#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 11/30


Every Wednesday Rickenbacker Wisoff-Fields posts a picture prompt to challenge writers to create a 100-word story or poem or anything that works for you.  Then post your work on your blog.  additionally, on friday, you go back to her site and post a link to your blog entry in the comments on her Friday Fictioneers post.

I’m going to try to keep up with this, as should you.  Give it a shot.  I prefer to stick to 100 words, but she doesn’t mind either way.  Not everyone has the time to sit and write, revise, edit, revise, edit, etc. until getting it down to 100 and telling everything you want to tell.

I don’t usually say anything about my own work, but I’m rather proud of this one.

Two things before you read:  1. I’m a stickler for keeping to 100 words, but I slightly cheated.  I wrote “alot,” as one word when it really is two words.  2. I started a sentence with the numerals 2000 instead of writing it out.  Not sure why, just felt like it.  So forgive those technical errors, even though they’re intentional.



A tall man, burly yet soft, strode alongside his long-haired son.

“I’m having trouble getting used to this.  Not what I planned or expected.”

“Let it go, Dad. We each choose what’s best for ourselves.  You can’t control everything.”

“You sure?” Father smiled.

“Okay.  Shouldn’t control everything.”

“Would be alot easier though.”

“Wouldn’t be fair.  Have patience.  They’ll come around.”

“2000 years wasn’t enough?”

“It’s just a blink.”

“All these lights?”

“Safer than candles.”

“That guy in red looks nothing like me.”

“Let it go, Dad.”

Father exhaled.

“Happy birthday, Son.”

“Thanks. And relax.  You did good.”

WE did good.”


100 words

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130 Responses to #fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 11/30

  1. as always enjoyed this — you have to put a book together of your stories in 100 words–no one would believe the depth you can get in 100 words

    • rich says:

      Thanks very much. One of these times I should find a way to include how much editing I did. Find a way to show the 10, 11, 12 times I rewrote specific sentences. Showing something like that might help other people to improve their writing with the things I do to improve mine.

  2. wmqcolby says:

    Wow!!!! Such an original idea! Great! Loved it!

    • rich says:

      Thanks very much, sir. After reading that, you would probably never guess that I am agnostic.

      • wmqcolby says:

        You handled it well. There is a great story there about the greatest story ever told.

        By the way, I used to be an agnostic. I know the territory.

      • rich says:

        I usually go with the first thing that strikes me when I see the picture, and that’s what it was. That was actually the second idea that came to me. The first idea was the guy way in the background who looks like he sees someone spying on him.

  3. I wanted to say something corrective, but couldn’t find anything that you did wrong. :-). I like this modern re-telling very much.

    • rich says:

      I was hoping that at first it would sound like a father who was disappointed with his long haired, hippie son. I’m sure if you look hard enough, there is something to be corrected somewhere, but it will still be the same story I suppose.

      • It did sound like that. The corrective remark was only in to give you a bit of a hard time about the helpful editing advice you’ve given me lately. I have a somewhat similar effect in my story, although it seems to have passed most readers by. My hope lies with you and Doug. :-)

      • rich says:

        Haven’t read any yet but will tonight. No hints!

  4. boomiebol says:

    Love it… Very original

  5. Magnificent, Rich! One of the best Christmas stories I’ve ever read. Way to go you crazy agnostic.
    Well played,

  6. Yes you should be proud this is fantastic. Like you I like to maintain 100 words not one less or one more. :)

    • rich says:

      Thank you for the big, proud compliment. I think sticking to 100 words is part of the writer’s job for this assignment. I look at it like a word puzzle.

  7. Paul says:

    I’m not too crazy about mine this week. Will post it later tonight after I mull over it awhile. But yours is fantastic. OK, maybe I should back off a bit. Your’s is not bad. For an agnostic. It’s really how 100 word can still take multiple readings when it’s written as well as yours- with so many layers. OK, I’m done now!

  8. Paul says:

    That was supposed to be “It’s really amazing how 100 words can still take multiple readings when they’re written as well as yours.”

    • rich says:

      1 person could argue that if it takes multiple readings, then it might not have been written very well. But another person could argue that we all need to learn to read more carefully. I have definitely learned through this assignment every week that I do not really carefully. I sometimes ask questions, I get an answer from the writer, then when I look back I think “what a dope I was for not seeing that.”

      • Paul says:

        I just meant your story felt layered. And yes, I am one who needs to read more carefully. Or slowly, so the words can sink in!

      • rich says:

        i was going for layers, yes, thanks. and i usually go for something to evolve as the story progresses. not that i think i’m doing anything unique, but my favorite poems are about two things at once, like one poem i wrote which is both about a guy squishing a spider and at the same time about a murderer stalking a woman. so i like my 100 words to appear to be about one thing but then slowly turn into something else. but again, i’m not saying that as if i’m the only one who does that.

  9. mari wells says:

    Wonderful story! Maybe you post your story then another post of the revisions. I also make a ton of revisions.

  10. aFrankAngle says:

    You have more creativity in 100 words than I do in 100 posts.

  11. Hi Rich,
    OMG, for Chrissakes, get into the real spirit of the holiday, the commercial spirit. Maybe we could add this as a postscript to the Christmas story in the Book of Luke! Ron

  12. cute story… so even God has control issues.

  13. Cindy Marsch says:

    I like it, though not quite my theology. :-) Great atmosphere–and it seems made for film. I really appreciate your notes about creating it–you get a LOT into just 100 words!

    Here’s mine: http://wrasselings.blogspot.com/2012/11/friday-fictioneers-bluer-than-blue.html

  14. Perfect Christmas story. This should be on a card somewhere.

  15. Rich…Let’s face it, you’re on a different planet. (That’s a compliment…but I think you know that). Snort Snort

  16. MissFourEyes says:

    Your 100 words are amazing as always:)

  17. yerpirate says:

    Very nice – and clever!

  18. Oh yes! Mustn’t forget old what’s-his-name!
    Great one!
    Mine: http://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/friday-fictioneers-8/

  19. Dear Rich,

    This story stands tall with your very best. The photo, the season, the subject and your two perfectly rendered characters and of course, your nuanced writing (in which your many edits show and don’t show, if you catch my drift) all combine into a very original and moving 100 words. Good job.

    Oh, and don’t get ol’ Rickenbacker started with the puns. It might be what the mayan’s had in mind for Dec. 21st.



  20. Sandra says:

    Excellent! I agree, one of the best I’ve read from you Rich. One to keep, I think.

  21. claireful says:

    Great snappy dialogue.

    How’s the movember doing? Assuming you did it?

  22. Great job, Rich. I usually try to stick to the 100 as well, but this week my rebellious side took over. My co-author can’t wait for Movember to be ‘over’ ;-)

  23. Beautiful, Beautiful!! The story is so original and never let out anything until the end…a great storyteller there you are…More than all, i enjoyed the little tutorial thread btwn you and sustainabilitea. Looking forward to the book or the process leading up to your writings. Have fun this weekend!

  24. rheath40 says:

    May I just say, I love this? Wonderful story. Warms my sparkly heart.

  25. unspywriter says:

    Ah, those father-son talks. Very nice–a little comic, a little serious, and so appropriate for the season. Well done.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/tis-the-season/

  26. writeondude says:

    Well done Rich, another excellent 100 words. God as Santa Claus? Not too sure about what the Christian Right will have to say about that! :-)

  27. JackieP says:

    makes one think, and my mind likes that. Good one.

  28. Russell says:

    Not only are you proud of this one, I am proud to know the guy who wrote it. Technical errors be damned! We’re not doing math here, Rich, we’re trying to evoke emotions–and you did an excellent job.

  29. lindarigsbee says:

    I REALLY like this. I didn’t figure it out until the end (I’m not as bright as the lights in the picture.) I was hooked from the first line. Great work.

  30. brudberg says:

    Very very good, and in true Christmas spirit.

  31. I love this. This has to be my favourite from you so far :D

  32. Joyce says:

    I’m sorry to sound so dense, Rich but have to ask you. Is it a story of a father/son duo team of Santa Clauses, and the son’s birthday? It is cute, and works well. I was trying to get that all straight.

    • rich says:

      It’s Jesus and his father looking at what we’ve turned his birthday into. The Father isn’t thrilled with how we celebrate the decorations and Santa stuff more than his Son.

  33. perfect 100-word story! entertaining and surprising. here’s mine: http://www.wideninggyrus.com

  34. Very nice. Took me a few readings, but now I have it. I like how mention that the lights are safer than candles and the guy looks nothing like me. Great details. Little clues :)

  35. Niiice. The son’s optimism is as endearing as it should be.

  36. billgncs says:

    I always enjoy your 100 word stories, and this is one of the best.
    I am glad to know someone else reworks their sentences over and over. It gives me hope. — Bill

  37. vbholmes says:

    Skimmed for meaning the first time, read the words the second–your editing paid off. This is tight and on message, and as always, your dialogue works (surprised to find you’re an agnostic, however).

  38. Joyce says:

    Oh, what a beautiful way to illustrate it and the message you are trying to convey. I just needed it clarified a bit and wasn’t sure who the father and son were exactly. Now, I know and it is a wonderful story, Rich. It is hard at times to get the full picture and message through in just 100 words, so can be a real challenge to all of us writers. Great story, Rich. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    • rich says:

      No problem. Chopping down the words forces one to really read carefully because I’m packing a lot into only 100, making it easy to miss something. Thanks for hanging in there.

      • Joyce says:

        No problem. I like to better understand where the writer is in his thoughts and message or character/plot. It is harder with 100 words, but is sure a good exercise for me with a need for detail, etc. I am working on my FF stories and enlarging some of them into larger stories of about 1,500 words for possible submissions. Some are easier than others, but when the plot and idea is there then there is more to work with.

  39. Awesome and original take on the prompt. Actually it was pretty freaking clever, I enjoyed that.

  40. mysocalledDutchlife says:

    Can’t tell you how much I love the idea of Jesus helping to reign in the big guy’s Old Testament urges. Even the all powerful need a healthy bit of perspective.

    Great story. Great dialogue.

  41. Anne Orchard says:

    Enjoyed it Rich. And posting your edits would indeed be educational. If you post them on your own blog you’re not telling anyone what to do, just offering information to other writers, which is always good.

  42. claudia says:

    Beautiful job here and so creative! Loved the POV…and fun line about him comparing looks to Santa!

    Thanks for visiting my own blog and leaving a comment. You are right…that one sentence might be technically correct but it all awkward. Thanks for pointing it out!

  43. Debra Kristi says:

    You can’t see it, but I have a huge grin on my face. Love this. It’s rather deep and chalked full of meaning, isn’t it? Very clever. I enjoyed the way you brought all the pieces together. I like that you keep your stories to 100 words too. I strive to do the same.

  44. Terrific dialogue and relaxed humor which depicts these two guys exactly the way I’d envision them to be or the way they ought to be.

    “The guy in red looks nothing like me; Gee, Dad, couldn’t you have just sent me to NYU like all the other Jewish guys?”

    The capper is also great as the proud dad responds to his son in the same way any other good dad would. Fun and touching too ….

  45. Abraham says:

    Well written, as usual. Entertaining.

    As I have said before, even reading the finished product is a lesson in how much can be artistically packed into 100 words.

  46. [...] Brainsnorts: #fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 11/30 [...]

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