No one knew where the starlings came from. One day, the sidewalks and light posts and old brick buildings were bare; the next, they were scattered with flight.
Up and down Shelden Avenue elderly friends stopped their morning walk and children pointed and pulled at parents’ pants.
Winged, iridescent forms swooped up a wall. Yellow-beaked stills observed from flower pots. A proud male perched atop an awning.
Passersby soon realized that, lifelike as the birds were, they existed solely as pictures. For one woman, that mattered little.
She kissed her paint-stained fingertips in fond farewell, turned, and headed home.
For Charli and her starling, and for this week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch.
June 27, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves paint. It can be fresh, peeling or in need of a coat. What is being painted and why? Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by July 3, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
My application was successful. I was selected to take part in a project at Scotland’s Craft Town, the wonderful West Kilbride. I’ve been a massive fan of the Craft Town since I first found out about it a few years ago, so I’m massively chuffed to be a part of it. The project I’m involved in takes selected craft makers based in Scotland, at various stages of their careers and gives them specialist business mentoring and studio space for six months. For the first time in over a decade I am being mentored rather than mentoring others, which has been quite a shock to the system.
The first meeting of the participants, organisers and business mentors involved an exercise where we had to think of things that limited our business or things that we were worried about and then we had to…
Phan clutched her halo, rubbing already-tarnished finish. And sighed. If only she hadn’t been so diverted this morning, with the clouds. Then there’d been flowers. Then path swirls -which led right to the end of the lengthy queue…
“Next!” the angel matriarch called.
Phan floated forward. At a scowl, she hastily replaced her halo and hoped it aligned itself. It didn’t.
“Late again, Phanuelle.”
“There’s only one assignment left; a newer one.”
Phan peered beyond the matriarch at the mostly harmless-looking blue and green sphere to which she must go. Oh, well. Perhaps it would have flowers, too.
April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its meaning. Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by April 16, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
Were I a god
here, with nothing
a great compression of nothing
till the built-up force of spaces between the nothing nothing nothing
cause slivered bits of, simply, everything.
Were I a god
there, with slivers
a sparkling shower of slivers
till, gathered, they form a winking blinking ball of thunk thought think
condensations of, really, sentience.
Were I a god
everywhere, with sentience
a malleable mess of sentience
till the clumps of godmade intelligences breathe stretch move
flaming forms of, actually, life.
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
-Mark Twain Paine, Albert Bigelow. Mark Twain, A Biography: The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Source).
“I know; I know. ‘So, write something.’ If only it were that easy.”
“It is. You just-”
“Just WRITE something. If it’s so easy, you do it.”
“Where is it?”
“Where is what?”
“Whatever it is that you wrote. Supposedly. I mean, you said that-”
“Oh, that. Yes, well, it’s …thing is…”
“Computer crash last week.”
“Yes. Tragic. I’d just finished up the 53rd chapter, too.”
“Fifty-three chapters?! Now I know you’re making this up.”
“Hmph. You’re just jealous because you can’t think of something to write.”
“Neither can you!”
“Of course I can. Didn’t you just hear that I wrote fifty-three chapters?”
“And J.K. Rowling’s agent. He said they wanted me to send off what I had.”
“Unfortunately, that e-mail also was lost in the crash.”
“Obviously….So, what were the fifty-plus chapters about? Hmmm?”
“Oh! Erm.. ah.. it was a fantasy novel.”
“Well, I can’t give everything away.”
“Sure, sure. Just tell me the synopsis you sent to Rowling’s agent, then.”
“I’m sure you’re not really interes-”
“Well.. it was a sort of ..hmm… a mashup of classic story lines. …You know: a bit of boy-coming-of-age meets a girl-who-discovers-she’s-magic story…”
“It’s true! Julieng –yes– Julieng is nearing adulthood and discovers a dragon egg buried beneath a red wall that …erm… Eil-ent -um- Eilent’s uncle built near her family’s cauldron on a pig farm and they must join forces to stop the ..evil …overlord who came back to life because of a ring.”
“Uh-huh. And the ring was lost behind a false wall ..erm.. in an upstairs room about a hundred years ago that ..uh… Jules’-
“Yes -Juleng.. Julieng’s stepbrother’s half-sister’s cousin made with magic powder that takes them between worlds. …I had a bit about a lion -or maybe a witch. -Hmmm, maybe it was a wardrobe-”
“Or, maybe it was a vanishing cabinet. I can’t exactly remember because that was back at the start of the book, see, and I was to the part where they …ah found Queen Guinevere with one of the knights..”
“That’s what? Hey -where ya going?”
“I thought you didn’t have anything to write …”
“I didn’t, but a recent conversation inspired me.”
“Yep. I just hope the publisher doesn’t think it’s too tame of an idea…”
At one point as a child, I thought I’d become an artist. These aspirations began at quite a young age, though we’re not counting the impressionist feces wall-art I made before I could form complete sentences. We may, however, begin where my memories do: around age 5.
I remember finger fists with flying fingers. I remember front and back views of subjects. I remember trying to replicate illustrations I saw in stories.
Front view, front of paper
Back view, back of paper. The two line up.
My grandmother was an artist. She illustrated, painted, drew, sculpted. She was my idol, though I was far from her favorite grandchild and I knew that. Still, I wanted to be like her. I hurt that I wasn’t that good, not realizing that her childhood work probably looked like mine.
Now, I dabble. I scribble on children’s lunch napkins, create over-the-top door decorations for teachers, and practice elaborate snowflake patterns. I seem the best at paper cut-outs.
“I’ll have you know, I’m feeling rather depressed.”
“No disassemble!” ..and Rosie
And this is art.
At another time in my life, I thought I might be musically gifted. I asked to learn piano. I tried trombone. I envied my sister for learning violin. I also sang in a school choir.
My husband is a very good singer. He’s even released some YouTube videos. He’s part of a rather impressive choir at the moment.
Given that people frequently tell me how good he is (but do not say the same to me), I tend to restrict myself to showers and cars.
Still, music moves me. Music is art.
Tell me you aren’t moved by the chorus of that.
These days I mostly write. Maybe you’ve noticed.
I thought this writing thing was a more recent expression, but my diggings to find early drawings uncovered …interesting stories I invented in grade school. Granted, I worried much more about handwriting those days. I was more concerned about everything being ‘just right’ than about allowing my imagination to run wild on me.
Nowadays, I care less about formalities. My exposure to many varied writers and styles and my practice of writing almost daily have unfettered old writing restraints.
Writing is not my first choice of expression after trying others, but it is the most accessible. When the creative itch creeps up my spine, I run to record my thoughts. I feel anxious at any barriers or delays. When I hit The Muse just right, the result is extremely satisfying.
And this, too, is art.
Speaking of art, there are many creative ways we are able to express beyond the three I listed. What of dance? Theater? Speech? Display? Organization? Rap? Cooking? Baking? Psychic sensing?