Friday Fictioneers: Misty Memories

Big kudos to Rochelle and my fellow participants, for the awesome write-up this week, by WordPress about Friday Fictioneers. All of the praise and positive words were well-deserved. Rochelle does an amazing job each week, and I am incredibly grateful for this weekly opportunity to hone my writing, and share my work with a stellar group of writers! This is, by far, one of my favorite things each week!  Bravo Rochelle and Friday Fictioneers! Participants are encouraged to write a 100 word story, with a beginning, middle and end, based on a photo prompt. Thank you to Erin Leary, for this week’s photo.  Visit Rochelle at  Addicted to Purple, to join the fun and/or read the other stories.

I apologize for my inability to read other stories last week. I was at my son’s college graduation from Thursday through Tuesday, and found myself with virtually no free time and limited wifi! I really appreciate all of the kind feedback on my own story, and promise to read as many as possible this week, as I usually do. Thanks to all of you who stopped by; I always welcome constructive feedback.

©Erin Leary

©Erin Leary

(100 words, exactly)

“Thinking about my other relationships, they all seem foggy and unclear.”

Sarah leaned in, and took a drag of her cigarette.

“I don’t smoke anymore… sometimes I just crave one.”

She exhaled, watching the smoke circle her head in the large mirror.

“Josh is different. He’s so stable– the road with him is straight; the future’s clear. He’s different than anyone I’ve ever been with… normal.”

She set her cigarette in the dirty ashtray.

“Hey darlin’, no judgment, but if you’re so happy with this Josh, what are you doing here?”

He smiled, poured another drink, and wiped the bar.

*     *     *

If you enjoyed this post, please hit like and then leave a comment; I love to hear what readers have to say.  Check out Tales From the Motherland’s Facebook page (my goal is 400 likes this year), and Twitter, where I struggle to keep it brief.

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About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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62 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: Misty Memories

  1. Jan Brown says:

    Very interesting…some people just can ‘t be content with “normal.” Very nicely done.


  2. Dawn, She seems not to know her own mind. If she’s very young, she better wait a while. Well written as usual. 🙂 —Susan


  3. high five and raspberries says:

    Psychologist moonlighting as a barman ? Why are they always so darned wise ? Loved your story!


  4. Hi Dawn! I liked the use of smoke and fog, nice symbolism and imagery! And yes, so exciting for FF and Tipsy Lit! Hope you enjoyed the graduation.


    • Both FF and Tipsy Lit really deserved the recognition! They are both such supportive writing venues. As for the graduation… well, there’s a long post to read, but it was a “mixed bad,” for sure! Thanks for the feedback, Deanna. Always happy to see you in my comments. 😉


  5. wmqcolby says:

    Oooooohhhh LOVE IT! Real and descriptive, totally characterized. You’ve done it again, Dawn!


  6. Honie Briggs says:

    The question of questions. Poor thing can’t decide. Another drink probably won’t make it any easier. Terrific dialogue in this one.


  7. Sandra says:

    I think the bartender makes an interesting observation. A very atmospheric piece, which set me off on a google search about ‘different from/different to/different than’, which was quite interesting.


    • Thanks Sandra! I can tell you that I purposely used the wrong form… to add to character. That said, I am perpetually impressed with what you notice! No doubt, Janet will be on that one too. I thought of you both, as I edited. 😉


  8. Amy Reese says:

    I like how she’s talking it over with this guy. I have a feeling he won’t be deciding anything for her or that he’ll make it any easier. Nicely done!


  9. atrm61 says:

    Ah,she may be craving a little instability-something not so normal-uh,boring,maybe? 😉 love where you took this Dawn-realistic and so full of subtle symbolism 🙂


  10. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    So much could be read into this story — human relationships are so complex, and our psychology is so incredibly f$*ked up. It’s like she’s trying to convince herself that she should be happy, but knows deep down inside she’s not, but then worries that if she doesn’t take this chance she’ll never be happy and she’ll miss the boat and etc.. etc…
    I’m thinking the bartender absolutely HAS to be a man — they are so much less complicated.


  11. Great little number. Poor Josh – he’s not going to hold her.
    (Some editing needed, maybe: She exhaled …, and He’s different ….)


    • Thanks Patrick; no, he probably wont hold on to her. As for edits, thanks! However, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. “She exhaled…” looks ok to me, and “He’s different than anyone…” (IF that’s the line you meant?) was done that way intentionally… style of speech that tells you more about her place in life. I welcome edit help, so if I’ve missed it, tell me more! I need another clue. 😉


  12. maru clavier says:

    She is trying to convince herself, the question will be pretty difficult to answer.


  13. Great atmosphere and dialogue – you really caught that smokey / sleepy bar-room feel. I was about to pick you up on different than, but happened to read your response to Sandra, and you’re right it certainly adds to her character.


    • It’s interesting… challenging, when writing dialogue and you choose to use grammar that is not correct. Some will read it and see that it’s how that person speaks (for instance, I’ve heard “different than” so many times!), others will think that you– as a writer– dropped the ball.


  14. Nan Falkner says:

    Hi Dawn! Love your story and why is she at the bar instead of with Josh? Good question from the bartender. Great story Dawn! Your pictures of your family at the graduation were great – you look like a happy family! Nan 🙂


  15. Dear Dawn,

    Thanks first for the kudos. Reading that article this week made me smile. But without the support and stellar writing from such as yourself there’d be no point in Friday Fictioneers. So you may pat yourself on the back. 😉

    Love this piece. They say bartenders are better at psychology than the so-called professionals. This one certainly is. I love the irony of her saying she’s quit smoking while the smoke is circling her head. Yeah, yeah, I’m not an addict I can quit anytime.

    Another good one, my friend.




    • Thanks so much Rochelle. Each week I’m amused by what comes from the photo prompts. I take a look at the photo, when I wake up, and then see where it goes… it’s one of the reasons I love FF so much! That process is so dynamic and challenging. I always appreciate your kind feedback. Shabbat Shalom! Dawn


  16. Mike Lince says:

    This scene is so reminiscent of Sam in Casablanca – “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine…” It’s an instant classic. I love it! – Mike


  17. Dawn, well done. In just 100 words my lungs hurt, I felt whiskey (or some such drink) on my tongue, and I was confused about what to do with Josh. Perhaps your time with a bunch of teenagers last week influenced this story – in a wonderful way. Alicia


  18. Drat, I can’t comment on deliberate grammar misuse (which is so realistic as it happens all the time.) And the not-smoking-anymore-while-smoking has already been mentioned as well. Hmmm, let’s see. You deftly presented a snippet of all-too-often-real life. She sounds as though she’s trying to convince herself that Josh is the right man, all the while knowing he isn’t. And you slipped the fog in very neatly, too.



    • Why thank you Janet… I wondered where you were, and even mentioned you in another comment. I figured you’d be the first one to hit me with the “different than.” Alas, it’s all been said! I’ll take your kind compliment and smile through the day. 😉


      • I’m working my way through the stories but every time I hit “refresh”, there are more. And since the weather’s so nice, I’ve been taking long walks in the park in the morning. Real life, you know. 🙂 Right now I’m waiting and waiting for the Weekly Photo Challenge prompt which is half an hour late, so I’m reading more stories between refreshing the link for that. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.


        • I try to read as many as possible by Friday… come the weekend, real life gets real! I’ve missed the photo prompt for weeks now, but love doing it. Thanks for the reminder! It’s pouring rain here… so catching up on all the blog posts I’ve missed for the past few weeks (with graduation travel, etc) is perfect! That said, I have some serious house projects to get done! Have a wonderful weekend, Janet!


  19. K.Z. says:

    yeah, darlin’, what exactly are you doing there? 🙂 love how realistic your characters are.. to the point that they feel so familiar. we’ve all been in her shoes i suppose, in one way or another, trying to convince ourselves that we made the right decision just because it’s right/ it’s good for us. great story.


  20. Dee says:

    Hi Dawn
    Ah, the I-know-I don’t love-him-but-he’ll-do-for-now scenario… Actually I’ve been there too, not talking to the barman of course, well maybe once or twice…
    Good story and a great take on the prompt and you got the fog in as well.
    Enjoy your weekend


    • Thanks Dee! I thought I was going one direction, and then a foggy mirror came to mind… leading to foggy memories, of course. 😉 Yes, we’ve all been there… drink or no drink. Thanks for your feedback, and hope you enjoy this long weekend! dawn


  21. erinleary says:

    Get off the bar stool! It leads nowhere and Josh sounds like a good choice. Oh. I’m getting preachy and judgey all at once. Nice story!


  22. I think you captured the lure of danger… honestly why is the stable boring.. ? and yes there men doing the same thing.. sad really.


  23. rgayer55 says:

    A very realistic snapshot of life that happens over and over everyday in bars around the world. Beautifully concieved and written, Dawn.


  24. Lucy says:

    Exactly. Don’t you know the bartender knows. Loved it. Lucy


  25. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers: Misty Memories | ugiridharaprasad

  26. Good question Mr. Bartender. (Congrats on the graduate!)


  27. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Dawn,

    What does Helena mean when she says “men are so much less complicated.”? Great story. i especially liked your reveal of its setting. Well done.





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