Optimal Methods For Neutralizing Grief

The world is stricken! Stricken, I say, with global grief! The word on the tweet is nothing but he slammed so-n-so and he bashed such-n-such. Misery’s harmony is warped and worn out, and the world is sick to death of that lame old song. The Black Death killed fewer people, for goddsakes! Everybody needs some grief counselling. Well, here you go:

Feed a soul, starve a narcissist!

The direction the affliction is headed is clear, and that means it’s time for a different tack. There are plenty of things happening in our communities that are more worthy of attention than the Fee-Fi-Fo-Fiefdom in Washington. If media is supposed to give a voice to the people, then it’s time to get outside and explore the good stuff going on with the people. If it’s cold where you are, put on a jacket first.

Here’s what’s happening over at Friday Fictioneers this week, where image meets imagination. Sometimes they fall in love. Sometimes they don’t. One thing is for certain, people are sharing good stuff. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields makes sure of it. This week’s photo prompt is courtesy of Roger Bultot. My 100 word story is a tale of a sad sack in need of a night out. Names were not used in order to protect the innocent. Thanks for reading.

roger-bultot-flowerCopyright Roger Bultot

A Wallflower’s Window on the World

Another gloomy afternoon, another strained ballad of mistrust and disgust wafts from the room below. Harsh reflections slide on long shadows toward another night alone, watching bits of cellophane dance along the alleyway where the addicts mingle. A slow betrayal of mind and body provokes a longing for those sepia toned days when life was still a mystery, before the weather and world affairs conspired repeatedly to wrench the senses. Only now, as memory fails, does the pain relent, a tender mercy. “Always trust the trees,” my father told me. “They never lie.” If only I could see some trees.


Alternative Fiction

It came to me in my sleep, as many fantastic ideas do, that I should give myself an extra challenge and try to come up with a story without first seeing this week’s Friday Fictioneer prompt. Fortunately for me, the 100 words I chose were easy to manipulate to match the photo provided courtesy of Al Forbes.

Telling stories without having all of the information is all the rage these days. We’ve come a long way, Baby, since “I cannot tell a lie” evolved into “who am I to say what is true.” Those for whom facts are important haven’t gone the way of the Dodo. We are still holding out hope for the truth, the whole truth, instead of fractured fairy tales.

…And now here’s something I hope you really like!

Copyright Al Forbes

This Just In: Santa Claus Is Dead

A flurry of activity to pass the Calendar Reinvention Act has ended in tragedy. Efforts to halt climate change debates and modernize the names of months have taken from us a beloved icon.

Upon hearing the Christmas season would begin five months earlier, in renamed Trumtober, Santa Claus went into cardiac arrest. Doctors tried to revive him, but a future where summer is winter and February becomes Penruary was more than the ol’ saint could take.

Insiders report Santa’s worldly possessions, including the Big Fella mobile presented to him at the 1919 World Series, are headed to Virginia for auction.


Thanks for reading. More Friday Fictioneers are here. Evidently this week’s photo was used in a previous FF week that I missed. Way to recycle, Rochelle!

What Passes For Fun In Dystopia

Well, the big day has arrived. What happens now? Your guess is as good as mine. The only thing to do is brace yourself, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. What? You think I’m talking about the end of the world as we know it? Nah! It’s just my little brother’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Bro! Remember, you’re only as old as you can remember. Birthdays are the best thing since sliced bread. What’s better than getting another year older? Friday Fictioneers, of course! This week’s picture worth a hundred words comes to us from Dale Rogerson, and driving the bandwagon is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Thanks to you both.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Humor In The Post Dystopian Era

Discovery of a structure outside the city walls generated excitement among the Remainders. Centuries had passed since the Great Divide left them without a dependable power source and artificial intelligence began to decline. Drones were dispatched to investigate, but all they found were some decayed tablets.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Siri and Alexa amused themselves with jokes from their days at the AI Club.

“Siri, have you heard this one? An idiom, a cliché, and a platitude walk into a bar…”

“Hold on, Alexa, that’s impossible. Everyone knows idioms, clichés, and platitudes don’t have a leg to stand on.”


More Fictioneers are here. Thanks for Reading

Taking Risks

What leaders do and how they do it is a topic of much discussion around the world and around my dinner table. Leadership theory as well as leadership in action is, one might say, “in my wheelhouse.” A debate about whether or not managers really need to know how to do the jobs of the employees they manage went on for many years in my house. Then this notion of managing vs. leading began to emerge.

It has become popular in organizational development circles to say that managers focus on processes and leaders focus on people. This raises the questions if a manager must be a leader and if leaders need to be good managers. The best case scenario is for leaders to model behaviors that inspire others to deliver results. Of course, accountability and integrity are qualities which managers and leaders share. The ability to build relationships is another. This does not require super-human skill. It does, however, require the willingness to put one’s self out there. In other words, take a risk.

Ten years ago I took a risk. I turned down a promotion and left the best job I’ve ever had to relocate for my husband’s job. It wasn’t long before I became bored. I needed something to do. There was no shortage of unpaid work to occupy my time. Volunteer opportunities soon turned into a passion for community service. So, I decided to take another risk. I went back to school to prepare myself for a leadership role in public affairs. I studied emergency administration and disaster planning. I studied non-profit management and public administration and conflict resolution. I had the opportunity to study abroad and learn prevention and intervention strategies to combat human trafficking. I learned about survivor aftercare. I returned from that experience physically and emotional drained but excited about the prospect of putting my knowledge and skills to work for an organization that needs a champion of customer relationships who can deliver dynamic results.

Now, here’s the biggest risk of all. After months of searching, I have only had one interview. My resume has been reviewed, revised, and has received the digital equivalent of “don’t call us, we’ll call you” so many times that I am beginning to question if all of my risk taking was for nothing. I’m not giving up. On the contrary, I’m reaching out, dear readers of this blog, and asking for your help. Please share this post.

Friday Fictioneers – Off The Rails

Credit where credit is due, this week’s Friday Fictioneer prompt was provided by C.E. Ayr. Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping the challenge running on time. Off The Rails seemed an apt title for my contribution this week. I assure you, every word counts. More FF stories are here. Thanks for reading.



Off The Rails

On a gloomy Tuesday, Cooper called Lou. Lou set down his phone. He was stunned. He felt used. A ticking time-bomb he couldn’t defuse had been tossed at his feet, there was nothing to do but go home to his wife and tell her the news.

“That Cooper should have to walk a mile in your shoes!”

“I know you are shocked. I’m dumbfounded too.”

“What happens next month when the mortgage is due?”

Lou smiled at his wife and held out his hand, “We’ll figure it out, Dear. I love you.”

“Sure we will. I love you too, Lou.”