Friday Fictioneers – Sturdy

After seeing this challenge for several months, and reading pretty consistently for about a month, it’s time I stop blog-stalking this group and start putting notes under their windshields.

Friday Fictioneers – a weekly blog link-up.
The Challenge – write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle, and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)
The Key – make every word count.
The Picture

Sturdy

Her pink painted toes peeped out under the white linen hem. She stared down the path at the shapes under the canopy and saw him, again, leaning against the library table in relaxed concentration.

The wind rustled the grasses and the flowers in her hair as her feet padded along the sun-warmed planks, much like that afternoon on the Huron Boardwalk when their hearts merged inseparably.

She welcomed the cooling shade on her burning cheeks, and reached out her hand to his. He pulled her close and they turned to each other, eyes locked on a promise as lasting as the horizon.

*****

Feedback appreciated. It’s too predictable, if you ask me. I much prefer those I’ve read with fantastic, kick you in the eyes, unexpected and absolutely appropriate endings to this happily ever after (and what the what is up with these happy ending stories that keep taking over?). As much as I tried to warn her to run and leap off the end of the boardwalk, she didn’t want to. Characters. Sheesh.

For this first attempt at a 100-word story, I focused on “beginning. middle, and end” over kick-you-in-the-eyes. I have to leave room for growth somewhere. Amiright?!

What story comes to mind when you see that picture? Join in

*****

*Featured/Post Image from Adam Ickes
**The ads (which may appear) below are not mine, but they keep this free for me. Do with them as you choose.

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56 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Sturdy

    • Thank you Ned. I do really appreciate the short winters of the South. I couldn’t have survived this winter with more than the two snow storms we got. I too am longing for the joy of summer.

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    • Thanks Syndey! One hundred words is the tightest restriction I’ve tried, and it was not easy. There are no throw-away words, but some of the clipped phrases, well, I liked them a bit longer (like pink painted toes was originally rose petal painted toes, but pink was one less word. ugh).

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  1. I thought it was pretty good. I liked the last line. William Faulkner said he wrote novels because he wasn’t good enough to write short stories and he felt he certainly wasn’t good enough to write poetry. He felt the novel was expansive enough to have errors of all kinds that could be forgiven but the shorter the work becomes the less room you have for error.

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    • Thank you John. I’m sorry I missed your comment.
      Faulkner had a good point. With 100,000 words, there is much more wiggle room than with only 100. It took me much longer to get those 100 than does when I do something without word count restrictions.

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  2. It’s fun to see how different the stories are for the same picture. I’ve read three this week so far–one happy and full of love like yours; one dealing with death; and one involving fantasy elements. Loved them all!

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      • I just finished Tales from the Motherland a couple of minutes ago, and Amy’s is in the queue of tabs open across my browser.
        Part of my hesitation before was I didn’t think I could come up with anything new. First lesson in this is that even the same story (two wedding ceremonies) is completely different from two writers. I should worry less.

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  3. “it’s time I stop blog-stalking this group and start putting creepy notes under their windshields.”
    LOVE the blog-stalking and creepy notes.

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  4. I thought you did great! But then I’m a sucker for happy endings 🙂 No, really, you did very well and as I’ve learned being in FF’s for over a year, one gets better with time. Also, some pictures are easier than others to attach a story to, but I do them all as it’s a great teaching tool.

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    • Thank you Jackie!
      I do expect with time and practice, it will get easier. I hope that now that I’ve tried it, and actually hit publish, that I’ll try more often. 🙂

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    • Thank you! If this one did go full length, there probably would be a lot of steam. In the movie in my head, they had a connection you could see.
      About “grasses” – I chose the plural because it seemed to me there were several different kinds of grass in the pictured marsh. I can’t defend if it is grammatically correct, but I can say it felt more all-encompassing than the singular. Does that answer your question?

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  5. You had me at your opening paragraph. That was good enough as far as I was concerned! LOL.

    You story was perfect, a sweet moment of romance. Given my current state of thought, what I see as I look at the picture is some sort of trial or test of endurance being offered. Have to think about it some more.

    Cheers,
    Robyn

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    • Thank you Robyn! It is a sweet story, so it probably won’t become one of my favorites. 🙂 And the cynic in me sees that horizon and knows even though it seems to go on forever, it doesn’t. You can’t see the end any more than you can see the future. Nice and bright, huh?

      I like your idea of a test of endurance. I’d read that!

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          • Smiling back, and more miles to go may be truth, but it’s OK to celebrate this one….

            I have my one year of shlogging date coming up on the 17th. Woo-hoo Green Day, and I’m vacillating about whether to write something for that or whatever. Seems like March is the anniversary time for quite a few bloggers, & it might be overload. Of course, as my dear papa says, when you don’t know what to do, don’t, until you do. x-)

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            • March makes two years of blogging for me. It’s been my sanity. I marked one year with a post, but I don’t think I will this year.
              Write if it’s speaking to you. It may feel like just another anniversary post, but it will be your voice and no one else can do that.

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  6. Melanie, in Friday Fictioneers, nothing is too predictable if only because most people work hard at being unpredictable. 🙂 One of the only predictable things is that no matter the photo, there will be horror, fantasy, a happy ending or two…well, you get the idea. Nice to have you here and as you read other stories, you’ll get a feel for all the different possibilities. That’s partly why it’s so addictive. As for characters who don’t do as you like, we all know how that goes!!

    janet

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    • Thank you Janet! I’ve enjoyed reading, and I’m glad I decided to join in. I read a couple of other romantic stories, and even with the similarities they were all different. I’m looking forward to participating again.

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  7. Dear Melanie,

    “locked in a promise”…I like that. Nice turn of a phrase. It’s amazing how many different takes come from the same photo prompt, isn’t it?

    On that note, welcome to Friday Fictioneers. I hope to be reading more of your work.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    • Thank you Rochelle! I’ve been so impressed with the variety of stories I’ve seen. Even those that are the same (a couple of us did weddings for this one), they’re all unique in execution and voice. It’s thrilling to read. It was quite fun to write one too, though the 100 word limit proved to be more challenging than I expected.

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      • I started this almost two years ago when creator of the challenge, Madison Woods was still facilitating. I was hooked from the beginning for the same reasons. The group has more than doubled since then and such a global diversity. I’m as addicted as anyone and feel that the 100 word challenge has improved my writing in longer pieces.

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        • I can absolutely see how these exercises can improve my writing. To imagine an entire story, then express it with as few words as possible really forced me to think in ways I don’t usually. I’m looking forward to continuing to read, participate, and grow.

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  8. Welcom to FF, Melanie! Yay, you did it and boy did you ever! Oh, I don’t know, I rather like this saucy ending. I felt the wind in my hair and longed for what happens next. I imagine a lingering kiss….

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