My Last Post at this Site

Hello to all of you who have popped in for a visit here.

I’ve moved over to my new site, christinegoodnough.com, and will not be posting anything more here. For the time being this site and the Christine’s Reflections site will remain as my archives and I’ll slowly move the writings over and post them on my new blog. This one will be closed at the end of May.

If you have been a subscriber to this blog, you’ll see you have already been moved to the new one. Thanks for your support and encouragement all these years.

Please visit my new site here: Christine’s Collection.

New Home For My Writing

Dear readers,

In order to bring all my writings under one roof, I’m moving this blog to a new site. I hope to make the change next Friday morning, so you’ll see a new header and layout. There will be no change for readers and followers, as all my mail will be forwarded. 🙂 That is, the domain name and all subscribers to christinecomposes.com will be redirected to the new site.

I’ve been carrying over boxes and setting up house at the new place, which will be called Christine’s Collection. This blog will still be Christine Composes, but the site address will revert back to its pre-domain name: christineevelynvance.wordpress.com. If at any time you wish to look into the archives on this blog, that’s the address which will get you here.

Hope to see you there!

Harbour Secrets

With thanks to our gentle and diplomatic Friday Fictioneers host Rochelle Wisoff–Fields, and to Fatima Fakier Deria for this week’s photo prompt. It was HARD but I actually told the tale in 100 words.

My computer is for some reason uncooperative, but at Rochelle’s blog you can click on the “Frog” and read the stories other bloggers have posted in response to this photo.

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

“I wonder how many ships down there are running drugs?”

Andy turned to the senior manager standing by the window. “What makes you…. Oh, hey. I’m sorry, Marv.”

Marv nodded and turned to go, icy anger replacing his usual grin. Exiting the office he suddenly slammed his fist into the door-frame.

The junior clerk looked up, shocked.

“Last week police found Marv’s grandson and fiancee dead in his apartment,” Andy explained. “That new street drug…the one cops are warning about…”

The clerk swore softly. A few minutes later he headed for the toilet…and flushed six white tablets.

A Wheel Windfall

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

Update on Mishap at Diameter Park:

The installer insists fault lies with the manufacturer. The thickness of the wheel must be greater on one side and they weren’t alerted to this flaw.

The manufacturer blames the mishap on installation. Their spokesman is adamant the steel was uniform in thickness and the wheel totally balanced when shipped.

The parents are suing the plaintiffs for $3 million compensation for trauma and minor abrasions suffered when the wheel toppled as their child leaned against it. Says the father, “Our lawyer suggested a million each for us and our son, and a million for him. We’re going with that.”

Judge’s decision is pending.

I wrote this one Thursday, but my husband’s minor surgery Friday and my minor throat infection waylaid my good intentions to post it on time. However, seeing others are still posting their stories, I’ll take courage and offer my bit of fiction, too.

With profuse thanks to  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers and special thanks to Jennifer Pendergast who offered, and holds the copyright for, this image. I’m sure she never intended this pleasant scene to result in a law suit — but I took one look at it and just couldn’t resist. 🙂

 

Jack Miner’s Discovery

rail-yard-ceayr3
Photo courtesy C E Ayr

Friday Fictioneers — for details about this group, see Rochelle’s blog.

My response to this photo may be WAY off from the general scene. However, I did see a Canadian grain hopper car in this picture, which reminded me of an incident Jack Miner related in his book, Jack Miner and the Birds, copyright 1923. Read this book years ago, so am retelling the episode as I remember it.

Solomon says, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard…” One could also take a tip from these ambitious field mice.

In the northern Ontario woods Jack and his fellow hunters made camp one autumn afternoon. Needing firewood, they felled a towering dead pine. Halfway up the trunk they discovered a field mouse nest with a quart of wheat cached inside.

Puzzled, Jack set down his axe and looked around. Where on earth… Ah!

Several miles north they’d seen rails. Grain cars from the prairies, carrying wheat bound for Thunder Bay terminals, bumped over rough spots. Kernels sifted through cracks, falling onto the tracks. These industrious mice were making that trip day after day, stocking their larder for the winter ahead.

Back in the Saddle Again

Hi Everyone!

As you will know if you visit my main site, Christine’s Collection, I started chemo-therapy in April to treat my leukemia. I had my last treatment Sept 9th, almost two months ago. My oncologist is quite pleased at how I responded to the treatment; they feel there are almost no cancerous lymphocytes left and I should have about five years before they build up and become a serious problem again.

So many things fall behind when you aren’t feeling well. then when life starts to return to normal you tray to catch up on the house-cleaning and other pressing stuff. So I’ve left this blog inactive, but it’s time to get back to writing and posting here. Actually I have done a few fiction tales on my main blog and will re-post them here in case you don’t follow Christine’s Collection.

Another thing that’s stimulated my urge to write fiction is sitting in on Jerry Jenkins’ writing classes. Last month my husband joined the Jerry Jenkins Writing Guild and we’ve both been watching the webinars on how to produce quality writing. I’ve learned a lot from his “How to Become A Ferocious Self-Editor” sessions. “Ferocious” is the perfect description as he puts some writer’s first page through his Manuscript Repair and Revision.

Anyway, a few days ago I did an exercise for The Write Practice, then posted it on Christine Composes. You can read it here: Metaphors — Prose & Haiku

Wishing everyone a lovely week. For those of us who live in free countries, let’s not forget on Nov 11th to pause a moment and give thanks for the peace we enjoy and the personal freedoms we have. No, life isn’t perfect, but folks of past generations have sacrificed so much — even their lives — so we can have it this good.

Back Again

Hello Everyone,

I was shocked when I opened this blog and saw that it’s actually been a month since I posted here. I thought, “Maybe two weeks…” As you know, I have been dealing with health issues — and especially so this past month — but I’ve been blessed with a bit more inspiration lately to work on this again. A bit of spring cleaning and sorting is in order, maybe add a page or two.

As to my battle with leukemia, the decision has been made that next month we’ll start firing the big guns. At my Cancer Clinic appointment in February Dr Hart told me she felt it’s time to start chemotherapy, beginning in April. On March 8th, as a preliminary, I had a CAT scan and Dr Hart took a bone marrow sample. Not your nicest experience, but it’s par for the course. 😦

I have written a couple of stories lately in response to the Word Press Daily Prompt, like this humorous letter, RE: Missing Ferrari, using the given word “incomplete.” Read it here.

This week I’m inspired by Jeff Goins’ 7-day Blog Like a Pro challenge. Although I’m not at this time following each step, I’ve been watching with interest and checking out a dozen new blogs and articles.

Here’s the link to one of them, for anyone who’s interested in using Google.com for research: Five Google Tricks that will make you a better writer. This blogger has posted several other thought-provoking articles recently as well.

Another thing I’ve been doing lately is reading, and right now am enjoying P G Wodehouse. Read more about my impressions of this prolific English writer here.

Of Daily Prompts and A Wedding Gown

Some thoughts on the repetitious Word Press Daily Prompts

This morning I read Linda’s post and decided to mull the matter over on my own writing blog. I do agree with Linda: the promise of “A new prompt every day” isn’t being fulfilled. I wonder if they made this commitment before they started the project and the “carrying out” has proved unworkable? Or they feel blogger participation doesn’t warrant continuing? When so many million people blog, the daily prompts only attracted 50 or so.

Mrs AngloSwiss says she asked Ben H about why are there no new prompts. “He answered me and said there are no intentions of putting up new prompts. It seems that the veteran posters, like me, are now few and far between.”

Now, Word Press does give us the option of another prompt — in fact you can keep on clicking to see half a dozen options. I’ve checked them out and they’re all ones I’ve seen before, too. But if I choose one of these alternatives, then I’m doing a different prompt from everyone else that day. Then why not write about a different topic altogether, one that means something to me?

Perhaps the folks at WP see prompts as a kind of training wheels: once you’ve done them all you should know how to blog and can do your own thing. And actually, when I go back and try to click on the responses posted a couple of years ago, I find a lot of sites have been deleted. Easy to start; hard to stay the course.

Whatever the reason, like yourself, I’m a bit disappointed even if I haven’t been able to do the prompt every day. Just for the fun of it, I’ve started writing my own inspirations: “Writing prompts for Readers and Writers.” Maybe someday when I get enough I’ll post them. 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ve gotten enthused about doing short stories — as have other bloggers. Here’s a 100-word story I wrote yesterday. Please critique!

I have a happy ending in mind for this sad scene — but that’s another 100 words.

THE WEDDING DRESS

With a heavy heart Jasmin pulled open the bridal salon door and stepped inside.

The salesgirl hurried over to her. “Miss Turanich! Glad you’ve come in. We were wondering if, in all the rush, you were forgetting your dress still needs to be fitted. We don’t want to leave the alterations too long.”

Jasmin sighed. “Hardly. But there’s been another alteration…” She dabbed the corner of one eye with a soggy tissue as she watched the clerk’s face fill with dismay.

“I was hoping, since my wedding gown hasn’t been altered yet… if I could still…um… get a refund?”

Heigh Ho, Silver!

NEW ISLAND DISCOVERED

This was yesterday’s daily prompt, but I didn’t have the time to write it yesterday. So now I’m going to incorporate today’s prompt —with no apologies — and post the tale I dreamed up which includes the number 110,815.

This amazing headline splashes across the front page of today’s Saskatoon Star & Planet:

New island discovered in the South Pacific Ocean
News item by Sask-Info reporter Mickey Wasylkowski

The world is agog this week following the discovery of a completely unknown inhabited island approximately 3000 km SE of New Zealand. Known to local inhabitants simply as Ork, the island has been named Schoenfeldeslandia after the Austrian adventurer, Matt Schoenfeld, whose hot air balloon ran out of oomph and came down there two weeks ago.

In the following article Sask-Info roving news reporter Mickey Wasylkowski will give us an update on his visit to the newly discovered island, along with details of his interview with one of the inhabitants.

Reporter: One of the first things I learned upon arriving on the island: amazingly enough, a few of the natives have learned enough English to communicate with me. An elderly gentleman by the by the name of Glum has agreed to an interview. My first question, of course, was how he’d learned English.

Glum: One time many summers ago we go fishing far, far away in boat. Storm come; wind blow us. We land in strange place. Other boat, men from some far tribe, they land too. They have radio. They listen all the time. They say they learn that language, go to America, get big time rich. We stay there twenty full moons. Listen to radio. Learn how you speak, your words.

Reporter: That’s amazing! So you stayed with those other fishermen on that island and learned English. Did you find English words difficult?

Glum: I young then. My tongue twisted better than now. English not so hard.

Reporter: Good thing you never had to try spelling it. Can you tell me Glum, how many words are there in your language?

Glum: We have 110815 words. You see, Orksam very easy language.

Reporter: Wow. Just over 110 thousand words. And did you know English has over 500,000 words —plus another 500,000 technical terms. What do you think of that, Glum?

Glum: You English talk too much.

Reporter: So you spent a enough time with those other men to learn English from the radio. And then what? Obviously you made it home again.

Glum: Build new boat. Come home to our island. I remember English all these years.

Reporter: I’m curious about the men with the radio. I suppose they built a boat and returned to their own tribe, too? It’s a wonder they didn’t let the world know of your existence here.

Glum: We bash them. No want them find our island. They come here, maybe they take our women away. Bad habit men have. We bash anyone who come here. We no like tourists. They bring big time noise; leave junk behind.

Reporter: Err… I see. So that’s how you remained an undiscovered island all this time. I guess Matt Schoenfeld can be thankful he had a crew along, keeping track of his whereabouts at all times.

Glum: Too bad. Too many for us to bash. Now you come, too. Did you bring Silver?

Reporter: Silver? Are we expecting we would bring silver?

Glum: You know Silver? ‘Heigh ho, Silver, away.’

Reporter: Oh! That Silver. The Lone Ranger’s horse.

Glum: Yes. Lone Ranger. Him smart man. Silver smart horse. I want see smart horse. You no bring Silver horse?

Reporter: No, I’m afraid not. Wow! You must have been listening to radio back in the 50s.

Glum: Lone Ranger good. But then come too much noise. Rock & Roll. We throw radio in ocean. Bash men, throw them in ocean. Go home. Now you come. We bash you, too. That the way cookie crumbles.

Reporter: I can assure you, Glum, that my news team is here only in the interest of information. We have no intention of taking your women away or bringing tourists to overrun your lovely island. We will go away tomorrow and leave you in peace.

Glum: Peace good thing. But no Silver?

Reporter: Well, maybe we could arrange to ship a few silver horses to your island. Would that make you happy?

Glum: You bring Silvers, no steal women or seashells, no bring tourists or radios, we no bash you.

Reporter: It’s a deal.

End of interview. By SaskInfo roving reporter Mickey Wasylkowski reporting directly from Schoenfeldeslandia.

Instant Addiction

Blame Emily Wenstrom. She started this.

Two days ago I clicked on and was reading the latest post at one of my favorite writing blogs, The Write Practice. This particular post gave us five different sources for writing prompts, all of them loaded with potential for whatever we want to write.

I need more writing time — less procrastination — and more stick-to-it (aka perseverance) but I really do not need more bright ideas. Nevertheless I followed the link to an innocent looking site called diymfa.com. And there I found a type of writer’s slot machine called Writer Igniter. Four wheels to whirl around, generating writing prompts.

Different characters, events, props, and scenes tumble around until they finally settle on (i.e.):
— Runner-up…finds a baby on the doorstep…basketball…a lane through the woods
— Mime…receives the wrong direction…tickets to a sold-out event…downtown tourist spot near a castle
— Garbage truck driver…inherits something bizarre…something new…cobblestone streets, old stone buildings, a lake in the background.

Or whatever. There are oodles of main characters, situations, prompts and scenes that may turn up. Ignited — or just plain hooked — I sat here clicking spinning the wheels, amazed at the endless possibilities. My creative mind started throwing together stories around all these prompts. And I realized:

I’m weak. I’d better never step up to a real slot machine!

Yes, my current micro-addiction is harmless and temporary, but it does give me a tiny glimpse of the enticement people succumb to — sometimes intelligent, highly educated people — when they mess with slot machines. One lady, a bank manager, confessed that the very first time she stepped into a casino, she was hooked. She almost lost everything, including her marriage, before she went into addiction counseling.

Being weak myself, I can feel some compassion here.

Actually, the writing prompts here are pretty good and I’m including the link in case you really are stuck for writing ideas. But if you’re already bursting with stories and/or articles you need to get started on/finish, best don’t go there. Like me, you may lose half an hour just spinning those wheels to see what turns up.

But, hey! I gained a bit more compassion — and a blog post.☺