Future Plans Ahead!: Summer Schedule for ICFTS

Hello, Friends and Fellow Creatives.

I wanted to take the time and interrupt our weekly schedule, this month of May and give you all the scheduling information for ICFTS for the Summer months.

As it stands, ICFTS has weekly postings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These posting consist of Creative Motivations, Monday’s Muse Writing Prompts, Writing Prompt Results, and Faith for Creatives.

With the summer months approaching, so too, do plans for vacations and more outdoor activities not only for myself but for my fellow creatives. With this in mind, a break from regularly scheduled posting is a must and will be something done annually with ICFTS.

WHEN IS THE BREAK?

ICFTS will be on posting sabbatical for the months of JUNE, JULY, and, AUGUST. We will return to posting articles on MONDAY SEPTEMBER 3, 2018, with fresh new content, and prayerfully new voices and topics to grow us all along our creative adventures.

WHY THE BREAK?

As stated, many Creatives will be off on vacations, spending time outdoors with family, regrouping and connecting with friends. Family and relationships are key to healthy creativity and is encouraged. This break will ensure that you don’t miss a beat here on ICFTS, giving you the time to focus on those closest to you.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE BREAK?

During the break, I will be working on new topics and content for ICFTS, working on my writing, as well as focusing on creative rest as well. THERE WILL STILL BE MOTIVATIONAL POSTINGS ON OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE SO FOLLOW US THERE TOO!

ADDITIONAL NEWS

In addition to the break, specific tabs under MY JOURNAL will be removed from the ICFTS platform but will have links that will lead to my AUTHOR SITE. These tabs are ART and FICTION.

My goal in moving these tabs is to make ICFTS more streamlined and focused on helping others to grow in their creativity rather than showcasing my own. After all, ICFTS is my creativity and faith in action.

While Monday’s Muse Writing Prompts will still be created on ICFTS, my results, as well as my other fiction pieces, and any created visual art will be posted on my author site.

Thank you so much for continuing the journey with me and ICFTS and exploring your creativity in the summer sun to come!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER! 

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Warmth in Winter: Micro Fiction

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Warmth in Winter: Micro Fiction

The heat of his hands upon the small of her back warmed through her dress sending a delighted shiver through her middle.

His warmth, the perfect contrast to the chilly winter day.

Her arms, that had once been wrapped around his neck in a slow dance now rested lazily, expectantly, just beneath his collar, hypnotized by the steady acceleration of his beating heart.

With bright eyes, glistening from the strings of white twinkle lights that shone round them, he looked upon her face, studied her lips until his lids slid to half mast.

And then with the gentle, and slow move of his finger beneath her chin, he coaxed her lips into a kiss with a heat that told that summer would come again.

THE END

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Imogen: A Freeflow Write Short story

She held his hand so tightly she felt the circulation in her fingers run cold. As far as he knew, as far as any of them knew, she was cleaving on to him for love.

They were standing at the altar, weren’t they? They were just on the brink of saying their “I dos.”

Imogen swallowed down the groan that threatened to betray her before God, the congregation, and even this man who she had promised to wed til death would they part.

Death? Perspiration tickled her temples and her eyes batted in a game of faint or flight. Both would give her the same end…fainting at least would win her sympathy.

Klein’s thumb rubbed against the back of her hand, his head barely turning in her direction. His thick brow raised only subtly as a wan smile pulled at the corner of his mouth.

His mouth. It drew Imogen’s mind away from her poorly planned escape plans. Klein Marks had a nice mouth, one that was probably really good at kissing, not that Imogen knew anything about kissing.

She had practiced a few times on the back of her hand whenever she lay awake at night pining over Tover Lendhide. Tover was a charming looker, but Imogen couldn’t argue him up against Klein. Klein David Marks was fine as frogs hair!

Heat ran up the back of Imogen’s neck and blossomed over her light brown cheeks. Klein must have noticed because his wan smile shifted and began to expose milk white teeth right before he winked at her.

Wide eyed, Imogen stared forward at the Parson. She hadn’t heard a single word the man had said, all on the account of staring at Klein’s lips that not even once had she ever paid a lick of attention too.

In all truth she had spent the last two weeks screaming her head off about how she didn’t want to marry the man. Her Daddy, for once in his life, held his ground to Imogen’s chagrin saying, “Propriety demands it, Buttercup! You are the one who got your fool self locked in this tangle. I told you not to be on his property. I told you that watering hole weren’t ours no more and to stay out of it. But no! You are just like your bull-headed Mammy-God bless her in glory-and you just had to have things your way. Well here is the price of it!”

The watering hole. Imogen’s eyes closed again as sweat beaded on the bridge of her nose the same as it had the day she met Klein’s acquaintance. The sun was so sharp and the heat was so high that hell might have felt cool compared to it. All Imogen wanted was one little skinny dip, just like she used to take when the watering hole had her name on it and not Marks.

Well the heat rushed away into an icy cold when she dove in, bare as a babe on its first birthday, right into the arms of Klein, who also donned nothing but his birthday suit. Obviously he’d had the same idea about the heat.

This was all his fault…and Lloyd’s!

Imogen’s eyes twisted into a scowl towards her little brother. The twelve year old twerp had followed her, planning another prank at her expense and if this wasn’t the mother of all pranks, Imogen didn’t know what was.

Lloyd moved like lightening when he saw her and Klein falling over each other trying to get out of the watering hole.  But by the time he finished telling the tale, even though Daddy didn’t believe it the way he narrated, Imogen was doomed to marry.

Doomed. Locked for ever at the side of East Hawk Counties finest piece of chiseled man candy. It could of been worse.

“Imogen?” Klein’s voice tickled her ear squeezing out a yelp and a “Yes” that was meant to be a question, but as far as the Parson was concerned it was good enough to stand for an ‘I Do.’

The congregation began to clap wildly as the Parson announced, “You may now salute your bride!”

Imogen’s mouth fell open with horror, Lloyd gagged, Daddy cried, but Klein dove right in same as Imogen had that watering hole, kissing her until her knees went weak and she  felt like a feather on the wind.

Drunk on the moment, she peeled her eyes open and watched as slices of gold in Klein’s hazel brown eyes sparked. Imogen…fainted…but at least she got her watering hole back.

THE END

This story shifted several times as I wrote it. That tends to be the way with freeflow writing…it does what it wants when it wants. At first, I thought this would be somewhat somber and far less humorous. Imogen went from being one who seemed helpless to one who was a firecracker who Klein might need help with in the future. She put a smile on my face and I am glad she introduced herself to my imagination. I hope you enjoyed it.

Sorry about the abrupt ending. I did go over the 15 to 20 min mark by 5 minutes.

Cheers!

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The View From Our House: A free flow write

The chilly kiss that played against her skin was a sweet contradiction to the stifling early summer heat that had hoovered all month long. Even in her almost thread bare tank top, that draped loosely over her body was her skin still perspiring.

Riley swapped her forearm across her top lip, where evidence of her discomfort rested, before waving at her neighbors across the street. A lovely couple, Mr. and Mrs. Hinde. They were well into their 70’s and flirting happily with their 80’s. 1422171619hyhs8

She had been by to visit them when she first moved in with her husband, August Guffard. Mrs. Hinde said she and her husband had married young too, “Younger ‘n fifteen, we was. Orval just had that gleam in his eye and such a golden heart.” Mrs. Hinde sighed, her gaze waxing nostalgic. “And believe it or not, a smile that was just down right irresistible. I promise he had a head full of teeth then.”

Riley had laughed so hard that the lemonade she was drinking almost came straight out her nostrils. It didn’t help at all that Mr. Hinde had given her a cheeky, toothless grin and wink, just as his wife mentioned his teeth.

Mrs. Hinde continued. “Times was differn’ back then. I ‘spose you being young as you are and married to August don’t seem too far off from me and Orval.” she squeezed Orval’s hand and beamed at him, before turning her smile on Riley.

Riley silently took another sip of her lemonade.

She and August didn’t really know one another when they decided to jump the broom. Really it was Riley’s mother and her backward ways who had decided that she marry August Guffard. The trailer was being foreclosed and Mama had had her last run in with the law.

It wasn’t so much the three strikes kind of thing, but it was enough to have her sitting in a cell, feigning penance for the next 10 to 15 years. That left Riley, barely 18 and hardly graduated from high school, in a bind tight enough to squeeze the little hope of life and a future right out of her lungs.

She had determined to get her high school diploma. Something no one in her family had managed to do for the better part of 40 years. She even had plans for college. Her guidance counselor had told her she had great potential and shouldn’t waste it.

Riley had hidden several applications to local universities within her things, waiting for the moment she had enough extra change to properly apply.

Well she had the applications, they were gone. Riley had happened upon one of the brochures oil stained and in one of the old cars August was fixing up. Her heart sank when she saw it sitting saturated and abused.

She had cried all night over it.

She hadn’t understood why August had taken them. Just like she didn’t understand why he had taken her. He was nearly a decade older than she, was a far cry from hard on the eyes, with a solid build standing at six feet even, nice dark curls and beautiful eyes Riley liked to think were the color of smoke. He even had a nice little home he had been sharing with her and enough extra cash to give her a weekly allowance; $50 every Friday.

Under different circumstances she could have fancied herself mooning after him. But not just out right marrying him just because her mama said so, converting herself into his maid and cook, because that is all she had been for the first four months of their marriage.

August hardly said a word to her, outside of prayer and bible study. That was up until two months ago when he asked her why she hadn’t been back to school. “I got a call from your guidance counselor today,” He speared several lumps of mac and cheese with his fork, grimacing before choking them down. Riley wasn’t even a good cook. “She said, you ain’t been to class in a week an’ a half.”

Riley felt her stomach knot, she didn’t know if it was from nerves, fear or anger. August had never hit her. He had never even touched, although Riley knew he wanted to. She dared not tell him the feeling was mutual. But she didn’t know how to respond to him about it either. Wasn’t he the one who had swiped her college dreams away?

August pushed his plate away and folded his thick arms across his chest. “I told your mama that I would make sure you kept your love for the Lord a priority and that you finished up with your schooling. Then I have to leave work to go and talk to some stranger about why you ain’t been to class and I don’t even have an answer for her.”

He paused realizing Riley wasn’t going to say anything. Instead, she had slipped further down into her seat the same way the beads of condensation slipped down her drinking glass.

August rose from the table. “I told her you would be in class tomorrow morning, and that you would have all that work made up before the end of the month. Don’t make a liar out of me.”

Feeling more beholden to him than anything, Riley got on the bus the next morning and hit her books with a mighty vengeance. Each morning she watched the Hinde’s as she left for school, and even watched them from her front porch at night, wishing she could have had what she saw from the view of her  and August’s house.

What she would have given to have what they had, wrinkly skin and missing teeth and all. The view from their house was perfect, even with stifling heat, and Good Will furnishings. They had a selfless love, a love that kept the other from making fool decisions and getting locked up, a love that only grew even as hair fell out, a love that was solid even when the skin cracked.

Yeah, Riley wanted that. She would even take it with August.

She let her eyes drift closed and took in the sweet smell of the air. The sun was setting just down the way and another day was ending drawing her further away from the life she had once known and into the greater unknown, beyond her marriage to a beautiful stranger, and dreams she thought she would never see breathe life.

“You make a decision yet?” August’s voice called at her from the window of his pickup truck as he parked it behind the old Camry he had fixed up for her. He  stepped down from his truck, the door slamming shut behind him. He was unconsciously heavy handed. “We ain’t got forever.”

Riley still hadn’t wrapped her head around it, even though her heart had eaten it whole with one bite, that August had taken her college applications and sent them all off the very day he had found them.

She shrugged and shook her head, and found herself accepting the offer of his arm stretched out like a protective wing that pulled her close to his side. No, she hadn’t decided on what university she would attend that fall, but she had decided that she would have what the Hinde’s had across the street, and the smile August Guffard gave her seemed a sure sign that his golden heart agreed.

THE END

This story was fun to write. It played at pieces in my past, by the view of the image that is shown of the street. No, its not of anywhere that I have been, but it reminded me of my childhood, when I would spend weeks up north with my 3rd cousins. I also spent nearly an hour writing this as apposed to the usual 15 to 20 minutes that I set aside for free writing. I hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did writing it. 

Cheers!

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Family of Seasons

“Let’s just talk it out for one moment. I promise you won’t regret it.”  He flashed his teeth in the chilly way that he always had, a smile creeping up to his crystal blue eyes. Summer stared deeper into them, giving them the usual appraisal. He wasn’t so confident, not like he was making on. That was Winter’s way. But something in the way he looked at her in that moment, smiling deceitfully, not to lie to her about his intentions, but lying about his own heart, made her lesson her glow.

Sighing, she let her shoulder’s drop and rested her chin in her golden hand. Winter’s back straightened. He dabbed away the droplets of water that had sprung forth from his frosty brow. The one’s he missed turned in to snow flakes and trickled to the ground. His expression was far less phony now, now it rang with a since of brooding urgency. Winter was so unpredictable for most but Summer knew him well. He was her husband after all.

“What is it, darling?” She already knew his request before he opened his mouth.

“Well, my dear, it is Oto,” Oto was what they called their son. “Oto, feels like he won’t be ready this year, like the last, he felt rushed.”

Summer waved her hand. “What is it that our son feels he cannot ask me this time?”

“Its really my request actually.” Winter added, tapping his wife’s hand before caressing her warm flesh. “And truth be told, it is not just Oto, but Prima as well. Prima would like a little more time to prepare for her recital as well.”

Summer’s face twisted to give a negative response. But Winter stilled her voice again with his chilly gaze. “It won’t be like last year, I promise. Give me more time at my play. Allow me to do a few more numbers. It is February after all. My intermission is about over. It wouldn’t hurt for me to play just a few more chords. It will do very well for Prima and Oto too. Prima’s flowers will bloom with greater glow and well she won’t cry as much if her own winds take away the petals. She is so sentimental that child.”

“As is Oto,” Summer shifted again. “That boy runs hot and cold. You can never tell if he is coming or going. Same with Prima, crying just for crying sake.”

“Exactly!” Winter rose a finger. “That is why I propose to continue my song. Just a few weeks longer. Prima will cry much less and Oto, well he will have had more time to be decisive in his doings.” He shook an ice crystal from his palm. It made a tinkering sound as it fell.

“And what of me, sweet husband? What of my song?” Summer gave him a long look. It was winters turn to sigh. How hard it was to live within a family of musicians. “Sing as you please. Take a turn from Oto and Prima. I will cut my chorus next year.” He rubbed his throat. “I already feel I have over extended myself.”

Summer shook her head and leaned forward, the warmth of her lips brushing against the coolness of his. She stood. “A less emotional Prima, a decisive Oto, you say?”

“One could only hope.” He took his turn and kissed the palm of her hand.

Summer smiled. “Very well my dear, take your time. Extend your song.”