Friday, December 21, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 21, 2012

In FAO Schwartz in New York, they had an area where you would pick out your specific baby doll as though you were picking a child from a hospital nursery. I found it slightly creepy, and not just a little over-the-top.

Today, write about someone who goes to such lengths to impress, or get attention, that they go one step too far.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 20, 2012

The Village Vanguard is one of the iconic music venues in New York City.

For today's flash fiction writing prompt, write about a musician who is going to play here. Will it be for the very first time, or maybe for the very last? Will this be their big break?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 19, 2012

Everyone likes getting mail, but everyone LOVES getting packages they weren't expecting.

For today's flash fiction writing prompt, write about a mystery package that someone has received. When they get it, are they excited, scared, puzzled? Where is it from, and what's in it? What happens when they open it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 18, 2012

"Living in the limelight, the universal dream," says the band Rush.

For today's flash fiction writing prompt, write about someone who is just starting a career in show biz.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 17, 2012

Some things are big, and some things are, well, enormous. They're so big that you can't help but feel humbled by them when you're near them.

For today's writing prompt, write about either someone who has a "big" personality, or about someone who is feels small when they are near that person.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 14, 2012

Some characters are on their way up. Some are on their way down.

For today's flash fiction writing prompt, write about a character that is either rising or declining, in their career, in their health, or in their closest relationship.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 13, 2012

It'd be so nice to just hit a button when we've made a mistake, wouldn't it?

For today's flash fiction writing prompt, write about something your character did, that they wish they could just "cancel".

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 12, 2012

Barbie looks like she's enjoying her bath, doesn't she? She's just floating around the tub, relaxing in the bubbles. Or maybe she's not. You know, you can barely see her face. There are so many bubbles, they're practically drowning her!

For today's flash fiction writing prompt, write about a character who's having too much of a good thing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 11, 2012

This is part of a group of dinosaur sculptures that can be found in random locations around Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, also, is home to the Heinz Company. Thus, the ketchup-bottle Triceratops.

For today's flash fiction writing prompt, write about a character that has two traits that are seemingly at odds with each other. For instance, I know a vegetarian butcher. And I know a guy who is 5' 2" who tried out for a minor league baseball team.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 10, 2012

This is a picture of a fence outside a standard neighborhood ball field. It's the one spectators lean on or look through as their 10-year-olds or co-workers play, get dirty and have fun. Meanwhile, we sit on the sidelines being entertained (or bored, truth be told).

For today's Flash Fiction writing prompt, write about a character that has been sitting behind a "fence", watching life happen around them. Do they want to get in and play, or are they content to be amused by the game?

Today's Ads! :)


Friday, December 7, 2012

In Ashes

This work of flash fiction was published on Magnificent Nose on September 15, 2012, as part of their second Flash Fiction Week. The theme of the week was “Lack of Communication”. 

Leslie Gray, a stout burn unit nurse, peered through her reading glasses at a business card, then up at the thin, young man, then back to the business card which revealed the various modes of communication for one James E. Silas, Esquire.

“Well, you can go in, but don’t expect much.” Fluorescent lights reflected off the bright counter surface and onto Ms. Gray’s glasses, making it difficult to see her eyes. “Old Mrs. Long hasn’t said a word since the fire three weeks ago. Took her husband, you know.”

Mr. Silas’s head swayed in lament, as though it was used to doing so. Then he gave a slight smile and went, shoes padding on the shiny floor.

He poked his head into the door of the hospital room, and was struck by the smell of manufactured lemon clean. “Mrs. Long?” Henrietta Long, who had been looking through the window at the overcast day, turned and stared at Mr. Silas as though he were more clouds. “Mrs. Long, I know this is a hard time for you. I’m an attorney.” He paused, feeling how useless he was to her. “I’m so sorry. I’m your late husband’s attorney. We have something. From his will.” Mrs. Long’s expression, partially hidden by gauze and tape, changed not at all.

Not sure his words actually registered with her, he reached into a tote bag and produced a small jewelry box. “Your husband wanted you to have this, after he passed.”

Henrietta Long’s eyes sparkled aware. She looked at Mr. Silas with wonder, and reached up with both hands to receive the silver box. It was vaguely familiar. No, she was sure she knew it.

She cracked open the box and a small plinking song began to drift out. A large tear grew in her eye, then rolled down her cheek.

“Mrs. Long?”

“Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle,” she breathed. She looked up at the lawyer. “An old Italian song. We sang it to our daughter,” she explained. Upon opening the box entirely, she noticed a small card with a phone number and an address. At the top, it said, “Catherine”.

“Your daughter’s address?” asked Mr. Silas. “Your husband said you hadn’t talked to her in a while.”

“I was a hard mother.” Her voice faltered. In her head she began to replay the fights, and the day her daughter left.

He didn’t want to interrupt the personal moment; still Mr. Silas heard himself ask, “Would you like me to stay?”

Mrs. Long smiled. “You’re a nice boy. Go home. Call your mother.”

Mr. Silas stood and turned to leave. “I had a hard mother too,” he said first to himself, then the doorframe, then turning to look at her. “Sometimes, I wish I could call her. You should call your daughter.”

He looked around the hospital room, which held all the tidy, unburnt possessions of Mrs. Henrietta Long and said, “Good luck, Mrs. Long.”

Henrietta sat for a long while, singing and deciding.

Writing Prompt, December 7, 2012

When we went to the amusement park as kids, all the rides had names that promised incredible experiences: "Runaway Train"; "Rolling Thunder"; "Tornado".

Sometimes the experiences lived up to the fantastical names, and sometimes we wondered why we waited in line for so long.

 For today's writing prompt, write about a character who has certain expectations based on what was advertised. Whether it's a Prince Charming or Prince-Turned-Frog relationship, a house that looked great in the ad, or a bottle of mayonnaise that did or didn't work with a potato salad, write about expectations fulfilled or dashed, and how your character handles disappointment or satisfaction.


Books I'm reading, want to read or have read:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 6, 2012

Since this might be the only photo of a hockey rink you'll see this season, write about something that your character usually takes for granted, until it's gone.

(As an aside, "zamboni" is one of my favorite words ever. I'm going to try to work it into my story.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 5, 2012

For today's flash fiction prompt: write a story about the woman who is wearing these shoes, where she's going in them, and what happens there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 4, 2012

This was taken at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA. It's a collection of diamonds and diamond reproductions from all over the world.

For today's Flash Fiction writing prompt, write about a jewelry heist.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Writing Prompt, December 3, 2012

We went to an air show over the summer, and took pictures of all the planes and stunt crafts. But this is my favorite picture from that day: the sun shining on the Blue Angels through a break in the clouds.

For today's Flash Fiction prompt, you can write specifically about a flight, a plane, an airport, or an unreasonably dramatic sky. Or, you can write about two or more characters trying to coordinate something complicated and possibly death-defying.