Kaidan – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Kaidan
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about 100 candles.
Word count:  99 words

lit candle in foreground with blurred candles in the distance

Photo by Tim Umphreys on Unsplash

Twilight fell as storytellers crowded into the room. Ryu finished lighting one hundred candles. They gathered to repeat their favorite accounts of weird happenings, walking sprits, and vengeful ghosts.

They told tales of a man’s escaped from hell, monsters roaming misty woods, and bridges conveying the dead into eternity.

At each tale’s conclusion, the storyteller rose and extinguished the life of a single torch. The night progressed, the chamber grew darker, and shadows haunted foreboding corners.

Ryu earned the honor of the evening’s final story. With his last breath, he blew. His candle smoldered, and everything descended into darkness.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Taking a Break with Nature – Daily Quote

time-spent-in-nature-is-the-most-cost-effective-and-powerful-way-to-counteract-the-burnout-and-sort-of-depression-that-we-feel-when-we-sit-in-front-of-a-computer-all-day.-richard-louv.

Working on project deadlines, while keeping current on the normal everyday grind, means hours turn into days of sitting in front of computer screens. Headphones stream my favorite music to keep me centered as I flip from one screen to the other, and words fill the page. Mandatory conference calls and essential webinars punch holes in a tight schedule. I download files, manipulate, massage, update, and verify before I push them to the end-user.

The room rocks, the thunder rolls, and the reason for the room’s darkness slowly dawns on me. They predicted late morning thunderstorms, with clearing skies and moderate afternoon temperatures. Pulled from the fog, I realized my body is stiff from sitting. My shoulders ache from tension, and I decide other people’s deadlines must wait.

Outside, the world smells fresh and clean. The sun sparkles, and the breeze shakes raindrops from tree leaves. The pressures disappear, I remember the reasons I chose this path. I stretch, breathe deeply, and enjoy a few more minutes of bliss before I return, refreshed, to work I love.

How will you connect with nature today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – May 26

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 147 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Channeling Prometheus – Weekend Writing Prompt

Title:  Channeling Prometheus
Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt # 158 – Downpour
Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 88 words.

black and white photo of clouds above mountain thunderhead

Photo by Martin Vysoudil on Unsplash

Threats sometimes backfire.

You’d expect me to hide from a formidable opponent, but my soul is hard-wired for defiance and committed to protecting those who cannot defend themselves. Black cumulonimbus clouds rise forty thousand feet in the air to provide Cyclops with his anvil. His forge is the birthplace of lightning, tornados, and hailstorms.

Plunged into darkness, frightened souls huddle. Sobbing like small children, they pray and beg for forgiveness. Despite deafening thunder, eye-searing lightning, and a pounding heart, I step into the downpour with my fiery purpose.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

In Honor of Our Heroes on Memorial Day – Daily Quote

true-heroism-is-remarkably-sober-very-undramatic.-it-is-not-the-urge-to-surpass-all-others-at-whatever-cost-but-the-urge-to-serve-others-at-whatever-cost.-arthur-ashe

This year our definition of the word hero expanded exponentially. Every perilous situation confronted by humans tests the core values of humanity. Far from the attainment of admiration, glory, and fame lavished on the classical god-like hero, our modern-day heroes are forged from simple, obscure, and ordinary people who perform extraordinary feats. Try to laud them for their remarkable efforts, and they will respond by saying “I only did what anyone would do.”

True heroes see beyond the limits set by the timid. They somehow surmount impossible obstacles, to follow their rock-solid belief that the world can be a better place. Their hearts know that freedom and responsibility are inextricably linked. They dare to confront the unknown, blaze a path, and light the way to an improved future.

This Memorial Day, remember the heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice. By their example, we discover the struggle for humankind is worthwhile. Heroes create a higher standard of acceptable human behavior and challenge us to honor their memory, by altering our thoughts and actions.

How will you remember your heroes?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – May 25

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 146 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

I’m Not Laughing at My Mistake – Daily Quote

wanna-hear-a-joke_-decaf.-anonymous

I made a horrible mistake. Saying I dislike shopping is an understatement. The past months have done nothing to increase my enjoyment of the process. My reluctant trips for necessities don’t register on my bucket list. I delay them, waiting until they attain dire importance status. Then, I prepare my list, gather my mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer before heading out.

My grocery list is organized to follow the layout of a favorite familiar store. The produce section is my first stop where I make careful selections. I move quickly since I want to minimize the total time spent in the shop. I navigate one-way aisles, fill my cart, avoid close contact with other shoppers, and proceed to the checkout line.

The fun doesn’t end when I get my packages home, as I place the purchases in quarantine, just in case. The most important reason for my trip was to restock my dwindling coffee supply. You can imagine my horror when I liberated my favorite caffeinated morning brew only to discover that it was marked “decaf.” I wanted to cry. Instead, I grabbed my personal protective gear and raced back to the store. Some things you just don’t joke about.

What makes you rush to the store?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – May 24

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 145 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Work of Creating a Pretty Scene – Daily Quote

i-might-have-missed-my-calling-as-an-editor.-in-the-spring-the-sight-of-my-empty-garden-beds-gives-me-the-horticultural-equivalent-of-writers-block_-so-much-space-so-many-plants-to-choos.

We’ve had ample rain, and as y’all have heard April showers bring Mayflowers. Right? Except we are approaching the end of May, and the precipitation continues. Forecasters predict a never-ending parade of wetness from Saturday afternoon through Friday. We renamed the swale at the backyard property line, Walden Pond. The newly formed water feature is deep enough to accommodate a rowboat, a pair of mallard ducks, and a robust growth of algae.

The yard resembles a grass-green raft floating on a sea of mud. But my gardening genes yearn for dryer weather. It is time to transplant the seedlings I’ve been nurturing under grow lights in my makeshift nursery. Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash, and onions are ready to be hardened offed to prepare them for summer in the sun.

This week, warm temps, cloudy days, and frequent showers provide the perfect conditions for the transition. I stage flats and small pots in a protected area of the patio. Despite my plotting and planning, I feel panicked. My garden is a vast blank slate. The spot earmarked for one vegetable looks far too large, while another seedling will overrun the bed I prepared.

My garden plots need adjustments, some transplants require editing, and I must shop for more veggies, or maybe flowers to fill gaping holes. Writing a story and creating a garden have many similarities. The picture in your head never quite materializes. You tinker, fiddle, fuss, and then take a step back to see the work in its totality. Serendipity conspires with creativity, and just when you are about to throw in the trowel, you discover a sight worth beholding.

How does your garden grow?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – May 23

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 144 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer