Write… Edit… Publish: Moving On

Welcome to the monthly bloghop hosted by Denise Covey over at Write… Edit… Publish…                                                


You are welcome to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction, playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words OR artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your works. There's something to suit every taste! Go and check it out!

                               CURRENT CHALLENGE

                                              Post Relationship Reflections

A pink and black polka dot pyjama set. A lone sock looks out of place, quite forlorn. The partner MIA. Where on earth does the lost sock get to? Lost Sock Island? Have you ever wondered about that?

A ticket stub from the Annual Equine Awards. My first and last visit to the race track. Horseracing was never my thing.

Some pictures. A four-legged cutie, sporting fashionable sunglasses peers from a photo frame. The yellow shades are sunshiney yellow. A sunshine moment together with You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, blaring from the nearby radio. You never did get over that pooch.

Lottery tickets. How I hate gambling. You cannot win. You're not meant to win, not the average-man-on-the-street… Anyway, they say that money attracts money. Mmmm, makes me wonder. You did take off with Ms. Moneybags. It wasn't about the money, not from her side anyway…

Sticky post-its (minus the sticky factor) pop out from the corner of a rectangular cherrywood box. Mementoes of a communication phase, necessitated by erratic shiftwork. We became like two ships passing in the night. I think that marked the beginning of the end…

Sticks of gum. Makes me think of bubbles, not the sticky ones, the soapy ones. Standing side by side, lost in the domestic archetype created when you stand together at the kitchen sink. A delusional domestic dance to the music of cutlery and glasses submerged in warm soapy water…

Wistfulness is part of my nature. Not by choice though.

Here's choice: My parting words became the pin-prick that burst the bubble of your ever-inflating ego.

Ready for twenty questions? It became our favourite leisure activity. Have you cancelled our joint account? Does she know about your quirky morning schedule? Did you take my black sweater? Will you send me a wedding invitation? Do you think I'll attend? Did we really resolve our issues? Could I have tried harder? Do you really love her? You know my black and white cup? The one from Paris depicting the Eiffel Tower? Will you send it to me when you find the time?

(351 words)

So what do you think? I look forward to a full critique if you're so inclined. A simple comment will also do just fine.


  1. Sally on September 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    All those questions, is that all it comes down to at the end of a relationship – I think we've all felt this at some point in our lives.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      I suppose the questions form part of the process of trying to make sense of it all…?

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Will she tell him to go to hell if he comes back?

    I like the way you ran through the items, pinning a memory on each one.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Does she want him to come back? Mmmm. Perhaps, on some level… though he's moved on to "greener pastures" (in his mind…)

  3. Meradeth on September 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Oh, this is definitely emotionally packed! I love the images you evoke, and how tied they are to different memories. Really well done!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks Meradeth. I imagined the woman going through a box of stuff containing "remnants" of this former relationship…

  4. Stephen Tremp on September 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Lottery tickets are so stupid. I dread going into a sore on Wednesday and Saturday as the lines strecth across the store for the rubes who just fell off the turnup truck and want to win millions.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      On a personal note, I am NOT a gambler. Not in any form. I feel that I work TOO hard for my money, to go and waste it on casino machines, the horses, or any other forms of gambling. The man-on-the-street is NOT meant to win. And I think it's manipulated anyway…

  5. Sherry Ellis on September 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Lots of questions!  Hey, I saw you were one of the winners in the Kissing Blog fest.  Congratulations!  I'm impressed – your first time trying to write a scene like that, and you pulled it off!  You're so talented!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you Sherry! I had such a good time writing that scene! A real learning curve… and look at the result? I surprised myself.

      The lesson learned? We never know until we try!

  6. C. Lee McKenzie on September 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I think I'll just copy your questions. They speak to me!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Ah! Seems like the questions resonated with lots of people… they have a sense of familiarity…

  7. Fida on September 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I love how you made it a list of memories and the questions that could come up. Thanks for sharing!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Moving on always leads to reflection… what has been… what's left behind…

  8. Crystal Collier on September 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Terribly insightful. I love this piece. And I hate it. It makes me want to cry. =( Better go eat some cheese.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Your response means that my job is done. Yes, cheese will do the trick! Enjoy…

  9. Beverly Fox on September 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Wow, Michelle.  Loved this!  My favorite line? "A delusional domestic dance to the music of cutlery and glasses submerged in warm soapy water… "  Just stunning!

    All the little detials- the inane yet emotinally charged moments contained in them- just brilliantly done.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks for your wonderful comment Bev! I really enjoy this style of reflective writing and always seem to gravitate towards it. Next time, I must try something different. Maybe some dialogue.

  10. J.L. Campbell on September 20, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Hey, Michelle, sounds like this couple grew apart. I guess as with anything else, a lot of questions come when things end and we're not 100% sure why the did.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      I think that sometimes there's no specific reason why it ends. There are scenarios where factors beyond human control take centre stage, and no one is to blame. Not directly, anyway…

  11. Kelly on September 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    So evocative of relationships and their endings. Well written.

  12. Mina B. on September 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    This made me sad. And possibly a little pissed off. I feel for her. Well done.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      I like that. Sad AND pissed off. It's good if a piece can stir a range of emotions… 🙂

  13. PK Hrezo on September 21, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I really like this Michelle. Artfully done. And 20 questions is played on a regular basis at our house–tho it tends to be more like 200 questions. 😉

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      I was trying to think of a suitable way to end my piece, and the 20-question idea popped into my head. I wasn't sure if it would fit into the piece…  🙂

  14. Denise Covey on September 21, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Michelle, thanks for tagging me on fb when you posted. I read your post on my phone but at the moment it won't let me comment, so I got some shuteye instead.

    You've delivered up a well-polished, fully-edited satisfying piece of flash fiction. I can't fault it, and obviously no one else can. Your writing shows talent, which seems effortless, but I'm sure it's not. Your slow reveal of the contents of a relationship and how it deteriorated was masterful. Readers love these miniature of everyday life they can relate to. I didn't miss the personification and alliteration and well-wrought imagery. Delicious.

    And CONGRATS on your prize in the kissing 'fest. And for someone who said she doesn't 'do' kiss scenes! You are super talented.

    I hope all this praise doesn't go to your head, lol!! I thank you for posting for WEP and hope you will continue in the future. HAUNTING should be HUGE I hope anyway!!




    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Denise you are a star! Thank you for your wonderful crit of my piece.

      Effortless writing? That's a great compliment. I'd love to think so. But no, I let ideas simmer… and then add some more… then more simmering… then adding and subtracting… and tweaking till I cannot tweak anymore. And still I'm not sure if a piece is ready for human consumption. I think I'm a bit of a perfectionist in this sense… in a self-annoying way… don't know if it's a good or bad thing…

      Delicious! *giggles* Well, I always say that words have sound, taste, texture… glad you found my imagery to be delicious.   🙂

      No, it will DEFINITELY NOT go to my head. I have sooooo much to still learn.

      • Denise Covey on September 22, 2013 at 3:52 am

        Michelle, I'm glad you enjoyed my critique. 

  15. krystal jane on September 21, 2013 at 5:27 am

    This is really interesting. I liked Alex's comment. Lol! She better get her cup back. She should just go to their place and take it and not say a word. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Yes, she should. That cup is special to her! 🙂

  16. Nick Wilford on September 21, 2013 at 7:24 am

    A sad piece packed with a lot of emotion, this is great.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks Nick. Great to see you around. Hope you and the family are well! Happy Writing!

  17. Yolanda Renee on September 21, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Wow, really well done! Congratulations, on your kissing win and on this.

  18. Tony Laplume on September 21, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I liked the twenty questions ending.

  19. Hilary on September 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Hi Michelle – well you certainly conjoured up a lot of memories … not the good kind, the tear jerking sort .. the tears that well up sort … wracking our bodies, as they surge forth ..

    Very well written .. but fun to read (sad to say!) .. cheers Hilary



    • Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Hilary, your comment made me smile. It seems like the piece played tug-o-war with your emotions! That's a good thing? Isn't it?

  20. The Desert Rocks on September 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Oh those photographs. Lovely piece Michelle!

  21. Tina Downey on September 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Oh so sad, yet so familiar.  The sticky notes really got me.  Had a relationship with a colleague and we'd leave sticky notes in each others mailboxes.  I had stacks of them.  It was nearly impossible to throw them out, the remnants of a love gone, and how brightly it used to burn.  I finally, literally, burned them.  And gave his clothes to Goodwill…and started the long-term repair work on my heart…This was a really great piece.  Love the soap suds and music of the cutlery lines.  Brilliant.

    Tina @ <a href = "http://kmdlifeisgood.blogspot.com/">Life is Good</a>

  22. Michelle Wallace on September 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Oh Tina. Thank you. 🙂

    I think lots of people could identify with something in this piece. We've all experienced "relationship blues" at different levels, at some stage in our lives.

  23. The Armchair Squid on September 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Nice work.  The soap bubbles on the sink as a delusion of domestic bliss – I like that.

  24. Julie on September 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    From lost socks to dancing soap bubbles, you really packed a whallop in this one! You made every emotion ring true in your own rhythmic style. Congrats also on your prize for the kissing blog contest Michelle! You are really on a roll!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Thanks Julie. I was surprised (and quite thrilled too…) to discover that I placed second in the "kissing scene" contest. There were soooo many awesome snippets…

      Now I'm thinking that maybe I need to contextualise the kissing scene, by writing the story… just a short story, mind you…

  25. Nilanjana Bose on September 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Very well crafted and evocative.  The questions are haunting!

  26. Michael Di Gesu on September 22, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Hi, Michelle,

    Really enjoyed this flash fictoin piece…. Such spot on questions. The tone is wonderufl in this piece… Well done and Congrats on your win!!!!

  27. Lara Lacombe on September 22, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Lots of emotion in such a short piece–very nice!

  28. N. R. Williams on September 22, 2013 at 4:57 am

    Hi Michelle

    I love how you combined all these emotions in little snippets of her thoughts. Very unique. I didn't see anything off.

    I've posted mine.



    • Michelle Wallace on September 22, 2013 at 6:53 am

      Thank you Nancy. I'm off to check it out——-

  29. Medeia Sharif on September 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I like the questions at the end. I'm really in this character's thoughts. 

  30. Donna Hole on September 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Very interesting way to reflect on an ending relationship. I felt the frustration and will to move on.



    • Michelle Wallace on September 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      I think that a barrage of questions are inevitable, amidst the confusion and pain of a broken relationship…

  31. Patsy on September 23, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Sounds like she hasn't fully moved on – but is getting there.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      It's a process… step-by-step… and I wonder, when does somebody know that he/she is totally over a loved one?

      Some individuals move on, and unresolved issues linger… never to be fully resolved (in some cases…)

  32. Jen on September 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    A beautiful yet sad look at the mementos of a lost relationship. I believe we've all had moments when we've run across the boxes, drawers, or suitcases from love long ago. Well written. The entire piece created vivid word pictures. I especially like how staccato it all reads; very true to life when it comes to the questions that follow something like this.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Jen, thank you for the feedback! I appreciate it. 🙂 And I see you've signed up for the WEP October Bloghop…

  33. Anne on September 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Those questions do make an appearance when we're told to move on but just can't. I felt her predicament and it can be so frustrating.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      I suppose we try to make some sense of it all… and questioning is a part of the process, as we try to work it out… and wonder, where when and how did it all go wrong…?

  34. Shannon Lawrence on September 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    That was poignant. I liked how you laid it out. And how, in the end, it came down to a simple set of questions.



    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Ha! A simple set of questions for a familiar and not-so-simple situation…  🙂

  35. Julie Dao on September 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Michelle, I really loved this. It almost seems like a way to shield him/herself from the pain, to take the relationship and condense it into nothing but a practical list of items and memories. But at the same time, those items and memories can't be separated from the emotions attached to them. Gorgeous!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Julie, thank you for the wonderful words. When I wrote the piece, I didn't think of it in this way… being a way to shield the pain, that is… 🙂

  36. Anna Nordeman of Adornments for Dreams on September 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I think that your short text describes the confusion of breaking up very well. Suddenly a lot of little details get other kinds of meaning. Mementos of a relationship that has ended. What next? Which is why this is a good theme for the challenge 'Moving on..'

    However, I do hope that you will have time to write a longer text next time. Take advantage of the 1000 word limit we have.

    Best wishes,



    <a href="http://annas-adornments.blogspot.se/2013/09/write-edit-publish-challenge-for.html">Anna's W-E-P-Challenge for September: Moving on…</a>


    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Yes, I need to take advantage of the 1000 word limit. You are so right. The problem is that I'm so accustomed to writing micro fiction (the shorter, the better), that I automatically "wrap up" a short piece before it has a chance to develop… I need to work on it… thank you for the reminder Anna!

  37. Lisa Buie-Collard on September 26, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Nailed it. There are always questions at the end, especially after having time for it to really soak in. Great post!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Lisa! Yes, it seems inevitable that there are questions at the end… individuals cannot just let it be… and move on without questions…

  38. Trisha on September 26, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Finally getting around to reading the other posts for WEP this month. This was a great read – I found it very moving, and I could picture all the things you were describing. I liked how the last paragraph just really brough it home.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      I need to get around to the last few WEP posts. Gosh, I've been lagging for the last week or so… family commitments… hopefully I'm back to some "semblance of normality" early next week…

  39. Roland D. Yeomans on September 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    When you can touch as many hearts as you have with this prose, you know you are very talented! Thanks for visiting my blog and caring enough to stay and chat. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you for the generous words. They mean a lot… and make me think that I'm getting somewhere with my writing…  🙂 Oh, and I love to chat… just that there's never enough time…

  40. S. Katherine Anthony on September 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Okay, I'm very emotinal now 🙁

    Great piece, Michelle!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      I'm so glad that my words have that kind of power… to move a reader to emotion… 🙂 thank you S.Katherine.

  41. Adura Ojo on September 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I like the snippets of description. Done so skilfully and weaved in with the character's thoughts. Unique voice. Thanks for your comments over at mine. 

  42. Misha on September 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I think you did a great job at reflecting what it feels like at the end of a relationship. 

  43. Jocelyn Rish on September 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I like how you have the leftover detritus bringing up the memories of the relationship and how those things led to the end. And the questions at the end were great – the kind of thing that go round and round your head at night and you can't turn them off. 

  44. Karen Lange on October 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Fun bloghop! Nice too, to read your contribution. Brings all sorts of memories and ideas to mind. One of these days I just might participate in a hop like this. 🙂

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