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Rough Writer Tour: Ruchira Khanna

One of the benefits of writing flash fiction with a community of writers comes from getting to know each writer and watching his or her literary art flourish.

Ruchira Khanna’s writing bridges two worlds (India and America) just as her latest book tackles what the immigrant experience is like, coming to the US for school, jobs, new friends and love interests, but yearning for parents and home-connections, as well. Her book, Breathing Two Worlds portrays the experience through language and story-telling.

Voyagers into the Unknown, Ruchira’s earlier fiction novel released January 2016 hit # 1 as Hot New Release in Amazon India and #8 as a Best Seller. Again, she melds a multitude of cultural experiences into an enjoyable, world-perspective read.

It’s been a joy to watch her author career unfold. Today, Ruchira hosts at her blog Abracabadra, sharing the anthology she contributes to as a Rough Writer.

Next week, our tour wraps up at the Ranch.

Rough Writer Tour Around the World: Luccia Gray

Get ready for a treat — today’s tour is going to take you to Spain where Rough Writer and Victorian historian, Luccia Gray lives, teaches and writes. She has some terrific tips for writing flash fiction.

Rough Writers World Tour: How to Make Every Word Count Spain

Lucy is the author of the rich Eyre Hall Trilogy that picks up Jane Eyre’s story. She has a broad grasp of the characters and the era. In her essay, All About Jane Eyre, Lucy connects the past to the present. This represents the depth of knowledge and passion she has for a beloved Victorian character that has become hers, too.

In The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1, Lucy joins as a new writer under a section editor Sarah Brentyn created. Thirty writers took to flash and produced a unique anthology. Readers’ Favorite gave it a 5-star review, and the reviewer even wrote his own 99-word contribution to describe Vol. 1:

“A fascinating book packed with bright ideas and worthwhile material. I was greatly entertained by the stories and essays and so taken with the idea that I thought I would give it a go with a 99-word review.

Stories of ninety-nine words, no more, no less, little gems from the Rough Writers of the Carrot Ranch. Like wild flowers in an early morning meadow glistening with dew and I, a butterfly or bee, flitting from bloom to bloom, immersing myself in a kaleidoscope of experiences which pass through my mind like an ever-changing dreamscape. Stories of love and loss, victory and defeat, struggle and gain from the pens of talented authors with backgrounds as diverse as their stories. A brilliant idea that has created an astounding anthology, one that you will return to time and again.”

~ Charles Remington for Readers’ Favorite

Where to purchase

The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 is available through distribution in 17 countries worldwide. Buy direct from our Print on Demand distributor at Book Baby.

Preferred Seller:

Book Store at Book Baby

Amazon Global Digital
Amazon Global Print
For US Libraries (Baker & Taylor)

Join us next week as we return to England:

Seeking the Well

I’m like an eagle standing on the ice. The thaw is near enough that I can hear the trout beneath claws designed to grab what I need — words like trout populate the pond of my stories. So close. So close.

But the words I wrote populated pages requested by clients. Nothing creative. Nothing literary. I interview board members and vendors. Such as the ice-cream maker who explained the moment she realized sugar was killing her husband. It was Valentine’s Day and she returned home with a box of chocolate. He loved his chocolates and Mountain Dew. But on that day he met his wife at the door, he told her he had diabetes.

This client told me her story and how years later she still has that unopened box of chocolates in her kitchen cupboard. Her husband stuck to a life-changing diet until he told his wife if he had to give up ice-cream he didn’t think he could stick to it. They were chemists and turned their kitchen into a working laboratory until they created a satisfying, sugar-free, dairy-free, whole-ingredients, plant-based ice-cream.

The secret to their company’s success? They made their mission fun. They were the eagles who broke through the ice and found the pond swimming with all the trout the would need.

I was that eagle on the ice trying to figure out how to break through after my second run at NaNoWriMo in 2013. For 22 years I had been writing for businesses and organizations, writing features, local profiles, and columns. I was a professional writer, a marketing communications manager with a thick freelancing portfolio, but I faced the ice — I wanted to write creatively; I wanted to spread my wings and be a literary writer.

After reflecting, as I do every turn of the year, I felt ready to make the literary leap. But how? I knew I could address writers with my professional experience and share business skills and marketing communication strategies. And that was the first stab I took as the eagle on the ice — Tips for Writers: By What Authority. One person read it. I thought of attracting readers through Ranch Recipes after all my writing beat had been local food systems — artisan cheese-makers, food-justice advocates, and chemists-turned-ice-cream-makers.

No, it was time to take the full literary plunge and it had to be fun.

Anyone who has been writing since the 1990s likely knows who Julia Cameron is — she wrote The Artist’s Way. She is someone who shares my love of Joseph Campbell’s work (especially the hero’s journey), reminding me to follow my bliss just as the creator’s of healthy ice-cream followed theirs. Her method includes daily free-writing, a practice that silences the inner critic. After all, we want to play with our bliss, not analyze it into an early demise.

The other part of her method includes a weekly activity to “fill the well.” She writes:

Art is an image-using system. In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond. We’ve got big fish, little fish, fat fish, skinny fish– an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must realize that we have to maintain this artistic ecosystem.

If we don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked. Any extended period of piece of work draws heavily on our artistic well.

As artists we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them– to restock the trout pond, so to speak. I call this process filling the well. (From The Artist’s Way, posted at Julia Cameron Live.)

Understanding that the well is filled with the art — and raw literature — of others, and that creativity is a tribal experience, I sought to make Carrot Ranch a playground for writers. Flash fiction would be the game we played. Nearly four years ago on February 13, 2014, I wrote my first Weekly Flash Fiction Challenge:

Word prompts continue to make for enjoyable practice. Practice makes for better craft, of course, but it also can be freeing. If it’s just “practice” then the writer can leave behind her critic or his editor, and just do the one thing we all want to do–write.

Take a break to have fun, and you just might return to your work renewed with playful creativity. I’m looking for some writers to play with once a week. The game is flash-fiction and each week will have it’s own prompt. Only 99 words, so not a big commitment. You can even develop a blog post around your submission and meet other writers–poets, bloggers, authors, j-students, teachers. If you write you are invited to play. Nothing serious; it’s just practice.

In other words, I had played with raw literature in mind from the beginning. I had no tribe. I trusted the ice would give and trout would be plentiful beneath. I trusted that if I sought the well every week, other seekers would show up. The first to do was was Norah Colvin. Norah’s first words to me ever were: “Powerful. Sad. Unjust. Distressing. Hateful.” I’m not sure those are the attribute of a strong friendship, but she trusted the space to leave a meaningful comment.  And she later returned with her own flash fiction.

We all improved our responses. Practice with any art or skill results in breakthroughs. But the greatest breakthroughs came in recognizing the power of the tribe. I’ve never grown tired of what the well reveals each week. I can’t predict it. But I know it’s going to be powerful.

From our earliest attempts at Raw Literature, our tribe became the Rough Writers. We’ve grown and taken on more Friends as writers also seek the well at Carrot Ranch. We are now a literary community and have debuted an anthology based on our earliest 99 words. We launch our book on February 4 with a live Facebook Event on February 4 from 11:00-11:20 am (EST, same as New York City). Like our flash fiction, it will be quick, inspiring and celebratory of the tribe.

On Monday, February 5, Geoff Le Pard will kick off a Rough Writers Around the World Tour. Every Monday will be in a different country with a different Rough Writer. February’s line-up includes:

Geoff Le Pard (UK) at Tangental on February 5
Anne Goodwin (UK) at Annecdotal on February 12
Anne Edall-Robson (CA) at Ann Edall-Robson on February 19
Sacha Black (UK) at Sacha Black on February 26

This is what one reviewer has to say about The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1:

“A fascinating book packed with bright ideas and worthwhile material. I was greatly entertained by the stories and essays and so taken with the idea that I thought I would give it a go with a 99-word review.

Stories of ninety-nine words, no more, no less, little gems from the Rough Writers of the Carrot Ranch. Like wild flowers in an early morning meadow glistening with dew and I, a butterfly or bee, flitting from bloom to bloom, immersing myself in a kaleidoscope of experiences which pass through my mind like an ever-changing dreamscape. Stories of love and loss, victory and defeat, struggle and gain from the pens of talented authors with backgrounds as diverse as their stories. A brilliant idea that has created an astounding anthology, one that you will return to time and again.” Charles Remington, Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

You might think that a 5-star review from an independent source before a book has officially launched is tops. But it’s the fact that the reviewer found the well and was inspired to write his own 99-word story. That’s the beauty of the Ranch — a deep and open well for all who seek.

The eagle has plunged through the ice.

White Flowers

White Flowers by the Rough Writers & Friends @Charli_MillsOrchids, daisies or faded plastic tulips — merely the mention of white flowers can give readers a sharp image. Culture and tradition give colors and forms even further meaning. Because of this, white flowers evoke a response.

In the hands of a writer, the reader’s reaction can be amplified, shrouded in mystery or contrasted to create an unexpected twist. An iconic image such as white flowers allows a writer to explore the possibilities.

The following stories are based on the December 21, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include white flowers in your story.

***

Write Flowers by Bill Engleson

“Flowers! Fine! I did as instructed. Write flowers, the prompt said. I’ll write it again. There! Flowers!”

“I read the whole prompt. Your cognition’s seriously out of whack, buckaroo. And you need to get your eyes tested.”

“I have. It’s not looking good.”

“Oh, really. I’ve hardly noticed.”

“Well, I’m not walking into the walls. But I have prescription eye drops.”

“Sorry to hear that. Still, it didn’t tell you to write flowers. The whole post was a beautiful elegy to white flowers. WHITE.”

“So, I misread it. Haven’t you ever made a mistake?”

“Only in having this conversation.”

###

Innocence Lost by D. Avery

If you read that the ink is a tear across the page, how would you pronounce “tear”? Did the ink drop, or rip?

The page is a field of white flowers. The unarticulated dreams in the margins know the sadness masked by the pure and perfect page, and hesitate, uncertain of the trek across the field of white bloom. What happens there at the borderland? Petal picking; it pains, it pains me not, down to bare stem.

Blushed blossoms fall apart, spent. Windblown petals shower across the tracked page.

Did the ink drop, or rip?

Bruised fruit is borne.

###

Promise (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) by Deborah Lee

Jane unzips her tent, peering out. Her breath mists in front of her, and the ground crunches under the feet of another Tent City resident, picking between canvas and nylon. Hard frost, again. Not snow, true, but still too cold for living in a tent.

She shrugs into her coat and grabs the backpack she’d loaded the night before, shuddering her way to the bus stop six blocks away. This is the stage of winter that feels eternal. If spring hasn’t come by now, it never will.

Until she spots them, tiny, delicate, white heads peeking through the frost.

###

Paisano by Mr MacRum

Hovering over Pauper Grave #242, uninhibited tears fell onto the single white Chrysanthemum Jack clutched in his hand. Six inches of snow had found its way into the cast off Bean boots someone threw at him from a Lexus. He did not even notice.

It was six Christmas Eve’s ago he had identified the body of his hard times friend. Closing his eyes, Jack could still see Rodney’s gap toothed grin after they had constructed their last blue tarp cardboard palace together.

Jack tossed the Chrysanthemum on the grave and watched it disappear into the fresh snow.

“R.I.P. Rodney”.

###

A Field of White Flowers (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mils

Danni dodged potholes on the way to the logging site halfway up Nine Mile Road. On corners she slowed, scouting for logging trucks. Fully loaded they needed wide clearance. Near the crest of the ridge a mountain meadow opened up from the cover of tamarack and jack pines. Danni pulled over to let G-Dog and Det run through white daisies. G-Dog marked the perimeter and Det held point. What did she see? Danni scanned the far edge of shadows, imagining Ike and Bubbie walking the forest. White flowers bobbed like funerary tokens. A lone duck beat wings overhead. Silence.

###

Ghajra by Ritu Bhathal

Arranging the ghajra in her hair, Hari allowed his eyes to drift over her form.
Meena looked as beautiful as she had, years before, on their wedding day.
As tradition states, she was dressed as a bride, ready to leave the house for the final time.
Hari had always bought her a fresh ghajra on his morning walk, and gently placed the fragrant white jasmine flowers around her hair bun.

The gesture made her smile, and she’d tease him about being an old romantic.
So, even today, on that journey to her funeral pyre, she lay, adored and adorned.

###

Flash Fiction by Cheryl Oreglia

They keep coming, friends from her youth, family, neighbors, and loved ones. They keep coming with fresh pasta, white roses, presence and care. They keep coming to spend time with their beloved who is so close to death that heaven now seems closer to them. They keep coming to break bread, sip tea, sit together on the foldout, laugh, cry, and love one another. What they do not know is how they are lifting the children, the caregivers, those weighted down with the grief of their love. They keep coming, giving so much more than they will ever know.

###

Floral Notes by JulesPaige

White Spider Chrysanthemums, are an autumn flower.
Mums the birth flower of November;related to daisies
and marigolds. Being born in autumn, perhaps that’s why
Blanche chose them along with other smaller mums,
Baby’s breath, and to honor a Grandfather, whom she
had never met, (at her father’s request) three white roses;
for her wedding bouquet just days before the autumnal
equinox.

Blache has a fascination now for any and all white flowers.
She plans on framing some in a display; of the photographs
she’s taken of different white flowers on one of blank walls
in her dining room.

###

White Flowers by Robbie Cheadle

Her white silk dress spread out across the floor as the bridal couple kneeled inside the bower of white roses. Each flower, its petals shimmering in the light of the stained-glass windows, seemed to be paying tribute to this glorious occasion. The couple gazed into each other’s eyes as they repeated their wedding vows, tying their lives together with each word.

A sudden noise at the entrance disturbed the peace. A shot rang out. A fine red mist settled on the pure white roses like crimson dew. The bride crumpled forward as shouts of fear and horror rang out.

###

The Safe Place by Colleen Chesebro

They were at it again. Their voices rose to a crescendo of anger so thick she felt it smothering her from afar. A knot of fear twisted in her gut. She snuggled into her bed trying to blot out their hurtful words. She knew there would be no Christmas this year, not when they were drunk.

“Well, she’s not a puppy. I can’t just drown her!”

She searched for the safe place in her mind; the field of white flowers where she played as a child. There she was safe. The fairies beckoned to her, and she sensed love.

###

Lilemor and the Fiddler by Liz Huseby Hartmann

Lilimor gazed across the field of wild strawberries into the Great Wood. She didn’t have enough berries to fill her basket, but the fiddle called her to the waterfall within. Its song enticed, one she almost recognized and had to sing.

Perhaps she had enough strawberries after all. She stood, humming, and stepped her way through the field of white flowers, unmindful of the rich red berries that stained her feet.

Behind her, the cat growled, his tail switching. He was not as easily convinced as his young mistress.

He padded behind her, nonetheless, following her into the darkness.

###

You Can Count on It by Norah Colvin

“Is too,” he screamed, running away, blinded by tears.

Across the enormous park, he plonked himself down in a patch of wild daisies and began pulling them up, ripping them apart.

“It can’t be. They don’t know anything.” Fists clenched against doubt that threatened annihilation.

As tears subsided to sobs, his petal removal became more rhythmical, purposeful: “Is true. Isn’t true. Is true. Isn’t true …” He crushed the remains, then plucked another: “Is true. Isn’t true. Is true …” Nooo!

He started again: “Isn’t true. Is true …”

“I knew it! Santa is true! White flowers don’t lie.”

###

The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is… by Anurag Bakhshi

“Let’s go, we’re already behind schedule,” he said.

“I’m not ready yet,” I replied, “I need white flowers to put in my hair, they look dazzling on me.”

“WHAT?” he cried out, “Where will I get them from in this snow?”

“Really?” I said in my best sarcastic tone, “THAT’S your excuse?”

“But what will people say?” he whined.

“I don’t care,” I replied, “I’m not budging an inch till I get them.”

Knowing when he was beaten, Santa grudgingly said, “I’ll get your white flowers. I just wish you would not choose Christmas Eve for your tantrums, Rudolph!”

###

Good Enough by Denise Aileen DeVries

White poinsettias were the last straw, thought Carol-Anne. Of course, red flowers would clash with that new burgundy carpet. She arranged holly and ivy in a vase near the altar, humming “Old Time Religion” under her breath. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” her Billy always said. Gone wholly fifteen years and she heard him clear as a bell. She put on her robe, slightly holey at the hem, and sat on the organ bench. She glanced at the watch Billy gave her on their tenth anniversary, took a breath, and began to play “Joy to the World.”

###

Tattoo by Anne Goodwin

My role at the museum is to shock the children with tales of our primitive past. Our addiction to tarmac, plastic and the flesh of our fellow mammals. Mostly they want to hear about my tattoo.

“Was that really the only difference between the tribes?”

“And it dictated who would eat and who would starve?”

“But it’s so arbitrary!”

“Didn’t the blacks feel guilty?”

“Why didn’t the whites rebel?”

They pout, complain and stamp their feet, until one of them asks, “Which were you?”

I roll back my sleeve and show them. “A white flower! Yet you survived!”

###

White Flowers by Irene Waters

She lay on a bed of white flowers. Her tanned skin contrasting against the white making the white whiter and the brown browner. She moved sensuously, luxuriating in the velvety softness that enveloped her and inhaled the wafts of perfume. She rolled and stretched, her movements slow and languorous. She was alone but not lonely. Her thoughts like the flowers were pure as driven snow; dark chocolate, cashmere sweaters. How she’d longed for this place and now found, she wanted to stay forever.

A field of white flowers offered so much more than that cloud she had abandoned.

###

White Flowers by FloridaBorne

I have a talent. The only plants that live in my yard are the ones I ignore.

There were these fuzzies with beautiful white flowers that sprouted on my lawn. I ignored them and they grew. Everywhere. Unfortunately, the common name for this weed is “stinging nettle.” They’re a great deterrent to burglars, barefoot children and potential husbands.

The latter is as hard to find as respectable plants growing in my yard. My last fiancé fell face first onto my field of white flowers and died from a fatal allergic reaction.

Perhaps I should try to ignore lilies instead?

###

White Flowers by Frank Hubeny

Peter had four chickens and a dog. They did not get along. The dog was chained. The chickens weren’t. The chickens approached the dog and wiggled their butts at him. He jumped. They all knew just how long his chain was. “You idiot,” the chickens thought.

One day Peter went for a walk in the woods with his dog. His dog dragged him deeper and stopped near an opening with white flowers. Peter was happy. He unchained his dog.

His dog looked at Peter thinking, “You idiot.” The dog ran back without him.

Peter now only has a dog.

###

Funerals & White Flowers by Ann Edall-Robson

“Ahhh well…now, who is that coming in the door? I don’t recognize them. The kids seem to know who they are. I guess they are some of their friends. Nice for them to have some of their own kind in tow at a thing like this.”

“Jeeeeze Luweeeze, who in the heck ordered the white lilies? I know, I know. I always said they reminded me of death, but I sure didn’t mean mine! Wild Flowers and lots of them would have been my choice. Guess I missed that on my checklist of ‘this is what I want’.”

###

Granite by Michael Fishman

On any other day the chickweed might look like pocks on the grass, but on this breezy April morning, with the spring sun angled high, the white clusters swayed, dancing to invisible music.

Dad would have liked it.

Dad.

I reach out and run my hand along the top of the uneven granite, still damp with the morning’s dew. I run my fingers along the front and for the thousandth – or ten-thousandth – time, I trace the name.

“Nice morning, huh, pop?”

I blink against a sudden gust and I feel the ten-thousandth tear trail a path down my cheek.

###

Flash Fiction by Mark

From the park-and-ride lot, it is nine miles down hill, so I don’t have to arrive sweating and hot. At the end of the day the uphill workout burns off stress. The road from the interstate highway into town is four lane with a whole extra lane for a shoulder, separated by a rumble strip. What could be a safer place to ride a bicycle?

Except for the driver texting on a sunny afternoon who didn’t hear or feel the vibrations. On my evening return journey I stop and pause before the white ghost cycle and the white flowers.

###

Not All the Flowers Are Created Equal by Alexander De

She said her dress was emerald green; my tux, her flowers should work with that theme. Called Auntie Jim out in Houston, florist to the family. I said black goes with everything, don’t it? She said black orchids would be stunning, but the other prom girls might not agree; get her white flowers, throw in something purple, complimentary. The boss at BurgersRUs didn’t like my leave request for the dance, cut my hours. Thin paychecks don’t buy corsages. Borrowed some lilies from the cemetery; didn’t know about symbolism in flowers, but my date did. I went stag that night.

###

Wedding Flowers by Susan Sleggs

“As is customary son, we are planning to pay for the wedding flowers. I think elegant white flowers like gardenias or roses would be best.”

“Sandy and I have already chosen carnations because of how well they last. They will look elegant with some green ivy, baby’s breath and long white ribbons.

“But we would be happy to pay for something more exotic; maybe orchids or lilies.”

“Lilies are for funerals and we aren’t exotic. Carnations will represent our practicality and symbolize our expectations for a long marriage.”

“Fluffy white marshmallows if you ask me.”

“That’s why we didn’t.”

###

Reflection by D. Avery

“Narcissus?”

“Yes, Hope, a fellow who fell deathly in love with his own reflection.”

“Mommy, that’s silly.”

“Then we’ll call them paper whites. Do the blooms seem papery to you?”

“Yes, and they stink.”

“Ha! Kinda, Hope. And I kinda like the smell. I don’t know why.”

“I like the way they stand in their pots, Mommy.”

“Me too, Hope. So bold and defiant on the cold windowsill, trying so hard to be spring. But they reflect winter.”

“If Winter falls in love with his reflection, he’ll pine away.”

“Then Hope, we’d best start ordering seed packets for spring.”

###

Giving Hope by Michael

The weather had been unbearably oppressive with day after day the temperature climbing into the low 40Cs. Up early I would water the plants committed to keeping them alive even though around them the grass of the lawn died off under the relentless barrage of the sun.

It seemed a futile hope that anything might survive the harsh climate and I resigned myself to starting again once the hot days passed.

Then one morning as I desperately watered I looked down and saw a tiny white flower on my struggling capsicums.

That single white flower filled me with hope.

###

Flash Fiction by Pensitivity

In her dreams she saw masses of white flowers in an ocean of green.

The view was unfamiliar, with islands of trees in the waters, but no bridges, roads or pathways to reach them.

She always felt a sense of loss when she awoke.

This time something was waiting for her in the sea of white flowers.

It stood and ambled towards her.

‘Jess.’ she whispered.

The dog came to her side and nuzzled her hand.
‘I knew you’d come,’ he said.

She was so happy to see her childhood pet, she didn’t think to question he could talk.

###

Flight by D. Avery

“The king will be very angry with you for freeing me. How can I repay you? Name it.”

“Oh no”, said the girl. “You have brought birdsong back to the kingdom. That is all I need.”

“Take this”, said the bird. He pulled a white feather and handed it to her. “With this quill your words will sing and your spirit will soar. And yes”, he said as he flew away, “There will be pain.” She held the quill like a white flower; she held it like a sword; she held it as the key to her own escape.

###

Blossoming by Reena Saxena

“There’s a different feel about the house.”

His roving glance met the same furniture setting and décor. He was perhaps missing the fragrance of the white Mexican tuberoses Leila kept in the room on his visits. He had missed the subconscious association with the smell.

Relationships do change with time, and Leila was embarking on a solo journey of her own. She took a deep breath to inhale the different notes of outdoor smells. The ‘Rajnigandha (fragrance of the night-’ as it is called in Hindi), was blossoming into a garden. The companion of nights had joined the university.

###

They Weren’t Red by Rugby843

She had been in love with him since the age of ten, best friends, spent all their time together, and now as an adult, he was still her best friend.

The time came when she felt she had to tell him she wanted to be more than friends. Being near him caused such passion to arise, her face flushed at his touch. However, he didn’t seem to notice, She asked him to dinner, only this time she dressed provocatively, offering candlelight, soft music, and his favorite dish.

He arrived, awkwardly surprised by her dress, bouquet of only white roses.

###

The Scent of Jasmine by Jan Malique

The scent of jasmine pulled strongly on her memories, like a fishing net it scooped up the darting pieces of her past.

She peered intently at each and every bejewelled creature, for her memories were sentient and potent presences.

Piece by piece they rearranged themselves into mandalas of mystery, symbolic of lives lived with passion, lives lived in tear filled intensity.

She looked out over the landscape, now covered in a sea of white flowers. A blessing from the Old Ones for one of their own who had gone beyond the veil. She was now infinite wisdom and power.

###

White Christmas by Billy Quealy

Giant white CalaLillies in California last only 3 days in water. Pulled some from landscaper’s junkpile. Mysteriously still blooming 2 weeks later!! The music ?, the sex ?, my semi-autist GF reading holybooks aloud??

Christmas morn: “Fetch us some coffee so I can surprise. ” Return to see she painted wall behind flowers black. “Shiny now, and look ‘little friends’!!!” placing little white potted bloodwort-plant. Stolen from someone’s yard no doubt. Landlord not gonna like painted Mahogany panel, fumes gonna wilt flowers.

“Happy?”

“It’s beautiful honey!!!”

Kiss.

“Oh let’s have coffee with the flowers…..we’ll have a white Christmas billy!!!!

###

White Flowers by Robert Kirkendal

The man stopped when he came across a pleasant sight of white flowers arrayed in front of him. He wistfully contemplated the field of new growth. The beautiful daisy, he sighed to himself, Bellis perennis if memory serves me. He looked across the many bright yellow dots surrounded by snow white petals atop thin green stems and silently thanked Mother Nature for providing him with such a lovely site. It’s like a…carpet of prettiness, he beheld, a gift from the natural world for all the world to enjoy.

He then restarted his mower and chopped them all down.

###

Helleborus Niger by D. Avery

“Hey, Kid, I see yer saddlin’ up.”

“Yep, Shorty’s got us on another roundup.”

“What direction ya headin’?”

“Don’t rightly know, Pal. Headin’ for the border, not sure which one.”

“I reckon you’ll head north. Don’t fergit ta git white flowers.”

“That dang Shorty. White flowers. In winter. Bloomin’ hell.”

“That’s it Kid! Hellebores. Christmas Rose.”

“Oh, yeah, Pal. Blooms in winter.”

“See, Kid. The darkest day is past. Ya’ve rode through a seasonal borderland. There’ll be snow an’ cold yet, but there’s always somethin’ bloomin’, somethin’ ta be picked.”

“Thanks, Pal. Feelin’ lighter already.”

“Yer hoss’ll ‘preciate that.”

###