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

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Writing Contest for July 2014

I haven't done this in a while, but it's time to do it again!

Here's how the contest works:
1. Look at the painting below.
2. Write a story around the painting (no more than 150 words).
3. Share the story in the comment section below.
4. Be sure to share the contest with others on your social network. Let's make this FUN!
5. On July 14, I'll read over the entries and choose a winner. Winning story wins a gift card from Amazon.

Ready? Let's do it!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. "....His lips pressed against hers; his aftershave enveloped her in a single...."
    "C'mon Mom, let's go. We're waiting for you."
    She looked up, startled. "I'll be right there, honey. I just want to finish this...chapter."
    "But, Mom, Dad's in the car. He told me to tell you to hurry."
    She looked down at the page and sighed. Alfonso's lips would have to wait. A bookmark would hold her place until later. As she stood up, her knee met the table, and she had to lunge at the flowerpot to prevent its fall. Funny, she hadn't noticed the flowers before.
    Her eyes were drawn to the sliding glass door and the nose pressed against it like a little piggy. Laughter bubbled up. What a cutie. She slid the door open and kissed her son's head. Sand and sweat made her nose twitch.
    Yes, Alfonso would have to wait.

    1. As a mother of four daughters...totally get this!

  3. Sandra’s heart fluttered, it wasn’t’ just the pose she held that made her hand tremble. For the eighth time she read the same sentence without knowing what it said. Sensing his gaze, she peeked up from the page to his chiseled face and rested there admiring the way his eye lashes curled, the way his lips were set. Forbidden, her thoughts screamed. A warm breeze blew stray hair into her face. She lifted her other hand to tuck the lock in place.
    “Hold it right there.” He whispered.
    She froze hardly willing herself to breathe. The squish, swoosh of paintbrush on canvas was drown out by her heartbeat. Her cheeks grew pink. Somewhere, in the distance, a kitchen timer rang.
    “That’s all for today.” The professor announced. Sandra set the book down beside a pot of flowers. Easels and stools squeaked. She watched him pack and leave without a word.

  4. The words were both flattering and hurtful. The story was hers, but written by another. He used her life as inspiration, yet slanted to accommodate his view. She would be immortalized in print, although not how she would have wanted to be remembered.
    AnaLisa involuntarily reached up to twirl a strand of hair; a habit he used to find endearing. Now he used it to describe a subconscious signal as another scheme formulated behind limpid green eyes.
    She realized this was actually an accurate portrayal. She began her plan of revenge. Obviously he still had feelings for her. This could be used to her benefit. A brief, carefully worded congratulatory letter was her patient first step of gradual ascension as victor in this undefined war.
    Beauty without, calculating within; southern hospitality- contradicted.

    1. Loved the ending. An interesting twist.

    2. Thank you Sherri! This has been fun...and glad to meet fellow authors!

  5. Nannie Becca enjoyed her bedroom patio. The railing was adorned with beautiful wild flowers. Floral silk prints covered her wicker rocker and table. She often featured one of her potted plants as a guest on the center of the table. This is where she escaped the world to dream. The perfect place to say good- bye. Rebbecca sat down and jumped back to her feet. Something poked her. Tucked under the cushion was a orange book with a dark spin. It was wrapped with a beaded chain and unique medallion. She sat down in the rocker and placed her feet in the chair. The inside cover read “My dearest Rebbecca, these are pearls of wisdom and jewels of joy from my heart to yours. I love you always and forever. Nannie Becca. Yes ,Rebbecca thought as she turned the page, this is the perfect place to say good-bye.

  6. Lost in her mother's journal, Amy didn't notice the wind pick up on this warm, spring day. She could almost feel her presence once again, surrounded by the purple flowers her mother’s hand so lovingly nurtured, "I had no idea Mom felt this way," Amy said aloud, tucking a piece of golden blonde hair behind her ear. “This certainly doesn’t describe me.”
    Amy put the pages filled with a young woman’s dreams of a family on her lap, and closed her eyes, thinking of when she was a girl. All the cooking lessons to no avail. She couldn't make toast. Her mom's green thumb lost on her also. Every plant she owned, died. Sitting in the middle of her mom's handiwork, reading her words, made Amy grateful for the last thing she heard in the hospital. "I am so glad we found her. I couldn't have chosen a better daughter."

    1. A beautiful interpretation of the picture. The ending is intriguing.

  7. Yearning to Know

    She couldn’t put it down. The words on the pages, like a double-edged sword, had pierced her heart.

    She read on and on, devouring the message and unable to stop, even as the sun was setting.

    Each page delivered a new surprise and an old truth. Each opened her eyes and mind. Finally she could see the way, the right path.

    Amidst the beauty of her sunlit garden, Lillian learned of her creator, the one known as the Ancient of Days.

    “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…” is how the story started, and as He continued to speak life into existence, He called it “good.”

    When God created man and woman, He placed them in a garden, even more beautiful than the one where Lillian read.

    And so, her journey into knowledge has begun.

  8. Outside on a summer's day and happy to be surrounded by lilacs and poppies, she basks in colour, a cool breeze and her feminine flair...even her dress is spackled in fushia. Relaxing with a favorite novel, Cherise is staying with her grandmother while studying French on the Seine. She has just met a young man in his mid-thirties, who is smitten by her beauty, captured by her charm. Now, her greatest dilemma is to juggle her every waking moment between loving and studying. Life is good.

    She's grateful that she fled New York with its hustle and hastle and illness and family dis-ease. She is free to breathe the fresh air of freedom here in her own corner of the world where she can begin to sculpt her own chunk of life.

  9. As Liliann sat there on this beautiful Sunday morning she was once again reminded of the blessings of left this garden cottage on Nantucket Island. A cottage that had been in her family for generations, but a family she had felt so disconnected from.
    Today marked the one year anniversary of her father's death and in her hands she hoped she held the answer to so many of her questions. The number one questions being: "why did my Dad walk away from our family?" She had never believed the stories her mother had told her and her plan was to spend a month or two on the island and read through all of her father's old journals. As she began reading memories began flooding her mind and enveloped her heart,

  10. The tiny feet in the world’s cutest shoes hung over the big chair and the intent at which the Snow White picture book was being looked at, just brought a flutter to his heart . It was amazing how quickly five years had come. He could see her in twenty years. The guys would stand no chance. She’d be a knock out just like her mother and in that moment he prayed that after she flew into the great big world, she’d still come back home , kick her heels off and hang out in that corner of the back porch. His brush strokes followed the picture in his heart and he was lost in creating that portrait when he felt a tug at his shirt. He looked down to see amazing blue eyes framed by huge glasses and the metal tinged smile asking, “Daddy, what word is this?”

  11. Lemonade had cooled Evalina Staunton during the warmest part of a temperate July day. Chauncey had retired porcelain, Waterford, and leftover cucumber sandwiches and sashayed herself to the kitchen.

    Evalina had stirred long enough to make a mental note: the ivy at her feet and wisteria at her elbow must have crept six inches west while she’d lounged in cushioned wicker, unable to tear herself away from the diary she’d found tucked behind a behemoth armoire.

    Wiping dust from tired leather, Evalina realized the owner had been none other than…her great-great-grandmother. Clarissa Dubois. A legend she’d never known. Only heard about. Clarissa’s story had lots to do with buried silver, fast thoroughbreds, and two very door-knob-dead Yankees. Scarlet had nothing on Clarissa. Evalina had always been told, “’Shug’ Dubois could have written that Civil War novel—hog-tied.”

    Turning the page, Evalina sucked in her breath. A map…

    “Land-sakes! Chauncey! Chaun-seeey!”

    (Eva, haven't done this in a while from looking at a photo prompt--great fun!)

  12. Photo Op

    “Well, this just beats all!,” Melanie fumed. “Here I get all dolled up, and he doesn’t bother to show!”

    The more she thought about it, the madder she got. He was the one who insisted on the location for this shoot. He was the one who insisted on her dress, a most uncomfortable thing.

    “Come on, come on” she muttered aloud.

    Melanie stared at the expansive lawn behind her for a while. She stared at the beautiful flowers growing next to the veranda and the roses in the vase on the table. She stared until she couldn’t stand it another minute.

    Idly, she picked up the book that was lying there.

    “Who even reads real books anymore?” she wondered.
    Thumbing through the pages, she quickly realized that this was her all-time favorite: Little Women.

    Her last conscious thought was, “I hope he stays a no-show.”

    1. I really like this Carol...it was a very fresh approach. You're so creative!

  13. Love it! This is a great beginning!

  14. The scent of lavender whispered good morning to Vivian. She remembered grabbing her pillow, but not why she awoke outside. The harden remains of once perfected curls jogged her memory--prom.

    Exhausted, throbbing feet, and yet sleep had been unattainable. She should have changed out of her dress, that might have helped, but she loved it. Spent way too much on it. And just wanted to redo the whole evening.

    She opened the book that had finally aided her rest last night. Once again she needed the words to carry her away. After reading a chapter, her jaw tightened. She didn’t need two boys chasing after one princess. No, Vivian simply wanted one to treat her right. And of course, to live happily ever after with.

    Closing the book she flipped open another more worn one, and read aloud. “Love is patient…” True love would be worth the wait.


    1. 4:38 PM (21 minutes ago)

      Linda Lisak July 7, 2014 at 4:31 PM
      Convinced she would find the answers to her lingering questions about her mother's disappearance, Sarah carefully hid her mother's journal inside her latest mystery novel. Sarah knew if she stole away to read it in her room her father might become suspicious. Mr. DeBere was becoming explosively agitated with Sarah's unrelenting curiosity about her mother's whereabouts. Perhaps, here, in her normal setting, no one would suspect that Sarah was conducting her own personal investigation.

      It was Sarah's mother who made this reading nook so inviting. Her mother nursed her through her first heartbreak in this flowered nook. Now she fought feelings of abandonment and despair.

      How far away mother seemed the last time......"Sarah! Dinner is ready!"
      "Where is Maria Father?" "Maria is visiting family." "But Father, Maria has no...."
      "Come along, dinner will get cold!"

      As Sarah entered the dining room, she saw a strange athletic looking woman whispering to her father.


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  16. So why was Sal not acknowledging him? He had done as Aunt Bessie had instructed, come through the brier, through the cleaved willow trunk and into the garden proper. Was he dreaming? Surely not, everything seemed so alive, the scent from the patio flowers, the slight breeze rippling the lawn like pebbles dropped in a pond, the sun kissing his neck and Sal herself whispering the words as she read his journal. This could not be happening. It was unfair.
    A crow called twice from the wood. He heard it, Sal did not. It cawed again. What more proof could he need. The shiver started up, about his shoulders, then down his spine, and that metallic aroma of fear from his breath pervaded about his nostrils.
    "Sal, I need to get back to you, be with you."
    His words fell into the abyss as he met the cold stone floor.

  17. Debutante balls— were there events more exhausting? Lucille had pivoted in the satin high heels, through every form of formal dance known to reluctantly-trained eligible southern girls. When the hired band’s speakers stopped functioning, she stepped out of the painful shoes and made her escape.
    The riskiest part of her flight from the demanding chatter and gossip was evading the caterer’s staff. Let them search for her as they wished, she’d retreated to her favorite part of her great-aunt’s historic home. The third story porch overlooked both the rose garden, and the river. The chintz-covered wicker chair had the right amount of spring to relax her muscles.
    She opened the cover. Her friends kept gushing over modern novels in garish covers, but books in antique bindings, with gilded titles and marbled endpapers were irresistible. Lucille turned the page.

  18. An unexpected breeze pushed over the lightweight vase on the patio table. Rosalyn looked up from her book to take in the damage. Not to worry. The pale yellow roses were intact, and the thorns would not pierce the tablecloth. They were artificial silk and could not hurt anything. That also meant no water spilled. Of course, the vase made of engraved plastic did not break as glass would. Ronald, bless his heart, loved artificial. Today he would be her hero for keeping glass from breaking, water from spilling and allergies from flaring. He was totally unaware of his heroic acts.
    Rosalyn reengaged with her book, amidst her live flowers in water within the heavy glass vase that did not blow over in the breeze. This was the first Christian romance novel she had ever read. She inhaled the sweet fragrance in the air.

  19. A sliver of sunlight touched her golden hair as she tucked it behind her ear. Alice couldn’t believe she actually felt comfortable this far away from home. The book she read took her into another world that was just what she needed…a get-a-way from a life she felt had shattered before her.
    A line in her book struck a chord with her. “I can’t believe this is happening,” Frances wailed. “You really are going to walk right out that door?” She hurried on to the next few lines anxiously wanting to know what Frances’s reply to Paul’s answer would be. Maybe it’s something she should have said when her husband Travis, of fifteen years told her he was leaving.
    Instead, Alice laid her head back in the huge wing back chair and laughed out loud. She closed the book, looked toward the cloudless sky and picked up a horror novel.

    1. Eva, I could only sign in under google...fun idea. Thanks, Alice Klies

  20. Elizabeth was captivated with his words. She longed to finish the chapter, but was obligated to slowly take apart the sentences word by word, trying to comprehend the sharp wit and style of Mr. Twain’s newest novel.

    His attendance was approaching, as her well-to-do mother had invited him over since meeting him at the last social. It had always been a dream of Elizabeth’s to meet an author of such fame and stature. As such, she wanted the insight and sprite phrases to have something to confer with the man.

    She had lost track of time. Yellow roses of friendship graced the table for hours, but she found herself inside the story of Mr. Twain’s plot. In minutes, she would have to explain her contrary and stubborn habit, the use of unconventional methods to feel soft grass and fresh painted porch under her bare feet. Certainly Mr. Twain would understand.

  21. It happened so quickly. Cameron, the love of her life, was gone. The pickup truck slid off the icy road into the river. His body was discovered the next day.

    They met in college. He was a real gentleman. For her, it was love at first sight. They had been married seven wonderful years. And now... now she was alone. The only thing that brought her a bit of comfort was recreating their last evening together while reading his favorite book.

    The balcony, off their small apartment, was their romantic get-a-way spot. It was surrounded by the beauty of nature, almost hidden from the outside world. Anica covered the small round table with the heirloom tablecloth, gingerly placing the potted plant near the center. Yellow roses were a must. Cameron always gave her yellow roses.

    She grabbed the satin pillow and relaxed into the fanned-back chair. She opened the book.

  22. Sara Beth often rose with the dawn to gather dew-covered flowers from her garden before starting her day. This morning was no exception. She lazily strolled through her garden, admiring the beauty God entrusted to her. A rainbow of bright colored flowers and luscious green vegetation surrounded her.

    “I’d better get moving, I have a full schedule today.” Sara Beth sighed. She turned back toward the house, yellow beauties in hand. Mission accomplished, now to the kitchen to…


    Oh no. There it was – the unfinished novel, beckoning her from the patio table. As her body drifted toward it, her mind feebly reminded her she didn’t have time.

    “I’ll just read a few pages.”

    She gently placed the roses on the table, then curled up her favorite reading chair, book in hand.

    Yes, she had things to do.

    But they could wait.

    1. ok, typo..."then curled up IN her favorite reading chair"....oops :-)

  23. I can do this. Wait, is my chest moving too fast? Calm down Victoria.
    She lifted the book, but words swam on the page. She drew her legs onto the rib of the wicker chair and leaned further into the soft pillow. Gram’s pillow. Footsteps sounded from behind, a faint thudding shuffle in the grass. Victoria closed her eyes and breathed in rose and lilac. I can do this.
    Leather against the brick patio heralded his coming. “There you are my dear. I didn’t believe…”
    Victoria glanced at the old man, tears filling her eyes. She swallowed. “Charles, of course I’m here. Did you bring the papers?”
    His rheumy eyes blinked. Was her deceit working? He dropped a stack beside the yellow primrose blossoms. Harold’s signature glared at her.
    Not this time, cousin. She smiled at Grandfather. “Off to bed, love. I’ll be there soon.” His home was safe.

  24. Ava couldn’t put it down. The writer kept her enthralled and in suspense, sometimes laughing and sometimes almost biting her nails. It was the kind of story that took her breath away. Even though it was a gorgeous summer afternoon, she felt a shiver of fear. Ava loved it that way.
    The sun was setting and the air cooled. A hand touched her bare shoulder, and a low voice commanded, “Turn around.”
    Ava rose and faced the man with the sonorous voice. She couldn’t distinguish his features. She gasped as his hand went over her mouth and he circled her with his arm. In a split second she perceived the danger, and her self-defense training automatically took over. Before he knew it, her attacker was on the ground and in a great deal of pain, beautiful, “delicate” Ava sitting atop him, screaming for George.

  25. Can a man enter? If so, here is my entry. If not, oh well, I tried.

    The love of her life was fighting those invading Yankees. Before he left, she gave him a lock of her hair wrapped in her favorite handkerchief.

    “Come back to me whole, Robert,” she begged, in tears.

    “Of course I will, if the Lord wills, my darling Susan.” He held her close for what seemed to her a mere instant.

    The months that followed were like centuries to her longing heart. Troubled by recent news from the North, Susan nestled into her favorite porch chair for the afternoon. She couldn’t concentrate on the novel before her, and forgot the pleasant fragrance of the beautiful roses from the bush he had planted for her. She was so intent on her reminiscing that she didn’t notice the soldier coming up the lane. His sudden arrival surprised her. But her surprise turned to joy: her beloved Robert, though wounded and limping, was home.

  26. Posting this again because I'm not sure if it went through....I don't see it.

    The serenity of the summer day did nothing to quiet Emily’s apprehension. Her mother’s recent death exacerbated the turbulent emotions she’d struggled with since her parents’ estrangement years ago after she married a man they despised. Disconnecting from her life, they offered no justification for their behavior. Her priest, therapists and recovery groups left her question unanswered. Why did you abandon me?
    Now, in her hands was the only thing that had been left to her; her mother’s journal, sympathetically handed over by their attorney only an hour ago.
    The sun could not warm the chill from her body and her hands trembled as she turned to the first page and began reading her mother’s familiar script.
    “My darling daughter, It is only in death than I can disobey the vow I made to your father. These pages will provide you with answers and hopefully, peace. Please forgive me.”

  27. Good grief! Why am I trying to read this book? I've been reading and re-reading this paragraph for ten minutes. I can't keep what the preacher said yesterday out of my mind long enough to read a page of my favorite Jane Austin book.

    The third chapter of John, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    It won't leave me alone! I hate it. The scripture pains me. It convicts me. It tells me I am lost and no amount of good work will save me. It tells me I have to believe in someone who lived two thousand years ago or what? Hell...Heaven...what is eternity anyway?

    Ok God, I surrender. I'll do it. I'll say the sinners prayer before anyone wakes up and hears me.

    "Lord, please help me. Please save me from myself and all this crazy life. I accept you as my Lord and Savior; that you lived a sinless life and died to ransom me and all of mankind from death. I pray forgiveness of my sins and for power in the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen!

  28. Lazy Summer Morning
    The golden rays beckon me. The dew sparkles like diamonds scattered across the grass. The perfume of roses fills my senses.
    I stroll through the damp grass and relish the feel of the earth’s carpet. I can’t resist cuttings from my rose bush. The roses’ perfect symmetry and delicate petals capture me. They remind me of my Creator’s love. I place my roses in a vase and set them on my patio table.
    This morning is filled with the wonder of God’s presence. I will sit here in this morning light with this neglected book. I shut the door on the clamoring agendas that try to distract me from my purpose. As I crack the book open and take a deep breath I feel God’s smile. After all, He is the one that created this glorious, lazy summer morning.

  29. The picture on the cover showed a young woman reading a book. Her long, blonde hair lies softly around bare shoulders. A low-cut, rose colored blouse tops her flowered skirt. She’s leaning against a high back chair that curls with multi-colored flowers. More flowers wrap themselves around a metal railing hemming an unseen deck.

    It’s a charming woman’s photo, but it throws me. The girl’s dress and her expression seem contradictory. In a dress like that at Tara, she could be Scarlett O’Hara waiting for Rhett or Ashley. As it is, the more modern scene leaves me wondering—is she really too engrossed in the book to care whether her date is on time or not?

    Or perhaps it’s just me. If I got dressed up like that, I’d be expecting someone! And a book, as much as I love them, would never replace a someone.

  30. Observing her quietly reading on my front porch, you would never guess the kind of year my daughter had just experienced.

    You wouldn’t guess that in January her high school sweetheart had unexpectedly called off their engagement leaving her shocked and disillusioned.

    You wouldn’t imagine that two weeks after her wedding was called off, she had been involved in a car accident that put her in physical therapy for three months.

    And you wouldn’t suspect that it was nearly a year after her college graduation before she found a job.

    You wouldn’t guess any of these situations because despite the challenges of the past year, today she is at peace experiencing healing in both heart and body.

    As I watch her entranced by the timeless tale of Emma, I’m reminded that God is faithful. And I will trust Him with the next chapter of her story.

  31. Jim stood behind the edge of the curtain where Serena couldn’t see him. He loved to watch her. He loved her. Coming to the cottage was the right thing. She needed the space, the beauty. She needed to breathe.

    He smiled as she twirled her hair while she was reading. Such a small thing, yet it told him so much. Told him she was relaxing…that she had dove head first into the deep end of the novel he brought for her—that she was letting go of the stress that had stolen her smile and pain that was stealing her heart.

    Would she realize the story was about her…about them? Would she see herself in the beautiful, but conflicted Gina? Would she…could she ever come to trust him like Gina learns to trust Liam? He had never written anything like this before. He hoped he sold this story…to her.

  32. Mara scratched behind her ear. The hike at sunset through Itasca Park had seemed inspired. She and Gordon were ignorant of the instincts of twenty-million mosquitoes. The lake sparkled through the trees. The sky was dotted with rose-tipped clouds as blue turned to coral. As long as they kept moving, nothing was amiss.
    Stopping at the overlook, he took her into his arms. They breathed deeply of the pine-scented woods. She gazed into his clear blue eyes.
    “What’s that humming noise?” His question interrupted their embrace. The swarm of voracious insects descended.
    “Ah! Oh! What…?” They stepped back, swatting madly. There were too many of “them,” too few hands and arms to defend themselves. Joining hands, they bolted down the path. Their only escape was jumping in the chilly waters.
    Thanking God for bug spray, she took her eyes back to the top of the page and started again.

  33. Could I just have a minute to clear my thoughts? To get lost in my book where freedom reigns and love abounds. The soft, turning pages do my soul good. And I can forget myself in the confines of this garden.

    This is my escape. A place where I can get lost in the throws of a romance novel. I can curl up and get lost in the pages I turn. Another world so far away, but one I become entrenched in.

    My world is filled with people pleasing, high teas and grand balls. But when I run away to the place where no one can find me, I can get lost and be someone else. I can become the character. The girl who finds true love and runs off to the big city. I can leave where I am. All by holding my book and turning the pages.

  34. If Jacob hadn’t died, we’d be mar... The letters smudged, dispersed by tears, into other words. She’d heard of Jacob. The war. Her aunt’s collapse. Sarah wasn’t sure she should read the diary. Her cousins protested when their mother, aunt Cece, gave it to Sarah.

    Her father hated Cece. Sarah loved her. She loved the pastel dresses lined with lace and thick bows tied in the back that awaited her arrival each summer, the tea parties with Cece and her mother on this same veranda, the poetry Cece recited as though it were conversation. She loved it all. Except her cousins. “You’re poor,” Maggie once said, disgusted. Decades later, nothing changed.

    “Why’re you here?” Maggie asked. Sarah wasn’t sure. Just that Cece asked her to come.

    Watching Mary read to her -her fingers grasping Mary’s - she giggled, I laughed so I wouldn’t cry. My Sarah… Sarah?

    Me. Her Sarah.

  35. I'm so anxious for your feedback! I respect your credentials...and value your opinion!