Write… Edit… Publish: Spectacular Settings – August 2015

Thank you to Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee for reviving this wonderful challenge.

Write... Edit... Publish: Spectacular Settings

Write… Edit… Publish: Spectacular Settings

Firstly share a paragraph from a novel, or an extract from a poem, or a photograph that stopped your heart with a spectacular setting etc.
For this part of the challenge, I’ve chosen the opening paragraphs from Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton.

Cry, The Beloved Country - Alan Paton

Cry, The Beloved Country – Alan Paton

Describe how your chosen ‘setting’ spoke to you. Why did you like it?
The lush and verdant countryside of KwaZulu-Natal is beautiful. The world famous Valley Of A Thousand Hills with its signature rolling landscape, the layering of hill and valley, boasts a commanding view.
This setting does an excellent job of capturing mood/atmosphere.
But best of all – it’s on my doorstep, a 20-minute drive from where I live…

*                    *                    *

Then you have the option to:

a) write your own ‘setting’ piece in any genre, or share a ‘setting’ from your WIP, or…
b) write your own poem which highlights ‘setting’, or
c) share a photograph that blows you away every time you look at it and tell us why.
d) share an artwork that shows a ‘setting’ you love and tell us why you love it.
e) write a small playscript which highlights ‘setting’.

I’ve chosen pictures of a significant attraction in my city, and used this as a prompt to experiment with snippets of interior monologue via some flash fiction. This is something I haven’t tried before.

MOYOS - South Africa's first building on a pier

MOYOS – South Africa’s first building on a pier

Moyos - at night!

Moyos – at night!

Moyo perches at the end of the pier, a gem set against the early morning horizon.

It’s a far cry from the skeleton of steel beams that marked the beginning. Like an ugly monster waiting for that magical touch to be transformed into the beauty standing before you – a vibrant, communal hive.

Moyo means heart.

It’s a place that holds my heart; a place where the heartache began. In another lifetime. When I was another person. No good dwelling on that now. All in good time…

At night, Moyo is a sparkling jewel, winking non-stop as hundreds of lights reflect on the surrounding water.

Today is a new day…

A new day means endless possibilites. Just like the sand grains stretched on either side of the walkway which extends to form the pier, jutting 150 metres into the Indian ocean.

The surrounding location is popular. Competitive vendors offer over-priced beverages, stale breadrolls and quick-congealing condiments. Accidents and near-misses occur between slow-moving pedestrians and high-speed rollerbladers. A bicyclist wobbles through throngs of walkers and joggers, his cell phone glued to his ear.

Sand sculptures dot the area, transporting it into a living gallery of artwork that is unique.

“Look at the sand sculptures! Can you believe it?” Familiar words uttered by a steady stream of visitors.
Faceless people, nameless people… aboard the conveyor belt of tourist living.
A new day.
The same routine.
A replica of countless moments.

Father smacks his crazy brat whose tantrum competes with the life-guard’s whistle. The high-pitched squawk of a lone seagull completes the trio of cacophony.

“Look, the rickshaw man. Let’s stop him. If you behave, maybe we’ll go on the ride.”

Bribery is a good diversion. It works with kids. Well, most times.

“But dad, I thought we didn’t have enough money? Plus you promised we could take a photo with the sand dragon. How are we gonna go on the ride and take a photo if——–“
A hot glare is the answer. It rivals the blazing midday sun, silences any further comments from the older sibling.

I feel a headache coming on. Hold tight. Why do I subject myself to this? Breathe. Slowly. In and out. Remember the goal. This is temporary… so close to finding out…

“Where’s mom? She’s taking forever…”

Breathe. In and out. Another day in paradise. The conveyor belt is in motion. Predictable, as usual.

“Dad, does he build these all by himself?”

… kid, you’re watching me with an odd expression. I don’t bite, you know. I’m not mute or deaf either, just in case you’re wondering…

“Wow. How does he get the alligator’s skin to look so real? The other sand guy built a rhino. I also saw the big five. The animals. Really cool stuff. We’re talking about poaching at school, dad. ”

You can show your admiration for attention to detail by donating something. A ten or twenty to have your picture taken next to the sculpture? Surely you can spare that?

“You got some cash on you dad? Whoa———– a wad of notes! Does mum know? You said money went missing from your bag…”

A five? You can’t be serious. What’s that in your currency? You ARE a foreigner, aren’t you? You can be more generous.
That’s it kid. Take the ten.

“Not a word to anyone, you hear?”

Ah, I see your wife. She’s waving. The one in the leopard print bikini? Oh, THAT’S your wife. Quick, pass the money. She doesn’t have to know. Can’t disappoint the boy now, can we?

“Dad what’s poaching?”

“Ask your mom. She’s the expert. It’s what she resorted to the first time we met…”

Cherry lips purse followed by a disapproving stare as she cradles a puppy who wiggles in an attempt to get loose.

“Mom, what took you so long?” Brat tugs at her hand while she inspects her facial artwork in a compact mirror.

You’re back madam. Mmm, I see your face has been painted. You went for the intricate floral design? Surprising choice. Lots of designs, patterns, shapes. Reminds me of life. It moves in unruly patterns… in circles… it’s never linear. The miniature paw prints… now that seems more your style. You strike me as an animal lover. No disrespect.

“Dad who taught them how to make these? How long does it take to complete one?”

A slew of ingredients such as sand, sea, time, patience, lots of love… that’s all you need to know. The process? Nothing special. You’d be bored stiff.

“Do you know the artists pay a monthly fee to the local council? But they don’t make much money from these works of art. What a pity we’re a bit cash-strapped.” A sigh flutters away. She gazes at the sand sculpture.

The older boy smiles at his father, who’s attention is divided between the brat and the puppy. A tug-o-war stalemate.

“Look. The Rickshaw ride. There it goes again. You said that we can go on the ride after—–“ but his brother scoops him up, swings him around and they tumble onto the sand.

No, the sand sculpting story is not very exciting. But I could tell you another story. One that haunts my sleep.
A story of skeleton beams and life before sand sculptures.
Now that would keep you riveted.
But look, the tide is turning.

“What happens to the sculptures when the tide comes in? Oh no, don’t tell me they’re washed away! What about night time? Do they just leave it?”

I sleep next to my creation, ma’am. No warm, cosy bed for this artist. Well not yet. But soon.

“Let’s walk to the end of the pier, honey.”

Run along. Cocktails at the pier bar is an experience you don’t want to miss.

“Boys, come, let’s go!”

Ah, new customers… step this way, sir. Would madam like a photo next to the sand sculpture?

Word count: 985/FCA

sand sculptures

sand sculptures

Be sure to read the other WEP entries HERE. It’s a word feast!

140 Comments

  1. Sally on August 20, 2015 at 10:54 am

    The opening paragraph of Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton, transports the reader to the place and time, a great choice. Your flash is so interesting and entertaining with such a lot going on in the dynamics of a family relationship juxtaposed with the sand sculptures who are only ever temporary by their nature. A fantastic piece of writing.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Thank you for the critique, Sally.
      I’m actually overdue for another reading of Cry, The Beloved Country. 🙂 It’s been ages since I read it.

  2. Hilary on August 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Hi Michelle – love the Cry, the Beloved Country novel and those words so evocatively Africa – sad, when it should be optimistic, hopeful, when life is not so easy …

    Your Pier is amazing … and the dialogue along the beach and waterfront … so true I’m sure. I love the rhino sand sculpture .. they are incredible … I’ve been down to see some at Brighton, when they put on a big show ….. similar in someways (I imagine) to the ice sculptures – which I’ve never seen …

    Lovely setting … cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Hi Hilary!
      I need to get to your place soon. I haven’t visited for a while… 🙁
      Ice sculptures? I’d love to see that. Yours is the perfect climate for those sculptures. I wonder how long they’d last in our humid climate…
      Will pop by soon! 😀

  3. Damyanti on August 20, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    (I’m officially envious, you live 20 mins away from the setting from Cry, beloved country?
    So lovely to read your work after quite a while. Loved your inspiration– that picture is gorgeous.

    I loved the juxtaposition of the inner monologue and the dialogues, as well as that of the transient quality of the sculptures against the dynamics of the family relationship. This feels like it can grow– the characters are interesting, as are their relationships. I want more! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Your ‘officially envious’ comment made me smile.
      Our part of the country IS beautiful… lots of green rolling hills and valleys…

      The piece is experimental, but I intend working more on this concept. I like the feel of it.
      And yes, it can grow… 🙂
      Thanks for your input, Damyanti!

  4. Sherry Ellis on August 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Your Pier is very descriptive. I can just imagine the place!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Thank you, Sherry!
      Our province is really beautiful.

  5. C. Lee McKenzie on August 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Beautiful location and stunning description of it. And Paton’s admonition to guard and care for it, poignant.

    What a colorful places your Moyos. And you’ve captured it with the simple, but perfect word, gem. Well done.

    The flash fiction is something I just experiment with for the first time. I found it very instructive. You’ve gone a lot further than I have and you’ve created some exchanges that pique my interest!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 11:50 am

      I’m glad your interest has been piqued, Lee!
      This piece is bubbling away at the back of my mind… lots of things waiting to unfold as I go along…

  6. Robyn Campbell on August 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I think Moyos at night is one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever seen. I’m in awe, my friend. Your FF is brilliant. Magnificent. You know I’m a fan of your writing. The characters are written as if a camera lens snapped a picture of their inner being. Well done you!

    Cry, The Beloved Country is a splendid choice. This work resonates. I must have another chance to read it again. I will, this winter.

    Sending all my love, buddy. xoxoxo

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 11:54 am

      You are such a loyal and supportive buddy, Robyn!
      That’s a wonderful comment about my characters, thank you! I’m humbled.
      I’m also planning to read Cry, The Beloved Country again, within the next few weeks… hopefully… time permitting…
      Love to you, too. xoxoxo

  7. Yolanda Renee on August 20, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Michelle

    How exciting to have such a setting as your backyard. Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton was an inspired choice for Spectacular Settings.

    Your photographs and flash fiction are equally inspired. Moyo is a beautiful name for a dynamic structure. What a wonderful place to enjoy the views of the Indian Ocean. I can only imagine the steel beams needed to make it safe from high winds and pounding surf.

    Yes, a new day means a new beginning. How often do we tell ourselves that when life pounds us like the unforgiving tides. It reminds me of Margaret Mitchell’s book GWTW, and the final words of Scarlett. “I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” (just a coincidence, I’m sure *wink *wink)

    I love the artist’s inner dialogue on the activity of the beach and the family who stop to admire his work. So typical, the artist works for pennies if he can get it, and the family’s trying to vacation on pennies, well, as far as the wife is concerned. Something I remember from the days my boys were younger. We were lucky to vacation at the beach, but it meant a tight budget. The joy in the boys, the boredom of the husband and wife against the artists need to create and still survive in a world where creativity is least valued. The artists snarky attitude matches the attitude of a seasonal worker in a luxurious place where the work is minimum wage. You caught all the nuances, very skillfully done!

    Reminds me of a post I read recently on the value of poetry. Such beautiful amazing works of art and yet try to sell a book of poetry and see what happens. Sorry, got distracted.

    I truly enjoyed your attempt at something new. It worked well. You setting is magical, and your characters relatable. Well done!

    Thank you, Michelle, for you continued support and the wonderful entry to the WEP Spectacular Settings Challenge. Please join us again in October for the Halloween challenge Childhood Frights vs. Adult Fears.

    • Yolanda Renee on August 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      Oh dear, I did go on and on, didn’t I?! 🙂

      • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 11:59 am

        Hi Yolanda!
        I loved your “off-at-a-tangent” moment.
        And it wasn’t really off the topic… 🙂
        You are most welcome to go on and on. I don’t mind.
        From time to time, I also tend to ramble along. I love the spontaneity of a ‘ramble’… it’s a sincere response.
        Thank you, Yolanda.

  8. Murees on August 20, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Amazing job, Michelle. You are very talented. You always manage to astound me with your originality. Those sand sculptures are amazing.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Thank you for your wonderful response.
      Your reference to ‘originality’ put a BIG smile on my face. 😀

  9. Denise Covey on August 20, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Michelle! This is my third visit. I just had peeks earlier as I was working, but now I’m here to soak it up. I think this is the second excerpt from Cry…which shows the power of this book. Who could forget its social comment on apartheid? I loved the film, too. Thanks for sharing the wonderful prose which really uses the senses, doesn’t it? It takes us right to a beautiful place, and only a few kilometres from your home. How awesome is that? I like to pick what moved me the most and I would say the end. ‘Stand unshod on it…’ That feeling of holiness. Sacred land. Thank you!

    And that pier, Moyos! Wow! How amazing is that! It would certainly be a colourful landmark and I can just imagine how lovely it is at night with the lights and the sea. A spectacular setting indeed!

    Then your flashes.

    You’ve mastered this art Michelle! This was stunning! The way you introduced us to the ‘heart’ then continued on with the fragments of conversation and inner monologue juxtaposed with the sand sculptures. Genius. And it flowed so smoothly. With less attention to detail it could have been hard to follow. The family relationship seemed real. And the way you showed the time passing by the rickshaw passing. Excellent. As Damyanti said, I, too, would like to see more of this. Maybe you’ve exhausted this particular setting, but it’s a way you could deal with other settings…a city mall, a hike to the mountains…the sky’s the limit!

    Thank you for returning to WEP! It’s awesome to see you again here! And thanks for sharing your spectacular settings with us. They are truly spectacular!

    Denise 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Thank you for the wonderful comments, Denise.
      I don’t know about the ‘genius’ bit. *blushing profusely*
      The positive response to this experimental piece has convinced me to continue…
      I have a good idea about the direction in which I’d like to take it.

      I was anxious about how the structure, with its fragments of conversation and inner monologue would go down… but it seemed to work.

      I latched on to your suggestion about approaching other settings in a similar manner, and I’m thinking along the lines of other places yet to be discovered within this particular story. It will give a sense of continuity… mmm… this gets my creative juices flowing, Denise.
      Thank you! 🙂

  10. Christine Rains on August 20, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Well done! I can imagine escaping to a lovely place like that. I’m a big fan of building sand sculptures.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      I’m thinking that, from time to time, every adult should indulge in building sand sculptures.
      It frees the inner child. Good therapy.
      Thanks Christine.

  11. Elephant's Child on August 20, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    This is the second excerpt from Cry I have read in this blogfest. And they never pall. Amazing.
    I am intrigued by your piece and suspect I will be back again and again. To wander in different directions with each reading. Thank you so much.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you for the visit, Elephant’s Child.
      It never palls.
      You’re right.
      It’s timeless.
      You are more than welcome to visit again and again.

  12. Jemi Fraser on August 21, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Wow! Very nice – your scene is vivid. I’d love to visit your part of the world one day! Beautiful pics 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, just give me a shout! 🙂

  13. joylene on August 21, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Wonderful! Both the excerpt and your photo. I keep forgetting how far away you are. You took my hand so graciously and lead me to another place I may never see. Thanks!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      We are opposite ends of the globe, Joylene.
      Amazing how the internet brings us together, hey?

  14. L.G. Keltner on August 22, 2015 at 6:28 am

    The descriptions you use paint a wonderful picture! I see a beautiful location overrun with tourists, and it’s such a joy to experience. I loved these lines: “Another day in paradise. The conveyor belt is in motion. Predictable, as usual.” It’s hard to imagine that a day in a beautiful location such as this could be routine, but it inevitably is for those who work there.

    Bravo!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Differing perspectives and POVs – the struggling artist with inner monologue, trying to eke out a living; and the tourist family with their own take on things, trying to enjoy the views and do ‘touristy things’
      I tried to blend everything… 🙂

  15. Trisha on August 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Those photographs are beautiful – looks like a place well worth visiting, to me!

  16. deniz on August 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Fascinating story. I liked the ingredients that go into making one. So many layers behind each person’s story…

  17. Guilie on August 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I loved Cry, The Beloved Country — it made SA come alive for me in ways no history or geography class or news item had ever been able to. It’s a gorgeous book. (Actually, I think it’s about time for a reread 😀 )

    What a gorgeous picture you paint of this seaside place… Establishing setting through dialogue is hard, Michelle, and you did a great job here. I’ve been in beach spots like this (though not in Curaçao), and it rang true. The novel behind this hawker, though, is what really has me chomping at the bit. Hurry up and write it, yes?

    Happy weekend!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      I’m also due for a reread, Guilie! 😀
      I’m planning on writing it… just watch this space…

  18. Medeia Sharif on August 22, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Vivid descriptions. I could picture them in my head. I haven’t read Paton in a long time.

  19. Hi human, Michelle,

    Pawesomely done, my fine human friend. Vivid, illuminating, captivating.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny xx

  20. Nilanjana Bose on August 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Hey Michelle,

    So glad to see CTBC quoted here 🙂 can’t fault your choice! 🙂

    That building looks magical lit up!

    Your flash was fascinating, the inner monologue superimposed with the external events and sand sculptures. Built a picture of the hustle and bustle of the waterfront with its transient art (echoing the art that the waves make on the beach too) and underneath everything was that calm voice flowing with the thread of the story. Beautiful.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      I love your analysis, Nila!
      You also used CTBC in your post… great minds… 🙂

  21. Michael Di Gesu on August 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Hi, Michelle,

    That excerpt is truly amazing….

    Your FF. is remarkable you have LEARNED and GROWN so much as a writer this past year. I am SOOOOOOOO proud of you. You are giving the Blurb King a run for his money. That’s for sure. Congratulations on finding a niche that truly inspires and brings out the best in your writing. WELL DONE is putting it mildly.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Me give the Blurb King a run for his money? Not in a million years. You are a FF maestro!
      Thanks for the vote of confidence in my work, Michael! 😀

  22. Nick Wilford on August 23, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    A lovely excerpt and you’re lucky to live near such a wonderful setting. Your flash piece was so vivid with the juxtaposition of the voices putting us right in the scene. A dash of humour, too, which I appreciated. Excellent!

  23. Linda Katmarian on August 24, 2015 at 12:03 am

    A beautiful excerpt describing a beautiful land. I also enjoyed your flash fiction monologue set against a very vibrant scene.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you Linda!
      I really liked your artwork. Beautiful.

  24. DG Hudson on August 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    An interesting presentation, one which I like, as it shows more of the scene when interior thoughts enhance narratives. I like the image of the building at night, as it seems as if it landed and may take off at any moment. I have a fondness for buildings on piers, and wrote about one in Daytona Beach, Florida, the beaches of my younger years. We always went to Florida for our summer dose of sun, sand and beach time. I enjoyed reading about a place that seems exotic to me.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Thank you, DG!
      The word ‘exotic’ always conjures images of exciting and far-away lands… it’s strange to think that my land is exotic to others. We do enjoy a subtropical climate here, and so that does fit the term.

      You’ve made me look at Moyos with fresh eyes, “as if it landed and may take off at any moment”. Really interesting. Maybe I can incorporate that concept into my story…

  25. Angelika Schwarz on August 25, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Cry, The Beloved Country – Alan Paton … a wonderful choice, and all the more meaningful to read that you live in this country, near this area. It’s a beautiful revelation to read of your surroundings, and nod in agreement… “Yes that’s it, that’s really it.”

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Angelika, thank you for affirming my work.
      Such a lovely response. 🙂

  26. Li @ Flash Fiction on August 25, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Love this piece. I’ve been on all sides of the story; the kid who never shuts up and wants to know everything, the artist standing and watching while people walk by, scrutinize what you’ve done (and sometimes make snarky comments themselves), the tourist on a tight budget who’d love to give something to everyone but there’s not enough to go around.
    I have never worn a leopard bikini, however. 😉
    Well done.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Li, yours sounds like a very interesting journey.
      I’m thinking of the loads of stories still waiting to be told… and you DO write such great flash fiction.
      The leopard bikini? LOL
      Thank you!

  27. Arpan on August 26, 2015 at 5:24 am

    Loved both pieces!

    The description from Cry, The Beloved Country paints a picture of complete serenity, which contrasts very well with the hustle and bustle of your flash fiction piece. I loved the narrator’s inner monologue, and the little hints of mystery, such as the tale of life before sand sculptures that goes untold.

    It’d be quite interesting to get a series of vignettes from the sand sculptor’s perspective, interacting with various beachgoers and observing life by the ocean.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Arpan, very perceptive. You’ve nailed it.
      The vignette angle is what I have in mind. 🙂

  28. Tom on August 26, 2015 at 6:53 am

    An excellent choice of location description. The imagery works – even if it can be a task to get the tongue around some of the words. I became a Wilbur Smith fan in my 30’s and consumed everything by him, so a country I’ve never been to is close to heart. You are lucky to live in such a place.
    Your experimental flash fiction piece is good, and I think it does the job well, so pursue it with some more.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      It IS a beautiful place. D
      I don’t know when last I read anything by Wilbur Smith. I can’t even tell you the title of his latest book. I’m a bit out of touch… need to rectify this.
      Yes, pursuit of the experimental flash fiction is on the cards.
      Thank you, Tom.

  29. Chrys Fey on August 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Your photos are stunning and your flash fiction vivid. How neat it is that you live so close to the setting of Cry. Your piece was really thought-out and well done. I especially liked the inner monologue.

  30. M Pepper Langlinais on August 26, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    This is an amazing piece! Thanks for stopping by my site.

    ~MPL

  31. Mary Pax on August 26, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I’m jealous you live so close to that spectacular scenery.

    Loved the interplay of the family on the pier. It does sparkle like a jewel. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on August 29, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      To me it’s just… home. I’m lucky.
      You’re welcome to visit any time, Mary! 🙂

  32. Raelene Purtill on August 26, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Can’t go wrong with African settings. I can just imagine the life in and around the pier and on the beach… so many stories. Well done.

  33. Nicki Elson on August 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    That was such an entertaining read! You managed the back and forth in perspectives perfectly.

    The last part of that Paton piece really got me. So beautiful. How cool that you life so close.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 30, 2015 at 4:56 am

      I was a bit concerned about balancing the blend of perspectives. Thanks Nicki!

  34. Emily R. King on August 27, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Beautiful description. Pulled me right in!

  35. Tyrean on August 27, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for sharing that bit from Cry, The Beloved Country. You know I’ve never read it, always planned on it, and now have had two people mention it to me in just a few days worth of time. I think I need to get it. 🙂

    And, that was an intriguing story. Nice job!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 30, 2015 at 5:00 am

      Thanks Tyrean.
      The bloghop is a reminder that I need to reread the book. 🙂

  36. RasmaSandra on August 27, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Loved your description. I adore looking at sand sculptures.

  37. tara tyler on August 27, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    wow – so much writing to eat up! delicious!
    the sand sculpture piece especially – gorgeous and full of curiosity!
    nice job!

  38. Samantha Redstreake Geary on August 28, 2015 at 3:26 am

    And now I want to hear “the other story. One that haunts my sleep.” What an inventive narrative, hinting at deeper layers that, perhaps, the tide will unveil. Paton captures the beauty of your home, wrapped in an inspiring message.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 30, 2015 at 5:03 am

      The layers need to be uncovered, word by word… 🙂

  39. Beth on August 28, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    beautiful writing, as always! love reading your work. 🙂

  40. Lori L. MacLaughlin on August 28, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    The Cry paragraphs are lovely, as are the images they evoke. I can just see the beauty of the landscape.
    Wonderful flash fiction, as well! You captured the chaotic scene and the nuances of the family interactions so well. I really want to know about the woman’s past and what it is she wants to find out.

  41. Michelle Wallace on August 30, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Those paragraphs are really evocative.
    I’m keen to work on this one… see the story come to life…
    Thank you Lori!

  42. Madilyn Quinn on August 30, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I really liked your exert from Cry, The Beloved Country.. it really brought to mind all that nature. It sounds like something I’d like to see, you’re lucky to live so close to it!

    The short story drew me in with the talk of that pier. Sounds beautiful! I really like all the descriptions of the sand castles and the sand castle maker’s thoughts 🙂
    I couldn’t tell that you’ve never done this before!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 31, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Yes, I’m quite fortunate to live close by…
      Thank you, Madilyn. 🙂

  43. dolorah on August 31, 2015 at 2:57 am

    I really loved the pictures. Nicely written flash too. Is that the pier talking about the family as it strolls along? Intriguing.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 31, 2015 at 7:30 am

      The monologue is the sand artist’s musings…
      Thanks Dolorah.

  44. Robyn Campbell on September 1, 2015 at 4:26 am

    YO! You are being treated to a Blog Blitz, pal. To the FF queen, Happy Blog Blitz Day. MWAH!!

    • Robyn Campbell on September 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      I did not realize I won Honorable Mention. My mind must have read my name as someone else. That was so weird. And it is truly an honor to be included with you, my friend. Thanks for filling me in. <3

  45. Carolyn van Poppel on September 1, 2015 at 7:55 am

    All the best with your endeavours. You have been blitzed!!

  46. Rhonda Albom on September 1, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Love the photos and the Flash fiction. Happy Blitz Day 🙂

  47. DL Hammons on September 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I want to live in Cry!! 🙂

    BTW…you’re being BLITZED today. Enjoy! 🙂

  48. Sherry Ellis on September 1, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Happy Blitz Day! Enjoy all the comments!

  49. Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 1, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    And guess what? Happy Blitz day!

  50. Zan Marie on September 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    What a gorgeous setting, Michelle!

    Happy Blitz Day!!!!

  51. Dawn Allen on September 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Happy Blitz Day! It sounds like your web event was fun. Enjoy the day.

  52. Christine Rains on September 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Hi again! Hope you’re having a great week. Happy Blitz Day! 🙂

  53. Nicki Elson on September 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Hey! I’ve already commented on this lovely post, but I’m back to say Happy Blitz Day!!!

  54. Betty on September 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Cute thing to do with this; great pictures from where you live! Happy Blitz to you!

    betty

  55. Sarah Ahiersq on September 1, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Love that picture of Moyos at night! It’s so colorful and pretty.

    Happy Blitz Day!

  56. Stacy McKitrick on September 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Lovely writing!
    Happy Blitz Day, Michelle!

  57. Kelly Hashway on September 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Ooh, I love how you’ve set this scene!

    Enjoy your blitz day!

  58. Emma Adams on September 1, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Happy blitz day! ^_^

  59. Miranda Hardy on September 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Very neat challenge, and great photos.

    Happy Blitz Day!

  60. Kimber Leigh Wheaton on September 1, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    What a fun challenge! Happy Blitz Day!

  61. Beth on September 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    happy blitz!! 🙂

  62. Trisha on September 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Michelle – I’m back to say Happy Blitz day!! 🙂

  63. Nick Wilford on September 1, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I’m back again for the Blitz. I’ll take this opportunity to congratulate you on the excellent photography in this post!

  64. Arlee Bird on September 1, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    As if you weren’t doing anything already, now you’re being blitzed.

    Have a Happy Blitz Day!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  65. Julie Dao on September 1, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Coming to wish you a very happy blitz day!!!

  66. LuAnn Braley on September 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Spectacular scenery indeed. Enchanting story. Happy Blitz Day!

  67. Natalie Aguirre on September 1, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Awesome description. I am terrible at writing good ones. And it’s even more awesome that you live nearby.

  68. Crystal Collier on September 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I LOVE writing challenges, but around the kids and school I can never find time to participate. I’m lucky to meet my deadlines. (Here’s to getting ahead of them!)

    What a spectacular setting!

    Happy blitz day, my friend.

  69. Tammy Theriault on September 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Stunning and visual. Much love!!! And happy blitz!!!!!!!!

  70. Chippy on September 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Happy Blitz Day! 🙂

  71. AJ Lauer (@ayjaylauer) on September 1, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I keep meaning to get on the WEP bandwagon. Need to add it to the (evergrowing) list of Things To Do.
    Happy Blitz Day 🙂

  72. Barb Taub on September 1, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I loved your Moyo internal monologue–it flows really well. So glad I got here for Blitz Day!

  73. L. Diane Wolfe on September 1, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Happy Blitz Day, Michelle!

  74. Inderpreet Kaur on September 1, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Happy Blitz Day… have a good one.

  75. Tim Brannan on September 1, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Happy Blitz Day!!

  76. Susan Swiderski on September 1, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Hi-ya, Michelle!

    Nice piece of writing there, girl! Makes me want to visit that pier, that beach, that building. 🙂

    So, how ya feeling? A little woozy, maybe? You should, because you, my dear, are getting royally BLITZED today! Enjoy.

  77. J.L. Campbell on September 1, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Beautiful imagery, Michelle, and your lyrical language only adds to the appeal.

  78. Elizabeth Seckman on September 1, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Holy freaking poo. I don’t like you anymore. That was amazing!! The way you built characters, brought a setting to life, and pulled me into the different stories was seamless and awesome. I’m so jealous- hence the not liking you anymore. Just joking.

    High fives!

    Oh yeah, I came for the blitz- you almost completely distracted me.

  79. Tyrean on September 1, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Happy Blitz Day, Michelle! Happy Writing!!!

  80. Gina Ciocca on September 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Wow, beautiful photos, beautiful words. Happy Blitz Day!

  81. Kate on September 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Happy Blitz Day!

    I love the photo of the pier at night. So beautiful! I can see why it’s a setting that inspired you.

  82. VR Barkowski on September 1, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Cry, the Beloved Country is an amazing book. A brilliant choice even if one lived 20 hours away rather than 20 minutes (wow!)

    Your flash is terrific, Michelle. Great family dynamics, compelling characters, and a fascinating location. I’m a waterfront junkie.

    Happy Blitz Day!

    VR Barkowski

  83. Suzanne Furness on September 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Hope you’re having a super fun blog blitz day!

  84. Susan Gourley on September 1, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Happy Blitz Day to someone who deserves it!

  85. Stephen Tremp on September 1, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Hello Michelle. You’ve been blog blitzed!

  86. Donna JT Smith on September 1, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    I’ve never tread on this blog before! Happy to join in your blitzful day!

  87. Kathy McKendry on September 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Moyes looks so cool, I love the picture at night! Happy Blitz Day!

  88. Medeia Sharif on September 1, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Visiting again for the blitz. 🙂

  89. Connie Keller on September 1, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Wow! I must add Cry, the Beloved Country to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Blog Blitz Day!

  90. dolorah on September 1, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Back for the blitz. See you tomorrow for IWSG.

  91. Melissa on September 2, 2015 at 12:23 am

    I really enjoyed both the excerpt and your short fiction piece. The spectacular settings challenge looks fun. You must feel blessed to be surrounded by such beauty and inspiration 🙂 Happy Blitz Day.

  92. Jeff Hargett on September 2, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Amazing how often we writers can forgot the importance of good (and descriptive) setting. It really is another “character” in the tale.

  93. Heather M. Gardner on September 2, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Wow. Great job on this. So well put together.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.
    🙂

    BAZINGA!

    You’ve been blitzed!

    Enjoy your day!
    Heather

  94. BooksChatter on September 2, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Hey! Happy Blitz Day!

  95. Robin Rivera on September 2, 2015 at 4:58 am

    I liked this, and those over-priced drinks and congealing condiments reminded me of home, that could be any beach location in California too. : ) Happy Blitz Day!

  96. deniz on September 2, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Happy belated blog blitz day!

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