Mirage–Friday Fictioneers Challenge

What's the worse that could happen? So I get a few more wrinkles from my Thinky Face...

What’s the worse that could happen? So I get a few more wrinkles from my Thinkie Face…

I’ve decided to join Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

It’s a writing challenge in response to a photograph Rochelle posts each Wednesday.

The kicker is that the submission must be 100 words or less.

That’s a real challenge for me because:

1. I’m a sociologist by training and no one can write long, drawn out, complicated sentences like a sociologist can (except maybe a philosopher, but I doubt it)–see what I mean?

2. I’m in total, absolute, diabolically complete love with adjectives.

3. I never met an adverb that I didn’t invite in willingly and unquestioningly.

4. I feel the need to explain myself over and over and over again. Yes. I do.

5. Having deadlines and word limits makes me stressed and stress gets me all conflusterated.

But, I’ve never let a list of five things stop me from doing anything before, so why start (stop?) now?


Here I go.

Watch me.

Are you watching me now?

Are you watching me?



This is the photograph about which I’m supposed to write 100 words or less of something. (Those 16 words don’t count and neither do these 11 words.)



He dropped to his knees, his body trembling.

With raw, unfamiliar hands, he wiped his tear-stung eyes.

“It’s so freaking bright. Where the hell am I?”

The eerie sound of air whispering through emptiness answered him.

“How long have I been out here? What happened to me?”

He moaned as his voice disappeared into the vacuum of silence.

“Am I hot or cold? I can’t tell.” He frantically slapped his arms, then legs, to feel something real.

After a few moments he looked up, squinting. “Are those igloos?”

Pushing himself up, he grabbed a handful of sand.



I counted. It was exactly 97 words. But were they 97 good words?

Should I try this again next week?

Yeah, no. It's hard. But if I write better as a result, you'll thank me, because you have to read this malarky, not me. See? I really need to tighten up my writing, People.

Yeah, no. It’s hard. But if I write better as a result, you’ll thank me, because you have to read this malarkey, not me. See? I really need to tighten up my writing, People.

~ by Lorna's Voice on April 24, 2015.

57 Responses to “Mirage–Friday Fictioneers Challenge”

  1. Thanks so much! 🙂

  2. I personally hate doing these but you handle them well. I knew this was going to take a turn but you still surprised me. Excellent!

  3. Thanks so much for your very welcomed feedback! My blog is mostly zany (as you could tell from my opening remarks). But I am a serious writer (or I try to be), so I know this group and weekly challenge is going to help me. I have learned a great deal already by reading many of the excellent submissions! 🙂

  4. I vote yes! Also, Friday Fictioneers is a good way to tighten up that writing as you did very well here. Your protagonist is not having a good day and you set that scene very well. 🙂 That said, your list of five things made me laugh and was great on its own too. Welcome to Friday Fictioneers!

  5. Thanks so much for your comment and support, Rochelle. You will definitely see me back and I know this will help my writing. You have such a great collection of writers here! I’m learning as much from reading the various submissions as from trying to write the weekly challenge!

  6. Thanks so much! Stop by any time! 🙂

  7. Thanks, Peter. I try to make everyone feel equally tortured, er, um, special! 😉

  8. Your interviews really do have a charm and quality all of their own

  9. Good words, indeed. I really liked this line, “The eerie sound of air whispering through emptiness answered him.” Nice!

  10. Dear Lorna,

    Mark Twain is credited with having said, “If you see an adverb, kill it.” I find that to be a good rule.

    At any rate, FF is a delightful exercise in brevity. It’s done a lot for my own writing…even the longer pieces.

    I love your intro. I feel like I know you a little better. A hearty welcome to Friday Fictioneers and I hope to see you back next time.



  11. A man after my own heart! 🙂

  12. You’re a natural! And economical, (I would have zapped in three adverbs or adjectives just for the neatness of the thing!)

  13. I hope so! 🙂

  14. Thanks, Narelle! I hope to tighten up my writing and learn to think more creatively. If I do write another book, I want it to be better than the others… 🙂

  15. Thanks, I plan on it! 🙂

  16. That’s my goal” saying more with less. Maybe one day, all I will need to do is speak with emoticons! 😉

  17. Oh, I doubt that! But I may get a bit more short-winded! Thanks for popping by, Sandra! 🙂

  18. Think about it Victoria. I read many of the submissions and these are some great writers (prose and poetry) who take part in this challenge. I learned as much from reading their submissions as trying to write mine. They had such different takes on the photograph!

  19. Thanks, Elyse, I am!

  20. Go for it!

  21. Bravo. You did great. Learning to write economically is definitely a challenge–but see, you were still able to toss in a few adverbs and adjectives.

    I need something now to jump-start my writing. Maybe…

  22. Welcome. You’ll never be long-winded again… 🙂 Good one.

  23. The last line was a shocker. Good one!

  24. Welcome Lorna. I’ve been part of this group for over 3 years. Soon you’ll be saying more with less. I loved your intro and the story. I look forward to reading more of your work.

  25. Yes you should come back next week! This was most enjoyable!

  26. For an adverb lover, you accomplished a lot in 97 words 🙂 Keep going for sure.

  27. You’re certainly on the way.

  28. Are you sure, because I could go on… 😉

  29. Any practice I can get in paring down my wordiness is good, be for my books or for promotional material. I sometimes read amazing authors and marvel at how simply they write beautiful sentences. That’s what I want people to think when they read my work. Someday…Until then, I’ll practice. 🙂

  30. I’m hoping this practice will tighten up my writing, too. Thanks for the kind welcome! 🙂 I look forward to next week’s photo…

  31. Similar in the mirage , not the reactors. Yours was a great flash. I know what you mean about writing but believe it or not writing these flashes I believe really hones your writing skills and makes it much easier when you are trying to summarise an 80,000 word book into one sentence or 100 words. Not that you have said you are doing that. Look forward to reading more of your flashes as the weeks go by.

  32. Absolutely!

  33. See you next week!

  34. Welcome aboard FF, fantastic piece of writing and great take on the prompt. I’ve only been doing this for 5 weeks and it is great fun and somewhat addictive. The word count is my nemesis, but I have had loads of ideas off the back of it and it’s definitely tightened up my work. See you next week 🙂

  35. Thanks. My first shot at this and it was fun!

  36. Thanks for the support, Liz. I will. I wanted to write something silly, but the picture was so bleak…

  37. 🙂 My usual style is kind of wonky (as you saw. I could not pull anything zany out of my hat with this bleak photo, although I saw that a few managed. I have to learn to think more outside of that figurative box! Thanks for popping over and reading. 🙂

  38. Thanks so much! It’s something new and new is good, right?

  39. I loved every word (the caption ones as well). Keep going!!! Definitely!

  40. I enjoyed the Prologue and Epilogue more than the story 🙂 The story itself is on par with most of the Friday Fiction ones posted. Well done.

  41. That was really good, Lorna! Definitely keep going 🙂

  42. Got it

  43. Boy, is he in trouble. Some great descriptive writing here.

  44. Yes, I realized that I had to mine-sweep my adjectives to get this short piece short. That’s fine. I need more discipline! Thanks for popping over here and welcoming me to the fold! 🙂

  45. Sure, they’re fine words. Adjective-lovers do better with novel-length fiction, though. Writing “short” is an entirely different art form.

    It’s good practice. I thought I would hate it, but it turns out to be a wonderful format.

  46. Thanks. It’s something different and different is always good to stretch your writer’s wings, right?

  47. Very cool, Lorna. I like it. As far as your list of why 100 words is challenging for you, I especially relate to your number 4. Thanks for sharing this. Very fun.

  48. Well, I could write about 500 words more about my need to get my point across until I’m absolutely, positively, unequivocally unsure you understand what I’m trying to say because being understood is very important to me not only as a writer, but as a person. Do you understand? Do you get my point. It’s important that you get my meaning. Are we clear?

  49. Thanks so much! It was, as you know, my first try and I found it fun! 🙂

  50. Thanks, Gerry. I do love to write. But I am stuck–creatively that is. I thought that this might light a fire under me. Who knows?

  51. The “Lorna words” keep piling up, don’t they? 😉

  52. Thanks. I didn’t know what to do with the photo and it was my first try at flash fiction…

  53. Good one. 🙂

  54. Nicely done. And I love conflusterated. It’s a new word to add to the dictionary.

  55. I do think this a very clever challenge not really for me, but you have mastered, nice one.. but you have proved you like writing with all the intro’.

  56. Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! I enjoyed your story, a good twist.

  57. “I feel the need to explain myself over and over and over again. Yes. I do.”
    No I don’t believe you…

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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