Determination

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While the old man watched the sun rise over the city, he heard the old woman stir. He quickly left his sunrise and went to her. She was still sleeping. She was ill. Worse, for days, he had been able to tell she had lost hope.

They had come to this city to find the medicine she needed to survive. He was determined. He had loved her for 50 years. She was too sick to feel much at all.

He walked back to the window. It was a new day. New hope. More determination. He would prevail for his sweetheart.

 

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting #FridayFictioneers and Dale Rogerson for the photo

 

The Broken Fence

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Every morning when she took her walk, she passed beside an old, weathered board fence. It didn’t seem to hold anything. No horses, no other livestock, not even a house. Every third or fourth board was missing.

She didn’t know why she came this way. She thought of her family each time she saw that old fence. The family that didn’t want her anymore. The family that was gone, that had left her alone. The family that didn’t care now.

Her feelings for them were gone. They’d slipped away like the wind slipped through the gaps in the fence.

 

 

 

Carrot Ranch prompt:

July 12, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a broken fence. You can mend it, leave it, or explain its place in a story. Go where the prompt leads.

Hemingway and the Sea – #SoCS

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The “Old Man and the Sea.” One of my favorite books by my favorite classical author.

This isn’t a book review. Far from it. Who could review Hemingway? I wouldn’t presume to do so. I’ve re-read “The Old Man and the Sea” recently and I just want to make a few comments about the book and about Hemingway.

One reason I like Hemingway as a classical author is because of his writing style. It is concise, succinct, and spare. He writes in short, declarative sentences. There is nothing flowery about his writing, unlike some of his contemporaries. He keeps many of the adverbs and a large number of the adjectives out of his writing. That lets the reader see the real story. The succinct story.

The book is, quite simply, about an old fisherman and his struggle with his last big fish. Most readers will draw the conclusion that the book is about a man’s struggle to prove himself one last time, in his old age. Hemingway didn’t feel the need to clutter up his story with descriptive adverbs and adjectives. He just wrote the story clearly and sparely. It’s classified as a novella, a form of literature which is back in style in publishing today.

His writing style must have worked. Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 for the “Old Man and the Sea.”

weekendcoffeeshare – 7/12/2018

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Hello! Come on in and share coffee with me! I have both iced coffee and regular coffee for you since it’s so hot here. I also have tea, which is what I drink. Just help yourself. It’s on the kitchen island.

So glad you could all join me today for #weekendcoffeeshare! It’s been a busy week for me and I’m sure it has been for all of you too. I’ve had a lot of non-writing things I’ve had to do at home. Hubby and I have done some work on our home. I recently got a new puppy. I’ve mentioned him before in another weekendcoffeeshare post. Tucker is now 4.5 months old. He’s a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and big for his age. Twenty pounds already! He’s a wild and crazy guy and since he’s a member of the herding group of dogs, he thinks I’m a cow or a sheep, I think. He nips at my heels to keep me in line and he thinks my arms are chew toys. I have the scars to prove it!

Tucker and I are in training mode. He can now walk on his leash although he doesn’t like it much yet. We’ve started obedience commands. He learns quickly, but he thinks it’s stupid when I go over and over them. He is learning to ride in the car, outside his crate, and ride quietly in his car harness. So there have been some victories! He’s a rascal! You can see his latest picture below.

I’m in a transition period with my writing. I’m in the middle of one book and have started a novella. I’m also working on a memoir and have done some outlining for a non-fiction book. I have plenty to keep me busy. It may sound like I’m spread too thin, but I don’t think I am. I hope to have the novel and the novella done by year’s end. The memoir and non-fiction book are in the beginning stages.

When I say I’m in a transition period with writing, I mean that I’m finding myself interested in new genres and different topics. I’m thinking about serializing a novella or novel. As far as genres go, I’m still pondering.

Hubby, Tucker, and I are taking a short trip in a couple of weeks. I call it “Tucker’s trip” because we decided it would be good for him for the purpose of socialization. He needs to be around more people and dogs than he has access to when he is just with me on top of this mountain. We will only be gone for a week.

Tell me what you have been doing and your plans for the weekend and upcoming week!

Thanks to eclectic ali for the prompt!

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Wishes – #writephoto

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There was an old tree, crooked and bent after all these years, at the back of their property. It was obscured from view if you were in the house or yard by the jungle-like growth of the taller hardwood trees and vigorous undergrowth. In the winter, it couldn’t be seen from the house since it was over a small bank and near the 40-foot dropoff down to the creek. She never came back here. He considered it his tree. His wishing tree.

When he looked at his wishing tree now, it looked like it was decorated for the holidays with all the colorful pieces of cloth attached to the branches. It was a wild area. He was sure people occasionally hiked down the creek bed below when it was dry. They must have wondered about the old tree with the colorful cloth. They probably thought children tied the cloth to the branches or some eccentric old person. Children didn’t do it. He was getting old, but he didn’t think he was eccentric. He’d had many wishes over the years, all having to do to with her.

Maybe his expectations of her had been too high. Maybe he’d never given her a chance. They came from very different worlds. He had started at the bottom of the old tree, hanging his colorful fabric for each wish. The branches were covered all the way to the top. So many wishes. Too many expectations.

Things were better now. He had realized his expectations had been too high. He had finally let her live her life. After all they’d been through with each other, it was a miracle, but she seemed to be responding to his efforts. They laughed together now. She seemed to enjoy being with him. She smiled at him for the first time in years. They weren’t young anymore. Maybe they had just needed the wisdom that age brings. He felt the beginnings of happiness for the first time in so long.

He had a feeling he wouldn’t need his wishing tree in the future unless it was for wishes for the two of them. He knew what wish every piece of cloth represented. Smiling, he started at the bottom and began to remove them. She was his wish come true.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for providing this wonderful writing prompt.

July 10: High Summer

 

A pictorial of high summer around northeastern Kentucky, on the fringes of Appalachia. The middle of July is definitely seen as mid-summer. Another few weeks and the “dog days” arrive, which mean the end of the summer is approaching. It’s been an extraordinarily hot summer here. 90s almost every day and high humidity. HIgher than usual. As I sit at my desk typing, it’s 91 degrees. Tucker, my puppy, refuses to go out in the afternoons. The deck burns his paws, so I have to carry him.

I have very few flowers blooming this summer, even though I live in the middle of the forest. It’s just been too hot for them.

It’s a slow day here at my house. Tucker and I got in some outdoor time very early this morning. I sat on the deck with him while he played a little and chewed on his bone. I like slow days. I don’t have many of them. They give me time to relax a little. More importantly, they give me time to reflect on my writing. What direction do I want to take with my current writing projects? Are there new projects I want to undertake?

I write a little about Appalachia. There is a book some of you may have read called “Hillbilly Elegy.” A bestseller. J.D. Vance is the author. I saw J.D. on television recently. On a news station giving his opinion, which I thought odd. I grew up here and even though this book is a bestseller, I don’t agree with most of it. I have been pondering my own version of Vance’s story of Appalachia. His family migrated from the area. Most of my family stayed here. I don’t like the picture he painted.

Have any of you read “Hillbilly Elegy?” What do you think?

The photos are the area around where I live. My property has been declared a National Wildlife Habitat. Enjoy!

 

Making Some Changes to This Blog

I’m going to be making some changes to this blog. I want to be more responsive to my subscribers and develop a more personal relationship with all of you. My writings and stories will still be posted as always. I’m going to add some daily, or semi-daily (read: when I have time or something interesting to write about) writings just about life, goings-on in my life, interesting vignettes, photos,….well, you get the picture!

These daily writings won’t be shareable on social media. They will just be between us. My stories and posts will be shareable as usual. This is just an experiment to see if everyone enjoys a more “blogging-like” environment here.

If you have any comments on my upcoming experiment, please feel free to leave them. I’d love to hear what you think!

Rosemary

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull(s)…Perhaps?

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A comment. Seagulls remind me of my mother. Even though most people see them as the birds who clean up garbage on the beach, my mother saw their beauty. When I was a very young adult, she showed me their beauty in the series of short stories published by Richard Bach about a seagull who seeks life outside the typical and flies off to seek self-actualization.

Our family took a trip shortly after that to Isle Royale National Park in the northern part of Lake Superior in Michigan. A seagull spent the week we were there sitting on the window seal of my mother’s motel room. No one else’s room. Just her’s. It was the time she was heavy into reading the “Jonathan” stories and books. Coincidence? Perhaps. I’ll let you decide.

I read the Jonathan stories even now. They help a non-conformist like me. Try them on for yourself! You can read about them here,

 

Thank you Priceless Joy for the wonderful prompt!

Photo Credit to wildverbs

Love and War – #sundayphotofictioner

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It was 1943 and World War II was raging. His Destroyer Escort had docked in New York City after a long stint in the Atlantic. She was a girl from Appalachia who had left home for the first time. She had traveled on the train to the City to meet him, her new husband, when his ship docked. They had three weeks together to look forward to. He had rented a tiny apartment.

It was her first time out of the hills of Kentucky. The bright lights of the City astonished her. Her husband and his Navy buddies pooled their money and decided to treat their wives, who had spent months not knowing if they were dead or alive. They bought tickets to see The Rockettes.

She thought the show was the best she’d ever seen. Afterwards, clutching her new husband’s hand, they all went to a club and danced the jitterbug. She was star struck.

They knew their happiness was fleeting. The ship would soon pull out again to go back to war. They returned to their apartment and made the most of their time together, knowing it might never happen again.

 

Thanks to Susan and #sundayphotofictioners for the prompt!

Photo credit to Susan Spaulding

Donald Trump, Immigration: Next?

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By now, we all know about the issues with Trump’s immigration policy at our southern border such as family separation, detaining children in camps, and, in general, causing an uproar across America. Right on the heels of that fiasco, we learn that Trump is asking the U.S. Army to release any soldier who is serving in the Army with the promise of citizenship at the end of his or her service. This has released some excellent soldiers from our Army who will now be deported.

One has to ask, “What’s next?” or maybe “Who’s next?”

Has Donald Trump forgotten, or did he ever know, that the United States of America is a nation of immigrants? I am only third generation in America. Trump, himself, is only second generation. I had to wonder exactly what Trump is trying to accomplish after I heard him ask, “Why can’t we get more immigrants from Norway?” I suppose he meant as opposed to south of our southern border. That statement reeked of racism and bigotry. Clearly, he meant more white immigrants instead of brown immigrants.

We should (and so should Trump) remember the lessons of history. Hitler was striving for his Aryan race. A race of what he called white, superior beings. His brand of politics was called Fascism. As Trump wishes for more white immigrants and fewer immigrants from countries south of the border and from Muslim countries, all who have browner skin, I wonder what he’s trying to achieve. It can’t be that he wants to conserve resources or he would not be wishing for any immigrants at all. Could he be trying to “whiten up” America?

What should we expect next? Should we expect that all people with brown skin might have their citizenship revoked and be sent back to the countries of their ancestors? Or that all African-Americans or Asian-Americans might suffer the same fate? Perhaps he’ll just take a short-cut, and since our Congress is no longer serving as a system of checks and balances and because he is going to pack the Supreme Court to his liking, he’ll just build gas chambers as Hitler did.

I know you think I’m exaggerating. I would imagine the German people didn’t expect millions of Jews to be killed either. At least, not at first.

Maybe Trump will decide that no one is worthy of living in America but his “base.” At least that’s what I hear from some members of his base. Some of them say there will be a revolution and, for example, there will be no Democrats left. I wonder where they got that from? Trump takes the Democratic Party’s name in vain, and badly, at every Trump rally. No wonder he has riled up “his people” into thinking such a thing. Now his “base” wonders why the Democrats are filled with hatred and fear. Talk to some of the members of his base or go to a Trump rally and you will figure out why.

It could be that Trump will decide no one should live in America but “true Americans.” Of course, he thinks that is his base or he tries to make us think those are his thoughts. If he goes that far, the jokes on him. America is a nation of immigrants. The only “true Americans” have red skin. The Native Americans. #NotMyPresident

 

Recommended Reading: “Fascism: A Warning” by Madeleine Albright