Generally Speaking, January 6, 2023

This Show Case features five pieces submitted in response to our thirty-third Writing Prompt: Generally speaking. You can see responses to each prompt in the drop down menu for the Show Case page. Try an item. They are all delicious. We hope they stimulate your mind, spirit, and urge to write. Maybe they will motivate you to submit a piece for our next prompt, which you can find on the Show Case home page.

And please share this Show Case with your family, friends, and other writers.

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Roy’s NGO

by GD Deckard

The children watched it approach, a dark spot on the horizon becoming a dust cloud then a dust cloud following a truck on a road through the savannah. Others came out of the village to watch, excited.

“It’s the NGO!”

“Yes! The NGO is coming.”

“We’re saved,” they told each other. “Food is coming.”

The children were very hungry. Malnourished and too weak to cheer, they watched the truck arrive, U-turn and back up to the people. Brisk young men and women jumped out. They set up a solar charged satellite station and wired it to a TV on a table and got back into the truck and drove off. Everyone gathered around to watch the cooking shows.

In New York, Roy studied the invoice and smiled. “Giving needy people a TV is expensive.” He waived the invoice at his attorney. “Donors will pay handsomely for this one.”

Claire winced. Sometimes, she despaired of Roy’s understanding. “Aren’t non-governmental organizations supposed to do things like end starvation? Wipe out preventable diseases? Lift people out of poverty?”

“Generally speaking, they never do any of those things.”

“Why not!?”

Roy regarded his beautiful attorney sadly, as if she didn’t know where babies came from. Or profits. “They’d go out of business, Claire.”

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Golden Duo Due Do

by John Correll

“You’re sick?”

“Generally speaking, no, not at all.”

“But this isn’t normal. I mean, if what you’re saying is true, which I’m not saying it is.” Allan put a hand on his stomach and grimaced.

“Why would I make this up?” 

“You won the lottery, and you’re playing with me, right?”

“Oh, please.” 

“Shit, it’s heavy.” Allan tossed the object in his palm. “For a year? Wow. But if it were me, I’d be worried, like running to the doctor for every test they have.” 

Mike raised his chin with assertive experience. “Did that.” 

“And?”

“Better than normal. My blood pressure’s down. Heart’s perfect. No more joint aches. The doctor joked I was getting younger. But I’m still worried. Every other week. Pop. On schedule.”

“Jesus. And you pick it out?”

“It comes out clean. A perfect egg. Nothing else. I know when it’s coming. There’s no denying that.”

“Come on. This isn’t possible. And what does your doctor really think about all this egg business?”

“Nothing.”

“But you said…”

“I didn’t mention one detail. Think about it; what would happen to me if this got out?”

“They’d get a bunch of experts to study you.”

“They’d lock me up. Or worse, someone would kidnap me to be their own little golden goose. That egg is worth about $150,000.”

“Holy sheat.” Allan raised the egg to the light and squinted. “Yeah. This is one hell-of-a dilemma.”

“Dilemma? No. I’m careful and make regular trips to the island.”

“The tax haven? Clever.”

“You should come. My treat.”

“Really? Sure, why not if it’s free.”

“I’ll retire soon with a nice nest egg or eggs. Then I’ll stay there.”

“But what about Sara? What does she say?”

“I told her I got a promotion.”

“Mike — that’s not right.”

“I know; I tell her everything. But this? I don’t know where to begin. It’s embarrassing.”

“You told me. It shouldn’t be hard.”

“You don’t believe me.” 

Allan shuffled his feet, stuck his hands in his pockets, and slowly rocked his head back and forth. “No. No. Maybe.”

“What am I going to say to her? ‘Dear, you know all those vacations, I’ve been paying for those by pooping deposits at the bank.’” Allan snorted a laugh.

“I see your point. Have you changed your diet, or something?”

“Are you kidding? Since this started, I’ve changed everything. Distilled water, decaf coffee, vegan, raw vegan, all meat, all fish, all chicken, all fat, salt, whiskey, you name it. Nothing stops it. And my blood tests? Perfect every time. But I don’t know if I really want it to stop.”

“I guess, if it’s not hurting you, just keep it going. Say, maybe a little gnome sticks it up your ass when you sleep.” Mike burst out laughing and rolled to the side. 

“I need to go.”

“What? We just started.”

“No. I’ll be right back.” Mike grabbed a large pot from the kitchen and then disappeared into the toilet. After a minute, Allan heard a metallic clank, and Mike returned with the pot. 

“Here.” He presented a second golden egg, but Allan kept his hand securely pocketed. “It’s not shitty.” Mike went to the sink. “Fine, look, I’ll even use detergent.” He wiped it dry with a paper towel. “There. All spiffy.”

Allan took the egg and pretended not to smell it. “What if this is some sort of radiation poisoning thing?”

“Nope. I got a Geiger counter.”

“Okay. Alien abduction? You know the old rumors?”

“Probably the most logical explanation, but I’ve set up security cameras and everything. And not a sign.”

Allan clanked the two eggs together, hard, and a chip cracked off one egg revealing a gray metal under a golden patina. Allan shook and nodded his head then both men collided in breathless laughter. 

“I almost had you.”

“You bastard. I still want a free trip to the island.”

“Sure. I didn’t lie about the promotion.”

“And these eggs?”

“Samples for the gold enamel project I’m heading. There’s still a thousand dollars worth of gold on each egg.”

“You’re shittin’ me.”

Mike reached to take the eggs. “Not this time.”

Allan handed over the broken one and pocketed the other. “After all the practical jokes, Mike, I deserve a memento.”

Mike closed his eyes and nodded. “But don’t expect me to stop.”

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The Sanest1 Noddle She Ever Met

by Mimi Speike

Image credit: Mimi Speike

Sly’s pacing, and he’s fuming. “He’ll come for me, will he? Screw that! I’m not waiting to be come for. I’m marching in there, now.” He spots Delly under the coach. “And you, m’darling, you’re marching in there with me.” 

Delly, peering through the spokes of a wheel (she’s been there all this time), is aghast. “Me? You mean well I’m sure, but… Sir! I must respectfully decline. I can’t see it working out. A cat might maybe be let in. A chicken? Not a chance, but she be plucked and gutted.” 

“Trust me, my girl,” says Sly. “An idea is just now come to me. Back in a sec.” He claws up the side of the coach and through a window. In a few minutes, articles of clothing drop to the ground. He’s raided a lost-found box under the seat, selecting an infant’s bonnet, a child-size set of fancy sleeves–possibly shed on a sweltering day, not to perspire into them,2 an embroidered apron. Tied backward around Delly’s waist area (she can’t be said to have a waist, per se), it will be an elegant skirt with a train. He has chosen for himself a green-and-purple-striped sash which, wound round and round his mid-section, ends tucked into the wrap, will make an eye-catching cumberbund, the smart style in Haute-Navarre. 

He attires her, stands back, and observes his work. “You look damn presentable, m’darling,” he assures her. “Show me a dainty gait. Glide. You can glide, can’t ye?”

“Don’t rightly know,” says Delly. “We’uns don’t glide, normally. Mostly, we run for our lives. From a dog, a fox, the cook. No, we don’t do too much gliding, I can tell you.” 

They’ve attracted an audience. Hens. A sow. And a goat, whom the children of the house had gifted earlier in the day with a velvet beret. He’s been wearing it all afternoon, proud as punch. They’d awarded him also a name, Frenchie. Frenchie ducks into the stable, emerges with a broad-brimmed straw hat, worn to tend the garden under hot sun. It’s kept, handy to all, on a peg on the wall next to other items of workaday gear. He perches it on the sow’s head. Sly, delighted, snugs the drawstring under her chin. 

I glide!” insists Frenchie. “Look!” He demonstrates, the hens cheering him on. Prancing critters circle the coach as Sly beats a rhythm on the side of the conveyance with a trowel clutched between his two paws. Once, twice around, and they collapse, giggling. 

“Tonight,” says Sly “Dell an’ me are worming inside that entertainment, but I’ll slip out and fiddle you a tune, special. We can’t let the swanks have all the fun, can we? You folks pull your weight in this establishment. Tonight, boys and girls, them toffs, us nobodies, we all jollify. 

Sly had trained himself to ambulate upright (for a few paces) as a member of the King’s Archers, in Haute-Navarre. He demonstrates the step-pause-step-pause of that unit during the ceremonial changing of the guard in the throne room. “Can you handle this, Dell? Give it a try.”

The hen waddles fetchingly, it’s the best she can do. “I’m no good at this, am I?” she peeps.

“Don’t fret, hon. I’m no great shakes as a stepper myself. I fake it for a few yards, then I collapse onto all fours. We’ll work around it. You have other contributions to make. You’ve a handsome bulk to ye.” 

Delly shudders. “Ya, making me a top pick for the next-month dinner dance.”

“I won’t lie, sweetheart, ’tis a distinct possibility. The simples among us would counsel you to come to terms with your God-ordained fate. Me, I’m a life-long rebel, ever chasing the better. There is a richness on the world, abundant pleasures that make life a sweet thing despite the pain none of us escape. I swear to see you have your taste of wonderful before ye end a tough old bird enriching a poor man’s soup. I perceive a low center of gravity makes you exceptional steady on your feet. If you don’t mind, Mistress, I’d lean into you. If I were to wrap an arm around you, I believe I could balance on my hind legs handily. May I do so?” 

“But of course, kind sir.” Delly’s low mood is done. She’s in high feather. There’s an immediate change in her bearing.

Inside the house there will be walls to hug. An elbow artfully deployed against a wall on the one side, the hen supporting him on the other, Sly might mimic a blade attending a lady of fashion quite decently. And a charming couple will not be summarily ejected. 

“We proceed single file,” instructs Sly. “You first, I follow. I’ll hoist your train so it doesn’t get filthy from the yard. We don’t thread through the cook’s realm. Doctor Dee has shown me a side way. Through that door, we find ourselves in a parlor. Once in, we strut as if we own the place. Act like you know what you’re doing, like you belong, people take you for what you pretend to be. It’s worked for me all my life. 

“If I hadn’t envisioned, then willed a determined, take-no-prisoners critter into existence, I’d be back in Cumbria, tasked with slaughtering mice whose only crime was trying to earn a modest living. A dozen barn cats didn’t suffice for old MacGuffy. He set traps, all over. I made it my business to discover them, and extract the morsels of cheese without injury to myself. I was one crafty slurp.” 

“Still are,” says Delly. She gives him a peck on the cheek.

“I disabled those diabolical contraptions when I spied one, dispersed the goodies in safe locales. To crow–I’ve seen it plenty of times from plenty of the so-called crown-of-creation types–to rhapsodize over a poor wee thing dying a slow, painful death in a devilish trap, that turns my stomach. Eat-or-be-eaten survival, it’s the way of the world. That I can live with. But an elemental urge is one thing. Celebrated cruelty is another.

“It was poor ma caught hell for that, as if it was her fault. Pa scolded her. Mother! You encouraged this one in his fancies, now see the result! This is none o’ my doing. It’s you ’n that broke-brain brother3 o’ yers fills ’im with these notions.

“I was a dreaming lad. ’Twas a pleasant thing, on a fine day, to sit on a slope of meadow, watch goings-on near and far, and wonder. At night, I’d look up at the stars and wonder more, in a grudging land, hard to pull a living out of, otherwise, rich as could be. Smells. Tastes. Music surrounded me… the buzz of dragonflies, canbottlins cheeping, the nesting caw of the rooks. Good, ill, it all had a part in making me the lunatic I am.”

Delly looks at him askance. “You’re odd, yes. A lovely odd. Lunatic? Nay, dear friend. You’re the sanest noddle4 ever I met.”

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  1. Generally, also relatively, speaking. (All things considered.)
  2. A sleeve on an elaborate costume was often a separate item, replaced as it became stained or worn, or to refresh the look.
  3. Sly’s Unk Dek, his Uncle Declan, yearned to see the world as a ship’s cat but hadn’t the guts to pull free of his safe life in Borrowtown, Cumbria. He planted the idea in his nephew’s brain, and Sly, as we know, acted on it.
  4. Noddle: the head or brains. The term ‘noodle’, a stupid person, came before the culinary sense in English, probably thanks to the earlier noddle, first recorded in the fifteenth-century. May be related to the verb ‘nod’, meaning to briefly incline the head.

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A Glimpse of Dunia

by SL Randall

Photo credit: SL Randall

“We can’t use it.” 

Dunia looked up from the computer, “We can’t keep the portal open long enough to get our people back. Generally speaking, the hole we punch into the membrane snaps back like a rubber band. We run the risk of stranding the research team, or worse killing anyone passing through when it closes.”

“Does it matter?” Darren checked the clock on his monitor.

“Of course, it matters! We’re talking lives.” Snapped Dunia.

Darren stood up, straightened his tie and shrugged on his suit jacket, “It doesn’t matter. That’s not our problem. Sophia wants a working model yesterday. That is what matters.” He picked up his briefcase and moved toward the lab door.

“It’s lives, Darren. Human lives. How can you be so unconcerned?” She glared at him and sneered, “I know Sophia is a cold bitch, but even she has to realize deaths cost her bottom line!”

Darren sighed heavily. “You have until ten a.m. tomorrow to work it out. Either way we present a working model to Sophia at noon.”

Dunia slumped back in her chair. “What happened Darren? When did the bottom line become more important than human lives? What’s happened to you?”

Darren hung his head. “Dunia, you more than anyone, know what I have been through. When do I get my fair shake?”

“Get out.” she said wearily. “I don’t know you anymore, and I like you even less.”

“Dunia…”

A screwdriver whizzed by his head and clattered off the wall behind him. 

“Bitch!” he swore and slammed the door as he left.

“Dick.” she muttered at the closed door and slumped back in her chair. 

She frowned at the divot in the wall, then sat up straight. A moment of inspiration energized her. “A divot.” She murmured. “What if ….”

Notes from the Author:

This is a brief moment in the development of Dunia, for the Multiverse Anthropologist story. Originally, she was meant to simply be a tech worker assigned to an Anthropologist. She has become so much more. Currently she is the one who has developed the tech which allows Adventravia to explore other Universes.

The problem? Dunia has a heart and a conscience as well as the brains to figure out how Quantum gravitational membranes work. Something, I as the author am deeply, woefully, and exponentially deficient of such knowledge. But I am researching. Which has been a fun exploration. So far, I have read about biological cell membranes, (which resurfaced long forgotten memories of high school biology) and I am currently burning brain cells on listening to a nearly three-hour lecture from Quantum Gravity Research. The beginning of their mission statement is quoted here, “QGR’s mission is to discover and communicate the geometric unification of space, time, matter, energy, information and consciousness.”

Hopefully by the end of this process, Dunia and I will have a working model of safely traversing the Multiverse. Despite Sophia’s lack of care, and Darren’s weak character, we will save lives!

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Generally Speaking

by S.T. Ranscht

Artwork by Pramod Tiwari on Unsplash
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53 responses to “Generally Speaking, January 6, 2023”

  1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

    Generally speaking, 2023 offers the promise of another year of a variety of excellent responses to our writing prompts. Thanks to all who contributed their New Year creativity!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sue Ranscht Avatar

    GD – So much hope culminating in head-shaking disbelief. Of course that’s Roy’s NGO (Nonstop General Opportunism).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      🤣I love your meaning of NGO!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Ranscht Avatar

    John – A fun take on an old tale. Telling a story almost exclusively with dialogue is a tricky proposition, and I was a bit confused by the first 11 lines. If you had set the scene with a short sentence establishing that the first speaker was looking at a golden egg, it would have caught my attention immediately. I think you might have been trying to build suspense around the mystery of what they’re talking about, but that’s not the point of the story, is it? Isn’t the point that this is yet another of Mike’s practical jokes?

    Hey, maybe you could write a series of stories about Mike’s practical jokes!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Sue Ranscht Avatar

    Mimi – “There is a richness on the world, abundant pleasures that make life a sweet thing despite the pain none of us escape.” I love how you’ve expressed Sly’s philosophy of life. And you’ve figured out how to include the cat and the fiddle!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mimispeike Avatar
      mimispeike

      It’s a-coming. Not next time. “Oh, Wad to Her a Silken Gown?” only gets them in the door. After that comes the musical performance.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Sue Ranscht Avatar

    Sandy – I always appreciate seeing the depth and wholeness of different characters in any story. Heck, even Darren must have a backstory and thoughts and motivations.

    I sure hope Dunia was aiming to miss Darren with the screwdriver, lol.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sandy Randall Avatar

      Thanks Sue, I will eventually explore who Darren is, I have some ideas … and he may even be likeable somewhere in time? Dunia was just pointing out her frustration with Darren, If she wanted to impale him, I think she would have done it with dead calm and he would see it coming. I see her as a fairly deliberate person, even when she seems to be acting impulsively.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Mellow Curmudgeon Avatar

        Nice cliffhanger ending of this installment, with inspiration from the divot that I can’t guess at.

        Eager to see more of the characters, the story, and pix like the one here.  Nice calligraphic signature on the image.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sandy Randall Avatar

          Thanks Mellow. The divot ties in to the research I’ve been doing. I like the thought that Dunia does something deliberate out of frustration and anger, and gives herself a clue how to fix her problem with an unintended 3D rendering of punching a hole through a membrane (the wall representing the membrane). Fun part … I saw it when Dunia did lol. That’s where I think absorbing info passively helps with fixing or working out problems down the line.
          As to the signature … I’ve been working on my logo/signature for my artwork. The one I have posted on my websites I like the best and I digitally tried to recreate it on the photo. I still like the ones on my website best. Those were hand drawn and photographed.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. mimispeike Avatar
    mimispeike

    GD: carried to a comical extreme, but, I’m sure, heartbreakingly true.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      yeah. I remember listening to a call-in show on Internet radio one night when a Haitian man called to plead with Americans to stop sending shoes. He owned a shoe store and was losing it because nobody would buy shoes if they could get them for free.

      And you know shoes are still sent because the suppliers want the money from the donors.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

        Maybe the suppliers should branch out to supply socks.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. GD Deckard Avatar

          Now y’re sounding like Roy!

          Liked by 3 people

  7. Sandy Randall Avatar

    GD I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed in Claire. I expect her to be three steps ahead of Roy and still legally turn a profit with a non-profit entity. However, maybe she still has yet to spend more time with Roy. I guess you can’t know everything about someone until you’ve spent years with them. By my reckoning, she’s only been his lawyer for a few months …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      Thanks, Sandy. Please let me know what you think because I’m still learning about these characters. But, here’s my thinking.
      I’m thinking vaudeville. A comic duo had a “straight man.” Abbot had Costello. Gracie Allen had George Burns. Claire goes along with, even abets Roy. But she ain’t stupid. Her understanding of reality can add a “deadpan” to Roy’s antics.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sandy Randall Avatar

        I think probably what struck me about Claire … In your other pieces with her, I got the feeling she was quietly complicit with Roys opportunistic shenanigans, in the sense that she could look at what he was doing, and tweak it with some sophisticated legal wrangling. Therefore adding some polish to Roy’s rough edges. “Claire winced. Sometimes, she despaired of Roy’s understanding. ” It was this line that made me think I misunderstood Claire’s role.
        I look at Claire this way. She ‘s that cool person you meet that intrigues you. You want to know more about her, but you know she keeps her cards close. You get a sense that she’s dangerously smooth and nothing surprises her. Then you’re let down when you’re all in on her team and she proves she’s only sporting a facade of dangerous cool, but when pressed won’t go the distance.
        Does that even make sense?? lol
        I may need to rewrite this to make more sense, but that’s my raw reaction… hope it helps?🫣

        Liked by 3 people

        1. GD Deckard Avatar

          That makes great sense, Sandy. Thank you!

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Sue Ranscht Avatar

        I was left believing Claire approves of Roy’s behavior, and wouldn’t mind being the same way if she weren’t constrained by her knowledge of the law and her satisfaction in exploiting its loopholes. She’s up for the game and will push the limits as far as they will stretch, while Roy has no limits at all. I think Claire wishes Roy had her own more nuanced understanding.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. GD Deckard Avatar

          Right on, Sue. Especially in the sense that the stories need someone who understands what Roy is doing a little better than he does himself. Claire offers the reader a perspective within which Roy’s antics are seen as outrageous but excusable. He’s not evil. Just focused 😁

          Liked by 3 people

  8. Sandy Randall Avatar

    John
    What a fun story. I agree with Sue, a series about Mike and his practical jokes would be fun. Even funnier is his skill to constantly get Allan to buy in and believe him, though he knows Mike always has a twist up his sleeve.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Sandy Randall Avatar

    Mimi
    Thank you for dressing up Delly for a night out. I can totally picture her learning to glide like a lady. Sly brings to mind Pygmalion. Delly may enchant him when least expected! lol

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mimispeike Avatar
      mimispeike

      Pygmalion, yes. Sly will be training Delly to join John Dee’s household as a psychic chicken. (He already has a raven, that you’ve not read about yet.)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

        Ooo! A psychic chicken would be too valuable to have for dinner, but potentially good company to have over for dinner.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. mimispeike Avatar
          mimispeike

          Yes, that’s his strategy for saving her life. He can’t save them all, but he can save her.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. GD Deckard Avatar

        I’m laughing out loud at … a psychic chicken?!

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Sandy Randall Avatar

    Sue,
    I love how you speak volumes in just a few words. The glowing stag is an apt representation of fleeting truth no one wants to acknowledge.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

      Thank you, Sandy. At the same time, the stag might be someone’s glowing representation of reality that simply isn’t true. I am sometimes drawn to selective ambiguity. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sandy Randall Avatar

        That brings back the notion that ultimately, what your intention is for writing a piece, isn’t always how the reader interprets. Selective ambiguity gives the author the opportunity to place the piece out and enjoy the variety of response. I think that comes from being the type of writer who is more interested in readers who think than readers who want everything spelled out.
        Which brings us to show don’t tell in a way. For me as a reader, my imagination goes crazy. I need more story and less description. Unless the hair color is absolutely necessary to the plot, it makes no difference to me. I’ve already formed my vision of the character. But I am a “skip words” reader. This also makes description agonizing for me as a writer. I either completely skimp on the description, or have severe angst I’ve not used enough and over kill. “Balance grasshopper!” says my inner writer.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

          I have to laugh. I’m a read-every-word reader. First, because the author made the presumably thoughtful effort to write them, and then because I don’t want to miss anything. As a bonus, if the writing is excellent, it will sing the music of the language, which I love. And if close reading becomes tedious, I feel justified in making a judgment about the quality of the writing. From there, I can choose to abandon the effort as a waste of my time. That sounds kind of arrogant, doesn’t it? It’s not meant that way — it’s just that there’s only so much time left, and so much excellent writing to savor.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Sandy Randall Avatar

            I don’t see anything arrogant about the way you view reading! I think it’s fantastic. That I skip words has bothered me but it’s just how I’ve always read even as a child.
            Unfortunately I listen the same way.
            But I also do so because my brain insists on focusing on everything all at once.
            I find that if I’m reading I must be actively distracting the rest of my body… or I can’t focus!
            I listen best while painting or doing dishes or driving. Maybe it’s ADD … dunno I’ve never bothered to find out 😂
            I do read quickly. But I also like to revisit things I’ve read before.
            Most times I simply wish I could focus better.
            I do have to say, reading for RH6 has been really good for me. I do force myself to slow down and read every word when I go through those stories.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. mimispeike Avatar
              mimispeike

              I skip words when the style doesn’t delight me. When it does, I try to take a lesson from the phrasing.

              Liked by 5 people

        2. Mellow Curmudgeon Avatar

          Skim or read every word?  With some pain and lingering uncertainty about which way to go in some cases, I have learned to adapt to what I am reading.  Some writers have something good to say but are rambling and verbose.  Others write prose as tight as a good haiku.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. GD Deckard Avatar

        I like the way writers creatively introduce new concepts. Selective ambiguity? I like that thought.
        It’s new, so don’t bother Googling it.
        The closest I came was “Alexithymia selectively influences decision-making under ambiguity.”
        https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-017-1537-2

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

          Huh. It never occurred to me that selective ambiguity might be a new term. I see it as a contrast to general ambiguity (you know, the guy whose orders were never clear so he could always claim his army’s lost battles were due to misinterpretation of the orders. Selective ambiguity, on the other hand, deliberately invites multiple intended interpretations.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Sandy Randall Avatar

            Or maybe another term … deliberate ambiguity?

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

              That could work, too, although that sounds harder and more authoritative to me than I intended. I liken it to a three-year old’s “selective deafness” which sounds softer and more sly than “deliberate deafness”, lol.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Sandy Randall Avatar

                Oh yeah, my dogs do selective deaf like bosses!

                Liked by 3 people

              2. Mellow Curmudgeon Avatar

                Wanna go down a rabbit hole?  Try to find a good adjective for apparently selective ambiguity (or deafness or whatever), such that the adjective does NOT imply the behavior is a choice.  Maybe it comes from haste or a hangup or wishful thinking.  It’s easier to think of a situation where such a noncommittal word would be useful than to think of a word to use.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Sandy Randall Avatar

                  The closest I have found is Brownian motion
                  Brown·i·an mo·tion
                  /ˌbrounēən ˈmōSHən/
                  nounPHYSICS
                  the erratic random movement of microscopic particles in a fluid, as a result of continuous bombardment from molecules of the surrounding medium.

                  Liked by 1 person

      3. Mellow Curmudgeon Avatar

        *Glowing Stag*
                 Glowing stag.
                 Does he enlighten
                 or dazzle?

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Mellow Curmudgeon Avatar

            Thanks.  Sorry about the repetitive title.  I scribbled *Luminous Ambiguity* on my scratch paper, but that scribble was too far away from the lines of the haiku itself.

            Liked by 2 people

  11. GD Deckard Avatar

    Golden Duo Due Do by John Correll
    Excellent use of dialogue to tell a story, John.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. GD Deckard Avatar

    The Sanest1 Noddle She Ever Met by Mimi Speike
    ““I glide!” insists Frenchie. “Look!” He demonstrates, the hens cheering him on. Prancing critters circle the coach as Sly beats a rhythm on the side of the conveyance with a trowel clutched between his two paws. Once, twice around, and they collapse, giggling.”

    Delightful imagery. Mimi! As 😀usual.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. GD Deckard Avatar

    A Glimpse of Dunia by SL Randall
    That scene makes me want to read more, Sandy. How far along are you on this WiP?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sandy Randall Avatar

      I am farther along in my head than in print (or font?). My usual writing style … play rubiks cube in my head with a particular story and when I am ready I write it out. Best way to describe my muddling process. Oh and while I’m tumbling the cube in my head, I through research at it and see where it sticks when I write it out… You see Dunia do it with the divot…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. GD Deckard Avatar

        Good analogy, Rubik’s Cube 🤔
        The creative process does teach patience, perseverance and focus.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Sandy Randall Avatar

      OK Sue and GD, I am hoping to have a bit written about Darren for the next showcase. I started thinking more and more about the seemingly impulsive screwdriver “point.” Now I want to know more about Darren as well. I think his story will shed some light … back to Rubiks lair for me… lol

      Liked by 2 people

  14. GD Deckard Avatar

    Generally Speaking by S.T. Ranscht
    I was struck by how memorable simple words can be.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

      Thanks, GD. Then you probably remember I’ve said something similar before, lol.

      Liked by 2 people

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