He told me he rode in wagons. Whatever faults I find in memory, that one has long held certainty for me. My Bumpa rode in wagons!
I can’t remember how old I was when my mother’s mother’s mother died of a final stroke. She was Mayme Ferreira Bundeson, born in 1888 Honolulu, Hawaii, and the wife of my Bumpa. He was born Marcus Bundeson in 1884 in Hollister, California where I was born. She was the daughter of a red-haired and green-eyed Flanders Portagee cast off from her home of Medaria, and married to a Brazilian ship’s interpreter. He was the son of poor Danish immigrants who planted apricot trees in California.
Bumpa went to the old folks home after his wife died. I don’t remember her at all. But I remember Bumpa at the home. Often, my mother dropped me off to visit with him while she went elsewhere. We played bingo with the other residents, and he told me about farming apricots and riding in a wagon. Maybe that’s why I felt a kinship later in childhood when I discovered the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder who also rode in wagons as a pioneer girl. Wagons were my entry point to a lifelong fascination with history. Bingo, Bumpa and wagons are all I know of my Danish heritage.
Until I read a curious article in the New York Times about Hygge.
Hygge is Danish for getting cozy. Evidently my predilection for cake, curling up with a blanket and a drink, and watching crime dramas (Peaky Blinders, Sherlock, Longmire) is part of my DNA. While Bumpa failed to mention this lovely Danish tradition, I’ve naturally been drawn to it, especially over the December holidays when winter is darkest and cold. Oh, yes, I’ve been in hygge-mode all week and plan to add Prosecco to my cozy nook to mark the New Year. After that, I’ll disrobe the fleece blanket and get to work on the ranch.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. However, I believe in the power of written goals and taking time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you plan to go. As a writer and literary buckaroo, goals are important to me. Whether you experience set-backs or success, you can learn from examining and adjusting your goals. My long-term goal is to publish fiction about women of the west and build a synergistic writer’s platform. My short-term goals are the steps to get there. Those are the ones I examine and adjust.
One benefit to setting goals annually is that you can reflect on what you expected and compare it to what happened. 2016 has not been an easy year, and I’ve had to confront a personal crisis that continues to rock my goals. I can reflect with disappointment on the short-term goals that didn’t fruit. I can reflect with gratitude on the solidity of community at Carrot Ranch. I can reflect on breakthroughs I’ve had in understanding my own long-project writing process. With much reflection these past two months (November was a NaNoRanCho) I’m eager to move forward.
My writing completely shifted and now I’m revising two WIPs at once. Flash fiction has helped me find my way through bothprojects. I also wrote personal essays about military PTSD and homelessness — two subjects that now feature in one of my WIPs. When I do publish Miracle of Ducks, I’ll have a list of pitches on those subjects to write articles in vetted publications to reach my target readers. That’s the goal. And it’s a big one. The short-term goals are to maintain that pitch list, better define who is reading those topics, finish the revisions, work with beta readers, complete final edits with an editor, and find a publisher or outlet.
That’s another adjustment I’ve made — I’m more open to independent publishing. I better understand the benefits of different publishing paths and can make final decisions later. This year I have two publishing goals, including our Anthology Vol. 1. While the delay was unintended, it did give me time to reconsider publishing options. I’ve gained a greater respect for flash fiction in the development of raw literature. Next week, I will introduce a new guest series to explore what raw literature is, how we are participating in literary arts at Carrot Ranch, and how writers can participate in this greater discussion of what the writing process is.
This year, I’m cautious. Instead of wrapping my arms around all the opportunities that pop up, I’m focusing on specific short-term goals, and I’m writing them down and plugging them into a greater business plan. It’s my map. I will refine my vision, too. A vision is the northern star by which I’ll plot my map. Instead of expanding my schedule at once, I’m adding incrementally, and waiting until it’s solid before executing the next goal. Already I prepared the way by changing the challenge date, deadline and compilation publication. Tuesdays will be the raw literature guest series. The intended marketing series will follow after raw literature is established.
So what is Carrot Ranch? “Carrot Ranch is a dynamic literary community online for those practicing craft, reading stories and discussing process.” The flash fiction challenges are the entry point, much like my Bumpa getting me excited about wagons, thus history. This is a place to get excited about writing. Your writing. And this post is to get you thinking about goals. Your goals. What you do matters to me, too. Together, we unite on the common ground where we are actively engaged in the literary arts. We create with words and craft with language. Whether we write YA, modern lit, historical fiction, humor, romance, children’s books or lessons, memoir, creative non-fiction, fusion rap, poetry, westerns or sci-fi we are all artists. Literary artists.
Take time to reflect. Even if it’s a hand written page or a post on your blog, write down your long-term goals and your short-term goals for 2017. But for now, it’s time to extend a bit more hygge with another holiday weekend approaching and a new year looming. Will you join me in a toast with something bubbly? Then get cozy.
December 29, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a cozy story. What is it to be cozy, to experience Danish hygge? It doesn’t need to be culture-specific, but it can be an interesting point of comparison or contrast. A character might long to feel cozy, or you might describe the perfect cozy scene. It may or may not include Prosecco.
Respond by January 3, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published January 4). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!
Homecoming (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
Mary swept the hard-packed earthen floor. “Cobb, put my rocker by the hearth.”
“And the trunks, Wife?”
“Porch.” Her skirts flared as if she was dancing across a southern plantation ballroom. Children darted in and out the door, stew simmered on the hearth and Mary unpacked. She hung fresh calico curtains and made beds. By dark, tallow candles and stew in wooden bowls ended the day. It smelled like home. After three months of camping out of a creaking wagon, Mary felt a renewal of hope in her heart.
“Mary! Cobb! The new boys in the barn. They’re sick.”
Night Battle (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli MIlls
Danni sloshed her Prosecco the night they set off the M-80s.
Before the first explosion echoed through the river canyon, Ike rose from his sportsman’s chair. He set down his glass, poised for battle. He’d later say this was why he disliked bonfires — he needed night vision. Danni’s desire for marshmallows and warmth wouldn’t persuade Ike to risk night blindness. Her idea of cozy-camping never meshed with his need to stand guard between life and death.
He slipped into the dark. Danni almost felt sorry for the jerks who lit off fireworks near a former Army Ranger’s campsite.
I wish you could still attend our writer’s group. This year starts our 16th together. So many people have been a part of it for a while. You were one of the more memorable ones. And dearly missed. Now I’m thinking of our cozy spot at Valley Girl Espresso in the doorless back room. <3
Oh, wow, 16 years! Best writers group I’ve ever been a part of, and I do miss the cozy room at Valley Girl and each of you! Perhaps I can visit one day and we can do a flash fiction exercise and catch up on everyone’s projects.
Hey! I’m going to add the first bit about your Bumpa to your Notes in my family tree.
That’s awesome, Debbie! Thank you for doing that!
I love this the story of your Bumpa and learning about hyyge. My husband has Danish heritage and all I know is about the baking. I will delve deeper into this act of coziness. 😊
Hygge makes me want to be more Danish! Thank you for delving into the depths of coziness at the ranch!
You’re welcome I’m sending a message to our cousin in Copenhagen and asking all about it as well as her family traditions. This is my little contribution to the ranch. 😊
Coziness Danish style
She was chilled to the bone when she put her key in the lock. Her hand was shaking so badly she nearly dropped it. Finally she was inside and desperate for warmth. Hurriedly she got out of her coat and winter boots placing them carefully in the closet. Even though she was frozen to the […]
This captures hygge, yet also expands on it as a coping mechanism. Good point to draw out! Let us know what learn from your Danish cousin!
[…] is my contribution to the flash fiction challenge at Carrot Ranch hosted by Charli Mills. I loved getting the creative juices flowing through my fingertips. Yet […]
[…] Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2016/12/30/december-29-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
Hi Charli, here is my effort and my best wishes for 2017.
Hi Michael! Thank you for getting this in a year early! See you in 2017 and looking forward to more of your stories!
Well I do live in the future Charli
A bit of humor on a brrrrrie cold morning in Florida.
Oh, cold in Florida! I’m just learning that unexpected places do get cold, too. Thanks for the humor!
[…] theme for Charli’s Carrot Ranch 99 word flash fiction is hygge. Here’s a version of […]
Here’s my version of hygge, Charli 🙂
Thanks for stopping by with hygge, Jane!
Thanks for the prompt! It was nice to write something warm and fuzzy for a change 🙂
Hey Charli! I am making a good effort at a new habit of following up as soon as I see the weekly prompt! Maybe that way I can get into a regular habit of joining the fun. How great that you were able to learn so much about your family histpry. Here we are barely 150 years past the time when only horses and woagons ruled the world and it seems more like a millennium ago. Anyway here is mine: https://fictionplayground.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/hot-cozy-carrot-ranch-weekly-12-29-16/
Hi Joe! That’s sounds like a good habit! I’m always glad to have you be a part of the fun. I think in some regions of the US, farms continued to use horse-drawn wagons. My father-in-law had a brother injured in a wagon accident. I think that happened in the ’40s. Thanks for your flash!
[…] December 29: Flash Fiction Challenge December 29, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a cozy story. What is it to be cozy, to experience Danish hygge? It doesn’t need to be culture-specific, but it can be an interesting point of comparison or contrast. A character might long to feel cozy, or you might describe the perfect cozy scene. It may or may not include Prosecco. […]
I know we all experience that warm cozy fun feeling. Even when we get news that disturbs that which we have worked so hard to create…in Mary’s case.
Danni and Ike remind me of so many couples…there is a comfort in compromise too 😉
And I didn’t read your stories until after I wrote my own So I’m thinking that a rocking chair is a staple in Hygge mentality 🙂
Happy New Year all, I offer a memory:
Part and Parcel
The rocking chair held me, I held him. In the dark, after
he woke me screaming because of a nightmare, though
he did not wake. I soothed him until he became molded
into my person once again. And then years later his
brother. A part of me that I thought I’d always have.
And in memory do.
So when the grandchildren came along, each in their
turn – in my arms, in the rocking chair – while they slept
from the exhaustion of play. I let them sleep, while I
breathed in slowly, barely moving, enjoying what some
may call Hygge.
Oh, I like your insight, Jules, about comfort in compromise between couples! Yes, I’d agree that hygge beckons thoughts of rocking chairs. I like how you express one a piece of furniture that can make a person feel held.
This is beautiful. Wonderfully woven. That’s all that can be said.
Happy New Year Charli.
A cosy memory from me this time of our cottage with its log burner on chilly days.
Happy New Year, Di! Umm, just the mention of a cottage and log fire sounds cozy!
Oh it was. The boat is cosy, but a log burner would finish it off. Sadly we just don’t have the room for one.
I’ve been in hygge-mode for weeks now. It’s been really nice, actually. And I plan to continue it through the New Year. Sounds like you’ve got all your ducks in a row. 😉 Wonderful to have plans and goals, wonderful to be flexible and open to change. Have a happy, healthy, joyous New Year! Cheers! (And, remember, since the Winter Solstice, the days have been getting longer–more and more light is sneaking into our lives. Think of that as you sip your wine.) 🙂
Cozy as can be:
I lingered longer in hygge mode and took after Monday with the refreshment it brought. More flexibility this year, and goals in increments. Not exactly ducks in a row, but one duck after another. 🙂 Ahhh…I love the idea of each day holding a little more light. Cheers to your New Year, too, Sarah! 🙂
[…] for The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge: Requirements: December 29, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a cozy story. What […]
“Probably over 100.” Mom held her hand against my beaded forehead.
“When I called, Doc said that if we kept up the cold compresses the fever’d break.”
“We’ll give it till morning.”
I snuggled a wee bit further under Grandma’s wonky star quilt.
Mom sat down near me. “What else can I get for you, Nicholas?”
“Some hot chocolate, please.” I eked out.
“Grand,” Mother said.
“With those tiny marshmallows,” finishing my request.
“Right away.” And Mom was gone.
“Too close, Bethany.” Nicolas said to his older sister. “Better take the hot water bottle. Mom almost sat on it!”
Ha! That’s a great twist on getting a little hygge instead of schooling. I also liked the detail about the “wonky star quilt.” It gives it a quirky family value. Thanks, Roger!
Thanks for the encouragement!
A hygge New Year to you, Charli, and all the rough writers. It’s a great concept that popped up a fair bit here in the last year and I can’t think of a better antidote to the partying we’re supposed to be doing at this time of the year. My flash is for introverts everywhere, called Yay, the party has been cancelled!
and it’s here with my pictorial review of the year with aspirations for the next
Loved your post and flash Anne. Seems that calm and quiet just might be essential elements of hygge!
Haven’t read yet but, by your description, already love it!
Your flash title is the New Year’s anthem for introverts every where! Love what you did with the flash, even including the Prosecco. Never has staying home to scrub the floors and eat leftovers sounded so good. The hygge burst in that last line. Yes, please, more of that in 2017.
Keep missing the flash submissions but following along with your posts. Again you have inspired me Charli. Goal setting is not a particular strength of mine. And as you point out, keeping to your goals requires some streamlining and focus on priorities. Your prompt is particularly appropriate for the season, especially as we reluctantly turn away from the holiday sense of respite from work. Hygge is a term I have seen popping up elsewhere just recently. Your flashes evoked the coziness perfectly, while also demonstrating the inevitable challenges to it that arise just as we settle into it. Lovely details in that first one: calico curtains, stew simmering on the hearth, the tallow candles….the image resonates with that ancestral memory we all carry within us of the lives that preceded us.
Happy New Year, Jeanne! I’m happy to have you at the ranch, you are full of good insights and wisdom. I like the idea of us carrying ancestral memories within us. I hope the season for hygge has refreshed you for work. Let it begin!
[…] The last prompt from the Carrot Ranch is here […]
[…] This has been written in response to Charli Mills weekly Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch. […]
Happy New Year to you and I hope it brings good things to you and a strong upbow (I’m a violinist though not a good one.)
Here’s a link to my contribution: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/nothing-said-flash-fiction/
By the way, I don’t know if you knew that I have been growing sunflower seeds from the MH17 crash site in the Ukraine and they have been flowering over the last couple of weeks. It’s a beautiful story of hope and new beginnings, which I thought you’d appreciate. https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/sunflower-a-christmas-miracle/?wref=tp
Love & Blessings,
Happy New Year, Rowena! A strong upbow must be good a good thing! Your Christmas miracle is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing that with me. It’s uplifting to think of the kind acts we can do. I’m so glad you could stop by the ranch with your flash, too! Love & blessings in return! <3
Thanks very much, Charlie. I am constantly being reminded of the importance of the love of a stranger and of not being a bystander but stepping in or making a stand. We think we’re insignificant but we can effect so much even by doing very little.
Yes, we can! We look to Syria and cry out for what we can do, yet we walk right past the homeless man on the corner. What if we resolved Syria be each committing to one act of kindness at home each day? I’m inspired by what you are doing!
[…] Carrot Ranch Prompt (12/29/2016): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a cozy story. What is it to be cozy, to experience Danish “hygge.” https://carrotranch.com/2016/12/30/december-29-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
I focused on another aspect of hygge, the idea of losing the to-do list, and nurturing the inside by heading out for a new sunrise. Cuz, why not? 😉
( https://huldermn.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/living-well-by-rambling-on/ )
Living Well By Rambling On
She flattened the canvas bag for a clearer view out the back windows, smoothing the thick blue rug that had graced the tiny apartments of uncounted siblings and cousins. Smiling, she pushed the car door closed, the fractious rabble dozing within the family home sleeping on.
Her car glided silently down the drive and two blocks more before she started the engine. Cranking down a window, she hung an elbow over the edge, drinking in the summer breeze and sunrise through her opening pores.
She’d left a note on the kitchen table. Finally, it was her turn to ramble.
Liz Husebye Hartmann (January 1, 2017)
“Simply, hygge is about living in the moment. It’s about spending quality, peaceful time in a calm environment with no agenda. It’s about humor, warmth and making connections. It’s about spending time alone and spending time with family. And it vanishes the moment your to-do list gets involved.” From PBS “Is the secret of happiness contained in this Danish word?”
[…] December 29, 2016 Flash Fiction Challenge prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a cozy story. What is it to be cozy, to experience Danish hygge? It doesn’t need to be culture-specific, but it can be an interesting point of comparison or contrast. A character might long to feel cozy, or you might describe the perfect cozy scene. It may or may not include Prosecco. Respond by January 3, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published January 4). Rules are here. All writers are welcome! […]
Hi Charli and Rough Writers! Lovely post, lots to think about. I agree that smaller goals all year round are better than huge resolutions made on January first.
Cozy is a lovely wintery word. My flash is romantic and Victorian-influenced (of course). I’ll try and keep up in 2017. Thanks for your hard work keeping up the challenge and congrats on coping with your personal issues.
I hope you have a wonderful 2017. The best is yet to come 🙂
Here’s my take on the prompt: Cozy at last.
Hi Lucy! So good to see you at the ranch! Yes, trying to find a balance with the goals once the coziness of the holidays passes. Thank you. I’m pleased to keep the ranch going no matter what else is happening, to be here for writers to visit when needed. I hope to see more Victorian influenced flash from my favorite modern Victorian writer. 🙂
Thank you, Charli💖 I appreciate your support and motivation. I hope to take part more often this year.
Happy to hear, Luccia! I love what you have to share! <3
[…] theme for Charli Mills’ December 29th Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge, was to write a cozy story in 99 words (no more, no less). I love that word – cozy. It’s […]
Happy hygge New Year Charli! I love the word cozy; it just warms my heart. Here is my contribution to the Ranch this week.
Cozy does have that warm heart quality, doesn’t it? Thank, Kate! And a Happy hygge New Year to you, too!
The most cozy i feel is driving on the road and thinking about writing while sipping tunes within my ears…. i also thought this was going to be about popping a cork… oh well.
My goals will be to develop stories out of my poetry-like …. no no. My prose. Anyways, Happy New Year!!!
By the Time I reach Covington by Elliott Lyngreen
..why am i leaving this note? much as you won’t know why I left No one deserves this or probably noticed til now-
-when i’m crossing the Ohio, reaching Covington, where I may decide which direction will be mine.
But, since new year’s is a time for starting over; here is your chance.
Only one person believed me, but he believes in everything.
You may only believe that I went crazy. So I am leaving that with you, too.
Oh, not that bottle planned for celebrating today.. but here is the cork. Use it for Teddie’s sake.
In Montana, we call that kind of cozy, “driving therapy.” Popping a cork! That would have been a good prompt. Though, I think your note narrator might have done just that. I like both the clever form you used and the line: “Only one person believed me, but he believes in everything.” That’s great to hear you are looking to nourish some seeds into developed stories. It’s raw pure energy we create here in these 99 word sparks. The possibilities are open to what might come next! Happy New Year!
If only i could be wired to my own narrator, recording thoughts along the drives- be some fantastic literature. I have managed to salvage what i can. Kinda Risky. Mmm to Get it onto the phone … What impresses me about your work; how it recreates your scenes. Its raw literature at its finest; its refined literature in an instant. wayyy more than 99 words, but in less than a week you hav a pretty solid article or chapter. I cant refine this stuff ive had written for 15, 20 years!!
It’s taken me over 20 years to figure out how to refine my own things and playing with flash fiction led to many breakthroughs. I hope you get those, too! You need one of those smart cars with the blue-tooth capabilities so you can music, drive and narrate all at once! Your writing has a beat and will be its strength as you refine.
I can’t write out loud. I have tried. the voice recorder is just not the same. And flashing fiction has done a great! deal of breaking thru. And one main thing – help me let go of some of the raw writing you were talking about. Words and odd combinations are so precious. I think i am a hoarder when it comes to them.
I understand! it’s okay to be a hoarder in that sense.
[…] week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills is talking about getting cozy. While we swelter in the heat of our Australian summer, […]
Hi Charli, I’ve done it again: read and failed to comment. Apologies. I shall do so now. First, here is a link to my contribution: Happy as a possum in a pouch http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-QA
I enjoyed hearing about your Danish ancestry and the influence your Bumpa had on your interest in history. We owe a lot of our education to that man. Thank you, Bumpa. Even the word hygge is new to me, and I’m sure I’ll never get to pronounce it correctly! It’s pronunciation reminds me of what Magda Szubanski said about the Polish language in her memoir Reckoning. Maybe there are some similarities.
The end of one year and the beginning of the next is definitely a time for reflection. But then, any time is a good time for reflection. I guess there is often a bit of an imposed hiatus at the change of years, making that reflection more tenable, perhaps. It always seems too busy to me.
Thank you for sharing your goals and your plans for the Carrot Ranch. I get the impression that you are defining your focus so that you can concentrate on the more important aspects of your work by making everything you do intentional. I guess I have done that too. I am focusing more on readilearn and on what I need to do to improve the site for users and to promote it so that it appeals to my target audience of early childhood teachers. Easy peasy!!!! 🙂
I am pleased that you continue to share scenes from both WIP. Mary was certainly making the cabin very hygge, but I don’t like the sound of the boys being ill. At least they may experience some of the comforts of home as a means to recuperation. Oh dear, Danni and Ike won’t ever see eye-to-eye about what hygge means. It must be very difficult for those who have experienced battle to not be alarmed by the innocent, but similar, sounds.
Thank you for sharing the richness of your background, your goals, and your writing. It is a pleasure to learn from you.
Hi Norah! No apologies needed. I think part of doing tasks in chunks is reading and coming back later when you have time to respond. It’s strange, but this has always been the least busiest time of year for me. Work slowed down, kids were on break from school and activities, and we focused on food, games and watching movies. True hygge all along! Perhaps that’s why I feel in sync with its reflection as we transition from one year to the next. That’s such a wonderful comment to make about thanking my Bumpa for getting me interested in history. Thank you! I enjoy these exchanges of teaching and learning, sharing interests and ideas, writing individual stories for a collective purpose. Yes, like you, I’m focusing, paring away what I’ve learned is not necessary and working on what is next to develop intentionally. I’m excited for your progression at readilearn this upcoming year. The pleasure is mutual! <3
Thank you for your understanding and support, Charli. I have always loved the family time; being together, playing games. The grandchildren are getting old enough to play our games now, so we are once again starting to play games. It was put on hold while they were too little to play. (We’d play theirs, of course.)
As a teacher and parent, I always found this time of year very busy, and hot (I’m not keen on our summer months, but the rest of the year is beautiful). We get five to six weeks of school holidays. Two are taken up with Christmas and New Year, one more week and it’s time to start preparations again. I always thought we were diddled a bit with Christmas coinciding with our longer holidays. But at least, unlike your teachers, we got paid for the holidays. 🙂
Here’s to a good year for both of us! The pleasure is mutual. SMAG 🙂
How exciting to get to the games you all enjoy! Some of my best memories are over the games we’ve played. It’s also fun to learn about your seasons Down Under. Happy to hear your teachers get paid holidays!
Games are such fun – and great for learning! It was always good to get paid for the holidays. I guess it just meant our salary was spread over 52 rather than 40 weeks. 🙂
It has been a long time since I dropped by and it was great to read your words again. I particularly identified with your approach to goals in 2017. I am with you there. Heard a story on NPR regarding Design Theory and the ways it can help us everyday folk realistically reach certain goals.
Anyway, missed participating here so I offer you this for the latest flash:
Hi Tony! Good to see you at the ranch! Ah, you are the second person to tell me about this NPR story about Design Theory. I think I’ll be looking it up on my NPR app. Each year I sift what seems to work from what doesn’t. I’m not sure how old I’ll have to be to finally figure it out but I’ll keep at it. You, too! I enjoy your writing and glad to see a story from you!
Indeed a good fire is ‘cozy’.
Goals. Resolutions. The power of the written proclamation. I wish you all success this year in achieving that for which you stride. Me? I’ll write and see if I can be paid for my words. That is the writing goal. Of course, I have many personal goals as well, but those are written across my heart and so emblazoned in my head that I can’t sleep without their influences seeping into my dreams.
Here is my “cozy.” And of course I wish you all good health and comfort this new year.
Grandma made it from scraps, a perfect patchwork of recycled bits of material sewn to cover the teapot she brought with her from England. She steeped the leaves while I sliced cucumbers thin enough to read newsprint through for our sandwiches.
As I poured Darjeeling one winter morning, she asked me to take it as a symbol of our time together. I searched her expression and found only resolve.
She died before our next luncheon.
I have it now, her tea cozy, an inheritance after her passing, and its homey addition to my tea table adds her familiar comfort.
I love that you took an alternate–cozy–and came back around to the original: hygge. Clever!
What Liz said. Great flash.
A nice play on the word tea cozy, yet your flash also captures the shared moments of the true coziness. Familiar comfort seems to be the heart of hygge.
Good goal to have for your writing! Writers don’t earn what we once did, but we are clever and creative in finding paid gigs. Think about they type of writing you want to do — if it’s fiction, create a list of paying contests or literary magazines; if you freelance, make a list of places to pitch to and focus on mid-level outlets that you can build relationships with editors.
Consider business writing, if that interests you. That’s where I focus on a select few clients because they are profitable and have budgets for contractors. Consider businesses you connect with, like I write about community food systems so I seek clients among food co-ops and organic food companies. If you want help with planning or have questions, just shoot me an email! I’d be happy to help. I can give you some tips on what to avoid, too. I got burned last year and it was the only time in 25 years of writing I’ve been conned by a publisher. It stung mightily but taught me a good lesson, too. I wish you the best in 2017!
[…] Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch […]
Loved the final surprise!
[…] Carrot Ranch Congress of Rough Writers December 29 flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a cozy story. […]
No Prosecco, but there is tea! Thanks for the prompt, and for the p-r-o-m-p-t. I recently started a new job and my time has been crazy. It gelled for me today, how grumpy I’ve been with so little time to write. Room shall be made for priorities!
Tea will do, Deborah! Congratulations on the new job. May it continue to gel for you. When I worked full time, I often got up a half an hour early to grab coffee and just write. You’ll find the room!
Ahh Charli, long overdue here at the Ranch, barely emerging as you know, but I was so intrigued to read this post…now I know what a Danish hygge is! And I always love reading about your family history, what a lovely man your Bumpa sounds and what rich heritage you have! I don’t have any Danish blood in my family so far as I know, but as you know, we did have a Christmas tree all the way from a Danish farm…and it’s been beautiful all season, not a needle dropped, the best yet! And I love to get cosy just as you describe (did you see the new Sherlock? Must discuss!). That bottle of Prosecco looks beautiful! I’m looking forward to much to your Raw Literature series and how great to set out both your personal and Ranch goals here at the end of last year. I too hope to start work on pitch articles as I get closer to completing my revisions and getting my memoir out for beta reading and a professional edit, while researching different publishers. And so excited about the anthology! Great flashes as always…oh, but I am worried for those boys in the barn, and after such a cosy homecoming, and Ike and Danni…oh dear. Not quite the cosy camp out Danni envisioned… great writing Charli! <3