Friday, July 31, 2015

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge - Day Two...

Title: Treed

“You’re not serious,” I say to my husband, pointing upward. “We’re in no shape to climb that.”

“Sure we are,” he offers. “That couple just did it.”

He nods toward a pair barely out of their teens. They smile at his wayward enthusiasm. The gal looks at me and offers a thumbs up sign. I’m not sure if she is being sarcastic or just hiding pity. I feel a tug on my arm.

“Come on, honey.”

The young man holds up his camera. “If you make it to the top, I’ll take a picture of the two of you as proof.”

“You’re not going to want to stand around that long,” I reply, “though maybe you could wait here long enough to call an ambulance.”

Everyone laughs but me. Now my husband scoops my hand in his calloused palm. It’s my signal to stop arguing. Taking a deep breath, I turn toward his goal.

Looking up again I must admit that the very structure of this so-called tree tower is striking. Cedar shingles appear red-gold in the sunlight. But I would much rather admire it from here. Nonetheless, I take my first upward step.

We reach the first landing without too much gasping and moaning. Soon, though, my knees start to twinge. My man turns to look when I pull my hand free, his pace being just a little too fast for me. I lean against the rail and try to not to wheeze.

“Do you need to stop?”

“Just let me rest a moment.”

It really does rejuvenate me, though my joints soon begin popping upon each stair. Halfway up, he calls a halt. My dear hubby wipes sweat from his forehead and the motion causes his brows to spike in beetled disarray. I’d poke fun if I could catch my breath.

“You were right, Gladys.” He waves to the couple, telling them not to bother waiting. “We’re coming down, anyway.”

“Pose for me there,” the young fellow urges. “I can Photoshop you at the top from my computer.”

To my surprise, we end up exchanging email addresses. The picture turns out fine, if falsified. Our new friends made out better when we buy a state-of-the-art blender for their wedding three weeks later.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge - Accepted! Day One...

Thank you for the nomination to the Five Photos, Five Stores Challenge, Joan! I look forward to playing along. Your Joan Somers Design blog is a delight, by the way. So here is my first ficlet.

Title: Beached

“Where are you going? We shouldn’t leave the path,” I warn to my husband’s back. “You’ll fall in the river.”

Looking over his shoulder, he says, “No I won’t. Come see.”

My stubborn man, continuing to pick his way through the undergrowth, almost immediately disappears from view. After a pause at least no splash sounds, so I glance both directions for right of way before following him off the bike trail. I dressed for a paved stroll, not a wooded hike, and am cautious not to let my bare calves brush against the taller weeds.

I can’t help but roll my eyes. The last thing either of us needs is a tick infestation.

The incline turns out to be more gradual than I expected. Several paces bring me easily to his side. Instead of looking at the nearby rushing river, he points down.

Very clear in the mud I see raccoon tracks. I stoop to get a closer look at the fainter marks shaped almost like arrows with truncated shafts.

“See those claw tips? Those signs are from the cranes,” he explains, the birds being this area’s namesake.

I stand, smiling. “This is neat.”

“And it’s perfectly safe just like I said. In fact, we’re clearly still on the beaten path.”

I swat his shoulder. He gives me a comical flinch. Then bushy eyebrows bounce nearly into his receding hairline.

“How about we go skinny dipping?”

“How about we get on with our walk,” I retort, turning to grab a branch for support on my return.

“Spoil sport,” he mutters, following close behind.


Now, here are the rules:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation.

And here are my two nominees:

Keith, the wonderful flash fiction writer of the Keith's Ramblings blog.

Drusilla Barron, who inspires me mightily with her Loved As If blog.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday Tidings for July, 2015

Finding hope in this world is a precious commodity, especially when each day brings something new to fear. Pick any modern social media and you'll find that mainstream sources seem to focus on the negative. That's what sells, after all.

My friends at the Writer Zen Garden blog decided to try and spread uplifting messages. In my small way, I like to share five simple blessings in hopes others will look more brightly toward their own lives.

And so, let me list some joys I find in this day:

1. Our pet groomer can get Tilly the cat in on Friday morning instead of later next week.

2. I got to enjoy camaraderie with writer friends last night, one of whom has a deck surrounded by lovely old trees.

3. Caregivers discovered a blood clot in my mom's leg in plenty of time to save her life...

4. ...and the extensive knee surgery thought needed to help her walk again may be unnecessary!

5. The whole afternoon and evening remain for me to write to my heart's content.

Have any good news to share? Please leave a comment and spread the word.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Keith Hillman of Keith’s Ramblings for offering me this award. I appreciate the thoughtfulness. And if you enjoy flash fiction, his blog showcases some excellent examples.

In accepting the award, I have been asked to do the following:

1. Display the badge
2. Thank the person who awarded it to me
3. List seven interesting things about myself
4. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the award.

As Keith himself stated, finding interested bloggers can be tricky when folks tend to have so much going on in their lives. I will try my best. Listed in no particular order, each is a treasure.

Vidya Sury

A. Catherine Noon

Joan Somers 

Corinne Rodrigues

Rochelle Bradley

So, you obviously see the badge and my list of victims, er… nominees. Now, to find seven interesting things about myself.  I don’t know how interesting they will be, but here goes…

1. I utterly dislike going barefoot
2. I’m in a desperate struggle to reduce the weight of an eighteen pound aging pet cat
3. My body seems to have no internal clock whatsoever - a handy thing being able to drastically change up my schedule
4. I used to burn up the dance floor in my teens when I had a willing partner
5. My canine teeth look like fangs…
6. … which I refused to allow a dentist to file down
7. The only times I’ve been struck by sickness from a bacteria or virus in the past three years or so directly corresponded to the health issues of my cat Luna, whom I still miss terribly after her death last August fifth

Thank you again, Keith. And Happy Independence Day to fellow US citizens. Be well.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Word of the Day

Your word for the day is: Fulgarophilia. Try saying it. Isn’t that a fun one? One could call it a fetish for storms, but I think ‘fascination’ is adequate. Of course, arousal does not have to mean the sexual sense.

The sounds of rain, thunder, and flashes of lightning awaken my senses. Many draw me out on my covered back patio to watch their arrival out of the western skies. If wind doesn’t drive a downpour too far beneath the tin roof, I’ll stay for as long as it lasts. Or at least until my partner gets impatient waiting to resume watching a movie or something. ~grin~ Anyway, I think I can officially call myself  a fulgarophiliac and I’m proud of it.

I wonder if I can work it into my latest tale? Alan Watt, author of “The 90 Day Novel”, would probably be amused. And I’m quite sure he would approve.

What about you? Is there something family friendly that gets your blood pumping? Perhaps riding rollercoasters, hooking a nice bass from a fishing boat (that’s something I don’t get out and do nearly enough ~sigh~), or maybe you're a tightrope walker?


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Another Day, Another 1,667 Words (Give or Take)

I can hardly believe it’s July second. In my case, that not only means that summer is well under way but also that I’m in day two of Camp NaNoWriMo. I must say that the rules are more relaxed than November’s National Novel Writing Month.

We can even choose our word count rather than automatically committing to the fifty thousand required for the November challenge. However, I decided to shoot for 50,000 as I did in April. Time is not really an issue for me these days. Dedication and a goal, however, are things I can use.

The fact I’m also following author Alan Watt’s “The 90 Day Novel” is actually a perfect fit with Camp NaNo. It’s an exciting time. A story I wrote as a short many years ago deserves a larger format, I think, and this combination of promptings feel as if they are making a difference.

You see, I’ve tried writing this tale in a longer format before. I ended up with long streams of rather pointless dialogue and not much else. Some of you have surely read similar complaints from me before (even about this very story). But I am of the opinion that those self pitying days may be at an end. We’ll see. Meanwhile, some favorite music is helping the flow, as well.

The album “Vol. 1” by the band Hurt contains just the right of driving instrumentals and emotional angst. Lead singer and main lyricist J. Loren Wince and his crew really deliver. I may have to go through the rest of their music catalog today and see how much more I can accomplish, whether I’m writing or cleaning house or whatever.

What motivates you, my dears?