Friday Fictioneers: Two Steps Forward

c2a9tales_from_the_motherlandCopyright – Dawn Q. Landau

Some days he knows he will make it. Other days he wants to give in.

The Maze is endless, miles of hedge and stone, but at the end waits a prize beyond all imagining.

At last. A white sign reads, “Two more steps until you claim the prize.”

Tentatively, he puts one foot forward. The ground gives way beneath his feet: quicksand, the final trap. He steps back, circles around, and enters the hidden door. On the other side

He enters the Maze. He remembers only that the Maze is endless. At the end, a prize beyond all imagining waits.


Okay skipped a week, mostly due to burnout from juggling several flaming swords at once. Sort of. This is my weekly entry for Friday Fictioneers, where every week we get together and write 100 word stories. To join in, click the link above!


Friday Fictioneers: Up From the Ashes


Photo Prompt courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, brave leader of Friday Fictioneers, where every week we write 100-word stories. Ready to give it a whirl? Click the link below to share your story with the world!

Up From the Ashes

“I never thought I would live to see this day. When things were at their worst, when my whole life went up in smoke, you were always there for me. If only you could see me now, what would you think? But you do see me, with your heart if not with your eyes.”

As far as any of the people in his online Recovery Support Group knew, Phoenix was being figurative. One day, he hoped to meet them face to face so they could see the gorgeous, fiery bird he was always meant to be.

He clicked Send.



Gazing through
   Memories of
        the past.

What happens in Venice stays,
     Cool Umbria nights
        Hot Siena days.

Red and browns and greens,
   Swirling champagne, ruby red wine
       Goes down so sweetly

Like ghosts of a future past.

Wonderful Wednesdays: Pulsars

Image from the Hubble telescope, pulled from Wikipedia.

Ever since high school, I have always been intrigued by Pulsars. As we learned all those many (I won’t say how many) years ago, pulsars are a special kind of neutron star, one which emits a highly-concentrated pulse of radiation detectable from light years away. The scientists who first detected this radiation dubbed it LGM-1, for Little Green Men, positing (mostly jokingly) that they had found proof of extra-terrestrial life.

I for one find it fascinating to consider how a massive explosion like a supernova could result in the creation of something so small and so compact, and yet so powerful that it could send a message across light-years, one which is not (alas) from extra-terrestrial intelligent life sending us a message, but … then again define intelligent and define life.

This post will be spoiler-free, I promise! But in the most recent episode of Doctor Who, the birth of stars is presented as the birth of a kind of life. The universe is – if nothing else – brilliant. As an unapologetic believer in God, I see intelligence and I see messages written across all the universe. The universe seems designed for wisdom.

Pulsars tell me that sometimes power is hidden in plain sight, that something which is small can be powerful, even more so because it IS so small, because of all that is held inside, bending the world around it.

Human beings are like that too. Creativity, and imagination are like that. To be truly creative, we need a room of our own and time and space and resources. We need space. The universe is filled with reminders of this fact, in the light – and also in the darkness. That’s how I see it.

What do you think?

IWSG: That Time Again


Hard to believe but it is September already and the First Wednesday of the Month strikes again. Time to bare our hearts and souls – well, a little bit anyway, as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

There never seems to be enough time to write.

Writing novels seems to be very addictive to me, possibly even more so than Minecraft, Final Fantasy AND Netflix binge-watching. As I last typed The End somewhere around – oh – 4 in the morning, I was already thinking of the novel after that one. Yeah, I’ve got problems.

This past month has been…interesting. I got a short story accepted for publication in an anthology (yay) and (re-)self-published a novel. Every time I think about that last part, I get all nervous and twitchy.

The print copies got here and I put them in the basement and refused to look at them until forced to. Speaking of “forced to” I hand-delivered an autographed copy to my former boss, and saw several of my former co-workers. (Reminder: I’ve got a job waiting for me if/when I get past this whole crazy full-time writing thing.) Meanwhile, I kept wanting to apologize and tell my former (possibly future) boss I’m sorry for this terrible book – thanks for agreeing to buy one. Not because I really believe it’s terrible, but just in case, to cover my bases.

What is a girl to do?

Where does the time go? Well, as writers at least we’re making the most with the time we’ve got – and trying to manfully (womanfully?) do what we love. How do we make time for it all? And where does the time go? Are you thinking what I am right now?

Is it really September already? What happened to summer?


on the rim of
     my glass,
falls shattered
  through my fingers,
pools white and clear
   like milk.

don’t lie
 don’t even cry
   for what i never had.
emptiness would be better.
nothing would be better.

all the things we say:
   so nice to see you.
   so sorry for your    loss.
   we’re here.

always here.
   never there