Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 14 - Succinctly Yours by Grandma's Goulash

Join us in our challenge! Use the photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters OR 140 words. It doesn’t have to be exactly 140, just not more.

Want more challenge? Use the word of the week in your story. This part is optional.

How does Grandma come up with the weekly word?
She doesn’t. She asks her daughter, who hasn’t seen the picture, for a word. That makes it even more of a challenge for us.

The photo for Monday, June 27th.

Word Of The Week: 

It’s hard to imagine today’s traffic being re-routed to allow hundreds to march in tribute to recent civil rights gains.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Web of Deceit - TGIBBF June 24

OUR MISSION: Write a book jacket blurb (150 words or less) so enticing that potential readers would feel compelled to buy the book.
OUR SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: Here is our "book cover" for next week, provided by the talented artist and writer, Sandra Davies.  Thanks Sandra! 
OUR HOSTESS: Lisa Ricard Claro

Thank you for participating in Book Blurb Friday. If you haven't yet attempted a book blurb, I hope you'll join in. The blurbs are fun to write, and it’s fun reading what others have written.

Nothing appeared out of the ordinary when Kate arrived at her exhusband’s place. The truck was where he always parked it, the lawn was mowed and the hedges trimmed. Yet, she just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was very wrong. As she approached the house, she noticed the frost-covered spider’s web that was attached to the truck’s sideview mirror and driver’s door. She then knew her feeling was right. Dave was a fanatic when it came to his truck. One speck of bird poop and it required a complete detailing. This spider’s web wasn’t new and shouldn’t still be there. But, could she call the police with only that to go on? She doubted it. She knew she was going to have to go inside the house…despite the intense feeling of dread that had overtaken her.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Love - GBE2 Week 5

Nothing and no one has ever compared favorably to my first love. Nothing has ever matched the intensity. No one has ever matched his gentle, caring nature.

It’s not that I never loved again, but it was never the same. There was never another “our song”. There were never again kisses whose heat set the world on fire.

The “mutuality” of that love has never been duplicated. That feeling of complete and total acceptance, respect and trust has never been as fulfilling as it was then.

Maybe it was the innocence, the youthfulness, the lack of cynicism that made it so. I don’t know. But, I dreamed for years of going back to that time, to that place, to once again feel wrapped in love’s protective cocoon.

I no longer pine, but am able to look back with fond memories of those days. Once in a while I wish things had been different, but with time comes understanding of self. Today’s self is not yesterday’s self. Today’s self, in so many ways, is an improved model. But, every once in a while a bit of yesterday appears and wishes to return to the innocence and trust of youth, of first love, of first passion.

As the song from that time goes:

Those were the days my friend;
We thought they’d never end….
For we were young and sure to have our way.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Self-assurance - Succinctly Yours, June 20

Every Monday, we are to post a very brief story based on a picture given to us by Grandma of Grandma's Goulash. With it we are given a keyword that we are challenged to include in our bit of microfiction.

And here’s the picture we were given for Monday, June 20th.

And, the Word Of The Week: fabricate. I hope you enjoy my efforts.

My dear fellow, there is no fabrication of the truth that can escape my notice. This case is all but solved now that it is in my hands.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Control - GBE2 Week Four

I have control issues.

First of all, I’m a tad OCD, so I do sometimes try to control things in my life just a bit too tightly. Secondly, as a victim of abuse, I have problems with someone else trying to control me. It gets my hackles up and I often find passive-aggressive methods to retaliate until I’m so fed up I become confrontational.

Then there’s the fact that I’m diabetic and should be in better control of my diet than I am. Not to mention that I’m overweight (obese, actually), so there’s another aspect of food control I should be dealing with.

I lost control of my finances long ago and am still dealing with the ramifications of that in my life.

But, now that I am getting older, I have a new issue of control to contend with. You may have seen Whoopie Goldberg’s recent commercials regarding this problem. You may even remember having seen June Allison doing some commercials about this.

This is urinary incontinence. That wonderful little gift of nature that more frequently visits women than men as they get older. (Why is it that women are the ones who have problems with the departure of bodily fluids? Why can’t men have something that involuntarily leaves their bodies with the help of gravity and at the most inopportune of times?)

Sure, some have fewer issues with this problem than others. And, I’m sure that a lot of it could be resolved with the infamous Kegel exercises to regain control over the muscles that we for too long take for granted. Child birth only adds to the problem, particularly if you’ve had multiple children.  You might recall that Bible verse that says “happy is the man whose quiver is full of (children)”. It doesn’t say anything about the woman who had to bear them. All that physical trauma to our bodies, however much love is behind it, can take its toll.

If someone had told me I’d be substituting one kind of pad for another once I was finally rid of the first kind, I’d have slapped them silly. That was the ONLY thing I looked forward to in my aging future and then you’re telling me it’ll be a trade-off? So, yes – I do take issue with that new loss of control over my body. Some day, I hope to have a talk with the manufacturer about my dissatisfaction.

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Chocolate Charade - TGIBBF June 17

Our mission: Write a book jacket blurb (150 words or less) so enticing that potential readers would feel compelled to buy the book, sponsored by Lisa Ricard Claro.

Our visual: This is the photo on which we base our writing, provided by Sioux Roslawski.

Jacques Gendarme is back on the case, this time hired by the niece of the head of the Groupe Casino, one of the world’s leading food retailers. She believes the man purporting to be her uncle, Pierre Renoir, is an imposter and that he is in danger. Asked how she came to believe this, she said, “He has always called me Petit Chou, but he didn’t know who I was when I phone him at the office. He then pretended to be distracted as an excuse.” The evidence was flimsy, but he needed the work. What Jacques would find would lead him directly to the files of INTERPOL and put even his employment benefactor at risk. 

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Lavender - Succinctly Yours June 13

This week's Succinctly Yours - this is the pic Grandma of Grandma's Goulash provided for Monday, June 13th. Each week we are given a different photo from which to create a "story" of 140 characters or less.

Word Of The Week: 

As the geese looked out over the majestic blue waters, they were totally oblivious to the fields of blooming lavender behind them.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lost and Found - GBE2 Week Three

Who isn’t familiar with the song Amazing Grace? “I once was lost but now am found; was blind but now I see.” It represents the ultimate in spiritual awakening, yet its message was so universal that it became a pop hit in the 70s. It’s easy for most of us to find something within its verses with which we can relate.

People can be lost spiritually, emotionally, geographically, financially, familial-ly, pretty much any way something or someone can be lost. You can get lost, lose ground, lose track, be at a loss, suffer a loss, lose weight, lose sight, lose touch, lose your mind or just lose yourself.

It’s easy to be lost. It’s much more difficult to be found. (Unless, of course, it’s that weight you managed to lose.) People say prayers to St. Anthony to find lost items. Some go bankrupt because of financial loss. Others go on sabbaticals to find themselves. (Or, back in the 60s, joined communes.)

Those of us who have lost track have often reconnected on Facebook, one of the best reorganizing mediums I’ve seen to date. You can find family, friends, former classmates, coworkers, ex-beaus, virtually anyone and everyone you’ve once had contact with provided they sign up (or have a family member who does). It allows for both public and private communications and long overdue updates on events past.

For those who are geographically-challenge, getting lost is just another day in the life. Even being given directions on how to get out of their predicament can be challenging because they will invariably get confused over the instructions (Did they say the blue house on the right or the house to the right of the blue one?)

Finding yourself, though, is probably the most difficult thing to do. It first requires a recognition that you are, in fact, lost. You may realize something’s wrong, but that’s about it. And, it’s not that you one day say, “You know, I think I’ve lost myself”. It’s more of a realization that you aren’t the person you could be (or should be). An awakening. An epiphany. Sometimes that realization comes during the actual process of the finding when you suddenly realize you’ve changed inside; that you’re no longer who or what you once were.

If only life were as simple as a lost and found box. 

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Blurb Friday - June 10 "Puss in Blue"

Each week, we are challenged to "write a book jacket blurb (150 words or less) so enticing that potential readers would feel compelled to buy the book."

Here is this week's "book cover" photo, provided by Lisa’s young 'un, Joey.


This was no ordinary crime. And, Al E. Katt was no ordinary detective. His black tuxedo glistened in the sunlight as he followed the trail of clues through the apartment complex where Gary Kramer was murdered. The local CIS thought they had a handle on things, but they didn’t have the same perspective that Al did. In fact, because of Al several crimes in the past year had been successfully prosecuted. Of course, Al received no credit for his part in the pursuit of justice. That’s because Al is a cat. If he hadn’t dug up the evidence, sometimes literally, the police would still be investigating. And today was no different. As Al decided to “play” with the beer can on which he’d detected a droplet of blood, the OIC took note of the disturbance and walked over, picking up the can. “What do you have here, puss?” 

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Succinctly Yours for June 6 - Politics

Here’s the Succinctly Yours pic for Monday, June 6th. Playing on a recent event involving a member of Congress, this is my submission.

Word Of The Week: 

Political science students ponder the rapidly declining believability of sitting members of Congress.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Success - GBE2

Success is a word I haven't heard often in relation to myself in my life, I have to admit. Yet, I know that there are many things with which I have been successful as well as areas in which I have failed or fallen short. The hardest thing I've had to learn in my life is that having those areas of failure doesn't make ME a failure. I wasted too many years thinking that because I failed in something that it proved that I, too, was a failure. If you read my blog entry on expectations, you'll understand the origins of that.

One thing I was never taught, though, was that success means making a lot of money. Yet, there are those who do. There are plenty of people who manage their lives successfully with very little money in their lives. There are others who have more money than they know what to do with and still don't feel like they've achieved enough. 

I think the word "success" has been misused to the point where it has such a narrow definition in people's minds that they don't recognize success when it's right in front of them. Too many people believe that success is a financial goal, which it can be; but they fail to see that there are others who have succeeded even when the odds weren't in their favor materialistically. 

And, there is the key - materialism. It's nice to have flat screen TVs and nice cars and new clothes, etc. But, I fail to see how that alone is a sign of success. If you're in debt up to your eyeballs, just how successful are you? Aren't you merely presenting a false front to look good? A pretense of what you're not? 

How about single moms whose spouse has abandoned his duties, yet despite tough times and little money, the kids are clean, fed, well-mannered, law-abiding and educated? Tell me how that mother, that family, can ever be considered anything other than a success. 

Look at the actor Will Smith. He grew up in West Philadelphia, one of the most violent and dangerous ares of that city. Drug use and gang activity are rampant. School dropout rates are cataclysmic. Yet, his success isn't in the money he makes. His success is in the fact that he came out of that environment without being damaged by it. Or should I say, his mother's success was raising a son who wasn't drawn into life on the street, who rose above his surroundings to become a man who is loved and respected by his fans and his entertainment peers. 

That's success. It's more than money - far more than money. It's support, acceptance and self-image all rolled into one. If any one of those things is missing, it only pretends to be success.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3 - TGIBBF "Perils in Paris"

The Assignment by Lisa Ricard Claro:

Write a book jacket blurb (150 words or less) so enticing that potential readers would feel compelled to buy the book.

Below is this week's "book cover," generously offered for our inspiration by the lovely and talented Kay Davies :

The area near the Eiffel Tower wasn’t known for violent crime. Pickpockets were numerous, but crimes as vicious as this, no. So, when Mdme. Amelie du Bois, sister of the local commissaire, was found dead of very unnatural causes in her private flat directly across from the local police precinct, it sent shivers of fear through all who lived and worked here.

Because of the victim’s relationship to the commissaire, investigative duties would have to be handled outside the district. The call went out to Jacques Gendarme, former head of the Latin Quarter prefectorate. No longer with the force, Jacques was a well-known private investigator who had helped solve some very high profile crimes. If anyone could find Mdme. DuBois’ killer, he could. But even he couldn't suspect just what he would find once he began looking. Or what danger he would be in.

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