23 October 2015

Published October 21, 2015 by rochellewisoff

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*****

**MESSAGE FROM ROCHELLE **

            This past week marks my third anniversary as Friday Fictioneers Facilitator. To celebrate I’ve taken the liberty of rerunning a photo prompt and my story from the week Madison passed the baton to me. If you were part of the group at that time feel free to rerun your story as well.

            I’d like to share some thoughts with you as I go into my fourth year as your “Fairy Blog Mother” (Thank you, Vijaya). I’ll begin by saying that I appreciate those who were part of the group before me and have stayed on the bus. Your encouragement has helped me through some difficult times as I’ve learned there’s more to facilitating than simply posting and hosting.

            The discipline of writing an entire story in a hundred words has done wonderful things for my longer pieces. I’ve also experienced the joy of watching growth in other writers and I love the diversity and cultural exchange as we represent different parts of the world. I’ve made some delightful friendships that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

            Since 2012 participation has doubled.  I make it a point to at least read every entry. That being said, I’ll admit that serials that require my having to refer back to a previous story frustrate me. If you must write a serial, please make sure your entry stands alone. As one writer said recently, I can barely remember what I wrote last week.

            My other pet peeve is the multiple prompt stories.  I find these pieces that try to shoehorn three to four challenges to be stilted and confusing. Mind you, no one will be expelled for posting them. Everyone has preferences and I’m no exception.

            I’ll end here with a hearty thank you for indulging me more than a hundred words. And THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!!!  

*****

Now it’s your turn. What do you like about Friday Fictioneers? How do you feel the discipline helps you as a writer? What are your pet peeves, ie what don’t you like?

*****

The next photo is the PROMPT which first appeared in October 2012. 

copyright-Ron-Pruitt

PHOTO PROMPT © Ron Pruitt

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Genre: Para-Abnormal

Word Count: 97

FRIDAY’S BUS

              Apprehensions whelmed the new driver. How could she steer the behemoth? Her feet barely reached the gas pedal.

             A lithe maiden with pointed ears and iridescent wings, floated past her.  Next was an imposing man whose black silk cape skimmed the floor. One by one, diverse passengers stowed their baggage and found their seats.

            “Welcome,” said the last in line. “I’m Russell.”

             Warmed by his congenial smile she tried not to stare at his plastic clown nose and grasped his offered hand.

             Zzzzzzt! His joy buzzer sent shockwaves to her shoulder.  

             He chortled. “Are we there yet?”

.

.

.

You can find the original posting of this story here. 

I hope you’ll read the message before the prompt and take some time to give me feedback. Thank you. 

Shalom,

Rochelle 

182 comments on “23 October 2015

  • Third anniversary! Congratulations! I can’t believe that much time has gone by already. Apart from the congratulations I also wanted to thank you, Rochelle, for being so creative with your choice of photos, so dedicated to Friday Fictioneers and all us writers, and of course for being an all-round lovely person.
    FF has been absolutely invaluable to my writing and editing. My pieces of flash fiction are often the basis for scenes in my longer writing, they get me out of writer’s block, and they even inspire whole novels. So, thank you.
    (And I can’t help but agree with your two pet peeves.)

    Liked by 6 people

  • Aha, so you ain’t a complete novice at this stuff, hmm?
    Excellent tale, quite funny – for you!
    Seriously, it made me grin.

    And your ‘Message’ has me thinking.
    I will get back to you if I ever organise my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations on completing your third year Rochelle – it seems like only yesterday! I remember your inaugural story well; an entertaining debut as driver of our bus.

    FF has been an enormous help to me, teaching me to hone my work time and time again, whilst lending discipline to the structuring of my work to get the best out of it. Sometimes these days I’m amazed at the ease with which I can drop as much as five or six hundred words out of one of my short stories.

    That’s why my additional peeve is clearly over-length stories.

    I freely admit I’ll come in at up to 105 when I absolutely have to, but where I can, I try to keep within the limit, especially these days when there are so many stories to read.

    I hope you have many more years driving the FF bus, Rochelle, and thanks for your dedication.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      I’ve always considered you to be one of the ‘pillars’ of Friday Fictioneers. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my pet-peevishness.

      Thank you so much for your feedback and support. They both mean a lot.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

  • Amazing.. and that means that I already celebrated my own third anniversary… I agree with most of your points.. the serials are cumbersome (though I have done one myself), and some multipromtps are not making life easy, though it might happen that if I write a piece of narrative poetry using some special technique that fits a prompt, it will work. But it has to be done seamlessly.

    Love your story with the clown-nose Russel.. Not easy to be such a driver with such passenger, I wonder if she would not silently ask herself — Are we not there yet?

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle

    How the years have flown. I remember you becoming our Fairy Blog Mother (I really like that title) and how unsure you were about the challenge of following Madison. But you rose to the challenge brilliantly and have supported, encouraged and helped us all over your time at the helm.

    My writing has benefited greatly from the discipline of FF; like Sandra I am often amazed how easy it has become to remove words from stories I have written. I often have to speak in public and my ability to convey what I want to say, in as few words as possible, is a direct result of participating in FF.

    I may not always make the cut, or comment on stories as often as I would like to but I will keep on trying, as the friends I’ve made and being part of the FF family mean a great deal to me.

    My pet peeves are the same as yours and also stories that are way too long, given that the challenge is 100 words or less.

    Thank you for the support you have given this woman on her journey to try and become a writer and long may it continue.

    Best wishes
    Dee

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Dee,

      I agree that the stories that go way over the hundred word limit. I think they show a lack of consideration for the rest of the group and more than a little self-indulgence on the part of the writer.

      We’re on this journey together. I’m happy to share the road with you.

      Thank you.
      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

  • What a fun one, Rochelle!

    I’m a relative newbie (has it been 7 months already?) to the genre but can tell you I feel my writing has improved quite a bit and I’m definitely learning to say much in so few words. I was so scared at first!

    I do have a few pet peeves, though. Like you, I am not a fan of the serials and I’d go a step further re the multiple prompts – they very rarely read well and are disjointed, making little sense.

    My favourite part of this whole exercise is getting and receiving feedback. So if writers don’t acknowledge the comments they receive, I stop giving them. Give and take, I say!

    Thanks for being such a great Fairy Blog Mother!!

    Liked by 4 people

  • What a wonderful journey this is! I can’t help but think of your story as a metaphor for FFs, with all of us crazy, whimsical passengers. 😀 Thank you so much for your persistence and encouragement, as many others already stated, I too feel my writing improved over these last 18 months. The words come more easily and I think about other things that eluded me before (structure, format, flow). I wold love to send hugs to all the wonderful people who took their time to read and comment, not only on my stories, because that is a food for our thirsty souls.
    Here’s to many years ahead of us!
    Thank you! ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear Loré,

      My story is absolutely a metaphor for Friday Fictioneers. Then there’s Russell with the clown nose. He’s a product of non-fiction. 😉

      We are most definitely a community and I love that. It’s why I couldn’t let it disappear.

      Thank you for being a part of it.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Three years….congratulations! I must admit, I’m a poetry writer but find what you’re doing fascinating. Many many many years ago in grad school, earning my PhD in Rhetorical Studies, I had a prof who assigned a paper a week, on a substantive theme, and we had 300 words to do it! That prof did more for my writing than any other teacher. Actually, I learned that “learning to write” is learning to edit. 🙂 Don’t be surprised if I show up one of these Fridays! 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Lillian,

      Funny how that word limit makes you look at what you’re trying to say. Within two weeks of joining this challenge I saw a difference in my writing. I suddenly recognized a lot of superfluous repetition in my longer pieces. Oh yes, writing is about editing and rewriting and rewriting and editing and…

      The other thing that roped me in was the welcoming tone of this community of writers. I just had to keep it going for my own selfish purposes. 😉

      Hop aboard anytime.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dearest Rochelle,

    One million thank yous would not be enough to express my gratitude for Friday Fictioneers. Your gentle leadership is a testament to the power of the kindness of strangers. And while some are stranger than others, this bus load of creative talent you have managed to get on board makes the ride all the more enjoyable.

    With Baggage In Tow,
    Stephanie a.k.a. HonieBriggs

    Liked by 2 people

    • My dear StepHonie,

      I’m so happy you bought your tickets and have stayed for the ride. Your words make me feel warm and fuzzy. It’s a privilege (and sometimes a challenge) to be the driver. I’ve learned a lot through it. And I’ve met some very talented writers such as yourself. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and Mars with its liquid water.

      Many thanks and shalom,

      Rochelle.

      Like

  • Randy post this on my story this morning. I think he was a little confused. At any rate, before I head out for the park, I’m putting it here where it belongs. More from me later. 🙂

    Dear Rochelle,

    You’ve been a remarkable bus driver lady, and your steering has been the best, along with the unnoticeable application of brakes when needed, subtle use of the horn to warn, and the exquisite scenery you have provided along the trip.

    My hat is off to you in how you have been able to manage the time, effort, and energy required to do what you have done. You have given of yourself so freely and lovingly. You have placed a pretty high bar on yourself, have lived up to your own expectations, and i, for one, find it incredible. Thanks for not just driving, but for the love and intense interest you have put into this. G-d bless.

    And, i agree with your feelings about serial stories, and ,mixed blog hashing. I usually just skip these.

    Now, on to my other important issue: can I have a free transfer to the M17 bus? Thanks, but listen, lady, do you know which stop i have to get off at to catch it? And what time does it arrive? And, will I have enough time to pee before it comes because I’ve been holding it in for so long that I’m afraid my bladder will just burst and I will … well, never-mind about that. My cousin Ethel lives along the M17, so can you tell me what stop that is, too? And you such a nice lady. Didn’t I meet you one time in a bakery? It was a Tuesday, I think…..

    😉 Randy

    Like

      • Dear Randy,

        Your support has always been appreciated as well as your sense of humor.

        I’m sorry there are no transfers and we don’t go to Far Rockaway or your cousin Ethel’s. Although we do take some strange routes at time, don’t we? I’m not sure we met in a bakery, but if you asked, “Kin I get this cake wrote on?” it’s possible.

        Thanks for taking the time to leave Janet such a nice comment. Please take your seat. No, you can’t sit beside Russell or Perry.

        Shalom,

        Rochelle

        Like

    • Dear Rosey,

      ‘Tis true, not everyone has to be deep and dark in their prose. I like to experiment with different genres from time to time, but as most will tell you, I tend to lean heavily on historical fiction and you can usually count on Russell or Perry Block for laughs. We’re a mixed bunch and I’m happy to have on board.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I’ve been around for seven months, like Dale, and enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you so much, Rochelle, for acting as FF-FBM so patiently.
    I’ve come to know and love 100-word drabbles in fan fiction, where I took my first tentative writing steps, and I’m delighted that I can now flex my writing muscles with original fic here, with your fantastic crowd of Friday Fictioneers (who, I have no doubt, are featured in your cute and funny story).
    I’m amazed how friendly and encouraging this group of very different people is to each other, despite different backgrounds, world-views, countries. Reading their stories and interacting with these people is a highlight.
    I always try to stick to the 100 words, this gives me room to add a word or two when someone makes a suggestion for a better word. I like the idea of gentle criticism. FF also keeps me writing, even when I’m too busy.
    I don’t have many pet peeves. I read serials when they grab my attention. If someone never reacts to the comments I make, I stop commenting. What peeves me most is when the commenting is difficult, when I have to flll out many forms, log on with this or that… too much trouble, sorry.
    And now I finish my prattle with a heart-felt Thank You!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear GAH,

      Your ‘prattle’ is much appreciated by this FBM. 😉 I don’t care much for the blogs that make me jump through so many hoops just to leave a comment either. And, like you, I’ll opt to forget about it.

      Fan fiction is something we have in common. My passion to write started with it. Being a MASH fan, I wrote two ‘short’ stories that are closer to being novellas. They need a lot of editing but then, what’s the point? At any rate, I discovered the joy of research and that I could tell a story, beginning, middle and end.

      I concur with all of your thoughts and that’s why I had to keep FF going. Only seven months? Seems like you’ve always been here. ❤

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Rochelle.
        Fanfic, I think, is a great eductation for the would-be writer. You get thrown into the wildest section of the web and of social networking, you learn things you never thought about and wouldn’t discuss with friends (the flesh and blood kind), and it lets you find out if you can write. Depending on the fandom, it also hardens you towards style manuals and strict editing. It’s good to move on though.

        Like

        • Dear GAH,

          I did a lot of editing on those fanfics but they could use a ton more. On the other hand it was a good experience and taught me a lot about myself. Occasionally I still get notifications from fanfiction.net. that someone has put one of my stories on their favorite list. I don’t for a minute discount the experience. 😉

          Shalom,

          Rochelle

          Liked by 1 person

  • It’s been a great ride, even though I’ve gotten off at a few stops recently for varying amounts of time. Overall, it’s a great group of people and although your peeves are my peeves, most of the time the journey’s been peeve-less. 🙂

    janet

    Like

  • Congrats, Rochelle on three years! Yay!!! It’s been a marvelous journey to take with you and I so appreciate all your time and energy that you give to this group. It’s why we are getting stronger all the time. I, too, have enjoyed the community and watching writers grow. I think it’s why for the most part, more have stuck with it than have left.
    As for my thoughts….I agree with not serializing stories. I have been guilty of it, and decided to not to do it anymore. It’s a bit self-indulgent. That said, I think Friday Fictioneers is up to the individuals to decide how it benefits their writing. If they are working on something, well, maybe it’s the best use of their time. I agree it should be stand alone. I also agree with you other comment about the multi-challenge stories. They are sometimes hard to follow. I want to add one more thing…I think we used to read five stories before and five stories after our entry point in the LinkUp to ensure everyone got read. I still try to do that and I’ve noticed some people don’t get read as much. So, maybe that would be still a good thing to encourage. And it also gets people reading writers they might not otherwise read. Just a thought! Thanks again for everything!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m fairly new here so I never heard that norm — to read the five entries before and after yours — but that’s a good idea! I usually start reading with the last entry and work my way backwards until I run out of time, because I figure the first few entries already got the most readers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Amy,

      I believe Madison’s suggestion was to read and comment on the five before yours and the five after, that way everyone benefits. It works in theory. 😉

      I’m happy to have you on the bus, my friend. Here’s to another year.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

  • I am new to the group but can see this challenge is popular. Many of the writers have been very friendly with my posts. I am new to the Flash Fiction “genre” and the limited words requirement as well. I agree that it has shown me that I can express what I want to say in fewer words. I never would have thought it. Thanks for hosting and your supportive feedback. 🙂

    Like

  • Oh, I remember this well! Thank you for herding this gang for 3 years, and all of your hard work… we all know how much it takes to write a blog, and you do so much more.

    This was also our first introduction to ‘Angelique’ (and Lisa… I think she finally found her name)! One of my characters and stories ever.

    I’ll go find my story.

    Like

      • Dear Ted,

        You’re one of the first people I met on this crazy ride and what has kept me at the wheel.

        Admittedly, it can be work but it’s also a passion and something I look forward to every week.

        I love Angelique, too. And that’s definitely not what I think of as a serial. Recurring character is not the same thing.

        Thank you, Ted. You’re a good friend.

        Shalom,

        Rochelle

        Like

  • Peeves? Other than those mentioned it bugs me when people don’t make an effort to do dialog correctly. It’s not hard. Not expecting perfection, but there are a few basic rules which only take minutes to learn and put into practice.

    Oh, and congrats on the 3 year anniversary. FF remains my favourite challenge of the week.

    PaulC.

    Like

  • Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 3 years of herding chickens, getting up at 02:00 am, laughing, crying and all that goes with it AND working full time also. Although I am not a writer, I have seen a vast improvement in your writing. Now that you are officially retired from working for someone else, I look forward to the next chapter in our book of life. Carry on bus driver. I’m glad to be a small cog in the the bus.

    Liked by 3 people

  • Happy third anniversary Rochelle! I’m relatively new to the group, although I can’t tell you how long as I have no concept of time…my excuse for always being late 😀

    I love the idea of the bus – you always have a few sneaking a cigarette or sticking gum to the chairs.

    But On the whole I find the group so supportive and encouraging, being part of the journey has done wonders for my confidence and helped me learn when a piece is done – as an endless editor this is one of the most important lessons for me.

    I love to curl up on the sofa with a good cuppa and read through everyone’s stories. Thank you so much for bringing us together and giving me the opportunity to learn from so many talented writers…including yourself of course 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • My writing has improved greatly as a result of participation in your 100 word challenge. While other challenges offer a bit more wiggle room with 150 – 200 word limits, 100 words forces me to be more concise in my writing. Thank you for this exercise. I enjoy it very much. And I love reading the other stories. So much diversity! It is remarkable what one photo has to say! 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Kat,

      It’s amazing how you can say more with fewer words, isn’t it? I think that sometimes a piece is more impacting in the shortened form. I’m pleased you’ve found this discipline to be of help to your own writing.

      I love this community as well as the exercise in brevity. Thank you for being a part.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Phyllis,

      I’m amazed in looking back over the past three years. I don’t know if it was intentional on Madison’s part but that photo made for the perfect segue story for me.

      Thanks for being part of my adventure.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • Thank you for introducing me to flash fiction. I had no idea that I could do it. Now I’m on three photo story challenges. I try to do all three each week, but I don’t always make it.
        The challenges have also given me ideas for longer stories and Toastmaster speeches.
        One thing leads to another. Some of these stories may find themselves expanded in to novels.
        So thank you for saying yes when asked.

        Like

  • I regret that I don’t have time to read every story all the way through… and that when I do my thoughts are often echoes of previous comments. So unoriginal. I love riding on the bus, though, and our fairy blog-mother/driver. Happy anniversary, Rochelle, and many more stories. (pet peeves: Having to hunt for the comment button, and jumping through the anti-spam verification hoops.)

    Like

    • Dear Kimberly,

      One of the suggestions that Madison made a long time ago was for each of us to read the five before and five after your story. That way everyone gets reads and comments. As for comments being repetitious, think of them as positive affirmations. You can’t get too many of those. I’m sure everyone enjoys them as much as I do.

      Thank you and Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations and thank you. You do such a sterling job and if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have a weeks enjoyable reading to be delighted by. I know how much work you do as just visiting all the sites and commenting on each must take a lot of time and all the rest you do in organising photos etc. What don’t I like: that I am time poor and don’t get to everyone each week.Some sites are difficult to read and comment on which can be annoying also. Serials are difficult for me memory wise so I agree they are best when stand alone. The benefits are multiple. I do think it hones your writing. It ensures you use an active tense as it frees up words for you to use. This is good practice for longer pieces as they too are more compelling if the passive isn’t used. It also stretches me creatively to come up with a story of fiction but practice is freeing that part of my brain.
    Your flash this week (and three years ago) was fun.

    Like

    • Dear Irene,

      I did have fun writing this particular story and it just went with events that were current. 😉

      I’m so pleased to hear others echoing my reasons for keeping FF alive. The discipline of a story in a hundred words really forces you to drop the passive voice. My longer pieces, particularly my novels have benefited tremendously.

      Thank you for your input and participation.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome Rochelle. I agree with you totally. I have also nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. http://irenewaters19.com/2015/10/27/blogger-recognition-award/ You are under no obligation to do anything with this unless you want to but I was hoping to expose your very enjoyable novel to a wider audience and perhaps others that may not know of Friday Fictioneers and of course because with the huge amount of work you do and the stirling effort you put in visiting all of us I think you well and truly deserve it. Cheers Irene

        Like

        • Dear Irene,

          This is a very sweet gesture, but one I will have to decline. The problem with these blogger awards is that it requires the tagging (nominating) of other bloggers. While I’m honored that you thought of me, I just don’t have the time.

          A better way to expose my novel and Friday Fictioneers to a broader audience would be to do some kind of a guest interview with you on your blog. That way no one else gets tagged in the process.

          A spot on a national television show would be even better. 😉 Ah well…

          Again, thank you for thinking of me.

          Shalom,

          Rochelle

          Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you for your tireless work over the last three years Rochelle. I don’t always have time to read or comment – some weeks I barely have time to throw my 100 words together- but all you do as Queen of FriFic is hugely appreciated by every single one of us.
    Love, respect and congratulations from merry old England

    Like

  • Congratulations Rochelle,

    I may not participate with much regularity anymore, but the Friday Fictioneers has helped my writing. Usually by not allowing myself to write my first idea, or the “obvious” story based on the prompt. (Which would also be my pet peeve about FF now, so many stories end up being so similar. But I suppose with the number of participants every week, that can’t really be helped. Or maybe it could. Or maybe I’m just a curmudgeon.Hahha.)

    Like

    • Dear Craig,

      If you’re curmudgeon than so am I. I make it a point to not write the obvious. It seems I realized early on that the photo prompt needn’t be literally illustrated.

      And just for the record, I’ve never considered Owl and Raccoon as a serial. They’re delightfully recurring characters.

      You were one of the few who forged the FF trail before my arrival. Thank you for that and thank you for your encouraging words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • congratulations and thank you for being a sweet host. it’s a delight to be a part of this journey. each week i think it would be my last, but here i am working on my 80th story. i consider it a miracle, too, that you haven’t thrown me under the bus yet. again, thank you..

    Like

  • Lovely story, Rochelle. I think it’ll be an eventful trip for her. Speaking of trips, the journey I’ve taken with the Friday Fictioneers has been a great one. This is a wonderful crowd of folks as writers and as just kind people. This is the first writing challenge I ever participated in. I remember being full of trepidation. I was welcomed so kindly I stuck with this and never looked back. Thanks so much for being there, Rochelle, and for providing a home for wayward writers. It’s been a lovely trip on this bus. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      I’m happy to have you aboard this bus. Please watch out for Russell, Perry and Randy, the three FF stooges. (did I say that?…well it’s said with affection ❤ 😉 )

      Sit back and enjoy the journey. I'll try to watch out for bumps and potholes.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle,
    Thank you for all things FF. I’m guilty of pushing the 100 word limit and I’m sorry. I don’t like unkind comments but the trouble maker seems to have left our ranks. I try to read every blog and if I don’t comment or “like” your work it’s usually because I don’t like to jump through hoops to comment. Sorry BlogSpot and Blogger writers. I am a novice fiction writer and FF is a perfect, supportive environment where I can try out new ideas and genres. Is Mr. Edwards a serial because I can not keep him from hopping into FF? I like to think of him as a recurring character and not a serial star. I agree with the others who appreciate recipical comments and acknowledgment. Now let’s get this bus on the road.
    Tracey

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Tracey,

      Honestly, I’m with you about Blogger and Blogspot. I started out on the latter and found, in commenting to those on WP, that it was more user friendly. There’s no place to ‘like’ on those forums either.

      A little nudge of the word limit is permissible and no one will be thrown off the bus for doing so. There are some who have gone to 150 to 200 words which is a bit much IMHO.
      As for Mr. Edwards, a recurring character isn’t necessarily a serial. My complaint is the serial writers who expect the reader to refer back to their former pieces to know what’s going on. If it doesn’t stand alone I don’t bother with them.

      I enjoy reciprocal comments as well as the next person. It’s one of the reasons I boarded the bus and ultimately took the wheel.

      Not sure who the troublemaker is.

      Thanks for coming aboard. I love your writing, it’s usually something unexpected.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle,
    I liked this story so much, I liked it twice. 🙂 Congratulations on 3 years. It has been that long, I suppose, although in some ways it doesn’t seem that long. 156 stories is a lot. Well done. This story is the perfect mix of elements too. Love the ending. 🙂
    -David

    Like

    • Dear David,

      Thank you for the twice-likes. It was a fun story to write. It has been a very fast three years. And probably some of the most eventful years of my life. But that’s another story. 😉 At any rate, I’m happy you joined the rest of us crazies on the bus. Nope, we’re not there yet.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

  • Congratulations, Rochelle, on the three years you’ve completed as hostess of Friday Fictioneers, and we’re sure you’ll do just as great a job in your fourth year and beyond. I enjoyed the part of your story where the passengers boarded, especially Russell. Well written as always. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

  • Sounds like it’s going to be a long trip 🙂

    Congrats on your three years, and thank you! I also have problems with serial stories (too many other stories in between) and multiple prompt stories – they can get very messy. Also, like Sandra, stories which have clearly made no attempt at the word limit.

    Like

  • Dear Ralphetta,

    It’s a good thing Madison sold me a ticket for unlimited miles. When I first got on the bus, I figured I’d get off at some point in time, but when you’re having fun you never want it to end.

    I added a little epilogue on my blog as to how this weekly exercise has sharpened my writing. But the most rewarding thing has been the wonderful people I’ve encountered on this bus ride. We have been very blessed.

    Thank you for being the glue that held it all together. You’re my hero.
    Norton

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Norton,

      Your comment made me smile and brought a tear to my eye. (I suppose it could be hay fever.) I’m glad you were there to greet me, joy buzzer and all, when I first bought a ticket from Madison.

      I agree about the people. When Madison announced she was stepping down I broke out in cold sweats. How could I lose this exercise in brevity and wit? But, more importantly, how could I lose contact with these wonderful people?

      Thank you for such lovely, affirming comments.

      Shalom and hugs,

      Ralphetta

      Liked by 1 person

  • As I edge closer towards my 100th Friday Fictioneer story I am so happy that I stumbled upon this group. I was using the excuse of work pressure to keep away from writing regularly. You start by thinking how hard 100 words could be till you actually do it. In that format, your repetitions are laid bare; there is no time to waffle as you will run out of words to tell a tale. I know I still don’t get as many readers as I want to, but those who visit and honour me with their gracious words make the whole exercise worthwhile. I’ve had a few of these stories reblogged on other sites and was fortunate enough to be listed in the top 10 creative writing blogs chosen by BlogAdda this year. The discipline of putting in an entry for the week also helps in keeping alive the desire to write. Now I am starting believe that maybe one day I’ll really sit down and write those stories floating inside.
    To keep it short – thanks Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      One little known fact is that when I discovered Friday Fictioneers I was under an incredible amount of pressure at work. Perhaps one day I’ll write a book, the events are certainly stranger than fiction. I said that to say that I found solace here and some dear friends to boot.

      I smile at your successes and happy to be able to claim some small part.

      Thank you for your kind words and constant comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS I really wish you’d switch to WordPress. 😉

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,
    Thanks for hosting us for these past three years, and for being such a gracious, graceful, talented, generous and warm host (hostess?)! I am continually amazed at the variety and thoughtfulness of your responses, and the care which you put into them. One would not mistake you for a comment-junkie, but rather a response-junkie! Actually, I love both. Isn’t WordPress a sort of trigger for comment-junkies? We tend to settle down after a while, and give out more, I think (at least, that’s what I’m finding out myself).
    And thanks for the mention (Fairy Blog Mother)! I feel honored!
    Love,
    Vijaya

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Vijaya,

      I love being your Fairy Blog Mother. What an inspired title. 😀

      One of the things I love about this group, particularly those on WordPress (hint hint), is the interaction. I’ve made some good friends and struck up some lasting relationships as a result.

      Thank you for becoming such an integral member of this global community. I’m pretty sure I’ve received as much, if not more, than I’ve given.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle, your fairy blog mother. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Hilary,

      I’ve no immediate plans to abandon Friday Fictioneers. It’s one of my passions. I hope you’ll be able to add your skilled writing voice to the forum in the not too distant future.

      Thank you for being so diligent to visit.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • A lot of what I feel has been said already and very eloquently in these comments, but I can’t stop by without a huge thank you Rochelle for your incredible commitment of time and care to us all.

    Creatively I’ve had enormous fun writing these stories and love that the prompt is just that – a springboard rather than a rigid set of criteria. I love the variety of stories, the great wide range of writers and writing (in terms of style and age and culture and location and sheer personality and panache!), I love the comments and sometimes even more so the comments on comments.

    As to rules I do feel the 100 word thing is important – it’s that oddly interesting thing of finding you can be more creative inside those 100 words than you ever thought possible. On the other hand part of the enjoyment I gain from Friday fiction is coming away from a job that feels incredibly rule bound, full of shoulds and oughts, and feeling able to be free of all that.
    So whilst I personally don’t like serials and I also find it odd that a few (a very few) participants join in but barely acknowledge the rest of us, I’m not that bothered. Reading in the end is not compulsory! Long intros have been mentioned somewhere I think too – I sometimes read and enjoy these and sometimes I don’t. Simple!

    Basically Rochelle you’re doing a great job in holding this precious place together. Thank you and congratulations!
    Miranda

    PS Loved the story – that lithe maiden is doing just fine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Miranda,

      When I first started writing flash fictions and shared them with my husband, he swore they were my best writing. He had the brilliant idea of printing each one and putting them into a notebook. That notebook is pretty heavy after three years. 😉 Lots of fodder for longer works.
      It’s funny how freeing the ‘rules’ are. You become aware of each and every word. Nothing is superfluous.
      To be honest, another of my pet peeves is that of certain ones simply posting their stories and never reciprocating. I have to wonder why they bother. Those are ones I don’t bother with anymore.
      Thank you for your comments. I do treasure them.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Hahahahaha this is a great take on the prompt. What an interesting trip this must be. I’m curious as to what happens on this trip! You do an amazing job week after week Rochelle! and I thank you so much for doing it!

    Like

  • I’m a bit late to the party this week (I’m lucky to have guests this week). I can only echo all the positive warm and glowing comments congratulating you for the past three years. I’ve only been contributing for the last four months but I do really enjoy each week’s challenge and your superior organisational skills. Thanks!

    Like

  • I am fairly new to Friday Fictioneers, I found my way here from WordPress Blogging 101. I am so glad to be a part of this challenge and for all that you put into it Rochelle. I know it is a big time commitment. I love flash fiction for the very reason that I am time-challenged, but can still (most of the time) squeeze in a 100-word story. I am trying to learn to not agonize over every word and detail and just get it done.
    I can’t think of any pet peeves, I am just humbled by all the creativity that abounds. I am also guilty of shoe-horning multiple prompts into a post. Sometimes it is to economies on time, or to avoid publishing two post in one day, or sometimes it is just more of a challenge that way.

    Like

  • Happy Anniversary! I was delighted to stumble across the Friday Fictioneers, thanks to Sally Stackhouse, and must apologize for not being active this month as I’m running two separate Flash Fiction challenges of my own in honor of Halloween. Such fun, and yes work, but delightful. I hope to come back soon, but I’ve also designated November as WIP dedication during the NANO event. Still when a prompt inspires me, I shall return.
    Thank you for your dedication to this wonderful challenge! I enjoy hitting exactly 100 words and reading the many and varied stories that each prompt inspires.
    Stay well!

    Like

    • Dear Yolanda Renee,

      I’m pleased you stumbled across us, too. I don’t know how you have time to participate while running two challenges as well. As for NANO. Have fun with that. I’ve threatened to get involved when I have the time but that hasn’t happened just yet.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I love everything about FF . Rochelle , you have been a great inspiration and a role model.

    When I started blogging 1 year ago (yes, I turned 1 this month), I didn’t know exactly how to get feedback on my writing , how to find people with similar interests in WordPress, even what topics to write on a regular basis…that’s when I stumbled upon FF.

    Reading fellow FF’ers stories for the same prompt really helps to see the 100 different ways a human mind works when presented with one picture and created several “ah-ha” moments for me. I learnt (learned that ‘learnt’ is rarely used 🙂 ) different genres and writing styles from them.

    I also love the way that this group acts as a responsible and considerate community supporting each other.

    My pet peeve is those blog sites that requires email address etc and won’t just accept the wordpress account. Often I want to provide feedback but don’t feel comfortable providing all that information. Some sites don’t have “Like ” buttons – only Social media icons to share. And last but not the least sometimes I’m required to prove I’m not a robot….I’m shown several pictures and ask to choose the ice-creams..it seriously messes with my diet 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Ansumani,

      I appreciate the feedback and I’m very pleased that FF has helped your writing in any way. I’m hearing this a lot and it warms my heart. This is a very supportive community and that’s why I had to keep it going if I could.

      I share your pet peeves about certain blogs. 😉

      Thank you and shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS Happy Blog-aversary to you.

      Like

  • Congratulations and thank you, Rochelle! I had to scroll back to find out when I stumbled onto FF. It was May 2014. It has been lots of fun and learning. I discovered I could have fun and not be so serious all the time. 🙂 I’ve learned to be more proficient with words and better at commenting which I wasn’t good at all. Commenting also helps my own writing but some sites are more difficult than others – in that there are so many steps.

    Reading others’ stories broadens my scope of seeing things. I’m rather slow so admire and appreciate your ability to read so many of our posts! I appreciate reciprocity but it’s okay with me if not. I still appreciate a good story and what I can learn from it. I’m not fond of serials or multiples either but what …

    I got a good laugh out of Friday’s Bus! Gave me a lot of feel good serontins.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Lily,

      I’m glad you enjoyed Friday’s Bus. It’s one of those that will basically be understood by a chosen few, ie the Friday Fictioneers passengers. 😉

      It’s so nice to hear that this discipline has helped you and others as much as it has helped me.

      Thank you and continued shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Congrats on your three years. I’ve learned a lot about using less words and using words with impact in FF. My pet peeve is people who don’t comment when they read. I always try to comment on each one I read although the numbers are so high, I can’t read more than 20-25. Good luck with your fourth year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Madison’s faith in you has been repaid a thousand-fold. Was it me, I’d put the hyperlink to this comment section up on your ‘badass’ wall in case you ever forget how much of what you’ve put in to FF means to the many writers out there.

    Pet peeves? You know them already, but in case someone gets this far down the comment page and still hasn’t figured out that people are talking about them, I’ll add mine. Vampires, Zombies, Serials (Eyes glazing over just thinking about them), People who go over the word limit when it is perfectly obvious that they didn’t need to, and then have the temerity to spend another two hundred words explaining why…., Blogspot and other uncooperative blog pages. And last but not least, those folks who never reciprocate when someone comments on their work. Once is happenstance, twice coincidence….but three times and beyond….exiled to the DNR pile.

    (And to the really good writers out there that continually produce high quality work (you know who you are), thank you for amazing me with your stories week in and week out.)

    Keep up the good work, Rochelle. Your patient persistence has caused Russell to start using repeat names for you and that alone has to be worth some of the behind the scenes grief you go through herding us cats while driving the bus. Good job.

    Yours, still rowing,

    Doug

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear Chase,

      You were one of the pillars of Friday Fictioneers when I joined the group. Your comments have always been something special to many of us. There’s something to be said for ‘hello’s’ in the late/early hours. No regrets.

      Your pet peeves I know onLy too well. ;).

      I will always appreciate the prodding from one certain Friday Fictioneer who urged me to take the steering wheel. At first I thought he was out of his mind (at second, too). His and Madison’s faith in me have encouraged and helped me to discover my inner badass.

      I do hope others have scrolled down this far and read your comment. I will treasure it and your continued friendship.

      Shalom,

      Amelia

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Congrats on driving the Friday Fictioneers’ bus for four successful years and wish you many more successful years ahead. I like the phrase “never too late”, so when I accidentally bumped into this blog I decided to join and have been a happy traveler ever since. 😀
    Thanks Rochelle as it means a lot to take your time out and read all the posts. Here I would like to thank you and other members as well who read my attempts and leave their comments. 🙂
    Participating here helped me to improve my writing (specially in terms of word counts) skills. It also helped me to be more creative (as the photos that were presented were very different – but when I began I started enjoying it). Participation here not only meant submitting my entries but also listening to the voices of others – and I must say that all the entries presented here are unique and have a different approach to the same photo. Due to time constraints I’ve missed my participation (in any way). 😦
    In the end I would like to thank our “fairy blog mother” who has created this wonderful Friday Fairyland where magic happens with a sprinkle of some words, dash of one picture and loads of creativity.

    Thanks,
    Norma. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations, Rochelle, for three years of allowing me to use words sparingly and still let my imagination run wild. I`ve dreamed of writing a novel most of my life thinking I was not a writer if I did not accomplish this. Writing essays and poetry as a teen was so long ago and blogging three years ago has enabled me to see that writing daily and experiencing different genres allowed me to grow as a writer and have fun. Who knew it could be as therapeutic as writing in my diary. I am always touched with your personal and genuine comments to our contributions….you have so many amazing and talented followers. After reading your epic novel, Please Say Kaddish for me, I feel humbled being part of your group. You are an amazing writer and I`ve learned so much “while having fun” Fridays:) Shalom, Cheryl-Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

  • I admire you for running FF every week without fail, Rochelle. I wasn’t doing Friday Fictioneers since few months now. Glad I stopped by today to congratulate you for the third anniversary. And guess what I wrote for FF too this time. Here’s to many more, Rochelle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’m adding my thanks for what you do for us all in managing Friday Fictioneers. This forum has helped me so much to discipline myself – to write more regularly, and to edit more carefully. Reading the wonderful variety of stories each week (most weeks, I should say) is inspirational, and I get a real buzz when I receive good comments. Thank you. And I love your story this week, Rochelle. Good fun. Cheers, Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Margaret,

    It’s a pleasure having you aboard. I’m so pleased to know how much the discipline has helped your writing. It’s done marvelous things for mine, too. The camaraderie we share in FF makes this a very special community. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    Thank you.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  • You are an amazing hostess! I ran a photo challenge for two years and had a hard time keeping up with the 20 posts linking to mine. I agree about the serials and the multiple challenges, although quite honestly I have done both; once. I believe (I hope) I made my stories stand alone, I know I tried.

    I wrote my first FF story December 28th 2012. I’ve written some pretty good stories and some pretty lame ones. One thing I have learned is that even the best writers of this group don’t hit it out of the park every week. I’ve been able to cut myself a little bit of slack since realizing that.

    But the most important thing it has taught me is the ability to write a story in 100 words and the discipline to do so. Now if I could just write one of 1,000 words I will have completed my “next step”.

    Thanks for your guidance and praise. I appreciate you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Dawn,

      I had no idea when I took the drivers seat that the group would soon go from fifty on a good week to sometimes over a hundred. Some weeks, particularly when I was working full time, it’s been more of a challenge and a chore than others. I’ve had some frustrating times and I’ve had a handful say some unkind things behind the scenes. But every time I’ve thought about quitting I’ve broken out in cold sweats and realized that FF is too precious to me. Count yourself as part of that, sister. 😉

      Thank you for such an affirming comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle,
    Thank you for all you do to make this challenge happen each and every week.

    My biggest pet peeve is stories that come with a lengthy post-script explanation. I feel like if the story needs that to make sense, then it didn’t do what it needed in the 100 allotted words. I don’t see it often, maybe a few times in the last year, so at least it’s not something of habit.

    I’ve grown a lot as a writer, and as a flash writer. I look back at some of my early stories and see how much I have improved in the last year+. Now I take them and revise and post them on drablr-dot-com for additional feedback. That pushes me even further because I cannot rely on the photo to add to my story (there are no images on Drablr, it’s words and words only).

    Most recently this weekly exercise helped me do well in a flash fiction writing contest. Participants are given a genre, location, and object with 48 hours to compose a 1000 word story and submit as final a draft as humanly possible. It’s challenging. The genre part tripped me up a bit, but where others struggled with the location and object, I could draw on this experience as if it was that week’s photo.

    I have enjoyed being a part of this group and reading what everyone has to offer. It’s always interesting to see how one picture can inspire so many different stories, and even different versions of the same idea.

    Thank you, again. I am grateful to your dedication and your consistency.
    Melanie

    Like

  • Dear Melanie,

    Thank you for this wonderful feedback. I’m pleased that FF has been a part of your growth as a writer.

    One thing I strive for with the photo prompts is to write my stories in a way that they stand with or without the photo. At times, some scratch their heads and wonder how on earth I got a particular story from a certain photo.

    I agree about long winded intros or epilogues. The stories should stand alone. Although one time I was guilty of a long explanation of a Frisbee story I wrote for a picture of Edsels. https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/7-november-2014/

    Should you want to follow the link, it was one of my favorites on a personal level.

    In any event, I’m glad you’re aboard Fridays Bus.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations dear Rochelle for your third anniversary. I can’t thank enough as I have learned so much through your challenge. Known so much from your well researched stories. For writing in 100 words I have learned so many new words. My stories are childish as compared to all you excellent writers but at least I have learned to write something. I’m really very grateful to you.I’m one of those who scratch their head and wonder how you wrote that particular story from a certain photograph. I enjoy reading your stories very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Rochelle
    Am late with the last week’s story so couldn’t submit it, but still posted it on my blog.
    Wrote it just to pen down a thought that came to my mind after reading a piece of news and then your challenge. Would be glad if you read it from here: https://shaktikisharma.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/the-last-bus-to-my-home/
    And am glad you started Friday Fictioneers, please keep it going cause am addicted now….would need a dose every week doc 😉

    Like

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