Friday, December 16, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday #4

Photo courtesy of Madison Woods

Greta woke to the grayness of dawn.  Time to rise, though she had no use for this day.  This Christmas day.  One year ago, her Henry had gone to his final rest.  She righted herself with a grunt, slipped her feet into her worn scuffs, and made her way to the kitchen. 
She lit the stove and set out a single cup and a tin of tea.  At the sink, the copper kettle fell from her hand without notice.  By the grandfather clock, long ago run down, stood a tree bedecked from tip to toe with twinkling lights and ornaments.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday #3

I’m grateful for this week’s Flash Fiction Friday photo challenge.  My other writing has been too somber and serious and introspective of late.  I enjoyed writing something silly and funny for a change – which is truer to my nature.  I ultimately have an enormous and not so slightly warped sense of humor.  Someday I might write a longer piece just for laughs.  In the meantime, here’s a little light-hearted humor in my third installment of Flash Fiction.
Photo courtesy of Madison Woods

Memaw hung up the phone and put on her pinched face.  Uncle Darryl was coming for a visit.  He was her little brother - not that she wanted to claim him most times.  He was a bit “touched” as Papaw would say.  We kids, on the other hand, loved his curious ways.  While the calendar put him at 26, the emptiness in his head made him a child.  Last time, we played hide-and-go-seek all day before he almost burned down the barn.  This time we would find better games and hope Memaw put the matches and kerosene high and away.   

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A tree by any other name

Today I realized what I love best about living here in the Pacific Northwest.  The sky may be gray more than other parts of the country, but I am surrounded by a never-ending wall of green.  As beautiful as the trees are here, they also vex me.  No, not the trees themselves, but the verbiage of the tree.
My current work of fiction takes place in the national forest surrounding Mount Baker.  So, you ask, how many times have I used a tree reference?  Too many to count.  (Despite my best efforts I still have 61 uses of “tree” itself)  I’m at a loss as how I should diversify my wording. 
Tree…foliage…forest…woods…trees…pines…firs…Douglass Fir…cedar…flora…plants…plant life…green…evergreen…sapling…seedling…timber…log…snag…
All describe what Christine is seeing at one point or another.  All convey the message, but how do I use the right word in the right place to paint the picture I want my reader to see?  My Flip Dictionary has an entire page of tree words but not many other words for tree. 
How do I make “tree” interesting?  I'm open to suggestions. 
(And, don’t even get me started with “green”.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday #2

Photo courtesy of Madison Woods
I found a good group on twitter after last week’s – uh…week before last’s – flash fiction post.  (I was stuffing myself with stuffing last week.)  Madison Woods (@Madison_Woods) posts a picture weekly and asks that the #Fictioneers write exactly 100 words related to or inspired by the Picture of the Week and post their work on their own blog, on twitter under #FlashFriday, and as a link on her blog ( for others to comment on and compare. 
Since my foot is philosophically stuck in a bear trap as far as progress on my full work of fiction (but I refuse to chew it off), I find this to be a great exercise to keep my mind in motion.  (Exercise my writing muscles). 
I encourage you to try it and keep those creative juices flowing, so to speak.  Speaking of juice, I need to go get another cup of extract of Coffea arabica.    
Here’s this week’s offering.  It is a bit depressing…
I sat beside my great-grandmother's bed and gazed through the woods framing the window of her small room.  Her fragile hands were in mine, but we did not speak.  I, because there was no need.  She, because her mind had long ago folded in upon itself.  In the quiet, I thought about everything she’d taught me – to bake, to garden, to love Jesus, to be a lady.  She was a mother to me when I had none.  I would miss her. 

I watched as another of the golden-hued leaves fell to the ground to make room for next year’s foliage.