Friday Fictioneers: Support

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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“I will stand by you no matter what.”

He first said those words years ago, never imagining that they could become so literal, while he leans on his wife for support.

Waves crash and recede in bubbling whispers around their bare feet, well, three feet, one plaster cast with a heel.

“Next time you say ‘don’t walk there, it’s icy,’ I promise I’ll listen.”

“You shouldn’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.”

“Never. Not once.” Then, he laughs.


“I love you. That’s all.”

“Yes. That is funny. I love you too.”

“Hilarious.” They stumble on, together.

WPS: The Leaf


This is my first time doing this, so I hope it works. This picture is taken from a Google Maps street view of Edinburgh, as part of What Pegman Saw.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

The Leaf

Red-veined, golden, the leaf makes its way from past to present, catching a ride on a river on its way from rain to ocean. Once upon a time, they say a tree grew from seed to sapling. Knights danced with swords and leather. Castles rose. Castles fell. Leaves came and went and came again. Soon the leaf will crumble into dust. Soon.

So a child has heard and so a child believes as she bends down quick as a snake to snatch the leaf from the current, to twirl it in a curious hand.

“What is that?” Child’s mother.

“Nothing.” A lie.

“Put it back.”

A sigh.



“Fine.” Another lie, a fake throw. The leaf does not fall again. Instead, it catches a new ride, from a girl’s pocket to leather-bound pages of memory. From there, perhaps, to fight another day.

IWSG: Advice Is a Form of Nostalgia


First of all, Happy New Year! And Happy IWSG Day!

Yes, 2017 is upon us. Maybe that’s why this month’s question of the month is making me think of nostalgia and the (in)famous quote that “advice is form of nostalgia.” Then again, maybe “bad advice” is a form of nostalgia.

The question of the month is “What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?”

My answer is none, or none I can remember. I mean, it’s all part of the learning experience. When I think of memorably bad advice I’ve gotten, it all comes down to stories. And, I love stories.

Like the time I was told to self-publish now and not later, by someone who’d done the same and then proceeded to hawk his book to friends and family. This guy was in charge of the local writer’s group and a real character. I’m never going to do that again, but I’ll never forget the kick in the pants he gave us.

Then there’s the writing prof in college who basically told me not to bother with fantasy, because it doesn’t sell, which is more or less true. But, she did push me to think out of the fantasy box, and she did convince me I was a good writer, deep down, maybe.

A third story, I remember talking to someone I know about bad writing advice I’d gotten, which I honestly don’t even remember, because it was bad. My friend was saying how art groups are just failed artists exchanging the same bad advice, and it can be like that, but I still think it’s better to have people you can talk to. On a related note, last I heard, years later, this person is still waiting for “inspiration”.

Long story short, in my opinion, it’s better to make mistakes than to be frozen in place waiting for the stars to align so you can get to work. Maybe the only truly bad advice is the advice not to write at all, to wait for inspiration, to wait until I “feel like it.” And yes, there are people who actually tell me things like that – because to them it’s just a hobby.

What about you? What’s one piece of writing advice you wish you never heard?

Friday Fictioneers: Help


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When I came to,  I didn’t know where I was. My head throbbed,and the world shuddered in time. Slowly now, up on my elbows. Streetlights. People.

“Drunks on the street in broad daylight.”

“Someone should call the police.”

“I’m not getting involved.”

Your kind round concerned face, dark hair bright eyes.

“You okay man? Looks like you hit your head.”

“M-mugged. I was mugged.”

“Well, crap. Come on. The hospital is this way.”

Years later, I see your face again, on the news.

“Need a lawyer? For you, no charge.”

Friday Fictioneers: Homeland


PHOTO PROMPT c. Roger Bultot

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Rose crossed the border illegally when she was still a small child, too young to remember. That’s the truth as they’ve told her, so says the immigration official with the kind but firm eyes.

She wants to join the military, to serve her country and, okay, to help herself through college. That’s how the truth came out.

In her heart, she is a patriot. She loves this country, the country of her heart – if not her legal birth.

She waits at the metal table with held breath to find out what will happen next.

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate blog hop

I haven’t written a post for Celebrate the Small Things in a while, and that’s partly because my life has been a little bit crazy lately, not enough hours in the day and also because I haven’t been feeling too hot with the cold and the long nights and now possibly coming down with the flu.

This past month I’m celebrating lots of time with family, maybe a little too much. Holidays. 🙂

Lots of writing goals met. Slogged my way through NaNoWriMo Research goals too, been doing a lot of reading of theology books for this project I can’t seem to let go of. Even made a quick trip over to lovely Lancaster Theological Seminary where I renewed my membership at their library.

Another little thing that I love. They re-did a park near us, Fort Hunter, and now they have this great area with swings and a view of the river with this world-record stone railroad bridge (or that’s what the sign says.) I love water and bridges and trains, so it’s a great place to go for lunch, which I sometimes do when I need a minute to just relax.

How was your week? What are you celebrating?

FF: Very Donkey Christmas & Inside the Locker

This is my post for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. I actually wrote two stories because somehow I found the wrong prompt (which I can’t find again) before writing the second story. The first story is the one in response to this week’s prompt. The second one is a bonus, I guess. =D Sorry. Having a really long week.


A Very Donkey Christmas

Rachel only wanted one thing for Christmas: a brand new MP3 player loaded with all her favorite songs.

For the week leading up to Christmas, she was super nice: she only called her brother names twice. When he dropped a toy, she picked it up for him and only held it out of his reach for two, maybe three, seconds.

She was psyched. She was ready. Early Christmas morning, she crept downstairs and found

A donkey with a card attached to its collar.

Dear Rachel,
This is Wilbur. He was also bad this year.
Haw haw haw, Santa

Story two…

Inside the Locker

I used to believe the metal locker had everything. It was a gift from my father.

My mother finds me there, trying to figure out what to wear. I’m grown up now, almost thirteen.

“Something dark. It doesn’t matter.” She doesn’t get it.

“Something to bring him back. He said I could find anything.”

“Just another lie he told. Apparently. I’m sorry. Just get ready, okay?”

I am not okay. The locker is smaller than me now, but I wonder. If I climbed inside, would they bury me too? Of course not. I grab a dark t-shirt and jeans.