Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Friday Fictioneers writing is  based on the seemingly simple premise of telling a complete story, based on a photo prompt, in 100 words.  Believe me, it’s much more difficult than it appears at first thought.  But each week, close to 100 of us blithely give it whirl, with what degree of success you may feel free to determine.  My story follows.  The link to the stories of the group is found at the very bottom of my post.  If you wish to be a part, we welcome you.  The rules, such as they are, can be found here each Wednesday, as well as information on how to link your post so others can find it.  It’s fun, great practice and so very addicting!

P.S.  Yet another travel week coming up, so I won’t get to all the stories and not any posted late Saturday or thereafter.  Apologies.  Destination?  Costa Rica!!  Completely new place and experience, mother-daughter time, my Christmas gift from a year or so ago.  🙂

copyright by Dawn

copyright by Dawn

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Night

Night approached inexorably.  Sometime, in the dark next to his wife, tears seeped from the darkening corners of his eyes.   He’d have preferred deafness to the malaise that would gradually take all light, stealing the painting that fed and shared his soul.  No choice had been offered.

He sought to burn each image into memory’s always-living  (though sometimes changing) files, walked through the house eye closed (“training runs”), painted with manic speed, producing  images torn from his innermost soul.

One day he returned from the art store armed with clay and began to practice.  He vowed he’d not go gentle.

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Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~Dylan Thomas

Friday Fictioneers.
Look at a photo.
Craft 100 words to tell the story that inspires you.
Share it with others and share your thoughts on their stories.
Repeat weekly.
Learn.  Enjoy. Hone your craft.

Wednesday’s a travel day again, a day that will transport me from balmy mid-70’s to single digits or below, but also a day that takes me home to my husband, a trade well-worth it!  So be patient with me.  I’ll be reading and commenting as soon as possible.  In the meantime, enjoy.

copyright Björn Rudbergs

copyright Björn Rudberg

For Want…

Years spent in marriage-building
	Careful construction
	Stone upon stone
Time spent together in
	Love and laughter
	Work and play
	Shared interests and activities
	Busy-ness and leisure
	Sickness and health

Rain waters.
Growth occurs.
Beauty flowers.
Seasons pass.

Betrayal one hot summer night
	“It just happened once.
	 You’re all that matters.”
Roots of distrust grow slowly
	Pushing apart
	Stone by stone
	Dirt thrust aside
	Gaps open
	Structural weakness 

Rain erodes.
Walls crumble.
Only ruins.
Forever winter.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost;
The horse…
The battle…
The kingdom was lost.

All for the want of a horse-shoe nail.

………………..
Read stories by other Fictioneers by clicking below.

To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.

~George Orwell,  English writer 1903 -1950

I enter the land of no internet tomorrow as I board the plane to visit my parents in Arizona.  Of course there is internet, but to get it, I have to go to the nearby library or a Starbucks which I’ll do, but not for long each day.  This will be family time and I intend to enjoy it.  I’ll be blogging every day but won’t be able to get much reading done, so apologies in advance.  The almost-two weeks I’ll be there will fly by all too quickly but will be fun, even while I’ll miss Bill.

For those of you not familiar with Friday Fictioneers, a weekly photo prompt serves as the springing-off place of a story of 100 words.  Sounds easy, but it ain’t necessarily so.   You’re welcome to join by going to the home page or just read any other stories by clicking on the link at the end of mine.  Warning!!  It’s very addictive.

My story this week is non-fiction.  We sold our house at the end of August and, in a week, moved from the home we’d lived in for 28 of our 29 married years.  When we put the house on the market, I emailed the realtor once about something at “our home.”  He told me to think of it now as a house, not a home, that you sell a house. “Home” has an emotional connection it’s best you to try to avoid when selling. This story springs somewhat from his wise words.

copyright Dawn at Lingering Visions

copyright Dawn at Tales from the Motherland

A House is Not A Home

We found it accidentally shortly after our marriage.  Light streamed in through over-sized windows, sixties-hued carpet concealed hardwood floors, the kitchen sported forest-service green linoleum.  It seemed as if we could never fill the space.

Over twenty-eight years, we chose furniture, gloried in the light, decorated, planted, mowed, set up bird feeders, fostered pit bulls, hosted friends, enjoyed two daughters.  The space filled with laughter, learning and love.  House morphed into home.

When the movers left, light shone in, floors glowed, the paint was perfect.  Memory-filled house, no longer a home, waited emptily.

We drove away.

We didn’t look back.

The predator

Posted: January 7, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , , , ,

The howling wind prowls outside the house tonight, maliciously rearranging the snow into drifts as it seeks weak spots for entry.  Balked by thick curtains (shaken, not stirred) it insinuates its cold breath into cracks and crevices.  Lying warmly swathed by blankets, I listen to its periodic, frustrated shrieks as it bangs against anything even a bit loose.

Earlier in the day, the wind grabbed the exhaust from the dryer, turning it into billows of steam, flinging it in all direction and lending a ghostly appearance to a nearby bush.  With the proper ominous music, it would seem the perfect setting for a horror movie. But sans music, I curl contentedly under my pile of covers, set my book aside and fall instantly asleep.

A pen is certainly an excellent instrument to fix a man’s attention and to inflame his ambition.  ~  John Adams

We who participate in writing 100-word stories for Friday Fictioneers are endorsed by no less than Lord Polonius in Hamlet, who famously said:

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief:

And brief we are, although in some cases, the introductions and backstories more than double our flash fiction output!  To participate and get “the rules” as well as the prompt, go to the online home of Flash Gordon’s sister, Rocket Rochelle, and jump right in.  To dip your feet in by just reading, go to the end of my story (reading, liking and commenting fulsomely on it first, of course), then click on the blue critter at the end.  That will take you across the galaxy, through time and space, to a mad variety of stories all derived in some way, shape or form, from the photo prompt, although sometimes most tenuously.   Hold on to your hat and enjoy the ride.

Now before I reach “tediousness”, I shall end the introduction and become witty.  (I can but hope, right?)

Copyright Adam Ickes

Copyright Adam Ickes

Boots on the Ground

Alex being deployed overseas was always hard.  But those “special” postings meant I sometimes didn’t hear anything for days and, occasionally, weeks.  Whoever said “No news is good news” was clueless!   Always tamped down as deeply as I could squash it was the nightmare of two uniformed figures at the door, hats in hands, beginning expressionlessly, “We’re sorry to inform you…”

Walking back from the lake, I spotted an unfamiliar car in the drive. Deliberately stilling my mind, I turned the corner of the house… and spotted her boots in front of the door.   Thank God!  Alexandra was safely home.

**********************************

Disclaimer:

As seems to be the story of my life recently, I’ll be traveling or out of town Friday through next Wednesday.  Being gone six of the fourteen days before Christmas means the others will rather busy, getting ready for family and a friend to be with us at Christmas.  That means virtually no time for reading/commenting, so if I don’t get to your story, it’s not because I didn’t want to.  It also means that I won’t be posting a story (same reasons) the next two weeks.  They will be devoted to family, friends and the celebration of the birth of our Savior.  Real life trumps the virtual, especially during this season.

May this be a time of blessing for you, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, a time to share with those you love, and a time of blessing both in ending this year and in 2014.

Sometimes the eye sees one thing but the heart feels something else. So it was for me with this week’s Friday Fictioneers story. My eye saw the misspelled word, tried to say “Humor.” My heart felt the word that was supposed to be there and ran with it to a place far from the humor of misspelling, a land where a different kind of trespassing was no longer accepted, a land foreshadowed by both the boarded-up openings and the burgeoning plants.

If stretching makes a person flexible, then I’m doing a back bend of epic proportions with this story. But that’s fine. We Fictioneers are a gymnastic team of unbelievable ability when it comes to flexible interpretation. That’s part of the joy of writing.

Copyright Randy Mazie

Copyright Randy Mazie

 Time Bids Be Gone

I pressed the shirt to my nose, noting with a sharp pang that his smell was fading.  Regretfully, I realized some memories were fading as well. The hurt in my heart had lessened from agony to intermittent sadness.  Almost two years now since Christmas had promised to be the best ever. When he’d…just say it, Francesca…he’d died, I’d wanted no more to do with love.  But now I knew I was ready to move on, to let go, to remember without pain.

After New Years, I’d tell Geoff I was ready to try for a new baby.  It was time.

We are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone.  ~William Shakespeare

Here’s the link to the rest of the stories. I know the authors would love to have you stop in.

Each week I wonder:  Does Friday Fictioneers need an introduction and an explanation?  It’s really rather simple:  riff off the photo prompt with 100 words that make a more-or-less whole tale. Go to Hostess Twinkie Rochelle’s site, link up and start reading like mad to see what everyone else has created.  It’s an addiction, but there are many worse.  So join in or just read, it’s all up to you.  The linky guy can be found after my story.  Grab a cup of your favorite brew, sit back and enjoy the ride.  But be sure to expect the Spanish Inquisition, because nothing in FF is certain except death, lots of death.  Very few taxes, though.

Copyright Sean Fallon

Copyright Sean Fallon

Homecoming

The sirens wailed again as Annabel hurried through the darkness toward the air raid shelter at the children’s school.  Common sense dictated staying in a shelter near work, but she wanted to be with her family.  The harsh sound of the Junkers grew louder.  London glowed with fires, smoke drifting through the bomb-lit air, but the hellish picture was somehow imbued with a strange, terrible beauty.

Reaching the school, she slipped through the doorway with a sigh of relief, moving around people in the semi-dark, heading toward “their spot.”

Overhead, the whine of the bomb grew louder, piercing the air.

……………………………………….

The London blitz was a terrible time, but Londoners stood resolute against everything Hitler threw at them (or dropped on them).  The worst single incident was the bombing of a school being used as a shelter, where 450 were killed.  An episode of “Foyle’s War”, one of the best programs on television, called “The Funk Hole”, shows through a heart-rending story, a tiny bit of what that time was like and when I watched it again for the ??-th time, I knew I had to use that idea in a FF story and the photo of the mannikin in parts brought this scenario inexorably to mind.  My attempt is but feeble compared to reality, but then 100 words can be somewhat limiting.  🙂  A bit of description of the Blitz  can be found here: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/blitz.htm and I urge you to look up “Foyle’s War” at the library or Netflix or wherever and watch every episode you can.

Travel and real life have put a cramp in my Friday Fictioneers style for several weeks and threaten to again.  My 100-word story is found below, but as I’m fortunate this week to be traveling to an OWL meeting in Branson, Missouri, while getting to meet fellow Fictioneers Rochelle, Kent, Madison and possibly Russ, as well as writers such as Jan Marler Morrill and Beth Carter, I won’t have time for much online activity.  So forgive me if I don’t get to your story until much later (I leave Thursday morning and arrive back home Sunday night, then have company Monday and part of Tuesday) or if I don’t get to it at all this week.  Because of that, I considered not doing a story again this week, but I decided to publish or perish.

I stared at the photo for some time, a variety of thoughts running through my head.  All seemed to me too obvious and as Fictioneers, we’re trained and encouraged to avoid the “obvious” (and does the obvious then become not obvious?)  In the midst of my contemplation, this story showed up, grabbed me around the throat, gave me some good shakes and refused to let me go until I wrote it, however feebly.  It’s something I’ve been experiencing lately and which I think threatens to take much pleasure from our lives.  Is it thus fiction or not?  Am I this week a Fictioneer or a Factioneer?  That’s for you to decide.  So without further blathering or ado, here’s my offering, based on the intriguing photo prompt by Kent.

Copyright Kent Bonham

Copyright Kent Bonham

Give Us This Day Our Daily…

Hungrily perusing the menu, his mind suddenly dredged up a variety of warring advice.

“Only eat whole grains!”
“Eliminate wheat products.”

“Don’t eat anything with a face.”
“Grass-fed and cage-free makes all the difference.”

“Meat raises your cholesterol.”
“My blood pressure dropped 50 points on the Atkins diet.”

“Darling, you simply must try this fabulous raw milk cheese!”
“U.S. government bans raw milk and raw milk cheese.”

“Salmonella outbreak linked to raw veggies.”
“A raw diet and juicing!”

“Have a glass of red wine daily.”
“Avoid drinking!”

Choice stymied and pleasure gone, he wearily left the restaurant, hunger completely routed.

Wondering how on earth I got here from there?  There’s a pathway (alley) with many shops on the side (things on all sides) and my character is headed somewhere (for a good meal) when things come at him from all sides.  That’s the gossamer yet strong connection I turned into this story, with my disheartened character making his way wearily along the way at the end of the story.  🙂