30 August 2013

Published August 28, 2013 by rochellewisoff


As always, writers are encouraged to be as innovative as possible with the prompt and 100 word constraints. 

Henry David Thoreau said it best.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”


Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)


Make every word count.


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Copyright - Dawn M. Miller

Copyright – Dawn M. Miller


get the InLinkz code

This week’s photo was taken inside Union Station in Washington DC. So from there I boarded the train to my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. Our Union Station opened its doors with a grand celebration 31 October 1914. Preserved today as a museum, it was the hub of departure and reunion through the two great wars to end all wars. 


Perhaps one such departure went like this:

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            “Is this your thanks for a career with the Kansas City Star?”

            “Tis a great life, Uncle Ty. Thanks to you I can tell chianti from claret, tell mayors to go to Hell and slap police commissioners on the back.”

            Tyler Hemingway’s cheeks blazed. His voice echoed off Union Station’s high ceiling and roared in his own ears. “Ernie, this is no time for jest. I made your father a promise. What if you’re killed?”

            “Every man’s life ends the same way.” Ernie’s keen, dark eyes flashed. “It’s only how he lived or died that distinguishes one man from another.”


Below is a young  Ernest Hemingway months after he left Kansas City in 1918.

Young Ernest Heminway

To learn more about Alfred Tyler Hemingway click here.

103 comments on “30 August 2013

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Such ideal and exquisite dialogue and the last line goes for all of us living today. Hemingway lived an extraordinary life, and died too soon and too tragic, in this picture he is strikingly handsome!



  • It is so true..it is not how you are born or die..like an Oreo cookie it’s what’s in the middle that counts. Hemingway lived his life with mental illness yet he was a genius in his own right. I will now go and discover his Uncle.
    Excellent story


    • Dear MissKZebra,

      Thank you. The process is, and forever shall be, my favorite part of writing. Research falls under that heading. I’ve learned more writing than I ever took the time to learn in school.




  • Stunning tale – reaching ever deeper, ever further each tme. This snippet will surely remain one of your most memorable.You really open your readers up like the sun or water opens flowers.


  • It is interesting how subtlety you show the very way Hemingway distinguished himself and yet how much alike his motives were to those of any other man. He took what he thought was important from his experiences and lived, and died, by his own rules. There is a unique thoughtfulness in your writing that guides the reader to appreciate more than they expect.


  • although i adore “the old man and the sea,” i am not the biggest fan of most of hemingway’s stories. however, there is no denying that he revolutionized and resurrected american literature. he was the transition from 100-word sentences and one-sentence paragraphs, as in “the scarlet letter” and others, and started stripping down sentences to make more sense and actually be easily understood and enjoyed.

    thanks for the peek into history.


  • I was struck one Sunday by this truth during a sermon when the pastor said our life will be reflected on our tombstone with a horizontal dash between our date of birth and date of death. He instructed us to care and think about the way we lived our life.


  • Earlier this week I was discussing “life changing moments” with someone. Occasionally, we make these decisions are selves, more often they are made for us and we can only respond. But all these experiences help shape our character.


    • Dear Russell,

      As I approach one of the “big ones” there are more and more life changing moments to look back on. As my muse if fond of saying, “grist for the mill”. Good points. Thanks for sharing them.




    • Dear Helena,

      I’ve not read much of Hemingway so I can’t say that I feel one way or the other about his writing. I’ve seen movies based on his books, but I’ve learned to never judge a book by its movie. I find the man himself fascinating. When I found that he had a Kansas City connection I felt compelled to write about him. Glad to know you liked it.





  • What a wonderful piece this morning! It is fun to think that Hemingway had his start right in Missouri. Imagine what those years must have been like, the writing world and otherwise!


  • Thank you for that bit of history and for the reminding photograph of the young Hemingway. Hemingway wrote the most shining example of Flash Fiction , which I will quote for you here: “For Sale, pair of baby shoes. Never worn.”


    • Dear Lindaura,

      If anyone could be our example for concise writing, it would be Mr. Hemingway. I’ve read that bit of flash fiction before but it never hurts to be reminded. Happy you stopped by and took the time to comment.




    • Dear VB,

      The pleasure of introducing everyone to Hemingway’s brief KC connection is all mine. I’m a KC girl, born and raised and I love studying the city’s history. And yes, he was gorgeous.




  • I really enjoy the history you bring to Friday Fictioneers. I have a rare moment where both grandchildren are sleeping.

    Alastair went first …I’ve just posted my piece which continues our story. Thank you for the space to enjoy the photo prompts and such wonderful and talented company!

    I hope to do some reading tomorrow.


  • You don’t disappoint, Rochelle. Again, you found a part of history and showed us a brilliant part of it. A scene that I can easily imagine, this of Hemingway before he became Papa, his head full of the want of adventure.


    • Dear Dave,

      Thank you for your lovely comments. I do love history and when I find these nuggets I have to pass them on. In researching I found a treasure trove of letters he wrote during this time. Even at 18 his letters were full of piss and vinegar and a lust for adventure.




  • I love how you wove history into your telling. Taking us back in time to Union Station of yore and introduce us through fabulous dialogue to a literary legend. Great write. P.S. I never knew Ernie was so dashing a young man.


    • Dear Tom,

      It’s great to have you back in the Friday Fictioneers Fold. I’m not sure if I agree that Hemingway was a coward in death, given the circumstances of his physical and mental state at the time. Let’s just say my jury’s out on a judgement call. In any case, while I find him fascinating as a larger than life person, I’m woefully behind on reading his work. Another thing to add to my ever-growing bucket list.



  • It is a museum but also still a very active train station, and your story is a tribute to its history. Whenever I go there, I still get a little thrill knowing I’m walking in the same space as so many historical figures.


  • Hi Rochelle,
    I really enjoyed what you posted about Uncle Tyler. I think I’ve read nearly all of Papa’s writing and some bios but this was new information for me. Did you know that Ernest also lived for a while in Piggott, Arkansas, and wrote part of A Farewell To Arms there. His second wife Pauline had family there. There’s a museum and writing center there. Ron


    • Dear Perry,

      Your comments made me smile. As for his suicide, I can really see his reasons. He was always larger than life, the epitome of a man’s man until his health deteriorated. Couple that with debilitating mental illness and I can understand the act. Not sure exactly how I feel about it but can’t judge him harshly.




  • Superb story that conveys the spirit of Hemingway perfectly. I love the way you craft your stories with so much care and detail, and I look forward to learning from them each week. 🙂


  • Rochelle, if you’re not a teacher already, you would have made a darn good one. What a lovely little story about Hemingway. And he was a handsome as a young man! I’ve always thought of him as a writer who did the absolute most with the talent he was given.


    • Dear Linda,

      I do enjoy teaching through my stories as I learn. However, when I was young and not so bright, I dropped out of college. We all know what they say about hindsight. I’ve actually taught some beginning and intermediate Hebrew classes. There’s nothing like seeing the “aha moment” on someone’s face and knowing I helped put it there.

      I agree with your comments on Hemingway. Thank you for your lovely comments




    • Dear Carrie,

      Funny you should mention it. My historical novel entitled PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME is currently in the hands of my agent Jeanie Loiacono looking for a home. It represents 8 years of writing, learning and rewriting. And I have a sequel in the works….two in fact.

      Glad you liked my Hemingway flash. Each time I do one of these FF’s I learn a little more.




  • I always love the historical stuff that you do. I followed the link to read more about Alfred. Thank god for people like him to inspire our great minds. Lovely story and thanks for the history lesson.


    • Dear E. A.

      Your comments made me smile. Happy to share. There are so many in the past who’ve shaped our present that we are woefully unaware of. I love unearthing these little obscure nuggets. The internet is such a wonderful tool, isn’t it?




  • So, this is how greatness begins…again, you bring historical lessons to life in only a few words. thanks!

    on another topic, Rochelle: about “the get the InLinkz code” which code should i copy in order to have the blue icon show up on my blog post so readers can enjoy other stories? sorry, it was all so confusing…


    • Dear Sunshine.

      Sorry about my slow turnaround to answer. Glad you liked my story.

      As for the linkz code…it’s the second link that you would use. Sorry for the confusion. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for Madison’s tutelage last year, I’d probably still be trying to figure it all out.




      • no worries, Rochelle…you manage things quite effective as i see it. when i saw the updated linkz code – yikes. i must have tried several ones but probably not the second link. thanks for the untangle. ☺


    • Dear Maggie,

      Thanks for reading twice. I only recently read The Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber. That’s my first Hemingway read. I hope to find the time to read more, though. Your compliments warmed me.




  • Love the uncle-nephew relationship you’ve drawn. ‘Thanks to you I can tell chianti from claret,…’ such a wonderful line, said with a glint in his eye perhaps. And the last line so true – Ernie the joker and philosopher in one. Another cracking story!


  • We were just discussing Hemingway last night. His life, though chaotic and flawed, was full of so much rich material for his writing. One of my favorite books from recent reading was The Paris Wife, about his time in Paris with his first wide. Your story brought to life his first foray into that world.


  • As always, loads of depth in your stories, Rochelle… the best HistoricFicWriter in the bunch of us. I can always expect an education with your stories. Hope to be adding mine to the Link soon. I’ve missed reading everyone’s stories and writing some FriFic of my own. Peace, Shalom, or Aloha as the Man on the Mountain would say.


  • On first read through, I thought the dialog came across a bit stylized, but when I read it again that didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the language and the characterization – both figures show multiple sides in this short piece. So nicely done.


    • Dear Ben,

      To be true to the language of the day I leaned heavily on Hemingway’s own words from letters he wrote to his family and friends as a young man. I often wonder what people back then would think about our speech patterns. Would they even understand us? I’m pleased that when all was said and done, you enjoyed the story. Thank you for honest comments.




  • Dear Rochelle

    As always you take us on a fascinating journey. I love the way you manage to weave bits of history into all your stories for FF – I know historical fiction is your ‘thing’ but even so, it is difficult to get a historical twist in every time, but you manage to do it.

    Thank you for the journey, I always learn something new from you, this time a bit more about the life of one of my favourite writers. His short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is one of my all time favourites.

    Take care


  • Dear Dee,

    This has been an interesting journey for me, since I’ve not read much Hemingway. I certainly won’t judge his books by the movies based on them. 😉 This group seems a bit divided on whether or not participants like his writing. Naturally I’ll have to read and decide for myself. So far, I’ve only read The Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber and I did like it.

    Mr. Hemingway himself was a fascinating individual and learning more about his early life has been fun. I’m happy you enjoyed my little snippet. Thanks for dropping by with such lovely comments.




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