Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’

People who know me know I love stories, fiction or real. I love listening to folk tales (God bless my Momma for never leaving me starved of them), real life experiences (my father is a rock star with that), and tales derived from my interactions with people.

Don’t get it twisted though, I detest lies and liars  (they are definitely not the same thing). But, I love stories, and I love deriving them from places I’ve visited, people I’ve met, and generally from experiences I feel will benefit the next man.

Professionally, I can create stories from scratch, or from user-generated content. Am I brilliant? Yes (with all the shards of modesty I’ve got left). Heck, one of my most fulfilling roles was working on a radio drama series for the BBC called Story Story! Am I selling myself? You bet! If I don’t, who will? Lol.

Seriously though, storytelling was one of the reasons I started this blog… Go to my About page for the very first story!

Ok, so I was speaking to my Momma on Monday, and she was telling me of a wedding she’d attended with my father over the weekend. Speaking of weddings, this past week their marriage clocked 33. Boom! They’ve been married to each other for 33 years and not once have they ‘taken a break’, ‘separated for a bit’, ‘been apart to evaluate the relationship’, or any of the excuses our generation gives for walking away from vows they’ve made to each other. God help us!!

Back to Momma now, she told me a story the Reverend who joined the couple told in his sermon, all about admonishing the couple to be true and open with each other. Ready for it?  A couple had been  married for quite a bit, and then they moved to a new community. By their house there was a nice spread of chubby mushrooms and the couple didn’t know if they were poisonous or not. One day, this couple decided they would serve their dog the mushrooms and if nothing happened to it, then they would cook for themselves.

On the day appointed, they cooked the mushrooms, and fed the dog the first helping. They were watching it but it seemed fine, playing about. Second helping? Dog seemed better than ever. Third helping? Even better! They figured the mushrooms were fine so they cooked and had a little feast!

Later that even their dog all but crawled into their compound, wincing in pain and making sounds that were clearly not of joy or rejoicing. Then it curled up in one of the corner, and lay still. The couple was shocked! They were going to die!

Quickly, they went inside, and as it were, started putting their house in order to die. All of a sudden, the man said he had something to tell his wife. Teary eyed, she asked what it was. He said that he wanted to confess some stuff to her, and started talking about affairs he’d denied in the past and how they really happened.

When he was just about done talking, she said she had a bit to confess too, and started telling him the real fathers of four out of their five children.

She was on the story of the third child when a neighbour knocked on the door. Frowning at being disturbed, they told the neighbour to go and come back, but this neighbour was insistent on being heard. They let him in and he said he came to see how their dog was doing.

“What’s your business with our dog?”, man and wife were irritated but curious.

Their neighbour replied, “Well, I was working in my garden and a goat was eating the tomatoes I was harvesting so I threw a stone at it. It missed the goat but hit your dog and from the way it screamed, I knew it was hurt. I tried to go near it but it barked at me so I said I would come and tell you people, see how it is doing”.

The end. (of a lot of things obviously)!

Moral of the story? You tell  me! And while you’re at it, say a big thank you to my Momma!

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Hey, how have you been? Good?

In fact, skip the pleasantries. Today’s one of those days you wish wouldn’t come, or at least would come right before something fabulous happens so it can wipe out the memory of the ‘not-so-good. Thirty four minutes after I received a bit of unpleasant news, and nothing fabulous has happened. Oh well, maybe it’ll happen before the end of today.

Why am I sad? I’ll tell you. I sent in an entry for the  Commonwealth Short Story competition. I remember the night I wrote it; I kept on sending drafts to my friend Andy Watt to read and give feedback. It was funny after some time, I had read the story so much I almost knew it off heart!

And then, after one last glance at it, I knew it was ready, so I sent it in, and the wait began. It was on one of them really cold nights in February, and the next morning I got an email acknowledging receipt of my entry, and saying I’d hear back from them after the first round of judging in May.

February to May? Quite some time to wait and true to form, I forgot I entered for the competition. I got an email today though, and immediately I saw the sender, for some reason my heart began to skip. Read with me……

The letter…..*sigh*

Yeah, so I didn’t win this one, or even move to the next round. Sucks. I’ve brushed back hot tears from my eyes, and told myself I’ll never write a short story again. That one, titled ‘Devil May Care’, was the first short story I ever wrote, word limit was 600 so I didn’t have a lot to play with. Before you think I’m making excuses (and I’m not), I actually enjoyed the challenge, and the effort it took to reduce sentences and look for synonyms just to make sure I remained within the word limit.

I thought I had a really great story, but it looks like it either wasn’t as ‘great’ as I thought it was, or maybe there were ‘greater’ stories. Either ways, it sucks. I’m going to allow myself sulk about it the rest of the afternoon, and maybe when my mood lifts, I’ll put the story up for you to read, and then I’ll send it to my big writer friends to see where I went wrong, so I don’t make the same mistake again. I enjoyed writing that story, and I want to keep writing so I’m going to hone my skills. For now though, I’m going to sulk!


This is me at the moment