Friday Fictioneers: Restoration – C

I pledgeAnother week, and our Fairy Blog Mother, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, provided yet another interesting prompt for the Friday Fictioneers.

The task is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.

This week in action again: the Friday Fictioneers Concrit Subgroup.

amy-reese
Image © Amy Reese

Restoration (edited version)

“This is where we used to live, you, your dad and I.”
“I can’t remember anything.”
“Of course not, you were only two when he died.”
“You never talked about it. I learned more from the newspaper clippings than from you…”
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t…”
“Why did you sell the house if you loved it so much?”
“I couldn’t bear the memories.”
“But now you bought it back.”
“Yes. Pain’s faded.”
“Just like the place. Well, after twenty years… Won’t you feel lonely?”
“Not really. Perhaps when Jack’s on a mission.”
“You just had to marry another astronaut, didn’t you?”

(100 words)

Restoration (original version)

“This is where we used to live, you, your dad and I.”
“I can’t remember anything.”
“Of course not, you were only two when he died. It was all over the news…”
“I know. Why did you sell the house? Did you need the money?”
“No, compensation was generous. I couldn’t bear the memories, although I‘ve always loved the place.”
“That’s why you bought it back.”
“Yes. It’s been twenty years now. Pain’s faded.”
“Just like this place. But you’ll be all alone.”
“Not always, just when Jack’s on a mission.”
“You just had to marry another astronaut, didn’t you?”

(100 words)

About the edited version:  I got some great feedback pointing out that I fell into the ‘too much telling’ trap of dialogue, where people talk about things the other person knows. I tried to tweak this a bit without rewriting the whole thing. I should have made the young one a remote cousin from overseas. 😉


As many other people, I’m saddened by David Bowie’s death. There are many tributes out there, so there is no need for yet another one, but one of the best I’ve seen comes from former astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, who sang a very special cover of Space Odditiy on the ISS. This song has been floating around my head while I was writing, although the story didn’t quite go where I thought it would. For those of you who haven’t seen the space version of Space Oddity, here it is:



1200px-STS_100_Hadfield_EVAFeatured Image: Col. Chris Hadfield on a space walk.

“STS 100 Hadfield EVA” by The original uploader was Gildir at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Gildir using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:STS_100_Hadfield_EVA.jpg#/media/File:STS_100_Hadfield_EVA.jpg

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65 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Restoration – C

    1. Thank you. I’m glad it came as a bit of a surprise. My first version had ‘Tom’ dying and the astronaut line earlier, but I found that too ‘in your face’. Claire and Jennifer made a good point about show, don’t tell. I like dialogue, but occasionally fall into the ‘tell too much’ trap.

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        1. I always find your stories so well written, it makes me envious. 🙂 If you had too much telling, I think someone of the C group would tell you. I’ve tweaked a lot with this story before I posted the first version, and in these cases I sometimes don’t see the forest for the trees. I put up an edited version now.

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  1. Lovely idea for a story – I really wasn’t expecting that ending. C – some little bits of the dialogue I find ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’. For example, the ‘yes, it’s been twenty years’ feels like it’s there for our benefit; the son or daughter would know how long.

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    1. Thank you! That’s the feedback I need. You’re exactly right, and now that you said it, I see it, too (LOL). I think I’ll put up a second version later today. I should have made her a remote cousin… 😉

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  2. I like how you’ve tied us to current events – cleverly done. If I were to offer concrit it would be that a few bits of the dialogue felt like exposition – they seem to be explaining things I think the other would know “It was all over the news,” “twenty years” etc. If you wanted to polish up I think you’d want to go back and consider what would be understood between them (although obviously it’s good from our POV to get the explanation).

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. Claire pointed that out, too, and of course you’re right. I can get the information in with dialogue, but have to reshuffle somewhat. I think I’ll put another version up later today. I really like the concrit group–and need this kind of feedback.

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  3. I saw the video shortly after it was posted online. His performance was good and his son did a great job of mixing the video for him. What better song to use for the first music video from space? Hadfield is a cool guy. 🙂

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    1. Thank you. Yes, I think he is very cool. But many of them are. Did you follow Samantha Cristoforetti (Italian astronaut) when she was in space, by any chance? She set up the first espresso machine in space… 😀

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    1. Thank you. Yes, that was the line that ‘spawned’ it. Relationship-wise… I don’t think astronauts are her ‘type’ the way one would say ‘guys with dark hair’ or ‘blondes’ are my type. I picture it more like a ‘group’ thing. Astronauts and their families would look out for each other, some would hang out, too. They would have things to talk about, things they do together, understand each other much better than we ‘Earthlings’ could… that kind of thing.

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  4. Loved the story and the tie in to current events. I thought your use of dialogue was good and I could picture the two of them standing at the top of those steps having this conversation. Enjoyed the edited version, leaving out the dialogue about the money and the compensation was a good move and helped the dialogue flow. My only concrit would be to suggest leaving out the phrase “Well, after twenty years…” not sure it’s needed.
    Thanks for a great read.

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    1. Thank you for the great feedback, Mike. I was leaving in the twenty years, because I wanted to have the focus somewhat on the picture prompt, with the faded pain and the faded house/property. I thought the twenty year line would show how much time has passed, a house can lose its luster in that time if people don’t want or can’t care for it properly. Irene further down in the comments liked the line with the money because it shows more about astronaut/family life–it’s a matter of word count in the end I guess.

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  5. I liked how you edited the story – all that editing worked well to keep me guessing till the end on the cause of death. The death being in the newspapers added an element of foreshadowing . Good one.

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  6. Great piece and love the link to David Bowie. From discarded version I liked the two lines “did you need the money?” “No, the compensation….. I liked those lines because it really got me thinking about how the husband may have died. It gave no clue that he was an astronaut but it really had me thinking of possible scenarios so it came as even more of a surprise when it was revealed what he was. The other changes and deletions I am in total agreement with as being unnecessary and not true to a conversation she would be having with her child who presumably already knows it was over the newspapers for example.

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    1. Thank you for the great feedback, Irene. In the end, it was a matter of wordcount. I wanted both, the last line and the faded aspect. For the faded aspect I needed the twenty years line, I thought that would make it clearer that the house was a bit worn down like in the picture, than just buying the house back. I also liked the compensation line, I had googled how NASA deals with loss of lives and the families, and was reluctant to cut that line. I really should have made the girl a remote cousin… 😀

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  7. I certainly wasn’t expecting that ending either. Nice revelation and tie in with David Bowie. Oh, I’m so sad about that, too! A tough week, wasn’t it? A good test with dialogue is to say it out loud and even have someone read it with you. Or, have someone read it and listen. Really great job.

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    1. Thank you, Amy. You’re right, a horrible week.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the story. The reading-out-loud advice is always good. I’m always so keen on posting that I sometimes don’t see the forest for the trees.

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  8. Loved the revised version (but also enjoyed the original… I’m not that good of a critic!) and know what she means by needing to sell the house. This one has to go but will never be re-bought. My original house… now that’s another story!

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