Friday Fictioneers: Abuela Works


friday-fictioneersAs so many of you have noted, it’s such a wonderful surprise to wake up and see your own photo on the Friday Fictioneer’s page. This morning when I saw this photo, I thought: “Wow, I wonder who else went there?” Duh. It took me a minute to check the © name. It’s also true that writing a story for a photo that you know is a different challenge all together. I’ll be curious to see what you all come up with! I’m heading to Southern CA today, so if I’m slow making the rounds, please know that it isn’t for lack of interest!

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly, photo promped flash fiction challenge. Members are encouraged to write a 100-word story, with a beginning, middle and end. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is our maestro, coordinating this ever-growing community of writers. It is the one thing I do consistently each week, for the sheer joy of it. September 8th marked my 1-year anniversary of joining the Fictioneers, and I haven’t missed a week yet! Woot woot!

If you’d like to join us or check out the other stories, visit Rochelle’s blog Addicted to Purple for more details. I always welcome constructive, thoughtful feedback; please leave a comment.

© Dawn Quyle Landau

© Dawn Quyle Landau

 Abuela Works (100 words)

Abuela stirs the briny water day in and day out. Six days a week she climbs the steep trail to the salt mines; Sunday she walks to church. In cold mornings she dons her red gloves and sturdy hat, to protect her from the burning minerals and the brutal sun. Her eyes have grown milky from the glare; her skin is dry and cracked.

Do the touristas taste her tears in the salt they buy?

As I walk to my dusty school, I promise God that I will go to college and make Abuela proud. I will ease her burdens.

•     •     •

Can you help a girl out? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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.
Aside | This entry was posted in Aging, Awareness, Daily Observations, Flash fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Life, Love, Musings, Nature, Tales From the Motherland, Women, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: Abuela Works

  1. Amy Reese says:

    Beautiful story and seeming so authentic for this wondrous photo. I haven’t a clue what I will write. Congrats on your Fictioneers Anniversary! Woot woot!

    Like

  2. Lorenz Odu'u says:

    Wow…… i like the article. It just brought some cool memories from the past

    Like

  3. I too saw a grandmother. Unfortunately my ignorance of the photo makes my story quite different.I am glad however to have learned something new. Thanks for sharing the picture and your story.

    Like

  4. I love your heartfelt story, Dawn.

    Like

  5. helenmidgley says:

    Great story and fab pic 🙂

    Like

  6. A true story of love, Dawn. I’m out of town shortly through the weekend, but not quite as far as you’re going. Safe travels. I enjoyed the photo so much that I have another story with it tomorrow (but not linked, as I don’t like to do two when there are so many to read.)

    janet

    Like

  7. Dawn, What a lovely story. I wondered what that photo was about. It took me a while to think of a story for it. Well written as always. Have a good trip. 🙂 —Susan

    Like

  8. elmowrites says:

    Well, your story more than lived up to the photo’s promise, Dawn. I am left feeling a little guilty (a photo-tourista), a lot heart-wrenched by the glimpse of Abuela and the narrator, who in my head is a granddaughter. Beautiful.

    Like

    • It was a humbling trip all around! One day we stopped to pick up two women with their young daughters, racing along a dusty road. They spoke no English; my spanish is poor at best. Luckily my daughter’s is a little better. They explained that they were racing to work and to school– they were SO grateful for a ride, and from a tourista no less! The school was 6 miles down the road!! Humbling indeed, Jen. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by!

      Like

  9. I will ease her burdens. What a selfless thought and wonderful promise. Congrats on your anniversary and most of all THANKS for introducing me to FF. If it weren’t for you, I’d never have had this addiction. Alicia

    Like

  10. I love that this pic gave me inspiration immediately! Great take 🙂

    Like

  11. Is that what the wicked looking club is for? To stir the brine? It almost looks like she is waiting to see the head of some varmint pop up out of the ground to give it a good whack!

    Like

  12. Sandra says:

    Lovely story, Dawn, to go with a truly stunning photograph. So much atmosphere in this photo.

    Like

  13. Hope she can do it. So much temptation out there.

    Like

  14. Beautiful story, Dawn. A whole way of life and the hopes of a new generation captured through the narrator’s view of her Abuela

    Like

  15. draliman says:

    It must be such a hard life, which you’ve captured beautifully (and from reading various stories for this prompt I finally know what the photo is all about!).

    Like

  16. Dear Dawn,

    Your narrator is a thoughtful and loving granddaughter. I’m sure her hardworking grandmother is already proud of her. Beautifully written with sensitivity and understanding. As you’ve generously commented on mine, I’ve never been disappointed when I come here. Thank you for the wonderful photo. We benefit from your travels and your writing.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • Thanks Rochelle, such kind and thoughtful feedback! I’m glad my photo has provoked such diverse and interesting stories. As I’ve mentioned, it’s interesting to me that almost every reader thought my narrator was a girl. I’ve read and re-read and can only guess that it’s the level of sensitivity they demonstrate? When I wrote it, I envisioned a young boy… not that this detail matters so much, but I find the entire process so interesting– what we each see in the photo, and in the stories we read! Thanks again for your kind feedback; it is so appreciated! Shalom, Dawn

      Like

  17. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Dawn,

    Thank you for the thought provoking prompt photo. Your story more than did it justice. I used to unload 100lb. bags of salt from trucks and it is the hardest substance to handle. After a while my hands would crack and bleed. Great story that captures the toil of a lifetime and the hope and resolution of youth.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • Thanks so much Doug. Having explored the mines, I was struck by how hard the work must be– day in and day out, over many years. The sun, the salt– dry, burning and yes, hard to gather and load. It was humbling beyond humbling to see! I’m happy my photo inspired so many wonderful stories. Mahalo, for your wonderful feedback and the time you took here.

      Like

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  19. camgal says:

    The imagery here is explicit and real. I enjoyed reading both stories 🙂

    Like

  20. jgroeber says:

    Just beautiful, the photo and the story.

    Like

  21. amac says:

    Do the touristas taste her tears in the salt they buy?—-I love this line. Says so much, can be applied to many other facets in our lives.

    Like

  22. Beautiful story, so many lovely lines, and thank you for the photo. You have inspired so many writers!

    Like

    • Thanks Love Happy Notes, and welcome to Tales From the Motherland! I’m so glad the photo has inspired so many wonderful stories. It’s the magic of Friday Fictioneers: each week, another photo/ another writer, inspires us all! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. what an interesting story. I’m assuming this is the factual representation of the prompt. Anyway, good job Dawn

    Like

  24. Nice piece. I liked the: Her eyes have grown milky from the glare.
    Also, the imparted sense of future hope from the granddaughter. Randy

    Like

  25. MissTiffany says:

    Congrats on having your photo chosen! And then to add such a beautiful story to the mix! I agree with amac – I loved the line “Do the touristas taste her tears in the salt they buy?
    Well done.

    Like

  26. Alice Audrey says:

    I hope she gets a good price from the tourists.

    Like

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  28. rgayer55 says:

    A very thought provoking story, Dawn. It touched me on many levels. I especially enjoyed the promise of hope at the end. Wishing you safe travels.

    Like

  29. JackieP says:

    I decided to go in a completely different way then my normal. But I enjoyed your story. I do hope that her work will be for the good in the end. It’s hard work for sure.

    Like

  30. K.Z. says:

    hi Dawn. thanks for sharing this gorgeous photo… and your story was moving, beautiful and very real.

    Like

  31. Dawn, thank you for the beautiful photo.. it’s one of my favorite of all times in FF.. and for an anniversary what could be better. The story really showed the difference between those born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and those who understands the struggle that lies behind it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! That is true compliment, Björn! There have been so many great photos; I’m sincerely honored. It was such a special place and the people working there really touched me. There were other stories I could write, but when I thought of the tears mixing with salt… this story was the one. Thanks for your wonderful words; I will smile all day. 😀

      Like

  32. Perry Block says:

    Quite nice from the first presentation of Abuela to the surprisinsg switch towards the end to the sense of long and difficult achievement that hopefully is about to follow. But will Abuela be there to appreciate and experience it? Could be the opening of a novel or the first of many stories. Thanks, Dawn!

    Like

    • I really appreciate that Perry! Such a thoughtful comment, and an interesting idea for sure. IF I had the time and patience! Thank you for taking the time to read and share your generous thoughts.

      And that new photo– Wow! I love it!

      Like

  33. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Dawn – great story and very neat picture! Don’t know what it is – a mystery probably very obvious – but not to me. I always thought there was a story behind the girl on the salt shaker box for Mortons carrying an umbrella, and the salt pouring out. What a magnificent sentence you penned “Do the touristas taste her tears in the salt they buy?” Such a beautiful saying – incredible Dawn! Just Marvelous! Nan 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks Nan; you are always so kind in your comments! I appreciate it. There is no mystery, my story IS what the photo is. This was taken at the salt mines at Maras, Peru. If you Google that, Wikipedia has a pretty good description, but my story tells the basics. I’m glad you liked both. 😉

      Like

  34. wmqcolby says:

    Wow! That has some bigger story there, maybe a novel, you think … ? Intriguing and a just good read! Great, Dawn!

    Like

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