Blog Hop Photo Prompt Reveal – No use for society

Gloria made her way carefully down the mountain using an old path  that most people didn’t even know was there.   It had long since been over grown with weeds,  rose bushes and blackberry vines lined the sides making it hard to see.   Reaching a clearing, she saw a rickety old house on the river  2 old houseboats sat next to it in just as derelict a condition as the house.
“James” she called loudly  then waited….  “JAMES”  she called again when there was no response.  Gloria new that the old man was slightly hard of hearing and, also, new that he didn’t like being taken by surprise and didn’t take kindly to unexpected guests.  But he seemed to enjoy her company.  Of ten times they would sit and talk for hours about all sorts of things including things about the Lord.  There didn’t seem to be anything that James didn’t know about the Lord and about the bible.
Many people saw James as a decrepit  old man with little use to society….  Most people didn’t even seem to care if he lived or died,  but Gloria knew differently.  Gloria knew  that underneath the withered old body  and a mind that was starting to slow with age there  a man who was quick witted  and a wealth of information.  James had a way of sharing information and telling stories that would make people laugh  (if they’d only take the time to listen). James held several degrees (including Theology, Psychology, and Education).   And had once  been the assistant pastor at a small church before his wife died  of cancer.   He had been so distraught over his wife’s death that he began to binge, often times drinking himself into a stupor….  He had been at his lowest point in life, rock bottom,  with no where to go when a stranger had given a chance.   James had continued to work odd jobs scrimping and saving till he was finally able to buy the tiny piece of land  that he now lived on.  The two houseboats, that sat by the house, had once been in prime condition and he would often rent them out to vacationers.   It didn’t bring in a lot of money, but it did pay the bills and put food on the table.  But the effects of years of drinking had paid their toll on James and as his health declined, unable to put forth the physical effort of upkeep, so too did the houseboats and house.
Gloria wanted to find a way to help James, but he was a proud man  and she knew he wouldn’t take kindly to charity or hand-outs “Honest work for honest pay.” He often said.  He wouldn’t accept anything but that he earned it.  She had come up with an idea the night before.    The small community was in need of a tutor  to help some of the kids that were floundering….  Perhaps James would be interested in helping those youngsters to learn and grow.
(yeah – I know, I went over the 500 words)
This week’s words are:

5 thoughts on “Blog Hop Photo Prompt Reveal – No use for society

  1. Now how in the world did I miss this post! I am so sorry, Tena!

    I love the story. James’ character is so endearing and makes me think of my grandfather-in-law who I just adore. It hurts my heart when our elderly, who have so much to offer in the way of perspective and wisdom that can ONLY be obtained through living so long, are forgotten and seen as “useless.”

    You did a great job, friend. Writing is hard, editing is excruciating. They are two processes that stand on their own in one gloriously giant and satisfying process as a whole. It’s a craft that like anything else must be practiced and honed… and even so can never be fully mastered. These blog hop prompts are great practice for creativity and a variety of disciplines, including length restriction, proofing, and consistency.

    The best part about editing, and this relates to Chris’s point, is that’s where the smoke clears and we can see the fire (the gems) shine through, that is to say see/feel the purpose of the story. So yes, every first and second draft will always (and should) have the extra… we have to write down all the words that burn within in order to get the story down, then we can go back and clear out the extraneous verbiage and grammatical mishaps so our reader can connect with the story.

    Keep doing what you do, girl! It matters so much. 🙂 I love your stories.


    • That’s okay, I miss a lot of posts too. They come in my reader, email, and one other section in my eMail (like a reader, but forget what called) and yet still I find myself missing stuff; or so far behind that it’s hard to catch up (like now).


  2. Editing is no fun, I know. It’s the work. : ( I wish my stories would edit themselves. When I first wrote “Stormy is the Heart” I just let it ramble, and ended up having to edit down from 1355 words (& I had already trimmed maybe 100 in process).
    Even if you go over, you should practice trimming your work, because as you do it you will start to recognize repetitive things you do that lengthen your prose unnecessarily. It also teaches brevity in process when you scrutinize your work over & over to discover how to say the same thing with the same impact with half as many words.
    I believe that in most cases, a 500 word final draft BETTER be 600 words at least in its first conception. Every piece has a little fat on it, and letting a piece ramble (digging deeper) is where we find the real gems. Such as this one:
    “But the effects of years of drinking had paid their toll on James and as his health declined, unable to put forth the physical effort of upkeep, so too did the houseboats and house.” One sentence telling a whole story—brilliant!
    I don’t mean to be presumptuous. I just love writers and want to throw that out there for ya, and invite you to take a half hour and get this gem you have shined and polished down to 500 words. ; )



    • thank you for your comments, Christopher (or is it Chris). Yes, editing (especially our own work) is always the hardest. I’m sure Leann (PentoPaperCom would agree – LOL). Thank you for your “like” too. I enjoy writing, but am no wear near in the same league as Carrie, Nicole, Scott, or Leann


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