The Abstraction

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The old man had entered the contest for wood sculpting six months ago. Now, at the deadline, it was finished. As the crowd walked by and viewed his creation, they remarked that he should not have carved a living tree. His vision wouldn’t have worked on a dead one.

As more people viewed it, he wondered if the world had forgotten abstract art. Did everything have to be realism? He got angrier by the minute at their criticisms and tried to explain abstraction.

He got angry and threw his ax in the middle of the tree.

He won the award.

 

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Friday Fictioneers!

 

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#weekendcoffeeshare -10/13/2018

Good morning, everyone! The picture posted above of the ocean is in memory of the Hurricane Michael victims.

So glad you could join me here at my home and have coffee with me this morning! I have set up a coffee and tea bar in my kitchen for your drinking pleasure. I wish we could have coffee on my deck, but fall has come to #Kentucky and it’s too cold. So grab whatever beverage you want and let’s go to my writing studio!

Kentucky was still hot and in the midst of full on summer until about four days ago. That’s pretty unusual for this time in October. Then, four days ago, the season suddenly changed, cool weather arrived, and fall is here. I’m glad! It was the most humid summer in Kentucky that I can ever remember. The cool weather is so refreshing!

If we were having coffee, I would ask each of you how your writing is coming along? I also hope just the general course of your life is going wonderfully. The world, at least in the U.S., seems to be an increasingly difficult place in which to live. I hope it’s being kind to you.

A few weeks ago, I promised one of you who was reading my #weekendcoffeeshare, that I would talk a little about my use of Scrivener in writing my novella, so I’d like to fulfill that promise.

For those of you who don’t know, Scrivener is a very powerful writer’s software program. It is very detailed and complex, but you don’t have to use all the functions. You can, of course, write your entire manuscript on Scrivener which I will try in the future. Since I’m not familiar with it or wasn’t until this past week, I’m going to write my manuscript for my novella on Word, but use some of the functions of Scrivener for specific things.

I mentioned last week that I’m developing the setting for my novella. Scrivener has a cool way for developing your setting. You can develop multiple settings and insert them into your manuscript when they are needed. I’m using the setting function because my novella does indeed have multiple settings. Since I’m writing historical fiction, I have to research each setting and Scrivener is a good way to summarize each setting and save all my notes. Then, as I write the manuscript using Word, I can refer to those notes in Scrivener.l

When I get bored with developing the various settings, I switch over to developing my characters. Scrivener also has a very nice interface for character development. You can develop characters with deep attributes and have your notes at your fingertips. In historical fiction, I have to find out the way each character would have spoken, the clothes they would have worn, how they would have reacted to current world events of the time, and much more. I can keep those notes on Scrivener and refer to them as needed as I’m developing my characters. I can develop each character on Scrivener, with prompts, and accomplish, I think, more complete character development.

In checking out the Scrivener software program, I found that if you type your manuscript in Scrivener, there is a function that converts it to Word. I also found that Scrivener will put your manuscript in the format necessary to self-publish on Kindle publishing. I will report more on Scrivener as I use it more. I’d love to hear what each of you think of this program?

On a personal note, I’m home on top of my mountain this fall. The leaves have not really started to turn yet so it is a very late fall. It will be beautiful here when they do. My plans for the fall and winter is to write and finish this novella. It will be a race to get it done, but this is my goal. I try to write 4-6 hours per day. My puppy, Tucker, usually has something to say about that, but he’s starting to get better. He’s 7.5 months old now. I just realized that I don’t have a current picture of him, but I’ll post one the next time I write a #weekendcoffeeshare. I’m going to try to write the occasional blog post just to change things up for me.

I’d love to hear your stories. How is everything with you and what are you doing this fall?

Thanks to Eclecticali

The Bend in the Road

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Richard looked at the steering wheel in his hands and felt fear.

He drove fast. He had to get away, but he reflected on his surroundings. He had always loved this highway with its view of the ocean. Now it was a place where he felt trepidation.

Richard kept looking in his rear view mirror. He saw something in the distance. He recognized Arnold’s car. Arnold was a vengeful coward with a fragile ego and muscles the size of softballs.

Arnold was a sociopath. A mean, whisky drinking liar who tried to con everyone he knew. His friends saw him as a fun, nice man, but he wasn’t.

Arnold was behind him now, swerving and trying to run him off the road. Richard knew he might as well pull over. He got out of the car.

Arnold bellowed, “You owe me money. Time to pay up!”

Richard could tell he was drunk. Arnold came running at him, swinging his fists. Richard was ready for him, standing at the side of the road. As Arnold reached him, swinging and yelling, Richard stepped aside. He stepped the wrong way. Right over the edge of the cliff. Arnold ran right into Richard’s car.

200 words

*Thanks to Susan and Anurag Bakhshi for photo prompt!

 

 

 

Pillars – #writephoto

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She walked among the pillars of the old building on the monastery grounds to gather her thoughts. She found it cool and serene here. Many things had gone wrong in her life recently. Not only in her life, but in the lives of some of her friends and family. She touched the cold, gray marble of one of the pillars in the colonnade and she felt a frisson of emotion. She yanked her hand away. It was exciting and frightening. Slowly, she touched the pillar again. The same emotion overcame her. She felt strength. Through her mind and body, she was flooded with the strength to meet her problems head on. She didn’t want to take her hand away, but she finally did. The strength to fight on remained.

She walked to another pillar and touched it. She was shocked with the emotion of hope. Hopelessness about her life had permeated her world for so long that she had forgotten what it felt like to feel hopeful. She felt strong and hopeful. Ready to tackle the problems in her life.

She had to touch another pillar. She could not imagine that it would cause any further emotion in her. Strength and hopefulness had already been granted to her. She touched the pillar. A sense of worthiness flooded through her. She had felt unworthy to tackle her problems. To even live her life. For years now, she had felt no self-worth at all and, by touching this pillar, that changed. It gave her great relief and made her feel that not only could she solve her problems, but she was worth the life she was living.

After she caught her breath and composed herself, she decided to try touching only one more pillar. She walked to one near the front of the colonnade and put her hand on it. She smiled and the smile got bigger as she left her hand on the pillar. She felt gratitude. She was grateful she was alive. Alive to live the life she had been given.

Strength, hope, worthiness, and gratitude. The pillars in the colonnade at the monastery gave her those things that day. She asked herself whether it was real or not. Did they give her those things? Or was she just ready to feel them on her own?

She’ll never know.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the great photo prompt!

Spectral – #writephoto

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She had brought her equipment out earlier in the day, before nightfall. It was set up, ready to go. Ready to detect any spectral presence at the old fort. She didn’t bring her team this night. She had decided to check out the old fort alone in an effort to disturb things as little as possible. She was an experienced ghost hunter, although it was a hobby and not a vocation. Her field was physics and she was a teacher.

She sat in her car at the end of the road approaching the old fort and observed for a while. Other ghost hunters had examined the fort after reports by tourists that they felt cold spots within the fort, usually associated with a spot of light and an apparition who possibly used to reside there. That didn’t make a lot of sense to her since the fort was mostly open to the elements now. She wanted to do further study.

It was a foggy night. It seemed to be an odd fog. There was no wind, but the fog was swirling around. She quickly got out of her car and went to her equipment set up some distance from the old fort. It was definitely picking up paranormal activity in the area. But what type? She suspected she knew.

The fog thickened. It seemed to swirl more and the ghosthunter had her answer. This was not your typical ghost or your typical fog. This was an ecto-mist or ectoplasm. A ghostly mist identified by the swirling pattern. She knew she must wait quietly. Ectoplasms sometimes developed into full-blown spectral apparitions.

As she watched, the fog darkened as it swirled and then stopped. There was the outline of a being sitting on the ground. She started snapping her camera although all she could see was a man wearing a white wig in an elaborate red costume or uniform. She couldn’t see his face clearly, but she could see that he was holding a rock in his hand. He was holding his head in his other hand. Within fifteen seconds, the dark fog took him away and normal fog settled in around the fort.

Given the time period in which the fort was built, rocks and cannons were all with which they had to fight. He must have been a wounded soldier.

Driving back to her home, she was thrilled with her photos and her discovery. She found herself feeling very sorry for that soldier so many hundreds of years ago.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the great photo prompt!

Turning – #writephoto

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Abigail was curled up in a corner of her sofa going through the photos in the photo album she had kept. She’d just finished a huge project. She’d gone through her mother’s personal belongings. A lifetime of photos, letters, other personal things. It had been very hard, very emotional. Her mom had been gone for a long time and, only now had she been able to bring herself to sort through the dozens of boxes she had left behind.

She knew now, after the discoveries she had made, that her mother had spent a lifetime climbing a mountain like the beautiful mountain in the picture she had taken years before. She’d never known her mother until she went through her things. Odd how you could live with someone all your life and never know them. There was so much more to her mother than she’d ever known.

Abigail looked up from the photos, thinking to herself how she could have been closer to her mother and understood her so much better if her mother had only talked to her. If her mother had talked to someone. She didn’t. She closed herself up in a cocoon and when she did talk to family and friends, it was only about the good stuff. She wouldn’t open up, confide in anyone. Pride. Foolish pride. Pride that cost her family, friends, loved ones, and the affection of her husband. But, perhaps most importantly, her daughter and her own self-respect.

Her mom came by that pride honestly. Her family was so prideful that it silenced them, even between each other. There was no such thing as an apology, an honest discussion, or real interaction. Abigail was glad she was more like her father’s family. Of course, they were proud, but they weren’t afraid of expressing their feelings and they didn’t feel jealous of each other. Looking back, she felt sorry for her mother.

Abigail had been turning away from her mother’s family for many years, even before she realized why she was. There were a few members of the family that were still in her life but very few. As she grew older, she had no patience for the type of pride that cost you loved ones. It was common in Appalachia, in the mountains.

She looked back at the photo album and realized that it was time to turn away from the kind of life where pride was more important than love. She closed the book.

 

*Thank you for the challenging writing prompt, Sue Vincent! What a beautiful photo!

The Old Professor

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The old professor looked at the beautiful full moon shining over the city.

“Are you sure you’re ready to retire, Robert?” his friend, Arthur, asked.

”I’ll never be ready. It’s my life. It’s time though.”

Robert was packing boxes.

“Do you have to move? No one is left for you where you lived 25 years ago,” Arthur commented.

”I’ll go through my papers. Write my memoir. I’ll always be a professor, Arthur. I just want to read, write, and research, That’s all I need.”

”Live here with me, Robert. I need your company.”

Tears streamed down Robert’s face as he smiled.

 

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff and Friday Fictioneers and photo attribution goes to Gah Learner.

My Beauty

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It was Saturday. He’d asked her to go to town with him. They worked so hard on the farm. She walked over to the mirror and gasped. Her white hair, long and stringy. Her skin, leathery and red. She began to work her magic.

He couldn’t believe what he saw. All the men in town would be jealous. Her beautiful hair peeking out from under a tiny hat. Her glowing skin. She wore a navy blue suit that matched her flashing eyes.

He offered her his arm and said, “My beauty?” She smiled.

93 words

 

Thanks to Rochelle and Friday Fictioneers for the wonderful prompt and to Nathan Sowers for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bus Tour

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The old man and woman crept up to the door of the church. They couldn’t believe what they saw. Above the door was the Old Cross, the pagan cross. It was the cross they worshipped when they were young and visited The Sorcerer.

They stood back and looked at the Church, both it and the Old Cross covered in vines, like the church from long ago. Was it possible that The Sorcerer could be here so many years later? He was surely dead by now.

The old couple was on a bus tour of Wales. They had moved to London to have a normal life. They thought they had left paganism behind, but here was the Old Cross. They had an almost unbearable urge to enter the old church.

Their guide and tour group walked up. The guide Continue reading

Caught – #writephoto

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She’d felt like it was her tree since she was a child. It was right at the edge of the forest, quite close to the back of the house she shared with her parents. She watched it grow as she grew. A shy little girl, she spent a lot of time playing in the back yard, usually alone. Often under that tree.

One day, when she was a teenager, her father noticed that the tree, much taller now, had grown a bit crooked and was leaning. He talked to her mother about cutting it down. He feared that, in a storm, it might fall and hit their house. It had a curious opening in the trunk that caused it to branch into a smaller trunk. He thought the wind could catch it just the wrong way.

She overheard the conversation and begged her father not to cut her tree. She used every argument she could think of and told him of how she’d played under it all of her life. After doing some calculations, her dad determined that, if the tree fell, it would not hit their house after all. He agreed to leave the tree. She grabbed him, hugged him, and told him she would always appreciate it.

Two years later, when she had just begun university, a tragedy befell the family. Her parents were killed in an automobile accident. The girl chose to live in her parent’s home after that. She continued her schooling, but grieved deeply for her parents. She was hopeless. She forgot about her tree..

One weekend, she went outside to work in the yard. The sun was filtering through the trees. She was so grief-stricken that she hardly noticed nature or beautiful days. She turned around and looked up and the sun caught her in the face, through the opening in her tree. Remembering her tree, she closed her eyes and let the sun soak into her skin. She felt like she was coming alive again. The sun and her tree were wiping away her grief and bringing her back to life.

She remembered her dad leaving that tree there. For her.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the beautiful photo prompt!