WRITESPIRATION @sacha_black #103 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK 7 Jack and Jill #FlashFiction

This post was written in response to Sacha Black’s weekly prompt for 2017 (52 weeks in 52 words).  Join in here!

Sacha will post one prompt a week for 52 weeks, and the challenge is to write a story in just 52  words exactly. The value of conciseness for a writer is invaluable, as Sacha herself reminds us: ‘The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device’. This weeks’ prompt ‘The distance between,,,’ 

52-words

The distance between words and meaning

Part I: Jill

‘Coffee?’

I cringed. ‘Sorry, busy.’

‘What about a film tomorrow?’

God, he’s slow. ‘Working late.’

‘Let’s drive down to Brighton for the weekend.’

Why doesn’t he get it? ‘My sister’s visiting.’

‘Something wrong?’

At last! ‘No, just busy this week.’

‘Let me know when you’re free.’

Never for you. I smiled. ‘Sure.’  

****

Part II: Jack

‘Coffee?’ I offered

‘Sorry, busy.’

Let’s try again. ‘What about a film tomorrow?’

‘Working late.’

She needs a break. ‘Let’s drive down to Brighton for the weekend.’

‘My sister’s visiting.’

Family problems. ‘Something wrong?’

‘No, just busy this week.’

‘Let me know when you’re free.’

She smiled. ‘Sure.’

She’s worth waiting for.

 

The difference between words and meaning or semantics (linguistic meaning) and pragmatics (contextual meaning) is a favourite subject for many linguists, and let’s face it, they have plenty to investigate!

We actually rarely say exactly what we mean, mainly because social etiquette values politeness over honesty. That means we expect people to understand what we mean, without saying the words we really feel because they would be considered impolite or inappropriate.

not-quite

What we say and what we mean in translation!

Fortunately, there is usually a mutual understanding in a shared culture, but even then, there are some serious misunderstandings, as shown in my two flashes above.

Why is Jack insistent? Why doesn’t Jill want to go out with him? Why doesn’t he get the subtle message?

What if they’re both more honest with their intentions?

 

Part III: Jack and Jill.

‘You look lovely today,’ said Jack.

‘I’m busy,’ replied Jill.

‘Have dinner with me tonight.’

‘Don’t want to.’

‘Come to Brighton for the weekend.’

‘No way. Not again.’

‘What’s wrong?’

‘It’s over.’

‘Why?’

‘We work together. There’ll be gossip, Mr. Smith.’

‘And if I weren’t your boss?’

‘Fire me and find out.’

****

I could go on, the possibilities are endless, but I think I’ll stop here, for now. 

Jack’s intentions are pretty clear, but what about Jill’s? Any guesses on what Jill means by that last line?

WRITESPIRATION @sacha_black #102 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK 6 The Stroll #FlashFiction

This post was written in response to Sacha Black’s weekly prompt for 2017 (52 weeks in 52 words).  Join in here!

Sacha will post one prompt a week for 52 weeks, and the challenge is to write a story in just 52  words exactly. The value of conciseness for a writer is invaluable, as Sacha herself reminds us: ‘The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device’.

52-words

This week’s prompt: That moment you see your ex with their hot new bit and you look like a turd.

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The Stroll

Two weeks’ wages, but it’s totally worth it.

God, he’s gorgeous. Thirty, tall, muscular, wavy, chestnut hair, and dressed to kill.

‘What can I do for you?’ he whispered in his sexy voice. I almost succumbed.

Instead I said, ‘Let’s take a walk.’

My sixty-year-old ex’s face as we stroll past? Priceless.

****

Today’s prompt reminded me of a book I read recently, by Spanish author, Rosa Montero.

la-carne

 

La carne, or Flesh, is about a sixty year old successful art dealer, who lives in Madrid. Soledad, which means literally solitude or loneliness, wants to make her ex boyfriend jealous. In order to do so, she hires a very expensive and gorgeous escort to accompany her to certain social events where her ex will be present. She hires the escort repeatedly, to such an extent that she gradually develops feelings for him.

It’s a fabulous novel about aging, loneliness, love, and relationships.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been translated into English yet, but I hope it will be soon, because it’s the best Spanish novel I’ve read in a long time.

rosa-montero

Rosa Montero, author of La Carne (Flesh)

WRITESPIRATION @sacha_black #101 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK 5 Heaven

This post was written in response to Sacha Black’s weekly prompt for 2017 (52 weeks in 52 words).  Join in here!

Sacha will post one prompt a week for 52 weeks, and the challenge is to write a story in just 52  words exactly. Sounds like a fabulous idea. The value of conciseness for a writer is invaluable, as Sacha herself reminds us: ‘The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device’.

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This week’s prompt: Somewhere in your 52 words you need to include ALL the following words: Time, Stack, Juice, Pigeon.

This week’s prompt took me straight to heaven…

Heaven

 

Some people think they can conquer time.

They’re wrong.

The odds are stacked against them.

However hard they struggle, their juice will run out,

Because time’s like a homing pigeon.

It can fly long distances, but there’s no escape.

In the end we always come back home, to our safe place.

Heaven.  

****

Heaven’s such a geat place to be, but such a terrible place to be locked out of…

Here’s one of my favourite songs, Locked out of heaven 

 

 

It’s also the title of Chapter XI in Midsummer at Eyre Hall. The chapter is narrated by Michael.

The first line of the chapter: ‘The journey from Kilpeck to St. Ives was longer and more dangerous than I had imagined.’

The last line: ‘I was losing her, and I felt as if I were locked out of heaven.’

 

WRITESPIRATION #100 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK4 #FlashFiction 

This post was written in response to Sacha Black’s third weekly prompt for 2017 (52 weeks in 52 words).  Join in here!

52-words

Sacha will post one prompt a week for 52 weeks, and the challenge is to write a story in just 52  words exactly. Sounds like a fabulous idea. The value of conciseness for a writer is invaluable, as Sacha herself reminds us: ‘The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device’.

Today’s topic is 100, because it’s the 100 anniversary of Sacha’s writespiration weekly prompts.

100 is a bit of a daunting number, most of us will never reach that number of years, and let’s face it, tiny, limited, insignificant human beings that we are, if we can’t see it, hear it, feel it, understand it, or aspire to get there, we don’t believe in it, do we?

100 makes me feel tiny and huge at the same time.


Tiny because there are so many things I’ll never see, do, feel, hear, or understand, and huge because I’m part of that amazing, ever-expanding, wonderous universe I’ll never understand…

****

100 numbers

‘100 isn’t a lot, is it?

Seconds: 1.4 minutes

Minutes: 1.4 hours

Days: 3.4 months

Weeks: 1.9 years

Years: A century

1/10 of a millennium

1/5 of the Christian era

45/billionth of the age of the earth.

Not much, really.’

‘I’d like to live to 100.’

‘I’m quite sure I already have.’

****

100 Mysteries

When I think of big numbers, I think of grains of sand, flowers, stars, the ancient Egyptians, dead sea scrolls, star trek, the universe, eternity, life after death, the meaning of life before death, and things I don’t understand and perhaps never will, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real, does it?

 

This reminds me of a poem by Brian Patten, A Blade of Grass 

As I often do, I’ve credited and reworked an orginal work of art, to express what I’m feeling at this moment.

100 Flowers

You ask for a star
I offer  you 100 flowers.
You say it’s not good enough.
I say these flowers will do.
You say it is too easy to offer 100 flowers.
So I write you a tragedy about
How 100 flowers
Are so easy to give and so hard to accept.

WRITESPIRATION #99 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK3 #FlashFiction Lost Things

This post was written in response to Sacha Black’s third weekly prompt for 2017 (52 weeks in 52 words).

52-words

Sacha will post one prompt a week for 52 weeks, and the challenge is to write a story in just 52  words exactly. Sounds like a fabulous idea. The value of conciseness for a writer is invaluable, as Sacha herself reminds us: ‘The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device’.

This week’s prompt is to write about Lost Things. I’m afraid I’ve come up with some sad words this time.

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Lost Things

‘My keys?’ Beth asked searching frantically.

‘Tried the first drawer, darling?’ James replied with a smile.

‘Of course!’  She kissed him. ‘Why do you always know where everything is?’

‘Magic.’ James lied, wrapping his arms around her.

He held her tightly.

How would they cope when James became yet another nameless face?

****

Alzheimer’s, in any of its many forms, is a cruel disease.

I’ve witnessed its devastating effects in close relatives.

Lost is a word which would identify the feeling.

Patients feel they are living in another world, with other people, unlike anyone they ever knew.

I suppose it’s like taking a step forward and not recognising where you’re going or what you’re seeing, and when you look back there’s nothing there, except a void.

Finally, one day, you look in the mirror, and the only person you were still sure about becomes another stranger, staring back at you.

Devastating for the patients, carers, friends and relatives.

 

WRITESPIRATION #98 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK 2 Badly Timed #Trump

This post was written in response to Sacha Black’s second weekly prompt for 2017. 

52 weeks in 52 words.

52-words

Sacha will post one prompt a week for 52 weeks, and the challenge is to write a story in just 52  words exactly. Sounds like a fabulous idea. The value of conciseness for a writer is invaluable, as Sacha herself reminds us: ‘The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device’.

This week’s prompt is to write about the badly timed trump!! Oh dear 😦

Here goes my take.

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‘Heard about Liberty’s new husband?’

‘Tall, dark and handsome, knowing her.’

‘Overweight, blonde, ugly and rude.’

‘But she’s beautiful, generous and kind!’

‘Go figure.’

‘What’s his trump card?’

‘Perhaps she was lonely and depressed.’

‘So he popped up at the right time?’

‘Badly timed, you mean.’

‘Whoever introduced them?’

‘His Russian friends.’

****

liberty

 

 

 

WRITESPIRATION #97 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS – WEEK 1 #Resolutions

This post was written in response to Sacha Black’s first weekly prompt for 2017.  52 weeks in 52 words.

 

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Sacha will post one prompt a week for 52 weeks, and the challenge is to write a story in just 52  words exactly. Sounds like a fabulous idea. The value of conciseness for a writer is invaluable, as Sacha herself reminds us: ‘The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device’.

Today’s prompt is to include ‘The timer started’ somewhere in the text.

Here’s my take, a very seasonal and very personal one.

I’m getting rid of all the surplus stuff, no more whining.

This is my one and only resolution for 2017.

****

The timer started.

New year.

New resolutions.

New hopes.

New challenges.

Ready, steady, go!

How many?

 Just one.  

Keep writing.

Novels, blog posts, tweets, flash fiction, fiction challenges, poetry,

Emails, messages, postcards, letters, short stories, notes,

Words and more words.

Because when I stop writing,

My timer will have stopped.

The end.

*****

i-write

Thank you for the prompt and for the challenge, Sacha.!

If you want to take part, here’s more information about the challenge.