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Topics - Alice, a Country Gal

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The Coffee Shop / Check this out
« on: March 25, 2016, 12:10:45 PM »

The new FF challenge is up and ready for entries. It's a little different for the norm. Designed to try something different and to have fun while doing so.  :D

Review My Work / It's new, It's different
« on: March 25, 2016, 12:08:35 PM »
The new FF challenge is up and ready to run. Hope everyone enjoys this challenge and offers me lots of entries.

Writing Games & Challenges / Flash Fiction # 115
« on: March 25, 2016, 11:59:11 AM »
Attention Please: Due to some health issues that must be tended to, I'm afraid I'll be out of pocket for a few days. So, I've asked FireFly to fill in for me.

If you still have an entry to send in, please address it to her. She will probably be setting the voting up for me and all of you also.

I want to take a moment for all the wonderful entries I've had the privilege to read and enjoy. All of you have been doing our writers proud.  

For a change of pace this time around, instead of writing a story for the challenge, give me a flash fiction News Article.

I'll give you a few headlines I searched out, some old, some more recent. Pick one you like and give me a News Article to go with it. Please don't do a google search for the original article, rather give me one from your own imagination based solely on the headline itself.

Word Count can be anywhere from 250 to 500 words.

PM (personal message) entries to me with the title FF #115 as your subject line. (Click "speech bubble" under my avatar for PM.)

The ending date and time is April 8, 2016 @ 12:00 noon Central Standard Time.

Headlines to choose from:

Cops say they cracked case of who egged home 100 times.

Car Lands on a House Roof.

Wanted man turns himself in for reward.

Dead Snake bites Man

30 Squirrels escape from zoo; 38 recaptured.

Woman, 96, Adopts 30 year old Daughter.

I hope everyone has fun with this as well as trying something a little different.

Happy Writing.  8)

The Writers Circle / How Do Freelance Editors Get Paid?
« on: March 19, 2016, 08:57:25 PM »
Here's some good information for anyone considering hiring and editor for you NS. 

The Coffee Shop / I've got a question for those in the UK
« on: March 16, 2016, 07:31:02 PM »
As you may or may not know, every year there is a huge music "thing" called South By Southwest, held in Austin, Texas.  People travel from many placed around the world to attend SBSW.

My question is about "jay-walker" - people who pay no attention to the traffic on the road nor the traffic signals.

I just saw a report on one of our news programs. They were talking about the traffic problems that result from the influx of so many extra people. For a couple of minutes they also talked about the problem jay-walkers can cause.

One of the news guys went out on the street to talk to some of the jay-walker he spotted. There was a group of about 4 or 5 young men from the UK. When he asked them why they were walking between cars, weaving in and out to get from one side to the other and mentioned that such is against the law here.

The one doing most of the talking claimed they were from the UK and they didn't have any such laws there. Everyone just walked where ever they wanted to.

Is that true?


The Coffee Shop / Our Television - way back when
« on: March 03, 2016, 07:17:54 PM »
Roaming through some old post, I found one by Gyppo about his washing machine. His tale reminding  me of a similar, but different tale of my own.

As a young married couple many of thing in our home were of the used or rescued variety. But the television was about as used as used can get and still work, in a fashion. It was given to us by a couple when they bought a new one.

Hubby worked some long hours for a local trucking company. Thus I was alone in the house for much of the time. With only the two of us to cook for and clean up after, I had a lot of free time on my hands. As a result the television was welcome addition.

It was a decent sized screen (for the time) in a wooden (yes, real word) case that sat on a table in one corner of our living room. When it was working, the sound and picture (black & white) were fine – at first. But the silly thing developed a quirk.

After a few weeks, it decided that 30 or 40 minutes was as long as it was willing to entertain me at one go. So I would leave it, head to the kitchen table and play a few hands of solitaire. I actually got so good that I could win about a 25% of the time.

When I made the short trip back to the living room and turned the tv on again, I would be rewarded with another 30 minutes or so minutes of viewing. Oh, it was nice enough to warn me when it was about to shut down, the picture would start condensing to one side of the screen. It would continue this until I was given a blank screen if I failed to give up and shut it down first.

Then one day I was watching something I was really interested in. Strong frustration set in when the picture started shrinking.   Having had some experience messing with televisions due to the one my parents had often going hay-wired and needing this that or the other thing adjusting, I decided to see what, if anything, I could do for this wayward set.

Since hubby had the tool box in the car he drove to work, I searched the kitchen drawers to see what I could find that might help. Not much of help to be found there, but I took a butter knife to use as a screwdriver, and simply picked up other odds and ends in the hope that one or more of them would come in handy.

I did manage to unscrew the screws and get the back off. The fact that when I turned the power on and all the tubes showed signs of life abused me of the hope that one or more of them might be the culprit and that replacing them would fix the problem.

Long story short, after adjusting the picture a little to get things as sharp as possible, I gave up and decided to just sit and wait for it to go off again. When the picture started to shrink again, I picked up the lid of a mayonnaise jar and stuck in under the front corner of the side that was shrinking. Don't ask me why. but I dare say the action was born of frustration.

You can’t imagine my surprise when the picture once again filled the screen.

Over time I found that after a time, the screen would start to shrink again. If I move the lid just a fraction of an inch toward the middle, it would once again become a real television screen.

Eventually the times between the shrinking picture became shorter – that was true for when it was first turned on and the times between moving the lid a bit more toward the middle.

Eventually hubby agreed we could buy a new TV on time. So we headed off to a shop that carried all kinds of household appliances, including televisions. After we picked out the one we wanted the salesman asked if we had a trade in. Hubby didn’t seem inclined to answer, so I said “Yes.”

I hesitated a bit with his next question, “Is it working?”

“Well, it kind of works.”

“What does that mean,” he asked.

So I explained the whole situation to him. I could see by his expression he thought I was telling him a tall tale. But he did offer a few dollars off for the trade-in.”

It was a few months later we went back to the same shop to purchase an automatic washing machine. The same salesman greeted us and after a little while, he said, “I remember you now. You had that television I took on trade-in.”

Review My Poetry / Sorry, I don't have the time needed (for me)
« on: March 02, 2016, 01:27:21 PM »
to turn this into a poem.

But take a short jump to

and cast your vote to break the deadlock between the two poems.

So Tom can declare the winner.  ;D

Review My Work / It's a Tie
« on: March 02, 2016, 01:24:50 PM »

Hop over the poetry challenge and break the tie between the two front runners.

Short voting time allowed, so do it now while you're thinking about it. 

The Coffee Shop / I don't Understand
« on: March 01, 2016, 10:16:59 PM »
We had loads of people submit poems for the challenge. Some good reading in an easy format.

Yet only 19 voters so far. Come on folks, support your fellow writers. Prose or Poetry, if they are written, the originator is a writer and that's what we're all about - Right? 

The Coffee Shop / A question, but not for "All the Write Questions"
« on: February 25, 2016, 09:06:31 PM »
Still, it has a remote connection to writing.

I'm wondering if others save old letters and cards from family and friends. Sometimes from people you've had very little contact with?

I've spent a good part of the afternoon sorting through a large amount of old mail and I'm still not finished. In part because I've caught myself stopping to re-read a letter or note. Things that are much too old to make any difference to my life today, except to jog my memory.

This all started because my favorite niece called me earlier today and among other things we talked about, she asked me a question I couldn't answer off hand. She wanted to know what town in Washington state my mother's youngest sister and her husband had lived for so many years.

I know at one time I knew the answer. But after my uncle died, my mother and two of her other sisters when up there and helped pack what she wanted to keep and then with the help of some lovely neighbors, they managed to sell most everything else so they could move my aunt back to Texas.

That aunt talked about her husband and their home often. It seemed she had a hard time emotionally relocating back down here and instead of being alone with her husband and their friends. She suddenly found herself surrounded by blood relatives, some of whom were strangers who's names she knew, but not the people connected to the name.

I knew when Mother would go up there to visit she most always sent a card if not a letter, so that's what started me looking.

But I found a few unexpected treasures.

A hand written note from the husband of a woman I and my ex helped when I saw her fall and hurt herself on the street in front of my home. It was a couple of days later her husband hand delivered the note.

Then there was another nice letter from a young woman who had worked for us at the produce warehouse, thanking me for something I had done for her. For the life of me, I can't remember what I did. But it was a nice letter and reminder of someone who was once a part of my work-a-day life.

Does anyone else save things like this?  Please tell me someone else does and that I'm not totally weird. 


‘A good story, well told.’
by Simon Morden

Judging the 2005 Arthur C Clarke award meant reading 47 novels in a few months. It also meant working out what I thought made a good story – something I could compare the diverse styles and subjects against – or doom myself to thrashing around in a sea of indecision.
For me, ‘story’ has three parts. It needs a plot, it needs characters, and it needs a setting. If I find all three, I stand a chance at finding a good story.

Clicking the link above will take you to the complete article which I think is well worth the time spent reading.

The Coffee Shop / Do you remember . . .
« on: February 14, 2016, 09:36:33 AM »
the first record you purchased with your own money?

My first record, paid for with money from odd jobs I did for extended family and friend was a 45 RPM, Elvis Presley's Blue Suede Shoes.   

There's been many, many more since that first one record, plus many different artist. In fact, I still have a couple of handfuls of 45s, plus well over 100 of 33 RPMs. Got to find a good place to set up my stereo w/player so I can once again enjoy them.

Review My Work / Winner of the Short Story Challenge #33
« on: February 12, 2016, 04:51:38 PM »
Congratulation to the winner and to all those who took part in both submitting stories and those who took the time to vote.

The winner is . . . 

*   *   *  Heidi   *   *   *

The announcement page.

Voting is now closed. Congratulation to the winner and to all those who took part in both submitting stories and those who took the time to vote.

The winner is . . .  

*   *   *   Heidi   *   *   *

Good Riddance

Poor thing, Melissa thought, as she stepped over it on her way to the mailbox. It was curled on her doormat - a casualty of a spring day that had started out sunny and warm then suddenly turned freezing.

Returning, she pulled her sweater close and pondered the little bee. She didn’t like bugs and normally tried to get them out of the house, not invite them in. Besides, for all she knew, it was already dead. But she used her mail and scooped it up.

She set it on the counter and bustled about making tea and fixing herself a scone with a little honey. She put the mail on her tray when she carried everything into the next room. Soon she was settled into her chair by the fire and lost in her book.

Absentmindedly bringing pieces of scone to her mouth, she was startled when one of them was ridden by the bee. Her first impulse was to fling it away, but something stayed her hand. She had never seen a bee this close. Suddenly the bee turned its head and its compound eyes stared straight into hers. It tilted its head, like a dog. It was cute, in a buggy sort of way. You saved my life. Melissa heard it clearly, as if the bee had spoken.
Eventually the little bee, who had been a queen all along, built a nest and populated the garden with more and more bees, all replicas of herself. After that, no matter where Melissa went, a little bee or two always accompanied her.

“Look at the size of that thing,” her neighbor yelled over the border hedge one day “you’d better call an exterminator, or I’m coming over there and get rid of them myself.”

Manny was a bully and she usually tried to avoid him but this time Melissa felt the courage to speak up. “You’ll leave my bees alone. Mind your own business.”

Manny grew red faced, scowled and balled his hands into fists. “You going to make me? I’ll come over there right now.” He parted the hedge, breaking branches as he squeezed his towering bulk into her garden. Pushing up his sleeves exposed beefy arms covered in tattoos as he came towards her. “You want to repeat that Missy? I’ll show you what’s what.”

Melissa backed away, cowering. He raised his fist to strike her, and the bees came. They streamed in from what seemed like everywhere all at once. The air around her and Manny grew dark and the buzzing drowned out every other sound. Manny screamed repeatedly and ran with arms flailing, crashing clumsily back through the hedge, leaving a large gap in his wake.

The bees stopped at the boundary of their two properties, buzzing angrily. Melissa, hands on hips, yelled after him. “And don’t come back or we’ll show you what’s what.”

The next day a very large For Sale sign sprouted on Manny’s lawn.

The Coffee Shop / Short Stories You Can Read Free
« on: February 08, 2016, 01:51:24 PM »
Seven good stories to read at no cost except other than a few minutes of your time.

I do request you make a donation of your vote for the one you like best though.

Cheap at Thrice the Price.

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