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FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE #21. @pursoot #Writing Community #IARTG #ASMSG

Award-winning author, Suzanne Burke, provides a photo prompt and challenges us to write a short story, poem, or one-liner inspired by a photo prompt. Everyone is invited to join in on the fun.

I tried to write a Haiku poem incorporating the last or first names of those authors who have actively contributed to each week’s Fiction in a Flash Challenge. I hope you enjoy this special tribute to Suzanne Burke and the authors who support her.

   A HAUNTED HOUSE FOR AUTHORS
 
THE WOLVES HOWELLED ONE NIGHT
WHILE THE PSIKEICS WERE EATON
IN PLANO SITE WITHOUT
KARENG OR JOANING OTHERS
 
THE AUTHORS AWOKE,
FROM THEIR NIGHT’S SNOOZ WITH CLAIR MINDS
FINNALLY READY
TO JUMP WRITER’S BLOCK HURDLE.
 
THE GHOSTS OF AUTHORS
FILLED THE HALLS WITH HARMONY
ENLIGHTENING THEIR MINDS
TO BIGGAR AND BETTER WORKS.
 
PHOTO PROMPTS INSPIRED
EACH AUTHOR TO WRITE A POEM,
STORY, SHORT OR LONG,
THANKS TO THEIR LEADER, SOOOZ BURKE.
 
 

Thank you for stopping by today and reading this blog. I invite you to go to Suzanne Burke’s website and become a follower. Her books are amazing and I have personally enjoyed each and every one of them. https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.

FICTION IN A FLASH #20 #IARTG #ASMG #Writing Community @pursoot

Award-winning author, Suzanne Burke, has presented a photo prompt for which everyone is invited to write a short story, poem, or one-liner. Join the fun and time of creativity.

This week’s photo prompt brought several ideas to mind, but I chose a poem in Tanka form. This is a Japanese style that consists of 31 syllables, divided in 5-7-5-7-7 format.

THE EMPTY SADDLE
 
THE BREAKING OF DAWN
OF YELLOW, GOLD, AND PURPLE
PAINTED BY GOD’S HANDS
SYMBOLIZED NEW BEGINNINGS
AFTER A STORMY, SAD NIGHT.
 
THE EMPTY SADDLE
WHERE SHE ONCE RODE HER HORSE, BABE
WITH ME BY HER SIDE
IS NOW SLOWLY LED HOMEWARD
WITHOUT THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.
 
I STAYED BY HER SIDE
I HELD HER COOL AND FRAIL HAND,
I KISSED HER SWEET LIPS
THEN SAID GOODBYE TO MY LOVE
ALWAYS TO LIFE IN MY HEART.
 
WITH EACH NEW SUNRISE
I GAZE UPWARD, SIGH, AND PRAY
FOR STRENGTH AND COURAGE
TO LIVE EACH DAY WITHOUT HER
‘TIL MY SADDLE IS EMPTY.
 

I invite you to go to Suzanne Burke’s website, learn about this amazing woman, become a follower of her blog, and buy one or more of her books. I highly recommend each and every one of them. https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

I enjoyed writing this poem inspired by the beautiful photo prompt. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

READING & WRITING…NO ARITHMETIC!

I have always loved to read books, sometimes more than once. I love to write which covers a wide range from articles to novels to blogs. However, there is no love for arithmetic, and I only do it when absolutely necessary.

Today, I am sharing about two books I have recently read, which deserve the 5 star reviews I wrote. 
The first one is Eternal Road by John Howell.
"This book combines death, history, geography, and romance all into one amazing story. James and Samantha travel through time witnessing historical events and meeting historical people. There are lessons and choices for each of them as they travel together. Romance is renewed after many years of being apart due to Samantha's untimely murder.
A favorite part is when Samantha's murderer pays for his crime which she witnesses. Her murder scene is described in a way that affected me deeply, so allowing Samantha to see his "just rewards" was good for me, the reader.
I highly recommend this book, which will give the reader a lot to think about." https://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Road-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B08GL135KQ
Comes This Time to Float: 19 Short Stories, by Stephen Geez is a masterpiece of human behavior. There are stories about everyday life, challenges, disappointments, families, social issues. 
My review: In each of the nineteen short stories is a description of everyday life. Mr. Geez's creative writing style brings extra joy in reading this collection. As I read each story, I thought "this is my favorite", but all 19 stories were my favorites. This is a must-read book. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0846WY2HZ/

Each of these books are available on Amazon. I invite you to buy, read, and review them. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog.

PINK & TEAL: BREAST & OVARIAN CANCERS

Today, Sept. 30, marks the final day of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and tomorrow, Oct. 1, is the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

There are a few facts that about the relationship of these two cancers which every female needs to be aware of.

  1. All females are at risk of contracting either or both of these cancers.
  2. BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes exist to repair damaged DNA
  3. When those genes are damaged they are designated as mutated putting the woman at higher risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.
  4. These mutations are most common in Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish women, followed by Hispanics.
  5. According to the American Cancer Society in Jan. 2020, it was estimated there would be 268,000 breast cancer diagnoses and 41,760 deaths.
  6. And, for ovarian cancer it was estimated that there would be 21,700 new cases and 13,900 deaths.
ROBERT HOLLOWAY, MD, GYN. CANCER RESEARCH
  • According to the American Cancer Society as of March 1, 2020, breast cancer was funded $97,215,750, and ovarian cancer was funded $21,604.
The important message from this blog is:
 1. Be aware, alert, and act on any symptoms if lasting more than  two weeks.
2. Know your risk factors and family history
3. Support research by giving to various fundraisers and contact your Congressman about the need for more cancer research funding.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this blog. As you have learned, cancer does not care what age, race, religion, or our social status. I hope you each have learned something over this past month.

“FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE” #19. #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Award-winning author, Suzanne Burke, provides a photo prompt and invites everyone to write a short story, poem, or one-liner based on the photo. This week’s photo inspired me to write one of many stories or poems, because I lived in Hollywood the last two years of high school. I walked down Hollywood Blvd. to go to school where I had classes with Annette Funicello and Stephanie Powers.

The story within the Tanka Poem is true. I hope you enjoy it. Some happy memories about an amazing film personality came back to me.

HOLLYWOOD WAS HOME
TO THE FAMOUS MOVIE STARS
SOME LIVED IN MANSIONS
SEEN DRIVING EXPENSIVE CARS.
 
BELA LUGOSI
WHO STARRED AS COUNT DRACULA
WAS MY NEW NEIGHBOR
WHO DAILY WALKED BY MY HOUSE
SURPRISED I KNEW WHO HE WAS.
 
HE SIGNED A PHOTO
WHICH I TREASURED ALL MY LIFE
WHILE WE TALKED AND LAUGHED
ABOUT DRACULA’S STORY
NOT LIKE BELA LUGOSI.
 
HE DIED ALONE, POOR
 NOT FROM A WOODEN STAKE PLUNGED
DEEP INTO HIS HEART,
 NOR SUNLIGHT AS TOLD IN BOOKS
ABOUT THE COUNT DRACULA.
 
A HEART ATTACK TOOK
HIS LIFE OF FAME, WITHOUT WEALTH
ENDING IN A GRAVE
WEARING DRACULA’S BLACK CAPE
BURIED IN CULVER CITY.

Unfortunately, I have lost the autographed photo of Bela Lugosi. He was a sweet gentleman, who lived and died in a small apartment three houses away. He was type-cast in the role as a monster or vampire. His career declined quickly once the Dracula movies were no longer in demand. He earned large sums of money which he spent unwisely on alcohol and opiates for his chronic sciatica pain. In those days, there were no residuals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this Fiction in a Flash piece. I encourage you to go to Ms. Burke’s website: https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/. Let your imagination go and write a poem or short story based on that week’s photo prompt. Have fun!

‘FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE’ WEEK #18 NEW PHOTO PROMPT.

JOIN IN THE FUN! #IARTG #ASMSG #WRITING COMMUNITY

Here is my Tanka poem based on the photo prompt below. This was an especially inspiring photo, because I love classical music and as a child I watched and listened to my grandmother play such music on the piano. I invite you to listen to this beautiful waltz as you read the blog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=1s9oM_vNlyY

STRAUSS WALTZ AND ROSE
 
Mozart wrote many
Nocturnes, Waltzes, and Preludes
But none could compare
To the Strauss composition,
Roses from the South, a waltz.
 
A Strauss rose exists
Inspired by this special waltz
With blooms like his love
For Adele Deutsch, his wife,
Pure and sweet forever more.
 
The pink bloom is strong
As graceful fingers hold it
Fragrant and perfect
The Strauss waltz and rose flower
Fill our souls with joy and peace.

As you listened to “Roses from the South” waltz, were you smiling, swaying, or did you get up and dance? Did you envision couples dancing in a large circle with women in their swirling dresses and men in tuxedoes? I hope it filled your soul with joy and peace. Please let me know how you reacted to it.

ADAPTING TO CHANGE

CHANGE IS ALWAYS WITH US, BUT WHEN WE RESIST IT WE CREATE MORE ANGER, DEPRESSION, AND PROBLEMS.

The Covid-19, has brought and continues to bring change to everyone in the world. We each have the choice to follow the recommendations of the CDC and our state’s mandates or not.

To embrace or adapt to change, we must first start with ourselves.

We each need our areas of sanctuary, safety, or peace. Call it whatever is right for you. My areas are my faith, husband and family, friends, meditative times, gardening, and enjoying the warmth of the sun. These are my anchors that keep me from sadness or anger. They help me to accept the world I now live in.

When we adapt to or embrace the new world, we let go of fear, make healthier and safer decisions for ourselves, and we find peace. We now can reach out to others with kinder hearts, help those in need, and be supportive of those who are struggling. Thanks to Pinterest for this perfect quote as illustrated.

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder describes how a more meaningful and fulfilling life can be created out of tremendously challenging times or events.

Eternal Road by John W. Howell is a story of good versus evil, of eternity, and of human choices that could destroy the world. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08GL135KQ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

With Covid-19 we have gone through doom and gloom, but it has also brought out the good in people: volunteers providing food, making and giving away face masks, creative ways businesses are serving their customers through curbside pick-ups, separating tables 6 feet apart, free home delivery of groceries, communicating more with Zoom and Face Time, neighbors sharing food, creative ways kids are being educated at home, and so much more.

How have you adapted to our changing world? Please share some examples of how you have changed, seen people reaching out to others, strengths and adaptability of yourself or others. Please share in the comment section. We can all learn from one another. Thank you.

YOUNG OVARIAN CANCER SURVIVORS

It is a common myth the ovarian cancer is only for us old folks! How very wrong! Ovarian cancer rates are highest in women aged 55-64 years. The median age at which women are diagnosed is 63, meaning that half of women are younger than 63 cancer and half are older.

McKenna “Kinni” Shea Xydias, at age 2, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  A fever and bloated abdomen were her symptoms. The 14-centimeter tumor was found over her right ovary, among other smaller cancerous tumors near her liver and abdomen. She is now cancer-free. https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/family/story/year-diagnosed-rare-ovarian-cancer-now-cancer-free-63781490

Desolina was six-years-old when she had symptoms that are typical of many, less serious childhood maladies— abdominal pain that was sometimes severe. But soon her parents started noticing more unusual signs, such as mood swings, early development of breasts and other evidence pointing to an unusually premature onset of puberty. http://ovarian.org/component/content/article/33/394

Nine-year-old, Kaylee Tolleson had stomach cramps. Ultimately, an ultrasound revealed a soft-ball sized cancerous tumor. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. https://abc7ny.com/kaylee-strong-kaylees-journey-ovarian-cancer-tolleson/5579407/

Doctors missed Kayleigh’s ovarian cancer TEN TIMES before discovering a 12 inch tumor. At just the age of 13, the cancer had already spread to her liver, spleen, bowel, and pelvis. As of this writing she is doing well. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5433719/Doctors-missed-13-year-old-girls-ovarian-cancer-TEN-times.html

Cristalle Wang was diagnosed with Stage 2 ovarian cancer when she was just 15. Ms Wang was given five months to live. “When the doctor said I had cancer, it felt so unreal. It didn’t occur to anyone that I would get this disease,” said Ms Wang, who has no known family history of the cancer. She is now cancer free and advocates for ovarian cancer research. https://www.clearityfoundation.org/15-year-old-battled-ovarian-cancer-and-won/

Three important messages to be learned from these five young girls. One, parents need to question if the symptoms that last 2 weeks could be ovarian cancer. Secondly, younger girls usually have a better chance of survival. And finally, there is the risk of damage or loss of certain organs (spleen, liver, colon, etc.), and the ability to get pregnant.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”
— Leslie Medley-Russell, teenage ovarian cancer survivor

“I think of how one day my life could possibly be normal, my life could possibly one day be cancer free. I will fight, and I will defeat this.”____16-year-old.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. There are many events and fundraisers being held virtually this year. Awareness and funds for research are the primary intentions. Thank you for your interest and taking the time to read today’s blog.

MEET A ONE-YEAR OVARIAN CANCER SURVIVOR

My special guest today, Dorine Olive, a one-year survivor of ovarian cancer. She is a high-energy, personable, and positive thinking young woman. Her diagnosis of Stage IIC cancer was unexpected. She has no family history, and her only symptom was a slight hardness in the side during a “twisted lunge and bow” yoga pose. She has been practicing yoga for many years, so this new discomfort was unusual. She also thought she was gaining weight.

Ms. Olive went to a gynecology-oncologist who she had known for several years. A hysterectomy was performed. Unfortunately, a cancerous tumor was discovered.

Like many of us, Dorine thought it was a pulled muscle and waited several weeks before seeing a physician. Gynecology-oncologists recommend that if any symptom lasts for 2 weeks, to see their gynecologist immediately. It may well be something benign and easily treated, but it could also be more serious.

Six rounds of chemotherapy caused a common complication, known as neuropathy due to damage to the nerves of the hands and feet. Many diabetics often experience this same condition. Dorine has suffered with this painful condition for the past year, which is described as burning pain, weakness or numbness, and extreme sensitivity to touch.

When she finished her last round of chemotherapy, it was not enough to ring the brass bell in the chemo room. She rang a large bell in front of a local church with her friends and family there.

  • There are over 250,000 ovarian cancer survivors in the United States. Early detection is very important for any disease, particularly for ovarian cancer. The average length of time between symptom and diagnosis is 5-6 months.
  • Stage I: 92% survival of 5 years
  • Stage II: 76% survival of 5 years
  • Stage III & IV: 30% survival of 5 years.

Please leave any questions or comments below. If you want a free paperback copy of my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, please leave your name/address in the “contact” section. I can also provide pamphlets and symptom cards at no cost to you.

FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE #16. JOIN THE FUN! @pursoot #Writing Community #IARTG #ASMSG

Welcome everyone to my blog. It is with great pleasure that I share another Flash Fiction challenge. Suzanne Burke, an award-winning author, has provided a photo prompt, which is quite beautiful of a wolf in a wintry scene. I love the photo and wrote the Tanka poem as shown below.

WINTER SNOW HAS COME
AND I'M LOST FROM THE WOLF PACK
BUT I DON'T GIVE UP
SEARCHING THROUGH THE SILENT WOODS
HOWLING WITH MY HEAD RAISED HIGH

My thanks to Suzanne Burke for providing this flash fiction challenge. I invite you to go to her website, read her amazing books, and follow her blog. I encourage you to try to write just a one liner, a short story, or a poem based on that week’s photo prompt. https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

What thoughts and images come to your mind as you look at the photo prompt? What emotions come forward? Fear? Loneliness? Danger? Sadness? I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you for reading my blog.