Friday Fictioneers with a Sting

Friday Fictioneers LogoThe influx of some spring-like (and summerish) weather doesn’t combine well with putting your butt in the chair and writing. The lure of outside is too strong. Yes, yes, I know I can take the laptop outside and enjoy the weather while writing, but what can I say. I’m easily distracted.

And this has been a week where we needed distraction from an all too intense reality. Boston has always been a city after my own heart. I loved the time I’ve spent there for work and for pleasure. I was just there in March for AWP, lamenting the fact the snowfall didn’t allow me to play tourist in Boston’s fine museums and art galleries.

So, take an intriguing photo, twenty-four hour news reporting about terrorists, and you get something pretty dark, even for me. So dark, in fact, I’ve impulsively decided not to post it. If this hadn’t been a week where the face of the inhumanity of terrorism was a smiling, eight-year-old boy, maybe the story would have been appropriate, but today it’s not. And I never censor myself or my writing; however, it’s a matter of sensitivity.

Instead of the first thing that came to mind, you have “Empty Nest Optimism” instead. If you don’t see the link to the story in the title, scroll to the top of this page, click on the Friday Fictioneers tab, then select the story from the drop-down list.

Friday Fictioneers–Yay!

Friday again, and that means Friday Fictioneers–a great reason to look forward to the weekend.

This week’s story is more personal than my usual fare, but the picture connected precisely with an event in my life that happened thirty years ago. Here’s the photo:

And here’s the story, which, technically, is fiction:

The Last Place Father Was Alive

The Irish in her made her walk the land one last time before it sold.

Liam was at her side, where he always was, camera in hand so she would have memories.

She stopped when she rounded the bend and saw it. Liam jogged ahead, camera up and snapping. He shifted to shoot from different angles.

She thought that damned truck had gone to the junk yard. If she’d known they’d just hauled it down here where she would find it…

“Take a look at this,” Liam called to her.

The shake of her head was slight, and he knew.

A little cryptic, I know. If you’re curious, contact me by e-mail, and I’ll explain.

In the meantime, check out more Friday Fictioneers at Madison Woods’ blog.

Friday Flash Fiction–and Good News!

Writing can be the strangest occupation ever, especially when you’re dealing with a prompt–a word or a picture
–someone else provides. Since I’ve been participating in Madison Woods’ Friday Fictioneers’ 100-word flash fiction, I’ve been amazed how one picture can evoke so many different responses. One person always goes for the romantic, another fantasy, and I’m the quirky one. That’s a nice word for it.

Many times I get the Friday Flash Fiction inspiration picture on Wednesday and think, how will I ever come up with something for this? Then, it just comes to me. I’ve always been more of a seat-of-the-pants writer–whatever pops into my head goes down on paper (or on the screen). I’m not a methodical outliner or plotter. I get an idea and ride it to whatever conclusion comes to mind. That’s the way I write. I don’t recommend it for the faint-hearted because sometimes even I don’t know where the story’s going. Like today.

Here’s the inspiration photo:

And here’s my 100-word story:

The Mess

The inspector thought, How could this happen? There are procedures in place. I’ve talked myself blue in the face about the importance of following procedures. One little slip and look what you have. A mess. This isn’t going on my record. I’ll make sure of that.

The security guard thought, Man, why now? A completely dull day, then fifteen minutes away from shift end, this happens. Everybody else will be at the bar, watching the game and the babes, and where am I? Cleaning up this mess.

The boy thought, I really didn’t mean to do that. Please let me go.


To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories, take a look at Madison Woods’ blog.

And some really great news. My short story, “Trophies,” about a marriage saved by a near suicide and an unexpected death, will appear in the February Romance Issue of eFiction Magazine. I got the acceptance yesterday, and I’ve been giddy ever since. A great start to the new year!
This story was the first one I wrote using a creativity prompt called Rory’s Story Cubes. Check them out.

Post-Holiday Friday Flash Fiction

The Friday Fictioneers took Christmas off, and the break was obviously inspirational for our Flash Fiction guru, Madison Woods. She found an amazing photo to spark our 100-word flash fiction. Here it is:

And here’s my exactly 100-word story–with the bonus that it features one of my regular characters and the espionage organization she works for.
“Fly on the Wall”
Mai Fisher had always been dubious when The Directorate’s R&D Department wanted to show her some new spy gadget. The Subcutaneous Personal Tracking Module, which made her feel like a tagged dog, was the one that had damped her enthusiasm.
The tech held the “Fly on a Wall” on his finger for her to see, his broad smile fading as she gave him the skeptical, raised eyebrow.
“Nanotechnology?” she asked.
“Yes. Cutting edge,” he replied.
“You know, every piece of sci-fi I’ve ever read says nanites are going to take over.”
“That would never… Ouch!”
“It bit me!”