Friday Flash – “Prizes”

  The Cracker Jack drawer was my favorite.

The cupboards built under the stairs were as old as the house itself, and required much pulling and coaxing to surrender their treasures.  I rooted through trunks and armoires during my summer week with grandparents.  Once I discovered the bin of yesteryear’s prizes, I barely missed television or neighborhood kids.

A lick-and-stick tattoo,

a plastic party snapper,

thumbnail-size flipbooks,

miniscule magnifying glasses …

the detritus of an old woman’s love for caramel corn and a hoarder’s sense of preservation.  These remnants considerately left in an accessible bottom drawer for children to discover anew each season.

I didn’t even mind the silent dinners.

Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the Friday Fictioneers group.  Each week a photo prompt is given with a request for 100-word stories.  You can read more flash pieces by visiting the site and clicking on the collections link.  As my interests include both flash fiction and creative nonfiction, my contributions vary in genre.   I trust you will find even life itself to be a good story.


This Month’s Good Reads

Sometimes you go for a while with nothing good to read.  Everything is dull, passe, boring, and smells a bit like last week’s re-heated meatloaf.  Of course, that isn’t the books’ fault.  It’s really our own lives and attitudes reflected in our entertainment choices.  And then it passes.

English: A bored person

We get out of our funk, or run into an old friend who recommends a good book, or a new title catches our eye.  We’re hooked all over again.  The new story engages and ignites our imagination, and we dive into that other world, those other thoughts, with fresh eyes and energy.

100 Cupboards

The last month seems to have been an abundance of good reads, and I want to share them with you.  As all good things in my house start with my children, so do the best books.  Our read-aloud for a number of weeks has been the 100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson (100 Cupboards, Dandelion Fire, & The Chestnut King).  This creative young adult trilogy follows Henry through his adventures to the worlds that lie beyond strange cupboards built into his bedroom wall.  Part Wizard of Oz, part Peter Nimble, these books have captured all ages in our house!

I’ve picked up a couple of magazines – The Horn Book, venerable children’s literature periodical, and Creative Nonfiction Magazine – a collection of essays and observations from around the globe.  Both were great for seeing what is new in publishing and stepping outside the doors of my small town mind.

Also, knitting is not funny.  Unless you are reading any of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s books.  Her most recent collection of quirky commentary – All Wound Up – follows up the success of her previous volumes, Yarn Harlot, and Free Range Knitter.  They are laugh-out-loud funny, especially if you are involved in any kind of craft or fiber art.  The family anecdotes from her three daughters and their fight for storage space in their tiny Toronto townhouse will identify with any mother, as well.

Those are just a few of my recent favorites.  Check out my growing list of what I’ve read over at GoodReads when you have a chance.  What are you reading, and why is it worth sharing?  Post a comment below – you never know when your suggestion might get somebody out of their bad book blues!