#flashfiction Friday Fictioneers, “The Road Less Taken.”


Photo credit: PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

Cassie stepped off the curb.  “Wait!  Wait!”  A male voice called.

She bristled.  Please, no, not when I’ve made it this far.

A young man approached another young woman next to her.  “I’m sorry,” he said, and embraced her.  Ah, true love.  Or not.

Close call, she thought.

Lord knows, it took enough nerve to get her this far.  She couldn’t stay any longer.  Something in her would die if she did.

The bus, a $50 fare, would get her on her way fast.  Back home.

“Merry Christmas to me,” she whispered, boarding the Greyhound bus, backpack in hand.

~99 words.

Each week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple hosts Friday Fictioneers where we’re challenged to write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words, more or less, based on the picture above.  It is awesome, in this blogging community, to see the many different responses that are generated from one prompt or photo.  I encourage you to create your own and click the InLinkz button to add it to the Friday Fictioneers responses!  While you’re at it, go to Rochelle’s link above and check out some of the other Friday Fictioneers’ responses!


#weekendcoffeeshare Merry Christmas/Hannukah!

coffeechristmas-1895053_1280Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Welcome to my #weekendcoffeeshare, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com!  If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the fact that today is both Christmas and Hanukkah is an astounding, symbolic uniting factor for our world, something we so desperately need right now!  Instead of focusing on differences, we should focus on what unites.  And because the coffee is so good and the coffee shop music so enlightening, I would truly feel this.  I am, at heart, a true optimist.  Sure, I fight negative feelings at times, but I always believe it is a battle worth fighting.

I’d also tell you that I’m still writing, though I told a friend the other day I felt very unfocused right now.  (I did, but that was a work issue.  My job challenges me so much right now).  Yesterday, I added 500-600 words to my latest full manuscript.  That’s a big deal, because it tipped me to over 48,000 words and I’m closing in on 49,000.  I won’t accept any less than 50K.  I allowed myself to extend beyond November, but I won’t allow stopping short.  (Get the Seinfield reference?):)  I did another flash fiction story; you can read it at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/flashfiction-this-time-shortstory-fffawchallenge/  I also discovered some new uses for the Author’s Den website.  I have never felt successful there, but they are showcasing Christmas poems and stories right now.  What’s a girl to do?  Write a Christmas poem and tag it as such!  So I did, and people have been responding to it! (This is after I figured out the Author’s Den password).  I also got all Christmas gifts wrapped yesterday, slacked around a bit, read a little, watched the IT Crowd, begrudgingly renewed auto insurance, and crashed, fatigued by 10 p.m.  Anyhow, here is the Christmas poem, as it reflects on my feelings of this season:

Christmas is in the Heart

copyright 2016

Gifts are wrapped,
hair is done
I’m ready for the arrival
of the chosen one.

To celebrate,
I’ll wear my best dress,
but it doesn’t really matter,
I must confess.

I’ve gotten all caught up
and I’ve lost sight
of the things most important
on this Christmas night.

Did I open my heart gladly
to someone in need?
It matters more
than the glitter on my tree.

And if I decided
that I could take time
to chat with a friend,
perhaps the joy is mine.

So if I am haphazard
with the wrapping of gifts,
decorating the tree,
or fulfilling each wish

Please understand
I, in my own way, take part
Christmas isn’t in the wallet,
but in my heart.

Friends, I wish you all the joy this holiday season can bring, whether from your family,  a loved one, a fuzzy dog or cat, or the joy you may bring to another unexpectedly.  Thank you for stopping by!  Please also visit http://parttimemonsterblog.com to see the other #weekendcoffeeshares and to submit your own as well!

#flashfiction “This Time,” #shortstory #fffawchallenge

Photo courtesy of Joy Pixley.flashfictionjoyphoto-20161219154654337

The trail was long and her legs were weary.  Did I do the right thing?  She wondered.  Sure, I had to stand up for myself, end the madness.

A buzzard screeched above.  At least he wasn’t hovering around her.  Soon, it would be dark.  I’ll make it, she kept telling herself.

Ahead, she saw bushes and brush, and beyond them, a silhouette of more bushes and brush.  Where is that darn road?  I should be there soon.  Good thing I wore the comfortable shoes.   She looked down at her reliable Chucks.

The view up ahead looked foggy, like confusion.  It looked hazy and a little like the loneliness she felt.  No, that wasn’t it.  It looked like warrior’s freedom.  It was her release from the man who got behind the wheel drunk and risked both their lives regularly.

His command:  “Shut up or get out!”

Her response this time? A slammed car door and hasty footsteps.

©Pamela Schloesser Canepa

The Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge calls for a short story of no more than 150-175 words in response to a photo prompt.  I encourage you to join the challenge or peruse other flash fiction responses at http://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-20-2016/ .

I find it fun to see how different minds will respond to the same prompt.  Thanks for reading!   I know it’s awfully short, as necessary, but do you get a sense of closure?

Treat yourself! #free #scifi #ebook Today only! 12/22

Made for Me, Book 1, sci-fi romance

Described by one reviewer as “Delicious brain candy,” this futuristic sci-fi novella is free on Amazon Kindle today only, 12/22.  Download your free copy and get to know these characters and their unique romance.   Enjoy free, and please leave a review! Universal link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01DZ5230G

Thanks for your support!

Guest post: Pamela Schloesser Canepa

narrative-794978_1280 Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.  From Kathy: I’ve met many fellow writers this past year, and am thrilled to share my blog space with some of them. Please take time to read Pam’s post below! And just a few reminders: …

Source: Guest post: Pamela Schloesser Canepa

#weekendcoffeeshare Full Speed Ahead and Ready for a Breather!

coffeechristmas-1895053_1280 Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Why do the holidays come and go so fast when we get older?  Seriously, they’re almost here, and I’m nowhere near ready!  Okay, we’ll make this a brief stop.  Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com!  Do you need a huge Mad Hatter’s cup or a regular size?  (I could take either one).  If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you:

I’ve kept myself a little too busy lately.  Was I just putting things on hold in November?   I feel sometimes that I am not very sociable when I have a writing project, and since those are dying down, I’ve caught up with a few people this week.  One of them is my sweet little aunt who left me a message last week, and I feel bad that it took me so long to reply.  She didn’t guilt me, though!  I was still writing this week, though; I entered a flash fiction contest here on WordPress for the first time.  I’ve looked at them before, but this time, the image struck me and a thought grew into a brief 150-word story.  I’m the kind who “writes what I want to write,” but I love the idea of this community of bloggers and the fact that no two people think the exact same way.  The variety of responses is fun to see!  Check mine out here:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/a-turning-point-flashfiction-amwriting-fffaw-challenge/  It seems a little dark, but it is called “A Turning Point.”  I also prepared a presentation for an assembly of high-schoolers that I will chat with about writing, my own books, and my journey during Literacy week in January.  Yikes!  Jitters.  I’m sort of excited, though, and I should focus on that.  I’ll get there!  This is all in addition to my usual work schedule.

Holidays are upon us!  Christmas is here in a week, and I’m nowhere near done with Christmas shopping.  Amazon will save the day, but I suppose one trip to the mall will also be necessary.  Working there for 15 years of my earlier life kind of killed the joy I used to feel as a mallrat.  I guess I save much more money now, right?  Somehow I have turned anti-mall.  To be honest, you won’t find the TRUE spirit of Christmas there anyway.  A church dinner Wednesday helped get me into the spirit, and a fellow member has been needing rides to church so it’s getting me out of my temporary anti-social bubble.  After church dinner, there was a children’s play that was cute, funny, and inspiring all at once!  Well, the lady that rode with me had her granddaughter with her too, and they told me about a home with a beautiful Christmas light display, so we stopped there on the way home.  It was a beautiful departure from my usual rush-to-get-somewhere and rush-to-get-home habit.  I think that may be what will help me get into the spirit of Christmas, more things like that.  I’m going to try it!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

In going through the holidays this year, I am realizing the many people who suffer through this season with addiction/alcoholism, loneliness,  depression, etc.  We experienced a dark cloud in my family last year, but this year is so much better.  I am thankful for that, and I plan to be grateful for the love that is shared this season, rather than looking back at the sadness of last year.  I encourage you to reach out to someone who may not have that light of Christmas in their eyes. You never know what kind of difference you might make.  On that note, why don’t you take some more coffee for the road?

How was your week?  What fuels you and warms your coffee mug?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please also visit the Weekend Coffee Share host at parttimemonsterblog.com to enjoy some of the other Weekend Coffee Shares by our fellow bloggers and add the link for your own coffee share!


“A Turning Point,” #flashfiction #amwriting FFfAW challenge

photoprompt-20161212155025335This week’s photo prompt is provided by Maria with Doodles and Scribbles.


The party had been a blast.  Too much so.  But Kimberly grew tired of Brad’s advances.  She sauntered down the dark road, her mind in a fog.  Why did I take that last drink?  She pondered.  Could I even scare off an attacker, with this stagger in my walk?

It was interesting that she chose this danger over a ride home with Brad, the All-American football star.

The unknown was her choice.  She’d swiped a heavy paperweight at the party when she decided Brad would not be taking her home.  Would it protect her?

Of course, she wasn’t thinking straight; she could have asked anyone else.  Instead, she darted out the door and down the street, to greet vampires or murderers, or who knew what.

Up ahead stood a dark, shadowy figure.

If I live, I’m going to stop celebrating New Year’s Eve this way, she whispered.


*This brief story was part of a Flash Fiction challenge, no more than 100-150 words allowed, based on a photo prompt.  The prompt was provided as one of the weekly challenges at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-13-2016/   I encourage you to peruse some of the other material there, as no two minds think exactly alike.

Yes, this was challenging!  What do you all think?