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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Morning Light Writing Contest

Frederick Childe Hassam - Morning Light


Rebecca made a choice, every morning, to take the time to look at herself in the mirror and in the morning light. Not as harsh as at noon or as unforgiving as the evening's. She rose early each day, spent agonizing moments choosing just the right gown--Pink. He loved pink.--and then retreated to the quiet of her boudoir to sit near the window with its lacy curtains. To apply the expensive lotions (Oh, if he only knew how she'd sacrificed!), and to style her hair, drawing it up the way he liked it. With tendrils falling soft around her high cheekbones. All this for him. Only for him. But how much longer, she wondered, before the ministrations wouldn't matter? Before they wouldn't matter at all. c.Eva Marie Everson, 2013

Now it's your turn. And, I've finally figured out how to make this work. 

We'll take two weeks in which you can add your work, keeping it between 100 and 150 words. At the end of two weeks, I'll open the contest. Be sure to have your family and friends come to the site to vote for your work by REPLYING under your entry. All they have to do is say "This One" or "I like this one" or something close to it. We'll keep the contest open for one week.

NOTE: YOU ARE TO WRITE YOUR OWN STORY BASED ON THE PAINTING ABOVE. 

Remember, if you sign in anonymously, you will need to put your name, email etc. 
If your name is registering, please add some way that I can get in touch with you.
The winner will receive a gift card at the end of the contest.

Ready? Write!



43 comments:

  1. Forgive me but I'm not understanding what we are to write. Is it something that goes with this illustration or rewriting what you wrote? Could you please clarify the content of the contest. Thank you.

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    1. You write a story that goes with the painting.

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  2. Are we to write 100 to 150 words on a subject of our choosing? I assume we are to post it here.
    Cindy Huff

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    1. You write your OWN story that goes with the painting.

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  3. So caught up in her thoughts, she didn’t at first notice the disturbance in the water outside. Usually so still at this time of morning, the gentle lapping against the shore barely detectable, but now, there arose a distinctive slapping sound – was a boat approaching? This wouldn’t be good. Not today, of all days. She had given Clifford the day off, and Lula was in town at the market, getting some of his favorite things for the evening meal.

    Rebecca rose slowly. Carefully laying the mirror, face-up, on her dressing table, she reached for one of grandmother’s candlesticks. The coolness and weight of the silver felt comforting in her palm. She took a step towards the window and peered outside

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    1. Sue, beautifully done ... but this is to be your own story on the painting. :) Keep this for now...know for next time. :)

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    2. Ooops, sorry! I have done exercises like this in the past where it is "pass it on" kind of like passing of the baton . . . . so I think I "assumed" rather than reading further. I now have gone back and read all the posts from your January and Feb paintings and I see how it works - sorry to mess it up!

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  4. Anonymous and Jubilee - if I got it right, I think you are supposed to write 100-150 words that would be the next paragraph in the story that Eva Marie started. So that is what I did anyway . . . -

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  6. I want to participate:

    How many years had they been coming to the shore for the summer? Almost too many to count. As the breeze sang through the lacy curtains, Lila sat at her mother’s dressing table. Tears gathered in her eyes, because it had been five years since her mother’s death. She felt like the little girl who often played dress up at this very spot so many times. It was time to move beyond her grief and live again … if that were even possible. Somehow over the years, her taste in clothing had morphed into the soft pastels her mother had favored. They made her feel elegant and feminine as her mother had been. As the gentle breeze brought the salty tang from across the waves and intermingled it with the fragrant blossoms in the garden, she picked up the mirror, and her mother’s face stared back at her.

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  7. Coffee, stirred thoroughly with four teaspoons of sugar the way Henry liked it, covered up the taste of a multitude of sins. I required only that the sweetness mask one truly heinous one. A man sips what he sows. I had left the cups on the table, unwashed, with a speckling of grounds at the bottom of each cup like remnants of dirt on a pale palm after the funeral of a child. At my dressing table, I sat and examined my countenance. I could see no changes. How strange. Had Judith looked as lovely in the moments after she claimed that head as she had before blood sprayed her hands? The morning light intensified, golden and beckoning, but I would not repent. The wall mirror offered no images of judgment. Perhaps this hand mirror will reflect more clearly the dire lines damnation draws upon a woman's face.

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  8. A dirty mirror or mottled shadows from the lace curtains couldn't conceal the dark circles under her eyes. Lack of sleep? Worry? Grace was sure she heard noises during the night. Now, in the morning light it seemed silly. The house locked tight nothing could get inside. Even the squirrels in the attic lost their home with new repairs Blake authorized before he left on business. His first trip since the marriage 2 months ago. Her first time alone in the house. A flicker of something caught her eye through the open door. Was it a glint of sunlight reflecting off a ship in the harbor? Or a shadow of something, maybe someone in the hall? Just the jitters, she scolded herself. But what could it be? Who? Laughing to herself she remembered the ghost stories the nosey neighbor had whispered to her when her new husband stepped out of the room. She brushed it off trying to bring herself back to reality. Surely she imagined it? But . . . could she be sure? Cautious and praying the floor wouldn’t give her away with it’s relentless creaks, Grace stood and bravely forced herself to step through the doorway.

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  9. This is like a Fan Fiction prompt. I love it. But, with my crazy schedule I'd like to know exactly what the GC prize is. BTW, wouldn't you know Lena would write a great one? It will be hard to out-write her. But, it might be fun to try. <grin

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  10. Count me in on the contest
    Clarisse paused in her primping upon hearing her mother’s cane clicking on the wood floor followed by a shuffle drag rhythm. How she managed the stairs alone amazed and frightens Clarisse. Mother’s determination was a testament to her fortitude. Not to mention an ever present reminder that she was not to be ignored.
    “Clareeesaaa.” Mother’s voice slurred her name.
    Sighing Clarisse put down the mirror before acknowledging her mother. “In here.”
    Mother appeared in the doorway, perspiration beaded her forehead. Fixing her eyes on her daughter she struggled to find the words. “Stop…vain.”
    “Mother, whatever are you talking about.” Clarisse pretended to misunderstand. “Let me help you to your room to rest.” Crossing to the hallway Clarisse takes her mother’s elbow as they head up the hall.
    “Vain.” Her mother’s singular word stings.

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  11. Elise's cheeks burned where the softness of Thad's physician's hands had tenderly held and lifted her face to touch her lips with his.
    How dare he leave her so soon! The glass in her hand reflected dark eyes, full of suppressed anger at her husband's sudden, calm, announcement. "Only a month, my love. The governor requires my presence."
    This soft, pastel, late-spring morn, one week past their wedding day, and she'd wanted their idyll to last forever. She huffed. At least another week.
    The roseate silk dressing gown slipped from her shoulder. She closed her eyes against the storm of threatening tears, dropped the looking glass onto her dressing table, and breathed. The light spice and leather scent of him yet lingered in her boudoir—and stern echoes of Mother's admonition. "Young lady, you will lift your chin and bear all things necessary for your husband's happiness."
    Elise straightened.

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  12. These are some good stories and I love the pic..a great idea today...
    Paula O

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  13. "So predictable, him in his morning reading ritual," she thought while peeking through the window screen. He read and drank buttermilk on the swing every day of their married life. Millicent used to join him. She read romances beside his classics. After that unspeakable event, lost were romantic mornings when southern dew dropped onto Shasta daisies. Now, the window stood between them.
    His book lowered into his lap. His right hand rested flat against the swing’s oak slats. "So predictable." Pages turned effortlessly, the Dixie breeze passing the chapters. Wisps continued through Millicent’s open window, scurried the sheer’s hem, and tantalized her bosom. "His embrace once made me react like that." One selfish incident changed all that. Values clashed. "So predictable."
    His stillness encouraged Millie to speak to her reflected image. “I’ll powder first, and then check on him. Delay will assure the completion of the poison’s task.”
    Alan Daugherty

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    1. I like this one!

      This was a neat idea for a contest. I'm sure it got everyone thinking!

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    2. My vote's here.

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    3. I vote fcr Alan Daugherty's story

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    4. I vote for Alan Daugherty's story.

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    5. I vote for Alan Daugherty's story too. rg

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  14. I like Alan Daugherty's story and vote for it. This is fun to read all of the stories!

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  15. I vote for this one.
    Jefferson

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  16. "Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd."
    I vote for this one.

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  17. I vote for Alan.

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  18. Not sure if my vote counted since I voted early so here it is again. I vote for Alan. What a fun contest!

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  20. Lila counted the freckles on her face. The splattering of little dots had grown after her frolick in the meadow without a bonnet. Again. An unlady-like snort erupted from her nose.
    If Mother knew, oh what a frenzy she'd be in. Mother would faint, no doubt. And that young man, who was he?
    Lila gazed past the mirror towards the flowers on the porch. His eyes had sparkled with every curve of his mouth. His broad shoulders filled out his suit quite nicely. And his dark,wavy hair had blown in the breeze. She longed to see him again if only for a moment. Did I fall in love?

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