Posts Tagged ‘writing from a photo prompt’

Right after family and friends, the short list of things I love most in day-to-day life includes books. The love of books grabbed me as a little girl and I’ve been enmeshed in its web ever since. I unashamedly admit I’m a bibliophile and although I love the ease of my Kindle, I’ll never get rid of my books. Library levies are the only tax increases for which I’ll vote. I love the smell of a new book and browsing in a used bookstore is a joy that never diminishes.

So to honor the love I have for books, my inner muse rolled out a poem in the tradition of the poems of Rudyard Kipling, Dr. Seuss, Ogden Nash, and others (although I’m not comparing my humble offering to any of theirs), poems you might find in the old Childcraft books: the rhyming poem that rolls along, pulls you in, and flows trippingly from the tongue if read aloud (please try it). I hope I’ve achieved a little of that magic this week and perhaps you and your inner child, will enjoy this paean to books.

I’ve even manged to make it come in at exactly 100 words.

Copyright Claire Fuller

Copyright Claire Fuller

….

Under Cover

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”
May or may not be true
But you’ll never discover the story
‘Til you read it through and through.

A book will deliver you places
You can’t ordinarily go
More reliably than the Post Office can
Through the rain and sleet and snow.

It can make you think or make you cry
Turn your world upside down
It holds the power to mesmerize
Without making the slightest sound.

You’ll discover best friends and enemies
The truth and make-believe
And the most wonderful book of all of them
Is one you hate to leave.

…………………………………….

Click here to read all the current stories:

One of the great difficulties of writing is to make every word count.  Writing a story, or the introduction to a story, in 100 precisely-chosen words,  is a great way to practice that skill.  If you like to write, join us.  We are kind and helpful.
If you like to read, join us.  Our stories are diverse!  Click on the blue link critter at the very end, sit back and enjoy your travels.

(I’ll be traveling Friday-Monday, so it may take me some time to get to your story.  But I will.  Happy Easter or Passover to all of you.)

copyright rochelle-wisoff-fields

All three sayings in my story are from our family lexicon, the name has been changed to protect the innocent and, thankfully, the advice was heeded and the story is complete fiction.  Thanks, Rochelle, for the picture.

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After Midnight

“Nothing good happens after midnight” and “Never take a drink you haven’t seen someone open.” Dad’s oft-repeated sayings, sometimes accompanied by Francesca’s surreptitious eye-rolls.   Hot from dancing, she’d gulped from an extended glass, then felt woozy.  Gathering her wits to decline an offered ride, she called Dad, knowing he’d be up until she got home.

She half-sobbed,” I’m sorry.  Are you mad?”

“Stay right there, I’m on my way. You’re fortunate nothing happened and too smart to do it again.”  Then, as he did nightly, he added, “Dad loves Francesca.”

The passing headlights glowed in the warm darkness like nightlights.

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After Midnight

Why write a 100-word story? 

Consider the impact of three small words–“I hate you.”  Or “I love you.”  Then imagine 33 1/3 times more words and you can create a plethora of experiences and emotions.  Select those words carefully and you have more than enough to draw the unsuspecting reader into your story web.

Wield the scalpel with precision.  Cut to the chase.  Dazzle us.

copyrigt Douglas M. MacIlroy

Going For the Gold

Life had always been horses and jumping.  Those arduous, endless hours not doing “what the cool kids do” were her soul food.  The recognition earned as a major contender for an Olympic medal parlayed into an investment in her future.  Being the human half of a jumping team?  That was pure love.

The gold vanished, snatched by a massive oxer not quite cleared.  In the months following the Games, she dealt with the aftermath, gradually re-dreaming her dreams.

Class time.  Smiling at the sign, Olympic School of Therapeutic Riding, she propelled her wheelchair toward the ring, greeting students and instructors.



“Good morning, Fictioneer.  Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to write a story of  100 words, post it, then read and comment on the stories posted by other agents Fictioneers.          

This mission is not impossible. 

   As always, should you or any of your Fictioneers Force be caught or killed, Secretary Rochelle will disavow any knowledge of your actions and stories.

These instructions will self-destruct in five seconds.    

   Good luck!”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission:_Impossible

For the first time, I’ve had a character from a previous story return.  She initially introduced herself last October in the first week Rochelle ascended to  fearless leader. This week she informed me she had more to tell.   If you’d like to read that story, you may do so through the following link, but her current story is meant to stand on its own if you choose not to:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/friday-fictioneers-needs/

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copyright lora mitchell

Picture copyright Lora Mitchell

Homecoming

I’m emotionally mummified by the no-feeling that lies on the far side of unbearable loss, the weariness holding me at the window above the glittering city lights, crude imitations of the innumerable stars in the vastness above my cabin.  I yearn for peace filled only with nature’s sounds, the whispering creek, never-ending vistas, the night’s enveloping darkness, that space where healing begins.

Civilization’s after-death requirements are filed, discarded or buried.  I crave my friends, the cafe, tea and comfort in the corner booth where I’ve so often dispensed it.

I need my homecoming as much as my mother needed hers.



Take heart, all ye brave Fictioneers
For Wednesday is finally here.
Look at the prompt.
Create what you want.
Work through the blood, sweat and tears.

One week I’m sure that I heard,
“One hundred words? That’s absurd!
I can’t tell my story
In all of its glory
With that few,” some authors averred.

Now that the deadline is near
Even tho’ that story’s so dear
If you wield the scalpel
Relief will be palpable
And your writing all that much more clear.

(Thanks for the striking picture, Jennifer, and for hosting, Rochelle; everyone else for writing and reading.)

copyright-jennifer-pendergast

copyright-jennifer-pendergast

Genre:  Science fiction

2084

The searing light felt as if it plumbed the depths of his brain before he went under again.

“More anesthetic! Hurry the download.”

………

The once-a-month headache always emanated from his right eye.  His government-assigned doctor offered no explanation, assuring him the brain scan found nothing abnormal.  More disturbing were the sense of emptiness and the loss of short-term memory the next day; possible side-effects of age, he surmised.  As he proffered his pass at the high-level security gate, he wondered again why he couldn’t forget that jingle from his “Ancient Advertising” class:  “Is it live or is it Memorex?”

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For those of you too young to remember Memorex (pun not intended but noted) , here are a couple links:

This week I had two stories and couldn’t decide which one I liked better.  I’m posting this one today and  I’ll post the other Thursday, then come back and edit this post so the link is included.  (Here’s the link for story #2: https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/friday-fictioneers-2-the-eyes-have-it/.) If you’d like to read both, wonderful; if you have more than enough other stories to read, I completely understand!  🙂  In the meantime, for stories by other Fictioneers, click on the little blue guy that follows and settle in for some fun.



Flirting fairies. Phantasmagorical forays.  Fabulous photos.  Frazzled folks in foggy fields.
Fearsome fellows and fearful filles. Frantic feelings fueling furtive fumblings.  Frenzied freaks.
Friction and fury.  Freezing flesh and phalanges.  Fair friends and foul fiends.  Funky fungus.  Frightening funiculars.
Phony philologists and flippant phantasms.  Frankenstein festival.
Farcical foursomes.  Fossilized fanatics.

Philosophical fracking.

Friday Fictioneers.

Fantabulous!

…..

(I’ll be traveling Thursday but know that I look forward to reading every story when I get off the road.)

Home-made Car

Relativity

Dubbed “Flower Power” (he mentally prefaced “flower” with “de”), the car was staged in the garage as if at the drive-in: theater-sized TV, food, plenty of booze, popcorn.  Girls loved it…and he looooooved lovin’ the girls!

Reaching toward tonight’s conquest-in-waiting, he slipped smoothly into his practiced routine. Lust turned to shock when the steering wheel shot out, trapping him, the seat belt snaking around him.  Her kiss left him, literally, speechless.  Starting the car as she climbed out, she cocked an eyebrow and queried, “Ever hear of Morgan le Fay?  Distant relative.”

The garage door rolled inexorably down behind her.



(To read all the stories, click on the little guy above and then on the individual links you’ll find.)

The weekly gathering of the Fictioneers has commenced.  Bring out the halt, the lame, the blind, the murderers and aliens, vampires and vamps. Look carefully and you might see a human or two.  Take them all, stir thoroughly, add a dollop of disbelief, a soupçon of silliness. Dip a spoon into the resulting slumgullion:  each recipe meticulously prepared, marvelously rendered, tasty to the tongue.  Your personal recipe is solicited or feel free to simply feast and go away replete; perhaps not always uplifted, but with your brain stimulated.

Thanks to our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, and this week’s photographer, David Stewart.

Copyright David Stewart

Copyright David Stewart

                                                          Exist-tense
Dreary, grey, distorted.
     Everything out of kilter, as if I’m in a foreign country.
          Can’t interpret the signs around me anymore.

A statue frozen in an empty plaza, surrounded by a city. Living people move along the periphery, 
     no one willing to come near.

Torn apart. Fragmented.
     Reaching, stretching. No one takes my hand.
          Crying out. No response.

Can’t anyone hear me?  I’m right here.  Why won’t you see me? Don’t you know that I exist?  

Perhaps…

Perhaps I don’t exist.
Perhaps I’m simply trapped. Forever a statue. Living but ignored.

Acknowledge me.  I need that to give me life.



“Tell me a story.”  I wager those words have been said in many languages for thousands of years.  You probably said them to your parents when you were young.  But as you grew older, the stories you heard became very different,  many not as pleasant.

Well, rejoice!  Story time is here once again.  Each week you can join the writing group called Friday Fictioneers to read stories that span the gamut of genres and plots.  What follows is my story for the week.  After that, you may click on the cute link critter and be whisked away to The Land of Story Time.  But be careful.  Once you enter that land, you’ll never want to return.  And if you have a story of your own to tell, you’re welcome to become a citizen of The Land of Story Time.  (Beautiful picture, Rich, and Rochelle, love the new background.)

100_7227_(1)

Congo Mourning
Genre: Drama

“Hi, hon.”

“Exhausted, but fine. We’re in line for security.  Can’t wait to get home.”

Quietly…”Conditions at the orphanage were horrible.  Not enough food, the place was filthy, the woman in charge was a witch.  It broke my heart to see their faces and know we could only take one.”

“Hang on. Something’s happening. Some soldiers…”

“Hey!  What are you doing?  Get your hands off my son.”

“Our papers are in order.  Look.  Stop it!  Let..me…go!”

“Somebody help us.  Please. They’re taking my son!  Dominique!  Dominique!!  Let go of him, you…!!”

“Grant, call the embassy right now.  They’ve taken Dominique!”

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This story is inspired by a friend and her husband who decided to add to their family by adopting a child from Congo.  Yes, his name was Dominique and no, thankfully the ending of the story didn’t happen to them.  The orphanage conditions and head woman are true to their experience and it was often problematic as to whether Dominique would ever make it to New Jersey.  Thankfully he did and is blessing them and being a blessing to them every day.



photo(412) (more…)

“It’s that time of day, when you can say, ‘Head for the….beach, not mountains.'” (No Busch in my house, thank you!)  It’s midweek Friday, time to put on your thinking caps and trot out the old (or new) saws for everyone’s reading pleasure.  I really, really wanted to get away from feel-good stories, was looking for a good sci-fi type offering–even had the germ of an idea float by.  Float?  Beach?  🙂

Then my mind was overtaken, hijacked even,  by not one, but many flashes from the past.  I admit; I succumbed.  As Boz Scaggs once sang on his Silk Degrees album (CD these days):

What can I say
What can I do

Three a.m. It’s me again
And wouldn’t you know
Things would have to end this way

That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  You’ll see.

copyright-renee-homan-heath

Medley

 We took the last train to Clarksville,( ‘cause we’d been California dreamin’), and a big yellow taxi to the beach. The fog looked like smoke on the water. The morning sun was shining like a red rubber ball.

Ignoring the beach boys, I spied a long, cool woman.  (No black dress!!)  Now I’m a believer!

My wife protested, “But we were happy together.”

I retorted, “We had a good thing, baby. I know it’s kind of a drag, but I was born to be wild.  Let’s live for today.”

She swung the green tambourine like Serena. Everything’s a purple haze.

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Can you find all the song titles?  There are fourteen plus one group name.  If you didn’t grow up in the 60’s. don’t remember the British invasion and all that not-jazz-but-rock-and-roll and didn’t see the Beatles for the first time on Ed Sullivan, you may refer to this page of 60’s song titles to see where I came from.  It’s not a definitive list (“Red Rubber Ball” is shockingly missing) but most of what I used came from it or from my memories:  http://largeflowerheads.com/id52.html.

It’s been suggested that I have a playlist, so here it is:

Last Train to Clarksville…..The Monkees
California Dreamin’…..The Mamas and Papas
Big Yellow Taxi….Joni Mitchell
Smoke on the Water….Deep Purple
Red Rubber Ball….The Cyrkle
Group–The Beach Boys
Long Cool Woman….The Holllies
Now I’m a Believer….The Monkees
Happy Together….The Turtles
Good Thing….Paul Revere and the Raiders
Kind of a Drag….The Buckinghams
Born to be Wild….Steppenwolf
Live for Today….The Grass Roots
Green Tambourine….The Lemon Pipers
Person–Serena Williams (not the 60’s, I know, but…)
Purple Haze…Jimi Hendrix