Friday Fictioneers – Reality brought forth

On Tuesday I posted about how I felt about negative reviews on Amazon UK and amongst the many comments received was one from a friend of mine here in Dorset, Harvey Taylor (of who suggested, rather than abandon fiction altogether that perhaps we consider writing something together, starting with a short story. So, this week’s offering for Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers challenge is a collaborative effort between Harvey and I; I wonder if you can spot which line belongs to which person?

This week’s photo is titled Outside Pecos and is very kindly offered by Amanda Gray.


The ruined building, lonely and frail, said it all; the past is another country and it was one she no longer had a passport to.

Yet, paradoxically, beneath the broken tiles, like a memento of a fractured relationship, lay an ancient gold locket; the key to her imminently bizarre fate. All she had to do was find it; locate and activate it before others arrived to capture her in their web of deceit once more.

She stretched, clasped, undid the alien lock, and was transported to a universe where the Higgs boson was made of marmite and beetroot was edible.


I enjoyed this exercise very much because I’m normally someone who likes to control everything – with this all I had to do was think of the next sentence and then wait to see what came back …. πŸ™‚ Our next challenge is to decide if we want to collaborate on a longer story – but I think we may see more of Harvey’s unique character here on Friday Fictioneers too.

The idea behind Friday Fictioneers is that you submit a 100 word flash fiction story associated with the picture challenge added the previous Wednesday. You can read the other submissions this week on Madison’s Blog here: There is also a Facebook Page too specially for Friday Fictioneers and you can find it here:

If you’d like to know the rules then this is the page to; and finally, if you’d like to read my previous attempts you can find them all listed here:

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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50 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    Why thank you very kindly Stacy, I love the idea I made someone go ‘wow’ πŸ™‚

  2. Linda says:

    Do you know, that makes perfect sense now you explain it – thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  3. Well, my whole family has grown up as turnip, thanks the the last name of Turner, not sure if it is local custom or what. So I just gave up and embraced it. πŸ™‚
    The swirling part is my gray matter. lol

  4. Linda says:

    What a wonderful response to both my posts and thank you for being so understanding. You’d have to know Harvey to ‘get’ the whole Higgs Bosun thing and I know what you mean about the ‘curved ball’ it threw but hey, we worked it out (I think). You were also right, as was everyone else that commented, the reality is that people pick things up because they are free and not because they are necessarily interested in them. Would I do it again? Probably, but only because it did work to advance the book further up the rankings on Amazon and who knows where that may lead. Since writing the post my ‘worldview’, if you can call it that has changed completely as a result of the comments and advice that everyone has given – I feel much more level headed about it and that has made an enormous difference to how I feel about the book and about myself πŸ™‚

  5. Linda says:

    You’re very welcome and given the amount of support I’ve had for my fiction recently I think it’s only fair that I share some of the love around too – especially when I particularly enjoy something πŸ™‚

  6. Linda says:

    It certainly was an interesting experience and curiously liberating Madison – just one sentance at a time, that was all I had to think of and it worked out wonderfully. There is definitely room for that old adage that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts methinks πŸ™‚

  7. Linda says:

    I don’t know … I’m unsure about that as I must admit I’m not a marmite fan but I do love beetroot πŸ™‚

  8. Linda says:

    Thanks Kwadwo – muchly appreciated πŸ™‚

  9. Linda says:

    Why thank you – now that is an exceptionally nice compliment to have been paid too πŸ™‚

  10. Linda says:

    It worked surprisingly well and I think we both enjoyed it – at least I did πŸ™‚

  11. Linda says:

    I shall be off to the list to see what’s new very soon and thanks for your lovely comment on that sentance – that one’s mine πŸ™‚

  12. Linda says:

    Thank you – BTW I keep meaning to ask, your blog name is particularly intriguing, is there a story behind it?

  13. Linda says:

    Thanks Raina – much appreciated πŸ™‚

  14. Linda says:

    How nice to have your lovely comment Susan and looking forward to your Thursday Throng interview later this year too

  15. Linda says:

    Why thank you Adam – I’m quite amazed that it worked so well and we’ll no doubt be doing it again πŸ™‚

  16. Adam Ickes says:

    I love the idea of pairing up and writing one sentence at a time. It flows wonderfully. You two did a wonderful job.

  17. susanscottsa says:

    ooo this all looks so interesting! Will be checking this all out in next few days. The webpage is excellent! Thank you for this … so pleased to have found it.

  18. raina says:

    wonderfully written Linda, I really liked this piece of yours.

  19. Kudos to you both! Nicely done.

  20. boomiebol says:

    The past is amother country she no longer had a passport too. Very nice. Great tale here. Mine is on the list

  21. dbfurches says:

    Hilarious and topical! I love the idea of writing these flash fictions collaboratively!

  22. sphrbn says:

    It flowed quite well and reminded me a bit of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy with it’s out-of-this-world-ness and quirkiness

  23. Kwadwo says:

    A Hansel and Gretel story laced with a hint of science fiction.
    Two heads are indeed better than one.
    Well done, Linda and Harvey.

  24. billgncs says:

    I liked the idea of something hidden of value in the old house. And a marmite siting is a delicious reference.

  25. Haha, I’m with Harvey. In this world, beetroot is certainly NOT edible. When my love returns from Afghanistan, we have some joint writing projects in mind. I’ll be curious to see how I do with that… Now I’m heading over to see what those negative reviews were all about.

  26. I really really liked this!! And this was a terrific line: actually made me stop reading to say “Wow”: the past is another country and it was one she no longer had a passport to.

    A lot of story line in such a short space, masterfullly rendered feelings and delightful prose description. Bravo.

  27. beebeesworld says:

    Thank you for your comments and encouragement on my 100 word challenge blog, Adobe Dreams” I have written several shirt sties and prose on similar themes…who knows, maybe I will get inspired and write more! I will follow your blog and hope you will follow mine as well.

  28. elmowrites says:

    Let’s start with today’s piece, Linda. It’s an interesting experiement to swap between two writers – you often lose the vision and consistency of a single piece. This one seems to hold onto it, so congratulations to you both. There are some fascinating lines here. I must be honest, and say I’m not sure about the final few words – the Higgs Boson thing threw me off and that distracted me from the drama and interest of the rest of the piece.
    I’m so glad you pressed on with fiction. I read your other post and was very saddened. Press on with it, and don’t listen to out and out dissenters (constructive criticism is useful, outright criticism much less so). People who picked up your story for free, probably chose it because of that, without necessarily being people who would enjoy that genre. Read their comments bearing that in mind – yes, you may not appeal to everyone, but if you appeal to some, you are making a success of yourself and your writing. And that is something to celebrate!

  29. Linda says:

    Ah … now … mmmm …. perhaps that’s the short story Harvey and I should work on expanding Parul :-))))

  30. Parul says:

    True to the name of your blog… That’s a woman on the edge of reality eh? πŸ˜‰
    Wonder what happens next! Do tell us! πŸ™‚

  31. Linda says:

    Absolutely right Erin πŸ™‚

  32. Linda says:

    That was pure Harvey Taylor – you never quite know what will come out next πŸ™‚

  33. erinleary says:

    I think you did the opening sentence and it went back an forth from there. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable tale with more to come, I suspect.

    Mine is #15 on the list this week.

  34. Sandra says:

    Really well done! I loved the bit about marmite and beetroot. πŸ™‚

  35. Linda says:

    Why thank you very kindly Rochelle πŸ™‚

  36. Linda says:

    I think there is something about minds linking when we view these pictures Joanna and the locket was all Harvey πŸ™‚

  37. Linda says:

    It’s amazing what a bit of collaboration can conjour up Susie πŸ™‚

  38. susielindau says:

    Great description Linda! I love the personification of the house and the alien twist. From ancient to futuristic. Nice!
    Here is mine~

  39. Oh, fantastic! Well-written with a perfect topical ending. It seems we both had lockets on the brain this week! πŸ™‚

    You’ve already visited us at (thank you) but leaving the link for others.

  40. rochellewisoff says:

    Intriguing. Left me wanting to know more. Well told.

  41. Linda says:

    Excellent, that’s what we like to hear πŸ™‚

  42. Linda says:

    Sage advice about writing for yourself and one that since writing that post I’m starting to really engage with πŸ™‚

  43. flyoverhere says:

    I really like the mystery surrounding the locket. A story that leaves me wanting to know more! Mine is here

  44. tollykit says:

    A well told story. I too appreciated the last line. Takes on a fairy tale feel. And I agree don’t let a bad review get you down. It happens to us all. You can’t please everyone, so write to please yourself and enjoy.

    And for your readers here’s mine:

  45. Linda says:

    Why thank you Jess for both comments, I really do appreciate them πŸ™‚

  46. Linda says:

    You’re very welcome, I meant it on your post and thanks for the observation too – that was one of my lines πŸ™‚

  47. TheOthers1 says:

    I love the end of that first sentence. The past is a country… thanks for your comment on my post!! πŸ™‚

  48. Linda says:

    You are absolutely right Doug, that was definitely Harvey and if you knew him you’d realise just how left field he can be. I shall go make the change and as always, thanks for the encouragement and the improvement suggestions, they are always appreciated πŸ™‚

  49. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Linda,

    Beetroot and Marmite was not yours. That’s my guess. how’d I do?

    Whatever the case it was a fine story. I would change ‘within’ to ‘in’ in the web section and that’s just me. Seems to read more smoothly. Keep on soldiering on, please.



  50. Jess Schira says:

    You should never let a bad review be the reason you give up writing. Everyone runs into those from time to time, how you handle it helps define you as a writer. I’m very glad you decided to keep writing. I found your story to be very fluid and interesting. Nice job.

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