Category Archives: short story

Writing Prompt Wednesday


BOOKWORM – this is your starting point for a story…should be easy!

bookman

I have to confess I had an ulterior motive for volunteering to look after the book stall at the village fete. Not only would I have first pick of the books but it was nicely situated in a large tent so no matter what the weather conditions I would be protected.

As it happened we were lucky to have glorious sunshine on the day of the fete, it isn’t always so. Having the tent meant I had plenty of luscious shade. I’m not a sun worshiper at the best of times. After spending several hours organizing the books so that they were in categories, I sat back with a satisfying cup of tea.  I surveyed the mismatched tables filling the tent and felt proud of my efforts. With a couple of large cushions to pad out my deck chair I would endure the day. I knew it will be long and I like my comfort.

Settling into my chair to take a second look at my selections I quickly become engrossed in a tale of ancient Rome.  A shadow falls onto the page – my first customer of the day. Not wanting to seem too pushy, I continue to read, letting them browse unhindered. When I eventually look up I see a stick thin man dressed in a mac and hat with his nose literally inside a book. His spectacles have thick glass but obviously not thick enough. Upon closer inspection I notice he has mis-matched shoes, one black and one brown. Was he colour blind as well? 

“May I help you Sir?”

 “No thank you. I’m perfectly fine.”

 Remaining in my seat I observe this gentleman as he fills a wicker basket with books and precariously crams even more under his arm along with his umbrella. He is definitely not a local, I know most people in the village through my various committees. My curiosity must show as he nervously glances my way.

 “Have I done something wrong? Is there a limit to how many books I can purchase?”

 “Not at all – take as many as you like. I was just wondering where you lived as you are not familiar to me. Sorry if I was staring.”

 “Oh I see.”

 That was it, no explanation, no further conversation. He just continued rummaging through the hundreds of books without further comment. What a strange fellow.

The tent is filling up with other visitors anyway so I become distracted with purchases and questions for some time. A polite cough makes me turn and I am faced with the gentleman’s thin face peering over the top of his spectacles at me.

“May I pay for these books?”

“Yes of course. My, you have a real hoard there don’t you. Do you know how many?”

“Well I didn’t count them. Was I supposed to?”

“Not to worry. Shall we count together?”

“If you feel it’s necessary.”

Our count completed and the purchase made the man turns to leave laden down with thirty books.

“I hope you enjoy all your books.”

“Well of course I shall. I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise, now would I?”

I grit my teeth and smile, thinking some people are very odd but there’s no reason to be rude.  I turn to my next customer in line and exchange pleasantries with Miss Tooms. She is such a dear soul.

“Don’t take offense Muriel. Mr. Boekenworm has never been the social type even at school.”

“You know him Miss Tooms?”

 “Oh yes dear. We went to school together, here in the village actually, many moons ago of course. He was always teased about his name you see and it made him very insular.”

 “It’s a very novel name I must say.”

 “It means bookworm and he always has been. Lived up to his name you could say.”

 “That must have been very difficult as a child, I’m sure. Where does he live now?”

 “Not far, just over the hill in Clutton. He has his own second hand book store. I imagine it was fate.”

 “That would account for the amount of books he brought then. He really has lived up to his name. Good for him, I say.”

 “Yes I suppose you are right there. Well thank you Muriel. I shall enjoy these novels, helps pass the night hours, I don’t sleep like I used to, you know.”

I watch Miss. Tooms thread her way towards the tea tent. Another polite cough makes me turn. There he stands again with his umbrella and hat clutched to his chest.

“I want to apologize for being a bit brisk with you earlier. I tend to get very tense when buying books. Always worry someone else will find that exceptional book before me. Anyway sorry again for my rudeness.”

“Well thank you. Apology accepted. Miss Tooms was just telling me you have your own book store. May I visit one day?”

“Certainly it would be a pleasure.”

Such was my introduction to Samuel Boekenworm, my future employer.

Booksellers Library

Writing Prompt Wednesday


deech_roots

Your challenge is to write a poem or short story using this image above. It can be the start or ending of a story, a sense of place or wherever the image inspires your Mse to write.

My Muse decided on a poem.

Roots

 

Revealed by the eroded earth

Spindly, twisting fingers, laid bare

Within their numerous fissures

Tiny creatures take refuge there

 

Moss growing in damp crevices

Bringing colour to the grey

Patterns of light and shadow                                    

Make numerous images play

 

Strands of ivy twisting upward,

Slowly consuming its host

Feeding off wrinkled bark

Crumbling it into compost

 

Growing steadily each year

Nourished by the sun and rain

Weathered by the seasons

Its character all too plain

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


prompt

Your prompt today is to incorporate these words into a poem or story – Scant, debonair, illegitimate

I hope you like my take on the Cinderella story.

Beggar to Belle

A stern look crossed her face

As she looked down her nose in disgust

At the scene before her

Speaking slowing she announced

Why ever would you stay in this place?

 

I cowered before my formidable aunt

Apologizing profusely for my humble home

Full of hand-me-downs and layers of dust

In stark contrast to her debonair looks

Even the sole chair was at a slant

 

She flicked at the dirt before sitting

And faced me with a furrowed brow

Crouched on the wooden floor I waited

A lady had no place in my home

To my surprise she began reminiscing

 

She told me of her youth and gentleman callers

The grand balls and finery

How she fell in love but was abandoned

Left with a broken heart in despair

But forced to obey her fathers orders

 

Subjected to a year in the country

Hidden away to protect the family name

Then forced to give away her daughter

She spoke through the saddest of tears

Scorned for her effrontery

 

Uncomfortable at her confession

I wiped my dirty hand and placed it on her lap

To my surprise she grasped it to her lips

Forgive me child for what I did

Realization showed in my facial expression

 

Through happier tears she spoke

Yes, you are my child and I want to take you home

There are no men to dictate to me now

I’m free to love you if you will allow

She stood and held me within her velvet cloak

 

Without a backward glance I exited my shack

Excited to start a new life with my mother

No longer suffering in scant conditions

My life would be full and wonderful

Never again frightened and running back

 

She told me to hold my head up high

No matter my attire

Soon I would be dressed in finery

And enjoying a courtier’s life

In the coach I imagined it all in my mind’s eye

 

A grand mansion my abode ever so noble

An illegitimate daughter finally home

I was treated with respect and courted

My secret completely hidden from all

I became a stunning society belle

 

Let’s see what you can come up with.

Genres of Literature – Fan-fiction


 

fanfic_logo

 

The definition of fan fiction or fanfiction is stories created by fans of original works of fiction rather than the original creator. Since the advent of the Internet it has become a popular form of fan labor. It is not commissioned or usually authorized by the original work’s creator or publisher, and is rarely professionally published but rather qualifies under ‘fair use’. Attitudes differ by the original authors and copyright owners of these original works to fan fiction ranging from indifference to encouragement to rejection. Copyright owners have occasionally responded with legal action.The term “fan fiction” came into use in the 20th century. 

Fan fiction is both related to its subject’s canonical fictional universe and simultaneously existing outside it. Most fan fiction writers work is  primarily read by other fans, such as Spockanalia (1967) based on Star Trek, which was mailed to other fans or sold at science fiction conventions. It is interesting to know that women dominated fan fiction initially in 1970 by 83% and increasing to 905 in 1973. Due to the accessibility of the Internet it is estimated fab fiction comprises one third of all content in regards to books. In 1998 the site Fanfiction.Net came online allowing anyone to upload any fandome content onto it’s not-for-profit platform. This practice came to be known as ‘pulling-to-publish’. In 2013 Amazon.com established Kindle Worlds enabling certain licensed media properties to be sold in their kindle store. The terms included 35% of net sales for 10,000 word plus or 20% for short fiction from 5,000 – 10,000 words but with restrictions on content, copyright and poor formatting.

 

Around 1960-1970 in Japan dōjinshi began appearing where independently published manga and novels, (known as dōjinshi), were frequently published by dōjin circles. Many were based on existing manga, anime, and video game franchises. 

Today there are a multitude of fan fiction internet sites for all sorts of genres from comic heroes to romantic couples to TV shows. It is a growing ‘genre’ and a vehicle for many authors to showcase their work.

Have you written fan fiction? 

What or who was your subject?

Why did you decide to write fan fiction?

Writing Prompt Wednesday


prompt

Use these words dude ranch, matter, scorn in a story or poem.

Cowboy

CowboyLeaningSilhouette

With nonchalant ease he leaned against the fence post, blowing smoke rings into the clear blue sky. His Stetson pushed back to reveal a rugged face bearing the signs of harsh weather and too much sun. She could see callouses on his palm as he held up a hand in welcome. Years of pulling at ropes and holding branding rods left their mark on this man.  In her eyes he was the ‘dude’ of the ranch. The one the other ranch hands looked up to and admired. He sensed bad weather long before the reporters told their tale on TV or the clouds rolled in. With practiced ease he roped calves, rode all day to search out stragglers and confronted danger with a grin on his face.

He mattered to the crew not only as their leader and teacher but also a fierce and loyal friend, once they proved themselves worthy. It was a rite of passage to have his scornful look change to admiration for the young cowboys, learning the ways of cattle ranching. Weather beaten, tired and bruised, many found the daily life too much and left but a few chose the harshness to be part of an unusual existence. A way of life threatened by the modern world. 

Why not try your own story or poem using these words?