Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wednesday Wrap Up Post - I Need a Challenge, Romantic Picnic.

Welcome members and friends. A special hello to those new members who have signed up recently - Kavita Nair and Jaszy. Welcome to all new followers. Hopefully Donna and myself will find the time to pop by and say hello. Please feel confident to join in the fun here at RFW. We are a very supportive writing community.

Now to the wrap up for I Need a Change.This prompt brought forth mystery and hope. Great work everybody!

In the order I read and took notes:

NANCY: Welcome back to one of our earliest members who's had so much turmoil in her private life she hasn't been able to post for some time. This challenge brought her back with a vengeance with her story of a loveless marriage, putting up with it for the kids' sake. The humour was sustained throughout which made a painful story easy to read with a chuckle or two. I loved the allusions to old things - Old Spice - the things she likes. This story is about change - and second chances.

MADELEINE: Madeleine delivered a perfectly structured flash fiction prose piece which was lovely and romantic. I loved the comparisons of the delightful customer to coffee - 'Those delicious coffee mocha eyes". Obviously getting rid of the old boyfriend was part of the change. Something is definitely brewing.

CRYSTAL: Young love on fire. An eternal theme. However, like most young love, the fire had burnt itself out and she needs a change. But memories never die, they refuse to. First love never lets us go, no matter what the future holds. I found this a tender, life affirming story.

DONNA: Such an hilarious piece. I love Donna's dry humour which was there in her descriptions. It rang true, a bit like the Aussie stereotype of the slobby male in the lounge chair sucking beer watching the footy (definitely NEVER The Simpsons). Maybe that's why I found it so funny. The routine of the 9pm shower, despite the wife reclining in her revealing negligee, is about to be shattered. Is she off to greener pastures? Surely she won't miss him! Chilling ending...

ANNA: How we've all enjoyed Anna's ongoing saga of Paul, Jenny and Priscilla. Now we have Priscilla's POV in diary form. Anna has been very creative both with her story and with her delivery using different genres. This love triangle is no one's fault and there will be no easy answers. Hopefully, this story will be crafted into a novel. We'll all be queuing up to read it Anna.

HEATHER: Now Heather flummoxed us all with questions. Who is offering who a free cruise? Is it legit? Would we accept/reject? Heather didn't give much away so we let our imaginations run away with ourselves. I think it'd be a great opening to a thriller. Can see murder and intrigue on the boat already.

ROLAND: The familiar character of Samuel McCord narrates the story of Christmas in August, as Sam waits for DayStar to arrive and kill him. Sam is not alone - the strains of the Moonlight Sonata are playing in the background and Victor Standish pushes open the saloon doors. This is going to be a change for DayStar as he is about to experience his second worst Christmas Eve ever!

SALLY: Ah, this is what I pictured when I set the prompt - a romantic idyll in paradise. This girl needs a change and is she about to get one? The mysterious stranger called Charles Darwin wants a date. Is his name significant? Does this mean she's a survivor? I could imagine Sally's ballad being sung to strumming guitars as she reclines in her hammock. A hopeful story.

LINDA: Marta Braun's secret. She's finally going to change, going to take control of her life. She's turning the tables on her ungrateful son. She's disappeared. Finally he's trying to ring her, but clever mum has disconnected her phone. This story evokes sadness, yet there is a hopeful, optimistic spirit about it. I do feel sorry for the son though. Kids are often thoughtless which can be cruel.

REK: Ah, the mystery. What's in the envelope? You can't stop asking this question after reading Rek's story. There is a lovely voice throughout, then it ends with such impact. Is her hubby a scoundrel? Why didn't he take her to Goa? What's he up to? It's shattering really. Rek, you need to write on here...

ADURA: A very mysterious piece. Adura's character puts pen to paper as she considers her 'options'. As I told Adura in the comments, I was confused at times, and I think Adura meant us to be. The writer herself is confused. She's been derailed by seeing someone, given a jolt, which has sent her reeling to pick up pen and paper. Yet for all the confusion there is self affirmation.

ANDY: Andy departs from his ode to womanhood to take on the role of farewelling a lover who's been less than honest. I like his 'Final Scene' as in a movie. No looking back once this is over. This could have been sad, but I was uplifted that this man is nobody's fool. He could have hung about and been unhappy, but why? Move on. There'll be someone with 'honest tears' for him.

ECLIPSE: It's been awhile since Eclipse has posted and I was overjoyed to see her again. She is an amazing poet. She posted a perfectly-shaped poem, starting with 'I Need a Blank Page' and ending with 'I Need a Blank Mind.' The message was to forget the hurtful past, the 'harsh words' the 'heavy weights' and move on, change, to hope and 'cheerful dreams.'

DENISE: Mine was light and breezy and tempered by my island hopping in Fiji. Not hard to imagine scenarios such as this taking place on these gorgeous islands. But there's always pain involved in holiday romances, so not all light, breezy and romantic after all. I was pleased with the image I used. One of my pics from Mana Island I edited to look like a painting. Cool.

Thanks one and all. Now to our next prompt. Let the romance flow - The Romantic Picnic.


The "Romantic Picnic."  

- Who initiates the picnic; is this a first date or dedication to the continuing relationship? 

- Is there an agenda to the picnic: marriage proposal, pregnancy announcement, promotion or new job assignment? 

 - is the picnic all about the continuing romantic relationship: one lover affirming their devotion to the other, or a mutually shared, opportune moment of togetherness?  

***Any genre, any POV; just remember to include a romantic element and a picnic, in 400 words or less.***

This should be fun! 

Now we're hoping to make this challenge a real blast. Invite your friends, invite other writers or poets you know online. Let's aim for 20 entries. Let's go for our own record! Andy has offered to be our PR person and will take on Facebook via Events and Twitter to spread the word.

And don't forget to return on Monday 20 August to read about the writing successes of some of our RFWers members.


  1. Great wrap up, Denise. I did find this one a bit of a challenge as I have no personal experience of a tropical island stay but I enjoyed pretending I was there.

  2. Lots of entries this week. Excellent. Thanks for the great wrap up Denise.

  3. Don't forget to check out my interview at Lynda Young blog WIP it tomorrow. RFW is mentioned...

    1. I checked it out Maddy. Thanks for the shout out.

  4. I've been offline a lot these last few weeks and keep missing all the great posts and prompts! Need to catch up on all the buzz :)

  5. All the entries were great this week!!! I enjoyed them all! Such amazing talented writers!! WOOOOT WOOOOT!!!! :)

    1. That's lovely Crystal. You are an enthusiastic, supportive member of our group. D

  6. Dear Denise,
    I came by earlier & forgot to leave a comment. Nice wrap up. I find it kind of sad that we have 58 members, but half of them don't bother to enter. I've enlisted my Executive Assistant to help me with the PR stuff. I hope we can make it to 20+ entries for the next challenge. Great job this week everyone!

    1. Thanks Andy. Your PR efforts are much appreciated :)


    2. We appreciate your enthusiasm and support Andy. I'm going to send out another email to members, but do understand the commitments everybody has and RFW may come well down the list, unfortunately. Thank your Executive Ass't for us! D

  7. Hi, one and all,

    I missed out on the fun this time around due to break away and busy week thereafter but it sounds like everyone enjoyed the ride! A Romantic Picnic is more my thing, but I do like twist endings that are not expected... ;)


    1. I hope you had a great break Francine. My island idyll finishes in 2 days. Just never enough. Back to the real world for me and I hope I can find more time to write.
      I thought you might like The Romantic Picnic. D

  8. Great wrap-up. This made me want to go read them all again. They were all so good this week!

  9. Everyone; I have to add my heartfelt appreciation for all the varied and excellent concepts here. Every time WE read your efforts, we are awed by the interpretations. And the writing.

    I felt a lot of empowerment from these excerpts; some writers seemed to put a lot of themselves into the excerpts, and it worked well. Denise and I were pleased with the contributions.

    As always, WE are looking forward to your next submissions. You all rock :)


    1. Yes Donna, some of our newer members are writing quite autobiographical pieces which gives their writing great power. D

  10. Hi, great wrap up...makes me want to read all the stories again. Maybe, I'll continue mine after the picnic is done...I want to have something light and fluffy for my next romantic outing. Sorry, Donna...forgot to remind you about JC's interview. You can check it if you have the time.

  11. Hi all:
    Great wrap up. I already have ideas for the picnic, Colorado style, which is a challenge with all the fire danger in the 'high country'. That's Colorado slang for the Rocky Mountains.

  12. August 18th, 2012, 10:04 a.m.

    Dear Denise & Donna and other RFWers,
    Great wrap up for 'I need a change'!
    School starts on Monday, so life will not be any less hectic for me!

    I've just finished rewriting my 'picnic-post', which will probably be the last post about Paul & Co. But I am still working on the story, so maybe it will be a novel. I have lots of ideas for it.

    Thank you all for your encouraging comments.
    Best wishes,

  13. Dear Denise and Donna,

    Great wrap up! I enjoyed reading both your comments on my piece. What Can I say? You're both right! I suppose it was a little bit cryptic - hence the confusion. These days, I try to steer away from offering any interpretations of my work as I think everyone would make something meaningful of what they read and every interpretation is valid, irrespective of what I think. That's the beauty of it for me. I get so much insight from your comments too, new ways of looking at the material at times. A big thank you to everyone who commented. I appreciate all your comments!


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