Weekend Word Prompt – Alone

#weekendwritingprompt

Weekend Writing Prompt #175 Megalith

The Megalith hums; vibrates

Preternatural; outside nature

It stands, immobile but reaching skywards

Unearthed, yet anchored.

Moss covered; blending

Of sandstone, bluestone, granite

Of limestone, basalt, marble

Solid, unyielding, impervious

Ritual and superstition

Hold communities in awe

Engages curiosity

Pulses elevate

Living history is here

Standing stones

Alone; breathing

Fibbing Friday 18th September 2020

New to this challenge … so here I go!

  1. What exactly is Yorkshire pudding?

A rotund young man from Yorkshire.

  1. What is treacle, and why do people make tarts out of it?

Treacle is that bitingly sarcastic ‘thank you’ offered to one of the ‘Happy Friday’ crowd, as you hand them a sharply sticky (sugar free) apple pastry; also known as tart.

  1. What is the key ingredient of haggis?

Ground up old mother-in-law (of the unfriendly kind only).

  1. How is toffee made?

You get a toff …. And go for it!

  1. How did pound cake get its name?

One day a virtuous nutritionist, realising that sugar in the form of cake was detrimental to waistlines everywhere, tried to change mindsets by putting a negative name on to a cake. Good luck with that one!

  1. Why is candy corn so named?

I believe the name derives from the Dentists of America Association, who believe candy shaped like teeth (aka Oompa Loompa candy in the trade) will:
a) bring them more clients or at the very least
b) discourage people from eating the candy corn

  1. What is marzipan?

A mad hatter who has run out of hats; therefore, pans.

  1. Why is a baker’s dozen so named?

Originally, bakers were notoriously bad at addition and so in the early days, a baker’s dozen just meant ‘quite a lot’. Over time, they settled amicably on a true number.

  1. What is meant by the idiom, “Too many cooks spoil the pot”?

Well, when brewing a batch of marijuana, one needs to keep ones wits about one. And therefore if there is more than one, and one is ‘wired’ it just doesn’t work – and the pot may well blacken.

  1. What is meant by the idiom, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”?

Sauce isn’t gender biased and currently enjoying a surge in popularity.

Friday Fictioneers – Breaking Point

#rogerbultot #rochelle-wisoff-fields #fridayfictionners

Photo prompt @ Roger Bultot

“Oh no, Mike. Check it out,” Shauna cried.

“What am I looking for?

“The high chair. That’s Martha’s house.”

“And … “

“She’s let go! Gave it up. Caved.”

“What to?”

“Reality. Acceptance. Joey has gone. No more babies.”

“Or, Pete dumped it. He thinks ‘it’s time’,” replied Mike, shrugging.

“What? No! He can’t make that decision for Martha.”

Shauna’s expression. Sheer disbelief.

“I know for a fact he’s had enough. Thinks they need to move on. He told me he would dump it at the next council collection.”

“It’ll push her over the edge, Mike. It’ll break her!” (99 words)

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a story in response to a photo prompt – in 100 words or less. You can find other stories here.

I am woman

I had a work teleconference to attend this afternoon, but as I’ve effectively had a panic attack and am full of anxiety, I sent in my apologies. And while eating my late lunch, I jumped on to one of the news sites I follow and read this headline –

‘JK Rowling’s career declared ‘dead’ via #RIPJKRowling hashtag’.

I knew immediately that this would be about her position and comments on transgenders (and other such things) on the day that her latest book is published. You may not be aware that JK Rowling has expressed opinions (via Twitter) over recent times about transgenders (and other things) that has caused lots of negative and angry reaction. It just so happens that:

  1. I’ve recently been thinking a lot about how people can’t take a contrary position on transgenders (or make any kind of comment that is not immediately supportive) without being judged harshly and condemned.
    This could also be true of taking a position on black matters if you’re white, police matters if you’re black or a criminal, white matters if you’re black (or a white idiot, supporting black matters to the point where you’re rejecting your whiteness), First Nations if you’re from a long line of colonials, or white, etc and so forth and so on!
  2. I picked up the latest Cormoran Strike book this morning (JK writes this series as Robert Galbraith). Apparently (I haven’t read the book yet) there is a ‘male’ transvestite serial killer. Oh no!
  3. And of course, the world has gone crazy and you can’t possibly suggest that a transvestite could be a serial killer – especially if we suspect that you are against transgenders (even though I understand that a transvestite is a person who enjoys cross-dressing and is not necessarily a transgender; who is a person with a gender identity different to their gender at birth).

What has happened to it being okay to hold an opposing opinion? JK Rowling and some of her contemporaries express this as the intolerance of opposing views. A link to a letter shared in Harper’s magazine in July 2020 is here. I have pulled out some of the phrases and declarations that jumped out at me:

  • The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.
  • … spreading more widely in our culture is … an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.
  • We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters.
  • … the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal.
  • We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.
  • This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time.
  • The restriction of debate …. invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation.
  • We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other.
  • … we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes.
  • We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement …

I’ve read several articles that discuss the position and comments that JK has made, and it seems to me that she is being quite reasonable. But in the cancel culture we currently inhabit, it is almost impossible to speak against any of the current trends and alternate lifestyle positions (I didn’t say ‘choices) without being harshly judged and vilified.

It is quite helpful for me to have access to this letter because it helps me present to you snippets of somebody else’s word explanations for the feelings I’m trying to express. And as a writer in a writing community here on WordPress, a cancel culture impinges on my ability to express myself and my thoughts, and have open debate and conversation.

I am a white, middle-aged woman whose husband earns a good living and the pressure has been off me to reciprocate in the financial sphere. I have been extremely lucky. Therefore (apparently) it seems that I am not allowed any opinion on anything or anybody else, because ‘who am I to talk’?

I’ve an almost guaranteed freedom of movement and safety just because of who I am, barring the standard risk of accident, home invasion, or visitor of the murderous persuasion.

But, I’m also in a perfect situation to be an avid observer of the world. Through listening, watching news programs, following social commentary, interacting in my community and above all – reading; I get to see things and hear things from a stand-off position that allows me some understanding of things, without having to live it. In fact, having to live things can close you off to other possibilities and opinions, because you are in fact living it.

My observation is that JK Rowling and others aren’t saying it is wrong to be transgender. She has expressed concern at the large numbers of very young people showing a desire to transition – where has it come from, has it been pushed on them? People who feel lost and don’t know where they fit look to popular culture, and aspire to what seems the surest way to be loved and accepted. Being transgender could be perceived as trendy, and if you’ve uncertainty about your sexual identify, perhaps transitioning could seem like the way to go.

People arguing against the prevalence of transitioning are asking ‘has the right decision been made for this person? Is it being made for the right reason? Were there other alternatives. And in a society where support, support, support seems to be the creed – don’t ever suggest that somebody cannot  – it is important to be able to say that the decision to transition is by true definition ‘life changing’ and to be undertaken carefully.

And here I clumsily interject as an example; look at the overuse and prevalence of Ritalin and other amphetamine type drugs administered to a generation of children unnecessarily. Dare I compare?

I do feel bamboozled by all the changes in society. The idealism about rights, the bombardment and intensity of expression about wants, needs, rights. What we used to think of as minority groups (and I’m not talking black people) have such loud voices and the platform now – that they are disallowing the rest of us to have or express a contrary opinion. They want to disallow me to identify as a woman and a mother as per the most base definition. A woman bleeds, gives birth, marries a man (if that is her choice). She is the feminine parallel to man. I have absolutely no problem accepting all the different types and ways of being in this world.

I don’t want to be identified as cisgender, because you want to be labelled as ‘across/other’, you want me to be labelled as ‘same as’.

I am a woman; don’t cancel me out. And, don’t cancel my right to voice.

Weekend Writing Prompt – Rectify

If I had the chance to rectify

slights, and errors, mistakenly taken

If I would, if I should, could I follow through?

If it meant being held accountable? Would I face the music?

Could you?

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s Comment Section.

wk-174-rectify

Friday Fictioneers – Blue

Wilmington

Photo Prompt by Rochelle

It hasn’t changed. I quietly weep.

If I waited for another five minutes, I swear dad would come through that glass paned door.

In standard heavy work boot clad feet, deep blue denim shirt, with his darkly tanned and leathered skin and bright dazzling smile. He’d push his way out, full of enthusiasm for the day.

With Bluey, his faithful Beagle leading the way.

What a team. Full of love. Inseparable. Friends for life.

And death.

Daddy died in a site accident, timber crushing his strong body.

Bluey dug desperately, for hours.

Then pined away; succumbing to heartbreak. (98 words)

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a story in response to a photo prompt – in 100 words or less. You can find other stories here.

“In One Word” Poem – Devastate

Today’s Word is devastate

Off on his quest, atop his steed

Arthur leads his soldiers east

No time to eat

Nor hunger sate

A country’s honour his to save

               And death, to evade

Upon this quest, fear will be tasted

Freedom for all, a tease

The kingdom is vast

A glorious estate

The Saxon lord’s unsteady seat

               Detached now from his mother’s teat

Returned, this eve

To home this date

He looks upon his men, his mates

And dares to dream, of peace instead

The King of Britain, now devest

               Of warlike garment, and blood-soaked vest

In One Word” poem, you

  • choose a word
  • list words that you find within that word
  • choose words from that list
  • write a poem in which each line ends with one of those words
  • Visit https://nixthecomfortzone.com/ for examples

Simply 6 Minutes – Trevor

My contribution to #simply-6-minutes for this week, Tuesday 1 September 2020.

6 minute challenge lizard

Lizard, by Stine Writing

This is randomly different!
The sound of this beast is familiar, even comforting.
The feel of the beast, the deep rumble is also a constant.
But something has changed!

Normally I travel in the plastic box, with the lid of holes.
Down deep in the darkness of Simon’s schoolbag.
I see light only in three places; between house and car, car to classroom – and in the canteen where Simon takes me out to play with his friends.

They call me Joe.
The name I call myself is Trevor!
But, I’ll answer to Joe in the small ways that I can.
I don’t run away and tolerate them handling me and nibble on the scraps they drop into my box.

The children are delighted.
I am tolerant, but bored.
BUT this new adventure is excellent!
This strange new world zooming past.

How glad I am of the strength of my pads
How they glue to this cool surface.
I feel the rumble; it is strong.
But so am I. (169 words, 6 minutes)

  1. Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  2. You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  3. Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  4. After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.
 

Friday Fictioneers – Taxi!

glasgow

Photo by C E Ayre

What a surprise. I love old model cars. 

How delicious that I’ve travelled to sometime where they abound.

The street is not bustling. In fact, it’s is unnaturally peaceful.
But I guess not everybody is driving; not yet.

I sure hope taxis have been invented!
Soon, I’ll be bouncing over these gorgeous cobbled streets in a gassy, farting contraption.

The joyous anticipation flooding my senses is food for the soul, as I race to the corner,  searching for a ride.
Joy trickles away, as I realise … a fabrication. An art installation.

A waking dream. Stuck in lock-down, 2020. (99 words)

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a story in response to a photo prompt – in 100 words or less. You can find other stories here.