Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, assorted people have been taking monthly turns at putting up a selection of six (or twelve) words which is called “Words for Wednesday”.

We have taken over this meme from Delores, who is gradually retiring from the blogging world.
This month the meme continues here, at the most - - of every moment. 

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.   

Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  We would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme.  If you are posting on your own blog - let us know so that other participants can come along and applaud.
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:
1. gutters
2. garlic
3. lint
4. mix
5. flowers
6. reduce

1. lemonade
2. deck
3. musical
4. automatic
5. flag
6. search

Here is my story:

Chapter Two: (and Three:)

At the book signing, Gloria was surprised by how many of the people in her small town were queued up with Carol's book in their hands, waiting to be signed by the author. She sat to the side of the table and listened as Carol chatted with each customer in turn. The chats were short of course, the queue was long, everyone wanted a few words with Carol and the book signing was only scheduled for a couple of hours. 

Gloria recognised Sue, Maggie and Liz, all waiting in line; they were members of the local book club. They met every Friday to discuss whichever book they were all currently reading and had asked Gloria to join them, but book clubs weren't Gloria's idea of fun. 
She read for entertainment and didn't care for dissecting each paragraph or phrase in turn to discover obscure meanings or what the author was "really meaning". 
What was that anyway? Like the classes back in high school when the teacher would ask them to write what they thought Shakespeare meant by what he said in his plays. 
Gloria took her books at face value. They were entertainment, read to be enjoyed. 

When the queue began to be a trickle rather than a river, Carol asked Gloria if she would mind popping in to the cafe next door and buying them each a bottle of fizzy water. 
"Soda or Mineral?" asked Gloria. "Soda for me thanks," said Carol. "It's thirsty work making interesting chat with so many people, I need to wet my whistle." 

When Gloria came back, they pushed aside a stack of "That's Classified"and sat quietly for a moment. "You've sold a lot of books today," said Gloria. "Almost everyone in town seems to have one." 
"It has done very well," said Carol. "Making it a comedy was Alan's idea, he knew a few jokes about the FBI from when he was in the Police Force. He suggested putting them in, said if I added humour, it would sell. He'd read recently that books that made people laugh sold better. He was right, he usually is." 

Chapter Three: 

"How is Alan?" asked Gloria. "Is he getting used to being retired? Not just sitting around wishing he was back at work?" 
"Oh no, he's fine," said Carol. "He's going over the house inch by inch, doing every little thing that's been neglected for the past twenty years. Today he's cleaning out the gutters, of course they haven't been ignored for twenty years, but he's going to put up some of that new gutter-guard mesh to keep the leaves out next winter. Says that will drastically reduce the chances of downpipe blockage and the gutters won't overflow if we get a sudden deluge."

"I remember him mentioning it to Ted last time he phoned, said Ted should get the same stuff and he'd help us get it installed," said Gloria. "Ted went to the hardware store, but they didn't have any, so he got them to order it in, it should be here soon, we'll let Alan know when it arrives, then we can make a day of it. Get the mesh installed and have a barbecue lunch too."

"Sounds great," said Carol. "How's the rest of the garden coming along? You mentioned planting petunias." "Yes," said Gloria. "They're in pots in the shade behind the shed right now, they'll be instant colour along the front fence, there's been nothing but green out there since we moved in and it's been a year already and I still can't decide what to do with the space, so instant colour for now will do. I was going to get a mix of flowers, but the nursery had two entire tables of petunias in different colours, so I scooped up the lot."

"And out the back?" asked Carol. "Any ideas yet for that space?" 
"Yes," said Gloria. "We've done some measuring and done a few sketches, Ted wants to put a wide deck along the east wall of the house, maybe continue it along the south side too, it will be sunny and warm in the mornings, but shaded from the heat of the afternoon sun. We can sit out there and listen to the musical calls of the magpies.Ted did an internet search for pictures of decks and there are some styles we like the look of, we just need to narrow it down. We've put other landscaping on hold for now, Ted wants the deck done first, then he'll get a gardener in to install an automatic watering system once we decide where shrubs and garden beds will go."

 A few new customers came in to get books signed and Gloria stepped aside to let Ted know things had gone well, plenty of books being sold, they'd most likely be home by mid-afternoon. Carol wanted to stop on the way home and pick up some fresh garlic for the spaghetti sauce tonight. 
"Probably some garlic bread too, she knows how much we like it," she said. "Would you like some lemonade or cola to go with it? Maybe a beer?"
"Get all three," said Ted, "you prefer cola, I'll have a beer and mum can have her favourite shandy**, since she won't be driving home tonight."

As Gloria ended the call, she noticed the bookstore manager putting up the flag indicating the book signing was now ended. Carol was putting unsold copies of her book back onto the shelf, then taking the last one, signed it and handed it to the manager as a thank you gift.
She brushed imaginary lint off her skirt and picked up her handbag, ready to leave.

**shandy-a mix of beer and lemonade, usually half and half but proportions can be changed to suit personal preference.


  1. Lovely. Heart-warming. Real.
    And I so disliked dissecting the books I loved while at school. The ones I didn't weren't such a problem...

  2. A nice story, River...and well put together. It flows freely. (I'm with clubs are not my idea of fun, either)! I was asked to join one here a couple of years ago, but politely declined. :)

    I'm putting together some garlic Turkish bread slices (thin strips finished off in the oven tomorrow to accompany a smoked salmon-semi-dried tomato dip along with a cheese and fruit platter to graze on. I've been invited to join my neighbours to watch the fireworks across the way at the showgrounds early tomorrow evening. The Tamborine Mountain Show is on this weekend (just the one day). The fireworks display is always a good one, particularly for a small area such as this, but the show society do make a lot of money throughout the year.

    Have a good weekend, River. :)

  3. I'm intrigued by this River, can't wait to see where it's going! (I'd always wondered what shandy was, now I know.)

  4. Elephant's Child; thank you. I'm always happy when my stories come across as real.

    Lee; flowing freely makes for an easy read, which is what I like for a short story. I'm reading a book right now which started off quite convoluted, I was about a third of the way in before I realised what it was about.
    Will you be taking photos at the fireworks display? I used to try, but could never capture that 'starburst' moment.

    Jacquelineand...; shandy seems to be uniquely Australian, I remember when we were little kids we'd have lemonade and sometimes a slosh of dad's beer was put in. I never liked the taste so didn't get any after that first time, I think I was five.
    I'm wondering where to take the story myself. It needs a little drama.

    fishducky; thank you. I'm rather fond of them myself.

  5. Well done, I do find it hard to write a story on a few words I did it a few times but not lately.

  6. Well written, River. I felt as if I was eavesdropping on that conversation and watching close by, it felt incredibly real.

  7. Very clever. Well done and a good read..

  8. What a perfect use of each word flowing ever so interestingly in your story. Bravo. I also used both sets of words and posted it today, Friday too! Here's mine

  9. Great job! You've gotten particularly good at writing realistic dialogue.

    As much as I love reading, I don't think I'd be a good fit for a book club, either. I don't mind discussing them, but don't have much stomach for the pseudo-intellectual dissections and "interpretations."

    So THAT'S what a shandy is, eh? Doesn't sound like my cuppa tea. So to speak.

    Have a super weekend!

  10. ... great story River... I wanted to buy Carol's book myself... sounded like a good read.. xxxx Have a great day ... Barb xxx

  11. Merle; I find the words help a lot.

    Vicki; thank you, I tried to make it seem like we were there in the book store.

    whiteangel; thank you. I'm hoping next week's words will carry this further.

    Karen S; thanks, I'll pop over and read yours in a minute.

    Susan; Thank you. Books clubs aren't for me either, nor shandies. I write conversations as they unfold in my head, seems to come easily enough, though real conversations in real life are much harder for me.

    Barbara; if I knew more about the FBI and some more of the jokes about them, i could add them to the next chapter maybe.

  12. River, like everyone else, I am in awe of your ability to write realistic dialog. I have been frustrated that it has taken me so long to find time to read these chapters - but I just spent a few enjoyable moments getting caught up. I really hope my words this week are helpful - this story has been wonderful so far!
    Also - thanks for the idea of writing two chapters within one post! I've been so busy, I missed writing from my own words last week - but maybe that way I can still get caught up!!


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