Tag Archives: Writing

FF – Alabama Man

All good things must come to an end! Our summer of respite is over, and Rochelle has launched us back into new stories with this picture from Vijaya Sundaram. It took me to an idea you’ll see in my story, but the story itself comes from an article I read recently. I have linked the article at the end.

Meantime, real life is about to take a big change. Sebastian starts school next week, full time into Junior Kindergarten. On a day like today, when Dominic had me up through the night, the cat has thrown up twice and Sebastian decided he needed to make a wading pool on the kitchen floor, I can’t wait! But I’ll miss him too, of course.

A quick reminder, if anyone would like to sponsor us for our walk in aid of the wonderful Sick Kids Hospital, we would be grateful for whatever you can spare.

vijaya

Alabama Man

You think you know me, doncha?  Small-town Southern upbringing; little league baseball and climbing the water tower with a bottle of hooch on the fourth of July. I’ve seen those movies too. There’s nothing new under the sun.

That there’s no headline either, is it? Alabama man quotes Bible verse.

Here’s what you don’t know. Alabama man didn’t play little league, he was in beauty pageants. Alabama man didn’t climb the water tower, because he knew if he did, he’d jump. If he wasn’t pushed.

Alabama man grew up Alabama girl. But that’s not new either; that predates the Bible.

 

 

***

The link is here.

 

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Summer Rerun – His World

When Rochelle asked for our favourite stories from back in FF history, I had an enjoyable morning reading back through my old contributions. I found some I remembered being proud of that didn’t chime so well this time around, some I’d forgotten entirely, and a few that I still love. One of the last category was this one – His World. Interestingly, it continues the grandparent theme of recent weeks.

I’m grateful to Rochelle for the opportunity to look through, and to rerun this one.

 

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FF – The Best Soil

Another week, another picture. This time from Ted Strutz. I’m over 200 stories now, that’s more than 20,000 words in 100-word chunks and enough for a novella! Your feedback on this one is welcome. No offense is intended to either of the locales mentioned; everywhere has its good and bad parts, and its good and bad people.

ted-t

The Best Soil

Her brothers, who’d never been further than Romford, described India as ‘the toilet of the world’, but Stacy liked the idea of endless curry, and helping people who had even less than her. Being thousands of miles outside their shadows wouldn’t hurt either.
The curry was a disappointment, tasting nothing like the real stuff back home, and some areas did smell terrible. But three weeks in, she found herself not minding. The love of the children she taught made it all worthwhile, and Stacy, against all her brothers’ warnings, found India a fertile place to plant some roots and grow.

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FF – Running on empty

Why don’t I recognize Sean Fallon’s photo? I thought. I’ve been joining in with FF for over five years and Rochelle’s reruns are normally a chance for me to take a break and a trip down memory lane. Then I noticed the date: 15 November 2012. Eleven days after this.

All of which meant I needed to write a new story, but I already had the perfect one in my head. A memory, from roughly eleven days ago. I am usually a stickler for exactly 100 words, but today I’m struggling to get it down, so the current count is 120. I hope you’ll forgive me, or suggest where I can do some pruning.

EDIT: There. 100 words. I knew it must be possible. Thanks especially to Rochelle, for her suggestions.

copyight-sean-fallon

Running on Empty (Genre: Memoir)

I was finally talking to an adult, discussing escaping to a spa, even just a bar. Then something spikey was thrust into my hand.
“Finn’s siren’s not working.”
I squeezed the toy. It whined like a distant cat fight.
“I think the battery’s dying.”
“We can take him to Grandad Dog’s garage.”
“I think we can probably do it ourselves,’ I said, removing the battery cover and accidentally pressing the ladder.
“Faaast and feeearless, I’m Fiiiirey Flynn.”

I smiled. Fast and fearless is all very well, but you’re not fooling me. I know all about needing to recharge the batteries.

 

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FF – Freedom

Rochelle’s own picture for our prompt today, and while I’m here CONGRATULATIONS to our great leader who recently retired from the job, ready to focus on the career!

There is a beautiful cacophony as I type – Dominic is grumbling at his jungle, which is singing back to him. About five of Sebastian’s toys are also singing / talking, an he is giving a running commentary on the game he’s playing with them. I cannot hear myself think, so this story is influenced by that, together with the fact it’s written in five word bursts in between dealing with one or other of them! The story stands alone, or as part of the series here and here.

rainy-night

Freedom

Whenever a black sedan pulled into the lot below, Sandy felt sick. And in the rainy dusk, every sedan shone black. She turned back into the dinghy motel room.

He won’t come, she told herself. He doesn’t know where I am.

And if he did, he wouldn’t be in his own car; more likely he’d fly like she had, and rent one.

He could be driving anything.

She turned on the radio. Music drowned out the rain, the tires splashing into the parking lot, even the sex nextdoor, but it didn’t stop the voice in her head.

I’ll find you.

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Friday Fiction – Behind the Facade

I nearly didn’t get to contribute something for C.E.Ayr’s FF prompt today. Although the boys gave me a hands-free naptime, I had to use it to mow the lawn and then the cat decided to take advantage too. Plus the prompt said a whole lot of factual stuff to me and not a lot of fiction. But eventually Pepsi decided it was time for a wash, so I started typing and this is what came out. My story is under the prompt – feel free to skip the random non-fiction musings that precede it. EDIT: Oooh, I forgot – language warning!

The first thing that sprang to mind from the picture was how much it fits the FF motto (from Henry David Thoreau) “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”. I also wondered whether the mural preceded the dilapidation of the building, and whether it was put there as a sort of graffiti or an official attempt to prettify the neighbourhood. And I wondered why there aren’t more things like this around.

And then I went back to the Thoreau quote and I started thinking how what might be true for writing prompts isn’t necessarily true for everything. Take the Seaworld debate, for example, where what you see is an amazing and fascinating whale show, but what you’re looking at may (or may not, I’m not trying to open a wound here) be torture and animal cruelty.

Which got me thinking about the wider scope of that too. At the weekend we saw a snapping turtle by the banks of the lake where we happened to be walking. Jon and I were probably more excited than Sebastian, because he couldn’t really be expected to understand the novelty of the situation. He’s seen turtles in the zoo, roughly that close, and he’s never been on a lakeshore walk and not seen a turtle, so how could he know this was special. Even I don’t know how special it is – are snapping turtles a fairly standard occurence in Ontario’s cottage country? Or were we extremely lucky to find one? (Here’s what Ontario Nature says about that)

All of which ponderings didn’t lead me to a story. Luckily, the old “start typing and see what comes out” trick did. 😉

demolition-4

Behind the Facade

Isla smudged “mardi gras” across her eyelid and blinked at the mirror. Not a bad job, considering she hadn’t worn makeup in almost two decades. It wasn’t really her colour anymore; she might have felt more comfortable with a subtler shade. But comfort was for cowards and prisoners. Tonight, Isla was wearing a dress that came up too far on the leg, down too far on the cleavage, heels that said she wasn’t walking and mardi-fucking-gras eyeshadow.

“You can put lipstick on a pig,” said her husband’s voice, but she couldn’t hear him. Six feet of earth saw to that.

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Friday Fiction – Untitled

Long intro alert – skip down to the picture for my FF story if you prefer.

Last week’s Friday Fiction story prompted a lot of judgements about Wilf’s grandkids, so I thought I’d share another view of the cabin on the island – click here if you didn’t see it and would like to.

This week’s prompt is a repeater – my original story link is here. I decided to go ahead and write something new though, and that story is below the picture prompt (photo copyright Madison Woods). I hadn’t read / remembered my old story when I wrote this one, but now I have, I’m pondering the significance of the running theme, and smiling at the importance to me of the original post.

I couldn’t think of a fitting title this time, so your feedback on that, and on the story itself, is very welcome. My sincerest apologies and condolences if the loss of a baby is a sensitive topic for you. I found this article from Huffington Post / The New York Times incredible, and incredibly moving.

moon-and-sky1

[untitled]

How many friends had warned her, “You won’t remember a time before you were a Mother”? Certainly, there was nothing before that moment when the doctor frowned, took Bea’s hand and said in whispered words that deafened her, “No heartbeat.”

But was she a mother now? A childless one, encircled by misery where there should have been diapers and toys, tiny fingers and too-loud cries. She picked up the plaster-cast footprint and held it to her heart, then pulled back the curtains to stare at the moon. They’d named her Celeste; another angel in heaven, another star in the sky.

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A Fair Price

This week’s prompt comes from G.L. MacMillan. I found it a challenging one to get an idea for and now that I’ve had one (and wrote it without an internet connection), I can’t find the information online to support the story or my explanation. So I’ll add an extroduction after the story for those interested. Your feedback is always welcome.

in-the-light

A Fair Price

Wilf sipped his whiskey, feeling it claw down his throat and cauterise the scars. The grandkids were downstairs – sat round the table like they were reading his Will and talking about selling: numbers that meant nothing to Wilf. Numbers with more zeros than sense.
It was his, of course. He’d bought it fair and square, when whiskey was liquid gold and islands kept you neither warm at night nor sane underground looking for the hard stuff. It was his, this island, and they’d have to bury him under it before he’d let them sell it out from under him.

***

Extroduction

I remember hearing, on a tour of the Thousand Islands, the story of islands being bought and sold for the price of a bottle of whisky. Even if they are exaggerated, such stories always intrigue me, because they are such clear evidence of how value is not intrinsic. Land is worth a lot more now than it used to be, but whisky is also worth a lot less.  In Cambridge (UK), where I studied, there was a story of a wealthy benefactress leaving all her silver to her favourite college and her land to another. Again, brief research isn’t enough to confirm the details, but if memory serves, it was Lady Margaret Beaufort and the colleges Christ’s and John’s respectively. At the time, she considered silver by far the more generous gift, but it’s the land that is now the priceless asset.

My story above is a reflection of another musing on this subject, namely how the changes must appear to someone who has witnessed them. A few of my elderly neighbours bought their homes for a few thousand dollars. Of course, a few thousand dollars was a lot of money then, but not as much as the $500,000+ they’d get if they sold it is now. How must it feel to witness that sort of inflation, and how much more to witness the paradigm shift Wilf has seen?

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Friday Fiction – The Installation

Turns out that whilst having a newborn is enough to stop me FFing, the internet going down is. I was in the dark ages for 48 hours, but now I’m back, folks! A literal interpretation this morning. My excuse is I’m too hungover (exhaustion not alcohol, I should add) from the Canada Day picnic & fireworks to be clever 😉

I welcome your honest feedback.

cars-in-sand

Jack watched the corners of Fiona’s mouth twitch. Fifteen years ago, she’d have smiled, made some understated quip, like ‘that’d be tough to explain’. They’d have laughed together for a few miles and enjoyed the journey all the more for the strange sight of three cars deliberately half-buried in a field.

But they weren’t kids anymore and Fiona wasn’t that Fiona.

“What a mess!” she scowled. “You’d think the council would have them take it down.”

“What, and deprive you of the chance to bitch about it?” Jack snapped, wondering not why he’d married her, but why he hadn’t left.

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Friday Fiction – Good Parenting

 

 

 

 

This week’s FF picture, courtesy of Lauren Moscato by way of Amy Reese put me instantly in mind of two of my favourite recurring characters. It being April 1st, I should probably have come up with something more foolish, but Matty and Luke stories always seem to arrive fully formed, and I can do little more than transcribe (and cut; this one started out >150 words). I hope you enjoy, I welcome your comments either way though.

Technically this story comes with a LANGUAGE WARNING.

lauren-moscato

Good Parenting

“Look,” said Luke, “A magic portal!”

“Or the builders fucked up,” Matty replied.

I nearly put the car through a window. “Matty!”

“Uncle Jason says it means made a mistake,” he sounded innocent; I couldn’t see his face.

“It does, but it’s not something we say in polite company.” God, I sounded like my mother.

“What’s polite about us?”

He had a point. Luke had a finger halfway up his nose and I’d just beeped some idiot pedestrian.

“Our language,” I said, burning and burying good parenting, “And the fact that my sons don’t answer back if they want McDonalds.”

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