Weekly Writing Challenge: Post 2 Bradbury nouns

Our nouns. Choose at least five nouns from the following list and integrate them into your new piece: The balloon. The squirrel. The river. The clown car. The thunderstorm. The Peking duck. The airplane. The mouse. The red rose. The French pastry. The wedding. The tombstone. The camper van. The bee. The caltrops.

The bridal party arrived at the wedding in a bright pink clown car that reminded the bride of the funny car they called the Peking Duck which  the groom used to race at the drag races in the west. That was where they had met. She had parked her campervan next to the tombstone and was busily preparing her breakfast of muesili, followed by a French pastry when she saw him standing by the river. The squirrel hat had made him look like Davey Crockett and he smiled lopsidedly at her. “Come for a burl in the Peking Duck” he said. Smiling she nodded. They raced along. Fast. Her heart thumped and it was as though the skies were celebrating her new love, releasing balloons followed by a squadron of airplanes flying overhead. “For you my red rose.” and he opened his arms skywards. Simultaneously a thunderstorm lit the sky. Lightning and noise giving a display equalling the thumping of her heart. “Go faster, go faster” she cried.

“You’re no mouse are you my love” he said as he revved the engine to full throttle sending them hurtling down the road at breakneck speed.

“Faster, faster.” He complied not knowing that the state troopers had set caltrops around the next bend. The spikes exploding the tyres set them on a trajectory from which The Peking Duck would emerge as scrap. After six months in hospital it felt as though they had been living together. She was grateful that wards now were mixed. In days gone by they might not have seen each other again but instead their love had grown. The day she had been stung by the bee that arrived on the flowers she had received he had asked her to marry him.

Now here she was outside the church about to wheel down the aisle. Her heart swelled with the joy of being alive. 

Posted in Daily Post prompt and challenges, fiction, story telling | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Harvest (in Vietnam)

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As a crop rice has always been important in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh’s first promise after declaring independence from France was to fix the rice crisis. The people at this time did not have enough to eat as a result of the failure of the rice crops. Later in his rule he turned the rice paddies into collectives for the benefit of the state. Most farms still are today but the holdings are too small (around an acre) to be effectively farmed despite supplying around a fifth of the world’s total rice. The Farmer’s lease has only recently been increased from 20 years to 50 years and this may see a crop other than rice being produced.

As we drove through the countryside we saw many fields lying empty. This was due, we were told, to the poor to middle quality rice that Vietnam produced compared to the premium rice which came from Thailand in the north. The price paid for this lower quality rice was insufficient to cover the farmer’s costs and many were leaving their fields fallow. Additionally the other countries to which Vietnam exports have also increased their domestic production of rice and their import needs have declined.

Another reason was the poor quality of the soil that had resulted from levee banks preventing the rich alluvial silt of the rivers in flood from rejuvenating the land on which they sowed. The poorness of the soil also meant that the land was not suitable for other crops.

As Vietnam develops an increasing middle class the desire for the local people to eat rice has also diminished with meat and wheat products being preferred.  Perhaps in years to come you may travel to Vietnam and see little or no harvesting of rice.

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/07/29/cees-fun-foto-challenge-earth-or-the-harvest-season/

Posted in Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, musings, photography, travel | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: Bliss

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Posted in photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: Bradley’s Sample noun list

Bradbury’s sample noun list. Write a new piece using at least five of the nouns from Bradbury’s sample list, above: The lake. The night. The crickets. The ravine. The attic. The basement. The trapdoor. The baby. The crowd. The night train. The fog horn. The scythe. The carnival. The carousel. The dwarf. The mirror maze. The skeleton.

The night was alive with the sounds of the carnival. ‘The fog horn heralded the arrival of the night train. The dwarf knew that the crowd would soon descend, scurrying and consuming like a plague of crickets. The attractions which drew the initial numbers were the carousel and the mirror maze but by the end of the night it was the ghostly trip down the ravine and around the lake to the haunted house. The first scary event to confront the crowds was the man chasing them in the mist, brandishing his scythe above his head, letting out blood-curdling cries. The frightened crowd would run to the apparent safety of the house where they had no choice but to proceed upstairs to the attic. Here in darkness they would grope their way along the walls terrified by the intermittent frights, such as skeletons suddenly appearing and groping blubbery hands, given along the way. Once they had negotiated the attic suddenly a trapdoor opened and they slid down giant slides all the way to the basement. Their screams were loud and shrill. Once there they had to find a way out through obstacles which turned and blew air and vibrated. The sound of a baby crying in the distance was the goal they knew they had to aim for. The first person to find the baby each night had a free second visit to the haunted house and they all strove to achieve this goal, although, getting through the challenge of the basement was not easy. The dwarf normally enjoyed his work in the house but tonight he just wanted the crowd gone. He had his own work to do. Tonight he would replace the real skeleton with a plastic one. 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/bradbury-list-twist/

Posted in Daily Post prompt and challenges, fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday Stills the Next Challenge: Faces (of Vietnam and Cambodia)

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Poised beautiful covered in gold                                                                                                       there for the world to see

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Whilst faceless, covered                                                                                                                      avoiding the smog from  diesel, exhaust and factory

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Childrens faces proud and bright                                                                                                      Look up with great expectancy

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Whilst an old face waits                                                                                                                      for her eventual destiny

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Or faces of piggies                                                                                                                             their snouts so pretty                                                                                                                         assured of food aplenty.

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

A toothless face                                                                                                                                    No dentists here

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

and babes on rivers                                                                                                                             reminds me of books on China

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

An elephant’s face has it made                                                                                                           as he eats bananas by the score

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

And a cool face wishing to be a Hollywood star                                                                             Poses “Hey, look at moi”

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Whilst children here with serious faces                                                                                           plead for help with money and more education

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Our time has come                                                                                                                             The faces reflect the ties that will be kept                                                                                       I hope for generation after generation.

http://sundaystills.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/sunday-stills-the-next-challenge-face-time/

Posted in photography, poetry, Sunday stills: The Next Challenge, travel | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

99 Word Flash Fiction Challenge: Fruit

Charli’s  July 23, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes fruit.  It can be mythological, metaphorical or realistic. Think of fruit as a way to create tension, add a twist or something unexpected to your story. Use it to define a character or make it her obsession. Is it abundant, absent or desired? Respond by noon (PST) Tuesday, July 29 to be included in the compilation.

Charli’s accompanying prose is beautiful to read and shows that she has a different view of fruit to myself. My body has always told me not to eat fruit and I tend to obey my body. I believe it knows what it needs and I answer the call it gives me. Send down meat it will occasionally cry out, more vegies and quickly about it, ice cream needed now are some of the commands that it issues forth but never, never does it say Send down fruit.

This of course caused some angst between my mother and me in my younger days. Huge monumental battles were fought over the consumption (or lack of) in regards to fruit. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” I didn’t believe for a moment.  Their dire predictions of colds besetting me without the aid of copious quantities of oranges never came to fruition and sometimes I believe they would rather have had me ill just to prove their point that fruit was healthy.

I didn’t get rickets, I didn’t get sick unless I ate fruit. Then I felt as though my body was giving me payback for consuming an item it had made quite clear was to be refused. My joints ached and creaked within hours of eating an orange and tropical fruit left me cold.  I just didn’t like the taste, the texture or the smell unlike my fictional character Nelly.

The sweet, sickly scent of the over-ripe fruit invaded her nostrils as she entered the room. The case of juicy mangos she had been given that morning would not last long in this heat. The thought of throwing her beloved fruit away was too difficult to contemplate so Nelly sat, the case in front of her and proceeded to eat the yellow, dripping fruit one after the other until she devoured the entire twenty-four mangos. She sat with juice dribbling from her chin and a self-satisfied smile on her face which was swelling rapidly.

Mango allergy the coroners report read.

You think I’m joking. Did you know that mangos belong to the same plant family as poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac. The main poison, the urushiol, is found in the skin of the mango and also the sap of the tree. If, like Nelly, you want to eat 24 in one sitting at least have someone peel the mango for you. It may save you to eat again.

Posted in fiction, Memoir, story telling | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

Silent Sunday: Bird’s Eye View

 

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

 

Posted in photography, Silent Sunday | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments