Monthly Archives: December, 2013

The Speakeasy #142: RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG!

4957-Ralph Kramden to the moon Alice

 RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG!

Somewhere along the Brown Line, an iPhone sounds, startling nearby riders.

Quack!… Quack!… Quack!… Quack!  “Hello?”

“Ethel, where the hell are you?  Our show’s about to start!”

“Well Ralph is going to have to send Alice to the moon without me, Cheryl.  I’m almost to Armitage now, I’ll see you in a bit.”

“You’re on the Ravenswood L?  Do not tell me you’ve been to Jeremy’s!”

“We can’t ring in the New Year without fireworks, Cheryl, and he has the best.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. You do remember the school playground last year, Ethel?”

“He says these are much safer ones.  Record ‘TV Land’ and we can watch when I get there.”

“If you get here, Ethel.  Remember, there is bomb sniffing dogs at Lake Transfer Station.”

“Oh shit!”

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speakeasy2Suzanne, the Editor at The Speakeasy, has issued the following instructions for this week’s Flash Fiction Contest:

“This week’ sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, Jeremy, can be used ANYWHERE in your piece.”  “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“And the media prompt is a picture, which you will find below. As with all our media prompts, your post shouldn’t be about the picture, but you must make some sort of reference to it in your submission.”

 big-ben-550x412

To read J. Milburn’s award-winning story, go to Writing To Be Noticed  jerjmy
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In the summer of 1987, I moved to Chicago.  I drove cross-country on I-80 with my daughters Krista and Ashley, and when we got to Nebraska there were huge fireworks stands.  And not just your ‘Safe and Sane’ variety… but the ‘Giant Rockets and Bombs Bursting in Air’ variety.  I bought some.  The Fourth of July was past so I saved them.  One night, I was drinking with a friend and remembered the fireworks.  We took them across the street to an elementary school and set them off in the playground.  It’s a good thing we were so drunk, or we would have been scared for sure.  It was a dazzling display and we never got caught.

The Speakeasy #140… ETHEL & CHERYL WRITE A STORY

Peggy Wente: Globe and Mail columnist in alberta

ETHEL & CHERYL WRITE A STORY

‘I found the tracks in the deep snow between the trees.’  Okay, that has to be the first line to start our story.  Not over 750 words, okay Ethel?”

“Wait a minute!  What are you talking about, Cheryl?  The first line has to be ‘Pass the basil, would you?’.  You were late and I’ve already started the story.  It takes place on a TV cooking show.  Here, take a look.”

“Pass the basil, would you?”   “Basil! What are you a @#☠%^#✴︎& Idiot!!!”   “I think it goes in spaghetti, Chef.”   “But you are not making @#☠%^#✴︎& Spaghetti!!!  I asked for @#☠%^#✴︎& Lo Mein!!!”   “Sorry, Chef!!!  All noodles look the same to me.”

“For crying out loud, Ethel, you misread the instructions!  They are introducing the prompt painting with the ‘basil thing’.  It has something to with the story in the painting.”

“What story?  They aren’t cooking in the painting.  I don’t see any basil anywhere, just a skinny-ass dog and some people having a meal.  Okay, let’s figure out how they’re using basil, and I’ll save my cooking show story for later, I think it’s hilarious.”

“To each his own, Ethel, but it’s not about cooking.  If we want to be writers we need to focus, especially since we’re going to win a prize, we want it to be good.”

“Okay, let’s think outside the box here.  We can have ‘the tracks found deep in the snow between the trees’ be the dog’s.  And, we can have the cook find them!”

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speakeasy2

While surfing the web, Ethel came across a writing challenge called The Speakeasy #140, always on the hunt for something new, she enlisted Cheryl to help her.  Here are the instructions she came across:

This week our sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, EA Wicklund, must be used as the FIRST line in your piece. And the media prompt is a painting.  

Pass the basil, would you?  

The painting this week is Isabella by John Everett Millais. It’s the first painting he did in the Pre-Raphaelite style and it was inspired by John Keat’s poem Isabella, or the Pot of Basil. Be sure to click on the image to see this painting in its large format because there is a lot going on in it.

John Everett Millais: Isabella, 1848-49..

  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • Your piece must include the following sentence as the FIRST line: “I found the tracks in the deep snow between the trees.

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Incidentally, to read some damn fine Sci-Fi, check out Wicklund’s Fairy Taleseric

Suzanne Purkis runs the speakeasy, and can be found at  Apoplectic Apostrophessuzanne

Trifextra #97… IT’S ALL IN THE NAME

image

IT’S ALL IN THE NAME

The Detroit Auto Show was always a basin of opportunity.

But, the myopic choice of a name by Mister Ford failed to dazzle.

Both for the new model line-up and the child.

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Picture11-1Here are the instructions from the editors:  This weekend we’re asking you to add thirty of your own words to the following three words for a total of thirty-three.  Good luck!

myopic

dazzle

basin

Guest Author ~ HOME by Ula Grace

Birthday Letter 1

HOME

❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎

UlaG & Me... on the ferry, after picking her her up at SeaTac coming home from Myanmar last year.

UlaG & Me… on the ferry, after picking her up at SeaTac Airport, coming home from Myanmar last year.

Some gifts cannot be bought… this is one of those.  I have been encouraging my granddaughter to write some stories for TedBook.  She is taking a creative writing class at school and I think is a clever writer.  She is a lucky girl, as she has traveled the globe with her parents since she was a baby… every year.  They always take a trip in January and get home in February… It is cold here and they go to warm places.  I pick them up at the airport, quite a sight in their shorts and flip-flops, and return them to Friday Harbor.  Last year they trekked through Myanmar for six weeks.  She promised to write a story about the children there, complete with photos she took… I’m holding her to it.  Hopefully this will be a start to more stories from the pen of UlaG.

Friday Fictioneers: THE TRESPASSERS

Image

THE TRESSPASSERS… A Drabble for FriFic

“This place looks creepy, do you think it’s safe?”
“Of course, no one’s here but us.  I think there’s an opening around the side somewhere.”
“Perry, it’s dark in here.”
“Don’t be such a baby, Rene, you still want to do it don’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess, but it’s gross in here.”
“Look there’s a mattress!”
“Yeah, that’s real romantic, along with the needles and used rubbers.”
“It’s not so bad.  Wait!  Did you hear that?”
“It snarled, like a dog. I’m scared!”
“No, more like a wolf. It’s getting close!”
“Oh Nooooo it’s… THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES!!! 
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Now, you are probably wondering about the ending of that story.  It is a followup to the story I wrote last week… INVITATION TO A RIDE… after I had received this in the mail…
invitation
I promised a full report… I boarded the MV Chelan as requested shortly before 8 a.m.
IMG_1778 This is actually not the real ferry-boat (I forgot to take a photo), but a stand in.  The model can be seen at Seatown in Seattle.
I settled into a booth and my daughters showed up with a delicious breakfast of quiche and fresh fruit… after arriving on the mainland we readied to depart the ferry…IMG_1727 After a stop at the first of many Starbuck’s we had an exciting car wash… IMG_1729 and upon reaching Seattle, my Birthday got off to an exciting start in the make-up department at Nordstrom…IMG_1731 somehow this was a familiar theme throughout the day.  We stopped to admire the Christmas windows at Tiffany’s (designed by my friend Christopher Young in NYC)…IMG_1734 After a delicious lunch at PF Chang’s, we boarded the famous Monorail… IMG_1742 and headed for the Seattle Repertory Theater to see a matinée performance of…IMG_1745 It was an excellent production and lots of fun… IMG_1752  Checked out the Space Needle on the way back to the Monorail… IMG_1755 We went back to the Mayflower Hotel… IMG_1760  in the heart of downtown Seattle and got ready to go out to dinner at one my favorite Tom Douglas restaurants … IMG_1763 A fabulous meal of Pork Chop and Garlic Sausage followed with a nice birthday dessert… IMG_1767 A restful sleep at The Mayflower and a day of shopping finished off the Birthday Bash.
friday-fictioneers
This week’s Friday Fictioneer’s photo prompt is courtesy of Randy Mazie.  Rochelle-Wisoff Fields chose it to be this week’s inspiration for some 100 Word Flash Fiction.
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I promised my friends at the Still to finish my story of the ransom note… 

The Speakeasy # 138… CANDY KITCHEN

851565_567787583253950_845844276_nCANDY KITCHEN

The bowl lay overturned on the floor, a rough crack running down one side.

“Grandma’s going to kill me! First her marble slab, now her favorite mixing bowl.  HELP ME!!!!!!

“Wake up! Wake up, what’s wrong?”

Twisted up in a sheet and drenched in a cold sweat, I fight to get back into reality, trying to explain the delicious pinks and reds.

“You’ve been playing way too much Candy Crush on facebook!” my friend says.

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speakeasy2THE SPEAKEASY #138…  This week our sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner  Kianwi, must be used as the FIRST line in your piece. And the media prompt is a picture, which you will find below. As with all our media prompts, your post shouldn’t be about the picture, but you must make some sort of reference to it in your submission.   “The bowl lay overturned on the floor, a rough crack running down one side.

make-up set

This story kind of came to me in a dream.  I had gone to sleep thinking of the prompt line, and I had bought some homemade caramels from a friend at a craft fair, who sells them under the name GrandmaFreysCaramels. And, I have a friend on facebook who plays Candy Crush all the time, it’s one of those games like FarmVille that have people hooked.  She’s always trying to get me to play.  I’m not sure it was me in the dream, I think I was writing the story in the dream.  Those might be clues to how the dream came about… so, I thought I’d use it for my story.

p.s. If you like good caramel candy, order some from Paul.  He’s a good guy and coach of the Friday Harbor High School Girls Soccer Team… Division Champs this year… my granddaughter Isabel is a star midfielder.

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