A Festival of Friday Fictioneers!

This weekend is the Virginia Festival of the Book–five days of books and their writers in the great Virginia town of Charlottesville. This is my third year to attend and my first to participate. I’ll be doing a reading from a story of mine, which appears in the Blue Ridge Writers 2013 anthology, on Sunday, and Rita Mae Brown will be in attendance. Gulp.

So, first time reading before an A-list author? Check.

Nerves? Check. Big time.

But the story, “Mourning,” is one of my favorites, and I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ll keep telling myself that, and perhaps I’ll believe it by 1300 this Sunday.

Anyway, if you’re within driving distance of Charlottesville, VA, check out the remaining three days of the Virginia Festival of the Book here. I’ll wager you’ll find something you must see.

Friday Fictioneers LogoToday’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt features one of my favorite things–a horse. I was a typical horse geek in my teens. On summer days I’d pack a lunch–for me and the horse–and ride as far as I could, eat lunch, then come back home. Some Sundays, my dad would saddle his horse, and he and I would “ride fence” to check where repairs needed to be made. Those times (and baseball games) made for some great father-daughter talks.

The first book I ever owned was Black Beauty–and it still makes me tear up. I almost had to walk out of War Horse until I figured out it would end happily. There was a time I preferred the company of my horse over any person. Sometimes I wish I still had a horse because they can still be better company than a lot of humans.

Though horses are not the smartest of mammals, they have excellent instinct, and today’s story, “Oh, the Humanity!,” captures how I always thought a horse would sound if they spoke human. As usual, if you can’t see the link on the title, scroll to the top of this page and click on the Friday Fictioneers tab. Then, you can select the story from the drop-down list.

Friday Flash Fiction Returns!

I took a little break from Friday Flash Fiction last week to do a Veterans Day tribute, though I had some great ideas for the inspiration photo of a budding corpse flower.

Today’s inspiration photo is a subject close to my own heart. The picture evoked great memories of idling summer Saturdays away on horseback or riding the farm with my Dad. So, here’s the photo:

And here’s the 100-word (exactly!) story, which I call, “Constancy.”
Her loyalty had no end. It would transcend death. Always at my side, ready when I’m ready, rests when I need it, offers kindness. We complete each other. We are extensions of each other by choice not demand.
We can have companionable silence, or we can communicate without words, with a touch, a nudge. And, oh, how we’ve traveled. Uncountable miles, over stream and hedge. Fences do not stop us. We love the open field best. Speed, and the desire for it, is the gift we share.
Still, I can’t help wonder how she manages on just two, spindly legs.
Questions, comments? To read more 100-word stories, go to Madison Woods blog,http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/the-lonely-path/