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IMPORTANT NOTICE

These past months the number of participants in the Weekly Writing Exercise has steadily dropped. Perhaps that simply reflects a decrease in the number of active members in the Community, but we cannot know. However, even though I like doing it, maintaining the Exercise if nobody takes part is absurd. Therefore, I ask you:

What do you think of the Exercise? Do you like it or not? Do you like the format or not?

I've consulted the moderators and we've been thinking of several possibilities:

- Making the Exercise run for a week, or even a month.
- Dropping the contest side completely, or making it a contest monthly instead of weekly.
- Dropping the word limit. (With this I mean not setting any word limit)
- Transforming the Exercise/Contest into a simple prompt offer: we give a prompt, you write if you want. Either in the comments or on your own webspace. And then other people could give their feedback wherever they want.
- Simply dropping the Exercise altogether.

Could you please give your opinions below? Thanks to you all.

This post will be up this week and a decision will be taken afterwards.
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The Portal by +Michele Hudson

Always so small, seeming so cramped even though it was a transfer of energy not mass. I always felt as if I was being crushed, reduced down to the size of the device that materialized itself moments before it materialized my body for the mission. Because of this, I always materialized in a crouch. It didn’t matter if I’d been awake or asleep, running, standing, sitting in a chair, or contorted into a yoga stretch when the mission initiated. It had been this way for me from the very first transfer.

My fellow travelers had no idea why I landed this way after every transfer. It had never happened to any of them. Not a single one, or so they all said. Either at least a few of them were lying (my thought) or I truly was the freak they thought I was.

This mission came while I was sleeping. Another abnormality the others swore never happened to them. Missions were supposed t only be initiated after consent was received that the traveler was willing and able to accomplish the task. I often woke from dream drenched nights to find myself newly materialized in a foreign place, crouched with my head down low ok’ing at the transfer and knowledge device.

This time not only was the night thicker than usual with dream, but I was literally drenched. There was rain tapping on my skull and my spine. Collecting in the collar of my sweater and slipping slyly under my scarf to trail coldly done my spine.

The only positive I had found from this position over the years that my mission device was always right in front of my eyes and ready with the mission background. This rain slicked night was no exception, and as I read the details, the water sliding down my face was augmented with warm salty tears; and the chill in my spine shot straight from rain induced to terror driven...


######

Congratulations +Michele Hudson! You've given the image a spin I didn't suspect, well done. Now I want to read more!
Weekly Writing Exercise: May 28-June 3, 2018

Today's image is a dramatic illustration by Taipei-based artist Crystal Kung. I've had it stored for some time; as usual, I felt it hid stories that you can unravel.

Tell us what's happenning, what has happened or what's going to happen. Tell us what the girl's feeling right now. Tell us what you think about it. Tell us what it makes you feel.

Tell us.

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links to Crystal's amazing work:
Image: http://crystalkung.tumblr.com/image/106662856634
Behance Gallery: https://www.behance.net/crystalkung
Home site: https://www.crystalkung.com/
Tumblr: http://crystalkung.tumblr.com/

#writingprompt #flashfiction
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Weekly Writing Exercise: May 28-June 3, 2018

Today's image is a dramatic illustration by Taipei-based artist Crystal Kung. I've had it stored for some time; as usual, I felt it hid stories that you can unravel.

Tell us what's happenning, what has happened or what's going to happen. Tell us what the girl's feeling right now. Tell us what you think about it. Tell us what it makes you feel.

Tell us.

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links to Crystal's amazing work:
Image: http://crystalkung.tumblr.com/image/106662856634
Behance Gallery: https://www.behance.net/crystalkung
Home site: https://www.crystalkung.com/
Tumblr: http://crystalkung.tumblr.com/

#writingprompt #flashfiction
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Deadlines by +Carla Moon
When I let go of the phone, after poor Mom hung up, I realized that the already used oxygen was cut off and bubbles began to rise, I had to get to some air quickly or perish. It appears that since they began to put oxygen tanks in the phone booths, people have begun to disappear in town. I’m the kid on the pole, missing. My heart began to thump in my throat. I thought they would pick me up. Ha! What was I thinking?! All I had to do was pick up some groceries, I thought. I was sold out my last moments.
I slowed down my breathing to conserve what I had, though expanded being so deep and began to float up. I didn’t want to let go of the phone, but no one was there anymore, I guess and I’d have to fend for myself. Letting go of the receiver I let go of a few bubbles from the hose attached to my suit. I have a small reserve but must get more soon or die. It made me disgusted that things could change so quickly and yet, I should have been prepared. My thoughts ran to my diving training and whether or not it included no oxygen and how to find it. I guess I could look for another booth. Yes. That would be the smart thing.
Mom and I had been having trouble lately, I have so many finals coming up and I need to study, she just wants me to entertain the thought that some girls would like to meet me. I haven’t had time to think of that sort of thing right now, couldn’t she just wait? No, she HAD to invite girls to dinner every night. I’ll be through with school soon, I thought: I don’t need this!. Then, it happened. She had a heart attack. What was she doing?! You can’t do that... I have finals. She passed away and I suddenly didn’t care about finals. I walked out of school and just kept walking. I didn’t particularly know where but somewhere besides here. It may have been foolhardy but I couldn’t face my finals, the sadness wouldn’t let me. Someone reported me to the police as missing. I’m not missing. I’m right here. I looked up, feeling trapped and unable to breathe, I just felt numb. She hung-up. She didn’t put me on hold, she hung-up. She downright cut off the oxygen, left the line. Numb.
My name is Paver, so, naturally, all of the “walked on” jokes came around. Mom was someone I could go to when people laughed. She always understood.
“Paver! Let’s go to a movie. Things are getting hard to take again, I could use some entertainment.” “Sure, Let’s go.” Didn’t take any thinking, it was something to do, to change the current situation. Enough to get away from everything to calm down. It rarely worked to me, but she thought it was a miracle cure, every time. I realized later she was right, but I didn’t tell her I knew. I changed my mind. I Went to the movie, alone. Watched Power Rangers and on the way home, I realized it wouldn’t be the same. I’d be fine. But, for a while there I thought I would die from sadness. I wondered why I didn’t or couldn’t. It feels bad, but physical life doesn’t care much about spiritual. I reached the top of the water, took a huge gasp, moved the blanket from my face, and realized it was just a dream.

######

Congratulations +Carla Moon! An oniric sequence, certainly. I saw the shifts and the changes and I didn't realize it was a dream. Well done!
Weekly Writing Exercise: May 21-27, 2018

I've commented before that I have a secret stack of images that I consider would make fine prompts for the weekly exercise. Usually I go check and try to choose which one I want to use. But sometimes something different happens.

Today's image appeared in my G+ timeline and I decided immediately that I wanted to use it as a prompt. Once again it's from DeviantArt: it's titled 52Hz, by artist Eimer. Take my word: please just check the highest resolution and be amazed at Eimer's work. The amount of detail in there is astounding!

Oh and while you're at it, write a story inspired by the image, will you? And vote for your favourite stories!

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links:
Image: orig00.deviantart.net/69a6/f/2016/080/a/6/52hz_by_eimer-d9vy6j6.jpg
Gallery: eimer.deviantart.com/gallery/

#writingprompt #flashfiction

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Weekly Writing Exercise: May 21-27, 2018

I've commented before that I have a secret stack of images that I consider would make fine prompts for the weekly exercise. Usually I go check and try to choose which one I want to use. But sometimes something different happens.

Today's image appeared in my G+ timeline and I decided immediately that I wanted to use it as a prompt. Once again it's from DeviantArt: it's titled 52Hz, by artist Eimer. Take my word: please just check the highest resolution and be amazed at Eimer's work. The amount of detail in there is astounding!

Oh and while you're at it, write a story inspired by the image, will you? And vote for your favourite stories!

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links:
Image: orig00.deviantart.net/69a6/f/2016/080/a/6/52hz_by_eimer-d9vy6j6.jpg
Gallery: eimer.deviantart.com/gallery/

#writingprompt #flashfiction

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The Dating Game by +E.M. McCarthy

Oh no! I know the dating site, elakeHarmony, has changed its algorithm recently, but they have got to be kidding.

Yes, she seems nice enough.

What's she doing? A spell? A love spell? Her religious preferences are none of my business, so what if she is a Satanist? So she has a book of spells. I must say I don't want to be manipulated into a relationship.

I suppose spells may even have a list of warnings, sort of like all those drug ads, you know the kind that warn, “this medicine may cause dizziness, fainting and a dangerous drop in blood pressure, but you won't be lonely when you die,” that sort of thing.

Maybe I can break the ice by complimenting her somehow? But how? This is the problem with dating via the internet. There is no way to really interact other than smiley faces and how can you eliminate a smiley face on your dating list? And so you therefore waste precious time meeting birds not of your feather.

Let's just hope for the best, eat quickly and make an excuse to get out of here.

I don't want to hurt her feelings by telling her I'm just not that attracted to her. I know honestly is the worst policy while dating. Better fake a cold. A very contagious cold so she doesn't expect me to kiss her!

She speaks up, “Nessie, right?”

“Yes,” I say.

She peers up at me, her eyes flaming with disgust. “You're a monster?”

“Why, yes. I am.”

She closes her book and snorts, “The famous monster?”

“Yes.” I nervously take a sip from my glass of water. I think I heard her correctly. With the background noises and laughter from the merry people at the restaurant I feel like I'm entering one of the nine circles of hell, which would make a lot of sense if she really is a Satanist.

“So that makes you a celebrity?”

“Well, I don't like to brag.”

“Tell me Nessie, do all Loch Ness monsters wear a suit, tie and cuff-links when they dine? Or are you trying to impress me?”

“Well, I am a celebrity.”

“I knew it!” She slammed her hand on the table making a loud thud. “You are a braggart. But what have you done with your celebrity status?”

“Excuse me?”

“What have you done? Have you done a benefits concert?”

“I...I...don't sing!”

“Do you build houses for the disadvantaged?”

“No, but I let my brother-in-law Angus stay with me two weeks each year on his holiday which is quite the charitable act.”

“Do you donate a large amount of money to worthy causes?”

“But I don't have any money!”

She stopped her rapid-fire questioning, blinked twice, and stared. Then, as if the last words were digested, she said, “Oh, look at the time. Sorry, I must be off! I have a protest to attend.”

“But it's nearly nine o'clock. Where on earth is there a protest?”

“No excuses! Good to meet you, and I'll give you a ring.”

She stood up, and before I could utter another word, she turned and marched forth to the front door. I knew she wouldn't ring, ever. But I didn't mind.

As my Granny likes to say, “Whit's fur ye'll no go by ye!” or in plain English, “What's meant to happen will happen.”

Somehow meeting her made me understand the ones that got away flew away to everyone's satisfaction.



Congratulations +E.M. McCarthy! Once again I had to break a tie, and what tipped me was the fact that you didn't take the image literally (I did, for example). I was amused by the use of Nessie and blind internet dating. It was fantastic!

Thanks to everyone who dropped by and took part, but people, please *CAST YOUR VOTES!
Weekly Writing Exercise: May 14-20, 2018

This week's image has been lying around in my Pinterest board of prospective prompts for quite some time. Today I decided it was time to use it.

It's an illustration titled Alchemist by DeviantArtist Drkav (Alena). What story does it inspire you to tell? Perhaps it's too concrete, but hey, we're writers, aren't we?

Also, do yourself a favour and check Drkav's gallery for an impressive collection of varied characters.

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links:
Image: drkav.deviantart.com/art/Alchemist-338371444
Gallery: drkav.deviantart.com/gallery/

#writingprompt #flashfiction
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Hi Everyone! I just joined this group and like what I've read. I'll hold back for a while just to get my bearings and add this wonderful activity to my weekly writing exercise.

Thanks.

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Weekly Writing Exercise: May 14-20, 2018

This week's image has been lying around in my Pinterest board of prospective prompts for quite some time. Today I decided it was time to use it.

It's an illustration titled Alchemist by DeviantArtist Drkav (Alena). What story does it inspire you to tell? Perhaps it's too concrete, but hey, we're writers, aren't we?

Also, do yourself a favour and check Drkav's gallery for an impressive collection of varied characters.

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links:
Image: drkav.deviantart.com/art/Alchemist-338371444
Gallery: drkav.deviantart.com/gallery/

#writingprompt #flashfiction
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Untitled by +Michele Hudson

I didn't so much collapse, as I just folded to the ground. Looking at my knees I realized that it was almost as if I was praying. But what was I praying for?

My neck started to tingle with heat. A single tear hovered at the edge of my sight; trapped by my long lashes. Yet, the heat wasn't so much painful, as a slow growing burn. More like the heat you welcome on your body on the first true sunny day of spring after a winter where the snow and cold seemed endless.

The tear finally escaped the Venus Fly Trap connection of my lashes as my eyes flew open, staring without seeing. A combination of pure searing pleasure and a cold anesthetic numbness crawled from my neck down between my shoulder blades. I shivered at the heat.

What was that feeling? Almost as if someone was petting me. Though it also felt as though their fingers were tipped with claws so thin and sharp that they sliced me as deftly as a filet knife. Pain flashing. Adrenaline rising. Then all sensations ceased for the barest fraction of time.

A second tear was imagined. I could sense it's wet warmth, and almost taste the slight hint of salt on my lips. The tear never came into being. I slowly closed my eyes, inhaling to make sure I still had control over something. Releasing the breathe I opened my eyes, prepared to stand back up as my sensations returned to me.

But I felt no resistance below my feet. I couldn't stand up. As my brain processed what my eyes were seeing, I realized the ground was no longer there to stand on. I was dangling about three feet in the air. Slowly I turned my head to look over my shoulder. Wondering if the brief razor sharp sensation was some kind of machine that had snagged me.

Slowly, slowly... Afraid to look and discover something that would have me screaming in terror. My worst fears were not realized. Instead, a dream my heart held buried deeper than thought was realized. I was not dangling, but hovering. Out of my back delicate sheer wings vibrated, keeping me aloft.

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Congratulations +Michele Hudson! It's fantastic, how you've delicately described the scene in detail, simply that and no less than that! I love the phrase -The tear finally escaped the Venus Fly Trap connection of my lashes_, it's fabulous.

So, I had to break a tie again, and Michele won this week. I'm glad to see new faces showing so much talent.

Thank you all for taking part and for voting. See you later with the next prompt.
Weekly Writing Exercise: May 7-13, 2018

Sorry I'm posting this one day late. Fact is, these last weeks I'm posting new prompts on Tuesdays and winners on Mondays, instead of Mondays/Sundays. I'll try to get back in track.

Again I have an illustration I liked by DeviantArtist Elentori, titled Find Something You Love. I think there may be several stories hidden here... Tell us yours, will you?

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links:
Image: elentori.deviantart.com/art/Find-Something-You-Love-409516842
Gallery: elentori.deviantart.com/

#writingprompt #flashfiction
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Weekly Writing Exercise: May 7-13, 2018

Sorry I'm posting this one day late. Fact is, these last weeks I'm posting new prompts on Tuesdays and winners on Mondays, instead of Mondays/Sundays. I'll try to get back in track.

Again I have an illustration I liked by DeviantArtist Elentori, titled Find Something You Love. I think there may be several stories hidden here... Tell us yours, will you?

READERS, PLEASE VOTE!

RULES

-All submissions must be up to 600 words, prose or poetry, and added as a comment. Only one submission per participant, please.
-Submissions must be related to the provided image.
-Commentaries are not allowed and will be deleted.
-Winners will be chosen by popular vote. Ties will be broken by me.
-VOTE for the story or stories you prefer. If you submit a story, please don’t vote for it.
-Winners will be announced each week on Sunday night, European time.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers.
-A chance to practice, practice, practice.
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

Have fun! Be creative!

Links:
Image: elentori.deviantart.com/art/Find-Something-You-Love-409516842
Gallery: elentori.deviantart.com/

#writingprompt #flashfiction
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