The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg is a shift from her previous books. We follow along as former classmates make decisions to attend or not attend their fortieth high school reunion. Some attend reluctantly, others hope for a second chance at connections and love. Not much goes as planned. The surprises are unpredictable and there are happy-ever-afters. Elizabeth Berg has this to say about The Last Time I Saw You: “I write novels for different reasons. Sometimes it’s my attempt to understand a certain issue or point of view. Sometimes it’s to pay tribute to someone or some thing. Sometimes it’s to explore relationships. Sometimes it’s all of the above. I also wanted to look at the nature of nostalgia. I wanted to show how sobering a realization it can be to understand that one is entering old age; and I also wanted to show the value…
“Flash Fiction is a story of 750-words or less that has a protagonist, a conflict, a setting, excellent use of language, and an ending that we didn’t predict when we read the first line. We enjoy stories with a discovery, complex characters, lovely language, and a tone that rings true.” — Writer Advice B. Lynn Goodwin, founder and proprietor of Writer Advice, suggests a winning formula is “A protagonist we care about, a distinctive voice, and a clear impact. Setting helps. So does conflict and resolution. We enjoy stories with a discovery, a surprise, and a tone that rings true.” I like Lynn’s attitude: “If the story feels squeezed at 750-words, don’t force it. There are plenty of journals where you can send your longer pieces.” DEADLINE: March 2, 2020. Early submissions strongly encouraged. PRIZES: First Place earns $150; Second Place earns $75; Third Place earns $40; Honorable Mentions will also be listed….
Guest Blogger Alisha Wielfaert encourages us to work through the difficulties rather than be stuck in the mud. This excerpt is from her December 4, 2017 blog post, with her epiphany about her year of travel. The glowing orange moon rose over the cypress swamp as we drove home with tired limbs, hungry bellies and full hearts after a long day of kayaking. I had almost bowed out of this trip before it even started. Maia called me on my last trip to DC before I left for Paris and said, “We’re camping at Carolina beach and taking a few of my students to kayak the three sisters swamp to visit some of the oldest cypress trees in the world. Can you join us?” Maia, full of energy and excitement, just isn’t someone you tell “no” even though I knew saying yes meant two days away from home after only…
“You don’t grow up missing what you never had, but throughout life there is hovering over you an inescapable longing for something you never had.” — Susan Sontag, excerpted from The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper continues: “As a child, you generally aren’t aware that your family is different from any other. You have no frame of reference.” The following is excerpted from What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg. “I am thinking of how right he was when he said that people want to be deceived. I have learned the truth of that notion over and over; but I never admitted to its obvious presence in my own life. After all, I claimed I did not need my mother. I said I had replaced her.” Prompt: Write about something you have been unwilling to admit or something you have been deceiving yourself about. Note: No one…
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
If, for one month, you could live anywhere, any place, in a certain residence, or in a famous home, where would you pick? You can time travel into the past or future.
What did you used to do that you no longer do?
Writing Prompt: Today I saw . . . You can write about what you saw today. Start writing and see what happens. Write freely and with no cares about the outcome. Just write!
You have just been notified that you have won a prize on the level of a gold medal at the Olympics, or a Grammy, or an Academy Award, or a Pulitzer Prize. Write about a special skill you have and how you won an award for that. Let your imagination soar. What have you won a prize for? What is your reaction? Write your acceptance speech.
“A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Write about a time you were betrayed. Or a time you betrayed someone. You could start with: I felt betrayed . . . Or write about a time you were silent and now wish you had spoken up. Or write about a time you could no longer remain silent. You could start with: I want to tell you about what happened . . .