Friday Fictioneers – There ARE Better Hiding Places

It’s been a while since I’ve done Friday Fictioneers! Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting.

This is loosely based on a guy I used to know.

A swamp full of lilly pads and tall grasses.
PHOTO PROMPT © Erin Leary

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100

There ARE Better Hiding Places

Scratching at his angry hives, he took a drag from a cheap cigarette. “…thin I hid in the swamp.” A smug grin covered his blotchy face.
Marsha restrained herself from swatting his hand away. “Idiot. You’d be lucky if you didn’t get a parasite or something.”
Bill snorted. “Hey, I’m not goin’ back to jail!”
She selected the right one and shifted the bag of groceries on her hip. “You’re not staying here.”
“Whatever. Shoulda known you wouldn’t help me.” He displayed the single finger solute.
She ignored the gesture. “Pal, the only one who can help you is you.”

Cats and Boxes

A tabby cat and black cat laying on different boxes, and a tuxedo cat laying on his back in front of the tabby's box.Our cats have a whole bunch of jingly balls, at least three toy mice, and a whole bunch of other toys.

Their favorites? Old shoelaces and boxes.

Always the boxes.

They feel safe in the boxes. They feel comfortable on top of boxes. They ambush us from the shelter of boxes. They swat at each other from between boxes.

Ah, yes, box obsessed cats.

A tuxedo cat curled up in a Guinness box.So, what does that mean for us? We’re box obsessed humans.

Who’s really in charge here?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

A REAL WRITER Does This!

Title image: Typewriter keyboard with the stylized words "A REAL WRITER Does this!" over it.Few things irritate me more than those articles about what a “REAL (whatever) DOES”. They especially pluck at me when they dictate what a “REAL WRITER” does. So, what do we do?

A REAL WRITER Writes

 

Hm. Was that too subtle? I don’t know.

You can take breaks from writing, and still be a real writer.

You can write non-fiction, and still be a real writer.

Your characters could remain silent in your head, and still be a real writer.

You can just sit down and write without a ritual, and still be a real writer.

We write. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what format our pieces take, how much time we take or how often we do it. We write, and we enjoy it. Some of us even make a living from it.

Am I getting my point across here?

I personally practice the craft only four to five days a week, because I have a tendency to burn out if I do it too often. After all, I still need time to read, pursue other interests and do those little every day things we all have to do.

Y’know, like do the laundry that’s still sitting in the hamper or clean the dishes currently developing their own civilization in the kitchen. I’m not saying I haven’t done those things yet, but I haven’t done those things yet.

The lesson to take away from this doesn’t only apply to writers, either. I’ve seen similar posts aimed at creatives of all types, and most of them are just as elitist and annoying as I expect them to be.

So, what is the lesson?

Do what it is that you’re passionate about. There’s useful advice out there, but not all of it will be useful to you. By all means, experiment to see what will work for you, but realize that what may work for someone else won’t for you.

If you practice a craft, you are, at the root of the matter, a practitioner of that craft. It doesn’t matter your skill level, because that will grow with experience. It doesn’t matter how you do it, because the how is completely up to you.

You’re a writer, because you write. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Friday Fictioneers – Sacrificing the Present

Friday is upon us, and so is Friday Fictioneers! Thanks, as always to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting.

I felt like peeking into one of my long time characters for this one. She’s from the same world as Diana and Leland, who have been featured in previous installments.

As an aside, aren’t these gorgeous windows? I’d love to have something similar in one of my future kitchens. There’s nothing like natural light to cook in.

Three big kitchen windows overlooking trees in a field.
PHOTO PROMPT- © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Adventure…ish…
Word Count: 93

Sacrificing the Present

She hadn’t been home in years. Once she left their tiny village, she was consumed with creating a world she’d no longer have to hide from. Clara had become very good at hiding from the moment within dreams of a bright future.

Standing there at her mother’s sink, gazing over the English countryside, she lost herself in the past. She wanted to stare out the window just a little longer, but if she was to complete her mission, she couldn’t. Clara had to turn them against her brother and risk losing them forever.

Friday Fictioneers- Reunited, and It Tastes So Good

Happy Friday, all! Today’s Friday Fictioneers is brought to you by a hungry stomach and hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

A discarded chicken costume on a black tile floor.
PHOTO PROMPT © Luther Siler

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 96

Reunited, and It Tastes So Good

“I have the sudden craving for fried chicken.”

“Frank, that’s just wrong.”

He shrugged and picked up the costume head. “What? It’s not like this thing could feel being thrown across the stage like that.”

Margie took the head from him and cradled it. “But it just looks so sad lying there with all the feathers…”

“Aw,” the old actor crooned as he stroked the yellow fuzz. “Do you know what would cheer it up?”

Skeptical brown eyes swept her friend’s face. “What?”

“Seeing its buddy, preferably deep fried in batter.”

“You’re terrible.”

“Nah, just hungry.”

The Most Yellow (or often green) Villian of Them All!

2015 has been a rough year. Due to illness, injury, family emergencies and paid work, I’m way behind on my fiction goals. That said, I’ve finally been able to get a little more research and world/character building done for my NaNoWriMo novel for this year.

Of course, I spilled my drink just as I was getting back into the flow of writing, which called an immediate stop to the typing. Once I cleaned that up, I decided to get the laundry started.

I found something unexpected when I got downstairs.

Bananas. Bananas at the foot of the stairway. Naturally, I felt the need to text my husband.

A screenshot of two texts on a background of wooden beams.Two more text messages on a background of wooden planks.Since I don’t think I can fit everything into the alt-text for those of you who use screen readers, here’s what the texts say:

“So, I was going downstairs to get laundry started, and I think I found some fugitive bananas.”

“(There’s a picture of a banana bunch on the floor next to the bottom two steps of a staircase) Why are the bananas hiding? Are they planning an ambush?”

“Are they out to capture us and carry warped banana-y experiments out on us?”

“ARE THE BANANAS OUT TO GET US?!”

I haven’t gotten a response, but since this year’s story has a distinct pirate bent to it, I’m tempted to name one of them “Bananabosa”.

“Oh, no! It’s the dreaded Bananabosa! Terror of the fruit market! He can give you scurvy JUST BY LOOKING AT YOU!”

That’s how it worked right? Vitamin C deficiency had nothing to do with it.

Not that bananas have much C in them, but…

Well, other fruit does.

Friday Fictioneers – The Masterpiece

Yesterday and today, I’ve spent a fair amount of time cooking. Then doing dishes. Then cooking. Then doing more dishes.

I was reminded repeatedly that hot surfaces are HOT, though. You’d think I’d have caught onto that by now.

Anyway. Friday. Friday Fictioneers. Thanks as always for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!

As for inspiration for the story…I…just don’t know where this came from. I saw the canoe and it popped into my head.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast
Genre: Humor
Word Count: 100
The Masterpiece
            Frank sighed as he leaned back in the old canoe. “This is the life. A warm day, fishing and my best buddy.”
            Jewel crossed her arms, wondering how she was talked into this. “We’re not gonna catch anything.”
            “That’s no way to talk!”
            “It’s true,” she insisted as a teenager circled them from solid ground with a camera.
            “Fish love this bate!”
            “Frank, we’re in the middle of a swimming pool.”
            The man opposite her shook his head. “Barry needs this to look authentic for his project! At least try to get in character.”
            She groaned. “I’ll never understand art.”

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Friday Fictioneers – The Next Step

There’s a spiritual belief that states you sign a sort of cosmic contract before you’re born into your next life. It contains challenges you’ll face throughout that life, which you chose to help you move to the next spiritual level or achieve perfect, depending on who you ask.

I don’t know if I believe that, but it is an interesting concept. I’ve always found afterlife theories interesting, and applying them to fiction just makes sense.

So, that’s the story behind the story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Thanks, as always, to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!

PHOTO PROMPT – © Claire Fuller
Genre: Fantasy (…maybe? Could be Urban Fantasy)
Word Count: 100
The Next Step

            “Before you start your next life, you must pick your inborn challenges,” the glowing being at my side commented.
            We drifted down a corridor lined with doorways with cranks in their centers. “Challenges?”
            “Chronic illness, social challenges, disability. That sort of thing.”
            We paused by one door. The crank began turning, and it slowly shifted to the side, exposing another corridor framed by shelves laden with luminescent vials.
            “I thought the afterlife would be different.”
            My guide laughed. “You get used to it after the first few times.”
            “Oh. I guess practice makes perfect.”
            “Well, that’s what the Buddhists say.”

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Friday Fictioneers: Everyone’s a Comedian

My fiction skills are so rusty! I’ve been writing too much about the real world.

Good thing Friday Fictioneers is still a thing. Thanks, as always, to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!

PHOTO PROMPT- © Sandra Crook
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100
Everyone’s a Comedian
            “If these walls had ears,” Lee murmured as he pressed a palm to the ancient building’s wall.
            The young boy at his side stopped between the large man and the redhead on his other side. “What if they had ears?”
            “Well, they’d have some interesting stories to tell. This is an old part of town, Kage.”
            “Wouldn’t they need mouths then?” Di grinned at Lee’s face palm.
            A grin spread over Kage’s face. “Yeah, and eyes, ‘cause how would they know there was anyone there to talk to?”
            Lee sighed and started walking again. “I can’t take you two anywhere.”

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Spam Theater: Bats, Peaches, Jack and Dreams

Ah, spammers. They think they’re so clever.

They’re not, but what the CAN be is amusing. Here are a few choice selections from my latest round of deletions. (Click images to embiggen.)

Why, yes! My post about making a bat mobile out of construction paper will TOTALLY help people build new web pages! I’ll run right to your blog about ionized water to thank you for your gracious compliment.

Awesome! I should fail at baking more often. Those peach muffins actually made me so sick. I’m sure your volunteer driven website about HSV Erasers, whatever those are, will benefit greatly from terrible pastries.

Jack! You jerk! Are you dishonoring that soul by being unfaithful AND insensitive while you usurp authority?! How dare you! I can tell you’re not being the best person you can be.

Wonder how they knew my undying dream was to become an actress who uses Supagard prefabricated concrete to make sure cars keep their showroom shine?

Maybe I’m easily amused, but this stuff is just so funny.

Next on Spam Theater? Spam comments on this entry about spam.