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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

Sad Regrets – Flash Fiction

The devastating, but expected call came just before six-o-clock, her father was dead.

The Uber could only get within two blocks of the extravagant condo high rise because downtown streets were blocked for a jazz festival.

She entered the building with feelings in check and said her goodbyes. The music drew her to the balcony where a large sketch book lay on a table. She sat and opened it.

Sketch after sketch of the street below from each year of the festival. She was in each one, but had never been there. Regrets swept her; she should have been.

 

In response to Charli Mills June 28, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a sketch or about a sketch. It can be “A Sketch of a Romance” or “The Sketch of Aunt Tillie.” Go where the prompt leads you to scribble.

June 28: Flash Fiction Challenge

Music – Music – Music

This week in Rochester, New York we are enjoying the 17th year of The International Jazz Festival. It’s a nine-day music festival with 13 indoor venues and four outdoor. The outdoor stages provide free music from 4pm to 11pm. The indoor venues are mostly $30.00 shows and each night there is a headliner that tickets are normal concert prices. My husband and I have a nine day pass for the first time this year which means we can walk into and out of any show except the headliners, depending on the lines of course. This event is taking place downtown among our high-rises on blocked off streets. Not all the music is jazz, but a good portion of it is. And there are food trucks and open restaurants and lots of people and even more beer. I don’t know why, but walking on a public street with a glass of beer in hand, past one of the many police officers keeping watch, gives me the feeling of getting away with something. It’s fun. Continue reading “Music – Music – Music”

Tribute to Military Pilots – Flash BOTS

An Air Force pilot friend shared: My crew and I were walking to our plane for a training run and stopped in our tracks when the base fire siren went off. We looked around and then up. Our hearts jumped into our throats when we saw a plane rushing the runway on fire. It hit with a huge explosion. We didn’t believe anyone could survive, but not all was lost, within minutes six airmen walked from the smoke. We learned the meaning of “any landing you walk away from is a good landing; some are just better than others.”

In response to Charli Mills June 21, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about “not all is lost.” It can include recovery from disaster, an unexpected insight after a fall, or however the phrase moves you. Go where the prompt leads.

June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

 

Let It Go – Flash Fiction

The cocky author had gone to the writing conference feeling he would come away with an agent; the pamphlet said he could pitch them. He listened, open minded, to the various panel discussions and realized he would have to rewrite his whole manuscript so it started and ended with a bang. He decided it wasn’t worth his time, and appreciated the writing he had done had gotten him through a rough patch in his life. All was not lost: the next time he read a book, he read for pleasure instead of learning the craft. He felt oddly free.

 

In response to Charli Mills June 21, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about “not all is lost.” It can include recovery from disaster, an unexpected insight after a fall, or however the phrase moves you. Go where the prompt leads.

 

June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

Taking Stock

This past Saturday I went to an all day writing conference hosted by a local organization called Writers and Books, a non-profit that promotes literary art. I got to chat with some former teachers, spent time with a past fellow student and learned a few things. There were four different sessions going at the same time so you could pick the discussion that  would be of most use to your own situation. I sat in with the agents and learned they get between 25 and 30 query letters a day. That means yours has to be not only good but exceptional to be noticed. In the publishers forum I heard that the first paragraph of the manuscript has to be a truly awesome hook to get the person wanting more. I came away from the day with the conclusion that there are a lot of writers out there; some are pretty good, fewer are really good and even fewer get noticed. (Sort of like in the music business.) I didn’t hang around to pitch my manuscript to an agent because I have now accepted it needs more work than I am willing to put into it. I can still brag I wrote a good novel that my friends like, but it will probably never get published unless I do it myself.  Continue reading “Taking Stock”

Bouquets

When I got home from work the aroma of dinner, a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine waited. I exclaimed to my teenagers, “Wow. What’s the occasion?”

“Your birthday.”

“That’s next week.”

“We know. Surprise!”

“I’m going to cry.”

“Not allowed. Open the wine instead.”

“How did you get wine?”

“Dad took us. He said this Merlot has a great bouquet.”

“So Dad was involved in this?” I hesitated, took a deep breath and added, “You might as well call him to join us.”

“Really?”

“We told you, we’re just taking a break, not getting a divorce.”

In response to Charli Mills June 14, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet. You can explore the meaning of the word or gather a bunch of flowers. Go where the prompt leads.

 

Happy Birthday to Our Army

Formed from amateur troops of volunteer soldiers defending colonies against British tyranny, the oldest military force in the United States began before the U.S. formerly existed. Their forces consisted of mostly inexperienced militiamen commanded by independent colonial armies. According to battlefields.org, there were never more than 48,000 Continental soldiers at one time. Today, the United States Army consists of over one million active duty service members and an additional 800,000 National Guard and Reserves members. The enduring history of the U.S. Army means they have been integral to many of the United State’s military, peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts.  Continue reading “Happy Birthday to Our Army”

Stealing From Texas

Women’s Veterans Day June 2018-Texas

The National Association of American Veterans (NAAV) Inc., would like to announce a historic event taking place in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. This event is intended to “recognize women veterans of Texas.”

I saw the above announcement on Facebook so I had to investigate. Now I want to know why this is only a day in Texas and not the whole country. I don’t think Texans will mind if I showcase their day.

If you think about it, the nurses in the military for many, many years have been female. Women have also done other jobs and now we have female pilots, females on the ground in the front lines and female officers leading large groups of mixed sex soldiers. They have come to the front showing their capability and resourcefulness to get a hard job done. Following is a list of impressive females that have served the U.S. You can look up the link to read about them.

Seven Famous Women Veterans

  • Bea Arthur.
  • Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody.
  • Grace Murray Hopper.
  • Eileen Collins.
  • Harriet Tubman.
  • Elsie S. Ott.
  • Sarah Emma Edmonds.
military.com/veterans-day/famous-women-veterans.html
I have a lady friend that served during the Korean War. At that time in the U. S. ladies that went into the military were said to be either lesbian or whores. To this day my friend doesn’t openly admit she volunteered to serve her country because the stigma has stayed with her. I hope this day helps to alleviate that.
In my book anyone that serves their country (whichever one that might be) deserves special recognition as well as their families that support them on the home front. Nationalism is important to me. I hope it is to you to.

 

 

 

Daddy Can Dance

Two years after a bad motorcycle accident, Carl was the only father at the Kindergarten Father/Daughter dance in a wheelchair. He had trouble keeping track of Katie in the crowd but he came home with a feeling of exhilaration.

His wife smiled at the glitter on his suit. “How did you get covered?”

 “Lots of Katie’s friends wanted a ride on my lap and they had on sparkly dresses.”

“Pretty, but I’ll never get it all out.”

“That’s fine, every time it glistens I’ll celebrate being alive, and remember twirling with Katie and her friends.”

“Well said my love.”

In response to Charli Mills June 7, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about man glisten. It was a fun term coined by two men with glitter in their beards. What more could it embrace? Look to the unexpected and embrace a playful approach. Go where the prompt leads.

June 7: Flash Fiction Challenge

It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. According to the National Day of Calendar, vanilla ice cream is sold more than chocolate. I’ll have to think about that. It seems when we go for ice cream, there are more chocolate cones in view than vanilla, especially when it is soft ice cream, or custard. But if you think about the fact that pie à la mode usually uses vanilla and sundaes are often made with vanilla, then I guess the calendar information must be right. Really, what difference does it make in the long run. Continue reading

20 x 20 Vision

You know you are getting older when your son sits at the dinner table and admits it’s time he got glasses because the package labels he has to read working for UPS have become blurry. He’s 45. That’s about the age I got my glasses also. Aging isn’t for sissies.  Continue reading “20 x 20 Vision”

It Takes a Warrior

The nurse woke Maggie the morning after her right breast was removed. “Your husband wanted me to make sure you saw this.” She held up a framed picture of them holding compound bows. The inscription on the glass read, “To my warrior. Now you have an advantage. Your chief loves you.”

Even though it hurt, Maggie laughed. “We are professional archers. I have complained my boob gets in the way, now it won’t. That’s why we decided I shouldn’t have reconstruction. He tells me it will take a warrior to beat cancer and get strong enough to compete again.”

 

In response to Charli Mills May 31, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. Go where the prompt leads.

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