Fictography #1: That Which Is Mine.

Rachel's Fictography

Welcome to my newest Friday feature. It’s called “Fictography.” The way this works is a reader will supply a photograph, and then I’ll write a piece of Flash Fiction (roughly 500 words) that reflects something about the photograph. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and I felt it was time. Writing Flash Fiction is a great way to sharpen your skills in both writing and creativity. Fun. Fun. Fun.

This gorgeous photograph is provided courtesy of Rachel Noel Reid, one of my former students, friend, wife, and mother-to-be. I appreciate tremendously her support of my blog—and of this new concept. Thank you, Rachel, and I look forward to more participation as the year progresses.

And now, the story…


Of course it’s not entirely mine. On many occasions, I share it with the birds, the butterflies, the frogs, the crickets, and the occasional deer that call it home. The dragonflies and the fireflies. The bumble bees and the brimstone moths. But it is mine. It was mine all along. And while it may appear to be greedy of me—I’ve been known to exhibit that unappealing quality on occasion when provoked—and it may seem that two waterfalls can certainly be shared, I’d prefer not to. Because I tell you, it is mine. My haven. My harbor. My haunt. My place of privacy, seclusion, shelter and solitude. My sanctuary.

My place of security. My hiding place. The place where I think best.

Passing through, one may admire its rare beauty, its picturesque quality. As a snapshot, it is one that would be Pinned and shared through technology, one viewer after another looking it at from an image cast into the unknowable realm of social media. Round and round it would go, until, well, who knows who would be the last person to see it. It could be endless, continuing on for all eternity.

But it is my place, my little section on this earth, where I can come and face my troubles and joys, the sanctity of it often bringing me to tears.

The sketchpad is in my right hand. The pencil is in my left hand. I find my rock—not his—and I begin to do what I haven’t done in months…in years. I sketch. I sit and sketch, and my hand begins to take over for my mind. I am drawing. Feeling free—freer than I’ve felt in years. My hand continues to move across the blank page, and things are beginning to form. My eyes are looking, but it’s my hand that’s working, hard, in earnest, failing to falter. I’m here; I’m back.

Just yesterday, I’d attempted the same visit, and I’d left before it began. For he was here, occupying my rock, meditating in my space, listening to my crickets and frogs and bees. He did not see me, nor would I allow him to see me, as I was approaching from the far corner of the sanctum. I darted away before he knew.

And then the impending anger that ensued: he had taken everything I had already—did he need to take more? What was left for him to take? There was nothing left for me to give. I had given it all. I had shared too much. He had forsaken me, my love, my kindness.

And now he is supposing this place to be his. Regret shoots through my veins. Why had I shared it with him? Why did I not keep it to myself?

This place. That which is mine.

I stare down at the paper, and it’s done. I’ve created something, and although it isn’t a Rembrandt or a Dürer, it is.



  • Carol DiRienzo Cornwell

    Indeed, it is yours.
    Steph, I think this is a wonderful idea. I will be sure to give you an image to write about.
    I write poetry for myself. This reminds me of a poem I wrote.
    I rarely share what I write, however this poem I did submit and it was published. I think I stopped writing poems when I no longer needed the outlet, but I think you will enjoy just the same. A gift to share..
    I have taken your river
    And made it my own
    The one whose trails your ran
    On tepid summer mornings.

    I took it, I claim it as mine.
    I know her trails intimately
    And which bend
    the lone, lovely heron calls home.

    You may think we share it, but we do not
    For I have loved her more deeply
    Revered the river’s belonging
    heard her stories, soothed her anguish.

    It was not enough to know
    one small section
    I found it’s beginning, and end
    and where it parted course.

    I visit quite regularly
    not every ten years
    In an myriad of temptations
    I have connected my soul to her.

    Bearing witness to painfully slow unfolding
    of delicate Mountain Laurel blooms
    Absorbing through the river’s low slung mist
    the sound of her song, the pull of her fury

    Winter revealing swift currents flowing
    under thin sheets of ice
    And the colored brilliant mallard
    Whose partner is dulled grey.

    Discovering rare beauty at each twist and warp
    no longer wincing where we once made love
    currents thrusting us together
    always threatening to hurl us downstream

    Your beloved no longer lives at your feet
    Waiting for you to acknowledge
    The only connection that matters
    The most to your soul.

    I have taken your river
    and made her my own
    I know on which bend
    Lives the lovely lone heron.

    Copyright 2000-Carol DiRienzo Cornwell
    Images, like poetry, are meant to be shared.

    • Steph's Scribe/Stephanie Verni

      That is amazing, and no surprise it was published! Wonderful imagery, and you are right! The pieces remind me of each other! I enjoy allowing myself to be someone else, or another version of myself when I write. No matter how fictitious a piece is, there is still something of us in it, as we crafted it.

      Thank you for sharing your work, and I hope you will pass along a photograph or two to encourage me!

  • Deborah

    I love this concept! And what a great first post for this feature! Funny how when we love someone, we share so much and assume that it will be forever. The balancing act that is life. This is one more example of how we walk a tightrope between true intimacy and betrayal.

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