Swan Song

1 Jan

100 words to end 2013 in a bad way and start 2014 in a good way. You’ll get my drift eventually, if not now. My gift to fast friends and faithful readers is that you really don’t need to comment on this entry as it is not a story as I understand the definition.

My thanks to Madison Woods for starting Friday Fictioneers and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping it going. I have learned a great deal during my two years of writing here, not the least of which is that less is more. Time to put it to good use. May 2014 be a sweet year for you and your writing projects.  Aloha, D.

Swan Song

First I wrote about a dog that talked the little girl into climbing the tree before a giant sinkhole swallowed their house…. Lassie saving Timmy, I know. Been there, done that.

Next try was about the silly questions women ask men. (Do these pants make my butt look big?) How to alienate half your readers, right? Next.

Talking dog? (Really?) (Not.) Shelved that. Started over.

This is my last attempt.

From high in the gum tree, little Poppy could see swans on the lake in the park next door. Their sweet siren voices called to him…

Rudyard's dog

38 Responses to “Swan Song”

  1. Sandra January 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    Now that last one has the ring of something special about it… go for it Poppy, make your break. Happy New Year Doug, I hope it’s a special one for you.

  2. Mike January 1, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Have a wonderful 2014 Doug.

  3. yarnspinnerr January 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm #


    A joyful 2014 for you friend.

  4. Dee January 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    i wish you a happy and healthy 2014 Doug. It’s been a joy to read your stories and a pleasure to have you comment on mine.

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I could see something of an ugly duckling referencer there… but I’m afraind Poppy will never be a swan… Happy New Year… or Gott Nytt År. 🙂

  6. summerstommy2 January 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    I like the swan one Doug, gonna work for me. Happy New Year.

  7. elmowrites January 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Poppy’s not the only one looking over the fence and wondering whether the grass is greener – I suspect she’s right, but I think she wouldn’t enjoy it without her little friend, left behind on the ground.
    Here’s to new beginnings, and keeping the best of the old. Happy 2014!

  8. sustainabilitea January 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Perfect title, Doug. Perhaps your muse was on vacation being a-mused. 🙂 Can’t help that pun. Probably leftover from my story this week. Happy new year and may 2014 be your best year ever.


  9. sandraconner January 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    So I guess the title of this post is “Dog Stories.” Or is that “Doug Stories?” Or are they really one and the same? The truth is that I would have been happy with any one of the scenarios you listed because, in my book, any dog story is bound to be good as long as it’s a Doug story. But I do like the last one best of all because it focuses on new adventure, which is something most of us need pretty badly as we go into this year of 2014. It seems that last year was a bummer for almost everyone I know, and I’m hoping for some emphatically positive transitions this time around.

  10. silentlyheardonce January 1, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    Good start to your story . . er . . end. Creative none the lest. 🙂

  11. tedstrutz January 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    Happy New Year, my friend.

  12. JackieP January 1, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Happy New Year Doug! Great post I thought.

  13. Charles Williams January 1, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    In that little tale is an ace of a story!
    Happy Nwe Year Doug!

  14. Madison Woods January 2, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    What a great song those sirens sing. Hard to resist. I know. Have a wonderful 2014!

  15. etiennehanratty January 2, 2014 at 12:54 am #

    Any one of those ideas would’ve been great but I’m glad you went with that one. Not a word wasted.

  16. lingeringvisions by Dawn January 2, 2014 at 1:27 am #

    That was exhilarating; in a calm sort of way.

  17. rochellewisoff January 2, 2014 at 2:09 am #

    Dear Doug,

    Poppy has big dreams that should be pursued, even if he never quite becomes a swan. I’ll bet he’ll leave a trail of golden paw prints along the way.



    • dmmacilroy January 2, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      I have this sneaking suspicion that you really meant to write ‘turds’ instead of ‘paw prints’. Did you know that Sigmund Freud had a dog named Poppy? Neither did I.



      • rochellewisoff January 2, 2014 at 10:12 am #

        Dear Doug,

        I suppose whatever Poppy decides to leave along his way is up to him. Hope he’ll stop to let someone scratch him behind the ears once in a while.

        Kia Ora,


  18. zookyworld January 2, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    I like this take on the wonderings of coming up with a story. Ideas can be elusive suckers, and not all of them stick (or well at least). Poppy is lucky to live next to swans in a park. I just hope their sweet siren songs don’t crash a ship like those sirens in myth.

  19. Adam Ickes January 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I had a bit of trouble coming up with my story this week as well.

    Happy new year, Doug.

  20. rgayer55 January 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    When I’m struggling with a dog story, I find a fire hydrant or tree to hike my leg on. You should try it, Doug. It really helps you get into character.

    • rochellewisoff January 2, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

      I suddenly find myself wondering why I came back here to read comments. Yours is the kind that I just can’t unread.

  21. patrickprinsloso January 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    A great meander through your creative mind. Lovely.

  22. valeriedavies January 3, 2014 at 2:04 am #

    Yes, less is more… delightful… leaving me with visions of adventure and dreams to be chased… XXX

  23. talesfromthemotherland January 3, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Clearly the 4th try was the charm! And charming. Truly wonderful Doug, in 26 words!! Yes, I counted, because I am that impressed. Happy New Year you talented dawg!

  24. AnElephantCant January 3, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Funny stuff, Doug, well done!

  25. JKBradley January 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Happy and healthy 2014 to you.

  26. unspywriter January 4, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    Happy New Year! I did go with the talking dog. Oh, well.

    Here ’tis: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/did-i-tell-you-the-one-about-my-talking-dog/

  27. kz January 4, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    those two sentences = a complete story. very clever and a fun take on such an adorable photo. 🙂 🙂 happy 2014

  28. The Bumble Files January 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Dear Doug,
    Less is more, indeed. So nice to spend the time here with you. Happy 2014! May it be the best year yet.

  29. Lindaura Glamoura January 11, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Dear Doug,
    I’m going to miss you here, but I have to admit, now that we know that less is more, it is time to actually get going. I’ve been using this as either a procrastination device or a kick start to working on my novels. For some reason, I think my Flash fictions have deteriorated, but I feel pretty confident about my novels. It is pretty difficult to make oneself sit down and actually write the damn things. See? right this minute I am procrastinating. I did a little bit of editing today, but now I have to actually write a new chapter. That first sentence is always a problem and I am putting it off by writing this long meandering letter to you! I hope you plan on writing something. Charley and I will be happy to review it when you do! Love from Bath and Athens, Lindaura aka Laura Dunlap aka Linda Palund.

    • dmmacilroy January 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      Dear Lindaura,

      Perceptive woman you are, as Yoda would say. Yes, I will be writing something. (Have kept on time and ahead of schedule for the first 10 days of the year. Bit by bit. Talk to me in six months and I hope to be able to say I’m still on track.)

      You stay focused and we’ll meet one day and swap novels. i’d like that.

      Thank you for your kind comments and steady friendship. I’ll be here, reading when I can and commenting when a story moves me. In the meantime, it’s full steam ahead on my third novel, with zero distractions and the sentence of death to concentrate my mind. I will be using all that I’ve learned in FF to help make my dreams reality.

      Writing is a joy.

      Please drop me a note whenever you like. I’ll be here, typing away.



      • Lindaura Glamoura January 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

        Third Novel! what happened to the other two? And when did you write those – and what are they about, etc.. Enquiring struggling writers need to know…
        Thank you for the kind words, but I would like to know about the others and if you could give me the tiniest inkling (pun) of what this third one is about, I would be ver grateful.
        Writerly regards,
        P.S. My dear-to-my-heart first literary novel, I have not been able to give away. Sold my second novel just now, a detective story with a teenage detective, as a YA novel and now working on a pulp gothic thriller, with lesbian protagonists (don’t ask me how that happened…). I still have my beloved Robot novel percolating….but he’s been relegated to side-kick status in now. Still, with all this, I keep procrastinating…

  30. David Stewart February 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I’ve missed seeing you around the Fictioneers. As you see, I’ve been rather delinquent in reading some of the stories, what with various comings and goings.
    I think you captured the look on this dog’s face perfectly. He has that look of longing, the look of a dog that wants to go chase something.
    Take care,

  31. tedstrutz April 8, 2014 at 2:42 am #

    I am Gandhi with the Wind… Really??? You didn’t just say that? I guess you did… I just read it! Where the hell are you? You must have another blog. If not, get the hell back to this one. Go Here>>>>> http://yeahwrite You will see some familiar faces… the good ones and new ones you will like. Besides, sometimes I write there when inspired.

    Aloha, my friend…

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