Category Archives: #FlashFictionFriday

#FlashFictionFriday: Oregon Sunset (reprise)

We sat on the beach near the fire,

Two old people bundled against the cold Oregon sunset.

Friends we’d never met fished the surf,

Children and dogs ran at waves’ edge.

Red sky, red mist, red sunset. Fire, water, wind, and you.

 

Wind whipped my hair, gray and uncut,

Tore it from its inept braid,

August wind, chill inside my hood, but I remained,

Pleased to be with you, and pleased to be on that beach.

 

The sea roared loud, filling my ears,

My blood and

My heart,

And where ever you are that is my beach,

My ocean, my sunset.

 

Mist rose with the tide, closed in and enfolded us,

Blotting out the falling stars and,

Laughing at our folly,

We dragged our weary selves back to our digs,

Rented, but with everything two old people needed.

 

The gas fire warmed me

And you warmed me,

And these memories warm me now

When snow blankets our inland valley

And Oregon seems far, far away.

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#FlashFictionFriday: Winter in the Northern Garden (reprise)

 

In winter, my Northern garden

Languishes, ragged and shabby,

Unlovely, decaying, and

Uncomfortably aware she’s grown old.

 

The remains of Summer’s glory beckons,

Begging to be told she is still beautiful,

Still young and fascinating,

Still the object of desire.

 

Ever the gallant gentleman,

Winter obliges, and with a kiss

Ice crystals decorate each twig and branch

Gracing her with radiant beauty.

 

Ruby-red barberries set against crystalline diamonds,

Ice catching the light, scattering it.

Jewels decorating decrepit limbs,

Dazzled, we bow to her wondrous splendor.

 

Beneath the litter of leaves dead and brown,

A new Spring waits,

Lurking in the wings, biding her time,

Politely allowing the old dame one last encore.


Credits and Attrributions

Winter in the Northern Garden © Connie J. Jasperson 2017, first appeared here on February 17, 2017

Suburban Garden, the Geograph project collection © by Ron Shirt and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

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#FlashFictionFriday: Mind Wandering (short essay)

I love this image. I found it at Wikimedia Commons and fell in love with the symmetry and the way the colors complement each other, so opposite and yet so pleasing. It inspires my creativity, pushes away the subconscious boundaries we set for ourselves in our daily lives. It makes me wonder what lies beyond the borders. What mysterious thing could be waiting there for me to discover?

When people first learn I am an author with no day job, the first thing they ask (after what the heck are you thinking) is where I get ideas for my tales.  I usually give them some song-and-dance about adapting modern relationships and values to mythological world situations, and while it’s true, it’s not the whole truth.

The truth is, these things just pop into my head, and I think “Wow – that would be a good story.”  I will be riding in the car listening to music, not thinking about anything in particular, and have a flash of brilliance – What if the dark ages never happened? Or How would Europe look if the Druids had conquered Europe instead of the Romans?

If I am smart, I will write the idea down, because I’m 64 years old and the old harddrive is full—too many cute kitty pictures and Weird Al videos, with no room for anything else.

The flow of random thoughts really is the river of creativity for me. Having the time to just sit and daydream is as rare as the March sun around here, but it does happen, and that is when my ideas come to me.  Letting your mind roam free and allowing the possibilities to enter your stream of consciousness (or not, as they will) is good for you.  Fifteen or twenty minutes a day of simply watching the world go by will rejuvenate you.

Some people will say, “I don’t have time to waste daydreaming,” and that’s all right for them. I personally need to throw open the windows of my mind and let the breezes clear away the musty ideas which get in the way of my creativity. For me, the path to writer’s block is paved with “I don’t have time to relax!”

Don’t get me wrong, I get up at 6:30 am and immediately begin blogging. After noon I read for several hours and then I do revisions or work on my current Work In Progress. I read before I go to sleep.  I do two weekly book review blogs besides this blog and all in all I work 10 to 16 hours a day at this job, but it is interspersed with various household tasks and errands.  I also take the time to let my mind rest, simply watching the town go by from my porch.

Some people call it meditation, and some people call it a waste of time. I call it necessary.  I think of my mind as if it were an ‘idea farm.’ Just as a wise farmer allows his fields to occasionally lie fallow, it’s important to let your mind rest. Letting farmlands lie fallow is one of the best ways of allowing the land to replenish its nutrients, and regain its fertility. Letting your mind roam with no particular direction is essential in lowering your stress levels (!) which immediately improves your health and your thought processes.

So I suppose when I am asked where I get ideas for my tales I should tell them the truth:

I don’t really know!


Credits and Attributes

Bruges, View from Rozenhoedkaai, blue hour. By Arcalino / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Bruegge View from Rozenhoedkaai.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Bruegge_View_from_Rozenhoedkaai.jpg&oldid=198969137 (accessed July 28, 2017). Photo: Arcalino / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Talisman (reprise)

 

Talisman

 

The evening sun lingers,

Red, golden,

Unwilling to set.

 

Time seems to stop.

This moment

Will be a talisman,

 

Hanging in my heart.

Warming me

When winter’s fist is closed.


Talisman, Copyright © 2017 Connie J Jasperson, All rights reserved, originally published Apr. 7, 2017 on Life in the Realm of Fantasy, http://conniejjasperson.com

Puget Sound Sunset, By Vladimir Menkov (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Stolen Heaven

Hydrangea_cropped_July_11_2017_copyright_cjjasperson_2017 copy

Sunlight gently falling

On blue,

Lighting the green

Branches that support you,

Leaves that frame you.

Blue the color of

Heaven on good day,

Framed by a green

Limes would envy.

Sleep eluded me and

I was there at dawn,

Witnessing the splendor of

Heaven,

Stolen for a few brief moments

And illuminated by the sun.


Attributions:

Hydrangea © Connie J. Jasperson 2017 (author’s own photo)

Stolen Heaven © Connie J. Jasperson 2017

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#FlashFictionFriday: Tomorrow will be better

Morning came

Along with the bandages and healing,

Along with your frustration and helplessness.

Morning came

And I, as your mother, tended your wounds.

You didn’t ask for this burden.

You didn’t do anything wrong.

You didn’t cause epilepsy.

Tomorrow will be better.

Tomorrow your wounds will be healed

Even if your ego isn’t.


Tomorrow Will Be Better, © Connie J. Jasperson 2017, All Rights Reserved

Photo credit: After a great sun rise, Photographer: Simon Eugster, SSA CCA 3.0 Licence: {{GFDL}} via Wikimedia Commons

If you or a loved one are suffering from a seizure disorder, the Epilepsy Foundation has resources for you http://www.epilepsy.com/

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#FlashFictionFriday: Quiet of an Early Summer Morning

Passer_insularis_Smit

The quiet of

An early summer

Morning

Sinks into my soul,

Warming my spirit like coffee.

 

At twelve past five

The birds are present,

Singing,

Songs of love, poems of war

While I appreciate my coffee.

 

Feathered beings

Living swift and fierce,

Passionately,

As summer waxes into fall

And I enjoy my coffee.


Quiet of an Early Summer Morning, by Connie J. Jasperson © 2017 Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved.

Depiction of the Socotra Sparrow, from its description in the Proceedings of the Scientific Meetings of the Zoological Society of London. Female above, male below. Joseph Smit 1881 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Ballad of Jennet Adair (reprise)

Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the white rose tree

And never again will she

Play false to me

 

T’was not my hands

Round her lily-white throat

But would that I could

Drown her deep in the moat

 

Her hair was as dark

As summer is fair

Her lips were for kissing

Sweet Rose of Adair

 

Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the rose tree white

My brother will hang

For her murder tonight

 

Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the white rose tree

Never again will

Those lips lie to me

 

T’was not my hands

Round her lily-white throat

She ruined my brother

She ruined us both

 

Played us like pawns

In the age-old game

Until she did misstep

To her sorrow and shame

 

My brother will hang

‘Neath the town hall light

And who will tell mother

What happened tonight?

 

Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the white rose tree

And never again will she

Play false to me.


Ballad of Jennet Adair © Connie J. Jasperson 2016-2017, All Rights Reserved

The Ballad of Jennet Adair by Connie J. Jasperson was first published July 31, 2015 on Edgewise Words Inn, as a song her character, Huw the Bard, might have written. It is a story poem, written in a traditional, bardic style, and was inspired by the Child Ballads collected in the 19th century by Francis James Child.

Bouquet of Roses at the Window, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller 1892 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Rain Falling on a Young Girl’s Face

Here_comes_rain_again

Rain falling on a young girl’s face,

Falling down, down,

Rolling down, down.

Went where she shouldn’t.

Broke the rules,

Broke their trust,

Broke her dreams,

And all because he seemed so nice.

Too young to drink, but drank too much,

Said no, she wouldn’t,

Said, no, he couldn’t,

Said no, he shouldn’t,

When he pressed her,

When he forced her,

When he mocked her.

Rain falling on a young girl’s face,

Falling down, down,

Rolling down, down.

Punished her for breaking the rules.

Can’t bear the shame,

Can’t bear the guilt,

Can’t face her family.

Rain falling down, down her face.

Who will raise her up?

Who will sooth her pain?

Who will say “It’s not your fault?

“He had no right.

“He had no right.

“You broke the rules, but He had no right.”

Rain falling on a young girl’s face,

Falling down, down,

Rolling down, down.


Sources and Attributions

Rain Falling on a Young Girl’s Face © 2017 Connie J. Jasperson

National Sexual Assault Hotline (No matter who you are–woman, man, or child–you are not alone: click https://www.rainn.org/ or call 800-656-HOPE)

Image: Here Comes the Rain Again, By Juni from Kyoto, Japan (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Old Man Walking

Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn_070

Old man walking to the tavern

No license, mumbling.

Saw too many things

Knows too many things

War is one of those things.

Old man riding to the tavern

A young boy’s bike.

Lost his license

Lost his mind

Lost his self-respect.

Old man walking to the tavern

No license, mumbling.


Old Man Walking, by Connie J. Jasperson, © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Head of a Bearded Man (Manner of Rembrandt) after circa 1630 [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you or a loved one are a wounded veteran and are struggling with PTSD, call Vet to Vet Assistance 888-777-4443 or log onto the National Veterans Foundation https://nvf.org/about-national-veterans-foundation/

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