To all readers and writers of Fifties by the Fire:
This year has been filled with creative exercises, conversations from a vibrant and committed community, and breathtaking contributions from independent photographer John Lightle.
Before we get to the prompt at the bottom of the page, I hope you’ll consider taking a stroll through time with me. You’ll get a chance to watch the seasons come and go. Along the way, you may even feel the bite of winter’s chill, or witness the rebirth of flowers in the spring.
This virtual gallery walk of John’s photos is arranged in chronological order from September 2022 to the present. To read the stories from any particular photo/month, please click on the links.
If you would like to decorate your writing space or home, John is making these prints available to us for a limited time. Please reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing, sizing, and more information.
May I present to you, dear friends, A Year by the Fire.
(Note: this post is too long for email. Please be sure to click “view entire message” in your browser.)
Fifties by the Fire — a fifty-word, prompt-based writing challenge. Feel free to share your response below, or read and comment to join in on the fun.
Prompt: Write a fifty-word story (fiction, poem, or work of CNF) about the passage of time.
Here are the other guidelines:
Make sure your piece is exactly fifty words. Feel free to use Word Counter or the word processor you use.
Write a title with the genre in the first line. (Example: Other Side, Fiction)
The title does not factor into the word count.
Good luck and have fun. Happy writing!
Special thanks to John Lightle for providing “Weaving Through the Pods” for our writing prompt.
John Lightle is a Texas writer, poet, and photographer who spends many hours sitting on his woodpile contemplating. When away from his frame shop, he schleps his artwork among area art shows. The job takes him across the countryside, occasionally overseas, photographing the quiet resolve found within the golden hours.
Thanks for posting all the photos, Justin. I offer you the poem below for this challenge.
lost in the currents of time
a time traveler weaves through
eras like threads on
a cosmic loom
every step forward or back
a ripple in the tapestry of existence
witnessing empires rise and crumble
love ignite and fade they're reminded
time is a river and
we're all but drifters
Growing Old Together • Fiction
She looked in the mirror.
“Happy birthday, my love.”
“Turning sixty is tough.”
“Well, you said you wanted to grow old together.”
“Yeah, but I was young and beautiful then.”
“You’re still beautiful.”
Vehicles containing three daughters and five grandsons arrive.
Thank you, Justin for hosting this challenge. I look forward every time to seeing the offerings!
A PASSING OF TIME - prose poem
Of all the stages of my lifetime, this is by far the best. I rest by candlelight, following my breath, wrapped up in silence, but for the ticking of the clock. A wisp of night breeze teases the curtain, my entire life dances by on the bright wings of fireflies.
Such an impressive milestone, and a fabulous communal writing exercise playing out over time. Fantastic images, John, fascinating prompts.
Time Stands Still (flash fiction)
Breath held, a tiny eighty-year-old tool pinched between thumb and forefinger. The hush was exaggerated, unsettling his usual pattern. He needed a rhythm to sharpen his deep concentration. He felt a slight tremor. Age, but also experience. He savoured the final adjustment, the key moment. The grandfather clock ticked again.
Really fine pictures!
The Passage of Time, CNF
It will be a significant passage of time that passes before I forget . .
Kamala Harris's take on the significance of the passage of time.
I may never forget its significance.
Significantly, today is but time passed from yesterday and tomorrow's time is already cast.
Unless I can break the die.
WH0A!!!! Thank you for the journey. Perfectly timed
The beauty and even the titles brings a tiny tear of wow gratitude
THE MORNING LIGHT, Fiction
The fog of light reflecting in the mirror burned through his soul; it ate at him, like a worrying bump worked into a scab. He looked at his rheumy eyes, his pasty flesh, and slowly scraped the razor across his barren cheeks.
“Another day done; and a new one begun.”
Thanks so much for the photo journey...
Wow! How awesome to see the entire collection of photos.
Thank you for all the many ways you engender community and collaboration Justin!
I loved seeing all of John's photo's together! It's always a jot to see your stories and prompts in my inbox!