It’s Thursday.  I had a day of rest yesterday from writing but I’m back today with Friday Fictioneers.  We make up stories of 100 words or so to a photo prompt.  As you must know by now, we are hosted by the gracious Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here’s my 100 words.  I hope they are worthy of your attention.  

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

She was at crossroads.  She surveyed the situation.  She had tried.  Even read Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly.  It was a steep climb and a slippery slope.  If she fell….

Oh, the pain!  She shuddered and shook her head.  Not going there, she muttered under her breath.  She paced.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Yes!  No!  Yes again.

Did she have what it takes?  Was she a coward, hiding behind her nonchalence?  Why take risks?  She could hurt herself.  She could be humiliated.

Exhausted, she sat down.  She had to do it.  She had to write even if she fails.


from Brene




Drawbridges save lives, especially those of damsels in distress.  Knights in shiny amours, princes, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella do exist.  They live in and amidst us every day. Look carefully and you will see them.  I believe in fairy godmothers and fairytales.  I believe they give meaning to our existence.  I’m a girl who loves to fly to the moon and play among the stars.  Wouldn’t you like to see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars?

IMG_2952The woman who fills me with the best tales is my mother.  They are the best because they are all true.  They are the history of her family, my father’s family and our country. She has an ease with the storytelling.  It is in with the conversation over tea and a visit when there is usually just the two of us.  It is the way I was brought up and learned about life and morals – with family stories and Chinese tradition.

Then there are the Chinese fables.  My favourite ones being the Legend of the White Snake and the Cowherd and Weaving Girl. They are love stories between a human being and something other – a snake and a fairy.  You will have to click on the links highlighted to know more.  I do not have my mother’s knack of telling a story.  I will ruin it for sure.  My mother told from memory. There was no book or DVD.  Just her voice.

We still do our cuppas, my mother and I.  The stories are still coming though a bit different.  Not so many fables now that I’m all grown up.  Pity!  I might have to write my own.




Sunday morning.  I am baking baquettes and trying to write.  I am distracted by dog hair on the floor, thoughts, feelings and excuses of all sorts.  I would just like to sit here in the warmth of the morning sun and do sweet tweet. I would regret it later so I must trudge on. Maybe a cup of tea would soothe the words out of me.

So I’ve had my cup of tea.  The baquettes are done and eaten.  The dishes are dealt with. The dog is walked and her hair are gone.  The thoughts and feelings linger.  It is evening, supper done and I’m sipping my wine, feeling melancholy.  I am sure it has to do with the state of the world today.  We are, or should I just speak for myself, so adrift in this moment.

We want so desperately to connect, don’t we?  If not, why fore all the social media?  I know I am guilty of being on Facebook and Instagram.  I have a Twitter account.  I would tweet more if I understand it more and if I have more followers.  Yet, despite all this, I feel more disconnected and lonely than ever.  Do I have any real friends?

I am trudging through my thoughts and feelings.  I’ve had a glass of wine.  Don’t mind me and my words.  I really want to write about storytelling today.  Somehow I got lost and couldn’t find my way to it.  How nice it would be to back to the days of The Friendly Giant. He would lower the drawbridge for us.  We would enter the castle and he would have arranged some chairs around the fireplace .  Wouldn’t it be nice to sit and listen to each others’ stories?

I miss those days.  Missing is a useless feeling though.  It does not help to connect us at all.  Perhaps I can try again tomorrow for a story. In the meantime, here’s the Friendly Giant.



It’s Wednesday, the start of another week of Friday Fictioneers. We are led by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Our assignment is to tell a story of 100 words according to a photo prompt.  Here’s my 100 words of make belief.  My mission here is to have fun and s-t-r-e-t-c-h my imagination and let the words flow.

Photo Prompt – C. E. Ayr

Samatha’s nose itched like the dickens.  She wanted to twitch it so bad but she had promised Daren.

She could see into her neighbour’s kitchen window.  Her heart ached for Cindy.  Such a nice and hard working girl!  That awful stepmother treated her like shit.

Wait!  She could call up her aunt.  Clara would be glad to help out.  Samatha smiled as she folded her arms across her breast.  With a brisk nod of the head and a blink of the eyes, Aunt Clara stumbled through the kitchen door.

“W-w-what happened?”  She muttered, dazed, hair on end.  “Where am I?”


The shoe brought up Cinderalla’s slipper and the ball.  I like to believe in good witches.  Thus my story.


IMG_3629Another sunrise, another dawn.  The colours blossom across the sky.  I am awed.  I am elated.  I am soothed.  I am happy to be in this moment, on this earth.  I watch the light and the shadow dance, complementing, enhancing each other.  What would one be without the other, without the contrast?  What is ying without yang?  Can you tell the sweet without the sour?

Silly questions, I know.  I am like that.  I like to entertain these willy nillies.  Sometimes they lead to something profound – like a lightbulb, serendipitous moment.  I would like to have such a moment so I can rush out onto Preston Avenue, shrieking Eureka!  The traffic would stop, I am sure.  Someone would call 911 and I would be taken in for assessment.

But it would be a grand moment.  I smile at the deliciousness of it.  Imagine!  Discovering the answer to it all, whatever all is.  Let me linger in this bliss for while.  Life has been too serious lately.  I’ve been caught between a rock and a hard place too many times.  There is a softness and sweetness here.  It is good to sing, sway and dance.  Take it away…




It is another morning.  Paris is a continent away but sorrow resides in the universe.  How have we have come to this time when people knowingly open fire upon their fellow human beings?  Surely they must know that they will be killed in return.  What pushed them to give up their lives?

I ask these questions because I do not understand.  I see that they are as much victims as as the ones they have killed.  However their situations/lives may be, there will be no other chances after they are dead.  But then, I am not in their shoes.  Have not walked their mile. Have never want of the basics of life.

I’m asking these questions and seeing the words of Joni Mitchell:

I’ve looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall …

I’m listening to John Lennon’s In My Life sung by Johnny Cash’s quivering voice.

These songs and lyrics play in my head along with the questions that Paris stirs up.  There is one thing I am sure of.  Life is good.  Life is sweet.  Let me count the ways.

  • waking up in the morning to the aroma of coffee perking
  • the first sip of coffee/tea. What’s not to like about that
  • breathing, laughing, crying, feeling the tears down my cheeks
  • seeing my sunroom bathed in sunlight on a cool November day
  • Sheba coming in to wake us up. Time for breakfast she says
  • making breakfast, eating breakfast, doing dishes
  • writing my words, writing my happiness, writing my pain
  • and so on and on – the ordinary, the mundane, the fantastic, the sorrows

And so, life goes on – moment by moment in all its catastrophes.  It is what we have.  I am glad I am here – in my life.



IMG_3609It’s funny how those aha moments come – out of the blue like a falling star from heaven. I’ve been thus hit this morning. I am sitting here basking in its afterglow, feeling grateful, tap, tapping away on my keyboard. I feel as if I’ve come home after a long journey. Perhaps I have been absent, away from myself for a long while.

I’ve been away, trying to be what I am not.  Trying to grasp what is not mine to have. Trying too hard to measure up to be an exalted angel – to be kind beyond kind, to be generous with a bottomless heart, to be that perfect product without a flaw.  How could I succeed?

I couldn’t no matter how hard I try.  I have tried and been disappointed and heartbroken to learn that I am just human after all.  I am flawed.  I take things personally.  I have resentments.  I am disappointed and disillusioned at times.  I have meanness in me.  I admit that I have all that in me.  I see it.  I am glad.

Why am I glad?  I am glad because now I can move on.  Disappointments and heartache are my good friends, teaching me what works and what doesn’t.  They are ushering me from the valley of the shadow into the light.


Here it is Wednesday and time for the parade of stories from the Friday Fictioneers.  We like to concoct tales of 100 words or so from a photo prompt.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here’s my story of exactly 100 words.  I’m opened to any constructive criticism.  I’ll try not to take anything personally.  🙂 

PHOTO PROMPT – © J Hardy Carroll
PHOTO PROMPT – © J Hardy Carroll


The letter trembled in her gnarled fingers.  She knew its content. Still her heart hammered and her hands shook.  It was as if he could come back and give her misery.  All these years she had shovelled his history beneath the layers of her consciousness.  He was buried but not dead.

He haunts her always, though sometimes just barely beneath the surface.  She is tired of him popping up at her.  Today she is putting him to rest.  She dares to look into the enevelop bearing the Royal Mail postage.  Registration District:  Merton.  Cause of death: Smoke inhalation.

It’s over.



It’s Wednesday again and time for Friday Fictioneers and their tales of 100 or so words.  We’re hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here’s my 100 words inspired by the photo prompt.  I’ve been reading murder mysteries.  It might have affected my imagination somewhat.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Connie Gayer …(Mrs. Russell)
PHOTO PROMPT – © Connie Gayer …(Mrs. Russell)

He had made a mistake.  He could see that clearly now.  If he could hang on and figure a way out of this, the bitch will pay – big time.  He had underestimated her.  She was awfully lucky or smarter than he thought.

He better not struggle too much, no sudden moves.  It would be disastrous.  He took a slow breath, trying to relax his arms and shoulders.  Yes, that’s a bit better!

Perspiration ran down his forehead.  His eyes stung from the dust and sweat.  His throat was dry and scratchy. He was sorry now.

“You’re too late!”  She yelled down.


IMG_3420October over, November beginning – a death and a birth.  I am a little disjointed, somewhat off course.  How to feel?  What to do with this new month?  I am not as blue as I can be, but bluish nonetheless on this grey wet day of November.

I was buoyed by the colours of October, held up by the Mindness Summit.  I had something to look forward to each morning – having tea with Melli O’Brien and her guest. What wisdom would they bring me that day? What a month it had been!  What a wonderful array of speakers.  And what a heart warming ending with Jon Kabat-Zinn.

IMG_2969October and the summit are over.  Now it is time for me to walk the path on my own.  It is not enough to have the knowledge. I have to live it – moment by moment, just as it is. It is much like the advice that Anne Lamott has on writing:  Write down as much as you can see through a one-inch picture frame. Then move to another one-inch frame.  I will have to read her book, Bird by Bird again.  It has many wise instructions on writing and life.

This first day of November is a pause, to rest into the quiet, to ready for a new month of challenges.  What will come up?  Time will tell.  I can only see in today’s picture frame. It is enough.