July 19: Flash Fiction Challenge

July 19, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Fannie Hooe.

Lake Fannie Hooe is located in Fort Wilkins State Park on the Keweenaw Peninsula near Copper Harbor. Local tales related that the beautiful young woman Fannie Hooe had drowned in the lake, or got lost in the woods while picking blueberries and was never seen again

Lingering

“It’s a perfect day to walk in the wood, Dan.”

“Yes, good that you walk with me, Sally.”

“We can pick some blueberries.”

“Lovely ideas. You like making blueberries muffins, I like to eat.”

“Oh, look. A lady walking by herself.”

“She looks frantic, she must be lost.”

“Let’s find out.”

“Humm… She disappeared.”

“Oh, Dan, it was Fannie Hooe. Some people saw her. She’s still finding her way out of the wood.”

“I thought she returned to the family home in Virginia.”

“See that white house down the hill? She lived there. The light goes on and off.”

~

Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch – July 19, 2018: Flash Fiction Challenge

Platform: Self-Publishing

Please read and share this wealth of information on Self-Publishing by Debby Gies, aka D. G. Kaye. I’ve learned so much from her post.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

How to Build a Readership with Blogging
and Prepare for Publishing by Debby Gies

As writers who choose to self-publish, we must understand that we’ve chosen to be not only writers but publishers, marketers, and promoters of our work because these components are all essential parts of running a business. Yes, your business! If we intend to sell books, it’s in our best interests to learn about these things as well as building an author platform. If we don’t put in the time to promote our work, our books will surely sit and collect dust on the virtual shelves, lost in a sea of hundreds of thousands of other books.

Although we may be publishing in a digital world, our business is no different than if we opened our own brick and mortar store. We wouldn’t leave our doors unlocked and wares left unattended, would we? So, let’s get into…

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July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge 2

July 5, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes buttons.

IMG_8714 b

Monkey’s Tummy

Being self-employed is a luxury. Sam doesn’t set the alarm clock. He goes to the gym at 9:00 a.m. when people honk their way to the exit lane.

Looking at 16,000 columns and 895 rows of data make his eyesight fuzzy. The query narrowed it down to 90 columns and 75 rows.

Oh, no! He pressed a wrong button, missed one zip code. Doing it all over again. No one shares his stress. It’s time going to his laughing buddy. A button on the monkey’s tummy he pushed. His hilarious is contagious. Sam can’t help but laugh with him.

~

Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch: July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge – Monkey’s Tummy

July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge

July 5, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes buttons.

Hero’s Nightmare

“Kevin, you look handsome in your uniform.”

“Thank you.”

“I like to have a copy of your photo with your autograph.”

“No, that’s okay.”

“You gave one to your mum, but you don’t hang it in your home.”

“She asked for one, I respected her wishes.”

“Did Sarah want to hang up your uniform photo?”

 “She didn’t ask.”

“Look at all the large and small buttons across your chest to your shoulder. They are gorgeous. You’re a hero.”

“It’s not what you think.”

“What do you mean?”

“Each one tells a nightmare and I don’t want to be reminded.”

~

Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch: July 5, 2018, Flash Fiction Challenge – Buttons

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Heat Wave

On this Thursday afternoon, I was sitting in the dentist’s office when the local news channel announced the excessive heat wave hit southern California. It was 104o C at the time of the news report. It breaks the records since 1942.

The beachgoers had some relief by the cooler air on July fourth holiday yesterday. The high temperature will stay through Friday and Saturday. The heat watch will be in effect along the Central Coast including Ventura County, Orange County, Los Angeles County. It affects all the beaches and mountains in these counties. The news further reported that the Emergency Rooms will be on alert for receiving heat stroke patients.

Weather forecast warns that low humidity may elevate the risk of fire. The worse days of Friday and Saturday are still to come. The news urged people to reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, and not to leave older people, kids, or pets in an enclosed area or cars for a lengthy period.

I hope the forecast and early warning will prevent certain avoidable disasters.

heat 1

heat 2

heat 3

Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Heat Wave

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Colorful Hummingbird

The ruby-throated baby hummingbird in my garden is doing well. He prefers nectar from lavender flowers, but there are not enough flowers to give him the amount of nectar he needs. Mama and Papa feed exclusively from my feeders.

There is a small potted ficus tree in front of the kitchen window underneath the hummingbird feeder. The lavender bush is about five feet from the ficus tree. Baby Hummi flew to the lavender flowers to get nectar. After feeding, he flies to the ficus tree and perches on his favorite spot of the branch until the next feeding. Papa flies around and swoops him up so he gets to fly one round of the palm trees. He quickly comes back to the ficus tree and perches on his spot.

Two days ago, he tried the sugar water from the feeder and liked it. He goes back and forth between the lavender flowers and the feeder. Papa comes by every twenty minutes to take him on flying lessons.

There was a baby hummingbird last year did the same thing. He perched on the ficus branch most of the time and the parent came by to take him flying. When the parents went south for the winter, the baby stayed behind to feed on my feeder throughout the winter.

I was curious about the migration of the hummingbird. I did a research this morning and found out that I will have the baby stay with us for the winter. The website also describes the colors of the birds.

Hummingbird 1

Hummingbird 2

Hummingbird 3

Hummingbird 4

Hummingbird 5

The Colorful Hummingbird

The ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is a species of hummingbird that generally spends the winter in Central America, Mexico, and Florida, and migrates to North America for the summer to breed. It is by far the most common hummingbird seen in North America.

The adult male has a throat patch of iridescent ruby red bordered narrowly with velvety black on the upper margin and a forked black tail with a faint violet sheen. The red iridescence is highly directional and appears dull black from many angles. The female has a notched tail with outer feathers banded in green, black, and white and a white throat that may be plain or lightly marked with dusky streaks or stipples.

During migration southward in autumn along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, some birds embark on a nonstop 900-mile journey. Some older male and female birds were better prepared for long-distance flight than first-year birds by having higher body weights and larger fuel loads.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby-throated_hummingbird

Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Colorful Hummingbird

June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge – Not All is Lost

This week, Charli shared her experience of falling in the snow. She described herself as letting go, down and down.  I could visualize her falling, but not panicking. How beautiful it is that she just relaxed and let go, go with the fall. She got up with a helping hand. What a good example of community support.

It could have been worse if we fall and struggle about falling. It’s not easy to let yourself fall, physically or metaphorically.  During my cancer treatment, I was down to skin and bone and my life was failing. I too let go of my responsibilities and accepted help from my community to let my body heal and recover.

It’s a Matter of Getting Up

It was early December 2017, the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, California devoured 307,900 acres and 1,300 structures. 230,000 residents described the wildfires in the neighborhood as a war zone. Smoke stretched 1,000 miles across the Pacific.

By Christmas, residents came back to their burned home, found pieces of displaced family photos. They pinned them on a bulletin to find owners. Some put up Christmas trees, decorations to bring cheer to the neighborhood. Strangers hugged each other and shed some tears. Homes and belongings were gone. Yet not all is lost. They wanted to rebuild and be neighbors again.

~

Charli Mills – June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge