Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



A Family Gathering

The men sat in front of the TV at Michael’s parents watching a baseball game they weren’t interested in, but at least it was a sports event. They were having trouble staying awake.

The women were in the kitchen. Two were doing dishes. Someone was holding a sleeping cat, another was making a list of foods to bring to the next gathering, and they were all talking. Nonstop! There was rarely a quiet moment.

During a commercial, one man got the others’ attention. “What do they find to talk about? Sounds like a bunch of hens.” They all shrugged.

Written in response to Charli Mills May 6, 2021, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about party hens. Who are these chickens and why do they party? Go where the prompt leads!

As smartphones have become a constant companion for most people in the United States, landline phones are rapidly losing their relevance. In 2004, more than 90 percent of households in the U.S. had an operational landline phone – now it’s (significantly) less than 50 percent. That’s according to data provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, which has been tracking phone ownership in the U.S. as a by-product of its biannual National Health Interview Survey since 2004. Continue reading

National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day

When I first saw the picture for this day I wondered why they used orange slices.  Duh!  Orange is one of those words that has no rhyme.  There are a few others, but for as many words as there are, very few.  I’ll list some of them: arugula, beige, blitzed, chaos, circle, circus, fiend, film, gulf, kiln, midst, month, music, pint, purple, rhythm, silver, siren, toilet, width, woman.

It seems we could make a really interesting sentence using a whole bunch of those words strung together.  Have fun trying.  I tried to think if maybe we used an Irish brogue or southern drawl we come up with some words that sounded like they rhymed.  I gave up, not having either a brogue or a drawl.

So let’s look at the (NOR REASON) part of this day.  I hope you don’t mind my going off on a tangent.  I am currently reading a book that has so many words I have never seen before, mostly verbs, that I am questioning the writer’s goal.  I read to be entertained, not to take a vocabulary class.  My husband and I looked up one of the words last night and couldn’t come close to understanding why the author thought it was the right word to use in the context of his sentence.  I was glad it wasn’t just me that didn’t get it!

I have had the occasion to enjoy meals with  doctors, lawyers, and professors.  I have had people from those same professions in my quilting classes, and I have never met anyone that uses the big words they know while in general conversation.  They talk like anyone else does when around the table with friends.  So, why do authors do that, and why do their agents and publishers think it is all right?  Maybe I should be more open minded and enjoy the opportunity to learn, but it takes me out of the rhythm of the story.

I have often been told I write like I talk and I’m proud of that.  As you can see from my blogs, no big words here, just down home memories.  Many years ago I can remember using; the car was purple and going as slow as maple syruple…. I wonder what the context of the conversation was.

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