Thursday, 29 December 2011

'Ties That Bind' - 'The House Call' - Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No 28 - Friday 30th December 2011




Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Bi-Weekly Challenge, started and hosted by DeniseCovey_L'Aussie, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. This week's theme for Friday, 30th December, Challenge No. 28, is 'Ties That Bind'. My text is written directly for this REW-challenge.




Here is my text :
-------

The House-Call

She was only fourteen in 1941,
And had just taken one step away from childhood,
When she fell ill with high fever and red spots.

It was late December,
And colder than ever remembered,
There was war everywhere else except here.

A very bad strain of an infectious disease spread throughout the town.
Several children had already died.
Although an unoccupied country,
It was still not a good place to become ill.

Water-pipes froze in apartment buildings,
So tenants had no drinking-water.
But their house was better built.

There were no heaters in motor vehicles,
Not even in ambulances,
Should she be taken to hospital?
She was better off at home.

In fever-dreams she heard the doctor say:
'She won't last the night'.
But she didn't care.
She was going to Heaven.

Her temperature was almost 40 degrees Celsius.*
Outside, it was almost minus 40 degrees Celsius.**

But she didn't care.
She had just taken one step away from childhood,
And now one step away from life.

The young doctor thought of a new drug that might help her.
He took it upon himself to fetch Sulfa at the army compound.
That was where the lastest medicines were first tried out.
But what dose should he use? Would the same dose for a tall soldier?
Be too strong for a fourteen-year-old girl?

The Sulfa worked.
The fever broke.
It seemed that she would survive.
But she went into a coma,
That lasted twenty-one days.

With no way to feed her or give her drink,
She nearly starved to death.

But after three weeks she woke up.
She looked like a prisoner of war,
Who just left a concentration camp.
The skirt she once wore fell off when she tried to stand;
And then she fell, because she could neither walk nor stand.

So much forgotten during three weeks' sleep.
She had forgotten what she had learned in school, too.
She had just taken one step from childhood,
But it seemed to be one step back into infancy.

Mother, Father and Nurse, all took turns walking with her,
So much to relearn,
If she were to return to life,
And everything exhausted her.

It was now she recalled what she heard the doctor say,
In her fever-dream,
Now she understood,
And cared,
And cried and cried;
She felt afraid,
And knew that she had almost died,
But was restored to life.

------

Word count according to WordCalc: 400; 'FCA' (Full Critique Acceptable)

Footnotes:
*40 degrees Celsius = 104 degrees Fahrenheit
** minus 40 degrees Celsius = minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit


[Text copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]






------
Best wishes,
Anna



P.S.
This poem/story is based on fact. The girl in the story is someone whom I know very well and who is still alive today as I write this text.

Sulfa was a new drug in 1941; it was later used to induce coma when needed; but they did not know that back then. This was before antibiotics (which would not have helped much because the Measles is a viral infection) and before the use of IV-bags/bottles to hydrate or medicate a patient.


Sorry about the lack of romance, folks! This is actually a real-life Cinderella-story. But this is only 'part one'; she meets her prince in 'part two'.
------
If I were to write a purely fictional story, I could make the young doctor fall in love with the girl whose life he saved. But that is not what actually happened. I feel it is my duty to keep this story as true to the original facts as possible.

I am fascinated by the idea that one person's actions can help another person survive or let them die. In this case, I wish I knew more about the facts. I could kick myself for not asking the right questions at a time when I had access to a person who was there at the time. I am not sure that the doctor had this medicine with him when he visited the fever-ridden girl. Maybe he really did have to make a trip out in minus 40 degree weather in order to get the Sulfa. What possessed him to do that? Youthful curiosity? A sense of professional pride and duty? Or did the fact that his boss was a close friend of the girl's father make him try a little harder?

There are so many questions that I may never find a definite answer to. Did he suffer afterward, as a result of this outing in the bitter cold? Or maybe he was dressed well enough. Was the fact that other young patients had died of the Measles a factor in his decision? Maybe he decided that he would do all that was possible so that there would be no more deaths?

What I would like to do for this doctor, is to at least find out who he was. There is a hospital archive through which I may be able to identify him. I would like to honour the memory of the man who saved the life of this girl in 1941, seventy years ago.



First Commenter:
Denise Covey
of
L'Aussie Denise


To read other texts for Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 28, with the theme 'Ties That Bind', please visit this site or click on the image below:



Sunday, 25 December 2011

'I heard... 'Mrs.Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus week eighty-six


Jenny Matlock


Welcome to week eighty-six of Saturday Centus.

THE PROMPT THIS WEEK IS: I heard an angel voice through the chaos and the noise...
WORD COUNT - Not to exceed 200 words plus the 11 words of the prompt. 211 words total.
STYLE OF WRITING - Any
ADDITIONAL PICTURES IF DESIRED

------
Here is my text:
------

'Whatever happened to the spirit of Christmas?' moaned Caroline sitting at the café after visits to ten different stores.

'You can buy Dickens' A Christmas Carol on DVD at this new store, ' said Roger flipping through a catalog.

'That's not what I mean, Roger. I mean something that you cannot buy at the mall.'

'Oh.'

'Can't we just celebrate Christmas quietly?'

'What about the children? Aren't we going to play Santa Claus?'

'Yes, of course. But sometimes I wish there would be an electrical blackout just after the food is cooked, that would let us speak softly to one another. Shall we go?'

'Just a moment. Take a look at this first', said Roger handing her a thin volume.'

Life can be confusing and filled with the madness of crowds.
Take heed and see that you do not loose your way.
Let goodness and mercy, be your guide.
I too have been lost, but then I heard an angel voice
through the chaos and the noise
and I knew it was the right
way.

'Sounds good to me. Let's go there!' said Caroline smiling and took Roger by the hand.

------
Word count according to WordCalc: 199


------

Best wishes,
Anna



First Commenter:

Judie



of
Rogue Artists



To visit other SC-posts please go to this site or click on the image below:

Jenny Matlock


------
Here are Mrs. Jenny Matlock's instructions:

Welcome to week eighty-six of Saturday Centus. Please accept my warmest wishes for a lovely holiday. I know that sounds really cheesy, but I totally mean it. I love the little community of support and encouragement that we've built together here.

The regular restrictions apply: PG, no splitting of the prompt, play nicely and visit the other entries, any style or genre of writing you prefer.

Please display my link button or just a hyper-link back to Saturday Centus. Be careful to link your SC URL to the Linky and not just link to your main blog.

E-mail me directly with ???'s or ask your question in a comment and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

------


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Happy Birthday Erik! Ten years old December 18th, 2011

This announcement is in the local newspaper, Norrköpings Tidningar on 23th of December:



Erik turned ten years old on 18th December 2011!
Happy Birthday Erik!

Draped around Erik's shoulders is Erik's favourite cat, Kalle (whom Erik calls a boy cat, but who is actually a girl cat named Mathilda).

------

Best wishes,
Anna



First Commenter:
Ann Thompson
of
Ann's Snap, Edit, Scrap





Saturday, 17 December 2011

Cissi's Christmas tree - Picture Prompt - Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus - Week No. 85

Jenny Matlock


Welcome to week eighty-five of Saturday Centus.

THE PROMPT THIS WEEK IS A PICTURE PROMPT!


WORD COUNT - Not to exceed 50 words.
STYLE OF WRITING - Any
NO ADDITIONAL PICTURES
------
Here is my text:
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'Very pretty, Cissi, but are they edible?'

'Of course!' replied Cissi, 'And how have you decorated your tree?'

'With those little gold-coloured smoked Böckling. So yummy!' meowed Cassy, 'When are you planning to eat these decorations?'

'On Christmas Eve', purred Cissi
, licking her whiskers.
------
Word count according to WordCalc: 50


------

Best wishes,
Anna



First Commenter:
Ann Thompson
of
Ann's Snap, Edit, Scrap



To visit other SC-posts please go to this site or click on the image below:

Jenny Matlock


------
Here are Mrs. Matlock's instructions:

The regular restrictions apply: PG, no splitting of the prompt, play nicely and visit the other entries, any style or genre of writing you prefer.

Please display my link button or just a hyper-link back to Saturday Centus. Be careful to link your SC URL to the Linky and not just link to your main blog.

E-mail me directly with ???'s or ask your question in a comment and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

------


Friday, 16 December 2011

Sparkle! Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No.27 on Friday 16th December 2011



Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Challenge, started and hosted by L'Aussie Denise, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. This week's theme for Friday, 16th December, Challenge No. 27, is 'Sparkle'. My text is written directly for this REW-challenge.


Here is my text :
-------
Sparkle

'Let's bow before we begin. Hold your violin under your right arm, and let the bow hang from your index finger. One - two - three.' Mrs Nichols and her pupil, Sara, bowed to each other.

Sonja Nichols and my son, Erik bow to each other before their lesson:

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Then the teacher took out a large toy dice and gave it to the pale blond seven-year-old: 'One, three or five, I choose; two, four or six, you choose'. Sara threw the dice and it turned up three. 'Let's play Twinkle. Shall I play the violin or the piano?'

Sonja Nichols is looking at how my son, Erik, is holding his violin and bow.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

'The violin, please,' replied Sara, holding her violin up on her left shoulder, ready to play.

'If you think about the words to the song, you will know when to play the long notes:
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star", long bow there.'

Sonja Nichols and my son, Erik are playing a melody together.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Sara thought about words like twinkle, sparkle, glitter, and shiny; about the Christmas lights suspended from the trees by the library; they looked like giant snowflakes. Yes, they really sparkled against the the black evening sky!

My daughter, Elisabet, by the library where the giant snowflakes hang from trees.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

How I wonder what you are, Sara sang silently to herself as she successfully switched strings from D to A and back to D again and got her fingers to land in the right places. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. The idea of twinkling, sparkling stars made her think of pretty jewellery; the rhinestones in the tiara that come with the Cinderella-costume dress that she had seen in the toy store.

'That was fine, Sara. Now let's repeat the first part: "Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star..."', explained Mrs Nichols.
It worked! Sara thought, I can play it!


Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

My daughter, Elisabet, is looking quite the opposite of 'Sparkle' in this photo. She did not want me to take any photographs of her during her last violin lesson, today, Friday, December 16th, so her older brother, Erik, is illustrating this story about the young violinist, Sara. But Elisabet looks the part, if she only could play the violin as well!

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

When Sara slept that night she dreamed that she was Cinderella. But instead of loosing a glass slipper at a ball, her shoulder-support fell off her violin when she was to play for the Prince. She ran away from just before midnight, and the subsequent search was for a girl with a violin without a shoulder-support! When the Prince found her, she could finish her concert. And then the Prince and Sara were married, and lived happily ever after.

Sara awoke refreshed from her dream and was ready for the coming challenge that very evening: the end-of-term recital, at which Sara would play 'Twinkle, twinkle Little Star'.

Sonja Nichols, violin and viola teacher, Suzuki-method.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Mrs Nichol was very please with her pupil. Sara sparkled with delight and bowed before applauding parents and pupils. She had played well.
------
[Text and Photo Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]



Word count according to WordCalc: 400; NCCO; No Critique, Comments Only.




------
Best wishes,
Anna



P.S.
This is a piece of fiction based upon real life.

I know that many of you will say that there is not enough romance in this text; but what kind of romance can a seven-year-old have? Fairy tales have a bit of romance in them; and 'sparkle' is what you make it to be.

What this text does show is the endless patience that my children's music teacher, Mrs Sonja Nichols, has. It is a romantic (=wishful-thinking) text in that the little girl plays so well and so willingly. In reality, I am constantly looking for ways to get my children to practice and to get them to their lessons on time. I am not above bribing. But if I wrote all that into this text, it would no longer be a romantic text.

Mrs Nichols, who is really their violin-teacher, told me about the alternative Cinderella-tale, that I have used in the fictitious child's, Sara's dream.


All About Suzuki:

The Suzuki-method could also be called "The Mother-Tongue-Method" because its founder, Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998), was inspired by the way all children learn their first language. Listening to music and repetition are also very important. Another keystone is playful, loving encouragement and respect for the child and teacher, rather than demands or punishment. When Elisabet said that she did not want me to take pictures of her during her lesson, both Sonja and I were in agreement that I should put the camera away, which I did.

To learn more in English about the Suzuki-method of teaching music to very young children, please go to this site for the International Suzuki Association, to find a Suzuki teacher in your region please go to this page; and go to this site for the American Suzuki Association. Here is Wikipedia's page about the Suzuki-teaching-method. To learn about the Suzuki-club in Norrköping and the rest of Sweden, please go to this site. To read about the Suzuki-method in Swedish, please go here.

To read a short biography in English of the founder of the Suzuki-method, Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998), please click on his name. His life is interesting enough to read about even if you don't have children who want to learn how to play a musical instrument!



First Commenter:
Heaven
of
Sweet Lust: Christmas star


Photo Copyright: Heaven, Sweet Lust: Christmas star


Photo Copyright: Heaven

To read other texts for Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 27, with the theme 'Sparkle', please visit this site or click on the image below:



Saturday, 3 December 2011

Translate a text here:

My shop parltradet has curated these Etsy treasuries: