Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Writing Prompt for Wednesday Stories 5/10/17
·       May 4, 2017

Debb from Inner Sunshine says: 
Hello again!  If you’re new to this blog, welcome!  Every Thursday I post a writing prompt for those who would like to practice their writing a little bit or simply have fun.  I try to make the prompts interesting and hopefully even challenging…then I publish everybody’s offerings on the following Wednesday.  Each of you is welcome to join in for this prompt….or maybe in a few weeks…or whenever!  Submitting something once does not mean you are now expected to write every week.  So come on out and play!  No need to be shy, because I know our readers to be very nice people!
The prompt for next Wednesday, May 10:
If you like to write stories, write a 500 word story that takes into account all three pictures below.
Poetry lovers:  please write a stanza for each picture, ending up with a total of 500 words, the poem having a unifying theme to it.  Rhyming OR non-rhyming poems are welcome.
What if you want to write a poem AND a story?  Well, I would say “have at it” — and you would deserve a special commendation.  Sure — as many entries you want to make!
Sorry, I cannot personally acknowledge each submission, but just know that I will include all entries for next Wednesday — as long as they are received by noon on Monday, May 8 and follow the prompt’s directions. Personally, if stories and poems are sent in before the deadline, they are just as welcome, if not more so!  If you have any questions, please write to me at stantonsunshine@gmail.com.

The three photos:



Here is my take on the three photos


TIME FOR A CHANGE


THE LAST NIGHT

It was the last night Tom would commute home from the City.  His eyes feasted on Big Ben, a memory to hold on to.  He would miss his colleagues in the office but he was so chuffed at being offered this promotion. 

It was a hard decision to make, even harder broaching the subject with Emily.   They didn’t have long to decide.   One month to uproot their new family, organise the house and contents, say goodbye to family and friends. 

Their friends were already planning their holidays with them, free accommodation – yes, they wish.  We are not a charity.  Anyway we’ll see if any of them actually come through with a visit first.

Tom knew his mother would take it hard, missing him and her first grandson would be such a stretch for her.  He wished he could take her with him.  Perhaps in a little while he could bring her over to live with them. 


TIME

The time will go more quickly once we know what is happening Grandma reassured her grandson.  They snuggled up together, the chosen book open at the next chapter.   Grandma started reading, it would take her mind off the alarm clock set for the early hours of the morning.

Her grandson grew heavy in her arms.  She lifted him gently on to his bed, lovingly tucking him in.  She would keep this precious memory of his sweet childlike smell, his soft fair hair, his wonderful soft skin. 

Nancy sighed deeply, she knew her son and his wife had to take this opportunity but New Zealand was so far away.  It wasn't as though she would ever be able to travel there, apart from the cost, the time it took to get there would be too nerve racking.

Yes, there were various ways to keep in touch, Skype, Facebook, Instagram and email and all the other things but there was nothing quite like physical contact. 


BRAINWAVE

Fred dusted the carriage clock sitting in pride of place on the mantelpiece above the hearth.  The grate hadn't been lit since they’d converted to central heating back in the 1980s.  The pendulum didn't work, neither did the clock but Fred still dusted the piece every single day.

He thought about Hetty every day as well. What on earth she would make of their daughter, Emily, upping sticks and moving 4,000 miles away he didn’t know, all he knew was he would miss her and the little boy so much. 

Time doesn’t stand still, no matter what his carriage clock tried to tell him.  Things move on, people move on, lives move on but emotions and feelings, well they were more difficult to move on from.  You can’t forget loved ones.  He didn’t have much education but he wasn’t a stupid man.

He had some savings, in fact he had a good nest egg.  If he could pluck up the courage maybe he could travel to New Zealand. 

Oh, ding, ding!  Brainwave! 

He could invite Nancy to go with him as his treat. That would surprise the kids.  

Thursday, 4 May 2017

WEDNESDAY STORIES 5 MAY 2017

Prompt for Wednesday Stories 5/3/17
·       April 27, 2017

Hosted by Debb at Inner Sunshine who says:
Earth Day was last week.  How ’bout we have land and water, farms, birds and animals grace our stories next week?
I have to admit, I have spring fever.  Here in Minnesota it was like summer, and now we are back to freezing temps and possible snow overnight!  So okay, let us be “wild” then, and I will give you some groovy prompts!
Word limit:  700 (believe it!)
How to write — there are many ways (or combinations) this time:
·       A 100 word paragraph for each photo
·       A story with all or most of the photos
·       A story using some or all of these words — or not:  pub; tapestry; soap; basket; gown; bee; thief; morning tea.  The latter two would have fit well into my last story!
Interesting, I chose the number of words before I chose the photos; I found the words as my last step.
This prompt is a memorial to my dad, of sorts.  He was a farmer originally and became an orchardist and gardener in his later years.  No doubt he inspired my love of the earth, trees, nature, and of course – animals and birds.  I was just thinking of how the first picture, of the ducklings, reminds me of a class of students – do you agree, o my friend Mr. T?  

 I decided to write 100 words for each picture as follows: 

People look at me, they ooh and aah at what they see.

They don’t realise how hard life can be.

My long legs and curvy neck, with wings I can fly up high into the sky.

I stride out over a lake

Aware of a volcanic quake

Any moment a geyser could strike pouring out acidic fumes.

I am of the avian species they assume

I am an oddity in the bird world

Naturalists want to know more

My habitat is toxic to humans.

So they won’t bring their guns

Hopefully I’m safe for now


Another day I’m allowed.


There are so many of us I’m sure we won’t all survive.  At the moment we are deemed sweet and cute and gorgeous, as we grow we are designated to feed others. 

I don’t mind, really I don’t.  It’s in my nature to be helpful to people although some days I wonder if it is all worthwhile. 

Jemima Puddle-Duck became famous, immortalised in a book, oh I wish I was famous but alas that story is not mine.  I’ll eat the food on the ground, grow big and round and end up on a dinner table.

 C’est la vie!


I’m cute and fluffy

But not a puppy

Although still adorable

But my life is deplorable

Living on a chicken farm

Where I will come to harm

Just the same as a duckling

Neither of us will be ageing

I’m rather noisy cheeping away

From dawn to dusk all day

When I’m not pecking at the grains

In the sunshine and in the rain

Just biding my time as those before me

It’s the same in most countries

The humans have to feed

We are here to supply that need

Each hatchling of yellow fluff

Becomes a world of dust.




‘Oh, look George, baby alpacas, aren’t they gorgeous.’ 

Anne smiled at her two year old.  He waved his arms and called out to the animals.  They were too busy chomping on the grass.  Anne would purchase a skein of their wool from the tourist shop when they finished their farm tour.  It would knit up lovely although rather expensive. 

What could she make and who for?  Oh, maybe she could actually knit something for herself this time instead of always giving it away to other people. She knew it wasn’t always appreciated, not the time nor the effort involved  


‘Hey Bill do you see that?’

‘Yes, Bob.  What do you think they are?’

‘Well they are bit bigger than us.’

‘But we are cuter,’ said Bob. 

Bob proceeded to frolic and caper for a few minutes and then took up his position next to Bill again.
Bill hadn’t stopped watching the alpacas. 

Bob got his breath back.  He looked down the hill at the group of greedy animals munching away.  There were people standing watching them as well. 

‘Oh no, they are coming our way.’

‘If we just stand our ground,’ Bill said, ‘they won’t dare come any closer.’



Albert had this field left to seed then he could take a break.  It would be well deserved, he’d been sitting in his cab for nearly four hours, up and down the yellow ground, it became rather monotonous, thank goodness for a good radio.  He could get lost in his Country and Western music playing oldies, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Reba, Alan Jackson, it made the time go much faster.  He’d stop and pour out a cold drink from his thermos flask and eat a sandwich before he called it a day and popped to the pub for a pint. 


The shadows became longer as Bert dug his patch of soil.  He loved getting in amongst the earth, it felt right to do it by hand.  Tractors and new technology was great for those huge fields but it was much nicer to get back to nature and do something yourself. 

Doris would be so pleased to have this piece of garden double dug ready for her.  She wanted to plant a salad crop and maybe a few herb plants.  Doris would be due back from the local garden centre in a couple of hours, so he’d better crack on. 



Friday, 28 April 2017

Cephalopod Coffeehouse: April 2017


Hosted by the Armchair Squid who says:

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun. 

If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, click on the link below to find and sign on to the link list at the end of my post.

This month I have a book I’d like to recommend, 5* in my opinion. 



 The Ambassador’s Daughter
By
 Pam Jenoff
Approximately 384 pages

BLURB FROM AMAZON
Paris, 1919
The nation’s leaders have gathered to rebuild the world from the ashes of The Great War. But for one woman, the City of Light harbours dark secrets and dangerous liaisons brought to the peace conference by her German Diplomat father, Margot resents being trapped in Paris where she is still looked upon as the enemy.
Yet returning to Berlin means a life with the wounded fiancé she barely knows. Torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, a musician who protects a secret; and with Georg, the handsome, damaged naval officer who makes Margot question where her true loyalties should lie.
Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.

MY REVIEW

5*

A well written novel.  Life at the peace talks in Paris in 1919, Margot is a young, naïve woman, helping her father as he negotiates with dignitaries.  She meets Krysia and is taken aback by other people’s views, challenging her rather narrow view of life so far. 

She becomes embroiled in subterfuge, rather wishing she hadn’t, further complicated by her feelings of love for a German naval officer although she is engaged.  All she wants is for life to return to normalcy but that is a forlorn hope in the aftermath of WW1.

This is a compelling read, a way of looking at things from a different perspective with some twists and turns that make a good novel a great novel.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS - A SNAPSHOT



Photo credit:  Liz Young

A SNAPSHOT

Her boots crunched on the frosted leaves.  Her nose was red, her fingers numb, she couldn’t feel her toes.  It was so cold that the thought of sitting on the bench with fingers of ice creeping up her nether regions was more than she could bear.

A rustle in the undergrowth took her attention.  Her husband stood behind her.  He waited patiently.  He knew she needed this time alone.  She was grateful he was there.  His presence was uplifting.  She heard his camera click.

Another snapshot for posterity, for the generations yet to come and remember.

Word count: 100

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

WEDNESDAY STORIES - THE MOVE

Writing Prompt for Wednesday Stories 4/26/17

Our lovely host, Debb, from Inner Sunshine provides our prompts and today we settle back into one of our more common prompts.  Use all five words and both pictures. (500 word limit)  Have fun!



chips *  chimp*  bow*  dinosaur*  nursery*

Here is my story:

Hi Colleen,

Well at last I have a chance to email you and let you know how things are.  I think you can tell from my tone it could be better.

Yesterday we thought we would explore the town a bit.  I now have sore feet and an aching back from all the walking we had to do to retrace our steps as we got lost.  I mean there were the street signs and we still couldn’t get it right.  


No maps for Jeffrey, oh no.  He acted like a naughty chimp at a tea party, harrumphing and acting up when his GPS on his phone died.  Well that didn’t die but he hadn’t charged the blooming thing the night before so the battery failed. 

Eventually we found some shops …… I know I should have been happy but just look at what he pointed out to me.  I took a picture on my phone (when his back was turned so he wouldn’t ask me to use my phone for directions).  


He knows I detest the colour red.  Even if he packaged the tea set up in a box, wrapped a pretty ribbon and bow round it, I still wouldn’t be pleased.  The pottery itself is quite nice.  I like the shape of the tea cups but, come on, I mean, red with white polka dots, that fashion went out with the Ark, no wait a minute, probably went out as the last dinosaur roamed the earth before its extinction. 
Oh well I dare say he meant well. 

Now I’m sitting alone in this tiny apartment, drinking coffee (I can’t find a decent packet of tea leaves anywhere) and eating crisps, or as my new friends here call them chips.

You and I both know chips come from a chip shop usually with a piece of battered cod or plaice, but here they are called something different.  So much for speaking the same language.
Jeffery has had to go to a meeting to finalise his start date and I’m left here on my own.  The apartment (or flat as we’d probably say) is small, adequate enough for now but ……. I’m going to let you in on a BIG SECRET, ssshh, don’t tell anybody yet, especially not my parents, in a  few months time we are going to need somewhere bigger with another bedroom to transform in to a nursery.

There, I’ve said it.  My secret is out,  I’ve hugged this to myself for a few days now and all I have to do is find the right time to tell Jeffrey.  I’m not sure whether he’ll be over the moon or ……….
It certainly wasn’t in this five year plan he made of moving to the USA where the opportunities are better and bigger. 

Whatever, I’m sure we’ll cope. 

It’s quite frightening, Colleen, I’m going to be a mum.  Now, do stop laughing.  I can be responsible if I want to.  I’ll just have to not party so hard.  I’ll still work, of course I will.  We can get a nanny or an au pair or something.  It won’t disrupt our lives much.  I’m sure of it.

Oh, I hear Jeffrey’s key in the lock.  I’ll sign off now and hope to speak to you soon.  We’ll have to work out the time difference and Skype each other at the weekend.

I miss you.

Love

Eleanor. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

FFAW - THE REST





FFfAW Challenge-Week of April 25, 2017
Posted on April 24, 2017 by Priceless Joy
WELCOME!
112th Challenge

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Week of 04-25 through 05-01-2017

This week's photo prompt is provided by Dawn Miller. Thank you Dawn for our photo prompt!

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.
5. Pingback to the challenge post in your story's post.
6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Therefore, no serial (continuation) stories. They become too complicated for our readers.
7. Add your story to the InLinkz Link-up (Blue Froggy button). Please let me know if you need link-up instructions.
8. Please keep stories below R rating.
9. Please respect the diversity of our readers and writers in regard to race, religion, and life style choice when writing your stories.

10. Remember, half the fun is reading and commenting on each other's stories.

Photo credit:  Dawn M. Miller


A REST

Oh, it’s so nice to sit and take the weight off my feet

We’ll sit here, it’s nice and discreet

Table 19, wish I was that age again

No, don’t laugh, I can still look at men

Ooh you are awful my dear

I know but my eyes are still clear

I popped on a bit of mascara

Not too much, don’t look like a Geisha

Pfft, a drop of rouge and a bit of lippy

You’d never know you used to be a hippy

Ooh, you are a one, Dorothea

Do you want a drop of tequila?

I brought my hip flask, just a dash?

Go on then, just a splash.

I’ve got the giggles

Sit still, don’t wiggle

Be ladylike and demure

We’ve got time for a manicure

And a pedicure

Well that hit the spot

I feel quite hot

It’s your age my dear

It’s nothing to fear.



Word count: 151


Sunday, 23 April 2017

THE GARDNER - SUNDAY PHOTO FICTION



Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words. Please include a mention and / or link to whoever donated the photo.  Maximum word limit 200.  Click on the link above to read other stories and join in.

Our photo prompt this week is from John Brand. 
Photo credit:  John Brand

THE GARDENER

She called him in for refreshments.  Paul left the wheelbarrow on the edge of the lawn as he wiped his brow.  A surreptitious sniff of his body, yes, he was happy with that smell, not offensive, just a manly odour.  It was a good job he’d remembered his deodorant this morning.

He stood on the threshold of the kitchen door, not wanting to go in, his boots may have dirt on them, besides the lady in the kitchen was certainly a class above him, so the correct thing to do would be to wait for a proper invitation.

It wasn’t long in coming.  On the wooden table, covered with a plastic cloth was a jug of lemonade, a plate of homemade chocolate buns and a glass tumbler, a plate and a serviette. 

Eleanor smiled at Paul as he enjoyed her home cooking.  As he wiped his mouth and picked up his glass of iced lemonade, remembering to hold his little finger out a bit, the lady startled him by saying:

‘I knew your dad quite well. He certainly taught me a thing or two.’

Paul spluttered.

‘About my garden, you silly thing,’ Eleanor patted his arm.
Word count: 197