Flashes

Would you look at that! This week’s Friday Fictioneers is a repeat and actually one that I participated in back on April 10, 2015. I thought that I would not play but a new thought popped in my head and here I am. Thank you, Miss Vacationer, Rochelle, for hosting this party even while you are playing on the beach. If you are so inspired, click on the frog below and add your own 100-word story!

©Jennifer Pendergast

Flashes

Sitting on my porch, I watch the freight train pass by at top speed. Time that went so slow as I was living it has now blurred into a speed impossible.

Between each boxcar, a scene from my life flashes, proving a lifetime of memories is but a blip on the whole. Playing tag in the park, necking in the backseat of a car, celebrations of weddings, births and deaths of loved ones; each memory is given the same allotment in time.

More cars are ahead than are behind now, and I realise that it is so, too, for me.

How Did I Become a Prompt Queen?

I went to a French high school.  We didn’t do things like the Prom Queen and King. Come to think of it, I wonder if any of the English schools in Quebec did?  Maybe it’s just an American thing. I honestly don’t know and frankly, don’t feel like looking it up because, in the grand scheme of things, it means diddly-squat.  Prompt Queen? Now that’s a different story.

Somehow any writing I have done in the past few years has been a good ninety-to-ninety-five percent prompt-related.  How did this happen? Is this a bad thing or a good thing?  Or a nothing to even waste my energies on?  I know I am far from alone.  Many bloggers only write prompt-induced posts. And that is a fine thing.  It has helped me work on my writing chops, I think.  Plus, when it comes to creativity, I need a nudge.

I take a pause in writing to think about this, and what my point shall be while I make myself a coffee,

Random shot of coffee

then get side-tracked by catching up on my daily blog reading, check my emails, and I land on my horoscope.  Coz yeah, I receive it daily, even though I don’t buy what they’re selling.  However, it is ironic that today’s says this:

07.30.2020

You may find yourself asking some major life questions today, Aries. Thoughtful Mercury finds itself opposed to grandiose Jupiter, asking you to ask whether you have all of the tools you need for the career you wish to create for yourself. You may find yourself revisiting educational or travel plans today. A positive sense of optimism permeates the day, lending support and strength to your questioning.

Okay, so why I write what I write is not a “major life question” but it is one of the questions I’ve been posing myself lately, and the only one I shall tackle at this time because it does affect how I spend some of my time.  Time that suddenly became plentiful, yet ill-used.  Since March, our lives, the world over, have been turned upside-down, sideways and inside out in a manner none of could ever have imagined.  Now that we are almost half a year into this (Seriously?!?!) we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  How are we spending this time?  Everyone has seen some kind of change in their schedule.  Some barely had a break as they went from working in an office to working from home (and are working up to 20% more than before), some went from working days to working overnight, many of us lost our jobs, some were/are on hold, waiting, convinced they will be able to return to their former jobs at some time (though less and less a probability) and some, like me, have managed to find new jobs.  A first, it seemed this no working thing would be the perfect time to tackle projects! Um. No. I couldn’t justify it as projects require money which is no longer coming in, or at least, not with the same flow.  Many took up baking and cooking and gardening.  And reading. And writing.

Because flowers are pretty even when they are straggly

Many bloggers went to town. Suddenly the once, twice or thrice-weekly bloggers became daily bloggers. The multi-posters wrote even more.  My inbox overflowed.  (I hate using the Reader though I swear I am contemplating moving to it so that my overwhelm doesn’t send me to the looney-bin.)

I know I have a point to all this.  Oh yes. Prompts.  I don’t know how I went from Friday Fictioneers to also participating in Crimson’s Creative Challenge, Weekend Writing Prompt and an occasional dVerse.  I don’t like to post more than once per day and I’m not a daily blogger, either.  I often would find myself wanting to write about something and then thinking, oh no, it’s Wednesday, that’s when I do FF and then I can’t write it on Thursday because that’s when I do CCC and then it’s too late because that feeling has passed.  Just so you know, there is no obligation for me to write FF on Wednesdays nor CCC on Thursdays. It is all self-imposed.  The reason I do this is it gives me a chance to read everyone else’s story/poem, whatevs… because. There is the rub. I’m an excellent participant and reciprocator. But it is as time-consuming AF to read and comment on 65 other 100-word stories. And I do. Mostly. I have since cut back on those who don’t even acknowledge my comment – after a few weeks of nothing, I drop them. Got better things to do with my time. And there are those who never visit mine. (And that’s okay, too. Just don’t expect me to go to yours after a while, either.)  That’s what blogging is.

The swirls of the clouds resemble my thoughts

So what about those blogs I follow (and love) and read outside of these prompts? I feel so bad when fellow bloggers read me and I find myself three posts behind on theirs.  How much time per day is a person supposed to sit on their ass reading and commenting on blogs?  I swear I must read a novel’s worth per day.  When can I sit on my ass and read a book?  Because, frankly, after reading off the computer for 3-4 hours (if not more) I no longer feel like picking up a book.

That’s a helluva detour to my point, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s why I do these prompts. They force me to keep myself brief as none of them are longer than 150 words. 😉 They have and will continue to serve their purpose as they push my creativity to write different things.  And I think my writing has improved because of these challenges so no, I am not giving them up.  I am, however, going to cherry-pick from now on because for me it is important, when participating in a challenge, to participate.  I’m not a write-and-run kinda gal.

Back in February 2016, Eric Tonningson, Awakening to Awareness (a coach, speaker, writer, blogger I admire) commented with:  “Hey, where are those thoughtful Dale posts??? All I’m seeing in my WP Reader is Friday Fictioneer stuff. 🙂”.  I haven’t heard from him since this time, last year, but his words have been swirling in my head lately.

What would he say now?  He’d probably nod his head in agreement.

I have now seen the light.  I officially demote myself from Prompt Queen to Prompt Baroness.

Apologies. I understand if it was TL:DR

Searching For My Inner Artist – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday afternoon! It’s a gorgeous, not too hot and sticky day here in the Montreal area. So sorry for those of you in the stinkin’ hot States right now. Sending out good vibes that this heat abates soon. Till then, how about a little silly Friday Fictioneer story, hosted by our illustrious leader, who also supplied her own photo, Rochelle. Better yet, how’s about you add your own little 100-word story to go with? Yeah? Click on the frog below and add your link. Easy-peasy!

©Rochelle Wisoff(no-e)-Fields

Come paint with us!

Searching For My Inner Artist

What’s all this?

Searching for my inner artist. Figuring my father must have given me a smidgeon of his artistic genes.

You can’t even draw stickmen, why would you think you can paint?

Dunno. I feel this might be a medium I could play with. More abstract, yanno? Doesn’t have to be so precise and detailed.

That’s the case with all types of paints, by the way. And it’s not as easy as it looks.

I know I am no Rochelle, Monika or Louise, but can’t hurt to try?

Why not stick to photography? It IS an art form, too…

Snail Mail – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday! Time for another episode of Friday Fictioneers!  Our illustrious leader, Rochelle, has challenged us once again to use a photo and write a 100-word-max story inspired by it. This week, it is Jean L. Hays’ photo. Should you dare (g’head, try it!) click on the frog below and add your link.  It’s fun and addictive.

©Jean L. Hays

Snail Mail

She had been waiting for her lover’s letter for ages.

Patience, she told herself. There is nothing you can do, so stop fretting.  She refused to believe it was anything else but an extremely slow postal service. They did call it “snail mail” after all!

The grandfather clock in her hallway chimed eleven times, reminding her the mailman had passed.

She made her way down the driveway, telling herself not to expect anything.

What now, a box? Oh right, she was expecting a clipper for her dog.

Phooey. Not even for her. It was addressed to the former owners. Sigh.

Just For You – Friday Fictioneers

Wednesday and it’s Friday Fictioneers time.  Why does a scene like this look way too familiar?  Oh right. I live with two adult kids… Should you feel inspired to play along, click on the frog below and add your 100-words worth!  Till then, a thank you always goes to Rochelle for keeping us neat and tidy and this week A. Noni Mouse’s photo was rather inspiring, wasn’t it?

©A. Noni Mouse

Click me to play!

Just For You

I’m making you a feast!  All you have to do is sit back, relax, and here, take this glass of wine.  Go sit on the patio with your book and I’ll call you when it’s ready.  No wait, It’s beautiful, We’ll eat outside.  You don’t have to do a thing.  Well, maybe set the table?  I’ll do the rest.  Consider this a thank you for all you do for us.  We don’t take you for granted, Mom.  Oh, and later, I’m going out with my friends, okay? But don’t worry, I’ll do the dishes when I get back. I Promise.

Country Mouse Goes City – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Yes, just to confuse you, that means Friday Fictioneers… I’ve decided to do a reverse of last week’s thanks to Na’ama Yehuda‘s wonderful photo.  Thank you for allowing us to use it this week.  And always, thanks to Rochelle for hosting this weekly party. I just can’t resist it (besides, she’d have my head if I did – don’t be fooled by her size…)

And to my fellow Canadians…

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

 

©Na’ama Yehuda

 

Country Mouse Goes City

Rachael pinched herself. She was here. New York City! Great-Aunt Penelope invited her to stay for the summer in her brownstone on the Upper West Side. No cows, no chickens, no manure. No chores.

She was so excited when she saw a yellow cab she waved at the driver in excitement. With a squeal of his tires, he swerved and pulled up beside her, causing the guy behind to honk in anger. “Where do you wanna go?”

“Central Park, please.”

He shook his head. Stupid country folk. “You’re already here. Just cross the street.”

She blushed, “Silly me. Thank you!”

 

City Mouse Goes Country – Friday Fictioneers

What day is it?  Wednesday!

What does that mean? Friday Fictioneers!

What? Yeah, well… yanno, sometimes there’s no explaining things.  This week our lovely leader Rochelle has chosen a picture by Todd Foltz.  You want to play? Click on the frog below and add your 100-word max story link.

©Todd Foltz

Click me to play!

City Mouse Goes Country

Betsy loved spending the summers at her grandparents.  She got to live a completely different life than the one she had in the city.  A life that was simple and felt more real.  She particularly enjoyed the chores Nana made her do.  Waking up with the sun, collecting eggs from the chickens was one of her favourites.  Who knew chickens could be so affectionate?

“Hullo Susie.  Hey there Gertrude.  You ladies have something for me this morning?” she asked as she scratched them under their chins.  They clucked their responses rubbed against her arm.

She wished she could live here forever.

 

Peeping Tom – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Know how I know? Rochelle sends us the weekly pic to write our 100-word story inspired by that pic. This week, our hostess with the mostest is oot and aboot but she left us with her very own pic to use.  Should you want to participate, click on the frog below and add your link.  G’head, it’s fun!

©Rodchelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Click me to play

Peeping Tom

The best thing about having a basement bedroom was that it was separate from the rest of the family.  And it was cool – downright cold in summer thanks to the A/C.  I loved my space and could do my own thing, undisturbed.

I was changing for bed when suddenly a ruckus broke out and I could hear thundering steps above my head and yells followed by the front door slamming.  What the hell?

I looked out my window and saw my father and uncle chasing a guy down the street.

He’d been having a look-see at me without my knowing.

Right There – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday early evening (Montreal time, anyway).  It is time for Friday Fictioneers.  I fear I have once again gone down memory lane.  It was that or bring in Tannille‘s muse for a repartee over here.  I chose the former.  Thank you, always, to Rochelle for holding the door for us and inviting us in to play week after week.  This week, thanks go to Ronda Del Boccio for the use of her photo. Should you want to play along, click on the frog below and add your link.

©Ronda Del Boccio

    Click me!

Right There

Dad loved gathering his family for barbecues in the summer, serving his “world-famous ribs” (to us), his mother’s Minute Rice salad, baked sweet potatoes and other delicious goodies.  I often brought dessert.

Every August, the International Balloon Festival of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where Dad lived, was held.  If we were lucky, and the winds were acquiescent, they flew directly over his house.  Why pay an entrance fee, with no guarantee they would fly, when you could watch for free?

I’ll never forget the time we heard a loud “PSSSSSSSHHHHHTTT” that made us jump out of our skin.

There was one RIGHT THERE.

 

Sadly, I cannot find a picture I took of one that was right there because it must be in another hard drive.  Oh well. Trust me.. It looked as close (almost) as this one!

Picture Perfect – Friday Fictioneers

Wednesday is here already. Is it me or is time flying? Seems like it, doesn’t it? Some days are slow as snails but somehow those days become a week gone by in a flash.  OK, enough blah, blah.  Thanks always, to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers so diligently and this week, thanks to Ted Strutz for this quirky photo.  To play along, just click on the frog below and add your link.

©Ted Strutz

Picture Perfect

Are you gonna eat that or take pictures of it all day?

My Instagram followers expect me to keep them entertained.

Pffft! Stupidest thing I ever heard.  How the hell did taking a picture of your lunch become a thing?

I dunno, now you mention it. Did you know some people make a living at it?

Seriously? Here, take a picture of mine!

There’s almost nothing left! Did you even taste it?

Yeah, I did. While it was hot. Tell your fans the proof is in the picture.

Haha.  Funny guy.

Can I have a chip?

Whatsamatter? Eat too fast?