Tag Archives: inspiration

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 – A Tall Tale


big_thumb

We all tell the occasional tall tale and know of the old fisherman stories of the ‘big one that got away’ these are mainly verbal tales or stories told around a campfire or to impress our friends and family.

The definition of a tall tale is a story containing unbelievable elements, related as though they are true and factual. These exaggerations of actual events, are mainly told ‘tongue in cheek’ and cause amusement for the listeners. Other tall tales are completely fictional tales set in a familiar setting, such as the European countryside, the American frontier, or the Canadian Northwest. The line between legends and tall tales is distinguished primarily by age; legends exaggerate the exploits of their heroes, but tall tales exaggerate an event to such an extent it becomes the focus of the story.

American tall tales

Tall tales are a fundamental element of American folk literature. The origins were seen in bragging contests by rough men of the frontier lands when they gathered together. Characters include, Davy Crockett, Pecos Bill, Casey Jones, Old Stormalong and Sally Ann Thunder – Ann Whirlwind.

 

Toastmasters International public speaking clubs do sometimes hold Tall Tales contests. Each speaker is given three to five minutes in which to tell a tall tale and is then judged according to several factors. The winner proceeds to the next level of competition.

Australian tall tales

The Australian frontier (known as the bush or the outback) has similar tales of the characters who lived mainly in isolation. The Australian versions concern a mythical station called  The Speewah and the characters who lived there, such as Big Bill, Crooked Mike and folklore hero, Charlie McKeahnie.

Canadian tall tales

The Canadian frontier has also inspired tall tales, such as Big Joe Mufferaw, Johnny Chinook and Sam McGee.

European tall tales

One enduring tall tale concerns the columnar basalt that makes up the Giant’s Causeway, which is said to have been made by Fionn mac Cumhaill. Other tales include Toell the Great, the Babin Republic, and Baron Munchausen.

 

Have you incorporated a tall tale into a story or novel?

Which tall tale is passed down through your family?

Writing Prompt Wednesday


prompt

The prompt is – two men in a boat.

Here’s my short story.

Bob & Joe’s Fishing Trip     

A weekend of fishing ahead of them, Bob and Joe load their canoe with tackle, bait, tents and food coolers. They gently glide along the river with practiced strokes of their oars. After years of fishing trips together, their routine is down pat. They have several favorite spots for fishing and their campsite is a closely guarded secret between the two companions. The early morning mist breaks apart as the canoe bow slices through it. Their destination gradually appears in front of them, the island in the middle of the lake, covered by dense brush around its perimeter and to the untrained eye seemingly impenetrable. However, due to a chance discovery some fourteen years earlier it has become a perfect spot for the two friends to enjoy a weekend of fishing undisturbed.  Joe discovered the secret clearing when his fishing line suddenly snapped and he fell backwards into the river. While Bob tried to compose himself from laughing and row toward his friend, Joe had noticed a gap between two bushes. He crawled through to find a small clearing. It was the perfect sanctuary from their wives, who could never again surprise them with a visit.

With the camp set up, the coolers stored and a few cans of beer in the bottom of the canoe, the two men head out for the first fishing spot. As always, they ensured there were no tracks to the hideout before leaving. It isn’t long before Joe has a bite and he starts reeling in but a clonking sound on the hull signals his catch is obviously not a fish. Catching the line Bob hauls a slender glass bottle from the water. The light glistens on its blue green surface. Inside they see a roll of paper. With wordless mutual ascent Bob smashes the bottle on the gunwale and releases a brown paper roll. As he gradually unrolls the paper, a sudden gasp of wonder comes from both men. It is a treasure map, illustrating with a large X, their very own campsite.

Paddling swiftly back toward the island in excited anticipation they abandon the canoe on the bank behind a bush and race toward the marked spot. Grabbing the latrine shovel Joe digs furiously, throwing earth every which way. At the sound of a hollow thud, the friends look at each other. Falling onto their knees, they push the soil away before pulling a small wooden chest from the earth by its brass handles. A rusty lock is easily broken with the shovel and as the lid opens gold coins tumble out. Bob and Joe shout out in unison “We’re rich!”

The enormity of their find struck them later as they counted the coins. How could they spend gold coins without people getting suspicious? They talked throughout the night and hatched a plan. Bury the chest again and find a discrete dealer. Sea fishing trips in exotic locations were now in the future of the two happy fishermen.

fishermen

Why not share your story in the comments?

Writing Prompt Wednesday


I wrote a response to this prompt a while ago and thought it was a good one to share. Why don’t you have a go?

 

eea7e8597cd9b571a132e6ee7501d5b7

The scenery was exceptional, the breeze cooling our bodies as the summer sun beat down. An over growth path seemed the answer to finding a private place to picnic, away from the other hikers. Brushing aside the tall grasses and weeds, we found a larger track making our trek easier. A shape soon appeared ahead and as we approached it became apparent it was a vehicle. “A strange place to find a car!” “Let’s take a look, possibly dumped here.” The vehicle’s metal was sun bleached and rusted with saplings and weeds populating its interior as well as hugging its sides. The front of the vehicle smashed into a large boulder. “What is that?” “Oh my God, no that’s not a vehicle dump. Come back don’t touch anything. Those are skeletons in the front seats.”

Two hours later we are sitting on the cliff trail watching numerous police and emergency personnel talking, photographing and extracting the skeletons. A detective approaches us. “Sorry to keep you so long, we wanted to make sure we had all the details correct. From the impact injuries apparent on the rib cages and heads of the skeletons it was an accident. As to the identities we can only wait on the DNA results. We did find a message scratched on the console though. “May we ask what it said?” “I don’t think it will matter if you know. The message read – we have no hope, Bob can’t move and I am pinned in. Send love to Clara and Tom. Love Mum XX. “Oh how dreadful those poor souls.”

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


9781608636921

Describe a walk you enjoyed.

I began walking in my short lunchtime break last year and this is a poem I wrote after one particularly enjoyable one. Yesterday was my first lunchtime walk this year, as winter’s grip is slowly easing. (Fingers crossed). My car’s display stated +2 and although the wind was initially cold as I began to walk, on my way back I could feel the warmth of the sun.

Lunchtime Repose

Buffed by the breeze
Dancing above the rippling water
Wings flutter and glide
Darting back and forth
Juicy morsels to eat on the wing
I sit enjoying the show with ease

Sunshine on my face
New leaves jiggle and flash
Branches bend
Pollen releases for some that’s sneezes
Tiny blooms appear above the grass
Bathing in the warm embrace

Opportunist waterfowl spy my bread
Stand with pleading eyes
Grateful for the crumbs given with pleasure
Brown, green and white feathered friends
For this delightful repose
Before enclosed in stale office air instead

13087372_10206263618084644_8830023882714254589_n

My photo from the walk described above, obviously not the current situation as we are still under snow!

Do you take a break from work? What do you do?

Where is your favorite walk?