Africa on Display” art exhibition and reception. In the short walk from the parking lot to the gallery, Mezu could already feel the bounce in his step and his dulled senses beginning to wake up from their slumber as the fresh, cool air ever so slightly brushed his face. The warmth of the sun on his neck and back was invigorating. For Mezu, It appeared to be shaping up to be a pleasant evening.

As he turned around the corner, he could not help but notice a small group of viewers gathered around one of the docents.  They had their backs to him, facing a piece with an interesting blend of colors done on canvas.  Just as he made his way to the group, he was stopped in his tracks.  First struck by her beauty, but it was her name tag that piqued his interest even more.  She seemed preoccupied so Mezu walked up to her side and said “Bisi Dumebi, that is different. This may come across as presumptuous, but let me guess you are Nigerian?”.

Resting his finger on his temple he continued “Based on your name, one parent is Yoruba, your mother perhaps and your father is Ibo right?”

Bisi was taken aback by the young man’s forwardness. Even more disconcerting, was his voice. It reminded her so much of her dad. As she turned slightly in the direction of the voice, she gave a mirthless smile. Continue reading Have Something to Say (II)

Begin Where?

Friday Fictioneers: Begin Where?


Where do I begin?

It is all here.  The big, the small and even the tall; the old and even the brand new.  It may be intimidating for some and exciting for others.  Exciting for me, because I thrive on chaos, albeit organized but I am sure the obsessive compulsive may disagree.

Wrapped in his story or and her, there is a richness and there is grimness.

Whatever the case you will agree, it’s a medley and that mix is what piques my interest.

For starters, Historic Route 66, does it really begin here?




Friday Fictioneers  Friday Fictioneers provides an opportunity to write flash fiction once a week.  This week’s photo prompt is from Jean Hays and copyrighted to her.  Other stories are linked by clicking on the this hyperlink.