#SoCS Feb 24/18 – Small Town

Linda’s prompt for SoCS this week…

 

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “door.” Write about a door you walked through this week that wasn’t your own.

 

I walked through the door of the past. Into the small town I grew up. So familiar and yet now so far away. A certain amount of new places, many still the same. A few old faces. Many new. The seat in the centre of town once black, now pink. The roads and layout still the same. Had my dinner from the Chinese takeaway I loved in my last few years down there. Had a meal with my Mum and sister where we used to eat. Done a few bets in the bookies I used to go to with my Dad. Walked through many doors …

Walked back through the door to my now and my future. Will walk back through the door of the past again come June.

 

For What Pegman Saw Writing Prompt – Doughnut

Image result for karlovy vary

 

Doughnut

 

Gabrielle was full of glee as we arrived in Karlovy Vary for our ‘health experience’. Course leader Anna Novak was the queen of ‘getting healthier by hard work’ on YouTube and my health-obsessed girlfriend had booked us in for a week-long spa holiday at her spa, Peace & Tranquility Resort. I’d have much rather have came here and indulged on cuisine but I kept that to myself.

“Anna, this is my girlfriend Kate.”, Gabrielle said, introducing me to Anna.
“We watch your videos on YouTube all the time.”, she added.
She watches. I sit there with a doughnut.
Anna and I shake hands while I long for the imaginary doughnut in my head.
Soon we are in our room in the spa.
“After the first day, you’ll enjoy it.”, Gabrielle says, giving me a kiss as we unpack.
“Yeah.”, I agree.
Ah, the things you do when you’re in love.

 

In response to the What Pegman Saw writing prompt:

https://whatpegmansaw.com/2018/02/24/karlovy-vary-czech-republic/

February 22: Flash Fiction Challenge: 99 Word Prompt – Like The Unicorn – Carrot Ranch Literary Community

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a unicorn. It can be realistic or fantastical. Go where the prompt leads.

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Image result for pansexual unicorn

 

 

Like The Unicorn

 

She knew like the unicorn she would be hunted and many would try to bring her down. She also knew there was many who liked unicorns. She knew that like the unicorn, she was strong. She knew she would battle to the end against the prejudiced and the brainwashed who thought different of her because of one simple thing, that she was pansexual.

No one would stop her spirit … stop my spirit. I am me and like the unicorn I will glide through every forest and every storm.

Unicorn: Strong, fragile, human. Living, refusing to be made feel bad.

 

If you want to participate, here’s the link: 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/02/22/february-22-flash-fiction-challenge/

 

 

Echo Volume 2: The Taste of Ashes By Kent Wayne Review!

Image result for echo volume 2 the taste of ashes

 

Echo Volume 2: The Taste of Ashes (2016) by Kent Wayne is the second installment in the Echo trilogy. It is a slightly more introspective book with more focus given to the action but is just as intriguing as the first outing.

Now first thing’s first, you will need to have read the first book in the trilogy before this one to understand what is happening in this book so that’s definitely something I’d recommend because otherwise you might be lost. Our protagonist Atriya continues his introspective, spiritual journey as he heads into the Wastes which is a dangerous area where murderers, rapists, gangs and cannibals are lurking around. The book is very detailed and gives the reader a real sense of what war must be like. It’s a very visual book.

One of the scenes which sticks with me is the murder of the homeless man near the beginning of the book. It’s very horrifying and shows the dangers of been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The book very much shows the good and evil in society throughout in a very real way. The reader also gets a great inside into Atrya’s mind through his introspection and all the conflicts he faces in the various situations he finds himself in.

The entire book is set in one day. From a writer’s perspective, I have to say that it shows remarkable talent to be able to fill so much detail and scenes into just 24 hours. Kent does an excellent job of that in this book. The writing has a great sense of cohesiveness. This book is very gritty and violent and it shows how fragile life is and how to some people other peoples’ lives aren’t worth much. And this is one of the many things that cause Atriya so much conflict in his head. From someone who has never been to war, and has no plans to go, it gives you a sense of what it must be like from afar and instills in the reader even more admiration for the people who do go to war in real-life because there’s a lot of braveness in that even if one’s a pacifist.

Yet again, another stunningly crafted book. Lots of action and yet lots of drama and human aspects too. Loved it and looking forward to book 3!

To purchase Echo Volume 2: The Taste of Ashes by Kent Wayne go to:

To read my review on Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter and get details on where to purchase it go to:

https://culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/echo-volume-1-approaching-shatter-by-kent-wayne-review/

And for more information on Kent Wayne’s work go to:

Rough Seas – the secret keeper Writing Prompt

In response to secretkeeper.net’s weekly writing prompt #129. The challenge is to use the 5 words given below (or their synonyms ) in a poem or flash fiction.

 

(5) Words: | CALM | ROUGH | STORM | EASE | MUTE |

Image result for sad man drawing

The storm was brewing in his mind,

chaos in a blur,

the doctor tried to speak in a calm tone,

she tried to ease his fears

but all he heard was

‘cancer. Six months to live …’

and he became mute and unreachable,

his mind raced like rough seas,

I’ll never see my baby daughter grow up,

eventually my wife will meet another man

who my daughter will call Daddy.

Move On – the secret keeper Writing Prompt

In response to secretkeeper.net’s weekly writing prompt #128. The challenge is to use the 5 words given below (or their synonyms ) in a poem or flash fiction.

 

(5) Words: | FINISH | LOSS | BREAK | MOVE | TAME |

Image result for broken heart

With him I find it hard to move on,

to make that break away,

want to say pathetically,

‘tame and soothe my broken heart … please’

but I won’t,

I feel the loss in silence

trying to make the pain come to an end

so I can happily put that chapter at a finish.

Watching Glass Shatter By James J. Cudney Review!

Image result for watching glass shatter

 

Watching Glass Shatter (2017) by James J. Cudney is a very riveting book that keeps you engaged from start to finish. Part family drama, part mystery, the book is filled with memorable characters which everyone will have their own favourites from because all the characters are very rounded and have their own distinct personality traits and ways of dealing with situations.

A word that springs to mind with this book is psychological. Told in the third person through the eyes of each main character at different points, the reader gets a real inside into the complexity of human nature and how problems occur between people coming from different perspectives. That element of the book is very interesting. The book’s main character is Olivia Glass who has just lost her husband Ben in a car crash after they have been married for 40 years. However Ben has a secret which he has been holding back from Olivia for many years and leaves behind a letter containing the secret: that one of their five sons isn’t their birth son and he switched the baby Olivia had given birth to who died with another baby after their births. However he doesn’t reveal which of the sons he switched the baby for. And so begins the mystery. Olivia goes to visit each of her sons before she finds out.

Olivia is on a journey. And that seems pretty apt because I went on a journey with her. Throughout most of the book I couldn’t stand her. That isn’t to say I didn’t think she was a good character but I just didn’t particularly like her. She has many flaws ranging from prejudices to been controlling to thinking that she lives perfectly while everybody else doesn’t. I don’t want to give too much away but I did like her by the end. She was big enough to admit her mistakes and she was more human and compassionate by the end. In short, I’m saying give her a chance even if early on she’ll probably drive you mad.

Secrets are a huge part of this story and each of the five sons have their own secrets which they have been keeping from Olivia and from each other too. In the interests of giving nothing away, I’ll leave it at that. But secrets is a huge theme of this book as is the family dynamics caused by secrets.

The five sons are Zach who works in The Atlantis Lair in Brooklyn who has a daughter but is no longer with the mother of his daughter and who in the past has had drug problems but is now getting his life back on track, Teddy who is the eldest son, works for the family business and is married to Sarah and has been trying to get her pregnant unsuccessfully for a while, Matt who is under more stress than he’s letting on and is married to Margaret who he has three daughters with and who is pregnant with their fourth child, the baby of the bunch Ethan who gets engaged to Emma but hasn’t long to live and my favourite character Caleb who lives in Maine with my other favourite character his husband Jake and they are planning to adopt their first child together. Each of the brothers comes across very likable in their own ways and as a reader you are wishing them all to be a lot closer because they seem like great guys. Jake is my favourite of the other halves but the others are nice too. I think Margaret’s great too but Emma and Sarah come across well too.

This book is very well-written. It has a mix of a John Grisham feel with the mystery element without someone been killed and a Barbara Taylor Bradford feel with the whole family dynamics and family drama. A lot of work has clearly been put into this book and the writer is very talented. You definitely won’t be disappointed if you purchase this book.

To purchase Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney go to:

 

 

For more on James J. Cudney’s work go to:

https://thisismytruthnow.com/

February 15: Flash Fiction Challenge: 99 Word Prompt – Hit The Ice – Carrot Ranch Literary Community

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story on ice. It can be an event on ice, a game on ice or a drink on ice. Go where the prompt leads you.

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Hit The Ice

 

When he hit the ice, Chad wanted to show a combination of elegance and fun. He felt his performance flow from his heart and go all the way through his body coming out through his fingertips and toetips. The movement, deep in emotion, brought through his past, present and hopes for the future. More than just a skate. More than just a dance. He could only hope it translated to the crowd. Turn after turn. Beat after beat. Big tricks surrounded by basics and subtle moves. Edgy and new with many traditional steps. Beauty, light among darkness. Pure joy.

 

If you want to participate, here’s the link: 

https://carrotranch.com/2018/02/15/february-15-flash-fiction-challenge/